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Temptations of Christ

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15 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Legit!

Which makes way more sense as to how the temptations were, indeed, temptations. The temptation was, I think, do thine own will, or worse, do the tempter's will instead of the Fathers. 

Excellent thought. 

Profound crystallization of my somewhat unorganized and disjointed musings. You brought order out of chaos. 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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9 hours ago, wenglund said:

II am glad you mentioned competitiveness since it is not often considered  in the context of Christ's temptations.  

In a way, I believe that Satan was tempting Christ to  provide some physical show of power that came anywhere close to his own--not just in the way that Satan was able to transport Christ here and there, but also the vast kingdom of the world over which Satan ruled. It was the ultimate power struggle, on earth, so to speak.

I figure that Satan knew Christ wouldn't take the bait, and would thus consider it as proof of Satan's superiority--not unlike when a bully get's in someone's face and ask what they are going to do about it, and considers himself the better when the people being bullied don't rise to the challenge. 

However, the beauty and splendor in Christ's responses to the temptations was that it spiritually demonstrated that Satan was  powerless over him, and as such Christ's power and his works and dominions, before then and to follow, far exceeded that of Satan'--not unlike how greater courage may be evident in walking away from bullies picking fights.

This, as always, is an object lesson  for all of us. Gaining empowerment that far exceeds Satan comes from not succumbing to the temptations of Satan.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

I have found that the sense that we have to prove something can be our downfall. Faith, hope and charity do not engender that feeling since our focus is on witnessing of God and not of ourselves. And what do we really need to prove to God if we are upright in doing “all we can do” in relation to receiving His grace anyway? “I will prove to Thee” vs “I will do They will” are two different things, and I think from the Pearl of Great Price, we can see how this is reflected in the approaches taken by Lucifer and Jesus.

The devil is a liar, so I’m not sure whether or that he was even able to deliver on his claims. But assuming he was, and that it was he and not the Spirit that took Jesus from place to place, Jesus won anyway. When the JST mentions the Spirit taking and showing Jesus the pinnacle of the temple and the kingdoms of the world, this is consistent with the practice of the devil countering, interrupting and molesting the prophets before and after their revelations.

It is said that the devil only has as power has we grant him. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1987/10/the-great-imitator?lang=eng :

“…I do not really think the devil can make us do anything. Certainly he can tempt and he can deceive, but he has no authority over us which we do not give him.

“The power to resist Satan may be stronger than we realize. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him. The moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil takes power” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938, p. 181).

“He also stated, “Wicked spirits have their bounds, limits, and laws by which they are governed” (History of the Church, 4:576). So Satan and his angels are not all-powerful.”

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On 2/7/2019 at 4:28 PM, mikbone said:

1) Command that these stones be made bread.  - Christ had just fasted for 40 days.  No doubt He was hungry.  The superficial temptation is to satisfy our physical carnal desires.  But deeper, is the sin of Pride.  Satan was tempting Christ to use his creative powers to prove that He was God by transmuting stone to bread.  Beware of Pride  And Christ's response - Deuteronomy 8:3

 

The astounding irony here is that Satan made the request for turning stones to bread to him who was and is the very Bread of Life.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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One final provocative (thought provoking) question for this thread:  What is meant by "tempt the Lord God?" --not just in the context of Mt 4 and Lk 4,  but other biblical and Book of Mormon passages as well (see HERE)

I would guess that it means something different than "tempt mankind."

In several of the passages cited above, the phrase "tempt the Lord God" was in relation to requests for a sign from God.  In other passages it was said in relation  people asking for things they craved. In at least one passage it was in relation to unequal treatment of fellow members. In yet another passage it was in relation to people complaining about, or contending with, or doubting or angering God.

Interestingly enough, other English versions of the Bible translate the phase as "put God to the test" or "test God."

For example, the KJV of Exodus 17:7 reads: "And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?" Whereas, the NLT says: "Moses named the place Massah (which means "test") and Meribah (which means "arguing") because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the LORD by saying, "Is the LORD here with us or not?" (see HERE)

Why is it problematic to put God to the test?  Are we not told to "prove all things?"

Most important of all, might we have "tempted God," unwittingly or otherwise?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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On 2/8/2019 at 9:14 AM, Anddenex said:

1) First temptation covers the appetites of the flesh. We all will list to obey the flesh or the spirit. He that is spiritually minded hath eternal life, he that is carnally minded (flesh) receives death.

In this coming weeks lesson  (Jn 2-4), I have noticed something of a parallel between the temptations of Christ and first several miracles that Jesus performed during his mortal ministry.

For example, while Satan tempted Jesus to use his powers as the Son of God to turn stones to bread, his Mother, Mary, insinuated that Jesus use his divine powers to provide wine for the wedding feast. Regarding this subtle request, Elder Talmages makes the following salient point that is also instructive in relation to the  first temptation (see Jesus the Christ, Chapter 11, the Section on The Miracle at Cana in Galilee):

"Nevertheless, His words to Mary at the marriage feast may have conveyed a gentle reminder of her position as the mother of a Being superior to herself; even as on that earlier occasion when she had found her Boy, Jesus, in the temple, He had brought home to her the fact that her jurisdiction over Him was not supreme. The manner in which she told Him of the insufficiency of wine probably suggested an intimation that He use His more than human power, and by such means supply the need. It was not her function to direct or even to suggest the exercise of the power inherent in Him as the Son of God; such had not been inherited from her. “What have I to do with thee?” He asked; and added: “Mine hour is not yet come.” Here we find no disclaimer of the ability to do what she apparently wanted Him to do, but the plain implication that He would act only when the time was right for the purpose, and that He, not she, must decide when that time had come. She understood His meaning, in part at least, and contented herself by instructing the servants to do whatsoever He directed. Here again is evidence of her position of responsibility and domestic authority at the social gathering." (bold mine)

There are several points of interest.

First, I don't think the connection of bread and wine are coincidental, but are symbolic in much the same way as the emblems of the sacrament.

Second, what is at issue isn't whether Jesus had the power to turn stones to bread or water to wine, or even whether it was necessarily inappropriate for him to do so either in service of himself or others. Rather,  it is the timing of such miracles or conditions under which the miracles may be rightly performed, or more to the point, whose place it is to make these determinations.  It is Christ who is to decide, and this at the behest of His Father, and not Satan or Mary or any of us. 

Third,  in spite of earthly hierarchies (mother superior to son, god of the earth superior to mankind), ultimately Christ is superior to all.

And, fourth, when we prioritize the will of the Father in relation to desired "miracles" in our lives, and wait in faith patiently for His due time, obediently doing as He directs, we will receive  the very best, the "good wine" instead of the worst, and the "bread of life."  Indeed, Christ has given his all (his body and blood,  memorialized by the sacramental bread and wine)  to provide us the greatest gift and miracle of all. 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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On 2/9/2019 at 12:43 AM, The Folk Prophet said:

Sounds nice and....random.

I was answering your question.

 

On 2/8/2019 at 5:54 PM, The Folk Prophet said:

I find this interesting to consider. Where is the line? Jesus's "power" includes the ability to move His hands. Did he utilize that power to feed himself when he broke His fast? Of course. So where's the line. Where is using power -- any power -- to feed oneself crossing the line of appropriate to inappropriate? 

I refined the definition of "power" first - so we're talking about the same thing (eliminating such things as "the ability to move His hands" from the discussion of power to make it more meaningful).  Then addressed when it is appropriate/inappropriate.

 

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12 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

 

I was answering your question.

 

I refined the definition of "power" first - so we're talking about the same thing (eliminating such things as "the ability to move His hands" from the discussion of power to make it more meaningful).  Then addressed when it is appropriate/inappropriate.

 

I find it much more meaningful to define power as it actually is -- the ability to act or produce an effect -- and leave randomly assigned extra-definitional ideas out of it. Then when we consider ideas such as @wenglund suggested, that use of power to produce effects that are not God's will is sin, then we have actual meaning here.

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13 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I find it much more meaningful to define power as it actually is -- the ability to act or produce an effect -- and leave randomly assigned extra-definitional ideas out of it. Then when we consider ideas such as @wenglund suggested, that use of power to produce effects that are not God's will is sin, then we have actual meaning here.

That's your prerogative.  But my answer was made within that context of Power.

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3 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Thanks for your permission. Without it I don't know what I'd do.

Is there supposed to be an emoji here?

I answered your question with that context of Power.  You don't have to use that context in YOUR discussion.  Just don't use my answer for YOUR context of power because it will be taking the answer out of context.  It's really very simple and straightforward without any insult or contention needing to be added into such a simple answer.  Of course, if you don't want me to answer how I want to and you just want me to answer how YOU want me to, I'll butt out of the conversation.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Edited by anatess2

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On 2/7/2019 at 4:28 PM, mikbone said:

2) If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down. - Satan even quotes scripture Psalm 91: 11-12 to bolster his temptation.  The superficial temptation is to rely upon others, and once again to prove his godly powers.  But as I studied this - and recalled the events in Gethsemane, coupled with hardship that occurs during a normal lifetime.  I recognized that Satan was going to a much darker place.  He was trying with all his might to cause Despair to enter into the heart of our Lord and Savior.  Real despair - the type that leads to concepts of suicide or annihilation. Despair is a tool of the Devil, it is the complete absence of Hope.  Both of these temptations are of an emotional nature. There are times in our lives when all seems at loss and no forward progress appears as a possibility.  We must recognize that Despair is from the Evil One and fight it with hope.  Do Not Despair  Christ's response - Deuteronomy 6:16

 

On 2/8/2019 at 9:14 AM, Anddenex said:

2) Second temptation covers the temptation of power. The desire within us all to perform some exploit that will cause all onlookers to be amazed at the power we have.

To underscore the common theme of the temptations (i.e. the determining factor between right and wrong is "God's will") as they relate to events at the start of Jesus' earthly mission (see also my post above), the second temptation relates to the clearing of the temple, if not also the healing of the sick. 

In both cases, there was the implicit challenge to Jesus' authority  and his claim to be the Son of God. And, with both there was the request for a sign,  thus putting  the Father and Son to the test--i.e. they tempted God. It was as though Satan and the money changers and Jews in the temple  were questioning, "Who are you, Jesus of Nazareth?" "Prove to us that you are the Son of God."

Christ's implicit reply in each case was to turn the tables and rightly question who were they to question him and his Father. He intimated to they who had openly defied the will of the Father, were in no position to question him who was perfectly obedient to the Father.

And, as for a sign being given, that, too, was not their place to ask, but was the purview of the Father.

In that regard, the faith-based evidence  that he is the Son of God is replete in everything Jesus did and would do. To those with eyes to see  and who were worthy and humble enough to receive knowledge of the divinity of Jesus, need not tempt God with requests to turn stones into bread or other signs, or wish to force the Father to intercede were one to purposely put themselves in harms way. Rather, it would be manifest when Jesus turned the water to wine, and purified the temple, and healed the sick and afflicted--particularly those whose illness was no fault of their own.

Again, that which is right and good comes invariably by humbly and in faith subjecting oneself to the will of God, rather than through impertinent demands born of selfish desires and a false sense of self aggrandizement.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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13 hours ago, wenglund said:

In this coming weeks lesson  (Jn 2-4), I have noticed something of a parallel between the temptations of Christ and first several miracles that Jesus performed during his mortal ministry.

There are several points of interest.

First, I don't think the connection of bread and wine are coincidental, but are symbolic in much the same way as the emblems of the sacrament.

Second, what is at issue isn't whether Jesus had the power to turn stones to bread or water to wine, or even whether it was necessarily inappropriate for him to do so either in service of himself or others. Rather,  it is the timing of such miracles or conditions under which the miracles may be rightly performed, or more to the point, whose place it is to make these determinations.  It is Christ who is to decide, and this at the behest of His Father, and not Satan or Mary or any of us. 

Third,  in spite of earthly hierarchies (mother superior to son, god of the earth superior to mankind), ultimately Christ is superior to all.

And, fourth, when we prioritize the will of the Father in relation to desired "miracles" in our lives, and wait in faith patiently for His due time, obediently doing as He directs, we will receive  the very best, the "good wine" instead of the worst, and the "bread of life."  Indeed, Christ has given his all (his body and blood,  memorialized by the sacramental bread and wine)  to provide us the greatest gift and miracle of all. 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

First, I don't think the connection of bread and wine are coincidental, but are symbolic in much the same way as the emblems of the sacrament.

I agree. This was the first time I read John 2 with the impression that Christ's wine from his miracle was "better" -- the "good" wine -- at the feast which was given last, out of tradition. This reminded me of the first shall be last and the last shall be first. I am not sure if that was an intended meaning, but for some reason this time it felt like there was more and I am not sure I have discovered it. Ms. Anddenex simply says it is just saying Christ makes the best, perfect. I think there is more.

Second, what is at issue isn't whether Jesus had the power to turn stones to bread or water to wine, or even whether it was necessarily inappropriate for him to do so either in service of himself or others. Rather,  it is the timing of such miracles or conditions under which the miracles may be rightly performed, or more to the point, whose place it is to make these determinations.  It is Christ who is to decide, and this at the behest of His Father, and not Satan or Mary or any of us. 

I would say "true." This, at least for me, is the hardest aspect of this life and that is God's timetable of miracles in our own lives. I think this concept also is why we experience despondency and discouragement. We know of all the stories in the scriptures of marvelous healings and we want to be apart of those healings. When they do not happen, when the Lord says it is time, we then have the cognitive dissonance of, "Is it my righteousness, what is wrong with me, these happened in the scriptures"? When at this point it is a subject of "time" and "whose will."

I believe is what a biography of one of the prophets I was reading who talked about a daughter passing away and how he knew if he had the keys to resurrect he probably would have raised his daughter to life -- his will. He then stated he was glad he did not have that power, because his knowledge was insufficient to make such choice.

Third,  in spite of earthly hierarchies (mother superior to son, god of the earth superior to mankind), ultimately Christ is superior to all.

I think I would add, Christ is only subject to the Father. When he was 12 he was about his Father's business despite the command to "honor thy father and mother." Joseph was his earthly father by adoption, which had to be according to Royal line. Yet, we know which Father Jesus honored if there were any opposition between the two. We see also his mother was unaware of what Jesus was doing, which once again gives witness -- even as a child -- he was superior and truly was subject the Father and the Father's will.

And, fourth, when we prioritize the will of the Father in relation to desired "miracles" in our lives, and wait in faith patiently for His due time, obediently doing as He directs, we will receive  the very best, the "good wine" instead of the worst, and the "bread of life."  Indeed, Christ has given his all (his body and blood,  memorialized by the sacramental bread and wine)  to provide us the greatest gift and miracle of all.

I think my other answers correlate with this thought.

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14 minutes ago, wenglund said:

 

To underscore the common theme of the temptations (i.e. the determining factor between right and wrong is "God's will") as they relate to events at the start of Jesus' earthly mission (see also my post above), the second temptation relates to the clearing of the temple, if not also the healing of the sick. 

In both cases, there was the implicit challenge to Jesus' authority  and his claim to be the Son of God. And, with both there was the request for a sign,  thus putting  the Father and Son to the test--i.e. they tempted God. It was as though Satan and the money changers and Jews in the temple  were questioning, "Who are you, Jesus of Nazareth?" "Prove to us that you are the Son of God."

 

I only have one part to add to this thought. In scripture I am not able to find any evidence that God would do anything to his children without warning. In my mind's eye, I am able to see our Lord requesting the Jews on multiple occasions requesting them to remove specific items from the temple, with clarity and instruction as to why.

In my mind's eye, I see our Savior applying Doctrine and Covenants 121 pertaining to persuasion. When the Jews had specifically disregarded the counsel from their Lord, well, actions were taken to remove them physically.

I would say these Jews in the temple:

1) Were warned

2) Were instructed

3) They disobeyed and receive the consequence of disobedience

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2 hours ago, wenglund said:

And, as for a sign being given, that, too, was not their place to ask, but was the purview of the Father.

In that regard, the faith-based evidence  that he is the Son of God is replete in everything Jesus did and would do. To those with eyes to see  and who were worthy and humble enough to receive knowledge of the divinity of Jesus, need not tempt God with requests to turn stones into bread or other signs, or wish to force the Father to intercede were one to purposely put themselves in harms way. Rather, it would be manifest when Jesus turned the water to wine, and purified the temple, and healed the sick and afflicted--particularly those whose illness was no fault of their own.

Again, that which is right and good comes invariably by humbly and in faith subjecting oneself to the will of God, rather than through impertinent demands born of selfish desires and a false sense of self aggrandizement.

Christ took this one step further by proffering a sign that was of his own choosing and in his due time--i.e. "Destroy this atemple, and in three days I will braise it up." (Jn 2:19)

This sign was, in multiple ways,,beyond the comprehension of the Jews,  Not only did they not understand that Jesus was speaking of the temple that is his body (a type of which was declared in their own scriptures through the story of Jonah and the whale), but even if they had understood, it is doubtful that they would comprehend how Jesus' resurrection evinced that he was the Son of God, let alone what may be the symbolic relationship between the cleansing of the temple and the resurrection, nor that symbolic relationship applied to more than just Jesus, but applied also to others who would prove themselves to be sons/daughters of God.

Perhaps it isn't just the Jews that have not comprehend these things. It may be lost on a number of bible reading Christians as well--some of whom may even be members of the CoJCoLDS. I freely admit that, until recently, I didn't entirely have a clue. And, I suspect that to a point I still don't, but I ave much to learn.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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For those interested, several of the points above have been poignantly tied into an issue raised by @NeuroTypical regarding the violence in clearing the temple. The discussion is taking place on the Come Follow Me study forum for this weeks lesson (February 11 - 17) It would be good to have added your informative perspectives.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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