30
Mar
10

REPENTANCE AND SUFFERING

   The April 2010 Ensign contains an article by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, one of the 12 apostles of the LDS Church.  It is entitled “The Atonement and Faith”. One emphasis he makes is that suffering is an important part of repentance.  Following is an excerpt from his article.

    “Does it also mean that a person who repents does not need to suffer at all because the entire punishment is borne by the Savior?  That cannot be the meaning because it would be inconsistent with the Savior’s other teachings.

    “What is meant by Alma 34:16 is that the person who repents does not need to suffer even as the Savior suffered for that sin.  Sinners who are repenting will experience some suffering, but because of their repentance and the Atonement they will not experience the full, exquisite extent of eternal torment the Savior suffered for those sins.

    “President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985), who gave such comprehensive teachings on repentance and forgiveness, said that personal sufferings is a very important part of repentance. ‘One has not begun to repent until he has suffered intensely for his sins. . .If a person hasn’t suffered,’ he said, ‘he hasn’t repented.’”

     I will be the first to admit that there is often sorrow connected to repentance.  Once our eyes are open to how repulsive sin is to God – especially the sin of thinking that we can contribute anything to our salvation – we naturally are sorrowful.  Once we see all the things that God considers sinful – sins of both omission and commission – sins residing in our thoughts and not just expressed in actions – we are sorrowful. 

     But then when we hear the wonderful news of the Atonement – that Jesus did suffer the full price for our sins – the overwhelming emotion is not sorrow but joy – the overwhelming experience is not one of suffering but of relief, of a huge burden lifted.  It is the joyous reaction of Zacchaeus recorded in Luke 19:1-10.  He repents and throws a huge party.  He repents and becomes a joyful philanthropist.   But, according to Spencer W. Kimball and the LDS Church, he wasn’t repentant.  I can just hear them sternly telling Zacchaeus: “One has not begun to repent until he has suffered intensely for his sins.”

     Thank the Lord that is not what Jesus told him.  “And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

     This coming Friday the Christian church will again observe Christ’s death.  Yes, there will be a tone of somber sorrow as we again see the price Jesus had to pay for our sins.  But even more importantly there will be quiet joy as we again hear Jesus, “It is finished.”  With those words Jesus is reassuring me that he suffered for all my sins – that he alone suffered for them and therefore I don’t have to suffer for them.  That is why down through the centuries Christians have called this Friday, Good Friday.

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142 Responses to “REPENTANCE AND SUFFERING”


  1. 1 shematwater
    March 30, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    How do we know that Zacchaeus did not suffer. As far as I can see we are only seeing him after he repented. He says to the savior “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” This is not something he is just starting to do, but what he has been do in the past to repent. It seems that this meeting is more a confermation that the process is over, that his repentance is accepted, and that salvation is his.

    Once we have been through the process of repentance the suffering ends and all that remains is joy. Zacchaeus was eager to see Christ, and the first thing he said upon meeting him was state what he has done to repent of his sins. This is when Jesus declares that “Salvation in come to this house.”

    We do not get the entire story of Zacchaeus, and if we did we would likely find a great deal of suffering on his part.

  2. 2 markcares
    March 31, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    The verbs Zachchaue uses are in the present tense. He is not talking about something he had done in the past. In fact, the preent tense is often used to emphasize the beginning of an action in contrast to what has been done in the past.

  3. 3 shematwater
    April 1, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    It is often used in that way, yes, but not always. It is also used for emphasis to state that you have never stopped doing something, which is what I see in this story. In saying “I do this” he is saying that it is still an active part of his life.

    Either way he makes the statement before Christ proclaims salvation on his house. It still seems to me as a desire to know he has been forgiven. Whether because he has done this, or he is starting to. As such we cannot say that he had not been through suffering in the past, only that when Christ proclaimed salvation on his house that he was no longer suffereing (if he had before).

    This is my main point.

  4. April 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Mark.

    I think Zacchaeus would be rather irritated with you coming along about 2000 years later claiming to know everything about what he did, or did not feel.

    Quite possibly, he’d tell you to go take your eisegesis someplace else.

  5. April 1, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Mark ~

    Good Friday is just that “good” because it is the day we remember that what the Lord, our perfect Passover Lamb did on Calvary is enough.. is sufficient for us. He bore the complete brunt of our sins. On Calvary we are redeemed — and even though as believers we realize “our” own personal sins caused our Lord to suffer — we find JOY in knowing He did just that… suffer so that we may be free from bondage .. from sin and from death.

    Thank you, Lord!

    gloria

  6. 6 shematwater
    April 2, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Hallelujah

  7. 7 markcares
    April 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Shemawater:
    Please explain your “Hallelujah”. As I read Gloria’s comments< I don't think she agrees with Oak's comments in the original post. Therefore if you agree with her, doesn't that mean you disagree with Elder Oaks? He said that a person still needs to bear some sufferings for their sins. Gloria says Jesus bore the complete brunt of our sins.

  8. 8 markcares
    April 2, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Seth:
    The Bible says Zacchaeus received Jesus joyfully. No where in the account is there any mention of any suffering. Who’s the one practicing eisegesis?

  9. April 2, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    That would be you Mark.

    The Bible says he was joyful. It did not say that was the only thing he was.

    That’s you imposing your own agenda on the text.

  10. 10 Echo
    April 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Seth said, “The Bible says he was joyful. It did not say that was the only thing he was”

    Wrong Seth. You are the one imposing suffering on the text. Mark is taking from the text ONLY what it says and not adding to it. It says: “he was joyful”

  11. 11 Echo
    April 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Seth, You are the one “imposing your agenda on the text”

  12. 12 Echo
    April 2, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Proverbs 30:6 “Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.”

  13. April 2, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    No Echo, you guys are the ones who are wrong.

    So there.

    You know, we could go back and forth on this all day. The Bible said he had a feeling. But it never claimed to catalog everything he felt.

  14. 14 Echo
    April 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    “The Bible said he had a feeling. But it never claimed to catalog everything he felt.”

    And when the bible never catalogs everything he felt, we go with what the Bible does say he felt without adding to God’s word. We NEVER assume anything other than what the Bible says. If the Bible says he was “joyful” that is all that God wants us to know and believe. THAT’s how seriously we take the bible Seth. It says he was “joyful”. Adding to God’s word by imposing your agenda on it is the equivalent of lying Seth. Satan is the father of lies.

  15. April 2, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    No Echo. Mark took the story, and then tried to ADD and EXTERNAL paradigm of “grace alone.”

    So, by your own words Echo, it is Mark who is “lying” here.

  16. 16 Echo
    April 2, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Your guilty of imposing your agenda on the text Seth.

    Salvation came to his house that very day. That IS grace alone.

  17. 18 Echo
    April 2, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Where does the text say that?

  18. April 2, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    You don’t get it.

    I’m not the one claiming the text said something additional. You guys are the ones claiming it said something more.

  19. 20 Echo
    April 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Your claiming the text doesn’t say by grace alone. Where in the text does it say he was saved by more than just grace alone?

  20. April 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Still not getting it.

    Where in the text did it say he was saved by grace alone?

  21. 22 Echo
    April 2, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

  22. 24 Echo
    April 2, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    The text states that the SON OF MAN saved the LOST. HE alone, that is: THE SON, did the saving. Now that’s without imposing your agenda on the text by adding to God’s word.

  23. April 2, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Nope. You added a word.

    “Alone.”

    Don’t think I’m not going to catch these things.

    Try again.

  24. 26 Echo
    April 2, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    The Text says that the SON saved the lost. Period. The text doesn’t say that he was saved by more than just the son. Therefore saying that the son alone saved him is exactly what they text states because it doesn’t give any more inforamtion other than the son saved him.

  25. April 3, 2010 at 4:14 am

    No, you are still adding in the word “alone.”

    The text never rules out other factors. It doesn’t say there were any, but it doesn’t say there were not any either.

    Again, you are ADDING to the scriptures here.

  26. 28 Echo
    April 3, 2010 at 4:27 am

    The point is that God forbids us to add to his word Seth. The Bible says the SON of man came to seek and save what was lost. Lets not add to his word.

  27. April 3, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Agreed.

    So quit adding to his word Echo.

  28. 30 Echo
    April 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I think the record written here is clear on who is adding to his word.

  29. April 4, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Seth……

    The Bible says he received Christ with ” JOY”.. when a person has JOY… well, there is no sorrow present. JOY is just that — the absence of sorrow. Don’t you think you could possibly be adding something to the original text that just isn’t there?

    Kind regards,

    gloria

  30. April 4, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Honestly, Seth you make little sense on this one. The passage is pretty plain & simple.

  31. April 4, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Yes, it is Echo. The Word of God is very simple & clear to understand — to those who have the Spirit of God. There is no need to add to God’s word, or to take away from God’s Word.

    ” But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
    1 Cor. 2:14

    You can around and around and around with a Mormon, but until they get the Spirit of the Lord, somethings just are going to be foolish and difficult for them to understand.”

    A JOYous Resurrection Sunday to you ~

    gloria

  32. 35 Echo
    April 4, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Happy Easter to you also Gloria!

  33. April 4, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Possibly. But I think that is exactly what Echo is doing as well. The passage describes a feeling Zacchaeus had AT THAT TIME. It never says whether he suffered for his sins at other times or not. The passage is simply meant to convey that Christ’s arrival was joyous. And I agree – it is joyous.

  34. April 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I imagine it doesn’t make any sense to you.

    It doesn’t fit with the way you are used to reading the scriptures. But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong either.

  35. 38 shematwater
    April 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Mark

    My Hallelujah was because I agree with the essence of what she is saying. I agree enough to make debating pointless and I felt no need to voice any disagreement with her statement.

    Now, ECHO and SETH

    ECHO said this “the Bible says he was “joyful” that is all that God wants us to know and believe.”

    My response to this is to conclude that it is by diception that God is commanding our faith. He gives us only the knowledge that will keep up believing in him, while hiding other truths from us.

    I think that Seth is right in that limiting the story to just the phrase “Joyful” is giving a wrong interpretation. However, I do not think it is adding to the text but subtracting. I like to apply a little psychology to the naration. The actions and attitude of Zacchaeus show a man very excited, but also very anxious. He hoped simply for a glimse of Christ. This was not a man at ease in his life, but with great faith. He was joyful only after Christ said he would enter his house, but before this he displays much different emotion.

    However, as this is not explicitly stated it cannot be part of the meaning, as ECHO has explained.

    I have added nothing to the words of the Bible, only explained those words.

  36. 39 Echo
    April 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Shem, deception makes its entrance when anyone add’s to the word of God something it doesn’t say. The LDS does this alot.

  37. April 5, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Shem, deception makes its entrance when anyone adds to the word of God something it doesn’t say. Echo does this a lot.

  38. 41 ADB
    April 6, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Seems to me that this whole notion of suffering being a prerequisite to “genuine” repentance just adds more uncertainty to the picture. First I must be sorry enough. Then I must suffer enough. Good gravy how is one ever to be sure of anything???

    How do I know when my suffering sufficiently qualifies my repentance? What if I haven’t suffered enough and my repentance isn’t true repentance? The LDS take on repentance appears to me to add more room for doubt and questions as to where we stand with God, if I understand it correctly.

    Furthermore, I would venture to say that should I ever feel that in repentance I have assured myself that I have suffered sufficiently, such certainty would most likely lead to at least a little bit of arrogance or pride, seeing as there’s no objective standard by which to gauge my level of suffering (“How do you know you’ve suffered enough?” “Well, my gut tells me I’ve ‘served my time’ sufficiently, so I’m quite sure Christ is satisfied with me.”)

    Why can’t Jesus alone be sufficient? Why must the LDS always muddy the waters and insist that man in his vile, corrupt, sinful state can somehow play associate to Christ in repentance/conversion/salvation?

  39. April 6, 2010 at 6:56 am

    ADB, I think we are just stuck with a bit of uncertainty – that faith may abound.

    I’ll be honest, I fail to see any real certainty in Evangelical promises of being saved by Christ’s grace either. I don’t think the Evangelical position would offer me any more assurance of salvation than I now have.

  40. 43 shematwater
    April 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    ECHO

    I have yet to see the LDS church add anything to the Word of God. We do allow him to add to it, but we don’t.

    As to the deception, if God is only giving part of the truth, and refusing to give the rest, that is deception, making God a deceiver.

    ADB

    I find more reassurance in the LDS teaching for this basic reason: If what the rest of Christianity teaches is true I remain personally sinful. Christ may have paid the price but he has not taken my sin away. On the other hand, according to LDS doctrine, Christ has paid the price, but then he has worked with me to remove the sin from my life. It is not just a simple “Well Christ paid for it so it doesn’t matter” idea. It is “Through Christ you have worked to be cleansed and are now truly spotless when you stand before God.”

    As to suffering enough, and knowing when you have fully repented, just read the story of Alma the Younger. His suffer was acute, and he knew he was forgiven and had fully repented when the suffering was gone and he felt a joy to match that suffering. One can’t just say “I’ve suffered enough.” One must be able to say “I [can] remember my pains no more…yea, my soul [is] filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!” (Alma 36: 19-20)

  41. 44 RLO
    April 6, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    That’s too bad. I’m certain.

    You will not see it, because you will not to see it.

  42. April 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Oh, Seth …..

    It is not an ” Evangelical” promise of being saved by Christ’s grace.

    It’s is CHRIST’s promise to us, if we but believe in Him. His grace is sufficient.

    I am praying for you,

    Gloria

  43. April 6, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Shemwater ~~

    Did not Jesus say :

    ” This is my blood, of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matt. 26:27

    ” To Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in HIS own blood.” ~ Rev. 1:5

    “and by Him to reconcile all things Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. ” Col. 1:20

    You say, Christ paid the price but did not pay for your sins. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus’ blood was poured out for the forgivenss of our sins.

    Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, will be dressed in white robes in heaven because they have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Rev. 7:14

    There is no other way to be forgiven , but to be washed in His blood.

    I will pray for you,

    gloria

  44. April 6, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    RLO, what gives you confidence that you’ve accepted Christ such that his atonement is effective for you?

    Or do you hold that the atonement universally saves everyone – even people who don’t believe Christ even exists?

  45. 48 Echo
    April 6, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Having to suffer for our own sins before we can be forgiven is the same as saying Jesus’ suffering wasn’t good enough.

    We have washed our sins in HIS blood(suffering).
    The LDS has to suffer to be forgiven, they are washing their sin in their own blood(suffering)

    The fact of the matter is…you havn’t suffered enough for your sins until you have been tortured alive, beaten, mocked, ridiculed, spit on and nailed on a cross to DIE and then afterward to descend into Hell and suffer there in Hell for all eternity. That is what each and every sin deserves.

  46. 49 RLO
    April 6, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Seth;

    If my confidence rested on whether or not “I accepted Christ” well then I guess my guilty feeble sinful human nature could always find some way of concocting some self-sabotaging doubt.

    But my confidence rests on the fact that “Christ accepted me.”

    Since he wants me to have the assurance of his gift of salvation, he ensures it doesn’t depend on anything I do.

    You said, “I think we are just stuck with a bit of uncertainty – that faith may abound.”

    To me, this makes no sense.

    It’s as if you’re saying, “uncertainty is necessary for faith to exist.”

    Seth, don’t you know that faith and uncertainty are opposites?

    Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

    Doubt is unbelief.

    Seth, I’d like to apologize for my last comment. I just went back and read it, and in retrospect, I think it sounds a bit flippant. Certainly not the tone I want to encourage here. What I’d really like is if you could experience the same comfort and assurance of salvation I experience. With that in mind I want you to know I will try to answer any questions have about my faith.

    You asked: “…do you hold that the atonement universally saves everyone – even people who don’t believe Christ even exists?”

    Do I believe that Christ died for everyone’s sins, even those who don’t believe in Christ, or believe that he exists?

    Yes I do. Unfortunately, many will forfeit the benefit of the gift through their unbelief.

  47. April 6, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    So the Atonement is then conditional upon what people do, or do not do, to “forfeit the benefit” right?

  48. 51 RLO
    April 6, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    You can forfeit the benefit of it through unbelief.

  49. April 6, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    So the benefit of the Atonement is contingent then on human action?

  50. 53 RLO
    April 6, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    There’s nothing you can do to find it. There’s only something you can do to lose it.

  51. April 6, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Right. So it is contingent on human action then.

  52. 55 RLO
    April 6, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Unbelief cannot accept the gift. It can only reject it.

  53. April 6, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    That doesn’t add anything.

    It’s conditional.

  54. 57 RLO
    April 6, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Unbelief cannot accept the gift. It can only reject it.
    And Belief already has the gift.

    It does not therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. Romans 9:16

  55. April 6, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    But it’s still conditional on not having unbelief, right?

  56. 59 RLO
    April 6, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Seth;

    I don’t think any of this is reasonable to you, is it? Well let me tell you something. It’s not “reasonable” to me either. Reason would never have come up with such a plan of salvation as God came up with. It simply flies in the face of all reason. But then, this only illustrates what role the instrument of human reason plays in grasping God’s gift of salvation. The unconverted man’s human reason looks at God’s plan of salvation, and says, “This is nonsense” and throws it away.

    No, it is the instrument of faith that grasps the gift of salvation and says, “This is a wonderful gift.”

    So where does one get this instrument of faith? Well, that too, is a gift of God.

    More nonsense?!

    Yes. More nonsense.

    But then, unconverted reason is incapable of trusting this to be true. It only judges it to be false.

    Faith trusts.

    Even in the face of foolishness.

    Letting go of itself in order to exercise trust using God’s gift of faith is a hard thing for reason to do. If fact, it is impossible in the unconverted man.

    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. … For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. (1 Corinthians 1:18-21, 25)

    Human reason is a wondrous gift from God. But the converted man understands the place of human reason. It must always sit at the foot of God’s word – and must never stand in judgment over it.

    RLO

  57. April 7, 2010 at 1:23 am

    The wages of sin is death. Our sins “deserve” death, hell, punishment , etc.

    We can’t pay for our sins “enough”.

    Only thru the blood of the Lamb,

    gloria

  58. April 7, 2010 at 2:35 am

    RLO,

    I just don’t see how I can have any greater assurance of being saved under Evangelicalism than under Mormonism.

    Because even if I accept everything you’ve been saying here, I still would be wondering if I had actually accepted Christ or not. So my “saved” status would still be in doubt. Since I can never truly know if I’ve really accepted Christ or not, how am I supposed to have an assurance of salvation?

  59. April 7, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Or, how am I supposed to know that I haven’t rejected him? What is to stop these questions from occurring every day for the rest of my life, even after the alter call?

  60. 63 RLO
    April 7, 2010 at 3:19 am

    These are all valid concerns and questions. It appears you are genuinely struggling with some of these issues. As much as I would like to help you, I don’t think this is the right forum, and I am perhaps not the right person. I think what would be better is if you could meet with someone, face-to-face, one-on-one. If that’s something you think you might be open to, it could be arranged. This is beginning to sound a little out of my league. I’ll be thinking about you, and praying for you tonight. I hope you will talk with someone.

  61. 64 Echo
    April 7, 2010 at 3:33 am

    Seth, we don’t believe in alter calls or accepting Jesus into your heart etc, we are Lutheran, not evangelical.

    And your right, being directed to yourself for assurance of salvation will always fail you.

    Lutherans therefore don’t direct you to yourself for assurance of your salvation, we direct you to Jesus for assurance of your salvation. Jesus himself said: “It is finished” and he meant it. Now that’s assurance!

  62. April 7, 2010 at 3:47 am

    OK, so you don’t believe in alter calls. What is involved in accepting Jesus and how would you know you’d done it properly.

    I guess you can try to take out the human element here and make it all Jesus. But it seems to me you’d have to be a Calvinist to actually consistently take that position. You’d have to believe that God chooses whom he chooses and rejects whom he rejects and there’s nothing we can do about it.

    The problem is Echo, you can’t remove the human element. Because it is human beings receiving (or rejecting) Christ’s grace. So there has to be somewhere where the human element comes into play. Otherwise you don’t even have a religion. No human element – no religion, no interface with Christ, and frankly – no point.

  63. 66 RLO
    April 7, 2010 at 4:16 am

    “I guess you can try to take out the human element here and make it all Jesus.”

    The passage that immediately comes to mind for me is this:

    …But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in trangressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus…

    What part did I contribute to this? Nothing.
    What part did God contribute to this? Everything.

    “So there has to be somewhere where the human element comes into play.”

    The human element plays no part in justification.
    The human element does play a part in sanctification.

  64. 67 Echo
    April 7, 2010 at 4:21 am

    We don’t believe in telling people to accept Jesus into their hearts either. We simply point folks to Jesus and what he has done.
    We are saved by the work of Jesus alone, that objective. That objective work brings with it the faith to believe it.

    For example: When Jesus said: “It is finished” you now have the ability to believe it is finished simply because he said so and you know he can’t lie.

  65. April 7, 2010 at 4:29 am

    How do you identify that point when you have crossed from unbelief to belief?

    Or alternatively – is it possible to strengthen your belief? And if so, how do you know when you’ve achieved strong enough belief?

  66. 69 Echo
    April 7, 2010 at 4:44 am

    “How do you identify that point when you have crossed from unbelief to belief?”

    Again, we don’t want to point anyone to themselves, there’s always doubt there.
    We point you to Look at what Jesus has done just for you.

    “is it possible to strengthen your belief? And if so, how do you know when you’ve achieved strong enough belief?”

    Faith is a gift, faith doesn’t save, it mearly takes hold of what is already finished. So it’s not the strength of your faith that saves you either. Jesus alone saved you and he will strengthen and keep you in the faith.

  67. 70 Echo
    April 7, 2010 at 5:03 am

    It’s like RLO said: “…But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in trangressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus…

    What part did I contribute to this? Nothing.
    What part did God contribute to this? Everything.”

    The words are written in scripture that God made (done, finished, completed already) us alive when we were dead…

  68. 71 RLO
    April 7, 2010 at 5:14 am

    “How do you identify that point when you have crossed from unbelief to belief?”

    I’ll try to answer your question, but remember, don’t try to “over-think” this. As I suggested earlier, human reason is always going to struggle against it, and sometimes even converted human reason can fall back into struggling against it.

    The point in time (and you may not even be aware of it at the time) when you cross from unbelief to belief, is referred to in Lutheran theology by a variety of terms. It may be referred to as that point in which the Holy Spirit bestows faith. It can be referred to as conversion. Or as enlightment. Or illumination. Or regeneration. Or rebirth. Or being made alive. Or quickening. By what ever name, what is important to know is that it is an instantaneous event, and you do not contribute to it.

    “Or alternatively – is it possible to strengthen your belief?”

    Yes. And this would be a process in which you can contribute – called sanctification.

    “And if so, how do you know when you’ve achieved strong enough belief?”

    It is not the strength of one’s faith that saves; it is simple the existence of one’s faith that saves, provided that faith is in the proper object.

  69. April 7, 2010 at 5:19 am

    But RLO, wouldn’t this sudden bestowal of faith from the Holy Spirit that you are describing be almost indistinguishable from personal feelings of warmth, confidence, etc.?

    How do you distinguish saving belief from personal feelings?

  70. 73 RLO
    April 7, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Well, as I said, since the bestowal of faith could occur without your even being aware of it, personal feelings may very well play no part whatsoever in the bestowal of faith. It is nonetheless a bestowal of faith. I think a more important question is what happens after that bestowal of faith. That faith could be fed causing it to grow stronger, or it could be starved, causing it to die.

    “How do you distinguish saving belief from personal feelings?”

    I don’t know, I suppose personal feelings could accompany the bestowal of faith in the case of an adult coming to faith. Though they would necessarily be required to accompany the bestowal of faith. I guess I see them as two distinct phenomena, so to speak. As you’ve probably gathered, when it comes to matters of faith, I don’t place a whole lot of credence in personal feelings. Personal feeling can change. I’m glad that my salvation doesn’t rest on whether or not I “feel saved” at any given moment. Because sometimes I’m strong. And sometimes I’m weak.

    Does that help at all?

  71. 74 RLO
    April 7, 2010 at 5:48 am

    oops…

    Though they woud NOT necessarily be required….

  72. 75 Echo
    April 7, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Seth, RLO is right, feelings may or may not accompany faith, sometimes the feelings come later, and sometimes they are greater for some and less for others. The point we are trying to make is that our salvation doesn’t rest on our “feelings”. Our salvation rests on the work of Jesus.

    For example: There are times in life when a christian doesn’t “feel” forgiven, that never means that he is not forgiven. He most assuredly is forgiven even when he doesn’t feel it. This is when that Christian should remind himself of God’s promise that he is indeed forgiven and trust God’s word despite his own feelings.

    Our feelings just can’t be trusted all the time because Satan is alive and well trying to make us “feel” this way or that. The only way to keep from falling into his trap is to fight this temptation with the sword of God’s word. “Satan, you are trying to convince me that I am not forgiven, God’s own word says that I indeed am forgiven, therefore I will believe God even if I can’t feel it right now”

  73. 76 shematwater
    April 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    GLORIA

    You said “You say, Christ paid the price but did not pay for your sins.”

    This is not what I said. I said that according to both general Christian doctrine and the LDS Christ paid the price for our sins, meaning he paid for our sins. The difference is that for the rest of Christianity he did not remove them.

    It is like having a debt. We own God a certain amount that we could never pay. To both the LDS and the rest of Christianity Christ has paid this debt for us. We are in agreement on this. The difference is that the the rest of Christianity believes this is it, meaning that we remain in debt, just to a different person. However, the LDS teach that we must still pay this debt, but that we pay it to Christ, and are thus debt free.

    Christ has paid the price of our sins, has purchased us with his blood (or purchased our debt). We remain filthy and sinful until we pay this debt to Christ, which is done through our own suffering in repentance.

  74. April 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Echo, this is an unsatisfying explanation because I simply don’t see how you (or I) can possibly distinguish between feelings and anything else we think about.

    You yourself have repeatedly described your own faith in terms of feelings. How the Gospel makes you FEEL happy, how you FELT lost without Christ, but now that you have found him you FEEL an assurance of salvation. How without Christ, you FEEL unworthy and hopeless, etc.

    And anyway, I don’t see how you can experience any of the evidence of the Bible without your inner feelings immediately impacting on the data you are receiving.

    In short, I do not really believe there is any such thing as “objective” human data. And your own comments over the past year or two have repeatedly appealed to emotions and other reasons that are not objective. I just don’t see that you yourself are drawing the distinction in your own life that you are trying to explain here.

  75. 78 ADB
    April 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Shema,

    So what did Christ actually do for us???

    If I have a mortgage that I owe on my house to one company, only to find out that another company has taken over my mortgage and now I owe that company instead, what has changed??? How has this benefited me at all???

    I still owe the exact same monthly payment, just to a different lender.

    Christ didn’t come to “refinance” our payment plan to God. He came to pay off the mortgage of our sin completely, and he did it in full.

    Your illustration falls short from the beginning when you say “We own [owe]God a certain amount that we could never pay.”

    That implies that there is something that we can pay, which is not in any way true. The ONLY payment God receives and accepts is 100% complete perfection every day of my life from conception to death. Anything less is absolutely unacceptable. And if anyone tries to say, “But that’s what repentance is for,” one must realize that God makes the same demands on repentance–that only perfect repentance is acceptable. An honest evaluation of self when faced with the mirror of God’s law shows me that is not possible.

    Rely on your own payment plan to count for something before God, and you’ll only find yourself in default when you face Heavenly Father.

  76. 79 Echo
    April 7, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Seth, I don’t discount the subjective. Everyone is different and therefore the objective message through which we are saved can impact people differently. And that’s fine. All I am saying is that the subjective is never the place to look for the basis, cause or assurance of our salvation.

    The basis, cause and assurance of our salvation can only be found in the objective work of Christ.

  77. April 7, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    “All I am saying is that the subjective is never the place to look for the basis, cause or assurance of our salvation.”

    And what I’m saying is that you and I don’t seem to have any choice in the matter. Because neither of us seems to have anything particularly objective to back up our faith. It seems that the grounds for faith are just going to be subjective, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    I mean, it’s not really true that we don’t have ANY objective evidence. Both of us do. But I’ve just had my “objective” evidence dismissed by people with different viewpoints so many times that I simply no longer feel like arguing that “I have objective evidence” is even a useful approach to witnessing.

  78. April 7, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Shemweter,

    Thanks for taking time to clarify what you believe.

    In your last line you said ” Christ has paid the price of our sins and has purchased us with His blood.” I agree whole heartedly with that statement!

    Then you went on to say ” we remain filthy and sinful until we pay this debt to Christ, which is done thru our suffering in repentence”. This is where Christians will disagree. We believe that the debt we owed ( because we all sin) has been paid in full, because of Christ’s work on the Cross. His blood, his suffering has paid the debt in full. As, Christians we do not believe we could suffer “enough” to pay that price. It had to be jesus who bled, and suffered. We can never pay this debt. It is/was too huge a debt. I also would add, if a person has been washed in the blood of Jesus, they are no longer filthy, but have been cleansed and made clean, again by Christ’s blood and not our own individual suffering.

  79. April 7, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    I would also like to add that the debt ( our sins) had to be paid in full by a perfect spotless lamb. None of us could suffer thru repentence enough to pay that price, because none of us are w/out blemish, or spot or sin. No, it had to be Jesus, the perfect Lamb to be slain for the sins of the world.

    God required a perfect lamb, with spotless blood to be shed. Only Jesus.

  80. 83 Echo
    April 7, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    God’s promises written in the Bible are the objective promises we trust in.

    2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

    This very word promises that we have been reconciled to God and completely forgiven (not counting men’s sins against them)That’s assurance because it is written!

    Now the moment you bring the subjective into the picture, Christ’s promise here changes.

    It changes from “being forgiven” to…”I” must first suffer for my sins in order to be forgiven, (OR) “I” must first prove I am sorry enough in order to be forgiven,(OR) “I” don’t feel forgiven therefore I must not be forgiven…etc. etc. etc.

    All of this is but trust in ourselves rather than trust in God’s promise.

  81. April 7, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    This was a wonderful example. I never thought of it that way before. But jesus did not come to “re-finance” our mortgage ( our save us partly and then we do the rest) — no, He came to pay off the mortgage in full! ( or save us completely!)

    If we rely on our own payment, we will surely find ourselves in default.

    Very well said!

  82. April 7, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Echo, as Jack already pointed out, the Bible prophecies of Christ are not decisive proof of Jesus Christ or his mission. Plenty of scholars have rejected them as proof of Christ’s divinity.

    So it seems if you’re looking for decisive objective proof, you’ll have to keep looking – because it is not self-contained in the Bible.

  83. 86 Echo
    April 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    And what would be your answer to your dilemna?

  84. April 8, 2010 at 1:47 am

    You think I have a decisive answer?

  85. 88 Echo
    April 8, 2010 at 3:05 am

    Not sure, but I was hoping your answer would show me what kind of answer you were looking for since our thoughts aren’t always on the same page or going in the same direction.

  86. April 8, 2010 at 3:23 am

    Well, I don’t have an answer. Not all my questions here are rhetorical.

  87. 90 Echo
    April 8, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Okay, well lets see where my answer takes us.

    I am not talking about decisive objective proof. I am talking about God’s objective promises.

    2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

    The objective promise made here is that you have been reconciled to God and he is not counting your sins against you. In other words, your completely and fully forgiven. That means you owe him nothing because he cancelled your debt by paying it himself. You don’t have to suffer for your sin, he suffered for it in your place, it’s gone. You don’t have to prove yourself worthy, Jesus made you worthy, he credited you with his perfect righteousness.

  88. April 8, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Well yeah. But even if God makes objective promises, he’s making it to YOU.

    And won’t your reaction to those promises be subjective and emotional?

  89. 92 Echo
    April 8, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Speaking for myself, when I first heard those promises they did cause good feelings about God’s amazing love. But those feelings aren’t where I look for the assurance that I am saved. It’s the objective promise of God that prmised me I was saved that caused the feelings in the first place. Therefore I look to the objective promise of God for assurance and certainty.

  90. 93 shematwater
    April 8, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    ADB and GLORIA

    Because Christ has purchased our debt he has the power to, as you put it, refinance that debt, which he is willing to do. This is done through baptism and other covenants. He makes it possible for us to pay the debt.
    Let me see if I can explain this better. We owed god, and did not have the power the pay it. Christ purchased the debt, which we still must pay. However, through the grace of Christ we are enabled to pay it.
    It is much like having a debt with a company that you can’t pay. A third party buys that debt, and than makes arrangements with you to work for them until the dept is repayed. He calculates how many hours of work will equal the amount of the debt and gives you enough time to complete that work. He does not refinance in the usual sense, but accepts alternative modes of payment that were not available to us when owed the debt to God.
    In this way his grace rests on all people, but only those who act on it receive the full reward (the sheep) while those who do not are still cast out (the goats).

    I love the Parable of the Mediator (told by Boyd K. Paker I believe) that was made into a great Semenary video. My favorite part is when the friende steps in to pay the debt. After the creditor has agreed he turns to his friend and says “If I pay your debt, will you except me as your creditor?” Christ is not just another corporation buying a debt. He is friend who is, in all legal ways, paying the debt. But in the film, once the young man accepts him as creditor he says “Than you will pay the debt to me. It will not be easy, but it will be possible.” He is friend who has paid our debt in full, so that the wait of the law does not bare down on us. However, he still expects us to pay the debt, and he will disown us at the last day if we do not.

  91. 94 Echo
    April 10, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    SETH,

    Sometimes people can hear the good news (objective message) and have NEGATIVE feelings caused by their thinking. For example: “This is too good to be true” or “But this goes against everything I ever believed before” or “this isn’t the God I was taught to believe in” or “This can’t be true because it will lead to license to sin” and the list goes on and on etc. and so these negative feelings cause these folks doubt and fear and they naturally think they are not saved. However, let us Praise God that even these folks’ salvation doesn’t rest on their feelings for if it did, it could surely be lost only because man would rest on his feelings rather than trusting in God.

    However salvation doesn’t rest on the frail, changing and undependable feelings of man, it rests on the objective message that Christ died for ALL and that includes EVERYONE. This person then that is having the bad feelings needs to keep reading and hearing and trusting in the objective message ALONE despite their feelings. Allowing God’s own word to change and shape their feelings. Then resting in that change of feelings that the objective Word produces in them/us. Or when those feelings revert back to the old way, they/we go back to the objective promises of God to help us with our feelings once again”

    Our frail, ever changing and undependable feelings aren’t the judge of whether or not we are saved. The objective message is the judge of whether or not someone is saved and that message says that Christ died for all and did everything necessary for all to be saved. That includes people who don’t “feel” saved.

    God’s own word teaches us that feelings can’t always be trusted:

    Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

    Our hearts (therefore our feelings) can deceive us and even our feelings can be affected wrongly even by Satan himself and all without our even realizing it or without our desiring it. Satan can cause us to have good feelings about something when we shouldn’t have good feelings about something. Satan can make us have bad feelings about something when God wants us to have good feelings about something. And all of that without our desiring it or being aware of it’s cause!

    Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”

    Feelings can lead to death including eternal death in outer darkness.(Hell) all apart from our desire! It’s vitally important that God’s word ALONE shape and mould our feelings and you can bet that Satan will be right there tempting us all to keep from feeling what God wants us to feel.
    That’s why God’s objective written word is so important. If God confines himself to only speaking to us through his word, we are kept safe from the dangers Satan wishes to bring our way. If God spoke to us outside of or apart from his word, we haven’t the ability to discern whether it is of God or whether it is of Satan masquerading as God. Thus we become prime targets for Satan whether we desire that or not!

  92. 95 Echo
    April 10, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    One little sin, every little sin is only paid back by suffering in outer darkness for all eternity. How will you ever pay it back since we all sin daily and our debt just keeps getting bigger and bigger every day!

  93. April 10, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Yes, but Echo, that really doesn’t give me much to go on here. You still haven’t provided me with any way of applying the Atonement to my life that is not subjective.

  94. 97 Echo
    April 10, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Maybe I am uncertain what you mean exactly? Or maybe I havn’t explained it well enough to your satisfaction? Or maybe you misunderstand my point? Could you clarify?

    The atonement is objective. Salvation is secured and certain in the objective promises of God. We never want to look inwards nor at anything we must do or fail to do for the certainty of our salvation. For certainty, we always look outward to the objective promises of God.

    Does the atonement effect us subjectively? Yes it does but the subjective is never the place to look for certainty of salvation. The devil loves nothing more than to get us to look to ourselves for certainty rather than looking to Jesus and God’s promises. That is what I am trying to convey to you.

    If that isn’t a satisfactory answer then please clarify what you are asking of me.

    Thanks

  95. April 11, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Echo, God’s promises are objective, but the way we RECEIVE them and accept them is subjective.

    Which means that the basis of your conviction in Jesus Christ is subjective – no matter how objective God may be.

  96. 99 Echo
    April 11, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Seth,

    What do you consider “objective” and what do you consider “subjective”?

  97. 100 shematwater
    April 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Objective is that which is based in hard evidence.

    Subjective is that which is based in personal experience and opinion.

    Or, more linguistically: Objective is based on the object, while subjective is based ont the subject.

    Example: It is objective reality that the Bible exists (the object). It is subjective belief that it is the word of God (the subject).

    Gods Promises are Objective, in that they have an object that they are focused on (us). However, us receiving them is subjective, because this action has a subject that it is based on (salvation).

  98. 101 Echo
    April 13, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Seth said: “Echo, God’s promises are objective, but the way we RECEIVE them and accept them is subjective. Which means that the basis of your conviction in Jesus Christ is subjective – no matter how objective God may be.”

    Shem said: “Gods Promises are Objective, in that they have an object that they are focused on (us). However, us receiving them is subjective, because this action has a subject that it is based on (salvation).”

    Yes. God’s promises are objective and because of that, they CAUSE or RESULT in the subjective. The subjective is never the cause of the objective, nor is the objective the result of the subjective.

    God has promised us eternal life in the celestial kingdom and has forgiven us for all our sins. All because of the objective work of Jesus. Jesus said: “It is finished”. Therefore no subjective response to his objective promises “finishes” what Jesus has already “finished.”

  99. April 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Nice try Echo, but there is no way you are going to be able to demonstrate that assertion in any meaningful fashion.

    What proof do you have that your reception of God’s promises is objective rather than subjective on your own personal feelings?

  100. 103 Echo
    April 13, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Seth said: “What proof do you have that your reception of God’s promises is objective rather than subjective on your own personal feelings?”

    The problem Seth is your so “self centered” in all your thinking. Even your question is self centered. Your always looking for the “me (the Seth, the Echo)” in everything. I tell you, it’s not about you, it’s about Jesus. He alone gets the glory. Self centeredness seeks only after self glory.

    Lazarus “recieved” life subjectively when Jesus raised him from the dead. Was Lazarus raised from the dead because he recieved life or because Jesus raised him from the dead? The answer is obvious, it’s because Jesus raised him from the dead. Lazarus rose from the dead because of the objective work of Jesus alone. The objective was the cause of the subjective.

  101. April 13, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Are you saying you’ve been raised from the dead lately Echo?

    What proof do you have of any of this? How on earth can you have an objective assurance of salvation if the only way you can ever receive it is through your own subjective self?

  102. 105 Echo
    April 14, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Seth said: “Are you saying you’ve been raised from the dead lately Echo?”

    By your asking this question it becomes evident you have not been raised from the dead.
    However, all true believers have been raised from the dead:

    Romans 6:4 “We were therefore BURIED with him through baptism into DEATH in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, WE TOO MAY LIVE A NEW LIFE.”

    Ephesians 2:1-6 “As for you, you were DEAD in your transgressions and sins…Like the rest, WE WERE BY NATURE OBJECTS OF WRATH…But BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE for us, God, who is rich in mercy, MADE US ALIVE with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”

    Colossians 2:12- 13 “having been BURIED with him in baptism and RAISED with him through your faith in the power of God “When you were DEAD in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature,GOD MADE YOU ALIVE with Christ. HE FORGAVE US ALL OUR SINS”

    Seth said: “What proof do you have of any of this?”

    Again, you are so self centered. Your seeking after something subjective as proof of the objective. Reliance on subjectivity for certainty kills souls.

    I have objective proof that he forgave us all our sins:
    Colossians 2:13 “He forgave us all our sins”
    Subjectively your opinion, your bias, your viewpoint, your opinions are flawed because you don’t have the complete picture. Your subjectivity says “no, he did not forgive us all our sins, he only forgives us for the sins we overcome”

    Seth said: “How on earth can you have an objective assurance of salvation if the only way you can ever receive it is through your own subjective self?”

    I repeat: We don’t recieve salvation through our own subjective self, we recieve salvation through the objective work of Christ. It’s that objective assurance given to us by Christ, who himself said: “It is finished”, that raises the dead to life.

  103. April 14, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Echo, I’ve noticed a pattern with you.

    You tend to throw out a barrage of Bible verses whenever you are not arguing very well. Perhaps in the hopes that you’ll get lucky with a random scripture passage where your explanations have failed.

    But I’m afraid citing scripture doesn’t do much good if you are incapable of explaining it in humanly meaningful ways. It simply looks like you are changing the subject.

  104. 107 shematwater
    April 14, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    SETH

    Did you ever claim to receive Christ in an objective manner? I know I don’t claim that. I think we all receive Christ in a subjective manner.

    ECHO

    The LDS doctrine is more objective in salvation than the general Christian doctrine. For you salvation is based solely on your subjective acceptance of Christ. For the LDS we have the subjective acceptance, but we also have the objective obedience.

    I think this is more along the lines of what Seth is saying. We have the objective few that states simply you do this you get this reward. As such we can claim a more objective reasoning on the issue of salvation. Or, more accurately, we make salvation an object rather than a subject.

    For what you are saying to be objective it must remove us from the equation all together (like removing Lazarus from the act of raising him). As such it cannot depend of us accepting him, as this would include us. It can only be his raising us spiritually. As such you have proven the doctrine of Predestination, or the idea that what we do or believe doesn’t matter as Christ will save whom ever he chooses.

  105. 108 RLO
    April 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    shematwater says: “…As such you have proven the doctrine of Predestination, or the idea that what we do or believe doesn’t matter as Christ will save whom ever he chooses.”

    Shematwater, the Lutheran-Christian “doctrine of predestination” does not equate whatsoever with what you are saying, “the idea that what we do or believe doesn’t matter as Christ will save whom ever he chooses.”

    Perhaps your undertanding of predestination runs more along the calvinistic lines of:

    “God predestined some to salvation and predestined some to damnation.” (double-predestination)

    which, by the way, is perfectly reasonable; only problem is, it makes for poor theology, as it does not conform to what the Bible says.

    The Lutheran understanding of predestination, on the other hand, is completely unreasonable; yet it conforms with what the Bible says.

    Which only illustrates what part “reason” plays is understanding spiritual things.

    We believe that for each of those who will be saved, God gets all the credit. He predestined them to be saved.
    We believe that for each of those who will be damned, each gets the blame. They rejected Him.

    Our salvation doesn’t result from us accepting Him; it results from Him accepting us. Yet, damnation does result for those who reject Him.

    So, what we don’t believe does matter.

  106. April 14, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    And RLO, who programmed those people to reject him?

  107. 110 RLO
    April 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    And I’ve noticed a pattern with you.

    You prefer to attack the messengers, rather than to address the messages.

    You really shouldn’t be surprised at all, after posting here for so long, that Christians appeal to the Word of God. It is, after all, what we are called to do.

    You, on the other hand, prefer to appeal to reason, to the logical, to philosophy.

    You serve your god of reason well. May he justly reward you for your faithfulness.

  108. April 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    RLO, it’s not my fault if you are incapable of giving reasons for the faith that is in you. At least consistent ones.

    You guys have repeatedly attacked the Mormon faith as being emotionally-driven, illogical, and inconsistent.

    Apparently, you don’t like it so much when the shoe is on the other foot though, and YOUR faith is demonstrated to be illogical, emotionally driven, and inconsistent.

    You reap what you sow. You thought you had a handy club to beat Mormons with, when all you ended up doing was smacking yourself in the face. And now that you’ve been pretty-much hoisted on your own hypocritical petard, you’re crying about how “mean” I’m being.

    But keep something in mind before you start playing the victim card here – I didn’t start this fight.

    You did.

    Now, own it.

  109. 112 Echo
    April 14, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Shem said: ” For you salvation is based solely on your subjective acceptance of Christ.”

    You obviously havn’t spent time reading the thread which clearly states that we don’t believe salvation is based solely or even partially on our subjective acceptance of Christ. We believe salvation is based entirely on the objective work of Christ.

    This is a repeating pattern with the LDS that I find quite troubling. They “supposedly” read what we write and then put words in our mouth that we didn’t say.

  110. 113 Echo
    April 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Seth said: “RLO, it’s not my fault if you are incapable of giving reasons for the faith that is in you. At least consistent ones.”

    He has given reasons for the faith that is in him. The fact that you would rather serve the God of human reason rather than the God of the Bible isn’t RLO’s doing. You alone are responsible for worshipping idols. RLO is simply trying to steer you away from that self inflicted doom.

    The Bible teaches that Salvation is all God’s doing.
    The Bible teaches that damnation is all Man’s doing.

    If that doesn’t fit within your realm of reason (the God whom you now serve), well God has something else to say to you: For the wisdom of God is “foolishness” to those who are perishing. Human reason always grinds against the wisdom of God.

    Seth said: “You reap what you sow. You thought you had a handy club to beat Mormons with, when all you ended up doing was smacking yourself in the face”

    We don’t beat Mormons with a handy club nor is it our desire to do so. We beat Mormonism’s teachings with a handy club in hopes of saving Mormons from perishing. You on the other hand use your handy club to beat Christians rather than Christianity. As RLO stated, your always out to harm the messenger rather than the message.

    That’s the difference between Us and you. We are trying to do you good by taking up a fight for your soul against the false doctrine you believe in, in hopes that your eyes will be opened. Therefore we attack the message(Mormonism) in order to help the messenger(Mormons).

    You are trying to bring harm to our souls by taking up a fight against us, (the messenger) rather than against what we believe, (the message).

    Just another sign that your religion is false and leads to sin and lovelessness. I have lost count of how many times your willful sins have been pointed out to you, yet you continue on in them without repentance. Why? Don’t you profess to believe that you have to obey all the commandments? Your apparent love for Jesus is clearly not seen here and your willful and ongoing unrepentant sin testifies to that. Why then do your actions NOT coincide with your beliefs? That in itself should be a sign to you that you have fallen into a false church.

    1 John 3:8 “He who does what is sinful is of the devil”

    Seth said: “But keep something in mind before you start playing the victim card here – I didn’t start this fight.”

    You did start the fight Seth by attacking messengers rather than the message. And that’s another sin of yours: not taking responsibility for your own actions wherein you sinfully attack the messengers rather than the message.

    1 John 3:8 “He who does what is sinful is of the devil”

    You believe you must obey “ALL” the commandments, then obey “ALL” the commandments!

  111. April 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Echo,

    If you want to save human souls, then explain, in a coherent fashion how God’s blessings interface with those human souls such that I would want to sign up for your brand of religion.

    You have failed to do this – since you fail to acknowledge any human element in the equation (mostly because you’re just too proud to back down from your own misguided rhetoric for fear of looking like you’re conceding something to the “Mormon” position), you are therefore incapable of explaining why your religion should matter to any human being.

    I’ll state it plainly – there is no place for human beings in your religion.

    So you can hardly blame us human beings for rejecting your religion now, can you?

    RLO,

    You said that Shem is misstating the Lutheran position by saying that God is responsible for evil. But you give no coherent reason for why this is wrong. Basically all you say is that “God is responsible for salvation, but he’s not responsible for suffering.” Why? Because it’s “magically, mysteriously just that way.”

    Uh huh… sure RLO. Sounds like you just don’t like the logical results of your own screwed up theology. I’ll break it down again:

    1. God is all powerful and all knowing
    2. God created everything out of nothing
    3. God knew what the results of his creative acts would be – down to the last detail
    4. There is evil in the universe
    5. Therefore, God created evil and wanted it to be here.

    You can’t escape this result. Certainly not by saying “I know it doesn’t make sense! I glory in the senselessness of it all!”

    Look, if you want to believe in this stuff in private, on your own, that’s your business. And I’m not in the business of attacking other people’s faith when they mind THEIR own business.

    But if you want to come here on the Internet mouthing-off about how rubbish MY religion is and how yours is sooo much better, then you’d better be prepared to back it up with something more potent than “it’s a mystery, so I don’t have to make sense.”

    Well, I’m sorry, if you want to debate on the Internet, yes – you DO have to make sense. Otherwise you should hand in your Internet connection and go back to your Sunday worship services where you belong.

    If you want to pick a fight, then man up to it and start making sense. And explain your religion in a way human beings can understand.

    It’s just a shame that your whole argument here on this blog has ultimately boiled down to:

    “Mormonism sucks and Lutheranism is better! Why? It’s a mystery!”

    …..

    The only real mystery here is why you think that line of non-reasoning is going to persuade anyone.

  112. April 14, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Echo, I have been on this blog DEFENDING my religion from you (and others) from day one. You’ve been the one on the offensive. And now you want to claim that I’m the one being mean?

    Let me suggest a little field trip for you. Head on over to CARM’s message board sometime. See how the occasional MORMON commenter over their gets treated by all your Christian pals whenever he or she tries to play the victim card.

    Perhaps that will give you a bit of insight as to why I’m not impressed by your attempts to play it.

  113. April 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Ironically, I was actually sincerely asking for insight into what assurance Protestantism has to offer me of salvation beyond what Mormonism is already offering me. I’m open to the idea that an Evangelical may have something to teach me about salvation that I can use to reevaluate my Mormon beliefs.

    But it seems pretty apparent that I’m not going to get it from this discussion or its participants.

    In the end, I still don’t see what greater assurance a Berean Baptist has of salvation than your average Mormon. All I’ve gotten here is a bunch of random scripture spam without much real attempt at explanation, lots of hand-waving about how mysterious it all is, appeals to the Bible without any attempt to explain that Bible, appeals to the sufficiency of God without any real attempt to explain that God, and finally, when the argument didn’t go according to script – accusations about how I’m a “child of hell.”

    Are you guys really happy with that argument?

  114. 117 Echo
    April 14, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Seth said: “Echo, I have been on this blog DEFENDING my religion from you (and others) from day one. You’ve been the one on the offensive. And now you want to claim that I’m the one being mean?”

    Seth, lets try to work towards peace between us. Okay? You say you are defending your relgion. That’s perfectly fine. But when you start attacking the messenger rather than the message, that’s not fine. It is a sin. IF your religion were the true one, I would expect you to fight “FOR” me in the face of my false beliefs rather than fight against me and in my face because of what I believe. We are not on the “offensive”, we simply want to steer you away from the sin that disrupts the peace between us.

    Seth said: “Let me suggest a little field trip for you. Head on over to CARM’s message board sometime. See how the occasional MORMON commenter over their gets treated by all your Christian pals whenever he or she tries to play the victim card.”

    We are not playing the victim card. We are trying to keep the peace here between Mormons and Christians and sin always leads to contention and is never God pleasing.

    Here in this blog we don’t stand by silently while one person sins against another. I have rebuked a Christian here for speaking out of line against YOU and another Mormon.

    Am I responsible for every Christian on the planet who I neither speak with nor see? Can I hold you accountable for every act by a Mormon or even every RLDS Mormon on the planet? Can I treat you the way they have abusively treated me? No I can’t.

    I have never once witnessed a Mormon speak up against a fellow Mormon for sinning against a Christian. Why is that? Why don’t Mormons seek to keep sin at bay in order to keep the peace with Christians? The result of nothing being said by Mormons about the sin is that other Mormons chime into the discussion and before you know it there is a big party going on with sarcasm and ridicule all at the Christians expense. The way I see it is that Mormons, because they refrain from speaking out against the sins of fellow Mormons, make Christians the victim because of their own sins! Who is rebuked for pointing out the Mormons sin in order to keep the peace? I have never seen it! NEVER! Everyone is given free reign to sin and nobody stands in their way to rebuke them! There are Christians posting on this blog who have asked other Christians here to point out to them when they themselves are speaking to Mormons out of line!

    Seth said: “Perhaps that will give you a bit of insight as to why I’m not impressed by your attempts to play it.”

    Perhaps this will give you insight as to why I’m not impressed by your attempts to revert the blame from you to us.

  115. 118 Echo
    April 14, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Seth said: “If you want to save human souls, then explain, in a coherent fashion how God’s blessings interface with those human souls such that I would want to sign up for your brand of religion.”

    I was in the process of doing that, I ask that you be patient with me as we go through this at a slower pace than you personally probably desire.

    Seth said: “You have failed to do this – since you fail to acknowledge any human element in the equation”

    Again, patience please.

    Seth said: ” (mostly because you’re just too proud to back down from your own misguided rhetoric for fear of looking like you’re conceding something to the “Mormon” position), you are therefore incapable of explaining why your religion should matter to any human being.”

    Please stop attacking the messenger and stick to the message. You don’t honestly and truthfully know whether I am just too proud or whether your just slow to learn and incapable of grasping the message at this point. Perhaps it is your pride standing in the way and not mine and if that is the case, then it’s better to keep silent in this respect and instead listen really hard, just in case. Therefore lets keep comments like this out of the discussions and leave that kind of judgement up to God.

    Seth said:

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________
    “RLO,

    You said that Shem is misstating the Lutheran position by saying that God is responsible for evil. But you give no coherent reason for why this is wrong. Basically all you say is that “God is responsible for salvation, but he’s not responsible for suffering.” Why? Because it’s “magically, mysteriously just that way.”

    Uh huh… sure RLO. Sounds like you just don’t like the logical results of your own screwed up theology. I’ll break it down again:

    1. God is all powerful and all knowing
    2. God created everything out of nothing
    3. God knew what the results of his creative acts would be – down to the last detail
    4. There is evil in the universe
    5. Therefore, God created evil and wanted it to be here.

    You can’t escape this result. Certainly not by saying “I know it doesn’t make sense! I glory in the senselessness of it all!”

    Look, if you want to believe in this stuff in private, on your own, that’s your business. And I’m not in the business of attacking other people’s faith when they mind THEIR own business.

    But if you want to come here on the Internet mouthing-off about how rubbish MY religion is and how yours is sooo much better, then you’d better be prepared to back it up with something more potent than “it’s a mystery, so I don’t have to make sense.”

    Well, I’m sorry, if you want to debate on the Internet, yes – you DO have to make sense. Otherwise you should hand in your Internet connection and go back to your Sunday worship services where you belong.

    If you want to pick a fight, then man up to it and start making sense. And explain your religion in a way human beings can understand.

    It’s just a shame that your whole argument here on this blog has ultimately boiled down to:

    “Mormonism sucks and Lutheranism is better! Why? It’s a mystery!”

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Seth, your sins just keep growing and growing line by line, word by word. You have no love or respect for People. Your desire is to drag others down through the mud of sin wherein you live. RLO wasn’t picking a fight at all, you are! It’s the anger within your own heart that falsely perceives him picking a fight!

    Please keep the conversation focused on the message and not attacking the messenger and be patient in the discussions. We want the discussions between Mormons and Christians to remain peaceful.

  116. 119 Echo
    April 14, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    My hopes are that we can now keep a peaceful and respectful discussion.

    Seth said: “Ironically, I was actually sincerely asking for insight into what assurance Protestantism has to offer me of salvation beyond what Mormonism is already offering me. I’m open to the idea that an Evangelical may have something to teach me about salvation that I can use to reevaluate my Mormon beliefs.”

    Seth,

    In light of your belief that you must obey ALL the commandments, what kind of impact, effect or feelings does the fact and truth that you don’t obey ALL the commandments have on you?
    If you would rather email me on this, my email address is echo. mountain at yahoo. ca (no spaces)

  117. April 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Must obey all God’s commandments for what Echo? We need to be clear and specific here.

  118. 121 Echo
    April 15, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Apostacy defined at http://www.lds.org – “When individuals or groups of people turn away from the principles of the gospel, they are in a state of apostasy” and “Although there will not be another general apostasy from the truth, we must each GUARD AGAINST PERSONAL APOSTASY BY keeping covenants, OBEYING THE COMMANDMENTS, following Church leaders, partaking of the sacrament, and constantly strengthening our testimonies through daily scripture study, prayer, and service.”

  119. April 15, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Apostasy does not specify what happens in the afterlife Echo.

    What are Mormons supposed to obey the commandments for in your opinion?

  120. 123 ADB
    April 15, 2010 at 3:30 am

    Seth,

    Thanks for pointing that out. I had always assumed that in the LDS apostasy translates to outer darkness in the afterlife. If that is incorrect, can you explain a little more about what all it entails? Thanks.

  121. 124 Echo
    April 15, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Seth said: “Apostasy does not specify what happens in the afterlife Echo.”

    From http://www.lds.org: “Outer darkness: The dwelling place of the devil AND HIS FOLLOWERS.”

    1 John 3:8 “1 John 3:8 “He who does what is sinful is of the devil”

    Seth said: “What are Mormons supposed to obey the commandments for in your opinion?”

    In my opinion, Mormons are supposed to obey the commandmenst out of love for God and to achieve their goal of eternal life.

  122. April 15, 2010 at 4:31 am

    It’s a common misconception that anyone who apostatizes within Mormon theology is bound for Outer Darkness.

    I believe this to be unsupported by the scriptures on the subject. Only rejection after an almost perfect knowledge and conviction of the Gospel of Christ qualifies a person for Outer Darkness.

    It’s actually a pretty hard place to get into. And while I know it is kind of a rebellious fad over on places like exmormon.org to boast of one’s status as a “Son of Perdition” they are quite mistaken in their reading of Mormon theology.

    Only the fullest and most convicted knowledge of Christ and his Restored Gospel can even put one in a position to apostatize sufficient to warrant the label. Cain is one example – a man who spoke with God directly and still “loved Satan more.” Who made a deliberate and fully knowing choice to reject God and worship Satan. That’s the kind of person who qualifies.

    We’re not even sure if Judas Iscariot qualifies, if that gives you any idea how demanding the qualifications for Outer Darkness are.

    Everything besides Outer Darkness is a “kingdom of glory” in Mormon theology – and therefore technically a part of heaven. All three degrees are considered more glorious and beautiful than anything we now experience or comprehend. And that is were everyone else is ultimately bound – to one of those kingdoms. And this solely through the grace and gift of Christ. Death shall have no victory and hell shall yield up its prisoners.

    Much of the scriptural talk of “hell” within Mormon theology refers, not to a final destination, but to the suffering that people experience in the period after death, but prior to the final judgment – and the final victory of Christ. It is important to keep these distinctions firmly in mind when talking about the LDS soteriology.

    So at least part of Christ’s work of Atonement is universal and not merited in the slightest. The resurrection is not merited. The final rescue from death and hell is not merited.

    But the degree of glory that we finally attain is premised on covenant performance. The highest degree – the Celestial glory is premised on entering into covenants, receiving the Holy Spirit (the much-neglected third member of the Godhead) and allowing the Holy Spirit to work upon our lives here and now – improving us, and lifting us up.

    So even the work that qualifies us for Celestial glory is not really our own – but rather premised on our acceptance of the workings of the Holy Spirit and allowing God – through the Spirit – to make much, much more of our lives than we ever could ourselves.

    This kind of embrace of God is what is needed for exaltation (which is defined as life in the presence of God the Father in the Celestial glory).

    But it is not something we merit of ourselves. It is not something we attain with our own good works. It is something we accept.

    This is my understanding of our theology.

  123. 126 RLO
    April 15, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Seth: “RLO, it’s not my fault if you are incapable of giving reasons for the faith that is in you. At least consistent ones.”

    And it’s not my fault you are either incapable of or unwilling to comprehending the biblical truths which are the reason for the faith that is in me.

    Seth: “You guys have repeatedly attacked the Mormon faith as being emotionally-driven, illogical, and inconsistent.”

    Go back and look at posts 50 thru 63. Do these sound like repeated attacks? The discussion continued to go along on a pretty civil tone, leading up to the point where you decided to attack and belittle the messenger (post 106). It was you who changed the tone of this discussion. And when it was brought to your attention, that really set you off on a rampage, didn’t it?

    Seth to Echo: “You tend to throw out a barrage of Bible verses whenever you are not arguing very well.”

    It’s really something how you criticize Christians when they don’t provide scriptural support for their beliefs, and then ridicule them when they do.

    Seth: “Apparently, you don’t like it so much when the shoe is on the other foot though, and YOUR faith is demonstrated to be illogical, emotionally driven, and inconsistent.”

    Wrong. How someone like you mischaracterizes my faith doesn’t affect me nearly as much as you had hoped it would, nor as much as it is someday going to affect you.

    Seth: “You thought you had a handy club to beat Mormons with…”

    You really have a need to believe Christians are here to beat Mormons up, don’t you? Because it you didn’t believe that, then you would be faced with the truth – that they love you, and have a genuine concern for your soul. And that would sure be a scoop of hot coals in your lap, would it?

    Seth: “But keep something in mind before you start playing the victim card here – I didn’t start this fight. You did. Now, own it.”

    Starting a fight and then blaming the other kid is something I quit doing in elementary school. Grow up, Seth.

    Seth: “…Because it’s “magically, mysteriously just that way…”
    Seth: “…I know it doesn’t make sense! I glory in the senselessness of it all!…”
    Seth: “…it’s a mystery, so I don’t have to make sense…”
    Seth: “…“Mormonism sucks and Lutheranism is better! Why? It’s a mystery!”

    Rather than addressing the scriptural passages that speak of how God’s ways are above man’s ways, and that he will frustrate the intelligence of the intelligent, and how the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, no Seth, you simply glob all these scriptures together as a whole, and ridicule them. And mock the believers who have grasped the truths behind them. To the harm of none of us, but to your own.

    Seth: “ Well, I’m sorry, if you want to debate on the Internet, yes – you DO have to make sense. Otherwise you should hand in your Internet connection…”

    I guess your right, if I were here to win a debate with you on the internet. Which, as I’ve stated above, I’m not. But that’s apparently why you are here, isn’t it?

    “…yes – you DO have to make sense.”

    As I have told you before, you fail to grasp the place of “reason” when it comes to God’s Word. It’s place is to sit at the foot of God’s word – – not to stand in judgment over it. And this is not an irrational position to take. Antirational? Absolutely. Irrational? Not at all. But, because you do not understand it, you continue to scoff, and mock, and ridicule.

    The problem with you Seth, is that you, like many others, operate under the assumption that there are two different standards for courtesy and civility – one standard when you are speaking face to face with someone, and another much lower standard when you are here on the internet. And mind you, this assumption is something we all need to guard against. But something you have clearly not.

    “The only real mystery here is why you think that line of non-reasoning is going to persuade anyone.”

    Interesting.

    2008 Total US Adult Christian population 173,402,000 or 76.0%
    2008 Total US Adult mormon population 3,158,000 or 1.4%

  124. 127 Echo
    April 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    President Thomas S. Monson has counseled: “If we are to walk with head held high, we must make our contribution to life. If we are to fulfill our destiny and return to live with our Father in Heaven, we must keep His commandments and pattern our lives after the Savior. By so doing, WE WILL NOT ONLY ACHIEVE OUR GOAL OF EETERNAL LIFE, but we will also leave the world richer and better than it would have been had we not lived and performed our duties.”8

  125. April 15, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    What exactly is your point Echo?

  126. 129 Echo
    April 15, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Seth, “What exactly is your point Echo?”

    Just providing an LDS quote to show you how I conclude what I conclude and for your information. Now I am waiting for your answer to my question:

    In light of your belief that you must obey ALL the commandments, what kind of impact, effect or feelings does the fact and truth that you don’t obey ALL the commandments have on you?

  127. April 15, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Echo, I just wrote a rather lengthy post answering your question.

    Your Thomas Monson quote does not demonstrate that salvation is contingent on good works. I explained why above. You just are not being specific enough here.

  128. 131 Echo
    April 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Your lengthy post was helpful in understanding what you believe about being an apostate. However it didn’t answer my question: In light of your belief that you must obey ALL the commandments, what kind of impact, effect or feelings does the fact and truth that you don’t obey ALL the commandments have on you?

  129. 132 Echo
    April 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    I guess I am not understanding what more there is to be specific of. Why don’t you just cover all bases in your response.

  130. April 15, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    And I repeat, what do you think I have to obey all the commandments to get?

  131. 134 Echo
    April 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Okay, I am not asking you what you will get if you obey the commandments. I am asking you what kind of impact, effect or feelings does the fact and truth that you don’t obey ALL the commandments have on you? I am asking in light of scriptures such as the following which clearly outline who is a child of God and who is a child of the devil:

    1 JOhn 3:8 “He who does what is sinful is of the devil” and I found another:

    1 John 3:10 “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God”

  132. April 15, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Your 30 virgins, of course.

  133. 136 Echo
    April 15, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    That’s an inappropriate comment Ms. Jack Meyers.

  134. April 15, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    It’s OK Echo.

    Jack and I have been talking back and forth online for a while now.

    She’s referring to a joke I made on another Evangelical blog several months ago.

  135. 138 Echo
    April 15, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    OK, Thanks for letting me know your okay with the comment Seth.

  136. 139 shematwater
    April 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I think people are all very silly on this thread. The whole discussion of biblical and non-biblical has always annoyed me, for the simple fact that I can see all LDS doctrine in the Bible (directly, indirectly, or through logical progression of thought). As such to claim you have the “Biblical” truths as your support does nothing to help you persuade me, and I think Seth would agree with this (at least to a great extent).

    This is the reason why we demand a logical progression of thought, or one reason. Because both sides can be seen in the Bible, so we take that one that seems to make the most sense. We have the same intellignece as God, as that was the immediate effect of the fall (to become as one of them, knowing good and evil), and God has invited us to “Reason together” with him (Isaiah 1: 18). I agree that our thoughts cannot be placed over his words, but it is clearly through our reason that we are to understand his words. So, if we cannot understand the doctrine you teaching why should we accept it? You only reason is because “it is the biblical truth.” And yet I can make the same claim about LDS doctrine, and back it with the reasoning God invited us to use.

    Now, to be more direct, in the predestination thing, I was refering to the Calvinistic idea, which is the only logical interpretation of the doctrine. Even the Lutheran understanding leads to the same conclussion. After all, if it only depends on God accepting us to gain salvation, would he not be condemning those he does not accept? Of course, most people will just say that he accepts everyone.
    However, from what ECHO said the logical conclusion was that of the Calvinistic idea.

    As to apostacy and Outer Darkness, I would simply like to add a few things to what Seth said. First, one can be disobediant and not be in apostacy. Apostacy mean the willful turning from the gospel. Thus, one who is trying, but still fails, is not in apostacy. Second, To be a Son of Perdition and cast into Outer Darkness one must be a murderer. It says in D&C 132 that they must “shed innocent blood.” It also says that they must “assent unto [Christ’s] death.” Simply leaving the church, as Seth said, does not mean apostacy or perdition. It is those who leave and than thirst after the blood of the saints, as Joseph Smith Jr. said, who are of perdition.

    As to ECHO’s question, of how the knowledge of the requirement for obedience effects me, or what feelings it causes: In truth I feel very secure and joyous. People think of the whole thing as some sort of punishment. I disagree. The laws of God are just, but they are also very merciful. God is light, and if their is darkness in us we would be in greater pain and missery in his presence than out of it. God has given these commands to show us how to drive darkness from us. If we are not fully faithful, and thus enter heaven with even a tiny amount of darkness in us, it is the mercy of God that places us in a lower degree of glory, sparing us the torment of being unworthy of the place we live. This gives me great comfort.
    Of course, I know that I can drive all the darkness out of my life, for God has promised all the assistance I need to do just that. Yes I will fail at times, but as long as I keep working at it his spirit will exalt me in his presence. There is nothing more glorious in my mind, than a Father who is willing to do what is best for his children, even if that means being separated from them.

  137. 140 Echo
    April 16, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Shem said: “So, if we cannot understand the doctrine you teaching why should we accept it?”

    If you want people to respond to your posts you need to slow down and take the time to read their posts. You say things in your posts that we didn’t say. If you do not understand what we believe, that’s probably the reason why and if your not willing to make an effort to read what we write, there is no point in responding to you.

    I didn’t ask Seth “how the knowledge of the requirement for obedience effects me, or what feelings it causes:” Go back and read the question. The question I asked was opposite of what you posted.

    Now if Seth would answer the question, we can attempt to work towards you understanding our doctrine better.

  138. 141 shematwater
    April 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    ECHO

    I did answer your question, if you would care to read my response again. I glory in the doctrine, and my personal failings, though a cause of sorrow for me, my family and my God, do not change this, as no matter what I do God will be merciful in his judgement toward me.

    I explained my feelings concerning the doctrine, which in turn showed my feelings towards my own failings. I can be exalted, even though I fail at times, and this is a glroious thing. What more of an answer do you want?

  139. 142 Echo
    November 28, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Considering that on our own, we are no more righteous than Joseph Smith because ALL fall short of the perfection God demands of us, it’s better to treat everyone the same way we would want to be treated, which is with love and respect.


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