Spirits/Intelligences: An infinite number of them or not?

June 7, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 9:40 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Theology

I finally started reading that copy of Truman Madsen’s Eternal Man that has been sitting on my bookshelf for the last couple of years. Eternal Man is an interesting little set of short theology and philosophy essays aimed at laymen. It was published in 1966. In the second chapter of the book Madsen makes the following assertions about the minds/souls/intelligences/spirits of all people:

The quantity of souls is fixed and infinite.
There is no beginning to us.
Mind has no birthday.
No one is older or younger than anyone else.
We have always been separate from, and coexistent with other intelligences.
Creation is never totally original.
Immortality is not conditional — it is inevitable and universal.
Death does not destroy the self.
Suicide is just a change of scenery.
No self can change completely into another thing.
No one will ever lose their mind or consciousness.
Nothing is something we never were and never will be.

(more…)

On the necessity of marriage (a theological conundrum)

June 13, 2007    By: Geoff J @ 10:56 pm   Category: MMP,Theology

1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this border of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
4 He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.
(D&C 131)

There is an interesting theological conundrum in Mormonism that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention. The above passage is the first part of it. The doctrine taught in section 131 teaches that a person cannot be exalted singly and separately — rather a man must be sealed to a woman (and vice versa) for either to exalted. (more…)

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… (more…)

Divine succession and the capacity of man

November 8, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 7:31 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Theology

In my last post which outlined the newly named Royal Empathy theory of atonement I mentioned that one important assumption of that theory was the notion taught by Joseph Smith that our Father in Heaven was a savior on a previous world. J. Stapley chimed in with support for the theory and also provided some of the quotes from Joseph Smith that teach the idea that Jesus only became as the Father is by performing an atoning work for us as the Father did before him on a previous world. Here are the key quotes as Stapley presented them in that thread: (more…)

Is there such a thing as spirit birth or not?

June 18, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 6:37 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,spirit birth,Spirits/Intelligences,Theology

An interesting side discussion popped up in a recent post on the topic of spirit birth. In that thread I mentioned: “I think the evidence against some kind of literal spirit birth (especially a viviparous birth like our mortal birth) is much stronger than any evidence for it.” Since the answer to this question has major implications about the nature of the Father, Jesus Christ, and even us I think it is worth looking at. In this post I will discuss the evidence I am aware of against the idea of literal/viviparous spirit birth, the evidence in favor, and since today is Father’s Day I will also mention some of the implications of this question concerning the “fatherhood” of the members of the Godhead. (more…)

No Opposition = No Progression

May 13, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 2:47 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Theology

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass
(2 Ne. 2: 11)

In my last post in this mini-series I described the three primary models of eternity that have been debated here and at other blogs recently. Model 1 is the what I call the My Turn on Earth (MToE) model with no progression between kingdoms, Model 2 was the MToE model with progression between kingdoms, and Model 3 is the Multiple Mortal Probations (MMP) or Heber C. Kimball model. (more…)

Why preaching the highly questionable notion of no progression between kingdoms might be a good idea

May 11, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 5:45 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Theology,Universalism

About a week ago I posted insisting that there must be progression between kingdoms of glory or God is not the loving parent we think of him as. When the discussion thread there exceeded 100 comments I wrote a follow-up post to continue that discussion and to issue a challenge for someone to provide a better model of the eternities than my favorite model. The discussion in that thread has been very informative too. In this post I want to recap the three main positions that have been argued (as I understand them) and point to reasons to reject some models and accept others. (more…)

Veils of Forgetfulness, Personal Identity Problems, and a Challenge

May 6, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 1:31 am   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Theology

I’m getting to the point where I don’t like long threads anymore. Too many useful and thought-provoking comments end up buried and nearly impossible to find in those 100+ comment threads. Therefore, this post is picking up on the discussion that has been taking place on my last (rather controversial) post. I should note that that post has also spawned several others worth reading as well (See here, here, and (sorta) here so far.) (more…)

Why the idea of permanent judgment is a crock

May 2, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 11:59 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Scriptures,Theology

Don asked some good questions over a Nine Moons today. In the comments he asked: “What’s wrong with permanent judgment? It seems like we are all a bunch of “scaredy cats” looking for a way out of what we deserve.” This post is my response to his interesting question. (more…)

Adam the Transformer

November 9, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 11:46 am   Category: Before Abraham,Eternal Progression,MMP,Theology

The Garden of Eden story is packed with symbolism. Jeff Giliam has even made compelling arguments here at the Thang that the Garden story is entirely symbolic. In this post I will riff on this idea that the Garden story is symbolic rather than literal. Before doing so, I want to point out that I am not hinting that there was no literal Adam on this earth. I think the evidence that there was a literal Adam is quite compelling. Rather, I want to look at possible meanings of the garden story and pre-garden story. (more…)

Are we in the middle of a council in heaven?

October 17, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 9:53 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP

Buckle up amigos. I’ve been a thinkin’ again…

A few recent doctrinal discussions I’ve had raised a question in my mind: Are we participating in a “Council in Heaven” right this moment? I figured this would be a good place to explore the idea. (more…)

Planet of the Terrestrials?

July 7, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 10:26 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Scriptures,Theology

7 There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes;
8 We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.
(D&C 131:7-8)

In Mormonism we believe all will be resurrected in to physical bodies. Such resurrected beings have to live somewhere in the physical Universe. Where do you suppose that will be? (more…)

Multiple Mortal Probations — Why I Tend To Agree With Heber C. Kimball and Friends

June 23, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 1:21 am   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP

Kaimi went crazy over at Times and Seasons yesterday and now I feel inspired. I have put up several posts over the last few months that deal in generally subtle ways with the concept of multiple mortal probations. When I first began to explore this concept I was mortified to learn that the only people who seemed to talk about it in public were apparently Mormon apostates who were now part of one fundamentalist group or another. But upon further study I discovered that in the 19th century the idea was taught privately and openly by such luminaries as Heber C. Kimball, Brigham Young, Eliza R. Snow and many others. With heavyweights like them in the corner of multiple mortal probations I figure it should at least be fair game to explore. (more…)

Playing Brigham’s Advocate

April 29, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 12:41 pm   Category: MMP,Mormon Culture/Practices

Brigham Young appears to be a favorite punching bag in the church and especially on the Bloggernacle. I read and interesting post over at Unofficial Manifesto asking “Is Brother Brigham our black eye?” Apparently many in the church feel he is on several counts, but none more so than on the now infamous doctrine he taught about Adam. (more…)

Did each world have a savior of its own?

April 22, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 2:22 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Theology

As promised, this is the third in my series about the worlds without number and the inhabitants thereof talked about in our scriptures and in the church. In the second of the series we explored the question of who the inhabitants of those planets were. It basically comes down to one fundamental question: Were we those people or were they completely separate batches of spirits? (We are calling the first model the Heber C. Kimball (HCK) Model because he and other 19th century leaders taught it and the latter The Batch Model). Not surprisingly opinions differ on this issue. A separate but related question is: Did each of those worlds have a savior inhabit it? (more…)

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