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Exaltation and Eternal Life
Xavier posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionThere seems to be a common misconception about what exaltation really is, among some members of the church. While discussing this topic in a Facebook LDS group, it is thought that anyone in the celestial kingdom will be exalted. I tried to explain that that is not the case. Exaltation is reserved only for those who enter into the everlasting covenant of celestial marriage which is the highest level in the celestial kingdom. So, she was a little upset because she didn't think that was fair. She is a single lady and has done everything in her power to live the standards and has kept all of her covenants in the temple and feels she is "married" to the Lord (she hasn't found someone to marry in the temple). I made the attempt to explain that she need no worry because the lord will make sure she has a chance to be sealed to a worthy priesthood holder either in this life or the next. Of course, exaltation and eternal life s a broad and vast subject but the gist of it is the union of two celestial law abiding individuals who are one with God. What is your take on this?
TurboGirl posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionWhy after we die would we continue to have children? After the second coming the earth will end so what is the point to having children? The church promises women in the church, that never have a chance to marry in this life, that they will have a chance in the next life and will have children then...but how do you raise a child in the church when they are already in Heaven? I was baptized in the church, and went off and on, but I just never really got into it. I didn't know some of the deep stuff until my mom died, and my dad got really into the church and married another women for time and eternity basically making him a polygamist. I have been trying to understand all this stuff, and I know there is no way of proving any of it. But every time me and my dad talk about the things I just can't wrap my head around it turns into a huge fight. So maybe someone here can help me at least understand what I am doing to trigger him so I can at least be able to talk with him again without the fighting.
exaltation Getting lost in the right path...
Noel T. Batac posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionHow can one possibly get lost in the right path? I could not think of a better illustration than that of the Savior’s parable of the ten virgins. The five did not fall out of membership, yet they were excluded from exaltation. I am a religious educator for 25 years now. Still, day in day out, I struggle with the question of what ifs... What if I don’t make it? What’s the point of thinking I won’t make it? Will the Lord not want me to make it? So every night? I end up petitioning; “Dear Father in Heaven, help me enter the very kingdom I build…”
I've reached a conclusion that I don't like based on the revelations. I've always liked the idea of being the literal offspring of God the Father, but now I'm not so sure. My question is if there's anything wrong with my conclusion. First, some statements of fact. Fact #1: God was once a man on an earth. Joseph Smith confirmed this in the King Follet sermon. Fact #2: Exalted couples continue to have offspring in eternity. (D&C 132:19, also in the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, trust me it's in there) Fact #3: Joseph Smith basically confirmed that God the Father is himself a Christ in the sermon in the Grove. I am merely saying it's a fact that Joseph Smith said it, not that God actually is a Christ (though I think he is.) Fact #4: God the Father, Jesus Christ, and man are all the same race of being. I.e. God is not different in kind from us. After all, he did say "Man of Holiness is my name." Now for some assumptions based on the revelations and logic which flows from them. Assumption #1: there's an infinite progression and regression of gods. (eg. Heavenly grandpa, Go as far back as you want) Assumption #2: God the Father's mortal life was that of a Christ. He lived without sin and was divine. Assumption #3: God cannot give the pains of atonement to Jesus unless he himself has experienced an atonement. I assume this for two reasons. Reason #1: omniscience wouldn't cut it, "now the spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the son of God suffer at the cording to the flash that he might take upon him the sins of his people" Alma 7:13, which could potentially mean that God the Father would have needed to know these things by experience in order to cause Christ's suffering in Gethsemane. Reason #2: All things being equal between God and Jesus as far as degree is concerned. Christ having experienced the atonement would logically make him greater than God, having more intelligence by virtue of his experience as Christ. And that doesn't sound right. Assumption #4: by reason of assumption #3, we can conclude one thing: that only a Christ can bring forth a Christ. Or in other words, a man who has not been a Christ does not have the intelligence required for such an endeavor. Now for the progression of logical steps which lead to the conclusion. Step #1: Exalted persons have spirit children, not children in the flesh. (being born in the flesh in the presence of God would be a state of damnation, like that of the garden of Eden) Step #2: Said spirit children cannot have a fullness of joy and cannot be gods themselves, unless they have bodies. Step #3: Said spirit children will therefore require a Plan of Salvation. Step #4: Said Plan of Salvation requires a Christ. Step #5: Problem; none of these perfected, exalted persons are capable of bringing forth a Christ, because an atonement for said Christ requires more intelligence than they possess. Step #6: Solution; Jesus Christ, Our lord, presents a Plan of Salvation, and brings forth his Christ. Which would make Jesus Christ the God of the children of the exalted of this Earth. CONCLUSION: Therefore, God the father is not the literal father of our spirits, but the redeemer of our parents in the spirit. Now, some contradictions. Jesus Christ is said to be the firstborn in the spirit, this first born status is relative. Meaning God had other children. Also, Joseph F Smith and his counselors declared that we are God's offspring. Another thing I'm not sure about is how a Christ atones for intelligences which are not yet born in the spirit but are later born in the spirit to parents who's earlier children have already been redeemed. This system of mine implies some kind of eternal progression of messiahs, and I have no idea how this really works. This entire conclusion rides on the idea that God needs to have experienced an atonement in order to give an atonement. (But then there's still the issue of Christ being "greater" than God) So if you would be so kind as to poke holes in my conclusion, I would be most grateful. Cheers
Exaltation and Isaiah 66: 1-2
Seek posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionGreetings everyone, and peace be with you. I am considering becoming a member of the Church, as I like many of the teachings. However, when it comes to the nature of God and exaltation, it is one teaching I cannot accept — not because I am not open to the idea, but because I feel there is no sound case for it; Isaiah 66, verses 1 & 2 come to mind. Isaiah seems to make clear that God is spirit, and that a particular man shall one day embody that spirit — the Christ. Notice that God poses the question, "Where is the place of my rest?" I would be grateful for your thoughts on this. New American Bible, Revised Edition Thus says the Lord: The heavens are my throne, the earth, my footstool. What house can you build for me? Where is the place of my rest? My hand made all these things when all of them came to be—oracle of the Lord. This is the one whom I approve: the afflicted one, crushed in spirit, who trembles at my word. King James Version Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. Young's Literal Translation Thus said Jehovah: The heavens [are] My throne, And the earth My footstool, Where [is] this — the house that ye build for Me? And where [is] this — the place — My rest? And all these My hand hath made, And all these things are, An affirmation of Jehovah! And unto this one I look attentively, Unto the humble and bruised in spirit, And who is trembling at My word.
The Worship of God
prisonchaplain posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionMany LDS are familiar with Christian Praise and Worship music. At concerts, and in many churches, it is common to see people singing to God, with eyes closed and hands upraised. There is a sense of communion with God, and the participant engages in adoration, praise--worship. We expect to continue this type of expression throughout eternity. My question: Does the LDS teaching of exaltation suggest that at some point, rather than extended worship to God, the exalted one will be receiving worship from his creation? If so, will his relationship with God become more that of colleagues, rather than that of Father God and created soul?
Do some LDS meditate?
prisonchaplain posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionIt dawned on me today that meditation might be more compatible with LDS spirituality than with traditional Christian practice. Oh, of course we meditate on the word of God. However, I'm thinking of the kind where the practioner quiets herself, and searches within. My speculation is that one who is LDS may seek that place where the veil between mortality and premortality is thinner. Likewise, she make seek glimpses into future exaltation. Am I way off here, or is meditation, and similar practices, something that attracts some LDS?
The Father as a Savior
The Folk Prophet posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionSo I was reading in the Christian General Beliefs Board and came across this from Vort: I thought I’d open up a new topic in the LDS Gospel Discussion board to respond to it, as it really is a discussion of LDS beliefs, and also that thread was too long anyhow. Finally, the debate I intend may not have been appropriate there. I’d like to also add that I’m not necessarily arguing with Vort here. What he says is true. The implications are, perhaps, as he says, and he’s clear in the first paragraph that we don’t know (which is my entire contention). That being said: Concerning the doctrine, I find the self-effacing, “we’re sorry for our doctrine even among ourselves”, argument decidedly bothersome. That is to say, I do not find statements supporting this thinking very convincing, and logically, it makes little sense. Here’s the argument from the King Follet Discourse: The argument stems from this: “...what the Father did. The answer is obvious--in a manner to lay down his body and take it up again. Jesus, what are you going to do? To lay down my life as my Father did, and take it up again.” And “What did Jesus do? Why, I do the things I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence. I saw my Father work out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom I shall present it to my Father so that he obtains kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt his glory. And so Jesus treads in his tracks to inherit what God did before. It is plain beyond disputation.” This implies that the Father did just the same as Jesus, and therefore must have been a Savior himself, sinless, perfect, etc... But also in the discourse we read: “Here, then, is eternal life--to know the only wise and true God. And you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves--to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done--by going from a small degree to another, from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you are able to sit in glory as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.” We also have plenty of scriptural and other sources that talk about us following the Savior and doing as He did, etc… So here’s where the logic doesn’t work for me. If we must become gods, the same as all gods have done, the same as Jesus has done, the same as God the Father has done, then we would, according to the above, all have to be Saviors, perfect, sinless, etc... We know this is not true. We are to do to be the same as the Savior, and the Atonement allows for this to happen. If it works in that direction, then could it not reasonably work up the chain too? In other words, could not the idea of, “doing the things my father did” be as symbolic as our following of the Savior. Literally we cannot be like the Savior, but we can be “like” the Savior. We also know that with the atonement our sins are washed clean. How does this apply to us but would somehow be inappropriate for God the Father? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not arguing that God was a sinner, or that he wasn’t a Savior. What I’m arguing is that IF He was a sinner, and IF he wasn’t a Savior, wherein does the doctrine of exaltation cause a problem for us in that regard? How does that diminish his perfection now? I can see that being a problem with other Christian theologies, but they think the whole idea of man becoming a god is blasphemy. If we can progress from principle to principle until we become perfect, wherein do our previous sins play a role? Will we somehow be less perfect, less glorious, less honored? Will our eternal posterity, our worlds without number, have less respect for us because at one time, in our blip of mortality, we made mistakes? The logic just doesn’t work out for me. I do not deny, in any regard, that God may have lived a sinless life like the Savior. But the whole point of making that kind of an argument is to somehow apologize for our belief that we can become like God. As I understand it, and as the King Follett Disc. speaks to, the order of exaltation will always give glory upward. God will have all the glory from all of His works, and all of the works that all of his exalted children work, and so forth. The same for anyone who becomes exalted. We will have glory from our works, and from the works of our posterity, onward forever. Am I wrong? God having been through the mortal experience and having repented of imperfections and having been atoned through the same process as us would not, logically, diminish his glory. And he would give all his glory to His Father, who gives all His glory to His Father, and onward. In short, I would contend that, doctrinally speaking, the appropriate argument would be that we just don’t know. I could go on, but...well, there’s a start. Have at it.
jonathan909817 posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionHey guys. I'm 16 years old and i have been going to an LDS church near my house for almost a year, and when i turn 18, if i still want to, i will be baptized. The one thing that is really stopping me is exaltation- it is just a hard thing for me to grasp and understand, it just doesn't sound right to me. i figured maybe one of you could sort of water it down a bit so i can try to understand it more, i want to know why i should know that it is right, because so far the only reason i believe in exaltation is because i believe this church ir true and therefore it's doctrine must be true as well
We can become gods?
PassionForHisWord posted a topic in Christian Beliefs BoardLet me see if I understand the LDS beliefs on this topic correctly: Human beings were born in heaven as the son or daughter of a god and goddess before they were born physically here on earth. Being born into this life here on earth is something that we agreed to in heaven. This life serves as a test and a means of obtaining exaltation one day to godhood. One achieves exaltation by living a life of obedience to Mormon teaching and practices. Those exalted to godhood will inhabit a planet and procreate spirit children. A supporting quote from Brigham Young would be this: "the Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like himself...We are created to become Gods like unto our Father in heaven.” (Journal of Discourses, 3:93) So, having that all being said (and if I'm wrong, please correct me), how does the Mormon Church interpret Isaiah 43:10?
Blessings of Exaltation, Godhood
omega0401 posted a topic in Christian Beliefs BoardI am grateful for a church that teaches that He, God, wants us to be like him. Isn’t that what Christ meant when he said, “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48) Who is Christ telling us to be like? Who does Christ want us to become? Is there anything greater than perfect? At another time, Christ taught his people, “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” (John 10:34) Who does he say said that? It was Christ. He was referring to what was taught to the Jews in the old testament in Psalm 82:6. From Christ’s own lips He is teaching us that we have the potential to be like God and that is exaltation. From The Infinite Atonement by Tad Callister we can learn this... Perfection doesn’t occur in this life. There is only one who is perfect in this life and that is Christ. But He commands us to become perfect and he wouldn’t give us a commandment if we could not achieve it. But it is an on going process that we will work at even well beyond the grave. It is a constant process of sincere repentance and trying again to live the way He has taught us to live. But Christ gives us that hope that we can become perfect even as the Father. I hope our Christian friends will realize what it is the Savior is trying to teach us. That He loves us and wants us to become like our Father in heaven. Our Christian friends are very fond of C.S. Lewis because of the Christian principles he taught. I hope they take these words of his to heart... What a great and tremendous hope we have to look forward to.