Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

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Arcturus
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Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Arcturus » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:29 pm

Found this account on Instagram. While it might be a little wrong to subtly attack the church as they do, many of the posts are clever and some of the exchanges between the user and people who comment on the posts are pretty hilarious.
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“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

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oliver_denom
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by oliver_denom » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:16 am

There are several in the leading quorums who have a real ax grind when it comes to the love of God. On one hand, they want to say that God loves all his children, but on the other, they are so afraid that people will think they don't have to be obedient.

I think it comes down to D&C 19. Martin Harris, a Universalist with deep pockets, comes to Joseph Smith about a concern in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon teaches damnation and eternal punishment, things Martin doesn't agree with, and that's making him hesitate when it comes to funding the printing of the book (see verse 26). So Joseph gets a revelation explaining everything.

Yes, the Book of Mormon speaks of "Eternal punishment", but that's not what it really means. It's a play on words. God is eternal, therefore any punishment imposed by God is also eternal, because it's God's punishment. Get it? So eternal doesn't mean eternal, it means "God". So why would God purposely deceive people like this? He explains in verse 7, "Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name’s glory." He deceives people so that they will be frightened, so that they'll repent.

Therefore, even if God's love were unconditional, it's completely acceptable for the prophets to lie and say that it's conditional, because it's better for people to be afraid so that they'll obey and repent, than it is for them to feel loved. Because if they weren't afraid, then they might not be as obedient or repent as often.

When your God himself tells a lie in order to further his purpose, like scaring people into obedience or coercing Martin Harris to loosen his purse strings, then it's more than acceptable for you to do the same. You emulate that which you worship.
“You want to know something? We are still in the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages--they haven't ended yet.” - Vonnegut

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Not Buying It
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Not Buying It » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:56 am

Well God's a crap father if he stops loving his children when they don't do what He says. Guess that makes me a better father than God.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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1smartdodog
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by 1smartdodog » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:38 am

The church for my entire life has flopped back and forth with this. God loves no matter what, but next week it is all conditional. We know this has nothing to do with God but mechanisms to get us to obeay what the church says. It’s just the old stick or carrot concept
“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
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Reuben
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Reuben » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:11 pm

Not Buying It wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:56 am
Well God's a crap father if he stops loving his children when they don't do what He says. Guess that makes me a better father than God.
No, no, no. He doesn't stop loving them, he just loves them less. Perfect father, you see.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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Dravin
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Dravin » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:43 pm

Not Buying It wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:56 am
Well God's a crap father if he stops loving his children when they don't do what He says. Guess that makes me a better father than God.
Dude doesn't just stop loving them, he'll actively kill them for not listening to him. When the standard to beat is not drowning your children when they don't listen to you or ordering them to commit genocide to each other, being a better father than God is praise on the level of, "Well, he's better than Hitler."
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Mormorrisey » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:02 am

The more I go through life and am somewhat compelled to go to church, the more I realize that people's vision of God and the one described in the scriptures is molded after a person's own view of life, like a Rorschach test. The justice over mercy crowd love this conditionally loving God, while flower-child hippies like me appreciate the God that Jesus talked about, with mercy and love above all, even as Matthew gives him more of a hard edge. Everything is coloured with the perspective one has, and that includes the words of prophets, both living and dead - so I feel quite free to accept or reject the vision of God that I like. To hell with a conditionally loving Father that Nelson believes, I choose to believe in a benevolent yet hands-off God that actually believes in free agency, that weeps over how f'd up his children are. I don't think God kills people, and I certainly don't believe God acts in worse ways as a father than I do.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
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Not Buying It
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Not Buying It » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:26 am

Dravin wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:43 pm
Not Buying It wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:56 am
Well God's a crap father if he stops loving his children when they don't do what He says. Guess that makes me a better father than God.
Dude doesn't just stop loving them, he'll actively kill them for not listening to him. When the standard to beat is not drowning your children when they don't listen to you or ordering them to commit genocide to each other, being a better father than God is praise on the level of, "Well, he's better than Hitler."
Very true - I never drowned most of my children for unspecified wickedness, consumed all of their houses with fire from heaven for being gay, let other nations slaughter them because they were worshipping idols instead of me. And I felt guilty for reading instead of spending time with my children last night. Kind of puts it in perspective.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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nibbler
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by nibbler » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:46 am

It's a hell of a thing to outgrow your god. I get the feeling Jesus outgrew the OT god and introduced the concept of a higher god, he set the bar higher as it were. Then some people felt the need to restore the OT god that Jesus tried to get us all to outgrow.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

Arcturus
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Arcturus » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:48 am

Mormorrisey wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:02 am
The more I go through life and am somewhat compelled to go to church, the more I realize that people's vision of God and the one described in the scriptures is molded after a person's own view of life, like a Rorschach test. The justice over mercy crowd love this conditionally loving God, while flower-child hippies like me appreciate the God that Jesus talked about, with mercy and love above all, even as Matthew gives him more of a hard edge. Everything is coloured with the perspective one has, and that includes the words of prophets, both living and dead - so I feel quite free to accept or reject the vision of God that I like. To hell with a conditionally loving Father that Nelson believes, I choose to believe in a benevolent yet hands-off God that actually believes in free agency, that weeps over how f'd up his children are. I don't think God kills people, and I certainly don't believe God acts in worse ways as a father than I do.
I agree. Bill Reel's recent interview on Infants on Thrones was fascinating. Glenn plays a relatively long audio snip of a deep thinker who talks about the "ceramic" and "accelerated?" ideas of the universe stemming from traditional theological paradigms. It was interesting how this guy noted that Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are monotheistic but they stem from cultures/societies that have largely been monarchist sociologically/politically - suggesting that world religions have a take on God that is simply consistent with sociological tradition.

If this is the case, then Jesus is an even more fascinating character, since he pushed so hard against the angry/vengeful God paradigm, as you noted Nibbler:
nibbler wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:46 am
It's a hell of a thing to outgrow your god. I get the feeling Jesus outgrew the OT god and introduced the concept of a higher god, he set the bar higher as it were. Then some people felt the need to restore the OT god that Jesus tried to get us all to outgrow.
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

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Archimedes
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Archimedes » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:47 am

Am I completely jaundiced or is the original Instagram posting an attempt to troll a TBM audience?
"She never loved you; she loved the church, her one true love. She used you to marry the church by proxy."

-- unknown reddit poster

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Hagoth
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Hagoth » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:53 am

I was listening to an interview with a psychologist who touched on this subject. She said that about 50% of people grow up in a situation where they never know unconditional love. Those who develop a personal relationship with God/Jesus/Whoever and become convinced that they are loved unconditionally they receive a lot of personal healing which results in an increased level of happiness. Her conclusion was that this is the real value of religion - to help heal people who have never known unconditional love.

And then along comes the ProphetOfTheOneAndOnlyTrueAndLivingChurch and yanks that rug out from under you in an attempt to redirect you away from a healing relationship with your God to a needy relationship with authority figures. Maybe RMN needs to take a lesson from other types of believers and work on his own relationship with God before meddling in everyone else's.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Arcturus
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Arcturus » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:01 am

Archimedes wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:47 am
Am I completely jaundiced or is the original Instagram posting an attempt to troll a TBM audience?
Haha yes! The owner of that IG account is brilliant. They feign to be a TBM and make the church look terrible to non-Mormons who see some of the insane quotes (like it's better to die than lose your virtue) and they also troll TBMs at the same time.

Check out some of the posts - I was entertained an entire evening reading the comments.
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

Arcturus
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Arcturus » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:05 am

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:53 am
I was listening to an interview with a psychologist who touched on this subject. She said that about 50% of people grow up in a situation where they never know unconditional love. Those who develop a personal relationship with God/Jesus/Whoever and become convinced that they are loved unconditionally they receive a lot of personal healing which results in an increased level of happiness. Her conclusion was that this is the real value of religion - to help heal people who have never known unconditional love.

And then along comes the ProphetOfTheOneAndOnlyTrueAndLivingChurch and yanks that rug out from under you in an attempt to redirect you away from a healing relationship with your God to a needy relationship with authority figures. Maybe RMN needs to take a lesson from other types of believers and work on his own relationship with God before meddling in everyone else's.
I love this idea. It's the only thing that is keeping me connected to Christianity and any theology that represents God as a compassionate being. If there was an institutional religion 100% devoted to exploring and promoting Christology from the perspective of obtaining soul healing and no BS like saved from a burning hell, our corrupt and fallen nature, etc., I would give that institution a lot of exploration and possible commitment. Anyone know of a church that focuses on this angle only?
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

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Archimedes
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Archimedes » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:36 am

Arcturus wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:01 am
Archimedes wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:47 am
Am I completely jaundiced or is the original Instagram posting an attempt to troll a TBM audience?
Haha yes! The owner of that IG account is brilliant. They feign to be a TBM and make the church look terrible to non-Mormons who see some of the insane quotes (like it's better to die than lose your virtue) and they also troll TBMs at the same time.

Check out some of the posts - I was entertained an entire evening reading the comments.
Good one. I'll check it out.
"She never loved you; she loved the church, her one true love. She used you to marry the church by proxy."

-- unknown reddit poster

Gatorbait
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Gatorbait » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:52 pm

Everyone wonders about God, but no one knows much about him, though many profess to.

I like what the Irish singer Bono had to say about the subject, and I quote," Look, whatever thought you have about God...most will agree that, if there is a God, He has a special place for the poor. In fact, the poor are where God lives. Check Judaism. Check Islam. Check pretty much anyone. I mean God may well be with us in our mansions on the hill...I hope so. He may well be with us..in all manner of controversial stuff..Maybe, maybe not...But the one thing we all agree, all faiths and and ideologies, is the God is with the vulnerable and the poor. God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house...God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives...God is the cries heard under the rubble of war...God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them."

No matter what President Nelson has to say about God, I like this definition better. "God is with us, if we are with them."

If God is not this and more, what is the point of discussing God at all? Just as we need each other, we need to be with "them".
"You're not supposed to be blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it" Malcolm X

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moksha
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by moksha » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:18 am

It is not a good thing for men to assign human negative qualities to God. Who wants a god that is petty, vengeful, and anal retentive with his love? If we must worship a god, why not have one with only positive qualities?

If men seek to hold themselves out as God's mouthpiece, why not have a Beneficent God's graces be the lure rather than a Wrathful God's conditional love be the cudgel? I think a belief in such a god should be nurturing rather than neurosis causing. God should provide comfort rather than engender fear.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Hagoth
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by Hagoth » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:18 am

moksha wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:18 am
If men seek to hold themselves out as God's mouthpiece, why not have a Beneficent God's graces be the lure rather than a Wrathful God's conditional love be the cudgel? I think a belief in such a god should be nurturing rather than neurosis causing. God should provide comfort rather than engender fear.
I agree 100% Moksha. But that kind of God fails to answer the ultimate question of mortal hierarchical authority: "what's in it for me?"
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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deacon blues
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Re: Russell M Nelson - God's Conditional Love

Post by deacon blues » Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:55 pm

I think God's Love needs to be unconditional to pull certain people out of the bondage of things like self-hate, addiction, and pride. It has always been a comfort to me to believe that my Mother's Love is unconditional. Maybe that's what Heavenly Mother does, love us unconditionally. I'm curious if that quote will included in the upcoming "Teachings of President Russell M. Nelson" book?
God is Love. God is Truth

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