Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Before and after Earth

When I was about 3 years of age, my Mother delivered my baby brother Matthew.  Matthew came into this world with a malfunctioning heart.  He would only live approximately 7 hrs before he passed away.  I was too young to remember any of this, but I can only imagine the amount of grief my parents went through during this time.  The teachings the church offered would have given some solace, but later on in life I would understand, just because something sounds nice, doesn't make that something real.

The Mormon church teaches that we as God's children lived with him before this Earth.  I waited my turn to come to earth and be with my family.  The church taught us how faithful we must have been in the pre-existence, to be born to faithful members of the church.  I was told it was my reward for being so valiant in my past life.  Oh lucky me!  

"There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we come here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less."

-Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, pp. 65-66

Not only was I born to a Mormon family, but I was also born white.  According to the Mormon church, I must have made some pretty good choices before earth life.  I never considered this teaching to be discriminatory, and now I cannot for the life of me, understand why any black person would be part of this church.  For some, they don't know this is what was taught.  The church simply hides this junk and no longer references these teachings.  There are still some though that know these things, and accept it like they really did do something wrong in their past life.  

"There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there, and men receive rewards here based upon their actions there, just as they will receive rewards hereafter for deeds done in the body. The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits."

-Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Juvenile Instructor, v. 26, p. 635

Mormons teach that before we began to populate this Earth, there was a war in Heaven.  It wasn't a war of swords, but a war of words.  So you've got God, and he's like, "I need a plan to get all you kids to return to me after that life on Earth".  And Lucifer (Satan) offered to come to the earth to save all mankind.  Lucifer's plan would ensure everyone would return to Heaven, by taking away our ability to choose.  Then Jesus stepped forward and told God he would go to Earth and save mankind, but his plan would allow us all to choose, and in doing so, some may not return to Heaven.  God apparently felt that idea was better and chose Jesus to be his "Savior".  After this, is when Lucifer decided he didn't like God's decision and began to recruit followers who agreed with his position.  Those that sided with Lucifer were cast out of Heaven with him (they are now demons here on Earth), and those that sided with Jesus remained, and would be rewarded for their decisions.  However, there were some that did not follow Jesus completely, and they were hesitant, but ultimately chose him.  Those people were born black or otherwise removed from the Mormon church's influence at birth.

It's really messed up to think about really.  But that's the Mormons for you.  They used to embrace their peculiar theology.  Now days, they just want to be part of the club and more mainstream.  So much for God never changing huh?

After we've lived on this Earth, which was a test all this time, we will be judged and if we've been good Mormons, can now live with God again.  We won't be alone though, because if you have gone to the temple and said all the magic words and done all the magic handshakes, you may join your family in Heaven.  It's this concept which undoubtedly assisted my Mother in coping after Matthew's death.  My Mother was taught she would have the opportunity to raise him in the next life if she remained faithful.

You will have the joy, the pleasure, and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit.

-Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, (2011), 128–35

This teaching is also something the church uses as leverage when its members begin questioning.  Understandingly the Mormon church does not want to lose its members.  They are a great source of revenue after all.  So the church will make you fear the loss of your kids in the next life, as if it was a legitimate event, if you decided to walk away.  It's very difficult, but more about that down the road.

I always felt so proud of myself for being valiant in the life before this.  I could have chummed it with the likes of Moses or Noah.  I felt myself one of a kind, figuratively speaking of course.  If I could just make it through this life as valiant as I was before earth,  then I'd be set.

But like an oasis in the middle of a blistering desert, some things are just not what they seem.

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