I had an interesting discussion last night with members of the Mormon church. My understanding of the belief is we had to sin in order to know what joy is, and it’s not that a person doesn’t feel joy without sin, but we are unable to put joy in context without sin which is why we came to earth. My question was, if God wants us to sin so we can experience sadness and therefore put joy into context, wouldn’t that mean we should seek out the most heinous sins possible to have the greatest understanding of joy?
I would like to know how other church members feel about this as well as if my logic makes sense.
Well, Mormons recognize the book of Romans. So to them, that should be logical. Why deviate from scripture, anyways? It’s a lot easier to argue with what man considers logical but it is harder to argue against what God’s word says.
No you don’t need to seek out misery- it’ll find you, or you’ll make your way to it soon enough (usually both).
A person needs to experience misery to know what joy is. But that doesn’t mean you need to keep repeating the pain over and over again- like a stubborn kid whom just refuses to learn.
Though, it is worthy to note, that in Luke 7 it says that those whom the Savior forgives the most love Him the most. So those whom have been through tremendous pain (either through their own doing, or that of others), are the most appreciative of the Great Physician.
But still, you shouldn’t go out an seek out misery! To seek out sin- that is by very nature turning away from God. Live in the grace of God- Romans 6 all the way!
I thought you meant LDS beliefs but wanted to be sure. God does not need to make us feel misery so we can appreciate joy.
One of the biggest differences between Christians and the LDS is the idea the LDS have a great need to put human context, or explanation, on all things relating to God. As Catholics we accept there are things about God we are not to understand is this life. The mystery of faith. They may view the mystery of faith as a puzzel or problem to be solved rather than what it is, unknowable.
Remember the LDS church was formed by a man and has been led by men, American men. Their view of religion is largely influenced by early 19th Century evangelicals. They claim the BoM was translated from ancient golden plates into language not even used in early 19th Century America or during the time of Jesus supposedly visiting the Americas during Eastertide. Somehow it came out sounding a lot like the KJV from the early 1600.:hmmm:
I don’t have time to delve into all of the issues you raised here, but let me share two verses from LDS scripture that refute the notion that LDS belief is that sin to somehow a prerequisite to joy.
D&C 1:31 For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;
Alma 41:10 Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.
And for good measure here is a verse from Isaiah expressing the same idea.
Isaiah 57:21 (KJV) There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
Perhaps your friends were talking about this verse.
2 Nephi 2:11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
I suppose if we gave a new-born baby a few pints of vinegar, she would appreciate her mother’s milk more? I don’t think so. I certainly never had to eat poison - or even vegetables! - in order to enjoy the good food I got as a baby and child.
If one must experience misery in order to experience happiness,
then must one experience happiness in order to dislike misery?
I do not see the logic. Must I sleep on a bed of nails in order to appreciate a soft cushion. Must I be bitten before I can like being kissed? Must I be blind before I can appreciate my sight, or dead before I can enjoy living? Must I be driven to despair before I can have any hope at all? Explain the logic, without falling into a pit of eternal circularity, please.
How can you say another person doesn’t appreciate the depth of good vs evil? The theory of being unable to know joy with first experiencing evil is not logical. If the theory were to be correct then the OP’s conclusion would make sense. To experience greater joy, we must first commit greater evil.
I am a sinner, but not a horrible sinner. Just your average sinner, not evil. Yet everytime I go to Mass I get to experience the amazing joy of the Eucharist. So in order to have even greater joy, I should go out Saturday afternoon, kill someone, go to confession that evening, the receive the Body & Blood of Christ Sunday morning? My joy of the Eucharist would somehow be greater? Illogical!
One perfect example of why this belief is illogical is the Blessed Mother. She never sinned, committed no evil in her life, yet she experienced the purest of joy being the mother of our Lord.
Whenever I think thru Mormon theology, the more convoluted it becomes.
Was there no joy in what Mormons consider the pre-existence, even though they were in the presence of God? Were sin and evil present there as well? Will sin and evil be present in the various kingdoms they believe in if it was present in the pre-existence?
I see no one has answered this simple question including Tarquin.
The issue here is knowing right from wrong to such an extent that we live it in very deed. Certainly there are some commandments and laws which we obey upon first hearing them. We do not need to experience every last possible evil and I don’t believe that has ever been taught. But clearly in many instances it is not enough to simply be told about right, wrong and attendant consequences. If that were enough everyone would do right once they heard all the facts.
There are certain experiences and a certain learning that must occur on this fallen earth and in no other way. In LDS scripture the Lord speaks to Adam and tells him that when his children grow up, “sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good” (Moses 6:55). We must prize the good to such an extent that we will never want to do anything less.
Most will find joy beyond their imaginings after this earth life. But it will not be full until we have conquered every weakness in us. Because complete joy is bound up in doing right of our own free will and choice. It only comes when we gain enough strength to overcome all our weaknesses such that we can conquer the enemy of our souls.
Well I did answer your question but probably not in the way you wanted. We acknowledge we are sinners, we are in need of redemption & forgiveness. Many can overcome sinful behaviors through prayer and the sacrament of reconciliation. Many can go for long periods of time without committing mortal sin, be we all, you included, commit venial sins everyday because of our fallen nature.
As I said before, I know joy, not because of my sins but because of my faith.
Using LDS logic, your assumptions here, the top echelon of the LDS church must be the very worst of the sinners to have achieved their lofty positions.
Using J. Smith scripture to “prove” a point on a Catholic forum is meaningless.
I have committed a few mortal sins and not once did I have joy from them. What I did get was unbelievable guilt and still have even to this day after going to confession numerous times. The only joy I have is praying God will have mercy upon me. But you are correct Horton with your posts.
Concupesnce (sp?), that is why.
Which came about because of the fallen nature of man, due to the Fall of Adam and Eve. Nature itself, with its diseases, sickness, disabilities and death are also due to the fall
It’s not so that we need to know evil in order to experience joy
What’s kind of bothersome is that this almost makes the fall of Man into a good thing. If true knowledge of joy and sorrow are dependent on the presence of sin, Adam and Eve were actually helping us out [when they sinned] because now we, in turn, can understand what joy and sorrow are. Had they been obediant, we wouldn’t have understood joy and sorrow. If, in fact, the fall of Man was a good thing, what in the world was God doing when He ordered them not to eat from that certain tree? was He saying it while secretly hoping that they disobey Him?
That is LDS belief.
That the fall was a good thinG
If you go to th official LDS website and search for a talk by Russell Nelson, an LDS apostle, called “Constancy Amid Change” you will see he says Mankind has been blessed because of her courage and. Wisdom in sinning.