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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hebrews 2: Agency and the Divine Potential of Man

Hebrews 2:1-11 has some great material from Paul that reminds us not only our agency, but also the divine potential of man:
1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;

3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.

6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him?

7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren. . . .
Paul warns those who are already converted to give earnest heed to the Gospel, to not slip away. Obviously, one can fall away and depart from the faith - one of the downsides to the terrible but wonderful gift of agency that we have.

Paul reminds us of our relationship to Christ. Though God, He is also our Brother. How? Because we are sons and daughters of God, even his "offspring" as Paul taught in Acts 17: 28-29. We call God our Heavenly Father for good reason, for He is the Father of our spirits, as Paul also teaches in Hebrews 12: 9-10. And Christ, who descended here with mortal characteristics, made a little lower than the angels, came to bring many of God's sons and daughters unto glory (verse 10). And through Christ and His sufferings, we can become one with one and more fully be brethren (verse 11).

One little note: the part about being "a little lower than the angels" is a quotation from Psalm 8:
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
Here the King James translators may have simply choked on the Hebrew word that they translated as "angels." I'd be more comfortable saying angels myself, and can understand their stress. In fact, life would be a whole lot easier for us Latter-day Saints if we simply talked about being angels in the kingdom of God as the blessing awaiting those who accept and follow Christ. But the Hebrew word in Psalm 8 is "elohim" meaning "gods." A little lower than the gods. And it makes no sense if you assume it means human-made idolatrous gods.

35 comments:

Tim Malone, MCSE said...

That's why I love the footnotes in the LDS edition of the Bible. Both of the passages you quote refer to the Hebrew 'gods' (lower case) as well as the Greek 'angels'. Yes, we are striving to become gods and not just angels. Blasphemous, you say? No opening of the proverbial can of worms intended. You've written profusely on this subject elsewhere. Nevertheless, we do strive for more than to just be angels and offer the same to the rest of the world. Thanks for sharing a short gospel doctrine discussion.

NM said...

Jeff,

Interesting point about Psalm 8:5 and how the translators for the KJV did somehow 'choke' on the word elohim. What compelled them to write angels? When most of the modern translations, like the NASB say God (with a capital 'G')?

Hebrews is a great book. Whoever wrote it seems to be desperately urging those who are saints to keep going - because there really is NO OTHER WAY of living =) The writer constantly reminds them of the inheritance that the saints have =) God's grace is absurd, yet the most wonderful news to us who are unworthy.

It seems the book of Hebrews is to do with the perseverance of the saints =)

Mormanity said...

Agreed - there is so much there about persevering.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Jeff,

On first appearance the article that you write is an interesting concept. "OT translators choking" - I, personally don't think so. Whether one translates 'Elohim' as God, or an angels, the meaning is the same - man is lower - and the prophecy written by David, looking to Jesus as his saviour, is still correct.

In reality by digging deeper into the Bible your concept falls over with the teaching words of Jesus Himself who I will remind you is Divinity incarnate.

Luke ch20
36 Neither can they die any more: for they are EQUAL unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

also found inside Matt ch22
29 ......Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but ARE AS the angels of God in heaven.
31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

It can only be delved into further by understanding the desire for divinity which was the failing of lucifer in Is 14:12-14 summarised in "I will be like the most High." And so he is - the god of the wicked and the dead....carry on reading further in Is 14.12-24

If it was not possible for lucifer as one of the covering angels above the very throne of God, it definitely is not possible for mankind, who is made lower than the angels. Pride of lucifer or humility of Jesus ? Presuming the title of Master, or willing to serve as a servant for others as did Jesus (Is 53:11,12).

Yes, the righteous are all to receive a reward, through Jesus Christ. I have this assurance that the righteous redeemed will form a group at the end of time to be known as the 'saints', not gods. I believe this term 'gods' to be a very dangerous concept for the Biblical reasons described.

It is easy to understand from a family perspective that we can all be brethren in Jesus Christ, in that we are all sons and daughters of God. But the adopted, then infused and eternal characteristics of Jesus are one reward; "Divine potential of man" to live as gods is entirely another more dangerous presumption.

Jesus is seperated and rightly named King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This deservedly esteems Him above anything that we can understand to inherit thoughout eternity, whatever level we choose to describe attain to in our limiting language and our sinful nature, especially as He is preparing it for us (John 14:1-3).

As for the Father of spirits, the role of the angels is defined more clearly by the author of Hebrews in ch 1:13,14 ... and this leads one to conclude that our Heavenly Father is also Father of the angels.

Teranno4x4

NM said...

Terrano4x4,

This is off-topic, I know; but what you had to say about Matthew 22 is something that I find VERY interesting.

23That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24"Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. 25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27Finally, the woman died. 28Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"
29Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.


As you and I both know, the Sadducees were a sect who ran with a different set of beliefs, a different paradigm - if you will, from mainstream Pharasee-ic teaching. In this part of Matthew's gospel, we see that the Saducees came to Jesus with a question with the intention to trip Jesus up. Notice how Matthew introduces them: that they (the Saducees) say there is no resurrection! So, what are these Saducees doing by asking Jesus a question about resurrection when they say there isn't one, I'll never know!?! Unless of course, and as I mentioned before that they were trying to pull a fast one of Jesus =)

And notice Jesus' answer. Jesus rebukes them on two counts; 1) that they are in ERROR, i.e. they do not know their Scriptures and 2) that they do not know the power of God!

So, I guess this is the question that I have for my Mormon friends out there, Jesus CLEARLY STATES that:

At the resurrection people will NEITHER MARRY NOR BE GIVEN IN MARRIAGE

There is no marriage in heaven between people. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doens't this run incongruently to Mormon doctrine?

NM

Anonymous said...

No. Marriages must be preformed in this life and before the resurrection and not in Heaven. I don't think you will find this in the Bible but is one of the revelations given to Joseph Smith.

dave d said...

The concept of agency plays such a key role in our Father’s plan for our salvation – a role that has been obscured by the philosophies of men over the centuries and that is so clear in the restored Gospel. The passing references to the pre-mortal war in heaven in Revelations 12 and Isaiah 14 tell that Satan and his followers were cast out of heaven for his pride. But it is in Moses 4 (in the Pearl of Great Price) that we learn more details – that Satan pridefully sought God’s power by proposing an alternate plan that would “destroy the agency of man” and frustrate God’s desires for us.

Without agency, how can we learn from our mistakes/choices? “It is the will of God that I did that” is the default response for everything we do – good or bad. There is not much motivation to reflect on what we did, repent if necessary, and be a better person in the future. It is simply God’s will that we are who we are and we do what we do, so why bother trying to change it. Maybe I am oversimplifying….

Unfortunately, some modern Christian schools of thought emphasize exactly what Satan sought – that man does not have agency. Even so, Calvinism (Reformed theology), still had a role to play in the restoration of the Gospel with all its clarity. Calvinism and its conflict with Arminianism (found primarily in Methodism) fueled the religious fervor and confusion that led Joseph Smith to conclude that, if he wanted to know the truth,
God was the only One he could trust to tell him.

NM – on the marriage idea in heaven. In Matthew 22, Jesus does not say that there is no marriage (noun) in heaven. He says that they “will neither marry (verb) nor be given (verb) in marriage”. It is a small, but important, matter of wording. Mormons believe that marriages must be performed on this earth and if done by the proper authority, can be bound on earth and in heaven (Matt 16:19). Luke’s wording in Luke 20 is different and implies that those worthy of salvation do not marry in this life or the next. Something doesn’t sit well with that, for it is also written that “neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 11:11)

NM said...

Anonymous,

This is EXACTLY what I mean though.

And please note that the Saducees asked about a specific point in time, namely AT THE RESURRECTION, i.e. after life on earth.

Now, Jesus responded to this same time specificity. And my point is that Jesus rebuked the Saducees for being IN ERROR. Jesus then goes to say SPECIFICALLY that THERE IS NO MARRIAGE IN HEAVEN. =)

Do you see my point? How can the Book of Mormon be teaching something that seems to happen in heaven, when Jesus clearly states in the Bible that it does not happen? =)

Anonymous, would it be ok if I asked you to leave some sort of handle? Something simple like your initials? I, with my simple mindedness, get very confused with the many anonymouses =)

Dan M. said...

Jeff, I know this is off topic, but have you seen these?

http://www.sarahhepola.com/blog/archives/000510.html
and
http://www.sarahhepola.com/blog/archives/000511.html


What a sad state those two must be in.

Also, my mission papers are in and I should know in less than two weeks.

pops said...

NM - you missed the part where Dave D. explains the difference between marriage, the noun, and marry, the verb. Christ used the verb form, indicating that there will be no marriages performed after the resurrection, not that all marriages would be dissolved at the resurrection. It was revealed to Joseph Smith that marriages performed in this life by the appropriate authority will persist after the resurrection.

In other words, if you don't get married by the proper authority in this life, it will be too late.

PS The Book of Mormon doesn't teach this doctrine except perhaps in a very peripheral way, speaking of things being sealed both on earth and in heaven when the proper authority is used.

pops said...

terrano - Lucifer was cast out not for the idea that he could become as God, but for trying to achieve it by rebellion and compulsion.

NM said...

Hi pops,

The time that I posted my response, I think Dave had already posted his. Gah!

And pops, thank you for your correction there. I think it would have helped if I had actually read into this particular teaching of marriage from a Mormon perspective in the first place. My comment on Matthew 22 was just something I'd noticed when Terrano4x4 mentioned it. That was all...

To be honest, I don't actually have any intention of staying with the 'marriage in heaven' thread and I plan to stick with Jeff's original post on Man's free agency etc.

Dave D, I'm working on a response for you now. I just have to put the kids to bed first =)

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Pops,

But the seed of rebellion was found in lucifer due to his pride. It was on his pride that the foundation of dissent and rebellion was established, against God's throne and His Divine authority. All that man had to do was to avoid that tree in the Garden in an act of obedience to God. One tree in the whole world .... Pride and self once again stepped in....

Do you see any record or example of pride in Jesus' character whilst He lived on earth to be our example and shining light into God's repairing glory ? Not really - but I do see an infinite amount of humility served up with lashings of love.

"Pride comes before a fall".

I am more keen to have an LDS reply to the comments of Jesus that prove the status of the redeemed once they get to heaven in that there is to be no attaining to be 'gods' because the saints will be equal to the angels. My comments on Matthew were not to stimulate an off-topic discussion on the status of marriage in heaven (although NM you did make some good and valid observations), none of us can assume with any certainty that we know what is in store there. I could ask some interesting questions on this.... maybe Jeff could start a new thread with this topic in mind ?

Any LDS replies on the 'Father of spirits' section of my last comment ?

Christian greetings to you,

Teranno4x4

NM said...

Dave D,

Thank you for sharing your opinions. I must admit I am guilty of NOT KNOWING church history. I really do need to make a point of reading up on history.

It might be useful at this time to say that God's Sovereignty isn't all that important with whether or not we receive salvation =). For example, if we look at the lives of Wesley and Whitcliffe, where one was an ardent Calvanist and the other an ardent Armenian; they both brought glory to God as they evangelized the streets of their land =)

From my personal experiences, I have a very dear friend with whom I shared a university house with. He was so changed by God's transformation in his life that he no longer wanted to pursue a career in business commerce, but to want others to know of Jesus =) He now lives in Cambodia and is working to understand the many dialects there to be able to translate the Bible into their languages. Now Phil (this university friend of mine) is not a Calvanist and we spent many nights going through the Bible but reached no solid conclusions. =)

Please know that I offer no solution to this discussion. All I ask is: what do we do with Romans 9? I could point to other Scripture, but I think Romans 9 is the biggy here.

I don't think it is helpful to find other pieces of Scripture that seem to point to man's autonomy, because we have to look at the Bible in its entirety =) It's like being given a set of variables, and with this set of revealed variables, we have to piece them together in order to make some sort of work-able equation =) Do you see my point? It's no use pointing to a textbook which seems to show that x != y when in another part of the textbook it shows that x does equal y etc... =)

So, when Paul pre-empts his readers by asking the most outrageous questions about God's character - it needs to be taken into serious consideration, don't you think?

For example, starting in verse 22 when Paul asks, "22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory"

What do you do about statements like this? It certainly made me sit up and question God's character! Please know that chapter 9 has always been a stumbling block to me, especially being the father to three children. =( As you can imagine, every night I pray to God to show mercy upon their souls as God has shown mercy to mine =/

What do we do about this God who, for the sake that His power might be seen (as Romans 9 seems to show) has created objects FOR WRATH in order to show how patient He is to those who he has decided to show mercy to?

Darion Alexander said...

But why would Lucifer think that he could become higher than the Gods? What was he doing or trying to do that made him think that? Biblically where does it state WHAT he was trying to do? It only says that he sought to rise higher than God Himself...and that's a sin how?? On the same point didn't Paul say back in Romans something to the nature of that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Doesn't that mean that we will be glorified together with Christ..who is a God Himself? Is there pride and hoping that we can be, all of us be glorified with Him? Is it against the Father's desires to glorify His Children? I see all these comments about how terrible and prideful it is to want to be with the Father in His Glory through Christ and how we should fear to be prideful and how we need to be humble, but even the humblest of men don't point out to others how humble they are not. To do so is a form of pride in itself. I don't understand your logic?

I have never understood why, Children of a loving Father, after reading the Scriptures, so many of us are so dis-illusioned to think that they can never be on the same page as their Father in Heaven? The Saducees didn't understand it, the Pharisees refused to understand it. Through Christ, we can be glorified with Him together in His Kingdom, as Joint-heirs with Him in the Kingdom of the Father...why is that prideful to think and want that?

Kathleen said...

Jeff (or any of the LDS commentors, I guess),

This is an off-topic question to which I can't find any response anywhere. Is it on your site under a different title?

How come key LDS doctrines (like baptism for the dead, sealing, church hierarchy, priesthood, temples...) are not contained in the BOM? You may respond here or leave a comment on one of my blogs.

Thanks!

Kathleen said...

DA and others,

Isn't wanting to be like God blasphemy? Yet we are told we will be like Him.

I think the difference comes from whether we are letting Him exalt us or whether we are trying to exalt ourselves.

dave d said...

NM, I hope I didn’t offend with my last comment. None was intended, although I could see that it could easily be taken that way. I too believe that despite doctrinal differences, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whatever portion we individually have or understand of it, can make us better people.

I like what you say about having to look at the Bible in its entirety. We also have to realize that we bring our own preconceptions to the table when we do so. What we see will be tainted by those preconceptions.

Romans 9 is a hard read. “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy” and “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” doesn’t go too well with “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34 – which I take to mean that God gives us all every opportunity He possibly can to come to Him – nobody gets an unfair advantage). A similar dichotomy seems to exist between Luke 20:34-35 where those “which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead” are those who do not marry, but everyone else does marry. However, in 1 Corinthians 15:22, Paul says that all are resurrected: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” How are we supposed to understand these apparent contradictions?

I’m sure that if Luke or Peter or Paul were still alive, they could sit down with us and say, “No, this is what I really meant.” In the writings of the New Testament, there was always a specific audience that the writer targeted and he often was addressing issues that were specific to that audience. We don’t know all the issues surrounding what was being addressed. Add to that 2000 years of transmission, cultural differences, and interpretations of many people who each bring their own preconceptions to the table, and it gets even murkier. Having a prophet or apostle who can authoritatively declare doctrine as received directly from the Source would resolve apparent doctrinal anomalies and will sometimes get us past our preconceptions, as long as he was a true prophet and we have humility enough to listen.

As for Romans 9, I still don’t have a perfect answer for you. I firmly believe in a God who allows us to choose and we are rewarded based on our choice. I also believe in an omniscient God – one who knows all things from the beginning to the end. So He must know beforehand what choices I will make and thus whether I will be saved or not. So He knows whether He will have mercy on us because of the choices we will make. He knew that Jacob would make and keep covenants with Him and Esau would not.

But if God already knows the outcome, where is the agency in that? The agency is for us. We do not know the outcome. And in order to become what He wants us to become, we must be allowed to make those choices and learn and progress from those choices – we are a product of our experiences. Also, if we knew the outcome, we would never learn to live by faith.

Kathleen said...

Dave D,

You said, "If God already knows the outcome, where is the agency in that?" What you described in the previous paragraph seemed to be God knowing the outcome...His omniscience...even though He wasn't dictating people's choices, He still knew what they'd be.

Is that what you meant? Or did you mean that God doesn't know what we'll do at all?

dave d said...

Kathleen,

The former. He does not dictate people's choices, but if He is omniscient, He knows what those choices will be, and thus the consequences of those choices. We don't get the same sweeping view though. Otherwise, our faith would not be tried (we would already know it all). The refiner’s fire (Zecheriah 13:9) that comes with mortality and the results of choices that we and others are given to make is necessary to create of us the gold or silver that the Lord wishes us to be.

Another argument for agency – Malachi 3:10 says about one of God’s commandments, “prove me now herewith”. The Lord of Hosts challenges us to try it out and see the outcome, if He “will not open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing”. So, if we have faith in Him and the commandments He gives through His prophets, we make a choice and try it…and we see the results and get to decide if His way is really the better way. Very scientific, but it works.

Bookslinger said...

"In other words, if you don't get married by the proper authority in this life, it will be too late."

Two exceptions:

1. People who die before the age of accountability are pretty much guaranteed exaltation, and you have to be married to be exalted, so apparently they will "get married" (verb) after they resurrect.

2. People who live righteous lives "and who through no fault of their own" (those are the GA's words) don't have opportunity to marry "will not be denied any blessings" (their words) in the worlds to come.

So apparently there are exceptions.

Pops said...

Bookslinger,

I'm not sure there will be any exceptions if you consider that "this life" lasts up until the resurrection. In other words, there is the opportunity to marry during the time between death and the resurrection, assuming that mortal proxies can be found who will do the work.

NM said...

Dave D,

Thank you for your response. I really like the way that you seem to show a balanced view on God's Sovereignty with Man's Autonomy.

With regard to taking the Bible in its entirety, I liked what you said that, "We also have to realize that we bring our own preconceptions to the table when we do so. What we see will be tainted by those preconceptions."

The truth of it is that we do bring with us our own preconceptions. As somebody who works with people, I see this kind of thing happening all of the time. People project their own ideals on to other people, and we also tend to transfer the way we might have related to significant others or objects from our past to our current relationships. =/ And I liked what you said in your last paragraph, that: we are the product of our experiences. How true. There are so many factors that have inter-play that it proves difficult to ascertain the transendent truth about anything!? =) Such are the (un)joys of postmodernism?!

I guess a good way of guarding against pre-conceived ideas (and this might sound like a circular argument) would be to take everything in its entirety, i.e. to read the Bible from cover to cover and giving every word its due worth. I haven't done this, of course =) But the limited knowledge that I do know about the Bible - Romans 9 still manages to stump me everytime. I guess this is why I find myself easily siding with the Reformists: that it seems that God is supremely in control of everything. One of the main players in Reformed Theology (Abraham Kuyper) once said, "In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign,does not declare,'That is mine!" Pretty powerful words, huh?

Again, thank you for your responses.

Bookslinger said...

Pops, that makes sense at first glance, but aren't all celestial-bound people (who have already died prior to the 2nd Coming ) going to resurrect on the morning of the Second Coming?

Babies and children who died before the age of accountability will supposedly resurrect on the morning of that day, and then grow to the stature of adulthood in the millennium.

I think it unlikely we'll be able to do all the proxy stuff for all those who died as infants by then.

And I'm not sure that having a temple marriage sealing is a pre-requisite for resurrection.

According to Section 76, celestial people resurrect the morning of the 2nd Coming, terrestial people that afternoon, and telestial people at the end of the millennium.

I've also heard it said that people will resurrect throughout the millennium. But I'm not sure what scripture that comes from, or whether that's a modern prophetic statement from outside the scriptures. If so, I don't know what the determining factors are for those mid-millennium resurrections.

Peter said...

Hey guys and gals,

I have been reading through this post and, for NM, I have re-read Romans 9:22-23. Here is my take, because I have been thinking about this for a while wanting to give him a good answer if I can get one.

What I have determined is that God is in control of our experiences. That the Lord will give us our trials and our blessings as he sees fit. While one person may feel that God hasn't done anything good for him and fight against God and one may see the blessings and glorify God. Verse 22 to me says that God is having compassion on those who reject and fight against Him. He is willing to wait to see if they will change, he is still willing to layeth the smacketh down though. While verse 23 is saying to me that the Lord is blessing his servant that praises Him and does his will.

Both of them are given a fair life but it is their perception and reaction that either prepares them for destruction or for mercy. The Lord blesses and tries each equally. There is always a chance that the one who has obtained mercy will turn away and the one who is currently "fitted to destruction" can change his ways.

That's my current idea, it probably isn't complete because I just came up with it.

Peter

Peter said...

Hi again,

Sorry verse 23 I should re-interpret that for myself and that it should read something like. The Lord reveals unto His faithful servant that He is blessing Him and thus the servant praises Him more. This is opening up a bit of wonderment for me. Please bare with me as I try to put it into words.

Peter

Peter said...

Gday everyone,
Sorry for no reply (to those that may have been interested) but I don't think I am going to put this in words.

Peter

Kathleen said...

In regards to the agency issue...

Does man have a part in his own salvation? If he does--and he can choose whether or not to have Christ, it means we are not saved by God alone. (Hat-tip to John Piper for that one!)

Lars said...

Re: Kathleen @2:26 PM, October 26

Great insight! I think the Mormon perspective is very much in line with that-- Lucifer sought to seize power on his own, rather than accept the plan laid out by God of salvation through Christ, and therein lies the failing.

As for man having part in his own salvation, I don't believe this is incompatible with being saved by God alone. Here's why: without Christ, where would we be? According to 2 Nephi 9:8-9, we would become subject to the devil. Regardless of anything we did during our lives? Yes, regardless. The status of a "good" person would be exactly the same as the status of an "evil" person. God alone can save us from such a fate, there is simply no other possibility.

teranno4x4 said...

Dear Lars,

Please could you explain your comment some more?

Did you mean that Lucifer would not accept salvation throught Christ ? If yes - where have you got this idea from?

You also asked where would we be without Jesus: I can tell you lost forever and staring down the same double barrels currently reserved for 'the wicked camp'.

Man can not save himself one bit. Man can present himself at the throne of grace requesting God's mercy and the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for his sin. But it is not an automatic reaction from heaven to say, 'pardoned'. There is also the command - 'go and sin no more'. It takes a life-changing decision to turn about face from the way that man has done it in the past (justification). That is the narrow path for the Christian to walk, looking to Jesus all the way. That is the demonstration of love that we need to show that we have accepted the pardon with open arms and begin the sanctification process.

Teranno4x4

Kathleen said...

Hey, no one has responded to my question as to why key LDS doctrines (like baptism for the dead, sealing, church hierarchy, priesthood, temples...) are not contained in the BOM.

Peter said...

Kathleen,

I would expect that because they are mentioned in the Bible they weren't necessarily needed in the Book of Mormon. Perhaps the Book of Mormon's purpose is for a different purpose.

Peter

P.S. I haven't forgotten about your comment on your blog I am just mulling over it a bit.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen, said:




"Hey, no one has responded to my question as to why key LDS doctrines (like baptism for the dead, sealing, church hierarchy, priesthood, temples...) are not contained in the BOM"

I think there is only one ordience the the Book of Mormon is the blessing of the bread and water. I think because it was a historical record and space and the difficulty to keeping it the other doctrines were not included. Joseph Smith claimed that he got instruction directly for visions, dreams, visitations, but why our Heavenly Father decided one method verses another, I do not know.

Kathleen said...

Peter, "would expect that because they are mentioned in the Bible they weren't necessarily needed in the Book of Mormon".

Whoa! Please show me where these things are stated as commandments, not obscure prophecies.

Aaron said...

Baptism for the dead is mentioned in the bible. 1 Cor 15:29 and no where else to my knowledge. It is mentioned in a way that expects the reader to already know about it. Temples are mentioned in the BoM. When Christ came down and ordanized His Church here in America it was talked about a little on how he organized it. Example - 12 apostles. The BoM was written about many of the spiritaul exeriences of the people. Temples, Sealings, Endowments, are all sacred things to us. They are more things for the individual to get closer to Christ. And I don't talk about them outside of the temple....at least in detail. I think the Nephites probably felt the same about their experiences in their temples. As far as not writting about them.

When Christ reorganized His Church back again on earth he revealed the important and sacred things that he didn't want written down, and mocked, again to a prophet. Just as he did for Moses and for that matter to Peter and the other Apostles that were taught by our King

Does this explain at all?