Tuesday, June 27, 2006

There's a doctrine in the Church called "Eternal Progression." It revolves around the notion that by progressing a little every day for the rest of eternity a person can become a perfected being. This doctrine depresses me. It basically means that the 'reward' for a lifetime of hard work is an eternity of hard work. Yuck! To add to that sometimes people exchange the word god for perfected being. In my humble opinion there is only one God, so I seriously doubt that I will ever be a god even if I wanted to be one which I don't. Again that sounds like a lot more responsibility than I would be ready to face. Now don't get me wrong. I'm certainly in favor of the idea of personal and religious progress, but part of progress as far as I'm concerned is doing less and accomplishing more. I am called to magnify my priesthood, and I do that best when I do it least. I would rather read and listen than write and speak. Maybe I'm just lazy, but I know I do a lot less harm than many well meaning motivated ambitious people. So what kind of 'progress' do you favor?



At 10:18 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

You mean I have to progress?!? Considering that my current spiritual quest is trying to figure out what baptismal covenants I made (which I've forgotten if ever I knew...or I knew them and still know them, but don't realize that's what they were/are) to me progress is a difficult thing to measure. Part of me thinks by studying baptismal covenants, which I've already made, I'm going backwards instead of progressing and yet, since I don't know what my baptismal covenants are can I progress without knowing what I'm supposed to be honoring?

As you well know, I too find the idea of eternal progression a rather scary concept. Eternity is such a big long thing...and I'm not entirely convinced I want to participate in it at all, let alone progress while doing so. Sometimes, especially on days like today, I just want rest. I mean, we say rest in peace...but is it true?

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Michael Linn Jones said...

I was raised a quasi-Baptist, so I hold more to the notion that the challenges are this life, and the afterlife follows. Hopefully one will be united with Christ. I had an uncle once say that he did not believe in heaven or hell, but that it all was right here on this earth.

Considering his life I can understand such a perspective, but I do not agree. Henry David Thoreau once said that a man born rich is stillborn, rather. Sometimes exitence can be a 'living hell' yet there are enough joys encountered to keep us going. But adversity and misfortune definitely provide a focus not obtained by an 'easy' life.

My wife says I'm usually wrong about most things, and in this case I may be. But seriously, we do agree that whatever isn't easy has a lesson in it.

At 10:21 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Hi Michael
Thank you for your insights. I was raised Episcopalian and read Dante in college, so I won't claim to "know" what the other side is like. But I do believe in heaven and hell in a sense that goes beyond the here and now.

Don't sell yourself short in the area of spiritual insight. We all perceive God and his Laws in unique and valuable ways. I'm reminded of the story of the mice who tried to describe an elephant. One felt the trunk, and one the ears, one was on the tail and another on a tusk. They all perceived the elephant in different ways but that didn't make any of their veiws less valid. I think the Mind of God is like that elephant. Everyone seems to describe something a little different. But the differences are perceptual not essential. Embracing that perception is what some describe as a personal relationship with their creator. Different isn't wrong.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Do I have to??? said...

I agree I dont' want to work my whole life and deprive myself of things I want and desire just to spend eternity working even harder and having less. if I understood all that right

At 12:01 AM, Blogger James said...

Nope I want the streets of gold and cotton candy clouds heaven.


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