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Question for LDS members

Lexus
Posts: 169
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1/2/2016 8:04:14 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Hey, I contacted some missionaries a few days ago so that I could get a basic understanding of their beliefs and get a copy of the BoM. I have read the first book (1 Nephi), and Nephi and Lehi talk a lot about the prophecy of the Lamb of God (aka Jesus). I asked my missionaries of how they can do this when they are 600 years before his birth, and they said that a prophet can tell the future if it is necessary, and so on.

What I didn't ask after they told me that, because I thought it would come across as combative, is what are the implications on free will? If my actions are predisposed to be something (as the prophets can see the future), can I really choose my actions? Does that mean that free will is an illusion, and further, that one of the core principles of any branch of Judeo/Christianity are flawed?

Thanks in advance for any response.
tstor
Posts: 1,467
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1/2/2016 8:47:50 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/2/2016 8:04:14 PM, Lexus wrote:
Hey, I contacted some missionaries a few days ago so that I could get a basic understanding of their beliefs and get a copy of the BoM. I have read the first book (1 Nephi), and Nephi and Lehi talk a lot about the prophecy of the Lamb of God (aka Jesus). I asked my missionaries of how they can do this when they are 600 years before his birth, and they said that a prophet can tell the future if it is necessary, and so on.

What I didn't ask after they told me that, because I thought it would come across as combative, is what are the implications on free will? If my actions are predisposed to be something (as the prophets can see the future), can I really choose my actions? Does that mean that free will is an illusion, and further, that one of the core principles of any branch of Judeo/Christianity are flawed?

Thanks in advance for any response.
I am not a Mormon or associated with the LDS church, however, I did find an article on free agency that may help you:
https://www.lds.org...

A quote in that article that I would like to highlight:
"God has given commandments with promise of blessings for compliance with his laws, and penalties for violation of them. The late James E. Talmage said: 'Obedience to law is the habit of free men. The transgressor fears the law, for he brings upon himself deprivation and restraint, not because of the law which would have protected him in his freedom, but because of his antagonism to the law. It is no more a part of God's plan to compel men to work righteousness than it is his purpose to permit evil powers to force his children into sin.'" (The Great Apostasy, Deseret Book Co., 1958, pp. 34"35.)

Hope this helps.
"The afternoon came down as imperceptibly as age comes to a happy man. A little gold entered into the sunlight. The bay became bluer and dimpled with shore-wind ripples. Those lonely fishermen who believe that the fish bite at high tide left their rocks, and their places were taken by others, who were convinced that the fish bite at low tide." (John Steinbeck; Tortilla Flat, 1935)
Kyle_the_Heretic
Posts: 748
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1/3/2016 8:41:07 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/2/2016 8:04:14 PM, Lexus wrote:
Hey, I contacted some missionaries a few days ago so that I could get a basic understanding of their beliefs and get a copy of the BoM. I have read the first book (1 Nephi), and Nephi and Lehi talk a lot about the prophecy of the Lamb of God (aka Jesus). I asked my missionaries of how they can do this when they are 600 years before his birth, and they said that a prophet can tell the future if it is necessary, and so on.

What I didn't ask after they told me that, because I thought it would come across as combative, is what are the implications on free will? If my actions are predisposed to be something (as the prophets can see the future), can I really choose my actions? Does that mean that free will is an illusion, and further, that one of the core principles of any branch of Judeo/Christianity are flawed?

Thanks in advance for any response.

I realize you're asking Latter-day Saints to respond, but they're not the only ones who can answer this question.

Your question is more philosophical than religious, and there are as many answers to it as there are philosophies.

If an omniscient being exists, then it would be safe to say that we cannot fathom the mind of such a being. As such we cannot truly say that we understand how such a being might organize "free will".

From a limited human perspective, if I have a son who has chosen a blue balloon each time he is given a choice, then I can be pretty sure that the next time he is given a choice, he will choose a blue balloon. While this example cannot be compared to prophecy, it can still show that though I know the most likely outcome of my son choosing a balloon, that knowledge does not change his free will to choose another color.

Is that the way it works with God? I don't know. But it seems that regardless of knowing what we will do, the free will to do it remains.

Don't be afraid to ask the LDS missionaries any question. Just like the missionaries of any religion, they are used to combative questions. Though, personally, I don't believe that is a combative question.
Thinking is extremely taxing on the gullible, and it takes hours to clear the smoke.
Gentorev
Posts: 2,895
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1/3/2016 9:56:13 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/3/2016 8:41:07 AM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 1/2/2016 8:04:14 PM, Lexus wrote:
Hey, I contacted some missionaries a few days ago so that I could get a basic understanding of their beliefs and get a copy of the BoM. I have read the first book (1 Nephi), and Nephi and Lehi talk a lot about the prophecy of the Lamb of God (aka Jesus). I asked my missionaries of how they can do this when they are 600 years before his birth, and they said that a prophet can tell the future if it is necessary, and so on.

What I didn't ask after they told me that, because I thought it would come across as combative, is what are the implications on free will? If my actions are predisposed to be something (as the prophets can see the future), can I really choose my actions? Does that mean that free will is an illusion, and further, that one of the core principles of any branch of Judeo/Christianity are flawed?

Thanks in advance for any response.

I realize you're asking Latter-day Saints to respond, but they're not the only ones who can answer this question.

Your question is more philosophical than religious, and there are as many answers to it as there are philosophies.

If an omniscient being exists, then it would be safe to say that we cannot fathom the mind of such a being. As such we cannot truly say that we understand how such a being might organize "free will".

From a limited human perspective, if I have a son who has chosen a blue balloon each time he is given a choice, then I can be pretty sure that the next time he is given a choice, he will choose a blue balloon. While this example cannot be compared to prophecy, it can still show that though I know the most likely outcome of my son choosing a balloon, that knowledge does not change his free will to choose another color.

Is that the way it works with God? I don't know. But it seems that regardless of knowing what we will do, the free will to do it remains.

Don't be afraid to ask the LDS missionaries any question. Just like the missionaries of any religion, they are used to combative questions. Though, personally, I don't believe that is a combative question.

When a mind of the future descends through time and merges with the mind of one of it ancient ancestors and reveals what will happen in his ancestors future, and even though that ancient ancestor reveals to all, that which is to occur in the future, it will change nothing, for who is there that believes the prophecies of our ancient ancestors?

Come travel with me on a journey through time
Not in some capsule but in our own minds
We"ll visit lands in times long gone
Perhaps there we"ll find where we"ve gone wrong
To the innermost sanctuary will we descend
To that single cell from which your body began
In the Holy of Holies where all are one
Where all of space and time is joined
We"ll mingle there with other minds
From other lands in other times
Minds of the past who seem dead and gone
And minds of the future which are yet unborn
For they in their times whether here on this world
Or some distant planet to which they"ve been lured
Will enter their innermost sanctuary too
And perhaps in there they might merge with you
Ah! To travel through space in the wink of an eye
Merged with a descendant from some world way up high
Now, if this be but madness then madness it be
But come my mad brothers, come follow me!........By Gentorev.