Thought I’d start with one by Hyrum Smith
Do you know why the Terrestrial Kingdom is like the moon? It waxes and wanes as it fills up and then empties out as people progress between kingdoms.
Wasn’t that a lot more fun than wondering why twelve step programs work with alcohol but don’t seem to work with sexual orientation?
More speculation next post, perhaps with some discussion. Let me know what you would like to see wondered about without any clear basis for belief.
What does it take of one to become like God? Is it a single brief sojourn on earth after which we are eternally confined to a kingdom with no chance to better ourselves? I have often pondered this topic.
A couple of comments. First from the first edition of the Articles of Faith by James Talmadge:
“It is reasonable to believe, in the absence of direct revelation by which alone absolute knowledge of the matter could be acquired, that, in accordance with God’s plan of eternal progression, advancement from grade to grade within any kingdom, and from kingdom to kingdom, will be provided for. But if the recipients of a lower glory be enabled to advance, surely the intelligences of higher rank will not be stopped in their progress; and thus we may conclude, that degrees and grades will ever characterize the kingdoms of our God. Eternity is progressive; perfection is relative; the essential feature of God’s living purpose is its associated power of eternal increase.”
Of course, Talmadge was ‘encouraged’ to modify his position in subsequent editions of the book and will not find this comment in today’s version.
From a scriptural perspective, I would suggest one considers Alma’s comment on the topic from Alma 34:33:
“And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.”
I have often heard this quoted as a rationale for this mortality being our only opportunity to prepare to meet God. However, I have been intrigued by the fact that Alma made use of a conditional statement.
“IF we do not improve our time while in this life, TBEN cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.”
What happens, then, IF we DO ‘improve our time in this life?’ Do we then have the opportunity to perform labor? If we make progress in this life, can we continue that progress in the life hereafter? That seems to be what Alma is saying to me. Is that progress constrained to a kingdom?
When we come into this life, we are presented with only one set of conditions within which we are to learn and grow. It is hard for me to accept the idea that we can learn everything we need to know in this one short visit. How many millions/billions of people, never having been presented the gospel are now offered the opportunity to ‘jump’ into the celestial kingdom simply because someone on this earth found their records and performed the necessary ordinances vicariously? I would suggest that the church’s own support of the work for the dead supports the idea that progress can be made after this life.
“What happens, then, IF we DO ‘improve our time in this life?’ Do we then have the opportunity to perform labor? If we make progress in this life, can we continue that progress in the life hereafter? That seems to be what Alma is saying to me. Is that progress constrained to a kingdom?”
I have heard this stated (although I am doubtful of its truth) that Judgment Day will be about where you were going and not where you are at.
I think judgment is very much about the direction we are traveling and not whether or not we have arrived.
I think we need to be told that it all hangs on what we do now, and I think we have to act as if it does. I’m not sure it actually does, but I think we need to be told it does.
It would have been fun, in some ways, to live in a time of new discovery and unending speculation, but can you imagine the outcry now if apostles still were saying things like this? Wow! I’ll take the measured, more structured, correlated option any day.
Is the time when it is difficult to improve oneself during the time when we are without bodies? Is it possible to reform and improve but would take longer after resurrection?
It’s an interesting perspective given by Hyrum. I do wonder, though, just how much we actually change and how much we are just revealed to be who we are over time and circumstances.
how much we are just revealed to be who we are — interesting question. How much of what we experience is transformation vs. a revelation? That is a continuing philosophical debate that crosses cultures.
What a fun quote. I love it. The only thing is that it gets picky on using the moon as a type. I’ve always preferred to keep the sun, moon, star analogy as simple as possible, i.e. brightest, bright, brighter. If we are going to get picky about the moon waxing and waning, you get into the complexities about solar eclipses, atmospheric conditions that decrease the brightness of stars and the general problem with the moon not being an actual source of illumination. (I’m waiting for someone to quote that scripture about the sun receiving its light from another source now).
Good point, Rigel. If we get carried away with the analogy, we could have all kinds of fun with the fates of stars. What does a neutron star mean in terms of telestial glory? A black hole? A supernova? Is that someone catapulting themselves to the next kingdom up?