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Saturday, September 17, 2005 

Cemetery Gates

Going back to my mission days, the first discussion covered The Plan of Salvation and part of the plan was that if we lived right we could return to live with Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I remember thinking, every time we went over it, I thought, I don’t really care about returning to God after I die, I just want to be with my family and friends. For me, heaven could only be glorious and marvelous if my family and friends were in it. And I believed that’s how things would be, if I lived right.

A few years ago we lost our son. I was devastated and that Mormon comfort that most everyone seems to get after losing someone, that comfort in knowing that in the next life angels would be singing the soundtrack from “Together Forever” and everyone would be reunited and happy and do whatever it is you do in heaven--I never got that comfort--though I desperately wanted it. I received no confirmation of any of it.

I don’t debate it much anymore. I think we have a natural inclination to believe there is an afterlife. In casual thought, sure, I believe. When I really start to think about it I realize that I don’t have any reason to believe. I just don’t debate it anymore.

The afterlife used to hang before me like a Celestial carrot, leading me on to do good, sacrifice, improve myself so that I could receive my reward, and be with those that I love. Now I see that doing good, sacrifice, improving myself are their own reward, and bring rewards in this life. Living the gospel has brought me to enjoy life more fully, enjoy the company of others more fully. If we live on after we die, all the better; but I’m not holding my breath

I've pondered this also (and gotten a headache).

The bottom two kingdoms are apparently filled with people who 1) Can't die, 2)Can't reproduce, 3) Can't progress, 4) Can't serve those in the Celestial kingom. What a waste of resources. Eventually won't the Gods run out of matter because it is all locked up in 'losers'? What mental agony if one is a loser.

Ok, if one isn't loser, than one might become an angel apparently serving the god(s). Same 1-3 problems as above. An angel's mental agony is "I almost made it - now I serve others for eternity".

If one isn't an a loser or an angel then apparently one is a god. For me there are two things that make this life enjoyable: 1) Anticipation and 2)Accomplishment.
"I think I can ride my bike to the end of the street without falling and I DID IT!". Apparently, a god, knowing everything, can't enjoy these emotions. Can a god enjoy any emotion?

I'm still going to try my hardest to get there, but from my feeble human viewpoint it looks boring.

I think the kingdoms of glory (and darkness) are beyond our comprehension, and that is why scriptural details are so vague. There may not even be words in our language to describe them. All we can do is trust in God when he says that those in the Celestial Kingdom will have a "fullness of joy".

I think each individual will reach his maximum potential and eventually find happiness, even if they are in a "lesser" kingdom. The experiences and possibilities in each kingdom won't be the same, but I think each person will fall out where he fits in the best, with similar spirits to him- or herself, and will be content.

JLS, I'm so sorry about your boy.

I, too, felt that terrible emptiness. I didn't get a lot of closeness from the spirit world and I have seldom felt my children near me.

However, I do believe they are alive somewhere. I have felt a few deceased loved ones near me, but not my children.

I think the enormity of my loss, the terrible anguish, the emptiness, just precludes that for me. And I get so pissed off when people say they have their dead children appear to them. It seems so unfair.

When my first husband and son died, I remember that terrible feeling of "gone-ness." Now when I lose someone, I remember that. And I can relate to others who are experiencing that for the first time. It's a silence.

Many deeper doctrines that Joseph Smith taught on this subject are no longer "out there" or discussed in church. I don't think we have the complete picture with the three worlds concept. There is much that is still hidden and never discussed. My opinion is that the church membership would have difficulty digesting some of the more "troubling" doctrines relating to the plan of salvation.

I have suffered much loss in my life also. The pain ended when I felt God's love. I used to feel that I didn't care about being with God, only with my family and friends in eternity. Nephi described the love of God to be the consuming of his flesh. Now, I care less about being with my family and friends, and I only really care about being with my Heavenly Father. He loves us all, He wants us all. Ask Him if He loves you, you may feel His love as I do now.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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