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…)

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…)

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