Friday, August 24, 2012

2 Nephi 19: Isaiah, Trailers for Upcoming Releases

"For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still."

This sentence appears three times in this chapter (and, of course, in Isaiah chapter 9, which is pretty much the same thing).  The sentence, and its repetition, speaks to God's mercy.

The first time it's used, it shows God's mercy towards those who "devour" Israel, his chosen people.  The second time, He's extending his hand toward hypocrites and evildoers.  The third time, He stretches out his hand despite disloyalty, conflict, and "wickedness [burning] as the fire," within the tribes of Israel.  The third use of this sentence is the final statement in the chapter.

I think the point here is that God is merciful.  He doesn't give up on people.

Which is why I find it odd that a church that believes the words of this book to be the words of God can be so casual with excommunication.  Excommunication from Mormonism means being stripped of all blessings gained from church membership--the loss of Priesthood, the loss of baptismal covenants, the loss of temple covenants, etc.  Considering that the church leadership claims it is given authority directly from God, it seems contradictory of the church's teachings when someone is excommunicated for doing something not-so-terrible.

Take the September Six as an example.  You could say that what they did was contentious, or wicked, or disloyal.  But they didn't murder anyone or sexually abuse anyone.  I think their "crimes" should have easily fallen under the blanket of God's mercy--but they were excommunicated anyway (okay, one was only disfellowshipped).

If the Mormon leadership doesn't act in accordance with God's characteristics, maybe they don't actually have any divine authority.

(And yes...I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as interesting things to say about the Isaiah chapters go.  Is it the Book of Jacob yet??)

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