Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Heaven and hell

What is Hell? What does it mean to be damned? Is it a lake of lava, with pitchforks and a big red guy with horns making everyone there shovel coal? NO!

Let me explain what it is, according to Mormon Theology. From The D&C 19:10-12-

“For, behold the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from My hands is endless punishment, for Endless is My name. Wherefore- Eternal Punishment is Gods punishment. Endless punishment is Gods punishment.”

This means that the punishment we receive after this life is owned by God. HE decides. It implies that at some point in time He will stop the punishment. OK so what is the punishment? Horsewhipping? Solitary confinement? Ugly people? No, the punishment is the exquisite pain of soul that is called “Disappointment”. As in OOOPS. I KNOW what this is.

Joseph Smith said (Teachings of the Prophet page 356-357)-
I have a declaration to make as to the provisions which God hath made to suit the conditions of man- made before the foundation of the world. What has Jesus said? All sin, and all blasphemies, and every transgression, except one, that man can be guilty of, may be forgiven; and there is a salvation for all men, either in this world or the world to come, who have not committed the unpardonable sin, there being a provision either in this world or the world of spirits. Hence God hath made a provision that every spirit in the eternal world can be ferreted out and saved unless he has committed the unpardonable sin which cannot be remitted to him either in this world or the world of spirits. God has wrought out a salvation for all men, unless they have committed a certain sin; and every man who has a friend in the eternal world can save him, unless he has committed the unpardonable sin. And so you can see how far you can be a savior. …Knowledge saves a man; and in the world of spirits no man can be exalted but by knowledge. So long as a man will not give heed to the commandments, he must abide without salvation. If a man has knowledge, he can be saved; although, if he is guilty of great sins, he will be punished for them. But when he consents to obey the Gospel, whether here or in the world of spirits, he is saved.A man is his own tormenter and his own condemner. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone. I say, so is the torment of man.”

In Mormon theology eternal punishment is “exquisite disappointment because of sins, until we repent and God decides Himself to forgives us” So the next time you here the preacher yell “REPENT OR YOU WILL GO TO HELL AND FACE ETERNAL DAMNATION IN THE LAKE OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE!!” Just realize that God is in doing good, according to what He as shown you, through that still, small, quiet voice; and you won't be punished for not living someone else’s religion.

The point I am making is that we believe that hell is just the same kind of life that we experience here, it is actually just as heavenly as life is here. Damnation is the pain of KNOWING you did not live up to what you were taught. You won't be different after you die than you are before you die, and you will associate with those who you are most like in the heaven you earn. But no matter where you were born here, if you do the best you know how, you will have the option of learning more and participating more in God's kingdom in the next life. Repentance is continually doing better, and changing your ways includes restitution, and punishment for sin, also called atonement.

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