Friday, October 06, 2006

Will You Deny Christ?!

I and tens of thousands of others have had personal experience that is "evidence" that God lives - will you deny that? - that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the savior and redeemer of all - will you deny that?
Man, I've been away from the church too long. How could I have failed to recognize that question and it's significance? I almost flippantly replied to it without realizing what a serious question this is to Mormons.

First please excuse me for presenting a little Mormon doctrine.

Doctrine and Covenants 76:
31 Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and asuffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power—
32 They are they who are the asons of bperdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born;
33 For they are avessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity;
34 Concerning whom I have said there is ano bforgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—
35 Having adenied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having bcrucified him unto themselves and put him to an open cshame.
36 These are they who shall go away into the alake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels—
37 And the aonly ones on whom the bsecond cdeath shall have any power;
38 Yea, verily, the only ones who shall anot be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath.
39 For all the rest shall be abrought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the btriumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father cbefore the worlds were made.
40 And this is the agospel, the glad btidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us—
41 That he acame into the world, even Jesus, to be bcrucified for the world, and to cbear the sins of the dworld, and to esanctify the world, and to fcleanse it from all unrighteousness;
42 That through him all might be asaved whom the Father had put into his bpower and made by him;
43 Who aglorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of bperdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.

Please excuse the two monumentally long run-on sentences. Apparently God has the same limited education as Joseph Smith or at least lacks to power to enable to Joseph Smith to speak in any words other than his own. Let's stick to the ideas. This is where the doctrine of "sons of perdition" is spelled out for Mormons. Note that all other sins, even murder, will be forgiven, but not those who deny the Son. It consists of rejecting Jesus after having had a perfect knowledge of him. It is also known as the sin against the Holy Ghost because Joseph Smith taught that a man can only see God and live if he is first quickened by the Holy Ghost and that the witness of the Holy Ghost is what makes the vision a sure knowledge. Verse 43 also says that the Father has to reveal the Son, but who knows what that means. Maybe like in the New Testament where the disembodied voice of the Father testifies while the Holy Ghost descends? Those that reject Jesus after having a sure knowledge will be cast out with Satan and all his angels and will never be forgiven or redeemed or ever experience the presence or power of God.

I regularly hear former Mormons who think that Mormons will label them as sons of perdition. But such Mormons would be extremely ignorant of their own doctrine because it presumes a sure knowledge of Christ that is outside the experience of any members that I know.

Becoming a son of perdition is a really hard thing and would require an extremely dense person, not a particularly wicked one. Wyhy would someone confronted with a sure knowledge of the truth deny it? Why would they reject God when witnessing his full glory with the overwhelming power of the Holy Ghost confirming it? I mean, there's evil and then there's just stupid. After all, there are plenty of believers who commit horrific sins so believing in Christ doesn't necessarily preclude willful wickedness. In fact, it's almost as if the more wicked you are the more you have to gain my believing in Jesus since he will, in the end, forgive and forget as long as you bow down at the judgement day. The ultimate sin, it turns out, isn't to be a mass murderer on the scale of Stalin or Hitler; it is to want to be independent and not subservient to Jesus.

I know it is currently all the rage to criticize militant Islam and its founder for being a barbaric, religiously intolerant religion that promote violence, but is this really any better? Here we have God saying, bow down and worship me or else you will suffer forever. Why does he care so much? Does Jesus have a large ego? If he loves his children so much couldn't he just confine the rebels without having to torture them? Heck wouldn't he be more merciful if he simply put them out of their misery? Why keep them around? It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

I'm sorry, but it sounds a lot more like a doctrine concocted by egotistical men to try to convince people that if they don't join the church then they risk eternal damnation. It's also an open threat to those in the church who have been elevated to the inner circles and experienced the mysteries and most sacred ordinances that there is no escape and that if they try to back out then there will be no coming back. Ever.

Anyway, would I reject Christ and God? No. I'm open to the possibility that they exist, but I've never had any experiences that I would consider undeniable proof. For that matter, I've never had any experiences that I would consider even weak evidence since I've learned that those experiences have perfectly normal explanations.

I would hope that if there is a God, he is more concerned with how we live our lives and treat the world around us than what religious dogma we subscribe to. In other words, if a person's behavior is the same, what should it matter whether his is atheist, Hindu, Buddhist, Jew, Christian, or Muslim? If the purpose of religion is to develop morality and good living, then why is God so concerned if the end is reached in different ways? What kind of God would exalt a righteous Mormon and reject an equally righteous Muslim? Not a God that is worth worshipping.

3 comments:

seuferling said...

yeah, well put... it's a drag that folks take the spiritual, belief and "righteousness" and confine it to their rules a cliques... I mean like if the divine is cool at all ya would think he would apply the same rule that Joe Rogan uses... there are 3 kinds of people idiots, assholes and people you can hang with. just leave it at that... enough with the you can only play with me if ya eat this or don't drink that or wear this underwear or fuck this way or that... just silly and exasperating... so i don't know about denying jesus but i don't want to hang with him if he can't get over himself...

Sister Mary Lisa said...

I find it interesting that this scripture only lists them as "sons of perdition." What about us daughters of perdition?? I'm feeling a little left out...Oh! Wait! That's how I'm SUPPOSED to feel as an LDS woman! Yeah.

I agree with you that Joseph made it all up for his own nefarious purposes. He was genius at creating "revelation" that kept the followers in line through fear and hope for eternal salvation.

seuferling said...

yeah sister,

now go put on some shiny poly blend undies and a flower pattern jumper and sit down and be glad you don't have the burden of the priesthood...