What About Predestination and Foreordination?


Awhile ago for the “Come, Follow Me” readings, in the New Testament, I read that Paul talked about predestination.

Romans 8:29-30 says, “Whom [God] did foreknow, he also did predestinate, … them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

What are we to make of predestination? I found this article to help shed light on the subject, showing the difference between predestination, which is not one of the doctrines of The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and foreordination, which is. This article also has a bit about predestination, skip to the paragraph under the heading, “Moving a Word or Phrase.”  Here is a talk by Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s on foreordination. You can watch it above, or read it or listen to it here. I really enjoyed it.

Some of my favorite lines from the talk:

The combined doctrine of God’s foreknowledge and of foreordination is one of the doctrinal roads least traveled by, yet these clearly underline how very long and how perfectly God has loved us and known us with our individual needs and capacities. Isolated from other doctrines or mishandled, though, these truths can stoke the fires of fatalism, impact adversely upon our agency, cause us to focus on status rather than service, and carry us over into predestination. President Joseph Fielding Smith once warned:

It is very evident from a thorough study of the gospel and the plan of salvation that a conclusion that those who accepted the Savior were predestined to be saved no matter what the nature of their lives must be an error. . . . Surely Paul never intended to convey such a thought. [The Improvement Era, May 1963, pp. 350–51]


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