People Who Were Spared...

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AmyJ
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People Who Were Spared...

Post by AmyJ » 19 Feb 2018, 12:01

I found it interesting what I could learn about those people who were alive at the time of Jesus Christ's visit in the Americas.

Old Testament Sacrifice Practice Believers - "And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings." (3 Nephi 9:19)

More Righteous - Not Murderers - "And it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved, and it was they who received the prophets and stoned them not; and it was they who had not shed the blood of the saints, who were spared-" ( 3 Nephi 10:12)

Knowledge of the prophecies of Jesus Christ - (3 Nephi 11:12)

NOTE: It might have been good people/saints/prophets cast out of the tribes and their hierarchies. The Nephi prophet of the time was called forth and given authority to baptize and preach by Jesus Christ.

I also think that there is a component of hope of these people in the sense that the people could transition from Old Testament offerings to the New Testament worship (3 Nephi 9:20) consisting of "a broken heart and a contrite spirit".

Additional thoughts?

For me, I take hope that the wording clearly states that these people survived because they did not murder others (stone the prophets). It doesn't state that they had a specific belief in the prophecies (though some of them would have). In fact, when Jesus Christ is talking to them he shifts them over to a higher law that includes shifting religious observance inwards instead of outwards.

Roy
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Re: People Who Were Spared...

Post by Roy » 20 Feb 2018, 09:59

I have a hard time with this concept. Entire cities destroyed in gruesome ways because of their unrighteousness. There is a hint that perhaps the cities cast the righteous out of their midst so that there were none remaining in the city (like the story of lot).

There were several references to the wailing and despair of those that remained in mourning for their kindred dead. I imagine that most in that day had lost friends and loved ones.

One of the things that is sometimes said about the BoM is that it serves as a bridge between the OT and the NT. This is true chronologically (it covers the period after Malachi but before Matthew). This chapter reminds me that it also helps to meld the OT God (of wrath) with the NT God (of sustenance and forgiveness). After the cities are destroyed the voice of Jesus is heard lamenting their destruction.
4 O ye people of these great cities which have fallen, who are descendants of Jacob, yea, who are of the house of Israel, how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you.

5 And again, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, who have fallen; yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, ye that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that have fallen; yea, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not.
This is a God that speaks softly and carries a big stick. (Theodore Roosevelt)
"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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DarkJedi
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Re: People Who Were Spared...

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Feb 2018, 14:06

I have trouble with it too, but from a more theological point of view. Bottom line is that I have trouble reconciling the Old Testament "God of Wrath" with the New Testament "God of Love." I recognize each is existent in the other (love in the OT, wrath - at least promised - in the NT). And to top it off it's all supposed to be the same guy!The BoM leans more heavily toward wrath from my point of view, although I clearly don't read it as much as I "should" nor do I have a strong testimony of it. And, the BoM does seem to have quite a bit of grace in it as well. And then on the other hand (how many hands is that now?) if it's all non-literal/symbolic/simile/metaphor/parable I guess who is who doesn't really matter.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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dande48
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Re: People Who Were Spared...

Post by dande48 » 20 Feb 2018, 15:08

Here is my take on it, from a non-literal view.

Looking back on ancient Israel, they were God's chosen people, and yet they got picked on, pushed around, beaten up, captured, enslaved, subjugated... and the only thing that got them through, was their belief that God would vindicate them.
Psalms 137 wrote: By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
That's one of the greatest appeals of all Abrahamic Religions; that God will one day smite and punish those who have wronged us (the wicked), and that all of our pains and sufferings will be made right and our righteousness rewarded. I think Joseph Smith strongly held that view. He suffered a lot, and his life ended tragically, yet he frequently pronounced the harshest heavenly judgement on all those who opposed him. It's that belief, that helps many of the downtrodden to find peace and carry on.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
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DarkJedi
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Re: People Who Were Spared...

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Feb 2018, 15:33

dande48 wrote:
20 Feb 2018, 15:08
Here is my take on it, from a non-literal view.

Looking back on ancient Israel, they were God's chosen people, and yet they got picked on, pushed around, beaten up, captured, enslaved, subjugated... and the only thing that got them through, was their belief that God would vindicate them.
Psalms 137 wrote: By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
That's one of the greatest appeals of all Abrahamic Religions; that God will one day smite and punish those who have wronged us (the wicked), and that all of our pains and sufferings will be made right and our righteousness rewarded. I think Joseph Smith strongly held that view. He suffered a lot, and his life ended tragically, yet he frequently pronounced the harshest heavenly judgement on all those who opposed him. It's that belief, that helps many of the downtrodden to find peace and carry on.
I agree with you, Dande, but I also think they're all wrong for the same reason the Jews missed the Messiah the first time. Don't get me wrong, I'm big into hope (see my signature line) and I think that's the greatest thing about Christ's earthly ministry. But I also think we all misunderstand justice.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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nibbler
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Re: People Who Were Spared...

Post by nibbler » 20 Feb 2018, 17:34

I'm reminded of a Simpsons episode (they've probably covered everything by now).

Marge: I thought you said the law was powerless.
Chief Wiggum: Powerless to help you, not punish you.

Literal event, non-divine intervention approach: History is written by the victors. Some crazy natural disasters went down, lots of people died, and it left the survivors dazed and grasping for reasons behind what had happened. They came up with an answer that they were spared because they were more righteous than the people that had died. They deceived themselves because they desperately wanted to believe that if they were righteous enough they could escape similar disasters in the future.

Literal event, divine intervention approach: Thanks but no thanks. It's just that uh..., how do I put this... I've already got this other god that I'm seeing right now. Maybe if things don't work out with them we can... no, you know what? I'm good.

Story approach: pretty much what dande48 said. A story written by people that find comfort in believing in the prosperity gospel and rely on belief in a just world/universe.
Sometimes, the thing you've been looking for your whole life is right there beside you all along.
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Roy
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Re: People Who Were Spared...

Post by Roy » 20 Feb 2018, 18:40

dande48 wrote:
20 Feb 2018, 15:08
That's one of the greatest appeals of all Abrahamic Religions; that God will one day smite and punish those who have wronged us (the wicked), and that all of our pains and sufferings will be made right and our righteousness rewarded.
Historian Richard Bushman was asked about some of the questionable verses in the OT and he said something like the following, (paraphrase) "I try to be as charitable as I can with people whose lives must have been so hard as to take comfort in such things."

This to me recognizes that the scriptures did not appear magically from heaven but were written by inspired individuals at least in part to fulfill the social, national, and spiritual needs of the day. We can acknowledge that and have some measure of charity towards them without thinking that their scriptures need to equally apply to all times and all places. There are many good and inspiring "timeless" principles. There is also much that is quite limited by time and place (racism, sexism, barbarism) that I will happily leave in the past.
"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

DancingCarrot
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Re: People Who Were Spared...

Post by DancingCarrot » 21 Feb 2018, 08:46

Daily dose of humble pie, courtesy of Brother Bushman.

Reminds me of an episode of Call the Midwife where the main character is despairing to a Parrish father over the living conditions of her impoverished patients. She tried to explain that she knows about poverty because of where she works. The Father explains that he doesn’t think she actually does know about it; being impoverished means you’ve never known love, to say nothing of respect. To not know the difference between manipulation and love is something most of us don’t experience. It stopped me in my tracks, er Netflix binge.


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Curt Sunshine
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Re: People Who Were Spared...

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 Feb 2018, 21:33

Fwiw, thematically, the Book of Mormon is a lot like the Bible. The books prior to 3rd Nephi are a lot like the Old Testament, especially as it chronicles a "chosen people" who are split into warring tribes of cousins. Contextually, why would that be? Those were Old Testament, pre-Christ years. 3rd Nephi is like the Gospels. Why? It covers Christ's lifetime years. 4th Nephi is like Paul's early epistles (especially a longer version of Acts, during the heyday of unity). Why? It follows Christ's time with the people. The last books are a lot like the later espistles, as Paul struggled with schisms and dissension, and the apocalyptic visions of Revelations.

God also is portrayed quite differently by various prophets over the course of the book, just like In the Bible.

It is interesting to look at it that way.
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: People Who Were Spared...

Post by AmyJ » 22 Feb 2018, 07:11

Curt Sunshine wrote:
21 Feb 2018, 21:33
Fwiw, thematically, the Book of Mormon is a lot like the Bible. The books prior to 3rd Nephi are a lot like the Old Testament, especially as it chronicles a "chosen people" who are split into warring tribes of cousins. Contextually, why would that be? Those were Old Testament, pre-Christ years. 3rd Nephi is like the Gospels. Why? It covers Christ's lifetime years. 4th Nephi is like Paul's early epistles (especially a longer version of Acts, during the heyday of unity). Why? It follows Christ's time with the people. The last books are a lot like the later espistles, as Paul struggled with schisms and dissension, and the apocalyptic visions of Revelations.

God also is portrayed quite differently by various prophets over the course of the book, just like In the Bible.

It is interesting to look at it that way.
I like that - thank you!

I have come to the conclusion myself that from Mosiah on (especially the war chapters in Alma) we are getting the themes, stories, and narrative from a war-wary general - so there is going to be a lot of black and white thinking, and the key points/connections are going to be from that perspective. Mormon theoretically had entire libraries of information to go through and condense down to what we got - so it is likely that there was an unconscious bias towards things he understood and could use as building blocks for the stories in the Book of Mormon.

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