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…)

Sun, Moon, and Stars

April 13, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 10:26 am   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Scriptures

Most of the Christian world believes the afterlife is divided into two states: heaven and hell. It was revealed to Joseph Smith that there are more details to the afterlife than that. The Lord explained in section 76 that when Paul talked about resurrected bodies having glories as different as the Sun, the Moon and the Stars that this was in fact a model of the afterlife. So in the Church we now understand that rather than just heaven and hell, there is gradation in “heaven”. There is a telestial kingdom which matches the glory of the stars, a terrestrial kingdom that is likened to the glory of the moon, and a celestial kingdom that is likened to the glory of the sun. It is my opinion that just as the three-kingdom model shows more gradation than the heaven/hell model, that in reality the afterlife is a continuum of glory ranging from no light (outer darkness) to enough light to be likened to the sun at noonday (in Arizona no less). (more…)

Progression between kingdoms

April 11, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 6:42 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Scriptures

In the comments of my recent post on other inhabited worlds the question of progression between kingdoms in the afterlife came up. D&C 76 teaches that in the afterlife all but the sons of perdition will eventually be assigned a kingdom of glory (segmented into three kingdoms: Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial). Some people believe there is a possibility of progression between these kingdoms in the eternities to come and others think the kingdom assignments are permanent. I am firmly in the progression camp. (more…)

Who were the inhabitants of all those other worlds?

April 10, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 12:05 am   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Scriptures,Theology

As the second post in this purely speculative discussion on the innumerable inhabited worlds that, according to our scriptures, have already passed, I will discuss the question: Who were the inhabitants of all those other worlds? It is an easy assumption to make that humans inhabited those worlds (since God the Father was among them according to Joseph), but the unanswered question is who were they? I have heard two theories: (more…)

Worlds without number and the inhabitants thereof

April 9, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 11:57 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Scriptures,Theology

One of the most striking concepts revealed through the prophet Joseph Smith can be found in the first chapter of the Book of Moses.

33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.
34 And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.
35 But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.

38 And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words. (Moses 1:33-35, 38)

These scriptures are most commonly read in the church to mean that before this earth was created there were innumerable other similar inhabited worlds that God created. In fact the header in this chapter reads: Many inhabited worlds seen. (more…)

Problems with the My Turn on Earth model

March 30, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 12:25 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP

In the comments following my recent Models of our Pre-Mortal Existence post some readers sensed that I was skeptical of the commonly held notions of what out pre-mortal life was like. Well, I am skeptical. I think the model as presented is not consistent with the whole of scripture or the teaching of Joseph Smith. (I just noticed that some of these things are being discussed over at Splendid Sun even as I post this.) It is not the ingredients I object to, but rather the interpretations of those ingredients and the way they are put together. First I’ll recap the model as I have heard it then I’ll explain why I think it is an inadequate and inaccurate model. Here is what I wrote in that post: (more…)

Models of our Pre-Mortal Existence

March 23, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 2:54 am   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP

We Mormons are very proud of the fact that knowledge of a pre-mortal existence has been restored to us. The fourth missionary discussion where this doctrine is used to be taught was often the favorite discussion because the idea of a pre-mortal life resonates with so many people. But what do we really know about the details of our lives before we arrived here? Next to nothing. We have some vague scriptural references to councils and wars, but the details are anything but clear. As a result the models the saints have come up with can vary dramatically. I’ll mention a few I’ve heard here, and you can add more in the comments. Here goes: (more…)

All the world’s a stage, And (we are) merely players

February 8, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 7:39 am   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Theology

For some reason I cannot read that Shakespearean line in my own voice — it always is in Geddy Lee’s voice in my head. I doubt the illustrious Hugh Nibley has that problem. It is his marvelous essay from 1999 called Abraham’s Creation Drama that has spurred this post. I read it today at the provided link and was, as usual with Nibley, thoroughly impressed. I highly recommend it. (more…)

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