14 February 2014

God REALLY IS good. Really.

This is a comment I posted in response to the article Prophecy, Atrocity, and History over at The Mormon Worker.

Interesting post. There's one thread running through it, an assumption that God creates suffering in the world, that doesn't square.

Moroni 7:14 -- "Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God . . ."

What we call God's judgements are simply the way the demands of justice overtake those who refuse to come unto Christ and be saved. Prophecy of destruction isn't God telling us what He's going to do . . . it's Him crying out to us, pleading with us, trying to show us what will happen when we step outside of His protection, His love, His will.

Helaman 4:24-25 -- "And they saw that they had become weak, like unto their brethren, the Lamanites, and that the Spirit of the Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it had withdrawn from them because the Spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples—Therefore the Lord did cease to preserve them by his miraculous and matchless power, for they had fallen into a state of unbelief and awful wickedness; and they saw that the Lamanites were exceedingly more numerous than they, and except they should cleave unto the Lord their God they must unavoidably perish."
Mormon 4:5 -- "But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed."

The destructions of the last days are not the "will of God", in that they are not the desires of the heart of a perfect, loving God in whom there is no evil, no darkness, no shadow of changing.  They "might" be able to be considered His will in that He willingly abides by the law of justice, so He continues in His godhood, and can continue to extend mercy and grace to every one of His children in the hope that we will accept them, and Him. But accepting that definition leads to confusion on the meaning of "will", so it seems counterproductive to adopt it.

Alma 42:25 -- "What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God." 
Alma 42:22 -- "But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God."

I don't think this point changes the overall tenor of your article, (I love the conclusion--bang on!), but it might shift the progression of it a bit, straighten out the wrinkles in trying to reconcile the foreknowledge, warnings, and events of widespread destruction with our God, who is *made*, wholly and completely, of Good.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!