Friday, January 23, 2015

Did 1/3 of God's Children Reject His Plan? Implications for Eternity

I have addressed that question in a previous post, but I want to expand just a little on it in this one. 

No, I believe it is not an exact, numerical percent.  Three was a powerful number in that society, and 1/3 is the equivalent of saying "the minority" (or "a smaller part"), while 2/3 is the equivalent of saying "the majority" (or "the larger part").  So, I take it to mean that some people reject God, but most follow God - when faced with a choice between good and evil.

I think that fits our theology very well, and it also informs how I view the three degrees of glory.  Many members assume that only a relatively few select, righteous people will inherit the Celestial Kingdom, with most ending up in the Terrestrial Kingdom and a large number being in the Telestial Kingdom (and a very small number being cast out into Outer Darkness as Sons of Perdition).  I look at it quite differently.  I believe the majority / the larger part / two-thirds will accept God and his plan in the end and wind up in the Celestial Kingdom, and I lean toward a very large majority as the final figure.  I see our kingdom theology as symbolic of stages of progression rather than merely final, ultimate destinations - so, while I do believe that some people will not progress to the ultimate desired end, I believe God's long-suffering charity allows for a much more extended growth period than we tend to envision in the limitations of mortality. 

So, in the end, like our pre-mortal experience, I believe the large majority will "keep their second estate" and have glory added forever and ever while a small minority will not. 


Anonymous said...

Do you have any sources on the 1/3 minority 2/3 majority business? It is also my belief that the numbers are symbolic, but I would love to read something about why that might be so.

Papa D said...

I would have to look it up, since it was from a divinity school class I took decades ago - talking about numerology in the Bible.

My life is extremely hectic right now, but I will try to carve out some time to do the necessary research.

Anonymous said...

Question: Could it be "a third part?" Break a group of ten into three parts and you might have seven, two, and one. Would one thereby be a third part?

Papa D said...

Yes, "a third part" absolutely is an option - and it is consistent with our Mormon scriptures.

Juxtaposed with 2/3, however, it points toward a third part that is smaller than the "two-thirds part" - so, in the example you used, it would be either two or one.

Anonymous said...

Numbers aside, this is a beautiful and encouraging concept. I'm far more comfortable with this than the kind of elitism we sometimes indulge ourselves in. I know so many wonderful people whose lives are full of well-doing who are very unlikely to be baptised in this life.This gives me greater patience and loving-kindness towards my fellow man.