Saving Ordinances

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Saving Ordinances

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Apr 2019, 05:44

Curt Sunshine wrote:
31 Mar 2019, 13:57
My main point is that Mormonism is not unique in its general view of universalism and its use of "ordinances" (sacred acts) to symbolize faith, desire, and intent - nor is it unique in that not all its adherents embrace universality of some kind. Most of the exceptions throughout religion to this general view are conservative pockets / denominations /sects of various religions, which vary in size within religions and denominations. Mormonism is an interesting mixture of so many aspects of everyone else - and it is a fascinating example (to me) of a religion that has see-sawed doctrinally back and forth on this issue over time.
I agree that this is fascinating. I have undertaken a fairly in depth study of our culture and history of late, relying mostly on the accounts of believing members (like Bushman and Givens) and original sources (principally the Joseph Smith Papers). I recently learned that until around the 1960s the idea that people could progress through the kingdoms was widely accepted and taught (this is from Wrestling the Angel by Terryl Givens, and he does provide references). While the church has grown tremendously since that time and there are few members alive now who would remember that, it was indeed our doctrine for well over 100 years. It's just been fascinating enough to see how Joseph's own theology changed from 1830 to the early 1840s, and the kind of influence converts brought to our theology - stuff from other churches that Joseph didn't necessarily believe or teach and that he and Brigham disagreed over.
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: Saving Ordinances

Post by nibbler » 01 Apr 2019, 05:50

Getting technical here. Is it god saying things or is it man saying that god said things? When someone accepts something as scripture, is there still a difference?
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
— Henry David Thoreau

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dande48
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Re: Saving Ordinances

Post by dande48 » 01 Apr 2019, 07:15

nibbler wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 05:50
Getting technical here. Is it god saying things or is it man saying that god said things? When someone accepts something as scripture, is there still a difference?
If your perspective and reality are different, can you tell?

That being said, I highly doubt our scriptures are on God's list of favorite books of all time. I figure at most He'd give it 2 Stars. "Way too thick. Too wordy. Too many metaphors. Overly ambiguous in some places, which really hinders it. Lots of claims, but poor citations. Kind of boring, TBH."
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

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AmyJ
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Re: Saving Ordinances

Post by AmyJ » 01 Apr 2019, 07:33

nibbler wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 05:50
Getting technical here. Is it god saying things or is it man saying that god said things? When someone accepts something as scripture, is there still a difference?
There is that. But the additional caveat I have is "Are you accurately perceiving what the man saying that God said things actually said and meant"?
My faith transition started because I realized that assuming that God was saying things to man that God actually wanted humanity to know, my brain was wired to miss up to 40% of it because it would be conveyed non-verbally. It's humbling to rebuild looking for the 40%...

NOTE: Assuming that God directed the words I needed to be written down and the message I need to be communicated in a way that I can perceive, I am still going to be missing things. There are going to be key unspoken points (usually cultural) that I will not pick up and I will not fully get. I get a lot of hand-waving "but God can and will send messages tailored to your brain" from others... which is not helpful because then the next question my brain redirects to "is how do I know it is from God and not just my divine spirit and/or common sense"? Also not helpful. Referencing the scriptures goes back into that loop - did I really get what they meant?.
At this point, I have grown comfortable with living life as if the heavens are silent. It's not perfect - but it is a step up from waving my fist in the air while shouting "Why don't you answer me?" or "Why don't I get it? Everyone says that they are getting these wonderful clear messages these days (which I am happy for them and their certainty)..." I like to think that I am the first to tune in when I believe that a better truth is being communicated to me...

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DarkJedi
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Re: Saving Ordinances

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Apr 2019, 09:27

nibbler wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 05:50
Getting technical here. Is it god saying things or is it man saying that god said things? When someone accepts something as scripture, is there still a difference?
Excellent point, and from my point of view it seems to always be the latter - some guy saying God said something.
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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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Saving Ordinances

Post by Curt Sunshine » 01 Apr 2019, 11:31

I accept scripture as people's best efforts to share their views of who God is and what God has said.

I value scripture highly - not as a record of God's words but as a record of human understanding of God. I am fascinated by the evolution of scriptural content over time and across humanity - by what stays essentially the same (albeit in different terms that make people believe it has changed) and by what actually does change.

Theology and the resultant doctrine change regularly as people change, so scripture changes, as well - even if many people don't understand that simple fact.
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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Rumin8
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Re: Saving Ordinances

Post by Rumin8 » 01 Apr 2019, 15:07

I'm trying to let go of the literalism of scripture. It's interesting that this has been easier for me to do this with the bible, than it is for the BoM. Perhaps because I have been taught since birth that the bible was fallible but the BoM was the literal word of god via a direct link from JC/God to JS. By removing literalism and certainty for the scriptures, I have started to enjoyed them more. This is a big deal for me. The only other time I really enjoyed the scriptures was in the MTC and at certain times on my mission.

The following axiom about the Bible from an early episode of the Liturgists podcast resonated with me (given that it is a non-LDS but Christian podcast, this just references the bible but can be applicable to the BoM perhaps even for skeptics):

"The Bible is AT LEAST a set of writings where a people group describes their experience with and understanding of God over thousands of years. EVEN IF that is a comprehensive definition of God, study of scripture is warranted to understand our culture and the way in which people come to know God."
"Moderation in all things, especially moderation." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Be excellent to each other." - Abraham Lincoln to Bill & Ted

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Saving Ordinances

Post by Curt Sunshine » 01 Apr 2019, 15:34

Great quote, Ruminat8. Thanks for sharing it.
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: Saving Ordinances

Post by SamBee » 01 Apr 2019, 15:51

I think some people experience a form of Hell in this world. In fact some have suggested this is a Hell world (there are reasons I disagree - there is too much beauty and goodness here, despite the evil.)

But no, I can't see how it is fair for good or even mediocre people to be lumped next to the most evil and degenerate.

God's forgiveness is said to be infinite, but even if people forgive each other of the worst atrocities, they shall still be reminded of them by the presence of those who did that to them, and those who did such things will be reminded of what they did and see it for the terrible thing it was. So even forgiveness will not remove that stain. It would be a form of Hell for both parties.

Elizabeth Smart, who I admire very much, has said that she has forgiven her captors but can never condone what they did to her. In this she displays both Christlike attributes and a wisdom beyond many people. However, I doubt she wishes to be constantly reminded of her experience or to have those people living in the same house with her own children. She has expressed a desire to move on.

I think when people grasp the magnitude of what they've done, it will be difficult for them. The bag snatcher may hurt people and cause pain, but that is nothing compared to someone who murders repeatedly in cold blood or deliberately tortures them.
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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