LDS Opportunity for “Disruptive Innovation”

The LDS Church is a very much a top-down organization.  I frequently wonder how to affect change in an ecclesiastical, prophecy-driven religion.  According to Clayton Christensen, a Mormon and Harvard Business School professor, this can occur through “disruptive innovation,” that he describes as:

a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of the market and then relentlessly moves ‘up market.’

Examples of disruptors include:  cell phones, community colleges, discount retailers, and retail medical clinics.

I’ve always been frustrated with the LDS Church’s under-preformance in the global humanitarian service area.  The church does some impressive work now, but it could do so much more.

A friend recently brought to my attention the work of two LDS Stakes in northern Utah County:

This fall our Stake [American Fork West], in conjunction with the American Fork Stake, has been invited to participate in a humanitarian aid project for the members of the church in Zimbabwe, Africa. . .  We are asking all members to prayerfully consider . . . and donate something [a list of needed items was provided] to the effort.   On Tuesday, October 2nd or Wednesday, October 3rd bring your donations to the Stake Center 688 W. 500 N.) where they will be sorted and packaged for shipment.  After packaging, the items will be transported to the Church’s Humanitarian Center and loaded into large cargo containers for shipment overseas.

I would encourage all who live in American Fork to contribute to this effort.  Also, if you have friends in American Fork you can contribute through them (they can provide you with a list of needed items).  Or alternatively, even if you don’t live in American Fork, just take your donated items to the Stake Center.  One point of contact is Paul Strong, AF West Stake Welfare Specialist, paul.j.strong@usps.gov.

If members show enough enthusiasm for these projects, then it seems likely that the LDS Church leadership will continue to ramp up its humanitarian efforts.

Here is an excellent example of how members can have a positive impact in a top-down organizational environment.

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33 Responses to LDS Opportunity for “Disruptive Innovation”

  1. Brent Allsop says:

    Yea, and not just the direction of the charity works we should be doing. But what about moral beliefs? I get so frustrated with the complete lack of anything, morally good, coming from the clearly bottle necked great above. We hear more about what we shouldn’t believe, than what we should or could. I get so frustrated with only learning primary school morality, and an entire stake conference meeting spent on nothing but the fact that we should be more reverent during sacrament meeting prelude.

    Well, you know my point of view. You simply need a bottom up amplification of the moral wisdom of the crowd survey system like Canonizer.com, and most importantly, for everyone at the bottom to stand up and actually do something, taking an interest in such, rather than sitting around doing nothing, waiting for it all to come down from the top.

    • rogerdhansen says:

      There does appear to be some minor change as it relates to women in the church. Much of this is coming from the bottom. For example, a friend showed me a ward program which read: “The [regional stake] conference will be under the direction of Elder Dallin H. Oaks, . . . . . . . and Sister Rosemary Wixon.” Even though Sister Wixon is listed last, it’s a start. Recently I attended a F&T meeting (in Africa) where a baby was blessed. The mother held the baby during the blessing. The roof didn’t fall in and I’m pretty sure that the blessing is still valid.

      But it will take a brave Bishop to allow girls/women to pass the sacrament. Apparently, historical evidence seems to indicate that only blessing the sacrament actually requires the priesthood. And hopefully some sort of pressure will come to bear on the brothern to encourage them to “open up” wedding ceremonies.

  2. Brent Bishop says:

    Not to be argumentative but to argue, what exactly are you expecting to come down the pike as far as new morality? I think there is plenty about what you should do: families, marriage, teaching and leading, service, I have plenty of beams in my own eye, but the phrase “He who is commanded in all things…” and also something about “When ye are in the service of..” come to mind. I think we have to learn to receive inspiration on our own or a big part of this life is wasted. Just the items I listed are so open ended that you will never finish in my small opinion.

    • rogerdhansen says:

      I’m not sure whether you are responding to Brent A. or me. But I don’t understand what you mean by “new morality.” But for me, I would like to see the church more involved with global (and local) social justice and social programs. They do a lot with members now, but I would like to see more done with non-members around the world. This would seem to fit in with concept of “when ye are in the service . . .”

    • Brent Allsop says:

      Differences of opinion are great! And if you can concisely state them, in a consensus building way, and rigorously measure for how much expert consensus there is for each, that is a huge step up from being primitively argumentative. If you can do that, and avoid being argumentative, the more diversity the better.

      I like that term “new morality”. To me, such is anything better than evil, wasteful, destructive, primitive, biblical morality, and hopefully someday it will be something that is finally improving, exponentially, in hopes that it may someday soon be able to match our exponentially growing technical powers.

      The sheepish crowd, usually follows that which is traditional, and they are always way behind the experts that are capable of seeing a much better moral way. And the biggest problem, there is no way to know who the best experts are, on any moral issue, and no way to find out, concisely and quantitatively, what they all know, so such it can stand out from all the popular sheepish primitive still biblically immoral drowning out the experts noise of the crowd.

      And primitive warring hierarchies, who’s primary goal has evolved to be survival of the fittest, and to hate and destroy, and convert, all other hierarchies, in a morally bottle necked intelligence way, is still just contributing to the immorality of all the primitive hordes wasting so much time, just mostly sitting around, being argumentative, waiting for God, or some prophet, to come and save them, or to tell them what they need to do to be so called ‘saved’ in some snake oil/neither world way.

      I believe that if you could give every person the ability to select the experts they trusted most, and you could then rigorously measure the expert consensus such experts had on any moral behavior, you’d have a society that is way less sinful than the biblical, “God fearing” sheepish hordes, all just waiting and wasting their time, today.

      In my opinion just a few of the immoralities that could significantly improve would include:

      1. Less rotting of loved ones possibly for eternity, in the grave and more hopeful preservation.
      2. More work to progress science, especially medical technology. (rather than just trying to restrict medical costs, and what such will buy, from increasing – compared to everything else)
      3. More scientific work towards understanding the spiritual / brain, so that our spirits will finally be able to be freed from this spiritually lonely and mortal prison, that is our skull.
      4. More searching for understanding of how families can expand, become more diverse and glorious – such as how might gay couples bear children, and on and on.
      5. More expert and moral wisdom about what mind and body expansion supplements are good and helpful, and more effort to find such.

      But, no, instead of hearing anything about that, we’ve got to go to sacrament meeting, and hear an hour long sermon on why we should be more reverent during sacrament meeting prelude.

      Of course, that’s just my opinion, and what I want. I could also be very mistaken with some of those, and there may be some things that are more important than that. I just want to be able to choose a set of experts I trust, and see what their top priorities are, so I, myself, can be more morally educated, and thereby be more free, and live a better life, making the world a better place, especially for our children, in far more efficient ways.

      And, ultimately you quoted what is to me a very evil biblical scripture “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Of course, on the surface, this seems like a very nice statement – perhaps like on the surface a question like “when are you going to stop beating your wife” also sounds like a good question. But, when you dig deep, you see the hierarchical evil of such a scripture. It assumes the glory of serving some being at the top is way better than even thinking that serving anyone at the bottom is. The bottom line is, for me, it is evil to worship or care about what anyone at the top of any hierarchy wants, especially if such, in any way, contradicts with what anyone at the bottom truly wants.

      For me, everyone’s goal should be to find out, concisely and quantitatively, what everyone at the bottom truly wants, in an amplification of the moral wisdom of the crowd way – and make that everyone’s moral direction, that kind of service is always more moral than serving some being at the top of any hierarchy. And nobody should ever give up till we get it all, for everyone. effing any being already at the top – they already have their reward.
      Brent Allsop

  3. rogerdhansen says:

    Hi Brent, I agree with you that something needs to be done to insure that morality/ethics grow “exponentially” along with technology. I don’t see that happening in the current institutional structure of the LDS Church. The current leadership is too grounded in the past, and obsessed with keeping the members “sheepish.” But I’m not convinced that voting on issues or gurus is the answer. Particularly, when you consider that half the LDS Church membership believes in a literal Genesis.

    I sort of like what is happening now, even though it is bizarre. The feminists are lobbying, the scientists are lobbying, the social justice folks are lobbying, etc. There seems to be a new sense of freedom in the LDS Church. I don’t know how long it will last, but at least it is forcing the leadereship to look at the issues.

  4. shematwater says:

    Let me interject an opinion here.

    You are not talking theology or truth. You are wanting philosophy, and are asking that human philospophy replace God inspired theology.
    On this point I give my opinion: Philosophy, while fascinating, is usually the most damning thing than men can get involved with. The simple reason is that it is based on our ability to understand, and thus leads to pride and arrogance, and the desire to replace God with “a set of experts I trust.” It is what causes people to condemn the scriptures as being evil and will eventually lead to their damnation in the eternities.

    Lst offered by Brent Allsop, all of these things are the result of human philosophy, and all of them deny the true Gospel of Christ.

    I have read where Christ and our Heavenly Father are condemned of being vile demons that should be shunned. Rather we should catter to the base desires of the human race, allowing anything that the people choose to want at any given time.

    I am sorry, but this is damnable heresy, and should be avoided at all costs.

  5. Brent Allsop says:

    Hi Shematwater,

    Thanks for providing that. There are really two things I want. Number one, more moral guidance on things like cryonic preservation, body improvements, enhancements, global warming, and a whole trainload of other moral decisions about my behavior due to required moral decision barreling down on us regarding our exponentially growing technological abilities. And number two, some theoretical guidance on what science we should or should not pursue?

    Take, for example, how much finding should I vote to provide to Nasa, to search for asteroids that could potentially destroy the earth? Anything on that, or any other similarly important issue, coming from the hierarchy?

    And, I’m not talking philosophy here – I’m talking about real testable theoretical sciences, and moral behavior based on all such – especially since we are now approaching Godly powers at an at least exponential rate.

    Another example is regarding spiritual stuff such as is in D&C 131 where Joseph Smith taught:

    7 There is no such thing as immaterial matter.
    All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure,
    and can only be discerned by purer eyes;

    8 We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified
    we shall see that it is all matter.

    We’re working on an expert consensus survey system that rigorously builds and measures for expert consensus on moral and still theoretical scientific issues. As a proof of concept, we’re ‘canonizing’ the field of the still so called “philosophy of mind”. Everyone, today, thinks there is no expert consensus in this field at all, and most people think none of it is scientifically testable (i.e. not scientific theory – only philosophy). But this survey is proving both of these beliefs held by most people to be completely false.

    There is a huge amount of consensus emerging about spiritual properties, such as ‘redness’ and ‘greenness’ as far as what where and how they are. (hint: redness is not a property of the strawberry you can look at – redness is an ineffable spiritual quality of your knowledge of such.) No other theory of consciousness has any significant consensus support, at all, compared to this theory – and the more experts that participate – the more this theory extends its lead far above any other theory.

    And the surprising thing is, these 170 year old teachings by Joseph Smith in the D&C and many other places, are almost exactly lining up with these emerging expert consensus theories about spiritual properties, and how it is all matter. Joseph Smith was now demonstrably way ahead of his time – theoretically!

    And, even more importantly, this is very testable theoretical science stuff – not just philosophy. Already, some camps have been falsified by their supporters, because of the evidence coming from the large hadron collider.

    In other words, the experts are making predictions on exactly what, where, and how these ineffable spiritual qualities are qualities of, and how we will be able to ‘eff’ them. Or as Joseph smith would have said, we’re about to scientifically discover how to have the ‘purer’ eyes required to see such spiritual qualities – enabling our spirits to be first discovered and then to eventually escape the mortal spiritually isolated prison walls that are our skulls. In reality, the expert consensus is predicting we are about to scientifically discover our spirits and the “spirit world” – at least the material part Joseph Smith was talking about.

    If that is true, then it must be a moral imperative for us to support such research, even financially, to accelerate it, or should we just sit and wait for further revelations, from on high? While we focus only on whether we should be more reverent during sacrament meeting prelude?

    So, to me, if you think what little is coming down from the top, is sufficient to live a good moral life, and avoid potential existential risks, infinitely high rewords – both in this life and the next, and most importantly for our children, (i.e. ushering in the millennium), it is my opinion that you are still living a very immoral and risky for our children life. And in my opinion, it is immoral people like that, just sitting around and waiting that are responsible for why we haven’t yet, ushered in the Millennium, scientifically discovered our spirits, achieved immortality, and all that.

    Brent Allsop

    • shematwater says:

      Brent

      Much of what you say sounds good, but it is mixed with great heresies that do deny the true gospel and the very nature of God as he has revealed himself.

      “we’re about to scientifically discover how to have the ‘purer’ eyes required to see such spiritual qualities – enabling our spirits to be first discovered”

      Joseph Smith did not refer to human science, but to the purety of righteousness through which a person is allowed, by the power of faith, to see things that are spiritual. What you describe has nothing to do with faith, nor righteousness, as it would leave such things to be viewed by all.

      “eventually escape the mortal spiritually isolated prison walls that are our skulls.”

      What of the resurrection. In the glories of the eternities, though we will not be mortal, or spirits will still be housed in our bodies. What you are advocating here simply denies this glorious truth.

      God will reveal the world of spirits to those who have purified themselve through personal righteousness, and this is the way in which we should seek such knowledge. To be honest, what you are proposing here sounds to me to mirror the Tower of Babel; an endevour that prompted God to curse all mankind by confusing the languages.
      No, you are not seeking to build a literal tower to reach heaven. Instead you have build a figurative tower of science, through which you have sought heaven. If God punished those who sought heaven by their own means in the past, what will he do to those who seek such today.

      Yes, what we receive is enough, for the simple reason that the vast majority of people are not able to even follow what we have, and until we do we will not receive more. In order for this happen we must be anxiously engaged, do good of our own free will, and not waiting for a direct command. But in doingn so we should never seek to replace the counsels of God with our own judgment.

  6. Brent Allsop says:

    P.S. To see the emerging expert consensus about ‘spiritual properties’ in the open survey I talked about which is precisely as Joseph Smith predicted – see the “Representational Qualia Theory” consensus camp here: http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/88/6 and http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/88/28 . (and you can even select a ‘Mormon’ cononizer, to see what expert Mormon consensus is, how this compares to the general consensus, or ‘canonize’ things any way you want.

  7. brentallsop says:

    Hi shematwater,

    > “Yes, what we receive is enough, for the simple reason that
    > the vast majority of people are not able to even follow what
    > we have, and until we do we will not receive more. In order
    > for this happen we must be anxiously engaged, do good of
    > our own free will, and not waiting for a direct command.”

    Aye. I’m with you there, lad (or lass?) with all that. But to me, It’s not the will of the person at the top, that matters. It’s the will of all those at the bottom, at least as far as it already be not mistaken. That’s what I seek to know. That’s what I care about. That is what I use as my moral guide, and I will never give up till it is achieved for all.

    > “To be honest, what you are proposing here sounds to me
    > to mirror the Tower of Babel; an endeavor that prompted
    > God to curse all mankind by confusing the languages.”

    I have far more faith and hope, than to give up and accept such a terrible notion as any God being anything like that. Would you want to be like that?

    > “What of the resurrection.”

    Have you not yet realized what the true purpose will be for all those that make it to the glorious time which will only start when the last person has died? Just imagine being anyone that would make it to such a glorious time – thanks purely to what all of our fathers had enabled us to achieve. And then follow your heart, as it turns to the fathers, lest the whole world be wasted. What, if anything, do you think immortal’s will be able to accomplish? Nobody can yet know – that is why faith is still required, even then. Will it always be required – or will there be an end to that – also?

    > “Joseph Smith did not refer to human science,
    > but to the purity of righteousness through which
    > a person is allowed, by the power of faith,
    > to see things that are spiritual.
    > What you describe has nothing to do with faith,
    > nor righteousness, as it would leave such things to be viewed by all.”

    That is certainly one theory about what Joseph Smith truly meant by ‘purity’, and by implication, also the meaning of the kind of ‘righteousness’ required to see the spiritual. All those that accept such as their current working hypothesis according to which they still live, would then be considered to be in a certain ‘camp’, and earning their reward for such actions, whether faulty or not, as will soon be justly due. You should Canonize that theory at http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/63 – to see how many there be, still in that camp. And more importantly, to see if there be more souls joining that camp, or abandoning it, it being falsified for them, for something far more hopeful.

    The best part of all good scientific moral theories, telling us how to live, is that they be falsifiable by true science. If, after we die, people are welcomed by the dead – one theory will be proven, and the other falsified. If, on the other hand, we are welcomed back by our surviving children – the still living – now that be a whole different story with far more possibilities.

    You are making very real and falsifiable predictions about what the true meaning of ‘purified’ and ‘righteousness’ really are. As for me and those fools still in my camp, we are making very different predictions, about what the experimental scientists are about to demonstrate to us all, both righteous and still sinner alike, about which camp is the one true camp, and what is required to finally pierce this veil of spiritual perception.

    Can we agree that eventually, we will all be in the same one true camp?

    • shematwater says:

      I agree that we will all eventually know the truth, for it will be proclaimed on the house tops when Christ returns. That is not the issue. The issue is what will be your reward when that happens?
      I will state here, with no reservation, that any person who puts their faith in human science of the revealed word of God, will find that in that day they have come short, and will be damned for their lack of faith in a good, just and merciful God.

      I have no need to see how popular my statements are, or how many people are starting to agree or disagree with them. What I say is the truth, and no popular opinion will ever change that.

      And yes, that is exactly the kind of God I want, and hope to one day be. A God who knows what is good and right, and is willing to punish the wicked so that goodness and righteousness can flourish. God did not confuse the languages out of spite. He did it because it was a mercy to those not yet born; because by doing so he prevented a great evil from being spread and corrupting the earth. And I thank him every day for that mercy and love which he has extended to all his children.

      • rogerdhansen says:

        I think the LDS Church leaders have made it perfectly clear that we believe in truth where ever it is found. The Book of Genesis is not a history book and it is not a science book. To take it as such is folly.

        The gospel of Christ is not the gospel of the OT. What Jesus taught was a much more caring gospel. And I certainly hope that you never have the chance to “punish the wicked.”

        But I have no problem with you believing in myths or metaphors or whatever. Just don’t foist those beliefs off on your children. It can only lead to disaster.

      • shematwater says:

        If my children accept the truth it can only lead to their salvation. It is by not teaching them the truths of the Bible, including the truth that these things actually happened, that I would bring disaster to them, and to myself.

        Say what you will, but Genesis is a book of History, and must be accepted as such by all who truly seek the truth. To reject this is folly.
        The gospel of the Old Testament is the Gospel of Christ, for his gospel is unchanging, and thus was the same when Adam was created as it was when he was on the Earth, and as it is today. There is no difference between what is taught in the Old and New Testaments.

        The Leaders of the church have made it perfectly clear that we are to seek out and hold to all truth, no matter where it comes from. They have also made it perfectly clear that the events of the Old Testament really happened as they are recorded, and that the gospel has always been the same from Adam down to our day. So, if you accept their words in finding truth, why do you not accept their words in revealing truth?

      • brentallsop says:

        Hi shematwater,

        When you talk of peril, for being in the wrong camp, surely that’s not an eternal peril? In other words, you might be able to save me, for believing in and doing stuff I thought was right?

        Brent Allsop

      • shematwater says:

        Brent

        Yes I am talking of eternal paril. You may think you are right, but so did many others who will loose their rewards in eternity.
        There is the famous saying that “The pathway to hell is paved with good intentions.” You may think you are right, but if you are wrong, and that false belief causes your to act in the wrong way, then your belief will not save you.

      • brentallsop says:

        Hi shem,

        That’s what it sounded like. You also mentioned “the Church”, so I assume you are talking about and a member of one of the Mormon Church’s? I’ve been interviewing Mormons my entire life, trying to get a gauge on how many people think the scriptures teach there will be progression between kingdoms, in the afterlife. From what I’ve seen, there is a clear majority of Mormons that do have such hope. But it sounds like you’ve given up such faith and hope? And let me also ask you one more thing, if you ended up some place where one of your family member wasn’t – or couldn’t be – for the rest of eternity – wouldn’t that, alone, be an eternal hell for you? It sure would be for me. I’d spend an eternity in hell, to be with and serve them, no matter how long it took – rather than be without them. Would I be correct in assuming you wouldn’t have that much love for someone in your family?

  8. shematwater says:

    Brent

    I have read where others have expressed a belief in progression after this life, but have not seen sufficient evidence to truly convince me one way or the other. From what I have read I could be persuaded that there is a hope of progression within the glory you receive, but I highly doubt there is progression from one degree to another.
    There is a reason it is called a Final Judgment.

    Now, I have heard of a statement made by Joseph Smith (though I have never been able to confirm it) that went something like this: When asked what he would do if Emma ended up in the Telestial Kingdom he stated that he would go there and bring her with him to the celestial.

    Now, as to your last question: even if a loved one was given a lesser glory that does not mean that I would not be able to visit them. People don’t seem to quite understand this. Christ will minister personally to the Terrestrial glory, so I see no reason why I couldn’t visit at times. The Holy Ghost will minister personally to the Telestial, so again I could easily visit. No, it would not be an eternal hell, though it would be sad occurrence.
    So, your insinuation that I have no love for my fellow men is made without understanding. I love them so much that I would not think of forcing them to live in the presence of our Father as that would be an even greater torture. God’s placing people in lesser glories is not a punishment, but a mercy. He will give them everything He can, and will bring as close to Himself as they can endure. I have a great love for all men, and so I would not seek to subject them to such torment.

  9. Brent Allsop says:

    Hi Shem,

    Wow, I hope you can some way confirm that Joseph Smith plans to travel from the Celestial kingdom to the Telestial Kingdom to save loved ones. To me, that’s exactly what is meant by “March into hell for a heavenly cause”. That sure sounds so much like many of the great things Joseph taught. Let me know if you ever find that reference again. A lot of time, when I go to church, I feel as if I’m descending into a hellish, faithless, irrational and hatful environment – but it’s not really that bad. And, after all, it may be me that is just still seeing things mistakenly. And even if I’m not the one that is mistaken, I love them all, so am happy to endure such a lonely, hellish place for as long as is necessary. I have faith that whoever is wrong, will eventually see the error of their ways – so I can wait for as long as is necessary, and will never give up.

    You said that you haven’t seen sufficient evidence that what Joseph Smith allegedly plans on doing is possible. So, you’re saying if something is a long shot, sounds hard, or maybe there are 10 faithless interpretations of scriptures, compared to only one evidently contradictory one that you know about (which you can’t find a reference to at the moment), which gives one possibly more hope, you just give up faith and hope that easy, and accept the terrible hateful hopeless view as the absolute right and final one? Do you ever think there might someday be more light and knowledge possibly? I always do – to me everything is always about faith and hope, that’s what I always use as my moral guide.

    You talked about a ‘final judgment’. Let me ask you if you believe that absolute perfect justice (the kind that is perfectly compatible with perfect mercy, since no terrible “so called mercy’ is required) will ever be possible? I believe our purpose during the millennium, will be pushing towards perfect justice – everyone working to help everyone pay off, and make a full restitution for any shortcomings or sins against anyone. Since we’ll be resurrecting people – even murderers or people that condemned anyone to the death penalty, started a war, washed the dishes one less time than everyone else…, has a prayer…. The “final judgment’ to me, will just be when we finally achieve such perfect justice together– and everyone finally agrees it is perfectly judged, all atoned for via full restitution, and thereby can be accepted by all to be final. But just because things from then on will be perfectly finally judged by all to be just, doesn’t mean anyone will stop progressing – infinitely so – beyond that. We’ll still be a long way from being all powerful, all phenomenal, all loving… and so on.

    Thanks for correcting my “insinuation” (Although, I was just asking if the evidence I saw was what it appeared – I figured the evidence I saw was wrong, which is why I was asking, and I didn’t mean to insinuating anything.) I’m glad to hear clarification, and that you would march into hell for a loved one, and remain there in service for as long as might be necessary. But it seems there is much more evidence – so, help me know how the following evidence is also likely wrong?

    The evidence seems as if you might only love yourself, and what you think is right. And that your so called love of everyone else is just in so far as they can be exactly like what you think you are. Otherwise, you think they don’t deserve what you think you deserve (ability to tolerate your God’s presence?). It seems there is evidence that you believe God to be completely impotent, in that the god you believe in is so impotent that he is completely incapable of making everyone feel perfectly welcome – anyplace he wants. I see evidence that you think ‘mercy’ is someone placing someone in a far less glorious kingdom, so that they will not ‘suffer’ the presence of what you think god and heaven is like – simply because they are not as good as you believe yourself to be? I see evidence that you think you can be happy in a lonely heaven without many of your loved ones?

    But surely, I’m mistaken, and all that isn’t really what it seems? So help me know better and or how I’m mistaken with any of that evidence.

  10. shematwater says:

    Brent

    You are mistaken in so many ways it hard to list them all. You make judgments without understanding; you either truly don’t understand my words, or are twisting them to fit what you want; and you have basically called the scriptures vile evil filled with hate. I think I could continue, but this will suffice.

    First, let us address you person attacks. You have judged me, and you have done so without knowing me or my life. You have no idea what I have done, or that I even consider myself worthy of such glory as the Lord has promised the faithful. You have assumed that because I hold to a more permanent understanding of Heaven I have to think that I am receiving the greatest of rewards; and assumption that should never be made.
    I know where I stand before God, something that you can’t know. So don’t try to judge me.

    Let us address my comment concerning what Joseph Smith said. This is a rumor that my brother once told me that he heard at one point. I never said I read it, as you imply, but clearly said that I have never been able to confirm that Joseph Smith actually said this. For all I know he could have been expressing a desire, and not a truth.
    Also, you may note that the idea was never presented that she would share in all the glory of the Celestial Kingdom. She may be with Joseph Smith, but she would not have been an exalted being. The other part of this is that the rumor says he claimed this because of his status as an exalted being who was sealed to Emma. It was not simply that he was going to bring her with him, but that it is part of the marriage covenant and the sealing power that if one spouse is exalted they have the power to bring the other to the Celestial Kingdom.

    Now that that is cleared up, let us clear up something else. I never said I would go into hell for as long as is necessary. I said that I would be able to visit those of a lesser glory, so the loneliness you speak of is non-existent. I would not go to dwell in a lower glory, but to visit, and converse with those I love who are not in the higher. I do not believe it possible for them to rise out of that glory to a higher one. But I do believe visiting to be possible.

    On a final note, I do not believe in what you present as being perfect justice. What you present is not perfect justice, but is justice being broken in favor of mercy, which cannot happen. Now, I do believe that there will be a complete restitution of all things. Those who do not make this restitution in this life will make it the next, suffering in hell for however long is necessary to appease justice.
    However, there is no justice in the wicked receiving equal reward with the righteous. They will make restitution, not because they believed and sought after Christ, but because they had to, for all must in the end. They will receive a just reward for this, but not an equal reward.
    This is why we believe that even murders will eventually enter heaven, though at the lowest level. All sins will be paid for, and so justice cannot cast them out; but it will not give them equality either.

  11. Brent Allsop says:

    Hi Shem,

    That’s hard to believe that no matter how close you were to someone, even for a child of yours? You wouldn’t be willing to spend as long in hell as is necessary serving them. I have unconditional love for everyone and would be willing to serve and be with anyone, for as long as would be necessary. I would never give up on anyone.

    Just being willing to visit them sounds like nothing more than just gloating about being better than them, how could such a temporary visit be any more than that? The same thing about having a clearly lesser spouse be with you in heaven, but not really deserving of such. That sounds to me to be worse and more hateful than being racist? Also, what, specifically, could merit someone to be so much eternally less than you, or anyone? I mean, if they make a full restitution for all sins, why would they be less than anyone else?

    You didn’t address my pointing out evidence that you believe you could be happy in a lonely heaven without many of your loved ones, so would I be correct in judging this to be true about you?

    It sounds like we’re not communicating very well about justice and mercy. I feel that perfect justice is perfectly compatible with true mercy, because basically, no mercy is required for perfect justice. And the only true mercy, is never giving up till someone is able to achieve perfect justice and restitution of all their sins. There is a type of mercy, that might ‘break’ true justice, but what good is any such as that would be terrible and truly not just. It sounds like we might be in agreement with all this?

    If so, that’s at least good, but as far as the rest, I don’t know if I could ever give up my faith and hope and accept such a terrible and lonely view of eternal reality being anything like your working hypothesis. I imagine, and hope to soon be, much better than any such impotent God.

    Brent Allsop

    • shematwater says:

      Brent

      I do not believe such is possible. It is not that I am unwilling, but that I understand that some things cannot happen.

      You ask: how could such a temporary visit be any more than that?

      My brother was in prison at one point. We, as a family, visited him regularly. Are you saying that our hour long visits held no more motivation than to gloat over him? Are you really that ignorant as to the psychology and motivations of the human race? What of those who visit their drug addicted family members while in rehab, or any of the other loving acts that people do in visiting their brethren? Is it all just to gloat?

      Speaking of Justice and Mercy, restitution is not all that justice is about. That speaks only to the punishing of the guilty. Justice also rewards the faithful, and that is the part of justice that you destroy in what you are saying.

      • Brent Allsop says:

        Hi Shem,

        Good point about visiting people in prison and rehab. Stuff like that is never fun. I’ve experienced a bit of that myself. So I take it you think heaven will also still be full of that kind of stuff mortality is so full of, for eternity?

        We must still not be communicating at all about justice. To me, making a full restitution is the sinner, making a full payment, with plenty of interest, to whoever they sinned against or were indebted too. Sufficiently for the violated person to feel that after all that was said and done, including both the sin, and restitution, they would agree that they were fully paid back, if not more so – to a level that they wouldn’t mind if the same happened again, and that such was in all, a profitable experience.

        If you ask me, most people (unless they have some mental problem or something) do about a trillion times more good, for everyone, especially their children, than any pitiful sin they may have committed against anyone. Once most people see the reward they are due, by making the world a better place, if there is true justice, paying off a few minor sins or debts will be nothing, in comparison. So, yes, perfect justice pays back everyone, with huge amounts of interest, for all the good everyone has done in life, or anything that makes the world a better place for anyone. I believe most everyone is earning a huge unimaginable reward in heaven, by most of the actions they are doing in life, especially having children and so on. Once our children make it to to the millennium and immortality, can you imagine how rich any such person would be, even if just by living and working for a thousand years? Do you know how compounded interest works and what that means over 1000 and more years? And imagine how much each of them would owe to their parents, for creating them, and them to their parents, and so on, when the hearts of the children turn to their parents, and true justice is eventually achieved for everyone.

        Since you think true justice doesn’t include the sinner making a full restriction to the sinned against, or the debtor paying back the original person who did good for them, or created them…, with plenty of interest, and so on, what do you think justice is?

        It’s hard to see people with so little faith and hope, that they don’t think that kind of stuff will ever be possible. I think all that kind of stuff will be possible and even become easy, for everyone, way before we are anything close to being all powerful… And even if such never was possible, would you ever give up seeking after and striving for such, and at least getting as close to that as possible, and never giving up faith and hope, whether in this life or the next?

        Might I ask what it is, that has so destroyed your faith and hope?

        Brent Allsop

  12. shematwater says:

    Brent

    Stop putting words in my mouth and twisting what I say. If you can’t even listen to me than what is the point of continuing this discussion.

    You claim I “think true justice doesn’t include the sinner making a full restriction to the sinned against” etc.

    I guess you missed where I stated plainly that “I do believe that there will be a complete restitution of all things.” (from my post on October third).

    I believe that a restitution must be made, and that all debts must be repayed. This is demanded by justice, and since God is perfectly just it will happen. There is no stopping it.

    However, true justice must also reward the faithful, which is what you are denying. Most everyone will be brought into heaven, for a full restitution and payment will be made. As such it would not be just to deny anyone entrance into that realm.
    However, once their the reward that each receives will be based on their works in this life, and those who have done more good will receive the greater reward.
    In other words, I would not be surprised that a man like Hitler made it into Heaven, but as he was a mass murdered he will never rise higher than the Telestial Kingdom, for justice cannot award him a greater kingdom than the one his actions have earned him.

    What you are describing is an equal reward for all, regardless of their actions; and you are basing this on the fact that a restitution will be made. You are not considering the other side of justice, but are saying that since all debts are repayed people will have an equal reward in heaven. This destroys justice.

  13. brentallsop says:

    Hi Shematwater

    I don’t believe I’m putting words in your mouth. I’m simply reiterating, back to you, what I hear you saying – from my perspective; always with the assumption that I may be mistaken and with a hope that you can help me better understand things, by seeing how I see things from my perspective. And I am listening to you with all the energies and interest possible.

    You also seem to be putting words in my mouth, or more accurately making grossly mistaken assumptions about what I’m trying to say. I’ve never said anything about equal reward for everyone, in fact, quite the opposite.

    You mentioned Hitler, for example. Let’s compare this to someone who’s obviously deserving of a HUGE reward, if things are to be just. Let’s consider some like Thomas Edison, or whoever you think might be deserving of a great reward in the highest degree of glory, for whatever reason. Obviously, all of our lives are significantly improved, because of his inventions, like the light bulb. So, if things are going to be just, we all owe him a great deal for what he did for all of us.

    Now, let’s say that, once he is resurrected, he feels tired for all the work he did while in mortality, and wants to just rest on his laurals for a few thousand years – in a kind of retirement from hard work and significant contributions while in mortality. He just takes vacations, lives in heavenly luxury, off of the glorious rewards he is obviously deserving of. Now, let’s say that Hitler, when he is resurrected, of course realizes he screwed up BIG TIME, and thereby has huge debts to pay. So, in comparison, he gets to work instantly, working on making a full restitution for all the sins he did. For thousands of years, he works with other’s of his Nazi companions, to resurrect, and restore to a far more glorious life with Hitler and his helpers more or less being their slaves for a long time, till all the Jews, and so on, are all fully paid back, with LOTS of compounded interest.

    So, now, after all that, we have Hitler who has been working hard for thousands of years, and has fully paid off all his debts, and other fantastic things to contribute to society, and so on. So, when all is said and done, in total, after these thousands of years of him working very hard, and Edison mostly just resting, consuming, and not contributing at all, Hitler has far more total earned and just social capital and wealth than Edison. Sure, we’re all equally in the same heaven, all loving, helping, and getting along with everyone – but obviously, some are more wealthy, and deserving of greater reward than others of us, in that glorious and equal justice for all heaven.

    So, from that perspective, if you do ‘believe that there will be a complete restitution of all things.” Why would that Hitler be any less deserving of being in the highest degree of Glory, than someone you think should be in the highest degree, like maybe such an Edison or whoever?

    How is this denying anything? How would this destroy any perfect justice?

    So, I ask again, what has so destroyed your hope in something as glorious as this kind of eternal equal justice for all?

    Brent Allsop

    • shematwater says:

      Brent

      Nothing has destroyed my hope, and you should stop saying that it has. It is simply that I do not see what you talk about as being perfect justice.

      Take your example: If Edison had the inclination to sit on his but for thousands of years this would prove him unworthy of the highest glory. There is no retirement in heaven.

      But more importantly, what you are denying is the scriptures. Alma testified that this life is the time to prepare to meet God, for there can nothing be done after this life that will improve our reward in heaven. John has stated that a murderer cannot have eternal life, and thus cannot be in the highest glory (which is eternal life). Joseph Smith has stated that those who are not exalted will never have an increase, or spirit children, as the gods do. The scriptures tell us over and over again that our eternal reward will be based on our actions in this life.
      You still are not getting the concept of the final judgment. There is no more judgment afterwards, for it is final.

      Think of this: Two men attend the same school. Both are promised by a certain company that they will be highered upon graduation. One works hard; he does work study to pay off the loans; he joins the honors program; he participates in many extra curricular activities. This man graduates with a 4.0 and several honors.
      The other man does his work, but nothing else. He goofs off outside of class, doesn’t participate in anything, and doesn’t pay off his debts. He graduates with a 3.5 and no honors.
      Which one would justly receveive the higher ranking position within the company?
      Say that ten years later the second man has paid off his debts, and has done some personal studying, and thus now has the same knowledge level as the first. Would it then be just to give him an equal postion within the company?

      This is what I see. The final judgment is our graduation, and our actions here will determine what postion we receive in heaven: CEO, or janitor. Can a janitor gain the same knowledge level as a CEO? Maybe. But he will never have the educational background and cridentials that will allow him a position as a CEO.

  14. brentallsop says:

    Hi Shem,

    Regardless of whether you think of yourself as giving up faith and hope for something better than the lonely, hateful, weepy version of heaven that I hear you describing or whatever – I hope you understand how I can’t give up and accept it. No matter what you say about it, I do hope for way more than whatever you think such is. I could never give up my faith and hope, and accept something so terrible, in comparison, no matter what any person’s interpretation of all the scriptures was. It’s also nice to know and believe that so many more Mormons also have way more faith and hope in their interpretations than the few remaining people that faithlessly believe like you still do.

    If you think otherwise, that there might be more Mormons that still think like you, than mormones that think eternal progression is possible for all, you could canonize these two theories, so everyone can track this, and know for sure, who is still in what camps, those that believe in eternal progressions, and those that don’t, and who can come up with the most interpretations of particular scriptures in an attempt to convert others.

    Also, I of course accept that, given equal effort after they die, it will likely never be possible for Hitler to catch up with Eddison. But, surely, you’re not claiming that people in heaven lose their free agency, and can’t choose to do something like take a 100 year sabbatical, or anything like that?

    So, given all that, I would argue that what Alma testified of, is closer to the above eternal progression theory, than your limited, sad and lonely heaven theory. And the same for all the other sad and faithless interpretations you have of all those other scriptures and prophetic utterances. Surely you can understand why it would be hard for me, or anyone that hopes for eternal progression, to give up their faith and hope and accepting something as lonely as what you are predicting heaven is like?

    Those of us in the rapidly growing eternal progression camp, would never give up and to us hatefully accept that anything is ever a final judgment for any of our loved ones, and we would never be able to give up on anyone. So I hope you can understand why we have troubles giving up our faith and hope and accepting something as sad as the few of you remaining people are theorizing about what scriptures describe about the nature of heaven, and whether or not any of us will ever have to give up and accept any “final judgment” for any of our loved ones.

    Brent Allsop

    • shematwater says:

      Brent

      I understand, and it saddens me. If you want to believe in what the scriptures declare false, and then wrest the scriptures to fit into your beliefs, that is your choice. But you will give account of it eventually, as will all who misuse the holy word to justify false beliefs.

      I think I am done with this conversation. I will not have you telling me what my faith is, and that the gospel that God has declared through his prophets is hateful and lonely. I have seen nothing but love in the gospel, and a great joy in the companionship of my family throughout all eternity. If you refuse to see it because it does not conform to your ideas than I have done all I can.

      I will not be posting to this again.

      • brentallsop says:

        Hi Shem,

        Thanks for the conversation. I very much enjoy and value knowing what other people believe. So much so, I would very much like to ‘canonize’ this view at Canonizer.com, if you’re interested, so I and everyone can know about it, and possibly find other people that believe the same way, while at the same time, survey for all who feel differently, why, and so on.

        If the few of you remaining people that still do believe this way are right, and we do have to give up faith and hope and accept that some of our loved ones will have a “final judgment”, and that once that happens there is no more hope for them, for eternity, then I guess I’ll have to accept that. But I’m just committed to never giving up hope, and working to try to find some way, that I might be able to continue to be with and serve them, as much as possible, for as long as is necessary.

        Brent Allsop

      • shematwater says:

        I don’t really care if you canonize it or not.

  15. Brent Allsop says:

    Canonization is a negotiation process. It’s goal is to provide a way for you, and everyone who agrees with you, to find each other and work together in a wiki way to best describe what you all believe, in consistent language, so you can speak as one, with a rigorous measure of how many of you there are, willing to stand up for your moral view, compared to other leading consensus moral theories, if any.

    You do this by first naming and starting a “camp”. Then, hopefully, anyone can get started on a statement, and then you can all find each other and work to continually improve it. Camp supporters can object to any proposed ‘improvements’ they do not agree with, and so on. This negotiation and consensus building process amplifies the wisdom of the entire crowd, and helps everyone to negotiate the best language to describe their moral theory, and the best arguments for it, and so on.

    We can certainly help anyone to get started, but unless a camp is supported by at least one person willing to stand up and defend such, it will appear as an unsupported or falsified camp, or as if all willing supporters have abandoned it. And by default, all non supported camps are filtered.

    There is a “purpose of life” topic, here:

    http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/63

    and so far, nobody is supporting the view you hold, for our purpose in life? Wouldn’t it be great to know just how many people think like you, and to be able to know, concisely and quantitatively, what all of you do believe, and know the best arguments you all agree on as to why?

    I’m in the “Phenomenal Spirituality” camp which is a supporting sub camp of the so far consensus “Utilitarianism” camp. Our goal and moral purpose is basically to use what works with the ultimate goal of getting everything for everyone, and never giving up on that, whether in this life or the next.

    To me, if nobody is willing to do the work to defend a moral theory, how good of a moral theory could it be? Such is evidence of a primitive moral theory no real and willing experts believe any more. It’s always funny how on the way out falsified theories cause supporters to have a ‘stupor of thought’ such that when they see what they are up against, and the compelling arguments for such, they seem to lose the spirit, and interest in participating.

    • shematwater says:

      You link doesn’t work.

      Actually, I have already mentioned that it doesn’t really matter to me how many people agree or not. I know the truth, and no amount of concensus will ever change that fact.

  16. Brent Allsop says:

    Hi Shem,

    Yea, sorry, we had a system crash. Its back up and running now. One of the problems with running on a shoe string volunteer basis. We’re working as hard as we can to move to a more reliable hosted system as fast as possible.

    To me, whether someone disagrees or not, isn’t the most important part. Of course, the sheepish general population is always behind the times of emerging minority moral leaders like Joseph Smith, Carl Sagan, and so on, who are the first lonely people to see and put forth a far better way.

    Canonizer.com is meant to be a way for the voice of such minority moral leaders like that to be more easily heard above all the noise of the popular bleating sheep.

    In other words, I’m very interested in knowing what other think, concisely and quantitatively, so I can better know how they are wrong, if they are, and how I can better communicate such to them, from their point of view. And just as important, so, if I’m wrong, they can all better communicate to me, the better way that they’ve discovered, that I haven’t yet been able to see.

    It’s kind of hard to express a superior moral position, if you don’t fully understand your target audience. You need to ask them to return and report on how they understand what you are pointing out to them, if they believe, and so on, via this kind of survey system. Otherwise, you lose them, since you probably completely failed to communicate in the first place. If you’re failing, it is a huge help to know, concisely and quantitatively, why.

    If you have a morally superior view, such desperately needs to be communicated to everyone, concisely and quantitatively, with everyone that can see things as you do, in a unified voice. And I’d hope you’d also be interested in fully understanding other points of view and surveying for how many still don’t agree with you, and why, so you can better communicate to such diverse audiences. The best way to communicate is to use their terminology, and to speak in a way that works with their current frame of reference.

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