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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.