Regarding Tests of Loyalty

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On Own Now
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Joined: 18 Jan 2012, 12:45

Re: Regarding Tests of Loyalty

Post by On Own Now » 25 Aug 2020, 07:52

Roy wrote:
23 Aug 2020, 09:23
It has been helpful to me to give myself the freedom to reframe and reinterpret those things I disagree with. This allows me to create a version of Mormonism in my mind which I can support. This is a perfect example. I do not believe that God would ask his servant to murder his son. Period. End of Story. The beauty of it is that I do not have to. I can change the narrative to fit my conscience.
Roy, that's my take as well. In fact, although I think it is is interesting to view the story as a test that Abraham failed, it doesn't really do it for me. From an also-long-ago post:
On Own Now wrote:
01 May 2014, 07:42
Everybody will see the story a little differently. I have no problem with someone ELSE seeing it as a general example of a test of faith wherein the Lord filled in what made it all OK. I don't love it as that kind of story, but if others do, fine. This is not a uniquely LDS theological viewpoint. It is a common Christian interpretation. In fact, the writer of Hebrews clearly saw it and presented it that way.
By faith, Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. --Hebrews 11:17
Likewise, I see value in looking at it as a test that Abraham failed, yet the Lord still came to his aid... that's an interesting way to look at it and it's fine by me.

Yet, for me, myself, not accounting for anyone else or arguing that my interpretation is the correct one, I do not see it as a story about Abraham/Isaac at all. I tend to see myself in all such allegories. A better example is the Good Samaritan. Sometimes I see myself in the man beaten down in the road. Sometimes I see myself in the passers-by, sometimes I see myself in the Samaritan. Each way I look at it, it teaches me something about myself and my context in a world of human beings.

What I see in the story of Abraham/Isaac has nothing to do with ritual human sacrifice or succumbing to the will of God in the face of impossibility. What I see, and only what I see, is myself being given a chance at a second life by the atonement. Rather than a life that would have come to an end in meaninglessness, 'God' has provided a way for me to rise up and live. I probably see this because I have a heavy orientation toward Paul's "New Life" teachings, so I project that everywhere. But it works for me, and frees me from having to bog myself down into why "Abraham", a person that I believe didn't exist, would be willing to sacrifice his son "Isaac", another person that I see as fictional, at the command of "God" who I don't believe gave such a command to these fictional characters. But, New Life is, to me, the single most important aspect of the Gospel and it is strongly represented in this story.

And as Paul said (speaking to the gentile Christians of Galatia):
Now you, my friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac. --Galatians 4:28
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“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
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"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
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Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Regarding Tests of Loyalty

Post by Roy » 25 Aug 2020, 12:30

On Own Now wrote:
25 Aug 2020, 07:52
I see [ ] myself being given a chance at a second life by the atonement. Rather than a life that would have come to an end in meaninglessness, 'God' has provided a way for me to rise up and live.
Beautiful! Thank you!
"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

Curt Sunshine
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Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Regarding Tests of Loyalty

Post by Curt Sunshine » 25 Aug 2020, 15:50

Fwiw, I like the failed test interpretation mostly because I agree with On Own Now's appreciation fornit as a redemption tale.

I don't believe it literally happened, so I am free to treat it a multi-faceted morality tale - which makes it much more powerful for me.

I love the concept of "likening (ancient scriptural stories" to myself - not to or for other people.
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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