-Geoff- > I guess in order to clear up the semantics issue, we would need > to turn to the scriptures and words of the prophets and > determine how / when they use the term "unconditional love".
Agreed. I'm quite sure you'll find the term absent from scripture. However, as you note, other (and recent or current) leaders have used the very term. Yet Elder Nelson says it's false. How to rectify the two? Well, we could try some sort of "seniority" argument, but I personally think that's baloney. Here's my rectification, fwiw: The term "unconditional love" is well-known and evokes a certain emotional reaction. People have a sort of gut-level understanding of that feeling. I believe Elder Maxwell and the others who used the term "unconditional love" were probably attempting to rouse that "gut-level reaction", rather than making a philosophical commentary on the nature of divine love. On the other hand, Elder Nelson was very specifically making exactly such a philosophical commentary. For that reason, my resolution is to accept the words of Elder Maxwell and others in the spirit in which I believe they were intended, similar in meaning to what Elder Nelson calls "divine love", while accepting Elder Nelson's clear teachings at absolute face value. > Here is the real kicker - does God still love Lucifer? What about > the Sons of Perdition? Not sure why this is such an issue for many people, though I know it is. I don't pretend to speak for God or how he feels about this or that topic; nevertheless, according to any meaningful scriptural definition of "love", it seems clear to me that God does not and in fact cannot love Satan. God is merciful, of course, and since he embodies mercy, he will show to Satan and his followers as much mercy as he can, which basically means confining them to a kingdom of no glory. But "love" in any true, saving, exalting sense of the word cannot be a trait that Satan evokes in any heart. Revulsion, abhorrence, perhaps pity, even mercy, but not love. > The other question is this: Does divine love encompass the command > to forgive all men? Are we to love those who hurt, abuse, and > murder us with divine love or unconditional love? I assume the two are intimately related, though I don't pretend to understand the connection exactly. Interesting discussion. Stephen ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /// ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at /// /// http://www.zionsbest.com/charter.html /// ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ==^================================================================ This email was sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org EASY UNSUBSCRIBE click here: http://topica.com/u/?aaP9AU.bWix1n.YXJjaGl2 Or send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] TOPICA - Start your own email discussion group. FREE! http://www.topica.com/partner/tag02/create/index2.html ==^================================================================