Religion / Theology

Topics related to theology.
Navigator
Posts: 769
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:15 pm

Understanding our Eternal Journey

Post by Navigator »

I was asked recently to explain the answer to the question, what happens to us when we die. To answer that question, I have to go back and explain my beliefs about where we came from, as only be understanding what happened before we were born into mortality can we gain a whole picture of post mortal existence, and what we can do in this life to best prepare for it.

I will post more about this in coming days as time permits.

We Are Children of Our Heavenly Father

God is not only our Ruler and Creator; He is also our Heavenly Father. All men and women are literally the sons and daughters of God. (see Hebrews 12:9)

“Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body” (Joseph F. Smith).

Note that this implies that not only are we children of our Heavenly Father, but that we have a mother of our spirit as well. This understanding is critical to the answer of the original question.

Every person who was ever born on earth is our spirit brother or sister. Because we are the spirit children of God, we have inherited the potential to develop His divine qualities. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become like our Heavenly Father and receive a fulness of joy.

We Developed INDIVIDUAL Personalities and Talents While We Lived in Heaven

The scriptures teach us that the prophets prepared themselves to become leaders on earth while they were still spirits in heaven. Before they were born into mortal bodies, God foreordained (chose) them to be leaders on earth. This is best illustrated in the story of Jeremiah, where God specifically tells him that he picked him to be a prophet prior to mortality (see Jeremiah 1:5)

We were not all alike in heaven. We know, for example, that we were sons and daughters of heavenly parents—males and females.

We possessed different talents and abilities, and we were called to do different things on earth.

A veil covers our memories of our premortal life, but our Father in Heaven knows who we are and what we did before we came here. He has chosen the time and place for each of us to be born so we can learn the lessons we personally need and do the most good with our individual talents and personalities.

Our Heavenly Father Presented a Plan for Us to Become Like Him

Our Heavenly Father knew we could not progress beyond a certain point unless we left Him for a time. He wanted us to develop the godlike qualities that He has. To do this, we needed to leave our premortal home to be tested and to gain experience. Our spirits needed to be clothed with physical bodies. We would need to leave our physical bodies at death and reunite with them in the Resurrection. Then we would receive immortal bodies like that of our Heavenly Father. If we passed our tests, we would receive the fulness of joy that our Heavenly Father has received.

Our Heavenly Father called a Grand Council to present His plan for our progression. We learned that if we followed His plan, we could become like Him. We would be resurrected; we would have all power in heaven and on earth; we would become heavenly parents and have spirit children just as He does.

We learned that He would provide an earth for us where we would prove ourselves in mortality. A veil would cover our memories, and we would forget our heavenly home. This would be necessary so we could exercise our agency to choose good or evil without being influenced by the memory of living with our Heavenly Father. Thus we could obey Him because of our faith in Him, not because of our knowledge or memory of Him. He would help us recognize the truth when we heard it again on earth (see John 18:37).

At the Grand Council we also learned the purpose for our progression: to have a fulness of joy. However, we also learned that some would be deceived, choose other paths, and lose their way. We learned that all of us would have trials in our lives: sickness, disappointment, pain, sorrow, and death. But we understood that these would be given to us for our experience and our good. If we allowed them to, these trials would purify us rather than defeat us. They would teach us to have endurance, patience, and charity.

At this council we also learned that because of our weakness, all of us except little children would sin. We learned that a Savior would be provided for us so we could overcome our sins and overcome death with resurrection. We learned that if we placed our faith in Him, obeying His word and following His example, we would be exalted and become like our Heavenly Father. We would receive a fulness of joy.

Cool Breeze
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Re: Religion / Theology

Post by Cool Breeze »

Navigator wrote:
Wed Mar 02, 2022 1:57 pm
At this point I am guessing "Russian Orthodox".
You correctly identified eastern orthodox, but I find it amusing that you had to put some ethnicity in there, especially the one you chose. So I laughed.

Nevertheless, I enjoy reading many of your posts, and always wish you peace and strength in the coming, trying times.

Navigator
Posts: 769
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:15 pm

Re: Religion / Theology

Post by Navigator »

Thank you for your kind words. I also wish you well. I believe that those that visit this site understand a lot more of what is going on in the world, and have a clearer view of the "big picture" than most.

Navigator
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:15 pm

Re: Understanding our Eternal Journey

Post by Navigator »

Navigator wrote:
Sun Jul 03, 2022 11:38 pm
I have to go back and explain my beliefs about where we came from, as only be understanding what happened before we were born into mortality ...
My prior posting brings up a couple of points that I really want to emphasize before moving on.

First - Our Heavenly Parents exist as individuals. Heavenly Father and our Heavenly Mother are individuals, not just some kind of unimaginable "concept" or disembodied power.

Second - (this touches on current cultural debates) Our gender is part of our Eternal identity. Even as pre-moral spirit beings (who did not yet have physical bodies), we were male or female. Our Heavenly Parents created us as such. We are born into this world with the same gender that we had in the pre-existence. There are no "accidental" switches of gender at birth.

Third - The family is not just a mortal construct. We belong to a large family, all having the same Heavenly Parents. Our Heavenly Parents wish for us to grow and succeed and return to them. They love us and want the best for us, but our actions will determine our eternal outcomes.

Also, since our Heavenly Parents are resurrected beings having a physical presence, we can deduce that they also must have gone through mortal trials at some point in their existence, prior to their creation of us. That they exist now as our Heavenly Parents also infers that they exist as an eternal couple in an eternal marriage.

Guest

Re: Religion / Theology

Post by Guest »

Cool Breeze wrote:
Tue Jul 05, 2022 7:35 pm
Navigator wrote:
Wed Mar 02, 2022 1:57 pm
At this point I am guessing "Russian Orthodox".
You correctly identified eastern orthodox, but I find it amusing that you had to put some ethnicity in there, especially the one you chose. So I laughed.

Nevertheless, I enjoy reading many of your posts, and always wish you peace and strength in the coming, trying times.
Serbian Orthodox.

Cool Breeze
Posts: 2183
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:19 pm

Re: Religion / Theology

Post by Cool Breeze »

Guest wrote:
Thu Jul 07, 2022 7:24 am
Cool Breeze wrote:
Tue Jul 05, 2022 7:35 pm
Navigator wrote:
Wed Mar 02, 2022 1:57 pm
At this point I am guessing "Russian Orthodox".
You correctly identified eastern orthodox, but I find it amusing that you had to put some ethnicity in there, especially the one you chose. So I laughed.

Nevertheless, I enjoy reading many of your posts, and always wish you peace and strength in the coming, trying times.
Serbian Orthodox.
No, would you cease with this nonsense. It doesn't matter anyway. If interested in metaphysical things or dogmatic teachings, ask away. Otherwise, keep the insignificant stuff to a minimum.

Cool Breeze
Posts: 2183
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:19 pm

Re: Religion / Theology

Post by Cool Breeze »

Navigator wrote:
Wed Jul 06, 2022 5:12 pm
Thank you for your kind words. I also wish you well. I believe that those that visit this site understand a lot more of what is going on in the world, and have a clearer view of the "big picture" than most.
As a mini aside, Navi, how many people that visit this site do you believe have a religious devotion. That is, how many do you think actively make an effort to do things related to religious practice (go somewhere to pray, congregate with people who believe similar things, etc) that post here? As opposed to the modern type of person who is either atheistic, agnostic, or "spiritual" but doesn't actively do anything regarding that in life?

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Tom Mazanec
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Re: Religion / Theology

Post by Tom Mazanec »

Don't know about others, but when I could still drive I attended Mass six times a week. Now that I can't I still go when the weather is bearable for walking, and my aunt takes me every Sunday.
SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

Navigator
Posts: 769
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:15 pm

Re: Religion / Theology

Post by Navigator »

Cool Breeze wrote:
Thu Jul 07, 2022 11:50 am
Navigator wrote:
Wed Jul 06, 2022 5:12 pm
Thank you for your kind words. I also wish you well. I believe that those that visit this site understand a lot more of what is going on in the world, and have a clearer view of the "big picture" than most.
As a mini aside, Navi, how many people that visit this site do you believe have a religious devotion. That is, how many do you think actively make an effort to do things related to religious practice (go somewhere to pray, congregate with people who believe similar things, etc) that post here? As opposed to the modern type of person who is either atheistic, agnostic, or "spiritual" but doesn't actively do anything regarding that in life?
I would guess that maybe 3/4 of the people that visit this site have a religious conviction. This is just based on what I read of people's postings.

Navigator
Posts: 769
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:15 pm

A Plan for Mortality and a Savior

Post by Navigator »

Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior

A Savior and Leader Was Needed


Our Heavenly Parents wanted to provide us with the opportunity to become more like them. To do so, we would need physical form, and we would need to prove ourselves outside of their presence.

Heavenly Father explained that would provide a way for us to have such experiences, to grow and to prove our worthiness. This was his plan to enable our salvation. When the plan for our salvation was presented to us in the premortal spirit world, we were so happy that we shouted for joy (see Job 38:7).

We each understood that we would have to leave our heavenly home for a time. We would not live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. While we were away from Him, all of us would sin and some of us would lose our way. Our Heavenly Father knew and loved each one of us. He knew we would need help, so He planned a way to help us.

We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father.

Jesus was willing to come to the earth, give His life for us, and take upon Himself our sins. He, like our Heavenly Father, wanted us to choose whether we would obey Heavenly Father’s commandments. He knew we must be free to choose in order to prove ourselves worthy of exaltation

Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor”. Satan wanted to force us all to do his will. Under his plan, we would not be allowed to choose. He would take away the freedom of choice that our Father had given us. Satan wanted to have all the honor for our salvation. Under his proposal, our purpose in coming to earth would have been frustrated.

Jesus Christ Became Our Chosen Leader and Savior

Heavenly Father chose Jesus Christ to be our Savior. Many scriptures tell about this (see, for example, 1 Peter 1:19–20; ). In the Book of Mormon, he appears to a prophet known as the brother of Jared and said: “Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. … In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name” (Ether 3:14).

When Jesus lived on earth, He taught: “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. … And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:38, 40).

The War in Heaven

Because our Heavenly Father chose Jesus Christ to be our Savior, Satan became angry and rebelled. There was war in heaven. Satan and his followers fought against Jesus Christ and His followers. The Savior’s followers “overcame [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:7-9, 11).

In this great rebellion, Satan and all the spirits who followed him were sent away from the presence of God and cast down from heaven (see Isaiah 14:12–15). A third part of the hosts of heaven were punished for following Satan. They were denied the right to receive mortal bodies.

Because we are here on earth and have mortal bodies, we know that we chose in our pre-mortal existence to follow Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Satan and his followers are also on the earth, but as spirits. They have not forgotten who we are, and they are around us daily, tempting us and enticing us to do things that are not pleasing to our Heavenly Father. In our premortal life, we chose to follow Jesus Christ and accept God’s plan. We must continue to follow Jesus Christ here on earth. Only by following Him can we return to our heavenly home.

We Have the Savior’s Teachings to Follow

From the beginning, Jesus Christ has revealed the gospel, which tells us what we must do to return to our Heavenly Father. At the appointed time He came to earth Himself. He taught the plan of salvation and exaltation by His word and by the way He lived. He established His Church and His priesthood on the earth. He took our sins upon Himself.

By following His teachings, we can return to our Heavenly parents and inherit all that they have. Christ did His part to help us return to our heavenly home. It is now up to each of us to do our part and become worthy of exaltation.

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