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The more I think about how long eternity is, the more I question the belief that each person gets just this one finite lifetime as a test to determine "placement" in the eternities.

First, not everybody takes the same test. We are all born into different circumstances and with different mental capabilities. Some might argue that our "premortal life" determined our circumstances here. If that's true, would a valiant premortal life put you into favorable circumstances or challenging circumstances? For example, the student who scores high on a math placement test will be placed in a higher (more difficult) course than the student who scores low. If there was no premortal life, could this life, with all of its different circumstances, be a fair test?

Second, should a finite test be used to determine eternity?

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You are right -- do not think of "eternity" or the "celestial kingdom" as a wage or linear handout to "being good" or "passing the test".

It is a test, but not a true/false or multiple choice. It is more like an essay test, lol.

No, really -- other than the fact that Satan will be bound, and therefore life will be free from that particular fight -- the celestial kingdom will not be handed over to anyone as a present for a prescribed number or type of actions.

Eternity has to be created. (Seed, Nourish, Growth, Harvest Fruit).

That's the good news and that is why it is (theoretically) available to anyone and everyone.

The hard news (I don't want to say bad news because it is wonderful) -- the hard news is that many people think they are supposed to wait until they die or receive a judgment to deal with celestiality. But the hard news is, is that it is NOW. If you don't have the celestial kingdom NOW, it is because you haven't created it yet. You will enjoy the celestial kingdom at the moment(s) in which you create it and can maintain it. (Which cannot be done alone -- it requires a Savior/ atonement and a zion community).

Genesis 3:19 "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread" On the face of it, this seems like a charge to Adam to be a farmer, at least until a modern specialized society can be built, lol :P . I see it more that our Father in heaven is explaining to Adam that if he wants to enjoy a result, he has to create it: the grand quest of the probation.

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I think of this life as the test with the Kobayashi Maru. There really isn't a way for me to "win" per say, without relying on Christ's Atonement. Because of my nature to sin, as is every man, it's a no-win situation. Break the rules by accepting Christ and it's off to the celestial Enterprise with you.

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The more I think about how long eternity is, the more I question the belief that each person gets just this one finite lifetime as a test to determine "placement" in the eternities.

First, not everybody takes the same test. We are all born into different circumstances and with different mental capabilities. Some might argue that our "premortal life" determined our circumstances here. If that's true, would a valiant premortal life put you into favorable circumstances or challenging circumstances? For example, the student who scores high on a math placement test will be placed in a higher (more difficult) course than the student who scores low. If there was no premortal life, could this life, with all of its different circumstances, be a fair test?

Second, should a finite test be used to determine eternity?

I don't see this life as a "test" in that way. Yes we are tested, and yes we must prove ourselves. But God already knows who his sheep are, and who his sheep aren't. It is for OUR experience and profit and learning that we are here going throug mortality. I do think premortality does have a bearing on our circumstances here in mortality, but of course, it would be folly to conject on the details. I also think our faith and obedience in this life has a influential bearing on the life hereafter.

As far as determining what is "favorable" and what is "challenging" circumstances--the scripture says where much is given, much is required, and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation. Also the story of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar comes to mind (Luke 16:19-31).

Personally, I believe that we agreed with our own agency to pass through the trials that we do, and the greater the trials we pass through faithfully, the greater the reward awaits us.

... therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. (Alma 34:33)

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I don't see this life as a "test" in that way. Yes we are tested, and yes we must prove ourselves. But God already knows who his sheep are, and who his sheep aren't. It is for OUR experience and profit and learning that we are here going throug mortality. I do think premortality does have a bearing on our circumstances here in mortality, but of course, it would be folly to conject on the details. I also think our faith and obedience in this life has a influential bearing on the life hereafter.

As far as determining what is "favorable" and what is "challenging" circumstances--the scripture says where much is given, much is required, and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation. Also the story of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar comes to mind (Luke 16:19-31).

Personally, I believe that we agreed with our own agency to pass through the trials that we do, and the greater the trials we pass through faithfully, the greater the reward awaits us.

... therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. (Alma 34:33)

As for the "greater trials, greater reward," I would have to greatly qualify that remark by first noting that intelligences have different capacities to begin with; and what may be a great reward to you would be a terrible curse to Thinking, or vice versa. This makes it seem like someone who experiences a lot of suffering in the world as we see it will automatically get a bigger "easter basket" in the next life, and this is a concept I don't particularly buy into. If the end result is a "fulness," how can one receive more than that? They cannot; and I subscribe to what Joseph Smith said, that our losses will be made up to us in the resurrection, etc, and we will be blessed, but I don't see a variation of "rewards," other than the conditions and abilities we have, which, in the end, should be a fulness for all the faithful as they are capacitated to receive it, and etc.

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...

...should a finite test be used to determine eternity?

These are my thoughts on this.

Before we lived on this earth, we lived a life as a Spirit. That must have also been a test. Probably we went from grade to grade in the Spirit world based on our progress.

And before we were a spirit we existed without beginning as an intelligence in endless eons-- again some kind of testing must have gone on. So, ultimately, our entire past eternity has been a test that will determine our future eternity. It hasn't been a finite test, after all.

This life is not the only test, it is the "final" test. We all get the tailor-made final test we need.

What you said is an argument used by those who believe in reincarnation, by the way. But I remain convinced that much of what the Hindus, New Age and others believe about reincarnation is not correct. The Lord will reveal all the secrets of Heaven eventually.

At any rate, it is probably best that we think this is our only chance, and that we better make the most of it.

Richard

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The more I think about how long eternity is, the more I question the belief that each person gets just this one finite lifetime as a test to determine "placement" in the eternities.

First, not everybody takes the same test. We are all born into different circumstances and with different mental capabilities. Some might argue that our "premortal life" determined our circumstances here. If that's true, would a valiant premortal life put you into favorable circumstances or challenging circumstances? For example, the student who scores high on a math placement test will be placed in a higher (more difficult) course than the student who scores low. If there was no premortal life, could this life, with all of its different circumstances, be a fair test?

Second, should a finite test be used to determine eternity?

The very fact that we all have different trials and different temptations indicates that the "test" is not a generalized one. The actual quote goes like this:
(Abraham 3:24-26) "And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever."

Elder Neal A Maxwell refered to this test more as "tutorials" meaning they are learning experiances. Also the test began in the premortal existance...or first estate. We exercised our faith even there and we "kept our first estate" we know that because we were "added upon." As for fairness I am sure Lucifer and his third that was cast out felt that since some would fail the test they thought it unfair. That was why he and his angels wanted to change the nature of the test by removing agency. It there was no agency then there could be no test and thus "not one soul would be lost!" He had a very persuasive argument: "if you never try then you will never fail!" But the flaw in that plan was that if there is no test there can be no advancement. No test of agency or faith and there can be no exaltation which is our purpose for existence. Of course with any test of agency and faith there had to be a means of "leveling the playing field" that was the role that our older brother, our savior Jesus Christ filled. Without Him the plan is totally frustrated. God did not ask what shall I do...he asked "whom shall I send." Lucifer wanted to alter the plan so the role of a redeemer who would suffer for us would not be necessary. But his idea of taking away our agency was rejected and he along with those others who rebelled were cast out. It is not an easy test and thanks be to God that the results are not so much a "pass fail" as a graded system of salvation. If we do not achieve exaltation then we have nobody to blame but ourselves. Yet God is merciful and loving and saves all the works of His hands except the sons of perdition. Through the atonement of Christ we can make "corrections" and through His grace we can overcome the trials and tests of this life to go own to our exaltation and eternal life.
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If the end result is a "fulness," how can one receive more than that? They cannot; and I subscribe to what Joseph Smith said, that our losses will be made up to us in the resurrection, etc, and we will be blessed, but I don't see a variation of "rewards," other than the conditions and abilities we have, which, in the end, should be a fulness for all the faithful as they are capacitated to receive it, and etc.

A good point LOP. But do you think that we will all receive the end result of a fulness at the same instant? Or don't you think we will receive it line upon line, grace by grace? J.S. said too that

Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.

And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.

While this seems to be speaking about learning and gaining knowledge, it also mentions something about having an advantage in the world to come. I don't think this is talking about a competetive advantage over others, there is no such thing as competition in that sense in the next world IMO, but it is speaking of our individual advantage in our own situation of progression.

I do think that we all have different intelligences, and capacities and that God has provided a way for ALL to receive salvation and exaltation. But I also think that people with Down's syndrome, or other such severe challenges in life are probably more spiritually mature that others, and they are here primarily for a body. Eventually, though, we can all receive a "fulness", but I believe some will receive theirs sooner than others.

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This life is not the only test, it is the "final" test. We all get the tailor-made final test we need.

...

At any rate, it is probably best that we think this is our only chance, and that we better make the most of it.

Is it really our final "test"? And is test even the right word (though Abr 3:25 uses such language)? (just saw lightbearers post on this)

Are we justified in assuming that once we choose the terrestrial or telestial kingdom that we are unable of advancement (unceremoniously referred to as "kingdom hopping" by some)?

Irrespective of the answers, I still fully agree that we better make the most of it. Now is the time to repent.

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The more I think about how long eternity is, the more I question the belief that each person gets just this one finite lifetime as a test to determine "placement" in the eternities.

First, not everybody takes the same test. We are all born into different circumstances and with different mental capabilities. Some might argue that our "premortal life" determined our circumstances here. If that's true, would a valiant premortal life put you into favorable circumstances or challenging circumstances? For example, the student who scores high on a math placement test will be placed in a higher (more difficult) course than the student who scores low. If there was no premortal life, could this life, with all of its different circumstances, be a fair test?

Second, should a finite test be used to determine eternity?

But we do take the same test. It is the test of our character, the who we are inside.

Yes. There is no need for an infinite test. The human soul is fragile and can be destroyed and disfigured beyond recognition. An evidence of this is what the Muslim extreemists do to children they indoctrinate for suicidal acts of hate.

When we look at the judgments of God towards Edom or Esau we can see that they are true. God is no respector of persons, but He does respect and His word and remembers His people.

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A good point LOP. But do you think that we will all receive the end result of a fulness at the same instant? Or don't you think we will receive it line upon line, grace by grace? J.S. said too that

Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.

And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.

While this seems to be speaking about learning and gaining knowledge, it also mentions something about having an advantage in the world to come. I don't think this is talking about a competetive advantage over others, there is no such thing as competition in that sense in the next world IMO, but it is speaking of our individual advantage in our own situation of progression.

I do think that we all have different intelligences, and capacities and that God has provided a way for ALL to receive salvation and exaltation. But I also think that people with Down's syndrome, or other such severe challenges in life are probably more spiritually mature that others, and they are here primarily for a body. Eventually, though, we can all receive a "fulness", but I believe some will receive theirs sooner than others.

Not at the same instant; no; but I do feel a majority of us, though we may be pretty close in some areas, will all be deficient in other areas, and it'll be a while before we are ready for a fulness in the full sense of the word.

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Second, should a finite test be used to determine eternity?

Think about the criminal justice system. Think about the terrible things people have to do in order to earn forever in prison or death. Now think about some of the things Christian dogma condemns as "sinful". Do you honestly believe they merit eternity of punishment or "bad placement"?

I certainly don't.

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Think about the criminal justice system. Think about the terrible things people have to do in order to earn forever in prison or death. Now think about some of the things Christian dogma condemns as "sinful". Do you honestly believe they merit eternity of punishment or "bad placement"?

I certainly don't.

We are in complete agreement there.

Mormonism doesn't believe 'they' merit eternal punishment either, because of the Atonement.

Mormonism and some other mainstream Christian denominations differ in that belief.

In mormonism, even murders, robbers, etc will inherit a level of salvation after they have paid for their own sins. They will suffer, but not for eternity.

:P

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In that, Zhavric, you would agree with the Church of Jesus Christ's (of Latter-day Saints) liberal repentance and forgiveness -- we do have to stop doing wrong things and try to do better, but one's past AS THE PAST normally does not nor can not condemn us.

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Is it really our final "test"? And is test even the right word (though Abr 3:25 uses such language)? (just saw lightbearers post on this)

Are we justified in assuming that once we choose the terrestrial or telestial kingdom that we are unable of advancement (unceremoniously referred to as "kingdom hopping" by some)?

Irrespective of the answers, I still fully agree that we better make the most of it. Now is the time to repent.

The term, "calling and election made sure" from the Bible would seem to indicate the testing is over -- if a person truly has their "calling and election made sure", then they will not be proved again to see if they are worthy of the Celestial Kingdom. And it seems incredible to think they could ever fall from this glory.

I cannot say about "kingdom hopping" As I read D&C 76 it is unlikely. But, further revelation sometimes surprises us.

Richard

Footnote:

Peter's (2 Peter 1) plan for obtaining one's "calling and election made sure"

4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

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To Thinking:

Maybe we do get more than one test. Maybe we also have to pass more than one test. Maybe we have to go from "exaltation to exaltation".

Maybe what class we choose to take, and/or how well we do on that test, has some influence on what the next test is. Maybe in the long run it really is fair.

Maybe we get to take a break once in a while, too.

Maybe "eternity" consists of progressing, instead of basking in a reward or doing something that's not a challenge.

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Statistically, according to the LDS concept of missionaries in the afterlife, very close to 0% of all those that have ever lived on the earth will make it to the CK when they die. So, what is the point of having a test on earth when the failure rate is statistically fractions below 100%? This is really the best plan an omniscient God could come up with??

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Statistically, according to the LDS concept of missionaries in the afterlife, very close to 0% of all those that have ever lived on the earth will make it to the CK when they die. So, what is the point of having a test on earth when the failure rate is statistically fractions below 100%? This is really the best plan an omniscient God could come up with??

what statistics are you referring to?

According to LDS belief, no one goes to the CK when they die.

Whether or not a person ultimately inherits eternal life is not decided until the final judgement-which does not happen at death.

:P

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Can't speak for the afterlife, but Nietzsche had said something that resonated with me:

To those human beings in whom I have a stake I wish suffering, being forsaken, sickness, maltreatment, humiliation--I wish that that profound self-contempt, the torture of mistrust of oneself, and the misery of him who is overcome, not remain unknown to them: I have no pity for them because I wish them the only thing which can prove today whether one has worth or not--that one holds out. (1887)

what statistics are you referring to?

According to LDS belief, no one goes to the CK when they die.

Whether or not a person ultimately inherits eternal life is not decided until the final judgement-which does not happen at death.

:P

C'mon, that's being a bit pedantic.

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C'mon, that's being a bit pedantic.

sorry, i have no idea what you are referring to as being 'pedantic'.

My question is an honest one to scottie-what LDS belief or statistic says that almost no one will inherit the Celestial Kingdom?

If he's making an assumption that the amount of missionaries teaching people in the spirit world means that those people did not inherit the CK then he's assuming wrong since the amount of people being taught the gospel in the spirit world has no correlation to the number who will ultimatly gain eternal life.

If he's not making that assumption than again, where is his statement coming from?

:P

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Bluebell,

Yes, you are correct that the final judgement will determine who gets into the CK or not.

However, my point was that so incredibly few souls will learn what they need on this earthly test, I question why God would create a test where the failure rate is so close to 100%??

Since the vast, Vast, VAST majority of spirits will have to learn it all in the afterlife anyways, why isn't THAT considered the test?

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Since the vast, Vast, VAST majority of spirits will have to learn it all in the afterlife anyways, why isn't THAT considered the test?

It will be... for them.

I think it's better to know about it ASAP, though, instead of having to wait until we die to learn about everything God can do for us. :P

And btw, those who know about it sooner, here, and reject it, here, won't get the grand prize.

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