We Are All Scumbags But We Should be Zombies
Mosiah 3:19 contains what, despite all the things I hate about Mormonism, is among my least favorite teachings of the church:
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.The words-per-horrifying-doctrine ratio is at dangerous levels here. First of all, congratulations to everyone—you are an enemy of God and it's not even your fault. What a great way to think of yourself as you go through life. Secondly, it's odd that this clearly states that our natural state opposes God because of the fall of Adam considering that the second article of faith states that we aren't punished for Adam's transgression. Third, why are we born enemies of God if we were made in his image? Unless that comparison expires after the fall of Adam—which of course was a necessary inevitable outcome considering that God's commandments to him were mutually exclusive and we wouldn't exist had he not fallen. Which means that God has a very self-defeating plan for his children—one guy fails to keep an impossible commandment and the rest of humanity is forever cursed to be predisposed against divinity.
And the final putrid point this verse makes is to OBEY AT ALL COSTS. Become like a child—follow your parents around in pitiful dependency. Don't make your own decisions, just play follow the leader. Willfully personify Stockholm Syndrome. Obey. Submit.
The use of the word "inflict" when referring to actions God takes on his children is also mildly disturbing.
God Applies Justice Arbitrarily
On the subject of sinners who have shrunk from the presence of God, Benjamin says:
Therefore, they have drunk out of the cup of the wrath of God, which justice could no more deny unto them than it could deny that Adam should fall because of his partaking of the forbidden fruit; therefore, mercy could have claim on them no more forever.You have to give the guy credit—he has a lot of guts to bring up justice when he's talking about the fall of Adam.
I feel like I've said this two hundred and thirty-eight times, but Mormon doctrine teaches that the first two commandments God gave to Adam and Eve were mutually exclusive. (See above for iteration #237.) They were commanded not to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They were also commanded to be fruitful and multiply. But without the knowledge of good and evil, for some reason, they wouldn't be able to reproduce. I guess in order to do the nasty (which, of course, is the most godlike act of creation we can perform in this life), they had to first have the knowledge. Which makes it sound like sex is dirty, dirty, un-godlike stuff if you need knowledge of evil to engage in it. Okay, but anyway, the point is that they couldn't fulfill the commandment to have children without breaking the other commandment. And then when Adam and Eve ate the fruit—which was the only way they'd be able to keep the other commandment anyway—God threw a bitchfit and kicked them out of the Garden of Eden.
Which is a totally unfair situation. Which is why it seems pretty stupid to talk about justice and use Adam's circumstances as an example. Because now King Benjamin is taking one unjust situation and comparing it to zillions of God's other judgments (or, rather, actions under the forces of Justice and Mercy), which effectively makes God an unjust jerk across the board instead of only that one time.
Good job, Ben.