There are 2 underlying assumptions here: 1) That everyone has the potential, divine destiny, mandate, and purpose to be as God is and 2) That the delineator between godhood and honorable mention is effort.PiperAlpha wrote:I LOVE this idea. Well said, Roy.Roy wrote:As long as I have this love everything else will be OK. If my merciful loving Father feels I would be best suited in the Telestial or Terrestrial spheres, I will trust in His wisdom. If he feels I should be a ministering angel, I will be a ministering angel in the family of God. Wherever I am sent and whatever I may be asked to do there, I will always be my Father's son.
But what if...(here I go again... )...what if your eternal place for the rest of eternity could be waaaaayyyyy better in the Celestial Kingdom and you could become like God and create other worlds and have posterity, with just a little tiny extra effort in this life to pay tithing and avoid coffee and go to the temple?
Does that make sense that salvation works like that? I think that's the church's sales pitch, isn't it?
Let's examine these assumptions.
1)What did you want to be as a kid? Do you regret that you didn't become the U.S. President, a fortune 500 CEO, a professional basketball player, a movie star, or (in my case) a globe trotting National Geographic photographer? Did you fulfill your potential? Why or why not? Why is your eternal destiny so different?
I would feel more comfortable with the degrees of glory if they were "colors of glory" or maybe like the houses of Hogwarts (Griffendoor, Slitheran, etc.). There would be no shame in gravitating to one or the other. This is sometimes taught as, “You will go to the kingdom where you feel the most comfortable,” though admittedly not in the same context.
2) How does our effort make us better, more worthy? All fall short, nobody deserves celestial. So the question is: who (undeservedly) receives the application of the atonement in their behalf and who doesn't? Is it through belief, or baptism, or covenants, is it the desire of the heart? Could it be the development of a charitable nature? Is religious affiliation important or not? Once we establish that there is a celestial glory and that it is the divine destiny of every man, woman, and child to get there - how do they get in? Is it a sliding scale of valiance? Is God grading on a curve or is it a flat percentage? Does anyone really know?
M&G has shown me another approach as well. In her approach everyone but the sons of perdition eventually pass from one degree of glory to another using the time and experience in each degree as preparation to pass onto the next. She provided a fair amount of quotes in support of this perspective. They can be found under the thread "Love Wins!" under General Discussion. (I recommend it) One progresses from glory to glory as they develop increasing abilities of love and forgiveness (the core of divine expression).This for me embodies the joy of God working with us to fulfill our potential - if it takes 500 years or 5000! He extends his saving grace to all, not to force one into submission, but rather to continue to strive with us for as long as it takes. In this example it is the loving capacity of God and not degree of effort expended that eventually make the difference as long as there is not a flat out and fully informed rejection of God. I love her perspective and there is a lot to support it in the standard works, but the fact is we still just don't know.
So just what do I know?
In the depth of my pain and failure – I know that my Father loves me. I trust in Him because of that love. I don't know that that He will bless me, or save me, or exalt me - but I do know that He will continue to love me. The rest is fun and neat to speculate about, but....
Roy wrote:This does not change the fact that I feel my Savior's love, I endeavor to share this love with those around me, and in so doing to create a community of love - a community of salvation.