Binding God

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blazerb
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Binding God

Post by blazerb » Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:47 pm

Deacon Blues mentioned "St. Peter Bind Them Parchment," a magical spell that could be used to control guardian spirits. Mormonism has the notion that man can bind God as in D&C 82:10. I think it also applies to Helaman 10 when Nephi is given the sealing power. I remember being told that Bruce McConkie taught new apostles that whatever they said became the word of God. I can't find the reference for that, though. It appears that this is something that has been a consistent doctrine. Deacon Blues gave a quote in the other thread that seemed to imply that humans could trick God into saving loved ones. It seems to connect with his teaching that "If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser, you will enter heaven." There seems to be a teaching that the rules can be exploited to allow less than perfect persons into the presence of God.

One aspect of this was the teaching that righteous parents could cause the salvation of their wayward children. I found a recent site with several references for this here: https://cultureofmormonism.blogspot.com ... -save.html. However, it seemed that RMN did not appreciate this doctrine when he gave the "Sad Heaven" talk in April 2019. To me, it seemed consistent with his teaching that God's love is not unconditional. We have to earn it. See article in the February 2003 Ensign, "Divine Love." The idea seems to me that nothing good can be received by those who are not perfectly obedient to God's laws.

I think the idea that man can bind God is disturbing to many in the wider world. At the extreme you have religions that preach predestination, the idea that God will send some to heaven and others to hell regardless of what they do. I think even those that are less extreme tend to believe that God's grace can save us, but that God is not required to do so. He could just let everyone suffer for eternity or cease to exist or whatever the less righteous receive in that tradition.

I found it interesting that unconditional love from God was taught by several of the speakers in the most recent conference. I wonder if RMN decided that the notion of conditional love from God was selling very well, or if leaders decided to ignore RMN's ideas.

I know this has been a little scattershot. I'm interested in hearing other's thoughts.

Reuben
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Re: Binding God

Post by Reuben » Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:32 pm

I think that nowadays, the idea of binding God is seen most clearly in conditional promises. They all take the form "If A, then B."

I remember my parents telling us that if they diligently had Family Home Evening, none of their children would go astray. Now that 60% of us have left, I wonder if they struggle with self-blame partly because of that.

The contrapositives of such promises are easy and natural for humans. "If A, then B" obviously (to us) also means the contrapositive statement "If not B, then not A." So every conditional promise not only gives believers a little hope and a sense of control, but because it's almost certainly false, also gives them a cudgel to beat themselves and each other with when "not B" happens.

Is it just me, or are conditional promises being given less often nowadays, though? Priesthood blessings are killing people and God is leading travelers down wrong roads. An unreliable god doesn't have to fulfill the B part of "If A, then B," and doesn't need the typical excuses (not now, not in the way you would think, etc.). If Mormons are living less by conditional promises, is the idea of binding God becoming less salient?
Learn to doubt the stories you tell about yourselves and your adversaries.

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moksha
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Re: Binding God

Post by moksha » Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:42 pm

This idea of binding things on earth and in heaven made for an interesting premise in the movie, The Craft. Robin Tunney used her bindings mostly for good.
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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deacon blues
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Re: Binding God

Post by deacon blues » Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:28 am

There is a lot to consider in this topic. First, almost all of Joseph Smith's ideas come from the Bible, and his unique interpretation of it.
I think the primary mention of binding is Matthew 18:18 and Matthew 16:19. To me, the context of Matthew chapter 18 appears to apply to sinners, and not the sealing idea that Joseph Smith draws from it.
I also found this from "DividetheWord.blog", which may be a better interpretation than Joseph Smith, or I had:

"Uncovering the Context
Often times, simply reading a Scripture under a different translation helps to open the eyes to the depth of its meaning. I’m a King James fan, but I use many other translations for comparison and understanding purposes. Let’s consider Matthew 18:18 in the Amplified Bible.
Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. – Matthew 18:18, KJV
I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven. – Matthew 18:18, AMP
The difference in surface context is quite stunning. In the first example, we can almost read unbridled permission to bind certain things upon the earth and have them bound in heaven, by God.
In the second example, we get a different understanding, one that says what you have taught, or bound, or loosed, according to the example already given, was already bound and loosed in heaven.
The Adam Clarke Commentary on this subject is quite deep and yet ends with the most succinct way to define the difference, found in Dor. Lightfoot’s works, and displays the true context of these Scriptures;"


To me (Deacon) this was the most helpful paragraph:
“The phrases to bind and to loose were Jewish, and most frequent in their writers. It belonged only to the teachers among the Jews to bind and to loose. When the Jews set any apart to be a preacher, they used these words, ‘Take thou liberty to teach what is Bound and what is Loose.’” Strype’s preface to the Posthumous Remains of Dr. Lightfoot, p. 38.
The AHA moment here, the God moment is that the true context of Matthew 18:18 and Matthew 16:19 was that these men would be preaching the already prescribed bound and loosed principles, their liberty was confidence knowing God already decreed these things, and God would assure and validate them in His kingdom. In other words, by sticking to the book, the teachings of Christ, they were on the right track!
Consider Adam Clarke’s further explanation of why the Christ used these terms;
…that binding signified, and was commonly understood by the Jews at that time to be, a declaration that any thing was unlawful to be done; and loosing signified, on the contrary, a declaration that any thing may be lawfully done. Our Savior spoke to his disciples in a language which they understood, so that they were not in the least at a loss to comprehend his meaning;"
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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moksha
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Re: Binding God

Post by moksha » Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:19 pm

moksha wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:42 pm
This idea of binding things on earth and in heaven made for an interesting premise in the movie, The Craft. Robin Tunney used her bindings mostly for good.
So the idea for these bindings came out of Joseph's folk magic rather than Masonic tradition?
Matthew 18:18-20
The Message Bible
18-20 “Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”
If Men created heaven, then it follows they would be able to use it for their own end. Watch out for the ones making money off this.
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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Palerider
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Re: Binding God

Post by Palerider » Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:06 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:28 am
There is a lot to consider in this topic. First, almost all of Joseph Smith's ideas come from the Bible.....

…that binding signified, and was commonly understood by the Jews at that time to be, a declaration that any thing was unlawful to be done; and loosing signified, on the contrary, a declaration that any thing may be lawfully done. Our Savior spoke to his disciples in a language which they understood, so that they were not in the least at a loss to comprehend his meaning;"
I'm sure you and I were doing the same research on this topic Deacon. My findings matched yours very well even though I found them in a Christian Torah study class.

What makes the above research even more relevant is that Peter is recorded as making just such a pronouncement in the case of the Gentiles being included in the gospel that was now beginning to go forth to all the world.

His dream of the descending sheet made it clear to him that the gentiles would now be accepted (permitted) on equal footing with the Jews, into the church and he was able to authoritatively say, "Yes, this is permitted".

Furthermore, this was a "situation" or a thing that was being permitted not a person or people being "bound" by an ordinance.

Permitting or prohibiting in the Jewish understanding, had to do almost universally with "things" rather than binding or loosing people.

Couple these principles with the Savior's statement that there is neither marrying or giving in marriage in the resurrection and Joseph Smith's idea of "sealing" or binding gets less and less informed by Biblical scripture and more and more substantiated by Catholicism and some of it's attending "errors" in doctrine created to maintain their own power base. Looking at Joseph and the early LDS church, I see some distinct parallels there.

"Want to be bound to Christ? We're the only church that has the authority to do that. Stick with us or go to Hell."
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Hagoth
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Re: Binding God

Post by Hagoth » Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:36 am

In the words of another Latter-Day prophet:

One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all,
And in the darkness bind them.

Joseph and Brigham were very interested in the bring them all and bind them parts. Heber C. Kimball preferred a ring in the nose to one on the finger.
“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."

hmb
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Re: Binding God

Post by hmb » Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:51 am

Reuben wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:32 pm

Is it just me, or are conditional promises being given less often nowadays, though? Priesthood blessings are killing people and God is leading travelers down wrong roads.
It's not just you. However, one explanation for this example could be that PH blessings are protecting people in an eternal sense. This mortal life is temporary. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter. It's how obedient you were/are. You used faith to seek and get a blessing, regardless of God's answer to your mortal health; score, a point for you!

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alas
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Re: Binding God

Post by alas » Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:24 am

In thinking about this, I keep coming back to the second endowment that we don’t hear about from official church sources. This human ceremony forces God to place someone in the top level of the celestial kingdom, even if they have committed a terrible sin, unless it is shedding innocent blood. So, this thing the humans do over powers God’s right to judge his children, and the humans decide who gets the top level of heaven!?!

Even sealing people together does not bind God in the way the second anointing does.

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