Can God Give Us a Blessing We Don’t Deserve (other than the atonement)?

Don - August 15, 2005

No!

15 Comments »

  1. I somewhat understand the difference between “mercy” (not getting something we do deserve) and “grace” (getting something we don’t deserve). I realize I don’t deserve the love Jesus offers me and that no matter how much I do, I still fall short and Jesus makes up the difference.

    What about other blessings?

    Does God give a blesing to us that we don’t deserve, or haven’t qualified for yet because He knows we will? Does He bless us because He knows it will help us? Does He bless us because He loves us?

    How can we reconcile these possible examples with D&C 130:20-21 and D&C 132:5?

    How can we rconcile grace with these D&C verses?

    Comment by don — August 15, 2005 @ 11:50 am

  2. Ha! Look what the MA site (ldsblogs.org) has done to us… We write a catchy title and follow it up with a one-word post these days. ;-)

    Comment by Geoff J — August 15, 2005 @ 1:13 pm

  3. Don,
    Boy, I was thinking that your posts have been getting shorter and shorter lately and I wasn’t sure if it was due to laziness or you being more succinct in your writing. I’m still not sure, but I can’t imagine you can get shorter than this.

    Geoff,
    I’m sure it’s quite unsatisfying (but funny) to see such a catchy title on ldsblogs.org and click on the link ending at a one word post?

    Comment by Rusty — August 15, 2005 @ 1:34 pm

  4. I think King Benjamin has an interesting view on this topic, though I’m not sure that I really agree with him. He says that God created us, so we owe him our obedience. But when we obey, he blesses us so we still “owe” him more. Thus, due to his constant blessing us, we always owe him, not the other way around. He don’t do good and then he blesses us, according to KB. Instead, he blesses us, then we do good.

    Comment by Jeffrey Giliam — August 15, 2005 @ 1:44 pm

  5. Yes.

    Matt. 5:45 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.

    Comment by Kurt — August 15, 2005 @ 1:53 pm

  6. What is it about orthodox LDS always putting arbitrary limits on the Almighty in some fashion? The Almighty is almighty (Can do whatever he wants). Get over it.

    Comment by Steve EM — August 15, 2005 @ 2:47 pm

  7. Steve EM,
    God may be almighty, but He does have limits. He can’t create a rock so big He can’t lift it. Seriously, He can’t lie. He can’t change the atonement, if there was any other way then Christ’s prayer in the garden wasn’t answered.

    I even think He must be obedient to the laws He created, or has made Himself subject to.

    That’s why I made my original question.

    Comment by don — August 15, 2005 @ 3:50 pm

  8. Don,
    Also remember that got cannot be surprised:)

    Comment by Bret — August 15, 2005 @ 5:35 pm

  9. I tend to think we aren’t worthy for any blessings, but though faith in Jesus Christ.

    Comment by J. Stapley — August 15, 2005 @ 6:02 pm

  10. Don, I agree that God has limits. But I also agree with (what I take to be the spirit of) Steve EM’s comment: we don’t know very much about what those limits are. I think God sometimes lets us believe specific things because they help us progress more quickly, even if they don’t actually correspond too closely to reality. Limitations on God’s ability to freely bless us might be an example.

    Comment by RoastedTomatoes — August 15, 2005 @ 6:03 pm

  11. It depends on how you define blessings. If we speak of those blessings which are predicated on obedience to the law, then obviously we cannot obtain those blessings if we don’t obey.

    But what is a blessing? Lots of things could be considered blessings – things that happen to all of us. The sunshine can be a blessing, as can the rain. And even frogs.

    Comment by Eric Russell — August 15, 2005 @ 7:51 pm

  12. Yes, as we don’t deserve any of them.

    But more, what is a real blessing?

    Comment by Stephen M (Ethesis) — August 15, 2005 @ 9:58 pm

  13. I am quite sure that I have been on the receiving end of blessings that I in no way, shape or form have deserved.

    I also believe that blessings are a tool for growth. We are given blessings to help us over come our flaws and imperfections and thus the tide pool for even more blessings.

    On a side note: I am fairly certain that God has his own limitations. A set of guidelines and rules that he himself has to work with in. Don’t you sense that Heavenly Father is also on a mission or quest, with the creation of this existance?

    Comment by Lisa M — August 16, 2005 @ 12:12 am

  14. After sharing this blog with my wife she pointed out that Alma the younger certainly didn’t deserve his angelic visitation. It was a result of his father’s(and mother’s) and members prayers, not anything that Alma had done.

    So again my wife “proves” me wrong!

    Comment by don — August 16, 2005 @ 1:39 am

  15. Excellent point Don. I was going to bring that one up but also I was actually going to do a little Nibley and suggest that we don’t *deserve* any of the blessings we’ve received. Some sin, some inability, always undermines our deserving. That’s not in the least to say we don’t do good nor that those good acts don’t deserve rewards. But it’s sort of like the murderer expecting to be rewarded for helping the old lady cross the road. Our negative deserts outweigh the positive ones.

    When we start looking at blessings as if any of us deserve them, I personally think we’re looking at it the wrong way. That’s the beauty of the atonement and I think in a way Alma is an example of that.

    Not that I’m the first to say that. Stephen and others mentioned this.

    Comment by Clark Goble — August 16, 2005 @ 6:25 pm

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