The Mormon websites have been atwitter recently with speculation and discussion of the meaning of exaltation. Well, in this post, I’m going to step in with a scriptural syllogism intended to show that salvation and exaltation are actually the same thing.]]>
I do find the discussion interesting thought, and I’m fascinated by how different people are able to get such different meanings from the same scriptures.]]>
Getting in to such a facility is no guarantee of success.
In Ben’s analogy, the guarantee of success is an essential attribute of Ben’s the celestial facility. No earthly training facility is analogous, and Ben never suggested that it was. I believe that he is correct: that godhood is guaranteed for those who merely meet the qualifications for entrance into the kingdom, with the help of the savior.]]>
This seems to be an odd way of conceeding the argument…
Heh. Then I conceded back in my second comment!
I personally believe that the Lord will, through his grace, equalize those who qualify for exaltation. He will take our fragmentary attempts at perfection and make them, and us, whole.
However, if I am wrong, it doesn’t bother me at all. My efforts to be obedient in this life are not altered by the one view or the other.]]>
LOL. That line made me laugh.
Anyway, I think you have made some good points JMW. I have also thought in the past that Charity is indeed a gift of sorts from on high. I suspect that it might actually be a form of discernment — where God allows us to discern how He feels about those around us. In other words, I suspect charity is seeing others through the eyes of Christ. (I may post on this idea soon).
But overall, I think that all of your examples (and the examples RT brings up) fit nicely into my piano virtuoso analogy (or aRJs doctor analogy). The Lord acts as a very close teacher and mentor. The pupil of a great, devoted, loving teacher will often say that the teacher bestowed upon them the skills or traits or characters that they ended up with in the end and it is true in a sense. But in another sense, the pupil had to work for it all too. So it is “bestowed” (figuratively) and it is worked for — these are not mutually exclusive concepts. So it is with a Celestial or exalted character in us — God is our loving mentor, teacher, guide, and friend; but a teacher cannot actually bestow anything on a student that is not willing to do his or her part to become like the teacher.
BTW — As I mentioned at that post at M*, I think some of the the conclusions drawn from Ben’s Olympic training analogy are just plain false. Getting in to such a facility is no guarantee of success. And besides, who’s to say we are not in such a training facility right this moment on this earth?]]>
This seems to be an odd way of conceeding the argument… In any case I agree with the sentiment (which I believe I expressed earlier) that the differences won’t be a matter of concern, but I do feel that it is instructive to contemplate the nature of this.]]>
If perfection and godlike attributes are bestow upon us, not simply developed by our own efforts; If “Eternal Life” is a gift; a state bequeathed: then I feel comfortable interpreting the declaration that those who are quickened by a portion of the celestial law shall receive a fullness of the same to mean that each of us will be restored to a fullness of what we essentially are.
I like Ben Spackman’s example, given months ago on the M* in a similar conversation:
the celestial kingdom is like an Olympic training center that guarantees victory. You just need a pass to get in and if you can’t pay the full entrance fee, Jesus pays the rest on condition that you show him you are willing to do the work required to become olympic. In other words, the training center only takes people whose commitment is proven. Once you’re in, you still have lots of work to do, but you ARE in.
In that context, comparisons between the exalted are of little concern or worth–to me at least.]]>
I still don’t see where in the scriptures charity is listed as a gift. Paul has every opportunity to list it as one in Corinthians and does not do so. It isn’t in the BoM as one, and it isn’t listed in D&C 46.
It seems to me that it is in a very different category from something like speaking in tongues. I don’t think that I could develop the true ability to speak in tongues. I do think that I can work on developing charity. I am not saying that I can achieve true charity on my own, but to me it is categorically different from the gifts of the spirit. I also think that calling it a gift in some ways removes our responsibility to cultivate it in ourselves.
That said, I fail to see how even if you are right about charity being a spiritual gift, how does this concept of gifts lead to eternal equality? I am missing the connection here…]]>