Salvation and damnation are alike, you have to die to get ether one. All I can
do is my best.
One hears many times the saying: I don't like the God of the Old Testament
as he is wrathful and harsh, however, I accept the loving, forgiving, God of the
New Testament. In ones opinion, a careful reading and study of both sets of
scriptures, reveals that the God of the Old Testament, and the God of the New
Testament is one and the same. It is we humans who either choose to live by
God's precepts and commandments, or we do not - in either case,
consequences of our own making, good or bad, follow.
From the article:"The criticism runs as follows: ... The angry
God of the Old Testament was created by fallen people in their own image. They
blamed on him the natural consequences of human evil.Now,
there’s undoubtedly truth in this. Sinful mortals have indeed often
projected their prejudices, violence, hatreds and vengeful desires onto Heavenly
Father, who loves his children and weeps at their self-inflicted suffering"
For the record, does this 'projection' include the Old
Testament? In other words should we understand that parts of the Old Testament
(for example the ethnic cleansing of the promised land) might simply be humanity
projecting their "vengeful desires" onto God?
Through out my life I have loved to climb big mountains - from Utah's Kings
Peak to California's Mount Whitney. The peace - joy and sheer fun I have
experienced has been priceless. I have also hunted elk/deer since I was in the
second grade. As a second grader I would follow along behind my dad as he taught
me what his dad had taught him about the experience of hunting. Bagging the
animal is only the final scene of a much larger drama that is hunting. It is a
totally addicting and beautiful experience. There have been so many people who
have never been able to catch my vision of climbing or hunting. They laugh -
they critisize - they just don't get it. They have their own distorted
notion of what hunters are and they think that climbing up through near vertical
rock into thin air in the cold pre-dawn is just plumb crazy ...but they have
NEVER tried either climbing or hunting.So many people do the same
thing with God. They have their own distorted notion but they have never
investigated..not seriously. You can never know what you don't do.
As I wrote about last week's column: "In the apparent conflict between
a loving God and an angry God, the greatest weight should be given to the actual
appearances of Christ in the New Testament and the risen Lord in the Book of
Mormon."The destruction of the most evil parts of Nephite
society before Christ's appearance frankly put a fallen people out of their
misery and sent them to a better place. It occurred after years of patience and
long-suffering. In fact, those who survived weren't necessarily all that
righteous--they were simply "more righteous than they" who died. The
destruction does not change the fact that Christ is preponderantly a loving God
and that certain bloody parts of the Old Testament likely reflect the nature of
the people who wrote them rather than the nature of God.Those who
follow Christ because they understand his loving kindness and mercy will
continue to obey him long after those who obey out of fear have grown tired of
"It is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they
want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who
not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us
on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick
marigolds."______________________________Is it any wonder
why some Christians chafe at how preachers talk down to church members as though
they’re all ten years old? That’s not a rarity in any church whose
clergy's priority is to perpetuate the ecclesiastical power structure.The silliness of Elder Holland’s flippant observation aside, is
there any perception of divine attributes that doesn’t conform to what
some seekers wanted in a god? If your taste in a god runs towards one of
vengeance and wrath, you got him. If you prefer one of love and mercy, you can
easily enough find one like that too if you shop around.
That is the amazing beauty and marvelous wonder of the new heaven and the new
earth in eternity. God the Eternal Father [JEHOVAH] will never again be angry or
wrathful because there will be no more sin forever.
I can guess how gods of wrath and retribution might have came into human
imagination. Droughts, famines, floods, earthquakes, etc. would devastate a
locale taking a huge toll in human life. One day, a man finishes building a
dwelling for his family. The next day, his loved ones are buried under a pile of
rubble.Today we have understanding of what causes natural
calamities. For ancient man with no knowledge of meteorology, seismicity, etc.
those events must have been a great mystery. Instead of science, ancient man had
to rely on priests to fill in the blanks. In antiquity, priests could be agents
of a ruling class, intermediaries between man and their gods.Think
of the infinite possibilities for a shrewd priest who could convinced the tribe
that their disobedience to him had angered the gods. That might make the tribal
priest a man of considerable power.That’s part of our cultural
heritage that’s still with us to day.
"A supremely complacent atheist took the spirit of this portrayal to its
limits during an online conversation 15 years ago when he assured me."Said conversation occurred in 2001. See Daniel Peterson,
"Reflections on Secular Anti-Mormonism," FARMS Review 17/2 (2005): 444,
and Daniel Peterson, "Defending the Faith: Religion matters in death,"
Deseret News, August 25, 2011.I think you would come across as less
polemical in your writings if you would cut down on the practice of applying
loaded labels such as "outspoken," "vocal," and "supremely
complacent" to those you criticize.
The atheist who rhapsodized about hanging God drinking Merlot could not possibly
have chosen a more appropriate beverage to evoke a tame, unthreatening,
go-along, get-along harmless deity. Surely the wine the Almighty
furnished the Cana wedding feast was more challenging than that glorified fruit
punch. Pinot, probably.
Wow, Justin. Really? "Vocal"? "Outspoken"? Such things are
pretty mild, hardly very combative or polemical. Even "supremely
complacent" -- which seems pretty obvious, at least to me, from that comment
made by an unidentified person nearly a decade and a half ago -- isn't
I don't mind your "just" and "merciful" god, in the same
way I have no problem with a Santa who has a naughty and nice list.What no rational, ethical human being should ever tolerate, however, is the
capricious, inconsistent, arbitrariness of the Mormon god.
patriotAnd to add to your example, there are some who have tried it,
and don't like it. Some people don't like killing animals for fun, can
you blame them? They would rather take a picture of the animal then blow it
away. Some people don't like hiking, they would rather go swimming or bike
riding or whatever. That doesn't mean they are missing something by not
hiking, it means they found something else to entertain and captivate them.
Nothing wrong with that. Same thing with religion, many have tried the Mormon
church, and just don't believe in it. There is certainly nothing wrong with
that. Personally, Sunday is my day to take my family hiking, fishing, and
exploring. That, to me, is much more worthwhile then hanging out at church for 3
hours and then watching TV the rest of the day because everything else is
breaking the Sabbath.
My friend, "The Scientist" spoke of a "capricious, inconsistent,
arbitrar[y]...Mormon god."As a member of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day saints I can truthfully say that I do not recognize the
"god" of which he speaks. I recognize in the scriptures, and in the
words of prophets and apostles, as well as in the answers to my prayers, the God
of Heaven and earth--the God who has always and will always guide his people by
speaking to them--to warn them of impending trouble and to mourn over those who
will not get out of the way of that trouble's approach.This is
no more inconsistent or arbitrary than warning a drunkard off of train tracks
ahead of an approaching freight train. Surely even "the scientist"
would do so, and mourn over those foolish enough not to move out of the way.
RE: Commonman the God of Heaven and earth True,Can any hide himself
in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD(YHWH). Do not I fill
'heaven and earth'? saith the LORD(YHWH). Jeremiah 23:24.God Father,we use both metaphor and analogy. God has no body, why is God
spoken of in masculine terms? We liken God to a human father by metaphor,
without suggesting that God possesses certain traits inherent in human
fatherhood male gender, for example. We speak of God as Father by analogy
because, while God is not male, He really possesses certain other
characteristics of human fathers, although He possesses these in a different way
(analogously)without creaturely limitations. St. Augustine. He is
not a tame lion. He is dangerous, and an unconquerable enemy, but he is
unquestionably good. The lion Aslan is a metaphor for Jesus.
Brahmabull- You say "nothing wrong with that" but in saying that, it
seems that you declare yourself as God- or just pretending that there are only
your rules to keep and God has not spoken on the subject. You can do that, but
to ignore the rules, doesn't mean they don't apply and there will not
be one day a price to pay. I'm reminded of this when I read your
comments "They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every
man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is
in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol"Good luck with that, I don't want to do that- I hope I don't.
"...What no rational, ethical human being should ever tolerate, however, is
the capricious, inconsistent, arbitrariness of the Mormon god." (A
Scientist)"....As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day saints I can truthfully say that I do not recognize the "god"
of which he speaks...." (Commonman)______________________________I do, Commonman. But I don’t limit it to “the Mormon
god.” Capricious, inconsistent, and arbitrary describe how conflicting
views of the divine develop. Skeptics of Mormon claims ridicule the idea of
Joseph Smith burying his face in his hat to ‘translate’ the Book of
Mormon. But that image is no more surreal than Moses hearing the voice of God
coming from a burning bush, or Mohammed hearing bells ringing to announce the
angel Gabriel.Mormonism is no aberration from the Western religious
tradition. It’s characteristic of it in claiming events that are
unprovable, improbable, and often preposterous by standards of rational thought.
Why should we act surprised? After all, religion is not about getting people to
think. It’s about getting them to believe.
Even in a politically acceptible world people understand when a parent might
"spank" a child when he runs into the street. It is an action that
might put the childs life in danger and therefore it is more acceptible to be
firm in teaching the child that his behavior is not acceptible. When
God punishes us when we chose to repeatedly disobey him, he is doing the same
thing as the parent because the eternal life of the child is in danger. It is
not an inconsequential thing as most critics make it out to be. Actions do produce consequences.
Dear Scientist and Red Corvette,Whenever I read your comments, it
always makes me so grateful for the knowledge I have of the True and Living God
and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I am also completely grateful that I
have a husband with the same knowledge and conviction. I'm so thankful
that my husband and I are united in our faith. That is a wonderful strength to
our marriage and the only way for two people to truly be one. The
gospel is true. I know this through living the principles. I also know it
through personal revelation that I have received from God.
Scientist and Craig ClarkI think and I believe. In fact thinking in
my 20s about why I did not believe in God, actually led me to believe in him.
What do ya think about that?
@ JustinIt occurred to me that the use of “supremely
complacent” was ironically less polemical than projective in itself.
After all, Dr. Peterson is presuming that he better than anyone knows just what
kind of deity The Deity is. But what is the basis of his knowledge? The most
it can be is his own projection informed by his study of the projections of
others at various times in the past.Seriously, unless he can produce
a selfie with his deity or some other evidence, I don't know why Dr.
Peterson's projections should be considered more authoritative than anyone
happy2bhere,"I think and I believe. In fact thinking in my 20s
about why I did not believe in God, actually led me to believe in him. What do
ya think about that?"______________________________If
people can walk and chew gum at the same time, why shouldn’t they be able
to think and believe at the same time? Just be discreet about it. Religion
doesn’t mind if its followers think as long as they don’t start
using the thinking process to critique religious dogma. In some religions,
that’s really pushing your luck.
The truth is that we are often blessed beyond our deserts by a loving Heavenly
Father, and these blessings come through the mercy of His Son, Jesus Christ
through His atonement. On those occasions when I have to suffer, I remember all
the times where my suffering was relieved and I was strengthened to endure it.
Even in our earthly torment, we can recognize that we are being lifted,
protected, and guided by deity. The righteous will eventually triumph in glory,
even if they are severely tried in mortality.On the other hand, our
rebellion can limit what the Lord can do for us. There is nothing hateful about
God backing off when we demand that He leave us alone. When that happens,
natural consequences begin to fall upon us unhindered,and ultimately the wicked
slay the wicked.
A few years ago I had a humbling experience when someone said the Lord did this
to me. I looked back and thought why would the Lord want anything to do with
me. Then I experienced something a little similar to what happened to Enos in
the wilderness only it happened within the walls of my home.In the
end I realized that our Heavenly Father new me personally because I reached out
to him in sincerity to get to know him. There are times where I have to be
reminded of that relationship and experience. In that I have come to know that
it is me who is unworthy of his love, that it is me who must humble myself.
When someone says the "Mormon God", they honestly know nothing of the
Father except what they want to know. Elder Holland is absolutely correct that
we want to make God in our image not us in his image. When individuals blame
God for not receiving what they fail to get because they feel they have done all
they can, they have never done or tried to reach the father because they put
their own standards in place.
As usual Scientist hit it right on the head.Arbitrary is a really nice way
to put it. I've never understood the arrogance that only a "few"
get to be sent to this earth at this time and place because of their conviction
in the preexistence. I thought we came to this earth to prove ourselves. Makes
In a college philosophy class, many years ago, I was challenged by a classmate
to provide a reason why the God of the Old Testament should be so
"genocidal". I had to do some serious reflection. But that reflection
provided me with the personal insight that the God of the Old Testament HAD to
provide a clean slate for the Children of Israel because if he did not, they
would slide into the idol worship of their neighbors that included child
sacrifice and sexual perversions of all types and varieties. I wouldn't
have known about the details of the idol worship if I had not at the same time
been studying ancient history and culture. Child sacrifice was common with
ancient idol worship, a fact that people today may not know. If Israel could
have been among other tribes and NOT succumbed to idolatry then perhaps the Lord
would not have required the annihilation of those tribes. But such was not the
case. The Lord wanted a higher standard from his people. Unfortunately they
could not handle being around perversion without wanting to participate.
RE: Cats, "revelation that I have received from God."The
Holy Spirit Bears witness of Jesus and that Jesus sends the Holy Spirit (John
15:26). The Jesus of the Bible will send the Holy Spirit. If you don't have
the right Jesus you can't have the true Holy Spirit, and your testimony is
invalid. “… the Son of God has come and has given us
insight to know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus
Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.(1 John 5:20) For in Christ
all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form(Col 2:9). God's immanence is in Immanuel, God with us. (Mt 1:23). When Jesus was on
earth he was literally God with us. Mt 28:20.God is transcendent, He
is separate from His creation and not dependent on the created order in any
way.” He is not a part of his creation but completely different because
God wasn’t created. Nor does he rely on creation. You and I are dependent
on our everyday substance of oxygen, food, or creation… God isn’t.
see, John 4:24
artist311No, god has not spoken to me on the matter, therefore I
have no obligation to obey the rules that MAN has set in the name of god. Why do
I have to trust in what other MEN tell me is the right thing to do when god
himself has not spoken those things to me? I have no fear of the consequences
because I do not believe there will be any (as far as breaking the Sabbath.)
Just as I am quite sure you don't follow the laws of god as they have been
revealed to the Amish, Muslims, or any other religion. Rules are made up by men
claiming to be from god so that people obey. If you want to do that in the
absence of any divine revelation, be my guest. As for me, I refuse to do so.
Your definition of what god wants doesn't apply to everybody and never
will. Good luck.
@ Craig Clark "Today we have understanding of what causes natural
calamities. For ancient man... those events must have been a great mystery.
Instead of science, ancient man had to rely on priests to fill in the
blanks...."So basically your God is the God of science. It is
interesting how in your full commentary you fail to acknowledge that science
itself still hasn't filled all the blanks or the blanks they filled in
they've come to a wrong conclusion.Science like religion
provides you with plenty of assumptions. Whether those assumptions are true or
not is for you to find out. What I find interesting is how oft
times those that don't / won't believe pick examples where Religion
persons have failed to be perfect. Whether it is with LGBT relations today or
weather forecasting thousands of years ago.They do a great job
finding all the faults of religion and yet don't give religion any credit
for the good it does. With science it is the often the opposite. They will
give science plenty of credit and ignore the detractors of it.
@Sharrona re. "If you don't have the right Jesus you can't have
the true Holy Spirit, and your testimony is invalid." Cats'
testimony is perfectly valid. There was/is only one Jesus; only one ultimate
sacrifice on the Cross. One can read about Him in the New Testament and the Book
of Mormon. Those who claim "Mormons believe in a different Jesus" need
to back up 5 yards and punt: there is only one Jesus Christ.
Brahmabull,God doesn't work that way. He isn't going to
come down and tell you personally to obey the commandments.God calls
prophets he always has and always will until his son returns and rules.Why should God re-reveal stuff to you or anyone personally when he has already
revealed it. There are multiple ways you can know.I highly recommend
the recent talk "If ye lack wisdom" from the most recent conference.
RE: Moontan,”LDS 'do not believe in the traditional Christ.'
'No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the
Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this
the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared
to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that
day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the
gospel of the ages.'" (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p.
7).J S, Lectures on Faith, Q. What is the Father? A. He is a
personage of glory and of power. (5:2.). What is the son? First, he is a
personage of tabernacle.The “pale” of Christianity
believes the birth of Jesus was a unique miracle by the Holy Spirit (Pneuma).
Luke 1:35,“l know not a man”? Mary knew the reality of her own
virginity. She declared that her pregnancy was the result of the miraculous
overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, not from a sex act with a man (even if that
man is the immortal God in a human body
@Sharrona ... Semantic differences only. Both groups are still referring to the
same personage, Jesus Christ. Just as siblings may have disagreements
'about' their mortal father, Christians may and do have disagreements
'about' their Heavenly Father. But we are called to believe
'in' Him, not 'about' Him. Salvation cannot
depend upon one having exhaustive knowledge about Him, because that is
impossible. He has given us all the information we need to know for now in order
to return to Him. We must believe 'in' Him, His instructions, and act
accordingly. Disagreements 'about' Him are simply
@ Aurelius Maximus"...science itself still hasn't filled
all the blanks..."Can all of the blanks ever be filled? It
seems to me that the more we learn, the more we learn how much we don't
know. But claiming "God did it" only gives the illusion of filling in
the blanks. Being willing to say "I don't know" seems more factual
and honest to me.IMO, the expectation of certainty is unrealistic.
Change seems to be the natural order of things. I wish we'd incorporate
this concept into our culture more so that children were raised to be more
comfortable with uncertainty rather than looking for ways to pretend it's
RE: Moontan, Disagreements 'about' Him are simply diversions??(Jesus) you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am(ego
eimi=God) he, you will indeed die in your sins."(John 8:24 NIV)In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word(Jesus)
was God.(John 1:1) Verse 14 God becomes man not man becomes God.
Mormons fall short of saving faith is their belief that God is merely an exalted
man who earned his position by good works. This directly contradicts the Bible,
which states that God has existed in His position as God of the universe from
eternity past." the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God,
honor and glory forever and ever",1Tim 1:17.
@Sharrona ... Yes, diversions. What I mean by that is: we humans would do well
to focus more on His message and less on the particulars of His precise nature,
especially since we cannot know 'about' Him completely and totally to
begin with. Was He left or right handed? 5'9" or taller? An
eternal being, or once a man? Just exactly how did He arrive on earth, and why
only about 2,000 years ago in our history? Where did He come from? Etc., etc. I
don't think He requires us to have a belief one way or another concerning
such questions. But we very well should worry if we choose not to love our
neighbor as ourselves. Re. John 1:1. I wish people would never
forget to add verse 2 ... "He was in the beginning with God." (ESV). That is two beings, friend.