Rich Young Man


mikbone

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Sorry if I have offended anyone.  Sometime if you want a topic to get any traction around here, it helps to write it in a style to beg rebuttal...  I continue to follow the Come, Follow Me program, and I love it.  I also teach Sunday School and like to bounce some of my thoughts off the wall.  So, thanks to all that have participated.  Particularly, for the GC talks links.  Larry Lawrence's - What Lack I Yet? is quite insightful. 

I tend to be a bit cynical.  

And although many here feel that the young man was righteous, I still doubt it...

I like to think that this recording by Mark of the interaction between Christ and the Rich Young Man has done much more good to the intended audience (All those who had direct witness of the event and those who read the New Testament) than it did for the young man.

Jesus Christ is Jehovah.  We cannot begin to understand his level of intelligence, understanding, and ability to see into the heart and mind of every child of God.  

Of course Jesus beheld and loved the young man.  He does this for all of us.  And many times the best way to show love, is to give negative feedback.  It can be very useful in the right situation.  Heb 12:6

Another thought that was brought up, is this concept that perhaps the ultimate display of discipleship is to give away all that we have and take up the cross, and follow Christ.  Obviously this is nonsense.

The Lord wants us to get an education, get married, and have a family.  Become a productive member of society, and the church.  Be a good parent, pay tithing, accept callings and magnify your priesthood.  When we go to the temple we make covenants to invest more of ourselves in the kingdom of God. But that does not necessarily mean that we are to leave our families in the hands of the Lord while we spend an inordinate time doing our callings...

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Edited by mikbone
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21 hours ago, mikbone said:

Mark 10: 17-27

Does anyone else interpret the rich young man as being FoS?

I have been around the block and usually assume that people are motivated primarily by self interest as opposed to altruism.

So when I read this story about the young man, I don’t have any empathy for his situation.

I see straight through his BS.

First off, he publicly makes a huge scene by running & kneeling in front of the Lord and asks what he can do for eternal life.  Who does this???  Reminds me of classmates who would ask a question in class just to brown nose the professor.

Christ then tells the idiot that he knows the commandments and then repeats 7 commandments.  Most likely because the young man was having issues with these commandments...

The young man then states that he has kept these commandments from his youth.   We know this is a lie!  No one keeps all the commandments.  There was only one man / God that kept all the commandments.

What happens next is precious.  Jesus knows the heart of this young man.  And He makes the request that he sell all he has and follow him (because he knows that he had no intention of making any real sacrifice).  This publicly shames the young man, and he turns away grieving.  Serves him right.

Prove me wrong.

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow night, for the first time since 1997, we will have the Prophet in Australia. Not only one man, but many thousands will come driving and walking, and maybe even running, from near and far, seeking to know what they can do to live a better life and be a better person. Who does this? Pretty much everyone who attends General Conference.

No doubt, tomorrow night the Prophet and others will provide us counsel and teachings based on some or all of the ten commandments. Most likely many present at the meeting will be having issues with some or all of the commandments.

No doubt, many present will believe that they have either kept, or tried hard to keep the commandments from their youth. In fact, even I keep the commandments - usually. 

Quite possibly, tomorrow night the Prophet will request us to do some things and not do other things. And no doubt many will leave the conference tomorrow grieved and concerned about what the Prophet has asked while others will be rejoicing at what they have heard. 

And I don't think Australia is the only place where this will happen. 

So after 2,000 years, when Christ tried this teaching technique, if it was not successful, you think a more effective technique would be used. It's still used at every General Conference so maybe its not unsuccessful. Christ and His servants and propehts are unlikely to repeatedly engage in practices that have no impact even if what/who they are working with is slow to respond.

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if the Lord were to appear to me, which He hasn't done lately, one of the questions that would be uppermost in my mind is what do I need to do to gain eternal life, but I would probably not ask it, because the answer to that question has been made clear to us many times by many of His  servants

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58 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

if the Lord were to appear to me, which He hasn't done lately, one of the questions that would be uppermost in my mind is what do I need to do to gain eternal life, but I would probably not ask it, because the answer to that question has been made clear to us many times by many of His  servants

On a humorous note, my stake president once told me a story of when Elder Perry came to a leadership Q&A. A bishop asked “Why don’t we see miracles today like there were in the early period of the church?” Elder Perry preceded to rebuke him for his lack of faith. My stake president then told us “I decided right then and there that I had no question that needed to be asked” xD

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On 5/16/2019 at 10:06 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

Christ’s additional remarks as recorded in the extended narrative of Matthew 19-20 reinforce this theme—you can’t do everything alone, and if you just go through life in a hollow attempt to dot i’s and cross t’s, eventually you will break as this young man broke when Christ told him what perfect legalistic obedience actually required; and our eternal reward has less to do with what we accomplished than with whether or not we ultimately came into communion with the Supreme Lawgiver.

Jesus was pretty even mannered with most and even most short-comings. He was, though, very stern and rigid when it came to hypocrisy. In the case of the young man Jesus did not act as though he were dealing with someone acting out of hypocrisy. He didn't call him out on his claim of obedience but rather directed him to raise his sights even higher, a challenge that would have been pointless for someone struggling with the ten commandments. To Just_A_Guy's point, the very first thing Jesus does when hearing the young man's salutation was to call into question what it meant to be "Good." He immediately points out that we all rely on someone else. Even Jesus, though perfect, needed direction from his Father. 

As a side note, Bruce R McConkie, in a conference talk, expressed the view that Jesus' invitation to sell all he had and follow him was not a generic invitation to do good but to actually become a close associate of his. If he was correct in that interpretation then I think it would be safe to say that this young man was indeed of pretty high caliber.

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4 hours ago, laronius said:

He was, though, very stern and rigid when it came to hypocrisy.

Total tangent...but I've been thinking about this. So let's review a few things that Jesus taught in the sermon on the mount that are not directly about hypocrisy:

  • People who lose their "savour" are good for nothing, but to the cast out, and trodden under foot of men.
  • Whoever breaks even the smallest commandment, and teaches others the same, will be called the "least" in the kingdom of heaven.
  • Calling someone a fool means you're likely to go to hell.
  • Even looking at someone wrong sexually is adultery in one's heart.
  • Pluck your eye out and cut your hand off if they offend you rather than perishing in hell.
  • Putting away one's wife for anything but fornication is essentially adultery.
  • Don't pray like "the heathens"
  • Don't lay up treasures on earth, if you do your treasure is not in heaven.
  • If you're eye is focused on anything but "single" to the glory of God, your whole body is full of darkness, and the light that is in you is darkness, and how great is that darkness.
  • Take no thought for food or drink or what you wear (you have such little faith). Only the Gentiles seek these things.
  • How you judge others is how you'll be judged.
  • Some people are dogs and swine that don't deserve your pearls of wisdom.
  • You're evil, but even you know how to give good gifts.
  • Few people will find the gate to eternal life.
  • Only those who do God's will will go to heaven. Just talking the good talk isn't enough.
  • Those who don't do God's will are foolish men.

So that's just a few snippets from the sermon on the mount. I cannot quite understand the oft-repeated idea that Jesus only taught strictly and harshly concerning hypocrites and/or Pharisees and Scribes.

To my reading, Jesus taught strict and harsh things everywhere he went.

As I read the works of Jesus I see two primary things that He did in his ministry. 1. He served, succored, healed, performed miracles, etc. 2. He taught plain, harsh, strict truth.

Even His teachings about kindness and compassion and succoring were strict, plain, and harsh. Give up yourself entirely. Love your fellow man. Serve your enemies. Turn the other cheek. Give up all your possessions and follow Him. Be ye therefore perfect.

I mean have you ever been in a thread where someone's complaining about, for example -- say -- a bishop who's wronged them, and someone suggests they dare turn the other cheek? The very idea is considered insensitive to the poor abused "victims" of the mean and thoughtless bishop. And suggesting such an idea makes the person who suggested it practically a pariah to many.

No -- Jesus' teachings were not easy and happy and all about hugs and hand holding. They were hard, difficult concepts that require the complete and utter loss of self, abasement in humility, and the removal of any personal pride.

Edited by The Folk Prophet
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On 5/17/2019 at 5:43 AM, LiterateParakeet said:

I don't see it that way at all.  I think that young man could represent any of us and our "pet sins" that we aren't ready to part with yet.  So I have compassion for him, as I hope compassion will be extended to me!  :)   

My favorite part of this story is the "what lack I yet?"  Once when we discussed this in Relief Society, I felt inspired to ask the Lord that question.  The answer surprised me and changed my life.   Later, there was a wonderful talk on this in General Conference...

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/what-lack-i-yet?lang=eng

Have you tried this?  And if you haven't, how are you different than that young man?  He asked...he just wasn't ready for the answer.  May we all ask, and be ready to hear the response. 

I like the idea of improving - especially talking about it.  However, there is one caveat that is hard to swallow.  As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that I am not doing anything better.  I use to bike 100 miles on a Saturday and breeze past every other biker I encountered.  Now I am rarely pass anybody - recently I cramped on a hill and was passed by a jogger and I am worn out in just 50 miles at a fraction of the pace I used to ride at.  Intellectually things are much the same but I suspect that in some ways I am blessed to not be able to remember all the things I have forgotten.  I would like to say that spiritually I have become a giant but that is just not true - as much as I love my grandkids I do not look forward to spending more than a few hours with them.  When our kids were young I enjoyed vacations, especially backpacking into wilderness areas and week long white water rafting trips.  Now it seems that the grandkids drive me crazy on such outings.  I use to look forward to new callings and challenges - now I think I look forward more to being released.  

In many ways some of the thoughts expressed remind me of a recent discussion I had with a youth in our ward.  We talk often about skiing - this winter season was one of the best ever.  My young friend asked me if I was one of the skiers that zip and bounce down through the moguls and then turn around an ski backwards passing other skiers and then skiing backwards go off a jump doing flips and turns in the air.  I humbly admitted I often do stuff like that (and more).  He gasped and said that I must be a really good skier.  I told him I do not like to brag but I am a very good skier - However, I added - I could be a much better skier -- if I was doing all those things on purpose. 

Unlike the rich young man - I dred finding out what I lack yet (I am impressed at this point that he or anyone else would even have the guts ask) -- I certainly do not want to even ask any such thing.  I more into the working on "enduring to the end" kind of thing.

 

The Traveler

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10 hours ago, Traveler said:

I use to bike 100 miles on a Saturday and breeze past every other biker I encountered.  Now I am rarely pass anybody - recently I cramped on a hill and was passed by a jogger and I am worn out in just 50 miles at a fraction of the pace I used to ride at.

So what's changed?  Aging doesn't account for that unless there's been a serious injury or another lifestyle change that you're forgetting about.

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Guest LiterateParakeet
21 hours ago, Traveler said:

I like the idea of improving - especially talking about it.  However, there is one caveat that is hard to swallow.  As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that I am not doing anything better.

I'm sorry to hear that.  My experience has been different.  I think that there are others in your situation, but not everyone.  

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On 5/17/2019 at 9:08 AM, mordorbund said:

Gotta admit. I'm struggling to see the Friends of Scouting and Boy Scouts connection here.

I was struggling too and looked up some possibilities like, From outer Space or French onion Soup. But it looks like @Barrett Maximus figured it out. 😊

M.

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On 5/18/2019 at 8:45 PM, NightSG said:

So what's changed?  Aging doesn't account for that unless there's been a serious injury or another lifestyle change that you're forgetting about.

Are you kidding me? - there is a reason 75 year olds do not compete in the Olympics.

 

The Traveler

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15 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

I'm sorry to hear that.  My experience has been different.  I think that there are others in your situation, but not everyone.  

Who do you know that is in their 70's or 80's that is at their lifetime peak in anything?  Perhaps I should say - anything worth bragging about?

 

The Traveler

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1 hour ago, Traveler said:

Who do you know that is in their 70's or 80's that is at their lifetime peak in anything?  Perhaps I should say - anything worth bragging about?

Ice down a keg of prune juice, take a couple extra Geritol, put some new tennis balls on your walker and go hang out at the finish line of a triathlon.  Look at the number of folks in the over 60 age brackets.  Then look at how many of them placed 50th percentile or better overall.

Then consider how many people under 50 (or for that matter 20-40) are utterly incapable of even finishing a triathlon without spending a year or more getting in shape.

In cycling alone, Paul Tetrick started at 60, and at 85 he's faster than I was in my 20s.  Madonna Buder is still completing Ironman tris under the time limit at 86.  Even at my best - and before I trashed my knee - I don't think I could have finished one.

Edited by NightSG
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Guest Mores
6 hours ago, NightSG said:

In cycling alone, Paul Tetrick started at 60, and at 85 he's faster than I was in my 20s.  Madonna Buder is still completing Ironman tris under the time limit at 86.

Yeah, well Speedy, the wonder turtle, was faster than you in your 20s. :D

I'm kidding, guy.  Nothing but love for you.

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Guest LiterateParakeet
9 hours ago, Traveler said:

Who do you know that is in their 70's or 80's that is at their lifetime peak in anything?  Perhaps I should say - anything worth bragging about?

 

The Traveler

Lifetime peak is not something I feel qualified to measure in anyone but myself. Worth bragging about, sure! 

Pres. Nelson, many of the Apostles, closer to home, my husband's Uncle Bill, a sister in my ward, etc. 

Unless one has dementia, I see no reason we can't ask "What lack I yet?" and learn and grow from the experience. Perhaps I'm missing your point here, or you are missing mine...I'm not sure but as long as we have the mental capacity and the desire we can always ask the Lord how we can be better. It's closely related to Pres. Nelson's recent admonition to repent daily. He didn't put an age limit on that either. :)

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7 hours ago, NightSG said:

Ice down a keg of prune juice, take a couple extra Geritol, put some new tennis balls on your walker and go hang out at the finish line of a triathlon.  Look at the number of folks in the over 60 age brackets.  Then look at how many of them placed 50th percentile or better overall.

Then consider how many people under 50 (or for that matter 20-40) are utterly incapable of even finishing a triathlon without spending a year or more getting in shape.

In cycling alone, Paul Tetrick started at 60, and at 85 he's faster than I was in my 20s.  Madonna Buder is still completing Ironman tris under the time limit at 86.  Even at my best - and before I trashed my knee - I don't think I could have finished one.

You have missed the point completely.  I am still in the top 1/3 of those that ride the Tour de Utah routes.  But I am nowhere near my peak times or my peak endurance.  My next door neighbor was the first place female winner in the Hawaii triathlon back in the day.  She still trains can still hold her own but is not breaking any of her personal records.  Another "older" neighbor recently completed 30 marathons in 30 days.  Neither are breaking any personal records - my friend running 30 marathons barely finished one of his 30 marathons within seconds of the time limit.  He thought of quitting when a young reporter ran with him to the finish.  He was very discouraged at his decline even though for his age he can still run the socks of most younger runners. 

My doctor/trainer informed me that 45 is kind of an age threshold where we all have started genetic aging.  This genetic aging affect everything from eyesight to reflexes and recall.  That does not mean that someone cannot better themselves - what it does mean is that if they had properly trained and taken care of themselves when they were younger they would have done better when they were younger.  I am also informed that keeping in shape while we age will not cause a person to live longer - but our health quality as we age will be much better than if we give up such things.

BTW President Monson had a photographic memory - but he started using a teleprompter in his "declining" years.  My father was ranked 2nd in the nation for over 65 competitive skiing.  He did not start completing until he was 60 - the last six months of his life he had to have help just getting up and eating.  In fact eating became difficult for him - I know because I was there caring for him and trying to force him to eat - I am convinced he starved to death.

One of the greatest discouragements for me it that I lived my life trying to get better - I never planned for or envisioned that I would ever come to the point that I could not continue to improve.  It is a spiritual conundrum when you realize you can no longer keep up with yourself and that as a fallen being - you will eventually die - and though you may think you can put it off or postpone declining, you will lose - it is part of our mortal experience and spiritual destiny.

 

The Traveler

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26 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

Lifetime peak is not something I feel qualified to measure in anyone but myself. Worth bragging about, sure! 

Pres. Nelson, many of the Apostles, closer to home, my husband's Uncle Bill, a sister in my ward, etc. 

Unless one has dementia, I see no reason we can't ask "What lack I yet?" and learn and grow from the experience. Perhaps I'm missing your point here, or you are missing mine...I'm not sure but as long as we have the mental capacity and the desire we can always ask the Lord how we can be better. It's closely related to Pres. Nelson's recent admonition to repent daily. He didn't put an age limit on that either. :)

I have gotten better at repenting but being a better Saint?  I must still rely on G-d - perhaps even more so now than ever before.

 

The Traveler

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Guest LiterateParakeet
15 minutes ago, Traveler said:

I have gotten better at repenting but being a better Saint?  I must still rely on G-d - perhaps even more so now than ever before.

The Traveler

Yes! And precisely because we rely on Him, why not ask Him what more we can do to please Him?  I don't think we're that far from agreement here. 

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12 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

Yes! And precisely because we rely on Him, why not ask Him what more we can do to please Him?  I don't think we're that far from agreement here. 

Do you think it possible that He may respond without demanding we become "BETTER" but rather endure to the end?

 

The Traveler

BTW - I do think we may be missing the whole point concerning the "Rich" Young Man.

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Guest Mores
9 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Do you think it possible that He may respond without demanding we become "BETTER" but rather endure to the end?

There tends to be a great amount of overlap on that score.

It seems that the Young Man was "cruising".  He had gotten to a certain level of obedience and he felt like he was "all done".  I'd even bet that by many standards of measure he was a very righteous man.  But he had plateaued.  He wasn't going any further.  While "righteous", he wasn't pushing or enduring any longer.  He was stagnating -- albeit on a high plateau.

Eternal progression requires persistence and enduring in all our efforts.  Hence, for those who are on a plateau, they need additional challenges.

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6 minutes ago, Mores said:

There tends to be a great amount of overlap on that score.

It seems that the Young Man was "cruising".  He had gotten to a certain level of obedience and he felt like he was "all done".  I'd even bet that by many standards of measure he was a very righteous man.  But he had plateaued.  He wasn't going any further.  While "righteous", he wasn't pushing or enduring any longer.  He was stagnating -- albeit on a high plateau.

Eternal progression requires persistence and enduring in all our efforts.  Hence, for those who are on a plateau, they need additional challenges.

I think we are missing a point - I believe the operative word in the epoch of the rich young man is the word or term "rich".

 

The Traveler

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Guest Mores
10 minutes ago, Traveler said:

I think we are missing a point - I believe the operative word in the epoch of the rich young man is the word or term "rich".

In that, I believe you are missing the point.  Most of us have some idol that we worship (love) above and beyond the Lord.  It just so happened that this young man's idol was his possessions.

Whatever the object of our worship, we need to learn to give it up for the Lord.  Is that not what is spoken of when going the next step up the mountain?  Eternal progression.

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Guest LiterateParakeet
33 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Do you think it possible that He may respond without demanding we become "BETTER" but rather endure to the end?

 

The Traveler

BTW - I do think we may be missing the whole point concerning the "Rich" Young Man.

I don't think asking what lack I yet elicits a demand necessarily. For me, it has been a very loving experience of receiving guidance from Heavenly Father. 

"Endure" means suffer patiently, so given a choice I would rather be lovingly shown my blind spots.  :)

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