First, the father should be the same individual for both children. The 
difference being one child is willing to live a higher law, with the 
other needing to be prodded along.

I didn't focus on the Law of Moses. I focused on eternal laws of God. 
You'll note that I not only quoted from the Old Testament, but also from 
the D&C, which clearly is not Mosaic in nature. When Christ tells us in 
D&C 19 to repent or suffer even as he did, regardless of whether the 
punishment is a natural cause or not, Christ set the bar. Repentance is 
a requirement of the Celestial Kingdom, and so is a requirement of 
Celestial Law.

Seemingly, there is more mercy in the law of Christ than in the Mosaic 
Law. But this is only true on physical punishment. Spiritually, the 
requirements for Celestial glory is much higher than that for the 
Terrestrial (Mosaic Law) glory.  So, to pretend that there are two 
fathers, when in reality there is one, doesn't work. Second, it is a 
matter of God giving a lower law to children who aren't ready to live 
the higher law.  Of your own children, what is the age limit you give to 
drive a car? Are some allowed to stay up later than others? How about 
dating age?  You see, even we give differing rules to our own children, 
based upon age and maturity. So also does God.

While our smallest children may not understand the nuances of a lecture, 
they will understand physical disciplining, even if it is to stand them 
in a corner or timeout. Meanwhile, a more mature child may get enough 
out of just a discussion or request. We adjust the rules and how we mete 
them out according to maturity, ability and willingness to live them.

With these as guidelines, I'd change your parable to one father of two 
boys.  One boy is rather mature, while the other is childish. One 
requires a stern hand (not necessarily a swipe against the face), while 
the other follows closely the guidance given. The Father does show love 
to both children, and reminds them of it continually (even as the Lord 
told ancient Israel constantly through Isaiah and others). The younger 
child eventually learns from the chastising that there is a better way - 
obeying out of love, rather than fear.

Gary Smith

Jonathan Scott wrote:
>       It's not about either of you.  You two were having a 
> discussion about the difference between the law of Christ and the law 
> of Moses.  Ron's take seemed to be that the focus with Christ's plan 
> was in forgiveness and repentance.  Your take seemed to focus on the 
> whole punishment aspect of the law of Moses.  The part of the puzzle 
> that I felt wasn't being discussed was that the "punishments" may not 
> be punishments that God will be giving out personally, but rather 
> punishments that natural consequences will be dealing out.  Seeing 
> the punishments in this way puts God as our defender and mentor 
> rather than as some kind of a two-faced psycho out there telling us 
> how much he loves us, but at the same time tossing out huge and 
> cumbersome commandments for us to follow and happily tossing the 
> disobedient into huge lakes of fire and brimstone.
>       In my story, both of the fathers cared deeply for their 
> children.  But, because one of the sons was literally but unknowingly 
> on his death bed, the urgency of it all demanded that his father 
> resort to drastic measures to save him.  What the father did may have 
> looked overly harsh, but compared with an early death, it wasn't.  At 
> the very least, what the father did gave his son more time.
>       I don't condone physical abuse of children.  It was just for 
> the sake of the allegory.  The law of Moses was very definitely 
> unpleasant and I couldn't think of a different way to portray it in 
> the story.
> >I didn't quite get it either. Are Ron and I the grimy kids, or the
> >fathers in this story? And if so, would Ron be the kind-hearted father? 
> >I don't recall ever striking my kids like the first father, so I know it
> >doesn't apply to me, however I also wasn't so neglectful as he was to
> >just say a few words and then walk off.  My kids cleaned their rooms
> >because it was expected of them, and if they didn't do it, they were
> >punished (groundings, etc).
> >I see God doing the same thing. Yes, occasionally our actions create
> >their own illness/punishment, but on many occasions, God brings his
> >wrath down upon his children. If you don't believe it, just read the
> >scriptures. As it is, the 2nd Coming is described as the Lord coming in
> >red clothing to stomp the grapes of the vineyard with a fury.
> >Yet, there is also a softer side to God, as he patiently works with each
> >of us--as long as we are willing to be worked upon.
> >
> >So, portraying God as either a harsh taskmaster on the one hand or as a
> >milquetoast on the other is to paint God as being two dimensional. He
> >isn't either of these, yet is both of them.
> >
> >And as I raised my children, I used both methods. And as I work with
> >those around me, I use both methods as necessary. I don't just sigh and
> >lecture from the bedroom door. I step into the room, offer to help clean
> >things up, and insist that it is cleaned.
> >Gary Smith
> -- 
> Jonathan Scott

Gerald (Gary) Smith

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