Friday, November 28, 2008

Truth is Independent

I found that while many Evangelicals do not agree with the the LDS view of the Plan of Salvation when it comes to the 3 degrees of glory as explained in 1 Cor. 15: 40, or 2 Cor. 12: 2 or 3 habitations explained by Irenaeus quoting Papias in "Against Heresies;" many do believe that those who are saved in heaven will receive different rewards.

1 Cor 3: 8-15 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Here Paul plainly distinguishes between salvation which both men received and reward. LDS believe that while all men will be resurrected both the just and the unjust, all those except the sons of perdition who sin against the Holy Ghost will be saved from hell. Some will have to go through the fire, but as Isaiah says the prisoners will eventually be freed. What will be different is the reward. So, heaven is not an all or nothing proposition. We will reap according to that which we sow in Christ.

Matt. 12: 31-32 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

That said, when I asked why they had trouble accepting different habitations or spheres, but they could accept the idea of different rewards, one pointed to D&C 93: 30.

D&C 93: 30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.

This person couldn't accept that there could be different heavens or spheres of existence because he thought that kind of thing led to moral relativism. It seemed to him that this verse to Joseph Smith in the Doctrine and Covenants was teaching that universal truth didn't really exist and that truth really came down to your individual circumstances.

Thankfully, that is exactly the opposite of what this is saying. But I do not fault this person for misunderstanding it as some others have also come to the same unfortunate conclusion. When D&C 93 says that "all truth is independent" It means exactly what it says. Truth isn't dependent on the circumstance, it is independent of circumstance. This is actually an argument for universal truth, not against it. In fact, this verse is teaching a principle that is taught in physics which also supports the idea of universal truth. That physics principle is Einstein's theory of relativity.

What does Einstein's theory say? It says that the speed of light is constant regardless of reference frame. The properties of objects as observed by different observers depends on their reference frame. To someone traveling in a car on the highway the same speed as an adjacent car, the other car may seem like it is not moving. But to an observer sitting in a parked car on the side of the road, both cars are traveling at highway speeds. This part is classical physics.

But if the stationary observer and the observers in the cars all turn on their car headlights, If you were to measure the speed of light coming from the stationary car and the moving cars; they would be exactly the same. The light coming from the moving car wouldn't be traveling any faster just because its emanating from a car that is already moving. Light from both moving and stationary cars would strike a distance target at the very same instant. Classical physics would predict the light emanating from the moving vehicle would be going slightly faster; the speed of light + 65 mph. Einstein proved that light from both cars travels at 3.998X10^8 m/s in a vacuum. So, it turns out that classical physics is more relative than relativity.

In other words, there may be different frames of reference and objects traveling in different directions and at different speeds, but the speed of light is universal regardless. The same applies to truth. D&C 93 is not saying that truth is different in each sphere. Truth and the laws are exactly the same and independent in each sphere or habitation or reference frame, but that there may be different consequences or effects because of that fact.

An article from the Sept 1980 Ensign addresses this issue. This article addressed why many scientific theories seem to exclude God from having a hand in creation. The opinion of the author F. Kent Nielsen (assistant professor in the history of science at Brigham Young University, teaches Sunday School in his Provo, Utah, ward) is that law and truth may behave differently in different spheres. While truth and law does not change. Those laws may behave certain ways in a pre-fall world vs, a fallen world, vs a Millennial world, vs a Celestialized world. This is not saying the truth is variable or relative itself. This is the same with Einsteins theory of relativity. The speed of light constant is constant under any reference frame or sphere. It is the object in the reference frame that acts relative not the constant. What are some of these effects or consequences. According to Wiki, it says:

The speed of light in a vacuum is the same for all observers, regardless of their relative motion or of the motion of the source of the light. The resultant theory has many surprising consequences. Some of these are:

Time dilation: Moving clocks are measured to tick more slowly than an observer's "stationary" clock.
Length contraction: Objects are measured to be shortened in the direction that they are moving with respect to the observer.
Relativity of simultaneity: two events that appear simultaneous to an observer A will not be simultaneous to an observer B if B is moving with respect to A.
Mass-energy equivalence: E = mc2, energy and mass are equivalent and transmutable.

Kent Nielsen's point is that the effects of truth and law may be different in a different sphere. But the scientific laws that we see are the effects or consequences in our sphere. Therefore, looking at how our Earth is put together may not tell us much about God because God dwells in a higher Sphere, and the laws of light and nature may have different effects. And also, because this Earth before the Fall may not have always existed in this same sphere of existence. Again, this is not saying that there is no such thing as truth.What Bro. Nielsen was saying is that we shouldn't get discouraged if science doesn't measure God or God doesn't necessarily show up in the equations as we derive them here in this Telestial state.

Many social and moral relativists have made the same error in citing Einstein's theory to support their immoral political and social agendas. But their interpretation of this theory is completely contrary to its actual meaning.

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