Why Did Ananias and Sapphira Have to Die…

October 11, 2007 at 7:34 pm | Posted in Church, Mormon | 9 Comments

if entry (and supposedly exiting) into the fold of Christ, and into the early version of the United Order was voluntary? In Acts chapter 5, we read:

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

If entry into this system is voluntary, then why did they have to die? Was their crime really worthy of death?


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  1. it was voluntary…but they weren’t entering the fold…they were entering into life with Christ. we preach Jesus as loving and merciful (which He gloriously is!) but we don’t like remembering (at least here in the western part of the world) that He who is filled with love, is also full of wrath and holiness. the same God allowed bears to kill about 42 kids in 2 Kings 2:23-25…we must (as a church) find the balanced view of God again….not a creampuff and not a alcoholic father with whom we can never “be good enough”.

    hope that helps. 🙂

  2. eyesandwings,

    Thanks for your comments. I’m curious though, because we preach that we can enter in and leave the church without any repercussion, at least, let me clarify, at least, that we won’t be killed on the spot for a willful sin.

    Secondly, about the incident with Elisha and the 42 “kids”, if you do a little digging into the situation, you’ll find that the translation of “kids” isn’t quite accurate. The “kids” were really young adults, maybe teenagers, maybe a little older, and they were insulting the prophet. Plus, it doesn’t state that the she-bear “killed” the kids but rather “tare” at them. 🙂

  3. I don’t think that living the law of consecration was voluntary at all at that point.

    I get the impression that if you wanted to become a baptized member of the church at that early point in time, then you were required to make a law of consecration covenant as part of the price of admission.

    Why else would the Lord strike them dead?

  4. Mark,

    So then, was Enoch’s society voluntary or compulsory?

  5. I don’t know. Different times and different circumstances might change the nature or level of commitment required. Just because we’re not required to actually live it now (even though temple-goers are required to commit to it) doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been fully required in the past.

  6. Matthew

  7. Matthew 12:31 “And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

    • What exactly is speaking against the Holy Spirit?

      • Denying Jesus Christ as Lord.

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