Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Robert A. Rees Quote

"I am convinced that all the scholars and theologians in the world in 1830, working with all the known texts and reference materials, could not have written what was translated from the gold plates."

Robert A. Rees, faithful Mormon scholar

A New Witness to the World

"I concur one million percent."

John Scott Peterson (me), former Mormon, 
current high school teacher

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

My Mother Could Not Have Children

I was thinking today about my deceased mother, Janet. She lived over 90 years and only had to wait 2 years to be reunited with my noble father. My sister is also with them. I am the last leaf on the tree, which is a line I stole from my Mom. She was the last of her nuclear family of 6 to go.

Since this world is all about making excuses when things do not go someone's way,  I am inspired by the grit and common sense of my Mother. There is a great disparity in between my telestial self and my celestial Mom and equally celestial Dad.

My mother tried for years to have children and finally realized that it was not going to happen the standard way. So at age 33 she and my Father adopted my sister Jill. It is never easy to adopt a child, and it was especially difficult in 1958.

Luckily for me, after 7 years my parents rolled the dice on a son. It was trouble for them, and the second best thing that ever happened to me. Obviously, the Atonement of CHRIST is a clear number 1.

When I hear about people complaining about how GOD must not want them to have kids, "I always think, yeah, my Mom couldn't have kids either, and she ended up with 2!"

Thanks Mom. I miss you and I love you and I will see you when my test here is done. It should only be about 100 more years until I learn all I need to learn.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

No Joseph Smith Translation, No Vision of the 3 Degrees of Glory

Most Mormons and even some non-LDS know that Joseph Smith had a vision regarding the multiple kingdoms awaiting us after this life. Some Mormons know that Sidney Rigdon experienced the same vision with Joseph, probably to fulfill the law of witnesses. This vision came as a direct result of Joseph's efforts to correct the Bible, and Sidney's assistance as scribe. The two men came upon John 5:29 concerning the resurrection of the just and the unjust and decided the ask the Lord if Christianity was correct in its idea of 2 possible results for all people---Heaven or Hell.

GOD would obviously not be fair if there were some arbitrary cut off line dividing the sheep from the goats. Imagine the line was 50.1 percent goodness or righteousness and everyone from 50.0 percent down went to Hell. People who just missed the cut off would spend eons justifiably crushed at just missing out on the only good outcome. It is also patently unfair to put someone who is barely half good with others who could be 70, 80, or 90 percent good. 

The Most High GOD is Not arbitrary so there are multiple kingdoms. There are 4 main divisions according to this vision: Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial Kingdoms, alone with Outer Darkness, a kind of permanent Hell.

The Telestial Kingdom and Outer Darkness fall under the "resurrection of the unjust" and all who end up in those 2 undesirable spots will spend time in Hell either temporarily (Telestial) or permanently (Outer Darkness). The top 2 kingdoms are part of the "resurrection of the just" and the blessing of such an outcome is CHRIST paying for your sins, and you getting to skip Hell altogether.

JESUS revealed to Joseph and Sidney the kind of people who end up in the lowest kingdom of glory in verse 103 of section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

"These are they who are liars, 

and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers,

and whosoever loves and makes a lie."

(I added the underlining for emphasis)

It looks like CHRIST is emphasizing the lying part because "liars" leads off the verse, and "a lie" ends it with nifty inclusio.

The line "whosoever loves and makes a lie" has always perplexed me, but now I think I have an answer. The line refers to anyone who uses deception to take away other people's free agency. It refers to anyone who enjoys lying for the sake of personal gain at the expense of others.

Now, who in the present day world who fit such a bill?

Politicians. The old joke about the politician being told he was lying and responding "I know I am, but hear me out!" comes to mind. Regardless of party, if you are just going with the flow of public opinion, and you do not stand up for truth and the rule of law, you are going to Hell. 

Journalists. The media world-wide is so corrupt as to be a cruel joke. Promoting fear and hoping for rewards from their political overlords is just another great way to pay for your own sins with some wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Religious Leaders. No surprise here. Since the days of JESUS, religious leaders care more about power and prestige than people. They would rather kill the GOD of this world and forfeit salvation, than give up power. Still true today.

There should be a special section in the Telestial Kingdom for Sadducess, Pharisees, Molesting Priests, and pretend Apostles who have never seen GOD. 

JESUS is real, and He has revealed to 2 of his servants that there are more than just Heaven and Hell. He also graciously gave them, and us, information about how to avoid the lowest kingdom: 
be faithful to your spouse, 
the occult is out, 
avoid jobs in the sex industry, and...