Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Celestial Surprise

I do not equate practicing a religion other than Mormonism - or, more broadly, Christianity - as being punishable sin. At its very worst, I see it perhaps as a Fall-induced transgression (since it will lead people to "break God's spiritual law" in some way or another) - but our Articles of Faith say that we will not be punished for those.

Years ago, I heard Elder Michelson say that he believes many members will be surprised in the end how many people receive a higher reward (including exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom) than those members imagine. He said that we tend to over-estimate our own worthiness and under-estimate the worthiness of others (but for some, especially women, it is the opposite) - and, in so doing, create divisions that simply won’t exist when our natural minds see more fully the glory of God. He said that when we try to figure out which kingdom will be the most populous in the eternities, we are exhibiting our fallen tendency to judge others without knowing them well enough to do so.

Due to my experience, that statement resonated with me when he said it - and it resonates still. I agree with what he said, but I will add the explicit caveat that I believe what he said applies every bit as much to any Mormon as it does to any Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Hindi, Buddhist, Jew, atheist or any other individual child of God. I believe all of these groups of people will be represented much more widely than many people believe in higher kingdoms than that to which we naturally would assign them.


Anonymous said...

Personally...the biggest celestial surprise will be when we see all of God's children saved into the celestial kingdom. The next shocker will be finding out there is no kingdom assignment other than having citezenship in the holy city of our God.

Anonymous said...

I love these ideas-they lead me to a more generous assessment of my brothers and sisters and encourage greater humility in me.I'm very aware of no-mo's in my community who are vastly more productive than I am,of all or no religious stripe.The world has always been full of great men and women who have no other reason for their heroism other than an estimation of their brother being like unto themselves,and I love them for that.They are the kind of people that I imagine God might like around.