Posted on June 2, 2009 by Joe O.
I’m not usually a literalist about the scriptures, but I’m a little baffled by a verse I read today and the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 137. This section is the account of a vision Joseph Smith had of the celestial kingdom. He names Adam and Abraham, as well as his parents, as inhabitants, likely those who were saved “by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.“
And then he mentions his brother, Alvin. Joseph “marvels” that his brother Alvin is there, “seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins.” And then the great revelation that “All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God.” Of course, this revelation plays a big part in understanding why we do work for the dead in our temples…right?
Here’s my question: What was Alvin doing there in the celestial kingdom when his work hadn’t been done yet?
Filed under: Scripture, Theology | Tagged: Alvin Smith, Celestial Kingdom, Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants 137, Folk Theologies, Gospel of Jesus Christ, interpretation of scripture, Joseph Smith, Latter-day Saints, LDS, life after death, mass confusion, Mormon Church, Mormons, Resurrection, Scripture, scriptures, Temple work, temples, Theology, unanswered questions, work for the dead | 14 Comments »
Posted on March 26, 2009 by Joe O.
Things are quiet on the blog lately, so I figure it’s a good chance to make an appearance. Perhaps few people will read this entry and then I can likely avoid being blacklisted.
I applied to teach at Messiah College in Pennsylvania recently and part of the application was affirming the Apostles’ Creed. I affirmed the Apostles’ Creed, and I did so because I agreed with all the statements that were made within the creed. However, after having done so, I couldn’t help but recall the words of Joseph Smith when discussing his First Vision: “the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight” (JS-H 1:19).
Filed under: Mormon Doctrine, Theology | Tagged: Apostles' Creed, Christianity, creeds, First Vision, God, Joseph Smith, Latter-day Saints, LDS, Mormon Doctrine, Mormons, orthopraxy, Theology, Trinity, truth | 17 Comments »
Posted on September 28, 2008 by Brady
How often have you heard someone testify from the pulpit that prayer works, that priesthood blessings work, that the gospel works? Well, I heard one of those again today and (as always) it made me cringe. By now I’ve probably proved myself someone who gets a little too caught up in the way people say things and I plead guilty here. I really believe that the sister in my ward who said that the gospel works meant to say much more than her words alone conveyed. But, since this is a blog and not sacrament meeting, I think I might indulge myself in a bit of nitpicking.
Filed under: Relationships, Theology | Tagged: behaviorism, Christianity, determinism, egoism, evidence-based practice, God, individualism, instrumental reasoning, Latter-day Saints, LDS, love of God, materialism, morality, Mormonism, Mormons, pragmatism, prayer, psychotherapy, reductionism, relationships, self-centered, utilitarianism, William James | 8 Comments »
Posted on September 24, 2008 by Joe O.
Whenever I hear people talk about the kingdom of God, it seems like it’s always referred to in the future tense. Lately, I’ve begun to wonder if the kingdom of God isn’t already all around us.
Filed under: Mormon Doctrine, Relationships, Theology | Tagged: baptism, Book of Mormon, children of God, Christ's visit to America, Doctrine of Christ, Gift of the Holy Ghost, God, Gospel of Jesus Christ, Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ, Kingdom of God, LDS, Love, Mormon theology, Mormons, Scripture, sons of God, Theology, Two Great Commandments | 10 Comments »
Posted on August 20, 2008 by Joe O.
Now that I have kids in primary, I find myself falling into the same trap that I’ve ridiculed in the past: when I want my kids to be quiet in church, I don’t say “be quiet!” Instead, I say, “be reverent,” as though the two were the same thing. Often times, being reverent means, in part, being quiet. After reading a story in the newspaper about an autistic boy who was kicked out of church, and the judge that upheld it, I began to think more about what it might mean for my own kids to be reverent. (more…)
Filed under: Mormon Culture, Relationships, Theology | Tagged: autism, children, Family, Jesus Christ, King Benjamin, LDS, Mormons, reverence, sacrament, Scripture, silence, worship | 11 Comments »
Posted on July 23, 2008 by Joe O.
I was reading a book of Hugh Nibley’s once and I came across something I thought was interesting. I’ve since forgotten what it was that caught my interest, but I do remember reading something to this effect: men shouldn’t play games of chance because chance doesn’t exist. After thinking about this for a minute, I got past this idea that “men can’t play games of chance if chance doesn’t exist!” and moved on to the implications of what he was saying: if chance doesn’t exist, then flipping a coin to determine who gets home field before a softball game isn’t chance or luck. What if I had a say in whether the coin landed heads or tails? (more…)
Filed under: Science, Theology | Tagged: chance, Culture, Godspeed, good luck, Hugh Nibley, immanence of God, language, LDS, luck, Mormons | 13 Comments »
Posted on March 30, 2008 by Candice
This post comes from a presentation I gave this semester in response to a lecture on Mayan weaving given by Allen Christensen, a talented Maya scholar at BYU.
I am also writing this in response to the discussion on relationships with China that Doug raised several days ago.
There is an interesting correlation between how Mayans and Christian Americans connect themselves with their religious narratives and how they produce clothing. This is one small way of exploring how Americans have become insensitive to human suffering in relationships with China and other poor countries. (more…)
Filed under: International Relations, Politics, Scripture, Theology | Tagged: Atonement, China, Economy, Elaine Scarry, globalization, Jesus Christ, Mayans, Mormon Culture, narrative theology, Paul Ricoeur, Politics, Scripture, suffering, Theology, weaving | 7 Comments »
Posted on March 27, 2008 by Dennis
This post might only make sense after reading this post or this post.
To help concretize the essential need of an open folk belief (OFB) LDS community, I will illustrate a case example regarding a theological issue for which there are substantial gaps from authoritative Latter-day Saint sources. For this fictional example, imagine two individuals, Susan and Gary, having a conversation about their differing beliefs regarding the foreknowledge of God. There are differing LDS views concerning whether God has exhaustive specific foreknowledge, although it is commonly assumed that one position – the affirmative one – is the official position of the Church. Therefore, this position is a classical case in which an folk belief is commonly confused to be a CFB (closed folk belief). (more…)
Filed under: Folk Theologies, Mormon Doctrine, Theology | Tagged: agency, Bobby Fischer, Folk Theologies, foreknowledge, God, Mormon theology, Mormons, William James | 13 Comments »
Posted on February 11, 2008 by Dennis
The most read Time.com article this past week is “Christians Wrong About Heaven, Says Bishop,” in which the Church of England’s Bishop of Durham, N. T. “Tom” Wright, tries to set the record straight concerning what the Bible teaches about heaven. (more…)
Filed under: Comparative Religion, Theology | Tagged: Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, LDS, Mormon cosmology, Restoration, Resurrection, Theology | Leave a Comment »