Give Mormonism a Chance: Heaven & Hell

When positing any theory, it is important to test the theory on lots of different data sets.  If the theory fails on a data set, it needs to be re-stated, thrown out or revised.  And a useful technique to quickly discover the validity of your theory is to test it on extreme ends of the dataset.  Today, while reading a few anti-religion blogs, I can across folks criticizing religions which embrace hell.  I have always thought Mormonism’s hell-heaven option is creative and solves several problems many atheists have written into their understanding of religion’s problem of suffering and punishment.  I am sure my version is not accurate, so please correct my errors.  But even if my version is wrong, I think someone should grab a version like this and run with it.

Mormons believe that awaiting us after death are various heavens.  There are four or five levels of heaven.  The folks in higher levels are allowed to go down and visit those in lower levels any time they want. And those in lower levels would not be happy in the purity of the levels above them and are content right where they are.  And concerning hell, sure, they got one, but it only contains all those folks that all your close friends, believers and non-believers, would agree below there!

Problems solved:

  • Even if your loved one was not a believer, you will be able to visit them after death and they will be happy.
  • You can establish relationships with non-believers in this life and not worry too much about their eternal salvation.
  • The bad folks pay !

So give Mormonism a chance !!  :-)


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

6 responses to “Give Mormonism a Chance: Heaven & Hell

  1. Interestingly enough, the show South Park has always been really harsh on Mormons, but then they usually concludes with an observation that the Mormon characters are actually better people than the show’s protagonists (i.e. the “kids”, Kyle, Stan, etc.). In interviews they have always said this was because Mormons ARE better people than they are, even if they believe ridiculous things to get there.

    Not sure if you caught this, but Fresh Air had a great interview with Trey Parker and Matt Stone (from the Broadway hit The Book of Mormon) about a week ago, complete with songs! You might really like it, because there is quite a bit of talk about how they did research for it, how the Mormon Church reacted to it and generally why Mormons are cool. Plus, the songs are hilarious.

  2. Jen

    Ha! Good post. Being an ex-Mormon, I will add one detail to your description that I find amusing. Outer Darkness, the Mormon hell, is indeed for the bad guys, but also for people who have “had a testimony,” “been through the temple” and then fallen away. This means that a sweet little yoga teacher like myself is doomed to spend eternity weeping, wailing, and gnashing my teeth. But then maybe I never REALLY had a sure testimony, so I’ll only be at the lowest level where I’ll be happiest and can receive visits from purer sorts than myself. Maybe not so bad. Sheesh, if only giving it a chance didn’t mean not asking questions, believing in the Book of Mormon as a literal history of BC life in the Americas, subjugating myself to a male hierarchy. I suppose if I’ll be happy in that lower level, then I’m also happier now living outside the institution. : )

  3. Hey Jen,
    That was funny, I have updated the post to include your excellent point. In fact I wrote about that exact thing here about two years ago. Thank you for the funny correction. It is cool to know there will be Yoga gals to visit in those lower heavens.

  4. @ Brandon,
    Yeah, I heard that interview — it was excellent. Thanks for the links and the pertinent points.

  5. philomytha

    You’re actually a little off on the hierarchy of who goes to which heaven. There are three basic levels — the Celestial for the uber-righteous, the Terrestrial for the, well the normal people, and the Telestial for the bad guys.

    You can’t get into Outer Darkness by being a murderer or ex-Mormon or Hitler. It’s a lot harder than that. From Joseph Smith —

    What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy.

    So if you’re an ex-Mormon who has had the heavens opened to you and you know God and his plan like you know the sun shines, then you might worry. Most Mormons believe that pretty much nobody will go to Outer Darkness.

  6. Wow, thanks philomytha. I found your site — seems like you are a cultural Mormon who went back to the church because you missed the community but you don’t believe. Is that right? [PS, I fixed your code]

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