Posts Tagged 'Religion'

If I Ever Go Inactive…

From my limited observations, it appears that if a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stops going to their church, they often do not begin attending another church. They simply do not go to any church. I have observed this with family, friends, and various inactive members in the many wards I have lived in. I think that would be the case for me as well. I have no intention of ever being inactive, I’m just thinking hypothetically.

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Live by Faith, Not by Fear

The last few weeks prior to conference were not very good ones for me. Trials seemed to come from nearly every direction causing me great anxiety regarding my children, our house, my job, and our finances. I do not wish to express the details, because the details are not the point, and because I know that other people have greater trials than I do.

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The Efficacy of Vicarious Atonement

I have decided to skip a couple of chapters and get right to what I consider one of the key points in B.H. Roberts views on the atonement – The Efficacy of Vicarious Atonement (Chapter 45).

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Roberts on the Attributes of God

In Chapter 42 of ‘The Truth, The Way, The Life’, Roberts presents the attributes of God. The relationship of these attributes to the atonement is made very briefly, and basically states that the atonement of Jesus Christ must be in harmony with all of God’s attributes. This relationship is very similar to the discussion on inexorable law. But I found Roberts descriptions of the attributes quite interesting from a theological standpoint so I would like to review them.

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BH Roberts: Atonement in Harmony with Inexorable Law

The first chapter that B.H. Roberts devotes to the atonement in his book ‘The Truth, The Way, The Life’ is concerned with establishing the atonement of Christ as a revealed fact. I am assuming that those who will read this most likely do not dispute this fact, so I do not plan to review that chapter. The second chapter on the atonement (chapter 41) in titled ‘Atonement II – In Harmony with the Reign of Law’. And I would like to share a simple review of this.

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BH Roberts and Prerequisites for Understanding the Atonement

For some people, the concept of the atonement may seem very simple. We all sin, and we will all die. Jesus Christ took care of it. Because of what he did we will all be resurrected, and we can all gain a forgiveness of our sins. Ba-da-boom, ba-da-bing.

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Issues in Mormon Masculinism

I would first like to say that I do not consider myself a masculinist, and that as far as I know nobody in my family is a masculinist. None of my best friends are masculinists. I am not even sure that masculinism and masculinist are words. If they are, I am probably not spelling them quite right.

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The Preexistence/Mortality Continuum

One of the questions many people have about life on this world is why some people seem to have so many advantages over others. Some souls are fortunate enough to be born of goodly parents, in modern times, under prosperous circumstances, with the gospel handed to them. Others may be sent to abusive parents, in terrible poverty, with no chance to live the gospel. Many wonder about the apparent injustice of this inequality, and question whether there is a God, and if so, does he know what he is doing. These types of questions are expressed in a song titled ‘The Larger Bowl’ by Rush on the new album ‘Snakes and Arrows’ (which I highly recommend) that came out May 1st.

If we’re so much the same, like I always hear
why such different fortunes and fates?
some of us live in a cloud of fear
some live behind iron gates

why such different fortunes and fates?
some are blessed and some are cursed
some live behind iron gates
while others see only the worst

some are blessed and some are cursed
the golden one or scarred from birth
while others only see the worst
such a lot of pain on the earth

the golden one or scarred from birth
some things can never be changed
such a lot of pain on this earth
it’s somehow so badly arranged

some things can never be changed
some reasons will never come clear
it’s somehow so badly arranged
if we’re so much the same, like I always hear

I think there was a time in the church when we talked about the ‘elect’ more than we do now. One group that still gets told this is the youth. They are frequently told that they were the most valiant spirits and were reserved to come forth in the last days. I was told the same things when I was a youth. This message has some implications. It implies that the youth are in a way better than their parents and grandparents – at least they were better in the preexistence. It also implies that they were better than those who were born in circumstances where the gospel is not handed to them.

I believe this idea has some scriptural basis in Abraham chapter 3 where Abraham is shown some of the noble and great spirits who are forordained to be made God’s leaders on earth. This suggests that there were also spirits who were not so noble nor great, and will not be forordained to be leaders, or anything else perhaps. We have the extreme examples of Christ and Lucifer, both spirit children of God, one who was selected to be the savior, and the other who was cast out. It seems evident that preexistent spirits were able to make choices and progress for a very long time with varying levels of success.

I have long believed that our mortal life on earth is a continuation of our preexistence, and that in at least general terms our conditions on earth are based on our progress in the preexistence. This belief assumes that God is deciding where, and when we come to earth. It also assumes that there is some merit involved in that decision.

This is a little difficult to express sometimes, particularly to people who came from worse conditions. Perhaps it is tactful that we do not talk about this idea as much anymore. Is the idea of a preexistence/mortality continuum not fairly sound doctrine that provides an explanation for such different fates that we find ourselves in upon the painful earth? Perhaps that is what Neil Peart was missing when he considered the lyrics to his song. Maybe his basic assumption is wrong. Maybe we are not so much the same. Maybe we are quite different from each other, not just in terms of genetics and environment, but also in spiritual progression stemming back to our premortal life. Does this not adequately explain different conditions for people on the earth?

Perfectionists and the Gospel

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matt. 5:48)

This is a pretty tall order, and it comes directly from Jesus right in the scriptures. There is also a culture in the church of striving for perfection in our lives. And while any member of the church will concede that the only way to reach such this impossible standard is through the atonement of Jesus Christ, most will state that we must continually expend tremendous effort to progress towards perfection. All your heart, might, mind and strength as it goes.

I have a problem however. I am not a perfectionist by nature, and I see certain problems with perfectionists. And this makes me wonder if I need an attitude and perspective adjustment.

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