Thursday, March 5, 2020

D&C 14: Thanks, I Hate It

Here we have another xeroxed revelation with several repeated elements that we're already tired of.  "A great and marvelous work is about to come forth" was used in sections 4, 11, and 12.  The "sharper than a two-edged sword" routine is recycled from Hebrews chapter 4 but has already been quoted in sections 6, 11, and 12.  The "field is white already to harvest" spiel is regurgitated from sections 4, 11, and 12.

When some more original material is added to the mix, we get this scripture mastery verse:
And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.
I liked this verse when I was Mormon.  And it sounds innocuous enough to re-read unless I really tease out what it's saying.  It really paints God in a dishonest, PR-spinning, adulation-fiend kind of light.

God labeling eternal life as a gift feels like your employer trying to make itself seem more generous by labeling your paycheck as a bonus.  Is it really a gift when you're following intensive pre-written eligibility guidelines?  This sounds more like a service purchased using a lifetime of labor as currency or like a reward for an achievement.  And not to get all Sacrament-Meeting-Talk here, but Google defines "gift" as "a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present."  Considering that the commandments we're required to keep to be eligible for the gift include worshiping the gift-giver and paying ten percent of our incomes to the gift-giver's organization, it's really not accurate at all to characterize eternal life as a gift.

I think it's more honest to say it's something being withheld from us unless we meet certain requirements.  But somehow we're expected to praise the being who's withholding it from us for magnanimously making it available conditional upon our ability to jump through his hoops.

This is not a healthy spirit-parent-and-spirit-child relationship.

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