> -----Original Message-----
> From: John W. Redelfs [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 9:29 PM
> Subject: RE: [ZION] Is God's Love Unconditional?
> 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.
> Ron, I searched the Church website and found 115 hits on "unconditional
> love" in General Conference, but they came from Maxwell, Ashton, Faust,
> Ballard, Nelson himself, and others but not one came from President
> Hinckley.  Could you direct me to one of these "many sources" you speak
> of?  My survey doesn't really prove anything because it was
> cursory.  But I
> would be interested in learning how President Hinckley thinks of
> "unconditional love."<<

I'll dig some stuff out tomorrow.  But not tonight.  But, I'd guess that
Maxwell, Ashton and Ballard would have similar comments.  At least, I hope
they would.

> Actually, I think this discussion is a tempest in a teapot.
> Nobody doubts
> that God loves each of his children more and more perfectly than
> any mortal
> creature could, even more than a mother loves her newborn baby.  I think
> you may have hit the nail on the head when you suggested that it is God's
> "blessings" that are conditional.<<

Discussions like this are ALWAYS tempest in teapots.  But, we do work out
big time on the performance side of things, which is good, by and large.  It
is not so good when such exercises diminish the important role God
love/charity/compassion plays in all of this.  Worse, when one gets hung up
on "performance stuff" one inevitably begins to measure one's own
performance against another and pretty soon you have a bunch of "holier
thans" parading their accomplishments, as opposed to recognizing that  "It
is by the grace  we are saved, after all we can do."  Those may not be the
exact words, but they do illustrate to me (I realize others interpret this
scripture differently) that no matter how hard we work, and no matter how
good we are, none of us will make it without Christ's grace.
> However, it might be useful to think of God's love as conditional
> inasmuch
> as the blessings most definitely are, and Elder Nelson makes a good point
> when he suggests that the phrase "unconditional love" might confuse some
> people into supposing that they can have the blessings without the
> repentance.  And that simply is not true doctrine.<

Well, see, the paragraph above underscores my point. There is a difference
between "unconditional love" and "blessings."  The former is freely given
and is always available. The latter is contingent upon consistency and
heeding His counsel.

ANyway, I'm tired...and so til tomorrow.

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