The Mormons - Cosmology

Before the Beginning

According to Mormon cosmology, there was a pre-existence, better described as a pre-mortal life, in which human spirits were literal children of heavenly parents.
Though their spirits were created, the essential "intelligence" of these spirits is considered eternal, and without beginning.
During this pre-existence, two plans were said to have been presented, one championed by Lucifer (Satan) that would have involved loss of moral agency, and another championed by God the Father.
When his plan was not accepted, Lucifer is said to have rebelled and taken "the third part" of the hosts of heaven with him to the earth to serve as tempters.
According to a plan of salvation as described by God the Father, Jehovah (the ante-mortal Jesus Christ according to Mormonism) created the earth, under the direction of God the Father, as a place where humanity would be tested.
After the resurrection all men and women except spirits that followed Lucifer and the sons of perdition would be assigned one of three degrees of glory.
Within this supreme level, the Celestial Kingdom, there are three divisions, and those in the highest of these divisions would become gods and goddesses through a process called exaltation or "eternal progression".
The doctrine of eternal progression was succinctly summarized by Lorenzo Snow: “As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.
The Earth's creation, according to Mormon scripture, was not ex nihilo, but organized from existing matter. The faith teaches that this earth is just one of many inhabited worlds, and that there are many governing heavenly bodies, including a planet or star Kolob which is said to be nearest the throne of God.
God the Father himself once passed through mortality like Jesus did, but how, when, or where that took place is unclear. The prevailing view among Mormons is that God once lived on a planet with his own higher god.
Because Jesus was the result of the union of a God and a mortal he was, according to Smith, already divine, and therefore able to assist man in his search for the moral guidance needed to pass successfully through his Earthly probation.
Jesus had a brother, however, Lucifer, who was  intent on giving men divinity without the need for an Earthly probation. Elohim rejected Lucifer’s suggestion and the spirit children who had supported Lucifer were forced to become dis-incarnate entities who constantly opposed man, while the spirits who supported Elohim were permitted to incarnate human forms on earth, when the opportunity arose.
Those spirit children who had remained neutral during the dispute were condemned to take the material forms of less evolved races, such as Negroes and other non-European peoples, who would not be able, because of their inferiority, to advantageously use their period of probation.
It has also been taught, by at least two of Smith’s original Twelve Apostles Orson Pratt and Orson Hyde, that Jesus was married, polygamously, of course, and had three wives, Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus, and Mary Magdalene.
It is suggested that the Marriage of Canna, found in John’s Gospel, is in fact an account of Jesus’ marriage celebrations.
While the foregoing brief account explains such matters as the implied pre-existence of the soul, mothers in heaven, certain Temple rituals, the impediments placed on coloured people regarding the priesthood, references to Mormons being ‘space men’, and the name Kolob, etc. it still leaves unanswered the question of the Genealogical Institute.
Mormons do not believe in infant baptism, and in that they rub shoulders with many other Protestant sects, most notably, of course, the Baptists.
Such a view, while not shared by all Christians, is considered completely consistent with orthodox Christian teaching.
The Mormons, however, believe that the dead may be baptised.
Fortunately, they do not enact this belief literally, by exhuming corpses, but rather allow the living to stand proxy for the departed.
Researchers have indicated that Shakespeare, Beethoven, Queen Victoria and all the American Presidents amongst many others have been baptised posthumously.
This, of course, is the reason for all those genealogical records, which lie, in their protective, holocaust-proof bunkers, in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Smith’s scriptural justification for this teaching is to be found in the fifteenth chapter of Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians.
Surprisingly, some might think, Smith appears to be correct in his interpretation of this remarkably straightforward passage of scripture; which opens up the awkward question of why the doctrine is not accepted by orthodox Christians when it is clearly an Apostolic teaching.

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