One Shot or Many? a post on MMP and mercy

February 28, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 3:15 pm   Category: MMP

Geoff has written on this topic numerous times, and as I’ve always wanted to bite the hand that feeds me, to see what it’s like, here goes…

Ok, I have thought about this for a while now (more than eleven minutes), and would like to frame the argument for or against MMP. Since I have spent such a long time working on this, I would ask for your help in working through my thoughts. I’ve left enough holes here that we should have plenty to discuss.

Would it be more merciful for our God to allow or require multiple mortal probations of his children?

The answer would be yes if and only if we, as a people had a chance of changing from one status to another via the multiplicity of probations which we would not otherwise have in a single probation. Otherwise, it would be unmerciful of our father in heaven to require us to continually take a test over and over again which we had no possible capability of improving our chances for changing from a lower status to a higher capacity.

The question thus becomes whether MMP increases our ability to reach exaltation (and is thus merciful) or if our ability remains the same (and thus MMP is unmerciful)?

In order to determine an answer to this question, we must first analyze by what criteria our readiness for exaltation is measured. I postulate here that we are measured based on what the scriptures call “the intents of our hearts”. While difficult to define, I can say these “intents of our hearts” are not merely our thoughts, not merely our feelings, and not merely our doings, these “intents” run deeper than this, and represent our state of being and capacity of becoming. Perhaps a fair synonym to these “intents” would be the will.

I also here hypothesize that while our mind or spirit or intelligence is eternal, these “intents” or our will could not have fully existed or could not have been fully developed prior to our mortal existence, otherwise, our mortal existence in it’s current state would have been unnecessary. (However, I believe our will or “intents” must have partially existed.) Further, these “intents” or our will are probably not be conditional upon location and circumstances of our life within mortality, as that would give some an unfair advantage based not on their own will, but based on the will of God alone. If our “intents” or will are conditional upon location and circumstances, we would need to assume that our God is putting us in the most ideal circumstances he could determine based on what he knows of us and the circumstances.

I make these hypotheses based on the fact that we are born “through the veil” at the beginning of our mortal probation and thus have no recollection of any prior existence. Our eternal existence is given a “clean slate” and we thus become free of all the preexisting outside determining factors upon us, leaving only our own preexistent will or “intents” as determinant upon our course of action in combination with what is further developed as we live our mortal life. Secondly, I am basing these ideas on the concept that the atonement has the capacity to fundamentally change us, being those who are atoned for.

With that foundation of assumptions, let us return to our question: Does MMP increase our ability to reach exaltation, or does MMP leave our ability unchanged?

If our exaltation is dependant on our intents, and our intents are not affected by our circumstances within life, but are only further developed based on the fact that we had life at all and the fact that Christ atoned for us, then MMP does not increase our ability to progress, and is thus unmerciful and unnecessary. That being the case, I reject MMP.

91 Comments »

  1. I know these don’t directly contribute to the specific post here, but I ran across these quotes concerning MMP and thought they were worth sharing:

    “KFD 5:1 ‘Jesus, what are you going to do? To lay down my life as my Father did.’ Joseph Smith’s purpose is to show that the Bible teaches that our Father in Heaven was once mortal, as we are. To do so he takes John 5:19 as a text. Here the Savior said, ‘The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.’ The Prophet then reasons that it is Christ’s purpose to lay down his life and take it up again. Thus, if Christ can do only that which his father did, his father must also have been subject to death, he must have died and then taken up his life again as a resurrected being. From this statement of the Prophet, many have attempted to reason that he was saying that his father was also a savior for those of another world and thus that all worlds require their own saviors. The Prophet never taught such a thing and was not alluding to it here. His remarks centered on the doctrine of resurrection, not the salvation of God’s endless creations. The Prophet had already clearly taught that the atonement of Christ—which was infinite—embraced all that he had created under the direction of the Father (see commentary on D&C 76:23-24). Responding to those who wanted to argue that there is a special strain of savior gods, Elder Bruce R. McConkie often asked, ‘What earthly good could possibly come from teaching such a thing?’ ” – Joseph Fielding McConkie and Craig J. Ostler, Revelations of the Restoration: A Commentary on the Doctrine & Covenants & Other Modern Revelations

    “Third, there is only one mortal probation, and it is crucial. There are stages before and stages after, and one may indeed move in the cyclic spiral, but not in repetition and not in a circle. The seriousness, the risk, and the glories of mortal life are undercut the moment one supposes he will have a million or more subsequent probations of the same sort. It is a spurious comfort to be told, as was the weeping wife at the cremation of her husband in India, ‘Do not weep, he has been through this a million times before.’ Physically and metaphysically that is impossible.” – Spencer J. Palmer, ed., Deity and Death, p.68

    “You know there are some of our brethren who have thought that Jesus, in his first estate, as we call it, or in his former state, was a resurrected being. I do not know where they get the idea from, but it is likely from this that he was called God by John the Revelator and by a great number of writers in the Book of Mormon and in the Doctrine and Covenants and in other revelations. “He was in the beginning with God, and was God” [Sec. 93:21]; and he could not be a god, they say, unless he had a body, and passed through mortality and had been resurrected. What scripture did they find to suggest that notion? I don’t know of any revelation that declares it. I don’t know of any that intimates at all that he could not be God unless he had passed through a mortal probation and had been tried and tempted and had suffered; that he could not be God beforehand; but we are told that in the beginning he was with God, and he says that the Father had shown him all things that he himself doeth.” – Roy W. Doxey, comp., Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants, 1:, p.166 – 167

    Comment by Aaron — February 28, 2007 @ 4:20 pm

  2. I disagree with MMP. It makes no sense to me to seal couples together for time and all eternity if those same individuals are going to be sent to another world for an additional probation. It only makes sense if I will have multiple sealings to multiple women and my wife will have multiple sealings to multiple men. This seems counterintuitive and cruel of God to build an expectation of a cojoining for eternity, only to add multiple players into that union.

    I know one can argue that only those that don’t keep their covenants would be included in the MMP cycle, but we seal everyone – why do that if the majority will enter a new life with a new veil. I believe more that there is progression between the kingdoms and sealings performed in this workld will remain in effect as individuals progress upward.

    I have agreed with MMP in the case of Sons (and daughters) of Perdition – they return to their pre intelligence state and start over again.

    Comment by Gilgamesh — February 28, 2007 @ 6:55 pm

  3. I think it is FAR more merciful to have only one lone and dreary world to pass through. We have had an eternal past, a simple final exam of mortality, apply the atonement, pass the spirit world, and collect $200.00

    Comment by Eric Nielson — February 28, 2007 @ 8:52 pm

  4. Amen

    Comment by Gilgamesh — February 28, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

  5. In a sad statement of my everyday thinking, I read this title on the aggregator twice today and thought Matt was blogging about grouping vaccines and the pain of immunizations.

    “One shot or many? a post on MMR and mercy”

    *sigh*

    Comment by Téa — February 28, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

  6. Matt,

    Any time we take deliberate action or plan deliberate action in the future, we do so with intent. That is what it means to “intend” to do something. When we plan, when we are purposeful, we have intents. You seem to be using the word “intents” (with quotes) in a very odd way that I can’t quite get my mind around. Maybe you are using it to mean something like character, is that right?

    It seems totally inconceivable to me that who we are is not influenced by our location and circumstances in this life. You seem to be claiming that we must not be because that would be unfair, but clearly we are in many ways a product of our environments. Whether or not you think it is fair, it is a plain fact. A theory about the purpose of life must account for this, I don’t think it does any good to simply deny it.

    You are claiming that wiping the slate clean, so to speak, by removing our memories of a prior state somehow makes us free from outside determining factors, but it seems to me that it does just the opposite. By removing our memory of who we were, we become more susceptible to outside influences. Why do you think it would make us less influenced by outside forces to forget who we are? Is an amnesiac suddenly less a product of their environment?

    Comment by Jacob J — February 28, 2007 @ 10:30 pm

  7. Matt,

    Jacob hits the nail on the head with his comment. This idea you have that everyone on the earth gets the same test no matter when or where or under what circumstances they are born is completely untenable. Not only that, it undermines the major mission of the church. Why would we be out trying to preach the gospel to the whole world if the entire “final exam” of all eternity was simply about some nebulous concept of “intents”? You seen to be proposing an extreme form of relativism that is unsustainable when examined in the light of the teachings of the prophets. (BTW – see my post on Relative righteousness vs. absolute righteousnes)

    Comment by Geoff J — February 28, 2007 @ 11:13 pm

  8. I do not think it is that untenable. If we believe that we had a long, even eternal preexistence that was productive then an itsy bitsy few decades mortality would just be the cherry on top.

    I do admit I do not much like the use of ‘intents’ but I can read past that just fine.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — March 1, 2007 @ 6:44 am

  9. Jacob J. – Thanks, I was afraid last night I would have to change sides and argue with myself, as no one was coming out to play.

    re: Intents See Definition #3. I hope that helps. Character seems workable as well, but I was trying to stick with the scriptural word. (I did waffle towards the use of the term “will” as a synonym, hoping that would help clarify.)

    re: You are right, it is inconceivable that who we are is not influenced by this life. THis is why the grammer is so bad in that paragraph, since I worked over it quite a bit. Not that I end with the equivocation: If our “intents” or will are conditional upon location and circumstances, we would need to assume that our God is putting us in the most ideal circumstances he could determine based on what he knows of us and the circumstances. Here I do not mean “ideal” in the sense of “best 2 years of my life” but in the sense of “best 2 years for my life”. The point is that our circumstances and location ultimately, I believe give us the best chance of making it, looking at the big picture and is not absolutely random. (Though I must admit I believe there are a large number of variables beyond HF’s control, due to Agency.)But you are right, that this is my weakest link.

    RE: wiping the slate clean and outside determining factors: by outside determing factors, I meant those determing factors we had upon us prior to our birth into mortality. We would not remember whether we were buddies with Jehovah or pals with Lucifer, for example. We would be released from whatever eternal, and thus otherwise unchangeable, selfish characteristics we had perviously had.

    An Amnesiac would be less a product of a terrible past memory than someone who constantly remembered that memory. People, I understand, even naturally do this in life, blank out or repress bad memories, so that they do not have as great a sway on them.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 1, 2007 @ 8:35 am

  10. Geoff J: This idea you have that everyone on the earth gets the same test no matter when or where or under what circumstances they are born is completely untenable Did I say this? I guess it depends on what you mean by “same test”. If you mean same test in that a 3rd grader and a med school student both take “science” classes, then yes, I said that.

    re: the mission of the church being undermined:

    As I said(or meant to say), our “Intents” are developed in connection with “the atonement”. We as a Church are working to connect everyone to this source in more than one sense, and thus the mission of the Church holds still.

    I am not sure what you are getting at with the Relative righteousness quip. Perhaps I have now clarified…

    Comment by Matt W. — March 1, 2007 @ 8:42 am

  11. Matt: by outside determing factors, I meant those determing factors we had upon us prior to our birth into mortality. We would not remember whether we were buddies with Jehovah or pals with Lucifer, for example.

    The standard LDS take on this is that those who were buddies with Lucifer never come to this mortality (and in a 1MP model they will never go to any mortality).

    We would be released from whatever eternal, and thus otherwise unchangeable, selfish characteristics we had perviously had.

    This sentence makes no sense to me. Is there such a thing as an eternal character trait in us? If it is eternal we could not be released from it anyway, right? Further, LDS doctrine holds that we had free will prior to this life and we had developed character traits. There must be some character traits that came with us through the veil right or what would be the point of this life? — It would be be the equivalent of being created on the spot if we brought nothing of our character here. But Abraham’s vision in Abr. 3 does away with that idea anyway indicating that God’s spiritual leaders here were spiritual leaders there as well. So clearly some important parts of character make it through the veil or else foreordination makes no sense at all.

    As I said(or meant to say), our “Intents” are developed in connection with “the atonement”

    I’m afraid I have no idea what this sentence means.

    I am not sure what you are getting at with the Relative righteousness quip.

    I was reading a strong relativism into the ideas you are presenting, but maybe I was wrong. I am still confused by most of what you’ve said in the post and thread actually…

    Comment by Geoff J — March 1, 2007 @ 2:53 pm

  12. Matt,

    You directed me to definition 3 of intent:

    3. Law. the state of a person’s mind that directs his or her actions toward a specific object.

    I didn’t realize you were speaking in a legal context here, but no matter. Your statements about ‘intent’ seem to shipwreck on this definition too.

    I also here hypothesize that while our mind or spirit or intelligence is eternal, these “intents” or our will could not have fully existed or could not have been fully developed prior to our mortal existence, otherwise, our mortal existence in it’s current state would have been unnecessary.

    Are you saying here that you don’t think we had purposeful states of mind in the pre-existence? And, why would having a purposeful state of mind make our mortal existence unnecessary? Suppose that at some time in the pre-existence we formed an intent to do what is right. That doesn’t make anything unnecessary, certainly not mortal probation.

    If our “intents” or will are conditional upon location and circumstances, we would need to assume that our God is putting us in the most ideal circumstances he could determine based on what he knows of us and the circumstances.

    You tried to give this some qualification in your previous comment about God being limited by human agency. I think that this qualification turns out to be an overwhelming limitation, so much so that what you have described about putting people in circumstances fit to their needs is impossible in a general sense. For one thing, people are free to have babies, and God sends spirits to them, which means that it would really need to serendipitously turn out that most people need to be born into famine and poverty. It just doesn’t seem plausible.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 1, 2007 @ 5:22 pm

  13. Geoff:

    The standard LDS take on this is that those who were buddies with Lucifer never come to this mortality (and in a 1MP model they will never go to any mortality). I don’t know that I agree with this. After all, the decission to come here or not was to choose Satan’s Plan or HF’s plan, not whether we had any associates on the negative side or whether we had any sins or bad habits or net. I was being overly dramatic yet.

    This sentence makes no sense to me. Is there such a thing as an eternal character trait in us? If it is eternal we could not be released from it anyway, right? Further, LDS doctrine holds that we had free will prior to this life and we had developed character traits. There must be some character traits that came with us through the veil right or what would be the point of this life? I would say there may be a “uni-directional” eternal trait, or one that goes forever backwards in time only. It need not be eternal though, it could have been developed only over a period of billions of years. :) WE did have free will prior to this life, but JS said “before foundation of the Earth in the Grand Counsel that the Spirits of all Men were subject to oppression” [1] which does suggest some limitation to that free will. JS continued that “the express purpose of God in giving it a tabernacle was to arm it against the power of Darkness”[2]which implies we were set free, to some degree from those limitations.

    I do think there could have been character traits that made it trough. Those traits would be the core of who we are, our will or the intents of our hearts which we need to develop in this life. I am not saying we lost our core characteristics, just the deterministic oppression by which we were bound.

    Regarding this life and the atonement. I believe the atonement has the power to change our core characteristics in a positive way. To help us to develop towards being like God in ways we would otherwise be unable to develop. The atonement sets us free of the selfish determinism of the mortal condition and the remnant determinsim (if there is any) of the pre-mortal state. A lot of this comes from my somewhat under developed atonement theory.

    In a royal nutshell, I am saying I believe If we can not become “exalted” via one mortal probation, an infintie number of opportunites would not increase our chances, and would thus just be cruel on the part of our Father in Heaven. Succeeding in our mortal probation is not dependent is not something we can practice and become better at, like basketball, and it is not something we can increase our odds of success via multiple entries on, like the lottery.

    [1] McIntire Minute Book, Lyceum at Nauvoo, Ill., January 19, 1841 (I apologize, this has become a favorite of mine, so I am over using it.
    [2] ibid.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 1, 2007 @ 8:37 pm

  14. Jacob:

    Are you saying here that you don’t think we had purposeful states of mind in the pre-existence? And, why would having a purposeful state of mind make our mortal existence unnecessary? Suppose that at some time in the pre-existence we formed an intent to do what is right. That doesn’t make anything unnecessary, certainly not mortal probation. I am saying our current state of mind the fullness of our state of mind, if you will, did not exist in our pre-mortal state. If we had already existed in the fullness of who we truly are, our Father in Heaven could have simply judged us then and there, and moved us straight to our kingdoms of Glory. This life is a period where we further develop our state of mind.

    For one thing, people are free to have babies, and God sends spirits to them, which means that it would really need to serendipitously turn out that most people need to be born into famine and poverty. It just doesn’t seem plausible.
    I can only respond that at this point I don’t know that famine and poverty have that much relation to our capability to be exalted or not exalted.

    Also, Jacob, I didn’t figure you to be an MMPer. Are you just calling bad reasoning bad, or are you vested in MMP? either way is fine, but I am curious.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 1, 2007 @ 8:45 pm

  15. Matt: implies we were set free, to some degree from those limitations.

    I’m with you here. This certainly in no argument against MMP though because the scriptures make it clear that we were spirits before we came here and we’ll be spirits when we leave here — they don’t explain details beyond that (as in what happened before we were spirits last).

    I do think there could have been character traits that made it trough. Those traits would be the core of who we are, our will or the intents of our hearts which we need to develop in this life.

    Great. That’s a perfect fit for MMP too then. In the flesh we have the opportunity to change our character much more quickly and effectively than we can as spirits. The point is to become as Christlike as possible in a mortality. Each person enters mortality with different opportunities and capacities to become like Christ (think the parable of the talents). Upon the completion of our mortality we either became more like Christ or we didn’t. If we “doubled our talents” in mortality the Lord entrusts us with greater opportunity to become like him in the future. But we have already established that the most effective way to change our core character is in a mortal probation. So noble and great ones are given greater (perhaps more difficult?) assignments and stewardships in the future. That is the idea of MMP — we must become as Christ is and that doesn’t happen by itself. It happens with the grace of God and with our willing participation over the eternities.

    I believe the atonement has the power to change our core characteristics in a positive way. To help us to develop towards being like God in ways we would otherwise be unable to develop.

    I do too. But even with the atonement, most people in this life don’t make enough progress to truly comfortably sit down with Moses and Abraham as their peers. It takes more time than this one life provides to become that type of person. How that future progress happens is what we are discussing here.

    In a royal nutshell, I am saying I believe If we can not become “exalted” via one mortal probation

    You are free to believe this of course. But I have yet to see you provide a remotely compelling reason why I ought to agree with you.

    an infintie number of opportunites would not increase our chances

    If we are beginningless we have already had and infinite amount of time as free-willed persons to become Godlike so this is an argument against our eternal nature and not against MMP.

    Succeeding in our mortal probation… is not something we can practice and become better at

    You’ll need to give your definition of success in a mortal probation for me to respond to this claim. I take my definition from the parable of the talents: We take what we are given and we either double it or we squander it. The parable then explains that those who squander it are given less next time and those who make the most of it are given more responsibility and stewardship in the future. That fits an MMP model perfectly.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 1, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

  16. Matt: Also, Jacob, I didn’t figure you to be an MMPer. Are you just calling bad reasoning bad, or are you vested in MMP? either way is fine, but I am curious.

    I can assure you that Jacob is not an “MMPer”. (He has argued vigorously against the idea in the past.) He is indeed just calling you out on bad reasoning in this post.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 1, 2007 @ 9:44 pm

  17. You are free to believe this of course. But I have yet to see you provide a remotely compelling reason why I ought to agree with you.

    Don’t worry, I’m not sending up the flag of truce yet.. :)

    If we are beginningless we have already had and infinite amount of time as free-willed persons to become Godlike so this is an argument against our eternal nature and not against MMP.

    beginningless as “mind” or “spirit” or “intelligence” does not equal beginingless as a soul, obviously, since we know there is a definite beginning point where we gained a body. (Although we can’t pin it down to an exact instant) Also, I would say there is a definite beginning point where our relationship with our Father in Heaven began. So, I’d say you’re not holding any water here.

    You’ll need to give your definition of success in a mortal probation for me to respond to this claim. I take my definition from the parable of the talents: We take what we are given and we either double it or we squander it. The parable then explains that those who squander it are given less next time and those who make the most of it are given more responsibility and stewardship in the future. That fits an MMP model perfectly.

    Um, the parable of the Talents says those who squander it are given nothing and cast into prison. There is no next time. Bad analogy. Success in our Mortal Probation for me is defined as “immortality and eternal life”.

    I do too. But even with the atonement, most people in this life don’t make enough progress to truly comfortably sit down with Moses and Abraham as their peers. It takes more time than this one life provides to become that type of person. How that future progress happens is what we are discussing here. So you don’t think one atonement is good enough? It is therefore not infinite to you? In order to achieve exaltation in your system we don’t just need to experience the atonement, we must bring it to pass for others.

    I believe we agree with JS that it takes more time than this life provides and there is future progress to be made, but I don’t know that going through the veil again is progress. I believe that such is regress. (We will have to evaluate at a future time whether Jesus went through the veil or not, I feel that would be very telling.)

    Comment by Matt W. — March 2, 2007 @ 8:41 am

  18. Matt: we know there is a definite beginning point where we gained a body. (Although we can’t pin it down to an exact instant)

    Sure we can. It’s called a birthday…

    Also, I would say there is a definite beginning point where our relationship with our Father in Heaven began.

    I defy you to defend this one. Are you really saying that there was a time when we had no relationship of any kind with God? What does that even mean? The light of Christ is in and through all things after all…

    Um, the parable of the Talents says those who squander it are given nothing and cast into prison.

    Right. In fact 1/3 of the people in the parable are cast into prison. 1/3 do not get another shot at a stewardship (for a while at least). Sounds pretty familiar to me.

    There is no next time

    Well the text does use the term “outer darkness” for the unprofitable servant… but who really thinks that the term is used in the way modern LDS use the term outer darkness? Based on your “prison” comment I take it you also don’t assume an eternal prison sentence for one mistake. I agree with you if that is the case. What kind of cruel master would do that?

    Success in our Mortal Probation for me is defined as “immortality and eternal life”.

    Immortality happens even for the unsuccessful. LDS doctrine holds that eternal life requires making and keeping covenants and ordinances as performed by the proper authority. Therefore, less than 1% of the world’s population even have the opportunity to attain “success” in this life as you define it.

    I think the parable of the talents defines success differently than you do though. It tells us that if we take the hand we are dealt and make the most of it we will be given a better hand next time to see if we can handle the greater responsibility.

    (We will have to evaluate at a future time whether Jesus went through the veil or not, I feel that would be very telling.)

    The scriptures indicate that Jesus did pass through the veil to come here:

    D&C 93: 11-13, 20
    11 And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us.
    12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
    13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;

    Luke 2: 52.
    52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

    If Jesus, as a premortal God, benefited by passing through a veil to come here and learning line upon line and grace for grace then you have no legs to stand on with your claim that mortalities don’t help even super advanced spirits. The scriptures make it clear that Jesus became more like his Father as a result of his ministry and sacrifices here.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 2, 2007 @ 9:33 am

  19. Geoff J,

    Sorry for this dumb question, but trying to understand the reasoning for MMP makes me crazy:-)

    I have a hard time imagining that the sweet and seemingly innocent little baby boys I have held in my arms at their birth may only be cigar-chomping former mobsters or some such thing coming around for another try. :-)

    Could you provide an example of a hypothetical person who would need a multiple earthly probation?
    And what would it be about this person’s situation that would not be covered by the atonement or some aspect of a more traditional understanding of the plan of salvation?

    Comment by C Jones — March 2, 2007 @ 10:07 am

  20. It’s called a birthday

    Sorry, this is tangential, and I hate side discussion, but are you saying you don’t think the spirit enters the body until birth? I’d say we know it is sometime between conception and birth, but would defintiely not made such an assertion. Anyway you definitely are saying we have a clear beginning point here, so our “beginninglesness” becomes moot.

    I defy you to defend this one. Are you really saying that there was a time when we had no relationship of any kind with God?
    I love the phrase “I defy you to…” It makes me smile. Most of the Accounts of the KFD note:

    “The first principles of man are self existent with God; that God himself finds himself in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was greater, and because he saw proper to institute laws, whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself, that they might have one glory upon another, in all that knowledge, power, and glory, &c., in order to save the world of spirits.”

    So God finding himself in our midst implies that there was a time he was not aware he was in our midst…

    What does that even mean? The light of Christ is in and through all things after all…

    I’m not sure what you are trying to argue here.

    Immortality happens even for the unsuccessful. LDS doctrine holds that eternal life requires making and keeping covenants and ordinances as performed by the proper authority. Therefore, less than 1% of the world’s population even have the opportunity to attain “success” in this life as you define it.

    Except for the fact that there are Temples and Vicarious work for the Dead, which further negates the need for MMP…

    The scriptures indicate that Jesus did pass through the veil

    Sweet, we agree here. I was afraid you were going to whip out that wonky JS quote…

    Anyway, if even Christ went through the veil, meaning he had no relative advantage over us to be the savior, this further shows that under MMP there would be a regression and that there would be no advantage to having a second probation.

    you have no legs to stand on with your claim that mortalities don’t help even super advanced spirits. The scriptures make it clear that Jesus became more like his Father as a result of his ministry and sacrifices here.

    I stand by the claim that if no one else existed, Christ could have been given a body, then translated and exalted immediately. He lived his life for us.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 2, 2007 @ 10:14 am

  21. C Jones: Could you provide an example of a hypothetical person who would need a multiple earthly probation?

    I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding about the notion of MMP. People seem to think it is fundamentally in opposition to the “traditional understanding of the plan of salvation” but this simply isn’t true. All model of the LDS plan of salvation include three major parts: Pre-mortal, mortal, and post mortal existence. Most models also assume that spiritual progression happens in all three “estates”. MMP is perfecctly in line with this. The only thing a MMP theory does is speculate on the methodology of our pre and post mortal progression. Obviously MMP is just that — speculation. But all the notions that float around about the details of our pre and post mortal progression are pretty much speculation.

    I have a hard time imagining that the sweet and seemingly innocent little baby boys I have held in my arms at their birth may only be cigar-chomping former mobsters or some such thing coming around for another try.

    If the MMP model were to be even remotely accurate the answer would likely be that your baby must have been pretty noble and great in his former existence. He was, after all, born into a family who had the fulness of the gospel in the latter days. Where much is given much is required. (Again — think about the parable of the talents)

    I do not claim MMP is “the truth” because I don’t know. I do claim it makes sense as a contender for models of the eternities though. I also think it makes more sense than the other contenders I have studied when all the evidence is weighed.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 2, 2007 @ 11:22 am

  22. Anyway, if even Christ went through the veil, meaning he had no relative advantage over us to be the savior, this further shows that under MMP there would be a regression and that there would be no advantage to having a second probation.

    This didn’t come out right. Christ of course had HF as his Physical Father so had an advantage to be the Saviour, and was foreordained as such.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 2, 2007 @ 11:41 am

  23. Matt you state that you


    believe If we can not become “exalted” via one mortal probation, an infinite number of opportunities would not increase our chances, and would thus just be cruel on the part of our Father in Heaven.

    I am having a hard time understanding why you feel that we could be exalted during one probation or through multiple opportunities. Why the exclusion of MMP? It does not follow that simply because we can be exalted in one probation others would not help. Why exactly cant we continue to progress in more than one probation.

    While I agree that our intents do matter, at the end of the day who we are determines if we are exalted (ie. law of harvest). If you accept there is much progress after this life why do you preclude the progress taking place in another mortal probation.

    Geoff is right that even Jesus passed through a veil and he learned grace by grace. He was tested, tried, suffered, and descended below all so that he might comprehend all.

    Unless there are multiple probations including a descent below all or some other method we are unaware of we can never comprehend all, neither could the father.

    Comment by Joshua Madson — March 2, 2007 @ 11:53 am

  24. Matt: Anyway you definitely are saying we have a clear beginning point here, so our “beginninglesness” becomes moot.

    My point is that we are beginningless. You are right — the other stuff is off topic. I was mostly confirming that you weren’t pushing for spirit birth with that comment.

    I love the phrase “I defy you to…”

    Hehe. Me too. So overly dramatic it makes me chuckle.

    So God finding himself in our midst implies that there was a time he was not aware he was in our midst…

    So does that mean you don’t think God is omniscient after all? If God is omniscient then I think we have to take that quote mostly to mean there was a time before this earth when plans were made to send us here to help us progress.

    At some point we will need to start defining the term “God” in this discussion too… It can mean any number of things depending on ones theological assumptions.

    I’m not sure what you are trying to argue here.

    I’m saying that if we are beginningless and if God is beginningless then and God has always been God then there is no beginning point to our relationship with God — contra what you said in #17. (In this context I am using the term “God” to refer to a unity of divine persons that make up the one God…)

    if even Christ went through the veil, meaning he had no relative advantage over us to be the savior,

    Your conclusion doesn’t follow here. Jesus did pass through the veil and yet he did have an advantage over us to be the savior. Jesus was a God before coming here after all. I take from that the idea that veils don’t erase the fundamental character of spirits so the advantage Jesus had was who he fundamentally was before he got here. Our task is to fundamentally become as he is. In an MMP model Jesus passed through multiple probations before coming here. He became fundamentally more like God throughout that process and was exalted and became one with the Godhead as a result. He then condescended once again to a mortal probation on this planet to help all people to “come follow” him.

    Now that may or may not be accurate, but it is at least a coherent model.

    I stand by the claim that if no one else existed, Christ could have been given a body, then translated and exalted immediately.

    I’m not sure why he would ever want to do that though… He was already a member of the Godhead. I agree that the benefit Jesus got from this life was not in getting a body — I think he already had one of those before coming here. Even Brigham believed that part too (much to Orson Pratt’s chagrin).

    “another item, I heard brother Young say that Jesus had a body, flesh and bones, before he came, he was born of the Virgin Mary, it was so contrary to every revelation given.”
    -(Orson Pratt — Minutes of the Meeting of the Council of the Twelve in Historian’s upper room; Great Salt Lake City; April 5. 1860 10 a.m.)

    Obviously the MMP porponents like Heber C. Kimball, Eliza R. Snow, Orson Hyde, etc also believed this.

    I believe the benefit Jesus mostly got had to do with deeper empathy — the kind of empathy his Father had and the kind that could only be attained by his atoning suffering and sacrifices accomplished in the “Christ Event” portion of the of the great atonement.

    11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
    12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
    13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
    (Alma 7)

    Comment by Geoff J — March 2, 2007 @ 11:57 am

  25. C Jones

    Surely the seemingly innocent baby boys carry dispositions from the pre-existence. Cigar chomping monster maybe. Cain was apparently previously disposed to be a liar and murdered prior to his life.

    Surely both our environment and our disposition is what leads individuals to become good or evil. Even Hitler was once a seemingly innocent baby. Surely some disposition in his character contributed to who he became. Otherwise we are all victims of our environment.

    Comment by Joshua Madson — March 2, 2007 @ 12:12 pm

  26. Geoff, you need to be careful about some of those quotes. I will have to check my notes at home, but I am fairly certain that the extract from the April 5, 1860 meeting is not accurate.

    I haven’t read through all the comments, but Josh in particular fails to recognize that Joseph taught that God the Father’s experience of mortality was as Jesus’s, i.e., he atoned for a world.

    Comment by J. Stapley — March 2, 2007 @ 12:20 pm

  27. Joshua: Why the exclusion of MMP?
    Because I wanted to test out the Logic of the idea. Because it’s fun to play. :)

    Who we are, in my setup here, is fundamentally our intents.

    Unless there are multiple probations including a descent below all or some other method we are unaware of we can never comprehend all, neither could the father.

    Um, why couldn’t we experience this, if we do need to experience this, in our post-mortal state? this need is sort of a silly assumption…

    Comment by Matt W. — March 2, 2007 @ 12:29 pm

  28. Thanks Geoff. I don’t think I would say that I think MMP is fundamentally opposed to more traditional understandings of the plan of salvation, only that is seems unnecessarily complicating.

    Matt asks:

    The question thus becomes whether MMP increases our ability to reach exaltation (and is thus merciful) or if our ability remains the same (and thus MMP is unmerciful)?

    Assuming MMP is an accurate description of pre- and post- mortal progression, if we have a hypothetical seemingly innocent baby boy, and if he was pretty noble and great in his former existence, why is he back for another try? Why didn’t the atonement and God’s mercy “work”?
    Or if he is Hitler come again, can we expect that the disposition in his character that contributed to who he became has somehow disappeared? If not, why is he back again? Is the judgment portion of the plan of salvation faulty? Is it merciful (even to him) that more millions of people suffer at the hands of one who has such a disposition of character?

    Comment by C Jones — March 2, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

  29. Geoff, #24

    So does that mean you don’t think God is omniscient after all? If God is omniscient then I think we have to take that quote mostly to mean there was a time before this earth when plans were made to send us here to help us progress.

    At some point we will need to start defining the term “God” in this discussion too… It can mean any number of things depending on ones theological assumptions.

    I think you are so correct on this need to define “God”, as we are probably assuming all over the place. Anyway, I guess I believe God was not always omniscient. Isn’t that what you believe? He progressed to become God? If not, then even MMP makes absolutely no sense.

    I’m saying that if we are beginningless and if God is beginningless then and God has always been God then there is no beginning point to our relationship with God — contra what you said in #17. (In this context I am using the term “God” to refer to a unity of divine persons that make up the one God…)
    Here is the problem I have with this. If Time is infinite backward from here, why did God wait until now to do anything at all to help us be like him. Why did he await that infinite amount of time. I would suggest that God has not always been God. There are Three Alternatives here:

    1. MMP as an addition to either 2 or 3

    2. God went through 1MP to become God and upon becoming God instituted a means for others to bocome God, as did the God before him. There is an infinite number of Gods and an Infinite number of Non-Gods. This brings up the question of why we were in this subgroup under this God and not some other God.

    3. We were all Spirits, God was the most intelligent one, and made himself who he is, he then being who he is, adopted all of us and instituted a program where we could all become like him. The Number of Spirits is unknown, but could still be infinite, but there is only one God.

    Personally, I waffle between 2 and 3, but am mainly in camp three I guess, but would love to hear a 4 or 5.

    Your conclusion doesn’t follow here. Jesus did pass through the veil and yet he did have an advantage over us to be the savior. Jesus was a God before coming here after all. I take from that the idea that veils don’t erase the fundamental character of spirits so the advantage Jesus had was who he fundamentally was before he got here. Our task is to fundamentally become as he is. In an MMP model Jesus passed through multiple probations before coming here. He became fundamentally more like God throughout that process and was exalted and became one with the Godhead as a result. He then condescended once again to a mortal probation on this planet to help all people to “come follow” him.

    This is the crux of my arguement really. Would having MMP add to the fundamental character of of Christ, or would prior probations be washed away on entry via the veil? My assumption was that the veil would remove any prior probations, and leave the fundamental character. The fundamental character could only be altered via the atonement, and if this is the case, would only need to be altered once (otherwise the atonement is not strong enough, which is problematic) Maybe we need to go back and look at our definitions of “atonement” as well as “God”.

    I believe the benefit Jesus mostly got had to do with deeper empathy — the kind of empathy his Father had and the kind that could only be attained by his atoning suffering and sacrifices accomplished in the “Christ Event” portion of the of the great atonement.
    As I’m sure you’ve heard before, this seems to say we did not have a problem, but that Christ had a problem and that he needed to fix that problem in himself, so he could have empathy with us.

    I interpret Alma 7 a little differently. Christ already had empathy with us. He went through the suffering not to learn how to empathize with us despite our faults, but to know how to fix and then fix the problems which cause our faults.

    Even If I took up the Royal Empathy Theory, I’m surely doubtful it requires MMP.

    lastly, I am afraid that any doctrinal claim by BY falls into the same camp of using MD as an appeal to authority. You might say I feel bound by such almost as much as I feel bound to trust quotes from Paul Dunn.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 2, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

  30. Y Tu, J. Stapley?

    Joseph taught that God the Father’s experience of mortality was as Jesus’s, i.e., he atoned for a world.

    I’d say it’s a bit more open to interpretation that definitely meaning “he atoned for a world”

    Comment by Matt W. — March 2, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

  31. C Jones, well said, my brother in arms :)

    Comment by Matt W. — March 2, 2007 @ 1:13 pm

  32. Thanks Matt W! Actually I am a sister, and in way over my head in the discussions here at the Thang, but I am obsessed with my religion, and Geoff is always patient and kind, so I make a comment now and again.:)

    Comment by C Jones — March 2, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

  33. I definitely apologize for assuming gender. (how embarrassing) You are definitely not in over your head with us. Maybe when Clark and Blake pull out the big words, we’re all in trouble, but Geoff and Jacob always make every effort to communicate effectively with us 3rd graders…

    Comment by Matt W. — March 2, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

  34. J. Stapely,

    I do recognize Christ did what the father did. In my opinion, atone. That is why Christ can even worship the father otherwise he would be superior to him in comprehension.

    Matt,

    Likewise I believe that if we never atone we can never comprehend what the son and father does. Did the father serve as a saviour in his probation or was he an exalted man and then in another probation serve as a saviour. It seems to be that absent an atonement the father could not comprehend all and that Christ would in some way be superior to him.

    Lastly you state

    Would having MMP add to the fundamental character of of Christ, or would prior probations be washed away on entry via the veil? My assumption was that the veil would remove any prior probations, and leave the fundamental character.

    Yes, remove our memory of prior probations and leave our character to the extent we have developed it.

    The fundamental character could only be altered via the atonement, and if this is the case, would only need to be altered once (otherwise the atonement is not strong enough, which is problematic)
    The atonement is infinite, in that it is always altering my character when I choose to allow it and progress. It seems to me you are making the atonement finite. Does it not apply after this life. Why could it not apply in another probation? I beleive our fundamental character is always able to change through the power of the atonement. Even Hitler in another probation could if he allowed the light of Christ to entice him and chose to gain more and more light until he reached the full stature of Christ. Something which could easily span over more than one probation.

    Comment by Joshua Madson — March 2, 2007 @ 2:51 pm

  35. Matt,

    Another question is concerning Christ. You state that another MMP would not change his fundamental character.

    I would tend to agree, but I also believe his probation was a trial and not easy. Furthermore, there is more than simply fundamental character at stake. There is comprehension and knowledge. Christ surely progressed and gained knowledge.

    No matter my fundamental character I must acquire knowledge and comprehension. Most of which I would argue is tied to experience and actually having a probation or probations. I will never comprehend thing others do absent more probations, performing an atonement, or some other means I am yet unaware of.

    Comment by Joshua Madson — March 2, 2007 @ 3:04 pm

  36. Stapley (#26): I am fairly certain that the extract from the April 5, 1860 meeting is not accurate

    I’m interested to see what your research turns up on that.

    Joseph taught that God the Father’s experience of mortality was as Jesus’s, i.e., he atoned for a world

    As you know I very much agree. However, I see Joseph teaching that the Father atoned on a previous world in addition to his strong implication that the Father was once a mortal like us as well (which of course would require MMP – or at least 2MP). And yes I know you don’t agree with that reading of the KFD and the SitG…

    Comment by Geoff J — March 2, 2007 @ 5:41 pm

  37. C Jones: if he was pretty noble and great in his former existence, why is he back for another try

    Well presumably because he was only “pretty noble and great”. The issue is Godhood here — surely we can’t assume that there are shortcuts to becoming the type of being that Jesus and the Father are.

    Matt. 5: 48
    Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    If not, why is he [Hitler] back again? Is the judgment portion of the plan of salvation faulty? Is it merciful (even to him) that more millions of people suffer at the hands of one who has such a disposition of character?

    Again, the idea is that someone who uses a probation for wickedness would receive significantly less opportunity to do damage the next time around (the inverse of those who do good). Perhaps this is accomplished based on the time or place or situation they are sent to a mortality.

    A strength of such a model (one that several Eastern world religions proudly emphasize) is that it helps explain much of theodicy in this world.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 2, 2007 @ 5:58 pm

  38. Matt (#29): I guess I believe God was not always omniscient. Isn’t that what you believe?

    That depends on what you mean when you say “God”. I personally think that by one acceptable/needed definition — God: A beginningless concert or quorum or Godhead of divine persons — God has always been omniscient. But by another definition — God: The divine person who Jesus calls Father and who Jesus emulated in this life — was not always omniscient.

    As you probably know, there is significant mystery surrounding the proper definition of God and various people hold various opinions on the issue. Blake holds that God refers to a single Divine Person who is beginningless in his role as King of Kings. Others have preached an eternal regress of Gods. Others like the Divine Concert idea I described above.

    (I should post separately on this…)

    Comment by Geoff J — March 2, 2007 @ 6:06 pm

  39. Matt (#29): Here is the problem I have with this. If Time is infinite backward from here, why did God wait until now to do anything at all to help us be like him. Why did he await that infinite amount of time.

    Ahhh, now you are getting to the really hard questions grasshopper… The mind-wrenching subject of infinite time and beginninglessness.

    Most people tend to avoid the subject because it hurts our heads.

    I have some opinions on the subject but I don’t have the energy to dig into it right now. Maybe in some future posts…

    Would having MMP add to the fundamental character of of Christ, or would prior probations be washed away on entry via the veil?

    The assumption is that character can change over time but that 70 some odd years is not long enough to change our characters enough for us to become sufficiently like Christ. So, as Joseph taught, we move up the ladder one step at a time until we reach the top.

    The fundamental character could only be altered via the atonement, and if this is the case, would only need to be altered once

    I disagree with your assumption here. As I see it the atonement mostly consists of God’s invitation to us to become one with him. It is, by and large, previent grace. See my atonement theory post to get my take on the Christ Event portion of the overall atonement.

    Even If I took up the Royal Empathy Theory, I’m surely doubtful it requires MMP.

    True. But MMP works very well with it. The other option that works is Stapley’s 2-Track notion.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 2, 2007 @ 10:47 pm

  40. Geoff: I’m still waiting for some explanation –any good faith attempt would seem required — to explain how Christ “bore our sins” or had our sins “laid upon him” or that explains why Christ suffered as a result of our sins in excruciating pain in Gethsemane. It is kind of the gaping hole that needs to be explained but you negotiate by ignoring.

    “Blake’s makes a lot less sense to me because he opines that we can be divine “like them” given enough time even though we have already been working at an infinite amount of time. (He’ll surely try to berate me for a logical fallacy for saying that again but that move of his seems like a smokescreen to me.)”

    Well, the fact is that it is your view that requires a past eternity of a chain of beings progressing so their is no explnation why they haven’t progressed all to deity yet.

    On my view, we are all progressing in our present deity forever without end. I don’t assert that we become divine some day. I say that we are already of the divine species and we enter into the relationship and progress as we choose. And you are right — your argument commits the logical fallacy of confusing necessity with possibility. The fact that we could have already progressed further doesn’t entail that we must have already progressed further. This fallacy is like saying that since I have always existed I must have already experienced everything already. In fact there is no end to experiencing new experiences –and more importantly one of the possibilities among an infinite number of possibilities is that not all possibilities will be realized.

    As you know, the MMP doesn’t explain any of this for me, but I am open to the possibility of ongoing experiences as long as we don’t shuffle off the body to become mortal again. Alma says that God told him that doesn’t happen. That is good enough for me.

    Comment by Blake — March 3, 2007 @ 12:17 am

  41. Well presumably because he was only “pretty noble and great”. The issue is Godhood here — surely we can’t assume that there are shortcuts to becoming the type of being that Jesus and the Father are.

    I agree that there probably aren’t any shortcuts to Godhood. But that doesn’t explain, if Joe is repentant, why the atonement “failed” in his case. Joe is nothing: “as to (his) strength he is weak,” if he serves God with all his whole soul, “Yet (he) would be an unprofitable servant.”

    But what if Joe “Pretty Noble and Great” is also repentant at the end of one mortal probation?
    Then: “…with unshaken faith in (Christ) (we) rely wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.” 2 Ne 31:19

    What if Joe is not so repentant at the end of one probation. Doesn’t the plan of salvation provide the Terrestrial Kingdom in that case?
    But if Joe gets MMP’s, why the need for the Terr K if no one ever really goes there?

    Comment by C Jones — March 3, 2007 @ 8:51 am

  42. Blake,

    You ask two good questions.

    I’m still waiting for some explanation to explain how Christ “bore our sins” or had our sins “laid upon him”

    This one seems to be in response to our past discussions on atonement theories — specifically I think it is a argument against my latest crack at an atonement theory as described here. I thought I had answered this before but I’ll try again in this comment.

    The short answer to your question is that I suggest that Christ did not bear our sins in either a penal substitution or in a through any other kind of pain/energy transfer directly from us to Christ as your theory suggests; rather, I think it is more likely that Christ bore “our” sins in the sense that he experienced in the flesh the pain the full spectrum of pain that we (all mankind) have or could experience as a result of our sins. I assume this was done through some form of data transfer from the Father to the Son (which had to happen while Christ was in his mortality). The end result was that Christ had perfect empathy for all people.

    I know you won’t like that answer, but at least it shows that I am not dodging your question.

    your view that requires a past eternity of a chain of beings progressing so their is no explnation why they haven’t progressed all to deity yet

    This is true. I have not explained where this problem has led me yet. I plan to post on it. The short answer is that I think we ought to take Joseph’s ring analogy more seriously and litereally than most LDS thinkers are willing to take it. I think that there is infinite time but that there is not an infinite amount of matter. That leads me to lean toward the idea of eternal recurrence. So when you say “This fallacy is like saying that since I have always existed I must have already experienced everything already” I say yes, I think there is infinite time but a finite number possible experiences so it is not at all a fallacy to say we have all experienced everything before. My opinion is that with finite matter there is also a finite capacity for memory storage though so even if there is recurrence as Joseph implied there are always seemingly new experiences ahead of us. But as I said, I’ll post on this soon.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 3, 2007 @ 5:01 pm

  43. C Jones: Joe is nothing: “as to (his) strength he is weak,” if he serves God with all his whole soul, “Yet (he) would be an unprofitable servant.”

    Sure, but some are less profitable than others. For instance, Abraham may not have have been profitable but I suspect he came pretty close to at least breaking even for God… The question is how did Abraham become so noble and great before he got here? What was the method by which he and we all progressed? MMP suggests we’re lookin’ at it.

    As for kingdoms, I think there is evidence that we are in the midst of Telestial or Terrestrial kingdoms right now depending on the spiritual law we are living. Once become the type of people who fully live the Celestial Law we become Celestial (aka exalted) persons.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 3, 2007 @ 5:30 pm

  44. I have a problem with all theologies based on singularity theories, where by singularity I mean an event or entity with relatively infinitismal size in time or space that the fate or existence of the whole universe hangs upon, or worse violates causality (like time travel).

    Now despite a long series of scriptural references where one might easily argue that the New Testament Apostles had two Christologies, virtually everyone is stuck on singularity theories which while orthodox since perhaps the second century make little to no sense without resorting to magical thinking. And of course the problem with magical thinking is it more or less entails dispensing with thinking at all.

    Comment by Mark Butler — March 4, 2007 @ 12:31 am

  45. Geoff: Of course I like your answer since it is an essential part of my own Compassion Theory! However, it is only a part. It just doesn’t explain why Christ suffered for sins. Even a data dump from the Father includes a fulness of joy and not suffering in every pore. Further, it would seem to include the Father in the atonement suffering as well. The scriptures point uniquely to Christ as the one suffering as a result of sin. My problem is that it doesn’t do justice to the scriptural data — and without scriptural data why would one propose a theory of atonement at all? So it doesn’t explain what must be explained to have an adequate theory of atonement as I see it.

    Comment by Blake — March 4, 2007 @ 12:25 pm

  46. Geoff: How on earth could there be a finite limit to the scope of possible experiences? There just is no intrinsic maxima to experience that could make such possibilities finite in number. The problem is compounded because there is an infinity of time and experiencing X at t is intrisically different than experiencing X at t1. Thus your view is just incoherent. There must be an infinity of possible experiences!

    Comment by Blake — March 4, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

  47. Blake (#46),

    I am not a fan of Geoff’s infinite recursion idea, but I don’t understand your criticism yet. Geoff is basically assuming a sort of materialism (although he includes spiritual material in contrast to regular materialism) and saying that there is a finite amount of material. If so, then given infinite time, the material will be organized in every possible configuration. After that, anything that happens has already happened before. Experiencing X at t would not be intrisically different than experiencing it at t1 if reality can be fully captured by the “position and velocity” of all matter in the universe.

    Are you challenging the underlying materialism, or am I missing the point of your criticism.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 4, 2007 @ 12:56 pm

  48. Blake: Even a data dump from the Father includes a fulness of joy and not suffering in every pore.

    I don’t understand why you believe the Father couldn’t decide which data to transfer or not. Why assume that a fulness of Joy would have to be included in such a transfer of data? The theory I suggested assumes that Christ received a data transfer that filled in the gaps in his his knowledge about the full scope of the pain and suffering of all people. That is what caused the pain we read about. That is also why I call it an empathy theory.

    it would seem to include the Father in the atonement suffering as well

    I don’t know exactly what you mean by this, but as you know my theory assumes that the Father atoned on another world (as I believe Joseph taught) so the Father had the data necessary to fill in the knowledge gaps of the Son. I do think though that the data had to be transferred during the mortal ministry of Jesus to allow Jesus to gain full empathy for us.

    My problem is that it doesn’t do justice to the scriptural data

    I reject this assertion of yours. I think the atonement theory I have suggested does do justice to the scriptural data. I don’t think you have adequately a defended this assertion yet and it is a key point.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 4, 2007 @ 1:08 pm

  49. Re #46 –

    Jacob is right. I am simply saying that if there is a finite amount of matter there are finite possibilities of the states of affairs that can occur. If there is a finite amount of matter and space then over an infinite amount of time some form of recurrence is inevitable. (I have a post in the works on this subject– I hope to have it up today.)

    Comment by Geoff J — March 4, 2007 @ 1:13 pm

  50. Jacob & Geoff: First, it does not follow from the view that there is a finite quantity of matter that there are only a finite number of configurations! There are an infinite number of levels of organization — like the difference between an atom and an organism. Further, if there are emergent properties (as I argue) then there are causal properties that are not reducible to the parts. It follows that the amount of matter does not limit the number of outcomes of the configurations. Your views both assume a sort of naturalistic determinism. Same material configuration, same outcome. I think that we all deny that outcome.

    Even more importantly, there is no limit to matter. Why believe matter is limited in quantity? Even present physics requires an unbounded universe materially and the presence of black holes means that matter can appear from outside our pocket universe from an infinite number of pocket universes!

    Geoff: if the Father transfers pain to the son because he atoned on another planet it seems he transfers the pain of his experience of those on the other plantet and not this planet. Moreover, the entire suggestion that the Father foists pain on Christ is just objectionable because that is immoral. Our scriptures say that Christ learned about compassion by suffering as a mortal on this planet, not the pain of some other planet or the Father punishing him.

    Comment by Blake — March 4, 2007 @ 2:52 pm

  51. I personally find a combination of Jacob’s divine infusion and Blake’s theory minus the sin energy transfer to be the most compelling.

    I seems that the pain from being in a relationship could be caused by his infusing himself to us and all creation. I would argue that connection was made in the garden, which was very painful. I believe the light of Christ still connects us and thus the atonement continues and pain Christ suffers continues even now. This allows us to progress until we reach the full stature of Christ. This allows us to change even when we have become vile and wicked creatures, he is still connected to us enticing us, intimately knowing us.

    All of which in my mind does not preclude MMP’s at all. If we can change in this life, after this life, etc. Why not in another mortal probation?

    Comment by Joshua Madson — March 4, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

  52. Blake,

    Regarding the infinite recursion discussion: I’ll defer responding until I put that post up.

    if the Father transfers pain to the son because he atoned on another planet it seems he transfers the pain of his experience of those on the other planet and not this planet

    Ok. Is that a problem? The idea is that Christ suffers all the types of pain that all people can suffer so that he can be our perfectly empathetic God. I don’t see what the problem with the above statement is…

    Moreover, the entire suggestion that the Father foists pain on Christ is just objectionable because that is immoral.

    I don’t think it is remotely immoral. I look at it this way: Jesus wanted to be like his Father. His Father had experienced things (and pain) as a an atoning savior that Jesus had not felt. Jesus chose to drink of the same bitter cup his Father had previously drunk so he could be more like his Father. The Father passed on the experience to Jesus and as a result Jesus became perfectly empathetic with us while at the same time he marked the path to becoming as his Father is. There is no injustice or immorality in the Father transferring that information to Christ in such a model.

    Our scriptures say that Christ learned about compassion by suffering as a mortal on this planet, not the pain of some other planet or the Father punishing him

    Yes, Jesus suffered while here just like we all do. And then he had a unique experience in Gethsemane that is nothing like anything any of us will have here. That unique Christ Event is the knowledge transfer I am talking about.

    On a related note: I think the suffering in Gethsemane is still a weakness of your theory too though Blake. You claim that every time we repent Jesus hurts because we transfer some kind or stored dark energy into him; but if this energy transfer is in real time then wherein did the concentrated suffering in Gethsemane come from? People repented and were forgiven before Jesus was born after all. Did Jesus not absorb (or whatever) their sin energy? If not who (or what) did? If he did then whence the pain in Gethsemane? Clearly you believe something was transferred to Jesus in Gethsemane. Who transferred it to him and what was it? (I think I asked this before but if you answered it I don’t remember…) It seems to me that some of your criticisms of what I’ve been saying apply to your theory just as well…

    Comment by Geoff J — March 4, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

  53. The idea that infinite lifetime entails going through all possible experiences is not sustainable, at least not without dispensing with the laws of physics and other natural laws that provide continuity from one moment to the next.

    The only reason we can trust our memories at all is the universe does not just jump from one arbitrary state to another. By the same laws we can recover archeological, paleontological, and geological evidence and have place some rational constraint on what did actually happen in the relatively recent past.

    In order for all possible experiences to have already occured, those laws of continuity would have to have been violated an infinite number of times. For example: is history H1 followed by alternative histories H2 and H3 the same as history H2 followed by history H1 and then H3?

    Comment by Mark Butler — March 4, 2007 @ 5:20 pm

  54. Joshua: If I had to do it over again, I would emphasize that atonement is what the Eastern Fathers called “deification” — that Christ’s life is allowed to enter into our hearts and we enter into shared life in each other. The divine life takes up abode in us as we are made over in the image of Christ. I of course touch upon deification and atonement, but I would have done better to emphasize it.

    I continue to insist on the sharing of the energies (the Greek “energeien” is translated as “operations” of the spirit” and other things in the KJV so we miss it) in atonement. It is a simple way of saying that Christ enters into us and we enter into him in the sense that our respective life’s energies are intermingled. I suspect that this is more obvious to me because it is implicit in the Greek notion of zoe or life that it is a type of force or energy. We are animated by an animal or natural zoe in Paul’s writings and throughout the NT. In atonement and justification by grace that results for atonement, our life energy is transferred to Christ to be healed. His life energy enters into us and we are healed and glorified by eternal life — God’s very life.

    It is a mistake to think that “eternal life” in Paul’s writings in particular as referring to the length of time of life — like everlasting or eternal life. Rather, it means it refers to the order of life in the eternal worlds. It means the life of the eternal order rather than the present economy. It refers to the life of God himself. It is this glory and eternal mode of life-giving-energy or zoe aionios that enters into us as the result of atonement. It is natural zoe that enters into Christ to be healed. That kind of zoe or life is unnatural to the eternal order of life and it is painful.

    That is what is being explained in D&C 19 BTW. God didn’t lie or mislead (contrary to Geoff’s divine deception argument) Rather, what happened is that the English “eternal” modifies life in terms of length of time. In contrast Greek aionios modifies the kind or type of life and not its length. It refers to eternal glory as the energy of our life. It means “God’s mode of life” rather than life without end. Thus “eternal punishment” means “God’s punishment” because in Greek aionios is a way of saying that it is God’s mode of life or way of doing things. It has nothing to do with everlasting punishment just as God says in D&C 19!

    In response to Geoff’s question about why Christ suffered in Gethsemane, as he knows, I argue that the intense pain in Gethsemane is caused by the fact that all of the past energy is accumulated and joined in a human for the first time. In fact, when Christ prays that the glory that he enjoyed with the Father before the world was enter into him again, he is asking to be joined with this zoe aionios or doxa to glorify him — and that entails a sharing of energy. So I can go this far with GEOFF: Christ and the Son share zoe aionios — but emphatically not natural human life or zoe. THAT comes from us. When we open to accept CHRIST’s life into us, we share this glory together and are deified by it — the divine life enters into us. However, we also enter into Christ and thereby are healed.

    As it turns out, what Geoff calls a data dump is not at all different from what I called the transfer of sin energy. Indeed, I have referred to the energy as the data of experience that causes pain — that is simply identical to what he is now saying except for the source of this pain. However, Geoff thinks that this energy is preserved in the from a former world. My question: if this pain-energy can be transferred from the Father from a former world (nowhere attested in scripture or the KFD BTW) why not from us as mortals when we enter into union of life? The difference between my view and Geoff’s is that there is absolutely zero scriptural evidence for the view that this shared zoe or energy (or data) originates with the Father and ample scriptural backing that the source of Christ’s pains in Gethsemane and atonement is from us. The energy of pain does not emanate from the Father but from us. He take upon him our sins, not the Father’s!

    Now look — I’ve pulled a Mark Butler by writing a book-length post. [grin]

    Comment by Blake — March 4, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

  55. Joshua: “Why not in another mortal probation?”

    I have no problem with “eternal probation” or eternal progression based upon challenges and growth. I have problems with “eternal MORTAL probation” because Alma 41 says that we don’t die again.

    Comment by Blake — March 4, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

  56. Blake,
    I’m very surprised. Based upon your other writings on this blog, I apparently did not understand what you meant by sin energy. I see this deification process in somewhat similar terms. That we truly are connected by some tether to Christ where we sort of download onto one another and share light. In our case it ends up being pain and suffering we give to Christ whereas we receive light from him.

    I also do no think we need to have this process relate only back to the garden but rather believe the tether was first made in the garden and we are still connected and receiving light. I would say that yours and Jacobs theories are truly not that far apart. The light of Christ is simply the connection and “divine life” which enters us. It gives us light enticing us to do good, causes Christ pain by entering into that relationship, and comforts us and allows us to change.

    I have not read your book, but your post 44 clarifies many of the concerns I had about your sin energy.

    Concerning MMP, I see no reason why we cannot have many probations prior to a final resurrection. Which verse are you referring to?

    Comment by Joshua Madson — March 4, 2007 @ 6:44 pm

  57. Joshua: We can start with this from Alma 11:45 “Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption.”

    Comment by Blake — March 4, 2007 @ 7:06 pm

  58. Blake,

    this is referring to death after resurrection. I am proposing that mortal probations occur prior to such. I see no problem with this scripture and MMP’s.

    If one believes such probations occur after a resurrection this is harder to reconcile, but if they occur prior to resurrection there is no problem.

    Comment by Joshua Madson — March 4, 2007 @ 7:20 pm

  59. Joshua: How could there be a prior mortal probation if there is no mortality? That is, how could we be mortal and experience death if we were not brought back to life of some sort? I agree with you if you mean we have an eternity of experiences before becoming mortal in this life; I don’t see why you would say we were mortal (subject to bodily death) before this life.

    Comment by Blake — March 4, 2007 @ 7:45 pm

  60. Blake (#50),

    Your views both assume a sort of naturalistic determinism.

    Easy there. I said I am not a fan of Geoff’s infinite recursion idea. None of what you are responding to is my position. I am on your side of the fence on this one.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 4, 2007 @ 9:08 pm

  61. Blake,

    I agree we would be brought back to life, but not resurrected. I am not arguing for MMP’s merely suggesting that there is nothing to prohibit them.

    Do you see resurrection synonymous with being brought back to life? I see a distinct difference between being born into a new body and having my spirit and body united and raised to an immortal body.

    Comment by Joshua Madson — March 4, 2007 @ 9:13 pm

  62. Blake,

    I haven’t done that for months now (especially not here) and have no plans to renew my previous practice.

    Comment by Mark Butler — March 5, 2007 @ 8:46 am

  63. Blake, thank you for 54, that was awesome. I think that almost completely consumes my meager atonement theory inside yours…

    A lot has happened since I last looked at this friday.

    GeoffJ, It seems we are still at an empasse.

    The Question was frames originally as:

    Would it be more merciful for our God to allow or require multiple mortal probations of his children?

    The answer is: Yes, MMP would be more merciful if it increases one’s chances of getting to the Celestial Kingdom.

    However, I do not see any evidence yet presented to show that it would increase our chances of getting to the CK.

    Thus I still reject MMP.

    Perhaps a future post on what is really required to get to the CK is in order…

    One thing I have found most exciting and interesting about this discussion is how quickly it turned to the atonement, which is called the foundation of our religion. It is interesting that it seems that our different concepts of atonement thus inform all other aspects of our Faith, and also vice versa.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 5, 2007 @ 10:27 am

  64. Mark: I was just funnin with ya. I actually didn’t mind your long posts. I’m just glad that you are here dialoguing with us!

    Comment by Blake — March 5, 2007 @ 10:41 am

  65. Reasons MMP would be less merciful than 1 shot.

    God would be lying about little children dying under 8 getting automatic exaltation.What about my eternal companion? If I am not a Christ in this life, how will I be sealed to my family of this life in the next life if there is another life? Why do Temple work at all in an MMP model? If I am required to go through the atonement for myself, how can the atonement of Christ have any efficacy for me?

    Comment by Matt W. — March 5, 2007 @ 12:03 pm

  66. Matt W-

    It is interesting that it seems that our different concepts of atonement thus inform all other aspects of our Faith

    This hits it on the head. I have wondered about all those same questions (in #65) and I have finally realized that it is my personal understanding of the atonement that can’t concede any justification for MMP’s.

    Comment by C Jones — March 5, 2007 @ 3:39 pm

  67. Thanks Blake. I am glad to be able to participate once in a while.

    Comment by Mark Butler — March 5, 2007 @ 5:18 pm

  68. Blake (#54): As it turns out, what Geoff calls a data dump is not at all different from what I called the transfer of sin energy.

    I think you are right about that. Some differences come in where the data is stored and why the data is shared.

    I still have no idea where you think this sin energy was stored for all eternity leading up to 33 AD on this planet. If I have this right, you claim that every repentant person (on every planet through all eternity?) had their sins absorbed by something or other before the Christ Event and apparently that sin energy was stored in some sin energy holding place forever. Then you say that during the Christ Event Jesus absorbed all of that dark energy into himself. Are there parts of this aspect of your theory am I fundamentally misunderstanding?

    I simply think that Jesus received a data download of any types of pain he had never personally experienced before in the flesh himself. I assume that between the members of the extended Godhead they had access to all types of pain that Jesus needed to experience in the flesh in order to be our perfectly empathetic God. He didn’t take upon himself “the Father’s sins” — he learned a lesson from his Father(s) that was needed for him to attain a higher exaltation.

    I further think that we don’t store sin energy from our sins so we don’t need anyone to absorb it. I think when we change the sins just go away.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 5, 2007 @ 6:42 pm

  69. Joshua: Do you see resurrection synonymous with being brought back to life? I see a distinct difference between being born into a new body and having my spirit and body united and raised to an immortal body.

    Interesting take on this. I like it. Most people think that coming back to life in a physical body of any kind is a kind of resurrection. But if we segment permanent resurrection from the non-permanent resurrection of MMP as you do then there is little to object to as you note.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 5, 2007 @ 7:15 pm

  70. Matt (#65)God would be lying about little children dying under 8 getting automatic exaltation.

    One could use this as evidence for MMP and not against it. These spirits seemingly qualified for exaltation before getting a body here — how did they accomplish that? Isn’t a final exam usually needed?

    If I am not a Christ in this life, how will I be sealed to my family of this life in the next life if there is another life?

    In the MMP model I envision Christ presumably was sealed to his spouse as a full-fledged mortal in a previous probation and exalted with her. You will note that despite the speculations to the contrary there is no record of Jesus marrying in this life. If he didn’t marry here then he must have either married elsewhere (see D&C 131) or there would have to be an ontological gap between us and him after all…

    Why do Temple work at all in an MMP model?

    Because God said to… There is nothing that precludes progress in the spirit world too in an MMP model. The point is that we are given every opportunity to become as God is but that take time and effort.

    If I am required to go through the atonement for myself, how can the atonement of Christ have any efficacy for me?

    It allows you the opportunity to be exalted and become one with God after this life. If that happens you can also be eternally sealed to your spouse. If you or she don’t keep all of your covenants with God though you should not expect the “contract” with God concerning your sealings to be binding.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 5, 2007 @ 7:25 pm

  71. One could use this as evidence for MMP and not against it. These spirits seemingly qualified for exaltation before getting a body here — how did they accomplish that? Isn’t a final exam usually needed?
    That would require either a form of foreknowledge I don’t think you believe in or God causing the deaths ofa ll these children, which would be immoral….

    In the MMP model I envision Christ presumably was sealed to his spouse as a full-fledged mortal in a previous probation and exalted with her. You will note that despite the speculations to the contrary there is no record of Jesus marrying in this life. If he didn’t marry here then he must have either married elsewhere (see D&C 131) or there would have to be an ontological gap between us and him after all…

    So, in an MMP model, the only eternal companion you keep is the spouse you marry in the MP just before the last MP, where you are Christ, unless of course you fail in the Christ MP, at which point you go back to rand and file MPs?

    Because God said to… There is nothing that precludes progress in the spirit world too in an MMP model. The point is that we are given every opportunity to become as God is but that take time and effort.

    I had to smile when I saw “Because God said to”. Anyway, if we can progress in the spirit world as well as in MP, then the concept that “70 years is not enough” is sort of false, so MMP is not necasary by that logic…

    It allows you the opportunity to be exalted and become one with God after this life. If that happens you can also be eternally sealed to your spouse. If you or she don’t keep all of your covenants with God though you should not expect the “contract” with God concerning your sealings to be binding.

    I agree, and since this is true, then I do not need to go through an atonement myself to be exalted.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 5, 2007 @ 10:09 pm

  72. Matt: a form of foreknowledge I don’t think you believe in

    Not at all. I still hold that God is the ultimate predictor of the future. Plus he can intervene to prevent things or not any time he chooses. In addition, who are we to say when it is immoral for God to shuttle souls in and out of this temporary existence?

    then the concept that “70 years is not enough” is sort of false, so MMP is not necasary by that logic…

    Of course 70 years is not enough — How would future progression change that? The difference seems to be that progression in a body is much faster than progression without a body.

    I agree, and since this is true, then I do not need to go through an atonement myself to be exalted.

    I completely agree. Jesus was fully God before he came here. And yet Joseph still said he attained an even higher exaltation as a result of his condescension and ministry here.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 5, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

  73. Not at all. I still hold that God is the ultimate predictor of the future. Plus he can intervene to prevent things or not any time he chooses. In addition, who are we to say when it is immoral for God to shuttle souls in and out of this temporary existence?

    So God can predict that Child X is worthy to die before Time Y and put that child in a situation where the child will die? Doesn’t this deny the Agency of the child and those around the child?

    Of course 70 years is not enough — How would future progression change that? The difference seems to be that progression in a body is much faster than progression without a body.

    Do you then believe we need a certain amount of progression to achieve a resurrected body? Isn’t this counter to the scriptures which say we all get resurrected?

    I completely agree. Jesus was fully God before he came here. And yet Joseph still said he attained an even higher exaltation as a result of his condescension and ministry here.

    Where did Joseph Say this? I am not aware of any scriptural concept of degrees of exaltation outside of one form of reading that the CK has three degrees…

    Comment by Matt W. — March 6, 2007 @ 9:02 am

  74. Doesn’t this deny the Agency of the child and those around the child?

    Why would it? We both know that God has always let children die. Are you saying every time he allows it to happen it denies the agency of all involved?

    Do you then believe we need a certain amount of progression to achieve a resurrected body?

    You lost me here… When did I say that?

    Where did Joseph Say this?

    What did Jesus Christ do, the same thing as I se the Father do, see the father do 41 what, work out a kingdom, when I do so to I will give to the father which will add to his glory, he will take a Higher exhaltation & I will take his place and am also exhalted. Those are the first princples of the gospel. (KFD — Woodruff Diary)

    I saw the father work out a kingdom with fear & trembling 103 & I can do the same & when I get my Kingdom worked out I will present to the father & it will exalt his glory and Jesus steps into his tracks to inherit what God did before. This is some of the first principles of the gospel about which so much hath been. (KFD — Clayton Report)

    Comment by Geoff J — March 6, 2007 @ 9:42 am

  75. Why would it? We both know that God has always let children die. Are you saying every time he allows it to happen it denies the agency of all involved? I am saying that if God only allowed those children to die who could be exalted due to some prior condition, it would deny agency is involved…

    You lost me here… When did I say that? You said:

    Of course 70 years is not enough — How would future progression change that? The difference seems to be that progression in a body is much faster than progression without a body.

    This Progression in a body could occur in our ressurected body, so no second MP or MMP is needed..

    Re: the KFD quotes. These Quotes are conflicting one with another. One notes Jesus steps up and one notes “I” step up. The third record (The Bullock Report) that speaks of this has a letter that could either be a J (for Jesus) or an I…
    I will have to look into this more. This is the strongest leg you have to stand on, but I think this could be looked at from a myriad of different points of view.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 6, 2007 @ 10:12 am

  76. Matt,

    a. I still don’t get your denial of agency point.

    b. Your opinion that progression is easier in any physical body (mortal or resurrected) sort of undermines the critical need to repent now if you believe in progression between kingdoms. I posted on that too.

    c. You will see that the “I” in the Woodruff report is Jesus. There is no contradiction there.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 6, 2007 @ 10:21 am

  77. A We’ve veared so far from the point it almost doesn’t matter anymore. The Point was that God promises the CK to children born under 8 who die without baptism, regardless of whether those children where good or bad in the pre-mortal existance, and the CK is not another MP…

    B- It does not undermine the need to repent nearly so much as MMP does. The need to repent now is strongly tied to my sealing to my spouse and children, and hopefully someday my parents…

    C- Good point on Woodruff, in any case, the KFD never mentions that we take Jesus’s place…

    Comment by Matt W. — March 6, 2007 @ 11:10 am

  78. The need to repent now is strongly tied to my sealing to my spouse and children, and hopefully someday my parents…

    This motivation is equally applicable in an MMP model Matt.

    the KFD never mentions that we take Jesus’s place…

    Agreed.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 6, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

  79. This motivation is equally applicable in an MMP model Matt. Which was never the point… The Point was that if we can progress in our post-mortal body then it gives no advantage to return to a MP… (unless you add the recursion cherry on top, in which nothing makes sense anyway :) )

    Comment by Matt W. — March 6, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

  80. nothing makes sense anyway

    Funny — that’s just what I was beginning to think of your comments in this exchange too… We have gotten so into tangents I can’t even remember what we were talking about anymore. Must be time for me to stop on this thread…

    Comment by Geoff J — March 6, 2007 @ 3:39 pm

  81. irregardless => regardless

    Comment by Jacob J — March 6, 2007 @ 6:09 pm

  82. GeoffJ (80) well, my wife just called to tell me she bought me a wii, so i guess this truly is a good time to stop on this thread :)

    Comment by Matt W. — March 7, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

  83. Lucky!!!

    Comment by Geoff J — March 7, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

  84. LOVE THE POSIBILIES OF MMP. HOW ABOUT THIS ONE ,MMP ARE OPTIONAL.PERHAPS IF ONE WANTS TO PROGRESS FROM ONE DEGREE OF GLORY TO ANOTHER HE MAY HAVE TO ‘GO BACK OUT’.THERE IS NO ISSUES WITH SEALINGS BECAUSE IN THE LOWER KINGDOMS THERE IS NONE.PERHAPS AFTER 10M YEARS WE MAY WANT TO GIVE IT ANOTHER TRY.PERHAPS THERE IS A PROMISE THAT ONE WOULD NOT LOSE WHAT THEY HAVE (DEGREE OF GLORY) but could be “added upon”.

    Comment by wanas — April 25, 2013 @ 6:52 pm

  85. That sort of free choice aspect could certainly help an MMP theory be more feasible and more palatable.

    Comment by Geoff J — April 25, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

  86. THE ARUGUMENT THAT MMB WOULD NOT EXIST BECAUSE THAT WOULD MEAN THAT PEOPLE LIKE HITLER,ECT. WOULD GET A SECOND CHANCE AND THAT MIGHT BE RIGHT,HE MAY.HOWEVER WHAT IF HE AND MANY OTHER VERY EVIL MEN WERE PERDITION BEFORE THEY CAME HERE AS IT SEEMS TO IMPLY IN MOSES 5,24. IF CAIN WAS BEFORE AND YET HE CAME TO EARTH THEN SURELY THERE WERE MORE.WE DON’T KNOW THEIR FATE.PERHAPS THEY LIKE B. Y.FELT THEY JUST GET DISOLVE.IF THAT BE TRUE THEN MMP WILL NOT BE AN OPTION FOR THEM. SOME DEEDS ARE SO EVIL THAT ONLY DEVILS WOULD DO THEM.WHAT WOULD BE IN IT FOR THEM, THEY GET A BODY MOSES 5,23 EVEN IF IT IS TEMPEREY.

    Comment by wanas — April 26, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

  87. I think your caps lock is stuck

    Comment by Jacob J — April 28, 2013 @ 11:23 am

  88. #87 NOT STUCK JUST NOT GOOD AT TYPEING NOT GOOD AT SPELLING EITHER.COMMENT ABOUT #86 NOT MY TYPEING SKILLS MAY BE MORE HELPFUL.PERHAPS THE WORD “SECOND CHANCE” IS NOT A VERY GOOD EXPRESSION IT HAS TO MANY MEANINGS “ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY” MAY BE A BETTER EXPRESSION OR JUST “OPPORTUNITIES” I CANT FIND THE APOSTRAPHY KEY CANT SPELL IT EITHER WHERE IS IT AT JJ?

    Comment by wanas — April 28, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

  89. You might try holding down the “shift” key for all the letters that are supposed to be lower case. Sometimes I do that if my caps lock is stuck.

    Comment by Jacob J — April 28, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

  90. wanas,

    Just to be clear, is your caps lock button stuck or not? I can’t concentrate on a word you say in all caps… Also, I recommend you try using Firefox or Chrome as your browser. Both come with built in spell check.

    Comment by Geoff J — May 2, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

  91. It is interesting to read these comments. Most of them include statements along the lines of “I think …”, “I don’t think …”. But have you read what the Prophets have said on the topic, specifically, what they have said in the Cannonized Scriptures of the Church? I have to admit that the KFD (King Follett Discource) is what started me down the path. But the D&C, BOM,PoGP, NT are what verified that path which lead to a Testimony of the truth concerning this topic. That path also lead me to a deeper understanding of The Sealing Power, The Priesthood, Forgiveness, who the Father, Christ, and the Holy Ghost really are, How things work, etc.
    This does, however, make it very difficult to participate in SS class discussions on whether or not David lost his Exaltation, or whether a woman will be stuck with her first husband to whom she is sealed, or her second whom she deeply loves.
    The answer to these types of questions are as clear as a noon day sun with no overcast.
    So, do you really want to know, or do you just want to put forth “I think … “.

    Comment by Doug Hale — July 30, 2014 @ 9:22 am

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