The topic of predestination/foreordination has been discussed throughout the Bloggernacle (most notably at New Cool Thang, but here as well).
While listening to the most recent episode of the Mormon Archipelago podcast, some thoughts came to my mind.
There seems to be two camps regarding agency and predestination/foreknowledge. One camp states that God does not have knowledge of the future because this would mean the future is fixed and we do not have true agency. The other camp states that God does have knowledge of the future; despite this the future is not fixed and we still have agency.
While commuting home this afternoon, I began contemplating these ideas regarding the atonement, and two questions came to mind.
For camp one, if the future is not fixed and God does not know in advance every decision we will make (or more specifically, every sin we will commit), then does Jesus suffer for every possible sin that we may commit?
For camp two, if Jesus suffered for specific sins of ours, then does that predestine us to commit those sins?
Anyone who has been around the Bloggernacle for a substantial amount of time is probably aware that there are multiple accounts of the First Vision. In these different accounts, there is often discrepancy between which personages Joseph Smith claimed to have visited him. For example, the 1831 account states that Jesus was the personage while the 1834 account states the personage was Moroni.
A common explanation for this difference in details is that Joseph smith was speaking to different audiences, so he needed to explain the story differently. While I have heard this explanation on several occasions, I have never thought about it much until now.
What purpose would be served by telling one person he saw Jesus, another he saw Moroni, and another he saw God and Jesus? In what ways would these three audiences be different enough to warrant these differences?