Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Will Mother Teresa go to Heaven?

Last night while passing through the stake building a young sister asked me if I had a minute to answer a question that was bothering her.  I asked her if she would like to come to my office and we discussed her concern.

She said she had read about Mother Teresa's life and the miracles she had performed and was wondering whether she would go to the celestial kingdom.

I told her that I had great respect for Mother Teresa and asked the young sister if she had turned to the scriptures to find her answer.  She had not. 

We then read together a requirement to enter into the celestial kingdom from John 3:5 in the Bible which states "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

I asked her if Mother Teresa had fulfilled this requirement and the young sister hesitantly said that she had done her best according to the knowledge she had.  I confirmed this to be true. 
I then lovingly asked her to turn with me to The Book of Mormon.  We read aloud from 1 Nephi 14:10 which states the following:   
"Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth."

I asked the sister if she thought the Lord would accept a baptism performed in a church that is not the church of the Lamb of God.

I noticed that the sister was almost in tears.  I reassured her that Mother Teresa was a good woman who had simply not had the fullness of the gospel in this life.   I explained further that Mother Teresa had experienced doubts and struggles over her religious beliefs which lasted nearly fifty years until the end of her life.  I told her that this was in my opinion the spirit telling her that more truth was out there.

I assured her that if Mother Teresa accepts the true gospel in the spirit world and the baptism that has been done by our church in our temples on her behalf, she too may enter into the celestial kingdom. 

I am proud to belong to a church that provides a way for all people both the living and the dead to return to our father in heaven.    


SUNNofaB.C.Rich said...

Wow, you handled it great Pres. I like how you lovingly gave her the extremely bad news first and then sent her off with a glimmer of hope. Way to handle it!

diogenes said...

You know President P. is right. It really is about getting yourself legally right before the Lord. If Mother Theresa had only been good enough in the pre-existence to have been in a Mormon family, she could have had a lifetime of self-fulfillment instead of hugging lepers and being depressed all her life. But we need not despair in that we can only hope that she has advanced enough to see the truth and will accept the true gospel now.

Stake Pres. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian J said...

I know a guy in my stake that heard from his cousin, who's roommate at BYU served a Mission in India back in the 1990's, who heard it from his Zone Leader that the Sister Missionaries had tried to teach Mother Teresa the First Discussion when they met her in a market once.

So I'm pretty sure Mother Teresa missed her chance, which is so so sad. But the Lord can't make exceptions, or he would cease to be God.

If God bent the rules and let Mother Teresa in after she learns the truth in the afterlife, then he would have to let other good people into the Celestial Kingdom!

Stake Pres. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Me from Cali said...

This is so funny it hurts!

Poor MT. However, I don’t think she’d like being in the CK anyway -- too many married people there with gazillions of spirit off-spring being born to plural celestial marriage god husbands. And all of that celestial screwing that must be happening all of the time! I don’t think they’d be her kind of people. Better that she go to the Terrestrial kingdom with all of the “honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.” But who knows? with all of those “men” there she finally might have a chance to get laid for at least once in her life instead of acting like a saint all of the time.

Stake Pres. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dblock said...

I'm sorry, but you are wrong. Mother Teresa has led one of the most beautiful lives a person can live. She dedicated and consecrated her life in the service of others.
If she doesn't get into heaven, I sure as hell hope you won't

Ammy said...

I'm with Dblock. If there is a heaven of sorts, I bet she's there. Her work was beautiful.

Daryl Young said...

Wow this is a bit off base - I am very surprise Pres that you didn’t correct Diogenes - do you actually agree and believe what he said or don’t want to create waves?

Diogenes comment displays a lot of arrogance, ignorance, no education, sheltered in his own cocoon of self righteousness, miss information, no selfless physical or spiritual act of charity. Lets say Diogenes is correct. This means...

in the history of the world, most of the spirits in Heaven basically didn’t do very well in the pre-existence because they weren’t born in a good Mormon family - if fact Joseph Smith wasn’t good enough in the pre-existence because he wasn’t born in a good Mormon family either - being cast out from place to place - every convert in the church weren't good in the pre-existence.

And he implies that Mother Theresa did not live a lifetime of self-fulfillment. Maybe serving her fellow man was self fulfilling, what she lead was a Christ like life - not indulgent in herself but in the service of others, especially lepers. Why would people think she was depressed all her life. What did King Benjamin teach us? Mosiah 2:17. If you’re not in the service of your fellow man - including lepers - and your not being in the service of God - then who are you being in the service of? Self(ish) fulfillment?

I am pretty much disgusted that as a Stake Pres you didn’t correct this diogenes.

Plus Brian's comment - (btw, sheeesh, great way to establish credibility of your story - ever heard of Chinese whispers?) a brief encounter with sister missionaries does not constitute as her "chance" if that was the case all the church would have to do is do a big media campaign just once, cover the whole world in one go and that would constitute a everyone’s "chance".

A chance to refuse is when they have been first given the opportunity to receive a testimony and feel the spirit bear witness to them the truthfulness of the Gospel but thats not all, they must also recognize and acknowledge it to be a witness of the spirit of the truth, then if they reject it, that is called "their chance".

This in no way is bending the rules of God, as God is merciful & just. Mother Theresa not only did the best she knew how, but does better than most of us Mormons. She will have her chance to hear & receive the truthfulness of the Gospel, her work can and will be done for her. She has as much chance as Pres Monson himself to receive the same blessings regardless of a rumored brief encounter with sister missionaries in a market place.

Many more people will actually reach the celestial Kingdom that everyone thinks. If not many of Gods children actually returned to live with him, then that would mean the adversary won. Is Satan more powerful than God? If the majority of Gods children are just merely "happy" to be in the Terrestrial Kingdom, then Satan has won.

In the pre-existence the was a council of Heaven when a plan was presented - the Plan of Salvation, as a result - (Job38:7) "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" - I ask you, would the stars and all His children shout for joy if a pan was presented in the council of Heaven that only a "few" would make it. It was a plan that was devised for "maximum" results.

Elder Bruce R McConkie said the following to a group of Church Educational Systems employees gathered in SLC: "You tell your students that far more of our Father's children will be exalted than we may think"

Pres Wilford Woodruff in April 1894 gen conference stated: "There will be very few, if any [in the spirit world] who will not accept the gospel"

Daryl Young said...

Part 2 of previous post

Pres Lorenzo Snow taught "When the Gospel is preached to the spirits in prison, the success attending that preaching will be far greater than that attending the preaching of our Elders in this life. I believe there will be very few indeed of those spirits who will not gladly receive the Gospel when it is carried to them. The circumstances there will be a thousand times more favorable"

So the correct answer you should have given to the young sister when asked if Mother Teresa will go to Heaven is... "Its not up to us to judge to say whether she will or wont, the great and marvelous thing about the Lord's Gospel is that everyone will be given the opportunity, no matter who they are, in this life or the next. We are judged by our works, our words and our very thoughts, then in the end saved by 'grace' she lived a Christ like life as any could live, all she needs are the saving ordinances to make it complete, and if she accepts those in the spirit world, then yes, it seems she will be"

Stake Pres. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Hammill said...

I am a new LDS member and if I would not have already known better this page would have turned me away from the faith not drawn me to it. I agree completely with Daryl Young’s response above. I would also like to add that I am having trouble coming up with another person’s name (regardless of religious denomination) who is remotely close to serving the needs of others as Mother Teresa had in her lifetime. Many of us strive to help others and serve our Heavenly Father but I do not think we should dare enter our own name in the same sentence as to compare our works with that of hers. President Paternoster you said -

“It is with this knowledge that I have faith that Mother Teresa who, like me, dedicated her life to serving others will also enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I have no doubt you have done great service also but why do some feel the need to praise themselves or are you comparing yourself to her and her works?

Here are a few of Mother Teresa’s accomplishments in her incredible life-


We are taught to honor and respect all enlightened people and many words here are not close to showing the regard Mother Teresa deserves.

I feel people on this blog need to pay better attention to their use of words.

SUNNofaB.C.Rich said “I like how you lovingly gave her the extremely bad news first and then sent her off with a glimmer of hope. ”
What? A glimmer …a faint ray of hope? This isn’t the message we really want to send to people. The message and plan is full of hope!

diogenes stated “If Mother Theresa had only been good enough in the pre-existence to have been in a Mormon family, she could have had a lifetime of self-fulfillment instead of hugging lepers and being depressed all her life.”

To me and many others this sentence is filled with arrogance and condescension and President Paternoster, you thanked them for their kind and thoughtful comments?

The purpose of a Blog is to bring people together and uplift while discussing spiritual topics. When I read this I was horrified that others may think this is what all Mormons think. I personally see articles written and handled like this one actually doing more harm then good.

☼ Dayna said...

@diogenes - I believe that you may be mistaken about the pre-existence and the bearing on the family into which you were born. I converted as an adult and my own patriarchal blessing, given to me by a kindly older gentleman whom I could tell was bursting with the spirit, clearly says:

"You chose to come to this earth through a family that was not exposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, full well knowing that when you heard the gospel that you would immediately know it was true and embrace it with all your heart."

By this token it can be extrapolated that Mother Teresa may have also rejected the gospel in the pre-existence as well, or was not as valiant as some others and her spending all of her time in poverty and among the diseased was her punishment. I am sure when she is given the opportunity to break out of spirit prison, she will burst forth and start preaching to other forlorn spirits not good enough to be born in the covenant or weren't valiant in the pre-existence like me.

I know the words of a patriarch are true. If not they would have not received this most unique and honorable calling. I know I wasn't supposed to share any of it at all, but I couldn't help but to bear my testimony of the experience to my Relief Society president. For many of the things which I told her were made mention of in this unique and personal document cementing its validity for me.

Anonymous said...


This is NOT a website sanctioned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nor is "President Paternoster" a stake president within the Church. Rather, this site is farce, and [usually] not good farce, at that.

Most of the posts here are written by quasi-apostates who mock those who are sincerely striving, albeit imperfectly, to follow Jesus.

Caveat utilitor.

Kent said...

A follow up question I have is how can someone get nearer to God by abiding in the precepts of the Book of Mormon if there is nothing about the temple in the BOM? So if it is true that by following the Book of Mormon people will get closer to God, they still can't ever be with God because the temple is not in the BOM.

Also, how can the BOM contain the fullness of the gospel, as the introduction of the BOM says, if no one would ever get into the Celestial Kingdom by following it?

Anonymous said...

Two things are so necessary for salvation- the basic ordinances available in the true church and the exemplary life we live. For those who are born in the church the first one is a flow. The second one is the defining factor. The mother lived the second part the best, far better than any I know, save a few only.
Wen Joseph Smith saw his brother Alvin Smith in celestial kingdom who was not baptised the Lord said in section 137 all who would have accepted the gospel if given to them are inheritors of celestial kingdom.
My opinion - the mother is doing a great work for the Lord on the other side as well. She will come forth in the morning of the resurrection..

Unknown said...

We're begging the question where it ought not to be a question, because Celestial Standards are estoppel to a fallen world and a sin nature, but supposing the awful and profane and corrupted and perverse proposition of such a fallen world, what you have is a self-referential to that fallen domain, and how things work there, and gobbledy-gook like that.

The reference to the two churches is in the context of that fallen domain, and not in the context of a perfect and sinless world where you have every right to choose to dwell. The reference is to a domain where there would be a sin nature, if we agreed to receive one, and Christians don't. The reference simply states that sinlessness cannot receive sin, and vice versa. Sin cannot receive sinlessness, meaning while occupied with one, you cannot be occupied with the other. The one does not receive the other, does not admit the other, does not let the other in. Where perfection dwells and sin never enters, this is not a question.

Only in going back to the reference to the first great dual religions, which proposed a fallen world, a sin nature, and an encounter with evil, or knowledge of good and evil, can you derive the reference to there being only two churches, that of the true God who is singularly good, and incorruptible, or that of the devil or Satan, who is the dualistic false-god who introduces knowledge of evil, and encounter with evil, which Our Holy Father in Heaven stated should not be accepted, and was not necessary to development or progression. Only there can you get that conflict. Only there can you get the nasty sin and death laboratory, requiring suffering, bloody death, harm, destruction, misfortune, and sorrow.

The reference was not to the Christian LDS Church or none else, it was to the perfect, without sin, and without corruption, Christian Church or none else, when that reference was written. The LDS Church did not even exist in time at that point, so obviously, it referred to the Church of Christ and the Christian faith, as opposed to false gods and Satanic corruptions introducing "evil" where there was only good, and introducing corruption where there was only incorruption.

If you were to draw it out in a Venn Diagram it would look something like this.
God Dwells Here. Christos is part of the Celestios.

|Celestios| The place of perfection where sin never enters. The home of the singularly good and incorruptible. Endowment is to receive a sinless nature, to do only good continually, disposition to walk uprightly, deal justly, etc.

|Christos| The Christian Church.

God Visits Here to Save. Dualism is not part of Christos or Celestios.

|Dualism| A domain where sin and evil would exist. Home of corruption, harm, destruction, suffering, misfortune, disease, death, and sorrow where salvation, redemption, and sacrifice is necessary to bring people out of bondage, captivity, defilement, abasement, depravity, perversion and so on.

No one is required to receive a fallen and sinful nature and then make their way back carrying the stigmata and trailing clouds of profane history. No one has to enter into it. By all accounts, a fallen world and a sin nature are things that ought not to exist, and it is not the good will of Our Holy Father in Heaven, Christ, or the Holy Spirit that we should partake of things that are harmful to us. Such things ought not to be.

Holy Father in Heaven and Christ attend the LDS Church said...

>>By this token it can be extrapolated that Mother Teresa may have also rejected the gospel in the pre-existence as well, or was not as valiant as some others and her spending all of her time in poverty and among the diseased was her punishment. I am sure when she is given the opportunity to break out of spirit prison, she will burst forth and start preaching to other forlorn spirits not good enough to be born in the covenant or weren't valiant in the pre-existence like me.<<

We can speculate, but only those individuals concerned know what they accepted or rejected. Our conjecture and speculation don't really amount to very much.

Maybe so-and-so did this or that. Well, likewise, maybe they didn't. We simply do not know is all we can honestly say, if we are to state the truth about the extent of our knowledge.

I don't know what Mother Teresa did or did not do in the pre-existence in the presence of Our Holy Father in Heaven and Christ. All we know is everyone was there in the pre-existence at some point. Everyone started out that way if you believe in creationism. Absolutely everyone who ever existed or ever will, as it pertains to our sphere of existence, started out that way. But I don't know what you did or did not do, and you do not know what I did or did not do there, and circumstances, mere circumstances of any kind on earth do not tell us with absolute certainty what you may have done.

You can know if I tell you, "I did not and do not accept a fallen world and a sin nature as anything that ought to exist." Now you know. This is what Christ told us, that He didn't accept a fallen world and a sin nature either. Neither did Our Holy Father in Heaven. But we all would, if necessary -- and God forbid it should ever be necessary -- make an appearance to save others who were in harms way. That's not a punishment to us for rejecting any good. Our circumstances would not imply, and should not imply anything about the state or condition of our soul. The only judgement that could be made on mere circumstances would be the circumstances of actively sinning. Circumstances are not punishments. Consequences might be for the most part reward or punishment, but circumstances aren't.

My circumstances might be that I am very wealthy. They might be that I am very poor. They don't determine the state or condition of my soul. Your individual character and nature, your actions, your thoughts, determine the state and condition of your soul. In a no-fall universe, it is the same. You're creating your life, progressing from grace to grace.

In the proposed fallen world that was rejected, you would have been creating your life in the same way, but with a destructive evil as an option and consequences as a teacher rather than grace.

Actively sinning implies quite a lot about the state or condition of the soul, mainly that it is in peril, but just as in the story of Job, or the case of Mother Teresa, not actively sinning, but being victimized, or being in the presence of others who it may be your intent to help due to their victimization is not indicative of anything sinful or less valiant on your part, or of some defect in you presumed to necessarily be a pre-existing condition.

I think you can know about your pre-existant state, when you were with Christ and Our Holy Father in Heaven, with them and the Holy Spirit as your heavenly preceptors, but I would be hesitant to say that even your stake patriarch could tell you that for sure. There are answers in their presence that you can and will know. I wouldn't say it's unknowable merely because it isn't within your immediate memory or experience at this very moment.

Although being in a fallen world would be a be defilement to all concerned, to those forced to be exposed to such things, a grievous injustice to those so injured, and to those who would save them, it would not be some universal punishment for wrongs.

All the Doctrines of Christianity said...

Christ said, "No" on our behalf to a bad proposition that we could not understand in the context of creation. He was Elder to us, and Heavenly Father said "No," to that proposition on our behalf, as well as to us directly, because we being sinless, innocent, and not in any degree corrupt in nature, could not even conceive of such a thing as evil, much less agree to it.

I think for every Christian, to understand the proposition of sin, the suffering, the violence, and things like whoredoms, disease, and death, is to say, "No. Such things ought not to be." There is no way you can accept such things. There is no way to reconcile sin with the standards of Christianity.

You have to be able to understand the proposition, and innocents cannot understand that proposition of an evil world, a fallen domain, and a sin nature. It would not be appropriate to expect innocents to understand it, much less hold them accountable and punish them for such a non-choice. You're held accountable for what you know, not for what you don't know and cannot understand.

If you have a patriarchal blessing, you may have been in the LDS Church long enough to know what happens to those who intentionally harm the innocent, and do such evil with full knowledge of God and Christ and their goodness. They *are* held accountable because they know what it means.

That's why you get the description of the state and condition of the Son of Perdition and the consignment to the second death for shedding innocent blood, committing the unforgiveable sin, and so on. To inflict harm knowingly and willfully without a cause, knowing it is unnecessary, and that there is a better way, is the unforgiveable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Only an omnipotent retard would do that, or try to teach that way. We're not following the omnipotent retard plan.

Powers of heaven are given not to be abused or used to violate the rights and privileges of others, or to dominate them, or cause them to sin, but to uplift others, and to help them and support their righteous development.

Choice said...

The issue of whether you accept or reject Christ, or anything for that matter, has also to do with what you can understand now, and what you could understand then in the pre-existence. If you ask toddlers whether they would like to do calculus before they understand 2+2, and they say "No," what does it mean? Absolutely nothing. They have no idea of what you're talking about.

Undefiled said...

>>Powers of heaven are given not to be abused or used to violate the rights and privileges of others, or to dominate them, or cause them to sin, but to uplift others, and to help them and support their righteous development. <<

What Satan proposes, as an angel, as one acquainted with the Goodness and Perfection of god, of Christ, and the workings of the spirit is unthinkable and unfathomably evil. It is sadistic, cruel, unnecessary harm.

You see the same theme in the story of Job, where Satan moves God to do harm to Job without a cause. Job is a perfect and just man who loves God. He has done no wrong, and Satan proposes to kill his wife, and his children, take all of his possessions, ruin his health, and leave him bereft and bewildered and so grieved he wishes he had never been born.

What does the evil inflicted without cause by Satan prove about Job? Absolutely nothing. It only proves the evil nature of the one who proposed it. God does not allow it, and reverses everything Satan did to Job. Satan is reversed on appeal so to speak, only there was no finding of guilt preceding Job's appeal to Higher Authority. Job receives his life back from the absolutely, singularly good God, and is doubly prospered, and mainly because he committed his life "unto Him who judges righteous judgement." He receives his wife, his children, his house and home, his health, and it was as God said to Satan at first, "You cannot take his life."

Satan proves he is evil in hurting the innocent without cause, for no reason. There is nothing Job did or did not do to deserve it. He was not being punished for anything. He was innocent and living a just and perfect life. If Job began to speculate, "I wonder if I chose badly in the pre-existence and now I am being punished for something, or maybe I wasn't being valiant," it would be error. It was Satan's motive as a malicious, vicious, actor to harm innocents, to violate their lives for no good reason other than his own arrogance and pride. That's the fatal dualism, to entertain doing evil, especially for no reason at all.

That is why in the context of creation, Satan if you recall the story, is cursed above all. That is why in the millennium he is bound, and in the end scenes, he is the candidate as so few are for the second death, to be disorganized spiritually as well as physically, to cease to exist. Both Heavenly Father and Christ said, "Don't go there" with regard to the gratuitous harm of a dualistic encounter with evil.

It is not their will that anyone should suffer in such an unnecessary and hellish place, or be punished for things they could not and did not choose, that were not choices at all, but impositions of a corrupt and evil nature, by a corrupt and evil being without a conscience, who used free will and knowledge to hurt the innocent to get what he wanted, whether it was the glory of the Father, or to effect a perverse test unacceptable and inadmissable to Christian standards and conscience.

I Get No Allowance said...

There is no allowance for sin in Christianity and sin is not reconcilable to its standards. Likewise, by works referred to as those of "iniquity", and by their intents described as "far from God", those of willful and knowing sin, do not admit Christianity. They give no place for it.

Prostitution does not admit chastity. Pornography and whoredom do not admit chastity, purity, or modesty. Lies do not admit the whole truth. Deception does not admit honesty and integrity. Stealing does not admit honor and respect. Infidelity and adultery does not admit perfect moral fidelity and faithfulness. Violence does not admit peace. Abominations and atrocities like child sacrifice to false gods do not admit reverence for and nurturance of life. Harm and destruction does not admit a constructive use of intelligence. In short, unrighteousness and uncleanliness does not admit righteousness and being morally clean. While occupied with the one, you cannot be occupied of the other.

If you take the will of God and the express will of Christ to be that everyone should receive an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, then you have to reject such things of a fallen world and sin nature.

Wrong Kingdom said...

>>Poor MT. However, I don’t think she’d like being in the CK anyway -- too many married people there with gazillions of spirit off-spring being born to plural celestial marriage god husbands...Better that she go to the Terrestrial kingdom with all of the “honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.” But who knows?<<

Holy Mackrel, you have her in the wrong kingdom. It's a good thing you're not assigning them. The terrestrial? Good grief, that's for people who have not received the fullness of the Father.

If she's a nun in a Christian order, she's been at the very least Christened or baptized, confirmed, set apart, and entered into solemn vows. If she's Catholic, she's received Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, not just Christ. She's in a Celestial Glory, which is for those who have received Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You're probably right on one point. She's not in any degree of glory where there is polygamy if she's chosen to be CELIBATE. She's probably not in any degree of glory where there is anything considered "porneos" if she took a vow of COMPLETE CHASTITY and intends to keep it. If so, she'd probably think she hadn't left ministrations to hell.

Some celibate orders do consider anything at all related to a fleshly, embodied existence to be "porneos", so she wouldn't be dwelling in anything related to procreation of bodies of any kind, most likely.

Maybe God might find her a place organizing eternally existing intelligence into personages of spirit by calling them forth by the Word. I imagine it would have nothing to do with gross anatomy.

She could just call them forth by the same Word, and if that's her Celestial Glory, I probably wouldn't mind visiting, or helping her out in her new job. If you can have your family without sexual union and reproduction, just by calling them forth, I'm all for it. Get married and call 'em forth! The Word was with God and the Word was God. I love my family, and reverence life, but jumping through the womb to get any place is beyond absurd. I'm sure there's a more dignified way to do that. No one wants to rut and jump backwards and upside down through anyone's rear if there is another way.

Polygamy is not by any Christian standards a part of the celestial glory anyway. She would be in a celestial glory, single and separate by virtue of individual ordinances, just like Christ under whom she served all of her life.

If she wanted to be married, she could still make it to the Temple Marriage altar in the millennium, but if she wanted to direct her life to polygamy, she would have to leave the Christian faith and take up heathan-ism.

I don't think she would suddenly become a heretic in the next life. If she wanted to leave Christianity, she could have done so in life, and she did not. She left the world a confirmed Catholic.

BOM said...

Kent said...
>>A follow up question I have is how can someone get nearer to God by abiding in the precepts of the Book of Mormon if there is nothing about the temple in the BOM? So if it is true that by following the Book of Mormon people will get closer to God, they still can't ever be with God because the temple is not in the BOM.<<

Temples are mentioned in the BOM, not necessarily Christian ones. The Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came by way of the LDS Church, which came by way of the Protestant Reformation, the Anglican Churches, and other branches of Christianity.

Temples mentioned in the BOM are presumably older ones of millennia ago, and the farther back you go, the less presumptive it is that it was a temple built to Christ, or YHWH, or whatever the moniker was for the Christian conscience, ethic or standard.

Since the time frame of these Old Jerusalem, Israeli, and Egyptian histories is, by their own reckoning, somewhere in the wide range of 2200 BC for the Jaredites, to 600 BC for the Nephites who were presumed to be in what is now South America, and the histories cover Christ's appearance to them which is thought to have been around what would correspond to 33 AD in the Christian Era, if you had to pin a chronology to it, we don't know if the appearance was by way of his continued ministry, or by way of their having called on the name of Christ.

I haven't seen anything that suggests they were calling on Christ, and most of the studies of BOM chronologies in Meso America, Ancient America, now South America indicate temples there such as Aztec-Mayas were still practicing blood sacrifice, and other things done away with by the advent of Christianity. At any rate, often cited is the passage, "other sheep I have which are not of this fold, and they too, will hear my voice," so they had an opportunity.

You would have to take a look at these BOM references, and see when they were built, and to whom, and what the standards or practices were.

2 Nephi 5:16
Book of Mormon
And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon’s temple.

Mosiah 2:6
Book of Mormon
And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them;

Jacob 1:17
Book of Mormon
Wherefore I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the temple, having first obtained mine errand from the Lord.

Alma 10:2
Book of Mormon
I am Amulek; I am the son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of Aminadi; and it was that same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God.

Opinions said...

Back to your quote about getting nearer to god by abiding the precepts contained in the BOM, you can see where it could get squirrel-y to presume to know which precepts are referred to. There were precepts of men, precepts of demi-gods, precepts of Christ.

I'm not sure which god, which precepts, or which temples you're referring to by use of the quote, and since the person who wrote it didn't define his terms either, we can't judge from the comment if he meant a foreign god or a Christian God. I don't know what the author's god concept was. The word god is a generic class of beings, like human, or a generic species, like squirrel.

I could say, "You could get closer to a squirrel, or human, or god, by doing such and such," but I'm not saying you could get closer to a particular one, unless I give a name.

If I said, "You could get closer to Joseph Smith by reading his biography" that says something. I know who you're talking about. I know some of his characteristics and attributes, and that he was a human known to have been seeking to start a branch of the Christian Church in America. I could say, "You could get closer to Hitler by reading what he wrote," and you'd know who I was talking about, a human known to have been a mass murderer. "You could get closer to human by reading a few biographies" doesn't tell me much about what kind of humanity you think I should get closer to. Neither does getting closer to god. What a murder thinks you should be close to, and what you think you should be close to are probably very different things. What Baal idolators think you should be close to, and what Christ thinks you should be close to are very different things. What Satan thinks you should be close to and what Christ think you should be close to is maybe a better known contrast and comparison.

I presume God is Christ. Someone else presumes god is Krishna, or Allah, or Baal, or Satan. It's like an ink blot test. Who and what is god to you? And whatever it is, you can get closer to it. So you throw a bunch of profane history and sacred history together, and tell everyone to get closer to God. What might they select as their precepts? It could be a disastrous selection. The word "god" is not a name, not a character, not an ethos, and not everyone thinks of God as Christian, or even monotheistic. Pagans still have a pantheon. It's just an unclear statement taken out as sort of a promotional clip for the BOM.

So, he didn't name names, and therefore we can not presume to know that our Christian God is their referent. He didn't say, "get nearer to Christ". He didn't say, "get nearer to Jehovah". He didn't say get nearer to Christian precepts, or anything in particular. It's an inkblot statement.

Books said...

How can you be sure who his god is? That would require an inquiry. You can't presume that what he wrote and what you are thinking of as god is one and the same. It could be radically different.

So the BOM as the most correct "book" pertaining to what in his estimation? An account of Meso America, Indians, Jews, Christ's appearance on the American continent? Most correct "book" compared to what? Secular history books, other books considered scriptural, books considered apocraphal, pseudo graphical, better than the KJV, the NIV, the JST? Precepts regarding what? Christianity? Maybe. Maybe for him.

Those kinds of comments are not Gospel truth for sacramental institution and canonization any more than my comments, opinions, esteem, and estimations are. They are excerpts from people's journals. They don't carry the weight of scripture or canon law directed to the Christian Church as a whole. Something like "Do Not Practice Polygamy" from President Hinckley in 2012, saying "This is God's Law" does carry that weight, and is Canon Law. It's not his opinion.

In my estimation, I could say "What brought me the closest to Christ and Our Holy father in Heaven was when I kept the Ten Commandments and prayed constantly, and went to the LDS Temple. I was never impressed with the BOM as containing any unique truth not found in other testaments. It never helped me any more than any other book, and in some ways the BOM hindered me from drawing near to Christ and Our Father in Heaven, as did some of the grotesque atrocities recounted in other profane histories. In many ways they were repellent and revolting." That would be my opinion, but my experience is not a general proclamation on correctness or what brings anyone to Christ. Neither is the author's with regard to that quote.

Matthew Mecham said...

It would be awesome if people actually understood satire when it strolls up and kicks them squarely in the crotch. Sigh.