"Deadness of the Law"

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AmyJ
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"Deadness of the Law"

Post by AmyJ » 18 Oct 2017, 09:38

2 Nephi 25:27
"Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward to that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away."

This is Nephi speaking regarding the Law of Moses - generally understood to be the 10 commandments, and a lot of other practices (moral/social/food/purity codes), offerings, priesthood, temple creation, and royal governance. We don't hear a lot in the Book of Mormon about how the Law of Moses was applied in Nephite civilization - but Nephi does talk about how he built a temple, and how he handled the people's request to for him to be king. We do have accounts of Lehi and co completing offerings.

To me, this verse speaks about transitioning a group of people from one way of doing things to another way of doing things. In our day, all of us talk to the future generations about what we know (our current traditions), and what doesn't work (the deadness of the law). Since I have been here on StayLDS, I have learned to include "Does it bring me closer to Jesus Christ" as one of my regulations regarding the traditions I start or participate in.

Do you feel that this interpretation is plausible? How would you interpret this passage of scripture?

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SilentDawning
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Re: "Deadness of the Law"

Post by SilentDawning » 18 Oct 2017, 12:15

AmyJ wrote:
18 Oct 2017, 09:38
2 Nephi 25:27
"Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward to that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away."

Since I have been here on StayLDS, I have learned to include "Does it bring me closer to Jesus Christ" as one of my regulations regarding the traditions I start or participate in.

Do you feel that this interpretation is plausible? How would you interpret this passage of scripture?
Good example of ending a passage with a question to prompt discussion!

I think your litmus test of whether it brings you closer to Christ is an extension of the passage, but it doesn't bear directly on it. So I wouldn't say I could accept your interpretation.

To me, the passage appears to be about the contrast of the Law of Moses (specific, micro-managment with immediate consequences) with the Law of Christ (living the spirit of the law, repentance through the atonement, empowerment, trust). The passage doesn't seem to be about much more.

The author appears to argue that teaching the Law of Moses is a way to show how superior Christ's teachings were -- to teach others through contrast. Being able to explain the difference between two things is a good way of learning both things....that's what I get out of the passage.

But as far as your litmus test goes, like you, I have developed my own litmus test for determining what to do in the church. For me, it's not whether it brings me closer to Christ -- it's whether it makes me happy. And of course, I define happiness as much more than satisfying selfish desires. Happiness comes from living life without resentment, from helping others, from teaching others, from giving selflessly to worthy causes, to thinking positively, to living your life largely independently of others spiritually, emotionally and financially. You are an island, a rock, but one that contributes to others.

If it wasn't for that darn loneliness gene that keeps popping up in my psyche, I'd have it mastered by now :smile:
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

Curt Sunshine
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Re: "Deadness of the Law"

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Oct 2017, 19:09

I think it is saying that works without faith is dead, being alone.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

AmyJ
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Re: "Deadness of the Law"

Post by AmyJ » 19 Oct 2017, 06:31

SilentDawning wrote:
18 Oct 2017, 12:15
To me, the passage appears to be about the contrast of the Law of Moses (specific, micro-managment with immediate consequences) with the Law of Christ (living the spirit of the law, repentance through the atonement, empowerment, trust). The passage doesn't seem to be about much more.

The author appears to argue that teaching the Law of Moses is a way to show how superior Christ's teachings were -- to teach others through contrast. Being able to explain the difference between two things is a good way of learning both things....that's what I get out of the passage.
I like how you put this. I will remember this (or copy/paste this into my notes). It is possible that both actions will occur, actually.
SilentDawning wrote:
18 Oct 2017, 12:15
But as far as your litmus test goes, like you, I have developed my own litmus test for determining what to do in the church. For me, it's not whether it brings me closer to Christ -- it's whether it makes me happy. And of course, I define happiness as much more than satisfying selfish desires.
I am working on this. My brain shies away from trying to define personal happiness for me personally. My anxiety overload taught me I have to take care of myself as well as taking care of my family - I need to balance both. My husband and take turns "putting on our air masks first" and looking out for the needs/righteous wants of our children.
SilentDawning wrote:
18 Oct 2017, 12:15
Happiness comes from living life without resentment, from helping others, from teaching others, from giving selflessly to worthy causes, to thinking positively, to living your life largely independently of others spiritually, emotionally and financially. You are an island, a rock, but one that contributes to others.
I really try not to get resentful of my husband and some of the choices he makes. I have learned that being resentful is not a positive or constructive choice to make. I can choose to be proactive and work with him to resolve the issue I am getting resentful about, or I can choose whether the issue is something I can take care of myself and just handle it, or dump the expectation entirely.

I always try to look for ways to help others, but I wish I could do more. I want to think that I am in the baby steps of serving others, and that as I continue to look for ways to serve others, I will find other ways to serve.

I strive to live my life more independently than my husband likes in terms of spiritual growth and emotional connection. He wants to share all these lovely TBM moments with me, and I am at a point where they don't bring me as much joy as they used to. If I tell him what little I know about my current spiritual place, he will get angry at me and feel betrayed (rightfully so I believe). When he finds out how long I have been in my current spiritual place, he will get angry at me and feel betrayed. Also, he tends to follow my lead in terms of spiritual stuff, so there is a chance that if I told him where I am, and if he agreed with me on any of it, he might go through his own faith transition and undo all the recent personal growth we have seen as a family because he is drawing inspiration from being a TBM. I worry about whether my shifting beliefs will disqualify me for the BYU-I schooling - whether by my own conscience or leadership roulette. And telling my TBM husband would mean he would talk to someone else in leadership about it, which would start the roulette routine.

Whenever I start to be anxious about the situation above, I remind myself to breathe and take it slow. There is nothing to be gained by hyperventilating about the situation - and it would only cloud my judgement in making future choices.

As for emotions, I know that I ground the emotions of my family. I also strive to be self-contained emotionally because it feels like the ultimate personal insult for me to be out of control of my emotions. Needless to say, I get overwhelmed and shut him out until I know what I am dealing with emotionally, or better yet, until I have my own emotions under control. To make things even more interesting, he views it as an insult not to be involved so he can "be there for me". We are working on it - I admit when I am anxious more often, and he is getting better about saying and doing the "I recognize you are feeling overwhelmed. I will be here to hug you when you are ready, and will walk away to let you deal with your stuff as you want me to."

NOTE: I am looking into the marriage builders site, and will be scheduling time within the month to introduce it to my husband as a tool we can use to better our marriage.

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SilentDawning
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Re: "Deadness of the Law"

Post by SilentDawning » 19 Oct 2017, 07:42

AmyJ wrote:
19 Oct 2017, 06:31
I am working on this. My brain shies away from trying to define personal happiness for me personally. My anxiety overload taught me I have to take care of myself as well as taking care of my family - I need to balance both. My husband and take turns "putting on our air masks first" and looking out for the needs/righteous wants of our children.
If you see my definition -- happiness for me, comes from serving others too -- so it's not a selfish form of happiness. You can argue that we are all selfish to some extent -- the fact that serving others makes me happy can be construed as selfish...but I argue against that -- the fact that seeing happiness in others make me happy is a form of selflessness.

I strive to live my life more independently than my husband likes in terms of spiritual growth and emotional connection. He wants to share all these lovely TBM moments with me, and I am at a point where they don't bring me as much joy as they used to.
Perhaps try to think about how TBM moments are making him happy -- and take joy in that. I know it's hard to not roll one's eyes when the God of Car Keys makes them materialize in front of you, miraculously, but focus on the peace those beliefs bring to those around you. There are so many moments of unhappiness in this life, to see loved ones happy and feeling blessed is a blessing in itself.

If I tell him what little I know about my current spiritual place, he will get angry at me and feel betrayed (rightfully so I believe). When he finds out how long I have been in my current spiritual place, he will get angry at me and feel betrayed.
I can't talk about a lot of things with my wife. Thank goodness for StayLDS. I suggest avoiding those subjects with him for the good of his inner peace and the strength of your marriage -- that is a form of service, and something that makes me happy when I do it now. As a marriage counselor once said, you have to protect your spouse from your own barbs and daggers. My church attitudes are something that I need to protect my family from, especially my wife.
NOTE: I am looking into the marriage builders site, and will be scheduling time within the month to introduce it to my husband as a tool we can use to better our marriage.
Good plan. It's very practical and widely applicable to a lot of different couples.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

Roy
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: "Deadness of the Law"

Post by Roy » 19 Oct 2017, 09:46

I believe the deadness of the law refers to its inability to save.

The law demands perfection. We all come woefully short and stand condemned. The "wages of sin is death". We all have sinned and the justice of the law demands that we die. The law of Moses did provide for sacrificial lambs and scape goats to carry away our guilt and shame.

The gospel of Christ declares that those sacrifices were just more dead works ... unless ... they point to the ultimate sacrifice as detailed in John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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