Saturday, August 1, 2009

An Obvious Contrast in "Love"

I feel compelled to share an obvious contrast between two quotes I recently read very close together. They come from two very different men who share a common desire to speak out of love for God's children:

Aaron Shafovaloff (ardent critic of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints):

"The Mormon Church is an evil, corrupt, dysfunctional organization that lacks integrity, institutional repentance, and a real pastoral love that yields clarity, crisp contrasts, and more practical bottom-up measures of correction and methods to afford checks and balances."

Henry B. Eyring (First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints):

"Our goal when we teach our children to pray is for them to want God to write upon their hearts and be willing then to go and do what God asks of them. It is possible for our children to have faith enough, from what they see us do and what we teach, that they can feel at least part of what the Savior felt as He prayed to have the strength to make His infinite sacrifice for us: “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39).

"I have had prayers answered. Those answers were most clear when what I wanted was silenced by an overpowering need to know what God wanted. It is then that the answer from a loving Heavenly Father can be spoken to the mind by the still, small voice and can be written on the heart."



Can the contrast be any starker?

11 comments:

Tom said...

MRM is more ad hominem than anything else. The quotation you list is a prime example.

It's too bad you linked to their site. It'll help their Google search ranking.

Papa D said...

CC, It's interesting that you posted this now. You might want to check out what I poested today: "Producing Fruits, Not Just Works".

Anonymous said...

You forgot about Elder Nelson's nauseating Feb 2003 Ensign article about God's love being "conditional". It is unchristian to suggest that God would ever stop loving his children - yet Nelson suggests that if we don't do everything we are told, that God will stop loving us. How dare Nelson make such an asinine statement?

Clean Cut said...

"Anonymous", I think there are at least two ways to approach this:

1. You can seek to harmonize Elder Nelson's words and meaning with the scriptures and with your understanding of the gospel (including God's love for the sinner but not the sin) or 2. You can seek to find fault and criticize Elder Nelson's words and twist his meaning.

I don't think it would a rocket scientist to accomplish either one of those options. However, only one of them can legitimately be described as offering the most "charitable" reading.

Ryan said...

Anon:

I can't say I understand that article, but it's easy enough to see who said what (and to see that else Elder Nelson said):

"While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional. The word does not appear in the scriptures." -- Elder Nelson (Ensign, Feb 2003)

"If ye keep my commandments, [then] ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love." -- Jesus (John 15:10)

"If you keep not my commandments, [then] the love of the Father shall not continue with you, therefore you shall walk in darkness." -- Jesus (D&C 95:12)

"Does this mean the Lord does not love the sinner? Of course not. Divine love is infinite and universal. The Savior loves both saints and sinners." -- Elder Nelson (ibid.)

It looks like he's doing his best to pull together what are admittedly some difficult scriptures. How would *you* interpret the 7-8 different passages he cited? They certainly seem to indicate clearly enough that *something* about God's love is conditional, even when read in context.

These passages explain the dichotomy as well as any I know:

"And this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son, and was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him, — he was Lucifer, a son of the morning. And we beheld, and lo, he is fallen! is fallen, even a son of the morning! -- Joseph Smith (D&C 76:25-27)

"And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon [those doomed by the Flood], and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains? ... The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, ... wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?" (See Moses 7:28-40)

Apparently, if you try hard enough, you can in fact drive the love of God away from you (though the heavens will weep because God's love did not actually disappear).

Tom said...

I think the absolute extreme is beneficial in considering the nature of God's love (and by the way I don't profess to know the answer):

Does God still love Lucifer?

MadChemist said...

You're awesome CleanCut.
I also liked your comment, Ryan.
-MadChemist

john f. said...

very stark indeed.

Bill said...

I find Aarons comments on the Mormon church as a lack of love for his fellow breathern. And as once being a memberof that church, I have never founds it's leadersmaking comments against other religions as evil. Especially on of the Elders of the church.

During my long apostate state, and my journey to get back into the fold. I have learned that Christ loves us all. Though we do not all have the same understanding.

But before anyone can progress and truly understand the differences in Doctrine of each, we all must come to a good understanding of the mission of Christ, He aved us all from temporal death thru his ressurection, He will save us all from the second death, whihc is spiritual death (or meaning to be cutoff from God through the Atonement. We on the other hand are to try andto live a Christ like life, forgiving others and teaching. This is required of Him and there are many passages of scriptures that state this, And even after all we can do, it will not be enough and we can only be saved through the grace and merci of Him who hold the keys to forgive whom he will.

Dolly said...

This is the best testimony meeting I've ever been to on a Friday morning.....

Thanks for the blogging CC. I always enjoy popping in!

More on "Divine Love" said...

Your Friday Firestorm #3:
http://bycommonconsent.com/2007/06/29/your-friday-firestorm-3/