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Question About Afterlife


sugarmag418

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Hi, I am an Unitarian Universalist that spends most of her free time studying religons (as a stay home mom with three kids, two being homeschooled, that is not much ). I have read that the Church of LDS teaches that when you die, if you have lived a good life, you can become a God and rule your own universe, and that in turn the God worshipped here has come from another universe. WHen I read about this I see a lot of mormons say this isn't true, while others say it is. I have read the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants but not the Pearl of Great Price ( I offer this info so you know what I have read and have access to in my home). Any clearification here would be great. Thanks. Aso, I use to have a hard copy of the Book of Mormon and now only have it on my kindle, is there anyway to make sure (since I no longer have the hardcopy I received from the LDS) that it is not the revised version put out by the COmmunity of Christ or other organizations that have branched off?

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You must learn to tell the difference between that which the Church teaches and the stories and folkloric beliefs that get created by members to fill in the gaps. For the most part LDS will agree on the first, for the second there will be huge variation of belief from total rejection to some variation to total acceptance.

Best way to start studying what LDS actually teach is to go to lds.org and read the basic Sunday School manual, Gospel Principles. Shouldn't take you long. http://www.lds.org/m...ciples?lang=eng

Once you have read it (and read the scriptures it links to), then feel free to come back here and ask questions, but try and read the whole thing first as many questions raised may be answered in later chapters as it tries to have a progression of teachings.

If you don't want to read the whole thing before getting your questions above answered, then I would suggest reading at least the first seven, Chapter 41 and then last three chapters.

I would also add 36, 38 and 40 to get a better idea of our expectations for the next life and postresurrection.

Edited by calmoriah
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snapback.pngsugarmag418, on 25 February 2012 - 10:17 AM, said:

Hi, I am an Unitarian Universalist that spends most of her free time studying religons (as a stay home mom with three kids, two being homeschooled, that is not much ). I have read that the Church of LDS teaches that when you die, if you have lived a good life, you can become a God and rule your own universe, and that in turn the God worshipped here has come from another universe. WHen I read about this I see a lot of mormons say this isn't true, while others say it is. I have read the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants but not the Pearl of Great Price ( I offer this info so you know what I have read and have access to in my home). Any clearification here would be great. Thanks. Aso, I use to have a hard copy of the Book of Mormon and now only have it on my kindle, is there anyway to make sure (since I no longer have the hardcopy I received from the LDS) that it is not the revised version put out by the COmmunity of Christ or other organizations that have branched off?

Let's begin with where did you read this?

when you die, if you have lived a good life, you can become a God and rule your own universe

Essentially true. Everything that God is and has, he will share with us. We become equal with God. That is the promise.

, and that in turn the God worshipped here has come from another universe.

I am not sure if God comes from THIS universe or another one. Why would it matter to me?

Very interesting questions, though!

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Thanks for the link, I have done study with missionaries and I guess I am still pretty confused. I have also worked one on one with a member in my region studying the Book of Mormon. Perhaps if you could also link to where this folklore belief started it would be helpful. You must understand that with any religion folklore is a huge part of not only an interpretation of the works but what drives the interpretation of the works. Also, many religions have studies online that introduce but do address all issues. It is unfair to assume I am not well read, which is what I feel like you are saying when you tell me to do the study before I ask any questions. I can read any book and have question about passages even if I have followed a study guide. I also am not a fan of reading select verses from any religious book as it is impossible to get an understanding of what is being said without reading the whole works, if it was then we could cut all these texts down to the few passages we feel relevant and save people a lot of study. I see many quotes pulled out to explain this or that with every religion that I study and that does not answer the key questions that arise from reading the entire text. I have read many opinion papers on this subject with verses pulled out of numerous sources, by people who appear to by well respected in the LDS community. Please do not disregard my question so quickly, for it seems you have been insulted by a question that I have heard debated amoung members of your own religion.

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Tomk Perhaps my terminology "lead a good life" is not what I meant to say, I was basing that, on what Ibelieve to be a quote of Joseph Smith Jr. .We are only capable of comprehending that certain things exist, which we may acquire by certain fixed principles. If men would acquire salvation, they have got to be subject, before they leave this world, to certain rules and principles, which were fixed by an unalterable decree before the world was. When I read the teaching about the celestial glory versus the terrestrail glory I get confused.

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Trust me, none of us are insulted by honest questions. The doctrine of exhaltation is one that has been twisted and distorted beyond recognition by critics, so it might be a bit of a raw nerve for some LDS. You might get some clarification reading the 76th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, and from the Pearl of Great Price. If you don't have one available, go to lds.org, they have all our scriptures online there. In fairness, it's a doctrine not totally understood by a lot of us, as well. We hold that those who inherit the Celestial kingdom will become "Joint-heirs with Christ", and will recieve "All that the Father hath". And one of our prophets, Lorenzo Snow, condensed the doctrine into a short saying: "As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become." But exactly how all that will work out, no one knows. Does our relationship with God change, i.e., is he still our God? Do we recieve a few planets to work on, a Galaxy, a supergroup, what? For me, I just have a hard enough time being nice to my family and neighbors and saying my prayers every day. I figure that if I do those things God wants me to do, his grace takes care of the inevitable gap between my belief and my imperfections, and what a nice Christmas present it will be to find out all the details at the appropriate time.

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@buzzard... thanks, I have not read the Peal of Great Price yet. I will read the section you suggest when I get of f of here. I know Pratt was excommunicated but before that they church seemed to embrace much of what he said, once he was excommnicated were those writings concedered invalid. I ask because I have read some of what he wrote on this subject in the Seer.

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Also, I would like to make sure that my kindle version of the Book of Mormon is accurate and the true words of Joesph Smith. I suppose I could oreder another hard copy and go through it ( I read everything on my kindle now), does anyone know of a verse I could look at as a kind of "easy" check...

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We become equal with God.
Not all LDS see oneness with God equating to become equal.

This is how Christ being equal with the Father is taught:

Questions might arise from 2:6 regarding Christ’s being “equal with God” [Philip. 2:6] in light of the Savior’s earlier statement, “My Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28.) Paradoxically, both statements are true. The Father will forever be preeminent in that (1) Jesus obtained the fulness of God’s glory from and through the Father (see D&C 93:16–17), and (2) as Jesus’ Father and Patriarch, our Heavenly Father is and will be forever the Chief Governor or Administrator in the affairs of his kingdom. At the same time, however, because of the very fact that he did receive all power and a fulness of the Father’s glory, he may quite properly be thought of as “equal with God.”

http://www.lds.org/ensign/1976/03/new-testament-backgrounds-galatians-through-colossians?lang=eng Edited by calmoriah
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Thank you calmoriah, you can see why I am conused when there is disagreement amoung members of the church (of course this is the case in any religon)Your references leads me to another question. I was wondering why Mormons use the King James Version in whole and do not use at least of the parts Joesph Smith retranslated as he was instructed to? I use King James and sometimes the English Standard version. Is it possible to get the parts that were translated before his death?

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Thank you calmoriah, you can see why I am conused when there is disagreement amoung members of the church (of course this is the case in any religon)Your references leads me to another question. I was wondering why Mormons use the King James Version in whole and do not use at least of the parts Joesph Smith retranslated as he was instructed to? I use King James and sometimes the English Standard version. Is it possible to get the parts that were translated before his death?

Some of the JST is included in our scriptures, either as books in the Pearl of Great Price or as footnotes in the current LDS version of the KJV and in an appendix:

http://www.lds.org/scriptures/jst?lang=eng

http://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/joseph-smith-translation-jst?lang=eng

An article that might help explain how we view the JST: http://www.lds.org/ensign/1997/08/the-joseph-smith-translation-plain-and-precious-things-restored?lang=eng

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In order to avoid confusion, I believe the Church has made a great effort over the last 50 years or so to remove speculation from their manuals and encouraged speakers to avoid such, keeping to the basics of doctrine. Some people seem to feel this shows lack of inspiration, they miss the "deeper doctrines" which are not really doctrines at all. I prefer it because it requires one to turn to God to learn more rather than just one's favourite prophet or other church leader who likes to talk alot. ;)

If you depend on older texts for your study, it would be a good idea to compare them to more modern ones in order to identify what is doctrine and what is speculation or reasoned out beliefs.

Helpful articles from the official website:

http://www.mormonnew...mormon-doctrine

https://docs.google....QmSDy76T__b4muw

https://docs.google....zG6VsBgq3d8mtNQ

Edited by calmoriah
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You will not find any scripture or general conference talk that says when we die if we are in the celestial kingdom we will become a God and rule over our own universe. (You will find scriptures and prophetic expression that all men are resurrected, and that all mortals are then assigned to one of three kingdoms of glory, with a few who knew for sure of Jesus' divinity and rejected Him anyway meriting outer darkness --- our sort of equivalent to hell. And in D&C 138, you can read about what happens right after we die.)

You will find scriptures that say we will inherit all that God hath. You will find a statement from Joseph Smith that says that as man is, God once was and as God is, man may become. This is not in any official doctrinal source, but it is a couplete referred to from time to time. And you will find scriptures that say God created worlds without end. Recent President Hinckley famously told Larry King on TV that we don't teach that much.

I do not believe that anyone will ever be equal to God, because there are also scriptures that say we take with us our intelligence and knowledge, which means that Heavenly Father will have considerably more than those who are His spirit children and been working at it for less time. But I do believe that we will have equal power to do what He does in our own assigned sphere. Whether that is a "universe" is highly problematic, since we don't even know the extent of His creation and what is outside of it.

The fact is that there is very little revealed knowledge about how the afterlife works. And that is why people are prone to speculate, sometimes based on their interpretation of scriptures (which may or may not be right) and on spiritual confirmation. That is how the confusion happens.

May I suggest you read the Encyclopedia of Mormonism http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Encyclopedia_of_Mormonism It was written with some church oversight by both faithful church members and scholars.

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Well, as others have tried to mention . . . in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, each person gets to study for themselves, and learn for themselves, what to believe on many issues. If you want one answer, you will NEVER get it, ha ha. You have to come to your OWN conclusion . . . thus the sharing of material that would be helpful or that others found helpful, in their own study. We trust that your Father in heaven will teach you what you want to know, and what he wants you to know. You have to find out for yourself what YOU think, not what we think, it's a privilege to do that. Isaiah 54:13 "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Studying the things of God, and particularly in the Church is a matter of giving priority to that which ought to have priority, and then to go farther as one likes and has the time (etc).

There are some basics and fundamentals, of course. Those can be found in the Articles of Faith (also located in the Pearl of Great Price). That is where I would start.

Read the Book of Mormon, and keep that central. Sounds like you are already doing that.

Other than that, the suggestions already offered are great, and there won't be an end to the material . . . some really great books written out there, both in and out of the church (Mormons can study any sacred text anywhere to look for truth, all in one).

I personally am unaware of a quote or place that will say "that we get a universe or planet". I don't know too many Mormons who would be able to refer to such a quote unless they liked finding hidden things (assuming there was one at all). So my point is . . .it just isn't the center of what we are taught and who we are supposed to be (followers of Christ).

Now, certainly, I have grown up in the Church, so I have "heard it all", so I too have heard this 'urban legend' type thing, which has fueled my curiosity and study, as it is yours, but my actual study has not arrived at 'I will have a universe or planet', my actual study has led me to hold understandings far more complex and beautiful than this.

If you want my personal understanding . . . well . . . I could not possibly answer that in a few sentences. The easiest way I can answer this is that my eternity has begun now (actually began a long time before I got here to this planet), and it will continue forever, and I will always be just exactly who I am now . . . only . . . better, learning more, more compassionate. And as far as planets, I expect to do those as art projects, can't imagine just having one, ha ha, don't know as if my double X chromosomes would go for that, judging by my shoe closet :D.

Welcome to the board, and happy seeking. :)

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Also tomk when I read d&c section 131 it seems to be saying that if you have a celestail marriage then you are lifted up and are a God. It is this section that made me start researching what other people said and that brought me here to ask question.

We believe that God's purpose for creation was to provide his children a way to become like him. We are taught that we might become joint-heirs with Jesus in the Bible. The Early Church Fathers seems to all teach, to one degree or another, that Christ became man so that we could become God. This is often clarified by Christian thologians today to mean that we partake of the righteousness of God, his Sprit, his perfection, but that the creature is prevented from becoming the creator.

LDS do not make this limitation. We believe that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we may all return to our Father in Heaven and become like Jesus and our Father. This does not mean that we are then sent off to create our own universe (that is the folklore brought up earlier). We really don't know how the eternities will evolve. What we are sure of is that God will always be our God. We may become like him, but we are not him. He will always be our Father.

Thank you for your kind questions and for studyng religion. It has been a hobby of mine for decades. There is so much truth and beauty in the world if we only look for it. My family was converted to the gospel in 1965. It is where I find the teachings of Jesus in abundance; an honest reflection of the Old Testament and the New Testament; we have a purpose in this life and creation was not a fluke. There is a purpose in our creation and it is not simply to be angels to sing praises to God. He wants so much more for us; his love is unending and he is prepared to bless each of us beyond our understanding.

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Hi, I am an Unitarian Universalist that spends most of her free time studying religons (as a stay home mom with three kids, two being homeschooled, that is not much ). I have read that the Church of LDS teaches that when you die, if you have lived a good life, you can become a God and rule your own universe, and that in turn the God worshipped here has come from another universe. WHen I read about this I see a lot of mormons say this isn't true, while others say it is. I have read the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants but not the Pearl of Great Price ( I offer this info so you know what I have read and have access to in my home). Any clearification here would be great. Thanks. Aso, I use to have a hard copy of the Book of Mormon and now only have it on my kindle, is there anyway to make sure (since I no longer have the hardcopy I received from the LDS) that it is not the revised version put out by the COmmunity of Christ or other organizations that have branched off?

Hello Sugarmag, how are you, I hope you are doing well today, that I do =).

In any case, let me do my best to try and clear things up... it can be a very hard to understand concept for many.

So let us see:

I have read that the Church of LDS teaches that when you die, if you have lived a good life, you can become a God and rule your own universe, and that in turn the God worshipped here has come from another universe.

I would say this is true. But, I would also like to provide some context. After all, context is a really important thing for understanding how other people think, is it not?

In any case... what we are promised, is that, through true repentance and obedience (among a few other things), we can become like our Heavenly Father. This is a rather impressive promise, would you not say? Indeed... to be able to become like our Heavenly Father... is a marvelous gift. But it also, I think, takes a marvelous sacrifice as well. You see... to get to that state... you must progress and improve till you are like Father is. You have to be as kind, merciful, just, and charitable as he is... and as kind, merciful, just and charitable as Christ is as well. It's a high standard, I guess you could say.

Now being kind, and charitable, and just, and merciful is great... but I am guessing you wonder, what will our relationship to the Father be then, when we are like him? The answer is... it will be the same. In the Doctrine and Covenants, they talk about this great concept and word... called Stewardship. We are all stewards... even servants of the Lord. We have been given talents, and we must return talents. If we do our job, our service, successfully, he will entrust more talents to us. When we reach this exalted state... we have received all the talents we can be given... and our service, is to become like him, and do as he does. Our service becomes our reward... and as we grow in happiness, so does he. We'll have an important job up there... the same one he does... but he will still be our God, as will Christ. It is just, we'll be doing a higher work for them. We will still be their servants... their stewards. Stewards over kingdoms, which he helped us create. Thus, everything that is ours, is his... for we are his children. And the glory is his... his will be done.

Now... what this means, about the Father... I think it is true. Of course, that doesn't make him any less of our Father, or any less of our God. He is still whom he is. But he is also an exemplar for us, of what we should be like. He took the path he is asking us to take. We are his spirit children. And with the help of his firstborn, Christ, he allowed us to be created physically as well. He tells us "For behold, this is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (http://www.lds.org/s....39?lang=eng#38). Thus, it is our job... and our purpose here on Earth to follow him and the Savior... and become like Father, even as Christ is now.

I hope that explains it a bit better... it often gets lost in tails of folklore and rumors and the whatnot... and it's... well... a bit better to here it in full, that it is =D. In any case, I do hope that answered your question, that I do =).

As for whether the app contains the version from the Church... that'll be a bit more difficult to tell (Kindle doesn't allow all Android Market Apps to be downloaded). Could you list it's title and author so I can check whether it's the right one? Thanks, and hopefully I'll get back to you as soon as I can =). (By the way, if it's this one, you have the right one for sure: https://market.android.com/details?id=org.lds.ldssa&feature=search_result)

In the main time, best of wishes with your quests in life =D.

-TAO

Edited by TAO
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