Can God really hold us accountable for anything?

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Beefster
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Can God really hold us accountable for anything?

Post by Beefster » 27 Dec 2017, 18:21

It's generally considered unfair if you're held accountable for a law you were not aware of. Cops will give people a warning on their first offense in many cases where the law in question is not well understood.

When it comes to God's expectations for us, wouldn't He apply similar judgement? Life is loaded with uncertainty. We can never really be totally sure if a commandment comes from God. If we don't know, how can he even hold us accountable? How can He expect us to join the correct church (if there is such a thing) when there is so much confusion on the matter?

The TBM answer is the Holy Ghost, but when we all experience that so differently with about the same degree of uncertainty, do we really even know anything? Even just enough to be held accountable?

I suppose there are some pretty clear cases, like murder, but even then, that's a well-agreed-upon idea that we can't be 100% certain is from God.

It comes to this awkward intersection of faith and accountability. Does God only hold us accountable for what we believed deeply? If so, God would be judging in a morally relative way, which doesn't jive well with my understanding of God and morality. But he can't possibly hold us accountable for everything whether we knew it or not because his means of getting us that knowledge (revelation, prophets, etc) is flawed.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Sometimes our journeys take us to unexpected places. That is a truly beautiful thing.

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SamBee
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Re: Can God really hold us accountable for anything?

Post by SamBee » 28 Dec 2017, 04:45

Some things more than others
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Holy Cow
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Re: Can God really hold us accountable for anything?

Post by Holy Cow » 28 Dec 2017, 08:03

I don't believe in the idea of a judgement the way the church talks about it, with people being split into three different kingdoms. I think the whole 'three kingdoms' idea was something from JS's imagination, supported by some of the writings about sun, moon, and stars, and also based loosely on things he'd learned about degrees in masonry.
I believe in the afterlife, we'll have more of a 'sit-down' with God and just talk about what kind of person we are, how we lived our lives, what was important to us, how we treated other people, etc. I don't believe it will be a checklist of commandments, and a judgment based on how strictly we followed the prophets. I think we'll be placed among people who we will be happy with, and who we will support in their happiness.
My beliefs are my own, so I don't feel obligated to make my beliefs conform to what the church tells us to believe. I find I'm happier, and more at ease with God, when I don't believe everything I'm told at church.
My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6139

AmyJ
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Re: Can God really hold us accountable for anything?

Post by AmyJ » 28 Dec 2017, 08:37

Holy Cow wrote:
28 Dec 2017, 08:03
I don't believe in the idea of a judgement the way the church talks about it, with people being split into three different kingdoms. I think the whole 'three kingdoms' idea was something from JS's imagination, supported by some of the writings about sun, moon, and stars, and also based loosely on things he'd learned about degrees in masonry.
I believe in the afterlife, we'll have more of a 'sit-down' with God and just talk about what kind of person we are, how we lived our lives, what was important to us, how we treated other people, etc. I don't believe it will be a checklist of commandments, and a judgment based on how strictly we followed the prophets. I think we'll be placed among people who we will be happy with, and who we will support in their happiness.
My beliefs are my own, so I don't feel obligated to make my beliefs conform to what the church tells us to believe. I find I'm happier, and more at ease with God, when I don't believe everything I'm told at church.
I like this philosophy, thanks for sharing :P

One of the things I give great hope for is in that sit-down with God, we will be given a glimpse at how the bodies we were given in mortality played a part in our decisions - by design. For example, during that meeting, there will be great mutual rejoicing over the times when I exhibited great restraint while being sleep-deprived, in a postpartum crash hormone state and only fussed a little at my husband even when I wanted to yell at him and banish him from my domain entirely (and felt entirely justified at the time). Maybe even a scientific conference where the chemical bath will be explained and how it impacted my spirit because of the spirit/body connection - and how it impacts judgement(s) being placed about the situation.

Roy
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Re: Can God really hold us accountable for anything?

Post by Roy » 28 Dec 2017, 08:50

One of the really great things about our church is that we teach that everyone will be judged according to what they have (not what they do not have).

The life of a person in an isolated Amazonian tribe is just as important for the purposes of developing a celestial character as someone "born in the covenant" in Provo, UT.

Any ordinances that may be required in order to continue our eternal progression, we believe will be provided. Put another way, anything and everything that may be needed will be made available when the individual is ready for it. Nobody will be constrained in their advancement.

Now, this is not common perception of people at church. They may even question your motives for espousing such beliefs. However, all the pieces of this doctrine are there and very Mormon. :mrgreen:
"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

AmyJ
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Re: Can God really hold us accountable for anything?

Post by AmyJ » 28 Dec 2017, 09:08

Roy wrote:
28 Dec 2017, 08:50
One of the really great things about our church is that we teach that everyone will be judged according to what they have (not what they do not have).

The life of a person in an isolated Amazonian tribe is just as important for the purposes of developing a celestial character as someone "born in the covenant" in Provo, UT.

Any ordinances that may be required in order to continue our eternal progression, we believe will be provided. Put another way, anything and everything that may be needed will be made available when the individual is ready for it. Nobody will be constrained in their advancement.

Now, this is not common perception of people at church. They may even question your motives for espousing such beliefs. However, all the pieces of this doctrine are there and very Mormon. :mrgreen:
That's what I thought. That's what I try to explain to my husband when he is freaking out about someone not fulfilling the TBM "checklist" and I am not freaking out about it (since faith transition) - but even before the transition I just shrugged and figured that it was between them and God - and maybe they hadn't gotten that far yet. Now I have more words I can use to respectfully explain my position more clearly when/in case it comes up again (if it is likely to produce good mileage in the cost/benefit analysis).

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Heber13
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Re: Can God really hold us accountable for anything?

Post by Heber13 » 28 Dec 2017, 13:45

Beefster wrote:
27 Dec 2017, 18:21
Cops will give people a warning on their first offense in many cases where the law in question is not well understood.
The difference with this example and our judgement is that on earth we have mortal judges that only go by their interpretations and experience and knowledge of the law, and what they see from actions. While some cops MAY give warnings...the general rule is that capable citizens are expected to know and understand the law for themselves...it is our responsibility to follow the rules and find out what they are...and we are allowed court hearings to appeal or argue our situation.

In heaven, God will be the judge and he can see our hearts and know our situation and what we are capable of and what we did, thought, and chose. So...there is a difference there as he will understand us to judge righteously...which mortals don't have power to do.

I think that changes the situation to be more of what Sambee wrote...
Some things more than others
It will be more a personal judgement for which we will know of our guilt and our innocence, there is no "getting away" with anything or excuses of "I didn't know"...since we have faith God knows our whole situation...there is no fooling him. Therefore...it is left to just our perfect knowledge of all our guilt...and I feel like God will be much more loving and forgiving than we expect...since we are often very hard on ourselves and start making excuses to ourselves for what we fear we are imperfect at.
Holy Cow wrote:
28 Dec 2017, 08:03
I believe in the afterlife, we'll have more of a 'sit-down' with God and just talk about what kind of person we are, how we lived our lives, what was important to us, how we treated other people, etc. I don't believe it will be a checklist of commandments
I think so too...although some checklist items may come into the conversation since I was taught some checklist stuff. Just ... if I tell God I totally didn't smoke any marijuana and I was about 30% on my home teaching...I don't think that will get me much in the next life. So many things on the checklists will be immaterial to him.
AmyJ wrote:
28 Dec 2017, 08:37
we will be given a glimpse at how the bodies we were given in mortality played a part in our decisions - by design.
I agree with this too. I think it is a game changer. Will be interesting when we are free from imperfect bodies.
Roy wrote:
28 Dec 2017, 08:50
Any ordinances that may be required in order to continue our eternal progression, we believe will be provided.
I think so too...since everyone will have that opportunity, it is less a checklist of who had work done and when, and more a discussion about "dumbo's feather effect" of ordinances...if we had them and believed in them...how much did it help us fly? Because of that...they are not useless to us as we are trying to develop here on earth...they are tools...not checklists.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Can God really hold us accountable for anything?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 28 Dec 2017, 14:10

I love the very Mormon (and Buddhist) idea that we become our own judgment - that what we do, specifically, is less important than who we become. (and what we know is less important than what we do)

Too many members don't grasp the full implications of that principle, but it is a central part of our theology.
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

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SamBee
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Re: Can God really hold us accountable for anything?

Post by SamBee » 29 Dec 2017, 13:08

https://youtu.be/8o31_QEFKCQ

6 Strange ideas of Hell from around the World.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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nibbler
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Re: Can God really hold us accountable for anything?

Post by nibbler » 30 Dec 2017, 08:24

Do you believe that god is more or less concerned with fairness than you are?

If you need god to hold people accountable for things then god holds people accountable for things.
You can't just have your characters announce how they feel... that makes me feel ANGRY!
— Robot Devil

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