Notes From All Over

January 23, 2009 | 32 comments
By

Comment on the week in sidebar links.

32 Responses to Notes From All Over

  1. Marc Bohn on January 23, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I think these are roughly the last week’s headlines. For direct links click here:

    • For those in need of gift ideas for Adam (hat tip: Sheldon)
    • Utahns back some gay rights, but oppose gay adoption
    • LDS Church indicates it is open to liquor law change
    • Not as good as the video poker lady. ? But still a little insane.
    • My thoughts on Obama’s inauguration.
    • “When [President Obama's Inaugural] oath was taken, this lady next to [Sister Uchtdorf] just embraced her and gave her a kiss with tears running down.”
    • “Dana Parpart… stopped playing her slot machine at Planet Hollywood Resort [and] refused to take a drag on her cigarette [during Rick Warren's inaugural prayer]. ‘Wow, that was moving,’ [she] said, a tear sliding down her cheek…”
    • “It was inspiring to be an eyewitness to this peaceful, impressive transfer of power and the swearing-in of the first African-American president. We pray for President Obama’s success in these challenging times and join in his expressions of hope”
    • Not everyone was worthy to be brought into mortality
    • The college scam
    • Yes Pecan! ? Available only for a limited time.
    • Group hopes for LDS support with gay-rights bills
    • Just when you thought nothing could be cheesier than those Obama commemorative plates…
    • No such thing as a secular argument
    • NYT: Marriage Ban Donors Feel Exposed by List
    • Some stellar maps by John Hamer
    • WSJ: The Power of Prayer
    • Uchtdorf and Ballard to attend Obama’s inauguration
    • Gibberish for Dummies ? Or Hylemorphic dualism
    • Tom Hanks Says Mormon Supporters of Proposition 8 ‘Un-American’
    • Mormon Studies Dissertation Fellowships, courtesy of the Eccles Foundation
    • Good advice at Daily Kos
    • A new blog you ought to follow…
    • I’m informed that this gal is cool.
    • Kirby on Tours the Temple
    • Deseret News on the new LDS Survivor contestant
    • New Survivor castmate talks about how his experience serving an LDS mission will help him on the show

  2. clark on January 23, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Here’s one. On the link for Not everyone was worthy to be brought into mortality. The issue is preconception or checking fertilized eggs before implantation for genetic diseases. It seems like this could be taken two ways. One is ensuring better bodies for the spirits coming into mortality. The way you put it there is an essentialism between every spirit and every fertilized egg. That is any fertilized egg that isn’t given birth is a spirit not getting a body. While I’m sure your comment was tongue in cheek, I’m not entirely sure.

    Shouldn’t we want the best bodies possible for the spirits entering mortality?

    And aren’t the implications of every fertilized egg is a spirit rather nasty? The vast majority of fertilized eggs never come close to being born.

  3. Adam Greenwood on January 23, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Yep, that’s the way I put it.

    I don’t see the logic at all for saying that people who nasty things happen to therefore must not have been people, and I don’t see any logical stopping point for it either. Its the same kind of thing as saying that if bad things happen to people, it must have been because they sinned or because their parents sinned.

    Also: One of the prides of Christianity is putting stop to the horrible Roman practice of infanticide for unwanted or unfit infants. If we deny the essentialism between every spirit and every newborn baby, there’s no particular reason not to. Every child should be a wanted child in a fit body, no?

    Also: its hard to understand why the Church wouldn’t have a trimester-type scheme for abortions, or even allow abortions altogether, if we were certain that at conception the embryonic person wasn’t a person at all, but just a spiritless body, like a corpse.

  4. Adam Greenwood on January 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    I will happily accept an Obama Chia Pet. Wouldn’t get one myself, because its disrespectful, but if someone else gets it my conscience will be salved.

  5. Sheldon Gilbert on January 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Adam (#4),

    I am happy to purchase it for you, if that would salve your conscience. I empathize with your plight – for example, when I need to buy something on Sunday, I just ask a non-member friend to do it for me…

  6. Adam Greenwood on January 23, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    You can’t ask! But you can accept.

  7. Marc Bohn on January 23, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Adam – Your example does little to clarify the issue. Were the Church to unequivocally consider an embryo a person, it’s difficult to understand why it would allow for abortions in some of the limited instances that it does. Moreover, I can say from personal experience on my mission that abortion is not a barrier to baptism. The fact that for baptismal and disciplinary purposes abortion, while serious, is not treated as a sin akin to murder highlights the fact that this issue is not necessarily black and white. Abortion aside, if the Church were to unequivocally consider an embyro a person, it is hard to understand why it would take no position on the issue of embryonic stem cell research (in fact, one of its most prominent members is one of the strongest voices for expanding this research within the Congress). And what about the many LDS couples who have borne children through the miracle that is in vitro fertilization? Does the Church or these parents consider the many frozen embryos that are necessarily a byproduct of this process to be persons with spirits? Is the fact that LDS parents have frozen embryos that have been or will be discarded any sort of barrier to temple entry? From the position you are asserting, it would seem that this act should be on par with murder if those embryos really were frozen spirits. I in no way mean to make light of this issue, only to highlight that your headline has problematic implications and the issue is far from cut and dry.

  8. clark on January 23, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    So, just to be clear, you think that the vast majority of fetuses that don’t come to term weren’t worthy? Or were worthy? I’m really confused here. Don’t something like 50-70% of all fertilized eggs not even implant naturally? And that’s ignoring all the rates of spontaneous miscarriage over the next 9 months.

    It seems very hard to reconcile that to our LDS conception of premortal life. God comes up with a scheme where the vast, vast majority of people never get born?

  9. Tom D on January 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I think the Church’s fairly nebulous stand on this (abortion) and other issues is the best thing to do. After all it allows for personal revelation to individuals and their leaders and their individual situations. It is hard to set clear cut rules for everything.

  10. Alison Moore Smith on January 23, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I’m impressed with Hanks for apologizing rather than digging in his heals.

  11. Adam Greenwood on January 23, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Clark,

    what does worthiness have to do with it? You can’t be saying that if people die very young its because of unworthiness, so I don’t understand what your argument is.

    I think we can all agree that some children die in the womb or in childbirth or soon thereafter. I think we can also agree that this doesn’t negate the plan of salvation or the pre-existence. I don’t see that if the numbers of deaths were higher, our arguments for the plan of salvation would be weakened. The pre-existence didn’t come into existence only after modern medicine dropped the infant mortality rate.

  12. Adam Greenwood on January 23, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Marc B.,
    my experience regarding abortion on my mission was different than yours. My attitude towards the Church’s silence on certain issues is also different than yours. My view is that silence isn’t always implied approval or even moral neutrality. Sometimes its just silence, absence of any official information, vacuum. Anyway, its always easier to attack a position than it is to defend one. Why do you think its wholly unproblematic to concieve 12 embryo(nic persons) and kill a bunch of them for being defective, but not unproblematic to implant the embryos (or conceive them normally) and then abort them if genetic testing shows defects?

  13. Bookslinger on January 23, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Adam, God’s incomprehensible foreknowledge ( which us time-bound mortals can’t fully logically comprehend because it messes with our understanding of agency) likely has a part in our attempts to figure out if there is a one-to-one correspondence between fertilized eggs and pre-born spirits.

    With God’s foreknowledge, he might be able to say “I knew that that fertilized egg wouldn’t implant…” or “I knew that that embryo would miscarry… and therefore I did not enqueue/assign a pre-mortal spirit to inhabit it.”

    The danger lies in us humans second-guessing God.

    I agree with you that selectively aborting fertilized eggs or embryos is tantamount to the type of abortion prohibited by the scriptures (“causing the fruit to depart from the womb”.)

    But I would disagree with any statement that definitively states that there is a definitive one-to-one correspondence between a fertilized egg and a pre-born spirit.

    We assume Heavenly Father makes the decisions of which pre-born spirit is assigned to come forth in a newborn infant. But we don’t know how he makes those associations, when they were made, how the actions of the mortal parents affect his decision-making, or whether or when he shares that information with the pre-born spirits.

    “Could have” and “would have” likely mean very different things to us mortals than to an omniscient pre-knowing God. I’m sure that much gets lost in the translation between an eternal fore-knowing viewpoint and a temporal, mortal, lineal viewpoint, and vice-versa.

    A consoling factor is that that every pre-born spirit (other than Lucifer and his followers) will eventually get born into mortality.

  14. Bookslinger on January 23, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    “how the actions of the mortal parents affect his decision-making, ”

    should read

    “how the actions (and the fore-knowledge of the actions) of the mortal parents affect his decision-making,”

    One of the pitalls I often get into when I read in the scriptures is when I read that someone did\ something that makes God angry. One of my thoughts is usually “Didn’t God know he was going to do that?”

    I usually climb out of that logical pit when I remember that God doesn’t _share_ his fore-knowledge in order that our agency and our will can be tested.

    Sometimes I think agency can only exist in the absence of foreknowledge, therefore Heavenly Father keeps his fore-knowledge from us. Like time, agency may be just a “local phenomenon”.

  15. Visitor on January 23, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Adam and Marc,

    My mission experience was similar to Marc’s, re: abortion and baptism. Our policy was to call the mission president if during the interview the person revealed that (1) he or she had killed someone, or had a serious criminal record (this pretty much always ended the possibility of baptism, though one guy persevered for several years until he got permission from general authorities to be baptized); (2) the person admitted to homosexual conduct (this rarely, if ever, excluded someone from baptism – the person merely had to commit to the law of chastity… But we did have to call the prez if it came up); or (3) he or she admitted to having or facilitating an abortion (in one instance, a man I interviewed had worked as a nurse for an abortion clinic. That was the only time the issue arose with a male).

    I served in Brazil, where abortion rates are very high. Generally, after we called the mission prez about an abortion issue, he would instruct us to inquire whether he/she felt remorseful, and we also were to explain the Church’s position on abortion. But that was it. Out of the dozens of such calls that I made, no one was ever disqualified from being baptized. I have had conversations with other former missionaries from such different areas as Romania, Ukraine, Japan, and Phillippines that have all shared virtually the same experience.

    I share this only for descriptive purposes – not to make any normative argument. Just an interesting data point.

  16. clark on January 24, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Adam (11), you said in the link “not everyone was worthy to be brought into mortality.” So I’m just trying to find out if you were being ironic by that comment. i.e. are those who don’t even get born unworthy.

  17. clark on January 24, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Just to add, the problem is that the plan of salvation is a crappy plan if say 95% of people don’t even get an opportunity. (Say the rate of fertilized eggs that make it to 8 years old – I’m not sure what the figure is but that’s probably a good guess)

    So this is an argument against your idea of one spirit per fertilized egg. (Which isn’t asserted theology that I can see by any significant GA)

  18. Bookslinger on January 24, 2009 at 1:32 am

    Clark, I thought Adam was referring to the 1/3rd the host of heaven who sided with Lucifer and were denied bodies. _They_ were unworthy to be given a body, weren’t they?

    As per the one-to-one relationship of fertilized eggs, the fore-knowledge of God throws a monkey-wrench into the “could-have/would-have” line of thinking. Once we get on the other side of eternity, and away from our linear/temporal mode of thinking, I’m sure it will all make sense.

    One of the most interesting lines of reasoning that revolved around fore-knowledge and eternity-versus-time (or, an intelligence existing _outside_ of mortal/linear time but still having a relationship with beings who existed in mortal/linear time) were the conversations in Star Trek Deep Space 9 with the “Worm Hole Aliens”.

    The thing that most people don’t seem to get (IMO) is that in Mormon theology, “eternity” is not just “forever”. “Eternity” is not a train track that extends “forever” in both directions (backwards/forwards). “Time” is when you are traveling forward on the track, where the cross-ties tick by at a relatively constant pace. “Eternity” is existence off of (away from) the track, not the infinite distance in either direction. That is how I think the Lord defines “eternal”, as being “off the track”, not as an endless passing over of cross-ties.

  19. clark on January 24, 2009 at 2:37 am

    Bookslinger, that wouldn’t make any sense in the context of the link though.

    All that foreknowledge would do would enable God to decide which eggs become people. In which case the whole question becomes moot, doesn’t it?

    Your comment about time though I disagree with. I don’t think eternity is an absolute now. I think it is an endless passing of ties, to use your metaphor. But there’s no need to get sidetracked down that path.

  20. Bookslinger on January 24, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Clark, #18 was an expansion on my comments #13/14.

    In one sense, we can never (as the scripture says) frustrate the purposes of God. No matter what we humans do, good or bad, God could say “I knew you were going to do that, and planned accordingly.”

    God foresaw the embryonic manipulation in question, and still maintains the power to assign spirits to whatever baby he sees fit.

    The purpose of the analogy of God being off the temporal train track is to get some idea of how he might process the “I knew that was going to happen” scenarios, and how we relate his planning (or his responses) to our understanding of good versus bad, and according-to-his-will versus not-according-to-his-will.

    I don’t think Adam’s comment was meant to say that some spirits will remain unborn, but rather, that human interference frustrates God’s will.

    The unspoken implications are that Adam thinks God might want some people to have genetically-caused cancer, and your implication is that God would never want anyone to have genetically-caused cancer. In that dichotomy, I think Adam is closer to the truth. But then that leads into the question of whether genetic manipulation is a legitimate step in the medical alleviation of disease. If we can righteously interfere medically and thereby prevent and cure diseases through diet, medicine, and surgery, then why can’t we righteously interfere at the point of conception?

    The question is whether such pre-implantation (but post fertilization) manipulation rises to the level of interference prohibited by God, as in “causing the fruit to depart from the womb.”

    The couple in question could have conceived regularly, had regular pregnancies, had amniocentesis done, and then aborted the fetus if it had the breast-cancer gene. And then continued that process until a genetically “normal” fetus was developing.

    The IVF creation, testing, and discarding of embryos is basically a shortcut to the same thing. The question is, is such a shortcut righteous, or is it tantamount to elective abortion?

    I see the line that Adam has drawn. He seems to be saying (effectively) that aborting an embryo from a petri dish is tantamount to aborting a fetus from a living womb.

    Does moving the theater of operation from the womb to the petri dish make the procedure righteous?

    The doctors and geneticists raise a tough question, at what point do we begin our reverence for life, the gametes, the fertilized egg, the blastocyst, or the implanted embryo?

    The doctors in the article seem to be saying that fertilization is not synonymous with conception. But rather that conception occurs at implantation of the embryo in the womb. (Fertilization occurs in the fallopian tube, or in this case, in a petri dish or test tube.) And indeed, they are separate and indentifiable events.

    I can see some of the parents’ concerns. They say they’re going to have a baby, but the mother carries a gene for breast cancer. They give some gametes to the doctors and say “Here. Make us a healthy baby.” The doctors come back with a blastocyst and implant it in the mother. Parents happy.

    If non-destructive testing could be done on individual egg cells and spermatozoa, and the selection process done pre-fertilization, (hence nothing “post-fertilization” would be discarded) would that still be unrighteous manipulation of the process?

    The author raises legitimate questions about where this is all going, and what things will be tested for in the future.

    Oh brave new world.

  21. Matt Evans on January 24, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Clark #16, Adam’s headline was noting that PEOPLE are now (once again) determining who’s unworthy for mortality.

    Clark #17, would appreciate seeing your argument that the plan of salvation is “crappy” if we assume spirits enter all embryos, and 95% of those spirits don’t survive to accountability, but that it’s “perfect” if we assume spirits enter all infants, and 40% of those spirits don’t survive to accountability?

    Marc #7, I believe embryos are persons with full moral worth, but I still allow for abortion is particular circumstances. It’s wrong to conclude that because the church permits or allows killing (or in the case of abortion, “letting die”), that those killed or let to die must not have spirits.

    The hypothetical I find most helpful is to consider a woman and a baby stranded in the freezing woods, and the circumstances that would make it morally permissible for her to abandon the baby. (Rape = woman kidnapped and left in freezing woods with no responsibility for baby’s presence there; Fetal Defect = baby is fatally injured and won’t survive trek anyway; Life of Mother = if mother can’t save her life unless abandons baby, better that one die than two).

    Regardless of how one comes out on the hypotheticals, it’s obvious that the conclusion doesn’t require us to deny that the baby has a spirit, and it would be wrong to conclude that these exceptions to a parent’s duty to protect their children mean that children must not have spirits.

  22. Marc Bohn on January 24, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Adam – I think your experience regarding abortion on your mission was out of the ordinary then. Comment #15′s experience, in my view, is the norm. As for drawing conclusions from silence, I was merely responding to the conclusions you were drawing from the Church’s silence on whether embryos have spirits. It’s a sticky issue that we don’t have doctrine on. And were the Church to step in and unequivocally clarify the issue, there would be some problematic implications (e.g., for Hatch, who would essentially be sponsoring a bill in the Senate that would support murder (and the other LDS politicians who support it); for all the Saints (I know many personally myself) that have made use of in vitro fertilization. I’m not saying there aren’t ethical issues at stake here that we should consider and weigh heavily, but I think it’s a much grayer area than you’re willing to acknowledge.

    Matt – We went toe-to-toe on this some a couple of years back. I want to first make clear that I have no problem with your beliefs. I just don’t think you have the doctrinal support to attack those who believe the issue is less black and white and who, through much thought and prayer, have decided to support embryonic stem-cell research or seek pregnancy through in vitro fertilization. I will concede that we should not draw conclusions against the possibility of embryos having spirits from the Church’s exceptions on abortion or its silence on stem-cell research. But I think that goes both ways. We simply have no doctrine on when the spirit enters the body.

  23. Bookslinger on January 24, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Marc #22, I would add to that (and I think I got this from one of Elder Dr. Nelson’s first gen conf talks) that reverence for the life-creation process does not necessarily depend on knowing when the spirit enters the embryo/fetus/body. I think there is something sacred going on that deserves reverence prior to the quickening.

  24. Matt Evans on January 24, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    I just don’t think you have the doctrinal support to attack those who believe [differently]

    I don’t and never have attacked anyone on the question of when the spirit enters the body, one reason being that I agree there’s no doctrine on the issue — the church itself says that. I have pointed out absurdities like Orrin Hatch’s position, that children developed in artificial wombs will not actually be “human beings.” (He says he learned this through thought and prayer, but I blame Blade Runner.)

  25. Marc Bohn on January 24, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Attack may have been too strong a word choice. Mea culpa.

  26. Clark on January 25, 2009 at 12:42 am

    Clark #17, would appreciate seeing your argument that the plan of salvation is “crappy” if we assume spirits enter all embryos, and 95% of those spirits don’t survive to accountability, but that it’s “perfect” if we assume spirits enter all infants, and 40% of those spirits don’t survive to accountability?

    If the plan of salvation is tied to a probationary state where we can choose then most people never having that seems highly flawed.

    The alternative (found in Mormon folk traditions) is that only some needed that and everyone else was so good they didn’t really need mortality. I find that view highly problematic on numerous levels.

    The final alternative (touched upon in the ‘debate’ over the resurrection of children) is simply that those who don’t have sufficient opportunity get an other chance. That is there is not a 1:1 relationship of fertilized egg and spirit. Put an other way, if I’m heaven looking eagerly for coming to earth, I’m not going to say, “man, I got screwed” simply because the biology wasn’t up to the task.

    I don’t think Adam’s comment was meant to say that some spirits will remain unborn, but rather, that human interference frustrates God’s will.

    That’s not how it comes off. Further the same reasoning used here could be used to argue against any medical intervention. (And indeed is used by Jehovah Witnesses and Christian Scientists) That is if you get cancer aren’t you frustrating God’s will if you try and treat it? Shouldn’t you just pray and if it isn’t really God’s will then it’ll go away.

    Now we obviously reject that for treating our bodies. If the zygot isn’t something essential for the spirit (and I think it pretty difficult to believe it is) then what we ought be doing once we have the technology is to try and ensure that everyone has the best body possible. Put an other way, we shouldn’t look at this as interfering in God’s will but rather a place where God looks at us to see if we will continue his will by helping our brothers and sisters.

  27. Clark on January 25, 2009 at 12:47 am

    I have pointed out absurdities like Orrin Hatch’s position, that children developed in artificial wombs will not actually be “human beings.” (He says he learned this through thought and prayer, but I blame Blade Runner.)

    The book or the film? In the film they are androids. They are made and assembled. There is no womb. (Remember the guy who makes the eyes in a lab?)

    The question is whether such pre-implantation (but post fertilization) manipulation rises to the level of interference prohibited by God, as in “causing the fruit to depart from the womb.”

    The couple in question could have conceived regularly, had regular pregnancies, had amniocentesis done, and then aborted the fetus if it had the breast-cancer gene. And then continued that process until a genetically “normal” fetus was developing.

    I don’t think that verse tells us much. (After all in IVF they aren’t in the womb yet) I think the difference is when it is done. I recognize there is no theology as to when the spirit enters the body. The one scripture that could shed life is about Christ which arguably is a special case and so most are loath to draw inference from it.

    I think though that there are compelling reasons based upon spontaneous miscarriage as well as the lack of a nervous system for a spirit to attach to that a zygot isn’t a big worry.

    Further the obvious implication of Adam’s position is that all IVF is abortion and the Church ought treat it as such. Yet they don’t.

  28. Bookslinger on January 25, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    If the plan of salvation is tied to a probationary state where we can choose then most people never having that seems highly flawed.

    Upon what do you base that conclusion? The prophets have stated there is no reincarnation. So once a newborn infant draws breath, that’s the key point that many modern prophets have pointed to: that baby will resurrect. And if a baby miscarries, the details have not been revealed, but then there is still no spirit that will not come to earth to draw the breath of life.

    Miscarriages then imply one of two things: either a) there was no spirit intended for that body as by God’s foreknowledge he knew it would miscarry, or b) if there were an associated spirit, it still waits to be born, as every spirit-child of Heavenly Father (other than Satan et al) gets _one_ body.

    The alternative (found in Mormon folk traditions) is that only some needed that and everyone else was so good they didn’t really need mortality. I find that view highly problematic on numerous levels.

    Why a problem? Isn’t that precisely what many modern prophets are on record as saying? Kaimi did a post where he ran some numbers, in which he concluded that most of the CK will be populated by those who died before the age of accountability. (And he didn’t even use miscarriages, just an estimated percentage of those who die in infancy or before age 8.)

    simply that those who don’t have sufficient opportunity get an other chance. That is there is not a 1:1 relationship of fertilized egg and spirit. Put an other way, if I’m heaven looking eagerly for coming to earth, I’m not going to say, “man, I got screwed” simply because the biology wasn’t up to the task.

    Exactly. And one might interpret Adam’s snarky one-liner as implying that he thinks there’s a 1:1 relationship, but I did not draw that conclusion from his one-liner. I thought he was commenting on some people’s apparent attitude that they want children, but won’t accept handicapped children.

    The real debate is whether IVF with selective culling of genetically tested embryos rises to the level of sinful interference. (Adam apparently thinks it is.) And I think your point is that it is no different than treating disease post-natally.

    Here’s an Adam-style question: Is the disposal of an embryo from a petri dish equal to a “treatment” ?

    Or, as a rejoinder to Adam: Would he be happy if IVF and implantation were done one at a time on an egg-by-egg basis so that no excess fertilized eggs (and no excess embryos) were created and no excess discarded?

    Current IVF procedures are apparently done in “batches” with excess eggs/zygotes/blastocysts/embryos either frozen, donated to others, or discarded; with usually more than one blastocyst implanted in the mother, and the excess sometimes selectively aborted.

    The prophets and general authorities have never indicated that even the abortion of a late term fetus denies a spirit the opportunity to come to earth as a mortal, merely that it denies the use of that particular body.

    By the way, a zygote is a _single cell_, the union of the egg and sperm after fertilization. As a single cell, it can’t be tested (with current technology) without destroying it. Only after several iterations of cellular division can some cells be harmlessly removed and tested. Therefore the proper term is “blastocyst” or “embryo”, for the object upon which tests are done.

    As I understand “blastocyst” is the name for an early stage of the embryo.

  29. clark on January 25, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I don’t think giving someone an opportunity they didn’t have is reincarnation. Rather it’s just incarnation.

  30. clark on January 25, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I don’t think giving someone an opportunity they didn’t have is reincarnation. Rather it’s just incarnation.

  31. Bookslinger on January 25, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Clark, true. But incarnation is not a guarantee of an opportunity to live past the age of accountability. There is no 1:1 correspondence there either. Those who die before the age of accountability will resurrect in the millennium, when Satan is bound and can’t tempt, therefore they seem to miss out on the probationary period.

    I just assume God puts people where they’re supposed to be according to his will and foreknowledge.

  32. Clark on January 26, 2009 at 12:57 am

    The nature of probation during the millennium is probably a bit more complex than that. Put an other way, I think one still will be human and open to all the foibles of humans. Exactly how to take the temptation bit is unclear to me. I tend to take it more as a description of the society people live in. (i.e. the way society lives binds Satan) But that’s not really that different from being raised in a good home (IMO). I have a hard time seeing it as entailing that anyone born after the second coming “miss[es] out on the probationary period.” I wouldn’t say people living during the period of 4th Nephi weren’t under a probationary period, for instance.

    While I believe God has foreknowledge I don’t believe he exercises the minute micromanagement that it appears you believe.

WELCOME

Times and Seasons is a place to gather and discuss ideas of interest to faithful Latter-day Saints.