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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 27, 2019 01:03PM

Back 16 years ago I found out unflattering history in early Mormonism. It was my tipping point. Much in the Mormon theological "continuing" of its revelations had turned me off. My testimony was hanging like I had thought that our National Constitution was hanging on - on a thread.

A big part of the weighing down of my testimony were the cracks in my doubts-bolstering shelf. A huge crack was caused by some new information I read at the time which was an Ensign article written by Russell Nelson called, "Divine Love." It was a "rational" explanation who God just couldn't love me as much as other Mormons due to my evil thoughts and non-adherence to complete obedience to the Mormon ways.

God's love was something I had taken for granted in my time as a Mormon.

This was the sentiment I was raised to believe was acting like one had a love like the one God had for us.

"I don’t recall much of her prayer, the tears and the joy and the sweetness, but I remember one thought: she thanked God for the unconditional love she had received. This life doesn’t give one very many chances to feel exultant and a little successful, but I felt wonderful that night, and thank God that she really believes and understands what she said. We cannot, my dear brethren, condition our love by a beard or beads or habits or strange viewpoints. There have to be standards and they must be enforced, but our love must be unconditional."
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1971/10/love-unconditional?lang=eng

But Nelson's article turned this on its head. So much so that 13 years after it was delivered to Mormons Mormons are glad that newer apostles are clarifying it and softening its harshness.

"So, I can live without the phrase “unconditional love” for a while, but I hope Christofferson repaired Nelson’s article enough that actual “conditional love” won’t creep in."
https://www.timesandseasons.org/harchive/2016/10/conditional-love-is-back/index.html

And Nelson is now "The Prophet." Shouldn't HE be clarifying what he wrote about God's love? Shouldn't HIS pen be lighting up with clarification on this?

And so to my point. If you are questioning your religion please look to this example of how Mormon revelation is lacking. Back in the 70s when I was a child I was taught a lot of things that weren't true but I was given a religious education in love and thought that though The Old Testament prophets were prophets of a jealous and angry god Jesus had softened that guy.

At the moment I was questioning and doubting the current prophet and then apostle laid out how wrong my early Mormon education was and over a decade later other Mormons and newer apostles are struggling with it.

That to me is a HUGE red flag. If you want to see how wrong Mormonism is, look no further than God's Love. That should be something they have nailed down. God's mouthpiece and special witnesses and all.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: September 28, 2019 09:08AM

That same talk about conditional love was also what finally broke my already cracked shelf. Thanks for reminding me! That article/talk is despicable. I quoted it in my resignation letter. I got no response to that are any other well thought out, reasoned argument or point that I made.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: September 28, 2019 09:38AM

Notice that the rest of the Q15 appointed him to be prophet after 2016. Oh, you’re dumber than sh*t? You get the job.

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Posted by: CrispingPin ( )
Date: September 28, 2019 09:56AM

I agree with your assessment of Nelson, but the quorum didn’t choose him. Becoming “prophet” is just a game of survivor. The guy who has been an apostle the longest automatically becomes the big cheese.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: September 28, 2019 12:04PM

Outwit, outplay, outlast.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: October 01, 2019 05:14AM

Yes that’s true. I remember being shocked when I found that out. As an investigator I was taught that the next prophet is chosen by the quorum praying for a decision from god. Not sure if the church ever or still teaches that. Mormons are supposed to think that anyway, no doubt.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: September 28, 2019 10:29AM

That whole thing is bizarre.

It's always hilarious to watch them tweak "teachings" back and forth with conference talks, then having to weigh the pecking order of their power from God (current prophet trumps y'all!).

Like you said, this is a topic they ought to have nailed down from the onset. It's laughable how they never seem to have definitive guidance on the big stuff like god's love, evolution, gender equality, etc. But boy howdy, they never waver on pray, pay and obey.

What do you think in the first link he meant when he said "beards and beads" in this context? This was back in 1971, not too long after the hippie love bead time. Was he talking about religious leaders, rosaries or what? As simple minded as these talks usually are, they leave you wondering what code words they intended to send messages.

The last paragraph in the second link was a real zinger. They come right out and say they don't want conditional love to mean they should have liberal values (like accepting gay choices and dissenting views). Yep. They made it political just for the election in 2016. They need to be fully taxed somehow. Manipulating the nature of god's love to mean obedience to the church's agenda in the minds of the sheep is disgusting.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: October 01, 2019 05:16AM

“Manipulating the nature of god's love to mean obedience to the church's agenda in the minds of the sheep is disgusting“.

Yes, this. I think you got to the heart of the problem with this one sentence.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 01, 2019 11:20AM

LJ12 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes, this. I think you got to the heart of the
> problem with this one sentence.

It is more than God manipulating. God and Satan are supposed to be doing this.

The point in my mind is that according to Mormon thinking (there is no doctrine on prophetic succession) God, The Eat-turd-all Farter, yeah even Eli Musk,oh not Him and His Sun Sign of The Nail, Jesus-o-Jee-Ho-Bah and Their Holy in One Ghost of Hermes actually through prolonging Nelson's life have endorsed his Rusty the Clowned Head of Not-Quite-Mormonism version of their collective love.

That my friends is a HUGE game changer.

Mormonism and Mormons from the times of Joe "JoJu" Smith has claimed God loves all His children unconditionally. Joju just claimed he was the only way to know God's nature and mind and his present time. Now Nelson has wiped traditional Mormonism out and replaced it with a totalitarian instead of utilitarian God. He has placed complete subjection to authority as requisite for God's full love and sharped members of CoJC into tools to force Jesus on the dead and the living in a complete obedience fashion. Oh, one can repent but it is less than a mental repentance leads to moral actions.

It is the actions themselves get the love.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 01, 2019 11:23AM

The Pope would be pleased if he cared at all.

Martin Luther would not.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: October 03, 2019 05:40AM

Yes exactly. After all, “men are saved after all they can do”. Mormonism has always been a gospel of love for actions because of this belief. And it perverts the original gospel of christ, which is what makes mormons unpopular with them. It does seem it is becoming more and more like this. Forgiveness is an ever out of reach carrot on a stick, as is being able to do enough. Because how can I mormon know when they’ve done enough? They can’t.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 03, 2019 04:50PM

Yeah, and God doesn't love you as much as others doing it right.

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Posted by: RPackham ( )
Date: September 28, 2019 10:58AM

Is God's love unconditional?

The First Presidency said YES:

To love completely with a wholeness even as Christ loved, to manifest a mature and unconditional love in all human relations, would minimize many fears. [emphasis added] -First Presidency Message: "With an Eye Single to His Glory," Ensign, Dec. 1971

Elder Ronald E. Poelman (First Council of Seventy) said YES:

God is our father; he loves us; his love is infinite and unconditional. His sorrow is great when we disobey his commandments and break his laws. He cannot condone our transgressions, but he loves us and wants us to return to him. I know of no greater inducement to repentance and reconciliation with our Father in Heaven than an awareness of his unconditional love for us personally and individually. [emphasis added] - "God's Love for Us Transcends Our Transgressions," Ensign, May 1982, p. 27

Apostle Marvin J. Ashton said YES:

The greatest example of love available to all of us is, of course, found in the scripture from John: 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.' (John 3:16.) By the greatest of all acts of love and by this supreme sacrifice, God set the pattern. He demonstrated to us that His love was unconditional and sufficient to encircle every person. [emphasis added] - "We Serve That Which We Love," Ensign, May 1981, p. 22

BUT:

Apostle Russell M. Nelson said NO:

Divine love is also conditional. While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional. The word does not appear in the scriptures. On the other hand, many verses affirm that the higher levels of love the Father and the Son feel for each of us - and certain divine blessings stemming from that love - are conditional.

Understanding that divine love and blessings are not truly 'unconditional' can defend us against common fallacies such as these: 'Since God's love is unconditional, He will love me regardless...'; or 'Since 'God is love,' He will love me unconditionally, regardless...' These arguments are used by anti-Christs to woo people with deception.

The full flower of divine love and our greatest blessings from that love are conditional - predicated upon our obedience to eternal law. [emphasis added] - "Divine Love," Ensign, Feb. 2003, p. 20

Comment: It seems that Apostle Nelson is very close to calling his fellow prophets "anti-Christs".

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 30, 2019 12:00PM

RPackham Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Comment: It seems that Apostle Nelson is very
> close to calling his fellow prophets
> "anti-Christs".

He is. And he called them anti-Christs when he said using the word 'Mormon' was ant-Christian.

He has taken Mormonism to the next level - conditional loving God who hates Mormons.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: September 28, 2019 11:44AM

the one about not being married in the temple and those relationships are fake. My boyfriend had just arrived from the past when I was driving home from visiting family in Idaho and my daughter wanted to listen to conference (and then promptly fell asleep) and I got to hear his talk about temple marriage. I was furious. Which relationship was right for me--one with a straight man and not marrying him or marrying my gay husband in the temple. His talk made no sense. I'd much rather lead the life I do than to follow that man.

His talks, from the little bit I've heard are always about conditional love and absolute obedience. He has nothing but disdain for someone like me (as did Boyd when he wrote me). But then again, I have nothing but disdain for him.

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Posted by: valkyriequeen ( )
Date: September 28, 2019 11:59AM

IMO, Nelson and his fellow pharisees seem to have forgotten the many references to little sparrows in the NT that they claim to believe and follow.

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Posted by: Canuck guy ( )
Date: September 28, 2019 12:26PM

When I read that article in February 2003, I was in the midst of struggling with depression, coming to grips with being gay which I did not want to be, and being subjected by my bishop to an informal probation for masturbating that was equivalent to a disfellowshipment. I felt low and unworthy and then I read that God’s love is conditional on my obedience to his commandments. God loved me somewhat, but as not as much as he would when I lived a totally obedient life. I found this devastating, not to mention inconsistent with what I thought the Church had taught on the subject before. I raised the article with a couple of friends but they really had no response to it. The article certainly opened me up to being open to questioning things in a way that I had not been up to that time. And it ultimately started the chain of events to me becoming inactive and then losing my testimony.

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Posted by: Canuck guy ( )
Date: September 28, 2019 12:34PM

I should add that I agree that it is bizarre that a church led by prophets claiming to hold priesthood keys passed down in direct line from Jesus’ apostles have such difficulty defining such basic, fundamental doctrines as the love of God. I seem to recall Joseph Smith boasting that one could learn about God and his nature by gazing into heaven for 5 minutes (which of course he claimed to have done and then some) than what had been said and written by all the religious teachers of all time. Yet his successors seem to fall more into the latter category than the former given their inconsistent teachings. I know that some like to argue that one is supposed to harmonize everything taught by prophets and apostles, thus making inconsistencies go away, but it is hard (for me at least) to harmonize total opposites.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 30, 2019 11:57AM

"harmonize total opposites"

It is impossible and maintain consistency in your grip on sanity. If your religious beliefs inform your life you were asked to switch from an unconditional God to a conditional one. Younger Mormons can adjust. They only know the harsh right-wing Christian oligarchy.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 30, 2019 12:07PM

There is a profound irony here.

Russell M. Nelson in trying to be more "Christ-centered" in steering ChurchofJesusChristism hasn't lost his focus conditional and conditioning god.

He is laser focused on absolutism and merciless in bring his people to his Christ with rules and regulation.

Their great winnowing has begun. Mormons will become the teetotaling non-polygamist neo-Pentecostals in the Christian Right soldiers for the 21st Century.

Any softening of Mormonism is going to firm up now with Nelson's foundations.

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Posted by: snowball ( )
Date: September 30, 2019 12:11PM

The overall trend is an interesting point in the original post.

Some people held out hope that Dallin Oaks, Jefferey Holland or some other new apostle represented a reforming wind. But by the time they reach the upper echelons they have probably moved in a more conservative direction due to their isolation in upper leadership of LDS, Inc. At the same time, society may have diverged from the supposedly reformist Q12 member to the point the quorum still looks out of place.

So, new order type Mormons need to bear in mind that they shouldn't hang their hopes on younger leaders reforming the system in a way that will make it tolerable. That's a big gamble, since meaningful change is not guaranteed and may take decades.

In my own case, I decided it was not worth suffering for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 years waiting for something that may or may not happen. I've already passed one decade out, and I don't see how my remaining would have been anything but depressing.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 30, 2019 12:23PM

The Mormonism from my youth wasn't worth saving but it was better than the Mormonism today. It sounds like I'm an old fart talking but I believe this is a verifiable case.

Case in point. Living Mormonism felt more like a community with road shows, parties, ward gatherings, people seemingly caring for each other in unquantifiable ways.

Now it is numbers, Jesus at home, and filling butts in seats with nothing more than Mormonism's afterlife promises. It is hardline and harsh. I think they are in no way interested in their folks at their fringe. I think they don't care about marginal members.

It is all about nuclear families following their prophet.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: September 30, 2019 03:07PM

"Do who is right; let the consequence follow. Battle for mischief in spirit and might; And with stout drinks look ye forth till tomorrow. God won't molest you; then do who is right!"

--Juan Shamus McGomez, Pretender to the Throne of the Aztec Potatoes

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 30, 2019 03:53PM

God won't molest you but he might call someone that does.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: October 01, 2019 04:14AM

Nelson's talk sealed the deal for me. I had already resigned, but when I read it, it made me realize that I did the right thing by leaving that love-less, Christ-less cult.

The Mormons have effectively dis-armed Christ's Atonement. According to Nelson and his cult, Christ died for nothing.

I mean, maybe he died so, over eons of time, a handful of money-grabbing, lying, pretending-to-be-perfect temple-going Mormons could be saved? This is proof that Mormonism has nothing to do with Christ, or God.

I grew up believing that God is Love--unconditional love--and He loves us all. By definition, "Christ-like love" is unconditional, all-encompassing Love. I have attended the Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic churches, and they all teach us to love each other with "Christ-like love."

I honestly believe that the rude behavior of most Mormons, and their neglectful, abusive parenting of children, and their continued belief in polygamy in the hereafter reflects their lack of unconditional love towards children and women.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: October 01, 2019 05:09AM


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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 11, 2019 11:33AM

My missionary daughter sent this thought this week.

"My spiritual thought of the week comes from General Conference!
“God loves you no less when you struggle than when you triumph.”—Dieter F. Uchtdorf"

IT seems to be a complete contradiction of this.

"Understanding that divine love and blessings are not truly “unconditional” can defend us against common fallacies such as these: “Since God’s love is unconditional, He will love me regardless …”; or “Since ‘God is love,’35 He will love me unconditionally, regardless …” "
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2003/02/divine-love?lang=eng

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: October 11, 2019 11:39AM

Since all gods are equally real, I guess I'm going to receive a lot of god love.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 11, 2019 11:50AM

Unconditionally.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: October 11, 2019 02:25PM

Is there a warranty? And if so, for how long is it in force?

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 14, 2019 11:06AM

God loves you here until you die. That loves is overcompensation for what you lack while living.

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Posted by: Bono ( )
Date: October 12, 2019 06:34AM

Dave the Atheist Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Since all gods are equally real, I guess I'm going
> to receive a lot of god love.

Thanks Dave. Your comment was edgy as always. In fact, I think I will dub you the Edge like the guy with the hat from U2.

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