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enummaelish

Eternal Progession

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After enjoying a very serious Gospel conversation with my wife last night, I felt a desire to share the following heretical thoughts with the FAIR family. I

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Jesus only preached one kingdom, and that kingdom had citizens who had various degrees of glory, but I don't recall His ever saying there was more than one eternal kingdom.

What teaching of Jesus are you basing the 'Kingdoms'?

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At the moment, my 'heretical' view that entropy prevents any significant advancement for those not in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom.

It takes energy from an outsystem source (the fullness of the priesthood in this case) to keep going and only those who have fully kept/fulfilled all priesthood covenants have the power to advance forever.

The rest might advance somewhat until there is no energy available to them.

There is nothing wrong with enummaelish's theory because it's all speculation. But I see no real opportunity in the scriptures for those in the lower degrees to finally be able to make the covenants required. Of course to assume that there never will be such opportunities is speculation also.

I suspect that these theories come from an internal desire to see some eternal principle realized. In my case, it's justice, in enummaelish's, it's mercy. Hence we are probably both wrong and the answer lies somewhere in between because the Atonement satisfies both.

Of course that raises another question. Either you can advance forever, or you cannot. How then can the answer lie somewhere in between?

Perhaps some will take advantage of continuing advancement and some will not. But then that has happened already before the resurrection so why not stop now?

And such questions go on and on and on......

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There is nothing wrong with enummaelish's theory because it's all speculation. But I see no real opportunity in the scriptures for those in the lower degrees to finally be able to make the covenants required. Of course to assume that there never will be such opportunities is speculation also.

Thanks BCSpace, I always enjoy reading what you have to say.

I recognize that my views are not canonical. In fact, Elder McConkie, whom I love and admire, specifically identified my perspective as one of the seven deadly heresies; see Bruce R. McConkie,

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In my case, it's justice, in enummaelish's, it's mercy. Hence we are probably both wrong and the answer lies somewhere in between because the Atonement satisfies both.

Since God's Mercy and Justice are both infinite as is the Atonement, it is more likely not something in between, but that somehow contains the everything, including the absolutes of both. Two apparently contradictory infinites are really just manifestations of the same infinite that is God.

My personal rationale is that the kingdoms represent different actual paths, rather than different rungs on the same ladder. Progress between the kingdoms is not appropriate because the needs of the inhabitants of one kingdom are not the same as the others. At the 'ultimate end' (this is a 'nonsense' term as there is no end to eternal progression) the distinctions between may blur and only really may end up being found by understanding the history of the individual.

Certain paths are more desirable than others because of the experiences that can be engaged in and others that can be avoided, but the paths all lead to God (I think my stance is closer to E's than BC's because of this 'end' view).

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In fact, none of us reading this post were auspicious enough to meet with an accident of fate that would have allowed us to skip the trials of mortality.
Do you really see death before accountability as something "auspicious"?

I am assuming from your other comments that you do not, that it is just the logical argument that makes the claim.

I figure that we wouldn't have been shouting for joy in recognition of the Plan of Salvation if an innocent mortal life was preferable to an accountable one. We have to learn the lessons taught in mortality at some time. Some make the claim that these children were proved already in the preexistence, but then what can be the rationale for mortality at all as something necessary beyond a physical body?

I see the learning of mortality occuring for the innocents in the next life if not somehow vicariously (through the Atonement).

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Do you really see death before accountability as something "auspicious"

That is actually the point that I

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I enjoyed your "heretical" views, and as an active LDS member, I too pondered the dilemna and contradiction of free agency VS those who die before the age of accountability and get the free pass to the CK. The Millennial reign is another area that literally billions of humans will get a free ride to exaltation without a world that offers sin and temptation.

Some of us take longer to get on board than others, but I believe that eventually everyone gets on board.
This is my view also, and it intuitively resonates with me more than a fixated celestial position and a punishing heavenly father.

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Whatever the Lord does is right whether we understand his purpose or not.
Well, I think that God intends us to understand his purpose, so I am more swayed by yours and Roberts, et. al's reasoning than Br. McConkie's.

Have you looked at the history of the eternal progression (the 'through all' and the 'only within') doctrine from the early church till now? From your quotes, it would seem that the 'heresy' was strong in the past. Makes me wonder about the shift. I think there is a shift back to the earlier form or at least away from the "only within" position in that I haven't heard it preached much lately, besides Br. McConkie.

I am not much into dividing things up anyway as it seems to be more of an artifact of man's need to catagorize the world than reality (for example, it's easy to speak of the 'id, ego, and superego' when discussing inner reality but that doesn't mean we should believe they actually exist and indeed we can cause great harm if we forget that they don't).

I see the Kingdoms as levels of awareness of the same reality. Each person's awareness will vary dependent on their personal characteristics and experience including their oneness with God.

===

It seems to me that the one common factor in those that promote the "only within" even to the point of claiming the other is a heresy, is a stated fear that people will put off their repentance until later--a decidedly negative view of the natural man to my mind.

Reminds me of the D&C 19 thread discussion I and others had with Dan Vogel. Vogel focused on the use of the misunderstanding of "eternal" in terms of punishment as a flog for righteous behaviour (as evidence of JS's rationalization for 'pious fraud'). Looked at another way, 19 is all about the beauty of the Atonement and the Grace of God, much more 'carroty' to my view than stick.

One view's filter is fear, the other trust.

The more I study the scriptures, the more I'm turning to the trust view.

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Consider the following quotes:

President Joseph Fielding Smith once told me that we must assume that the Lord knows and arranges beforehand who shall be taken in infancy and who shall remain on earth to undergo whatever tests are needed in their cases. This accords with Joseph Smith's statement: "The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth." (Teachings, pp. 196-97.) It is implicit in the whole scheme of things that those of us who have arrived at the years of accountability need the tests and trials to which we are subject and that our problem is to overcome the world and attain that spotless and pure state which little children already possess.

Will children ever be tested?

Absolutely not! Any idea that they will be tested in paradise or during the millennium or after the millennium is pure fantasy. Why would a resurrected being, who has already come forth from the grave with a celestial body and whose salvation is guaranteed, be tested? Would the Lord test someone who cannot fail the test and whose exaltation is guaranteed? For that matter, all those billions of people who will be born during the millennium, when Satan is bound, "shall grow up without sin unto salvation" (D&C 45:58) and therefore will not be tested. "Satan cannot tempt little children in this life, nor in the spirit world, nor after their resurrection. Little children who die before reaching the years of accountability will not be tempted." (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:56-57.) Such is the emphatic language of President Joseph Fielding Smith.

Also, on another meesage board, I started a thread called, " Did we blow it in the pre existence?" You can read it here:

http://www.bordeglobal.com/foruminv/index....showtopic=11896

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There is a difference between being tested and learning.

What is the purpose of the 'test'?

I think it is a learning tool--life as a constant chapter review test, not the final that gives you a pass or fail.

According to JS, even the most spiritually advanced in this life have a lot more to learn so surely the innocents will be learning in the next life as well. I quoted him awhile back about that ladder with way more rungs than we know about, I'll dig it out if you want me to.

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Have you looked at the history of the eternal progression (the 'through all' and the 'only within') doctrine from the early church till now? From your quotes, it would seem that the 'heresy' was strong in the past. Makes me wonder about the shift. I think there is a shift back to the earlier form or at least away from the "only within" position in that I haven't heard it preached much lately, besides Br. McConkie.

I

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enummaelish,

It seems that you have considered a good deal of relevant material on this topic but perhaps you haven't considered ALL the relevant documents yet.

I recommend Matthew B. Brown's book The Plan of Salvation since it contains material on the resurrection of children that may change your view on 'eternal progression.' Look very carefully at the footnotes - they will show you that Joseph Smith changed his mind on the topic of resurrected children. Also notice the quotation on how fast resurrected children will be changed to their adult form.

I agree with Elder McConkie (and other Church leaders) that the 'kingdom-hopping' theory is heretical (in a spirtually deadly sort of a way).

I

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D&C 76:112 is speaking solely of the Telestial kingdom; I can see no justification for applying it to any other.

And while we are on the topic, that verse merely states that a being in the telestial kingdom can never

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Helorum,

I would be grateful if you could post or email the footnotes (and context) you referred to in which Joseph Smith views on children can be seen to change. I have never heard this claim before (though I have heard differing interpretations on the record we have of his views) and I will not likely have time anytime soon to obtain a copy of Matthew Brown's book.

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Perhaps it would help to look at exactly how progress occurs.

I think we've been addressing it as opportunities available and think that in an infinite eternity with an infinitely just and merciful God, all opportunities would be available for all people.

But simply because opportunity exists, doesn't mean people take it.

There is progress of knowledge and skill (something that seems should continue to increase over an infinite period of time), but also progress of character (for want of a better term). While I don't see it as possible that someone could eternally not get some principle of mathematics unless they were profoundly limited (and I am assuming here that we are not assuming such determined outcomes), on the other hand I can envision someone not getting the principle of "Thy will, not mine" eternally.

Character progress in this life comes through a combination of opposition and desire. The humbling that comes through opposition for some may result in despair in others. Changing despair to humility is not a simple case of just learning more facts or more skill. It is not a case of just given enough time, someone will 'get it'. The desire must be present along with the opposition for change to take place.

The scriptures speak of God not always striving with us. Sounds like opposition, at least in the intense amount that is present in mortal life, may not be present in the next stage. If so, change must come to pass by pure desire.....but how is that desire present? I don't think it is the case that given enough time, a person will simply experience it as a matter of probability.

I don't see God as limiting people's opportunities to progress eternally speaking ('what father when asked for bread, gives a stone?'), but individuals themselves may do so on their own because they've already refused to place themselves in a position where they will 'get' it and it could be an usurption of their free agency for God to continually place them in positions of opposition until they do.

Perhaps it is the description of the "highest" degree that bugs us. If there is no limit to progress within the kingdoms, then perhaps it would be better to describe as simply a different degree. It is not unlikely to my mind that even given eternity, there are still going to be people who would not desire the experience of children and the "power and dominions" referred to by H above.

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Hello Helorum:

I recommend Matthew B. Brown's book The Plan of Salvation since it contains material on the resurrection of children that may change your view on 'eternal progression.' Look very carefully at the footnotes - they will show you that Joseph Smith changed his mind on the topic of resurrected children. Also notice the quotation on how fast resurrected children will be changed to their adult form.

Matthew Brown

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Will children ever be tested?

Absolutely not! Any idea that they will be tested in paradise or during the millennium or after the millennium is pure fantasy. Why would a resurrected being, who has already come forth from the grave with a celestial body and whose salvation is guaranteed, be tested? Would the Lord test someone who cannot fail the test and whose exaltation is guaranteed? For that matter, all those billions of people who will be born during the millennium, when Satan is bound, "shall grow up without sin unto salvation" (D&C 45:58) and therefore will not be tested. "Satan cannot tempt little children in this life, nor in the spirit world, nor after their resurrection. Little children who die before reaching the years of accountability will not be tempted." (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:56-57.) Such is the emphatic language of President Joseph Fielding Smith.

Also, on another meesage board, I started a thread called, " Did we blow it in the pre existence?" You can read it here:

This is WRONG!!!! Ofcourse everyone will need to tested and to learn. That is the ONLY purpose of this and other lives to learn and progress. You cannot expect someone to build a car if they dont even know what a car is. Duh!!!

To think that children will somehow inherient divine knowledge AND divine EXPERIENCE is ludiroucous.

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Hi David,

I read your first post and that was all, so excuse me if this has been brougt up.

While I don't hold to eternal progression or that every one born on this earth is Gods Child, from a LDS prespective isn't your view mor e of less Lucifers plan?

Mark

John 1:12

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While I don't hold to eternal progression or that every one born on this earth is Gods Child, from a LDS prespective isn't your view mor e of less Lucifers plan?

No. Agency is an absolute necessity in my view. In fact, one of the reasons I adhere to this perspective is that in it, God does not violate the law of agency by taking righteous spirits before they reach the age of accountability. I believe every individual will be held accountable for the decisions made in his or her life.

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Hello stn9:

This accomodates both Alma 12 and D&C 76 very nicely, as well as matches a little known teaching of Hyrum Smith and D&C 130:18-19.

Yours is an interesting view. It certainly makes more sense to me than suggesting that no progression takes place in the eternities. Apparently Hyrum publicly taught that

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I think people have missed the most straightforward revelation on the subject:

D&C 132:

15 Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.

16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.

17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.

This implies, to my mind, that whether or not there is progression among kingdoms; one cannot progress from a non-exalted state to exaltation, after the final judgement. They cannot be enlarged. They remain without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity. From henceforth are not gods, forever and ever.

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Will children ever be tested?

Absolutely not! Any idea that they will be tested in paradise or during the millennium or after the millennium is pure fantasy. Why would a resurrected being, who has already come forth from the grave with a celestial body and whose salvation is guaranteed, be tested? Would the Lord test someone who cannot fail the test and whose exaltation is guaranteed? For that matter, all those billions of people who will be born during the millennium, when Satan is bound, "shall grow up without sin unto salvation" (D&C 45:58) and therefore will not be tested. "Satan cannot tempt little children in this life, nor in the spirit world, nor after their resurrection. Little children who die before reaching the years of accountability will not be tempted." (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:56-57.) Such is the emphatic language of President Joseph Fielding Smith.

Also, on another meesage board, I started a thread called, " Did we blow it in the pre existence?" You can read it here:

This is WRONG!!!! Ofcourse everyone will need to tested and to learn. That is the ONLY purpose of this and other lives to learn and progress. You cannot expect someone to build a car if they dont even know what a car is. Duh!!!

To think that children will somehow inherient divine knowledge AND divine EXPERIENCE is ludiroucous.

I agree that everyone will need to be tested, but I beleive the quote above is referring to children who died before the age of accountability being tested in paradise or during the millenium. The theory being they won't because they are already exalted. What I am getting from this is they already passed the test in the preexistence. They were so righeous and obedient that they had their calling and election made sure prior to coming to Earth and thus only needed to come here to gain a body. There was no need for them to pass through the trials of Mortality because they have already proven themselves.

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Hello Zeta-Flux:

Do you realize that if you choose to read D&C 132 literally, then little children will never be exalted since

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Hello Gaucho:

I agree that everyone will need to be tested, but I beleive the quote above is referring to children who died before the age of accountability being tested in paradise or during the millenium. The theory being they won't because they are already exalted. What I am getting from this is they already passed the test in the preexistence. They were so righeous and obedient that they had their calling and election made sure prior to coming to Earth and thus only needed to come here to gain a body. There was no need for them to pass through the trials of Mortality because they have already proven themselves.

I assume that you realize the implications of your perspective. God lines up all of the best ones and puts them into situations were they will die before they reach age eight. So much for agency. I really don

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