One argument that I no longer use against RLSS (see background here) is the argument that Mormonism essentially yields a small proportion of never-sinned Gods in ultimate reality.
Put your thinking caps on.
This argument works if all you have in each generation of the Gods are singular eternally-sinless firstborn spirit sons and then other spirit children who inevitably sin. But there is another category in Mormonism: those who sufficiently merit Godhood in pre-mortality so as to warrant an early ordained childhood death. Mormon leaders have taught that children who die before the age of accountability are assured to reach full exaltation (and implied Godhood). Given the historic infant mortality rates, etc., this potentially yields an enormous number of perhaps-never-sinned spirit children who are assured Godhood.
But even whether these children never sinned isn’t so clear. It is further complicated by the teaching of some Mormon leaders that the atonement of Jesus retroactively applied to sins committed in pre-mortality. In other words, there is the question of whether such spirit children have already sinned and received a retroactively-applied atonement. This strain of thought contains multiple factors and uncertainties (relative to Mormon theology), but it nonetheless invalidates the argument that Mormonism necessarily posits a universe where most of the Gods have sinned.
But it gets even messier. Mormonism speaks of the eternal plan of salvation, as experienced by us now sin-ridden mortals, as being the standard plan. But if the above strain of thought is correct, then another problem arises: what we are experiencing really is a second-rate plan for morally inferior spirit children. In other words, the “plan of salvation” we are experiencing would be a giant “Plan B” for mediocre spirit children who didn’t accomplish what other spirit children did (who earned the right to die before the mortal age of accountability, being assured of future exaltation and Godhood).
Is that perfectly clear now?
While Mormonism might not yield a small proportion of never-sinned Gods in ultimate reality, it does yield some Gods who were once sinners. And that alone, with or without high proportionality, is quite a problem.
Was there a reason that God did not tell them they were naked? What knowledge did they gain from eating the fruit of the tree of good and evil?
With any of this it can be anything Mormons want it to be since it isn't based on any sort of reality. That's what revelation, Mormon style, is all about. Just kind of think it up (create it), feel good about it (affirming feeling) and say God revealed it to you. Anybody can play this game. As I've pointed out, there are Christian versions of the same thing however in Christianity we use the Scriptures, the writings of the Church Fathers and the traditions of the Church to look for support for someone's pronouncement.
Mormons basically have to depend on the word of the glass looker and his contemporaries or most often the prophet du jore.
It's interesting that the Mormon sect that Joseph Smith's wife Emma and whom their son was the prophet, seer and revelator didn't and don't subscribe to most of the SLC Mormonism strangeness.
From what I know baptisms are NOT performed for those who are under the age of accountability, such as any child which is under the age of 8 does not need baptism. So, dead children under 8 do not get baptized for the dead. No endowment ceremony, as that follows in adulthood. no marriage ceremony as they never had a chance to find someone. So, no need for works for the dead for a dead child under the age of 8. If they are 9 or older then I guess they would only do baptism.
Thank you for the reminder. I will try to keep that in mind. I appologize for taking discussion on truely off topic discussions. So, I can see the reason for the comment. For this particular responce, I am not solely to blame. I will accept the request as long as its a reminder for everyone.
In previous commentaries, others have introduced other elements. Animal consciousness, paradise, mental retardation, questions about the spiritual authority of LDS prophets, salvation in general, adam and eve, etc…. so although I am guilty and I appologize for going off track, there are certainly others who have done the same.
But I am doing better than usual. And i will keep your request in mind and take it to heart. Thank you.
The LDS faith is really only concerned about knowledge of god, and knowledge of gospel principles. Knowledge in general that is an interesting question. The book of Abraham talks about 'intelligences' and has jehovah in the pre-existence saying that he is more intelligent than all other spirit children. Is that a gnostic belief? I don't know enough about gnosticism to answer that. The intelligences seems to be an inherent quality of premortal spirits. I don't know if they worked to improve their intelligence or not.
There is one thing that is common for LDS and evangelical christians, correct knowledge of god is important, as far as it informs all other belief, principles, practices and doctrines. In that sense knowledge is important to both.
Sarah, One thing which really confuses me about this story. Why did these people have access to something so devastating? Also, was it seen by god that this would happen? I remember reading the book of Genesis in Cartoons by Crumb, the surprised look on god's face seems to indicate that he didn't see something ahead of time. Although the cartoon is not inspired, its possible to read the text in a way that matches the illustration.
In the LDS view of things Satan is duped into gods plan. He THOUGHT he was trying to stop god, but failed, and instead provided the conditions where premortal spirits could come to earth, and exercise 'free will'. They could not comprehent immortality and eternal life without death, happiness without misery etc….
So, as far as eternal progression goes, this is the phase where spirit children get a body, and a chance to understand the godness of god via being temporarily seperated from him, and living by faith, and not by absolute knowledge.
"Sarah, One thing which really confuses me about this story. Why did these people have access to something so devastating? Also, was it seen by god that this would happen?"
Of course God knew that would happen. As to why they had access to it, it´s because before the fall God gave them freedom of choice, they could choose between loving and trusting Him or not, and Eve was very aware of God´s commandments when she decided to break them. They were not slaves to sin, nor could they die.
"In the LDS view of things Satan is duped into gods plan. He THOUGHT he was trying to stop god, but failed, and instead provided the conditions where premortal spirits could come to earth, and exercise 'free will'"
Actually that´s wrong. In the temple movie we are taught that Satan wanted to make them fall to do what had been done in other worlds. So, in a way he was actually making god´s plan happen which is very strange. He also commands Adam and Eve to make and wear leaf aprons, and the people in the temple are commanded to do likewise, meaning that Satan gives orders that are obeyed by the people, which is also very strange. Satan was never fooled, nor could he have been since he retained his memory from his life with god.
The strange thing about lies, there is often some element of truth, or partial truths. As I said he Thought he was trying to stop god, but he as you said was actually making god plan happen. This is the lds view of things. sometimes satan reluctantly causes gods plans to work. yes, it is strange.
Overall, the LDS view of things places the adam and eve story in a different context. Speculation about what would have or not happened differently is pretty mute as far as I am concerned. its a story about the fall or man, and it set the stage for much of everything else in the O.T. and N.T. Few other things are as foundational.
Engkei, It's true that many times staying on topic is'nt easy. But if I may be frank, here, I sense
in you that it seems that you're just making conversation etc. You're not a mormon anymore, and
you're not a christian (yet) it seems you''re considering atheism. Our hearts here ache for you.
It's unfortunate that some Mormons have succumbed to the knee jerk reaction of " throwing the
baby out with the bath water " once they are free of the control of the autocratic organization.
But please realize that many ex-Mormons have found that a simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
to be the salve that heals their emotional/spiritual wounds. Don't give up on Jesus. God Bless you.
"No marriage ceremony as they never had a chance to find someone."
Well they have done marriage ceremonies for several of the Popes. They didn't find someone in this life. I feel that this is just really disrespectful. Besides, who and where did they find these women for the Popes? What if they don't get along in the Eternities????? It's just all so absurd!
Maybe I missed it, but —
Did anyone bring up the verse in Genesis post-flood?
Genesis 8:21 — The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done."
Though I suppose one could argue that "childhood" is not the same as "birth", hmn?