Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Reincarnation

I have been having an email discussion with a fine fellow who describes himself as an “orthodox protestant Christian.” He has nicely taken me to task for the LDS view of reincarnation. He came to the conclusion that the LDS church and I believe in reincarnation because of statements made by apostates like Michael Quinn, and because the Zohar has several references to reincarnation.

First, it is not now, nor ever was LDS doctrine that people reincarnate!

The Zohar makes some references to reincarnation. But I don’t hold to every idea the Zohar teaches. The Zohar is a medieval attempt to record the “oral traditions of the Jews,” in story form, which I think was largely successful. But, it is not without errors. I don’t require things to be pristine to learn from them.

Here are a few statements on reincarnation from LDS leaders.

“Every once in a while believers in reincarnation spring some story about persons who have returned to earth in another body. The Prophet Joseph Smith says that reincarnation is a doctrine of the devil…” (Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, vol. 5, Purported Visions)

“Reincarnation is a false doctrine. Men are born, die, and are judged once.” (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, vol. 3)

Here is a story from Joseph Smith's life, from his journal:

“He [Robert Matthews, alias Robert Matthias, alias Joshua the Jewish minister] said that he possessed the spirit of his fathers, that he was a literal descendant of Matthias, the Apostle, who was chosen in the place of Judas that fell; that his spirit was resurrected in him; and that this was the way or scheme of eternal life—this transmigration of soul or spirit from father to son.
I told him that his doctrine was of the devil, that he was in reality in possession of a wicked and depraved spirit, although he professed to be the Spirit of truth itself; and he said also that he possessed the soul of Christ. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 Vols. 2:307)”

There is nothing in the Plan of Salvation which supports reincarnation.

53 comments:

RWW said...

What's your take on statements in the Journal of Discourses by Brigham Young that the spirits of the Sons of Perdition will, in time, rot their way back to unorganized intelligence? I don't have the quotes in front of me; does this ring a bell?

Steve said...

Heber C. Kimball made some statements about how this life is like a day in which we do our work until the night. Then the next day we take it up where we left off. Something like that. I think there are some other, perhaps clearer, indications that a number of the early, prominent brethren and sisters did believe that we have more than 1 mortal probation.

David Littlefield said...

RWW: I would have to see that statement to give you a real response.

Steve: Also, I would need to see the statement, I have read the JD and don’t remember anything like that.

But, to both of you, with all respect, there are thousands if not tens of thousands of very clear statements by church leaders that state reincarnation is a false doctrine.

To try and cling to some unclear verse somewhere that may be misunderstood (and if they are in the JD, they very well could be incorrectly written down), in light of the volumes of clear statements is really just grasping at straws.

We should interpret the unclear in the light of the clear.

-David

Steve said...

Hear what Pres. Kimball says in JoD 4:329 -

What I do not today, when the sun goes down, I lay down to sleep, which is typical of death; and in the morning I rise and commence my work where I left it yesterday. That course is typical of the probations we take.

I have heard people demurr on statements taken from the JoD, stating that they may be wrong. Of course, they may be, and so may the scriptures which we prize. However, there are other statements from other sources which confirm that the prophets taught that we pass through more than 1 mortal probation.

To me it is clear that I cannot learn all of the lessons and prove myself in keeping all of the laws of God in 1 mortal probation. And while I can learn things in the spirit world, this physical world is where we really prove what is our core nature. Where our memory is dim, and we basically only have our nature and God's spirit to guide us and show us who/what we really are.

Perhaps it would be of use to post some additional quotes. For some there will never be enough because other Church leaders have taught against the concept. For others it might open up their eyes to new possibilities.

David Littlefield said...

Steve:

Sorry, but I don’t see it.

The simple understanding of what he said, is that going to sleep typifies death, but that is not where it ends. We awake in the spirit world to continue where we left off.

This life is a probation, and so is the spirit world.

If Elder Kimball wanted to teach reincarnation, he would have needed to use much most specific language than that, specially speaking to an LDS audience who would naturally think he was speaking of the spirit world as the place we awake after death.

-David

RWW said...

Actually, I wasn't trying to argue for reincarnation, and I think Multiple Mortal Probations as understood by fundamentalists is a weird stretch. I'll try to find the statement(s) I was referring to soon.

RWW said...

Here, for example:

This element of which our tabernacles are organized is calculated to decompose and return to its mother earth, or to its native element. This intelligence, which might be called divine intelligence, is implanted in mortal or human beings; and if we take a course to promote the principles of life—seek unto our Father and God, and obtain his will and perform it, the spirit will become purified, sanctified, cleansed, and made holy in the body, and the grave will cleanse the flesh. When the spirit overcomes the evil consequences of the fall, which are in the mortal tabernacle, it will reign predominant in the flesh, and is then prepared to be exalted, and will, in the resurrection, be reunited with those particles that formed the mortal body, which will be called together as with the sound of a trumpet and become immortal. Why? Because the particles composing these bodies have been made subject and obedient, by the law of the everlasting Priesthood, and the will and commandment of the Supreme Ruler of the universe, who holds the keys of life and death. Every principle, act, and portion of the lives of the children of men that does not tend to this will lead to an eternal dissolution of the identity of the person.

“Why,” some say, “we thought that the wicked were to be sent to hell to dwell with eternal burnings for evermore.” They go to hell and will stay there until the anger of the Almighty consumes them and they become disorganized, as the elements of the fuel we burn are disorganized by the action of fire and thrown back again to their native element.

David Littlefield said...

RWW: What is the reference for that quote, and who wrote it?

-David

RWW said...

I linked to the JD talk, which is at http://journalofdiscourses.org/Vol_07/refJDvol7-44.html

John martin said...

The Mormon History Association awarded Lance S. Owens's "Joseph Smith and Kabbalah: The Occult Connection" its Best Article Award for 1995.Owens's basic thesis that concepts taken directly from the text was used in his most important doctrinal sermon, the "King Follett Discourse." (p. 119)
In centuries past the teachings of the Kabbalah were closely guarded and taught to a chosen few, but today the Jewish Kabbalah is being taught to anyone with a unveiled spiritual perception and a desire to learn. Joseph Smith had a desire to learn.
The Kabbalah--the Hebrew esoteric doctrines--is a system of teachings with which only the very learned attempt to wrestle. It is claimed to have been handed down by oral tradition from angelic sources, through Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the Seventy Elders, to David and to Solomon. . Man has ears to hear, but hears not, He has eyes to see, but sees not.” King David
King David was a great warrior by day and a great mystic of the Kabbalah by night. Many of the great Cabbalists of history made reference to the above quote when illustrating one of the first spiritual laws of. Life No attempt was made to commit this sacred knowledge to writing, till, in the early centuries of the Christian era (authorities differ widely as to the date) the pupils of Rabbi Simeon ben Joachi put his teachings into writing; and this in later ages became known as the "Zohar," or "Book of Splendor religion of the Kabbalah as a gift of the Deity to mankind."
The Zohar, which is only a part of the Kabbalah, is the great store-house of the esoteric teaching of the ancient Hebrews.The following is a quote from the Sephar ha Zohar. The souls must re-enter the Absolute, from whence they have emerged. But to accomplish this end they must develop the perfections; the germ of which is planted in them. And if they have not developed these traits in this one life, then they must commence another, a third, and so forth. They must go on like this until they acquire the condition that allows them to associate again with God
Someone once said that the death of a dogma represents the birth of a reality. And what is reality? ,
General George S. Patton I have fought in many guises, many names, but always me." Henry Ford
Genius is experience. Some think to seem that it is a gift or talent, but it is the fruit of long experience in many lives".
April 1843 Joseph Smith said the purpose of successive probations or 'worlds' was to permit the gradual accumulation of intelligence and knowledge,”
Orson Pratt taught that if a soul has not proved itself in this Probation the soul may be cast into another world and live out another probation. (October 6, 1853. Journal of Discourses Vol 1, p. 332
Heber Kimball: "When an unbaked pot is broken, the potter can use the mud to make a new one, but when a baked one is broken, he cannot do the same any longer. So when a person dies in a state of ignorance, he is born again but when he becomes well baked in the fire of true knowledge and dies a perfect man, he is not born again.”
"When the elements in an organized form do not fill the end of their creation, they are thrown back again
Thus each day, or each lifetime, we return to the hands of the potter to be made into a new vessel, and once again a new experience, a new avenue of growth on our journey to perfection
The Rosicrucian and Masonry Philosophy teaches that the Earth is a great school to which we return life after life through rebirth, learning new lessons during each sojourn here, and thus ever evolving toward greater perfection of character and the powers which it confers. The grades attained by different individuals in this school account for the differences in fortunes which we see on every side. Therefore we do not despair of God's love when we see the inequalities of life, for we know that in time all will be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect.
Eternal progression and the souls journey to perfection must be one and the same. Those who were born of a strong health body may someday be recast form the potter’s wheel into frail sickly bodies. The lesson learned is compassion, for how could one appreciate the spring if there were no summer. How could one have genuine empathy for someone unless somewhere etched in his memory he recalls that he too had a frail sickly body.. And so man, long rooted in the clay, is bathed with influences from above, which, gradually pervade and elevate him, purge, purify and ennoble him The eternal message from Joseph Smith and many others. Our probationary period on earth is to evolve to perfection I now know what the Patriarch meant when he stated that Prosperity discovers vice, and adversity discovers wisdom. What better reason for adversity and pain than the evolution of our soul.

Plato taught that before each incarnation, the soul enters into a forgetfulness of what has gone before. The purpose of human learning and philosophy is, then, to reawaken in the soul remembrance of the eternal, spiritual realm of pure forms and ideas.
With the blessing of forgetfulness, we continue onward like the unfolding of a flower to self discovery and eternal progression Oliver Wendell Holmes caught this idea of the soul's progression in his poem "The Chambered Nautilus":
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul!
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
till thou at length art free,
leaving thane outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!
Multiple Mortal Probations
Heber C. Kimball, a Mormon Apostle and confidant of Joseph Smith. taught what is called multiple mortal probations
" General Conference in 1850: We have come here to become inured in work to build temples, and improve upon the elements that God has placed around us, that we may become more skillful tomorrow, through the experience of today. What I do not today, when the sun goes down, I lay down to sleep, which is typical [a metaphor] of death; and in the morning I rise and commence my work where I left it yesterday. That course is typical [a metaphor] of the probations we take. But suppose that I do not improve my time today, I wake up tomorrow and find myself in the rear; and then, if I do not improve upon the day [mortal life], and again lay down to sleep [die], on awaking, I find myself still in the rear. This day's work is typical of this probation, and the sleep of every night is typical of death, and the rising in the morning is typical of the resurrection. They are days labours, and it is for us to be faithful today, tomorrow, and every day." (JD 4:329)
Although Brigham Young never prophesied, Heber C. Kimball did. Some of his prophesies were quite amazing
" Heber C Kimball had some more interesting thoughts on the subject of eternal progression and the process of evolving to perfection. Mortal probations are much the same as with our children's advancement through the various grades or levels of their schooling. Would you require of a child at a level of five to pass a test at the level of ten? Of the children on a school play ground, who would you appoint to be watchmen over the others - one at a level of six or one at a level of twelve? Of the two, level six and level twelve, of which would you expect the greatest maturity and level of experience? Of which would you require the greatest accountability, should you assign them to perform at say, a level eight? Of which would you be the most protective and the most forgiving?
. We are all on different steps on the evolutionary ladder
The soul is evolving. Each soul is most likely without beginning just as it has no end. Souls have evolved from beginning less time. In God's school room. Mozart the musician. A musical skill we consider a genious, but those skills are the results of many lifetimes of concentrated efforts on this earthly plane or in the pre-existence. We are all like actors with each existence playing a different role and with each new role we draw closer to the perfection that we seek. We are the sum of all the lives that we have lived. We may not remember but they are alive in our subconscious.
Journal of Discourses Vol. 6, p. 63
Brigham Young taught: A man, before he can become a "god," must first become a perfect man; He can become a perfect man neither in seventy years of life and that would be impossible One single human life is not enough to give the spirit all the perfection that he needs in order to be able to sit on the right-hand of the Father. No child can learn all that its school has to teach in one single day. The time would be too short and the labor too strenuous. Hence he returns day after day to his studies. Evolution of the soul would be impossible if it were limited to a single life in any one form of body. In order to accomplish the purpose of evolution, the soul must have more time

Brigham Young, "[Those consigned to the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms will] Eventually have the privilege of proving themselves worthy and advancing To a celestial kingdom. But it would be a slow progress." (Aug 5, 1855
Brigham Young is a little confusing, many say he misinterpreted the teachings of Joseph Smith He often used the word reprobation.. Most disagree with him, but he was correct in that Evolution of the soul would be impossible if it were limited to a single life in any one form of body. In order to accomplish the purpose of Evolution, the soul must have time and more time. And Nature provides the necessary time by giving the soul new opportunities for repeated embodiments
The doctrine of Reimbodiment, says the Ancient Wisdom, applies to every individual life-unit within the Universe. All assume bodies or vehicles of various types; all have their periods of activity of various lengths; all discard their outworn garments and enter into their periods of assimilation and rest, and all reimbody to continue their evolution. LET US ASK James Talmadge
James E. Talmage
""It is reasonable to believe, in the absence of direct revelation by which alone absolute knowledge of the matter could be acquired, that, in accordance with God's plan of eternal progression, advancement from grade to grade within any kingdom, and from kingdom to kingdom, will be provided for. But if the recipients of a lower glory be enabling to advance, surely the intelligences of higher rank will not be stopped in their progress; and thus we may conclude, that degrees and grades will ever characterize the kingdoms of our God. Eternity is progressive; perfection is relative; the essential feature of God's living purpose is its associated power of eternal increase." -
In a talk from the stand of the tabernacle in the presence of President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball explained how Joseph Smith taught that we are conducted from one probation to another probation upon this earth - that is from one dispensation to another. Joseph always told us that we would have to pass by sentinels that are placed between us and our Father and God. Then, of course, we are conducted along from this probation to other probations, or from one dispensation to another, by those who conducted those dispensations.
I HAVE DISCOVERED THAT IF YOU REALY WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT SOMEONE- ASK THEIR WIFE Probably Joseph Smith's most intimate associate, other than his brother Hyrum, was his plural wife Eliza R. Snow. Eliza R. Snow was married to the Prophet Joseph Smith on June 29, 1842. From her diary we read,
"I was sealed to the prophet, Joseph Smith, for time and eternity in accordance with the celestial law of marriage which God had revealed...this was, one of the most important events of my life, I have never had cause to regret." (Eliza R. Snow's Nauvoo Journal Edited by Maureen Ursenbach, BYU Studies, vol. 15 (1974-1975), Number 4 - Summer 1975)
Throughout her life Eliza referred to beloved husband Joseph Smith as her first and only love
"The choice of my heart and the crown of my life". (Eliza R. Snow, "Past and Present," Woman's Exponent 15 (August 1, 1886): 37). Before she died on December 5, 1887, Eliza told her brother Lorenzo Snow that she “was a firm believer in the principle of multiple probations… [Having] received it from Joseph the Prophet, her husband”. Her brother Lorenzo Snow believed in this concept but never openly taught it as doctrine. There were of course others For instance, Prescendia Huntington Buell who married Joseph Smith in December of 1841 indicated that Joseph spoke with her about "plural probations.

"O My Father" (Hymns No. 139) written by Eliza R. Snow in Nauvoo in 1843,
"When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I’ve completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you."
Hyrum Smith(brother of Joseph Smith) also believed in what he called plural probations –”How could people progress to a different kingdom unless? there were probations to prove them worthy? Might there be something to our belief that this is the telestial world? Notice the phrases Used to describe it: They suffer the wrath of God on earth (could this life actually be a punishment? Others who are also in the telestial kingdom are considered servants unto the Most High” Joseph L. Robinson and Charles W. Penrose and his wives claimed that Joseph Smith was the source for their belief in mortal probation s



These are some of the close associates and wives of Joseph Smith who later revealed many of his private teachings... Proscenia Huntington Buell (Wife of Joseph Smith) George Q. Cannon William Clayton Orson Hyde Heber C. Kimball Helen Whitney Kimball (Wife of Joseph Smith) Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner (Wife of Joseph Smith) Alexander Niebour (Taught Joseph Smith from the Zohar, Grandfather to Hugh Nibley) Charles W. Penrose Orson Pratt Parley P. Pratt Joseph L. Robinson Eliza R. Snow (Wife of Joseph Smith) Orson F. Whitney and more.

Benjamin Franklin also addressed this issue in his epitaph:
The Body of B. Franklin,
Printer
Like the Cover of an Old Book,
Its Contents Torn Out
And
Stripped of its Lettering and Gilding,
Lies Here
Food for Worms,
But the Work shall not be Lost,
For it Will as He Believed
Appear Once More
In a New and more Elegant Edition
Revised and Corrected By the Author
Considering the fact that several of Joseph Smith's closest associates claimed that he taught them the doctrine of multiple probations, we must ask why Joseph Smith didn’t teach the doctrine publicly. There is evidence that Joseph Smith would have liked to have taught multiple Mortal probations more openly WHEN ASKED why he never taught the doctrine publicly?
Joseph Smith gave the Following answers, Said Joseph, "Our lives have already become jeopardized by revealing the wicked and bloodthirsty purposes of our enemies; and for the future we must cease to do so. All we have said about them is truth, but it is not always wise to relate all the truth.
Even Jesus, the Son of God had to refrain from doing so, and had to restrain his feelings many times for
The safety of himself and his followers, and had to conceal the righteous
Purposes of his heart in relation to many things pertaining to his Father's kingdom (DISCOURSES OF THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH, compiled by
Alma P. Burton [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 302.)
Great God! Where is common sense and reason? Is there none on the earth?" exclaimed a somewhat frustrated Joseph Smith as he was trying to drill the simplest logic into the minds of the saints. (See Documentary History of the Church Vol 5:297)
Philosopher-writer Robert Graves about this: "No honest theologian can therefore deny that his acceptance of Jesus as Christ logically binds every Christian to a belief in the pre- existence and mortal probations.
The night kissed the fading day
with a whisper:
"I am death, your mother;
from me you will get new birth."Rabindranth Tagore
But where are our companions who have passed away?though the blossoms have scattered, the cherry trees will bloom again with the coming of spring, The same law that incites wakefulness in the plant and stirs it to new growth will wake the human being to new experiences on their road to eternal progression, or to the distant goal of perfection
There is no religion higher than truth
For the Catholics, truth never completely went away. They never learned that truth cannot be suppressed and buried, for it will always arise out of its shallow grave under a new name of a new religion. There have always been a few Initiates in each generation, in the various lands of the earth, who have kept alive the sacred flame of the true teachings
What were the thoughts of the founders of Christianity, The ancient Gospel that Joseph Smith restored
Let us go back two thousand years ago and study some of the people of that era, and not substitute orthodox dogmas and opinions for truth. Let us go to the source In the first five hundred years of Christianity, mortal probations was most certainly on the main stage. It was a prominent and well-respected merchant and in the forefront of Christian theology. To my surprise, I discovered that almost all the wise and enlightened people of the ancient era as well as of today embraced this concept. , Clement of Alexandria, St. Gregory of Nyssa, Justin Martyr, and St. Jerome believed in the doctrine of reincarnation.
The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, nearly a contemporary of Christ, recorded that both the Essenes and the Pharisees believed in rebirth (not in the resurrection of the physical body as is presently thought). The Pharisees, he tells us, "say that all the souls are incorruptible, but the souls of good men only, are removed into other bodies, but the souls of bad men are subject to punishments lasting for ages." That is, the good quickly reincarnate to work out their destined return to God, whereas the wicked undergo great sufferings in the other world, only getting the chance to return to the earth for further spiritual hope after the lapse of ages.
Saint Jerome (340-420)
"The doctrine of mortal Probations has been secretly taught from ancient times to small numbers of people, as a traditional truth which was not to be divulged" (Epistola ad Demetriadem).
By the words of Saint Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa: “'It is absolutely necessary that the soul shall be healed and purified, and if it doesn't take place in one life on earth, it must be accomplished in future earthly lives”
Saint Sulpitius Severus (363-420)
"Philosophy speaks of souls being prepared by a course reincarnation....When first it comes down to earth, it [the soul] embarks on this animal spirit as on a boat, and through it is brought into contact with matter....The soul which did not quickly return to the heavenly region from which it was sent down to earth had to go through many lives of wandering" (Treatise On Dreams).
It was the same teaching that occurred among the early Christians, the Essenes, Gnostics, and the Carthari, but was later repudiated by orthodox Christian theologians.... The concepts of Joseph Smith flourished above ground and added much depth to the Christian faith. but later Christianity was reshaped to suit the political ideas of the Emperor Constantine and Eusebius Yes, the same Eusebius who compiled the material for our New Testaments To solve this riddle I believe we need to turn to the founders of Christianity. The Essenes. Philo, one of the greatest philosophers belonging to the Jewish race and a renowned Neo-Platonist, taught that the Essenes teachings mirrored those of the Bramins of India later Mormon Historian Hugh Nibley said the teachings of the Essenes were very similar to that of the LDS church Earnest Renan says: "The Essenes resembled the Gurus (spiritual masters) of Brahmanism". Those who have read the Bhagavad Gita (the Song Celestial), will remember that the fundamental principles of Krishna’s teachings were purity of heart, self-denial, control of passions, renunciation, love towards enemies, forgiveness, and the realization of the unity of the soul with the Father. In short, the religion of Christ was taught before him by Buddha and Krishna in India. Like Jesus the Christ, Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita: "I am the path. Follow Me and worship one God. I existed before the world was created. I am the Lord of all". And again: "Giving up the formalities of religion, come unto Me; follow Me; take refuge in Me. I shall free thee from sins and give eternal peace unto thee. Grieve not".. Thus we can understand that there was an indirect influence of the Brahmanism upon the mind of Jesus through the Essenes, and especially through John the Baptist.

Similar to Joseph Smith Jesus the Christ did not teach a new religion,.,but restored old truths. Eternal Truths teachings known as The Way" taught by "Jesus the Nazarene", his brother, "James the Just", their cousin, "John the Baptist", the Essenes, Nazarenes, Ebionites and others.
Eusebius , asserts in his History of the Church:
"Those ancient Therapeuts (Essenes) were Christians, and their ancient writings were our gospels." Eusebius
If what Eusebius is true then almost all of the principal founders of what would later be called Christianity were Essenes-Simon Magus, Joseph and Mary, John the Baptist and Jesus
The Essenes believed in The word of wisdom Judith said “Is it not written in the law that a lamb must be slain for the passover within the gates?
. And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, they who partake of benefits which are gotten by wronging one of God's creatures, cannot be righteous: nor can they touch holy things, or teach the mysteries of the kingdom, whose hands are stained With blood, or whose mouths are defiled with flesh. .God giveth the grains and the fruits of the earth for food: and for righteous man truly there is no other lawful sustenance for the body also a belief in the pre-existence of the soul and successive multiple mortal probations until which the soul evolved into a state of perfection.
Many people were astonished to discover that, two thousand years ago, a brotherhood of holy men and women, living together in a community, carried Within themselves all of the seeds of Christianity and of future western civilization. This brotherhood--more or less persecuted and ostracized--would bring forth people who would change the face of the world and the course of history. The Pythagoreans and Stoics in ancient Greece also followed the Essene principles and much of their way of life. The same teaching was an element of the Adonic culture of the Phoenicians, of the Alexandrian School of Philosophy in Egypt, and contributed greatly to many branches of Western culture, Freemasonry, Gnosticism, the Kabbala and the Early Mormon Church. Jesus interpreted it in its most sublime and beautiful form in the seven Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount.
Echoes of the teaching exist today in many forms, in certain rituals of the Kabbalah.Rosicrusim and the Masonic order, in the symbol of the seven-branched candlestick, in the greeting "Peace be with you," used from the time of Moses, and even in the seven days of the week, which have long since lost their original spiritual meaning
The Essence beliefs in did not survive because it contradicted the aspirations of the infamous priest craft agents of God, who believed in who believed their dinner tables should be filled with a variety of meat and their glasses flow with red Wine.Those who refused to eat meat were sometimes made to swallow hot molten lead. This authoritarian strangle-hold was strengthened by their doctrine of "one chance-one life"

David Littlefield said...

John Martin:

Thank you for the comments. But I must disagree.

First, Lance Owens has been pretty much discredited by Prof. William Hamblin, here is the link to download the PDF: Reviewed by William J. Hamblin “Everything Is Everything

But even if Joseph would have used the Zohar for a reference material, that would not bother me, I use it all the time.

I think you have mis applied most of your quotes. You said:

“April 1843 Joseph Smith said the purpose of successive probations or 'worlds' was to permit the gradual accumulation of intelligence and knowledge,”

Can you please give the source, I am sure that is also being mis applied.

It is clear in LDS sources, official and otherwise, that we denounce the doctrine of reincarnation.

-David

phil said...

How does the church explain the experiences of children who describe past lives? Their descriptions are verifiable. They name their prior parents, what they were doing when they died etc... There are many books on the subject. Life After Life which I've read. It's incredible and undeniable.

David Littlefield said...

Phil:

Thanks for stopping by. I don't know how to put this more nicely and still make my point, I just really don't believe it.

I have never seen it and I don't believe the reports I have read. Not only of children, but of adults. Those people who I have met that claim to have knowledge of their reincarnation, all I have to do is speak with them fro a few minutes and the problem becomes to the surface.

-David

AnnaBannana said...

I guess the question I pose to those who are advocates of reincarnation as a substantial LDS doctrine is this. Assuming that reincarnation is something that takes place at some point to souls who need it to be perfected what would be the point of the Atonement--meaning the suffering Christ paid for our sins? I mean isn't the whole point of the Atonement that Christ makes up the difference for our imperfections... not the cumulated actions of an individual over a series of lifetimes?

MrNirom said...

okAnnaBannana you asked: I mean isn't the whole point of the Atonement that Christ makes up the difference for our imperfections... not the cumulated actions of an individual over a series of lifetimes?


The Atonement of Jesus Christ was infinite. So it fits just fine in the whole idea of reincarnation. I know there were many mysteries of God that Joseph was told about.. that he did not share with the Saints. I mean.. just look at the introduction of polygamy. Many split because of that one!

I can see the Prophet of today try to "enlighten" the saints with the idea of reincarnation. Many would say the prophet has fallen. I mean.. they accused Joseph as fallen when he introduced polygamy. Until we get to the point that as a whole we are all searching for the truth.. and are not satified with burying our heads in the sand because of our contentment.. that "all is well in Zion."

Many good saints have learned that to voice one ideas outside of the "norm" of the Saints current level of understanding.. is really not tolerated. I don't believe it done out of control but people just are not ready for the "whole" truth. That is why the Lord gives it line upon line.. precept upon precept. Some just move faster than others.. but the right now.. the "whole" seems almost at a stand still.

Anonymous said...

I personally believe that reincarnation is true, and I am a temple worthy LDS member. However, I do not voice this publicly, not out of fear, but precisely because it is not expedient for us at this time. I personally feel that most members are not prepared for this and many other truths. More importantly, it has not been declared by the modern Prophets which is a sure sign that this, and many other wondrous truths, would be too much for the saints to comprehend since we still struggle with such commandments as lust, pride, etc. Indeed, we know that the Prophet announced boldly that they would likely kill him if he told them all that had been revealed to him. In the end, truths such as this distill upon one after he or she has begun the true inner work of cleansing his or her temple through chastity, charity and service. Besides, what does this knowledge really do for one? For many it might make repentance and improvement more difficult since to the uninitiated would simply see it as an excuse to delay the day of their repentance.

I do not understand all the mysteries of God, but I do now that I shall follow the voice of the prophets as they receive revelation for the body of the church and continue to receive personal revelation for myself and my family.

This, and other truths, I choose to communicate with virtually no one, including my spouse since there is no reason I see for doing so. I voice it here because there are those who are obviously opening their minds. If this, or any other truth causes one to leave the church, may they return rapidly to the safety of revealed doctrine. These things are not be understood with the intellect to be experienced.

All praise unto God and his Eternal Son!

Steadie said...

To Anonymous,

I agree and I am the same way except I did confess my beliefs to my wife. She was first really shocked, but now she got used to the idea. I would not publically comment it for the same reason you mentioned. I believe General Authorities would not say about it for he same reason you mentioned and I hope that someday this would be revealed.

Steadie

John Martin said...

I HAVE DISCOVERED THAT IF YOU REALY WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT SOMEONE- ASK THEIR WIFE.
Probably Joseph Smith's most intimate associate, other than his brother Hyrum, was his plural wife Eliza R. Snow. Eliza R. Snow was married to the Prophet Joseph Smith on June 29, 1842. From her diary we read,
"I was sealed to the prophet, Joseph Smith, for time and eternity in accordance with the celestial law of marriage which God had revealed...this was, one of the most important events of my life, I have never had cause to regret." (Eliza R. Snow's Nauvoo Journal Edited by Maureen Ursenbach, BYU Studies, vol. 15 (1974-1975), Number 4 - Summer 1975)
Throughout her life Eliza referred to beloved husband Joseph Smith as her first and only love
"The choice of my heart and the crown of my life". (Eliza R. Snow, "Past and Present," Woman's Exponent 15 (August 1, 1886): 37). Before she died on December 5, 1887, Eliza told her brother Lorenzo Snow that she “was a firm believer in the principle of multiple probations… [Having] received it from Joseph the Prophet, her husband”. There were of course others For instance, Prescendia Huntington Buell who married Joseph Smith in December of 1841 indicated that Joseph spoke with her about "plural probations.
Lorenzo Snow later said he believed the doctrine because it ca
Hyrum Smith(brother of Joseph Smith) also believed in what he called plural probations –”How could people progress to a different kingdom unless? there were prob ations to prove them worthy? Might there be something to our belief that this is the telestial world? Notice the phrases Used to describe it: They suffer the wrath of God on earth (could this life actually be a punishment? Others who are also in the telestial kingdom are considered servants unto the Most High” Joseph L. Robinson and Charles W. Penrose and his wives claimed that Joseph Smith was the source for their belief in mortal probation. Most Mormons today will quote Bruce McKonkie ‘s “Doctrine of the Devil”. In his book “Mormon Doctrine “ he liked to refer to the Mattias incident. About 1835 Joseph Smith was visited by a man, named "Joshua the Minister". "Joshua's" real name was Joseph Matthias. He claimed that he a descendant of the Apostle Matthias, and that the soul passed from father to son. Joseph Smith said that Matthias' "doctrine was of the devil" and that he was a murderer (DHC 2:304-05)
I first though this was a contradiction, but Joseph Smith was not saying the concept of mortal probations was a doctrine of the devil, but that Matthias himself was a devil, and "his doctrine" (that the soul passes from father to son) was a doctrine of the devil."Joshua the Minister" (Joseph Matthias) was not teaching mortal probations but a strange doctrine of the transmigration of souls from father to son.
Truth has many doors waiting to open to those who knock. There is a teaching that is right for everyone according to their level of learning, or enlightenment, but as Jesus once said from the Gospel of Thomas” for he who seeks, let him find bread and not stone”.
I have proven my point if you seek further proof, I will comply

John Martin said...

'Truth does not change because it is not, believed by a majority of the people”
The execution of Giordano Bruno.
. He was burned for his heretical views, A succession of births and rebirths until the soul attains perfection.
Giordano Bruno
Venice trial, 1592
Since the soul is not found without body
and yet is not body, it may be in one body
or in another, and pass from body to body.

A cultural shock occurs when you pass from one state to the other. Each time you get a new name, a new rank, a new identity, a new function, a new office of priesthood or whatever it may be, you get new duties, new privileges; you become a different person. HUGH NIBLEY 1986
It is a startling discovery when we realize that our most all of our religious beliefs that we were taught as a child were not true. When our holy cows are exposed to the bright sunlight of truth-they melt. Truth should be able to withstand the assault of reason. P. C. Hodgell said: "That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. We need answers and not opinions and assumptions. Always keep an open mind and let the winds of facts and evidence blow you about as though you were a leaf, with no direction of your own. . Surrender to the truth as quickly as you can. Wisdom suffocates in a closed mind
There have been and always will be those who follow the herd and those who make trails, for each enlightened David O. McKay there will continue to be a hundred dogmatic Bruce McConkies who will proclaim the enlightened teachings of Waldo Emerson, Plato and Pythagoras to be the work of the Devil.
We have discovered many such as Hugh Brown, who resided on the mountain, but they are in the minority. Many others have limitations that do not go beyond faith and dogmas and they condemn the search for the truth if it departs from their own simplistic philosophy. I am thankful to those heretics, and free thinkers of the past because without them there would have never been any progress either scientifically or spiritually. Apostle Hugh Brown said: Only error needs to fear freedom of expression. Seek truth in all fields, and in that search you will need at least three virtues; courage, zest, and modesty. The ancients put that thought in the form of a prayer. They said, 'From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth, from the laziness that is content with half truth, from the arrogance that thinks it has all truth - O God of truth deliver us'."

The glory of the mysteries of Godliness is solved, after which it ceases to be mystery

The End

from Chile said...

Reincarnation as we are taught in Hinduism is false. But reincarnation in yourself again is true. Think of Adam, being a god came to this planet; think of Peter, being a "god" was born as Peter on this earth, think of Abraham that being a man on this earth became a god, and eventually "will have to" be born in onother planet to start a new begining with the "office" of Adam, being Adam an office in the priesthood instead of a name.
So yes! reincarnation do exist, but do not think so naively as hindus think, we go from planet to planet! not from place to place from time to time on this earth!
And! yes, McConkie is right! there is only one chance! this earth, there will be no other probation than this one, but!, "for this state!... So as I have said, reincarnation is priviledge gods have, and in order to achieve that state we must pass through this state before we become an "reincarned Adam", got it?
(ref. many, search!)

Anonymous said...

Good Sunstone presentation about reincarnation for those interested.

https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/shop/products/?product_id=2301&category=3

Anonymous said...

Even better treatise of reincarnation as found in the scriptures/LDS sources can be found here:

http://www.freeread.com/archives/2286


P.S. The Principle of reincarnation is one that has set my soul free and brought such a richness and increased wonder to my faith. It would be sad for one to blindly reject it without researching it and then asking God about it!!!

Yosef said...

Part 1
David,

You asked me to read and comment on your book “Mormon Mysticism” and my feelings about it are hard to explain in a comment-on-a-specific-quote kind of way. It is a very enjoyable read. Also, you do not have a page set up to comment specifically on the book itself. As I have been considering how I might begin to comment on my feelings, I noticed a response pop up for this page on reincarnation. It just seemed like a good place to start. Although my response is a comment on reincarnation, I was also able to share some of my feelings on mysticism in general; specifically ones that came to mind as I was reading your book. There are quite a variety of reactions to “Mormon Mysticism” and mysticism in general within the Western culture. I hope to provide any contribution I can to help make sure the clearest understanding of it can be obtained.

“Reincarnation According to Kabbalah”

First allow me to begin with some preliminary information.

1.Path of study: Kabbalah vs. Western Mind

Even in an approach to understand the Gospel, Kabbalah, Gnosticism, Mystery Schools, etc., Westerners typically approach from this direction:

First: Peshat—a literal approach (can be grounds for some spiritual inspiration when approached from Peshat to Sod, but very limited)

Second: Remez—a slightly deeper, more allegorical approach (can be grounds for some spiritual inspiration when approached from Peshat to Sod, but very limited)

Third: Derash—a deeper, metaphorical approach, usually presented through comparisons or similar occurrences, (can be grounds for some spiritual inspiration when approached from Peshat to Sod, but very limited)

Fourth: Sod—receiving understanding of the things not yet known about God by obtaining contact with Him for the purpose of gaining adhesion with Him (must become an independent work, cannot be achieved as an extension of Peshat, Remez, or Derash). It is also worth noting that as the student begins to learn God from God, they also begin to learn of their own eternal past, present, and future as all things become reconciled into one.

Yosef said...

Part 2
As this journey of Peshat to Sod (through secular studies) begins and continues (especially without the right teacher), the students seemingly approaches progressive levels of contradiction, confusion, weird concepts, weird symbols, etc. This may excite the fan of things unique, strange, and mysterious. They may develop a superiority complex by obtaining what they view as “secret knowledge” or “the truth behind the truth,” although they do not fully understand what they have gotten into. As well, it may discourage the humble seeker who is accustomed to viewing things from a literal perspective. The farther down the path from Peshat to Sod, the more foreign, dark, and seemingly evil the path appears. Also, there may be the humble seeker who is not deterred by things they don’t yet seem to understand. They continue down the path to Sod while maintaining a more open-minded approach, something closer to Remez but that ultimately relies upon Peshat at the end of the day. In their mind, they are “eating the meat and spitting out the bones.” However, this approach is very selective in nature and only provides successes where the student has carefully selected information that supports previous beliefs while disregarding any opposing information. This kind of student will continue to think that they “get it”, and that so-called esoteric traditions support the legitimacy of their particular school of thought. The kind of students mentioned earlier, will either fully embrace things they deem weird, dark, mysterious, seemingly evil, or they will reject it. However, all three types of students have taken the wrong path.

Yosef said...

Part 3
Peshat to Sod is the wrong approach, because from that direction, Sod will never fully be reconciled to Peshat. Some students will pretend that they agree with things they don’t understand and build their lifestyle around a lie. Others will flat out reject everything that is not literal, tangible, and capable of being understood by the most skeptical secular mind. Some will feel comfortable and seemingly uplifted by using select aspects of the deeper levels to support their previous Peshat beliefs. Peshat to Sod in no way prepares the student to fully benefit from any of these levels of study; not even Peshat.

When we approach God only to validate OUR literal perspective, how does that help accomplish His purposes?
When we approach God only to validate OUR allegorical perspective, how does that help accomplish His purposes?
When we approach God only to validate OUR metaphorical perspective, how does that help accomplish His purposes?
Only when we approach God to validate OUR need to gain adhesion with Him do we help accomplish His purposes?

“A wise disciple is a person who wishes to learn from the Creator Himself” (Rav Michael Laitman, The Path of Kabbalah, p. 260).

“Therefore, the Kabbalists said, and we also find it in the prayer book of the Vilna Gaon (GRA), that the order of attainment of the Torah begins with the concealed and ends with the revealed. This means that through the appropriate labor, where one first delves into the Torah of the hidden, he is thus granted the revealed Torah, the literal. Thus, one begins with the concealed, called Sod (secret), and when he is rewarded, he ends in the literal [Peshat]” (Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot,” Item 103).

Yosef said...

Part 4
The correct path is always Sod. Sod is actually the only true path. It is not a secular path and cannot be approached from that perspective. Unfortunately there are many books and teachers that would have you believe that God, or what they term the “Governing Force of the Universe,” can be studied and understood from a secular perspective. Since the uninspired masses typically approach life from a Peshat perspective, Holy men have usually always explained their understandings in a Peshat to Sod manner, although that is not how they have obtained their understanding. Seemingly it is easier to help the Peshat-minded individual to accept generalized Holy teachings if it is watered-down to their Peshat language. However, Sod is the only truth. Peshat, Remez, Derash are simply ways of attempting to explain Sod, and not meant to be an end in and of themselves. In fact, Peshat, Remez, and Derash methodologies were not created and taught to help the student reach Sod, but to help the Sod student explain and document their Sod experiences. If the Peshat-minded person will not take the Sod approach, they can never eternally benefit from the information and processes that they are involved in. Documents written by Holy men are communicated in a particular way. They are written in a way to help other Sod students recognize their Sod experiences as they read the text; they become the multi-layered language of Sod. Although such documents usually end up being somewhat of a spiritual psychoanalystic progression schematic sheet, they cannot be studied of themselves in a way to move the non-Sod student to Sod understanding and being. Unlike the contradictory conclusions that result from a Peshat to Sod approach, we will see that Sod to Peshat approach never contradict each other when built upon Sod. In fact, all truths contained therein perfectly fit together and combine to support God who is their origin.

Yosef said...

Part 5
2.The Language of Branches

To further explain, the right approach to esoteric methods, teaching, symbolism, and such, we will review some teachings on the Language of Branches—the language of Sod.

“Baal HaSulam [Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag] writes about Kabbalah that it is a method for, “the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world” (The Revelation of Godliness)” (Rav Michael Laitman, The Path of Kabbalah, p. 263).

“All those who attained the Light of the Creator through their work wanted all those succeeding them to enjoy what they had already discovered, as well. Therefore, they named each and every attainment so they would be able to understand their intentions and the attainments that they attained, and thus form a common language with each other” (Rabash, “Letter no. 19”).

Thus the Language of Branches is a language using the names of people, places, and events to actually describe personal spiritual experience as one progresses in their knowledge of and adhesion with God.
Remember, that as the student begins to learn God from God, they also begin to learn of their own eternal past, present, and future as all things become reconciled into one.

Similarly the Zohar uses the Language of Branches to comment on the individual’s adhesion experience with God, and is not a secular or doctrinal commentary on the Bible. It cannot be analyzed in a Peshat to Sod direction and make any sense whatsoever.

Yosef said...

Part 5
2.The Language of Branches

To further explain, the right approach to esoteric methods, teaching, symbolism, and such, we will review some teachings on the Language of Branches—the language of Sod.

“Baal HaSulam [Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag] writes about Kabbalah that it is a method for, “the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world” (The Revelation of Godliness)” (Rav Michael Laitman, The Path of Kabbalah, p. 263).

“All those who attained the Light of the Creator through their work wanted all those succeeding them to enjoy what they had already discovered, as well. Therefore, they named each and every attainment so they would be able to understand their intentions and the attainments that they attained, and thus form a common language with each other” (Rabash, “Letter no. 19”).

Thus the Language of Branches is a language using the names of people, places, and events to actually describe personal spiritual experience as one progresses in their knowledge of and adhesion with God.
Remember, that as the student begins to learn God from God, they also begin to learn of their own eternal past, present, and future as all things become reconciled into one.

Similarly the Zohar uses the Language of Branches to comment on the individual’s adhesion experience with God, and is not a secular or doctrinal commentary on the Bible. It cannot be analyzed in a Peshat to Sod direction and make any sense as a collective work.

Yosef said...

Part 6
3. Reincarnation According to Kabbalah

Therefore reincarnation in the Zohar and in other Kabbalistic texts does not refer to reincarnation as Westerners typically think of it. This may especially be confusing since Kabbalist blatantly teach that all souls of each generation continue to reincarnate until they become corrected collectively and united with the will of the Creator. These seemingly explicit teachings on reincarnation are given in light of the Sod understanding and the Language of Branches.

These teachings on the Language of Branches approach to the Torah will help set the stage to explain the reincarnation of the Zohar/Kabbalah:

“Q: Who is the subject of the Torah?
“A: The entire Torah, without exception, speaks of the individual. Each person is regarded as an entire world. There are rivers in this world, lakes, mountains and forests. There are people, nations men and women, children, slaves, stars, moon and sun. Everything we can think of exists inside this creature. It is the only thing that the Creator created; outside him there is only the Creator. Everything that happens to this creature happens within him. Everything we perceive with our five senses–sight, sound, scent, taste and touch–comes from the Creator Who surrounds us.
“Thus, the Torah speaks of each and every one of us; it is a personal guide to the perception of the Creator. That is why whatever we read in the Torah must be immediately ascribed to ourselves, our inner state. We must relate the characters to our properties, the events in our world are actually relationships between the hereditary, intellectual and emotional attributes. They were originally created by the Creator and we acquired them from Him and from no other, because there are no others! There are only different clothes that appear as different people through which the Creator works on each and every one of us” (Rav Michael Laitman, The Path of Kabbalah, pp. 369-370).

Yosef said...

Part 7
Similarly the Language of Branches can be applied to the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and the D & C/Church History etc. As we learn to “liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning” (1 Nephi 19:23), we will see that the various people that “are alive” at the same time are really describing the inner experience of an individual at a particular time. As that generation gives way to the next, all new people are still describing the individual and their transitional process. Hence, the teaching that the collective soul of Adam Kadmon was shattered and must be corrected through a series of generational reincarnation periods before they can collectively become one again through adhesion with the Creator. So, although it is written that prophets, tyrants, kings, servants, armies, communities, etc. died, the individual aspects that were described by their lives did not cease at their “deaths,” but continued to be reincarnated in transition to the next “generation.”

Looking at things from a Sod perspective, we can begin to see how each individual book of scripture is actually describing our personal relationship with God. Using the methods of Derash, Remez, and Peshat, we will be able to find within the scriptures a systematic way of explaining what we are experiencing in a far better way than we probably could on our own. As we are able to discover the process of our adhesion with God in the scriptures, in detail, we are opening ourselves up to be added upon what we have already received. However, for anyone else to understand what we are talking about, they would also have to be experiencing Sod and be familiar with Derash, Remez, and Peshat.

Yosef said...

Part 8
Interestingly, there are many Peshat, Remez, and Derash arguments against the Restored Gospel. Members often flounder around to try to validate LDS scripture and practice against such arguments. Even if the LDS member is one who approaches from a Sod to Peshat perspective, they will never be able to seem legit to a Peshat to Sod critic. Sadly though, many LDS approach the Gospel from a Peshat to Sod perspective anyway, and miss out on what is right before their faces. Although many begin their LDS journey by obtaining a “testimony” experience (Sod), because of Western society it is often overrun by a Peshat to Sod approach. It is only through adhesion with God that mankind can know anything of a certainty. The Prophet Joseph Smith understood this, and taught: “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God…I want you all to know him, and to be familiar with him” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 345).

It would be nice to see more LDS who use exclusively LDS Scriptures and teachings to explain their Sod experiences by way of Derash, Remez, and finally Peshat. I am part of a small group who does, but it seems that elsewhere, even those LDS who seem to be open-minded and even consider Kabbalah, only approach their studies from the direction of Peshat to Sod, and rely heavily upon Kabbalistic texts to validate select truths. The LDS scriptures and Covenant/Ordinance practice stand on their own without the need to dig up ancient goodies to validate them. The fact that each can be used to intimately describe anyone’s personal process of adhesion with God should be enough to validate anything.

Thank you David for allowing your bloggers to share so freely on your site. I get so much out of the discussions here. My comments on Peshat to Sod are not aimed at you, but are for the benefit of anyone who considers using the wisdom of Kabbalah to aid in their understanding of the Restored Gospel.

Shalom
Yosef

Yosef said...

Part 8
Interestingly, there are many Peshat, Remez, and Derash arguments against the Restored Gospel. Members often flounder around to try to validate LDS scripture and practice against such arguments. Even if the LDS member is one who approaches from a Sod to Peshat perspective, they will never be able to seem legit to a Peshat to Sod critic. Sadly though, many LDS approach the Gospel from a Peshat to Sod perspective anyway, and miss out on very beautiful experiences. Although many begin their LDS journey by obtaining a “testimony” experience (Sod), because of Western society it is often overrun by a Peshat to Sod approach. It is only through adhesion with God that mankind can know anything of a certainty. The Prophet Joseph Smith understood this, and taught: “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God…I want you all to know him, and to be familiar with him” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 345).

It would be nice to see more LDS who use exclusively LDS Scriptures and teachings to explain their Sod experiences by way of Derash, Remez, and finally Peshat. I am part of a small group who does, but it seems that elsewhere, even those LDS who seem to be open-minded and even consider Kabbalah, only approach their studies from the direction of Peshat to Sod, and rely heavily upon Kabbalistic texts to validate select truths. The LDS scriptures and Covenant/Ordinance practice stand on their own without the need to dig up ancient goodies to validate them. The fact that each can be used to intimately describe anyone’s personal process of adhesion with God should be enough to validate anything.

Thank you David for allowing your bloggers to share so freely on your site. I get so much out of the discussions here. My comments on Peshat to Sod are not aimed at you, but are for the benefit of anyone who considers using the wisdom of Kabbalah to aid in their understanding of the Restored Gospel.

Shalom
Yosef

Anonymous said...

The Prophet Joseph Smith understood this, and taught: “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God…I want you all to know him, and to be familiar with him” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 345).???????
2 Nephi 2:even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the ONE BEING SWEET and the other BITTER.
All of our focus should be on the ONE BEING SWEET.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the ONLY true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
The Gnostics are Plain in sight in the scriptures
although their acts, words and deeds are secret, and the Gnosis can only be imparted thru a secret society or Rite,This Group of Gnostics tried with the work of their own hands tried to enter or work their way to Heaven and Built a Tower
V/S
It would be nice to see more LDS who use exclusively LDS Scriptures and teachings to explain their Sod experiences by way of Derash, Remez, and finally Peshat. ??????????
Our intention is to preserve and communicate the living egregore of the ancient Knowledge and Magicks that are traceable to ancient Sumerian civilization and continued through the great Orders and religions of the world. It is this Universal Gnostic thread that we follow in our experiments with the ecstatic, the numinous, and the mysterious.
We lay claim to the lineage of the Universal Gnostic Tradition and are descendants of the Dracosanguis succession of the Dracozonei. In addition, we hold consecratory authority by way of the Neopythagorean Gnostic Church, the
Western Esoteric Tradition, and the mysteries of the Order of Melchizedek.
www.solarphallic-cult.org/Home.html
-Very Gnostic and Fallen Qabalah View-
14Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
16For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty
21Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.7For many adeceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an bantichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Anonymous said...

The Qabalistic mysticism, mostly understood (or misunderstood) from the interpretations of renegade Jewish converts, had long intrigued the world of gentile metaphysicians in much the same way that Eastern Mysticism would titillate later generations. The Haskala, with its opening across the ghetto wall, produced eventually an odd synthesis of Speculative Freemasonic, Political Revolutionary, Rosicrucian and alchemical ideas, gradually incorporating Jewish Qabalism, as some Masonic bodies began to admit Jews, and Jews began to influence the fundamental ideas of Speculative Freemasonry. Organizations such as The Knights of Light, the Fraters Lucis or Brothers of Light, and the Asiatic Brethren began to appear in "high degree" Freemasonry, even as Steven Morin introduced Scottish Rite Masonry to America. It is important to our thesis to understand that the European Masonic experience and that in America were quite different.From its earliest origins, the Ethical Deism and egalitarian ideals of Freemasonry in America attracted and was influenced by Jewish Brethren. As Paul Bessel put it, "Jews were actively involved in the beginnings of Freemasonry in America. There is evidence they were among those who established Masonry in 7 of the original 13 states: Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia. A Jewish Mason, Moses Michael Hays, helped introduce the Scottish Rite in America. Hays was also Deputy Inspector General of Masonry for North America in 1768, and Grand Master of Massachusetts from 1788 to 1792. Paul Revere served under him as Deputy Grand Master. There were several other Jews who held the title of Deputy Inspector General of Masonry in the late 1700’s: Solomon Bush in Pennsylvania, Joseph Myers in Maryland and later in South Carolina, and Abraham Forst of Philadelphia in Virginia in 1781. Another Jewish Grand Master was Moses Seixas in Rhode Island from 1791 until 1800. There were many other American Jewish Masons in early American history, including one in George Washington’s original Fredericksburg Lodge."

Anonymous said...

Herbert S. Goldberg, 33° put it this way: "Jewish Masons played an important part in the American Revolution, with 24 of them serving as officers in George Washington’s army. In addition, several helped finance the American cause, including Haym Salomon, a Philadelphia Jewish Mason who, with others, contributed and raised money for the American war effort and loaned money to Jefferson, Madison, Lee, and others for their personal expenses. Salomon was imprisoned by the British and died in his 40’s bankrupt and with penniless heirs."

"the Scottish Rite was founded on May 31, 1801… There were eleven gentlemen of Charleston who founded the Supreme Council. Four of these founders were Jewish and are buried in the Jewish Cemetery on Coming Street in Charleston. The four Jewish founders are Israel De Lieben, First S.G.I.G.; Emanuel De La Motta, First Grand Treasurer General; Abraham Alexander, Sr., First Grand Secretary General; and Moses Clava Levy, Treasurer General."

The European Masonic experience was somewhat different, as noted, with Masonic ideals and interest in Jewish Qabala clashing inside the fraternity with the all too familiar old and deep strains of anti-Semitic views and attitudes. The difference between American Masonry and the European brand, though varied by country, can best be understood against this background. Certainly, some of the early Jewish brethren were essentially ordinary Jews seeking to meet with non Jewish peers on an equal basis. Others were mystics with decidedly heterodox views. These trends came together and ‘regularized’ first in the German "Judenloge" and still later in a genuinely integrated Freemasonry in other European countries. As the distinction was lesser in America, so was the influx of Jewish dissidents and mystics, as opposed to rather ordinary Jews and non Jews interested in fraternity, ritual, ethics and philanthropy. We shall return to the mystical trend, of Frankists and Qabalists in Freemasonic bodies in Europe presently. It forms a key bridge in the Authentic Tradition of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Anonymous said...

On a different track, as early as the 1780s Richard Payne Knight began a detailed investigation of the role of graphic male and female symbolism in both ancient and modern spirituality. He documents the survival of phallic worship less than 50 miles from Naples as late as 1781. He focused on common amulets of the period, noting that the "most in vogue represents a hand clinched, with the point of the thumb thrust betwixt the index and middle finger…We have proof of the hand above described having a connection with Priapus," he says in a letter dated December 30, 1781, "in a most elegant small idol of bronze of that Divinity…which was found in the ruins of Herculaneum; it has an enormous Phallus, and with an arch look and gesture, stretches out its right hand in the form above mentioned, and which was probably an emblem of consummation…" Knight goes on to recount an eyewitness account of a barely Christianized rite held at Isernia September 27, 1780, in which women offered wax votives of erect penises of various size, with the words ‘let it be like this’ and similar magical appeals.

His work would come to be followed up upon in the 19th Century by such scholars of magick as Emma Hardinge Britten and later Peter Davidson.

The Asiatic Brethren, which overlapped with the Fraters Lucis, seem to have linked a number of these trends, including the above mentioned esoteric (and, sub rosa, erotic) ideas of the Zoharists (Frankists), the enigmatic Jewish messianic cult of Jacob Franck; High Degree Freemasonry, which often conferred royal and ecclesiastical titles as integral parts of their initiatory system (e.g. Prince, Levite, Priest, et al); and the radicalism of the Illuminati with their ideas of equality, liberty and fraternity which eventually profoundly transformed the world order. Naturally, though not without opposition, the admission of Jews on an equitable basis was highly attractive to advocates of the Haskala on both sides of the ghetto walls. As the 18th Century progressed, we thus find egalitarian, Qabalistic and esoteric "messianic" Jews exercising a significant influence on both mainstream and esoteric Freemasonry.
www.mindspring.com/%7Ehellfire/bishop/

David Littlefield said...

Thank you Yosef!

Very insightful. I will re-read your comments a little more carefully when I have more time.

Thanks for reading Mormon Mysticism and for your comments.

David

Anonymous said...

What is Physical? What is the likeness and Manner of something physical? How would you explain the Manner or Physical Likeness of our Bodies now or Later?
Likeness? Manner?

Ether 3:17
And now, as I, Moroni, said I could not make a full account of these things which are written, therefore it sufficeth me to say that Jesus showed himself unto this man in the spirit, even after the manner and in the likeness of the same body even as he showed himself unto the Nephites.

Because many are inclined to say Many things that are or are not true, are there any references in the Scriptures that say there is or is not More than One Birth, either in the spirit or the body?

John 3: 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
From the LDS point of view we are already
Spirit children and born of God in the spirit before our physical life - our pre-earth life.
Born Again is it Physical or Spiritual both or None?
7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
10But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Ken T said...

Reincarnation actually clarifies many of the doctrines that we have.

Baptism for the Dead makes more sense when it applies to a progression from world to world.

If a man lives a life of sin and never hears the gospel, then learns of the gospel in the spirit world, gets baptized, and eventually eternal marriage . . . How is it that he can repent and overcome his addictions without a physical body?

How is that fair to a man that lives on earth and cannot get baptized because he cannot give up cigarettes, or pay tithing (A requirement not made to the man that is in the spirit world)

If man is to be like God, how can he progress to Godhood without suffering or living as Christ did? How can we become perfect, when there is only one that has lived a perfect life on this earth. We are taught that none of us can live a perfect life, except for Jesus.

That would mean that there is only one person that can becaome a God from this world, and that would be Jesus. He is the only one with the knowledge and experience to be able to become a God.

The rest of us either enter a lesser knigdom, or we return to earth again, and hopefully improve. We repeat this cycle until one time we can become like Jesus (As we are commanded) and we live a perfect life and also make the ultimate sacrifices for others. Then are we ready to become Gods. We would be following in the footsteps and example of Jesus.

Reincarnation has been taught as multiple "Probations" by earlier prophets. No other religion teaches it correctly. Ours is the only religion that can actually support reincarnation in a way that makes sense. It is not taught by our prophets today, because we are not ready for it. We can't even handle polygamy or the Law of Consecration yet.

Today we are taught that Polygamy os of the devil (sin) even though it is a true and eternal principle. The same with reincarnation.

The biggest problem with us teaching reincarnation, is that we think of Buddism or other Ancient religions that teach a version that has been changed. Exactly like Christianity was changed from the original.

Here are my theories. Feel free to agree or disagree. This is a new concept to me.


We all live multiple lives. Most likely it is in the billions. (We have an eternity). We keep progressing until we are up to the level of being able to live perfectly and become the Saviour.

In each probation, the Saviour becomes a God, while another spirit that was perhaps formally an animal, or was recently born as a spirit, starts at the bottom and replaces Him.

There are far fewer male spirits, because it takes men much longer to progress than the females. The math works out, so at any one time, there are a similar number of men to women.

David Littlefield said...

Ken T:

Thanks for visiting and sharing your views.

While I do disagree, we can agree to disagree.

But, I can tell you that the second highest keyword that people use to get to this site is "reincarnation" so evidently people are interested in this topic.

-David

Anonymous said...

There is Not even ONE Scripture That says that there is Not Reincarnation, Not One- That Having been said You cannot Work your way to Heaven- The Atonement of Jesus Christ is What saves you - The Wages of Sin is Death and we are all Dead and Equal as Beggars Before Jesus Christ- That is what makes it Fair and Equal -

You cannot Work you way to Heaven - If you are to be Saved/Exalted it will be in, of and through the Merits of Jesus Christ - All Fall short ALL - A life of Love and Faith toward God relying on His Grace will save you- You cannot save yourself or make yourself a "god"- Your are a Dead man and your Mortal Blood cannot save You
10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:8For by agrace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should aboast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good bworks, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


Jesus Christ actually clarifies many of the doctrines.

Justin said...

There is Not even ONE Scripture That says that there is Not Reincarnation

ALERT!! ALERT!!

Giant fallacy coming!!

There is Not even ONE Scripture That says that there is Not [a lot of things].

That is not evidence for their existence.

David Littlefield said...

Not even one scripture?

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

Hebrews 9:27

Anonymous said...

which death? and which judgement? Final first Last-

John 8:51
Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
Alma 11:45
Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption.

How Many creations Stories do you Believe In - One or Many and Do you really believe that Jesus Christ is the Creator of ALL of the Heavens and Earth and ALL that in Them Is ? (NO MORMONS DO NOT)

Not that I believe In being RE-incarnated - But it is Strange that the Subject is NOT confronted Head on - What does that Gnostic Stuff Say?

Anonymous said...

because Mormons belief in Witch Craft - Mormon do Not really Believe That Jesus Christ is the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and ALL -Yes ALL that in them is - Jesus is a little "god" of a little Creations - Because like the Witches and Freemasons - The are Lords, gods, Heavens, and earths, many - for mormons "god" the father of Jesus Christ is a many that Earned his exaltation on a earth, Did Jesus Christ Create that earth and "god" that Jesus Christ's Father was ON?
Joseph Smith was Proud and loud to Boast and Refute That Idea of there being one "god" .

Please see the Following post below and you will Understand why I say what I say - Also I wish mormons would quit pretending that they Believe in the Boom of Mormon or Jesus Christ or His Father- Mormons are Gnostic Freemasons who Partake of those Forbidden OATHS that Bind the Soul of Man to Darkness

Anonymous said...

ev 1:6And hath made us kings and priests unto God and (his) Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Jst Rev 1:6 And unto him who loved us, be glory; who washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God, (his) Father. To him be glory and dominion, forever and ever. Amen. (Gods ABOVE The Father?)
(as printed in History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 473-479. See also Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 369-376)
President Joseph Smith read the 3rd chapter of Revelation, and took for his text 1st chapter, 6th verse-”And hath made us kings and priests unto God and (His) Father: to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
It is altogether correct in the translation. Now, you know that of late some malicious and corrupt men have sprung up and apostatized from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they declare that the Prophet believes in a plurality of Gods, and, lo and behold! we have discovered a very great secret, they cry-”The Prophet says there are many Gods, and this proves that he has fallen.”
Plurality of Gods
I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text (REV 1:6) for that express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preach on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years.
Our text says, “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and (His) Father.” The Apostles have discovered that there were Gods (above), for John says God was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. My object was to preach the scriptures, and preach the doctrine they contain, there being a (God) above, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (REV 1:6) I am bold to declare I have taught all the strongest doctrines publicly, and always teach stronger doctrines in public than in private.
John was one of the men, and apostles declare they were made kings and priests unto God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It reads just so in the Revelation, Hence the doctrine of a plurality of Gods is as prominent in the Bible as any other doctrine. It is all over the face of the Bible. It stands beyond the power of controversy. A wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein.
He makes himself a fool if he thinks or says so, and there is an end of his career or progress in knowledge. He cannot obtain all knowledge, for he has sealed up the gate to it.
I want to show a little learning as well as other fools.
I defy all the world to refute me.
He would be a wonderfully big God-he would be a giant or a monster.
I learned it by translating the papyrus which is now in my house.
I want to stick to my text, to show that when men open their lips against these truths they do not injure me, but injure themselves.
I testify again, as the Lord lives, God never will acknowledge any traitors or apostates.
Hear and judge for yourselves; and if you go away satisfied, well and good. Rev 1:6 Jst Rev 1:6
It is altogether correct in the translation??????????
The Apostles have discovered that there were Gods above??????????
www.newcoolthang.com/index.php/joseph-smiths-sermon-in-the-grove/
Witches Masons Mormons - all the same

David Littlefield said...

Annon:

Probably the most direct and clearest way to boil down my response is to suggest that you need to repent of your apostasy, and stop fighting against the church.

-David

Anonymous said...

Okay I Admit an apostate to the Lies- But you Still do not answer the Question about who is The Creator- Mormons Do NOT believe Jesus Christ is really the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and that in them Is- Mormons Reject this scripture on its Face-

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2The same was in the beginning with God.
3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Heb. 1:22Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

GOSPEL PRINCIPLES CHAPTER 47: EXALTATION
Chapter 47: Exaltation
"Chapter 47: Exaltation," Gospel Principles, (2009)

According to Mormon-ism
GOD and Jesus Christ are just other Creator(s) not THEE CREATOR
Exaltation
• What is exaltation?
Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He possesses all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the Father of spirit children. He is a creator. We can become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation.
Joseph Smith taught: “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God. … He was once a man like us; … God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 345–46).
Did Jesus Christ Create the "earth" that God his Father lived on ?
Mormon Gnosticism
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil [died] before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 268).

Joseph Smith claimed he learned all of his "special" knowledge thru the "papyrus" ???????
I want to show a little learning as well as other fools.
I defy all the world to refute me.
He would be a wonderfully big God-he would be a giant or a monster.
I learned it by translating the papyrus which is now in my house.
Further Compare Rev 1:6 KJV vs JST
Rev 1:6And hath made us kings and priests unto God and (his) Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Jst Rev 1:6 And unto him who loved us, be glory; who washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God, (his) Father. To him be glory and dominion, forever and ever. Amen. (Gods ABOVE The Father?)
Humble Joseph in love invites the following
"I want to show a little learning as well as other fools.
I defy all the world to refute me."
I am a fool? and I refute HIM-
2 Corinthians 12:6
For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Joseph Smith
"He would be a wonderfully big God-he would be a giant or a monster."
1John 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
"I learned it by translating the papyrus which is now in my house.
I want to stick to my text, to show that when men open their lips against these truths they do not injure me, but injure themselves."
1John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
10He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
11And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Joseph Smith
"He would be a wonderfully big God-he would be a giant or a monster.I learned it by translating the papyrus which is now in my house."?????

1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

JESUS CHRIST IS THEE CREATOR OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH AND ALL THAT IN THEM IS
or do you believe that he was just a little "god" in your Lords Many and gods many belief System?

Anonymous said...

D&C 76 "I received the following explanation of the Revelation of St. John”
24That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.

KJV John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2The same was in the beginning with God.
3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Colossians Chapter 1 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
JST John 1:1–3
1In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God.2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made which was made.
ALL -"and without him was not anything made which was made."

Rev 10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein,...........

D&C 38 1Thus saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, the Great aI Am, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made;
2The same which aknoweth all things, for all things are present before mine eyes;
3I am the same which spake, and the world was made, and all things came by me.

How Many gods and how many creations?
Mormon "truth" is being Hidden?

Was Jesus Christ really the creator of ALL?

Steven S said...

"Was Jesus Christ really the creator of ALL?"

Answer: YES

Signed: an active Latter-Day Saint (aka. Mormon)

Magneticengineman said...

Every True Prophet that has ever lived on this earth Taught, Believed and Knew that Reincarnation was, is and always will be a True and Real Law of Creation.

Joseph Smith himself said that he could not tell even a fraction about what he knew concerning the Universe and the Kingdom of God. He said they would surely kill me. Certain things he out right denied and condemned because the people, the saints around him, were having a hard time with the basics. Most extremely sacred things he never told anyone.

View my webpage...
trimetatron.wix.com/i-am-love-refuge