Agency

on 21 February 2009

In light of recent readings, I have come to believe that agency, and the ability to be held responsible for use and misuse of said agency, is predicated upon some knowledge of the will of the LORD.

In the pre-existence, we were given the Father’s plan and Satan’s plan and we were asked to choose. Those who choose the Father were blessed with this our second estate, and those who failed to follow the LORD were unable to stay in heaven. This is one profound example of when, given knowledge, agency has been rewarded and punished.

Now lets look at two other times when agency was used to go against the LORD but was not punished because there was ambiguity, or no knowledge concerning the will of the LORD.

In the Garden of Eden, Eve, in partaking of the fruit, choose to exercise her agency against the will of the LORD. His commandments were such that there was ambiguity as to the fulfillment of them. On one hand you had the commandment to not eat the fruit of knowledge or of good and evil, on the other hand you had the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth. There was NO, 0, way that Adam and Eve could have M&P the earth without them having some knowledge. We know then that the Adam and Eve had some clear ambiguity concerning these two commandments from God, and in time, had there been no tempter, knowledge would have been provided. Eve ate the fruit and in the LDS perspective, the only punishment was the “joy” of childbirth, an essential part of the New and Everlasting Covenant. There was no real punishment; only the affirmation of gender roles but that was really the only punishment for those who did not know.
Satan, on the other hand, knowing the choices before him, was punished by the LORD. Satan’s animal of choice (the serpent) was cursed to become the least of all animals, it had its legs removed and it was to become the enemy of women, and it’s head was to be bruised by man. So here we see that either the Lord is a respecter of persons, or he is punishing due to the light of knowledge given rather than the sin in and of itself.

The other example would be when Christ was crucified. Christ forgave those who crucified and tormented Him because they knew not what they did.

So here we have a clear division of how punishment is given out based upon how much knowledge, or how clear that knowledge is. As Scott is beginning to provide an in depth look into the scriptural basis for the sinfulness of homosexuality and I have linked to him here and to my own discovery in that field. This shows that the scriptural case for Homosexuality is ambiguous. And as Daniel, Sarah and I have pointed out, the Prophetic evidence is difficult to separate between personal feelings and those of prophesy. So what does this mean for us? What does it mean to you? Are there any other examples of punishment being stayed due to ambiguity in the law?

3 comments:

Alan said...

David: do you mean "the scriptural case for condemning homosexuality"?

Yudanashi said...

yes that one.

Alan said...

Here's what all this means to me, David. There is much less "set in stone" and much more uncertainty in our knowledge of this subject than I was taught growing up in the Church. There is more room for individual interpretation and circumstance. There is room to construe the Scriptures as not strictly ruling out committed homosexual relationships as acceptable to the Lord.

In short, I believe the Scriptures give virtually no indisputably clear, unambiguous, solid guidance on this subject one way or the other, so all statements of Church leaders to date on it could therefore be interpreted as their own cultural conditioning and possibly based on unquestioning acceptance of popular--if incorrect--beliefs about what those scriptures mean. I do not mean to say that such statements are in fact nothing but personal prejudice, but given the shaky Scriptural underpinnings, they are susceptible to that interpretation.

Bottom line for me is that we have virtually no clear divine instruction on this issue that really settles anything. It is a doctrinal black hole. Of course this has not stopped the Church as an institution from taking a clear stance on the consequence of certain types of behavior, and that's it's prerogative. But given the 180 degree reversals of doctrine and policy which we've seen in the past, and given the 9th Article of Faith, I personally believe there is room to hope that the Church may yet someday undergo a shift on this issue as profound as any it's seen in the past. Just my personal belief and hope. For now, each person must be guided by inspiration as to what's best for them.

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