Fails to address the wholeness of the Gospel, yes.
I still believe firmly in the 122nd section of the D&C:
“7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
But Jeff, that isn’t my position. I explained my position in greater detail in my comment #72. So if that is what you are holding to then I suppose you are left without a complaint in this debate.]]>
Here is the claim which I see as being highly speculative and not at all entailed by Mormon doctrine (I’ve explicitly stated it a number of times now.):
That God does not care at all about our mortal survival and well-being as such.
This claim is not entailed by the claim which you and Rusty keep drumming out. This claim is highly speculative. Like I said though, I’m tired to debating this.]]>
If you guys really think this is the claim which I am calling into question, then it’s a good thing I’m dropping out. Ugh.]]>
Who in the world is being tested when a person gets run over by a train when nobody was around?
I thought I made that clear, Jeff, and I think you already know the answer. The person who gets run over by a train is being tested. As are we all. The test requires that we come here with no knowledge of our previous life and submit ourselves to mortality, with all of it’s possibilities of pain and death, including the possibility that we could be run over by a train. God doesn’t change the rules of the game just because a certtain situation arises.
You might be interested in this scripture:
20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in bheaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by bobedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
Intervention by God in our lives is a blessing. He loves us and would, I’m sure, like to intervene to help us through all of our difficulties, but he understands that we must experience this life on our own in order to learn and he also acts in accordance with the principle articulated in this scripture. We must abide the law if we want the blessing. The law requires that we exercise faith before God is able to intervene.
I believe God does intervene quite often when that faith is exercised, in ways we never hear about. I think he does care about our mortal existence and about our pain. But he cares more about our eternal progress, something which is far more important, and far less apparent to us than whether or not we get hit by a train.
There is a good family I know whose daughter was killed by a truck while the parents were away serving in a mission presidency. She was a wonderful young girl with a tremendous testimony of the gospel.
I also have a friend who was hit by a drunk driver while serving as bishop of his ward. His wife and two children and his unborn child were all killed.
Why didn’t God act to prevent these tragedies? It’s a good question, but the answer, it seems to me is not that God is immoral, or that he doesn’t love us. It’s that his priorities are not the same as ours, and he has set certain bounds on his actions in order to allow us to have our full agency. If God always intervened in these situations, faith would not be necessary.
The reaction of the two families in the two stories above has been instructive to me. They didn’t blame God for these tragedies. They showed faith in him and an understanding of his plan. They forgave those whose actions caused these deaths. They know they will see their loved ones again. Even pain and death can be instructive. It isn’t the greatest tragedy we can experience.]]>
Asserting that God is all-loving and that he knows what he is doing when he chooses to intervene or not on earth is decidedly not “highly speculative” in Mormonism. It is rather run-of-the-mill stuff actually.
You say that our mortal pain, suffering and death is in itself entirely neutral.
Well, I am indeed leaning on a form of consequentialism when it comes to God’s morality. I am saying that God allows some temporary pain in the effort to bring about long-term joy. (Which is made possible only by his unique knowledge and perspective.) But I will not that is not the same as calling mortal pain and death “entirely neutral”.
Right, but God all-loving only from a perspective which you insist we cannot assume.
This position does indeed rely on faith claims about God. But the first principle of the Gospel is still faith in the Lord Jesus Christ so this shouldn’t be surprising to you.]]>