Jump to content

Second Chance Theory


Glenn101

Recommended Posts

In another thread, friend Mudcat said:

"Thanks for the heads up, I will keep Mr. Hitchens on my prayer list. My evangelical beliefs certainly don't afford him the concept of second chances after the here and now that LDS concepts seem to allow."

I am not exactly sure what Mudcat understands the LDS doctrine concerning accepting the Gospel in the next life to be, so I would like to start a thread to explore those doctrines and hopefully come to a clearer understanding.

From my reading of the scriptures, no one will be given a "second chance" to obtain salvation in the Celestial Kingdom if they heard the gospel preached in this life and rejected it. Those people will be able to obtain no more than the terrestrial kingdom, if I understand the Doctrine and Covenants teachings on this correctly.

Doctrine and Covenants Section 76:

71 And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament.

72 Behold, these are they who died without blaw;

73 And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh;

74 Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.

75 These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.

76 These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness.

77 These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father.

If Mr. Hitchens dies from his cancer, I do not know what his status will be in regards to which kingdom he will inherit. There will one thing be apparent to him. He will know that physical death does not entail total extinction. I would hope that he comes to a spiritual awakening before that happens though. I would be praying for that (for him) just as fervently as for his recovery from the cancer. I hope and pray for both.

Glenn

Link to comment

I would add that having heard the gospel might also mean having it taught to you correctly. Also, his natural bias will probably come into account in that judgement. I cannot blame him for many of the things he says about religion and he is a harder man to debate against. (of course, I tend to think he is spoon fed religious idiots or lazy, unimaginative preachers that make him seem like Einstien on the subject)

But in general, I think that he may still be able to reach the Celestial because I do not believe he ever really was taught very well or had enough idiots trying to teach him that his bias was overwhelming by the end. (I could be wrong...just my 2 cents)

Link to comment

Glenn,

Are you referring to salvation or exaltation?

Hitchens is assured salvation provided he hasn't blasphemed against the Holy Ghost. He'll either accept the gospel in the Spirit World or he'll experience hell until he's ready to bow his knees and confess Christ. Eventually, however, he'll be presented to the Father "spotless" unless he's a son of perdition. (D&C 76:107)

As for exaltation, I wouldn't be so quick to prejudge that either. D&C 137:7 says that those who die without knowledge but who would have accepted it had they been given the opportunity will enter the Celestial Kingdom. Now you and I may say Hitchens had knowledge but unless the Spirit confirmed the truthfulness of the gospel to him, is that knowledge? One of the footnotes to this verse leads to D&C 29:50 which uses the word "understanding" instead of knowledge. Did Hitchens understand what he was rejecting? It is the Holy Ghost who quickens our understanding. Did Hitchens ever feel the HG? Those are questions only he and God can truly answer.

edit: because sometimes it appears as though English is my second language... :P

edited: to acknowledge that life in the CK is not necessarily exaltation, should someone feel compelled to point that out...

Link to comment

Glenn,

Are you referring to salvation or exaltation?

Hitchens is assured salvation provided he hasn't blasphemed against the Holy Ghost. He'll either accept the gospel in the Spirit World or he'll experience hell until he's ready to bow his knees and confess Christ. Eventually, however, he'll be presented to the Father "spotless" unless he's a son of perdition. (D&C 76:107)

As for exaltation, I wouldn't be so quick to prejudge that either. D&C 137:7 says that those who die without knowledge but who would have accepted it had they been given the opportunity will enter the Celestial Kingdom. Now you and I may say Hitchens had knowledge but unless the Spirit confirmed the truthfulness of the gospel to him, is that knowledge? One of the footnotes to this verse leads to D&C 29:50 which uses the word "understanding" instead of knowledge. Did Hitchens understand what he was rejecting? It is the Holy Ghost who quickens our understanding. Did Hitchens ever feel the HG? Those are questions only he and God can truly answer.

edit: because sometimes it appears as though English is my second language... :P

edited: to acknowledge that life in the CK is not necessarily exaltation, should someone feel compelled to point that out...

I am talking about the Celestial Kingdom. As another poster noted, I feel that Hitchens or any other person must be taught the fulness of the Gospel, correctly. I am not going to make that judgment.

Glenn

Link to comment

I am talking about the Celestial Kingdom. As another poster noted, I feel that Hitchens or any other person must be taught the fulness of the Gospel, correctly. I am not going to make that judgment.

Glenn

One thing that has always caught my attention is that after listing all the different kinds of people in each of the kingdoms, D&C 76 culminates (vs 98-106) by describing those in the telestial world as those "who will not be gathered with the saints". That phrasing, using the passive voice, seems to indicate the reluctance is on the part of those beings, not the part of the Father. They refuse to be gathered (vs.102). Chronologically, after this refusal, they are cast into hell (vs. 106) UNTIL Christ finishes His perfecting work. It is in this hell where they suffer a bright recollection of all their guilt and finally confess Christ's name, much like Alma during his three days of eternal torment.

Then, and this is very significant (to me anyway), Christ delivers THE KINGDOM to His Father SPOTLESS. Not THE KINGDOMS but THE KINGDOM. Singular.

Verse 112 has been used to say that these souls, now cleansed through their harrowing experience in hell, are forever separate from God but that isn't what it says. In fact, verse 112 says they serve the MOST HIGH! They are in His physical presence but "where" God and Christ "dwell" they cannot come. What does that mean, "where God and Christ dwell"? The clarifying phrase is added at the end of the verse: "worlds without end". In other words, they will be in the presence of God but unable to be exalted and have everlasting seed - dominion, worlds without end.

That's my heretical take anyway.

MnG

Link to comment

I personally do not believe in a progression between Kingdoms. The scriptures cited in that link also pretty much dictate against it, plus many others. One such is in Alma 34:

33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, 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.

34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.

I think that Nephi was warning us of that type of viewpoint:

2 Nephi 28:8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God

Link to comment

I personally do not believe in a progression between Kingdoms. The scriptures cited in that link also pretty much dictate against it, plus many others. One such is in Alma 34:

33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, 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.

34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.

The devil seals you His and you are subject to His buffetings in Hell prior to the Kingdom being handed back to the Father. Hell isn't outer darkness.

I think that Nephi was warning us of that type of viewpoint:

2 Nephi 28:8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God

Link to comment

I personally do not believe in a progression between Kingdoms. The scriptures cited in that link also pretty much dictate against it, plus many others. One such is in Alma 34:

33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, 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.

34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.

I think that Nephi was warning us of that type of viewpoint:

2 Nephi 28:8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God

Link to comment

It might help to understand that the kingdoms of glory are just that....kingdoms of glory, not physical places.

So to a point, receiving the celestial kingdom from another may be impossible, because the test is over.

Let's put it this way. My buddy and I are in the army. He is good at it and gets a honorable discharge. I, on the other hand, was less than perfect, I was not traitorous, but I was late, unprofessional, didn't really believe in the cause, ignorant, and just immature. I get a other than honorable discharge.

Both of us, throughout eternity, now have a degree of glory when it comes to our Military career. His is, and always will be, a more honorable service. I cannot go back and change mine, although I can be better the next time around if I reenlisted. I can never redo the first time.

I think that's the idea of it.

Link to comment

It might help to understand that the kingdoms of glory are just that....kingdoms of glory, not physical places.

So to a point, receiving the celestial kingdom from another may be impossible, because the test is over.

Let's put it this way. My buddy and I are in the army. He is good at it and gets a honorable discharge. I, on the other hand, was less than perfect, I was not traitorous, but I was late, unprofessional, didn't really believe in the cause, ignorant, and just immature. I get a other than honorable discharge.

Both of us, throughout eternity, now have a degree of glory when it comes to our Military career. His is, and always will be, a more honorable service. I cannot go back and change mine, although I can be better the next time around if I reenlisted. I can never redo the first time.

I think that's the idea of it.

But what if you really stunk at boot camp. You were the nightmare recruit, did everything wrong, just didn't get the military. And then, as happens often with young privates, you got sent to a regular unit and your Platoon sergeant got through to you in a way that your drill sergeant couldn't. What if you "saw the light" and became a model soldier under the direction of this new, more able superior? What if you progressed through the ranks and even became a hero serving with merit during a distinguished career?

What if mortality is only boot camp?

Link to comment

The devil seals you His and you are subject to His buffetings in Hell prior to the Kingdom being handed back to the Father. Hell isn't outer darkness.

Another warning about suffering Hell in the next life and possibly losing our chance at exaltation. Remember the goal has never been only absolution as many other Christian churches teach, but to becmoe like God - to be perfect even as our Father in heaven.

I've appreciated your thoughts in this thread.

Link to comment

I personally believe that people can progress between kingdoms and the Church has no official position on the matter. Still, it's not a "second chance," it's an eternal one.

x2

If God is truly an eternal being, I can't see any purpose that would be served by having some artificial cutoff after which people could no longer improve if they wanted to.

Link to comment

No I think the Church does have a stance on the so-called second chance theory:

(D&C 137:7-9) "Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts."

Also in conjunction with this:

(D&C 76:110-112) "And heard the voice of the Lord saying: These all shall bow the knee, and every tongue shall confess to him who sits upon the throne forever and ever; For they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions which are prepared; And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end."
At least as far as the telestial is concerned it seems there is no advancement between kingdoms. In fact that concept (of advancement between kingdoms after the resurrection and judgment sort of nullefies the entire meaning of the vision of the degrees of glory.
Link to comment

Whoa, wait a minute folks.

You must remember that we know that there are mitigating circumstances, for instance, mental retardation, death prior to age of accountability, living during a time or place where the gospel was not available.

So...what other mitigating circumstances come into play. Poor mental health? Abusive childhood? Are there going to be things that are taken into account that we are even unaware of?

As for progressing between Kingdoms, it's my understanding that this is not possible. If you are raised to a glory, for example-telestial. that is the type of body you are raised to. The body of a being that is a telestial body is what it is. It is different in glory that one raised to the Celestial or terrestrial.

Link to comment

There is no "second chance". It is all the same chance. It is all the same plan of salvation. If we repent, it is not a second chance. It is called the plan of mercy.

The following scripture says that the gospel was preached to those that rejected the prophets and were taught repentance and baptism. Joseph Smith taught that only the Celestial kingdom requires ordinances. If these people that rejected the prophets could not receive exaltation, then why would baptism be taught to them. It says that through obedience to the ordinances of hte Gospel and after paying for the penalties for their sins through the plan of salvation, they could be redeemed.

32 Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.

33 These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,

34 And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

58 The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,

59 And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.

(D&C 138:32-4, 58-9)

There is never a time when the spirit is too old to approach God. All are within the reach of pardoning mercy, who have not committed the unpardonable sin

(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 191)

If a man has knowledge, he can be saved; although, if he has been guilty of great sins, he will be punished for them. But when he consents to obey the gospel, whether here or in the world of spirits, he is saved.

(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 357)

When a seal is put upon the father and mother, it secures their posterity, so that they cannot be lost, but will be saved by virtue of the covenant of their father and mother.

(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 321)

The Prophet Joseph Smith declared
Link to comment

No I think the Church does have a stance on the so-called second chance theory:

Also in conjunction with this:At least as far as the telestial is concerned it seems there is no advancement between kingdoms. In fact that concept (of advancement between kingdoms after the resurrection and judgment sort of nullefies the entire meaning of the vision of the degrees of glory.

The position of the First Presidency, as given through the Church Correlation Department in 2001 to Church curriculum writers is that we don
Link to comment

No I think the Church does have a stance on the so-called second chance theory:

Also in conjunction with this:At least as far as the telestial is concerned it seems there is no advancement between kingdoms. In fact that concept (of advancement between kingdoms after the resurrection and judgment sort of nullefies the entire meaning of the vision of the degrees of glory.

Yup, I'm familiar with your position on the topic. Note that I am not arguing for a "second chance" at all. Think of it more as a "70x7 chance," that is, the plan of mercy. The last direct statement on the topic from the First Presidency should be kept in mind, nevertheless.

The brethren direct me to say that the Church has never announced a definite doctrine upon this point. Some of the brethren have held the view that it was possible in the course of progression to advance from one glory to another, invoking the principle of eternal progression; others of the brethren have taken the opposite view. But as stated, the Church has never announced a definite doctrine on this point.

Since degrees of glory are given specifically according to the law by which a person abides I don't have a problem with a person progressing to a higher law and thus degree. But those abiding a lower law can't progress, that is, until they follow a higher law. Until they repent and come unto Christ.

Suffice it to say, I'm glad God is the judge and not Lightbearer. :P

Link to comment

No one is assigned the glories until after the final resurrection. If he changes his attitude when he gets to the spirit world he will have an equal opportunity to preform his ordinances, and be prepared for exaltation. Heck even someone here might do his ordinances by proxy. Heck even the evil one (dare I say the name or Goodwin law will apply) was done by proxy,

Link to comment

But what if you really stunk at boot camp. You were the nightmare recruit, did everything wrong, just didn't get the military. And then, as happens often with young privates, you got sent to a regular unit and your Platoon sergeant got through to you in a way that your drill sergeant couldn't. What if you "saw the light" and became a model soldier under the direction of this new, more able superior? What if you progressed through the ranks and even became a hero serving with merit during a distinguished career?

What if mortality is only boot camp?

Then you "got it" (repented or actually understood and was taught correctly) and then, probably have received an honorable discharge.

The opposite goes with the model soldier, who ends up losing his discipline or whatever. He loses the glory he could have had if he ends up with a dishonorable discharge.

This is just an idea of what it seems like to me. Remember, even the least of these levels of glory is so great that we would ourselves to get there. Otherwise, there are those who are going to fail the test ....miserably. However, the chose the side of God and not Satan in the pre-existence. So that itself deserves a level of glory, even if they fail so badly.

Link to comment

Actually if you stunk at "boot camp". You don't get sent to a regular platoon/company for another NCO or officer to whip you into shape to see the light. You get reassigned to go through boot camp again, or you are discharged from the military. You have to graduate, and be ready fit for duty.

Link to comment

Actually if you stunk at "boot camp". You don't get sent to a regular platoon company. You get reassigned to go through boot camp, or you are discharged from the military. You have to graduate and be ready fit for duty.

Don't know about that handys. My husband worked with a kid in AIT who was supposed to be orienteering and kept walking around in circles. Took him quite a while to figure out that a compass propped up against the metal butt of a gun wasn't going to read right... I have a brother who spent most of his time in BC cleaning latrines due to his smart mouth. You have to stink in an extra spectacular way to get kicked out of boot camp.

edit: Of course, that wasn't the point of my comment to thatjimguy. The point is what if mortality is boot camp and our real career is still on the other side of graduation.

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...