Guest Post: Qualifying for the Telestial kingdom?

May 16, 2006    By: Administrator @ 2:33 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Theology

[The following is a guest post from Jacob, a thoughtful Mormon from Oregon who I met at this year’s SMPT conference.]

In a recent series of posts, Geoff has been discussing various models of the plan of salvation, and as you might expect, advocating his favorite “multiple mortal probations” model. During that discussion, the question of telestial salvation came up a number of times, and Geoff graciously offered to host this guest-post of mine on one aspect of that subject. My question is geared toward the more traditional models of the plan of salvation.

In the Church, there seem to be two main camps on telestial salvation: (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…)

The problem with beginningless human spirits

February 5, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 1:13 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Spirits/Intelligences,Theology

Several months ago I wrote a post titled “Are we eternal or is it just our parts that are eternal?” (Also see follow up posts here and here.) The basic question had to do with the nature of our Intelligences/spirits/souls. There are many in the church who believe that human spirits are simple and irreducible and beginningless. In other words, they assume that each of our spirits have existed as they are now forever. I like to call this the “whole cloth” model of spirits. This idea comes from an understandable reading of both modern scriptures and of sermons from late in the life of Joseph Smith (like the King Follet discourse). But others in the church have read the same sources and concluded that our spirits are actually made up of particles of intelligence that cleave unto each other and that while those particles are beginningless and irreducible, the new whole that is us has a beginning. This idea, often called “spiritual atomism” was first championed in the church by apostle Orson Pratt. (more…)

The Destruction of the Soul

December 18, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 7:05 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Spirits/Intelligences,Theology

One of the things that remain a mystery to the world is the nature of the soul. I have already written a couple of posts on this subject, the first was called “Are we eternal or is it just our parts that are eternal?” and the second was my recent post on the Sterling McMurrin book. McMurrin put it pretty well when he said the question was one of what our spirits are made of – are they necessary or contingent; are they made up of irreducible parts or are they “simple”, irreducible, and indestructible themselves. When he wrote his book in 1965, McMurrin felt that the parts model was dominant in Mormonism. (more…)

The Parable of the Pianist

November 10, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 1:55 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Eternal Progression,Theology

I took a class with Stephen Robinson at BYU in the early nineties. I got the feeling I annoyed him a bit. I suspect I might annoy him even more now (if he spends much time on the Web) since my post on why his parable of the bicycle is wrong now shows up as the #4 Google result for the search term “Parable of the Bicycle”. After bashing the parable of the bicycle I felt obligated to try to find a better explanation of what the atonement does for us so I concocted and presented my own parable and called it the parable of the mortgage. The problem was that I was not really satisfied with my alternative either. (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…)

Signs and Tokens

October 31, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 11:43 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Personal Revelation

“Let me give you a definition in brief. Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.” (Discourses of Brigham Young [Deseret Book Co., 1941], p. 416.)


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…)

Just like heaven (or not)

October 13, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 6:06 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Scriptures

The comments in a recent post at BCC reminded me of all of the unsubstantiated beliefs that float around this church regarding the afterlife. In the following series of posts I will talk about some of them.

In this first post I want to discuss the following assumption that many Mormons make: The Kingdoms of Glory described in section 76 are separate physical places. (more…)

Monkey Man

October 6, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 7:58 pm   Category: Before Abraham,Eternal Progression,Scriptures,Theology

So I was listening to the song Monkey Man by The Specials this afternoon and it dawned on me that I haven’t written a single post on Mormons and evolution here at the Thang. That changes today. (I’m always thinking of how to tie posts in with anyway…) (more…)

Degrees of Divinity

September 14, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 11:53 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Theology

There have been some interesting discussions recently that have made me ponder the question of degrees of divinity. J. Stapley wondered at another thread whether the pre-earth Christ was “fully divine” and thus worthy of our worship. He also expressed doubt that we should currently worship the Holy Ghost along with the Father and Son. (more…)

The True Church — It’s Not For Everyone

August 29, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 2:50 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,Mormon Culture/Practices,Scriptures

In my last post, the second in this series on our nearly exclusive focus on helping everyone become “active” members of the Church, I explained why I think that simply meeting the basic requirements to be considered an active member and staying that way until death is not sufficient for exaltation. (It was a pretty good post, actually. If it weren’t so long maybe more people would have read it.) The idea was that over reliance on Grace is dangerous because it can lead those with the proverbial “five talents” to become satisfied with their five talents and not double them. Expanding on that analogy, let’s say that becoming an active member of the church and staying that way is the equivalent of two talents. For those born into this world with one talent, turning that into two talents would indeed warrant those desired words from God “well done thou good and faithful servant”. But what of those that arrive here with 2-5 talents? What must they do to receive that commendation from the Lord? If just meeting the minimum requirements to be called an active Mormon is not enough, what then? Is the church providing the needed assistance to these folks to double their talents in this life? (more…)

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