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What is sin?


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#1 Traveler

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:59 PM

What is sin (both by intent of the defination of sin and the extension of sin) and why do you think G-d does not want us to sin? The Traveler

#2 NeuroTypical

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

I've thought of sin as anything that moves us further away from God. I figure God sent us here to sin, since they tell me we're all sinners, and He's in charge. I figure He wants us to choose not to sin, because in doing so, we move closer to what will bring us eternal life, which is in our best interests.
If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack, to sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.

Ohhh....
If I were a rich man...

#3 Anddenex

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:25 PM

Our Heavenly Father's sole purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of his children. When one of his spirit children sin it creates problems: 1. We can no longer live in his presence. 2. The more we sin the more the Savior suffered 3. We deny our true character as sons and daughters The Glory of God is intelligence, and intelligence is light and truth. Thus, in some aspects sin removes "light and truth" the glory of God from an individual spirit. Our brightness, our glory, is dependent on our cleanliness, the amount of light and truth which a person exudes. What is sin? Sin is any act which expels or repels light and truth, the glory of God. It extension, if I am understanding you correctly, would be darkness -- in some cases it leads to pure ignorance. I think the Dark Ages are a good example of sin, and its extension. Sin, then removes love, because we know the greatest character trait our Heavenly Father exudes is "charity." Which is interesting that part of the prophecies in our future is that the love of man will wax cold. The light and truth will no longer shine. These are my first thoughts.

#4 applepansy

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

Sin is anything that moves us away from our Heavenly Father's presence. I don't believe Heavenly Father sent us here to sin. He sent us here to be tested. He knew we would sin, but he didn't and doesn't want us to sin. We are here to learn to control our physical bodies so that when we are resurrected and reach the Celestial Kingdom we don't misuse them. Its a test. Sort of like a Driver's license test. Right now we have our learner's permit.

#5 Traveler

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:51 PM

I would hope that we would think on this a little deeper. If sin is anything that moves us away from G-d's presents then being born (coming to the earth and receiving a mortal body that can die is a sin - So then Jesus did sin?

Why can't we be in G-d's presents if we sin? Is not G-d all powerful and able to "fix" it so that some little less harmless sin could be in his presents - So then is G-d not really all powerful?

The suffering of Jesus ended a long time ago with his death - So how does my sin today cause him to suffer more? And his suffering was already infinite. How can he suffer more? Infinite plus anything is still the same infinite???? Was Jesus’ suffering and atonement not really infinite?

I think Anddenex came almost close in his #3 statement when he said “We deny our true character as sons and daughters” but I am not sure he understand why and if there is a difference between our character and our intelligence that is made manifested?

I have been around enough that you should know I am LDS and believe strongly in LDS doctrine. I am also a scientist and engineer and like to “test” concepts of posters to see if they really understand. I think some kind of have partial ideas about attributes of sin but do not seem to really understand why sin is such a bad thing.

Anyone care to try again or dig a little deeper with me? What is sin?

The Traveler

#6 Windseeker

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:04 PM

^_^

I like the scripture that says something like - to them that knows to do good and don't - to them it is sin.



#7 skalenfehl

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:39 PM

My definition of sin is knowing God's will and doing anything that is contrary to God's will. Yes, he gives us free will, but if our will is not in alignment with His, we sin, no matter how slight. He does not turn to the right or to the left, but walks in a straight, strait path. Not following this path constitutes sin and puts us in danger of being overtaken and destroyed by the adversary.

#8 Anddenex

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

I would hope that we would think on this a little deeper. If sin is anything that moves us away from G-d's presents then being born (coming to the earth and receiving a mortal body that can die is a sin - So then Jesus did sin?


I don't believe anyone was suggesting that solely being out of the presence of God is equal to sin. There is a difference to no longer be in God's presence as a result of sin versus merely coming to earth.


Why can't we be in G-d's presents if we sin? Is not G-d all powerful and able to "fix" it so that some little less harmless sin could be in his presents - So then is G-d not really all powerful?


Now this is a great question. The same question is why was a Savior then needed if God is all powerful and could he not just forgive us without a Savior.

Sin removes us from God's presence, otherwise there would be no need for three kingdoms of glory.

The kingdoms are described as glory, each specifying the type of individual we chose to be. I find the words of Isaiah intriguing when he says, "The show of their countenance doth witness against them..." This implies sin must change our very nature, our intelligence.

Sin is against the nature of our intelligence, which is light and truth. Light cleaveth unto light, darkness cleaveth unto darkness. Sin is then when we choose darkness rather than light, evil rather than good. Thus our nature, our intelligence is filled with a lesser light, or as some of our brothers and sisters, they have no light, no glory at all.

Thus, it is plausible that sin removes us from God because we are no longer the same glory, the same light, thus we need a Savior. Through him, we become perfect, full of light and truth - assuming we obey him and keep covenants.

The suffering of Jesus ended a long time ago with his death - So how does my sin today cause him to suffer more? And his suffering was already infinite. How can he suffer more? Infinite plus anything is still the same infinite???? Was Jesus’ suffering and atonement not really infinite?


This is a question dear brother you would need to have a conversation with President Howard W. Hunter who once declared, and by which I was remembering, "A study of the life of Christ and a testimony of his reality is something each of us should seek... When temptations come, as they surely will, an understanding of the Savior's agony in Gethsemane and his eventual death on the cross will be a reminder to you to avoid any activity that would cause the Savior more pain." (Teachings of Howard W. Hunter pay. 31, emphasis added)

I would present the same idea, any time a temptation surely comes our way and we do not heed or entertain the temptation, or we do not sin, the Savior that day, that time, didn't need to shed a drop for me. I really like President Hunter's words here.

#9 skalenfehl

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:32 PM

Emphasis in your quote added by me:

I would hope that we would think on this a little deeper. If sin is anything that moves us away from G-d's presents then being born (coming to the earth and receiving a mortal body that can die is a sin - So then Jesus did sin?

Why can't we be in G-d's presents if we sin? Is not G-d all powerful and able to "fix" it so that some little less harmless sin could be in his presents - So then is G-d not really all powerful?

The suffering of Jesus ended a long time ago with his death - So how does my sin today cause him to suffer more? And his suffering was already infinite. How can he suffer more? Infinite plus anything is still the same infinite???? Was Jesus’ suffering and atonement not really infinite?

I think Anddenex came almost close in his #3 statement when he said “We deny our true character as sons and daughters” but I am not sure he understand why and if there is a difference between our character and our intelligence that is made manifested?

I have been around enough that you should know I am LDS and believe strongly in LDS doctrine. I am also a scientist and engineer and like to “test” concepts of posters to see if they really understand. I think some kind of have partial ideas about attributes of sin but do not seem to really understand why sin is such a bad thing.

Anyone care to try again or dig a little deeper with me? What is sin?

The Traveler


You don't quite understand. Let's look at an exchange by a subtly deceptive Zeezrom to Amulek in the land of Ammonihah:

Alma 11:34 And Zeezrom said again: Shall he save his people in their sins? And Amulek answered and said unto him: I say unto you he shall not, for it is impossible for him to deny his word.

35 Now Zeezrom said unto the people: See that ye remember these things; for he said there is but one God; yet he saith that the Son of God shall come, but he shall not save his people—as though he had authority to command God.

36 Now Amulek saith again unto him: Behold thou hast lied, for thou sayest that I spake as though I had authority to command God because I said he shall not save his people in their sins.

37 And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.


Helaman explains it more clearly to his two sons, Nephi and Lehi:

Helaman5:10 And remember also the words which Amulek spake unto Zeezrom, in the city of Ammonihah; for he said unto him that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them FROM their sins.

The entire point is, if you do not repent, you will not be saved IN your sins. You cannot be forgiven, sanctified and justified. This is the law and God is bound by law or else He ceases to be God. Finally, there is no "harmless" sin, no matter how little.

Edited by skalenfehl, 04 January 2013 - 07:22 AM.


#10 james12

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:04 PM

Here is one way to view sin which I think has merit. Joseph Smith presented this teaching in 1834. It can be found in TPJS starting on p. 49. I will summarize in my own words. Imagine a country of the world. It has an organized and established government with certain laws by which, more or less, the innocent are protected and the guilty punished. If these laws are just, it is only right that the guilty be punished to protect the innocent. It may also be that such punishment will bring a remorse of conscience and a change in behavior. Generally speaking a man of decent character may freely travel from such a country to others in the world, be it France, Japan, or Mexico and keep the laws of that new country. By these laws the people are governed. By these laws order is upheld and freedom is generally maintained. But imagine now, a government and kingdom that does not span a portion of the globe but instead encompasses the known Universe. By it, complete order, equity and harmony are maintained. By it, worlds are upheld. It's laws are so fair and its freedoms so great that one must be instructed first before even entering this kingdom. For if a person were not of a certain character he would surely destroy the freedom and happiness of another who lived there. Moreover, in order to even conduct such a government, administrators must be possessed with similar principles and dispositions. This then is the Kingdom of Heaven. We in our current state cannot even hope to set foot there. In the beginning man lived in this kingdom but he departed from these laws and refused to be governed by them. Consequently he was sent out of the kingdom. However, he was not left alone, God in his mercy and wisdom provided certain lesser laws that, if kept, would build on each other and one day bring the man back into this kingdom. To live contrary to these laws is sin. However, even these laws were so far above man in his fallen condition that he could never hope by our his own effort to return to this kingdom. Consequently a plan was instituted whereby fallen citizens could be forgiven of their offenses and again obtain an inheritance there. This of course is the Plan of Salvation with Christ being the center point. By it we may may one day again enter the Celestial Kingdom.

Edited by james12, 03 January 2013 - 09:08 PM.


#11 Seminarysnoozer

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

What is sin (both by intent of the defination of sin and the extension of sin) and why do you think G-d does not want us to sin?

The Traveler


Sin is the belief and sometimes resultant action related to esteeming our will greater than God's when they are not matched.

God does not want us to sin because he wants us to have eternal joy and a fullness of joy. Anything less than His will and plan falls short of the fullness of joy. The carnal trap is thinking that we know better or what is better for us when we really don't.

The key that makes the plan work, though, is that we don't have to have full knowledge of His plan, faith is sufficient. So long as we keep our heart might mind and soul focused with an eye single to His glory, then we do not sin.

Our intent in coming to this world and this life was to be like Him and therefore it is not a sin to come here.

#12 Traveler

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:00 AM

One of the mistakes we make is in our connections of things - to start thinking of a symptom of something as a root or essential core attribute. This often leads to misunderstanding and inability to address or utilize those things we misunderstand. Sin carries the attributes referenced in the various posts of this thread but I am not sure that the problem of sin can be addressed by only addressing the symptoms of sin.

Sin is directly associated with evil. Evil is an essential element of sin and sin is always involved in evil. In science we would say that the two (sin and evil) are tightly coupled. In essence this means that one cannot exist without the other or whenever one is present the other must also be present.

The other essential characteristic that defines all sin (and evil) is that sin is harmful and distractive to the eternal soul. No matter how good and righteousness a soul is any relationship to evil through sin will damage that eternal soul - thus not even G-d can sin; for if he did it would damage even his eternal soul. This is the reason that G-d commands us not to sin - because of the damage it does. The real problem of sin is internal to self not external - it is not what harm sin does to others or outside of our self that makes sin such a problem - whatever pain or problem sin causes others is temporary and can be overcome - but the real problem is what sin does to our eternal soul. Thus there is no such thing as a victimless sin - the sinner is the victim. And those that love others suffer the pain for loving a damaged (or damned) soul that could be clean and pure.

During our mortal probation we are under conditions that we can repent and remove the damage to our eternal soul. But this is only temporary and a condition that only exists while we are mortal. Should we sin outside of our mortal probation our eternal soul will become and remain damaged forever. G-d and every other good and righteous soul can forgive us of every sin - which will free them but their forgiveness cannot repair that damage we do to our own souls in sin. That is why we must forgive others of their sins (as well as ourselves) and why we must repent or suffer eternal death.

Thus sin is the damage we do to our eternal soul and because G-d loves us, cares about us and has compassion for us - he warns us and has commanded us not to sin.

The Traveler

#13 Seminarysnoozer

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:01 PM

Should we sin outside of our mortal probation our eternal soul will become and remain damaged forever. The Traveler


This is possible? (With a focus on the "we", meaning we are not talking about those in pre-mortal life that got cast out) ... or are you just talking about a not-possible, hypothetical "Should we sin..."?

#14 Traveler

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:01 AM

This is possible? (With a focus on the "we", meaning we are not talking about those in pre-mortal life that got cast out) ... or are you just talking about a not-possible, hypothetical "Should we sin..."?


It is my theory - that the reason of the vale in mortality is to protect us from permanent damage of sin to our soul. That our experience in sin is without sufficient knowledge of the choice of sin and therefore not a choice of free will - but rather a choice of agency which allows for a transfer of punitive charges to him that holds our agency (Christ). Thus we can repent - but only while we remain in a state of ignorance.

Outside of our mortal probation the choice to sin is a choice made with knowledge and therefore a choice of freewill - thus our soul is permanently damaged (as was Lucifer and those that followed him in sin) - whereas in mortality the damage of sin may be temporary if someone with the power to do so intercedes according to the law of agency.


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#15 heatwaveo8

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:14 PM

Just as darkness is the absence of light, sin is the absence of obedience. The penalty for sin is separation from the Father. Therefore, He doesn't want us to sin because the eternal law of justice requires that such persons be separated from the Father. As well, our ability to receive exaltation will depend entirely on our effort to obey the commandments the best we can during mortality.

#16 Seminarysnoozer

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:37 PM

It is my theory - that the reason of the vale in mortality is to protect us from permanent damage of sin to our soul. That our experience in sin is without sufficient knowledge of the choice of sin and therefore not a choice of free will - but rather a choice of agency which allows for a transfer of punitive charges to him that holds our agency (Christ). Thus we can repent - but only while we remain in a state of ignorance.

Outside of our mortal probation the choice to sin is a choice made with knowledge and therefore a choice of freewill - thus our soul is permanently damaged (as was Lucifer and those that followed him in sin) - whereas in mortality the damage of sin may be temporary if someone with the power to do so intercedes according to the law of agency.


The Traveler


You dodged the question. You implied "we"might be able to sin outside of mortality, which would have to mean that you are talking about after mortality as all those that followed Lucifer did not have a mortality. I was asking you if you really thought it was possible to "sin" after the second estate test is over for those that underwent a second estate test. ... as that is what you were implying.

#17 anatess

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:36 PM

You dodged the question. You implied "we"might be able to sin outside of mortality, which would have to mean that you are talking about after mortality as all those that followed Lucifer did not have a mortality. I was asking you if you really thought it was possible to "sin" after the second estate test is over for those that underwent a second estate test. ... as that is what you were implying.


I believe you can. Say somebody died without hearing the gospel of Christ. His judgement is, of course, different than if he would have gained a testimony. Now, let's say after he died, his temple work was completed and he got baptized. Now, if he doesn't accept the gospel of Christ, did he not sin then?

#18 Seminarysnoozer

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:26 PM

I believe you can. Say somebody died without hearing the gospel of Christ. His judgement is, of course, different than if he would have gained a testimony. Now, let's say after he died, his temple work was completed and he got baptized. Now, if he doesn't accept the gospel of Christ, did he not sin then?


That is why I said after the second estate is done. That, technically, is what is included in "mortality", the completion of the second estate.

Let me ask you this, could a spirit who lived one day in this world, who we know will go to the Celestial Kingdom but has not yet accepted the ordinances, turn them down when they are presented to her in the spirit world? ... is it because sin is not available to her or just because she wouldn't sin?

Edited by Seminarysnoozer, 07 January 2013 - 09:29 PM.


#19 Traveler

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:23 PM

Seminary: I believe sin is possible anytime. But it is my theory that in mortality we sin without knowledge because of the veil. Thus because we sin without knowledge and understanding of consequences we also have opportunity to repent and through the atonement be redeemed.

We are told in scripture that if we sin with knowledge - against the Holy Ghost - that there is no forgiveness. I tend to believe that this circumstance applies mainly to those that are not kept from knowledge by the veil that is prevalent in mortality. Thus for Satan and his followers there is no atonement for they sin in the full light of knowledge. It is my understanding that the greater the knowledge the greater the damage of sin is.

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#20 missionary0204

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:10 AM

There are apostles that have seen heavenly messangers who later denied the kingdom and then returned while others remained apostate. If this is true, at what point can you deny the Holy Ghost if not after being visited by heavenly messangers? Seminary, Lucifer turned against God in his first estate. To my knowledge, there was no tempter persuading him. He persuaded 1/3 of Heaven to support his cause and eventually be cast out. Lucifer had knowledge of God and sin. He chose to sin. Why would coming to earth and passing this probationary test change our ability to sin after the second estate? I would be inclined to answer your question with "yes we can sin after the completion of the second estate." Joseph Smith said it would be a long time before we reach Godhood like Father, because much more progression is needed. If progression is still possible, would there not have to be a counterpart? "There is opposition in all things." Thanks to all posters who have commented. I love questions that stimulate the mind.




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