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Re: Prophetic Flaws in Scripture

Posted: 02 May 2019, 04:26
by rrosskopf
DarkJedi wrote:
29 Apr 2019, 17:22
I agree the God (perfect) Jesus and the human (imperfect?) Jesus are one of the many paradoxes in Mormonism and to some extent Christianity in general. There are Christians and some Mormons who see Jesus as fully God and fully human simultaneously. My own view is pretty close to that, I'm just not completely sure about the God part.
What we really need to understand is what "perfect" entails here. When it comes to morality, I believe that perfection is loving God with all your heart, or, in other words, having your priorities in the right place. One can have all their priorities in the right place and still suffer pain, hunger and disease.

Re: Prophetic Flaws in Scripture

Posted: 02 May 2019, 06:00
by DarkJedi
rrosskopf wrote:
02 May 2019, 04:26
DarkJedi wrote:
29 Apr 2019, 17:22
I agree the God (perfect) Jesus and the human (imperfect?) Jesus are one of the many paradoxes in Mormonism and to some extent Christianity in general. There are Christians and some Mormons who see Jesus as fully God and fully human simultaneously. My own view is pretty close to that, I'm just not completely sure about the God part.
What we really need to understand is what "perfect" entails here. When it comes to morality, I believe that perfection is loving God with all your heart, or, in other words, having your priorities in the right place. One can have all their priorities in the right place and still suffer pain, hunger and disease.
My understanding of the Biblical definition of perfection was/is whole or complete. Modern dictionary definitions are not all that different. I think when Jesus said "be ye therefore perfect" he was talking about a future time after mastering the beatitudes, very much like Elder Holland's "eventually." I don't think we even can be perfect (whole, complete) in this life but eventually will be as we follow the steps to perfection which would include, as you point out, loving God (and loving our neighbor). I'm not sure this is related at all to suffering, etc., but I also don't subscribe to the idea God is testing us.

Re: Prophetic Flaws in Scripture

Posted: 02 May 2019, 10:02
by Roy
I think it is worth stating that we, as a church community, are not great at teaching perfection as something less than exacting idealized performances. This then gets us into trouble when we teach that the church is either true or a damnable heresy AND that the church is "perfect" but the people are not. When people conflate these two ideas and then come up against compelling evidence that the church is not "perfect" then the only option that they feel is left to the is that the church is not "true" either.

We seem to want to have it both ways where Prophets are men that are subject to the same issues that other men face but at the same time "will never lead the church astray."

(Incidentally my Uncle has a philosophy where individual LDS church presidents can make even large doctrinal or policy mistakes - but that over time the church will course correct and refine out those errors. Therefore, the church is closer to perfection today then it was 100 years ago and will be closer to perfection in 100 years than it is today. IOW, the process of "restoration" is continuing. Nod to Elder Uchtdorf. 8-) )

Re: Prophetic Flaws in Scripture

Posted: 02 May 2019, 15:00
by DarkJedi
Roy wrote:
02 May 2019, 10:02
(Incidentally my Uncle has a philosophy where individual LDS church presidents can make even large doctrinal or policy mistakes - but that over time the church will course correct and refine out those errors. Therefore, the church is closer to perfection today then it was 100 years ago and will be closer to perfection in 100 years than it is today. IOW, the process of "restoration" is continuing. Nod to Elder Uchtdorf. 8-) )
I pretty much agree with your uncle. And Uchtdorf. Therefore, the church is not perfect (whole, complete) yet but will be eventually. Nod to Holland.

Re: Prophetic Flaws in Scripture

Posted: 02 May 2019, 18:21
by Curt Sunshine
I do like the concept that perfection can be seen as acting always from a heart full of love - living the greatest commandments to the absolute best of our ability. I would say that is a perfect attitude, since it is completely and fully in line with what obedience is supposed to be.

However, given how radically differently individuals can act with a heart full of love (even in damaging ways), I have to classify that as an element of perfection - being perfect in one area but not necessarily being truly perfect (complete and whole in all ways.)

Re: Prophetic Flaws in Scripture

Posted: 03 May 2019, 05:48
by nibbler
Since we're on the subject of perfection/wholeness/completeness.
Roy wrote:
02 May 2019, 10:02
(Incidentally my Uncle has a philosophy where individual LDS church presidents can make even large doctrinal or policy mistakes - but that over time the church will course correct and refine out those errors. Therefore, the church is closer to perfection today then it was 100 years ago and will be closer to perfection in 100 years than it is today. IOW, the process of "restoration" is continuing. Nod to Elder Uchtdorf. 8-) )
Under that model the church never attains perfection. As long as there is a future, that future will hold a more perfect version of the church. That might be the point though, that there's always room to do things better.

Sticking with the idea of perfection meaning whole or complete... I think we mostly look at the concept of perfection from an individual perspective. What do I have to do to be more perfect? When will I become perfect? What if we looked at the concept of perfection from a community perspective? Where I lack another excels. Where another lacks I excel. Together we attain perfection. The more people in a community, the more "perfect" it becomes. The more diverse a community, the more "perfect" it becomes; because the benefits of a large community are diminished when the community is completely homogeneous.

Of a large community of diverse people with diverse experiences one could say, "[it has suffered all] infirmities, that [its] bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that [it] may know according to the flesh how to succor [its] people according to their infirmities."

Perhaps perfection cannot be attained alone. Which fits into LDS theology - one has to be sealed to others.

Re: Prophetic Flaws in Scripture

Posted: 03 May 2019, 06:20
by AmyJ
nibbler wrote:
03 May 2019, 05:48
Sticking with the idea of perfection meaning whole or complete... I think we mostly look at the concept of perfection from an individual perspective. What do I have to do to be more perfect? When will I become perfect? What if we looked at the concept of perfection from a community perspective? Where I lack another excels. Where another lacks I excel. Together we attain perfection. The more people in a community, the more "perfect" it becomes. The more diverse a community, the more "perfect" it becomes; because the benefits of a large community are diminished when the community is completely homogeneous.

Of a large community of diverse people with diverse experiences one could say, "[it has suffered all] infirmities, that [its] bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that [it] may know according to the flesh how to succor [its] people according to their infirmities."

Perhaps perfection cannot be attained alone. Which fits into LDS theology - one has to be sealed to others.
This works for me. But it goes beyond entrance into the community through baptism and temple work - it is truly doing whatever it takes individually to be able to empathetically "mourn with those that mourn" and "comfort those that stand in need of comfort".

Re: Prophetic Flaws in Scripture

Posted: 03 May 2019, 07:03
by DarkJedi
nibbler wrote:
03 May 2019, 05:48
Since we're on the subject of perfection/wholeness/completeness.

Perhaps perfection cannot be attained alone. Which fits into LDS theology - one has to be sealed to others.
This also fits with the Zion idea and Zion as it's described in the BoM.

Re: Prophetic Flaws in Scripture

Posted: 03 May 2019, 07:26
by dande48
nibbler wrote:
03 May 2019, 05:48
Under that model the church never attains perfection. As long as there is a future, that future will hold a more perfect version of the church. That might be the point though, that there's always room to do things better.
Along this idea... the thing about "perfection", is that what it actually means or looks like changes over time. Values change, and I have no doubt they will change and change again. I'd bet Brigham Young would think the Church today is father from perfection than it was in his time. I have no doubt those in the future will be equally revolted by our "perfection" ideals as well.
nibbler wrote:
03 May 2019, 05:48
Sticking with the idea of perfection meaning whole or complete... I think we mostly look at the concept of perfection from an individual perspective. What do I have to do to be more perfect? When will I become perfect? What if we looked at the concept of perfection from a community perspective? Where I lack another excels. Where another lacks I excel. Together we attain perfection. The more people in a community, the more "perfect" it becomes. The more diverse a community, the more "perfect" it becomes; because the benefits of a large community are diminished when the community is completely homogeneous.
I completely agree with the above sentiment, that diversity leads closer to what I consider to be "perfection". But it hasn't always been that way. Diversity often leads to conflict. To me, "perfection" is one of those aspects that is, by its nature, unobtainable. We can get closer to "perfection", and it's good to try, but we will never arrive there.

Re: Prophetic Flaws in Scripture

Posted: 09 May 2019, 15:03
by Roy
I really love where this thread ended up. Great discussion! :thumbup: