Can we "buy" blessings?

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AmyJ
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by AmyJ » 09 Feb 2018, 12:12

DarkJedi wrote:
09 Feb 2018, 11:42
That's why I think this is a bit frustrating to me - my Pharisaical side wants a checklist or if-then situation when that's not how things really work.
I feel your pain brother.

I would also dearly love a checklist to compare against... but that doesn't work because:
a) Who would write it? Prophets or others of God's Messengers would have to write it and prove that it came from God - and we have a REALLY BAD track record with that method...
b) It would be distilling and standardizing the human experience/motivation pattern into one size fits all - and that always worked so well..
c) the "one size fits all" (assuming you could create one that overcomes gender/developmental/generational/MBTI equaivalent type personality differences) would need to span at least several thousand years of human species development...
d) Would I really WANT to be judged against the generic standard when it didn't work for me/launched me out of stage 3?

I decided that my current stance is that through prayer, common sense, knowledge, and choices - I am writing my own personal checklist.

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nibbler
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by nibbler » 09 Feb 2018, 12:28

The fortune cookie I just cracked says:

Righteous living is its own reward.


...in bed.
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold
-Jesus

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dande48
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by dande48 » 09 Feb 2018, 13:05

DarkJedi wrote:
09 Feb 2018, 11:42
That's why I think this is a bit frustrating to me - my Pharisaical side wants a checklist or if-then situation when that's not how things really work.
I completely agree with Amy. The trouble is, the Church (and most religions) frame things in a check-list fashion. If you do x, you will be rewarded with y. However, there is no scientific way to test this. 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)
I have seen plenty of results in the natural, such as healthy eating and exercise leading to a healthy body. The psychological blessings seem to come, regardless of religious affiliation. Serving at a soup kitchen will give you a sense of fulfillment, whether you are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or atheist. Fortune seems entirely fickle and irrespective of a person's "divine favor", although there are things you can do to improve your odds. And anything Supernatural is unprovable.

So in some areas, yes, you can "buy" blessings. In other areas, it's a gamble.
"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."
-Lemony Snicket

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dande48
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by dande48 » 09 Feb 2018, 13:07

nibbler wrote:
09 Feb 2018, 12:28
The fortune cookie I just cracked says:

Righteous living is its own reward.


...in bed.
:clap: :clap: :clap:
"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."
-Lemony Snicket

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SamBee
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by SamBee » 09 Feb 2018, 15:16

Doing good things won't necessarily make your life injury free, but doing bad things will often result in injury to you of your own making.

While faith is paramount, unless you try to live a good life, it is somewhat valueless.
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 » 09 Feb 2018, 15:58

SamBee wrote:
09 Feb 2018, 15:16
Doing good things won't necessarily make your life injury free, but doing bad things will often result in injury to you of your own making.

While faith is paramount, unless you try to live a good life, it is somewhat valueless.
Good point Sam - neither faith nor works really get us anywhere by themselves.
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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Reflexzero
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by Reflexzero » 10 Feb 2018, 13:36

The whole act of “being redeemed” is steeped in the ideas and language of exchange and transaction. Being ransomed, paying for sins, delivered, literally buying back your freedom from bondage.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by DarkJedi » 10 Feb 2018, 14:00

Reflexzero wrote:
10 Feb 2018, 13:36
The whole act of “being redeemed” is steeped in the ideas and language of exchange and transaction. Being ransomed, paying for sins, delivered, literally buying back your freedom from bondage.
I hear what you're saying (and I hear it said often in church), but I disagree with those ideas.
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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Reuben
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by Reuben » 10 Feb 2018, 15:06

One of my favorite stories related to this topic is that of Job. Not because it shows that horrible things can happen to good people, but because of something Satan says at the beginning:
9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
Here's how it reads to me:
Look, Jehovah, your best buddy Job there only obeys you because you bless him for it. He's not a good person, he's your mercenary. If you curse him instead, I guarantee you he'll curse you right back.
This gets at the problem I have with the "law irrevocably decreed" and such: if the blessing doesn't follow as a natural consequence, it encourages being a mercenary instead of being good.

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.
My intro

Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before certainty.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Can we "buy" blessings?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 Feb 2018, 17:02

The Lord's Prayer isn't a personal prayer; it is a group prayer. Thus, it doesn't ask for personal blessings but rather group blessings. IMO, that is a distinction without a difference. Just saying. :D

I think humans collectively need to believe we can earn blessings, but many of us also don't want to believe we deserve blessings based solely on our actions. The end result of such a philosophy is quite nasty pride and condemnation among the privileged.

I like the idea of being blessed, ultimately, based on sincere efforts and following our consciences - founded on an expansive understanding of atonement/grace. It isn't as easy as either extreme, but it is much more satisfying 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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