Submitted by ARJ
After hanging around in the bloggernacle for a while now, I’ve developed a few pet issues that I’m sensitive to. Probably on the top of the list if the concept of equality in the eternities. This is a concept that I had never run into until reading Mormon blogs. It bugs me in a deep way, probably because I don’t see the evidence for it. In fact, my concept has always been that equality is impossible.
I think that this thinking emerged from some American concept of "all men are created equal", which itself denies the equality of women. In any case it seems obvious to me that while the government holds this as an ideal, in practice there is no equality. The government and other institutions all treat people unequally. Even within a family there is no equality. Each member of my family was raised differently. If anybody out there is an identical twin perhaps they could add some insight here.
But what about those that make it to the Celestial Kingdom? Will they all be equal? For simplicity’s sake, let’s say the highest level of the CK, since levels imply inequality, right? Also let’s leave polygamy out of this since it seems to bring in quite a bit of inequality as well. So in what ways will this limited set of beings be equal? In what ways won’t they?
Now remember that these people will be perfected right? Does perfection imply equality? I don’t think so. No more than the similarly hard concept of "infinite" implies equality. Here’s an interesting digression: If you select a real number at random from the set of real numbers, what are the odds that it is a rational number? Most people are surprised to learn that the odds are zero. This is because while there are an infinite number of rational numbers, there are infinitely more irrational numbers. The point of that digression? I don’t know that "perfected" implies that anyone’s perfection will take the same shape as another’s.
Now for the scriptural backup. I would start with Abraham 3. The entire chapter is interesting, but verses 16 to 19 are probably the most pertinent. These scriptures imply that there is no equality. It seems that given any measure of any two things (stars and spirits are mentioned) there will one that is greater than the other.
Also D&C 130:18&19 teaches a similar principle. While it isn’t as clear from this scripture that the distinctions are lasting, it makes it clear that there will be distinctions.
I’m not arguing whether this eternal inequality is good or bad, but that it is pervasive. I could be totally off base here. I’d love to hear your thoughts and learn more about the nature of eternity.