Blessings contingent upon others

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Old-Timer
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Re: Blessings contingent upon others

Post by Old-Timer » 17 Jan 2022, 08:20

I believe hope helps, in some way. I believe in the placebo effect, and I believe it has both positive and negative consequences.

I have NO problem with the idea that our attitudes and beliefs impact ourselves and others, including the “service” we can provide as a result.

I disagree entirely that our faith and “worthiness” can dictate or determine divine intervention and blessings. I don’t believe in the idea that God is “bound” by what individuals do, mostly because I see no scripture that says God will do a specific X if we do a specific Y in every, single, individual case. I see community examples, like civilization flourishing if everyone takes care of everyone, but no explicitly individual applications. (I also know I probably would chalk any exceptions up to “translated incorrectly”. :lol: )
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

SwedishLDS
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Re: Blessings contingent upon others

Post by SwedishLDS » 18 Mar 2022, 03:24

While we ourselves can often serve as instruments of God to bless others, which I have felt often on my mission and in my life, I do not believe that God witholds blessings.

There are many clearly miraculous events and blessings that have not come through the actions of others, such as food miraculously appearing for the pioneers.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Blessings contingent upon others

Post by DarkJedi » 18 Mar 2022, 07:04

SwedishLDS wrote:
18 Mar 2022, 03:24
While we ourselves can often serve as instruments of God to bless others, which I have felt often on my mission and in my life, I do not believe that God witholds blessings.

There are many clearly miraculous events and blessings that have not come through the actions of others, such as food miraculously appearing for the pioneers.
I do believe people can bless (help, sustain, support, protect, etc.) others, instruments of God or not, and of course agree that God does not withhold blessings as I previously stated.

And I do believe miracles can happen, although I think my bar for what constitutes a miracle is probably a bit higher than most people's (quite a bit higher than some people's). I'm not so sure there are "clearly" or "many" miraculous events and I'm very unsure (yes, skeptical) of most of the pioneer stories which when looked at even a little more closely are at best dubious or come from dubious sources.

Edited to add for clarity: I don't believe pioneer or other "faith promoting stories" have malicious intent. I think they're more like the "one that got away" stories where the size and fight of the fish gets a little bigger with each telling. Add in the faith promoting component and it's easy to get caught up. I'll just use the china in the Kirtland Temple walls as an example because there's pretty good evidence (including on the church website itself) that the story most are familiar with is not correct. People did not sacrifice their fine china, the stuff mostly came from the garbage piles. Another good example with evidence is John Taylor's watch, which was not hit by a musket ball and therefore did not save his life. The book Real vs. Rumor (see our discussion here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=10036) is still on my reading list, but I think it makes very good points.
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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SwedishLDS
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Re: Blessings contingent upon others

Post by SwedishLDS » 21 Mar 2022, 13:34

DarkJedi wrote:
18 Mar 2022, 07:04
SwedishLDS wrote:
18 Mar 2022, 03:24
While we ourselves can often serve as instruments of God to bless others, which I have felt often on my mission and in my life, I do not believe that God witholds blessings.

There are many clearly miraculous events and blessings that have not come through the actions of others, such as food miraculously appearing for the pioneers.
I do believe people can bless (help, sustain, support, protect, etc.) others, instruments of God or not, and of course agree that God does not withhold blessings as I previously stated.

And I do believe miracles can happen, although I think my bar for what constitutes a miracle is probably a bit higher than most people's (quite a bit higher than some people's). I'm not so sure there are "clearly" or "many" miraculous events and I'm very unsure (yes, skeptical) of most of the pioneer stories which when looked at even a little more closely are at best dubious or come from dubious sources.

Edited to add for clarity: I don't believe pioneer or other "faith promoting stories" have malicious intent. I think they're more like the "one that got away" stories where the size and fight of the fish gets a little bigger with each telling. Add in the faith promoting component and it's easy to get caught up. I'll just use the china in the Kirtland Temple walls as an example because there's pretty good evidence (including on the church website itself) that the story most are familiar with is not correct. People did not sacrifice their fine china, the stuff mostly came from the garbage piles. Another good example with evidence is John Taylor's watch, which was not hit by a musket ball and therefore did not save his life. The book Real vs. Rumor (see our discussion here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=10036) is still on my reading list, but I think it makes very good points.
fair enough, perhaps the word clearly was chosen poorly. I should have used a personal story instead of how the spirit has helped me

Minyan Man
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Re: Blessings contingent upon others

Post by Minyan Man » 21 Mar 2022, 19:46

LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
06 Dec 2021, 11:55
I don't really know where it came from, I can probably point to more than a few stories, general conference talks, and waaay more cultural church legend, but the idea that others blessings may be withheld because of our own failings.
It has been reinforced by priesthood power being contingent upon obedience, etc.
Under this topic, wouldn't forgiveness & empathy & compassion be blessings contingent upon others?
Or, am I missing the point?
It wouldn't be the first time.

Roy
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Re: Blessings contingent upon others

Post by Roy » 22 Mar 2022, 15:16

The word "blessings" can mean many things.

I believe in the context of the OP it was referring to promises made on behalf of God, by a priesthood holder to a person in need while the priesthood holder has his hands upon their head. Can those blessings (meaning the realization of those promises) be withheld based on the "priesthood power" of the priesthood holder?

I think if we expand the definition of "blessings" to refer to good deeds that people can perform for each other then the discussion changes dramatically.
"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: Blessings contingent upon others

Post by DarkJedi » 24 Mar 2022, 05:54

Roy wrote:
22 Mar 2022, 15:16
The word "blessings" can mean many things.
This is so true, and I have stated on the forums before that as I look around me I don't see that I'm any more blessed than any of my neighbors, some of who are church goers/believers and some not. But that is from a temporal/physical point of view and blessings aren't necessarily temporal/physical (and may not be at all). And of course my Deist point of view influences what I think of as a blessing.
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: Blessings contingent upon others

Post by DarkJedi » 25 Mar 2022, 05:22

I think this little incident I recently experienced is relevant to this discussion:

Stake conference Saturday my wife wanted to go visit her mother in the nursing home in the afternoon prior to the session (the session was 4-6 on Zoom). Prior to the visit she stopped at Walmart and coming out had a flat tire. She called me, who was running errands in the other direction and I was 20 miles away but went to be her knight in shining armor. I put on the donut, which needed air (I know they tell you to check your spare, but who does?). She did go to her mother's and I went home and fixed the tire (keep your lecture about plugging radials, I've done it many times). By the time this was done and she returned home and the tire was pot back on her car the session was nearly over.

There could be multiple points of view about what happened (this list is not exhaustive):
1. Satan punctured the tire to prevent us from attending the session and possible gaining something of value.
2. God punctured the tire to save me from struggling through a session I didn't want to attend anyway (I did struggle through the Sunday session with only a couple of irritable talks).
3. A flat is just a flat, many people all over the world get them every day.

I think it was 3, although it would be great to think God loved and cared about me enough that it could have been 2 (a blessing). An alternative view of 1 could be that God allowed Satan to puncture the tire to see what I would do or possibly as a curse.

Rhetorical question: Was the flat tire a blessing, a curse, or neither?
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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nibbler
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Re: Blessings contingent upon others

Post by nibbler » 25 Mar 2022, 07:16

DarkJedi wrote:
25 Mar 2022, 05:22
Rhetorical question: Was the flat tire a blessing, a curse, or neither?
I know it was rhetorical, but it's in the eye of the beholder.

If you're the type that's chomping at the bit to do more church it's a curse.
If you're the type that's looking to get out of a church meeting it's a blessing.

A flat tire doesn't happen every day. When it does, it's so much easier when there's someone there to help you.
There will always be another stake conference to attend where by and large the same things will be said. Incidentally, that's another scenario where it would be easier if someone was there to help me. Mostly in the form of being an ear to whispered irreverent comments.
You can’t run from all your problems, but it will help you lose weight.

AmyJ
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Re: Blessings contingent upon others

Post by AmyJ » 25 Mar 2022, 11:04

nibbler wrote:
25 Mar 2022, 07:16
A flat tire doesn't happen every day. When it does, it's so much easier when there's someone there to help you.
There will always be another stake conference to attend where by and large the same things will be said. Incidentally, that's another scenario where it would be easier if someone was there to help me. Mostly in the form of being an ear to whispered irreverent comments.
There was a day in the last few years when I needed to cut up some garments. It was a weird situation because I felt that I needed to do so, but it wasn't something I wanted to do (or felt comfortable doing) on my own. I attribute this situation to it having personal meaning of being a "moving on" ritual as well as a standard practice. I could not imagine being on the phone with my mom for this - but I wanted to be on the phone talking to someone while I was completing this ritual. Thankfully, I have a friend from my mission days who I am close enough that it while it was unusual, it wasn't an uncomfortable burden (for either of us - I checked) to ask her to be there and she also understood. She respectfully supported me in "saying goodbye" on some level to a connection to the church.

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