Friday, November 2, 2012

Mormonism: Eternal Arrogance and Eternal Separatism

I have had numerous people over the years claim that Mormonism is arrogant in the way it claims faithful people can become gods while non-faithful people can't.  This often is included with a total misunderstanding of Mormon doctrine - with claims that we believe only Mormons will receive the greatest reward.  Other than to state the obvious for most members and point out how incorrect that complaint is, I want to address in this post the general idea of rewards and punishments in the post-mortal existence and how Mormonism is decidedly NOT arrogant or "separatist" - particularly in comparison to the rest of Christianity. 

Our ultimate theology posits that almost all will be saved and resurrected and receive a degree of glory.  In my own words, only those who look God in the eye and swing their fists receive no reward and, instead, are punished.  Thus, in Mormonism, nobody really gets "punished" for being born - made worse in the end than if they hadn't been born. That is opposed diametrically to the traditional concept of Hell and God as the eternal roast master. 

Finally, the specific reward isn't tied to clear, objective rules - since God, the Father, who alone sees the heart, is the ultimate Judge and Assigner - and each person is represented in counsel, if you will, by God, the Son, who argues for mercy to whatever extent possible. Thus, in the end, religious affiliation in mortality doens't mean a thing - not even a little thing - in the determination of reward and punishment.  In Mormon theology, truly all are alike unto God. 

The distinction within Mormonism is between the level of the blessed state, if you will, but it is tied to individual judgment by God based on individual effort and integrity - unlike pretty much every other Christian construct and most theological constructs.

1 comment:

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

You explain this very well. I sometimes think that we as members need to remind ourselves that all of those who we are judging harshly, without knowing them, will have Christ as their advocate, and the judgment we receive will be based upon how we judge others. That basic thought always leads me (when I am thinking, and not just reacting) to try to err on the side of acceptance and gentleness. I certainly would rather Heavenly Father saw me in the best light possible. :-)

(I hope you don't mind if I quote from, and link to your post. It will be sometime next week, so if you would rather I didn't, you can leave a comment or email me at findingmywaysoftly @gmail.com)