Is Sacrifice and Suffering an Eternal Endeavor?


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Why did the universe demand Jesus Christ have to sacrifice and die on our behalf to save us from sin? Do you suppose it’s a universal law that we as imperfect beings can never have eternal life without a Savior interceding on our behalf? Did a law in the universe crack when Adam and Eve committed the first sin where all hope was lost without a Savior? I’m trying to conceptualize why the universe demands sacrifice for us to reach certain levels of progression and if it's necessary for our existence.

If we are eternal and have always existed and always will exist, and if the atonement never happened, how do you suppose we would exist after this life? I understand a lot of these questions are beyond the scope of what’s covered in this life, but I would like some opinions just to have some fresh perspective and maybe have more of a peace of mind concerning why sacrifice is so necessary.

Does God’s plan work without sacrifice? What I'm looking for is some reassurance to understand better why sacrifice is such an integral part of the plan and if sacrifice and suffering are meant to continue in the next life. We hardly grow in this life without suffering, so why would that formula change in the next life? And along those lines, why does human life need to be sustained by less intelligent animals such as chickens, cows, and pigs...? I'm an omnivore myself, not trying to preach veganism or vegetarianism here, just trying to understand if there's an eternal concept here to our eternal existence needing to be sustained at the expense of less intelligent life forms having to die for us. It's been said that some things we observe in this world represent how our existence will work out in the eternities (think of the eternal principle of work and how work isn't just required in this life, but it will also be required in the next life).

Just trying to understand if I'm extrapolating too much here cause it just seems horrible if our existence can only be sustained by taking advantage of other living things. And obviously one argument to this could be all living things obtain immortal status once we die, but could our immortal status require sacrifices from others yet to obtain immortal status as a way we keep existing, or do we ourselves have to continue to suffer and make sacrifices for existence to continue on?

The thought of having someone innocent having to suffer for it to work concerns me that maybe we all will be suffering in one way or another for life to continue, and that’s a thought that gives me some anxiety. Any positive perspective or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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9 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Why did the universe demand Jesus Christ have to sacrifice and die on our behalf to save us from sin? Do you suppose it’s a universal law that we as imperfect beings can never have eternal life without a Savior interceding on our behalf? Did a law in the universe crack when Adam and Eve committed the first sin where all hope was lost without a Savior? I’m trying to conceptualize why the universe demands sacrifice for us to reach certain levels of progression and if it's necessary for our existence.

If we are eternal and have always existed and always will exist, and if the atonement never happened, how do you suppose we would exist after this life? I understand a lot of these questions are beyond the scope of what’s covered in this life, but I would like some opinions just to have some fresh perspective and maybe have more of a peace of mind concerning why sacrifice is so necessary.

Does God’s plan work without sacrifice? What I'm looking for is some reassurance to understand better why sacrifice is such an integral part of the plan and if sacrifice and suffering are meant to continue in the next life. We hardly grow in this life without suffering, so why would that formula change in the next life? And along those lines, why does human life need to be sustained by less intelligent animals such as chickens, cows, and pigs...? I'm an omnivore myself, not trying to preach veganism or vegetarianism here, just trying to understand if there's an eternal concept here to our eternal existence needing to be sustained at the expense of less intelligent life forms having to die for us. It's been said that some things we observe in this world represent how our existence will work out in the eternities (think of the eternal principle of work and how work isn't just required in this life, but it will also be required in the next life).

Just trying to understand if I'm extrapolating too much here cause it just seems horrible if our existence can only be sustained by taking advantage of other living things. And obviously one argument to this could be all living things obtain immortal status once we die, but could our immortal status require sacrifices from others yet to obtain immortal status as a way we keep existing, or do we ourselves have to continue to suffer and make sacrifices for existence to continue on?

The thought of having someone innocent having to suffer for it to work concerns me that maybe we all will be suffering in one way or another for life to continue, and that’s a thought that gives me some anxiety. Any positive perspective or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Sacrifice means different things in different kingdoms. But yes, as the Father demonstrated, the highest exalted beings will always sacrifice for their children, voluntarily and willingly, as demonstrated on His and the Son’s parts. In my mind, simply put, this kind of sacrifice is work, which is the only way progress is attained, whether temporally, spiritually or eternally. Given the principle of opposition, sacrifice is always met with glory. Sacrifice is not complete annihilation, but transformation into finer things.

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General Authorities have said that the exact mechanism of how/why the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ satisfied the demands of justice is incomprehensible to man in our current state.  So, we can't explain it with words.  But it can only be understood through the Holy Spirit.

Sacrifice has always meant giving up something we value for something we'd value even more.  In that sense, that is always part of the fundamental principles of choice and agency.  The results/consequences of our choices are natural consequences of what we value.

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We know that after this life all death, pain, suffering, etc. will cease. I believe that the sacrifices made in this life are evidences that we are willing to DO what is necessary and BE what is necessary to live a celestial life. If we are to one day have the same power and knowledge as God then we must prove that we are going to use that power and knowledge appropriately. To be a god means to live a certain way and as Joseph said in the lectures on faith that if God were to not live up to his characteristics and attributes to the fullest then he would cease to be God because we could no longer have sufficient faith in him. His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. If we can't have faith in him then we cannot receive eternal life and God would cease to be glorified.

As for eternal laws and how Christ was able to save us from sin and death, like Carborendum said, we cannon comprehend the mechanism of how it functions. Justice and Mercy may seem abstract, but the way they are described in scripture makes them seem somehow more like concrete powers of enforcement.

Animal sacrifice is only temporary to this telestial state of being.

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I sometimes wonder if one of the driving forces of our choosing mortality was our own ignorance of why lesser kingdoms disobey. Abraham says the creation council at times watched until they were obeyed. The Spirit knows all things, and we may have been told how difficult it can be, but we never really got it so we signed up for the experience of living by faith — of living in a world where God says to be generous because there is enough and to spare, while being surrounded by an abundance of scarcity; of living in a world where we are told God will provide but everything you’ve labored for can be lost through no fault of your own.

It may be only in dealing with these post-Fall worlds celestial beings even need to worry about such things as sacrifice and in all other relationships there is no need at all (but they are celestial because they have learned and are willing to sacrifice). It may even be that such an experience is not perceived as sacrifice because what they give up is perceived as negligible.

It may also be that this entire post is nothing but an imaginative thought-cloud on a breezy day.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/19/2022 at 6:37 AM, CV75 said:

Sacrifice is not complete annihilation, but transformation into finer things.

Do you believe the Atonement carried out by Jesus Christ in the world is the only Atonement of it's kind to ever happen or ever will happen? I had a negative experience the other month where I felt like I was being attacked by this negative energy that was trying to suggest to me that we are all being raised like cattle for slaughter. It was a very negative, evil thought that caused me quite a bit of anxiety and despair. Full disclosure, this experience was drug induced. I threw all of my marijuana stuff away. Not touching that stuff ever again. 

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“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.  What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods.”  -  Paine, Thomas, The American Crisis

“Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that power to work is a blessing, that love of work is success”. – David O McKay

Moses 1:39 This is my work and my glory -

John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
 

In my opinion, God does not require anyone to sacrifice.  He does not wish to punish any of his children.  But we are responsible for the consequences of our actions.

That being said…  If one desires the power, authority, and honor that God commands; it must be earned, most likely through work, and sacrifice.

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On 5/18/2022 at 9:46 PM, clbent04 said:

Why did the universe demand Jesus Christ have to sacrifice and die on our behalf to save us from sin? Do you suppose it’s a universal law that we as imperfect beings can never have eternal life without a Savior interceding on our behalf? Did a law in the universe crack when Adam and Eve committed the first sin where all hope was lost without a Savior? I’m trying to conceptualize why the universe demands sacrifice for us to reach certain levels of progression and if it's necessary for our existence.

If we are eternal and have always existed and always will exist, and if the atonement never happened, how do you suppose we would exist after this life? I understand a lot of these questions are beyond the scope of what’s covered in this life, but I would like some opinions just to have some fresh perspective and maybe have more of a peace of mind concerning why sacrifice is so necessary.

Does God’s plan work without sacrifice? What I'm looking for is some reassurance to understand better why sacrifice is such an integral part of the plan and if sacrifice and suffering are meant to continue in the next life. We hardly grow in this life without suffering, so why would that formula change in the next life? And along those lines, why does human life need to be sustained by less intelligent animals such as chickens, cows, and pigs...? I'm an omnivore myself, not trying to preach veganism or vegetarianism here, just trying to understand if there's an eternal concept here to our eternal existence needing to be sustained at the expense of less intelligent life forms having to die for us. It's been said that some things we observe in this world represent how our existence will work out in the eternities (think of the eternal principle of work and how work isn't just required in this life, but it will also be required in the next life).

Just trying to understand if I'm extrapolating too much here cause it just seems horrible if our existence can only be sustained by taking advantage of other living things. And obviously one argument to this could be all living things obtain immortal status once we die, but could our immortal status require sacrifices from others yet to obtain immortal status as a way we keep existing, or do we ourselves have to continue to suffer and make sacrifices for existence to continue on?

The thought of having someone innocent having to suffer for it to work concerns me that maybe we all will be suffering in one way or another for life to continue, and that’s a thought that gives me some anxiety. Any positive perspective or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

I have pondered how it is that someone that is innocent can suffer for the evil (sins) of others - especially if that innocent person is in every way possible, good.   And then, if it is possible that one person can suffer for another how come it is that only Jesus could suffer for us?  I think I came to a possible understanding while arguing the point of a necessary pre-existence with those not of our LDS faith (such as @prisonchaplain).  Allow me to explain the problem: If G-d created each of us separately as a unique individual with no other possible input; it is G-d that is responsible for determining how we behave and react to circumstances.  Especially if G-d, knows the future and realized in advance who would do evil rather than good.  Thus knowing in advance the results of His choosing - G-d is responsible for the sins we commit and thus He is complicit in the evil that He alone created to occur.  

In our LDS theology there is something very different and is necessary if G-d is actually a true and living G-d void of any and all possible complicity of evil because of His creations.  That is that G-d did not nor does not create our individual will.  We must have an aspect of something within us that is co-eternal with G-d.  But even we there is something co-eternal within ourselves that determines who will sin and who will repent -- If G-d were to create a situation in which he knew we would sin - how is it that G-d is not also to some degree complicit in the sins He allowed?  Again the only logical answers I have encountered come through LDS theology.

Here is how it all works.  G-d the Father needed someone that He could rely on that could be responsible for allowing us our agency.  Then that individual through which we are allowed agency is in part responsible for our sins.  But this person must be innocent of sin themselves or they would, according to justice be subject to death because of sine.  Then in order for us to have agency - Jesus became the one through who we obtain our agency and thus complicit in the sins we cause because of that agency - especially sins for which we were beguiled to commit because we are masked from our knowledge of sin separating from light and truth.  So we had to use our agency to partake of the fruits of evil - which is death.  So we had to become fallen and mortal.

But because Jesus was our proctor of our agency - he alone could suffer our sins and redeem us.  Now there is logic to the great plan of salvation that G-d introduced unto us in the pre-existence and there is reason and cause that me must come into mortality as innocent and with a forgetfulness of our previous light and truth.  So it is that we sin and experience death and so also we are redeemed by the atonement of Christ that we are resurrected from death into that glory of G-d the Father.  But we are warned that we can only obtain that glory according to the laws of glory we choose (through our agency and knowledge of light and truth) to live according to our will.

I hope you understand a little better the great plan of salvation of G-d which includes the fall of man and the atonement of Christ and how it is that Christ, who is without sin, can so love us that he will suffer for our benefit.  I believe we also know from scripture that love can be measured by one's willingness to suffer death for the benefit of those whom they love.

 

The Traveler  

Edited by Traveler
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4 hours ago, Traveler said:

I believe we also know from scripture that love can be measured by one's willingness to suffer death for the benefit of those whom they love.

 

The Traveler  

If we acquire Eternal Life and become gods ourselves, are we expected to become the sacrificial saviors of those worlds? This is what is causing me angst. To what end does sacrifice stop? I would be reassured if sacrifice in the eternities simply meant we are to continue working to bring others to God, but if we ourselves are expected to become sacrificial lambs after millions of years or however long it takes to love as Jesus loved us, it seems like a never ending cycle of suffering and sacrifice. I know I might be way off base here, but this issue has been pressing on my heart a lot lately. Any insight on the matter would be appreciated. I know we hardly know anything when it comes to what happens to us after this life and how we progress into the eternities, but any words of comfort or perspective would be appreciated. Thank you

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17 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

If we acquire Eternal Life and become gods ourselves, are we expected to become the sacrificial saviors of those worlds? This is what is causing me angst.

Calm yourself. You have literally nothing at all to worry about.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/19/2022 at 5:52 PM, mordorbund said:

I sometimes wonder if one of the driving forces of our choosing mortality was our own ignorance of why lesser kingdoms disobey.

Would the inverse of this idea not also be true if this were true? Would the 1/3 who fought alongside Lucifer have potentially chosen to do so out of ignorance?

This troubles me because it would suggest we can be cast out to outer darkness simply based on ignorance. 

If this were true, it would challenge my idea on what I consider to be a just and merciful God. It’s hard for me to prescribe to the idea of many Christian religions in this world that if we don’t happen to come across the name Jesus Christ in this life and accept Him as our Savior that we are automatically cast off to hell.

Edited by clbent04
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10 hours ago, clbent04 said:

If we acquire Eternal Life and become gods ourselves, are we expected to become the sacrificial saviors of those worlds? This is what is causing me angst. To what end does sacrifice stop? I would be reassured if sacrifice in the eternities simply meant we are to continue working to bring others to God, but if we ourselves are expected to become sacrificial lambs after millions of years or however long it takes to love as Jesus loved us, it seems like a never ending cycle of suffering and sacrifice. I know I might be way off base here, but this issue has been pressing on my heart a lot lately. Any insight on the matter would be appreciated. I know we hardly know anything when it comes to what happens to us after this life and how we progress into the eternities, but any words of comfort or perspective would be appreciated. Thank you

There's nothing in our belief system to indicate you will be able to give up your resurrected body and become mortal again. 

And going out on a limb I'd propose another potential scenario. When Adam and Eve were placed in the garden they were give initial instruction on how to act but then promised to be given further instruction. Also, a Savior was appointed "IF" Adam and Eve yielded to the temptations of Satan. With that in mind I would ask a few questions:

The number of peopled Earth's are apparently enumerable. Did they all have a Satan to tempt them? And considering the amount of wickedness on our earth, is God's success rate of exalting His children so really low across those enumerable Earth's or was our earth different? If our Savior was able to achieve exaltation without having succumbed to temptation could there not have been a Plan A for the rest of his children that did not involve a fall? What if the other instructions God intended for Adam and Eve was in preparation to partake of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil but in a controlled environment that did not involve a fall? Would these circumstances be that much different than that experienced by those born during the Millennium?

Obviously the fall was intended in this instance because as we see there are many on this earth who could not endure even a Terrestrial environment let alone a Celestial one and a time of testing and proving is sorely needed. Also, Jesus made some remarks that seem to indicate that those he saved were his. This makes me wonder if part of the understanding was that the dregs of creation would be sent to this world and Jehovah was granted enough of God's faithful children to come and save as many as possible and they would then fall under his stewardship in the eternities.

All of this is of course speculation but my point is that there could be a lot going on behind the scenes that we just don't now understand. We really can't assume anything beyond what we have been told. So I wouldn't worry about some great future sacrifice that we all will have to make. I don't think there will ever be anything asked of the faithful that they don't want to do (in the eternities that is, plenty here though :). 

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10 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Would the inverse of this idea not also be true if this were true? Would the 1/3 who fought alongside Lucifer have potentially chosen to do so out of ignorance?

This troubles me because it would suggest we can be cast out to outer darkness simply based on ignorance. 

If this were true, it would challenge my idea on what I consider to be a just and merciful God. It’s hard for me to prescribe to the idea of many Christian religions in this world that if we don’t happen to come across the name Jesus Christ in this life and accept Him as our Savior that we are automatically cast off to hell.

Satan and his followers were cast off for open rebellion. There’s a huge difference between “I don’t understand why we have to wait, but I’ll wait,” and “We need a new God!” They knew God and their relationship to Him and threw it aside.

I would also caution against getting worked up on the thoughts of a random stranger on the Internet. If the musing doesn’t work for you cast it aside. I assure you I will once it stops being useful.

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On 5/20/2022 at 4:02 PM, clbent04 said:

Do you believe the Atonement carried out by Jesus Christ in the world is the only Atonement of it's kind to ever happen or ever will happen? I had a negative experience the other month where I felt like I was being attacked by this negative energy that was trying to suggest to me that we are all being raised like cattle for slaughter. It was a very negative, evil thought that caused me quite a bit of anxiety and despair. Full disclosure, this experience was drug induced. I threw all of my marijuana stuff away. Not touching that stuff ever again. 

I believe the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the only one of its kind pertaining to this world and for me individually, and that is enough for me.

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17 hours ago, clbent04 said:

If we acquire Eternal Life and become gods ourselves, are we expected to become the sacrificial saviors of those worlds? This is what is causing me angst. To what end does sacrifice stop? I would be reassured if sacrifice in the eternities simply meant we are to continue working to bring others to God, but if we ourselves are expected to become sacrificial lambs after millions of years or however long it takes to love as Jesus loved us, it seems like a never ending cycle of suffering and sacrifice. I know I might be way off base here, but this issue has been pressing on my heart a lot lately. Any insight on the matter would be appreciated. I know we hardly know anything when it comes to what happens to us after this life and how we progress into the eternities, but any words of comfort or perspective would be appreciated. Thank you

The term sacrifice does not mean to lose, ruin or to destroy.  The term means to make sacred and holy.   Perhaps even the possibility of making something sacred and holy.  Jesus suffered because of sins - our sins.  Sins that were necessary in order that we obtain a knowledge of good and evil.  That which was at stake, because of his love for us, he determined was worth it.

I speculate that the greatest in the kingdom of heaven are those that loving serve others - including those that do not appreciate things that are sacred and holy.  Perhaps a G-d or Celestial being is someone that takes care of the other kingdoms.  So in stead of being so powerful that other serve them - they serve and maintain all that is necessary for others.

 

The Traveler

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Posted (edited)

It’s overwhelming to consider some of these deeper subjects that are part of The Plan, but it seems the way it works to me is we are allowed to continue at the level we are on until we are ready for more.

When we are ready for more, a.k.a. we are willing to advance in our ability to love others, we feel more naturally compelled to ascend rather than remain stagnate. Remaining stagnate becomes more overwhelming than naturally ascending to the next level through the inspiration of God’s love for us and the Holy Spirit. 

To what end goal do we continue trying to perfect ourselves? Could it possibly be to become saviors ourselves someday of our own worlds under the hierarchy of us always giving glory to our God the Father and our Savior, his Son Jesus Christ? Is this how the work and the glory are possible? 

While these thoughts initially gave me angst and anxiety, I now have a peace regarding these matters. We know Jesus Christ and our Father are two separate beings which should give us comfort knowing that the Father, not just the Son, lives.

This gives me comfort because I suspect the Father already sacrificed His life as the savior of a world before our world ever was, and if we’re seeing that both the Father and the Son live side by side, then we have two witnesses proving the Atonement brings to pass Eternal Life, not just mortal death. After all, the Father would never ask the Son to do something he wasn’t willing to do Himself. 

As scary as the Plan may be with the many unknowns, if we truly believe Jesus Christ and the Father live, we have nothing to worry about. They do live.

Edited by clbent04
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I would like to openly acknowledge I have very little idea what I'm talking about here, and I don't want this post to be detrimental to the faith of others. I'm studying more closely the topic of resurrection to better understand some of these ideas that have been weighing on my mind, and that gives me peace and comfort on the issue.

Can I get some of the moderators and more senior members to weigh in as to whether or not this entire thread should be taken down?  I know I haven't violated any site rules, but I want to give my permission for this to be taken down completely if it's deemed as more damaging rather than helpful to others who may come across and read it. 

Initially, I wanted to put this out there for my benefit to get answers to something weighing heavily on my mind, and I wanted to keep it up for anyone who may have a similar thought, but in no way do I want to be cause damage to the faith of others if this kind of topic hasn't weighed heavily on anyone else's mind but my own.

@CV75 @NeuroTypical @Vort could I get your weigh in on this one? thx

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5 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

I would like to openly acknowledge I have very little idea what I'm talking about here, and I don't want this post to be detrimental to the faith of others. I'm studying more closely the topic of resurrection to better understand some of these ideas that have been weighing on my mind, and that gives me peace and comfort on the issue.

Can I get some of the moderators and more senior members to weigh in as to whether or not this entire thread should be taken down?  I know I haven't violated any site rules, but I want to give my permission for this to be taken down completely if it's deemed as more damaging rather than helpful to others who may come across and read it. 

Initially, I wanted to put this out there for my benefit to get answers to something weighing heavily on my mind, and I wanted to keep it up for anyone who may have a similar thought, but in no way do I want to be cause damage to the faith of others if this kind of topic hasn't weighed heavily on anyone else's mind but my own.

@CV75 @NeuroTypical @Vort could I get your weigh in on this one? thx

I don't have any concerns about this thread.

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44 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

Can I get some of the moderators and more senior members to weigh in as to whether or not this entire thread should be taken down?  I know I haven't violated any site rules, but I want to give my permission for this to be taken down completely if it's deemed as more damaging rather than helpful to others who may come across and read it. 

Howdy - I see nothing wrong with anything on this thread.  It's kind of you to consider the testimonies of others, but there's nothing wrong with bringing up personally challenging aspects to our faith that trouble you, even if the same things may trouble others.  

We're told about gifts of the spirit, and how folks have different gifts.  Some folk are given to know, some to believe, some to teach, others to believe the testimony of others.  I see a handful of those gifts in this thread, and don't see any reason to hide them from anyone looking.

(If you really want the thread taken down, we can do that.  But it's not like the mods are all clucking our tongues and worrying about this thread. :) )

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On 5/23/2022 at 11:55 PM, prisonchaplain said:

IMHO Heavenly Father's foreknowledge of our choices to sin does not make HIm culpable.

I would be most interested how you have come to this conclusion.  Besides his foreknowledge he is also the creator and controller of the circumstances in which all sins occur by mortals.  In addition he is capable of preventing those that sin from doing the sin.   How do we feel about police that could prevent crimes (murder) taking place if those with such knowledge watch and do nothing to prevent suffering.  In addition, many Christians believe that the creation of man is ex nihilo.  This means that he would have created man with a proclivity to sin.  I assume that G-d is just - how can a just G-d allow anyone (His Son) to suffer because of the sins of others is there is no culpability?  If those born into mortality has no choice - but were all created as "fallen" creatures?  In my mind and logic - something is obviously missing.

 

The Traveler

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On 5/27/2022 at 11:00 PM, Traveler said:

I would be most interested how you have come to this conclusion.  Besides his foreknowledge he is also the creator and controller of the circumstances in which all sins occur by mortals.  In addition he is capable of preventing those that sin from doing the sin.   How do we feel about police that could prevent crimes (murder) taking place if those with such knowledge watch and do nothing to prevent suffering.  In addition, many Christians believe that the creation of man is ex nihilo.  This means that he would have created man with a proclivity to sin.  I assume that G-d is just - how can a just G-d allow anyone (His Son) to suffer because of the sins of others is there is no culpability?  If those born into mortality has no choice - but were all created as "fallen" creatures?  In my mind and logic - something is obviously missing.

 

The Traveler

 

“Agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and to act for ourselves” within the defined progression of creations and circumstances (the various “estates”) that He opens up to us. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/agency-and-accountability?lang=eng

His foreknowledge, I believe, consists of His experience of having faced all the consequences of all choices for Himself, individually (“As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be”); collectively (His Family), and either of these both personally and by proxy (His Forbearers). Because it comes by way of His own personal experience, I take His foreknowledge to be a form of faith, since knowledge comes by faith (Alma 32). When we willingly “gift” our agency back to Him in the form of submission (worship, obedience, sacrifice, consecration, etc.), He fulfills His foreknowledge and our faith with the reality of our salvation through the merits of Christ (also in Alma 32).

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On 5/27/2022 at 8:00 PM, Traveler said:

I would be most interested how you have come to this conclusion.

Those that wish to see @Traveler's arguments should refer to his OP--they are classic, and the issue has remained contentious for centuries. Those of us who believe that God created us out of nothing also believe that we were created capable of sin--not necessarily predetermined to do so. God knew we would, but he created us with choice. Once Adam & Eve sinned, the gravity in our decision-making did lean toward sin. Still, it was/is choice. Thus, Jesus said wide is the way that leads to destruction, narrow the way that leads to eternal life (paraphrase). Paul also told us (Romans 1) that we are without excuse--that we know right from wrong--that we could see God if we were willing to. And, of course, the Old Testament, New Testament, and Book of Mormon all contain promises that if God is sought He will be found.

And so, how can I say God is good if he allows us to sin against ourselves, each other, and Him? One argument is that slavery is worse--having no choice. Another, that the safer we are made (whether by God or government) the less free we are. A third, that the Bible says God is good--especially as reflected in His original creation. The fourth, we have our testimonies--I KNOW that God is good because of the goodness He's extended to me.

I readily confess that non of my reasons are fail proof. Thus, the discussion continues.

Edited by prisonchaplain
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