Growing up, I was taught by my LDS parents and teachers that the LDS faithful would one day be commanded by The Prophet to return and reclaim Independence, Missouri. I was told that we may even have to walk there as our ancestors had. That the journey could be just as hard as our forbearers, but that, as The Faithful & Elect, we would be protected and blessed. I was told that we would listen to our prophets and we would do as we were commanded.
What would you be willing to do if commanded by your religious leaders? What wouldn’t you be willing to do? If they speak for and behalf of The Almighty God, who knows all, shouldn’t you be willing to do absolutely anything?
“If God told you to kill your child—would you do it?” — Penn Jillette
I wouldn’t. Not if He personally came down, 100% proving His existence and power, knocked me out of bed, and told me that, if I didn’t murder my daughter with my bare hands, He would torture me for eternity.
I would hope I could even muster the courage to spit in His almighty, but definitively evil face.
The story of Abraham is truly terrifying. Believers teach it as a story of faith; that we must trust to God, who knows best. “But, Heavenly Father saved Isaac.” No. Abraham had murder in his heart. A willingness to cut open his innocent and only son. Not a desire, but a willingness. A blind obedience to commit an act of pure evil if only commanded. God didn’t save Isaac; He merely changed His mind.
Mr. Jillette asks the question above to illustrate, if you would not murder your child at the command of the god you claim has the right and authority to command your actions, you are probably already an atheist.
If a religious leader in whom you trust told you that your God had commanded your family to sell all of your clothing and belongings and live unprotected in the winter mountains? That God had promised to provide for you? Would you do that? Would you willingly put your family in mortal danger? Trusting in God to provide?
If the religious leader commanded that you, not even kill, but pointlessly harm your child in some small way? That God had promised you blessings without number for an earthly demonstration of your faith, would you do it?
If a man you *knew* to be a prophet told you to turn and rant and rail against your child, just because of whom they love?
Would you do it?
Or, instead, would you love your child regardless, and help them to grow up happy and healthy? Loving those they loved and who made them happy – regardless of what a man who doesn’t know you, and doesn’t know your child, chooses to say from a great and spacious building?
“It’s not arrogant to say that you can’t figure out the answers to the universe with your internal faith. It’s not arrogant to know that there’s no omniscient, omnipotent prime mover in the universe who loves you personally. It’s not sad to feel that life and the love of your real friends and family is more than enough to make life worth living. Isn’t it much sadder to feel that there is a more important love required than the love of the people who have chosen to spend their limited time with you?”– Penn Jillette