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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eternal Life vs. Exaltation

So today during my Gospel Doctrine lesson I got called to the carpet by a gentleman after I stated there is a fine line between Eternal Life and Exaltation. He just wanted to clarify that there is NO difference between Eternal Life and Exaltation. So once I got home I started to study up a bit.

Personality I believe that eternal life is with Jesus Christ, while Exaltation is life with God the father. Here is that the definition from the www.lds.org reads on Eternal Life:

"Eternal life is the phrase used in scripture to define the quality of life that our Eternal Father lives. The Lord declared, "This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). Immortality is to live forever as a resurrected being. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, everyone will receive this gift. Eternal life, or exaltation, is to live in God's presence and to continue as families (see D&C 131:1–4). Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, to inherit eternal life requires our "obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel" (Articles of Faith 1:3). "

While the entry for Exaltation reads: "See eternal life"

So I have adjusted my believe to be as follows. Eternal life and Exaltation are the same. Just like Elders Quorum and High Priests are the same Melchizedek Priesthood. Exaltation is just a higher part of eternal life. The same concept can go like this, all rectangles are squares, but not all squares are rectangles.

If you are exalted you will have already have achieved eternal life, but it is just a higher step.

Any thoughts?

4 comments:

Last Lemming said...

I think we need to standardize our vocabulary to a greater degree. I frequently cite Dallin Oaks 1998 talk "Have You Been Saved?" to help sort out the concepts that frequently get confused.

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=83db605ff590c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

Oaks give six different definitions of being saved--four of which deal with post-life status. The first--salvation from physical death--is relatively straightforward. We use terms like immortality and resurrected instead of saved and everybody seems to understand those definitions.

The second definition--salvation from spiritual death--is one we rarely talk about. This refers to the fact that even those who suffer for their own sins in hell will eventually be brought forth to a degree of glory. The third-definition--being forgiven of our sins so we do not have to spend time in hell at all--is what I mean when I say "salvation." But there is no distinct word available for the second definition. The scriptures kind of use "salvation" and "redemption" interchangeably for both the second and third definitions. We need a word for the second definition. I vote for "redemption," but that will be a tough sell because it is used so frequently to mean the third definition.

Finally, the fourth definition--eternal life or exaltation--gets to the subject of your post. My crusade is to get people to stop using the term "salvation" when they mean either "eternal life" or "exaltation." Also a hard sell, because some of Joseph Smith's statements about salvation make no sense unless you understand him to mean exaltation. But I think that people are fundamentally misunderstanding the last three concepts because there is no consistent vocabulary for talking about them.

Thanks for the opportunity to spout off.

Dallas said...

Thanks for the article by the way the more I am reading on this the more confused I become. I totally agree with you Last Lemming that we really need to standardize our vocabulary. Here are some of the inconsistencies I am seeing:
Here is Bruce R McConkie in April 1977, “Eternal life is life in the highest heaven of the celestial world; it is exaltation; it is the name of the kind of life God lives.” For a lot of Mormons a one liner like this from Bruce R. trumps all knowledge and is as if it was written on the tablets that Moses brought down from the mountain. However in the same article speaking of little children he clumps it even further, “If they gain salvation, which is eternal life, which is exaltation”

Now when you compare that to the “Have You Been Saved?” article we have like 6 different types of Salvation.

Also Russel M Nelson in July 2001 stated, “Eternal life is more than immortality. Eternal life is exaltation in the highest heaven—the kind of life that God lives.” However by May 2008 he states, “To be exalted—or to gain exaltation—refers to the highest state of happiness and glory in the celestial realm.”

Here is another thing to ponder on, the only time “Exaltation” is even mentioned in the scriptures is section 132 of the D&C. This section is the one that defines New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage is required for the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom.

Anonymous said...

Kolob Kool-Aid

The Mormons have a problem. They want to become the church with the largest number of members. Since they believe that all humans had a preexistence in spirit form on a far-off (and far-out) planet they call Kolob, they are obsessed with finding the "fastest and most pleasurable ways" of transforming those Kolob "spirit" beings into human babies. Yes, the "fastest and most pleasurable ways" of creating more babies - that is, in addition to the tremendous help obtained from raunchy films, raunchy music, and raunchy dancing. Any advice you can give may help the LDS church to greatly increase its membership!

Anonymous said...

Koolaid...kolob....Anynomous...
Your post is so raunchy. It doesn't even deserve a comment.....
It isn't even intelligent.....dumber than dumb