Thursday, March 08, 2018

Least in the Kingdom of God

Someone took issue with the LDS concept of exaltation and asked why we felt needed to be better that John the Baptist and what the LDS Temple was all about. 

1. John the Baptist being “least in the Kingdom of God” is not saying John the Baptist is not going to be exalted. It means that if a person were baptized only, they would qualify for the Celestial Kingdom (baptism is the gate), but they would not receive the highest degree/reward/calling = exaltation.

2. Masons borrowed their stuff from Solomon’s temple and changed/corrupted the content (Hiram Abiff etc), Joseph Smith took it back and restored it to its Christ-centered original form.

3. The LDS ordinances of the endowment are just a way to teach like a lecture, powerpoint, Socratic method except the temple doesn't require literacy which puts the learned and the unlearned on equal ground. Remember that literacy was an exclusive privilege of the wealthy throughout most of history. Its only recently that literacy has been pervasive thoughout society. But while the teaching mechanism is similar between Mason’s and LDS Temple, (ritual symbolism, participatory dramatization) the content is totally different. And remember, the Mason’s borrowed the teaching style/mechanism fom the ancient temple. 

3. Being exalted means and recieving a higher degree of glory than another just means that certain people will be allowed to have different callings and do different jobs in the eternities. I don’t think its a materialism thing. Our reward is not a bigger physical mansion. You dont sleep so you dont need a bed, you dont eat so you dont need a kitchen, you dont poop so you dont need 8 bathrooms. There is instant transportation so you dont need private jets or a yacht or whatever. You dont likely need to buy anything except robes, so, there may be money, but who knows how much celestial robes cost??

So, whats left. What is the big prize and what is the basis for status in heaven. I think what differentiates exaltation vs lower glories is calling/assignment. What calling could only go to the exalted? I think —Eternal Parenting or in other words, teaching “Mortality Prep 101”.

In the pre-existence, we received our “first lessons”. Who taught these leasons? Who would God authorize and trust to teach these lessons? If you never figured out how to control the body, apply the atonement of Jesus Christ, submit to God’s priesthood authority, how could you ever advise other spirits upon embarking on their mortal probation?  

Short answer— if you never figured it out during your probation, you will never fully be able to assist/parent other “children” in their preparation— worlds without end.

4. Being a “King and Priest” is about being a ruler over your own behavior and choices NOT being a ruler over other people. Constitutional government is about citizens being sovereign over their own decisions and trusted to govern themselves if taught correct principles.

5. Christ’s Second Coming is preceded and accompanied by the restoration of His temple, turning the hearts of the children to their fathers. The temple according to Isa 2 is the mechanism by which peace on Earth will be achieved. In the temple you learn who God is, who you are, and what God expects of you.  Making covenants/oaths like many many public servants, gives you a reason to keep your word even when life gives you excuses not too.  And it’s God and God’s people keeping their word, even when times a tough,  that will make all the difference in the end. 

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