The Elementary School Shooting Today

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rebeccad
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Re: The Elementary School Shooting Today

Post by rebeccad » 15 Dec 2012, 11:46

I read it I'm not sure I got his meaning.
What I understood him to say is that God can't stop everything bad from happening. If that is that case I agree with him, but it completely shakes the foundation of the idea of an omnipotent God.
When something like this happens you can either ignore the question of where God was, or admit that he isn't powerful enough to stop it, or imagine that he wanted it to happen for some reason.
The poor children that were killed it is easy to say that they were welcomed in to heaven, and hopefully never really understood to horror unfolding before them.
However their parents, their siblings their grandparents have just started the first day of hell.
It is them that have to figure out what they are going to do with Christmas presents already bought, sitting under the tree waiting for hands that a too cold to unwrap them. There are 27 families that will never be the same. There will be many people that can't handle the pain and suffering and lose their lives to addictions, their will be marriages that can't handle the devastation and will crumble, there will be people so consumed with guilt at not stopping this tragedy that they will not be able to function properly ever again.

But hopefully there will be good too. Hopefully people will be inspired by the memory to create service organizations, scholarship funds, or to treat other people with more kindness and love. Maybe, just maybe, in the end enough people will be inspired to do good that the amount of good that is inspired by this event overtakes the amount of bad, and in all the world is a better place.

In the end, if "the winds and the waves shall obey thy will" I don't know why God didn't make a tree fall on his house and kill him. He had a great hurricane out here just recently that would have done the job quite nicely.
"The very same people who are good sometimes are the very same people who are bad sometimes, it's funny but it's true" -Fred Rogers

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SamBee
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Re: The Elementary School Shooting Today

Post by SamBee » 15 Dec 2012, 11:48

In the end, if "the winds and the waves shall obey thy will" I don't know why God didn't make a tree fall on his house and kill him.
I'd like to know the answer to that, myself. Orthodox Mormon theology would say that we have to see the evil to know the good. Something like that... And there's the Free Agency thing again.

But do bear in mind that sometimes in history, trees HAVE fallen. Very odd... Did you know that a misidentification on radar nearly caused a nuclear war in the 1980s? We can thank one Soviet technician who happened to be bright enough to realize that American missiles were NOT flying at the USSR. He had to plead with his superiors to stop it. I see God's hand in that. Can you imagine what life would be like now? If there was any life left?

Maybe we don't usually notice the trees falling, because they stop events happening. We'd only notice things if the events did happe.
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."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: The Elementary School Shooting Today

Post by Curt Sunshine » 15 Dec 2012, 13:09

it completely shakes the foundation of the idea of an omnipotent God


Precisely, certainly in the traditional Judeo-Christian presentation. Jacob said that exact same thing in the post, and it's one of my favorite parts of the post - that "divine power" means something totally different than most people interpret it.

D&C 121 comes to mind - and it points to what I see as the evolution of religious / theological understanding that must occur for true human progress to be realized.
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

Roy
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Re: The Elementary School Shooting Today

Post by Roy » 16 Dec 2012, 11:17

Jacob, I re-read your beautifully written post again today. There’s so much there to ponder, and I’m sure to read it from time to time in my tomorrows. Thank you again for writing it.

I thought the Lord promised we could enter into His rest, that we could rest from the cares and labors of this world. I thought He promised unspeakable joy. I’ve lost half my siblings and 1/3 of all my children spiritually with hardcore rejection of what they perceive as a brainwashing, controlling, and misogynistic church. The pain and grief is non-extinguishable. Perhaps if I continue to keep my beloved covenants, they will find their way home someday in a nebulous hereafter. But I must tell you I have no desire to have spirit children to go through losing 1/3 again before mortality, nor many more during mortality. I’ve had enough pain for many lifetimes well-beyond my families. If exaltation is more pain, suffering and weeping, then how does the Lord invite us to enter into His rest? What rest would that be exactly? I thought it was rest from the cares and labors of this world. The labor isn’t an issue for me. But the cares is how I’ve pressed forward with a perfect brightness of hope. I’ve wept with many others for their sorrows. I’ve put my arms around them when nothing else would do. I’ve listened as they’ve suffered and mourned. Surely, I’ve been God’s ears, arms and a portion of His love. I did this because I thought I was on His delegated errand while He was enjoying Heaven.

I’ve experienced faithful members comments that parents who lose children messed up by being this or that, or not being this or that. I’ve experienced marginalization in lieu of understanding and empathy at various times because of questions I have. Members have oftentimes been the least compassionate or empathetic. They don’t weep for many of others sorrows—they judge them. Sometimes they are quite mean, actually. Is this the rest I may find someday? Will I find your empathy and compassion there, Jacob? Your tears?

My children live, but are lost. They’ve been destroyed by past addictions and secular ideologies and the allure of temporal pleasures and fun. No one weeps for them but me. I have often felt God cares and He sends the Spirit to comfort me. But, honestly, I’ve never once felt He wept. I hope He has a Godlike strength to comfort, guide, and help; but I hope with all my heart He feels no more pain and does not suffer at all any more over any of His children. I hope His and Mother’s tears are only tears of joy.

“Or what’s a Heaven for?”
Jenny, I honestly don’t know what to say concerning your loss. Most words will be anything from totally insufficient to highly inappropriate. But since this is a forum for discussing in comments what is posted, you deserve some kind of response, however inadequate.

As we’ve already seen in previous comments, there are various ways of interpreting the scriptures concerning the nature of the next phase of human existence, after death. I tempered my interpretation a bit in response to Antonio, but I still have a basic personal conviction concerning what I originally wrote. It’s a conviction, however, that I’m happy to revise as I gain knowledge and experience, and more is revealed to me on a personal level.

I don’t yet have children old enough to lose to addiction and ideology, so I can’t claim to fully understand what that is like. I do, however, have experience with losing faith, losing hope, feeling abandoned by God and my fellow church members. I wrote about one such experience beginning here, if you’re interested: http://bycommonconsent.com/2012/05/13/d ... e-descent/

I learned from that experience that others can testify to you about their personal convictions, tied to how they read the scriptures, concerning the nature of God and the shape of the hope they have for the next life, but what what we really desperately yearn for is our own personal thunderbolt from on high, our own experience with the heavens weeping over our plight. We have a duty, I think, if that’s important to us, to reflect and study and pray, and do what we feel we can to understand and make sense of our experiences. But until we perceive some kind of divine communication, we are fully justified in wondering whether God weeps, whether heaven really cares for us and those we care about.

For my own part, in answer to your question directed at me personally: yes, I will weep for you. I do weep for you. Wherever I am in the universe in the eternities, if you are are disconsolate, you will find me mourning for you, and being with you to the extent that you allow. For my part, if there is a place of pure rest and joy where not even sorrow penetrates our being, then I would turn my back on it, if necessary, in order to mourn with you over your suffering. Maybe this is is the essential reason God is in the end worthy of our worship, that he knows of this realm of paradisiacal non-suffering and pure bliss, maybe he even created it, but he couldn’t leave us to suffer and die alone–so he doesn’t fully dwell there, he attends constantly to his human vineyards and the experiences of his children there. And maybe he presents us with that choice as well: “You can go to the that eternal realm of painless ness and loss of sorrow. Or you can join with me and my Son in the work of eternal lives, in being with, in some way, those who suffer and mourn. We couldn’t leave them and we invite you to stay with us so that they can receive the help and love they need.”

I don’t know. All of this is consistent with my understanding of God, but it needn’t, of course, be the case. I only know that as far as I am concerned, and I am confident many others feel this way as well and even that this is what, in the end, constitutes God as divine, I feel inclined to eternally mourn and comfort, and likely to always need the same, on some level. At the end of the talk from Elder Holland I quoted in the post, he reminds us of this from Joseph Smith: “the nearer we get to our heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs.”
I was very impressed by this exchange. I personally would feel belittled and almost cheated if on judgment day, I was told that my most meaningful sorrows – the ones that had changed my life and understanding – were meaningless. Or worse were a sign of my deficiencies, as if I only had enough faith or a long enough view on things, I wouldn’t be pained by such experiences.

My heart does resonate with a God that knows and loves me so completely, that He would be pained over things that pain me (even if He knows that I am but one in billions and that my pains will someday be replaced with joy). I can also get behind a view where exaltation is dependent on reaching ever greater levels of compassion and charity.
I have the hope that with God’s help I can and am becoming more like this, as one who can endure what needs to be endured in order to extend charity to all.
I understand that being one with all things, without the capacity to change the objectionable things, is not for everyone.

The good news is that:
1) My conception of heaven doesn’t need to have any bearing on anyone else’s conception of heaven.
2) Even if there is a superior form of heaven that God will lead us all into, I trust that He will not force us to assimilate any more than we are ready at a given point in time.
He [Christ] didn’t shrink–until he was on the Cross, until he had borne more than he knew how to bear and cried out in anguished hopelessness that God had abandoned him. It was in that moment, perhaps, more than any other, that he finally, and truly, and terribly, became one with us, one of us….….Jesus did not come to improve God’s view of man nearly so much as He came to improve man’s view of God and to plead with them to love their Heavenly Father as He has always and will always love them. The plan of God, the power of God, the holiness of God, yes, even the anger and the judgment of God they had occasion to understand. But the love of God, the profound depth of His devotion to His children, they still did not fully know—until Christ came.
Perhaps Heavenly Father didn’t need Christ to sacrifice himself in order to forgive us. Perhaps we need some type of key or prop to help us to more fully understand God’s love for us and his capacity to forgive – and Jesus’ death became that key.

Much to ponder, thanks for the link Ray! (also the link appears to be broken as I couldn’t just click on it to get to common consent)
"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

church0333
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Re: The Elementary School Shooting Today

Post by church0333 » 16 Dec 2012, 13:01

Thanks for posting this. I'm trying to take a break from all web sites the rest of this year, you know just take a step back and breathe. I spoke in church today but the whole mood of the congregation was low. I weep for these families and weep for me because I only really pay attention because my wife teaches elementary school and the first HS shooting happened in my home town of Springfield Oregon 14 years ago. I weep because the kids look like they could be my grand kids and yes, something like this does happen every day of the year but I don't feel it, really feel it. As some commented, therefore I stand rebuked before God and man. My prayer is I become part of the solution.

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SamBee
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Re: The Elementary School Shooting Today

Post by SamBee » 17 Dec 2012, 07:17

Not the only massacre that day apparently... seems some young man did much the same with a knife in a Chinese school...
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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Bruce in Montana
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Re: The Elementary School Shooting Today

Post by Bruce in Montana » 17 Dec 2012, 18:10

Surely not Sam, according to the government...it was the lack of gun control and China has plenty of that.
Many are wondering if this god of miracles and god of healing couldn't have prevented this.
Some say he could, but chose not to.
If that's the case, what is the point of praying for someone? Surely some of these parents prayed that their children would be kept safe.
Just a thought:
Does this reveal priesthood "blessings" as wastes of time....since He is going to do, and allow, as He sees fit despite any of our pleas?
How about putting someone's name on a temple roll?

Seems rather futile.

But we should have "faith" and shouldn't question. I guess.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-William S.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: The Elementary School Shooting Today

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Dec 2012, 18:38

Again, please read the post. The first half is all about the feeling of hopelessness caused by the idea that God literally is omnipotent and simply chooses to allow extreme suffering, while the second half is about what can be taken from the idea of "the weeping God of Mormonism". I wanted that to be the discussion, with the chance to excerpt from it and discuss those excerpts, not just a rehash of hopelessness and/or a world of unicorns and sunshine.

I knew there was a chance we could discuss the actual post and a chance that it wouldn't happen. As the person who posted this, I will shut it down if it isn't about the post to which I linked.

[I will take the blame for not realizing I hadn't included an active link, but just a url. I have fixed that, so there is a link now.]
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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Bruce in Montana
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Re: The Elementary School Shooting Today

Post by Bruce in Montana » 17 Dec 2012, 21:20

Sorry the discussion didn't go the way "you wanted it" Ray.
Maybe everyone isn't up to your level of spiritual understanding.

Well, Jacob speaks several times of "comfort". How is one to "comfort"?
"Healing the sick" is mentioned but I don't suppose we should ask for that either.
Unicorns and sunshine, I suppose.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-William S.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: The Elementary School Shooting Today

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Dec 2012, 22:37

That wasn't directed at you alone, Bruce, and I apologize for not realizing both of my comments followed yours until I went back and looked. It was coincidental to the timing of my own logging on and checking, and it hadn't hit me that it would look like I was directing the point only to you.

Having said that, please lay off the sarcasm. It also isn't wanted - in the least.

I said I want this post to be about the post to which I linked. Anyone who posts something here has the right to ask that the accompanying thread be about the actual post. That is simple courtesy, and we have asked for that courtesy more than once when the poster has expressed concern over the direction of the thread. This isn't about "the way I want it"; it's about respecting the wishes of the person who posts something. "Spiritual understanding" had absolutely nothing to do with the request.

This is the last comment I will make about that issue. Everyone, please respect the intent of the post. I really would like a conversation about the post to which I linked, so if someone else wants to post something more open-ended about God and suffering, feel free to do so.
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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