On Thu, 03 Oct 2002 15:58:07 -0600, "Marc A. Schindler"
> I agree with you, but think that you are referring to a moral sphere. In
> more
> everyday matters, it's not sin that necessarily limits a country's
> options.


Your comments were fascinating, and I might come back to them in another
post (I basically agree with you, more or less) but it _was_ the _moral_,
or, rather, spiritual aspects of this topic I wanted to discuss.

I have yet to figure out why this topic in the scriptures resonates so
strongly in me, but it feels really important to me. Every time through
the Book of Mormon I read those words, it brings back to me a desire to
study this more in depth and understand it better. That is one reason I
asked here if anyone else had pondered it.

Here are the relavant verses for those who don't have the scriptures
ready at hand and want to participate. (I found them on the web, a google
search for Book of Mormon returned, as the first hit, a link to
http://www.hti/umich.edu/mm/mormon/ which alows nice searching of the
Book of Mormon.)

2 Nephi 2:

[11] For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. 
If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be
brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, 
neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound 
in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as 
dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, 
happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. 
[12] Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught;
wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation.
Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his 
eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice 
of God. 
[13] And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is 
no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is 
no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no 
happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no
punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. 
And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could
have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon;
wherefore, all things must have vanished away. 
[14] And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit 
and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both
the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both 
things to act and things to be acted upon. 
[15] And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after
he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the
fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must 
needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in 
opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other 
[16] Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for 
himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be 
that he was enticed by the one or the other. 

It seems clear from context here that Lehi was teaching that our agency,
our ability act, was significant in the creation and in oposition to
other creations (anamals, etc. I suppose) that were created to be acted

We know that our agency is a key to the mortal experience. It seems it
was also a key to the creation.

One way I always like to look at thing like freedom (small "f", but I
suppose it relates the same to Freedom, as in the patriotic principal our
nation was founded on) is that we all have total freedom to act as we
wish to start with. As our freedom violates natural laws or other's
freedom, we invoke consequences that thereby limit out freedom to act
further. I suppose we also limit other people's freedom with our actions.
Thus, perfect freedom is obtained only when every person chooses to limit
their actions to those that least impact their own, and other people's
freedom. Thus, by refusing to choose to act in certain ways, we remain
more free to act in general and enjoy a greater freedom. 

It is sort of a self limiting process if you wish perfect freedom. As
long as you don't impact others negatively, you remain perfectly free to
do anything you wish. Once we begin to effect others, we invoke
consequences that limit our freedom to act, and we begin to enter the
realm of being acted upon instead.

The more we impose limits on our own actions, the more free we become,
while trying to "exorcise" our freedom in harmfull ways limits our future
freedom. To be the most free, you must constrain yourself.

This ties with my feeling that the process of becoming godlike is one of
self control and self mastery. We only begin to aquire the powers of
godhood as we aquire the self control of godhood. It is almost zen like
in a way, but much more directed and purposefull.

We are always admonished to control our apitites and pasions. By doing
so, it would seem we remain more free to act, and less inclined to be
acted upon, more free!

In fact, the more we look to the wellfare of others, and worry less about
our own desires, the more increase our ability to act (or, our freedom)
too. Christ like love seems almost to create freedom to act, while the
actions of the natural man limit it, and cause us to be acted upon.

Anyway, too long of a post already, but this seems important to me at the
moment. Comments are most welcome.

Buttered bread always lands butter side * Would YOU mistake these as
down (Unless it sticks to the ceiling!) * anyone`s opinions but my own?
         Email: [EMAIL PROTECTED] (Scott McGee)
         Web:   http://scott.themcgees.org/

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