Discussion 4 – Eternal Progression
There are seven principles the investigators are taught in this lesson, they are:
Our Premortal Life
Mortal Life on Earth
Life After Death
Work for the Dead
The Eternal Family
Word of Wisdom
We have a lot cover so let’s get into to it! 😊
Before the lesson begins the investigators are asked if they’ve ever wondered about the answers to the following questions: “Where did I come from?” “Why am I here?” “Where am I going after this life?”
The missionaries explain to the investigator that in this lesson they are going to discuss, in greater detail the three main phases of Heavenly Father’s plan for them.
Principle 1 – Our Premortal Existence
According to Mormon Doctrine all of, us, including Jesus and Lucifer lived with God in premortal life called “the preexistence”. All of us, including Jesus and Lucifer are (as the lesson states) “literally children of our Heavenly Father.” During this time, we didn’t have physical bodies, we were spirits. Because of his great love for us, he wanted us to become like him, having a perfect physical body, so with that in mind he devised a plan.
As you study more about Mormonism you’ll see they have a very romanticized view of who are spiritually, and who (what) we’re supposed to become. This idea that we all lived as spirits with God prior to being born was hard for me to get past and except that it wasn’t true.
From scripture we learn that we were firs created physically.
1 Cor 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual
Also, we’re not naturally born children of God, but become his child through Jesus Christ.
John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Principle 2 – Mortal Life on Earth
Mormons believe this life is a time for us to prove ourselves worthy, and to become like Heavenly Father, so that we can return to him. Receiving physical bodies we have now is a step toward obtaining “a glorified, immortal body” like they believe God has.
The one problem with us coming to earth is that we’ve forgotten our premortal life. A “veil of forgetfulness” was places over our minds so that we would have to choose to follow Heavenly Father.
We know from scripture that God doesn’t have a physical body, he’s spirit.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Principle 3 – Life After Death
In this principle investigators are taught about what happens after they die and their spirits leave their physical bodies. When this happens, according to the lesson “our spirits are still alive, but they go to a place we call the spirit world.”
This goes contrary to the word of God, the bible is very clear that there are only two options of where we go when we die, heaven or hell. For those who have accepted Jesus and chosen to follow him we know they will be present with the Lord.
1 Cor 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
The lesson goes on to explain we will wait in the spirit world until the time in which we will be resurrected and judged. At this time, “our spirits are reunited with our bodies in an immortal condition. We will be judged by the Lord according to our faithfulness in following the course he has laid out for us. If we have followed that course, we will return to our Father to dwell with him in celestial glory. “
There three degrees of glory, according to Mormon Doctrine, the Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial. Those who have been faithful Mormons will go to the Celestial and live in the presence of God.
Those who haven’t accepted Mormonism will go to the lesser kingdoms. Just to give you an idea of who gets to go where, this list comes from an April 2005 article by Elder B. Renato Maldonado
The Terrestrial Kingdom
Died without law
Were in spirit prison and received a testimony there but rejected the testimony of Jesus while on the earth
Were honorable people who allowed themselves to be blinded by the craftiness of men
Were not valiant in their testimonies of Jesus
The Telestial Kingdom
Rejected the gospel, the testimony of Jesus, the prophets, and the everlasting covenant
Were liars, sorcerers, adulterers, and whoremongers
Loved “and [made] a lie”
Mormons misinterpret 1 Corinthians 15:40-42, and use it to justify their doctrine of the three degrees of glory. They believe Paul is describing the glory of the three kingdoms, when in fact he’s comparing the differences between our earthly bodies and our resurrected bodies.
Principle 4 – Works for the Dead
These ‘works for the dead ‘are performed in the temple. In the temple worthy members of the church can be baptized ‘by proxy’, or in the place of individuals who have passed way. It doesn’t matter if they know this person was a lifelong Christian and devoted their lives to serving God. What matters is they died without accepting Mormonism, therefore they need to be baptized by someone holding he proper authority. This is done when someone sends their name to the temple to have all the ordinances done for them.
This too runs contrary to God’s word. In John 14:6 we learn that it’s Jesus, not temple works that permits us to live and be in the presence of God when we die.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. “
1 John 5:11 tells us we have eternal life through Jesus –
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
And let’s not forget John 3:16-17
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
Principle 5 – The Eternal Family
In Mormonism, the family unit doesn’t end in death. Families who are sealed together in the temple, or who are “born in the covenant “will be together in the Celestial Kingdom. (As a side note, born in the covenantmeans they were born to Mormon parents who have performed attend the endowment ceremony in temple.)
In this portion of the discussion investigators are taught –
“Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, God has restored tne (sp) knowledge that couples can be married for eternity in sacred ceremonies performed in temples. These ceremonies are performed by the sealing power of the priesthood. Couples receive the promise that if they remain worthy, their family relationships will endure forever, not just until death. This is one of the greatest blessings promised to the righteous.”
However, the bible teaches us that there is no such relationship in heaven.
Matthew 22:30 or in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
We, the followers of Christ are his bride and he is our bridegroom. God uses the symbolism of marriage to describe Christ’s followers to him.
Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Principle 6 – Chasity
Being chaste is very important for any Mormon wanting to go to the temple. Prior to receiving their temple recommend members have to be ‘interviewed’ by their church leaders to see if they are worthy enough to attend the temple. Single members of the church are asked if they have been chaste, while married members are asked if they’ve been faithful to their spouse.
Well, I understand God’s command for us to be in control of our flesh and not commit adultery, I question whether it’s anyone’s business besides the individual and God.
Principle 7 – The Word of Wisdom
Here the investigators are taught about the Word of Wisdom. The Word of Wisdom forbids the consumption of coffee, tea and alcohol, and the use of tobacco or “harmful drugs”. This is their way of keeping their bodies holy and worthy to attend the temple, and to live in the Celestial Kingdom.
As followers of Christ know that he never commanded that we follow any dietary law. In Matthew 15:11 he said –
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
I hope that as you read over these discussions, and learn what those who are thinking about joining Mormonism are being taught that you will be praying that God will be revealing the truth to them. As you may already know Mormonism if full of false teachings. The sad part is they use scripture to back up these teachings, and anyone not familiar with God’s word is an easy mark for them.