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maklelan

Do Mormons Believe They Will Rule Over Their Own Planets?

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The reprobates at CARM and elsewhere have long enjoyed pointing and giggling at the LDS idea of stewardship over other worlds as an element of exaltation. Without exception this argument is raised simply in an effort to make other people think "Ew, weird," and to try to make Latter-day Saints stutter and equivocate to try to minimize the damage the idea may have on people previously unaware of it. What these "Christians" don't know, and what many Latter-day Saints unfortunately also don't know, is that this doctrine is not original to Joseph Smith or Mormonism. If these "Christians" would do some research instead of just suckling fetid litany from the swollen teet of online anti-Mormonism so they can spit it at others, they would find a lot of their ad hoc criticisms undermine the roots of their own belief systems. If we travel all the way back to the fourth century we find the following:

The Holy One, blessed be He, will in the future call all of the pious by their names, and give them a cup of elixir of life in their hands so that they should live and endure forever. . . . And the Holy One, blessed be He, will in the future reveal to all the pious in the World to Come the Ineffable Name with which new heavens and a new earth can be created, so that all of them should be able to create new worlds. The Holy One, blessed be He, will give every pious three hundred and forty worlds in inheritance in the World to Come. . . . To all the pious the Holy One, blessed be He, will give a sign and a part in the goodly reward, and everlasting renown, glory and greatness and praise, a crown encompassed in holiness, and royalty, equal to those of all the pious in the World to Come. The sign will be the cup of life which the Holy One, blessed be He, will give to the Messiah and to the pious in the Future to Come.

Midrash Alpha beta diRabbi Akiba BhM 3:32

This is part of the Jerusalem Talmud, which was completed around 380 CE. This text was extant for some time before being abridged into the talmudic corpus. The doctrine is attributed to Rabbi Akiba, widely considered to be the most pious and orthodox of early rabbis. The text is no doubt pseudeponymous, but it derives from the same historical context as the early Christological debates. This doctrine is older than, or contemporary to, the formal doctrine of the Trinity.

This post is not intended to assert that this doctrine is true simply because it is found in the rabbinic texts. It is not intended to argue that this doctrine is a part of modern Judaism, either. It is simply intended to show that this conclusion was considered logical and pious enough to be attributed to one of the greatest rabbis of all time. It's not weird, and it's not unbiblical. It fits perfectly into the worldview of early Judaism and is not precluded or rejected in any Christian or Jewish literature that predates the 19th century CE. Latter-day Saints need not try to minimize the proliferation of this doctrine or feel at all defensive about it. It has chronological priority to the majority of the fundamental doctrines espoused by those who do the denigrating. Those who criticize it are simply ignorant of the history of the doctrine and need to spend more time with their Bibles and less time with Bob Betts and Walter Martin.

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I'm not surprised by this element of doctrine any more than any other doctrinal element of other religions.

What has never been cleared up for me, if if there will be Winger's and Cafe Rio on said planets.

If so, I may need to rethink my position as an atheist.

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I am LDS and I believe it. Looking forward to it in fact. Going to spend the first thousand years hiding from everyone else and taking a long vacation. This world is very taxing and we all need a good break before getting back hard at work.

Part of my world is going to be a lot like Alaska and part very much like Hawaii. With instant teleing it should be every relaxing and enjoyable.

Nice to know the good rabbi had a pretty good clue about it. Not sure we are going to have that many right off the bat. One seems a bit of a responsibility to start out. :P

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I'm not surprised by this element of doctrine any more than any other doctrinal element of other religions.

What has never been cleared up for me, if if there will be Winger's and Cafe Rio on said planets.

If so, I may need to rethink my position as an atheist.

There are wingers on every planet as far as I am concerned.

If I were to build a planet I would have to wing it. :P

Can not think of a better place than a planet to live except the sun I guess.

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I'm not surprised by this element of doctrine any more than any other doctrinal element of other religions.

What has never been cleared up for me, if if there will be Winger's and Cafe Rio on said planets.

If so, I may need to rethink my position as an atheist.

I'm afraid Winger's didn't make it.

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There are wingers on every planet as far as I am concerned.

If I were to build a planet I would have to wing it. :P

Winger's makes visiting my wife's family in Utah palatable.

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I would have to wing it. :P

Well I am thinking my huband and I need to find some of those really bright intelligences out there that might be interested in biology and physics. Never do what you can delegate. ;)

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maklelan - I appreciate your article.

Thanks!

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Midrash Alpha beta diRabbi Akiba BhM 3:32

So this was recently found in Joseph's library? :P

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...suckling fetid litany from the swollen teet of online anti-Mormonism...

:P

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Well I am thinking my huband and I need to find some of those really bright intelligences out there that might be interested in biology and physics. Never do what you can delegate. ;)

Well, this is one of the reasons people have kids.... :P

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It is definitely why we had you guys. :P

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I am looking for a good location near a church and schools.

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I am looking for a good location near a church and schools.

Just a minute. You can make the churches and schools near you. :P

Personally I would put them at a distance. Not because I dont like them but with instant teleporting you can have them close yet far away. ;)

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I am looking for a good location near a church and schools.
There is a nice subdivision called celestial clusters out yonder that has some "space" available, but it will cost you.

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I'm not surprised by this element of doctrine any more than any other doctrinal element of other religions.

What has never been cleared up for me, if if there will be Winger's and Cafe Rio on said planets.

If so, I may need to rethink my position as an atheist.

No Wingers, but I think there is a Planet Hollywood.

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I can't think of anything more exciting and wonderful

than creating worlds under Father's tutelage.

Bernard

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Saying that Mormons believe in eventually ruling over their own planets is, alas, understating things a bit. Keeping in mind that "God" is a plural-singular noun, we know that he rules over "worlds without end." Because he speaks with the same divine investiture of authority as all other such beings, he can do with with absolute propriety.

How many universes exist in the great expanse of the heavens? If we are given "dominion in space" and allowed to create our own worlds, how will we do this? No one presently knows. Do we bring about our own "Big Bang" and create our own universes or do we create worlds in the confines of this universe, making it not only ours, but Christ's and the Father's? This is not something that's been revealed, or as John stated, "It doth not yet appear." In our own little corner of this existence, we know precious little about the cosmos and we think in terms that are not only flawed, but horribly limited.

God's mission statement is that he brings to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, and it's this same mission that's passed along to his sons and daughters. It was not man who created the familial expressions of "Father" and "Son." Our own existence as sons and daughters of God expresses our divine heritage.

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I'm not surprised by this element of doctrine any more than any other doctrinal element of other religions.

What has never been cleared up for me, if if there will be Winger's and Cafe Rio on said planets.

If so, I may need to rethink my position as an atheist.

Don't forget about Gibson Les Pauls and Marshall full stacks.

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The reprobates at CARM and elsewhere have long enjoyed pointing and giggling at the LDS idea of stewardship over other worlds as an element of exaltation. Without exception this argument is raised simply in an effort to make other people think "Ew, weird," and to try to make Latter-day Saints stutter and equivocate to try to minimize the damage the idea may have on people previously unaware of it. What these "Christians" don't know, and what many Latter-day Saints unfortunately also don't know, is that this doctrine is not original to Joseph Smith or Mormonism. If these "Christians" would do some research instead of just suckling fetid litany from the swollen teet of online anti-Mormonism so they can spit it at others, they would find a lot of their ad hoc criticisms undermine the roots of their own belief systems. If we travel all the way back to the fourth century we find the following:

This is part of the Jerusalem Talmud, which was completed around 380 CE. This text was extant for some time before being abridged into the talmudic corpus. The doctrine is attributed to Rabbi Akiba, widely considered to be the most pious and orthodox of early rabbis. The text is no doubt pseudeponymous, but it derives from the same historical context as the early Christological debates. This doctrine is older than, or contemporary to, the formal doctrine of the Trinity.

This post is not intended to assert that this doctrine is true simply because it is found in the rabbinic texts. It is not intended to argue that this doctrine is a part of modern Judaism, either. It is simply intended to show that this conclusion was considered logical and pious enough to be attributed to one of the greatest rabbis of all time. It's not weird, and it's not unbiblical. It fits perfectly into the worldview of early Judaism and is not precluded or rejected in any Christian or Jewish literature that predates the 19th century CE. Latter-day Saints need not try to minimize the proliferation of this doctrine or feel at all defensive about it. It has chronological priority to the majority of the fundamental doctrines espoused by those who do the denigrating. Those who criticize it are simply ignorant of the history of the doctrine and need to spend more time with their Bibles and less time with Bob Betts and Walter Martin.

Great essay Mak. I recall when you revealed this find to the folks at CARM, they stuttered about and flailed their tongues but never really came up with anything. As usual, when they were presented with scholarship they reduced themselves to mud slinging.

I'm curious about some remarks that the poster "Elds" made in that thread. He likened the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden to the LDS idea of men creating and caring for their own worlds. Elds discussed the divine privilege of tending the garden that Adam shared with Yahweh. I'd be interested if someone more expert than I could develop this idea further. I wonder if it leads to an even more solid defense of the idea.

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For all those contemplating their future planets, will you be using evolution, or do you prefer transplanting life from other spheres? And how will you explain your creation method in your version of Genesis?

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Great essay Mak. I recall when you revealed this find to the folks at CARM, they stuttered about and flailed their tongues but never really came up with anything. As usual, when they were presented with scholarship they reduced themselves to mud slinging.
Too true. Sometimes I feel like these guys exist solely to approve or disapprove of your demeanor, and have no interest whatsoever in the actual discussion.
I'm curious about some remarks that the poster "Elds" made in that thread. He likened the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden to the LDS idea of men creating and caring for their own worlds. Elds discussed the divine privilege of tending the garden that Adam shared with Yahweh. I'd be interested if someone more expert than I could develop this idea further. I wonder if it leads to an even more solid defense of the idea.
It's related to the idea of divine stewardships and the ideology of kingship. Matthew Brown has written on the consecration of a king in the ancient Near East as an allusion to the the establishment of Adam as "gardener," or steward over the garden. It is sometimes related to the idea of being established as stewards over our own worlds. I haven't dealt extensively with that particular topic, however.
For all those contemplating their future planets, will you be using evolution, or do you prefer transplanting life from other spheres? And how will you explain your creation method in your version of Genesis?
I'll let them deal with it and hopefully the majority will realize it's soteriologically quite irrelevant.

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Haha, you guys talk about when you are going to get your planet, and what you are going to do with it.

I've been ruler of my own planet even before I joined the church. Yes, there are some bugs to work out, like how it could be between Earth and Mars, be totally invisible and yet not somehow affect the delicate balance of the solar system. It also doesn't really exist. Yes, it's a world that's based off my early childhood where my main purpose is to defend the world against evil sentient light bulbs(oh did I mention that part I created when I was 3, before Transformers came out?). I also have a sword that is the symbol of my power and also of my benevolence and mercy. Yes I have it all. I also just recently organized a Stake there ever since a dream version of my Stake President chased me and a bunch of people out of the Stake Centre and we escaped through a portal.

Also, I am totally serious about this. I've even wrote a few short stories for school about this.

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Ruling over a planet is small potatoes. I'm planning on a Dyson sphere.

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God's mission statement is that he brings to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, and it's this same mission that's passed along to his sons and daughters. It was not man who created the familial expressions of "Father" and "Son." Our own existence as sons and daughters of God expresses our divine heritage.

So his work and his glory is, like ours, "raising the kids"!

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