Ray DeGraw wrote:I understand and agree with that sentiment, Roy - but, the thing is, (almost) all people believe what Elder Oaks said to one degree or another; we simply draw our lines in different places and with regard to different things.
At the extreme, assuming the existence of God, I don't think anyone here thinks that God would reward / bless / endorse / whatever someone who is a serial murderer or rapist exactly like someone who does his or her best to live the most moral life s/he understands. We might believe God loves that mortal monster as much as God loves each of us, but when it comes to what that means in the eternities, most of us shudder to accept a completely non-action-based, fully universal sameness of treatment (the application of God's love that I think is the heart of Elder Nelson's talk). The only way around that dissonance is to believe in a more Buddhist concept of eternal progression that posits everyone will have as long as it takes to become godly (whether or not multiple mortal opportunities are involved) - that, eventually, the serial murderer or rapist will repent (change) and be sanctified.
That is a lovely ideal, and I lean toward it, but it absolutely is painful, gut-wrenching, soul-searing heresy to the families of the victims (the idea that they and their loved ones will have to live forever in the presence of vicious abusers who hurt them in real and deep ways) - as is evidenced by the visceral outcry when people realized someone had performed the temple work for Hitler.
I think I get what you are saying Ray. You seem to be saying that the vision of a God that rewards us based upon our actions (and punishes our enemies to some extent) works for most people. I agree.
With many individuals I might feel apprehension about continuing but I trust you enough to proceed – even if we ultimately disagree about some particulars
I imagine that all of us have hurt someone. There must be a mechanism to forgive the perpetrator without invalidating the hurt. I hate taking things to extremes of rapists and murderers and I hope that no-one reading this has any such personal experience. I only believe that God will not sever his relationship with even the worst of us. I read an article of a son with bouts of mental illness that killed a sibling and his mother. The article was about the father that still visits him in prison. He doesn't protest his boy's innocence. He says that he has already lost so much that is beyond his control - maintaining a relationship with his son is something that he does have some choice in.
I’m not suggesting that everyone’s heaven will be the same. Nor am I suggesting that God would allow certain individuals to be in a position in the afterlife where they will inflict more harm on others of his children.
A) That God knows us completely and understands us even if he might disagree with some of our choices.
B) That God loves each of his children always and will seek what is best for us.
What is best for one person might not be a good fit for another. I believe that God will seek the highest good for us individually and collectively. I do not know what that will look like in the eternities and I am comfortable not knowing.
"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