I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I believe my spirit lived with our Heavenly Father before entering a physical body created by my earthly parents, that I am a union of body and spirit living a probationary existence, and that the results of my time on Earth will determine an eternal reward.

Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on Pexels.com

Basically, we all existed before this life and will continue to exist after it. We chose to come and have a body and prove ourselves, for the promise of eternity with our family (including our Heavenly Parents) and even the ability to become like God.

That whole deluge of information is called The Plan of Salvation, or The Plan of Happiness.

Before we were born on earth, we lived with our Heavenly Parents as Their spirit children (see Doctrine and Covenants 138:55–56). At a council with all of His children, Heavenly Father presented a plan, known as the “plan of salvation” or “the great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:5, 8). The plan includes all the laws and ordinances of the gospel necessary to gain eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:13).

LDS Gospel Topics, “Plan of Salvation

The full story is that God presented this plan to all His children at a point in time that we refer to as The Preexistence. Lucifer offered to force everyone to do what they were supposed to and then give him the credit. Jesus offered, instead, to allow agency, pay the debt for our sins (known as The Atonement), and give God all the glory. Lucifer left; a full third of the host chose to follow Satan (so was Lucifer named after he fell) and never receive bodies. The rest are here, or have been here, or will be here.

Also essential to God’s plan is agency, or the ability to choose.

LDS Gospel Topics, “Plan of Salvation

Then, we all live life and do our best to make the right choices. Some of those choices need to be specific acts of obedience to covenants, like baptism and temple attendance. Most are daily strivings to keep God’s commandments. The Atonement and God’s grace pay the price of justice after we have done our best and repented.

After we die, things get a bit complicated.

Dead spirits travel to spirit prison or spirit paradise, according to whether they were obedient to God’s laws in life. At the end of the world (as we know it…) we’ll have an eternal uniting of our body and spirit -known as resurrection. There will be 1000 years of peace in which Satan is locked up and Jesus is in charge. Then, there’s a final judgement of how we did during our time on Earth and a sorting into three different kingdoms.

The best kingdom is the Celestial one, which is further split into three levels of glory. Then, in decreasing levels of glory: Terrestrial, Telestial, and Outer Darkness. No, not a lot of people will go to Outer Darkness. Even Hitler might not be going there. You’re certainly not going there just because you aren’t a Latter-day Saint.

On that note, we’re taught that all the peoples in Spirit Prison get to hear the gospel message whilst there. Maybe they’ll choose to convert to God’s plan; there’s always the chance they will. We LDS perform baptisms and other ordinances in the temples just in case someone who’s passed on wants to convert.

Because of Christ’s Atonement, all of God’s children will be resurrected and our bodies and spirits will be reunited (see 1 Corinthians 15:20–22Doctrine and Covenants 88:14–17).

LDS Gospel Topics, “Plan of Salvation

©2022 Chel Owens

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

49 thoughts on “I’m a Mormon, So…

  1. Nope, Not Pam March 8, 2022 / 3:14 am

    Ok, showing my ignorance again. So some chose to follow Lucifer/Satan, do they get a chance to atone and reach the celestial levels, or is it over and out for them now?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 8, 2022 / 7:10 am

      My understanding is it’s over and out.

      From a personal, non-official standpoint, I can’t see that as actually true. If we allow for repentance, change, and eternal progression; a spirit ought to be able to try again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hbsuefred March 20, 2022 / 12:16 pm

        That kind of wishful thinking may be driving some of idiot ex-husband’s recent actions. I just hope that in his next life, if he gets one, he will be able to see the pain his previous actions have caused other people.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens March 20, 2022 / 3:15 pm

          I’m not sure what drives some people. He should know that what he’s doing is wrong and won’t just disappear or be forgotten -if he truly believes.

          Like

    • Chel Owens March 8, 2022 / 7:10 am

      Thanks for reading. This is all commonplace for me, but figured it’s all new to everyone else. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. LA March 8, 2022 / 6:17 am

    I was reading quickly and I read LSD instead of LDS…changes the context a bit…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Tippy Gnu March 8, 2022 / 7:46 am

    What a peculiar little adventure we’re on, if this is all true. That diagram reminds me of a schematic for a transistor radio. Well, I hope I’ll be a model prisoner and listen and learn, so that after my thousand-year sentence I’ll be on the best terms with the Warden.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens March 8, 2022 / 7:48 am

      You’re looking at it all wrong. You can travel to whichever radio makes your signal most comfortable. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Frank Hubeny March 8, 2022 / 8:09 am

    This point I agree with: “Also essential to God’s plan is agency, or the ability to choose.”

    The “reformed” or Calvinist position uses compatibilist free will to justify pre-determinism. I don’t think the Calvinist position is biblical, but it seems like the LDS position is. Assuming I understand it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 8, 2022 / 11:21 am

      I’m not as familiar with the Calvinist approach -meaning that I don’t understand it as fully as the one I’ve presented. Yes, we believe in a biblical standpoint.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 8, 2022 / 12:31 pm

      I had to rush my response; sorry, Frank.

      We use the same priesthood setups and teachings as the Bible. It’s one of the Articles of Faith that Joseph Smith wrote up to explain basic tenets to a reporter back in the 1800’s… “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim Borden March 8, 2022 / 8:27 am

    interesting that the word Mormon is not to be used, but it seems like that it would be hard to stop using such a well-known word. as always, thanks for this look at your religion. That was interesting to read about the three levels of glory. I can’t imagine who would be in the outer darkness if you think even Hitler might not be there…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 8, 2022 / 12:29 pm

      Hard to believe even Hitler could repent, huh?

      Yeah… the ‘Mormon’ thing is a desire to help others understand how much emphasis we put on Jesus Christ and His teachings. There’s always been the desire to be known as the official title, but the current President says we need to use it all the time and not rely on the nickname. They even used to have mormon.org be the website but have changed to churchofjesuschrist.org.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden March 8, 2022 / 12:31 pm

        sounds like they are taking the name issue seriously…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. An Artist Named M March 8, 2022 / 5:10 pm

    So what’s the difference between the last 4 tiers ? I take it an atheist is probably going to the outer darkness. It’s a good thing I believe I might not 100% agree or understand but I’m not a denier

    Liked by 1 person

  7. LaShelle March 8, 2022 / 11:30 pm

    I can’t say that I believe or agree with everything you wrote but I do agree with some of it. To be clear, I’m Seventh Day Adventist myself.
    So don’t take offense to anything I’m about to say because my views are vastly different from yours. My personal beliefs are this: if you can’t back up your doctrine with Biblical evidence (new and Old Testament but not the laws that were done away with like killing sheep) than your prophet falls under a false one.
    There are a bunch of Bible verses on the state of the dead that conflict with the thought process of people waiting in purgatory (https://www.openbible.info/topics/the_dead_know_nothing).
    There are also no Bible verses in regards to people on earth living past lives.
    I agree that there is a very distinct plan in place for the salvation of mankind but you have to remember that the first and biggest lie that Satan told mankind (and continues to tell) is this: Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. Genesis 3:4.
    Even as you read the Bible stories there are three distinct men in the Bible who have vastly different fates- Noah who walked with God but made mistakes, died, and was risen from the dead to go to heaven- which was a symbol of the second coming and those who repent. Enoch- who walked with God and didn’t have to die (this ties in with those who won’t die at all in the second coming when people are still on earth to see him) and then there the sinners like Adam that you can read about who perished but won’t be risen until the dead in Christ rise first.

    The wonderful thing about the Bible is that everyone can read the same book and get vastly different opinions. We need to rely on our relationship with God in order to fish out the ones that are inaccurate. So while I don’t agree with you for the reasons mentioned above and so many others, I can respect that this how you feel and what you believe.

    I also don’t believe that any single one denomination will be in heaven. I Believe that God will put your relationship with Him first and everything else will be secondary.

    Lastly, my own relationship with God has been rocky for a while and that’s due to things I’ve been through in my life. I think everybody wrestles with the Lord at some point. So my studies on subject matter is rusty even though I still Believe.
    I appreciate the open discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 9, 2022 / 12:41 am

      Thanks, LaShelle. I’m all for discussion, not any sort of conversion or contention. I know nothing of Seventh Day Adventists so this was all fascinating.

      The beliefs of the LDS church are founded in the teachings in The Bible (including how Jesus did away with all that lamb-killing and putting blood on thighs, etc. because of His sacrifice), with the idea of continued revelation. Most if not all of this information about the pre-life of our spirits and the degrees of glory afterwards was revealed to President Joseph Smith and recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 76. (Mentions of celestial and terrestrial are in 1 Corinthians 15 as well.)

      Reading through the link you gave me, I agree with what the verses state. We are separated from our bodies to await a resurrection -a time when our spirit and body will be perfected for an eternal state.

      I am not familiar enough with The Bible to back up the belief in a preexistence -I would like to note that it’s not a “past life” but is where we come from before being born into a physical body.

      If Adam and Eve had eaten of The Tree of Life, they would not have died. Hence, the cherubim with a flaming sword sent to guard it. I don’t know why you’ve mentioned Noah, Enoch, and Adam. Of course they’ve different resurrections. No one said you can’t be resurrected before The Second Coming of Christ.

      Personal revelation and affirmation is tantamount! Yes -pray to understand what you read and learn!

      I never said one denomination would achieve the highest glory. I did say you need to meet certain requirements to get there. There isn’t a “Mormon Heaven” or a “Catholic Heaven.” There is an eternal home with our Creator.

      I, too, have had trials of faith and relationship issues with God. We seem to have a lot in common!

      Liked by 1 person

      • LaShelle March 9, 2022 / 1:14 am

        I think perhaps you misunderstood me on various points so I’ll try to go through them one by one.
        1) your president doctrines and covenants aren’t the Bible. Founded on the teachings is not the same as the actual teachings in a way that a movie biased on the real event is what actually happened (that’s just an example of what I’m trying to explain). 1 corinthians 15 first talks about believing in Christ and following Him. It then goes on to discuss the death of Christ, and being seen by the apostles. Then it talks about the second coming of Christ and uses the Lord’s death as an example that he will come again. Even Jesus slept before rising to heaven. It talks quite a bit about resting before being risen. It goes on from there to say that if you die in your sin, you will be raised up that way and judged. “1 Cor vs 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” then finishes by saying that some people will die and be asleep (which is the example I gave you in regards to Adam) and others will ask for forgiveness and be forgiven (as in the example I gave you with Noah) while some will still be alive when the Lord comes again (example I gave you with Enoch). This Book actually explains perfectly the point I was trying to make with you.

        2. We can agree on the second coming and that’s really cool!
        3. Adam and Eve DID eat from the tree which is why they died. That’s kinda the whole point of the Bible. Adam and Eve lied about doing it and got kicked out of heaven. Genesis 2 vs. 1-25 talks about Adam’s death. In Genesis it goes over how God forbid Adam and Eve to eat of the tree or they would die, they disobeyed. Adam lived 930 years and then died. (Genesis 5:5)
        4. I realize that you never said there wouldn’t be other denominations. I was making a point that while we disagree on key topics… that’s okay because it’s what’s in our hearts that counts most. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens March 9, 2022 / 7:49 am

          Thank you for clarifying what you meant.

          On 1., I can see how my points and clarification would be interpreted that way. I’m not going to convince you otherwise, so can only reaffirm my original statement that any deviations or variations are believed to be based on further evidence and revelations. As you said, we no longer murder doves.
          Believing in an ultimate outcome does not preclude others’ being resurrected at other points in history or their lives.

          2. Great!

          3. There were two trees in the garden. They ate from one but not the other.
          Adam and Eve had to eat the fruit from The Tree of Knowledge, or they wouldn’t have been able to have kids and therefore us.

          4. Agreed. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • LaShelle March 9, 2022 / 7:55 am

            I’ve never head of your #3 point before. I’ll have to look that up! Hopefully my points didn’t make you feel bad in any way, I enjoyed the discussion and trust me I didn’t post it to convert you. ❤️ Like I said I’m nowhere near being the kind of person that throws stones or knows 100% what she’s talking about- especially right now in my personal relationship with Christ. I’m really glad I was able to share my beliefs with you though! It was a good discussion for me and kinda made me wanna crack open my Bible again. 🥰❤️

            Liked by 1 person

      • LaShelle March 9, 2022 / 1:22 am

        Oh and Lastly, the Bible doesn’t say that we personally will be separated from our bodies, it talks about our breath going back to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Breath is a very interesting word in Hebrew and in order to fully grasp what “Breath” means you actually have to look up the Hebrew definition for it. “Ruach” is the Hebrew word for breath which translates to “spirit, breath, or wind. When spoken, the word engages one’s breath and lungs.” It basically means your ability to speak and be conscious ❤️ but don’t just take my word for that… it’s an amazing research project that you should look up for yourself! My point here is that it doesn’t have anything to do with floating around in heaven or elsewhere because as the Bible clearly states in the verses I previously sent you… the dead know not anything. They praise not the Lord nor do they speak or have conscious thoughts. They are sleeping in Christ until His final return. ❤️

        Like

        • Chel Owens March 9, 2022 / 7:53 am

          I find those language specifics fascinating as well. There’s definitely fringe explorations into things like our body being the thing that separates us from communicating with God, spirit to spirit.

          I’m not into Bible-verse bashing (I’m shooting entirely from the hip, here) but aren’t there references to our spirits, angels, and an afterlife that doesn’t include eternal sleep?

          Liked by 1 person

          • LaShelle March 9, 2022 / 7:58 am

            There are for sure but I think even on those it’s important to get the full meaning by breaking down the Hebrew words. A lot of things get lost in translation if you don’t do that.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Chel Owens March 9, 2022 / 8:20 am

              Definitely. I haven’t written a post about this one yet, but we literally believe the stories in the Bible. Even given that, however, one needs to keep in mind that what’s recorded is a giant game of Telephone with languages and personal perceptions of authors and translators thrown in the mix.

              Liked by 1 person

  8. Ian Kay March 9, 2022 / 3:00 am

    Will everyone be equal in the kingdoms, regardless of all inequalities in earthly existence, or will they be resurrected with the same inequalities?

    Taking it as an end to human mortality in heaven, will there be any sexual or gender identities or will it be all non-gender and asexual because there’ll be no procreation in heaven?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 9, 2022 / 7:58 am

      By inequalities, I’m going to assume you refer to physical differences like intelligence, health, talents? We understand that an eternal existence is as a perfected, resurrected being so I can’t see how petty mortal traits would play out.

      As to your second question, it’s not currently a popular answer. Yes, we will be gendered. Yes, there will be procreation in heaven.

      Like

  9. Jules March 9, 2022 / 6:36 am

    I enjoy some faith… that is to say I enjoy learning and questioning. I also believe in science and admire science fiction. I have some issues with humans who are so utterly without morals that challenge those who have them. Are they on this earth just to test the rest of us?

    I also cannot believe that earth holds the only sentient beings in the entire universe. But in regards to science fiction… and those that write it – it seems those other beings also have some very human foils.

    There are many beliefs of end of life – reincarnation, complete nothingness, waiting for the ‘Light’, I wonder if a ‘soul’ gets to choose? I enjoy learning of your perspective. I’ve got a friend who is a Mennonite. While we discuss some differences, we do not try to convert each other – I have always believed that ‘goodness’ exists weather one is attached to a belief system or a congregation. And the basic Golden Rule when followed trumps any rules that were written by humans.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens March 9, 2022 / 8:04 am

      Of course, Jules, and very well spoken.

      The Number One thing here is agency. I do not have (for me) a satisfactory answer as to why that rule of agency makes bad things happen to good people -I mean horrible, terrible, awful, mutilating things.

      Why wouldn’t a soul get to choose? We make choices all the time that affect outcomes, sometimes creating a bad one (say, like gaining weight in a controllable way) or good ones (like learning to play an instrument).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jules March 9, 2022 / 8:22 am

        I’ve read some stories where ‘souls’ get to choose their parents… but then they forget any knowledge they prevoiusly had. A fun animated movie on the afterlife was called ‘Soul’.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_(2020_film)

        Some believe there are a infanite amount of souls and other maintain there are a limited amount – (reincarnation).

        Some believe that animals and plaints also have souls. So then seeds of all kinds would have souls too… would I choose to return as a tree or life on another planet. Could the stars have souls? Does Mother Nature have a soul? Are some spirits angels or faries? So many questions that only individuals can answer for themselves… though some guidance is nice 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens March 9, 2022 / 11:45 am

          Quite the kind trip, eh? Even with the LDS guidelines, I personally deviate into similar veins about seeds and animals. We’re all made of similar matter, at a small enough scale.

          Liked by 2 people

  10. CarolCooks2 March 10, 2022 / 1:12 am

    All very interesting I am loving the civil conversations and differences of opinions 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. bookshelfbattle March 12, 2022 / 5:49 am

    Last I head it’s the middle class glory for me. Sometimes I believe, sometimes I doubt, I sin like everyone else but never did any really really really bad sins. I’m not a Mormon but am a Christian so…you know middle class glory sounds ok. Probably has cable tv and fast food. Upper class glory too pretentious and lower class glory doesn’t have Netflix. At least this is how the Mormon girl who turned Catholic explained it. Wait, if I croak can you posthumously marry me off to a really hot dead single Mormon woman? Then I could get into upper class glory and have a posthumous hot wife.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 12, 2022 / 9:41 am

      🤔 You’re probably right. The thing is, the whole tiered design isn’t about “you’re not good enough for Mormon Heaven;” it’s about where you would be most comfortable.

      And I sincerely think you could snag a hot single Mormon woman now.

      Like

      • bookshelfbattle March 12, 2022 / 5:11 pm

        I mean I am pretty hideous so that would be hard to find a hot single Mormon woman but on the other hand if they’re worried about the glories I’d promise them they could convert me posthumously so that might make me a more attractive candidate. My ex told me when they convert you posthumously, it’s like you’re up in heaven and you get a letter in the mail saying you’ve been posthumously converted to mormonism and so you can present that at the ticket counter and get your free glory upgrade.

        Also if it turns out God’s a baptist or something then you can turn down the posthumous conversion. I was worried about that, like what if you croak and it turns out the hindus were right and I’m hanging out with the blue elephant guy and the lady with a hundred arms and then what do I do with my posthumous mormon card?

        Anyway feel free to put the word out. I may not be much to look at but any hot mormon babes worried about their glory status, I’ll posthumously convert for them. Big cans might convince me to convert while alive, don the holy undies, drop diet soda, the whole 9 yards.

        Liked by 1 person

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