Jump to content

Heaven, An Exclusive Country Club For Mormons?


Rob Osborn

Recommended Posts

You know, in Mormonism, heaven is a very exclusive place where only a small fraction of the people whom Christ saves get to go to. If you are Mormon like myself we have been taught that the guidelines for this exclusive club are very intense and require perfection to go there. In church we are taught that we are a special people- a special religion where only "our kind" will be there.

It reminds me of the joke where a man dies and goes to heaven and meets up with Peter who is showing him around all the sights in heaven and they come to one portion where there is a very high wall and Peter tells his companion to be very quiet because the Mormons are on the other side and they think they are the only ones here in heaven. I believe there actually is a lot of truth to that joke. John in revelations only mentioned one heaven where all of the "saved" go and all partake of the tree of eternal life alike. Christ also spoke in parables about heaven and separating the bad from the good so that the good could be in heaven all alike with him.

So what do you think, is heaven truly an exclusive Mormon country club, or is there much more to the picture than we realize such as to what John in Revelations was getting at?

Link to comment

How do you define heaven? If it is the place where people with live and rejoice in the presence of Christ, the evang view of heaven, there will be many there.

To live in the presence of the Father, you must accept certain covenants and ordinances performed by His authorized servants, and live according to those covenants. Is that what you mean by "Mormon"?

Link to comment

Heaven isn't a piece of real estate with metallic fencing (golden gate).

In my father's house are many mansions, so the scriptural phrase goes. To me this means, we create -- we can't do it alone, we require atonement of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost etc -- our eternity; and eternity begins now, as a seed -- it will be the future when we receive the fruit of the seed(s) we have planted in mortality.

I do take seriously truths such as the requirements for an authorized baptism, as seriously as I take faith and repentence (Article of Faith 4). What is that requirement result in? Sinlessness (a remission of sin). So, to me, a person who is baptized and keeps the baptismal covenant has ALREADY in THE PRESENT been redeemed thus far -- in the kingdom (there is no futurity to it).

So it just depends on what result one wants out of Eternity (starting now) and then one has to lay hold on that path/ seed for that result. We know that God gives us almost (but not always) as many chances as we desire to 'start over' or to 're think' or to 'catch up' or 'get baptized in the spirit world' or whatever. Meaning -- our Father in heaven is going to help us reach our full potential at whatever point we become willing and believing to embark on that journey, including making certain types of commitments. Mormons aren't the only ones on the journey. I believe the Father is leading and teaching all sincere people and he is capable of telling them -- it's between Him and that individual -- when they need to become 'Mormons' so to speak (or not).

Happy seeking!

Link to comment
So what do you think, is heaven truly an exclusive Mormon country club, or is there much more to the picture than we realize such as to what John in Revelations was getting at?

Speaking of the Celestial and Terrestial kingdoms, there will be folks there who were of another religion in mortality or no religion at all. The reason they are there is because at the very least they accepted the gospel in lfe or in the afterlife which means they became part of the same heavenly Church that mnanifests itself as the LDS Church on earth.

So yes, it is exclusively LDS.

Link to comment

You know, in Mormonism, heaven is a very exclusive place where only a small fraction of the people whom Christ saves get to go to. If you are Mormon like myself we have been taught that the guidelines for this exclusive club are very intense and require perfection to go there. In church we are taught that we are a special people- a special religion where only "our kind" will be there.

It reminds me of the joke where a man dies and goes to heaven and meets up with Peter who is showing him around all the sights in heaven and they come to one portion where there is a very high wall and Peter tells his companion to be very quiet because the Mormons are on the other side and they think they are the only ones here in heaven. I believe there actually is a lot of truth to that joke. John in revelations only mentioned one heaven where all of the "saved" go and all partake of the tree of eternal life alike. Christ also spoke in parables about heaven and separating the bad from the good so that the good could be in heaven all alike with him.

So what do you think, is heaven truly an exclusive Mormon country club, or is there much more to the picture than we realize such as to what John in Revelations was getting at?

Read D&C section 76 and you will find out. As President Hinckley said a few years ago the Kingdom of God is not a "Social Club" so your question is not only insulting to anyone who is really a member of the Church but is boardline on being "lightminded" and offensive to the spirit.
Link to comment

You know, in Mormonism, heaven is a very exclusive place where only a small fraction of the people whom Christ saves get to go to. If you are Mormon like myself we have been taught that the guidelines for this exclusive club are very intense and require perfection to go there. In church we are taught that we are a special people- a special religion where only "our kind" will be there.

It reminds me of the joke where a man dies and goes to heaven and meets up with Peter who is showing him around all the sights in heaven and they come to one portion where there is a very high wall and Peter tells his companion to be very quiet because the Mormons are on the other side and they think they are the only ones here in heaven. I believe there actually is a lot of truth to that joke. John in revelations only mentioned one heaven where all of the "saved" go and all partake of the tree of eternal life alike. Christ also spoke in parables about heaven and separating the bad from the good so that the good could be in heaven all alike with him.

So what do you think, is heaven truly an exclusive Mormon country club, or is there much more to the picture than we realize such as to what John in Revelations was getting at?

Rob, whose heaven is more exclusive, the Mormons, the EVers, the Muslims, the JWs, the Fundies, or the Catholics?

Link to comment

You know, in Mormonism, heaven is a very exclusive place where only a small fraction of the people whom Christ saves get to go to.

I think you might be confusing 'heaven', which consists of 3 kingdoms and the associated levels within each, with the highest level of the celestial kingdom. I happen to agree with you that this highest level is talked about and focused on and explained and planned for and hoped for, than any of the other kingdoms. And if you are claiming there's sort of an LDS cultural mindset that says unless you're on the track for this highest place, you're somehow second rate, or need to straighten up and fly right, or whatever - well, I can't really disagree with you, as I've seen examples of that mindset in every ward I've lived in.

But no, if you think about what we teach and believe about heaven in total, we know there will be plenty of non-lds people there.

LM

Link to comment

So what do you think, is heaven truly an exclusive Mormon country club, or is there much more to the picture than we realize such as to what John in Revelations was getting at?

Spending eternity confined to an exclusive country club sounds more like my conception of hell.

Of course, â??there is much more to the picture than we realizeâ? -- and Mormons are quite aware of this. Hence the importance we place on the need for living prophets and continuing revelation.

Link to comment
You know, in Mormonism, heaven is a very exclusive place where only a small fraction of the people whom Christ saves get to go to. If you are Mormon like myself we have been taught that the guidelines for this exclusive club are very intense and require perfection to go there. In church we are taught that we are a special people- a special religion where only "our kind" will be there.

Have you ever read D&C 137? There will be people of every religion there. :P

Link to comment

Hmmm, just yesterday an EV acquaintance was berating the Mormons for being too INclusive - no everlatsting burning in hell, etc. - and now a Mormon is complaining about us being too EXclusive. Neither seem to understand doctrine as it has always been explained to me. As far as being too exclusive, it is my understanding that all who die before they reach the age of accountability will be there. That alone will make for a nice crowd. Then there is our stubborn fascination with Temple work. Is it not done for the sake of inclusiveness?

Link to comment

You know, in Mormonism, heaven is a very exclusive place where only a small fraction of the people whom Christ saves get to go to. If you are Mormon like myself we have been taught that the guidelines for this exclusive club are very intense and require perfection to go there. In church we are taught that we are a special people- a special religion where only "our kind" will be there.

It reminds me of the joke where a man dies and goes to heaven and meets up with Peter who is showing him around all the sights in heaven and they come to one portion where there is a very high wall and Peter tells his companion to be very quiet because the Mormons are on the other side and they think they are the only ones here in heaven. I believe there actually is a lot of truth to that joke. John in revelations only mentioned one heaven where all of the "saved" go and all partake of the tree of eternal life alike. Christ also spoke in parables about heaven and separating the bad from the good so that the good could be in heaven all alike with him.

So what do you think, is heaven truly an exclusive Mormon country club, or is there much more to the picture than we realize such as to what John in Revelations was getting at?

Well, to be blunt (and hopefully a little tongue-in-cheek) if this is your understanding of "Mormon doctrine" you haven't read the scriptures, and if you have, you did not understand them.

I favor the first guess.

I'm going to lunch before I explain more.

Link to comment

I should of clarified one of the main points of the discussion in which I failed to do so. Here it is-

Both Christ and John in Revelations (amongst countless other prophets) speak of "heaven" as being in one physical place- specifically, on this earth after the millennium is over and the earth becomes Celestialized. Christ in all of his teachings never speak of another sphere or place where the "saved" go. They are always saved to the same place. In Revelations (which I believe is true) John speaks of the Holy City of the Living God (the Father) coming down out of heaven and to the earth. Once established, the earth attains it's Celestial splendor. Inside the city is where both the Father and the Son dwell. Also in the city resides the tree of life. The city has twelve gates representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The names of the saved are written upon the gates of the city and in the book of life. So here is where it gets interesting-

John, along with Christ, spell it out quite clearly that if you are not part of this Celestial society then you are the dogs and whoremongers outside of the city gates- outside of the book of life- name not written therin. Christ taught his gospel that everyone who wants saved inside of this city (kingdom of God), must be obedient and be baptized by one having authority. If one does not do this then they have no right to enter the gate into the city as their name will not be found written in the book of life. So they will then be the dogs and whoremongers outside of the city walls- the very devils and angels to the devils!

Perhaps then the situation needs to be looked at in a different light. If the only way to be saved is to be cleansed of ones sins through proper baptism, then the exclusive club really exists, only now it includes everyone excepting the sons of perdition as they are the only ones who would remain unforgiven of their trespasses and sins by not showing obedience to divine command.

If this be the case, then the saved all go to the exclusive country club and are members while only the sop are excluded. This to me sounds more true to be the case. It seems to make more sense that all of the saved go to the same sphere rather than three different worlds. Think about it- there is only one thing that keeps us from the Fathers presence- sin! If sin is fully forgiven through the atonement to the repentant, then all the repentant souls from the beginning of time will all have exclusive passes to the Kingdom of god (celestial kingdom).

Link to comment

I should of clarified one of the main points of the discussion in which I failed to do so. Here it is-

Both Christ and John in Revelations (amongst countless other prophets) speak of "heaven" as being in one physical place- specifically, on this earth after the millennium is over and the earth becomes Celestialized. Christ in all of his teachings never speak of another sphere or place where the "saved" go. They are always saved to the same place. In Revelations (which I believe is true) John speaks of the Holy City of the Living God (the Father) coming down out of heaven and to the earth. Once established, the earth attains it's Celestial splendor. Inside the city is where both the Father and the Son dwell. Also in the city resides the tree of life. The city has twelve gates representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The names of the saved are written upon the gates of the city and in the book of life. So here is where it gets interesting-

John, along with Christ, spell it out quite clearly that if you are not part of this Celestial society then you are the dogs and whoremongers outside of the city gates- outside of the book of life- name not written therin. Christ taught his gospel that everyone who wants saved inside of this city (kingdom of God), must be obedient and be baptized by one having authority. If one does not do this then they have no right to enter the gate into the city as their name will not be found written in the book of life. So they will then be the dogs and whoremongers outside of the city walls- the very devils and angels to the devils!

Perhaps then the situation needs to be looked at in a different light. If the only way to be saved is to be cleansed of ones sins through proper baptism, then the exclusive club really exists, only now it includes everyone excepting the sons of perdition as they are the only ones who would remain unforgiven of their trespasses and sins by not showing obedience to divine command.

If this be the case, then the saved all go to the exclusive country club and are members while only the sop are excluded. This to me sounds more true to be the case. It seems to make more sense that all of the saved go to the same sphere rather than three different worlds. Think about it- there is only one thing that keeps us from the Fathers presence- sin! If sin is fully forgiven through the atonement to the repentant, then all the repentant souls from the beginning of time will all have exclusive passes to the Kingdom of god (celestial kingdom).

Given the choice between section 76 and the entire Book of Revelation I'd take 76 every time.

Please bear in mind "kingdom" is a general term, not confined to physical, or spacial location.

Link to comment

You know, in Mormonism, heaven is a very exclusive place where only a small fraction of the people whom Christ saves get to go to. If you are Mormon like myself we have been taught that the guidelines for this exclusive club are very intense and require perfection to go there. In church we are taught that we are a special people- a special religion where only "our kind" will be there.

It reminds me of the joke where a man dies and goes to heaven and meets up with Peter who is showing him around all the sights in heaven and they come to one portion where there is a very high wall and Peter tells his companion to be very quiet because the Mormons are on the other side and they think they are the only ones here in heaven. I believe there actually is a lot of truth to that joke. John in revelations only mentioned one heaven where all of the "saved" go and all partake of the tree of eternal life alike. Christ also spoke in parables about heaven and separating the bad from the good so that the good could be in heaven all alike with him.

So what do you think, is heaven truly an exclusive Mormon country club, or is there much more to the picture than we realize such as to what John in Revelations was getting at?

As a fellow mormon, this has never been my understanding of who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom or what we have to do to inherit it (if perfection were required-only the Godhead could live there).

:P

Link to comment

So is Revelations wrong in it's analysis of where heaven is and where it is not? If not then is section 76 not fully or truly understood yet maybe?

Rob , I think the disconnect here is with your use of the term "Heaven". If by Heaven you mean the Celestial Kingdom , then yes , there is a separation between that "degree" of Heaven and the other degrees , the Terrestrial and Telestial. It should also be had in mind that even in the Celestial Kingdom there are separations , or degrees of glory. Now does that mean that someone who was baptized but received no other ordinance will not be able to co-mingle with those who were endowed or ultimately married in the temple? I don't believe that is the case. IMO ,the distinction is one of glory and advancement rather than physical separation. The same applies to the Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms ; that is , the people within those kingdoms , though of varying degree of glory , will not be separated from one another in different physical locations and sorted out by degree of glory. It does seem that there is a physical separation of kingdoms though. Those of the different kingdoms are separate from one another.

Where the term "Heaven" can be used in a broader sense , as applying to salvation , D&C 76 makes clear that , although there are differing degrees of glory and different kingdoms , all but the sons of perdition are heirs of salvation and recipients of glory , to whatever degree. In that sense , Mormonism holds a view of an almost universal salvation of men and women , which to my view , is heaven.

If you study D&C 76 very carefully , you will discover that

Link to comment

As a fellow mormon, this has never been my understanding of who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom or what we have to do to inherit it (if perfection were required-only the Godhead could live there).

:P

Your understanding is how I have always understood it too , bluebell. As is taught in the BoM , after all we can do , we are saved by the grace of Christ. That is , whatever we may do is insufficient to save us. It is Christ's atonement and resurrection that saves us. As the BoM also teaches , if we should labor all our lives in the service of God and our fellow man , yet we would , on our own merits , be unprofitable servants. We certainly cannot meet the standard of perfection here in this world.

Link to comment

Okay somebody has to do it. Number one I do not believe you are a member of the Church. If you were you would know that the revelations in the Book of Mormon and D&C are revelations of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless I will now quote pertinant quotes from D&C 76:

(D&C 76 preface:A vision given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon, at Hiram, Ohio, February 16, 1832. HC 1: 245â??252. Prefacing his record of this vision the Prophet wrote: â??Upon my return from Amherst conference, I resumed the translation of the Scriptures. From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled. It appeared self-evident from what truths were left, that if God rewarded every one according to the deeds done in the body, the term â??Heaven,â?? as intended for the Saintsâ?? eternal home, must include more kingdoms than one. Accordingly, while translating St. Johnâ??s Gospel, myself and Elder Rigdon saw the following vision.â? It was after the Prophet had translated John 5: 29 that this vision was given.
That should explain why the Bible does not elaborate on the degrees of glory. Now as for who will go to the "country club" or Celestial world:
(D&C 76:50-70) "And again we bear recordâ??for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the justâ??They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has givenâ??That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true. They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.They are they into whose hands the Father has given all thingsâ??They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory; And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.

Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of Godâ??Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christâ??s, and Christ is Godâ??s.

And they shall overcome all things. Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet. These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever. These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people.These are they who shall have part in the first resurrection.These are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just. These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all. These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn. These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all. These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood. These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical."

If you want to know the details of the other two kingdoms look it up in D&C 76 yourself.
Link to comment
You know, in Mormonism, heaven is a very exclusive place where only a small fraction of the people whom Christ saves get to go to.

Six: With all due respect, this description falls so short of LDS doctrine as to constitute a misrepresentation of our beliefs.

If you are Mormon like myself we have been taught that the guidelines for this exclusive club are very intense and require perfection to go there.

Six: Again, this is a vast misrepresentation of LDS belief. The LDS notion of "heaven" and who will be there is both expansive, progressive, and inclusive.

In church we are taught that we are a special people- a special religion where only "our kind" will be there.

Six: More fundamental error concerning our beliefs. Mormons believe that heaven consists of many "mansions" that is so expansive as to include the majority of humankind. Our view of heaven includes a place for sinners and those who profess Christ, but reject the fulness of the Gospel.

So what do you think, is heaven truly an exclusive Mormon country club, or is there much more to the picture than we realize such as to what John in Revelations was getting at?

Six: The LDS concept of heaven...and its inclusiveness is consistent with all scripture, both ancient and modern.

Regards,

Six

Link to comment

You know, in Mormonism, heaven is a very exclusive place where only a small fraction of the people whom Christ saves get to go to. If you are Mormon like myself we have been taught that the guidelines for this exclusive club are very intense and require perfection to go there. In church we are taught that we are a special people- a special religion where only "our kind" will be there.

It reminds me of the joke where a man dies and goes to heaven and meets up with Peter who is showing him around all the sights in heaven and they come to one portion where there is a very high wall and Peter tells his companion to be very quiet because the Mormons are on the other side and they think they are the only ones here in heaven. I believe there actually is a lot of truth to that joke. John in revelations only mentioned one heaven where all of the "saved" go and all partake of the tree of eternal life alike. Christ also spoke in parables about heaven and separating the bad from the good so that the good could be in heaven all alike with him.

So what do you think, is heaven truly an exclusive Mormon country club, or is there much more to the picture than we realize such as to what John in Revelations was getting at?

That's not my understanding of LDS doctrine, nor am I aware of any such thing being taught from the pulpit or in our various classes. Where are getting this impression? Because, if anything, the doctrine that Joseph Smith is more universalist than it is anything else.

Link to comment

Oh Rob, you disappoint me so. I was ready to defend you after Lightbearer questioned your basic honesty about being a member of the Church. I mean, I did a search of you other posts, and found you to be at least superficially familiar with the D&C, though you're interpretations were somewhat suspect. Then I googled you and found

http://www.robosborn.com/blog/

Why do so many feel they have to lie about their membership? Do you think it gives you more credibility? Well, you just lost all of yours. Do you hope we'll "let our guard down" and tell you about our "secret doctrines"? Do you think you'll be accepted better? You actually have many thoughtful questions that we could have robust discussions about, especially if you were honest with us about where you're coming from. There are many of a variety of religious backgrounds who add a lot to this board, but they are respectful enough to be honest with us.

Now, you will also find most here to be very forgiving and accomodating. If you want to start over and ask your questions as Rob Osborn, a thoughtful and multi-talented person who tries to understand Christ's word*, and others' understanding of it, instead of "Rob Osborn, fellow Mormon", you'll be more than welcomed.

Please feel free to join us as yourself. We can surely benefit from your observations, and you might be able to benefit from some of ours.

Hearserve

*I'm basing this on your website which includes some very good posts about your scriptural study, and some very honest self-assessments about your struggles (which we all share) with falling short of the mark. I hope I haven't misconstrued your information.

Link to comment

Hearserve,

I am sorry but I think you have mistaken me for some other Rob Osborn. No problem though it happens all the time. If you would have googled a little harder you would of actually happened upon the real me at rockofsalvation.blogspot.com where I discuss heaven and salvation related topics from a LDS background.

I think mainly in respect of my own religion that when I speak of heaven I am speaking of the Celestial Kingdom as it seems to be the place where both the Father and Son will dwell.

I do not wish to come off a some sort of wacko mormon, just a mormon with some different ideas.

Getting back to the point at hand, section 76 in the D&C is very vague as to it's meaning and location of the differing worlds of glory. But then it seems that section 76 is the end all answer to people as to what heaven consists of. From that section we state that even the unrepentant will be saved in the end. On the contrary the section never states that Christ saves the unrepentant. All that is stated is that in the Telestial kingdom there are unrepentant individuals. The section never clarifies what the Telestial Kingdom is or where it is located. The temple on the other hand states what and where the Telestial Kingdom is. It states that this earth right now is that very "Telestial world".

In fact a very careful reading of the latter part of section 76 states that the sons of perdition actually make up part of the Telestial Kingdom. Now this certainly can't be the case if the Telestial Kingdom is a future kingdom free from satan. Read it very carefully, near the end where it speaks of the "last of all" individuals that make up the Telestial world, that it groups them as the very souls who go on to inherit the "second death". Look at the cross reference both to Revelations and section 63 and you will come to the understanding that maybe section 76 is not really understood and that Revelations is the key guide to interpreting the section.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...