Table of Contents
One friend mentioned that she might not be so interested in heaven if it’s just harps and clouds all the time, Sunday on repeat forever. This friend specifically asked about pets and eating in heaven among other things. Here is my response:
Lol. All I can say is study the teachings of Joseph Smith all you can. Look up Truman g madsen lectures on Joseph.
Heaven is a lot of work and that scares people. Brigham Young said if the streets in heaven are paved good, it was the saints who paved them.
There’s also eternal parenting (can you count the stars?) and creating worlds out of broken down unorganized matter.
Imagine having mastery of every science and knowing all history and psychology to the point that you can with confidence predict the future of individuals and societies. Imagine having command of every musical instrument.
Imagine knowing all people, their names, their stories, and earning their friendship, and helping them progress to greater levels of joy until they have a fullness.
Here is the deal: there is no such thing as permanent Sunday. Sunday is when we reorient ourselves to the cosmos, to the more real eternal world. It is a day God rested from his labors. What’s the point of permanent rest? There is none. Not even for God. He rests one in 7, not 7 in 7.
The notion that heaven is a boring place of singing dull hymns with uninterested neighbors is a lie of Satan.
Eating? Jesus ate fish with his apostles after he was resurrected. Perhaps you eat depending on what company you’re in, weather you’re helping mortals that day or planning with fellow gods that day.
Pets? Joseph Smith said the animals in the book of Revelation are both literal and figurative. Hugh Nibley says, drawing upon info from ancient documents, and ideas from evolutionary biology seen on this planet, not to mention animals evolving on other planets, that there are countless types of animals in heaven, such that we can’t even imagine all that we will see there.
Heaven is a real place. It is a series of planets crowned with glory (intelligence, light, and truth). In the system of planets we belong to (MWG likely), the heaven planets are those located near planet Kolob. Further, there are telestial (like our earth), terestrial, and celestial planets.
The residents of those planets have powerful bodies, to the degree of glory they attain. The highest glory includes the bodily privilege of procreation, a divine power which we now have some access to test us (here is divine power, will they handle it?). Brigham Young said every person (men and woman) who reaches the ‘unspeakable attainment’ of exaltation in a celestial world, will be made as beautiful as the angels (male and female) that surround the throne of God.
We could go on and on, but suffice it to say that the new testament passage put it well when it said we can’t even begin to imagine how awesome heaven will be.
Also, read life everlasting by Duane crowther.
Here is the first of a lecture series by Truman g madsen which will help she’s light on the subject further:
Many accounts from many people are given in the text, I will focus these notes on words or prophets, as those are usually the more reliable or well documented accounts. It is also more common for those to stay within the doctrines of eternity revealed in the standard works of scripture, though we know the standard works aren’t an end all account, but that they can and should be added to when the Lord reveals more information to us as he sees fit, based on our readiness to recieve.
-Joseph Smith: it is very important to learn what God has revealed about death and passing into the next life. Study this topic ‘day and night.’
-Joseph Smith: looking into heaven 5 minutes you’de know more about it than all the books written on the subject. Information on this topic can be known by revelation.
-Joseph Smith: seek deeper and deeper into the mysteries of godliness.
-Joseph Smith: know how to come to God, and he will unfold the heavens to you and tell you all about it.
-John 5:24: death can be a journey to life if we follow Christ
I heard a radio preacher this morning say this, and I’ll tell you why he is wrong:
“we live in the world, as Jesus said we would. Why doesn’t got rapture us as soon as we are converted? Why isn’t it that when we say, “I am a sinner, Jesus Christ, I commit myself to you.” that we aren’t raptured up to heaven immediately? It’s because God is keeping us here to reach out to others.”
THAT’S WHAT THE PREACHER SAID. NOW I’LL TELL YOU THE CORRECT ANSWER.
God is keeping us here because WE’RE NOT DONE BEING TESTED, not because all there is left to do is to worry about other people. No, the quest for your soul is not over when you say, “Jesus is my Savior!” The scripture says, ‘not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter into the kingdom’. It takes a lifetime of WORK to get full access to the GRACE. The sooner you repent, the better. Then keep repenting. Joseph Smith said he was like a rough stone rolling down a hill, getting rough edges knocked off as he goes, becoming a polished shaft for the quiver of the Lord. This preachers message deleted the need for repentance, and thus undermined the sacred gospel of Jesus Christ, bringing it down to the level of a mere game.
This complete discourse is found in the book “The Belonging Hearth: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family” by Bruce Hafen, Ch. 1: The Longing to Belong
Mormon 2:13 shows that people have some amount of happiness in sin, but that God doesn’t allow that to continue. God doesn’t “suffer” them to do that always. Indeed, when people sin, it makes God suffer! The word used in the text is suffer. We reconcile this passage with the passage of Alma 41:10 that “wickedness never was happiness” in that the deceptive “joy” we feel when we sin is like the magician pulling the rabbit out of the hat; it’s not real, and not substantive, and won’t work when you need it the most. It’s a mere trick, and won’t meet the deep human needs we all have. It’s like a diet of pure ice cream, it seems alright at first, but you soon find it only leaves you ill and without energy; your quality of life has greatly diminished overall; you forgot the joy you once had, and consider this the new normal, and are puzzled at the joy others have whom are living Gods commandments. You don’t remember that keeping Gods commandments is the source of joy, so you don’t believe or understand the people of God when they claim that God has given them their happiness. We aren’t talking about the fake people of God, we are talking about the real people of God whom spend 20 hours of serving the poor for everyone hour reading scriptures. Not the hypocrites, but the true followers of Jesus. These true followers of Jesus are whom you see as having the deepest joy; nothing can conquer it though they pass through hell itself for the sake of righteousness, for the sake of the unending blessings it will pour out on the heads of the people of the earth. They are the saviors of men, and will appear as the Lord at the time of the Coming of the Lord. There is no real solution for world peace outside of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ isn’t a mere teacher, he is God. He didn’t just have good ideas, he had power to raise the dead. He didn’t just give His life for us, he was risen from the dead, and lives today. He didn’t just forgive the sinner in His day, he will also judge all mankind at the last day. He will determine whether our works have been good or evil, or somewhere in between, and assign us to a place in His kingdom where we can stand the most blessings. The righteous are more able to receive blessings, so they will be blessed more. The wicked cannot live the law of heaven, so they cannot abide in the highest heaven. They may abide in a lower heaven whose law they agree to abide, but they can never enter the highest heaven without surrendering to the laws of the highest heaven. This includes obedience to God even when we don’t understand all the reasons why God is asking us to do a certain thing. Behold the power of God, see it in the history of earth as recorded in the bible and book of Mormon, and see it manifest in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Read the book of Mormon, and pray to know if it is not true. Life the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and see if your life doesn’t improve for the better. Stop using liquors and harmful drugs, stop being sexually promiscuous, stop keeping all your money for yourself, stop avoiding marriage and childbearing, start praying to the Father in the name of the Son Jesus Christ, start worshiping with the Saints of God, start confessing your crimes and misdeeds to those offended, start becoming financially independent, start taking good care of your body, start worshiping God in his temples as erected by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Start turning your heart to your fathers by researching whom your ancestors are and being baptized proxy for them in the temples, so they too may have the blessings of salvation, for truly, baptism is the gate one must enter into Gods kingdom by. Why? Because God said so. Avoid baptism and you’ll never enter into the highest heaven, no, not ever! Baptism is the way we say “ok God, this is your kingdom, I’ll do whatever you ask. Want me to balance a rubber duckie on my head while I cook breakfast? Ok. This isn’t my program, it’s yours, and I’m just glad to be here.” Of course Gods symbols (baptism, temple ritual, etc.) are meaningful and not a vain thing like the duck on the head, but the point is that even if we don’t understand his symbols yet, that doesn’t mean we need to run away. Baptism is to represent a person being laid in a tomb, then rising out of that tomb. Why? because the central thing about Christ is that he will raise your body out of its tomb. Dead is a very short stop on the train of life. Without God and Christ whom is the messenger of God, life is a Shakespearean tragedy. There is no hope, for death comes, and ends our lot, be it sad or glad. But with Christ, we hope to rise from the dead, and know that all will rise from the dead. With Christ, we have hope, and can deal with the tragedy, knowing that this life is the temporary part, and that the greater is to come. Oh friends, believe in God! Try to believe! Try to obey! Gods blessings aren’t just for those who are good, but for those who try to be good! For those who are obeying him, and those who try to obey him! Like a parent helping a child to walk, God will help you obey his commandments if you try! What, you’ve stumbled before? Don’t give up! It’s not over till it’s over! Feel my love for you, and hear my witness as your friend that Christ lives, and has the power to save you! Finally, hear my witness that the power of Jesus Christ is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and more knowledge of his kingdom is found there than anywhere on earth! Truths long lost have finally returned and are found in this church, praise the Lord! Come, feast on the words of Christ, which are in more abundance in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than anywhere on earth! Want to know what happened to Gandhi? Celestial kingdom of God (the highest heaven). But he had no baptism! God’s got that taken care of via proxy baptisms; the dead live on as spirits, and await the return of their bodies made alive again, and while they wait, they are taught of the fullness of truth, which is that Jesus Christ is the Lord God whom created the earth, and that his are the ways of life. The spirit candidate (the dead person) may then praise Jesus Christ and accept baptism, for he had no chance to receive it in life! He had no understanding of it either! So God is kind, and works these things out. He doesn’t say “oh you didn’t hear / didn’t understand? Too bad!” No, this is not the Lord of the universe. The Lord of the universe is a just ruler, who takes everything into account when he makes his judgments, and he is a merciful judge! Do you have more questions about the operation of the universe, and the kingdom of God which organizes it? Of course you do! Talk to me, talk to someone whom has been acquainted with these things, be bold in your seeking! You may or may not be seeking God and Christ, but they are seeking you. They are relentless, and you’ll hear from them time and again. They aren’t going away, and they have sent prophets once again, like Joseph Smith, to whom they appeared in person, and have sent many more scriptures to. The days of Peter and Paul of the New Testament are upon us again, we now again have witnesses whom have seen the face of God, and whom have his power! Did Christ raise the dead? Yes. So do they whom have his authority. Joseph Smith raised someone from the dead. Prophets since Joseph Smith have raised people from the dead. Has anyone ever raised someone from the dead without the authority from the hand of Jesus Christ? No, not ever! Jesus Christ put his hand on the head of Peter. Then Peter appeared to Joseph Smith in about 1830 and put his hand on Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith passed it on to Brigham Young (these men aren’t perfect, only Jesus is perfect, but you would be hard pressed to find better men on earth than Joseph Smith and Brigham Young), and the authority has been passed on by hand to the current prophet Thomas S. Monson. By this direct transferal of power, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims the direct authority of God. The prophet Monson receives revelations about what the Church and the world need to do to be saved. Have you heard what he has to say? Oh you really should try it! Aren’t you a little curious? Don’t you want to at least know, even if you don’t believe? Then after you know what he says, don’t you want to believe? You must pray to God for this answer. Then will come the most powerful witness you’ve ever experienced in your life. So fellow wanderer, come, come and see what I have found!
Here we argue that our character is our fault, regardless of external forces and situations we’re placed into in life, leaving us before God in a state of point-blank accountability. We will also consider how Christ is merciful and takes into account our circumstances, though we do not excuse ourselves.
-2 Ne. 28:23 this verse shows that those who allowed themselves to get ensnared with the chains of Satan will eventually have to stand before God and confess this truth: that ultimately, what they got into was their own fault. Wow!
-You see, we must use the grace of God to help us stop sinning. If we die in deep sin, it means we have not accessed the grace of God. Ecclesiastes says you can turn your life around before you die and it will be well with you, but if you don’t, toast!
-Yes there is help in the spirit world for who had not opportunity in this life, and even opportunities for people who lived in sin to get some blessings in the hereafter (but not full exaltation blessings), (and we can’t judge well about who meets what qualifications), but we recognize this: This life is the time to repent and prepare to meet God (Alma 34:32, 34 etc.).
-Though our works are “filthy rags” compared to the goodness of God, our salvation will yet hinge upon these two things: Us doing all we can (2 Ne. 25:23), and having God help us (2 Ne. 25:23). We need to offer those filthy rags as a sacrifice to God. If we do nothing, it’s like trampling the Holy One of Israel under foot (3 Ne. 28:35), which is much worse than a meager offering, however filthy those rags may be.
-““Death does not change our personality or our desires for good or evil. Those who chose to obey God in this life live in a state of happiness, peace, and rest from troubles and care. Those who chose not to obey in this life and did not repent live in a state of unhappiness.” (Preach My Gospel 2004, pp. 52).
-“Sin consists in doing wrong when we know and can do better, and it will be punished with a just retribution, in the due time of the Lord.” (Brigham Young, DBY, 156; Teachings of BY Manual: https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-9?lang=eng ).
-“Though we may do the best we know how at this time, can there be no improvement made in our lives? There can. If we do wrong ignorantly, when we learn it is wrong, then it is our duty to refrain from that wrong immediately and for ever.” (Brigham Young, DBY, 156; Teachings of BY Manual: https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-9?lang=eng)
-Naturally, God will take into account all things. Marilyn Monroe had a different name as a child. She was abused severely by her mother, including being locked and transported in a suitcase, many terrible things. One day someone with a camera told her she looks good in pictures. Finally there was a place where she felt worthwhile. She became a sex figure in society. It seems that God will have mercy on this soul. The family proclamation issued by the LDS church in 1995 states that children are “entitled” to parents who love and care for them. So it seems that a child without that privilege he/she was entitled to have as a human being will have a significant amount of mercy in their case before God. This being said, she was an adult making choices and will have some level of accountability, but this early terrific trauma certainly had lifelong results which were serious and not her fault. Christ’s atonement (sacrifice) on behalf of the rest of the human race is called “infinite” in the scriptures. This doesn’t mean anything goes, but it does mean we have cause to praise His name forever!
published by Bookcraft SLC Utah, 1967
-“God has important work for each of us. Speaking to sisters but teaching truths that apply to all, President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “Before we came [to earth, we] were given certain assignments. … While we do not now remember the particulars, this does not alter the glorious reality of what we once agreed to.”(Spencer W. Kimball, “The Role of Righteous Women,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 102) What an ennobling truth! Our Heavenly Father has specific and significant things for you and me to accomplish (see Ephesians 2:10). These divine assignments are not reserved for a privileged few but are for all of us—regardless of gender, age, race, nationality, income level, social status, or Church calling. Every one of us has a meaningful role to play in furthering God’s work (see Moses 1:39). Some of us question whether Heavenly Father can use us to make important contributions. But remember, He has always used ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things (see 1 Corinthians 1:27–28; D&C 35:13; 124:1). “[We] are agents,” and “the power is in [us]” to “bring to pass much righteousness” (D&C 58:27–28).(President Gordon B. Hinckley encouraged: “Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do great … things. … You are a child of God, of infinite capacity” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley , 77).) President Russell M. Nelson explained: “The Lord has more in mind for you than you have in mind for yourself! You have been reserved and preserved for this time and place. …The Lord needs you to change the world. As you accept and follow His will for you, you will find yourself accomplishing the impossible!” (Russell M. Nelson, Accomplishing the Impossible: What God Does, What We Can Do (2015), 147.) ” (Oct. 2017 Conf. Report “I have a work for Thee” by Elder John C Pingree Jr. of the Seventy, see https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/i-have-a-work-for-thee?lang=eng)
-Speaking of the differences between spirits, President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “We know they were all innocent in the beginning; but the right of free agency which was given to them enabled some to outstrip others, and thus, through the eons of immortal existence, to become more intelligent, more faithful, for they were free to act for themselves, to think for themselves, to receive the truth or rebel against it” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:59).(https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)
-The Prophet Joseph Smith stated: “God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with Himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits” (History of the Church, 6:312). (https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)
-The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man. Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it has a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. That is good logic” (History of the Church, 6:311). (https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)
-“Mankind are organized of element designed to endure to all eternity; it never had a beginning and never can have an end. There never was a time when this matter, of which you and I are composed, was not in existence, and there never can be a time when it will pass out of existence; it cannot be annihilated.
“It is brought together, organized, and capacitated to receive knowledge and intelligence, to be enthroned in glory, to be made angels, Gods—beings who will hold control over the elements, and have power by their word to command the creation and redemption of worlds, or to extinguish suns by their breath, and disorganize worlds, hurling them back into their chaotic state. This is what you and I are created for” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 48; see also D&C 93:29–33). (https://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng)
-“IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World: First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) (https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation)
-“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
-“And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought against Michael;” Joseph Smith Translation Rev. 12:6
-“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38:7
-“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” John 5:58
-“Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.” Ether 3:16
-“And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.” Abraham 3:27
– 1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3
-“the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18
-“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
-“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36
For another critical aspect of understanding this topic, study the doctrine of premortality as taught by the prophets, which can be found elsewhere in this book. You must understand that we lived before earth, and a key purpose in coming to earth was to get a body, one like our Father in Heaven’s body. Even Jesus Christ had to come to earth to get a body, so he could complete his training to become like Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ is the prototype of how to become like Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father is the exalted man. He was a spirit, then he was born on an earth to get his body, now he exists with that body, resurrected from the dead, to never die again, enjoying his perfected body forever. Jesus Christ now has his resurrected body also. After 3 days in the tomb, he was risen. This is a key doctrine of Christianity, and the great secret of the universe: That the human race are destined to become Gods, and that Gods are created out of humans, particularly humans who express interest in becoming like God, and agree to do so in the only way possible, namely keeping the commandments of God, the same terms by which God himself became God. Lucifer is an interesting case study – he fell because he wanted to become a God, but wasn’t willing to do it in the natural process of living a life of devotion to God and kindness to his fellow men. Lucifer wanted to dethrone Heavenly Father and take his place. As we see, Lucifer not only lost his opportunity to become a God from his rebellion, but also lost his opportunity to even get a body. Prophets have revealed that the great punishment to Lucifer is the fact that he doesn’t have nor ever will have a body. Prophets have also taught that spirits with bodies have more power than spirits without bodies. This means we have more power than Lucifer. Jesus Christ was resurrected, and so will we be. Even the wicked on this earth will be resurrected, but their resurrection will not be as glorious as the resurrection of those who are valiant in this life. In the premortal world, those who chose to follow Heavenly Father’s plan, including the centerpiece of that plan being redemption through faith in Jesus Christ, were given the opportunity to come to earth and obtain bodies. The gift of bodies is a permanent gift. We’ve already earned it, and nothing we do in this life could revoke that. Getting bodies is eternally wonderful, but we must follow God if we hope to become like our Father in Heaven. As his children, it is our truest destiny to become like him, and join in the ‘family business’ of having an endless posterity, and creating worlds on which those posterity may dwell in their journey to joining us and Father in Heaven as the Gods of the universe. Heavenly Father, as an exalted being, has the key privilege of, by the power of his body and the power of his priesthood, having an endless posterity. The doctrine that we can become like our father in heaven is logical and glorious. This is why we shout praises to God! He doesn’t just want us to be, as Elder Renlund said, nice house pets who don’t get his celestial living room carpet dirty, no, he wants us to become as he is! His key title is “Father”. How can we be fathers without bodies? It can’t be done. Praise God for the gift and joy of bodies, and oh how we strive to be worthy of a celestial resurrection, where the body will become more glorious than we can comprehend! The attainment of utmost beauty, the absence of disease and exhaustion, these unimaginable gifts are only the beginning! Other interesting reading on this topic are my essay “Objective Beauty” and my essay “Prophets Teach About Beauty”, which can be found in my book on family.
-One must understand what is an angel, what is a human, what is a God. They are all human, but in different stages of progression.
stage 1 of human: angel without body (not yet come to earth to get a body)
stage 2 of human: mortal being with a body on earth (being tested to see if will advance higher by passing the test of faith)
stage 3 of human: angel without a body (came to earth for a body and died, and now awaits the resurrection)
stage 4 of human: angel with a body (the body was dead but is now resurrected to forever remain alive, for “in Christ are all made alive”)
stage 5 of human: God (the resurrected (re-embodied) angel has reached perfection)
Note: the term “angel” is not really an essential term in this context; the angel is not a different breed from the human or the God; they are all the same breed, it’s us. The main thing to pay attention to is that our stages of progression are defined by weather or not our spirits are clothed in bodies. Angel comes from Hebrew melak and Greek angelos, both merely meaning “messenger.” In that sense of the word, a human mortal on God’s errand can be termed an angel as well.
Note: Nephilim or giants or “The Watchers” are not strange supernatural creatures, but all fit into the above stages of regular human existence. For a discussion further detailing this point, see document “The Watchers Nephilim Supernatural Theory Exposed as False Doctrine –by Nate Richardson, 5-1917” at this link: https://richardsonstudies.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/the-watchers-nephilim-supernatural-theory-exposed-as-false-doctrine-by-nate-richardson-5-1917/
Note: these human stages in no way justify the false doctrine of reincarnation. The essence of a human remains forever, as well does their memory. Mortal humans don’t remember the life prior to earth because of a veil drawn over the mind by God. This veil will be removed in the resurrection of the dead, and all will remember all 3 parts of the play: pre-mortality, mortality, and post-mortality. (mortality meaning life on this earth as we now live from birth to death. The human soul has existed from the beginning, and will continue to exist indefinably. For further detailed explanation of this point, see document “Humankind living before earth (have no beginning have no end), Literal Resurrection, Eternal Family: An 18 Point Response to a non-LDS Christian: by Nate Richardson aprox. April 2017” at this link: https://richardsonstudies.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/humankind-living-before-earth-have-no-beginning-have-no-end-literal-resurrection-eternal-family-an-18-point-response-to-a-non-lds-christian-by-nate-richardson-aprox-april-2017/
-Alma 40:22-26: ” 22 Yea, this bringeth about the restoration of those things of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets.
23 The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.
24 And now, my son, this is the restoration of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets—
25 And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God.
26 But behold, an awful death cometh upon the wicked; for they die as to things pertaining to things of righteousness; for they are unclean, and no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God; but they are cast out, and consigned to partake of the fruits of their labors or their works, which have been evil; and they drink the dregs of a bitter cup.”
-D&C 129: 4-5, 7-8: “4 When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you.
5 If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand.
7 Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message.
8 If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.
– 1 Cor. 15:50 says no flesh can inherit the kingdom of God, and this is true. Resurrected bodies don’t have blood, rather spirit flows through their veins of flesh. The flesh is enhanced from it’s current earthy state to a celestial state. It is still tangible and embodies the spirit like our mortal bodies now, but it is inexhaustible. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve had no blood in their veins, they had spirit in the veins. Blood entered their bodies when the fall occurred. The fall is when they became mortal. The reason the Old Testament law forbad the eating of blood was because the blood is the life of a thing (Lev. 7:10-14).
Hear Brigham Young on this: “The blood he spilled upon Mount Calvary he did not receive again into his veins. That was poured out, and when he was resurrected, another element took the place of the blood. It will be so with every person who receives a resurrection; the blood will not be resurrected with the body, being designed only to sustain the life of the present organization. When that is dissolved, and we again obtain our bodies by the power of the resurrection, that which we now call the life of the body, and which is formed from the food we eat and the water we drink will be supplanted by another element; for flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God [see 1 Corinthians 15:50] (Discourses of Brigham Young, 374).” (https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-37?lang=eng ; from Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young: Ch 37, Understanding Death and Resurrection)
– “We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment. He is pleased when he can obtain the tabernacle of man, and when cast out by the Savior he asked to go into the herd of swine, showing that he would prefer a swine’s body to having none. All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Ch17 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-17?lang=eng#12-36481_000_021 ; Quoted by William Clayton, reporting an undated discourse given by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois; in L. John Nuttall, “Extracts from William Clayton’s Private Book,” pp. 7–8, Journals of L. John Nuttall, 1857–1904, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; copy in Church Archives.)
-2 Nephi 9:5-22: “5 Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.
6 For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.
7 Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.
8 O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.
9 And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.
10 O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.
11 And because of the way of deliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave.
12 And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.
13 O how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.
14 Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness.
15 And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged according to the holy judgment of God.
16 And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end.
17 O the greatness and the justice of our God! For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled.
18 But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever.
19 O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.
20 O how great the holiness of our God! For he knowethall things, and there is not anything save he knows it.
21 And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.
22 And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.
-1 Cor. 15:16-24: “16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”
-1 Cor. 15:29: “Else what shall they do which are abaptized bfor the dead, if the dead crise not at all? why are they then baptized for the ddead?”
-Luke 24:46-33: “36 ¶ And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
43 And he took it, and did eat before them.”
-Job 19:26 “And though after my skin worms destroy this abody, yet in my bflesh shall I csee God”
-Moses 5:10 “And in that day Adam blessed God and was afilled, and began to bprophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my ctransgression my deyes are opened, and in this life I shall have ejoy, and again in the fflesh I shall see God.”
-What if a body is burned to ashes or shredded in the sea? It all comes back together in the resurrection by the power of God recombining those elements. Hear Brigham Young: “After the spirit leaves the body, it remains without a tabernacle in the spirit world until the Lord, by his law that he has ordained, brings to pass the resurrection of the dead [see D&C 93:33–34]. When the angel who holds the keys of the resurrection shall sound his trumpet, then the peculiar fundamental particles that organized our bodies here, if we do honor to them, though they be deposited in the depths of the sea, and though one particle is in the north, another in the south, another in the east, and another in the west, will be brought together again in the twinkling of an eye, and our spirits will take possession of them. We shall then be prepared to dwell with the Father and the Son, and we never can be prepared to dwell with them until then. Spirits, when they leave their bodies, do not dwell with the Father and the Son, but live in the Spirit world, where there are places prepared for them. Those who do honor to their tabernacles, and love and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, must put off this mortality, or they cannot put on immortality. This body must be changed, else it cannot be prepared to dwell in the glory of the Father” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 372, see Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, at https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-37?lang=eng).
Further, hear Brigham Young again: “We are here in circumstances to bury our dead according to the order of the Priesthood. But some of our brethren die upon the ocean; they cannot be buried in a burying ground, but they are sewed up in canvas and cast into the sea, and perhaps in two minutes after they are in the bowels of the shark, yet those persons will come forth in the resurrection, and receive all the glory of which they are worthy, and be clothed upon with all the beauty of resurrected Saints, as much so as if they had been laid away in a gold or silver coffin, and in a place expressly for burying the dead” (DBY, 373–74)
-“…The spirit [of a righteous man or woman] has overcome the body, and the body is made subject in every respect to that divine principle God has planted in the person. The spirit within is pure and holy, and goes back pure and holy to God, dwells in the spirit world pure and holy, and, by and by, will have the privilege of coming and taking the body again. [Jesus Christ,] holding the keys of the resurrection, having previously passed through that ordeal, will be delegated to resurrect our bodies, and our spirits will be there and prepared to enter into [our] bodies. Then, when we are prepared to receive our bodies, they are the first earthly objects that bear divinity personified in the capacity of the man…” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 373; see Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, at https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-37?lang=eng)
– “No man can enter the celestial kingdom and be crowned with a celestial glory, until he gets his resurrected body” (DBY, 375).
-“The only true riches in existence are for you and me to secure for ourselves a holy resurrection” (DBY, 372).
– “12 And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality; 13 And who had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and had suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name. 14 All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. 15 I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand. 16 They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death.
17 Their sleeping dust was to be restored unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy.
18 While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful; 19 And there he preached to them the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and the redemption of mankind from the fall, and from individual sins on conditions of repentance.” (D&C 138:12-19)
– “33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; 34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.” (D&C 93:33-34)
– how will we have seed without end (the covenant of Abraham) if we don’t keep our bodies in the Kingdom of God forever? In my religion, having more children in heaven is the essence of heaven and progression. I claim that none of God’s subjects are anything other than the children he has bourn. He keeps having more children, so his kingdom keeps getting bigger. So it will be for us if we follow Christ.
– God organizes intelligence and leads them along, thus they are his children. He sends them to earth, they get a body, die, get their body back in the resurrection, then they do what he does (if they pass their test, this life is the test). God has had one child in the flesh, that is Jesus Christ. “The Only Begotten Son”. The rest of us are his spirit children. That does not diminish his ownership of us though. As you may have deducted, once a child of God becomes a God, they also have spirit children, and send them to earths for their testing. To have a body is to be like God. Getting a body is one of the main reasons we came to earth.
– “I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the works which my hands have made, wherein my wisdom excelleth them all, for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen.
22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.” (Abraham 3:21-26)
– I will state the obvious, which is written in the most introductory text of my faith: namely that the body will rise from the grave, and be reunited with the spirit! Heaven is a place where people have bodies, live in families, and families can’t happen without sex. Worlds without end, you’ll never find such a creation. This is the genius of the restored truth of the latter days: that the body is central to the eternal plan of God, and is not merely to be disposed of after mortal death! Death of body is a resting, not a permanence! Are Christians clear about this? No! Are Latter-day Saint Christians clear about this? More clear than staring you in the face, yes! The universe is governed by laws which even God himself cannot break. The only reason a god is a god is because he and she have conformed to the laws of the universe. One of the laws of the universe is that we need bodies and the uniting thereof with a spouse to have full joy. Does full joy end after this life? No! And of course, there are many gods, though only 1 of them rules over us. Our God is our father. No being whom is not a child of God is ruled by God. All beings are ruled over by their celestial parent, worlds without end, forever and ever. To avoid the risk of saying something too sacred here, we will merely recall the words of Joseph Smith, that this “one eternal round”. Where did Gods begin? It’s one eternal round. Everyone has a parent… it’s a cycle, worlds without end, and without beginning. The mortal does not comprehend the “no beginning”, and alas I say it no better comprehends the “no end.” The average person has no clue about their true nature, for they have no clue about the nature of God. God has always existed, and we as his children have likewise always existed. God will always exist, and so will we. Even the devils of hell must go on and on forever, and have been forever going on. God fathered us in promoting our state, this does not suggest that we lived not before. Thus it is, we compare to understand, with the biological birth. That person did exist before it got a physical body, but the mortal parents heaped upon it a grand promotion: the body! Likewise, individual personal intelligences named you and I existed before God organized it into greater intelligence. The parent does such a vast favor for the child, that it is considered that the parent “created” the child. Indeed, for all intents and purposes of our word “created”, so he did!
– I believe sex is an eternal and divine thing that is a grand system of humanity; I believe that in heaven, married people have spirit babies with each other and send them to earths (which they have the power and pleasure of creating and governing to ensure justice and mercy are balanced in the end) so they their children can get bodies LIKE THEM and the experience needed to also become Gods. I also believe we get to keep our bodies in heaven, they are wonderful and bring much pleasure and are beautiful and good. Some think Adam and Eve sinned in having sex. No way! Sex is good. The Adam and Eve story? I think Eve is amazing! She helped Adam learn about how it’s worth it to go through pain in order to have joy! I believe we EVERY HUMAN ON EARTH will come out of their graves and be made perfect, impervious to disease and aging. Getting our bodies back is a free gift from out kind God whom made us. That’s a big part of the Jesus story, that he, the Son of God, “broke the bands of death”, and is responsible for giving everyone their body back. Some say you’ll be more free without a body. But meditation shows that we are quite capable of having larger than life experiences WHILE having bodies. So I think bodies are good. Just because we have a body in heaven doesn’t mean we can’t fly and teleport and move mountains; we just haven’t learned how to do that stuff yet, it will come. So this little rant can show you a bit more about why I think marriage and children is so important… because it’s the order of the universe…
– Excited about The Future! -Excerpt from letter to a Friend, by Nate Richardson, approx. Feb. 2017 “Frankly Megan and I are quite excited about the future, we believe that either in this life (when Jesus comes in person and heals her and everyone), or after death (when our bodies get pulled out of the grave and become perfect), then Megan’s body will not be crippled, and there won’t be any pain; we will still have bodies, but they will be made incorruptible. We believe Jesus is going to come to earth to be the king of it, yes, even for a thousand years (we believe he has the right to be king of earth because he created earth). We believe the wicked (child molesters , murderers) will be burned at the time of Jesus’ coming (for evil cannot stand being in the presence of such good), BUT we do not believe that “non-religious” people will be destroyed! We believe as long as you don’t want to kill others, that’s the main requirement to “getting along” with Jesus. We believe Jesus will save us from oppressions of all kinds, and that this will be an era of peace. We believe there will be no physical death at this time (the thousand-year rule of Jesus on earth aka Millennium), and thus sorrow will go away. We believe Jesus will make earth into a heaven! We believe Jesus will settle things that have been mysterious for such a long time, like how the universe was created, and what truth is (it’s so hard to find! We believe he will IN PERSON help us with that hard thing. What a relief!). In summary of this paragraph, Megan and I deal with how hard this life is largely by our hope for a better time to come in the NEAR future. And we mean near. I can taste it, it’s almost here. The pain level is about to burst; indeed it is bursting and our hearts are dying, now alas, the relief is at the door! Weep for joy! Though our creator has left us here a while so we can grow, he has not forgotten us, and SOON comes for us! And when I say “us” I don’t mean Mormons, I mean every human with a good heart. And I ABSOLUTLY mean you. And if you prefer to not call him Jesus, you can call him something else, though I do believe this will be the name he presents to us when he comes to deliver us and finally bring peace on earth. Yes, I don’t only believe peace on earth will come, my whole psychology revolves around it, and hangs on it, weeping daily, holding on only for her sake. Building things in the confidence that they will not be utterly be destroyed by growing evil forces, trusting that surely as I live victory will absolutely be ours (the good guys) at last.”
(non-LDS Christians think that we did not live before this earth, and that the resurrection isn’t literal, and that the family is not eternal. They think there can’t be any truth except what is written in the bible, not allowing more modern universal modern written word from God. This letter responds to those things from the LDS point of view, LDS meaning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
everyone will live forever; we all lived in the beginning, no one will ever cease to exist. 1 Cor. 15 says as in Adam all die so in Christ all live. ; from Adam all die, now Jesus overcame death for everyone; for followers of Christ, massive blessings come, a more “abundant” life (not $, but glory in the Kingdom etc.); also refer to 1 Cor. 15 about telestial and celestial bodies etc., it says “so also is the resurrection of the dead”; this means depending on how valiant a person is, they will accordingly get resurrected with that level of body; this doesn’t mean a cripple in this life is not righteous! It means in the next world, the righteous will have greater blessings in this regard.
1.01 I know it says death to the wicked in your bible. Some places it even says eternal death. My bible says that is figurative. My bible says one of the gifts in the category of “God sends rain to the just and the unjust” is that we all get bodies (except Lucifer and some of his followers as you’ll read later in this article).
1.1 I’ll refer to “my bible” a few times here, you already have the classic Christian bible, so I really have nothing to say to you if I just base my beliefs on that; If I merely had your bible as the text for my religion, we would be the same religion. However bible believers have had a hard time sorting that out, and have split into many schools of thought as evidenced by hearing one thing in one congregation, and another in another. ( I’ve seen how a preacher in one congregation can interpret something differently from the same bible) If I have anything unique to say to you, it will come from my bible. When I say, “my bible”, it means the collection of your bible, and “the book of Mormon”, and “the Doctrine and Covenants” (D&C), and “The Pearl of Great Price”; these are the 4 books of my bible; your bible has 66 books in it, my bible has 69. Truly, if we are trying to teach each other out of the same book, we will merely go back and forth bickering about feelings and interpretations. Hence though you may not find it very valuable, most of my message in this letter comes from “my bible”, a different book, one you may not be as familiar with. Perhaps you’ll consider it a fairy tale, yet I still invite you to continue reading for interest sake. A better knowledge of LDS stuff won’t hurt you (PS you don’t know it already, you can always learn more, I know that because I’ve been studying the stuff (from “my” bible)for a decade and can still learn more; I don’t have it memorized, and when someone puts things together in a certain order it can help it to make sense; however I’m sorry this letter is not very organized and falls short of what it could be; it does not do “my” bible justice; Perhaps you’ve read it, perhaps even more than once, but any bible student knows there is more to be had)
2. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
3. “And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought against Michael;” Rev. 12:6;
I believe mankind (me, you, everyone as individuals) also existed before coming to earth. my bible says this: ” 29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
30 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.” (D&C 93:29-30)
Another interesting thing on these lines is the idea that no one will disappear. A person’s being cannot vanish. For sinners, they won’t have as high a quality of life in the next world, but exist they shall. Christ said he came to give life and that more abundantly. A parent doesn’t kill its disobedient child, it just doesn’t get to pour as many blessings on it. That is the perspective that sits well with me. Again if this is unclear in the bible, that’s ok, I know it seems heresy to you, but I believe in more than “the bible”. You might consider that God has slain some of his children already, but he slew their bodies, not their spirits.
5.5 this is from my bible about having a body forever: “1 There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones—
2 For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
3 Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.” D&C 129:1-3)
5.6 here my bible speaks of both God the Father and Jesus Christ having physical literal bodies, but not the Holy Ghost: 22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.
5.7 this from my bible also speaks of getting a body forever ” 12 And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality;
13 And who had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and had suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name.
14 All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
15 I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand.
16 They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death.
17 Their sleeping dust was to be restored unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy.
18 While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful;
19 And there he preached to them the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and the redemption of mankind from the fall, and from individual sins on conditions of repentance.” (D&C 138:12-19)
Leaders of my church have summarized it this way: “IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life.”
7. Part of the bible I read from (includes the D&C, words from modern prophets (Joseph Smith etc.)) says this:
“For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.” (this is why a literal physical resurrection is important, getting our bodies back from out of their graves; Jesus has his body back, we want to be like him, he is the ideal of happiness)
Also note “element is eternal”; I’m not talking about radioactive decay, I’m talking about the core stuff, perhaps carbon or the atom etc. It goes back to the topic of God creating things from existing materials, etc.
8. I believe in a literal resurrection, everyone gets their bodies back (except Lucifer and other people whom were so wicked in the beginning that they never merited getting a body on earth in the first place). Book of rev. says before earth life, 2/3 of the spirits followed God, and 1/3 of them rebelled and were cast down with Lucifer (they are the spirits that go around tempting us, they will never be blessed with a body)
9. how will we have seed without end (the covenant of Abraham) if we don’t keep our bodies in the Kingdom of God forever? In my religion, having more children in heaven is the essence of heaven and progression. I claim that none of God’s subjects are anything other than the children he has bourn. He keeps having more children, so his kingdom keeps getting bigger. So it will be for us if we follow Christ.
10. in case you don’t like the idea of having a marriage in heaven with your wife (husband for women), consider that neither is the man without the woman in the Lord. Perhaps you think of the passage about not marrying or given in marriage, but that passage refers to how we get a spouse now, and those who put it off forever, will never have that joy.
11. we believe in fact that without a wife a man cannot progress in heaven. We believe God has a wife, and thus can have children. We believe we are the children of God destined to become like him if we follow and receive and use the power of Jesus Christ.
12. In summary, I believe that we all lived from the beginning, that God was wiser than us, so he helped us come to earth etc. so we can progress to become like him. Jesus Christ is the central figure in God’s plan for our salvation. After this earth we will live forever with bodies as families in the presence of God. We will “grow up” and “become like our parents”.
12.5 So yes there is a “Mother in Heaven” as well as a Father in Heaven. That helps us realize the divinity of women! Women are divine! God would not be God without his wife. Not even God can create a person without a wife. That’s contrary to the law of heaven. There are several things God cannot do: for example, he cannot tell a lie, he cannot commit adultery, he cannot destroy himself, he cannot take away our power to choose for ourselves; there are laws in the universe, God abides by those laws, that is what makes him God.
12.6 was Jesus married? He must have been. Does his bride the church mean he can’t have a wife? No, He can’t be a perfect God without a wife. He can’t have children without a physical wife, and without having children, his kingdom wouldn’t exist or grow. Christ is also the father of our salvation, that is why we worship him and call him our king. I also believe Jesus Christ created/molded our physical bodies; however he did not organize our spirits, it was The Father who did that. Furthermore, Jesus Christ was the firstborn in the spirit. Gods first spirit child was Jesus Christ. God later fathered the body of Jesus Christ also.
12.6 founding fathers of Christianity also believed that we can become Gods. Like God in every way. That is the purpose and power of Jesus: to pull us up, to bridge the gap, to work the divine in us. That is why we love him because he first loved us.
13. Does our becoming God’s make God less important? No! It gives him more glory. Our kingdom is always beneath his kingdom. It’s like how a grandfather doesn’t get upset when he gets grandchildren, or when he sees his children succeed. All parents want their children to succeed. A successful child can even go to say how great the parent was. God is so powerful, that he can make me a God. I won’t rule over God, I’ll rule under him. Lucifer fell because he wanted to force his way into Godhood rather than becoming a God in the appropriate way; Lucifer also wanted to take Gods place, and that is heresy and evil. No one will ever take Gods place.
14. thus the doctrine that mankind was also in the beginning with God is very important in understanding the plan of God.
14.5 one more doctrine in case you were wondering, God organizes intelligence and leads them along, thus they are his children. He sends them to earth, they get a body, die, get their body back in the resurrection, then they do what he does (if they pass their test, this life is the test). God has had one child in the flesh, that is Jesus Christ. “The Only Begotten Son”. The rest of us are his spirit children. That does not diminish his ownership of us though. As you may have deducted, once a child of God becomes a God, they also have spirit children, and send them to earths for their testing. To have a body is to be like God. Getting a body is one of the main reasons we came to earth.
15. pose any question to me and I’ll answer it – I haven’t explained everything here. When you ask a question, those of the nature of “but the bible doesn’t say that” are not as interesting to me. I never intended this to be a mere bible message. If that is heresy to you, I don’t mean to offend, and I respect your views, and applaud the good you do in the world. The type of questions I’m interested in are those which clarify the message of this letter rather than look for a biblical source for the letter. On some level all of this is in the bible, and we could go there, and I will if you like to some extent, but truly, that’s not the point. If that is heresy to you, that’s ok, as we’ve said before we can have different views and still be friends. Even if you think me hell bound for rejecting “perfect bible Christianity”, you can still be my friend. PS I don’t think you guys are hell bound, and am not offended if you think I am. I’ll take it further; You’re quite familiar with LDS stuff (much of this letter was probably a repeat for you), so you understand the whole separate levels of heaven thing which the LDS teach; I don’t even say you’re not going to the highest level of heaven; It’s not my place to judge; when people do their best they get the best reward; yes it’s true that LDS teach that the highest heaven is for those who have LDS temple ceremonies performed for them, yet there is a stipulation for those who weren’t involved; the stipulation is them getting that temple stuff after they are dead, awaiting the resurrection; however we encourage persons to read “my bible” and wrestle with this stuff and not get in a “I’ll change when I’m dead” setting, that never does much; the point of this final rant is to say that in no way do I say you’re not going to the highest heaven; there is so much confusion these days, I’m an imperfect messenger, LDS prophets are imperfect messengers, etc. etc., that many people simply aren’t going to hear the message God really wants them to hear; the key is that people really truly do their best, and pray very hard to find truth, and are willing to stand alone when called upon by God, willing to be in a minority of 1, etc. A note: though myself etc. are imperfect messengers, I do believe that “my bible” is absolutely true, pure revelation from the mouth of God. I take my bible as seriously as you do your bible. I also have another tool, it’s living prophets. When a passage in my bible isn’t clear, they can clarify it via God telling them the clarification. Such clarifications apply to the whole world and are binding. Another important point is that not everything a leader in “my church” says is this type of depth binding revelation. Messages from “the first presidency” and those which are repeated over time are the ones which are considered “revelation” and binding in their authority on the same level as “bible”.
16. some of this is hard to understand and may be unclear, but the universe isn’t 1st grade, it’s so fascinating that it can keep a genius on his toes, and thrill the best and brightest. It can at its core also be very simple and clear. I’ve not focused on that so much, so if you have questions of that nature, refer to the website sponsored by “my church” ; the best site I can think of is this http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/topics-and-background/ it has an a-z index of church stuff even the hard questions. While not sponsored by the church, fairmormon.org is also a good one.
17. you may not be into any of this, that’s ok. It’s been fun for me to put this together. I also feel bad if I don’t explain myself when I say something like I did on the FB message of “things that begin have an end”. God bless you
this passage from the book of Abraham (from POGP in my bible) it’s very important to the above logic:
“I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the works which my hands have made, wherein my wisdom excelleth them all, for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen. 22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; 23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. 24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; 25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; 26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever. 27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first. 28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him.” (Abraham 3:21-28)
The reader refused to read my letter because I referred to things not in the Bible, and I responded thus:
That’s fine that you are not interested I will avoid pestering you with these things in the future. My message is something you are inherently opposed to, that your bible is not the only standard of truth. Since there is this foundational disagreement we can politely tip our hats and focus our conversation on different things. My attempts to show you from the bible that the bible is not the only standard of truth have been in vain. You say the bible can be like art that several people see differently. Well I can use the bible to say that there are more venues of truth than that book. So really your rejection of my extra biblical literature is a rejection of the bible itself… This outright rejection of my view evidenced by your refusing to read my letter to you is slightly disappointing. I put a lot of thought into that and it’s addressed specifically to you. If a pagan wrote me a letter I would read it out of respect for my pagan friend (and yes, it’s OK to be friends with pagans). After reading the letter I would tell him thank you for your time though I do not share those views. At that point I would either leave it alone or try to sport with my friend in showing him fallacies of his logic and try to persuade him to my point of view. Either way I would do my best to respect my friend. At the same time I recognize you are busy and didn’t necessarily ask for the letter, and perhaps reading such a letter is against your religion (hopefully this level of close mindedness is not a tenant), so I understand your hesitancy to read my letter. If I’ve offended you I apologize and will seek more neutral topics in the future as I value your friendship regardless of religion. I also note that despite differences our religions do have much in common. May God truly bless you as he has in the past.
and the authoritative solution as found from the prophets and temples
based on a lecture by Hugh Nibley
Pharaoh was worried very much. He was not focused on death but on resurrection, on eternal life, not an eternal tomb. He was preoccupied about overcoming death he spent his days in the genealogical archives looking through files trying to see where he had Authority he wanted to imitate the ways of the Ancients like Noah and perform the rites and ordinances of eternal life he was heartbroken to find out that he could not find any link to this Authority in his genealogy and so he imitated Noah and created temples and these temples mimicked the order of the ancients.
The temples were the CenterPoint hierocentric center of the universe there a scale model of the universe; they are where we began to understand life after death you see this is the universal preoccupation of the human race, death. no one can get around it happens to everyone and so in the temples they prepared for the next life the prepared to be risen from the dead and they took upon themselves vestitures which would enable them so to do; of course these rituals were revealed by Angelic beings which came and showed them to Noah, Adam, et-cetera. And of course the temples are the perfect universities, the first observatories, etc.
-To see the full text of this discourse visit http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=658
-God knows all things, he is not continuing to learn. If he did not know all things, he could not save any of his creations. This is a quotation from Joseph Smith.
-Evolution in the way many see it (Darwinism) is entirely false. There was no death before the Fall of Adam. There were not things dying and evolving before Adam. The fall brought death into the world. See 2 Nephi 2:22 where it expressly says this.
-There is no doctrine of post-death second chances for Celestial Kingdom residence. “Those who reject the gospel in this life and then receive it in the spirit world go not to the celestial, but to the terrestrial kingdom.”
Our work for the dead is for who did not have the chance to hear the gospel in this life. It’s not our place to judge who that may or may not be.
-There is no advancing from one kingdom of glory to the next in the life to come. Where you are assigned is where you stay. “Of those in the telestial world it is written: “And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end” (D&C 76:112).”
-Temple marriage does not ensure that we will teach the Celestial Kingdom.
-We don’t have to be perfect in this life to merit living with God in the hereafter, but recall these principals, “(1) that this life is the appointed time for men to prepare to meet God—this life is the day of our probation; and (2) that the same spirit which possesses our bodies at the time we go out of this mortal life shall have power to possess our bodies in that eternal world.”
We need to be going towards God, and that not superficially.
Elder McConkie taught that there are 3 pillars of eternity, as follows:
1. creation of the world,
2. the fall of Adam & Eve, and
3. the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Here are various scenes where we find these 3 pillars to be of use. These are analogies which help us understand these pillars. I view the original pillars to be factual accounts, not purely symbolic, though here we will consider various symbols.
Let me know of more you think of!
2. earth life,
3. the life to come
1. living as spirits,
2. living with bodies on earth,
3. living with resurrected bodies in the kingdom of God
- The Batman Film Series
1. “Batman Begins” with fear,
2. episode 2, Batman falls in chaos,
3. episode 3, Batman rises by pain.
- The literary theme
1. Hero learns of identity & mission
2. Hero embarks on the mission and finds much difficulty
3. Hero overcomes through great sacrifice, successfully completing his mission
- Star Wars
1. Luke learns of the force
2. Luke fights against the dark side of the force
3. Luke becomes a Jedi master and restores balance to the force
- Candide by Voltaire
1. Candide begins with pure optimism
2. Candide experiences setbacks of every kind
3. Candide resorts to his garden, where his feelings are tempered with wisdom as he seeks to live a quiet life
1. The student hears of many possibilities & of his potential
2. The student fails in obtaining all of his ambitions as he seeks to balance work school family life and his various passions. He is saddened by his inability to learn all things and help all people at the present time.
3. The student relinquishes various academic aspirations and performs in a specific field, trusting that someday as time goes on, his heart will find knowledge, and he will somehow make a significant contribution to human kind in the various ways his heart feels to serve. He finds hope in religion which promises that he eventually shall obtain all knowledge and all power to serve others.
- The Family Man
1. The young man is ambitious about family life, and obtains a wife and children
2. The man experiences all manner of difficulties and is pushed further than he ever thought possible. He makes many mistakes and searches his soul to find strength to rise to his tasks
3. The man becomes temperate and charitable, and is a legend among his people, playing a large role in the redemption of his posterity. He is not perfect, but he knows that as he continues improving he will become a God in eternity, and gain the title which is the highest: Heavenly Father.
(Note: for the woman, same narrative, and she obtains the title Heavenly Mother, whom is Father’s secret weapon, or in other words, she is the nucleus of the universe around which all else goes, she is the definition of purity and good, and Father’s job is to help people become like Mother. On a smaller scale, as President Russel M Nelson said, he chose to be a medical doctor because he could not choose to be a mother. He and God both have complete reverence for woman. The Hebrew word for God is actually a plural, Elohim, the ‘im’ meaning plural, which suggests that God is the team of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.)
For the part 2 of this article, read The God of Individualized Contracts.
Mortality is like a perpetual scenario of Adam and Eve: struggling to decide what to do to please God when it seems there is no easy way out. We must choose between hard decisions daily and deal with not being able to accomplish all we wanted to. It’s critical that as we make these choices; we pray daily for God to forgive us for not being able to do more. We recommit to make everything better and beg forgiveness for the status quo mess that we have made. In the status quo mess, we can’t always make the ‘what would Jesus do’ choice because Jesus wouldn’t have got himself into that mess in the first place! Of course in every scenario there is a good better and best way to handle things, and that is generally what we mean by ‘do what Jesus would do’, but my point is that sometimes there is no black and white answer.
Perhaps there is always a black and white answer, but it is sufficiently hidden to us so as to test us. What good is a test if the solution manual is always provided to the student? Why ask us to believe if God shows up every 5 minutes? Indeed, pre-mortality was the school, and mortality is the short placement exam! Though we think life is not fair and wonder how this life could be an eternal placement test, God designed the test, and we are getting EXACTLY what we want out of life. There are no coincidences, our small daily choices are perfectly reflected in our life circumstances, attitudes, etc. Truly at the judgement day, all will confess to God “thy judgments are just”. He will recognize fully well that he has given us billions of chances to show our true colors, and our true colors will show indeed!
Some hold that rather than a test, life is like a school, or an apprenticeship. This is a beautiful perspective which highlights the companionship of God, God’s desires for us to become like him, and the overall mercy and tutoring God includes in our mortal experience. But it remains true that based on our choices in this life, we will be placed in either the celestial terrestrial or telestial kingdom of glory. This being said, life is, among other things, a test.
Progress in the spirit world after this life isn’t an excuse to procrastinate preparations. Alma makes it clear that this life is the time to prepare to meet God, the time to perform our labors. The gospel teaching in the spirit world is focused on those who didn’t have the opportunity to receive it here. We won’t be perfect by the time we meet death, and we will have progress to make after death, but to think that a person walking south will turn around and walk north just because death has arrived is a sectarian notion rejected by the master. Yes Ecclesiastes speaks of being able to turn around until death, but the modern way this is depicted in many Christian religions is that an enemy to God can say on his deathbed that he is sorry, and somehow qualify for the great glories of God. For example, one Christian movie titled “God’s not Dead” features a devout atheist professor who spent his life tearing down faith. Near the end of the movie he gets hit by a car and while his lungs fill with blood he says in effect ‘I’m so scared, I’m an atheist. OK I accept Jesus’. Then the preacher rejoices and claims his soul saved. This is like spiritually debt reckless spending followed by declaring bankruptcy. Just because you filed for bankruptcy doesn’t mean you’re ‘saved’ You have lots to learn about financial/spiritual wisdom, you have not yet taken upon you the countenance of Christ in righteously governing that which has been appointed to you. The Book of Mormon clarifies the doctrine of repentance in showing that various atheists who are about to die yet confess on their deathbeds that they lived in sin, aren’t much better off than when they were living in sin. Life is about becoming something, and deathbed repentance is void of that. Jesus taught this succinctly when he said, “Not everyone that saith ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter into my kingdom.”
A discussion on deathbed repentance usually goes to the thief on the cross. Modern revelation has shown that a better translation of this passage is ‘this day thou shalt be with me in the world of spirits.’ This suggests that rather than jumping into the same celestial boat as Christ’s disciples, this man is going to a place where he can learn of the lesser portion of God’s glory, which is still available to him. That availability will not be the same as what is available for those who used their lives for good, who stopped doing bad things, and became descent people, regardless of how much they did or didn’t know about God. Everyone has the light of Christ from birth, sometimes called a conscience, and how we have listened to or rejected that light will be the key factor at judgement day.
Recall that hell is temporary, a place of refining for the wicked, so they can be painfully purged and go to live in the lowest kingdom of glory, called the telestial kingdom. It’s still a place of glory, but it’s nowhere near as glorious as the two higher kingdoms, namely the terrestrial and the celestial. Those who enter the telestial kingdom essentially qualified for that in the premortal existence.
The only permanent hell is the place where Lucifer himself lives, along with the 1/3 who openly rejected God’s plan while staring God in the face in premortality, and the small handful of people in this life who knowingly reject God to a similar level in this life. Such rejection is a deeper evil than murder etc., and is often referred to as ‘denying the Holy Ghost’. Jesus said that those in this category receive not forgiveness in this life, nor the life to come (Matt. 12:32). These people not only speak against Christ, they speak against all holy things, they love evil and hate good. For more scriptures about this group, see the LDS Guide to the Scriptures, topic of “Sons of Perdition” (at this link https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/sons-of-perdition?lang=eng). There is some information on this and other components of God’s plan found in the bible, but the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants have 100-fold information on these subjects.
Let us remember that Elder McConkie of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles taught in his discourse titled “The 7 Deadly Heresies” that if one rejects the missionaries in this life, they drop a kingdom, and can only qualify for the terrestrial in the life to come, not the celestial, notwithstanding work for the dead.
Perhaps some of our choices from where we stand can’t be perfect ones, but are simply the best given the circumstances. We do our best and beg forgiveness daily because we greatly need it daily. Never forget the holiness of god and the nothingness of man and the requirements of god upon man. Remember the angel that came to rebuke Joseph Smith for living beneath the expectations of God in his young trying days of getting the plates (actually all of his days were trying days) and think not that you are better than Joseph, that you are not worthy of rebuke. We are all worthy of rebuke. Our character lies in weather we stand up to it or run away from it in cowardice, hiding as it were under the rocks, kidding ourselves that judgement day will never come.
No one is exempt from some level of ambiguity in their day to day choices. God lets us chose. His will is sometimes our will. That’s what happened for Nephi (3rd Nephi). God told him ‘you figure it out I will back you wherever you go with this, let’s see what you’ve got kid. You can do it, I’ve been watching you. Stick around and check this out, you may even surprise yourself’.
Life is a pickle and who can get out? the answer is that no one can get out; the purpose of life is to see what you’re going to do when you’re in a pickle; we want to see what you do when there’s no right answer – what will you pick in the only options are to fail in one thing or two fail in something else. yes, you’ll see bits and pieces of success, and God will comfort you through your trials, but life IS a trial.
One good analogy of this is seen in Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, wherein Ender is judged not only based on what he did, but why he did it.
Another analogy to consider is the “Golden Parachute Clause” principle of corporate businesses. This is where a VIP employee is essentially considered to be so valuable, that he is allowed to make mistakes, even big mistakes, and not get fired. This doesn’t mean he comes out in forthright rebellion, no, he is always TRYING to make the right choice, it’s just that sometimes, he simply messes up. And when you’re in the driver’s seat and you mess up, consequences can be big. But he does so much good that it overwhelms the bad. The ripple effect of the good that he does is so much bigger than the ripple effect of the bad that he does, that the company would be at a great loss to get rid of him. In other words, the NET EFFECT you have on the world is GOOD. The end result of your presence on earth has been an overall increase in goodness, peace, prosperity, justice, mercy, love, etc.
One thing that need not be ambiguous is our testimony of Jesus Christ and his restored gospel. Some remain ambiguous in this, but there is a gift of the spirit of not just believing these things but knowing them. Seek that gift!
The D&C even goes so far as to say we should covet spiritual gifts!
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” -Jesus Christ
“This is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.” -Jesus Christ
The world likes to show how their ancestors were wrong; but the Lord says we should “turn our hearts to the fathers”. The world is interested in reinventing a new wheel, the Lord says repent. I’m not saying we should copy some of the bad of our ancestors or prejudice. I am saying we should ask ourselves, “How would my ancestors react if they saw the way I dress? The way I treat the holy scriptures? The way I treat my neighbor? The way I treat my kids and spouse? The way I use my money and free time?” I think most cases will bring us to better behavior if we think in this way. The Lord said that lest we do this, the earth will be “smitten with a curse.” (see book of Malachi)
Your family history work will greatly influence your family future work for the better!
Note – Buy a 2’x3’ chart of 9 Generations already filled in from the database at FamilySearch.org at the BYU Family History Library for $7.
This suggests that the power to meet our goals lies in our ability to say no to distractions, etc. We have the power to choose what we do. We are not powerless. Perhaps we should make “No” our new favorite word we tell ourselves.
Agency exists because we can say no despite what physiological reaction we have to stimulus. Professor Thomas Draper of BYU says in his SFL 290 class presentation 6 on critical thinking.
“First, it exists. Despite neuropsychological studies that say it is a self-flattering illusion.
Neurological studies are helpful, but usually interpreted incompletely.”
He refers to Libet’s experiment on when we react to stimuli. Libet suggests that it’s just an illusion that we chose to do things, that we are powerless to stimuli.
“The beginning of agency is
saying “No” to what is starting to happen
In your body.” says Draper.
He continues, “No doubt, some actions are prefigured by neural impulses of Biology; Temptations; Natural man (or woman) Pre-decisions Habits”
Consider Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife.
there are moral moments
more complex, unlike the simple hand and finger movements in the neuroscience experiments.
They cause us to pause and break
out of our everyday routine and do
a much more complex moral
evaluation, and take more complex
The parable of the Good Samaritan
The baby in the road
Consider that “we get to choose our goals”
Sailor on the lake metaphor:
The boat = genetic endowment
The lake and the winds = the physical and social environments
The person sailing the boat = the moral agent
But after we do we must obey the laws that will get us to our goals.
Often not a lot of choice about how we must behave to get to the goal.
Saying “yes” to the goal means saying “no” to distractions & temptations.
Getting to the same goal can be harder for some people than others.
Different social and
But if is a moral goal one will have Divine help and grace to get there.
Column 1: Typical Kingdom / Era / Purpose
Column 2: Telestial / Premortal / Preparatory
Column 3: Terrestrial / Mortality / Perform
Column 4: Celestial / Post-Mortality / Complete
|Typical Kingdom / Era / Purpose:||Telestial / Premortal / Preparatory||Terrestrial / Mortality / Perform||Celestial / Post-Mortality / Complete|
|Qualified Ministrants / Prototypes to Emulate:||Holy Ghost
(perfectly / indestructibly / perpetually embodied)
|Key Family Oriented Elements:||Testify of God our Father
and his family-based plan
|Selfless sacrifice in adhering to God’s laws in relationships;
Family based priorities
|Use of family unit to achieve theosis (theosis= human becoming God); Perpetuate family structure|
|Temple Connections:||Faith in & covenant with deity required to succeed
and pass into next phase
|Covering boy as a symbol of temples as sacred vs profane space. Discriminatory relationships.||Marriage as a type/symbol of reunion with presence of God. Procreative marriage a foretaste of theosis|
|Perfect Faith Required for Salvation (2 Ne. 9:23): 3 Elements of Faith adapted from Joseph Smith||Know the characteristics of God. Believe in God and chose his plan.||Know that you are living in accordance to God’s expectations. Emulate Jesus Christ the Son of God. We are also sons of God.||Receive all promised blessings.|
|Role of Scripture:||Motivate creations to adopt creator’s philosophy.||Execute scripture (law) from our creator.||Create scripture for your creations.|
|Success Rate:||2/3 success
1/3 defect to perdition
|Narrow path, but only a few defect all the way down to perdition.||Many called, few chosen for theosis. However, God’s mercy and justice provide alternate kingdoms for inferior levels of performance.|
|Prevailing Expectation:||Receive||Give||Receive and Give in eternal balance.|
|Vision / Perspective:||See the plan||Operate the plan
(without “seeing” it)
Probation / Test / Exam
|See & show “one eternal round”
|Family Stage:||Family orientation||Family creation||Perpetual Families;
Create and orient your creation
|Eternal balance of rejoicing and weeping
(Isa. 25:8; Moses 7:29-37)
Notes: 3 Purposes, 7 Processes, 3 Principles on “Family and Godhead in the Plan of Salvation”
Purpose 1: The purpose of the family is to go on to exaltation, and participate in the eternal creation of more family units on a larger scale. Without the perpetuation of the family unit in eternity, the family is vain and will come to an end. There is no beginning of souls, they existed in the beginning with God, and they must go on forever. Even the damned will continue to exist forever, for they have no beginning, so they can have no end. The ultimate expression of the divine is that a family emulates the creative aspects of God.
Purpose 2: The purpose of studying the word of God in family settings is to express the message that the entire plan of salvation is based on the family unit. The religions of this world lack an understanding of the perpetuation of the family. The family must be together in heaven, and without this view, the family will lose motivation for virtuous livelihoods. The entire system of life is based on creation and edification of family units, and if those are to fall away in heaven, both the lack of will to do good for heaven and the will to do good for mortality vanish.
Purpose 3: The purpose of modest dress is to protect the chastity of women. Modest dress is additionally to represent the divine nature of the body, which should not be accessible to the general public, just like a temple and God’s kingdom. The temple is not open enrollment, and God’s university is thus scorned by the secular masses, but we have seen in social science that immodest dress is a type of how when the sacred is offered at large to the profane, then the relationship system fails. The relationships without the backbone of covenants fall apart as quickly as sand in one’s hand. If women become unchaste, they lose the appreciation for themselves, and forget divine ideals and possibilities.
Process 1: A family must use the standard words as the key focus of their study, so they cannot reasonably deny the requirements of God’s law to inherit salvation. The laws for salvation are contained in the standard works, and without their application, the preaching of the word of God does not occur, and the faith needed for salvation cannot be obtained. The individual matter of salvation becomes unavailable, and the higher family matter of exaltation becomes void.
Process 2: The family must teach each other the non-biological aspects of the plan of salvation by instructing in the value of relationships rather than mere animalistic approach to courtship. If a couple will court each other just for sexual attraction, they are forgetting about needed components of marital stability and overall happiness (including sexual intercourse frequency). The plan of God is designed to enable spirits in bodies to have eternal joy, but the spirit aspect of the body cannot be overlooked if this is to be successful.
Process 3: The family must emphasize the importance of selfless love in the mortality phase of Gods plan. If the family will do this, the candidates for salvation will learn obedience by the things they suffer. The call to follow Christ is a call to suffer, and the world of false churches often go wrong on this point alone: that the path of Christ is not an easy path (though it is more easy than suffering in hell, as Christ said). Only by following Christ can any person, along with their hopes and dreams, attain divine goals, including marriage and continuing parenthood.
Process 4 : The family must understand their role as testators, similar to the Holy Ghost. If the family will testify of the divinity of God to each other in their times of need, they will gain the strength they need to overcome their trials. Faith comes by hearing the word of God, and without this, the candidates cannot gain faith. Salvation is impossible to obtain without perfect faith as the Book of Mormon says, and thus hearing the word of God is essential to spiritual growth. The Holy Ghost is a person, this makes it easy for us to emulate him in our relationships. We can know truth just like he can.
Process 5: The family must worship God at the temple in order to understand the “why” of modest dress. Not only is there a strict code of modesty inside the temple, but there is also a symbol of modesty there which communicates essential lessons for why we cover our bodies. The scriptures say that Christ covered Adam and Eve in coats of skins. Skins are the result of slain beasts, like the Lamb of God being slain. The sacrifice of Christ is essential to our protection. We profane ourselves via sin, and Christ puts his life on the line and ultimately on the altar for our sakes to cover our sins and bring us back to the ways of God, away from our fallen ways. When we learn that there is sacred space and profane space, we will understand the need to cover our bodies as a symbol that we are willing to obey the laws of God even when it seems non-sensical to ourselves.
Process 6: The family must study the role of Father in Heaven. Without this understanding, they will not have hope of a glorious future. The perfections of Heavenly Father and the splendid roles he operates (including the divine weeping for souls in trial) give us hope that heaven will be more than strumming harps, and that there is a meaning to suffering which enables faith in God and in relationships even in hard times. The relationship will survive longer and even forever if we maintain faith in God, heaven, and a benevolent future. This will empower selfless love needed to maintain relationships with fellow imperfect beings.
Process 7: The family must repent of all their sins in order to stay together in eternity. All candidates of the family must be clean before being permitted into the presence of God. If the family does well but one individual does not, then the family will exist in the kingdom of God without the unclean member, for nothing can undo the laws of God. The mercy of Christ is operational only for repentant souls. Repentance is the benevolent key to unlock the otherwise forbidden doors of heaven, where only the just dwell. Christ was required to obey the law of God, and so are we. For us, one of the laws of God includes repentance, and we cannot be saved without it.
Principle 1: If God is worshiped by each member of the family individually and together in the home on a daily basis, the family will grow closer to each other. This means that the contrary is also true, namely that without God, relationships cannot thrive. If the individuals are left to themselves to find their way through the wilderness of life, they will be eaten by the wolves of secularism after becoming spiritually blind via their close-mindedness toward God. I use the word worship because it suggests the comparative might of God juxtaposed to the weakness of man. The family togetherness component is essential as the family and home are the laboratory to the human breed.
Principle 2: If marriage candidates value God’s standards including particularly the modesty regulations, then they will have a marriage void of the strife aspect of eros love. This means that eros love while being a good thing ( a love of physical beauty), if not contained within the parameters the Lord has set, will be fundamentally destructive toward any relationship. To think that a couple can consider the bodies things to be taken lightly and still expect the favor and grace of God in their relationship, then their hopes are founded upon something totally in contradiction to the very plan of salvation, which focuses on the incorporation of spirits on an earth as a primary element of moral examination. To put it simply, to misuse the body is to fail the key question in the test of the human being. The immodest person either knowingly or unknowingly denies God by denying faith in his plan of happiness. His plan of happiness entails virtue in marriage covenants, and the body being a temple, the candidate is denying the sacredness of the human nature as being an embryonic deity. This negation of truth leads to the impossibility of exaltation.
Principle 3: If humans emulate the Godhead in their aspirations for family success and efforts to activate the plan of redemption, they will progress together toward exaltation. This means that each member of the Godhead plays a distinct role, and family members can emulate that person in each stage. In pre-mortality we emulated the Holy Ghost in testifying of the reality of God and his plans supernal & unique effectiveness. In mortality we walk the earth like Jesus Christ and take up our crosses doing our best like he did his best. In post-mortality we emulate Heavenly Father in the creation of spirit children and touring them through pre, post, and mortalities of their own. This aspect of sacrificial love in mortality is the glue which will hold family relationships together, and the post mortality aspect allows the perpetuation of the family system through eternity.
Thesis: not only God, but humans also, have the power to vastly effect, or “CREATE” the eternal destiny of human beings. Your contributions are significant, for good or ill. God’s plan includes, and perhaps is even based on, humans impacting each other. Complacency with the idea that “God will take care of everyone” is not only going to end up bad for you, but bad for others, and that eternally. The end of the document has brief dialogue of my answering questions from LDS people and a Protestant friend regarding this theory. This is the most plain writing I could conjure, and it is appropriately bold.
Your effect on others creates for them a different experience and opportunity than they would have had without you
Consider God. were it not for him, we would not have progressed to our current corporal status, and we would have no hope of resurrection, just to name a few things.
Now consider mankind. Can their effect be great upon others?
I’ve heard some men say they are afraid to preach the gospel because they fear that if their hearers reject their message, the hearers will be somehow eternally disadvantaged because of them.
I’ve heard some men say ‘why does it matter if I contribute a lot or a little to the preaching of the gospel (and other good causes), God will make sure everyone is taken care of, God would not put another person at risk because of me, a third party.
This is dangerous logic. God watches over us all, this is true. But he has already done so much for us, and though he continues to do lots for us, our interactions with each other can bring even further blessings.
Consider this: God values our autonomy (independence) so much, that he lets people make good choices and bad choices. the good leads to exponential growth. the bad leads to exponential decay. the repercussions or fruits of these actions are not inconsequential.
God gives the human race so much power, that they can influence each other powerfully unto the effect of saving or damning their fellow man.
Will God protect us from all evil? Will he force us toward all good? No and no. So much of the fate of the human race depends on their interactions with each other!
God is creating us into someday-Gods. We are children of God and have the seeds of divinity in us. Mortality isn’t our first rodeo, we learned much in premortality. Now here in mortality we are all given massive power to impact the lives of our fellows. This is part of what makes mortality such an effective test; some men have said “how can God pass eternal judgement upon us after grading our performance for a measly 80 or so years? Can that really determine the way I will spend eternity?” The answer is yes, it can, and it does. Let me explain: the impact we have for others in this life for better or worse is so monumental, that if it be an impact for good, it will merit our eternal salvation. And if it be an impact for bad, it will be so far reaching that it will be clear grounds for the eternal damnation of our souls. You see, mortality is the final battle, the last stand, the point of no return, the test of eternity, this is where God determines which of his children have chosen to become like him, and which will cut themselves off, not being willing to bear such an “eternal weight” of glory and joy.
Now granted, God in his goodness has prepared more than just a heaven and a hell, but varying degrees of each so the sort of good person doesn’t get stuck with either the valiant or with the devils, and so the sort of bad person doesn’t get stuck with either the valiant or with the devils. This plays into government theory, its why socialism and communism don’t work. If there is only a heaven or hell, then why should the good person bother being his best, or why should the bad person bother with not being his most deplorable self? You see, a free market is similar to how God judges his children: if they do much good, they get much reward. If they do a little good, they get a little reward. If they do much evil they get great punishment, if they do little evil they get little punishment. This doctrine shows us that God is completely fair with us.
Let it further be noted that God has loaded extra mercy into his government via the service of his divine son Jesus Christ. I and everyone else desperately needs Christ. Christ performs 2 functions: 1. pay for our debts (sins), and 2. help us learn to be independent (debt free, aka not sinning anymore, able to build our own great things rather than just begging others for help all the time; the person eventually becomes a helper instead of one to be helped)
So let me summarize a few key ideas: it does matter how much you participate in promoting goodness in this life. You do have power to lead others toward salvation which could result in souls saved which would have otherwise been lost. You do have power to lead others to damnation whom otherwise may not have been damned. God has given his children (the human race) epic amounts of power, and will measure their eternal assignment by the way they have used that power. Perhaps the fact that we don’t often realize how much we are impacting others (how much power we have) is part of the test we are going through. When we meet God the blinders will be removed from our eyes and we will understand all things, and we will confess that his judgments upon us are just!
No wonder Joseph Smith taught that a religion which does not require one’s all does not have sufficient power to save him!
Here are my responses to some issues LDS people have had with this theory:
When I say capitalism is like heaven this is what I mean: the fact that we have multiple levels of heavens suggests that the harder one works, the greater his reward will be. Such is not the case in communist governments which look much like Satan’s kingdom. Protestant religions have 1 heaven only, and that doctrine demotivates work ethic. One example, if being a doctor paid the same as being a nurse’s aid, I wouldn’t bother going to med school. In other words, if simple belief in Jesus was enough for heaven, I wouldn’t bother being a Mormon (it’s a lot of work!). I look forward to living the law of consecration where I will have no use of extra money, but I will have the blessing of the celestial kingdom which is better than terrestrial, better than money, etc.
Yes service is missing in capitalism, but governments are about protecting our rights, not about compelling us to be charitable! Even God doesn’t force us to have charity! About independence, it refers to a later stage where we become God’s having equal power over all things with God. At our current stage we certainly need to rely on Christ. We will forever praise and worship Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father for their role in our advancement to Godhood. We will then help our posterity become just like ourselves, like how our Heavenly Father helped us become just like Himself.
One more word on the analogy of business: God is the CEO. Is independent, possessing all power. We are currently beggars. Thank God for his mercy to provide for us (air, food, bodies, power, etc.). Eventually, as a child of God, he wants us to become his equal, helping us to start our own companies and be CEO of them, and have all power with him and his father’s (and yes, prophets have taught that Heavenly Father has a father). When we become CEO’s, we are no longer dependent. Satan wanted to be a CEO like God, but he wanted to replace God rather than starting his own business and all the work that would entail. This he is damned. He was more of a mutineer than a businessman. He rebelled against God instead of aligning himself with the ways of God.
Here is a brief conversation with a Protestant friend pertaining to the last segment here “When I say capitalism is like heaven this is what I mean…”
- COMMENT FROM PROTESTANT FRIEND: Thanks for sharing Nate! I love getting to understand other religions and beliefs as they test my own faith. As a Protestant, our ultimate motivation behind good deeds and works is the love of and for God- to bring Him glory. We believe that Christ is certainly enough and the only way to receive salvation. A true believer who has accepted Christ wouldn’t just want Him for their ticket to heaven. They would be motivated out of love and gratitude for what Christ did to be the most Christ-like person they can become. But we all fall short of the perfection of Christ. Thank God for grace! Lol- literally!
- RESPONSE BY NATE:
You’re welcome glad to see some of this jargle gets read So I’ll say this in response: Out of his love for us, Christ centers his involvement with us on making us better people. Christ isn’t obsessed with being worshiped, he is obsessed with helping others. I worship him because he helps me. If he did not help me, I would not worship him. So at face value Protestants are inherently more pure than Mormons because they worship out of love instead of out of gratitude, but I suggest that premise is incorrect. Loving God is one thing, but it’s why you love him that’s important. I don’t love someone just because they call themselves God. If Christ wasn’t my ticket to heaven, I would not worship him. My chief focus in this life is to get myself, my family, and whoever else I can to heaven. Anything less would be further from right on a scale of right and wrong. In one sentence, you said you don’t just worship God because he is a ticket to heaven, but in the next you said you worship him in gratitude for “what he did”. Well “what he did” is give us a ticket to heaven. So I think that your adoration of Christ is more centered on the ticket than you’re ready to admit. It was a nice thing of Christ to keep company with prostitutes, it was a nice thing of Christ to teach his disciples, it was a nice thing of Christ to heal lepers and raise dead people back to life. But none of those things are why I worship Christ; many prophets before and after Christ have done all of those things, yet I don’t worship them. The one and only reason I worship Christ is because he offers me salvation. Another word for salvation is “a ticket to heaven”. Also you’ve defined what it means to be a true believer in Christ, and you claim I don’t fit that definition. Belief is subjective and personal, so I won’t tell you what you believe, and you don’t tell me what I believe. The most classic in the book is bible reading persons arguing about what it means to have the correct idea about what it means to be a “true believer” (hence the many churches of different creed and title). You and I have 2 different and passionate views about what it means to be a believer, but for the sake of friendship, we will avoid calling each other non-believers. I’m glad that you recognize that I believe (and I’m even more glad that you agree with this) that Christ is the only way to salvation.
- RESPONSE FROM PROTESTANT FRIEND: “This is such a great response Nate. This is why I love conversations like this and I think that the more we discuss, the stronger our faiths become. I think that you are SO right when you say that my adoration of Christ is more centered on salvation than I am ready to admit! And for me, that is a sin, and something that I want to work every day on moving away from. Someone once asked me if I would worship Christ even if he did not die on the cross for us. If I’m honest with myself, that might be hard to do because of my inherent selfish human nature. But I would hope that I would. My chief focus in life is bringing my God glory for the amazing God that He is. I worship him for who He is, and I do good works (obedience, service, etc.) in gratitude for what He did. The fundamental difference between our two faiths is who the person of Christ is. Protestants believe that Jesus Christ is fully human, and fully God. I believe that Jesus Christ IS God in the flesh, and that is the most important reason why (or maybe rather why I SHOULD) worship Him. But that gets us into some pretty deep theology that might be better for another time You say at the end that we both agree that Christ is the only way to salvation, but you also say that in order to be saved, there is more work for you to do in addition to what Christ did. This is where we differ, though each of our acts of worship of Jesus remains genuine. What I will say is this- I absolutely do respect your faith and I love learning more about it. I think that Mormons are some of the most kind, most faithful, and most dedicated people to their faith. I wish that more Christians were like that. Thanks again for sharing”
- RESPONSE BY NATE: Thanks for the compliments. To keep it brief I’ll say this: LDS do believe Christ is God. Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 11:13 “I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.” so FYI Mormons do believe Christ is God. Old testament names God as “Jehovah”. Yes, JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH, AND JEHOVAH IS GOD. Yes, we differ in that you don’t believe Jesus (Jehovah) has a Father. If we wanted to get into it, I could explain how God (Jesus) having a father is critical to having hope. Basically, it shows that we can become Gods just like Jesus became a God. It shows that the universe is ever expanding, and posterity “as the stars” is ever expanding, allowing us to have the full large-scale parental joy that Gods have. Further, God the Father is the standard that God the Son (Jesus Christ) lived up to become a God. God the Son came to earth to show us the prototype of how to become God. Thank goodness that we have access to mercy or we could never become the kind of just people that Gods are. Mercy hurts, and we are learning to not just receive it, but to give it. Being saved (having a happy afterlife) is about what Christ did for us. Being exalted (reaching your full potential, becoming a God like your father (we are the children of God)) is about what we do for others. The other issue you bring up is the need for works “beyond Jesus” for salvation. Well, Jesus said that not only those who say Lord Lord get into heaven but those who do good works. That is a theme throughout the bible and I won’t bother you with 50 references to support it. Heaven knows I have at least 10 essays doing just that on my website from prior conversations like this that I’ve had. I now focus these discussions on boldly declaring my beliefs rather than dancing around about how to interpret what the bible says (which I suggest Protestants aren’t as united on as you may think). Basically the argument that there is only Jesus and no personal effort to get salvation is ignoring the essence of Jesus as an example. The Book of Mormon brings to mind the idea that bible readers have forgotten, that Jesus says over and over “be like me”. Another key difference between our religions is The Book of Mormon. At the end of the day arguing about what the bible says isn’t that important to me, because it’s not the comprehensive dictionary of my faith. I believe in the Book of Mormon, which means I believe in a certain interpretation of the bible, and reject other interpretations of the bible. PS good job on discovering that the cross-less Jesus wouldn’t be someone to worship.
Don’t feel obligated to read any of this but if you’re ever really curious, these I have more essays which relate to topics we are discussing in the exaltation, eternity, & redemption sections of my books.
Note: this is just a fun study of comparing and contrasting holidays in the order they occur, and relating that to the plan of salvation in the order of eternal events, or the choosing of a higher or lower kingdom.
In reality, anytime people come together with friends and family is a great time. I love all holidays (but especially Christmas!)
The Creation Holiday: New Year’s Day
-we remember beginnings, especially the creation of earth & being raised as “young” spirits in pre-mortality
The Holiday of Promise: Easter
-we learn in premortality of Jesus Christ and Gods plan for us to have immortal bodies like himself
The Holiday of War: Memorial Day
-we fought in pre-mortality between Jehovah (Christ) and Lucifer
The Pre-Mortal Holiday: Independence Day
-becoming free, as in the election of Christ instead of Lucifer, and thus coming to earth to work out our salvation
The Mortal Holiday: Labor Day
-this life is the day for men to perform their labors, to prepare to meet God
***Now moving on to the 3 core holidays, typical of the 3 kingdoms of glory assigned after this life:
The Telestial Holiday, Halloween:
-FOOD: empty calories which give only immediate pleasure and later chronic illness.
-acting like kids
-HEROISM: pretending like you’re a hero, usually a pretend one
-getting people to look at you
The Terrestrial Holiday, Thanksgiving:
-FOOD: wholesome foods
-appreciating family / those who appreciate us
-HEROISM: giving reverence to / remembering heroes who have gone before (to make America, etc.)
-honoring America for its freedom
The Celestial Holiday, Christmas:
-FOOD: giving food to the poor
-HEROISM: worshiping Jesus Christ, the prototypical hero who can help you become a hero, and doing heroic acts
God’s servants are not pawns, they are free independent agents, without predestined future
We think about spirituality as “God gives a person agency, and the righteous person gives their agency back to God.” No, it goes like this: God gives a person agency, and the righteous person makes choices, and those choices become the will of God. For example, the brother of Jared brought stones for God to make bright to light his vessels; God then made it happen. Could Jared have chosen another way and it still have worked, still have been sanctioned by God? Yes! It’s like when Nephi got the sealing power; God trusted that the choices Nephi would make would be appropriate, NOT THAT he would do the exact things, the marching orders, of God. No, Nephi became an executive agent for God, a person whom did things that pleased God. God didn’t come up with all of Nephi’s ideas, but God did approve of Nephi’s ideas. Nephi became someone who acts, and is not acted upon. Nephi is learning the character of God, growing into his divine birthright. Beginning to receive the endowments of his Righteous Father, whom is God.
The scriptures treating Eden say that Satan was the most subtle, above all the beasts of the field (Gen. 3:1). Subtle can be translated to naked in Hebrew. It also uses that word to describe Adam and Eve, stating that they were naked. Later we read of being clothed with coats of skins. One possible interpretation is that this scene took place before a physical setting where man and beast had bodies, and were later clothed with bodies (coats of skins). We know the earth was created spiritually before physically. It could be calling Satan the ‘most naked’, suggesting that Satan would fail to receive a body, and remain ‘naked’ / without the glory of having a body, forever.
The fall could mean an entrance into mortality, a step in the journey that would be difficult but necessary. A place where we could procreate physically and thereby obtain bodies which could become eternal, akin to that of God.
God is not a sprit, but a full and exalted man, meaning a spirit clothed with a physical body, which will never decay, and which body can procreate (procreation is only permanently afforded to those who prove faithful in all things).
An analogy could exist that Adam and Eve were coming out of a cave