Ron Scott wrote:
There is a current piece in Ensign that confuses "unconditional love" and
"blessing."  Actually, I think the current piece confuses grace/faith/works.
God's love is unconditional, according to Hinckley (many sources).  But, the
blessing/rewards are very conditional up faithfulness.

I would love to read one or two of these "many sources" you speak of. I know that President Hinckley is a very loving man, and that God loves sinners or he would not love me, nor would he have provided the unspeakable gift of his Only Begotten Son as a sacrifice for sin.

Perhaps it would satisfy both sides in the discussion to say that God's love is unconditional, but the fruits of that love, such as eternal life, etc. are conditional. In other words, God loves even the Sons of Perdition, but it isn't going to do them much good because even his omnipotence cannot save them from Outer Darkness unless they repent and obey divine law.

Rather than argue over terms like love vs. blessings or conditional vs. unconditional, I would rather just remember the true principle expressed in the Book of Mormon thusly:

"Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness." (Alma 41: 10)


"What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God." (Alma 42: 25)

Actually, I think that people have a tendency to talk past each other when discussing this particular topic. Nobody would deny that a loving Father in Heaven blesses all those of his children that he able to. But he CANNOT bless those who, using their moral agency, place themselves beyond the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ by refusing to repent of their sins and obey divine law.

BTW, I don't believe that President Hinckley disagrees with Elder Russell M. Nelson on this subject. I don't believe that President Hinckley has ever suggested that God's "unconditional" love will result in the same blessings for the unrepentant that he conditionally bestows upon the obedient. And unless I terribly misunderstood your post, I don't believe that you have suggested that he does.

God's love is certainly unconditional in the sense that he loves all his children, probably even Lucifer. But his willingness and ability to bless those he loves is predicated upon their cooperation and obedience. He not only will not force any man to heaven, he cannot.

Is God's love unconditional? Yes or no depending on what you mean by "unconditional."

"While we cannot agree with others on certain matters, we
must never be disagreeable. We must be friendly,
soft-spoken, neighborly, and understanding." (President
Gordon B. Hinckley, October 2003)
All my opinions are tentative pending further data. --JWR

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