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 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 May 2, 2008 by Dennis
The following is a paper I wrote a few years ago in a history class about Joseph Smith from Grant Underwood at BYU.
Released in 2005, Richard L. Bushman’s Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling has been hailed by many as the definitive biography of the Mormon founder. It is only natural, then, to put the book in the ring with Fawn M. Brodie’s classic, No Man Knows My History—without question the most famous, and controversial, biography of Joseph Smith to date. In this paper I compare the two biographies according to four criteria: (1) key similarities and differences, (2) characterization of Joseph’s personality, (3) coverage of key events, and (4) interpretation of teachings and doctrine. (more…)
Filed under: History, Mormon Doctrine | Tagged: biography, Book of Mormon, Fawn Brodie, First Vision, History, Joseph Smith, Knopf, Mormon Doctrine, No Man Knows My History, plural marriage, plurality of gods, prophets, psychobiography, Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, Scripture, Theology | 29 Comments »
Posted on April 23, 2008 by Dennis
Let me begin by saying that Parley P. Pratt is my great-great-great grandfather. He is a man that my family and I honor very much, arguably one of the most consequential pioneers of the Restored Gospel. His Autobiography is one of my favorite books, and I feel somewhat of a close kinship with the man.
So, I’ve been casually following the story about the possibility of disinterring Pratt’s remains from Arkansas — and moving them to Utah. (more…)
Filed under: Folk Theologies | Tagged: Arkansas, bones, descendant rights, disinterment, exhumation, Folk Theologies, Jared Pratt Family Association, Law, Mormons, Parley P. Pratt, Resurrection, Robert J. Grow, Theology | 19 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
As I have mentioned before, I am giving a presentation tomorrow afternoon (Thursday, March 27) at the University of Utah, for the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology conference. My presentation is entitled “Toward a Latter-day Saint Theology of Possibilities.”
The basic logic of the underlying problem I tackle in my presentation is that (a) there is a tenuous relationship between authority and freedom in the Church, (b) there is not a clear cut authoritative theology that is sufficient to guide Latter-day Saints in all matters of life, (c) Latter-day Saints cannot help but construct folk beliefs, (d) folk beliefs are not bad in themselves; the problem occurs when these beliefs are seen as closed folk beliefs (CFBs), rather than open folk beliefs (OFBs). (more…)
Filed under: Folk Theologies, Mormon Doctrine | Tagged: Atonement, Folk Theologies, Isaac Watts, Jesus Christ, Joseph F. Smith, Mormon Culture, Mormons, piercings, pragmatism, Resurrection, Scripture, Spencer W. Kimball, tattoos, Theology, William James | 4 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 »