Re: Can Children Sin?
- From: "Gerald Fuller" <gfuller1930@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2007 16:16:31 -0000
"Jeff" <jeff_x02@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
On Jun 19, 9:56 am, "Gerald Fuller" <gfuller1...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
I don't believe infants can commit a voluntary sin, but infants too
inherit the consequences of Adam's disobedience. It is this
consequence that the mercy of Christ removes. The Catholic Church did
not believe this, so they wanted to baptize little children to keep
them out of hell.
Several things here. I am not sure that an infant can or cannot commit a
"voluntary sin". I am not sure what a voluntary sin would be. If we are born
and conceived in sin and iniquity as some think it says in the Old
Testament. (e.g Psalm 51:5), then it may be that we are "forced" to
transgress which may always be sin, voluntary or not. Or maybe not all
transgressions are sins.
I agree more than I disagree that infants "inherit" PART of the consequences
of Adams transgression. For one thing, if I understand the body of the
teachings of our Prophets, children inherit from Adam both the abiltiy to
come to earth and receive bodies and the ability to lose those bodies
temprorarily in what we know as mortal death. The writer of the letter tot
he Hebrews included both death and judgement as the common inheritance of
man (Hebrews 9:27) But those consequences are both good and desirable and
perhaps bad and undestirable. But we also "iherited" from Adam (Actually
were granted by God our Father) agency to use our will.
I would not say "The Catholic Church" either beleived or did not believe any
particular thing. I ratehr tend to think that there has never been a
"Catholic" (worldwide or universal) Church even while Jesus Christ walked on
earth as a man among men. Certainly not since. To see whaere I am coming
from just read what the questions and disputes were that are mentioned in
the books that we have in the New Testament. But the "winning" scholars and
thinkers and "theologians" in what history looks back as as perhaps the
"Church Fathers" persuaded those in power to their beliefs about infant
baptism. However I am sure in m own mind that it never was universally
accepted. There are Scriptures that indicate that the baptismal candidate
had to at least know what was happening.
You speak of the mercy of Christ. I know that when I was young I might have
thought of God (The Father) as a stern old judge, willing, even anxous, to
find fault and punish the sinners on earth. I probably thought of Jesus
Christ as much different, more loving and forgiving than the Father. But why
would I have thought this? Probably because the people I knew tended to
believe and teach that this was the case. Where did they get it? Hosea 6 and
especially verse 6 thereof speaks of the mercy of the Lord. The people I
knew then thought that the Lord speaking in the Old Testament was the Father
and even I believe that it mattereth not which member of the Godhead speaks
since they all speak the same. So I hope you are not thinking that the love
of Christ of the Mercy of Christ of the Justice of Christ either exceed or
is exceeded by the love, Mercy or Justice of the Father
This passage in Ezekiel (18:20) is hard to interpret by itself.
Indeed! Any isolated set of words, Holy Scripture or a comic strip, is hard
to interpret by istelf. Usually we need to know something about the setting,
the background, the way the author thinks, etc. That is why every time I
quote one verse or even one book, I do so knowing that by itself it is not
enough. Rememebr that the Holy SCriptures were written by mortals. They may
or may not have been directly inspired to include certain concepts, but
their mortal minds and human logic undoubtedly processed these thoughts and
more than likely they used words that were in common use by them and their
Taken in isolation, what does John 11:35 mean in isolation? Of course it
means just what it says, ("Jesus wept") but what were the circumstances? Why
was he weeking? Was it because His friend Lazarus was dead? Tha is unlikely
isn't it? He had delayed some four days that He could have been there and
probably kept Lazarus from dying. What was the more deep underlying reason
that Jesus wept? Was ti anything to do with how the people reacted? Just
what is the interpretation of those simple two words? Now if those two
little words can contain so much possible meaning, and deep meaning at that,
does this give us any clue at all as to the "interpretation" of isolated
passages or writing?
The Book of Mormon repeats several things like it.
Indeed. And all the Scriptures contain several things that are more or less
conflicting with some interpretations.
In Mosiah (13:13) - "Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor
serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the
iniquities of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth
generations of them that hate me".
Yes. That idea is also in several places in the Old Testament as you
probably are aware. So if you study all of these, you will find the same
thing repeated by several prophets. But you can also find sayings from other
prophets which seem to say otehrwise. So as I was saying the writers process
the ideas into words and then in our case, all have been translated at least
once, in all the Standard Works, except possibly the Doctrine and Covenants.
Even the Doctrine and Covenants contains material that was written over a
century ago and I think we all agree that different words have come into
use, some old ones are no longer used and perhaps the way they were used
then is different from the way we use them now, if we even do. So that is
why we need to seek the wisdom of the Lord in understaning what He wants us
to know. We cannot do it on our own. Nor can we do it by studying the
commentaries of scholars.
Another case in point is the Lamanites babies were cursed just because
their fathers were cursed before them (2 Nephi 5:21,23).
Yes, if the writer indeed undestood and put it in words that when translated
into English caused us to understand the same thing. But just consider a
couplel of things. If a child is is reared by atheists, for example, and is
never exposed to anyone else than atheists, who actively hate God and those
who claim to love Him, what is the probability that this child will learn to
love God? Is it even to be considered that God has to take a personal hand
in passing that curse on? If children are not taught to read or to write or
to love learning of a given kind, what is the likelihood that they will do
After I had been in the US Air Force for 20 yaears and had never been any
farther from my Illinois home than, say, Tokyo, Japan, or Bangkok, Thailand,
I retired and returned to Illinois. I taught for a few years after that and
one year when I was teaching in Casy, Illinois, I had a boy in my 2nd year
general math class. All that class was, was a remedial arithmetic class for
those who at age 15 or so still could not add, subtract, multipy or divide
and especially could not analyse and solve "story problems". That kid had
never been out of the county he was born in, I think. I mentioned to the
class one day for no real reason that I preferred not to live really near to
a city. This boy then asked, Why did you come to Casey, then, Mr. Fuller?
The large city of Casey had a population of about 3,000! This boy also did
not understand why he should be interested in learning math. I asked what he
wanted to do when he got out of school, and he said he wanted to be a welder
like his dad. Unfortunately his dad was not a skilled welder of any kind,
but more or less a "shade tree weldoer" who could do rough welding such as
might be required around a farm. For me this is an example of the sins or
omissions of a generation being passed on to the following generations.
Ignorance seems to propagate itself to the following generations.
Now one obligatory LDS reference might be Doctrine and Covenants 93:36. I
certainly would not want to say that boy did not possess high intelligence.
I am not sure whether he did or did not. But he did not seek very strongly
to "magnify" his intelligence.
We find a similar teaching in Alma (3:6-7) - "And the skins of
the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon
their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their
transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who
consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and
holy men. And their brethren sought to destroy them, therefore they
were cursed; and the Lord God set a mark upon them, yea, upon Laman
and Lemuel, and also the sons of Ishmael, and Ishmaelitish women".
This is odd because some of the Nephites are descendants through
the cursed Ishmaelitish women who married Nephi and Sam. If I
recall correctly, one of the cursed Ishmaelitish daughters married
Zoram. Maybe their babies were born white and retained the curse,
whereas the babies born to Laman and Lemuel were dark. I assume Jacob
and Joseph were white when born because they were born to Lehi in the
In fact Nephi himself married a daughter of Ishmael did he not? But have you
condidered that the quotation that you give here does not say that _ALL_ the
"Ishmaelitish Women" were cursed? Reading in 2 Nephi we can learn that some
of the Ishmaelitish Women came to the aid of Nephi when the "bad guys" were
thinking of killing him and Lehi.
Since the curse apparently incuded a dark skin so that they would not be
attractive to the Nephites, it seems unlikely that the curse (as such) would
be continued with "white" babies. But I think we misunderstand pretty
completly if we think that dark skin is always a curse and even worse that
curses always or even often include dark skin.
Finally I think that it is incredibly silly for people to think that the
language of the Book of Mormon really means that dark skin alone makes
anyone unattractive to "white" people. If that were true, I doubt that so
many caucasians would be courting skin cancer to attain a dark skin.
I wonder how Nephi and Sam could have married cursed women and not
be cursed themselves and their sons and daughters not having
the curse too.
The simple answer tot hat is that their wives were not cursed. I see nothing
that forces me to believe that they were.
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