FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Would knowing there's something better ruin it all for you?

   
Author Topic: Would knowing there's something better ruin it all for you?
pooka
Member
Member # 5003

 - posted      Profile for pooka   Email pooka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is a spin-off of the revised mormon.org thread, and I was talking about how The Five People You Meet in Heaven is consistent with the lowest of the 3 kingdoms of heaven in "Mormon" cosmology. Would knowing you weren't in the highest level ruin being in heaven for you?

Actually, since "life eternal is to know God" (and eternal life is, in my view, synonymous with the highest kingdom) I guess if you know something higher exists, you go there, unless you are rebellious against it, and then what happens? It's an interesting question.

I mean, yeah, in addition to knowing God there are some ordinances everyone has to have, but I'm assuming everyone who wants to will have that opportunity.

But let's apply this to daily life. Can I enjoy my food even though I know there is probably better food somewhere in town? I probably would guess Phillips is the best food nearby, but I don't really consider eating there because I assume there would be a long wait, and even if there weren't, I only have 30 minutes for lunch, and I know I'd be mad if my husband spent that much money on lunch.

I think it's similar with the Celestial Kingdom, in that not everyone wants to be busy in the next life. (though I was listening to Christian Radio the other day and there was a lecture on Collossians 2 and how while Salvation is free, there is a reward to rule in heaven for those who perservere.) Now I have to admit that being as generally laid-back and lazy as I am, for most of my life I honestly didn't know if I wanted to go to the Celestial Kingdom. A couple of years ago I decided I did after all, but I could totally relate it to the basic question of why I don't eat in a fine restaurant everyday. In fact, my husband is out of town and we are just going to eat hot dogs and drumsticks every night.

The funny thing about restaurants is that if you traveled back in time to the 50's and told someone how large the restaurant industry has gotten, they would find it amazing.

I've also been picking up on a lot of stories lately of people who wind up helping people because they were doing something enjoyable, like going fishing or getting an ice cream cone. I think God's plans for us count on us doing other stuff than reading the bible in a hairshirt. Well. That is all. I was going to post this on Sake, but my browser can't find it.

I guess I do have one addition: the middle kingdom. I guess before I was saved, I put a lot of energy into wondering how good I had to be to not go to the third kingdom without winding up in the first kingdom. Or something. I guess I never dreaded going to the first kingdom. I guess I just basically knew I was like that guy in "Homeless in Hell." Boy, I love that story. I guess bringing it around to that, I could move this to the OSC side.

Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So if the lowest kingdom isn't all that bad, are Mormons doing a disservice by seeking converts? Being Mormon sounds like harder work in this life, and a harder work in the next life.
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can't see that I'd mind knowing about a "higher" heaven. It's not like I fret much nowadays about the fact that there are people out there living better lives.
Posts: 37413 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
I Am The War Chief
Member
Member # 9266

 - posted      Profile for I Am The War Chief   Email I Am The War Chief         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
According to Dante Jesus himself only made it to the 3rd or 4th level of heaven aka mars. The nice thing about dante's system is that there is always a chance for redemption and to move "up" in that world. Even the ante inferno sounds pretty cool, hang out in a big castle with virgil and other such legengs of literature. As for knowing theres something better - would that not just be a goal setter? unless heaven traps you in one place I dont see it being an issue.
Posts: 201 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pooka
Member
Member # 5003

 - posted      Profile for pooka   Email pooka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
are Mormons doing a disservice by seeking converts?
Yeah, I guess that basically went along with what I used to be thinking. I mean, all the people who die without any knowledge of God are saved as if they were innocent babies (another weird Mormon doctrine) so teaching people about the gospel just makes them obligated by responsibility. You know, like Peter Parker.
Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Phanto
Member
Member # 5897

 - posted      Profile for Phanto           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why would Jesus only make it to the 3rd or 4th level, anyway? Who made it further?
Posts: 3060 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
vonk
Member
Member # 9027

 - posted      Profile for vonk   Email vonk         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think if I made it to a lower lever of heaven I'd be surprised to be anywhere at all, and would therefor be grateful not to be in hell. Plus, as with everything in life (and I guess death, too), the higher you are on the totem pole, the more work you have to do to stay there, and I can't imagine I'll be more motivated after death.
Posts: 2589 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I mean, all the people who die without any knowledge of God are saved as if they were innocent babies (another weird Mormon doctrine) so teaching people about the gospel just makes them obligated by responsibility.
Not quite, pooka. People who die without knowledge of the gospel are judged according to the precepts of truth that they do have. They aren't saved-- there are no automatic passes to Heaven, except for small children, and for people who truly, intellectually, are not responsible for their actions.

Thus, someone who lived in England in the 1400s, and killed their wife out of malice, will still have to repent for that sin. They don't get to Heaven just because Joseph Smith hadn't been born yet.

All beings will be taught the gospel and given the opportunity to accept it and partake in the ordinances that lead to salvation. All people, from all times, who lived to be over the age of eight (the Mormon arbitrary age of self-awareness and responsibility) must receive the ordinance of baptism in order to be saved.

IMO, anyway. Shouldn't this topic go on the other side?

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pooka
Member
Member # 5003

 - posted      Profile for pooka   Email pooka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It was on the other side, but then I thought of the Homeless in Hell connection and moved it over here.

A guy who lived in England in the 1400s had probably heard of the 10 commandments. I was more thinking of cannibals and that kind of thing. "...people who die without any knowledge of God..."

But the point is not how it is better for people to be ignorant, but that the more people learn about God, the more joyful existence is.

Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
vonk
Member
Member # 9027

 - posted      Profile for vonk   Email vonk         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So, if you've never heard of the gospel before and you die, you go to the pearly gates where they teach you the gospel and ask if you accept it? That's kinda unfair. I mean, if I'm in heaven and there's an angel reading me the gospel, I'm gonna believe every word, no doubt. As opposed to hearing it here on earth from someone who I know doesn't have any particular inside knowledge not available to all humans.

I think I'd rather have never heard of the gospel in life and have what seems to me to be a free pass in the end.

Posts: 2589 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JennaDean
Member
Member # 8816

 - posted      Profile for JennaDean   Email JennaDean         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've thought that sometimes before, but then that doesn't take into account all the blessings I receive from living the gospel in this life. There are so many questions answered, and problems averted, and just help in general with being the kind of person I want to be, that most of the time I don't worry about the next life at all. I'm just focused on THIS life and how living according to the gospel increases my happiness and makes me a better person.

And I look around at friends who are suffering from the consequences of choices that could've been averted, and I realize sharing the gospel is not about getting them into heaven. It's about helping each other now.

Posts: 1522 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Amanecer
Member
Member # 4068

 - posted      Profile for Amanecer   Email Amanecer         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To answer the main question, I think it depends on whether I felt I chose my position or whether I felt it was forced on me. Futher, a later chance to change my mind would also make me feel better about it.
Posts: 1947 | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pooka
Member
Member # 5003

 - posted      Profile for pooka   Email pooka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, somewhere in the vicinity of Jesus telling the story of the prodigal son, he tells this story about Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus was a beggar that the rich man ignored during mortality, and when the go to heaven, Lazarus is with Abraham and the rich man is someplace that he thinks a drink of water would be a mercy. He asks Lazarus to give him a lick of water, and I forget why he can't, but he then pleads for Lazarus to appear to his living kin and tell them to repent.

Abraham says "they have had the law and the prophets to command them, why will they listen to the ghost of Lazarus?" And you might say "Well, I would."

It's easy to think an angel would overpower you with his glory. I think there is such glory to be had in this life, if we desire it more than anything else. It may be when you get to the afterlife, there are other things to do besides talk to angels. Like if you have access to all the libraries of the earth in every language. Heaven for some people would be diving into that. It's entirely possible you never get around to the matter of salvation.

Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Occasional
Member
Member # 5860

 - posted      Profile for Occasional   Email Occasional         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Maybe, since Mormons believe angels are simply people, some would hear the gospel and react the same way as they would here on Earth.

"you mean your a Mormon?"

"I guess you could say that," said the angel.

"Great. I heard all about that stuff before. Go away."

Posts: 2207 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pooka
Member
Member # 5003

 - posted      Profile for pooka   Email pooka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Or "Hey, we're all angels up here. So what?"

I guess you really don't post that much, Occasional.

Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Amanecer
Member
Member # 4068

 - posted      Profile for Amanecer   Email Amanecer         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Something about the whole afterlife conversion thing that I've always thought is that it seems like people would be afraid they were being tested. I mean, if you Mormons died and you get to a place where the people are telling you, "No, the Buddhists had it right all along. Jesus wasn't even real," I don't think all of you would immediately just accept it. It seems like it would cross a lot of people's minds that maybe this was a test of your faith and you needed to stay strong. So I could see people rejecting immediate Mormon conversion in a Mormon afterlife out of faith and strength rather than anything else.
Posts: 1947 | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
stihl1
Member
Member # 1562

 - posted      Profile for stihl1   Email stihl1         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not that I believe in the premise of the original post, but Heaven isn't the ultimate outcome anyway. Just a stop over en route to the final Kingdom of God.
Posts: 1042 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by vonk:
So, if you've never heard of the gospel before and you die, you go to the pearly gates where they teach you the gospel and ask if you accept it? That's kinda unfair. I mean, if I'm in heaven and there's an angel reading me the gospel, I'm gonna believe every word, no doubt. As opposed to hearing it here on earth from someone who I know doesn't have any particular inside knowledge not available to all humans.

I think I'd rather have never heard of the gospel in life and have what seems to me to be a free pass in the end.

Which is why I think any religion that has that belief is doing a disservice by attempting to convert others.
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Qaz
Member
Member # 10298

 - posted      Profile for Qaz           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I know that there are people right now who are richer, or better situated, or happier than I am right now. This doesn't make my life miserable. So knowing that people were in a better state of the afterlife should not make me miserable either.
Posts: 544 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Which is why I think any religion that has that belief is doing a disservice by attempting to convert others.
I don't think any religion has that belief, although some individuals might.
Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kent
Member
Member # 7850

 - posted      Profile for Kent   Email Kent         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Everyone here is taking the classic view (which most Mormons have unfortunately adopted) that God is judging us and then assigning us to a specific place we go after we die. The doctrine that Joseph Smith taught was that each man is his own judge and he will either feel comfortable in the presence of the Father, or he won't.

quote:

Mormon 9: 4, 14
4 Behold, I say unto you that ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of your filthiness before him, than ye would to dwell with the damned souls in hell.
• • •
14 And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.

With regards to the afterlife, Mormons believe that the veil still protects us after we die and everyone still has the same belief structure that we had in this life. Judgment is when the veil is ripped away and things as they are are made plainly evident as all of our memories of life before life return. That is when hell begins (and it is self imposed, meaning it is a state of mental anguish over regret and self disgust, not a place God sends us). Everyone eventually goes to a kingdom of heaven through repenting, giving their sins to Christ, and living according to the portion of light/knowledge/law that is in them. The reason why individuals live in the highest degrees in heaven is because they have already been living according to the light that is in them, and have actively been seeking additional light and knowledge.

The reason Christ is so necessary in this plan, is because only he has the power take away my pain of hurting others and myself. I don't need Jesus to say, "You are forgiven," as much as I need him to say, "The pain you caused others through your selfishness and your cruelty, can be healed; and I will heal them by suffering their pain in their stead." Only when I know that the consequences of my mistreatments of others is made right, can I accept the peace of heart and mind Christ offers me. In the same way that I can view the abuse I have suffered as assisting me to become a more compassionate person, I know that Christ can and will do the same for those I have wronged. The offer of this gift of peace for myself and those I have wronged is conditional upon my commitment to living according to the principles he has taught.

Now for my own personal views:
I think Mohammed, Buddah, Confucious, and their followers will all be teaching similar philosophies; and that Satan and his angels will also be there too, posing as men and women that have died so they can spread a certain philosophy. Life doesn't get much easier after death, since nothing changes exceept the need to feed one's self and worry about tomorrow. Without the urgencies experienced in this life, it becomes more difficult to change/repent.

Posts: 231 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pooka
Member
Member # 5003

 - posted      Profile for pooka   Email pooka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Amancer makes a good point. I fully expect that the arrival in the afterlife won't be what I have expected most of my life (being greeted by a loved one who shows me around), and may not be what I'm even expecting now. Right now I'm leaning heavily toward there being sideshows of "view your life over again" traps and "all you can eat and not gain weight" places, and so forth. Heck, I might get there and see the "play your harp on a pink cloud" lounge and decide I'm done.

I guess I have a bit of a problem, then. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe I'm saying the afterlife is just like this life, and you can go to medical school even if you're almost 40 if you really want to. But maybe medical school isn't your thing.

stihl1, I believe in a kingdom of heaven that encompasses the present, so the afterlife is not something on the way there.

P.S. Kent posted while I was writing. Well, I think you might be advancing a few things as doctrine that are fairly subjective, particularly the part about the veil.

But I really like where you're going about the atonement being not about blame and guilt, but about forgiveness and mercy. That guilt is actually compassion for our victims, and forgiveness is mercy for ...

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Yeah.

Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Occasional
Member
Member # 5860

 - posted      Profile for Occasional   Email Occasional         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*This doesn't have anything to do with the subject, but I thought a post heading at a blog "If you could hie to NGC-7293" was hilarious.*

carry on.

Posts: 2207 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kent
Member
Member # 7850

 - posted      Profile for Kent   Email Kent         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Pooka, thank you for your post. I started to want to give citations for my view of the veil, but then I realized it really isn't that big a deal; afterall Mormons disagree on almost everything. I must quote Orson Scott Card:

quote:
I was reading recently a book entitled Roots of Modern Mormonism. The author, Mark Leone, a sociologist, had studied several wards in eastern Arizona, turning on Mormon society a carefully unbiased eye that sought to understand us, not from what we say about ourselves, not from what others say about us, but from what we actually do. The perspective was enlightening.

One insight from this book startles me, however. Leone said that Mormonism has remarkably little firm doctrine; that the variance of belief within the Mormon Church is very wide; and that while Mormons are convinced that they have the complete revealed truth from God, in fact, have very few beliefs that are universally agreed upon.


Posts: 231 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pooka
Member
Member # 5003

 - posted      Profile for pooka   Email pooka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But I think that's probably true of most religions. There are those few things you are taught in black and white, and then there's your thoughts on everything else. How else could there be an MSN headliner titled "born in the wrong body?" when Mormons are the only church that has an official doctrine of spiritual pre-existence?

I mean, I suppose there are all the reincarnationists, but I never heard of a reincarnation doctrine where it mattered what gender your spirit is. Also, I didn't actually read that article, but I think a notion that we exist before birth, more particularly before conception, is not that uncommon.

Though if you believe a spirit literally comes into being at conception, I guess that could explain why a Catholic would feel so strongly about abortion. I mean, I've adopted a from conception line myself, but I think aborted and miscarried fetuses may or may not have another shot at living life. It's one of those things I really don't pretend to know.

Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
777
Member
Member # 9506

 - posted      Profile for 777           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Something to make a note of:

It's fairly standard doctrine in the LDS tradition that even the lowest tier of glory, the telestial, is still a tier of glory.

It's apparently glorious enough that the average individual would commit suicide to get there if they caught a glimpse of it. So even if you don't accept the message, those of the LDS faith believe you'll still have an infinitely better life than that of mortality.

Of course, the ratio between the lowest tier and the next tier's glory is probably the same as that stated above--which makes it much more worthwhile to us to try to preach our message.

I believe it was Joseph Smith who said that, or another of the earlier prophets.

Posts: 290 | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kent
Member
Member # 7850

 - posted      Profile for Kent   Email Kent         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"I. Herd" is the most frequently quoted source in Sunday School. [Wink]

Point taken, 777.

Posts: 231 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's apparently glorious enough that the average individual would commit suicide to get there if they caught a glimpse of it.
...
I believe it was Joseph Smith who said that, or another of the earlier prophets.

This is a common misconception, but it is incorrect. That statement is often attributed to Joseph Smith, but there is no evidence that he, or any other prophet, said anything of the sort.

It's one of those Sunday School rumors that has taken on a life of its own.

Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Occasional
Member
Member # 5860

 - posted      Profile for Occasional   Email Occasional         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"It's one of those Sunday School rumors that has taken on a life of its own."

And that non-Mormons and anti-Mormons will grab onto simply because it exists, regardless of source or veracity.

Posts: 2207 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've seen Mormons grab onto it more than anybody else, personally.

It's not fair to hold people who aren't members of the LDS Church to a higher standard on matters of LDS doctrine than we hold ourselves to.

Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Occasional
Member
Member # 5860

 - posted      Profile for Occasional   Email Occasional         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
mph, I was not holding them to a higher standard. It wasn't clear, but I was just saying Mormons who don't hold themselves to a higher standard makes it harder for others to interprest our beliefs. Of course, those with less than objective standards have one more trivial thing to treat like an article of faith.
Posts: 2207 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pooka
Member
Member # 5003

 - posted      Profile for pooka   Email pooka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's apparently glorious enough that the average individual would commit suicide to get there if they caught a glimpse of it.
I've heard this attributed to John Taylor, and I was going to ask for a reputable link. Though another thing he supposedly said, that I would be more interested in finding, is that it would take 15,000 years to accomplish as a spirit what can be accomplished in one day of mortality.
Posts: 11012 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Occasional
Member
Member # 5860

 - posted      Profile for Occasional   Email Occasional         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If they did say it, I wouldn't be surprised. Early church leaders said lots of things that were more rheotoric and personal beliefs than authoritative statements. How to explain and handle that to those (both in and out of the LDS Church) who take them a little too seriously is perhaps the largest question.
Posts: 2207 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If any of them did say it, there is no evidence that they did.
Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2