Beliefs

So I taught my lesson yesterday and I helped Lilah give her talk.
Now I just have to focus on enrichment and possibly getting costumes made for the girls, Halloween is just around the corner.

Yesterday my lesson was interesting. We had a visitor. Anyone who visits usually go to gospel essentials because of a couple reasons, one to help teach lesser doctrine to those who don’t know the gospel, or receive the milk before the meat, two as to not distract the gospel doctrine class of the topic at hand. It seems a little mean to banish those who have not been members for a year to the gospel essentials class, but I think it’s so we can keep on topic in this class.
A man brought his friend who was Catholic. I have no problems with Catholics and I have no problem with him being in the class. I just thought his beliefs were interesting and to me a little sad.
He gave some input that was a little off topic, well very off topic, but all classes get off topic and he didn’t dominate a lot of time, in fact by the time I would have cut him off he stopped talking. If anyone were to dominate the time of the class I would want to cut them off, so it wasn’t just that he wasn’t Mormon.
During class he mentioned some of his thoughts or beliefs.
What I got out of it was about a certain saint that he believes in. It dealt with the thought that we’re all preordained to go to hell or heaven. We have no say. God just chooses. Those who are going to hell, such as homosexuals, usually have an easy life, he used Elton John as an example. Those who are destined for Heaven need to even out there sins, or pay for them. So they get punished, he used the example of physical ailments and I think even situational things, such as wealth. I interjected that the ailments were to strengthen us, but he said no it was just to balance out what wrong or sins we had done.

I think I mostly found it sad that we’re predetermined for heaven or hell. To me it seems pointless to be either good or bad. Jon mentioned since it doesn’t matter or you have no say where you go it could be good because then you just live you life without worrying about heaven or hell, or you don’t do things out of fear because you’re going there anyways.
I just find that sad to have no say in where you go. Also to be punished physically for sins goes against the New Testament. Such as the story with Christ and the man born blind.

John 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

After class he started talking to me and mentioned how he didn’t want to go into deeper thoughts and how he also believed we have a certain number of sins while here and once we use them up we die.
He used the example of a lot of people coming here to Vegas to gamble, drink and participate in immorality and that he believed about 20% of the people would probably be dead by next year because they’ll use up their sins.
In a way I can see what he says, but I guess it still seems strange that we only get so many sins and for each person it’s different. I suppose it balances out that we’re preordained, so you’re going to Hell but you don’t want to get there too quickly so you don’t sin a lot.

I don’t know many devote catholics. I just found these two beliefs to be so opposite of my own. I’m not sure if since the beliefs came from a saint if you have a choice to believe them or not, or if it’s universally taught within the Catholic church

3 Responses to “Beliefs”

  1. Anna Says:

    You know, these beliefs sound really strange to me. Mom and her family are Catholic, and they don’t say stuff like the certain number of sin or the pre-ordained stuff. If we were pre-ordained, I’m with Jon, why try? Also, why do we get to choose whether we want to believe or not if we’re pre-ordained? And, there are a lot of innocents born with ailments. Instead of blaming the “sinner” why aren’t we blaming whatever did this to them? I purposely said whatever instead of whoever.

    It is true that Catholics believe that you must do good to make up for your bad. In my mind I’ve always thought that the Mormon church was much the same, but I guess not after reading this blog. Still, both churches seem to be works driven.

    In my church, or basic protestant churches, it seems that we believe that God knows whether you are going to Heaven and Hell (he’d have to if he was God). This seemingly contradicts free choice, and I’ve never been able to reconcile the two. Neither item seems to be expressly addressed in scripture.

    Also, we believe it doesn’t matter how much good we do, that we’ve all sinned and can’t get to Heaven on our own, so we have to accept Jesus’ sacrifice in order to go to heaven. Basically, you can’t just know there was a Jesus, you must believe that he died for our sins and make him Lord of your life. We fondly call this plan Roman’s Road, which includes verses like Rom. 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, and 10:9-10. (I think I missed one.)

  2. Jonathan Blake Says:

    The way I reconciled God’s foreknowledge of our actions with our free choice was by analogy to parents and children. Given certain circumstances, I know pretty well what my children will do. That doesn’t mean that I make them do something, just that I know how they’ll act. This kind of assumes that our behavior is deterministic (i.e. absolutely governed by predictable rules) or that God exists beyond time.

    Of course this works better with a limited God (like what we find in Mormonism) who isn’t in full control of the circumstances. I can see how it would be hard to reconcile if God created everything (including our circumstances). Thorny conundrum.

  3. Lacey Says:

    “It is true that Catholics believe that you must do good to make up for your bad. In my mind I’ve always thought that the Mormon church was much the same, but I guess not after reading this blog. Still, both churches seem to be works driven.”

    Mormon’s are very works driven but we don’t do our works to repent or make up for our sins, which is what I got from this man’s personal beliefs. It’s not like we do hail Mary’s during our repentance process.
    We do works to do good and to prove our faith in God, for “faith without works is dead.” James 2: 20
    So you have to believe god, but you also have to do your part.
    We also do works so we can be an instrument for the Holy Ghost. If you’re doing bad things the Holy Ghost will not want to dwell with you, thus by the works you do you are either worthy or unworthy for the Holy Ghost.
    Also there’s trying to be like Christ and take upon his countenance. We try to perfect ourselves to the extent we can with our actions and then we rely on grace or Christ to help us. He’s seen as our advocate to help us get into Heaven.

    “Also, we believe it doesn’t matter how much good we do, that we’ve all sinned and can’t get to Heaven on our own, so we have to accept Jesus’ sacrifice in order to go to heaven. Basically, you can’t just know there was a Jesus, you must believe that he died for our sins and make him Lord of your life.”

    I’ve addressed this a little so by now you can guess I believe this way but a little differently.
    Again like the whole chapter of James chapter 2 deals with this train of thought. We know we can’t do it all without Christ but you still have to do your part. You still have show work and faith in Christ and persevere through trials and help your fellow man. I believe to show you honestly believe in Christ you have to be doing works, though just because you do the works doesn’t mean you truly believe.
    You have to have the Holy Ghost to help you work the will of God, so again in order to be worthy to do the works, or will of God you have to be living worthily and a part of having and enjoying the Holy Ghost is doing what actions it tells you to do. The promptings to help a neighbor in need, or to read your scriptures. It’s about listening and then doing.

    In my church, or basic protestant churches, it seems that we believe that God knows whether you are going to Heaven and Hell (he’d have to if he was God). This seemingly contradicts free choice, and I’ve never been able to reconcile the two. Neither item seems to be expressly addressed in scripture.

    I remember having an argument with a fellow Mormon in a philosophy class who didn’t believe that God knew who was being saved and who was not. His thing was wouldn’t it make life mute if God knew the outcome?
    My point was if God is all knowing he’d have to know who was saved, but just because he knows doesn’t mean he takes away our free will.
    I compared that we needed to live our lives to learn things and gain faith.
    We could just watch a movie of our life but that wouldn’t make the same impact as living it. I might see a movie of the Holocaust but that wouldn’t be the same as living through it.
    So it’s important to live our life and to live our mistakes and our right choices otherwise we don’t truly learn.