God has Favorites?

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Beefster
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God has Favorites?

Post by Beefster » 17 Oct 2017, 20:01

So an idea that has been circulating in my ward has been that God has favorites. It's extracted from Nephi mentioning that he was highly favored of the Lord in 1 Ne 1:1. This came from a recent fireside given by Susan Easton Black. She explained that the way to see His merciful and loving qualities was to be obedient and the way to receive His wrath and torment was to be rebellious.

This is not the God I know.

His love and mercy are unconditional. He extends his love and mercy to everyone. We do not always accept it, but that does not mean it is not there.

I don't believe that God is wrathful or angry with the rebellious. Torment and pain is almost always the natural consequence of poor decisions. I simply can't imagine the God I know proverbially spanking his chlidren for doing things they barely even understand is wrong. If he is perfect, he will not lose his patience with us. He has no need to yell at us. When we do something that causes harm to ourselves, he does not blame us for it, he hugs us. I believe it is only when we harm others that God steps in and delivers punishment- it's just that most of that punishment is mental/emotional and whatever is left is doled out on judgment day (if not repented of).

Commandments are not prescriptive; they are precautionary. They are not the conditions for his love. He loves us. Always.
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

DoubtingTom
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Re: God has Favorites?

Post by DoubtingTom » 17 Oct 2017, 20:28

Careful - we learned from Elder Christofferson in Oct 2016 conference that God's love is actually NOT unconditional.

(I hated that talk, by the way)

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Beefster
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Re: God has Favorites?

Post by Beefster » 17 Oct 2017, 20:45

I tuned out when he mentioned that.
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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Reuben
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Re: God has Favorites?

Post by Reuben » 18 Oct 2017, 00:12

Beefster wrote:
17 Oct 2017, 20:01
His love and mercy are unconditional. He extends his love and mercy to everyone. We do not always accept it, but that does not mean it is not there.
Rather like sunshine and rain?
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
So this idea floating about in your ward... Jesus calls the opposite of it perfection.

It's unfortunate that the scriptures teach it both ways.
My intro

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

nibbler
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Re: God has Favorites?

Post by nibbler » 18 Oct 2017, 05:46

To understand better, you mean they are teaching that the favorites are the people who obey god, not that favorites are a specific group of people - like Israelites or Mormons.

We've probably got it all memorized by now, but here it is:
Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.
In that context I take "highly favored" to be the equivalent of saying "I've been really blessed," not that god gave Nephi preferential treatment.

If we do go the preferential treatment route, remember who is speaking, Nephi. I, Nephi, declare that I'm god's favorite. When you put it like that... Laman and Lemuel probably hung in there longer than most people would.

AmyJ
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Re: God has Favorites?

Post by AmyJ » 18 Oct 2017, 06:42

We are in the Isaiah chapters now in the Book of Mormon - with a whole lot of "God has a favorite nation - except when they are sinning".

Right now, I view the whole "favorite people" thing as an extension of the prosperity gospel cycle, so I am very skeptical. I get why Isaiah was calling Israel to repentance. I also can see why Nephi and Jacob would cherish these words and relate the prophesies to their children. I can even see beauty in some of Isaiah's words.

I just struggle with 90% of the reading assignment...

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SilentDawning
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Re: God has Favorites?

Post by SilentDawning » 18 Oct 2017, 08:16

I don't like the idea of favorites and non-favorites. Everyone is an individual and needs to be treated differently as a result.

I do think that people who act trustworthy deserve privileges that untrustworthy people do not merit. At the same time, my son gets all kinds of perqs and motivators that my daughter never needed to do the right thing. Each are different, and need to be handled differently. And this can appear to be favortism, when really, it's simply management....
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

Roy
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Re: God has Favorites?

Post by Roy » 18 Oct 2017, 10:07

Reuben wrote:
18 Oct 2017, 00:12
It's unfortunate that the scriptures teach it both ways.
I agree. There are many stories or narratives that we can use to frame our mortal journeys. The scriptures teach both grace/mercy and wrath/hellfire for the unrepentant.
Beefster wrote:
17 Oct 2017, 20:01
She explained that the way to see His merciful and loving qualities was to be obedient and the way to receive His wrath and torment was to be rebellious.
As a missionary I was struck by the rod of iron as the word or law of God. For those that follow the law, it is a guide and a protection. For those that break the law, it is a punitive barrier. I restricts and confines them. I felt that I saw this theme over and over again in the scriptures. At the time I felt that I had been given a "key" to understanding the scriptures. It felt good.

I now feel that the scriptures (like life) can be framed/interpreted/spun to fit a surprising variety of narratives.
"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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Reuben
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Re: God has Favorites?

Post by Reuben » 18 Oct 2017, 13:10

AmyJ wrote:
18 Oct 2017, 06:42
We are in the Isaiah chapters now in the Book of Mormon - with a whole lot of "God has a favorite nation - except when they are sinning".

Right now, I view the whole "favorite people" thing as an extension of the prosperity gospel cycle, so I am very skeptical. I get why Isaiah was calling Israel to repentance. I also can see why Nephi and Jacob would cherish these words and relate the prophesies to their children. I can even see beauty in some of Isaiah's words.

I just struggle with 90% of the reading assignment...
Have you read the same chapters in a better translation of the Bible?
My intro

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

AmyJ
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Re: God has Favorites?

Post by AmyJ » 18 Oct 2017, 13:50

That is one of the things I am doing now, actually...

:P :P :P

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