Traveler

Who is G-d that I should know Him.

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Recently I have had some discussions with @Jonah and @romans8 about critical concepts of the nature of G-d.  I thought that this is a sufficiently important topic that a thread devoted to this subject be opened.  I do this so we can ask one another about various personal notions as well as to discuss deep seeded doctrine we learn through our trusted religious leaders and documentation (scripture).  

I will begin with a short summary of years of my own personal study, devotions and personal experience.  I call this summary the 5 basic guiding principles of any personal relationship one can have with G-d.

1. G-d will not do anything for anyone that they can do for themselves.

2. G-d will do anything for anyone that they cannot do for themselves.

3. G-d will not do anything that is detrimental to anyone's eternal salvation.

4. G-d will do anything that is beneficial to anyone's eternal salvation.

5. G-d will not do anything or cause anything to happen without the individuals personal approval - this means that we have agency and free will in dealing with G-d and his works.

 

There are many questions in religious circles concerning such things as the Eden epoch, evolution, the end of days and many topics that directly relate to man and our relationship with G-d.   I will gladly discuss any topic but my personal notions will always be inclusive of the 5 statements above.  I would be most interested in anyone's personal impressions of G-d and how they came by such notions.  I hope some will find this thread useful and enlightening. 

 

The Traveler

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1 hour ago, Traveler said:

Recently I have had some discussions with @Jonah and @romans8 about critical concepts of the nature of G-d.  I thought that this is a sufficiently important topic that a thread devoted to this subject be opened.  I do this so we can ask one another about various personal notions as well as to discuss deep seeded doctrine we learn through our trusted religious leaders and documentation (scripture).  

I will begin with a short summary of years of my own personal study, devotions and personal experience.  I call this summary the 5 basic guiding principles of any personal relationship one can have with G-d.

1. G-d will not do anything for anyone that they can do for themselves.

2. G-d will do anything for anyone that they cannot do for themselves.

3. G-d will not do anything that is detrimental to anyone's eternal salvation.

4. G-d will do anything that is beneficial to anyone's eternal salvation.

5. G-d will not do anything or cause anything to happen without the individuals personal approval - this means that we have agency and free will in dealing with G-d and his works.

 

There are many questions in religious circles concerning such things as the Eden epoch, evolution, the end of days and many topics that directly relate to man and our relationship with G-d.   I will gladly discuss any topic but my personal notions will always be inclusive of the 5 statements above.  I would be most interested in anyone's personal impressions of G-d and how they came by such notions.  I hope some will find this thread useful and enlightening. 

 

The Traveler

 

But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

 

I believe that our Creator places essentially INFINITE VALUE on human life partly because.... The Father and the Word - Logos and the Holy Spirit and the other Elohim of Genesis chapter one invested infinite time in the creation of the human spirit that is within each human being.  

We human place high value on gold, silver, oil, commodities and on real estate but..... I think that our Creator values LIFE .... especially human life.... as being of vastly greater value than what we humans tend to think are valuable.

Chapter thirteen of Stephen Hawking's Universe, entitled The Anthropic Principle in which an Agnostic version of the Cyclic Model of the universe is explained helps to explain this ... but.....  a near death experiencer who was an Atheist before his NDE was shown how our Creator got better and better and better and better and planning and setting in motion Big Bang type events over infinite time in the past.

I believe that we humans with a perspective that only spans a few decades would have enormous difficulty even beginning to understand how God thinks about and values our lives.  Even the hairs of our heads are numbered!

 

https://www.near-death.com/experiences/exceptional/mellen-thomas-benedict.html#a05

 

Quote

"I was in pre creation, before the Big Bang. I had crossed over the beginning of time / the First Word / the First vibration. I was in the Eye of Creation. I felt as if I was touching the Face of God. It was not a religious feeling. Simply, I was at one with Absolute Life and Consciousness. When I say that I could see or perceive forever, I mean that I could experience all of creation generating itself. It was without beginning and without end. That’s a mind-expanding thought, isn’t it? Scientists perceive the Big Bang as a single event that created the Universe. I saw during my life after death experience that the Big Bang is only one of an infinite number of Big Bangs creating Universes endlessly and simultaneously. The only images that even come close in human terms would be those created by super computers using fractal geometry equations." (Mellen Thomas Benedict, near-death  .com)

 

 

Quote

"As I approached the Judgment Seat of Christ, those in the highest ranks were also sitting on thrones that were all a part of His throne. Even the least of these thrones was more glorious than any earthly throne many times over. Some of these were rulers over cities on earth who would soon take their place. Others were rulers over the affairs of heaven, and others over the affairs of the physical creation, such as star systems and galaxies. However, it was apparent that those who were given authority over cities were esteemed above those who had even been given authority over galaxies. The value of a single child was more than a galaxy of stars, because the Holy Spirit dwelt in men, and the Lord had chosen men as His eternal dwelling place. In the presence of His glory the whole earth seemed as insignificant as a speck of dust, and yet was so infinitely esteemed that the attention of the whole host of heaven was upon it." (Rick Joyner, The Final Quest)

I believe that your Book of Mosiah has similar ideas to this if I remember correctly?

Edited by DennisTate
grammar and add quotation

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Guest Scott

I would agree with 1-4, but not 5.  Unless I am misunderstanding what you mean concerning #5. 

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11 minutes ago, Scott said:

I would agree with 1-4, but not 5.  Unless I am misunderstanding what you mean concerning #5. 

That's my thoughts as well, in relationship to @Traveler's very thoughtful post (as usual).

If #5 is in regards to eternal destination, then I totally agreed.  However, I won't agree if we're talking about every bruise on the way there.  

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@DennisTate I agree that life has divine value.  I would explorer with you a couple of thoughts about life or "living things".  The scriptures make several references to the "living G-d".  Do you believe that G-d is a type of LIFE consistent or in any way similar to the life you believe G-d values?  My second question is - why do you think G-d values life?  I agree that human life is the apex of G-d's creation.  Anyway I think we agree - Why do you think G-d values mankind so greatly - even greater than the angles of heaven?  If you think these are loaded question - they are.  I am trying to understand the extent that you believe G-d loves human.  Does the concept of children apply?

 

The Traveler

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2 hours ago, Scott said:

I would agree with 1-4, but not 5.  Unless I am misunderstanding what you mean concerning #5. 

I would explain #5 in more detail but before I get into that.  I would ask concerning your thinking - how important to G-d is our agency?

 

The Traveler

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2 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

That's my thoughts as well, in relationship to @Traveler's very thoughtful post (as usual).

If #5 is in regards to eternal destination, then I totally agreed.  However, I won't agree if we're talking about every bruise on the way there.  

It seems to me that point of disagreement are usually the best opportunity for learning.  And so I would begin with some questions.  Before I ask the questions are there any questions you would like to ask me about #5?

I personally have pondered #5 and wondered if I have worded it correctly.  With my kindest way - I ask.  If G-d gives us any degree of choice or agency - Do you think we agreed to come into this life ignorant of bruises?  Where do you think we can draw the line between what bruises we get to choose and which we cannot? 

My thinking is that G-d knows all our bruises.  I cannot imagine that things he knew would have impact - especially for eternity - that he would hide it from us.  And if bruises have no possible eternal benefit - why he would allow them to happen? - (which relates to my statement #4).

 

BTW - if anyone would like to add an additional statement - I would be interested - both in the statement and why.

 

The Traveler

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10 hours ago, Scott said:

I would agree with 1-4, but not 5.  Unless I am misunderstanding what you mean concerning #5. 

10 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

That's my thoughts as well, in relationship to @Traveler's very thoughtful post (as usual).

If #5 is in regards to eternal destination, then I totally agreed.  However, I won't agree if we're talking about every bruise on the way there.  

Yes, I'm in the same boat.  What do you mean by #5?  In many circumstances I'd agree.  But in some I'd have to say it is impossible.

Those who become sons of Perdition will not accept God's will (by definition).  They give Him NO permission to cast them out. But they are cast out nonetheless.

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@Traveler I think you make an important point about knowing who God is exactly because that knowledge is the key to everything as the brother of Jared found out in Ether 3. Consider the things he knew and the result:

            2 Oh Lord... we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens...                                        4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man...                                                         5 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power...

            12 And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.
            13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you...
            19 And because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting.
            20 Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him...
            26 ...therefore the Lord could not withhold anything from him, for he knew that the Lord could show him all things.

As to your fifth point I do believe we had some understanding about what awaited us individually in this life and we agreed to it. But to what detail I don't know. Part of the test in this life is to see exactly how much we trust the Lord in doing what's best for us. I imagine there was an element of that in the decision to follow His plan as well.
           

 

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1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

Yes, I'm in the same boat.  What do you mean by #5?  In many circumstances I'd agree.  But in some I'd have to say it is impossible.

Those who become sons of Perdition will not accept God's will (by definition).  They give Him NO permission to cast them out. But they are cast out nonetheless.

I am glad you have asked this question.  Follow with me while I explain and if you can find anything in question let us discuss it.  What do we know about sons of Perdition - those that love darkness and hate anything that is light?

The First point - I understand Perdition as the embrace of darkness as an individual choice made against intelligence and the light of truth for darkness and lies.  I believe it is an acquired or learned cognitive behavior made with full knowledge and understanding of both Light and Darkness (The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil) and with the full knowledge and understanding of all consequences.   If there is a possible exception - I have not conceived of it in order to included it in my perception of that which is dark, evil and perditious. 

The Second point - As I understand the light and darkness that is being discussed; that they are polar opposites - in opposition.  This means that all of what exists or can exists within each set has no intersection with the other set.  I believe that light will flee from darkness and vice versa - Darkness will flee from light and intelligence.  The two cannot exist together and most important - Darkness cannot abide light.  I believe that the idea that G-d drives out or casts out the sons of Perdition is a metaphor to explain that the light of G-d is more powerful than the darkness of Perdition and therefore "casts out the darkness".  But I believe G-d does not desire to loose the sons of Perdition to the everlasting damnation of death and hell - that G-d would allow and welcome repentance if and when it would occur.  Thus I conclude that the sons of Perdition leave of their own accord and choice because they cannot and will not abide light and intelligence.

 

The Traveler

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9 hours ago, Traveler said:

It seems to me that point of disagreement are usually the best opportunity for learning.  And so I would begin with some questions.  Before I ask the questions are there any questions you would like to ask me about #5?

I personally have pondered #5 and wondered if I have worded it correctly.  With my kindest way - I ask.  If G-d gives us any degree of choice or agency - Do you think we agreed to come into this life ignorant of bruises?  Where do you think we can draw the line between what bruises we get to choose and which we cannot? 

My thinking is that G-d knows all our bruises.  I cannot imagine that things he knew would have impact - especially for eternity - that he would hide it from us.  And if bruises have no possible eternal benefit - why he would allow them to happen? - (which relates to my statement #4).

 

BTW - if anyone would like to add an additional statement - I would be interested - both in the statement and why.

 

The Traveler

Here's an analogy to how i see this topic: when I was young (21?) I had a rotten tooth and had to have a root canal done and replacement put in.  The oral surgeon explained things to me on a very broad scale, and I did consent to the procedure - after all I needed a replacement tooth.  The surgeon then went to work.  But as he was inserting a miniature piece of crowbar into my jar, my reaction was "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!!"  I didn't want this-- what the- I DID NOT AGREE TO THIS!!!!?!?!     

I mustered through things- trusting the surgeon even though I didn't understand what was happening.  I also didn't understand that the surgery involved for days later.  Also I didn't understand the soreness I would have afterwards.  I didn't understand how all these years later my fake tooth would still taste weird. 

Such isn't the surgeon's fault-- I did agree to surgery and it was necessary.  And even if he had spent hours explaining every single piece to me, I still wouldn't have understood it to actually agree with it on that deep level.  

 

 

Shifting to talk about our Heavenly surgeon: I also believe that we've all agreed to go through His refiner's fire as a broad principle.  But like me freaking out in the dentist's chair, I don't think we really "understood" what all that refining process entails -- the shock, pain, uncertainty,  etc.  I don't see unexperienced spirits with little (if any) knowledge of Good and Evil could understand what's all involved there to agree on that deeper level.  We do muster through, and trust the Heavenly surgeon- He knows what He's doing.   But there's plenty of freak outs along the way.

 

Edited by Jane_Doe

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12 minutes ago, laronius said:

@Traveler I think you make an important point about knowing who God is exactly because that knowledge is the key to everything as the brother of Jared found out in Ether 3. Consider the things he knew and the result:

            2 Oh Lord... we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens...                                        4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man...                                                         5 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power...

            12 And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.
            13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you...
            19 And because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting.
            20 Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him...
            26 ...therefore the Lord could not withhold anything from him, for he knew that the Lord could show him all things.

As to your fifth point I do believe we had some understanding about what awaited us individually in this life and we agreed to it. But to what detail I don't know. Part of the test in this life is to see exactly how much we trust the Lord in doing what's best for us. I imagine there was an element of that in the decision to follow His plan as well.
           

 

Your points are excellent and I am glad you have joined the discussion.  It seems as though there is an event horizon both of things before our birth and after our death.  I have pondered how much we knew about our mortal probation before we were born and we existed in the pre-existence.   I am quite sure that G-d knew all things concerning our lives here.  As I have pondered things possible I came to the same conclusion as the scripture in verse 26:

Quote

26 ...therefore the Lord could not withhold anything from him, for he knew that the Lord could show him all things.

 It is my understanding that we make a knowledgeable choice to experience mortality in our quest for eternal life.   I have difficulty believing that there were things that G-d refused to show us.

 

The Traveler

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12 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Your points are excellent and I am glad you have joined the discussion.  It seems as though there is an event horizon both of things before our birth and after our death.  I have pondered how much we knew about our mortal probation before we were born and we existed in the pre-existence.   I am quite sure that G-d knew all things concerning our lives here.  As I have pondered things possible I came to the same conclusion as the scripture in verse 26:

 It is my understanding that we make a knowledgeable choice to experience mortality in our quest for eternal life.   I have difficulty believing that there were things that G-d refused to show us.

 

The Traveler

So to use an extreme example, do you believe Judas was told he would betray the Savior and he agreed to that?

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9 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Here's an analogy to how i see this topic: when I was young (21?) I had a rotten tooth and had to have a root canal done and replacement put in.  The oral surgeon explained things to me on a very broad scale, and I did consent to the procedure - after all I needed a replacement tooth.  The surgeon then went to work.  But as he was inserting a miniature piece of crowbar into my jar, my reaction was "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!!"  I didn't want this-- what the- I DID NOT AGREE TO THIS!!!!?!?!     

I mustered through things- trusting the surgeon even though I didn't understand what was happening.  I also didn't understand that the surgery involved for days later.  Also I didn't understand the soreness I would have afterwards.  I didn't understand how all these years later my fake tooth would still taste weird. 

Such isn't the surgeon's fault-- I did agree to surgery and it was necessary.  And even if he had spent hours explaining every single piece to me, I still wouldn't have understood it to actually agree with it on that deep level.  

 

 

Shifting to talk about our Heavenly surgeon: I also believe that we've all agreed to go through His refiner's fire as a broad principle.  But like me freaking out in the dentist's chair, I don't think we really "understood" what all that refining process entails -- the shock, pain, uncertainty,  etc.  I don't see unexperienced spirits with little (if any) knowledge of Good and Evil could understand what's all involved there to agree on that deeper level.  We do muster through, and trust the Heavenly surgeon- He knows what He's doing.   But there's plenty of freak outs along the way.

 

I like your analogy.  As I have tried to express my #5 I have tried to word it to include this possibility.  From the scripture Alma chapter 13 I have the impression that we exercised faith and our exercise of faith had an effect on our mortal destiny.   As you have pointed out - that exercise of faith is our choice - G-d did not force or deceive us.  I have wrestled and agonized over the difference between having the knowledge as opposed to having faith.  What I have concluded that there always must be some knowledge but that faith is that which takes us beyond what we know and understand to try our will and desire to learn and understand that which we cannot understand or know without the step of faith beyond what we know.  But it is our choice and agency to take that step.

So I have concluded that this is the most important conclusion of the other steps - that we Trust in G-d and by that trust we exercise our Agency - but Satan and those that followed him, knowing of the other 4 but could not accept in faith #5.  I hope to continue this discussion 

Thanks for your input.

 

The Traveler

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1 minute ago, laronius said:

So to use an extreme example, do you believe Judas was told he would betray the Savior and he agreed to that?

Thank you for your question.  In all honesty I am not sure.  There is an indication that Judas became a son of Perdition through this act but I wonder and ponder.  I believe it is possible that Judas could repent if he desired to.  If he was forgiven - I would be glad for it.  There are a couple of thoughts that I do have.  One is that I do not think that without Judas things would have worked out according to plan.  I am of the impression that G-d planned for the betrayal of Christ for a specific amount of pieces of silver - I believe it was prophetic.  

Where I have a problem is that G-d knowing these things would force Judas into mortality and all the conditions and that Judas would be placed under such conditions in innocence's without warning or choice.  I wonder if Judas came into this life with no clue of what was possible for him?

 

The Traveler 

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54 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Thus I conclude that the sons of Perdition leave of their own accord and choice because they cannot and will not abide light and intelligence.

It seems that you're kinda talking "about" things, but not the thing itself.

I wholly agree that we must start with this understanding:

  • We are free to make choices, but we are not free to choose the consequences of those choices.

So, your position could be interpreted as saying that we "choose" the consequences when we choose the act.  Therefore, we give permission to the Lord to give us the consequences when we make the choices we do.  That is a reasonable argument.  But the wording you used would not normally get people to that idea.

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2 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

It seems that you're kinda talking "about" things, but not the thing itself.

I wholly agree that we must start with this understanding:

  • We are free to make choices, but we are not free to choose the consequences of those choices.

So, your position could be interpreted as saying that we "choose" the consequences when we choose the act.  Therefore, we give permission to the Lord to give us the consequences when we make the choices we do.  That is a reasonable argument.  But the wording you used would not normally get people to that idea.

Thank you - how would you summarize and word #5 to be more clear?

 

The Traveler

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32 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Thank you for your question.  In all honesty I am not sure.  There is an indication that Judas became a son of Perdition through this act but I wonder and ponder.  I believe it is possible that Judas could repent if he desired to.  If he was forgiven - I would be glad for it.  There are a couple of thoughts that I do have.  One is that I do not think that without Judas things would have worked out according to plan.  I am of the impression that G-d planned for the betrayal of Christ for a specific amount of pieces of silver - I believe it was prophetic.  

Where I have a problem is that G-d knowing these things would force Judas into mortality and all the conditions and that Judas would be placed under such conditions in innocence's without warning or choice.  I wonder if Judas came into this life with no clue of what was possible for him?

 

The Traveler 

This discussion reminded me of something in Talmage's book Jesus the Christ. In the original edition it said the following:

"In this struggle between unembodied hosts the forces were unequally divided ; Satan drew to his standard only a third part of the children of God, who are symbolized as the
"stars of heaven" ; the other two thirds remained true to their allegiance and battled for the cause of righteousness, thus accomplishing the purpose of their "first estate"..."

In the third edition (I believe) printed less than a year later the above underlined part was changed to read:

"The majority either fought with Michael, or at least refrained from active opposition, thus accomplishing the purpose of their first estate"

I have often wondered about those who seemed to have remained neutral. Could they be one of the three "parts" of heaven spoken of? And were they treated differently than those who actively fought on the side of the Lord? Is it possible that they were not given some of the same privileges because of their lack of faith or commitment? 

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On 11/2/2020 at 1:37 AM, Traveler said:

@DennisTate I agree that life has divine value.  I would explorer with you a couple of thoughts about life or "living things".  The scriptures make several references to the "living G-d".  Do you believe that G-d is a type of LIFE consistent or in any way similar to the life you believe G-d values?  My second question is - why do you think G-d values life?  I agree that human life is the apex of G-d's creation.  Anyway I think we agree - Why do you think G-d values mankind so greatly - even greater than the angles of heaven?  If you think these are loaded question - they are.  I am trying to understand the extent that you believe G-d loves human.  Does the concept of children apply?

 

The Traveler

Thank you for this exceptionally well informed question.  

Just so that you know I did recently send off an e-mail to the local ward President asking him to forward my e-mail toward President Russell Nelson.  I would truly be honoured to be baptized by Latter day Saint Elders and I am willing to get into trouble with my wife to be baptized and prayed for but.............  I volunteered for something rather big thirty years ago and I have been shown how to assist you Latter day Saints to connect with Jews, (especially Jews living in Israel) and how to connect with gifted Pentecostals like my wife but..........   if I am baptized as an LDS I will lose some of my ability to introduce you to Jews and Pentecostals and Charismatic Catholics and to all other Christians and even to other nations because the formula is different if and when I am baptized LDS.

Within a few weeks of my strange offer to The Ancient of Days the Heavenly Father and to Messiah Yeshua - Jesus and to the Holy Spirit I heard audible voice while I was praying.  I heard audible voice again in 1999 and I am certain that President Nelson will want to know of my unusual case due to the nature of the two questions I was asked....... and because of my answers to that audible voice both times.

On another forum I asked the question like this:

 

Could God the Father be the most emotional being in the universe/ multiverse?

Which type of project will you tend to get more involve in?

A job that you invested fifty hours of your time in over one month or a labour of love where you exerted a great deal of effort for 50,000 hours over forty years?
 

"As I passed into the second light, the awareness came to me that I had just transcended the truth. Those are the best words I have for it, but I will try to explain. As I passed into the second light, I expanded beyond the first light. I found myself in a profound stillness, beyond all silence. I could see or perceive FOREVER, beyond infinity. I was in the void. I was in pre-creation, before the Big Bang. I had crossed over the beginning of time - the first word - the first vibration. I was in the eye of creation. I felt as if I was touching the face of God. It was not a religious feeling. Simply I was at one with absolute life and consciousness.

When I say that I could see or perceive forever, I mean that I could experience all of creation generating itself. It was without beginning and without end. That's a mind-expanding thought, isn't it? Scientists perceive the Big Bang as a single event which created the universe. I saw that the Big Bang is only one of an infinite number of Big Bangs creating universes endlessly and simultaneously. The only images that even come close in human terms would be those created by supercomputers using fractal geometry equations." (Mellen Benedict)

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On 11/2/2020 at 10:21 AM, laronius said:

Oh Lord... we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens...                                        4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man...                                                         5 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power...

Hi @Traveler , in addition to what laronius mentioned, I would add two others: God's everlasting existence
and his everlasting mercy.

Psalm 90:2 - "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God
".

Psalm 103:17 - "But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and
his righteousness unto children’s children
".

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34 minutes ago, Jonah said:

Hi @Traveler , in addition to what laronius mentioned, I would add two others: God's everlasting existence
and his everlasting mercy.

Psalm 90:2 - "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God
".

Psalm 103:17 - "But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and
his righteousness unto children’s children
".

LDS Christians full-heartedly agree that God is everlasting and merciful without end.  Also just without end.

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On 11/3/2020 at 10:33 AM, Jonah said:

Hi @Traveler , in addition to what laronius mentioned, I would add two others: God's everlasting existence
and his everlasting mercy.

Psalm 90:2 - "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God
".

Psalm 103:17 - "But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and
his righteousness unto children’s children
".

I find it most interesting that you have made this point about mercy - most Traditional Christian that I have encountered may tout what you are saying but then turn around and teach that if someone does not accept Christ before they die - G-d mercy is no longer extended to them.

 

The Traveler

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On 11/10/2020 at 6:41 PM, Traveler said:

I find it most interesting that you have made this point about mercy - most Traditional Christian that I have encountered may tout what you are saying but then turn around and teach that if someone does not accept Christ before they die - G-d mercy is no longer extended to them.

 

The Traveler

That's the impression I get when I read this passage.

"Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands
of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth
cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain,
and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever.
And now I say unto you, that mercy hath no claim on that man; therefore his final doom is to
endure a never-ending torment
"(Mosiah 2:38-39)

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23 hours ago, Jonah said:

That's the impression I get when I read this passage.

"Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands
of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth
cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain,
and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever.
And now I say unto you, that mercy hath no claim on that man; therefore his final doom is to
endure a never-ending torment
"(Mosiah 2:38-39)

I am grateful that you have such interest in the Book of Mormon to carefully quote it - even though you are using and quoting it improperly.   Before we get to this scripture lets go back and review my impression - to which you have not responded - so I am not quit sure how I ought to respond.  So I must ask the Question: Do you believe that if a person passes from mortality having not accepted Christ (even if they die in ignorance having never heard in mortality of Christ) - that G-d withdraws his mercy from them and damns them to eternal Hell?

 

Not understanding your position I will try to respond to what I think is your misunderstanding.  Lets look into what the scripture is telling us.  The first point involves "repenteth".  This means to turn from darkness towards the "Light of Christ".  Many Traditional Christians are confused with what this means - they think repentance is a singular event despite that the scriptures (including Christ) speak in terms of a "path" or "way".  Repentance is at times described as a turning away from darkness towards the light.  But Isaiah spoke in terms of a path or way with the explanation of "line upon line upon line and precept upon precept upon precept, here a little and there a little."   Repentance therefore begins perhaps with a line or precept of seeking or hope of light - even in the midst of darkness when it seems there is no light.

Let us not consider the attitude of "remaineth and dieth an enemy to G-d".  This is precluded by "repenteth not" - meaning there is no effort to seek or turn towards the light.  And so we are to now consider remaining in darkness as a preference  of darkness rather than light.  The doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that all that come into this mortal existence do so within the confines of both "light" and "darkness".  Thus to remain in darkness is a choice to reject the light or mercy of G-d.

Now I would speak of death.  Again death is not just a physical mortal thing because there are two deaths (reference Revelation 2:11, Revelation 20:6 and Revelation 20:14)  This second death is a spiritual refusal to accept the light (mercy of G-d) with full understanding an opportunity to do so in order to remain in darkness.

This scripture is not about G-d withdrawing his mercy but rather what occurs in the hearts of those that refuse mercy.  It testifies that G-d's mercy cannot have claim on those that reject it.  This scripture is an effort to explain and highlight the misery and suffering that occurs when the mercy of G-d is rejected - both in the physical sense as well as the spiritual sense.

 

Now I would ask you - do you  find these things spiritually pleasing and enlightening?  If so I would exhort you to pray concerning the Book of Mormon from which you quoted to know if G-d, in his mercy, has given you this witness of Christ and his mercy.

 

The Traveler

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On 11/13/2020 at 12:57 PM, Traveler said:

I am grateful that you have such interest in the Book of Mormon to carefully quote it - even though you are using and quoting it improperly

In Mosiah 2:39, what does it mean that mercy has no claim on that person? If mercy has no claim 
on him, does justice have claim on him?
 

Quote

Do you believe that if a person passes from mortality 
having not accepted Christ (even if they die in ignorance having never heard in mortality of 
Christ) - that G-d withdraws his mercy from them and damns them to eternal Hell?

I think the person who dies in ignorance, never hearing the gospel, will be judged by 
whatever light they had before they died. But I think that someone who dies without 
repenting and accepting Christ's atonement has died as an enemy of God since he has 
rejected God's mercy.  Another opinion is that if a person really seeks God, God will
ensure he has the opportunity to hear the gospel by bringing someone into that person's
life that will share the good news; like what happened between Philip and the Ethiopian 
eunuch (Acts 8:26-40).

What I find pleasing and enlightening is that God keeps extending his mercy to us while 
we still have an ability to turn to him.  After a certain point (possibly judgment day), 
a person will either be saved or lost.  God still loves that person, but unfortunately 
they chose to remain unsaved.
 

Quote

Now I would speak of death.  Again death is not just a physical mortal thing because there are 
two deaths (reference Revelation 2:11, Revelation 20:6 and Revelation 20:14)  This second death 
is a spiritual refusal to accept the light (mercy of G-d) with full understanding an opportunity 
to do so in order to remain in darkness.

Revelation 20:6 says "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: 
on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of 
Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years
".

Do you believe the priests saved from the second death are the same priests of 
Revelation 1:6?

Why are only those in the first resurrection considered priests?

Edited by Jonah
missed some additions

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