Mormonism, if understood, is Universalism

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Roy
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Re: Mormonism, if understood, is Universalism

Post by Roy » 13 Aug 2013, 13:32

GBSmith wrote:I've come late to this discussion but how can Mormonism be Universalism if only those that adhere to LDS belief and practice either in this life or posthumously can be exalted?
I like the idea that all religions "see through a glass darkly" and that in the afterlife Mormons will need to make just as many adjustments to our thinking process as many of our good non-LDS neighbors.

The good part about Mormonism is that we have an idea of eternal progression - so that people (Mormons, Baptists, Whatever) that have limitations in their understanding of eternal truths will have opportunities to learn and accept those truths at a later time.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Mormonism, if understood, is Universalism

Post by Curt Sunshine » 13 Aug 2013, 14:06

"Pure Mormonism" says that everyone will be judged according to how they strive to live according to the dictates of their own consciences - and that God makes up the difference in the ideal and the real. That theology is as universal as it gets, especially when D&C 19 and the ideal of "eternal punishment" not being "never ending punishment" is factored into it.

The only more universal idea is that everyone, eventually, will reach the same end result - and even that is possible within Mormon theology (with the exception of Sons of Perdition, who consciously choose to exclude themselves from it), even if few members believe it.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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wayfarer
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Re: Mormonism, if understood, is Universalism

Post by wayfarer » 13 Aug 2013, 21:42

Ray Degraw wrote:"Pure Mormonism" says that everyone will be judged according to how they strive to live according to the dictates of their own consciences - and that God makes up the difference in the ideal and the real. That theology is as universal as it gets, especially when D&C 19 and the ideal of "eternal punishment" not being "never ending punishment" is factored into it.

The only more universal idea is that everyone, eventually, will reach the same end result - and even that is possible within Mormon theology (with the exception of Sons of Perdition, who consciously choose to exclude themselves from it), even if few members believe it.
I think the question cwald asks or better said posits is whether the church under correlation is anything like pure mormonism, and whether pure mormonism exists anywhere as a church.
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mom3
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Re: Mormonism, if understood, is Universalism

Post by mom3 » 13 Aug 2013, 21:56

Under Correlation - No. Universalism/Mormonism doesn't exist outright.

For me I reversed the subject line of this thread, when I do that I find Universalism in Mormonism. Is it burning bright. Not yet. I am hoping it will. I find it in Christ's teachings and example. And if I can use the quotes that point to that light I will because my heart really loves a more tender God.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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wayfarer
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Re: Mormonism, if understood, is Universalism

Post by wayfarer » 14 Aug 2013, 10:49

If we say we can find universalism in mormonism, I agree. If we say that Mormonism IS universalism, then I think we err in saying that universalism is a identifying attribute of mormonism; and as practiced today, it is not.

Obviously, it is an important strategy for staying LDS for us to select what we want to believe of the religion. I accept that, and the universalist aspect is absolutely to be found in some of the teaching. We key on these as our own way of interpreting mormonism. I think, though, there is a danger in imputing our meaning onto the true believing masses of mormons. As Alma 12:9 says, sometimes the more enlightened version of the Gospel Truth is for our own consumption and not necessarily for sharing.

It all depends...
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
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Heber13
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Re: Mormonism, if understood, is Universalism

Post by Heber13 » 14 Aug 2013, 11:11

I see some univeralism taught here and there in the church (and not enough, IMO). For example, in General Conference for Oct 2000 by Dallin Oaks, "The Challenge to Become", he speaks of the parable the Lord taught about the laborers in the vineyard, and how at the end, all were paid the same amount.

He taught:
Many who come in the eleventh hour have been refined and prepared by the Lord in ways other than formal employment in the vineyard. These workers are like the prepared dry mix to which it is only necessary to “add water”—the perfecting ordinance of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. With that addition—even in the eleventh hour—these workers are in the same state of development and qualified to receive the same reward as those who have labored long in the vineyard.

This parable teaches us that we should never give up hope and loving associations with family members and friends whose fine qualities (see Moro. 7:5–14) evidence their progress toward what a loving Father would have them become. Similarly, the power of the Atonement and the principle of repentance show that we should never give up on loved ones who now seem to be making many wrong choices.

Instead of being judgmental about others, we should be concerned about ourselves. We must not give up hope. We must not stop striving. We are children of God, and it is possible for us to become what our Heavenly Father would have us become.
[Emphasis added]
If laboring in the vineyard = being in the church and working for the Lord, then it seems the Lord does not care how long we are in, and that therefore others that are "out" are progressing just fine outside of employment, as long as they are progressing in other paths. The laborers may grumble, may not think it is fair, and may call for uniformity, exclusivity, and conformity...but that is not what the Lord is teaching, and not what is truly mormonism, just because some mormons want it to be. Church leaders are calling these people to repentance, and to get the true picture of mormonism, while at the same time trying not to de-motivate the committed vineyard worker.

Also, regarding the ordinances, and maintaining the teaching that they are necessary with proper authority, it should be understood they are also never excluding anyone without those ordinances, because they really aren't what is important. At any time, they can be a formality ("just add water"), but the real measure of our progress from the Lord's point of view is our heart, and who we are becoming, whether becoming that in the vineyard, or in other employment. It simply doesn't matter to the Lord that prepares a way possible for all His children, and pays all that become like Him the same.

Indeed, how can we each be paid "all that He hath", unless we accept the abundant mentality? Mormonism cannot have a monopoly on God's love.

This is mormonism, which if understood from a certain point of view, is universalism, and is being taught in the scriptures and by a current Apostle(s).

If universalism is understood from the point of view that nothing matters, that all are saved no matter what they do or none are saved no matter what they do, that no laboring is required to get any pay, or that it doesn't matter what our hearts become because there is no vineyard or Lord or payday...well, that universalism is not mormonism, IMO.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Re: Mormonism, if understood, is Universalism

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 Aug 2013, 11:58

I agree completely with you, wayfarer, that the LDS Church is not universalistic in many ways - but that it also is universalist in other ways. Local congregations, members, local and global leaders, etc. also vary radically in how universalistic they are.

That, however, is not the same thing as saying that Mormonism, if understood, is universalism. Mormonism and the LDS Church are not synonymous - as anyone who considers themselves Mormon but not LDS can attest. Some Mormonism is even more exclusive and non-universalistic than the LDS Church, and some is less exclusive and more universalistic than the LDS Church.

That is why I always use the term "pure Mormonism" or talk about the theology when I talk about the universalism of Mormonism. I know that is a subjective term and that other members won't agree with me, but I don't care. I see pure Mormonism as incredibly expansive, inclusive and universalistic, and I've seen lots of local areas where the members also are - and even more lots of local areas where they aren't,
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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mackay11
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Mormonism, if understood, is Universalism

Post by mackay11 » 14 Aug 2013, 13:10

I agree with Ray. When I started the thread I was thinking specifically about the core, foundational theology of Mormonism. That all are part of God's plan, that all are put in the right place and time for the best possible outcome. That God instructs people in their own tongue and culture to support them in their progression towards godliness. That every one will be in a degree of God's glory, except those who don't want to, with no limitations on their potential eternal growth. That the covenants made to express and manifest a willingness to serve him by serving each other are made available to all, even after death.

None of this is hidden. Whether you take all of the above as literal or a principle taught through symbols, all of it is taught in our scriptures and talks and manuals.

GBSmith
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Re: Mormonism, if understood, is Universalism

Post by GBSmith » 14 Aug 2013, 13:18

mackay11 wrote:I agree with Ray. When I started the thread I was thinking specifically about the core, foundational theology of Mormonism. That all are part of God's plan, that all are put in the right place and time for the best possible outcome. That God instructs people in their own tongue and culture to support them in their progression towards godliness. That every one will be in a degree of God's glory, except those who don't want to, with no limitations on their potential eternal growth. That the covenants made to express and manifest a willingness to serve him by serving each other are made available to all, even after death.

None of this is hidden. Whether you take all of the above as literal or a principle taught through symbols, all of it is taught in our scriptures and talks and manuals.
I'm sorry but where does it say "we are all put in the right place for the best possible outcome?"

Where does it say "we'll be in a degree of God's glory with no limitations on eternal growth?" Are you talking about movement between degrees?

And lastly how can your separate out the restrictive nature of the ordinances and the temple covenants from what you call the "core foundational theology or Mormonism?"

Just wondering.

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mackay11
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Mormonism, if understood, is Universalism

Post by mackay11 » 14 Aug 2013, 13:32

GB, it's well past my bedtime over here. I'll get back to you tomorrow if that's ok?

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