065–066: Evil, Parts 3 and 4

These two episodes are the third and fourth discussions about the topic of Evil by a panel that features Latter-day Faith host Dan Wotherspoon and wonderful and brilliant guests, Kathryn Sonntag and Danny Kofoed.

Part 3: The focus in this section is turning back to the scriptures, Jesus’s time, the language he spoke, and the agrarian society he taught in order to open ourselves up to new definitions of good and evil. Rather than evil as sinister and fed by hurtful designs, Jesus’ teaching considered it in agricultural terms of being ripe or unripe, fruitful or unfruitful–incapable or not of nourishing, expanding, reproducing, contributing. The panel also considers Paul’s phrase that talks of the “wages of sin” as death. There is much more going on in that phrase than simply meaning, as Mormons generally go to first, a spiritual death that keeps us separated from God in the next life.

Part 4: This section takes on two topics. First is a brief look at what has been termed “natural evils”: hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, tornados and other things that are often termed “acts of God.” Is God actually involved in such things that often bring great destruction and loss of life? Is weather that leads to these things, as well as droughts and famines, etc., as taught in scriptures, God’s way of communicating God’s dissatisfaction with the way we are living? What are ramifications for our spiritual lives when we live out of a worldview that treats such things this way?

The bulk of Part 4 is a deep dive into structural evils: corporate, institutional, political, military, patriarchal, capital-driven, ecclesiastical, etc. How can we better become aware of these things and their effects, often leading us to compromise our values in order to “get ahead” or be held in great esteem by others? What are some of the common-denominator evils in every kind of system or institution? How might we work toward deeper truths and the values that can bless others as we become closer to the Divine and emulating the ways that God works? 

Listen in! Both of these are really terrific, thoughtful discussions!

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