Thursday, January 7, 2016

Mormons, Marriage and the Philosophies of Men

The Philosophies of Men

Our worldly governments are in a constant state of change as they seek to protect us. With building codes and fire escapes, auto safety, seatbelts and airbags or whatever their concern, they purport to stop us from hurting ourselves or killing each other in our accident prone and selfish world.  

Over the next 120 plus years some six billion or so people will die from all causes.  No mortal law can or will stop it from happening. This for most part it happens so subtly and quietly on an individual basis that only a few people are affected at a time.  We mourn and soon the mourners are gone.  Except for a few exceptional lifespans all will be gone.

Following the natural laws of mortal creation billions of new lives will replace those that die on a similar subtle basis of replacement. How will the participants choose to satisfy the ability and power to create life and under what circumstances will they do it? How will the innocent be affected? How will ignorance and arrogance show their influence in societies and cultures of the world?

Where will humankind look for safety, happiness and peace? Do the atheists, skeptics and agnostics have the answer?  Will the theologies of man provide the direction and relief? 

How can the philosophies of man be described? They are the ideas and concepts that men and women as individuals or groups fabricate to tell themselves that truth is their own subjective perception of their environment. These are any teaching or practise that causes us to think that a human philosopher has better advice than God.

These philosophies are where our money, learning, popularity and opinions obscure the reality of our peace in the universe.  We are fragile beings on a planet in the vast remoteness of a cosmic eternity. Even our most powerful telescopes that see billions of light years away can't begin to explore it.  Can we as humans and mortals not contemplate this reality in such a way that we realize how limited our personal opinions, science and philosophies are?

Some people even invent their own version of deity, a generic imaginary being, a one size fits all god that stays out of life decisions and demands nothing of them. Some not knowing anything about their creator or creation may blame him for making them the way they are.

Skeptics, agnostics and atheists want people to believe that their philosophy is correct when it is actually the least correct of any of the philosophies of men.  They think that their formal arguments that disallow personal testimony somehow man their theory sustainable. With closed minds they plot a course through life, telling people that death is the end, yet unsure of anything except that they will die.

The philosophies of mortal men that disregard truth have no effect beyond the grave.  They are dead ends in the road of eternity. There are many prominent philosophies of men that float about in society regarding the nature of human intimacy, marriage and religion. 

Religious Teachings Regarding Marriage

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only Christian church that I am aware of that proclaims marriage is an eternal covenant relationship.  

The Mormon church teaches that some of the purposes of life are to form intimate nurturing relationships through marriage and family. True philosophy, which would be based on true theology would answer the question as to why we live in a physical world.

God's prophets have revealed that having a physical body is an essential element in an eternal plan for the children of God. Life is a processionary step and a probationary state for learning. Exaltation and salvation were planned before we came to earth. It is an eternal pattern of creation to give life more abundantly to God's children.

The traditional orthodox theology of Bible scholars teaches that there is no real purpose for having a physical body except that we do.  Their doctrine is that we were created out of nothing at birth, We are simply creatures of God, not really children of God. 

These philosophies of men say that the creation of the earth is more of an experiment that took place suddenly and for the first time some 6000 years ago. God's creation went wrong when his creatures rebelled in the Garden of Eden. Thus those that followed since became subject to condemnation simply by being born.

I am just speaking for myself on these topics.  I do not represent my church in my opinions.  I am just a member. These are simply my observations about the principle of marriage and my observation of the theology that underlies it.

Worldly Philosophies

In today's culture, marriage, family and chastity are mocked and profaned continually. Theatrical undertakings promote many forms of these actions of so called passionate involvement. Every word and action is contrived and practiced, then performed and recorded to portray some imaginary experience.  

Many seek to imitate these activities as if they don't realize they are pursuing the fantasies of some writer's philosophy. They aren't real. What won't people do in front of a camera for money? If there is a proverbial soul selling process this could be it.

All of us are free to pursue a spectrum of choices and the consequences follow. Somewhere between a relentless pursuit of pleasure and a patient pursuit of character our attitudes and destinies develop.

Men are nothing without women and women are nothing without men. Without both there is no connection, no creation and subsequently no love.  Philosophies that promote conflict between men and women are anti-love.

The philosophies of men that promote pursuing pleasure lead to broken families and discontentment. If the world doesn't understand this simple principle it will be difficult and unlikely that we can make this earth a place where peace and harmony prevail.

Philosophies and Theologies of Men

Christian philosophers and theologians determined that marriage is a temporary arrangement. They believe that is what the Bible teaches. In their opinions, from their debates and conclusions they determined that it was a relationship lasting only until the death of the parties.  They disregard the fact that Adam and Eve were immortal when it was instituted from a biblical standpoint by God in the Garden of Eden.

Traditional orthodox theologians don't have an official doctrine as to how we live in the hereafter or what we might do except that it will be as single individuals.  Their theology essentially says that the emotional investment and intimacy of marriage is lost.  They resolutely declare that the Bible teaches that marriage ends. Marriages are therefore performed with the common vernacular of "so long as you both shall live" or "until death do you part" in their ceremonies. 

Some modern pastors following their own preferences may change the verbiage to say forever or some version of lasting past death to meet the wishes of a parishioner. This they charge money for. Such performance still goes against their foundational creeds and doesn't change the fact that they don't have the authority to perform such a declaration. There are other denominations that may promote the concept as well yet are churches founded by men without authority.

The good that mainstream theologians, pastors and others that consider themselves Christians outside the domain of orthodoxy do is spread the positive teachings of the Bible. Anyone that follows the teachings of Christ and the prophets will have a better life, marriage and relationships in general if they practice them.  

Their speculations of eternal order and godliness however fall short of the real power of heaven when it comes to saving souls. They do not recognize the enabling and exalting power of Christ's atonement.  Neither do the see the relationship that is the Godhead as presided by the Father that offers the obedient and repentant to become heirs of the kingdom and glories that are part of the resurrection. 

The Bible accepted by most all Christians clearly teaches that we are created in the image of God. Yet, if you ask an orthodox Christian philosopher or Bible scholar they will tell you that we don't really look like God.  Any reference to his image is something other than form.   This doctrine is not in the Bible.  It is the result of councils of politician-theologians that came together after Christ and his apostles had been dead for centuries.  This teaching is a philosophy of men and scholars and divinity schools continue to perpetuate it.

How have scholars attributed a male gender to what they call an incorporeal God? Because the Bible does make clear statements that God the Father is a male. Jesus was born as a male and is a God. These scholars still don't seem to realize that gender is therefore eternal. The philosophies and creeds that established the idea of a triune being have only confused people as to the real nature of their creator and who their image is fashioned after.

How do these religious philosophers explain the that God came up with male and female and united them in marriage as a center of creation? Is this not God's image?  Bible scholars and theological professors won't even attempt to answer these questions with definitive explanations. Latter-day prophets have.   See the (Family Proclamation) 

How can these theological conclusions and philosophies teach that marriage and family are important if they teach that they are temporary?  These scholars believe and teach that deity is mono as in theism, or singular, as well as single, celibate and of an undetermined gender. How is it that he created them in such a fashion that a union was the only way they can create.  Now they say he only created people 6000 years ago or so for pleasure and to worship him. According to this type of philosophy earth and people would be nothing more than an experiment.

Traditional theology in mainstream orthodoxy and Bible scholarship is about scholarship. It does not include learning directly from the Source of all truth. They don't claim authority  or revelation from God, but from the Bible, which is not an eternal authority. It has only been canonized and in existence less than 2000 years and only certain books have been selectively included. Their teachings are the scholarship of people teaching people their scholarly opinions and nothing more. 

Essentially this practice of assuming authority from the Bible leaves direct revelation out of the process of their teaching. This is why they describe God as an unknowable being. Since they don't claim actual knowledge of him, they don't have to be specific about trying to describe him or teachings about life after death. Anything they don't understand they just call it a mystery. Anyone that feels inclined can begin teaching their version of Christian theology as long as they claim the Bible as the source and deity as a single god trinity. 

As these religious scholars study the Bible and apply their orthodox views of an unknowable deity, they really only render an opinion of what they think the Bible dialogue means.  They have declared it to be inerrant and this is simply another declaration of opinion as many Bible scholars disagree as well.  They don't believe in current revelation from God or an active central authority that they are accountable to. 

If you ask a Christian believer about marriage, most will answer that God simply ordained it. The pastors, scholars and authors of Christian blogs all have their own variation of what they think marriage is and how important yet non-enduring it is. Even so, many Christians, non-LDS, believe that their marriage and family is profound enough to endure into the next life.

They do acknowledge that their opinions which they still debate might be errant, yet they push forward with this foundation of orthodoxy not really knowing the mind of God. The underlying philosophy of men is that they can make their own religions because in their opinion God left a Bible and expects them to figure out what it says and means and then charge others money for telling them about it. 

The opinion declared by many is that the Bible is inerrant but their churches and leaders are not. It is an interesting contradiction. This philosophy is not even found in the Bible.  It is a philosophy of men. These contradictions are what Joseph Smith and any seeker before and after him discovers in their search for truth among the churches of men.  For this reason the restoration of the gospel and Church of Jesus Christ would require the calling of a prophet. Otherwise the philosophies of men would prevail as they have and may continue to.  Now however, the fullness of truth is available to those that desire it.

Mormon Theology and Eternal Marriage

The Family Proclamation in the Mormon church tells us that we are the sons and daughters of eternal parents. Quite a unique doctrine when compared to the orthodoxy that prevails in mainstream churches. Marriage is ordained in the eternities as a center of creation and happiness, for the present life and forever.

Marriage is in its highest order a holy union with capacity to endure. Those that make and keep sacred covenants according to God's laws, and honor those powers that give life, will have the opportunity to keep them forever. This is why sexual integrity inside marriage covenants is so important.  As such marriage and love cannot be redefined to fit the philosophies of men.  Same sex relationships do not accomplish this nor do they follow this pattern.

Mormon theology tells us the female gender and womanhood was not a new invention in the Garden of Eden. Woman was not an afterthought to be a companion to Adam as taught by Bible scholars.  This relationship is an eternal pattern and not a new institution.  We have learned this from latter-day prophets of God.

Latter-day Saint theology teaches that marriage covenants and family relationships remain intact after death. These are primary associations and part of an eternal plan that continues in the presence of God. To put it another way, heaven wouldn't be heaven for some of us without the love of our mortal life still united as intimate partners. Even though Adam and Eve fell, the marriage covenant would be restored as part of the redemption through Christ.

The theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comes by revelation from God to living prophets with authority to teach truth and act for God.  They are a central authority that keeps the individual members from doctrinal divisions.   This body of leadership is confirmed in scripture as the pattern of receiving the mind and will of God to man. So it was with Peter and the apostles as with the prophets of old.

Mormon theology teaches that God the Father is a person, a glorified and perfected individual.  The Father is a man and men on earth are in his image. Fatherhood only exists because of motherhood.  Our eternal mother is a woman.  Women are created in her image.  This is the image of God. 

The simple self-evident truth, patterned in creation is confirmed in the Bible.  There are no children without parents, such is the pattern and the image of God. This eternal truth was lost as the philosophies of men dominated religious teaching.  Marriage has basis in eternity. It was not a new program implemented in the Garden of Eden.

United together as male and female is the only way creation takes place in mortality and eternity. There is no misunderstanding about where our gender comes from. Godhood is the eternal togetherness. Our eternal parents want us to become like them and receive the fullness of joy which comes from eternal increase in the family unit. 

When a man and a women choose marriage they follow the divine pattern.  It is patterned after the eternal family in heaven.  It is the ultimate of synergy.  Henry B. Eyring called it a "transcendent power to produce happiness."  It is a process and not an event. The uniting of two souls as one. 

When people chose to live together without marriage or in same sex relationships they disregard this pattern. They choose the philosophies of men.  The spiritual union cannot happen outside of the covenants of the temple and priesthood sealing powers. Only therein is the authority for an eternal union. God does not stop the unauthorized unions because as I mentioned life is a probationary station where we are tested as to our desires.

A defining teaching in LDS theology is that no blessings will be missed by those that did not have the opportunity in this life to make the those covenants that seal us together for eternity.  Those that do currently find themselves contrary to the eternal laws that govern procreation can repent and change. This is the gift of God.

The glorious nature of the resurrection will be all the more so when we stand in God's presence, having perfected our marriages and family relationships.  Though our best efforts now may not achieve this, some future opportunities exist for the faithful and repentant. The Savior would rather heal us than let us condemn ourselves in ignorance and disobedience. He gives us the opportunity to change, to repent and to obey.  It is our choice. 

Prophets of God that lead in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teach that the the relationship between a man and a woman as husband and wife is sacred and can be eternal because of the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.   Our marriage ceremonies unite us eternally by the priesthood authority delegated to men on the earth that comes from him. 

The opportunity to study the prophet Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and the teachings of the church are available to all that are seeking truth.  I invite you to learn and pray for yourself to find out if they are true and thus confirm the truths about eternal family relationships.


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