Paul's terrestrial and celestial bodies

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Hagoth
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Paul's terrestrial and celestial bodies

Post by Hagoth » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:14 am

We have discussed on this forum the really sloppy proof texting of 1 Corinthians 15:40-42 as an attempt to find biblical evidence for the Mormon concept of Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial heavens. Yesterday while sitting in a lecture about Aristotelian dynamics I gained some new insight about what Paul is talking about.

The major detour we take in Mormonism is when we read the word "bodies." Paul lived in an age of Aristotelian physics. There were two kinds of elements: terrestrial (sublunar) and celestial (superlunar). The individual elements (earth, water, air, fire, ether) were known as simple bodies. The simple bodies of earthly things (i.e. terrestrial), have very different properties from the simple bodies of the sun, moon, and stars (i.e. celestial). That's it. Paul is simply saying that we are currently made of earthly elements but after we are resurrected we will be made of heavenly elements, and that those elements are arranged in different forms, (e.g. sun, moon, stars, and presumably celestial beings like angels) just as earthly elements have different arrangements (e.g. man, beast, fish, tapirs...)
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Corsair
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Re: Paul's terrestrial and celestial bodies

Post by Corsair » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:21 am

I wonder how much the institutional church actually recognizes and knows behind the scenes. The Plan of Salvation has been morphing into the Plan of Happiness with far fewer details on the organization. And, the word "Telestrial" has no historical provenance making it this linguistic outlier that was just magically made up by Joseph Smith.

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Hagoth
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Re: Paul's terrestrial and celestial bodies

Post by Hagoth » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:13 am

Corsair wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:21 am
And, the word "Telestrial" has no historical provenance making it this linguistic outlier that was just magically made up by Joseph Smith.
Yeah, Telestial is really an embarrassment. It's obviously just a conflation of Celestial and Terrestrial without an understanding of what those words actually mean. Worse, it particularly confuses the meaning of the word Terrestrial by disconnecting it from its actual meaning of "earthly" to something greater than earthly and substituting a new gibberish word that now means earthly. Nutty.

I can't help but wonder if Joseph meant for Telestial to be the middle kingdom (which makes more sense considering that the word itself is midway between Terrestrial and Celestial) but he goofed up when he dictated it in front of a roomful of witnesses and was stuck with it.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: Paul's terrestrial and celestial bodies

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:20 am

Another note of importance is that the campbellites and reformed baptists were discussing the 3 kingdoms concept before mormonism. Minister Walter Scott discussed Adam and Eve living in a terrestrial realm and Alexander Campbell had a famous published sermon on the 3 kingdoms prior to the "vision" that JS and SR had for D&C 76. Makes sense this particular proof text would manifest itself given the precedent for these topics in the early 19th century.

Also, Walter Scott coined the phrase "plan of salvation" describing his mnemonic for "faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, remission of sins, gift of the holy spirit" in 1827.

Sources: Mark Staker's "Hearken O ye People" and Daymon Smith's "Cultural History of the Book of Mormon".
Among the heralded views was Scott’s teaching that Adam and Eve lived in a “first estate” deemed “terrestrial,” a sort of lesser paradise generally applicable to the entire earth, under their stewardship.[210] This same year Alexander Campbell published an essay on “Three Kingdoms” developing of his theory of dispensations and priesthoods.[211]  A vision recorded by Rigdon in 1832, seated next to the guiding, confident and reassuring Joseph Smith, would describe three kingdoms of glory: the Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial realms.


Daymon Smith

Volume 1 a cultural history of the book of mormon

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2bizE
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Re: Paul's terrestrial and celestial bodies

Post by 2bizE » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:52 am

ET the Extra Terrestrial was actually from a Telestial Kingdom (obviously) because he used a Telephone to call home to his Telestial planet.
~2bizE

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blazerb
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Re: Paul's terrestrial and celestial bodies

Post by blazerb » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:00 pm

Corsair wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:21 am
I wonder how much the institutional church actually recognizes and knows behind the scenes. The Plan of Salvation has been morphing into the Plan of Happiness with far fewer details on the organization. And, the word "Telestrial" has no historical provenance making it this linguistic outlier that was just magically made up by Joseph Smith.
Do you think there's a committee of church employees including a 70 or two trying to figure out how to adjust the language to something more defensible? The thought both amuses me and annoys me. It would be funny watching someone try to make sense out of JS's misconceptions. It's annoying because they are hiding known problems from the membership.

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Hagoth
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Re: Paul's terrestrial and celestial bodies

Post by Hagoth » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:55 am

Paul's reference to being caught up into the Third Heaven has also been proof texted by Mormons as evidence for the correctness of Joseph's doctrine.

This can be explained by Aristotelian physics too. Earth is terrestrial. Anything beyond the earth is celestial. The celestial realm is divided into two regions: sublunar (between the earth and the moon), superlunar (beyond the moon). Paul is adding the Jewish concept of the "Heaven of Heavens," which is a spiritual realm beyond what we can perceive by looking at the sky with physical eyes, where he imagined Jesus and angels to be hanging out.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Emower
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Re: Paul's terrestrial and celestial bodies

Post by Emower » Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:03 pm

blazerb wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:00 pm
Corsair wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:21 am
I wonder how much the institutional church actually recognizes and knows behind the scenes. The Plan of Salvation has been morphing into the Plan of Happiness with far fewer details on the organization. And, the word "Telestrial" has no historical provenance making it this linguistic outlier that was just magically made up by Joseph Smith.
Do you think there's a committee of church employees including a 70 or two trying to figure out how to adjust the language to something more defensible? The thought both amuses me and annoys me. It would be funny watching someone try to make sense out of JS's misconceptions. It's annoying because they are hiding known problems from the membership.
I dont know that there is a specific committee, but I think there is a concerted effort (by some committees) to "get back to the basics" and this has been happening for some time. "The basics" naturally means less detail on the stuff we dont know about. Rather than go out and get more light an knowledge like real prophets would do, they just try to double down on the stuff we do know a lot about. I think the active hiding is targeted towards the fact that they cannot get more information and they know it. So they would rather get "back to basics."

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MerrieMiss
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Re: Paul's terrestrial and celestial bodies

Post by MerrieMiss » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:13 pm

Oh, come on! We KNOW the telestial kingdom is the lowest kingdom because that is where the TEA drinkers go! Makes total sense!

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blazerb
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Re: Paul's terrestrial and celestial bodies

Post by blazerb » Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:43 pm

Emower wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:03 pm
I dont know that there is a specific committee, but I think there is a concerted effort (by some committees) to "get back to the basics" and this has been happening for some time. "The basics" naturally means less detail on the stuff we dont know about. Rather than go out and get more light an knowledge like real prophets would do, they just try to double down on the stuff we do know a lot about. I think the active hiding is targeted towards the fact that they cannot get more information and they know it. So they would rather get "back to basics."
Unfortunately for the church, the stuff we know a lot about is also found in Chicken Soup for the Soul.

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