Monday Morning Theological Poll: Divine Destiny Edition

Today, we ask you your opinion of the end game for the righteous.

Please justify your answers in the comments below. Remember, angels are silent note-taking of every action, so choose what is right.

Comments

  1. There are plenty of scriptures that say that we will be like God, that we will receive all that He has, etc., etc. to justify a belief that we will indeed be like Him (Moroni 7 and Romans 8 come to mind as just two examples). Of course, being like someone does not mean that you will be exactly the same. I don’t know exactly what eternal progression means, but I believe that the Father and the Son will always be further ahead that I am, but Their being more fully progressed Gods doesn’t take away from the godhood of those who are exalted.

  2. Margaret says:

    Was the omittance of “Mother in Heaven” or the neutral “God” deliberate?

  3. I’m with Margaret.

  4. I don’t think we will become once we reach the Celestial Kingdom (other than part of the Heavenly Parenthood Association); I think we will reach the Celestial Kingdom once we become.

    I have no idea how long that will take, exactly how it will be accomplished or who will become celestial – so I guess we could go back and discuss John C.’s posts again.

  5. I would say “just like Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ,” but with a different nuance. I don’t think that we’ll be “on equal terms” with them as independent agents with equal authority, but rather, that we will “be one” with them. It kind of goes with my idea that the name God is a title for the whole class of perfected beings as a unit, and not just for one specific personality. When you become “like” Father in Heaven, you become God (not replacing anyone, but rather, joining in the unity of Godhood).

  6. I am glad that we have established the John is a sexist pig.

    We don’t really know. I just have faith that God is just. I have enough to worry about here and now. The after-life will be what ever it is.

  7. I voted for number 2, but the questions and explanations so far make me wonder if there isn’t something more to the whole Multi Level Marketing thing. Am I just part of someone else’s downline?

  8. The choice of terminology is deliberate. It’s cuz God the Father and God the Son are the Gods we know (to whatever degree we know them). Mother in Heaven’s existence, while I believe in it, is a wholly ascriptural adventure. She shall have her own poll next week.

  9. StillConfused says:

    So long as my energy is surrounded by good Christian energy, that is all that matters to me

  10. I voted the same way as rwb, for the same reason. See D&C 20:28 for support.

  11. I voted ‘nobody really knows’… my opinion is that at the conclusion of life on earth we are probably in the pre-K stage of a post-doctorate degree program… to go from earthy struggles of attending sunday school vs. discussing the Y in the hallway to becoming a ‘God’ shortly after that twinkling of death strikes me as selling the whole deity thing short by a few hundred million millenia or more of steady progress and line upon line growth

  12. Well, there are a lot of scriptures and doctrine indicating that we will be exhaulted and like God. . . and we learn from such discourses like the King Follet Address that God is progressing and we too will progress.

    We’ll be God’s in every sense of the word, but because God is progressing we will never be as he is at the same time.

  13. I agree with rwb. I think Blake Ostler might also agree….

  14. I did not vote, since you don’t have the option I want. What I’m really hoping for is that the type of “divine being” I will be will be something like He-Man, complete with a sword and Battle Cat. My wife could just be herself if she wants, but if she wants to be TeeIa, that would be cool too. I could do without Orko in my version of the celestial kingdom, though.

  15. I voted for David Cook.

  16. Thomas Parkin says:

    I don’t have all that much sympathy for any position other than number one. For me, the idea that we are of the same kind of being as God, with an identical history and potential, is possibly _the_ central Mormon insight. I believe that God the Father, and hence Mother, are completed beings, and do not progress in the same way that we do. I also think we are more Gods in adolescence then Gods in embryo. Or maybe even Gods in young adulthood … kind of, leaving home for the first time, riding for the first time with the training wheels off. We are much closer than we seem. I follow Christ, a being in most ways like us, who thought it not robbery to be equal with God.

  17. #16 – What Thomas said. He just said it much better than I did.

  18. Is it just me or do others have no clue how to take “like” in the poll questions?

    Thomas (16) what do you mean by “completed beings”?

  19. I’m with Thomas too.

  20. Coffinberry says:

    Count me among those who didn’t ‘like’ any of the answers, but picked one anyway (mine was a Namaste vote). If I were composing a suitable answer response to match my belief it would be along the lines of “That which we saw and knew and loved about our Heavenly Parents prior to this mortal adventure is what we discover ourselves to be.”

  21. Thomas Parkin says:

    clark,

    I don’t know if can be expressed much better than just saying ‘completed.’ Everything they have had the potential to become, they have become. Any knowledge that they could posses, they do posses. Etc. I would say they joy they have taken in becoming they now take in the becoming of those who take the path that leads to becoming like them. They joy they have in living remains.

  22. I’m not sure that believing in “eternal progression” necessarily means that we believe God and Christ are still progressing. They may be in some ways, but I doubt it. I like the phrase Thomas uses: “completed beings.” They have no need for further progression.

  23. I could swear I read a JS quote where he said something about as we progress HF progresses too. But it was years ago and I can barely remember yesterday.

  24. If we are to become like God, who has ended His progression, then how can we call our progression Eternal?

    There is no limit to the progression of Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, etc.

  25. #24 – Multiple possible definitions for the same word is what theology is all about.

    Ditto my last comment, only about #21. I like “completed” (along with “finished” and “fully developed”) much better than “perfect” – since they can mean the exact same thing (see Matt. 5:48 footnote), but “completed” doesn’t carry the negative baggage of some definitions of “perfect”.

    If anyone is interested:

    http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2007/12/problem-with-popular-perceptions-of.html

  26. We can take a definition from the D&C that eternal is another name for God.

    Then eternal progression is God’s progression.

    Anyway, we will have a super wikipedia there and know everything anyone knows instantly at the time they know it. As a result, God’s progression is a mutual progression of every individual at the same time. I do not think that there are secrets in heaven or hidden knowledge. (How can you hide anything from Gods?)

  27. I think we decided (at least I did) that truth is a larger infinity than any other infinity. Thus progression can be never ending in a literal sense.

    I refuse to admit to eternal ennui.

    Joy without change? My cats have that when I pet them, feed them and they sleep in the sun. They do not experience, at least to my perception, ennui. So, arguably, we turn into cats.

  28. We turn into cats? Well then, I’ll go to hell.

  29. Thomas Parkin says:

    “progression Eternal?”

    Eternal is simply almost never used to mean without beginning or end. Even “without beginning or end” isn’t used to mean without beginning or end (see sec 132). Endless doesn’t mean without end, rather it means endless, says sec 19 … that seems like a big stupid curve-ball. But it is actually a clue that these words are not used in the way we expect them be used. Whenever I start my own blog, my first post it will be on this. Eternal, it has come to seem to me, is an adjective that denotes a unifying of the subject with Eternal things. So that our life will become Eternal Life, even though it wasn’t always so, when it is perfectly joined with truth, justice, pure knowledge, etc. So will the earth come into its “eternal state” when it is characterized perfectly by things that DO last forever. The earth literally _becomes_ a thing without beginning or end. Although it had a beginning, speaking literally. Once a thing is perfected in Eternal things, becomes Eternal, without beginning or end, it is forever so, since a diminishment of its perfection is only possible at a point of imperfection.

    “Joy without change? My cats have that when I pet them, feed them and they sleep in the sun. They do not experience, at least to my perception, ennui. So, arguably, we turn into cats.”

    Because the joy is in being, not in becoming. We feel joy in becoming because we sense our entering into a greater scope of being. But the joy is in being. I think the animal analogy is great. Animals can fill the measure of their creation in this life. The cat need not become any more a cat, and can experience joy in its catness. But we do not fill the measure of our creation in this life – we can at best intuit what that will mean when we experience the joy in having an ever augmenting range of being.

    I think. ;)

  30. Naismith says:

    So then I am I going to have a penis in the Celestial Kingdom, if those are the only choices?

  31. There may not be sexual reproduction in the eternities.

  32. StillConfused says:

    When we are told that we are “in God’s image,” why does that equate to God being in some kind of humanoid form? Can we be in God’s image in a molecular level? Or in some other way? I have always viewed God as energy. We likewise are energy. That is “in God’s image” to me.

  33. @30/31: I think the celestial endorphins gained by simply existing in heaven will cause any earthly pleasure to pale in comparison.
    @29: Thanks for sharing.

  34. I picked the first choice, I based my pick on an article I read recently, “In My Own Image”, checked it out:

    http://www.mormonchronicle.com/in-mine-own-image/

    It made sense to me.

  35. Chris H. says:

    Jo,

    How did this poll remind you of a post which tries to co-op both Locke and the Gospel to promote a right-wing American worldview?

  36. That article is seriously screwed up. Thanks for spamming us with your irrelevant propaganda, Jo.

  37. I think it is pretty clear that there will be some sort of reproduction for those who become sufficiently ‘like’ Heavenly Father and his companion. After all, in the resurrection we can be continue to be in his image.

    Surely that is a fundamental doctrine of ‘Mormonism’ – That God has a body of flesh and bones. (Even the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, i.e., he has a spirit body). To confuse God with energy alone is to confuse God with the light of Christ alone.

    Stick with the revelations. Polls don’t determine destination or doctrine… although this one has been a bit fun.

    BTW, there are different ‘degrees’ of glory. Get the hint?

  38. Thomas, #29

    How does this differ from deep brain stimulation to the reward centers of the brain? Rats will die pressing the bar rather than eating.

    Otherwise is not ennui a valid godly emotion? In the eternities we will effectively do everything a finite individual can do an infinite number of times. Will not ennui result? This is an intellectual dilemma because we can not even commit suicide should we tire of this particular “Groundhog Day.”

    I guess if we have direct brain stimulation we do not care about ennui.

  39. Thomas Parkin says:

    RW,

    Ennui, feeling dead, is a result of our dead nature. It is a result of having a fallen nature. Having an abundant life doesn’t mean having an endless variety of new experiences. It means being able to experience everything that is as a living being experiences them. It isn’t only about pleasure – it is about having a total repertoire of truthful responses. Living beings do not tire of going through it. Every time is like the first time. Happenings retain their charge. Their beauty doesn’t fade, but are a joy forever. *wink*

    Ennui goes out the door with sin. Why Dr Jekyll got it backwards. It is not the dark side of our personality that lives. It is the good side. Truly good people are always more alive to the universe.

    I’m not even that good a person, and I have only been bored once or twice in the last seven years. I discover over and over that when I repent, I come back to life.

  40. Thomas Parkin says:

    RW,

    I didn’t take you for such a sour puss. I loved the cat comment. It’s very apt.

    Live a little.

  41. I keep waiting for someone to bring up McConkie’s “Seven Deadly Heresies” speech. I’m not saying BRM’s “Heresy No. 1″ is dispositive (or even persuasive) here, but it does seem to be relevant to the analysis.

  42. Like the Father and the Mother and the Son as joint heirs with Christ “all that the Father has.” And I am assuming like the Mother as well but beyond that all is dancing on pins and taking the temperature of Celestial beings. I have too much here to worry about and work on. And that goes for anybody’s lists of “heresies” as well.

  43. Thanks for introducing me to the word “ennui.” Cute. And Thomas Parkin’s explanation in 39 is right on!

    Isn’t ennui also a by-product of time? And God is timeless. Doesn’t D&C say “and time shall be no more.”

    So if we someday become gods, dwelling in a state beyond time, eternal, everlasting: doesn’t that mean that we would already exist as gods right now? For when we become gods, we will effectively be able to embrace past, present and future, even embracing time as it exists today!

    So I would say, maybe our god-selves are at this very moment, looking down at us, perhaps even drawing us unto them, gently, lovingly. Maybe our god-self IS God, or a part of God.

    So I vote for the last one! (You’re already a god, just look within.)

  44. I pick answer one. I agree with rwb, Mark D, Rameumptom, Thomas Parkin, Ray and MCQ. And I love how they express it.

    More at my blog

  45. Thomas,

    Not a sourpuss. I love life. I do have a little attention deficit disorder in my personality, so forward motion and activity are high priorities. But I also like the Zen attributes: Zen mind, beginner’s mind, All things are new all the time. I love seeing things no one has seen before. I positively enjoy making things no one has made before.I would miss that in a static life. “Miss” is too weak of a word. For me an eternity without the possibility of change seems devastating. I do not think that the need and hope for change negates any of the beauties and pleasures of the moment, not at all. They are not mutually incompatible. They may actually be mutually beneficial.

    My mother literally died of ennui. At 101 with her sight and hearing mostly gone and her brain slowly dying her enjoyment of life became negative so she took things in her own hand and stopped eating and drinking. Here was a woman who, until this happened, was active and engaged with life. It is not to say that ennui is always a matter under our control. If we are constrained to live a life we do not like by circumstance, negative emotions arise.

    It strikes me that we have no idea what it is to live with infinities in our near vicinity, where entropy plays no role. Maybe all the above are true. To each his or her own.

    In a Ward we used to live in, a couple loved to go to the shore on the Sea of Cortez. They loved being there, they lived for their weekends in that lovely spot where white and blue are the only colors. They, I think, would be content for eternity with sand and sea.

    Why do I get restless? I will admit to a temptation to sit on a rock and watch the day go by. It has happened, but not often. When it does happen it is a real treasure.

    Do we project our present selves into eternity? I am never bored. I have even become accustomed to waiting in a non-bored state. I cannot imagine being constricted in eternities in such a way as to elicit that negative emotion. Anyway, our lives here are so very concerned with growth and change and enlarged perception. Do these things have nothing to do with eternal life? Are they simply a means to a static end? When you grow enough, growth stops? Maybe so, maybe not. Interesting. Life on the beach, in the sun, fishing.

    Maybe the lesson is that it is foolish to assert that there is only one way to live eternally.

    BTW, I envy the cats and enjoy making their catty lives as full of pleasure as I reasonably can. Our limbic systems connect. May God be as merciful to us.

  46. I answered # 3 but also lean towards # 1 as well. The reason I went against # 1 is because what does it mean to be like the Father and the Son. Does it mean to be worshiped by countless people on countless earths, or does it mean to assist the Father in His work in a still awsome but more limited role (im thinking more like Adam/Archangel Michael in the Creation of this Earth). Im fine being exalted to a Michael like state, but does that make one a demigod or like the Father and the Son (and the Mother to prove im not a sexist)? The reason the idea of becoming Gods like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ doesnt make sense to me is because we’re sinners, they’re not, we need an Atonement, they didnt. The other reason because I take the phrase Most High God and God of gods in the Scriptures litterally, and not in just the sphere we’re in, meaning that there is no way we can be exactly like God, but rather through His grace become perfect and with one with Him and His Son and assist in His great work. This was one of the biggest things that bothered me before my conversion and still does (me and my institute director debate about this subject constantly), but if it wasnt for Blake Ostlers ideas I probably never would have been baptized. P.S. sorry for the crappy writing its 4 AM in DC so you guys arent getting my A game.

  47. @the gingermormon,

    Adam/Michael was one among many other ‘gods’ that assisted in the creation of this earth (Abraham 3-5) but we are hardly going to be like that after we receive the resurrection.

    So it it more likely eventually that our ‘spirit children’ will be helping us in the creation of earths rather than just helping our Heavenly Father continue to create his (although there is no reason that we couldn’t initially continue our apprenticeship!)

    I agree with the notion that we are subordinate gods – that appears to be taught in D&C 76 & 132 (which are the two great revelations on our becoming gods) and yet we are ‘equal’ with them too. This could be liken to being in a priesthood quorum – we all share the same power and yet someone presides.

    Of course, there is much to learn and do even after the resurrection before we enter into the glory of being a god just ‘like’ the Father.

    Blake’s ideas are interesting although they represent only one strand within traditional mormonism (perhaps the most philosophically informed strand). These include ideas that would surprise most Latter-day Saints – such as, God’s contingent knowledge of the future, or his logical possibility of going wrong as a genuine moral agent etc. His interpretation of the King Follett Discourse is very unique and, in my view, not convincing. Still, he has a deep mind and constantly sees things in an intriguing light.

  48. Just like Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. Why? Because that result is the best imaginable. Why should I have faith in anything less? It doesn’t make sense to have faith in an afterlife that’s less than the best imaginable.

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