Monthly Archives: February 2009

Belief-O-Matic

Beliefnet.com has an interesting poll where you can input your feelings on different moral and religious topics and they list your “compatibility” with different religious groups of thought.  Here’s how the Cinepro Belief-O-Matic turned out:

1. Mahayana Buddhism (100%)
2. Orthodox Judaism (96%)
3. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (92%)
4. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (85%)
5. Hinduism (79%)
6. Islam (72%)
7. Scientology (61%)
8. Roman Catholic (57%)
9. Taoism (55%)
10. Nontheist (44%)
11. Jehovah’s Witness (42%)
12. Unitarian Universalism (38%)
13. Theravada Buddhism (35%)
14. Jedi (35%)
15. Baha’i Faith (32%)
16. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants(32%)
17. Secular Humanism (31%)
18. New Age (30%)
19. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (28%)
20. Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) (25%)
21. Jainism (25%)
22. Orthodox Quaker (25%)
23. Reform Judaism (25%)
24. Seventh Day Adventist (21%)
25. Gods of Kobol/ Battlestar Galactica Polytheism (15%)
26. Liberal Quakers (14%)
27. Neo-Pagan (5%)

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Three Degrees of Celestial Separation…

Who goes to the lower degrees of the CK? To put it bluntly, there is no plausible theory that makes sense or is politically correct. We just don’t know, and I defy anyone to even imagine a scenario where someone is worthy to enter the “Celestial Kingdom” but isn’t worthy of the highest exaltation.

My theory is that Joseph Smith revealed the 3 degrees of the CK to sort out the true believers and the super-duper true believers. He already had a bunch of people who were pretty much assured of getting to the CK based on the 1832 revelation (D&C 76), but if that was the case, why would they care about celestial marriage and/or plural marriage? The only way to make it work would be to reveal to people that even though they will be in the CK, they could end up in coach seating while others are flying first class.

There was also a time in the Church where people who didn’t get married in this life were assumed to not get married in the afterlife; this Earth was their only shot. But now we are in the era of “happy feelings” where we can make anything up that we want to if it makes us feel good, so now we teach that even if someone lives in Provo, Utah their whole life and is surrounded by thousands upon thousands of single Mormons, and they have access to the internet and LDS Singles, it’s still not their fault if they don’t get married, so God will sort it out in the end.

So at the time of section 131 (1843), I imagine the answer to your question would be this:

CK – First Class Seating – Polygamous Marriages
CK – Business Class – Monogamous Marriages
CK – Coach – Single people (ministering angels)

But we really don’t know. The answer to your question probably died in the summer of 1844, and is buried overlooking the Mississippi river

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Top 12 Apostles of All Time

(A few years back, someone asked who our 12 favorite apostles of all time were.  Here’s what I came up with)

If I got to pick 12 apostles to speak in conference, I would choose the following:

Legrand Richards (improvisational)

Neil Maxwell (the proper prose of presentation would glisten like intellectual dew on the melon of my mind)

Bruce McConkie (doctrinal)

Joseph Fielding Smith, circa 1958 (literal scriptural)

Ezra Benson, circa 1966 (communist conspiratorial)

William McLellin (disgruntled)

Reed Smoot (political)

Thomas Monson (I remember the bouncing wheels on grandma’s rickety red buggy. Ever to be
remembered…never to be forgotten)

Howard Hunter (representin’ the California Mormons)

Boyd Packer (metaphorical)

N. Eldon Tanner (financially responsible)

David Haight (only conference speaker to ever use the word “boobs“)

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Answered: Will there be Progression Between the Kingdoms?

An oft pondered aspect to the LDS Plan of Salvation is the question of whether or not there will be “Progression Between the Kingdoms”?  (i.e. when someone is judged and assigned to the Terrestrial Kingdom, can they eventually move up to the Celestial Kingdom?)

I’ve heard arguments for both sides, but most seem to skirt the issue or approach it from a severely limited, mortal perspective.  I will now put the issue to rest.  You may print out the following and keep it in your scriptures for future reference:

Yes, there will be progression between the kingdoms. There has to be.

If God’s purpose is to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”, what purpose would limiting progression serve from an eternal perspective?

The concept of a “deadline”, after which there is no change for all eternity, only makes sense from a mortal, linear perspective. From an eternal perspective, a “permanent” assignment is nonsensical.

If God is Eternal, and His true purpose is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man“, then there is no reason to not allow people to progress.Ten billion trillion years from now, if there is just one single soul in the Telestial Kingdom who wishes to have faith, repent, make covenants, and be obedient, what purpose would it serve to keep him there?

As we learn in D&C 19, sometimes we are told things from an earthly, linguistically twisted perspective because it is a useful motivation technique for God, not because it is the most accurate view of the eternal reality.

It might take some of the urgency out of our motivation to spread the good word here on Earth if we knew people could come around anytime they needed in the heavenly future. Thus, progression between the kingdoms isn’t a convenient teaching if you want people to get out and knock on doors and toss their 10% into the metaphorical pie tin. But that doesn’t make it false.

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Bottom-Up Doctrine?

One interesting thing about the priesthood ban is that some theorize that the ban would have ended sooner (or be totally avoided) had the members of the Church been willing to live with Priesthood-bearing blacks.

I don’t believe that is true. But if it is true, that would cause an interesting shift in the process of “doctrine”. Where it wouldn’t be just a top-down flow of directive from God-> Apostles -> Church. Instead, the members of the Church themselves would be playing an interactive role in what could and couldn’t be enacted for policy or doctrine.

If this were the case, then it would be very valid for members to politely and discreetly try to till the soil of Church culture to try and allow God to feel comfortable instituting the doctrine. Just as it would have been appropriate to quietly (and supportively) work to change the thinking of pre-OD2 LDS to be more accepting of the idea of Priesthood-bearing/Temple-going blacks, there can’t be anything wrong with trying to convince other Church members that the doctrine of Polygamy is a wonderful and righteous thing, and should God want it to return, Church members would find it a joyous occasion.

As long as they don’t support anything that is in conflict with current Church teachings, there isn’t anything wrong with it. As a Church that prides itself in having on-going revelation, we don’t get to tell people what they can or can’t hope for the future. Anything can happen, and it is only for us to debate the likelihood of something happening.

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