Everyone will be tried as Abraham...

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Beefster
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Everyone will be tried as Abraham...

Post by Beefster » 09 Apr 2018, 16:50

Yesterday, I was reading something on FAIRLDS about polygamy and there was a part on Emma/polygamy being an Abrahamic trial and some teaching of one of Joseph Smith or Brigham Young saying that everyone will be tried as Abraham and only the successful are fit for the CK- some trial so difficult that only the most faithful will succeed. I've heard the teaching before, but it never really sat well with me.

The Binding of Isaac itself was a horrible event that has never sat well with me. The more I think about it, the more it sounds like a loyalty test given to mafia recruits.

What if the real test is to stand up to unethical commands? What if Abraham is the failure?
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

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LookingHard
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Re: Everyone will be tried as Abraham...

Post by LookingHard » 09 Apr 2018, 20:09

I no longer attribute the story of Abraham to God. I just think it is a tribal story about how great one of the early leaders was super-duper righteous.

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Beefster
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Re: Everyone will be tried as Abraham...

Post by Beefster » 09 Apr 2018, 20:40

I chucked it out as nonliteral a long time ago anyway. It has some interesting symbolic parallels to the Atonement of Christ, but aside from that, it's a terrible situation to be in.

Still doesn't reflect well on Abraham or Yahweh, as characters in a story. Like I said, it looks like a mafia loyalty test.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

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nibbler
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Re: Everyone will be tried as Abraham...

Post by nibbler » 10 Apr 2018, 04:57

There was a thread that had discussion that is related to this topic:

I Reject the "Abrahamic Test"
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.
― Rumi

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DarkJedi
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Re: Everyone will be tried as Abraham...

Post by DarkJedi » 10 Apr 2018, 05:01

I also don't take it literally, and as you point out (and Curt has said here many times) it is very possible Abraham failed that test.

I have heard this idea we'll all be tested as Abraham was before, and actually fairly recently. Along with that was the idea we must all have a "Joseph Smith experience" to gain a strong testimony.

I do espouse the idea that if there was a test, Abraham failed it. I also don't believe God tests us. Why would God do that?
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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nibbler
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Re: Everyone will be tried as Abraham...

Post by nibbler » 10 Apr 2018, 05:39

I think people are trying to say, "When the trials in life come, remember this example of a person that held onto their faith, you can too." or some such.

But language is fun and there are as many interpretations as there are people.
DarkJedi wrote:
10 Apr 2018, 05:01
I have heard this idea we'll all be tested as Abraham was before, and actually fairly recently. Along with that was the idea we must all have a "Joseph Smith experience" to gain a strong testimony.
The story of Abraham came up fairly recently in SS. I thought about bringing up the Abraham failed the test thing, then though of all the people that would get their Gs in a twist, then decided to keep my mouth shut.

I don't know what a "Joseph Smith experience" is. A specific joke comes to mind but I'll play nice.

This is the subject of another thread entirely, but what is this "strong testimony" we're all chasing? Is there ever a moment in life where one could say, "My testimony is strong enough." ?
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.
― Rumi

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SamBee
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Re: Everyone will be tried as Abraham...

Post by SamBee » 10 Apr 2018, 07:19

The Abraham story is about abandoning human sacrifice.

In the Koran it is Ishmael, the ancestor of the Arabs on the altar, not Isaac, ancestor of the Jews.
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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On Own Now
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Re: Everyone will be tried as Abraham...

Post by On Own Now » 10 Apr 2018, 07:27

Setting aside the specific "Abrahamic Test" and just talking about the real world, I must say that I'm not a fan of any mode of 'test'. God, who knows our hearts, surely doesn't need to test us. The notion that God would hurt us or put us in no-win situations to see what we will do is so dark-ages.

Rather, I believe that when we go through difficulties, we have the opportunity to come out on the other side stronger, that is if we are able to get through it. So, tough experiences are not evaluations of who we are, but moments that make us who we are. Those who have suffered the loss of a loved one may come through it with a deeper appreciation of life itself and more empathy and compassion for others when they are suffering.

In a lighter example, and for those who have played contact sports, it's getting the wind knocked out of you, and then getting back on your feet and back on the field knowing that you can take that kind of pain and still thrive. Those who can do this gain the confidence to become better players.

As the good book says, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". Well, it doesn't say that exactly, but somewhere there is something about a chicken.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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dande48
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Re: Everyone will be tried as Abraham...

Post by dande48 » 10 Apr 2018, 08:04

I've often heard "Everyone will be tried as Abraham" to mean that anyone who will make it to the celestial kingdom, become gods, etc will have to go through all the pain and sufferings Abraham did.''When going through pain and suffering, my wife has a need for empathy. "How would you like it, if I stuck a knife in your gut?", she said, going through menstrual cramps. "I would not like it at all", I'd reply.

I think JS, BY, etc used this saying to convince others that:
1. "I'm righteous, chosen of God, because I suffer."
2. "You need to stop complaining when things get tough, because that's what you signed up for, when you chose to follow God" (though me, your prophet).
3. "At least I'm not asking you to kill your own son."

While I do believe suffering and sadness are a part of life for everyone, I don't believe a large magnitude of suffering is unavoidable. In fact, I think a lot of sorrow and suffering in life is preventable. Heck, the General Authorities receive a $120,000+ salary, which is solely to ease the burden of the sacrifice they make. The truth is, all people are blessed with a disproportionate amount of fortune and misfortune. No one "deserves" the hand they are dealt. And while I'm a big believer in turning our hardships are learning experiences, that which doesn't kill you sometimes makes you weaker.

Both the rich and poor like to believe their wealth is a sign of God's favor. I wish people would stop equating blessings and comfort, or suffering and trials, with goodness and virtue.
"The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy. "
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Roy
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Re: Everyone will be tried as Abraham...

Post by Roy » 10 Apr 2018, 09:37

At the time of the stillbirth of our daughter I was serving as WML and DW served as PP. As a result of our FC we not only went inactive but began attending a Baptist church (at the time the doctrine of grace was what I really needed).

Our bishop gave a talk in church about how each of us would be tested as Abraham in a way that is specially designed to bring us to the brink. The purpose of the test is to prove our worthiness for celestial glory. Like Job and Abraham, if we but remain faithful through the test everything that we have lost will be restored to us.

An LDS coworker found me in the lunchroom, told me about the bishop's talk, and told me that they just knew that DW and I were failing our test. This woman was very concerned and emphatic that if DW and I did not let our grief for our daughter blind us/distract us from the plan of happiness - we would have our daughter again.

I thanked this woman for her concern. I even gave her a hug. She was sincere. However, I did not need or want a God that needed to test my resolve and my loyalty. I needed a God that would love me and hold me in my brokenness.
"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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