dahlia

Fasting - some questions

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2 hours ago, estradling75 said:

It appears not

So, do I continue to engage? Serious question. I'm thinking not. I can't see the point, when he cannot even be bothered to read or respond to what I wrote (or perhaps simply lacks have the critical reading acumen to understand it, which is my suspicion).

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4 minutes ago, Vort said:

So, do I continue to engage? Serious question. I'm thinking not. I can't see the point, when he cannot even be bothered to read or respond to what I wrote (or perhaps simply lacks have the critical reading acumen to understand it, which is my suspicion).

Personally I call it quits at that point.  I have better things to do then be slandered and misrepresented.

Sad thing is... Both parties liked my post.. which lead me to think that both understood it..  Yet later actions seem to counter indicate that for one of the parties in question

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9 hours ago, Vort said:

So, do I continue to engage? Serious question. I'm thinking not. I can't see the point, when he cannot even be bothered to read or respond to what I wrote (or perhaps simply lacks have the critical reading acumen to understand it, which is my suspicion).

 

9 hours ago, estradling75 said:

Personally I call it quits at that point.  I have better things to do then be slandered and misrepresented.

Sad thing is... Both parties liked my post.. which lead me to think that both understood it..  Yet later actions seem to counter indicate that for one of the parties in question

I'm with estradling... Disengage!  Disengage!  This is supposed to be a meme but I can't find it... could you believe that?

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On 1/22/2020 at 5:40 AM, JohnsonJones said:

In some ways you were not specific other than stating that you disagreed.  Overall, however, the blessings that come from a fast in my opinion will NOT be denied (nor any other blessing) simply due to someone's disability.

Those who think the Lord limits his blessings only to those who are free of a disability and condemn those who have disabilities to not be able to enjoy the full blessings that he offers as long as they do as best they can to comply with his commandments (and we ALL are part of this, none of us keep the commandments perfectly as a whole) probably would disagree on that matter.

So, the Lord doesn't limit blessings.  Elder Uchdorf had an object lesson on this that is great - Blessings is like rain pouring down from heaven.  It is pouring, it is there, it is available to EVERYBODY.  But to receive the blessing, a person has to choose to stand under the pouring skies and get wet.  Unfortunately, some people have umbrellas or have a roof over their heads so they didn't receive the blessings.

The law of the fast has specific blessings.  If you can't fast, there's a roof over your head.  The only way you can receive those promised blessings that is ONLY available by keeping the law of the fast is by fasting.  

Salvation is not predicated upon every single person receiving every single available blessing pouring down from the skies.  Mortal existence means - we are strapped with certain mortal conditions that prevent us from receiving certain blessings.  But the promise is sure - if we but take up the yoke and Follow Him, we will get there.

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52 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

...Blessings is like rain pouring down from heaven.  It is pouring, it is there, it is available to EVERYBODY.  But to receive the blessing, a person has to choose to stand under the pouring skies and get wet.  Unfortunately, some people have umbrellas or have a roof over their heads so they didn't receive the blessings....

This is a strange analogy because typically people don't want to get wet when it rains. There is really no benefit in being drenched and cold.

Maybe a better analogy with rain as a blessing would be that those who fast are like those that plant a garden and the rain is good for the garden and blesses those who planted it. Those who are not able to plant a garden, do not receive the same blessings from the rain.

But maybe, those who are not able to plant can do something else instead, like prepare the food from the garden and everyone involved with that garden can enjoy its bounty. 😉

M.

Edited by Maureen

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50 minutes ago, Maureen said:

This is a strange analogy because typically people don't want to get wet when it rains. There is really no benefit in being drenched and cold.

Maybe a better analogy with rain as a blessing would be that those who fast are like those that plant a garden and the rain is good for the garden and blesses those who planted it. Those who are not able to plant a garden, do not receive the same blessings from the rain.

But maybe, those who are not able to plant can do something else instead, like prepare the food from the garden and everyone involved with that garden can enjoy it's bounty. 😉

M.

I may not agree completely with the idea she presented...but I may be able to explain it from what I understand she is saying.

One of the things the LDS church believes in is what it calls the Lower law and the Higher Law.

The Lower Law are things covered in the Old Testament.  This is covered in areas such as though shalt not kill, though shalt not steal, though shalt not commit adultery...etc...etc..etc.  One of these covered in the Old Testament initially is also Fasting and the Law of Sacrifice (as well as Tithing).  One could see it as Tithes and offerings.

The Law of Sacrifice as practiced in the Old Testament was fulfilled with the Lord's Atonement, or his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and his Crucifixion on the Cross. 

In the essence of the Greater Law are commandments that are connected to the Lower Law, but higher manifestations there of. 

A prime example of this can be found in the Beatitudes and others.  Using the examples above it is said in the Higher law that he who lusts after someone is already guilty of adultery in their heart.  If they keep this law, it is greater than that of Adultery and they will not commit adultery typically (or hopefully).  Another example is if a man calls his brother a fool he is in danger of Hellfire.  If they keep this law, hopefully they will not commit murder under normal circumstances.

Another one would be under the Old Testament we are given the Golden rule but in the New Testament we are told to give the other cheek, or to go the extra mile.

Under Joseph Smith they extended what they would consider the Higher Law.  Some Saints are not aware of some of these ideas.  After Joseph Smith it was seen that some of the Higher Law was too hard for Saints to keep or that the time was not right to keep them implemented.

Some of the portions of these Higher Laws were items such as the Law of Polygamy.  In this, it was not just a marriage for this life to one wife, but for this life and beyond with multiple wives.  We still practice this idea of marriage for time and eternity, but the full idea of Polygamy is no longer practiced as it was during the prophets after Joseph Smith (Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff's time periods of being prophets).  Today, we practice a medium between the Higher Law and lower law in that we still practice the ceremony of Celestial Marriage, but do not marry multiple living spouses at the same time.

A Better example I've used in relation to this topic and which can illustrate what I think @anatess2 might have been trying to state is with the Law of Consecration.  This is, at least, the best I can give on how I understand it, so apologies if I misunderstand what she is saying.

A bigger example of the Higher and Lower Laws would be that of the Law of Consecration.  In this you literally gave ALL you had to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This meant you didn't just give it over in thought, they would actually get the title to your lands, the deeds, and any legal information to all your belongings.  You could also give them your bank accounts for them to control and all your money (many did not have bank accounts, especially after the banking crisis...which is another story for another time).  They legally got everything you had signed over to them.  In addition, you had to do what they told you.  They would assign jobs and work for you to do.  In this way, a man could become a Blacksmith one year, and the next year be the local tinsmith.  They have several amusing comments in Church History regarding people's ability and talents in jobs they were never trained in and how they went about doing the best they could to fulfill that job. 

Because everything was given to the Church already, the Church owned everything.  There was no need to pay tithing as you had no increase...that increase was the Church's.  There was no need to pay Fast Offerings...the Church already owned it all and anything you earned that you did not need or use was given to the church.  At times this caused some minor squabbles among the Saints due to them not being as willing to actually share or give over what they had earned or increased.

This practice was slowly phased out and in it's place we returned to what would be a Lower practice of Tithes and Offerings.  In this, we give over Tithing and we also give Fast Offerings.  This means we give 10% of our interest annually, as well as fast for two meals and give the money we would have spent on those two meals as a Fast Offering to the church as a minimum amount of an offering to help the poor and needy.  (note, under the Law of Consecration there is still Fasting and one can still fast to obtain the blessings of the Lord and growing closer to him, but it does not necessarily require an offering for the rest who are also having their needs met by living the Law of Consecration as well...as such because there should be no poor or rich or those in need). 

Despite what some would indicate, we do not practice the Law of Consecration in action today, though many may have made covenants or oaths to the idea that they would or will.  There are a few that are living under a technical umbrella of the Law of Consecration today (an example some use are the Young Elders and Sister Missionaries which give a set amount each month and in return are provided a place to live, sometimes a vehicle, and normally an amount of money the Church deems is sufficient to fulfill their needs of food and necessities) but most do not live where they give to the Church and are expected to live on what the Church returns to them.  They are not expected to pay tithing or offerings (though some may still do this, there is no requirement for them to do so on the Church monies).

To return to the idea of the House and umbrella idea.  In the time when the Law of Consecration was expected to be lived by some Saints, they would be there in the rain.  They can receive the blessings of living the Law of Consecration.  Some of these blessing may be seen as not having to pay Tithes and Offerings (though overall, if given only what you need and not what you want, you may not have enough to actually pay tithing if you wanted to, much less an offering).  Some would say these blessings would be that one never has to worry or have stress about whether they will have shelter or clothing.  They will never have to worry about food.  All their needs will be taken care of.  IN addition, another blessing one may point to is that they will automatically need to put the Lord before their wants.  They are not to really get their WANTS, only their needs, because the Lord is placed first.  He governs over the Law of Consecration and each receives as they need, so there is no one in need in the Church or under those practicing this LAW.

However, today, as it is not practiced in physical property, and instead we practice the Tithes and offerings, we would not be able to obtain those blessings that those in the rain do.  As we are not practicing the Law of Consecration in actual legal and physical ability (though some may feel they practice it in Spirit) we would not be able to obtain the blessings of it.  Thus, you may not always be guaranteed a place of shelter nor clothing or food.  You may be selfish and spend quite a bit of money on wants and idolatry towards merchandise you don't need, but spend an exorbitant time on.  You may have a harder time putting the Lord first in life.  We still have Tithes and offerings, but it is not as complete as the Law of Consecration in accomplishing such blessings.

We cannot thus receive the blessings of Living the Law of Consecration in practice of our lives (even if living the Spirit of Consecration which some would say being willing to give all you have up to and including your life if called upon to do so). 

Bringing this around the original idea then...if I understand what @anatess2 is saying...

The analogy is that most of us are standing in the rain.  When we practice the Law of the Fast we can obtain blessings in the rain.  We would fast for two meals starting with prayer and fast for a purpose.  After that we end our fast with prayer and pay a fast offering with a minimum of however much those two meals would have cost.  We then receive certain blessings for this.

Those who cannot fast are already in the house.  They are not in the rain, thus they do not receive the blessings the Lord has promised to those standing in the rain.

At least this is how I think I understand what @anatess2 was saying.

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1 hour ago, Maureen said:

This is a strange analogy because typically people don't want to get wet when it rains. There is really no benefit in being drenched and cold.

Maybe a better analogy with rain as a blessing would be that those who fast are like those that plant a garden and the rain is good for the garden and blesses those who planted it. Those who are not able to plant a garden, do not receive the same blessings from the rain.

But maybe, those who are not able to plant can do something else instead, like prepare the food from the garden and everyone involved with that garden can enjoy its bounty. 😉

M.

As an aside, When I was an investigator I was taught something different than what some are saying in this thread (or what I interpret them stating, I may have misunderstood them completely).  The church still teaches what I learned in regards to those who cannot physically fast (and there have been instances where I dealt with those unable to do a physical fast within my own family.  I also knew a family that was abusing their kids by forcing them to do a full fast.  Not a pleasant situation as the kids were becoming very ill on Fast Sundays.  In accordance with a request of more information we were informed that in these cases no blessings would be denied to those unable to fast for two meals as long as they followed the Spirit of the Fast, which is basically what is described below.  Also, little children do not need to fast, but parents should set an example for their children to follow.  Children should be encouraged to fast and do as they are able to once past the age of 8, but no abuse such as forcing them to not eat should occur).

Quote

It’s true that some people have different needs when it comes to fasting. But there are things you can do to make fast Sunday special even if you can’t go without food.

An important part of fasting is prayer with a purpose. Even though your medical situation means it would be unwise for you to go without food or drink, you can still focus on someone or something in particular to pray about throughout the day. You can focus on seeking inspiration in dealing with a specific situation, a desire to understand a gospel principle more fully, or expressing gratitude for your blessings. You can also commit to spending more time with the scriptures and in personal prayer and reflection.

Another way to bring the Spirit closer is to serve. Pause to help and lift someone. Consider donating additional money to fast offerings.

“Fasting embodies a principle of sacrifice—that of denying oneself something so that he or she can become a more spiritual individual. Perhaps one could sacrifice something other than food or drink in order to accomplish this goal. One might abstain from television, movies, or sleeping in” (Malcolm S. Jeppsen, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Apr. 1979, 25).

If you invite the Spirit into your heart through your thoughts and actions, fast Sundays can be a special day to draw closer to the Lord through prayer and sacrifice.

Even those who are fasting, these same principles hold true.  This means a member who is fasting should fast with a purpose.  They should start with prayer.  It should be done with personal prayer and reflection.  It should also end with a prayer and a fast offering should be given. 

Edited by JohnsonJones

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I definitely understand what a blessing can be interpreted as; usually something good and beneficial. I just found @anatess2 analogy to not make sense because when it's raining those who have umbrellas or who have shelter are the ones being benefitted while those getting soaked are not very happy. I'm just saying a different scenario could be used for a rain blessing.

M.

Edited by Maureen

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14 hours ago, Maureen said:

This is a strange analogy because typically people don't want to get wet when it rains. There is really no benefit in being drenched and cold.

Maybe a better analogy with rain as a blessing would be that those who fast are like those that plant a garden and the rain is good for the garden and blesses those who planted it. Those who are not able to plant a garden, do not receive the same blessings from the rain.

But maybe, those who are not able to plant can do something else instead, like prepare the food from the garden and everyone involved with that garden can enjoy its bounty. 😉

M.

I wouldn't dare tell an Apostle of God his analogy is not good.

"There is no benefit in being drenched and cold" is a common lament by people living in the cold.  I'm fairly certain it's not just Filipino children who love to run in the rain and raise their faces to the heavens.

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14 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

I may not agree completely with the idea she presented...but I may be able to explain it from what I understand she is saying.

One of the things the LDS church believes in is what it calls the Lower law and the Higher Law.

The Lower Law are things covered in the Old Testament.  This is covered in areas such as though shalt not kill, though shalt not steal, though shalt not commit adultery...etc...etc..etc.  One of these covered in the Old Testament initially is also Fasting and the Law of Sacrifice (as well as Tithing).  One could see it as Tithes and offerings.

The Law of Sacrifice as practiced in the Old Testament was fulfilled with the Lord's Atonement, or his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and his Crucifixion on the Cross. 

In the essence of the Greater Law are commandments that are connected to the Lower Law, but higher manifestations there of. 

A prime example of this can be found in the Beatitudes and others.  Using the examples above it is said in the Higher law that he who lusts after someone is already guilty of adultery in their heart.  If they keep this law, it is greater than that of Adultery and they will not commit adultery typically (or hopefully).  Another example is if a man calls his brother a fool he is in danger of Hellfire.  If they keep this law, hopefully they will not commit murder under normal circumstances.

Another one would be under the Old Testament we are given the Golden rule but in the New Testament we are told to give the other cheek, or to go the extra mile.

Under Joseph Smith they extended what they would consider the Higher Law.  Some Saints are not aware of some of these ideas.  After Joseph Smith it was seen that some of the Higher Law was too hard for Saints to keep or that the time was not right to keep them implemented.

Some of the portions of these Higher Laws were items such as the Law of Polygamy.  In this, it was not just a marriage for this life to one wife, but for this life and beyond with multiple wives.  We still practice this idea of marriage for time and eternity, but the full idea of Polygamy is no longer practiced as it was during the prophets after Joseph Smith (Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff's time periods of being prophets).  Today, we practice a medium between the Higher Law and lower law in that we still practice the ceremony of Celestial Marriage, but do not marry multiple living spouses at the same time.

A Better example I've used in relation to this topic and which can illustrate what I think @anatess2 might have been trying to state is with the Law of Consecration.  This is, at least, the best I can give on how I understand it, so apologies if I misunderstand what she is saying.

A bigger example of the Higher and Lower Laws would be that of the Law of Consecration.  In this you literally gave ALL you had to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This meant you didn't just give it over in thought, they would actually get the title to your lands, the deeds, and any legal information to all your belongings.  You could also give them your bank accounts for them to control and all your money (many did not have bank accounts, especially after the banking crisis...which is another story for another time).  They legally got everything you had signed over to them.  In addition, you had to do what they told you.  They would assign jobs and work for you to do.  In this way, a man could become a Blacksmith one year, and the next year be the local tinsmith.  They have several amusing comments in Church History regarding people's ability and talents in jobs they were never trained in and how they went about doing the best they could to fulfill that job. 

Because everything was given to the Church already, the Church owned everything.  There was no need to pay tithing as you had no increase...that increase was the Church's.  There was no need to pay Fast Offerings...the Church already owned it all and anything you earned that you did not need or use was given to the church.  At times this caused some minor squabbles among the Saints due to them not being as willing to actually share or give over what they had earned or increased.

This practice was slowly phased out and in it's place we returned to what would be a Lower practice of Tithes and Offerings.  In this, we give over Tithing and we also give Fast Offerings.  This means we give 10% of our interest annually, as well as fast for two meals and give the money we would have spent on those two meals as a Fast Offering to the church as a minimum amount of an offering to help the poor and needy.  (note, under the Law of Consecration there is still Fasting and one can still fast to obtain the blessings of the Lord and growing closer to him, but it does not necessarily require an offering for the rest who are also having their needs met by living the Law of Consecration as well...as such because there should be no poor or rich or those in need). 

Despite what some would indicate, we do not practice the Law of Consecration in action today, though many may have made covenants or oaths to the idea that they would or will.  There are a few that are living under a technical umbrella of the Law of Consecration today (an example some use are the Young Elders and Sister Missionaries which give a set amount each month and in return are provided a place to live, sometimes a vehicle, and normally an amount of money the Church deems is sufficient to fulfill their needs of food and necessities) but most do not live where they give to the Church and are expected to live on what the Church returns to them.  They are not expected to pay tithing or offerings (though some may still do this, there is no requirement for them to do so on the Church monies).

To return to the idea of the House and umbrella idea.  In the time when the Law of Consecration was expected to be lived by some Saints, they would be there in the rain.  They can receive the blessings of living the Law of Consecration.  Some of these blessing may be seen as not having to pay Tithes and Offerings (though overall, if given only what you need and not what you want, you may not have enough to actually pay tithing if you wanted to, much less an offering).  Some would say these blessings would be that one never has to worry or have stress about whether they will have shelter or clothing.  They will never have to worry about food.  All their needs will be taken care of.  IN addition, another blessing one may point to is that they will automatically need to put the Lord before their wants.  They are not to really get their WANTS, only their needs, because the Lord is placed first.  He governs over the Law of Consecration and each receives as they need, so there is no one in need in the Church or under those practicing this LAW.

However, today, as it is not practiced in physical property, and instead we practice the Tithes and offerings, we would not be able to obtain those blessings that those in the rain do.  As we are not practicing the Law of Consecration in actual legal and physical ability (though some may feel they practice it in Spirit) we would not be able to obtain the blessings of it.  Thus, you may not always be guaranteed a place of shelter nor clothing or food.  You may be selfish and spend quite a bit of money on wants and idolatry towards merchandise you don't need, but spend an exorbitant time on.  You may have a harder time putting the Lord first in life.  We still have Tithes and offerings, but it is not as complete as the Law of Consecration in accomplishing such blessings.

We cannot thus receive the blessings of Living the Law of Consecration in practice of our lives (even if living the Spirit of Consecration which some would say being willing to give all you have up to and including your life if called upon to do so). 

Bringing this around the original idea then...if I understand what @anatess2 is saying...

The analogy is that most of us are standing in the rain.  When we practice the Law of the Fast we can obtain blessings in the rain.  We would fast for two meals starting with prayer and fast for a purpose.  After that we end our fast with prayer and pay a fast offering with a minimum of however much those two meals would have cost.  We then receive certain blessings for this.

Those who cannot fast are already in the house.  They are not in the rain, thus they do not receive the blessings the Lord has promised to those standing in the rain.

At least this is how I think I understand what @anatess2 was saying.

Missed.  By a mile.  But that's ok.  I'm just impressed by your talent to make expositions out of very simple ideas.  I thought I had that gift, but it's nothing compared to yours!

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On 1/21/2020 at 5:10 PM, anatess2 said:

This doesn't really jive with Catholic teaching so I'm not sure where this comes from - that idea that personal prayers/fasts/devotions/etc bring more blessings than communal ones.  Would you say that a prayer offering during Mass has lesser blessings than individual prayers because of its communal nature?  It doesn't make sense to me.

Hi Anatess, we can agree to disagree; as we have different opinions.  A personal prayer or alms is
private in nature.  I don't observe a designated fast day sanctioned by the Catholic church.  I don't
see the early disciples fasting on a monthly basis.  The spirit of the law in regards to fasting, imo,
expands to non-food-eating activities.

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1 minute ago, Jonah said:

Hi Anatess, we can agree to disagree; as we have different opinions.  A personal prayer or alms is
private in nature.  I don't observe a designated fast day sanctioned by the Catholic church.  I don't
see the early disciples fasting on a monthly basis.  The spirit of the law in regards to fasting, imo,
expands to non-food-eating activities.

 Would you say that a prayer offering during Mass has lesser blessings than individual prayers because of its communal nature?

(echoing Anatass's question)

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1 minute ago, Jane_Doe said:

 Would you say that a prayer offering during Mass has lesser blessings than individual prayers because of its communal nature?

(echoing Anatass's question)

I would say a personal prayer in private would bring a bring blessing than a public communal prayer.

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Just now, Jane_Doe said:

So Mass is lesser?

imo, yes. Another way that I see it is that private worship gives Christians a chance to spend time alone with
God. If I understand correctly, Joseph Smith went into the woods to prayer out loud but by himself.  If he
actually saw God, it was quite a blessing.  Would he have received the same blessing in a communal prayer? 
I don't know.  Were any others in his era praying to know which church to join or if all churches were wrong? 
I don't know that either.  

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Just now, Jonah said:

imo, yes. 

Interesting.  I've just never seen a Catholic say Mass was less than anything-- including in my intensive study of those beliefs.  

Just now, Jonah said:

 Another way that I see it is that private worship gives Christians a chance to spend time alone with
God. If I understand correctly, Joseph Smith went into the woods to prayer out loud but by himself.  If he
actually saw God, it was quite a blessing.  Would he have received the same blessing in a communal prayer? 
I don't know.  Were any others in his era praying to know which church to join or if all churches were wrong? 
I don't know that either.  

LDS Christians don't find communal or private worship to be intrinsically more valuable than the other.  Rather you need both.  

 

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1 minute ago, Jane_Doe said:

Interesting.  I've just never seen a Catholic say Mass was less than anything-- including in my intensive study of those beliefs.

My dad is a Catholic from birth.  Unfortunately he doesn't really believe in Christ's resurrection 😞
I keep telling him that there would be no church without His resurrection. Only the Holy Spirit can
convert him.

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Just now, Jonah said:

My dad is a Catholic from birth.  Unfortunately he doesn't really believe in Christ's resurrection 😞
I keep telling him that there would be no church without His resurrection. Only the Holy Spirit can
convert him.

That doesn't really address my comment. 

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2 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

That doesn't really address my comment. 

I think you meant "Interesting.  I've just never seen a Catholic say Mass was less than anything-- including in my intensive
study of those beliefs"

Not sure how to address that except to say that there are various degrees of beliefs in
the church in my opinion; but I never really committed a poll; just based on some personal
discussion with my Catholic parishioners.

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On 1/21/2020 at 4:13 PM, Vort said:

If we want to receive the benefits specific to fasting, there is only and exactly one way to receive them. We must fast.

I'm of two minds with this: 1) How do you reconcile this with pregnant women or the sick not having to fast? So they never have these blessings? and 2) this is why I didn't feel 'complete' as a Mormon. I knew I couldn't fast for medical reasons and for all these years, felt like I was missing out on this aspect of the religious practice. 

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Well, this discussion went in unexpected directions. 😄 I leave you guys alone for a couple of days and you don't know what to do with yourselves.

So, what's happened with me so far: I was able to fast 30 minutes longer (to clarify, I fasted from dinner to dinner the next day, going 30 minutes longer than I had planned) than I originally scheduled. I thought I'd need to have almond milk all day, but only needed 2 cups of bouillon. When I finally ate, I wasn't ravenous, I just had my usual meal. I got as far as Helaman in the BOM. I'm sorry I didn't finish before the surgery, but I'm not gonna let that stop me and plan to finish it tomorrow. I guess I could have plowed through it, but that would have defeated my purpose of really getting into it this time. My friend had his surgery and it went well. I'm so happy, for him and for me, that I could do this for him.

I do have a question for the science people here. There are several incidences in the BOM where bodies were thrown in the Sidon river. Why would you do that? 😨  Why not burn or bury the bodies? Why would you pollute the water? Inquiring minds...

Edited by dahlia

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2 hours ago, dahlia said:

I'm of two minds with this: 1) How do you reconcile this with pregnant women or the sick not having to fast? So they never have these blessings?

Yes, that is correct. As long as they do not fast, they do not receive the blessings of the fast. That's the irrevocable law of heaven as explained in Section 130.

2 hours ago, dahlia said:

and 2) this is why I didn't feel 'complete' as a Mormon. I knew I couldn't fast for medical reasons and for all these years, felt like I was missing out on this aspect of the religious practice. 

Absolutely not, though I understand why you would feel this way. This is not a matter of not being a "complete" Saint or of lacking worthiness before God. This is a matter of physically not being able to do something.

Please read and consider my entire answer below. I'll try not to be too long-winded.

If you climb Mount Timpanogos in Utah County, you get to see a magnificent view of Provo and Orem. If you can't climb Mount Timpanogos, you don't get to see the view. The fact that you can't climb Timp doesn't mean God hates you. It doesn't mean your life has no meaning. It doesn't mean you're not a real person (or BYU student, or Latter-day Saint, or whatever). It doesn't mean you're unworthy of love or friendship or compassion. It simply means that, for whatever reason, you can't climb Timp. So that particular blessing—being able to have that view of Provo and Orem—is denied you.

Now, if you can climb Timp, but just choose not to, then the reason you don't enjoy the blessing of climbing Timp is because you made a choice.

Obviously, there is no spiritual imperative to climb Mount Timpanogos, so it matters only if you really want to see the view. We do have a spiritual imperative to gain the blessings of the fast, though—that is, those of us who can fast. When we make excuses not to fast, complain that we get a headache or it's uncomfortable or that we get crabby or constipated or light-headed or whatever other excuses we make, then we have no one to blame but ourselves when we do not receive the blessings of the fast. We can pretend that doing some sort of "substitute fast" gives us all those same blessings, but we deceive ourselves.

The blessings of the fast come to those who fulfill the law of the fast, and in no other way. To repeat: Those who can fast but choose not to because it's too uncomfortable have no one but themselves to blame for missing the blessings of the fast. Perhaps we who fall into that camp are even condemned by God to some degree because we refuse to acquire the blessings he freely offers us. In contrast, those who cannot fast are under no divine condemnation—but they still don't receive the blessings of the fast, just like the person who can't climb Timp doesn't get the view.

So you see, Dahlia, this is not a matter of condemnation or blame. If you can't fast, then you can't fast. No one condemns you for it—not God, not your fellow Saints, and hopefully not yourself. But the law stands, and the blessings that appertain to that law can be gained only by fulfilling the law. No breathing, no living. No sex, no children. No exercise, no strength. No fasting, no blessings of fasting.

That said, who's to say that fasting for, say, 12 hours (perhaps by skipping breakfast) won't result in some of the blessings of the fast? I know of no time limit required for such blessings to begin coming. Our leaders have instructed us (those who are able) to fast by abstaining from both food and drink for 24 consecutive hours, so I suppose that's sort of the "standard fast" or "full fast". But again, if you can't do it, you can't. It does not therefore logically follow that all blessings of the fast are closed to anyone who can't fast for 24 consecutive hours.

My suggestion to you, sister, is to make this a matter of prayer. Some sort of partial fast might be just the thing. Maybe it's worth talking with your Relief Society president and/or bishop to get their insights. It may be the case that some of the blessings of the fast are not available to you at this time, but it's likely that some or even many of those blessings are available. Talk it over with your Father and with those who minister to you. God bless you in your efforts.

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2 hours ago, dahlia said:

I do have a question for the science people here. There are several incidences in the BOM where bodies were thrown in the Sidon river. Why would you do that? 😨  Why not burn or bury the bodies? Why would you pollute the water? Inquiring minds...

It wouldn't pollute the water. Sidon was a sizeable river, and the bodies were washed downstream and eventually into the ocean. Alma 44:22 tells us:

And it came to pass that they did cast their dead into the waters of Sidon, and they have gone forth and are buried in the depths of the sea.

The vast majority of life, both animal and plant, dies in the oceans, so a few (or a few thousand) more human bodies decaying in the ocean won't really make a noticeable difference, even locally. Within a day or so, it will be like it never happened.

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16 hours ago, dahlia said:

I'm of two minds with this: 1) How do you reconcile this with pregnant women or the sick not having to fast? So they never have these blessings? and 2) this is why I didn't feel 'complete' as a Mormon. I knew I couldn't fast for medical reasons and for all these years, felt like I was missing out on this aspect of the religious practice. 

.I would hope that you would nor feel incomplete because of an inability to fast. 

One of the primary ideas that Joseph got after seeing his brother Alvin could go to the Celestial glory was that those who cannot participate or do certain activities will have all things given to them if they would have wanted to do them if they could have. 

In this instance, it's more of what your heart and mind are at, than what you physically can or cannot do in some instances.

Hopefully you have gained from this thread that there are different understandings at times of the same scriptures and same dialogues.  I would NEVER condemn someone (for starters, we aren't to judge like that) for being unable to fulfill something, that I leave to the Lord.  I've seen too many blessed who were disabled by keeping the Spirit of the Fast to discount what the church and brethren have taught on this matter regarding those who, as you ask about, are sick (or pregnant) or disabled. 

Obviously, I do not agree with what some say in this thread about the disabled and sick. 

I do not think ANYONE of the General Authorities would say what was said in this thread condemning the sick or disabled to go without blessings because they were unable to do something.  I do not think Jesus would say blessings were refused to you. 

My personal take is what matters most is what Jesus would think and do.  Would he bless you or not?  Those who feel Jesus ever condemned the sick and disabled from blessings simply because of their physical condition probably should read the New Testament again.  It was not the sick and disabled he had problems with or did not bless...it had more to do with belief and willingness to follow him (or those who were against such things) that affected his judgment.

Nevertheless, in this I suppose it is up to you what you choose to believe and act upon.

I am glad that you fast and actions did well, and that the surgery went well also.

15 hours ago, dahlia said:

Well, this discussion went in unexpected directions. 😄 I leave you guys alone for a couple of days and you don't know what to do with yourselves.

So, what's happened with me so far: I was able to fast 30 minutes longer than I originally scheduled. I thought I'd need to have almond milk all day, but only needed 2 cups of bouillon. When I finally ate, I wasn't ravenous, I just had my usual meal. I got as far as Helaman in the BOM. I'm sorry I didn't finish before the surgery, but I'm not gonna let that stop me and plan to finish it tomorrow. I guess I could have plowed through it, but that would have defeated my purpose of really getting into it this time. My friend had his surgery and it went well. I'm so happy, for him and for me, that I could do this for him.

I do have a question for the science people here. There are several incidences in the BOM where bodies were thrown in the Sidon river. Why would you do that? 😨  Why not burn or bury the bodies? Why would you pollute the water? Inquiring minds...

I do not know. 

I have a thought upon you asking the question...

Accordingly in some battles there were great numbers slain.  It could have been that so many were slain they were not certain what to do with the bodies.  Burying them all may have taken a lot longer or a lot more effort than they wanted to utilize. 

Fires means that they have to take time to monitor the fire (and the stench would be horrible, I'm not sure if you've ever smelled burning and dead bodies.  I have had the unfortunate experience to do so, and it is an AWFUL smell).  It may have been that the effort there was also massive. 

Taking a body and simply tossing it probably took less time and effort than the other two methods.  They probably were not aware of pollution and other environmental factors like we may have today, and so they felt it was the quickest and easiest method to dispose of many of the dead.

 

Edited by JohnsonJones

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20 hours ago, Vort said:

It wouldn't pollute the water. Sidon was a sizeable river, and the bodies were washed downstream and eventually into the ocean. Alma 44:22 tells us:

And it came to pass that they did cast their dead into the waters of Sidon, and they have gone forth and are buried in the depths of the sea.

Ah! Thanks!

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