lostinwater

Would You? Abraham/Isaac, Nephi/Laban, Saul/Amelikites

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i have thought a lot about this.  Would i take the life of another when my blood was 'cold'.

i guess my answer would be no - i hope it would be no at least.  i suppose a lot of that is based on the assumption that any prompting to do so even in the slightest resembles what i've experienced to this point in my life.  Even if it weren't and i was more sure than i have ever been about anything else, i still feel like i hope i would refuse.  

Not looking to argue the point - but i have seen inferences to things like that pop up in other threads, and want to see how other people deal with questions like this.  If your answer is yes, i would be interested to know what intensity or form of prompting it would require to justify it - if you feel that is relevant.

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Yeah, it's a tough one alright. How can you know what you'd do until you're there?

God (pre-mortal Christ) asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac would have been near impossible for the average father I reckon.

 

A friend (former Stake Pres) is a film producer who makes wholesome movies (that make no money as no distributor is interested unless it's a film with lesbians in it these days) and he said he wanted scripts that were similar to that short film from years back about the railway switch operator who has to choose between the train and his child. In other words he wants to make stories about great personal sacrifice.

Still waiting for a quality film about Helmuth Hubener but not gonna hold my breath for this world doesn't want a Mormon hero.

Edited by Alex

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1 hour ago, lostinwater said:

i have thought a lot about this.  Would i take the life of another when my blood was 'cold'.

i guess my answer would be no - i hope it would be no at least.  i suppose a lot of that is based on the assumption that any prompting to do so even in the slightest resembles what i've experienced to this point in my life.  Even if it weren't and i was more sure than i have ever been about anything else, i still feel like i hope i would refuse.  

Not looking to argue the point - but i have seen inferences to things like that pop up in other threads, and want to see how other people deal with questions like this.  If your answer is yes, i would be interested to know what intensity or form of prompting it would require to justify it - if you feel that is relevant.

I don’t think the purpose of these stories were to teach a bunch of saints to be willing to kill upon an impression. Rather he wants us to be obedient and faithful in all hazards of life.

Whatever revelation we receive must be compared to currently revelation from prophets and apostles.

I recently learned that Nephi’s killing of Laban was very much in line with current Jewish law and practice.

as far as the many times God commanded us people to destroy other people in the OT, or the almost sacrifice of Isaac, I’m not sure. I have speculations! But I can’t confidently say for sure. But someone far more intelligent than I probably does :) 

Lastly, I have learned that death is not as big of a deal as some of us make it (including me!). Far too often have a met people who got angry at God because a family member died. Spiritual death is what we should fear and God has never commanded or forced anyone to be damned.

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I would do it, but I would have to be pretty darn sure (absolutely knowing, no guessing about it) that it was the Lord commanding it.  If there was any doubt that it was the Lord who commanded it, I would not.  If I was absolutely certain that it was the Lord who gave the command to me though, I believe I would carry through with it.

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On 11/26/2017 at 4:19 AM, JohnsonJones said:

I would do it, but I would have to be pretty darn sure (absolutely knowing, no guessing about it) that it was the Lord commanding it.  If there was any doubt that it was the Lord who commanded it, I would not.  If I was absolutely certain that it was the Lord who gave the command to me though, I believe I would carry through with it.

That's where the issue lies for me too - Is it REALLY from God?

What if President Monson with the Quorum of 12 tells all the Saints in Florida to leave all they have and move to Salt Lake?  Would I do it?  Yes.

What if President Monson with the Quorum of 12 tells me to drown my firstborn in the bathtub... my first reaction would be that President Monson and the 12 collectively lost their marbles.  In any case, if they ask this of me, I will fail this test.  Therefore, I am comforted by the assurance that God will not give me more than I can bear.

Edited by anatess2

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3 hours ago, anatess2 said:

That's where the issue lies for me too - Is it REALLY from God?

What if President Monson with the Quorum of 12 tells all the Saints in Florida to leave all they have and move to Salt Lake?  Would I do it?  Yes.

What if President Monson with the Quorum of 12 tells me to drown my firstborn in the bathtub... my first reaction would be that President Monson and the 12 collectively lost their marbles.  In any case, if they ask this of me, I will fail this test.  Therefore, I am comforted by the assurance that God will not give me more than I can bear.

Do you believe God commanded Nephi to kill Laban?

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God would never ask you to do more than you could handle and I do think there are many people like Nephi he would not ask them to do this.  However, I think we all have tests so regardless of what it is we will all be pushed to do something that is very difficult and requires us to exercise the utmost amount of faith.

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4 minutes ago, e-eye said:

However, I think we all have tests so regardless of what it is we will all be pushed to do something that is very difficult and requires us to exercise the utmost amount of faith.

That.  For some people, killing someone would not be a difficult test at all (disturbing as that may sound), and yet ask them to accept and magnify to the best of their ability the role of visiting or home teacher (just by way of example) and forget it - they'll take their handbasket and head south instead.

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For me to do it, it would have to be something like this:

An angel (not an apostle or a prophet) shows up and asks me to kill someone

We then start a negotiation session about the details of the task, eg, who, how, when, where, and how much flexibility there was in each of these. I wouldn't ask why as I don't think I would need to know that in order to do what was being asked. I would ask if there was anybody else who could do the task, and if there was any compelling reason why I was the person who had been asked to do it and if I had the option of delegating the job.

We come to an agreement as to the details of the task - what must be done, what must not be done, and the other stuff about who, when, where and how. 

I ask the angel to put the agreement in writing, with five original copies, one for me, one for the angel, one for the Prophet, one for the police, and one for my family

I carefully consider the agreement to make sure it accurately reflects what we have discussed and agreed to

Next, I carefully consider if I will follow the agreement, and if so, then I sign it.

Finally, I start doing my research and preparation, trying to find a way to do what had been asked in a way that is most likely to be successful, while avoiding being apprehended and arrested.

If it was anything less than this, I'd be inclined to hesitate and think it over pretty carefully.

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1 minute ago, askandanswer said:

For me to do it, it would have to be something like this:

An angel (not an apostle or a prophet) shows up and asks me to kill someone

We then start a negotiation session about the details of the task, eg, who, how, when, where, and how much flexibility there was in each of these. I wouldn't ask why as I don't think I would need to know that in order to do what was being asked. I would ask if there was anybody else who could do the task, and if there was any compelling reason why I was the person who had been asked to do it and if I had the option of delegating the job.

We come to an agreement as to the details of the task - what must be done, what must not be done, and the other stuff about who, when, where and how. 

I ask the angel to put the agreement in writing, with five original copies, one for me, one for the angel, one for the Prophet, one for the police, and one for my family

I carefully consider the agreement to make sure it accurately reflects what we have discussed and agreed to

Next, I carefully consider if I will follow the agreement, and if so, then I sign it.

Finally, I start doing my research and preparation, trying to find a way to do what had been asked in a way that is most likely to be successful, while avoiding being apprehended and arrested.

If it was anything less than this, I'd be inclined to hesitate and think it over pretty carefully.

While Nephi didn't go quite this far, I think it is relevant to remember that Nephi didn't just hop all over the idea - he too had to work through some questions before accepting the command.

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If I had the knowledge and relationship with the Lord and Heavenly Father as Abraham, yes I would follow the commandment with the same thoughts Abraham entertained, that God was a God of truth and that he would fulfill all his promises to me, by which without my son would not be possible (as in Abraham's context). A person denying God's direct commandment does not make them more moral or strong, it actually makes us weaker and less moral.

If I experienced what Nephi experienced, yes, I would not have any reserve to kill a "Laban." Laban sought to kill them twice. Nephi received three witnesses before slaying Laban. I really dislike it when I hear/read talks as if Nephi's experience was like this, "Nephi, kill Laban." Nephi's response, "YES! Off with his head." An awesome sword sound is made, and done. The morality and understanding of the purpose of this life is fully shown with Nephi's encounter. He received command and he hesitated. Upon viewing his hesitation God provided further witness. Upon that further witness it is easy to see from scripture that the Holy Ghost also provided further witness as Nephi's mind was enlightened regarding the love of God and God's commandments. He then went through something that probably bothered him the rest of his life, but as he declared, "[He] knew in whom he trusted." A person that wouldn't go through with it does not make them more moral than Nephi, or more good. If we experience what Nephi experienced and deny/reject God, we are actually less moral and weak.

I feel sorry for Saul in relation to the Amelikites, and more sorry for his good son Jonathan. If not for Jonathan, it appears from scripture that David would have met a sooner end, but Jonathan was used by the Lord to spare David's life. Jonathan was a righteous man, a good man, who loved God, and yet, his Father's decision to sacrifice rather than obey cost Jonathan his life. The death of Saul's sons allowed David to be pronounced King, otherwise one of Saul's sons would have become King of Israel. Here is a great article pertaining to Jonathan and David: https://www.lds.org/manual/primary-6-old-testament/lesson-29?lang=eng

This experience humbles me as the father of four boys, and I wonder how my earthly decisions affect them, and hope that I do not ever (but probably have) make a decision that brings their possible peace to come short. If I knew God commanded me, I would do what God commanded as a result of one simple principle -- charity - if we love God we keep his commandments no matter how difficult they may be (Abraham 3: 25, John 14:15 includes all commandments not the ones we want to ignore and pretend they were never given or that they don't apply to us)

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On 11/25/2017 at 10:50 PM, lostinwater said:

i have thought a lot about this.  Would i take the life of another when my blood was 'cold'.

i guess my answer would be no - i hope it would be no at least.  i suppose a lot of that is based on the assumption that any prompting to do so even in the slightest resembles what i've experienced to this point in my life.  Even if it weren't and i was more sure than i have ever been about anything else, i still feel like i hope i would refuse.  

Not looking to argue the point - but i have seen inferences to things like that pop up in other threads, and want to see how other people deal with questions like this.  If your answer is yes, i would be interested to know what intensity or form of prompting it would require to justify it - if you feel that is relevant.

My answer is no, I will not listen to a voice in my head that tells me to take the life of another, we have a word for those people they are murders.

I would fail the test, but I'm no Nephi, or Abraham the Lord would have to choose another

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16 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

My answer is no, I will not listen to a voice in my head that tells me to take the life of another,

I appreciate this! Again... the moral of this story is not that we should kill if God tells us to x)

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So, in Nephi's experience, we must remember that he had already had angelic visitations, witnessed by a group.

Quote

And it came to pass as they smote us with a rod, behold, an angel of the Lord came and stood before them, and he spake unto them, saying: Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities? Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.

It's not that Nephi was hearing voices telling him to kill.  It's that he and his whole family had received angelic visitation in addition to spiritual promptings, nice and consistent and rational, and involving multiple senses, and correctly predicting future events.  

 

Edited by NeuroTypical

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1 hour ago, NeuroTypical said:

So, in Nephi's experience, we must remember that he had already had angelic visitations, witnessed by a group.

It's not that Nephi was hearing voices telling him to kill.  It's that he and his whole family had received angelic visitation in addition to spiritual promptings, nice and consistent and rational, and involving multiple senses, and correctly predicting future events. 

As a caveat, often in the Church the Spirit of the Lord speaking to us is described as a voice we hear and feel in our mind and in our heart.

10 And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.

11 And the Spirit said unto me again: Behold the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands. Yea, and I also knew that he had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of the Lord; and he also had taken away our property.

I would say he did indeed feel and hear a voice in his heart and mind, which he then exclaimed in his heart, but I assume we are talking the same thing in reference to the last sentence, just clarifying the first.

EDIT: I see now your response was more in response to Omega's simplified statement regarding Nephi. :)

Edited by Anddenex

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1 hour ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

My answer is no, I will not listen to a voice in my head that tells me to take the life of another, we have a word for those people they are murders.

Amen. It's not just creepy, it's disturbing that in 2017 anyone could use "Oh God told me" as an excuse to commit what is an unforgivable crime. 

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

I appreciate this! Again... the moral of this story is not that we should kill if God tells us to x)

Abraham 3:25, might disagree with this thought. The whole experience with Saul (sacrifice rather than obey) appears to disagree with this thought. Nephi's experience and statement of within 1 Nephi 4: 14-18 appears to disagree with this also.

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1 minute ago, MormonGator said:

Amen. It's not just creepy, it's disturbing that in 2017 anyone could use "Oh God told me" as an excuse to commit what is an unforgivable crime. 

I am pretty sure Nephi didn't need to be forgiven of any crime, and it wasn't an excuse, "God told him so." You can tell Nephi when you meet him how disturbing and unforgivable his actions were since in 2017 we are so much more moral than he was. :confused:

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9 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

My answer is no, I will not listen to a voice in my head that tells me to take the life of another, we have a word for those people they are murders.

I would fail the test, but I'm no Nephi, or Abraham the Lord would have to choose another

i am glad i am not alone in this.  Maybe if God asked me to sacrifice my own life - but to take the life of another - i could never be sure.  The implications of being wrong....  Maybe others could know well enough - but i couldn't.  And anyways, i doubt God's hands are tied should i choose not to be the one to make the 'hit'. 

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5 minutes ago, lostinwater said:

i am glad i am not alone in this.  Maybe if God asked me to sacrifice my own life - but to take the life of another

You aren't alone at all. I'm at a complete loss for words over this thread. It scares me a little. If these people are serious than it scares me a lot. I sort of want to call the cops and warn them that there are still people out there that apparently believe it's okay to kill in the name of God. I'm just blown away by it. 

Maybe/hopefully I'm missing something and those who are much smarter than me can enlighten me.  

Edited by MormonGator

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24 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

You aren't alone at all. I'm at a complete loss for words over this thread. It scares me a little. If these people are serious than it scares me a lot. I sort of want to call the cops and warn them that there are still people out there that apparently believe it's okay to kill in the name of God. I'm just blown away by it. 

Maybe/hopefully I'm missing something and those who are much smarter than me can enlighten me.  

First of all, no one said on this thread, "it's okay to kill in the name of God." So nothing to be blown away by, or to call cops in reference to actual events that occurred in scripture.

Second, the OP mentioned three experiences: Abraham, Nephi, and Saul. Out of all these experiences the hardest one to muster is Saul's who was obedient except for killing the animals.

Third, there is a huge difference between someone saying "I kill in the name of God," which is often someone killing on their own -- not in the name of God, in comparison to what Abraham and Nephi experienced, and the Israelites experienced.

Fourth, no one here in 2017 is more moral than Nephi, Abraham, or the Israelites. Truth transcends time.

Fifth, being blown away by this conversation would be similar to being blown away by people who protect in self-defense, and yes brother, God could command you (general) when you see someone in danger to kill in order to protect the life about to be taken. Laban wasn't innocent.

Sixth, fortunately, we live in a time where the chances of God telling someone to "kill" (not murder) is so unlikely for any of us as our lives are no where near the same position. So again, the "I sort of want to call the cops and warn...." is amusing in reference to this thread. And I am glad in this day and age that this command, similar to Abraham and Nephi, are not likely to be given.

Seventh, how easily people forget Abraham 3: 25, John 14: 15, and John 15: 14-15. I desire to be the Lord's friend, and to meet him in proper countenance and glory, that can only be accomplished by honoring these verses which are encompassed in the two great commandments.

 

Edited by Anddenex

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