The Other Side of the Coin

Disenfranchised members of the church, ex-members, non members who have family in the church often relate feelings of anger or rejection?Ǭ† from family members who can’t seem to accept their choice. Often what happens is those family who reacted so strongly, come around, and attempt to repair relationships, and often after much time ( years, commonly) things are back to a kind of truce, as love can overcome so much.

What often isn’t addressed is when family members who leave the church reject those family and friends who stay; cutting off contact and having such a hatred for the church that it transfers to family members who are unwilling to deny their testimonies, and who have to endure the ridicule and condemnation of family who they love who can’t seem to separate their parent, sibling or other extended family from the church. It is all lumped into one big pool of hatred and anger.

There is nothing you can do to fix it except to leave the church and denounce your testimony. That would bring back your loved one. But you can’t do that, because to do so would be to deny who you are, and so you would lose yourself.

I know this doesn’t always happen, but it does sometimes and it is possibly the most painful experience someone can have. It really hurts and you can’t do a thing about it except the most offensive thing to the family member, and that is pray.

Protect free expression

While preparing an elders quorum lesson for a class in two weeks, I came across this quote.

“[Free] expression is a vital part of the eternal principle of free agency and must be preserved and protected.” (Marvin J. Ashton, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìRated A,?¢‚Ǩ¬ù Ensign, Nov 1977, 71)

I was wondering what thoughts, if any, is brought to your mind when you read that quote.

“Opposed… if any?”

I hear those words, almost on a weekly basis.

On a weekly basis, I get a few more drops of courage to actually raise my hand.

?Ǭ†Why is it that we don’t oppose when it’s how we feel sometimes??Ǭ† I must admit, I have never done it in a public meeting.?Ǭ† The closest I ever got was a few weeks ago when I had a PPI / HT interview with the EQP.?Ǭ† I told them point blank that I opposed a number of things they were doing in the quorum.?Ǭ† I didn’t try to be a jerk about it, but I let them know how I felt and why.?Ǭ† And, then to make it clear, I told them if they continued, I could not sustain them.?Ǭ† I / They left it there.?Ǭ† Nothing has changed.?Ǭ† They now know where I stand.

So, I’m thinking about our ward and stake conference that are comming up, where I’ll have another chance to oppose in public.?Ǭ† Honestly, I don’t know that I have the guts to do it.?Ǭ† I think I’d be more inclined to not raise my hand to sustain and afterwards, go to whoever and voice my opposition.?Ǭ† I admit that is the easier way out.

Atonement and Predestination

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?