Mortality as Going to College Metaphor

Discussions toward a better understanding of LDS doctrine, history, and culture. Discussion of Christianity, religion, and faith in general is welcome.
Post Reply
User avatar
deacon blues
Posts: 1084
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:37 am

Mortality as Going to College Metaphor

Post by deacon blues » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:46 am

I recall that in my youth I had some Church teachers who taught the idea that mortal life was like a school that we had to graduate from to move on to the Celestial kingdom. (or whatever kingdom we earned) When I got older the metaphor was emphasized as similar to leaving home and going away to college. At first it made a lot of sense; after thinking about it- not so much. Most metaphors have limited application and this one bothered me because it seemed that some students didn't even have to go to school. (babies that died before accountability) Some students got all the best classes (LDS) and some didn't get to take the most important classes (gentiles & Hindus, etc.) Some students even had the answers given to them by the teacher. (prophets, and Assistants to the president) ;) Did this metaphor ever have meaning for you?
God is Love. God is Truth

User avatar
Palerider
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:44 am

Re: Mortality as Going to College Metaphor

Post by Palerider » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:02 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:46 am
Most metaphors have limited application and this one bothered me because it seemed that some students didn't even have to go to school. (babies that died before accountability) ..... Did this metaphor ever have meaning for you?
I still believe in this analogy to an extent. But you're right, the "infant death" thing always made me wonder where the equity was for a spirit wanting the full experience of mortality.

I thought the LDS explanation that "some spirits were so righteous in Heaven that all they needed was to attain a body" was more like pandering to the families of those lost infants. Just a feel good doctrine.

I wondered if in the case of children below a certain age if they possibly got a "do over"?
A chance to return again as a later sibling or even a grandchild in that same family lineage.

Sounds a little like reincarnation, I know. But as far as I can tell, the Biblical scriptures are silent on the matter. But the fact that they are silent doesn't make Joseph Smiths' feel good doctrine correct either. It just means there are a lot of things we don't have all the answers to.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

User avatar
RubinHighlander
Posts: 1385
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:20 am
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain

Re: Mortality as Going to College Metaphor

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:42 pm

Ah yeah, the ultimate classroom/earning your "degree" metaphor. I remember some institute teacher saying how precious this short span of mortality was to learn all we could because it had such an impact on our eternal existence. All plays into the fear factor to run faster on the gerbil wheel they had us on. But now I sit back and look at life, the universe, evolution, consciousness, existence and how Fd up all the religious explanations are for all of it. They have an explanation for everything. But when you get down to the facts of life, all those explanations quickly run into trouble, or require vast amounts of mental gymnastics to work.

In addition to the infant deaths there's the mentally handicapped kids that we were told were super valiant and their mental capacity protected them from Satan, that those kids were sent to teach their families greater levels of love and service. Just another way to placate families who had them.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

User avatar
wtfluff
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: Worshiping Gravity / Pulling Taffy

Re: Mortality as Going to College Metaphor

Post by wtfluff » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:19 pm

Ah... The "Mortality as College" Metaphor.

Here's the thing: When someone goes to college, there's a clear curriculum of that that student has to do to graduate and earn that degree.


If "life" is indeed like college, whoever is running the "college" has done a REALLY KRAPPY JOB letting us students know what we need to do to "graduate."
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

User avatar
moksha
Posts: 2490
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:22 am

Re: Mortality as Going to College Metaphor

Post by moksha » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:08 am

Most people try to postpone graduation from life as long as possible. Who can say that a Bachelors of Hinduology or Buddha Studies is worth more than a Bachelors in Mormonism since all eventually graduate? I imagine there are a sizeable number of overachievers who have been actively planning for postgraduate studies in diverse fields such as Angelology, Nirvana, Moksha, and even Godhood.

Hope everyone has been cramming for the test with the National Lampoon Primer.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

User avatar
RubinHighlander
Posts: 1385
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:20 am
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain

Re: Mortality as Going to College Metaphor

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:48 pm

moksha wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:08 am
Most people try to postpone graduation from life as long as possible. Who can say that a Bachelors of Hinduology or Buddha Studies is worth more than a Bachelors in Mormonism since all eventually graduate? I imagine there are a sizeable number of overachievers who have been actively planning for postgraduate studies in diverse fields such as Angelology, Nirvana, Moksha, and even Godhood.

Hope everyone has been cramming for the test with the National Lampoon Primer.
I learned more about life, the universe and everything from a tiny little fungus over 4 hours than I did in the mormon church for 40+ years!
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests