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Definition of Wickedness


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#1 ElectofGod

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:25 PM

I am looking for the characteristics of someone that is wicked. I feel its much more subtle than I initially thought. Any scriptures or quotes would be appreciated.

Alma 6:3 And it also came to pass that whosoever did belong to the church that did not repent of their wickedness and humble themselves before God—I mean those who were lifted up in the pride of their hearts—the same were rejected, and their names were blotted out, that their names were not numbered among those of the righteous.


Here alma defines what happens than back in Alma 5 he defines some key elements. If you have others let me know.

In verse 53, Alma asks the members whether they, after explaining their sins, will continue to avoid the issues at hand. As they 'lay aside these things', they 'trample the Holy One under their feet'. Which can mean some of the things below.

1. Puffed up in the pride of your hearts
2. Wearing costly apparel [how far does this go?]
3. Setting their hearts on the vain things of the world
4. Setting their hearts on their riches
5. Supposing that they are better one than another
6. Persecuting their brethren (who humble themselves and walk after the holy order of God, have become sanctified).
7. Turning their backs upon the poor, the needy and withholding their substance from them.

Could we be mocking the poor just by 'adorning ourselves with costly apparel (a metaphor)'? As we 'lay these things aside' do we 'trample' the Savior under our feet? To 'lay these things aside' means to not want to think about them. It means to avoid these weightier matters and focus on other lighter things.

#2 james12

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:42 PM

I think Alma 5:37 also has something to add. It says, "O ye workers of iniquity; ye that are puffed up in the vain things of the world, ye that have professed to have known the ways of righteousness nevertheless have gone astray, as sheep having not shepherd, notwithstanding a shepherd hath called after you and is still calling after you, but ye will not hearken unto his voice! These words are not to all people. They are specifically to those who profess to have known the ways of the Lord yet have gone astray, having no Shepherd. How is it that they have wandered? They do not hearken unto the voice of the shepherd who calls them. Or in other words, they have not listened to the Spirit. They may yet profess to follow but their ways are darkness before the Lord. They may even keep the letter of the law but they have lost the spirit. The answer then is clear, turn back to God, be born again, and hear the voice of the good shephered. Then all your works will be works of righteousness and your name will no more be blotted out.

#3 NeuroTypical

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 07:16 AM

I am looking for the characteristics of someone that is wicked.

Why?

Are you interested in casting righteous judgement against your fellow man, or against yourself?
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...

#4 Bini

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 07:43 AM

I can relate to 4 out of 7 of those.

No more dancing candy cane - hurrah!


#5 Anddenex

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 08:09 AM

Righteousness would equal our Savior. Wickedness would equate with Lucifer, the son of the morning. Wickedness, we are all wicked to some degree. Wickedness would be any action, thought, and word which ultimately lures us away from "light and truth." Wickedness would also equate with rebellion, either open rebellion or ignorant rebellion. The Nephites were taught, and the Lord described their punishment greater than that of the Lamanites who were ignorant -- doing what they had been taught to do. Thus we have a Savior, those who adhere and repent, seek to put the flesh in subjection to the spirit, are found spotless at the last day. Those who have allowed the flesh to overcome the spirit, will not be found spotless at the last day -- with exception of the ignorant in this life who would have accepted the gospel if it had been presented to them. Wickedness is submissive obedience to the flesh, all its appetites and desires.

#6 ElectofGod

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 08:43 AM

Why?

Are you interested in casting righteous judgement against your fellow man, or against yourself?


I wish to recognize what the book of Mormon Calls wickedness that I am able to recognize it in myself. I have wanted to do this for some time. As I have looked into it recently I have started to realize how many things I DO that ARE wickedness.

Its the process for us to do what james says. If we wish to give heed to the spirit, it will show unto us all things we do wrong. So my goal is to determine what is wrong and have the spirit show me what to work on.

The three I have had a keen interest in are these two:

2. Wearing costly apparel [how far does this go?]
3. Setting their hearts on the vain things of the world
7. Turning their backs upon the poor, the needy and withholding their substance from them.

All of which I am guilty of. I have learned our want for riches of the world, or costly apparel causes us (myself) to not give to the poor. "What if I need this money for later, so I save it", "But they don't need it, or I may need this money to get some camping gear" so I put off giving a lousy 2-5$ to a begger.

Recently I have decided to always carry about 3 or 4, 5$ bills in my pocket and I will pray to find someone who needs it and give it to them. I have felt a greater peace even if I think they don't REALLY need it. Sometimes I feel don't give it, but when I don't feel anything I try to give now instead of "only give when I feel I SHOULD".

The true blessings have been my ability to learn to remove my lust of money more so than I have. To not care about my money. This is a blessing and can be a negative thing too. But its one step at a time.

We must make ourselves a Zion people before we even have hope of trying to get those around us to be ;)

These scriptures go along with the 3 points above:

Mosiah 4:16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just--

18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.

21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.[


Here is moses farewell address as mentioned by Hugh Nibley. Approaching Zion - Work We Must, but the Lunch Is Free

1. This is the law by which you are to live, and the only law (Deuteronomy 4:1): "It is your life: and through this ye shall prolong your days in the land" (Deuteronomy 32:47).

2. However impractical and unrealistic these rules and precepts may seem to the world, you are not of the world, but wholly withdrawn from it, a people chosen, set apart, removed, "peculiar," sanctified, "above all people that are on the face of the earth," "an holy people" (Deuteronomy 7:6). Israel is under a special covenant with God that has nothing to do with the normal economy of men; they are forbidden to do some things and required to do others that may seem perfectly absurd to outsiders.

3. The legal aspects of the thing are not what counts—the business of lawyers is to get around the law, but you must have it written in your hearts (Jeremiah 31:33), to keep it "with all thine heart, and with all thy soul," because you really love the Lord and his law, which begins and ends with the love of God and each other (Deuteronomy 6:5). It must be a natural thing with you, taken for granted, your way of life as you think and talk about it all the time, so that your children grow up breathing it as naturally as air (Deuteronomy 6:7-9).

4. Remember that everything you have is a free gift from God: You had nothing and he gave you everything (Mosiah 2:23-25).

5. Never get the idea that you have earned what you have; beware lest "when thou hast eaten and art full, . . . then thine heart be lifted up and thou forget the Lord thy God," and you say to yourself: "My power [ability] (koakh) and might of mine hand [hard work: otsem yadhi, meaning the strength of my hand, or etzem yadhay, meaning my own two hands] hath gotten me this wealth [fortune]" (Deuteronomy 8:10, 14, 17). But you must bear in mind that God alone has given it all to you, and that it is not for any merit of yours, but for the sake of confirming promises made to your fathers that he has done it—if you forget that for a moment you will be destroyed (Deuteronomy 8:18-19). "And while our flocks and herds were increasing upon the mountains and the plains," said Brigham, "the eyes of the people seemed closed to the operations of the invisible hand of Providence, and they were prone to say, 'It is our own handi-work, it is our labor that has performed this!' "18

6. The gifts of God have come to you not because of your righteousness, because you are not righteous, and have in no wise deserved what you have received, nor are you worthy of it (Deuteronomy 9:4-29). It is all given to fulfill promises made to righteous men before you. Moses' parting word to the people after forty years of struggling with them was, "Behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death?" (Deuteronomy 31:27).


The second issue is independence. Charged with a special emotional impact for Americans, the word has become a fetish for the Latter-day Saints and led them into endless speculations and plans. "They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare," says Paul—all of which the Lord has strictly forbidden (1 Timothy 6:9). In the scriptures the word independent occurs only once, describing the church with no reference to any individual: "The church may stand independent above all other creatures" because it is entirely dependent on "my providence" (D&C 78:14). It is dependence that is important for Benjamin, total dependence on God; and if you serve him with your whole heart and with your whole soul, you are free from dependence on any other being. In the law of Moses, the Lord's release cancels all indebtedness of man, while God transfers his claims on our indebtedness to the poor; it is through them that he asks us to pay our debt to him. Let us refer back for the moment to Satan's promise of independence. When, following Satan's instructions, Cain murdered "his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain" (Moses 5:50), he declared his independence: "And Cain gloried in that which he had done, saying: I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands!" (Moses 5:33). Recently this gospel was proclaimed by one of the richest Americans addressing the student body of Ohio State University (on TV): "There is nothing that gives freedom," he said, "like bucks in the bank." This seems to be the policy we are following today, and there is no doubt whose policy it is.


Ultimately it helps us cast off the world. Which I don't know how to do very well.

Someone stated this, There is truth to it.
Wanting and having money in the bank account because I'm afraid of not being taken care of(where your treasure is, there will your heart be also).

Edited by ElectofGod, 27 June 2013 - 08:57 AM.


#7 NeuroTypical

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:30 AM

Excellent post Elect! Your heart is obviously in the right place. But I have a comment about where your brain is.

7. Turning their backs upon the poor, the needy and withholding their substance from them.

All of which I am guilty of. I have learned our want for riches of the world, or costly apparel causes us (myself) to not give to the poor. "What if I need this money for later, so I save it", "But they don't need it, or I may need this money to get some camping gear" so I put off giving a lousy 2-5$ to a begger.

Recently I have decided to always carry about 3 or 4, 5$ bills in my pocket and I will pray to find someone who needs it and give it to them.

You might want to look into the problem of poverty, homelessness, begging and panhandling on the streets of the US. Because if you want to help someone on the street, giving them cash is sort of the exact opposite of helping. What it does, is enable and support a person in their lifestyle of substance abuse and despair. That isn't what "help" looks like. From where I'm standing, greasing the wheels of someone locked into a drug addiction (or locked into the habit of idleness enabled by other's goodwill), is the definition of turning your backs on them and their problems. Toss a few bucks at them and they go away - so much easier than actually helping them.

Here are some things you can do, if you'd like to actually help the poor among us:
* Volunteer at soup kitchens, free clinics, rape crisis/battered women's shelters.
* Become a child advocate in the courts.
* Donate to Goodwill/DI.
* Vote your conscience.
* If you have to give cash to someone, you'll find more genuine urgent need in a grocery store checkout line, then you ever will on the street. If the person in front of you is wearing a look of tired desparation, and is pushing a cart full of whiny children, mac & cheese, and milk - your five or twenty bucks is far better spent there then on a guy holding a cardboard sign. One choice could be between beer and wine. The other choice could be between medicine and the water bill.
* Instead of handing the panhandler five bucks, give him a dime and a quarter, shake his hand, and talk to him a little. Find out his name, and offer him yours. Ask him if he's warm enough at nights. Ask him if he's got a safe place to be. Carry a little business card with the toll free number to your city's homeless services if he asks you for anything else. Don't fall for it when he tries to work you. For the rest of the day, nobody else will actually look at him as a human being. He may remember what it feels like.

Again Elect, kudos on the depth of your spiritual research and alignment with God. If you can match that up with some practical knowledge about realies of poverty, then you'll earn that username of yours.

Edited by Loudmouth_Mormon, 27 June 2013 - 10:37 AM.

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...

#8 ElectofGod

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:47 AM

Thanks for the kind words.

Excellent post Elect! Your heart is obviously in the right place. But I have a comment about where your brain is.
You might want to look into the problem of poverty, homelessness, begging and panhandling on the streets of the US. Because if you want to help someone on the street, giving them cash is sort of the exact opposite of helping. What it does, is enable and support a person in their lifestyle of substance abuse and despair. That isn't what "help" looks like. From where I'm standing, greasing the wheels of someone locked into a drug addiction (or locked into the habit of idleness enabled by other's goodwill), is the definition of turning your backs on them and their problems. Toss a few bucks at them and they go away - so much easier than actually helping them.

This has actually been my thought for my entire life almost. It was just 4 months ago I was reading Mosiah 4 that read "will you suffer their petition to go up in vain"... The spirit told me my attitude was wrong. So I decided to give anyways no matter what... Not all just "one person" a week or 20$ a month.

Than I always had back in my mind I can't help everyone. So just htis past week after helping two people (or contributing to their problem :D) I felt again, you have shown you will help, you can't help everyone, perhaps its time AGAIN to find better ways to serve like you have suggested. I still have an open mind. I do feel there ARE people that need it holding signs. So I try to be aware but won't be as giving outright as I have been the last 2 months.


Here are some things you can do, if you'd like to actually help the poor among us:
* Volunteer at soup kitchens, free clinics, rape crisis/battered women's shelters.
* Become a child advocate in the courts.
* Donate to Goodwill/DI.
* Vote your conscience.
* If you have to give cash to someone, you'll find more genuine urgent need in a grocery store checkout line, then you ever will on the street. If the person in front of you is wearing a look of tired desparation, and is pushing a cart full of whiny children, mac & cheese, and milk - your five or twenty bucks is far better spent there then on a guy holding a cardboard sign. One choice could be between beer and wine. The other choice could be between medicine and the water bill.

Absolutely! Someone in the parking lot last week asked me for 25c to eat at MC donalds I just gave him 2 bucks. Not sure if he used it for it but I felt fine about it as he was walking out of the parking lot form the store or somewhere close by. I had prayed that morning so I couldn't say no ;) that would be mocking God. :rolleyes:

He shouted, "yay now I can eat at McDonalds haha.


* Instead of handing the panhandler five bucks, give him a dime and a quarter, shake his hand, and talk to him a little. Find out his name, and offer him yours. Ask him if he's warm enough at nights. Ask him if he's got a safe place to be. Carry a little business card with the toll free number to your city's homeless services if he asks you for anything else. For the rest of the day, nobody else will actually look at him as a human being. He may remember what it feels like.

This would be the BEST method. This is my next step to work on.

Again Elect, kudos on the depth of your spiritual research and alignment with God. If you can match that up with some practical knowledge about realies of poverty, then you'll earn that username of yours.

I hope someday to.


I have learned, there is a time a place for all things. We want a Zion community.

in 4th Nephi we learn what a Zion community was like.

4 Nephi 1:15 And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.

16 And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

17 There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.


Than they fall away after about 2 generations.

23 And now I, Mormon, would that ye should know that the people had multiplied, insomuch that they were spread upon all the face of the land, and that they had become exceedingly rich, because of their prosperity in Christ.

24 And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.

25 And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.

26 And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true church of Christ.


So interesting here. They started to keep the substance for themself. Thus divisions happens. They started to build churches!! Pride or self centered.

Edited by ElectofGod, 27 June 2013 - 10:54 AM.


#9 Finrock

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:19 PM

Several years ago soon after I had come home from my mission, my older brother and I were hanging out and we decided to go to the grocery store. So, we go to our local market and as we are getting out of our car, a woman comes up to us and says that she ran out of gas and wondered if we had any money to spare. I didn't have any money being a poor newly returned missionary without work, but my brother had five dollars on him and so he gave it to her. She thanked us and we went on our way. When we got to the front door of the market one of the employees of the store asked us if we had just given that lady five dollars. We said, "Yes". The employee then responded and said, "She has been here all day telling people she has been out of gas. You shouldn't have given her your money." Afterwards my brother and I talked about it and we both came to the conclusion that it didn't matter and we shouldn't feel ashamed at all for having helped her. It was not our place to judge this woman and what she did with our money. It was our place to either help or not. If there is condemnation, it will be on the woman if she was being dishonest. My brother and I could walk away feeling happy with ourselves. Regards, Finrock

#10 NeuroTypical

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:40 PM

Homeless folks can be very interesting people. This is a very common story:
I live in my car, and haven't worked for years. I will eventually run out of gas. That means I'm not lying when I go up to people and tell them such a story. They give me money. I've been traveling the country for 10 years like this - wouldn't dream of living any other way.

Even stories like this are common:
I have a house and a job and a family, but I haven't paid to fill my own gas tank in forever. Because whenever I run out of gas, I go to a WalMart or Mega church parking lot and tell folks a sob story, and they give me gas money.

Unfortunately, stories like this are also common:
I'm a homeless guy with a $200/day drug habit. I wander around public places telling folks I'm out of gas, and they give me money. I'll end up dead in a ditch some day, having died of exposure after years of malnutrition and mental illness.

The whole "Don't judge and I can walk away feeling happy with myself" deal doesn't work for me.

Edited by Loudmouth_Mormon, 27 June 2013 - 01:45 PM.

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...

#11 ElectofGod

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 03:12 PM

There is not right way to serve others. What matters is you are doing something. I have seen both sides of this up close. People use it immediately for drugs. The scriptures tell us not to give to the rebellious (like food storage when we need it as its our noah's ark). There is a quote from brigham young would you give to 10 people if 9 of htem would use it incorrectly to help the 1? Of course.... (paraphrase). As I said, we can talk to them, we can help in other ways, or the actual grocery store, the Lord will provide a way for our ABILITIES to help. As long as its in OUR HEART to help. And we are not, NOT helping because of our greed or want for costly apparel or materialistic things. The Lord asked me to do so, I think more of a test for myself. Now I am not sure how much or freely. Still pondering that. Its funny, I don't feel very happy when I do. I usually feel, its not enough I should of given more, or I should of done more, was I trying to cheat the Lord and that person?. (Talk to them, or something)

Edited by ElectofGod, 27 June 2013 - 03:15 PM.


#12 NeuroTypical

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:20 PM

There is not right way to serve others.

I don't know what that means, but I do know there are many many wrong ways to serve others.
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...

#13 Finrock

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 09:58 AM

Good afternoon Loudmouth_Mormon. I hope you are having a great day! :)

Homeless folks can be very interesting people. This is a very common story:
I live in my car, and haven't worked for years. I will eventually run out of gas. That means I'm not lying when I go up to people and tell them such a story. They give me money. I've been traveling the country for 10 years like this - wouldn't dream of living any other way.

Even stories like this are common:
I have a house and a job and a family, but I haven't paid to fill my own gas tank in forever. Because whenever I run out of gas, I go to a WalMart or Mega church parking lot and tell folks a sob story, and they give me gas money.

Unfortunately, stories like this are also common:
I'm a homeless guy with a $200/day drug habit. I wander around public places telling folks I'm out of gas, and they give me money. I'll end up dead in a ditch some day, having died of exposure after years of malnutrition and mental illness.

The whole "Don't judge and I can walk away feeling happy with myself" deal doesn't work for me.


I appreciate what you have written. And by that I mean that I recognize that what you say is an unfortunate reality in far too many instances. I do not want to be taken advantage of and I don't like the idea at all.

However, I can't find a way to make Mosiah 4 and the reasoning you offer to harmonize:

"14 And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

15 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.

16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God."


In verse 16 there is no equivocation: "Ye will succor those that stand in need...Ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain..."

My point is that I will never be condemned for doing what is right. This doesn't change just because another person decides to take advantage of my good works.

EDIT: I wanted to make it explicitly clear that I am open to being taught a way to harmonize Mosiah 4:16-18 with the fact that beggars can and often do take advantage of people's good nature?

Regards,
Finrock

Edited by Finrock, 28 June 2013 - 12:50 PM.
Grammar, spelling, and clarification of intent.


#14 skalenfehl

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 10:03 AM

Nobody likes to think that they are wicked. The reality is, we all are. I appreciate my Savior's definition:

Ether 4

7 And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.

15 Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.

17 Therefore, when ye shall receive this record ye may know that the work of the Father has commenced upon all the face of the land.


Until we have rent the veil of unbelief, which separates us as Telestial creatures from our Maker, we will be continually wicked. Nephi understood this and wrote a psalm about it.

My two cents.

#15 Traveler

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 06:32 AM

I believe that wickedness is the inevitable behavior and action of a person that is not righteous. I believe the first step is towards wickedness and away from righteousness is to indulge self. It may be a want, desire, hope, dream, need or it can be self pity, discouragement from lack or accomplishment or even apathy (I don't care) what ever motivates self contentedness. Someone with "I" problems. That thinks they are the exception to some rule. Perhaps even someone that thinks they will be saved and blessed in heaven but others (for what ever reason that does not apply to them) do not deserve such blessings. The Traveler

#16 NeuroTypical

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 10:20 AM

In verse 16 there is no equivocation: "Ye will succor those that stand in need...Ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain..."

I wanted to make it explicitly clear that I am open to being taught a way to harmonize Mosiah 4:16-18 with the fact that beggars can and often do take advantage of people's good nature?

I'll do my best. Consider some examples: You find yourself kneeling at the judgement bar of God. You find yourself kneeling next to two piles of stuff. In one pile is food, clothing, employment contracts, high school degrees, medical patient records, a marriage certificate or two, maybe even a temple recommend or two. The other pile contains empty wine bottles, pill bottles and syringes, hourly hotel keys and pornography, and free-clinic STD reports. God lets you know that both piles represent things obtained with the money you gave them. He acknowledges the first pile, and all the good it represents. Then, indicating the second pile, He asks you to explain why, instead of following His commandment to succor those who stood in need, you bought them that instead.

My point is that I will never be condemned for doing what is right.

No, you won't. You will be condemned for the second pile though, because that wasn't providing succor. Yeah, you did something when the beggar puttethed up his petition, but tossing a few bucks his way and moving on with your life turned out to be the wrong thing.

This doesn't change just because another person decides to take advantage of my good works.

So, if I, being homeless and destitute, beg you to help me rape someone, you should do it, and it's all on me? If I beg you to be the lookout man while I rob a house, it's all good for you? If I petition you to turn the other way when stumbling on a drug deal, because I just got out of the street, and don't want to go back? After all, I'm a beggar, and I've petitioned you, right?

That's how I view those verses. Succor is something, and is not something else. You don't let a petition go in vain, but you also don't do bad things in order to meet the petition.

Here are ways to not let petitions go in vain, and provide succor:
* Give food.
* Give card with the toll-free number to homeless services.
* If there are more than one of you, and you think the one not driving could take him if he pulled a knife or a gun, offer a ride to the soup kitchen or employment line.
* Do all that other stuff I suggested earlier. (Basically, if poor/homeless/destitute services exist in your area, they'll be 82% better than you at actually helping those who actually want help.)


What do you think?

Edited by Loudmouth_Mormon, 29 June 2013 - 10:31 AM.

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...

#17 ElectofGod

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:33 AM

Loudmouth,

I do not disagree with your assessment. I think the Lord will not have the second pile come against us IF we did it, a) for the right reasons, B) and thought it WAS the will of god at that moment. Maybe even just for a), but I do agree we can be giving to problems instead of "succoring" which is not good either.

I liked your list. That is the BETTER way for most cases. Talk to them, if its a bill they need pay, pay it, if its food, give it, etc...

Here is some more scirptures or quotes I read that stood out to me recently about the OP

Alma 1: they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all,


I do think we should be liberal to all no matter who they are, maybe not money in all cases, but food, clothes, etc...

If you're not willing to give when you have a little, you won't give when you have a lot.


skal, I agree thus why I am trying to recognize the things that MAKE us wicked as there are many.
Traveler, excellent.

#18 ElectofGod

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:37 AM

Hugh Nibley - Work We Must, But the Lunch is Free - (found in Approaching Zion)

"No man can serve two masters": love and hate cannot be divided up between them, "ye cannot serve God and Mammon," mammon being to this day the regular Hebrew word for business, particularly money and banking (Matthew 6:24).


The free lunch looms large in the Sermon on the Mount. First the Lord's Prayer: "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11); this comes with the understanding, expressed in the same sentence, that in return we are to show the same free and liberal spirit towards each other that he does to all of us: "And forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors." Next comes fasting, a most effective reminder of God's generosity to us and also of our complete dependence on him, a thing to be joyfully acknowledged (Matthew 6:16–18). Then an all–important principle; you cannot have it both ways, you cannot work for both employers, you cannot lay up treasures both on earth and in heaven–you cannot divide your heart between them; for to one master or the other you must give your whole and undivided devotion–both employers demand that, but only one of them can have it (Matthew 6:19–20). You must go one way or the other, there can be no compromise (Matthew 6:22–23). "No man can serve two masters": love and hate cannot be divided up between them, "ye cannot serve God and Mammon," mammon being to this day the regular Hebrew word for business, particularly money and banking (Matthew 6:24). You must not yield to the enticings of that other master, nor let his threat of "no lunch if you leave my employ" intimidate you–you must ignore him and his arguments completely: "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet ... what ye shall put on" (Matthew 6:25). All such things are taken care of for God's creatures: "Behold the fowls of the air, ... your heavenly Father feeds them. Are ye not much better than they?" (Matthew 6:26). It was the practice in Sodom and Gomorrah, we are told, to rob all strangers of their money and then let them starve to death because they could not buy food; and the cities' inhabitants would put nets over their trees so that the birds would have no free lunch on their fruit. For Abraham, such meanness, as we have seen, was the last straw, and "he cursed them in the name of his God."


Here is an interesting perspective.

#19 Seminarysnoozer

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 04:49 PM

There is not right way to serve others. What matters is you are doing something. I have seen both sides of this up close. People use it immediately for drugs. The scriptures tell us not to give to the rebellious (like food storage when we need it as its our noah's ark). There is a quote from brigham young would you give to 10 people if 9 of htem would use it incorrectly to help the 1? Of course.... (paraphrase).

As I said, we can talk to them, we can help in other ways, or the actual grocery store, the Lord will provide a way for our ABILITIES to help. As long as its in OUR HEART to help. And we are not, NOT helping because of our greed or want for costly apparel or materialistic things. The Lord asked me to do so, I think more of a test for myself. Now I am not sure how much or freely. Still pondering that.

Its funny, I don't feel very happy when I do. I usually feel, its not enough I should of given more, or I should of done more, was I trying to cheat the Lord and that person?. (Talk to them, or something)


I agree, the scale from righteousness to wickedness and all that in between is a measurement of what is in the heart. Do we love the things of this world, are we carnal? Or, do we love things that are spiritual in nature? Since both of those features make up self at this time, we are dual beings of both carnal nature and spiritual, the word "self" incorporates the two beings. For this reason it is important to develop a sense of what is spiritual verses carnal.

Wickedness is to fall in love with the lesser version of self, the earthly version and all its associated carnal passions and drives. It is to sell ones inheritance for something of lesser value. This happens because people don't listen to their spiritual drives and understand who they really are. It is kind of like when I find my son playing on the xbox too long thinking that he actually accomplished something because he made it to the highest level of the game when he could have spent the 40 hours on other self improving pursuits. Earthly achievements seem like something important but in the end all those treasures turn to dust. Wickedness is to fall in love with the perceived treasures that actually turn to dust in the end. Faith in the Lord allows us to aim for eternal treasures by forsaking the things of this world, to love eternal things more than carnal ones.

I like how David O. Mckay puts it; "What a travesty on human nature when a person or a group of persons, though endowed with a consciousness of being able to rise in human dignity to realms indiscernible by lower creatures, yet will still be content to obey animal instincts, without putting forth efforts to experience the joy of goodness, purity, self-mastery, and faith that spring from compliance to moral rules! How tragic it is when man, made a “little lower than the angels and crowned with glory and honour” (Psalm 8:5), will content himself to grovel on the animal plane.

Earth in all its majesty and wonder is not the end and purpose of creation. “… [My] glory,” says the Lord himself, “(is) to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39.) And man in exercising the divine gift of free agency should feel in duty bound, should sense the obligation to assist the Creator in the accomplishment of this divine purpose.

The true end of life is not mere existence, not pleasure, not fame, not wealth. The true purpose of life is the perfection of humanity through individual effort, under the guidance of God’s inspiration.

Real life is response to the best within us. To be alive only to appetite, pleasure, pride, money-making, and not to goodness and kindness, purity and love, poetry, music, flowers, stars, God and eternal hopes, is to deprive one’s self of the real joy of living."

#20 Finrock

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 06:58 AM

Good morning Loudmouth_Mormon. I hope you are doing well today! :)

I'll do my best. Consider some examples: You find yourself kneeling at the judgement bar of God. You find yourself kneeling next to two piles of stuff. In one pile is food, clothing, employment contracts, high school degrees, medical patient records, a marriage certificate or two, maybe even a temple recommend or two. The other pile contains empty wine bottles, pill bottles and syringes, hourly hotel keys and pornography, and free-clinic STD reports. God lets you know that both piles represent things obtained with the money you gave them. He acknowledges the first pile, and all the good it represents. Then, indicating the second pile, He asks you to explain why, instead of following His commandment to succor those who stood in need, you bought them that instead.

No, you won't. You will be condemned for the second pile though, because that wasn't providing succor. Yeah, you did something when the beggar puttethed up his petition, but tossing a few bucks his way and moving on with your life turned out to be the wrong thing.

So, if I, being homeless and destitute, beg you to help me rape someone, you should do it, and it's all on me? If I beg you to be the lookout man while I rob a house, it's all good for you? If I petition you to turn the other way when stumbling on a drug deal, because I just got out of the street, and don't want to go back? After all, I'm a beggar, and I've petitioned you, right?

That's how I view those verses. Succor is something, and is not something else. You don't let a petition go in vain, but you also don't do bad things in order to meet the petition.

Here are ways to not let petitions go in vain, and provide succor:
* Give food.
* Give card with the toll-free number to homeless services.
* If there are more than one of you, and you think the one not driving could take him if he pulled a knife or a gun, offer a ride to the soup kitchen or employment line.
* Do all that other stuff I suggested earlier. (Basically, if poor/homeless/destitute services exist in your area, they'll be 82% better than you at actually helping those who actually want help.)


What do you think?


I think that what you say boils down to this (and let me know if I am wrong). You oppose the idea of just tossing money to a beggar thoughtlessly and going on your merry way as if you have done some great good.

I agree with you that simply tossing money is not the only way or the best way to make sure a petition from a beggar doesn't come up to you in vain. I agree that we can and in fact we ought be wise and charitable.

I still don't think I am going to be held accountable for helping a beggar with money even if the beggar turns around and uses that money to buy evil things (unless of course I happen to know the beggar and it is clear that I am enabling them).

I agree that I should be more thoughtful in my support. Meaning, I should provide real help if at all possible. If the beggar wants food, provide food. If the beggar needs a ride, provide a ride, etc. I also like the idea that ElectofGod is espousing which is the thought that giving money or of our substance may be more for us than it is for the beggar. We keep assuming the worst of the beggars, but perhaps the beggar is an angel testing us? You might think this is a foolish thought but it is no less a real possibility as any other.

Regards,
Finrock




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