mikbone

Looking beyond the Mark.

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On 6/4/2019 at 8:18 PM, estradling75 said:

... Because they say "Thou shall not kill"

Sorry to interject, but that isn't actually what the Hebrew says.  I am NOT one to derail a thread (says the rabbi who just did), but I felt it important to point that out.

My apologies. :)

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13 hours ago, Mores said:

Absolutely agree.  The object of prayer is not to change the mind of the Lord.  It is to change our will to be in correspondence with HIS will.

Apparently, some people forget this.

Pardon the intrusion, but your comment (as well as others on the idea of a "satisfactory" or "satisfying" answer when petitioning G-d is deeply fascinating to me.  Do you think it is possible that G-d gives ambiguous answers to those who inquire even after deeply important matters?

In reading the New Testament (Acts 15), there was a time that the Apostles seemed to receive an answer from G-d that was not clear or distinct but rather it "seemed good."

The occasion was in considering whether Gentiles (non-Jews) could, in fact, follow a Jewish Messiah (Jesus), and, if that was a possibility, what would that look like in practice.  I find their response after "much disputing" very interesting:

Quote

 

1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;

And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.

24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.

28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

 

Notice the bold/italic portions above.  My question to all of you as believers in Jesus and the Holy Ghost, do you believe that G-d will be, at times, deliberately ambiguous about important matters in order for men to make their own decisions?

Not sure if I'm making any sense, but there you have it.  Be well, my friends.

 

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1 hour ago, Aish HaTorah said:

 My question to all of you as believers in Jesus and the Holy Ghost, do you believe that G-d will be, at times, deliberately ambiguous about important matters in order for men to make their own decisions?

Yes. 

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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18 hours ago, Aish HaTorah said:

Notice the bold/italic portions above.  My question to all of you as believers in Jesus and the Holy Ghost, do you believe that G-d will be, at times, deliberately ambiguous about important matters in order for men to make their own decisions?

Not sure if I'm making any sense, but there you have it.  Be well, my friends.

The simple answer to this question is yes. As Christians, and I would say especially as Latter-day Saints, we believe that there are times where God will not give us a clear answer because he wants us to learn something from the experience. In the Doctrine and Covenants, one of our additional books of scripture, chapter 58 verses 26-27 the Lord says 

            "26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
            27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;"

God doesn't want us to have to be commanded in all things, he wants us actively engaged in a good cause. In addition to this commandment, we have numerous examples from scripture that show us this aspect of the Lord's way of teaching us. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Ether is commanded to build a boat. The Lord shows him how to make a boat, but when asked how they will light the boat he gives this answer in Ether 2:23

"And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?"

The Lord's intention in this section is to get the brother of Jared thinking about how to solve the problem presented. As Latter-day Saint Christians, we believe that part of the reason God sent us to Earth was to learn and grow from making decisions. 

 

Edited by Midwest LDS

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Guest Mores
8 hours ago, Aish HaTorah said:

Pardon the intrusion, but your comment (as well as others on the idea of a "satisfactory" or "satisfying" answer when petitioning G-d is deeply fascinating to me.  Do you think it is possible that G-d gives ambiguous answers to those who inquire even after deeply important matters?

In reading the New Testament (Acts 15), there was a time that the Apostles seemed to receive an answer from G-d that was not clear or distinct but rather it "seemed good."

The occasion was in considering whether Gentiles (non-Jews) could, in fact, follow a Jewish Messiah (Jesus), and, if that was a possibility, what would that look like in practice.  I find their response after "much disputing" very interesting:

Notice the bold/italic portions above.  My question to all of you as believers in Jesus and the Holy Ghost, do you believe that G-d will be, at times, deliberately ambiguous about important matters in order for men to make their own decisions?

Not sure if I'm making any sense, but there you have it.  Be well, my friends.

Yes, you make sense.  And there are two answers to your question(s).

First answer:

Regarding the Acts passage you quoted, the phrase "seemed good" is just a question of expression or idiom.  Many times when we feel an "impression" of the Holy Ghost it is not something that is easily describable to the mortal mind.  It is after all a communication from Deity to mortals.  

Second answer:

There are many ways in which we receive communication from the Lord.  The Holy Ghost may give an "impression".  As described before, it is vague.  And it can easily be misunderstood.  But that is simply a learning process.  It takes years for us to learn to speak at all.  Then it takes years more to learn to speak well and communicate well.  The language of the Spirit is a new language.  And we must allow ourselves time to learn it.  But we cannot learn it if we don't strive to commune with Him on a daily basis.

Other communication is much more clear.  If we hear an actual voice speaking words we understand, then that is not so vague -- usually.  But there is still another element going on here.  Samuel the boy prophet, he simply heard a call.  Only after Eli's instruction did he formally tell the Lord that he was ready to listen.  Then the Lord gave more light and knowledge.  I believe that, while the Lord is always reaching for us, we are still supposed to do our part and reach for Him.  And some of His methods are a bit cryptic.  That is so we have to reach a bit to understand Him.

Does that help answer your question?

Edited by Mores

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