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The thing that started it all

Posted: 25 Mar 2020, 19:14
by sknab
Fairly new here although I've lurked for a long time. I'm super thankful for the commentary I've received on posts that I've already made. Wanted to get everyone's thoughts on what really got me started researching doctrine in more depth... The Kingdoms.

I like to think I'm a good person by most accounts. I try to serve and give as often as I can. I'm a loyal husband and although I screw up often, I really try to be a good father. However, there's one thing in my life that I haven't been able to let go and it's something that, according to LDS belief, would most likely keep me out of the Celestial Kingdom.

The thought of God not allowing me to be with all of my family because of this one thing just doesn't make sense to me. The best answer I've found is basically that God wouldn't put you in a kingdom you don't feel comfortable with. I just can't accept that, I want to be with my wife and kids, my parents and siblings... It just doesn't make sense that a loving God that cares so much about the family unit would break it a part.

I know there's not a specific question here but, does anyone have thoughts on this topic?

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Re: The thing that started it all

Posted: 25 Mar 2020, 19:55
by Minyan Man
In my opinion, there is so much we don't understand. There is so much yet to be learned. None of us will get through
this life knowing all the answers. Again, in my opinion, it was all designed to be that way. There is more to be learned.
There will always be more to learn. Richard Carlson wrote a book: "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...It's all small stuff".

Since becoming more active, I've been doing Family History & Temple Work. In the process of doing research, indexing,
reviewing & temple ordinances, the overwhelming feeling I have is: we're all connected. Both in this life & in the life
to come. I've talked with people who know more about church doctrine than I ever will & they agree with that view.
They won't stand up in F&T meeting to declare that belief but, they will in private.

Re: The thing that started it all

Posted: 27 Mar 2020, 08:31
by Katzpur
Hi, sknab. You know, what I zeroed in on in your post was the phrase, "there's one thing in my life that... according to LDS belief, would most likely keep me out of the Celestial Kingdom." Try to keep in mind that "LDS belief" is going to be pretty irrelevant at the end of the day. As my all-time-favorite bishop once said, "Your salvation is between you and the Lord. It's not between you and your bishop or you and your stake president or you and the Prophet. It's between you and the Lord. Period." Nobody else's opinion is going to even be taken into account. You also said that you "haven't been able to let go" of this thing. That indicates to me that you're at least trying, and that your heart's in the right place.

Have you ever read, "Believing Christ" by Stephen E. Robinson? When it came out in the early 90s, pretty much every English-speaking adult member of the Church read it. At the age of 71, I've never found another book that has given me such insights into Jesus Christ's Atonement and how it applies to the very issue you're dealing with. You can still occasionally find copies of it in Deseret Book (brick and mortar or online), and there are also copies of it to be found on Amazon. If you haven't read it, please do yourself a favor and do so. It will make you see things in an entirely different light.

One final thought... The older I get, the more I've come to trust in my own gut feelings about things. If it "just doesn't make sense that a loving God that cares so much about the family unit would break it apart," then go with your feeling that He won't. Don't just assume that certain commonly accepted beliefs among the rank and file members of the Church (or even among "the Brethren") are necessarily correct. It has only been within the last couple of years that I've been able to find peace in what my own mind and heart tell me, and to accept my own understanding as being as valid and legitimate as anybody else's. For years, I always told my husband that I wished the Holy Ghost would speak to me the way He apparently speaks to other people, confirming in their minds that certain things are "true." It's been very, very recently that I've started to think differently. If something "doesn't make sense" to me, then I no longer dwell on it. I think the peace I've found in what I actually think a loving God would do under certain circumstances comes from the Holy Ghost. Acknowledging that my own thoughts aren't always going to coincide with "LDS belief" has made me a lot happier than I was before. Trust what you believe a truly loving God would do, and don't worry about what anybody else says He'll do.

Re: The thing that started it all

Posted: 27 Mar 2020, 10:39
by nibbler
I'm scatterbrained, I'll try to organize thoughts.

What force drove the revelations that we have already received? What force drives revelations yet to come?

I imagine humans a long, long time ago (prehistory), first started wrestling with the belief that good people end up with the same "reward" as bad people. I imagine heaven and hell being revealed to address the question.

With time humans started wrestling with the boundary cases within that framework. What if a person is good all their lives, does something really bad, slips on a bar of soap, and dies? What if a person is bad most of their lives, repents, slips on a bar of soap and dies? Would it be fair for the good person that screwed up right before they die to go to hell while the person that repented right before they die to go to heaven? Or maybe it was a recognition that some people are really, really good; some people are really, really bad, and then there's lots of okay people in the middle. Where's the cutoff for heaven and hell? I think the three kingdoms were revealed to address those sorts of questions.

Again, with time I think we're finding that even the three kingdoms, along with the various sub-kingdoms, still isn't enough to quench people's thirst. We began exploring the boundary cases within that framework. Now we find ourselves in need of a new revelation to address those concerns.

Do you want to be with your family? Does your family want to be with you? I believe that's more relevant than any kingdom assignment. Kingdoms, boundaries, and qualifications feel too... human. Something that helps us conceptualize something spiritual, not something meant to define or limit something spiritual.

Re: The thing that started it all

Posted: 27 Mar 2020, 10:54
by sknab
Really great thoughts so far - I know my topic/question was ambiguous but, I sincerely appreciate the feedback thus far. I will read both of the books mentioned (thank you greatly for that) and I definitely agree with that new perspective... humans trying to explain celestial things that can't be explained. I love that and it opens up some interpretation for me to be able to operate within the confines of the LDS beliefs.

Lastly, I really appreciate that perspective from Katzpur in that my "salvation is between me and the lord". It reminded me of something my mission president said in my exit interview before I went home. How true this is! I think we forget that a lot in the church. Religion in general is so that we can have a celestial relationship for our own minds and for our own guidance. I need to chase that theology more than I have been, especially right now where things seem so complicated within my current belief system. I need to study and understand and learn what gospel topics mean to me, and work on that personal relationship with deity rather than worry about what others will think about my beliefs. Thank you!!