Can we "buy" blessings?

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dande48
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by dande48 » 10 Feb 2018, 23:06

Reuben wrote:
10 Feb 2018, 15:06
And now for something completely different: I had coffee with a vicar friend this week, who pointed out that the Lord's Prayer asks for no individual blessings at all.
I like that.
"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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SamBee
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by SamBee » 11 Feb 2018, 06:34

dande48 wrote:
10 Feb 2018, 23:06
Reuben wrote:
10 Feb 2018, 15:06
And now for something completely different: I had coffee with a vicar friend this week, who pointed out that the Lord's Prayer asks for no individual blessings at all.
I like that.
Sorry that is completely false doctrine. There are at least three blessings that it requests - daily bread, forgiveness and deliverance from evil.
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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DarkJedi
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by DarkJedi » 11 Feb 2018, 08:12

SamBee wrote:
11 Feb 2018, 06:34
dande48 wrote:
10 Feb 2018, 23:06
Reuben wrote:
10 Feb 2018, 15:06
And now for something completely different: I had coffee with a vicar friend this week, who pointed out that the Lord's Prayer asks for no individual blessings at all.
I like that.
Sorry that is completely false doctrine. There are at least three blessings that it requests - daily bread, forgiveness and deliverance from evil.
But it is worded in plural, using us. Jesus was apparently offering a group prayer. Individuals could get those things, but that was not the specific request, it seems to have been for all of us collectively. This is as opposed to Jesus saying "Give me my daily bread."
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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SamBee
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by SamBee » 11 Feb 2018, 09:12

Us includes I....
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: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 11 Feb 2018, 09:48

As I said, it is a distinction without a difference.

The sentiment is nice, but I think it twists the words to express it as a condemnation/criticism of asking for individual blessings in personal prayers - which is how the original statement came across to me.
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: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by SamBee » 11 Feb 2018, 10:15

Our Father which art in heaven, - As opposed to our Earthly father. Directed to God, acknowledging our relationship.

Hallowed be thy name. - Praising and respecting God. Obedience #1 - directed to God.

Thy kingdom come, - Multiple interpretations, eschatological & in terms of our actions. Obedience #2

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. - Do good here on Earth and pray God's will be followed. Obedience #3

Give us this day our daily bread. - Look after our physical needs. Personal Request #1 - Requested from God

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. - Forgiveness on both sides. Look after our relational needs. Personal Request #2

And lead us not into temptation, - Make life easier! Personal Request #3

but deliver us from evil: - Keep misfortune away from us. Personal Request #4

For thine is the kingdom, - Echoing the beginning. Acknowledgement #1 - Praise

and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. - Doxology & mantra. Acknowledgements 2, 3 &4. Praise

===

Esoteric meanings

* God is the father of our souls.
* Man does not live by bread alone.
* Unless we forgive others we cannot be forgiven.
* The kingdom can be that sought within or that we seek to create.
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."

Roy
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by Roy » 11 Feb 2018, 12:52

dande48 wrote:
09 Feb 2018, 13:05
Back to the definition of a blessing, I would place them in four categories.
  1. Psychological (I feel good)
  2. Natural (I am healthy)
  3. Fortune (My crops have done well)
  4. Supernatural (Mansion in heaven)
So in some areas, yes, you can "buy" blessings. In other areas, it's a gamble.
I have though much on this topic. The bible tells us that "Everything good comes from God." Therefore everything good is a blessing and everyone has them. There are things that I can do to increase some of the good things in my life. The pursuit of good things is valuable and respectable up to a point.

Where I see the dark side of the equation is when individuals become so driven for greater "good things" that they fail to acknowledge, appreciate, and enjoy the good things right before them. This easily applies to the business man surrounded by wealth but always out for more. I believe this also applies to the grandmother with beautiful and numerous posterity that spends her golden years fretting about her grandchildren's choices keeping them out of the "eternal family".

There is a saying "The greatest wealth is contentment with little." Perhaps the greatest blessing is contentment with the blessings you already have.

Perhaps the question I should ask is not if I can "buy" blessings but to what extent I can learn to let that go and live in the now.
"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: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by DarkJedi » 11 Feb 2018, 14:10

Roy wrote:
11 Feb 2018, 12:52
Perhaps the question I should ask is not if I can "buy" blessings but to what extent I can learn to let that go and live in the now.
:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

This is pretty much what I meant when I told my son we can't buy blessings.
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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DarkJedi
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by DarkJedi » 11 Feb 2018, 14:21

We're just going to have to agree to disagree, Sam. I think if Jesus really was demonstrating how to pray, as is our theology (or perhaps pseudo-doctrine), he could - and probably should - have very well made the prayer first person singular instead of first person plural.

And just to re-emphasize what I have stated earlier, I don't ask for things in prayer because I don't believe in that kind of prayer or that prayers are answered in that way (or ever for that matter). Asking for things, even daily bread, is futile IMO. That is my opinion and I don't expect everyone here to share that opinion.

The real question with the Lord's prayer as related to the topic, is was this an attempt to "buy" blessings? I don't think I had prayer in mind specifically when the question came up. I was definitely thinking more along the lines of obedience to x = blessing y. Although nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to pray (one of the first things the BD says, interestingly) I do agree that people (not this particular person) could see prayer as a way of gaining (or buying) blessings and the wording of the Lord's prayer could play into that way of thinking.

From another point of view, asking (or perhaps begging) for a blessing is different than trying to buy a blessing through obedience or worthiness. That is, I think it may be entirely possible to ask for a blessing (as in asking for forgiveness in prayer) but that is different from buying that blessing. In that case, God could give or not give the blessing as God sees fit, perhaps based on obedience or "worthiness" or perhaps not. We are all beggars after all, and none of us are really worthy of the blessings we receive even if those blessings are only perceived (recognizing that perception is reality).

As a side note, I also find it interesting the sacrament prayers are in third person plural. I often change the wording in my mind to first person singular.
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

Curt Sunshine
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Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 11 Feb 2018, 16:14

Fwiw, I also don't see the Lord's Prayer as an outline of how to pray - or, especially, as a template to be recited. I don't take the Bible that literally. I am fine, however, with using it to teach a general approach to prayer: sample elements that are fine, so to speak. (like directly addressing the Father, some kind of praise / thanks language, requesting help, asking for unity with God in some way, etc.) I know that comes close to an outline, but I see it more as a springboard. My main concern with how it is used is much like my main concern with continuing as adults to pray like we teach children: making prayer limited and formulaic instead of limitless and expansive.

I just don't think it is valid to use the Lord's Prayer to criticize the idea of asking for blessings in prayers. I think that approach requires a heaping spoonful of distortion with which I personally am not comfortable.
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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