The Celestial Cloning of the Gods
by OneWhoIsWatching. www.threewatches.blogspot.com
[Editorial Note: I have been meaning to blog about this topic for sometime but have procrastinated. I hurriedly put this post together before leaving to go to Logan today. I plan on adding more to this post in the days to come. I will gladly accept any content from readers that supports this premise and would love to include it in this post. A very important foundational part of the doctrine contained herein, which explains how the male and female genders interrelate and how the man is not without the woman neither the woman without the man in the Lord, may be found in the literal interpretation of the creation story as provided in JST Genesis and related scriptures. For additional info pertaining to the doctrine of composite beings click here. As always, credible documentation to the contrary and comments from skeptics are welcome as well.]
We live in a world that instills in us a love and desire to be different. We love our uniqueness. We take great pride in our individuality… our separateness from others if you will.
We love our freedom of choice, our agency.
The world we live in is an ego driven world where the self centered natural man takes credit for his own accomplishments and covets his separateness from his fellow man and from God.
The natural man has a natural desire to excel above others. Hence we live in a world of class distinction.
We must remember however that Satan is the God of this world and everyone in it until a person repents and begins worshipping the only true God. Until we become a new creature of the Holy Ghost, we are carnal sensual and devilish creatures. The purpose of the Gospel is to bring about a mighty change wherein we become new creatures;
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2nd Cor
“For, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit. And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.” Mosiah 27
Hence our existence here is at best a distorted typological glimpse of the hereafter. Some speculate how life in the hereafter will be based on how life is here, yet this is not accurate.
It is therefore not surprising that the concept of sameness, equal-ness and oneness is repugnant to the natural man. It is a disconcerting thought to those who are carnal sensual and devilish.
The doctrine I want to address may well be considered a mystery in the sense that many members of the Church are not familiar with it or not very knowledgeable about it, however it is not necessarily one of the mysteries that has never been revealed by the prophets.
It is not one of the deeper mysteries which has been hid up and reserved to come forth for the first time when the marvelous work rolls forth. It is simply one of those doctrines that the masses tend to shy away from because it does not resonate with most people, in fact it can feel downright uncomfortable.
Nevertheless, I am going to show from the scriptures and from the teachings of the latter day Seer and the latter day Spokesman that;
There is only one perfection in the celestial kingdom, anything that differs from it is not perfect. When someone receives the fulness of the Father they are transformed in the express image of the Father and possess the same mind and glory as the Father.
Exalted beings in the highest glory are exactly identical to each other physically, mentally and spiritually. Their actions and thoughts are exactly the same. They even have the same mind, which is the Holy Ghost.
As a young boy in Sunday School my teachers, when speaking about the appearance of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith in the grove would often hold up a picture depicting Jesus Christ as a younger man with brown hair standing next to the Father who was an older man with white hair. When I went on my mission in 1973 the missionary flip chart also showed a similar picture depicting a younger Jesus with brown hair and an elderly Father with white hair. That picture is shown below;
Years later I found it curious that the church started using different pictures of the Father and the Son showing them to be identical. I don’t know what caused them to change pictures but interestingly enough, according to the description of Joseph Smith, the Father and the Son “exactly resembled” each other.
In one of the accounts of the first vision the prophet Joseph Smith described the Father and the Son as exactly resembling each other in features and likeness;
“whose brightness and glory defy all description” and who “exactly resembled each other in features and likeness: (JS—H 1:17; Wentworth Letter, Backman, p. 169)
In another interesting account provided by the Prophet Joseph Smith, he told of seeing the Twelve Apostles after they had been glorified and he noted that;
“He saw that they all had beautiful heads of hair and all looked alike.” (Autobiography of Vilate Kimball)
Years later, Sidney Rigdon Spokesman and Joseph Smith the Seer prepared and the information contained in “Lectures on Faith” to the school of the prophets. The main purpose of Lectures on Faith is to increase faith in God, teach the deepers things about the nature and character of God and to enable those with faith to see God.
The content within the lectures teaches that Christ and all those who become perfected will be TRANSFORMED INTO THE EXPRESS IMAGE OF CHRIST AND THE FATHER AND POSSESS THE SAME MIND AND GLORY AS THE FATHER.
Lectures on Faith teaches that if you ever saw two beings that differed from each other in any way, you could know for sure that at least one of them was not a perfected being. There is only one perfection and anything that differs from that perfection is obviously not perfect.
I have provided numerous excerpts from the Lectures below;
“And he being the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fulness of the glory of the Father-possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit,”
“…The Father and the Son possessing the same mind, the same wisdom, glory, power and fulness: Filling all in all–the Son being filled with the fulness of the Mind, glory and power, or, in other words, the Spirit, glory and power of the Father–possessing all knowledge and glory, and the same kingdom: sitting at the right hand of power, in the express image and likeness of the Father–a Mediator for man–being filled with the fulness of the Mind of the Father, or, in other words, the Spirit of the Father: which Spirit is shed forth upon all who believe on his name and keep his commandments:
and all those who keep his commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image or likeness, even the express image of him who fills all in all: being filled with the fulness of his glory, and become one in him, even as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.”
“Q. Do the Father and the Son possess the same mind?
A. They do
Q. Does the believer in Christ Jesus, through the gift of the Spirit, become one with the Father and the Son, as the Father and the Son are one?
A. They do. John 17: 20,21. Neither pray I for these (the apostles) alone, but for them also who shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
“..let us ask, where shall we find a prototype into whose likeness we may be assimilated, in order that we may be made partakers of life and salvation? or in other words, where shall we find a saved being? for if we can find a saved being, we may ascertain, without much difficulty, what all others must be, in order to be saved – they must be like that individual or they cannot be saved:
we think, that it will not be a matter of dispute, that two beings, who are unlike each other, cannot both be saved; for whatever constitutes the salvation of one, will constitute the salvation of every creature which will be saved: and if we find one saved being in all existence, we may see what all others must be, or else not be saved.
We ask, then, where is the prototype? or where is the saved being? We conclude as to the answer of this question there will be no dispute among those who believe the bible, that it is Christ: all will agree in this that he is the prototype or standard of salvation, or in other words, that he is a saved being. And if we should continue our interrogation, and ask how it is that he is saved, the answer would be, because he is a just and holy being; and if he were any thing different from what he is he would not be saved; for his salvation depends on his being precisely what he is and nothing else;
for if it were possible for him to change in the least degree, so sure he would fail of salvation and lose all his dominion, power, authority and glory, which constitutes salvation; for salvation consists in the glory, authority, majesty, power and dominion which Jehovah possesses, and in nothing else; and no being can possess it but himself or one like him: Thus says John, in his first epistle, 3:2 and 3: Behold, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not appear what we shall be; but we know, that when he shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And any man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.–Why purify himself as he is pure? because, if they do not they cannot be like him.”
“That he proposed to make them like unto himself; and he was like the Father, the great prototype of all saved beings: And for any portion of the human family to be assimulated into their likeness is to be saved; and to be unlike them is to be destroyed: and on this hinge turns the door of salvation.”
The above passages out of Lectures on Faith may seem a bit mystical and extreme. However, I would point out two things about them;
1) The principles and concepts contained in the Lectures on Faith produced results. Several accounts by and about participants of the school of the prophets used this sacred information to unlock the heavens. One of the most incredible testimonies that was recorded was that of Zebedee Coltrin who participated in the school. He was one of several people who also saw Jesus Christ and bore testimony of it. His vision took place a year after section 76 was given.
2) The other observation about the Lectures on Faith is that it is completely consistent with the New Testament! Some of these verses will be provided below.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what weshall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is .” 1 Jn. 3: 2
“I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am one in the Father, as the Father is onein me, that we may be one. ” D&C 35: 2
The above verses in modern revelation are building upon the intercessory prayer that Christ offered in the New Testament;
” I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that theymay be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” John 17
Despite talks by modern leaders to the contrary, there is nothing wrong with worshipping Jesus Christ. He is the God that atoned for our sins and he is one with the father. The Nephites worshipped him when Christ visited them and he did not rebuke them for doing it.
There is a most interesting account in the 19th and 22nd chapters of the Book of Revelation where a personage that apparently looked exactly like Christ and spake as if he was Christ, appeared to John the Revelator to reveal things to him.
Thinking the messenger was Christ, John knelt down to worship him but was quickly rebuked by the angel who acknowledged that he was a fellow servant of John. He commanded John to worship God;
“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage super of the lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy….
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true… Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”
Realizing that the plan of salvation is calculated to transform the repentant man into the exact image and likeness of Christ and his Father, and infusing us with all of their attributes, powers and former accomplishments, let us now review various aspects of the scriptures to see if perhaps there is a deeper meaning and significance to some of them.
When the Lord began speaking to the Saints through the Prophet Joseph Smith in the 1800’s the underlying theme was quite a paradigm shift to the thinking of the world.
In one of the earlier revelations the Lord commands the Saints to be ONE;
“I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.” (Section 38)
A surface interpretation of that scripture might incline someone to assume that God is simply encouraging his people to be united in a common cause and faith, however the previous statements from the Spokesman and the Seer suggest that there is a more ultimate and literal state being alluded to than just the attainment of a common cause and faith in mortality.
Again, in modern scripture, the Lord commands his people to be EQUAL.
Yes, he is referring to their current temporal condition; however, the goal of being equal temporally in this life is typological to our ultimate state of being in the eternal world.
“And behold, none are exempt from this law who belong to the church of the living God.. Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.” (Section 70)
“They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace..And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.” (Section 76)
“That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things. For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things” (Section 78)
Again, in light of what the Seer and the Spokesman have revealed about the literal reality of the saved person being transformed into the exact image and likeness of the Father, let us look at a few more statements in the scriptures;
“And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this …I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?” Alma 5
Enticing of the Spirit- Yielding- Submission
Becoming a Prisoner of Christ
Some people speculate that in the highest glory within the Celestial Kingdom there will be differences of opinion between the various inhabitants and that there is some kind of necessity in having some type of common consent among the inhabitants before God can do his will.
The scriptures and the words of the prophets seem to challenge this notion. There cannot be any contention or disagreement among exalted and perfected beings. Indeed, the gospel of Jesus Christ is calculated to take away our imperfect individuality and take away our personal ego and personal will. All exalted beings are in perfect harmony with each other having the same mind… even the mind of the Holy Ghost.
Just as the Savior said “not my will but thine” and allowed his will to be swallowed up in the will of the father, each of us who enter into the straight gate will, through the grace of God and by the power of the holy ghost need to shed our egos and our separate will and allow our independent will to be swallowed up in the will of the father. We must use our agency to freely give up our agency;
“Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.” Mosiah 15: 7
The Apostle Paul speaks of being made a minister unto the Gentiles through the mysterious grace of Christ which made him a “Prisoner of Christ”. He uses the term prisoner which is unusual because the term prisoner usually has a negative connotation to it.
Nevertheless some prisoners are taken into custody against their own will while others freely surrender themselves. Paul seems to fall into both categories. Initially it appears he was spiritually abducted long enough to have his spiritual eyes opened. After that, he freely surrendered himself to the higher authority.
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” Eph 3
“but men drink damnation to their own souls except they humble themselves and become as little children, and believe that salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and putteth off the natural man and becometh a Saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” Mosiah 3
With the deeper understanding that those who achieve Godhood are transformed into the image of God and how their mind is piloted by the Holy Spirit as their ultimate guide. It becomes apparent that that agency is not an eternal entitlement but rather a temporary gift. One that brings forth the condemnation of man if not used wisely.
While it is important to exercise agency to choose light over the darkness during probation, perhaps the most important and last choice that we will use our agency to make, is to freely give up our agency and allow our will to be swallowed up in the will of the Father.
It is interesting that the Kingdom of Heaven appears to have hierarchy in relationship to the three kingdoms of glory however, within the highest kingdom there does not seem to be a traditional kingdom hierarchy with regard to knowledge and power since all of the Saints in that kingdom are made equal with Christ
“And then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him.” (Section 88)
Indeed, the oath and covenant of the priesthood informs us that all of the previous attributes, powers and accomplishments of Christ and the Father who have gone before us are inherited by everyone who becomes exalted:
“And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.” (Section 84)
From this we find that we are infused with the same glory and accomplishments of all of Christ and his Father, each of whom had inherited the same from their fathers that went before them and so on. Therefore each person that becomes exalted inherits the fulness of the attributes, power and accomplishments of all the Gods who came before them.
Satan the Great Counterfeit
It is important to realize that God allows sons of Perditions to gain temporary entrance into the pre-existent celestial realms so that he can use them to separate the various intelligences and create division and war prior to the mortal probation however it is interesting to note that they don’t enter in by the same gate that the righteous enter in. Notice the following observation by Christ;
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” (John 10)
It is erroneous to teach that Lucifer was at one time a righteous man who became exalted through the approved plan of progression and then fell from his exaltation. He was simply a very smart and crafty individual that God allowed to climb up through the back door so that God could use him to fulfill his purposes. He functions on borrowed light for a season.
Notice the following assurance by Christ that those who enter in at the gate through Him shall never fall;
Paul warns us that Satan and his minions have the ability to transform themselves. Satan transforms himself into an angel of light from time to time. Even false apostles have the ability to transform themselves into the image of the true apostles of light. With this warning, it is almost incomprehensible that one of the foundational claims coming out of the succession crisis of the LDS restoration movement is the account of a transformation
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” 2nd Cor
To summarize, when a person accepts the fulness of the Gospel and becomes meek and submissive and childlike, willing to submit himself to the laws of God and to allow his self will to be swallowed up in the will of the Father, he will receive the baptism of fire which will make a new creature out of him.
This prepares him to receive of the fulness of the Father and to be transformed into the express image of the father, possessing the same mind and glory as the Father.
Why is this important to understand?
Because we have been commanded to seek the face of God and to truly know him. We have been commanded to gain a better understanding of the nature and character of God. We have been commanded to understand who and what we worship;
“And I, John, bear record, and lo, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove, and sat upon him, and there came a voice out of heaven saying: This is my beloved Son. And I, John, bear record that he received a fulness of the glory of the Father;
And he received all power, both in heaven and on earth, and the glory of the Father was with him, for he dwelt in him. And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John.
I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.
For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorfied in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace. And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn; D&C 93
February 15, 2009
Categories: Articles by OWIW, Deep Waters, Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ, Power of the Holy Ghost, Scriptural Discussions, Zion . Tags: celestial clones, clone, clones, Equality, fulness of the father, nature of God, oneness, Zion . Author: onewhoiswatching Edit this entry
- Comment by ed42 on February 16, 2009 11:45 amWhy?
Why would an omni-everything being require (or even desire) clones of him/her self? What is the purpose for this class of (for lack of a better term) robots?
If I could write any (or even all possible) software programs with the word of my mouth, why would I require, need, want, desire an army of software engineers?
If everybody has the same mind and is absolutely identical then how do we distinguish Ed from Fred? Does the concept of “Ed” and “Fred” disappear?
Didn’t Joseph also say that there is always one intelligent greater than another? How does this greater than relationship fit in with ‘one mind’?
- Comment by LDS Anarchist on February 16, 2009 12:58 pmed42, I’ll try my hand at answering a couple of your questions.
“If everybody has the same mind and is absolutely identical then how do we distinguish Ed from Fred? Does the concept of “Ed” and “Fred” disappear?”
Based on the personal revelations I have received, the concept of Ed and Fred does not disappear. Each exalted man is a unique individual, with a unique name, though they all look like exact replicas of one another. However, their manner of dress is different and, according to my understanding, the First Vision paintings would have been more correct had the painter given the Father and the Son different robe styles.
- Comment by onewhoiswatching on February 16, 2009 1:28 pmEd42
Great questions to ponder
“If I could write any (or even all possible) software programs with the word of my mouth, why would I require, need, want, desire an army of software engineers?”
This question begs several others. One is, was there a first God or is the concept of a first something only applicable to those who live in time and not applicable to those who live in eternity? And another question might be, did God create the system or is he simply complying to existing eternal laws? We know that God created all “things” but what does “things” represent? Perhaps they simply represent everything creatable within an existing set of eternal laws.
“If everybody has the same mind and is absolutely identical then how do we distinguish Ed from Fred? Does the concept of “Ed” and “Fred” disappear?”
I have heard it speculated that the reason that God said to Joseph “This is my beloved son” is for that very reason… because they otherwise were not distinguishable. However, I suspect that everyone does maintain a separate entity with regard to something, and I suspect it is the “spirit” that reveals who everyone is.
“Didn’t Joseph also say that there is always one intelligent greater than another? How does this greater than relationship fit in with ‘one mind’?”
Actually I think you might be thinking of a section out of the Book of Abraham;
“… if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal. And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.”
And that is a subject for another article.
- Comment by Just Peachy on February 16, 2009 3:32 pmMaybe the whole idea about the importance of “free agency” is a hoax. Also, where do women fit in? They have been thought of as inferior for most of the earth’s existence, and then in our day, they are considered the pinnacle of creation. Is the celestial Kingdom genderless? I doubt not. Especially in light of the “Proclamation on the Family”. This concept is way beyond my ability to appreciate. I value autonomy.
This all smarts of “A Course in Miracles”. Except we get to keep our bodies.
- Comment by onewhoiswatching on February 16, 2009 5:55 pmRegarding how gender fits into all of this…. See the editorial notes under the title for information regarding the interrelationship of the male and female genders in the eternities…
Regarding “Free Agency”- Actually, you bring up an interesting observation. I was hoping someone would bring it up. I almost included a section on agency in the article except that I am trying to reduce the ridiculous length of the articles I do.
The phrase “free agency” that we all grew up hearing about in Sunday school does not show up in the scriptures. Perhaps it is a hoax.
The word agency and also the phrase “moral agency” do show up.
I think we have been conditioned to assume that agency plays a different role in our progression than we may think.
The content presented in the article does not diminish the reality and importance of agency during this probation, it does however, reveal some hugely significant things about the nature of agency in the hereafter.
The main purpose of agency during probationary time is to allow people to choose light or darkness. After they use their agency during their probationary experience to choose light or darkness, there are eternal rewards and consequences attached.
“All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.”
- Comment by Just Peachy on February 16, 2009 10:10 pmIf truth and intelligence are independent in the “context” in which God has placed it. That must mean that we humans fit into this conversation someplace and somehow.
Truth is “knowledge of things as they are, were and will be”; intelligence is the light of truth. We are Spirit of truth. That which is Spirit is light. So we are independent inside that sphere, or context in which God has placed us. But, when I say, “we”, who is talking? We is a divisive word. So I will say, “I”, or SELF.
So, the next question is, Is the sphere in which we find ourselves one that God has placed us in, or did we fall into it? And, is there independence in the Sphere in which God places himself?
Is there independence in all spheres? Also, can we be independent “walking in darkness at noonday”? Is that a sphere that God places Truth and Intelligence in? Or is that a realm ruled by ego? I am reminded of the phrase, “If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”
Does the last scripture you quoted mean that agency “goes with” condemnation?
I had a hunch a while back that the mist of darkness in Lehi’s dream is our prized agency. It is a mirage, or smokescreen that hides what’s real. I have no scripture to back my hunch. Do you have any thoughts on this?
Also, in view of the fact that where there is no independence to act freely, there is no existence (existence meaning to stand away from, or apart from) (meaning to exist or stand away from God) is it possible to live without being agents in this life? or is it possible to be one with God in this life, having no existence of our own?
Perhaps that which was “from the beginning” meaning the agency and the condemnation of man could be referring to Satan and Jehovah. The Lord says that both of these were “from the beginning. ”
“And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was “from the beginning”, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.”
Going out on a limb, I have felt, beginning in the recent past, that agency really is about condemnation. Satan was all about being the Lord’s agent to redeem all mankind. And he needed “honor” to complete the agency that he was seeking. Could Honor be equivalent to “taking upon ourselves the “name” of Christ? Could “Honor” be equivalent to taking upon ourselves the priesthood? I know that sounds ludicrous and blasphemous, but why not explore it on a blog. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, so what is there to fear?
“But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.”
There is no word about being an agent here. No mention of “honor”. Agency is lacking in the Savior’s response.
“Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down; And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.”
Satan sought to combine agency with power. Maybe the use of agency “goes with” deception. Maybe agency, and power just don’t mix; like oil and water. Maybe, seeking agency destroys agency in others, as well as ourselves, and diminishes power. Agency implies duality, which implies the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”; which tree Adam was commanded not to partake of. Perhaps partaking of that tree “goes with” destroying agency.
Also, the record states that Satan “knew not the mind of God, wherefore, he sought to destroy the world”. Maybe it was the mind of God that the “world” be destroyed. The world spoken of is not a sphere of Truth and Intelligence, but is an imaginary place that each of us at one time pretend to walk and have life in, howbeit life that ends in death. This world seems real, and is over run by agents (like “Agent Smith”), It seems very real, because of the light that is described as being “how great that darkness is
- Comment by Just Peachy on February 16, 2009 10:19 pmA clarification, I said, “Agency implies duality, which implies the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”; which tree Adam was commanded not to partake of. Perhaps partaking of that tree “goes with” destroying agency.”
I want to add, “Perhaps partaking of that tree “goes with” destorying agency” by establishing our own agency.”
Also, I thought about Abraham, also seeking the priesthood, “And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.”
What is the difference between Satan’s seeking, and Abraham’s seeking?
- Comment by Dean K. on February 16, 2009 10:58 pmHi Anarchist,
I have made a big mistake using my first and last name in my postings. Every new article published on LDS Anarchy since I made my Prop 8 comment shows up when you Google my name. my fault, I know wordpress submits to the Google search database…should have thought about it more….
I am job searching now, and I’d like to keep personal religious views private with my friends here at your blog and at church or with my close friends.
Is there a way to remove the one comment with my first and last name and I will participate with a pseudonym in the future. I believe I only did one post with my first and last name DEAN K[.]
If you can do that, I’d be most grateful. Thank you….would you email me and let me know you got this?
- Comment by Dean K. on February 16, 2009 10:59 pmUh, what a dork. I put me name in the last comment. Can you drop that too. I swear I will never bother you again with this kind of annoyance.
- Comment by Just Peachy on February 17, 2009 4:59 amI have been laying in bed this morning, and the thought struck me, “What is what the secular world calls ‘ego’, and what the Lord calls ‘agency’ are the same?”
Inside of the “world” of the ego, there can no good thing come (Moroni 7). That is the world Satan wanted destroyed; however he knew not the plan of God, which was to have us fall into that world through partaking of the fruit of the knowledge of the Tree of Good and Evil.
You said above, that the purpose of agency is to allow people to choose between light and darkness. Choosing between the two is all inside the world of good and evil. When waking from that world, where there is no ego, but only the will and glory of God, there is no more light and darkness. That whole duality is a mirage, a creation inside of a dream state. Agents must be cloaked with the “honor” of God, or his priesthood. Outside that world there is no need for honor, because there is no dishonor.
- Comment by onewhoiswatching on February 17, 2009 7:32 amHoly Shamoly Peachy
You have really done it now. My head has been spinning after pondering the questions and observations you have shared…
Now I am going to have to add a small section into the article pertaining to agency…
Frankly, I think we are all at the stage where we have more questions than answers pertaining to agency, however I feel as if I am beginning to get a little more clarity on some of these issues.
It is interesting that we have been commanded to become as a child. What is it that differentiates a child from an adult? AGENCY.
Children submit themselves to their parents. Is not the age of accountability really the age of choice, or agency?
After the judgment, those that go to hell and are ruled by Satan in outer DARKNESS no longer have the agency to choose good and evil, likewise, those who become exalted and have their own will swallowed up in the will of the Father, taking on the mind of the Holy Ghost also no longer have the option of choosing darkness.
Those in the telestial and terrestrial glories are ruled by those glories as well…
BTW Anarchist, why doesn’t my “child” picture show up anymore when I post replies? I just realized why I was inspired to choose it when I created my profile.
- Comment by Just Peachy on February 17, 2009 7:42 amWhat I mean is that when leaving the world, there is no light based on a comparison with darkness. Light stands on its own and has no opposite. Just a thought. I don’t know if it is true.
Also, whose agents are we. D&C 29 says we are agents unto ourselves. That world is our creation and is ruled over by ego, or agency, which ultimately is inspired by Satan. God gives no commandment pertaining to that realm. All his commandments are spiritual.
Also, little children, the example being the “holy child Jesus (See Moroni 8:3) (in otherwords, Mormon is not talking exclusively about little children under the age of eight) are whole and have no need of baptism, or a physician. Applying this verse to us, and not only little children under 8, If we are whole, we are not divided. We are not of the world of duality, and we are not agents. Just another thought.
- Comment by LDS Anarchist on February 17, 2009 12:26 pmOWIW, I don’t know why it isn’t showing up. Perhaps you are not logged in when commenting?
- Comment by NEPT on February 17, 2009 8:22 pmHey Anarchy, someone with the handle “enlightened” left the following comment as a response to an article on CNN.com’s “Ticker” about Mitt Romney unloading his multimillion-dollar “cabins”:
“This level of economic disparity will result in anarchy….and the revolution will be televised !!!!!!!!”
(February 17th, 2009 1:25 pm ET)
- Comment by Dean K. on February 17, 2009 9:08 pmAnarchist,
Your post raises some interesting ideas which I have never considered or, in a couple of places, ever heard of. Very stimulating. I have some thoughts.
INDIVIDUALITY AND SAMENESS
I believe there’s something to what you posit. Consider that we know that man’s desire for individual satisfaction (I actually don’t like that word) or his will-to-power, is the centerpiece of Satan’s appeal to our ego. We are conditioned to believe in “having it our way” as long as it doesn’t hurt others. That seems reasonable at first glance. But from there we have the slow downhill slide into psychological isolation and the construction of Fortress Self. It is counterintuitive, of course, to think of individuality as a bad thing. However, individuality qua individuality is problematic. Observe how complete compliance to the laws and ordinances of the gospel as we know it is often considered draconian, unnatural, and even unhealthy by the general public. Why? Because it does modify character, bringing it into line with an ideal which is LESS INDIVIDUALISTIC than it would otherwise be. We become more alike, sharing values and behaving the same way. In this sense, I would argue that individuality, in the popular every-day sense that we have come think of it and celebrate it in the late 20th century is not an urgent eternal concern. Self-realization, self-actualization, self-esteem are man-made notions. They may lead to a feeling of strong self-concept, but this is not necessarily the same thing as strong Self, which is eternal.
I would extend your idea of fulfillment through reflection of the Father to perhaps include a recognition that we are conscious beings that EXPERIENCE things differently. We have unique perceptions, feelings, subjective reactions that cannot be taken from us because we are intelligent. I believe that its possible that although we may become EXACTLY like the Father, we retain our knowledge of this life, we remember what we lived, we have an emotional history through which we experience the same Fullness of the Father. We remain subjectively tied to many things about HOW WE LIVED, including those things we sealed to ourselves in the temple. This subjective perception is Heideggers Dasein, which he correctly (I believe) identifies as ALL THERE REALLY IS, ALL THAT EXISTS.
Instead of a superficial ego-based “individuality” promoted here on Earth, it may be that true uniqueness is what our personal histories, especially family experiences, bring to the radically subjective experience of being “exactly” like the Father in Eternity. In other words, personal uniqueness,”identity” if you will, might reside in our psychological experiences, our intelligence, our memories, forever.
What else would there be but intelligence? Assuming the Universe itself is perfect, it is also elegant. There would be no need to appear or even behave differently than the Father. I would assume it would be mathematically improbable for a Perfected Celestially Glorified Being to be perceived by others, especially to an ordinary mortal man, as anything other than Heavenly Father or Heavenly Mother. If all perfections, privelidges, dignities, glories, honors, beauties and virtues are bestowed on such exalted beings, they should have the same terminus of physical expression. This would follow natural laws, mathematical truths, and the sense of beauty.
What keeps us individuals is what resides inside this manifestation, which is our subjective experience, which has its own name and its own progression. I find this to be potentially a more rewarding way of thinking about who I am eternally. I am what I saw, what I felt, how I learned, how I got to be like the Father. It would be the story of my journey that makes me “an individual”.
I thank you for your provocative post, it really made me think about this issue.
- Comment by PallasAthena on February 17, 2009 10:03 pmOWIW:
I enjoyed your post, as I always do, but I believe you made a slight error in one of your statements. You said:
Despite talks by modern leaders to the contrary, there is nothing wrong with worshipping Jesus Christ. He is the God that atoned for our sins and he is one with the father. The Nephites worshipped him when Christ visited them and he did not rebuke them for doing it.
That is only partially correct. A careful reading of the scriptures reveals that the only time anyone worships Jesus is when He is in their presence. When He is not around, we worship the Father.
You mention the Nephites worshiping Him and not being rebuked. 3 Nephi 19 is a good example showing the difference between when Jesus is with us and when He is not. When He was not with the Nephites they prayed to the Father, when He was, they prayed to Him. Also in Doctrine and Covenants 109, the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland Temple, Joseph begins by praying to the Father and makes an abrupt change after vs 29 and prays the rest of the prayer to Jesus. I found this intriguing one time when I read it and tried to figure out why; I found a quote from Joesph Smith stating that Jesus had come in during the prayer, or something along those lines. I looked for the reference tonight to cite here but can’t find my notes on this subject. The baptism prayer as given by Jesus in 3 Nephi is different from the one we use in the church today, but we would it word for word if He were here. So, yes, in certain circumstances it is appropriate to worship and pray to Jesus, but not always.
Just a side note, but an important one. Thanks again for the post.
- Comment by LDS Anarchist on February 19, 2009 9:35 pmDean, fyi, this isn’t my post. It’s OWIW’s post. But I still enjoyed your comment and perception. When I think of this topic, I can’t help of thinking of the research of Stan Tenen.
I would express it is in this manner: God (and all other exalted beings) encompasses the one and the all at the same time. So, He represents infinite individuality, which to us looks like sameness. We, on the other hand, express only extremely limited individuality. His goal, then, is to expand us and bring us to His level of individuality, which requires us to be in learning mode and not teaching mode, until we get to His level. At that point, we get to express the infinite and truly understand the joy of the Gods.
But I liked how you put it, too.
- Comment by SearcherForTruth on February 19, 2009 10:03 pmLove this post! So true. Have you read the temple book by Max Skousen? Very, Very good.
- Comment by PallasAthena on February 20, 2009 9:08 pmSearcherForTruth-
Do you have a copy of the latest edition of the Temple Book. I have an older version. Apparently he updated it and had it available on his website before he died. After he passed on, his family took the website down and now the final version is unavailable. Do you have or know where to find it?
- Comment by Malachi on February 23, 2009 5:22 amHey there Watcher,
This is a great blog. I really like the idea that the Celestial being surrenders his will totally to God and in return God gives the Celestial being all that he has. That is beautiful. But not all people want that. I belive that the terrestrial being does not want to do that and I belive that God allows them the “free agency”, if I can use that term, to worship him in what ever way they choose.
The Israelites at the foot of Mt Sinai didn’t want to surrender their will to God and placed Moses inbetween them and God. I think that this is a classic example of a Terrestrial being. They worship God but any communications between God and them needs to come through a prophet, priest, king or popel
In the scriptures I can see as least three groups of people and their way of worshipping represented and if there are three than why not as there are today.
1. the Ezekiel temple seems to represent an eternal form of worship. I personally can’t see them sacrificing animals throughout eternity but in chapters 40 – 48 there is described a group of people that is cohesive and complete and autotonomous in their relationship.
2. the New Jerusalem temple complex with it’s 24 temple complex seems to represent a terrestrial people, not a celestial people that will last throughout the millennium at least.
3. the mysterious Heathen is for sure a group of people that are separate and distinct from anyother. I see no reason to assume they will change their way of living or worshipping. To me this includes those who worship Buddah, Islam or just the tribes of africa who worship a great God of some kind.
Terrestrial peoples have at least two things in common. They are truely the good people of the earth that want to live simple lives in peace and safety and they all worship God.
These are some of my thoughts for what they are worth.
- Comment by onewhoiswatching on February 23, 2009 8:15 pmGreat observations Malachi. Thanks for sharing.
There is one other definition that comes to mind pertaining to the terrestrials.
“These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.” D&C 76: 75
- Comment by Just Peachy on February 23, 2009 9:30 pmBringing this back to what I said about agency, Lucifer sought for honor from the Father. Perhaps honor was all important to him. Perhaps he was very honorable. So those who “at last” have achieved a state where they receive honor, give honor, and live for honor are those who have the agency game mastered. But they are not of Christ, in that they stand for “thy will be done and the glory be thine forever”. Honor was not a big deal to Christ.
- Comment by Just Peachy on February 23, 2009 9:32 pmI guess what I mean is “they do NOT stand for “thy will be done and the glory be thine forever”.
- Comment by onewhoiswatching on February 24, 2009 8:21 amJust Peachy
Would you agree that agency is a temporary gift rather than an eternal entitlement?
Is it possible that the key to transferring from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil over to the tree of life is not only in using agency to choose light over evil, but in the ultimate sense, to exercise agency to give up agency… to have our will swallowed up in the will of the Father?
After this wonderful probationary experience, those who are ruled by Satan no longer have their agency. According to the information documented in the article, those who become exalted take on the mind of the Holy Ghost and no longer choose between good and evil.
This leaves those who are guided by the telestial and terrestrial glories. We have been given precious little information about their existence, but we know they are completely clean. Even the telestials are completely clean after their 1,000 years of therapy and I suspect they are completely being guided by the power of the telestial glory no longer choosing between good and evil.
- Comment by Just Peachy on February 26, 2009 1:01 amOWIW, You asked,
“Would you agree that agency is a temporary gift rather than an eternal entitlement?”
I would say that it is neither, although it could be considered a gift, but not in the sense that we think of. It is rather a mirage, or like a smokescreen that hides what is real. Like I said previously, I feel it is the mist of darkness in Lehi’s dream. It is what the Lord was referring to when he said, “when the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” It is what trips us up, causes us to refuse the invitation to grasp hold of the Rod of Iron, because the mist seems so real. We then wander off into strange paths. It appears to be real, whereas the rod goes counter to everything we’ve been conditioned to believe.
Grasping hold of the rod turns our whole world upside down and inside out. The moment we grasp hold of the rod, our senses, and everything we have invested in tells us that we are making the ultimate sacrifice.
Perhaps Sidney had this in mind when he said, “Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things [by the way, the things of God cannot be sacrificed] never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation. For a man to lay down his all [HIS ALL is everything that is HIS, meaning his agency, that which caused separation of HIS things from GOD”S things], his character and reputation, his honor, and applause, his good name among men, his houses, his lands, his brothers and sisters, his wife and children, and even his own life also — counting all things but filth and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ [HE IS THE ROD OF IRON]– requires more than mere belief or supposition that he is doing the will of God; but actual knowledge, realizing that, when those sufferings [THAT IS THE INITIAL SHOCK OF TOUCHING AND CLINGING TO THE ROD] are ended, he will enter into eternal rest, and be a partaker of the glory of God [THIS IS ULTIMATE ONENESS: THE GLORY OF GOD BECOMES YOUR GLORY BECAUSE YOU ARE GOD].”
Sidney is inviting us to give up our priced agency, and take hold of the Rod. But many let go of the rod when it is presented to them, and trust rather in the mist of darkness which seems to be light, or they trust in their agency, or the agency that resides in institutions and others.
Although it feels real and appears to be light, our senses which are agency, or ego driven, can’t safely be trusted in this thing. When it’s presented, it’s important to follow intuition which says to grasp hold of the rod; let its shock go through you and continually cling to the iron rod at the expense of trusting all other senses. It doesn’t matter the security, comfort, and functionality our senses, feelings, and conditioning (in a word: our agency) have afforded us, ultimately they cannot be relied upon to save us.
Being an “agent” begins by declaring our sovereignty away from the mind of God. It is also a tacit declaration that God is somehow inadequate; that he can’t do his own work; that he needs us. This inadequacy becomes the space or clearing that the work of agency takes place in. In the short run, agency looks and works very well; but ultimately agency is based uponf inadequacy that breeds anger and fear.
Lucifer’s petition for agency is what brought about his expulsion from the presence and mind of God. Once outside the realm of THAT mind, not knowing THAT mind any longer; in other words, having sought to become an agent unto himself, seeking to do his own will masquerading as doing a huge favor for the Father; he sought to destroy the opportunity of agency that God gave or allowed men to possess. That doesn’t mean that agency was a gift in the sense that most consider gifts to be, nor does it mean that agency was of God. Agency is a deviation from the mind of God, and Lucifer became Satan the moment he deviated from the mind of God, and Sought to prevent all men the same liberty he gave himself.
Agency goes with the mind that would see God as being inadequate. But in the end, God uses agency as the means to turn men to God, and RECOGNIZE, OR KNOW what they had possessed all along. “[God gives] unto men weakness [agency or condemnation] that they may be humble.” This humility, contriteness, and possession of a broken heart (which is the only choice that man really has) is the only access to the atonement of Jesus Christ; atonement being at-ONE-ment, meaning no more agency. This is what might be referred to as being given the gift of forgiveness and repentance. Forgiveness and repentance give men a new view that what they thought was real really isn’t; that what they thought was not real really is. Forgiveness and repentance is the beginning of waking up from the sleepwalk of walking in darkness at noonday.
So we also, like Lucifer, petition God to be “his son” or “his church” but on terms that he also give us his honor or his priesthood. If our petition is granted, it can only be granted on terms that we too fall, for the concept of agency can only exist in a dream state, or a fallen world; a world that isn’t real; a world that is outside of the presence and influence of God; a world that is not eternal, but is designed to eventually die, along with all inside it.
Receiving honor becomes a counterfeit, or a substitute of experiencing the glory of God. Terrestrial people are very luciferian in this regard. They are very honorable. They aspire and eventually possess great honor that superficially satisfies and clouds or blots out a yearning to return to our premortal experience of partaking in the glory and Oneness of God.
The scripture you quoted states that where there is no agency there is no existence. I looked up the word existence. Etymologically breaking it down, it means “to stand beside, or away from”. This is where existence takes place. This type of existence does not go with being in the presence of God. In this regard, Christ did not exist. He did not stand outside, or beside God. He did nothing of his own accord. All personal actions were swallowed up in the will of the Father. Paradoxically, what appears to be existence really isn’t. It is all mirage, and a dream. In that world of supposed existence, where what is darkness is perceived as being light, there is no truth or intelligence. There is no independence.
As Shakespeare said,
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
So also is the “gift” of agency.
- Comment by Just Peachy on February 26, 2009 1:12 amAnother thought. The telestial Kingdom is here. We are in it; according to a phrase in the temple dialogue. I would say that both kingdoms are kingdoms that are agency based; the difference being that one has honor, and one does not.
- Comment by onewhoiswatching on February 26, 2009 8:33 amIn a sense this world represents the telestial kingdom, as that law would come the closest to describing this world… and for that matter I suppose you could make a case for the fact that all four kingdoms are represented on this earth according to the four classes of individual inhabiting it, nevertheless, the telestial kingdom described in section 76 is not referring to this world.
It is referring to an after life kingdom of glory in eternity.
“And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding..”
I hardly think they were viewing this world while en-wrapped in vision.
Furthermore, we are informed that
“they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.”
I still think that once a person receives a fulness of the telestial glory, they are clean and pure and they are totally guided by the principles and laws of that glory, no longer having the option of choosing evil.
Admittedly, I have not put much thought into this and cannot prove to my own satisfaction from the scriptures that this theory is correct.
- Comment by Just Peachy on February 26, 2009 9:51 amWhat happened to the rest of my comment? It was really long. I saw it there after I submitted it, but it isn’t there now.
- Comment by onewhoiswatching on February 27, 2009 7:39 amYou will need to check with the Anarchist about that… he is the techno-guru and the master administrator of the site. However, I don’t think wordpress allows anyone to manipulate a response.
I have noticed that the site looked a little strange a few time during the last few days.. I am wondering it there have been some technical problems with it.
- Comment by Just Peachy on February 27, 2009 10:58 amI thought it was weird to see my comment posted the night before, and then when I went to look at the comment the next day, it wasn’t there. Then I wrote the short comment wondering where my long comment was, but when I checked it again I saw the comment was there just as it was when I posted it. Maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me. It was a huge investment of time on my behalf, and I did not copy it elsewhere, so I was relieved to see it again.
I have had the same thoughts about the telestial kingdom that you have had.
I have wondered how could this earth life be called the telestial kingdom in the temple dialogue, but at the same time in section 76 be portrayed as a final resting place after judgment takes place where all progression stops.
Frankly I am relieved each time I hear in the temple that this place where we now live is the telestial kingdom. I am relieved because I rationalize that this place isn’t so bad, and I can still progress out of it if I want to. Actually, any place can be hellish AND endurable as long as there exists the possibility of leaving it sometime. When that possibility closes, and all progression ceases, that is the moment hell begins!
Perhaps this is the reason I shy away from taking seriously section 76. It doesn’t matter how unimaginably beautiful a place can be; if it lacks the possibility of progression, it seems that it would be hellish. When I read section 76, I am always bothered by the finality of it all. And at the same time, I see that it is impossible for me to be anything more than “telestial material”. I find delight most of the time in being sinful, angry, vengeful, petty, getting away with lying, gaining the advantage over my neighbor &c. Once in a while, though, “my drops do sparkle” (to take the last line from the movie “Camelot”), and I find myself in a context where all the old baggage simply has disappeared, but it doesn’t last long. The Celestial attributes that are described in section 76 seem so much out of my nature and reach, that it is exhausting just thinking about hoping for such a place. It also doesn’t really seem like I would enjoy all that righteousness, piety, and purity. It just doesn’t seem like ME.
This reminds me of a time when I was serving in primary, and the faculty was trying to show the primary kids the different degrees of glory. Different rooms in the building represented different degrees, and the kids would advance to each kingdom after learning what section 76 said about each. When the kids got to the Celestial Kingdom, the adults were in their white temple clothes, and the part about the Celestial Kingdom in section 76 was read to the kids. There wasn’t one kid that was interested in it. They all knew they SHOULD be interested in that kind of stuff, but they just weren’t. So the whole presentation, rather than inspiring them to greater heights, produced guilt instead because they just didn’t feel what they should have been feeling.
Where I get hung up is in the finality of the different kingdoms. I can not be reconciled to it being a fact that the lack of progression and possibility that exists in the telestial and terrestrial kingdoms is justly compensated for by the unimaginable happiness that exists there along with the unimaginable beauty and such that also is there. I don’t care how unimaginably beautiful or happy it is, I could never be happy there knowing that I had missed the chance to be with my father in the Celestial Kingdom.
It seems that the only way the “section 76 telestial kingdomites” could be happy is if they took on being resigned to what could have been, basically numbing themselves to the pain of knowing what was no longer possible. Maybe the “therapy” you say they will go through for a thousand years will be the lobotomy they will need that will make living in such a “happy” place possible. I always pictured their “therapy” as being so exhausting that finally, after a thousand years of such exhaustive therapy, something will snap in their psyches and they will humbly, meekly, but resignedly enter into their kingdom, taking comfort in knowing that they actually received more than they deserved. There will be no possibility of a miracle of transformation that might take place in their lives anymore. there will always be a ceiling to how high they can reach. Their final resting place will be mete for them. At least they will have pretty vistas, and great bowling alleys, and nice tea parties. YUCK!
In this earthly “telestial kingdom” we think progression is still possible and maybe that’s what makes life endurable . But maybe that illusive carrot always dangling in front of us is all a hoax. Maybe the possibility of progression really is not available to us telestialites, and for that reason we keep on playing the “someday, maybe game”. Maybe it is as difficult (except in our fantasies) as it is for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle. Maybe something has to be given up in this kingdom that is impossible to give up, something so enormously nurturing, that it would produce supposed death if we were to give it up. Maybe we are as stuck in our progression as those who live in the “section 76 telestial kingdom” are.
Maybe there is more to section 76 than has been revealed.
I think it causes more questions, than it gives answers.
- Comment by JL on February 27, 2009 12:59 pmFor what this is worth, I’ll joke with my friends that the reason we all came to earth was to attend high school. Why? Because you learn so much about the nature of man and existence within those walls.
In high school, everyone is trying to find their own identity among the masses. We want to know who we are, start to figure out what we like, and what we want to do. There are three different groups that come to different conclusions.
First, the loafers. These guys know they need to be in school but hate it. They don’t do the work they loaf around and are not headed anywhere. And beyond reason, they seem to like it because they don’t do anything to change that fact. Telestial.
Second, you have the okay kids who are taking the normal classes that will get them graduated. They kind of study and can get into a college if they want. Nothing too exciting about them in education. They do what they need to get by. And, they like not having the pressure. Terestrial.
Third, there are those other kids, taking AP classes trying to get into Harvard. They work hard and are excited about learning. They know what they want and go after it to the best of their ability. The pressure is on and they rise. Celestial.
Now, at this point anyone can change if they want. They can get tutors, they can have a defining moment and move toward a future. Their progression is possible. But, despite what people want to believe, these people are happy where they are. The pressure involved and the responsibility level suites them where they are. They don’t care about growing, about becoming more. If they really did, they would change.
The thing I like about this website is learning that there are others out there not wanting to settle. I like knowing that others also want it all. This desire is pure and I know the Lord will help anyone, willing and able, to achieve it. No guts, no glory. The only thing I have to offer is my agency. I need to give up the one thing I own, and tell the Lord that “not my will, but thine be done.” Trying to do that all the time is tough, hard, frustrating and not impossible. I just need to take some new classes on the trying of spirits, gifts of the spirit, revelation, signs of the times, etc. to learn how to function at a different level. I need to prepare, because I know that I will not be satisfied unless I have it all.
Whose with me?
- Comment by onewhoiswatching on February 27, 2009 2:46 pmI think that is a great analogy JL.
I must confess however that I am not as bothered about the thought of not being able to progress eternally as Just Peachy is. I am fine with receiving a fulness of whichever kingdom my eternal potentiality merits. I am comfortable just reaching a blissful state of Nirvana… in the kingdom I belong in.
I feel that if I am ultimately a terrestrial kingdom person, it is because the Lord took my unorganized intelligence from a terrestrial world before organizing it, and therefore it would only make sense that I would ultimately, after the probationary experience, return to that glory.
I realize this may sound like predestination… but then again, those scriptures that use that word were never changed in the inspired version.
I think we all need to try as hard as we can to obey the commandments and accept the atonement and the grace of God in our lives, but after all we can do, we will by the grace of God, go where we will be most comfortable.
I honestly don’t think the terrestrials will look at the Celestials with envy or regret, any more than I look at the great prophets in history with envy. I love them and appreciate what they have done, but I don’t want to trade places with any of them.
- Comment by Just Peachy on February 27, 2009 3:19 pmJL
Your analogy rubs me the wrong way. Probably because I hated high school. Because of my family name, they (the administration) pulled some strings, and I graduated having failed math. I never liked Chiropractic School either. I wanted to be a concert pianist, and was failing my classes, but because my dad used his influence, they, (the administration) bent the guidelines, and I graduated.
I hate the practice of people dividing people into separate groups of loafers, those that perform with mediocrity, and those who seek to excel. That smacks of division rather than being one. Zion is about people being ONE, but not at the expense of excluding those that don’t fit in. Perhaps you are thinking that those who don’t fit in will stay away on their own accord. But maybe Zion, rather than focusing on excluding those that don’t fit in because they don’t fit in, or they are rebellious, or lethargic; Maybe Zion would be inspiring to these misfits, and out of being inspiring, these misfits, or loafers would be touched by the glory of Zion; maybe they would be moved to transform their lives and take on inspiring others in ways that are unique to them only.
Going back to your analogy, maybe the loafers loaf because they cannot stomach a system that is corrupt, but pretends to be otherwise. Maybe they loaf to effect a change at home. Maybe they don’t know any other way to deal with life, except to loaf. Maybe loafing is there way of challenging authority Perhaps they have the one thing missing in those who are mediocre, and those who seek to excel that would transform a sick society into one that expresses tolerance for those who don’t quite fit the mold (like me).
The thought of others suffering some final punishment, or being given a reward based on what they deserved doesn’t make sense to me. In the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2, Lehi tells Jacob “Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer”. His redemption had nothing to do with him, but with his redeemer. I know that is a point of doctrine that could be a subject of dispute. But I take comfort in it. Living life from a viewpoint that what I do here will land me in a place that is doomed although teeming with unimaginable happiness, is not a good enough motive to live “righteously”. there’s got to be more to the picture. Maybe Joseph and Sydney who were both rebels in their own rights, will reveal it. Until then, I will be dissatisfied.
In the meantime, I take comfort that God is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient, unlike any administrator in a public high school.
- Comment by JL on February 27, 2009 8:49 pmJust Peachy,
You said, “The thought of others suffering some final punishment, or being given a reward based on what they deserved doesn’t make sense to me.”
See if this makes sense. I think, like OWIW, there is a predestination. After all, if God is Omnipotent, the moment we all left his presence, wouldn’t He know who would return to what degree of glory? I would put forth the idea that the reason we are here, is to prove to ourselves which glory we deserve. So that when we’re placed their, we will have no doubt as to it being the correct choice. So, this life is all about the journey. Cliche, but fitting. We’re on this earth, we don’t know who we really were as eternal beings, we don’t have a memory of that life, we’re in a place where we can’t see our Father…I’d say our chips our down.
But God did not forsake us. We all have the ability in us to pull out of it because we can all accept the atonement in our lives.
In my analogy, each group is full of individuals with all different stories. However, the psychological basis in the group is the same. There are general reasons why loafers stay in their group. Usually it’s fear. In fact, I’d say the reason all of us don’t succeed to being a genius is because of fear. We fear the power we have to be great. Why human’s do that is my life’s philosophical pursuit.
I understand that we all have different paths we’ve taken to get to this present moment. Every second of every day, each of us in this world, from Canada, to Argentina, to Africa to China, have a chance to be a better person. The Savior says, “I have overcome the world”, I think of it as He was never fearful of anyone or any thing. That is what I take comfort in. I like having a fearless player on my team.
- Comment by onewhoiswatching on February 27, 2009 10:33 pmPallasAthena
“I enjoyed your post, as I always do, but I believe you made a slight error in one of your statements. You said:
Despite talks by modern leaders to the contrary, there is nothing wrong with worshipping Jesus Christ. He is the God that atoned for our sins and he is one with the father. The Nephites worshipped him when Christ visited them and he did not rebuke them for doing it.
That is only partially correct. A careful reading of the scriptures reveals that the only time anyone worships Jesus is when He is in their presence. When He is not around, we worship the Father.”
Pallas, I think you missed the point of the article. God the Father and Christ are ONE. If you have seen Christ, you have seen the Father. If you worship the Father, you worship the Son.
According to the dictionary, “the reverence and homage paid to someone in religious exercises, consisting in adoration, confession, prayer, thanksgiving and the like, is the act of worshiping them.
Do the scriptures not show forth the adoration of Christ when he is not around?
Do they not command us to confess Christ when he is not around?.
And what about praying to Christ when he is not around? Is that not a form of worship?
There are several times in the Book of Mormon where people pray directly to Christ.
Perhaps one of the most powerful example is as follows;
“And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul. And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am bin the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.” Alma 36
Later, a few chapters later a reiteration takes place
“And it came to pass that I was three days and three nights in the most bitter pain and anguish of soul; and never, until I did cry out unto the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy, did I receive a remission of my sins. But behold, I did cry unto him and I did find peace to my soul.
And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the blight of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness.”
It seems to me that praying to Christ is a form of worshipping him as well.
- Pingback by “I WILL TELL YOU IN YOUR MIND AND IN YOUR HEART” « Three Watches on February 28, 2009 10:11 am[…] has been awhile since I have posted anything on this site. I recently posted an article about the Fulness of the Father over on the Anarchy […]
- Comment by jeffersonhep2 on May 12, 2009 12:58 pmthis is very good i would agree im having a little trouble with looking the exact same we are all sons and daughters of god we were created after his image or after the same likeness as are heavenly father and a heavenly mother jesus christ the only begotten son therefore he looks similar and being begotten for a lot of reasons one main one is because if you search deep enough and find the doctrine of this and through prayer you will understand but heavenly father procreated with mary simple as that are spirits will be the same hence we are his spirit children are glory will be the same except those that have created more recieve more glory if you recall joseph smith seeing his brother alvin as an exalted being he described him as the same but perfected and with glory so i dont know boys ill go pray about that part and you may be right i dont know
- Comment by onewhoiswatching on May 14, 2009 3:08 pmJeffersonhep2
your observation about being created in the image of God is very pertinent to the article and the “fulness of the father” doctrine.
May I suggest that a very important key pertaining to this topic has to do with the fact that God created man in his own image in the spiritual creation during the 6th day BEFORE man was formed from the dust of the ground and made a living soul, which did not take place until the 7th day of creation.
That means, that the spiritual creation of Gods spiritual offspring (which were begotten UNTO him.. see section 76) was created in the likeness and image of God not only before being made a living soul from the dust of the ground, but also before God separated the male and female intelligences within Adam and before the fall of Adam.
Hence, even though we often claim that we (in our current fallen state, with our male and female parts separated) are in the image of God, the original scripture from which this image of God” doctrine comes from ( Gen 1:27), actually is saying that our composite bodies in the pre-mortal existence were in the image of God.
Why is this important?
Among other things, 1) This tells us that it may be inappropriate to claim that we, in our fallen condition are currently in the image of God and 2) This provides a strong witness of the importance of a man and woman needing to be “sealed” back together in order to receive the highest potential glory in the kingdom of God.
For more on the eternal nature of composite beings and related information to the fulness of the father doctrine, see the following article;
- Pingback by For those who are Watching… « Because I am Watching on June 19, 2009 9:15 am[…] The Fulness of the Father […]