A Divine Parable
For theists a divine parable, or for atheists and agnostics- Science Fiction.
(Or Something I Dreamed Last Night.)
Written: 2/28/2020, 3/1/2020, 4/20/2020, 6/1/2020, 6/4/2020, and a few days in between.
Is this the best of all possible worlds? Or could Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) be Wrong?
THE FIRST DAY--1,000 YEARS A.C. (Something I Dreamed Last Night 2/28/2020)
Disclaimer: It’s likely some readers may feel this tale is blasphemous, or simply unbelievable. Kindly remember that many people responded the same way to Joseph Smith’s “King Follett Discourse.” (April 7, 1844.) You might consider reading, or re-reading it. Keep in mind how it would have sounded to people for the first time. Try to understand the message in the spirit in which it is given. This is satire. As a life-long member of the LDS culture, I know people who think that heaven is somewhat like the scenes I write below. They may not agree with some of the twists and turns of the story, they may feel that I am representing God and heaven completely wrong, but they do believe in a God who was once a man, who still speaks as a man, who controls the universe, or at least this world, and who is following a plan that has been used before on other worlds. With our finite perspective we each can only see a little bit of Infinity at a time. And tomorrow we’ll only remember a fraction of that. As Paul said, “We see through a glass darkly.” At least until we reach Eternal Life.
Setting: After the Seventh Day of Rest, and the first day (1,000 years) of their respective worlds Al, Cal, and El get together at the Celestial Café/Coffee Shop and discuss the events of their respective 7,000 year plans. For an explanation see: D&C 77. (see also: McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1st ed., p. 624.) If you are not familiar with LDS Theology you might wonder, “who are these guys?” As I mention above, the “King Follett Discourse” is a starting point. Most of the background for this story is found in the LDS scripture: The Doctrine and Covenants, especially D&C 77. I have taken creative liberties with some of the doctrines. Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie could be used for background, although it has gone through several editions, with significant editing. It also might be considered dated, though not as dated as the Journal of Discourses, which is available on kindle for $7.95 and is 26 volumes. (Whew!) If you are familiar with L.D.S. theology, you will probably recognize El as the God of our World, and the Father of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. If you are FLDS you may believe that Adam is Jesus’s father. Just bear with me anyway. Below I summarize some of El’s policies below, as viewed by Latter-day Saints, from recent times to the eve of creation.
El's 11th hour adjustments-- Women can pray in general conference, roll-backs (and back and forth- 2015-2018) on LGBT policies, 2 hour church, slight changes to temple clothes.
El's sixth day adjustments—Restoration, temple ordinances, temple clothes. Black people can attend temple, all males can have the priesthood. Blood atonement and polygamy are taught and then rescinded, though not necessarily in that order.
El's earlier adjustments-- global flood, choosing the 12 tribes of Israel, commanding ethnic cleansing in the Promised Land, (see Deuteronomy 20:17, Deuteronomy 29, Joshua, and 1st Samuel 15) the law of Moses, including animal sacrifice, Abrahamic test, dark skin is for losers, (see: Moses 7:8,22, 2nd Nephi 5:21) for perspective. Review Leviticus in detail. Think of it as a 2nd Millenium B.C. Church Policy Manual. Don’t forget Enoch and his city get translated, and the several extended great apostacies.
El's preexistence-- loses 1/3 of the spirits right out of the gate. (War in Heaven.)
Al is a contemporary of El and runs his planet’s 7,000-year plan with some interesting changes. I have always wondered why, according to L.D.S. teachings, God seems to insist that spirit children make an immediate decision in the pre-existence to agree to go to earth or be cast out. Does it seem reasonable that some spirits would benefit from waiting to get a little more experience, or seasoning?
Al's—modified plan. He negotiated a peace for the war heaven by giving rebellious spirits a “triple option:”
1. Go to earth on the standard plan,
2. Stay in heaven for a few more millenniums or even eons while waiting for a transfer to a later world, or
3. Go to earth but choose the “die before accountability (8 years) guarantee.”
Al sends a personal open vision to every seeker. This addresses another question I have. Why did God appear to some, prophets- and particularly Joseph Smith, but not others? The flip side of that question might be: why did God appear to so many, any give so many different instructions? (Check out a book called Visions and Appearances of Jesus by Phillip Weibe.)
Al also says baptism and other ordinances are nice but not required, and his plan is more grace oriented. The careful observer will notice Al’s third option is completely based on grace, although some theologians might argue it rewards a spirit’s works previous to this life. Yet as Al points out, it is no different from plans for other worlds, except that he gives his spirit children the choice of the three options, in other words- Agency. Heavenly wife (wives) can have test tube multiple spiritual babies. Al’s Messiah came in year 500 A.C. (after creation) – He has no Crucifixion, no Judas; His Savior just suffers and dies. There are two other significant policy changes. Al’s Messiah wrote his own Testament, and his Savior comes during era of mass communications. (The Superstar option)
Cal—Asks the questions, and seems a little slow, but he really is just inexperienced. He is not currently involved in a “Seven Day project.” He only has one wife. Maybe that shows he has less intelligence, maybe it shows he has more intelligence, or maybe it has nothing to do with intelligence at all. (I hope that last sentence doesn’t offend anyone: This is satire)
CONVERSATION AT THE CELESTIAL CAFÉ (A.F. 1000)
Cal: Wow, this brew is celestial. So how are your seven-day plans working so far?
El: “Mine is going fine. I just follow the basic plan-- nothing fancy.
Al: “I’m happy with the way my Plan of Salvation has been working. I’ve tweaked it a bit. I’ve been giving everybody who sincerely prays a “heavenly vision”, and either me, the Missus’s, or the Messiah appear and give the basic facts of salvation in a first-hand open vision. We decided to have our Messiah born after the first five hundred years- 500 A.F. (after the fall) It gets the Good News out to more of my children. My civilization has been progressing pretty rapidly; I sent some inventor spirits like these ones named Gutenburg and Edison into the first few generations. The printing press came out about 200 A.F. and mass media a couple of hundred years after that. And my “Gutenburg” and my “Edison” both are still alive, and well into their 800’s. They just keep coming up with new inventions. It worked well to have my scientific-minded spirits be born relatively early on, so that later our Messiah was able to spread the word faster. Our “Kingdom of God” really snowballed. I call it my “Jesus Christ, Superstar” campaign. Except for about 30% of the spirits who didn’t pray sincerely in the first five hundred years, we won’t need much retro-active ordinance work.
El: “It sounds like you’re making it too easy for your spirit children. They need more opposition to get the real mortal experience. I’ve had wars, murders, trials, infant mortality, disease, and a few natural disasters to toughen up my spiritual kids. If they ask I send them some inspiration, but I don’t visit every child who wants answers. I’ll start sending architect spirits soon; I’ve got a promising spirit child by the name of Imhotep. (note: Imhotep lived in the area of the Nile River, @27 century B.C., according to contemporary [yes, contemporary!] inscriptions.) My foresight tells me he will be building pyramids before very long. (note: the first pyramids are estimated to have been built around 2700 B.C., or 1300 A.F.) It’s unfortunate that lately most of my spirit children are getting downright wicked. I’ve been thinking a world-wide flood is just the thing to shake them up. You know- start over with a clean slate.”
Cal: “You’re right El. Plus with the flood a few of the victims will get that pre-accountability benefit, you know when they die before their 8th birthday. Hey Al, don’t you think El is right? It sounds like your world is for sissy spirits. And how did you get your Messiah killed? You haven’t forgotten that’s the way it still works, have you?
Al: I had been thinking about that. I heard about the new pilot program in one of those far galaxies where they didn’t murder their Messiah.
El: “What the…. You can’t do that! There needs to be opposition, real opposition; and sin and, sons of perdition, and martyrs, and, and that just sounds all wrong Al.”
Cal: “Yeah, what about the blood. You remember the doctrine- or is it the policy? The Messiah’s blood washes away sin. You have animal sacrifices before the advent, you know, to symbolize the Messiah and point ahead to his death and then the Messiah dies the bloody death, I think sweating blood is still standard procedure.
Al: Don’t worry. We have death. Our first parents came through on the temptation event and ate from the Tree of Knowledge. My Eve really put the moves on my Adam, and she has been a trooper with childbirth; By the way, I did have two science spirits: Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch born just a hundred years after the Messiah died. Messiah left some passages in scripture that helped them figured out microbes. And you wouldn’t believe the medical advancements they came up with.
El: You mean your scriptures have scientific information in them?
Al: Yes. It wouldn’t be recognizable to bronze age people, but most of our civilizations are way past that. They are already in an “information age.” When the scientific spirits live into their 900’s they just seem to discover all sorts of things. The only problem was it really lowered the infant mortality.
Cal: That’s a problem?
Al: Yeah fewer spirits get the pre-accountability guarantee.
Cal: I see. El, what’s your DBC rate? (note: death before accountability rate)
El: It’s pretty typical- 25%.
Al: Our DBC is down but, our overall the Exaltation rate went through the roof.
Cal: So, did you still have your Messiah die?
Al: Yeah, it was a rock-climbing accident- plenty of blood, and everything.
El: Well, just so you don’t forget how important the blood is. Wait. What about your Judas, your son of perdition?
Al: Well he didn’t take the bait. He double-crossed the Pharisees and went into banking.
El: That is so messed up, Al. You know all the previous worlds had a Satan and a Judas. You just can’t leave that out. —pause-- Banking, hmmm? So at least there is a slight chance he’ll become a son of perdition? (apologies to my banker friends, wink- Boyd)
Al: I suppose so.
Cal- So how do your wives like the spirit pregnancy thing?
El: My wives are fine with it. What’s to complain about?
Al: Well I’ve been using the test tube spirit-birth process. It was inspired by the physical test tube babies one of the previous worlds came up with. It speeds up the spiritual birth process. My wives talked me into it. I only have the two you know. They would have had to have constant spirit septuplets to keep up with the plan.
El: Test tube spirits? Where do Gods come up with that stuff? Doesn’t anyone reproduce their spirits the old-fashioned way any-more? What’s the point of having wives anyway?
Al: Well I’ve discovered wives are quite helpful. You know- answering prayers, minor creation and stuff. They did some of the fine tuning in creating my world. My first wife did the fjords, and my second wife created some lovely species of flowers.
Cal: Nice how that worked out for you.
El: (sarcastic) Nice that worked out! -- Cal, can’t you see where Al is going with this? I mean, WIVES creating fjords and flowers. Who does that, other that our wimpy friend here? Next thing you know wives will be creating plants and animals. Makes me wonder if Al even “knows” his wives spiritually anymore.
Al: (slightly annoyed) El, my wives and I still “know” each other spiritually all the time. They just like creating stuff other than spirits. And they’re pretty good at it. They’re great communicators. I think the dreams and visions they send to my World are as good as mine.
Cal: So, El did you have many scientist spirits born yet?
El: No, I’m leading off with my prophets. Save the scientist spirits for the last days.
Cal: How is that working?
El: Like I said, my kids are getting darned disobedient on my world. I think it’s about time to wipe them out in a global flood. As far as I know, all our Father Gods used a universal Flood. -pause- Hmm, I haven’t researched “the far Galaxies.”
Cal: Do your spirit children all get to hear the gospel?
El: One of my prophets, Enoch, was really working on it. He has been preaching for more than 200 years. He was literally moving mountains and re-routing rivers. (Moses 6:34) But those devils and demons are fighting back. So I just barely went ahead and translated Enoch and his city.
Next, I plan on Noah being born in about 56 years. (Note: according to Genesis Enoch was born 622 A.F. and was translated 987 A.F. Noah was born about 1056 A.F.) I’ll have him doing some preaching, and his sons are scheduled to be born about 500 years later. That Noah, (chuckles) my foreknowledge tells me he’s likely to be slow on the pro-creating assignment. But he and his sons will have to get moving on the animals and the ark because my flood is scheduled for 1656 A.F. They don’t have time to preach to the whole world. My vicarious ordinances will make up for that.
Al: Hey, you should try a little more revelation. You might save a few more people from your flood. It worked wonders in my world. My second wife appeared to Lamech’s wives (Gen. 4:18-19) and they repented and then teamed up on old Lamech. -chuckles- He’s solid Terrestrial material now. It was beautiful.
El: If they won’t listen to a prophet, they won’t listen to revelation. That’s what I’ve always been taught, so that’s what I stand for. Anyway, I’ll save some revelations for later. I’ve got this great plan; you see I’m going to have Shem and Elias, or (pause) was it Melchizedek and Elijah? —ponders—hmmm, well I’m still working out the details.
Al: But El, how many of your children are raised in the gospel. In my world the media, the magazines and the scriptures are pretty much everywhere. I mean everyone hears the gospel in their homes.
El: Hey, I know what I’m doing. My world doesn’t have your fancy-schmantzy media yet. They get their gospel the good old-fashioned way— faith in prophets. And none too many prophets either. You know you’ve got to conserve on prophets. Save enough for the last days.
Cal: But Al says he sends open visions to everyone who asks. That seems like it’s working well for his children.
El: Yeah, but I bet he isn’t building real faith. You know what I mean? Faith can’t be something you see, like open, wide awake visions. What kind of faith is that?
Al: Well, I think if they are willing to pray sincerely, that shows real faith. Your give your prophets visions when they do that. Why shouldn’t everybody get them?
El. I don’t plan on giving all my prophets open visions and revelations. Once my Church is established, they don’t need them. They’ll direct the Church by impressions, dreams, even consensus building in meetings- lots of meetings. (Chuckles) But that’s way in the future. I may even let my prophets follow the prevailing culture sometimes. Or decide for themselves. Burial or cremation, polygamy or monogamy, doctrine or policy. Heh, heh. It might result in a couple of races having to wait a few years, or decades for the priesthood, but so be it. That teaches prophets to stand up for themselves.
Cal: Yeah, prophets need faith too.
El: If you can believe it Cal, Al doesn’t even have real temptation in His world.
Cal: Oh really? What’s that about?
Al: Well when we explained The Plan some of my spirit children got a little anxious. You know kids. There was the usual talk of rebellion. So, I told them I’d give them some other options, you know, Agency.
They basically have three choices: If they didn’t want to risk the earth-life yet they could: 1-stay in heaven a little longer, even eons if they want, and put in for a transfer to a later planet. Or 2-they could exercise a pre-accountability option- they die before they become accountable. Or 3- They could just go with the basic Mortality Plan. Think about it. Every previous God has used the pre-accountability option with some of their children. They’re completely saved by the grace of the Messiah. Every one of my spirit children signed up for one of those options; Every single one. So, I didn’t end up with any demons.
Not even your Satan?
Al: Lucifer thought about the pre-accountability option, but then when he saw what all the other spirits chose he put in for a transfer; He said he would be more useful on another planet.
El: See what I mean, Cal? What kind of probation can you have if there aren’t any demons?
Cal: Do they still go through the veil?
Al: Yes, everybody still goes through the veil……. Well time, I mean eternity is flying. I’ll give you guys more details later. I better go. The wives are waiting to go shopping at the GalaxyCo. They’re having a special on comets! See you tomorrow- I mean in a thousand years. Heh, heh.
3/1/2020 Thanks for reading this far. Last night I dreamed an impossibly happy ending to this. If I tell it to you it can’t come true. But think of the parable of the lost sheep, of the prodigal son, of the laborers in the vineyard. Think of a Mother’s love. You see, I dreamed an impossible dream last night. And now I can barely remember it. I’ve already forgotten the words I said as I woke up.
Perhaps some night you will have the same dream.
THE SECOND DAY 2000 A.C. at the Celestial Café.
Cal: Wow, have you guys tried this new expresso? No wonder customers keep coming back here.
Al: Some of these new flavors are really something, huh?
El: Aw, that stuff you’re drinking isn’t even real coffee.
Al: You ought to try something new once in a while El.
El: No, I always go with decaf- it calms me down. And when you find the perfect flavor, why mess with it?
Cal: That’s what I’ve heard some say about the Plan of Happiness. Then some God comes up with a variation and raises their salvation and exaltation percentages. What are your figures looking like Al?
Al: About 50% Celestial, 30% Terrestrial.
Cal: Pretty sweet, don’t you think El?
El: Al’s figures don’t give you the real picture. He hasn’t even had a significant natural disaster yet.
Al: Speaking of disasters, El, how’s your Earth recovering from the flood.
El: Fine. Nothing to worry about. Noah and his family handled it great. He did go on a little drunk after, but Shem and Japeth covered up for him. (wink) We had a minor problem with some builders and towers, but then I confused their tongues. Things are back on track; Confusion, dissention, hopefully that will keep my children humble. How do you keep your kids in line and humble?
Al: Well I skipped the universal flood, but a few local floods do seem to happen naturally from time to time. Then some of my engineer kids started building a few dams. My inventors added hydro-electric grids. All my kids still speak the same language. I think it helps them get along.
El: But aren’t they getting too proud and building towers and all that. What about love of money, the root of all evil? False Gods? How do you deal with that?
Al: I’ve stayed consistent with giving everyone who prays getting an open vision. Having a vision for each individual spirit seems to give them some hope, and then they build their faith on that epiphany. Most of my children ask for more light by the time they reach adolescence. It sure helps them deal with hormones. Plus, when my Messiah went down, he wrote his own scriptures. I sent him down 500 A.F. (after the fall) if you recall. With my world-wide media, every kid is reading the same scriptures, and they came right from the Messiah’s mouth. No arguing about translations, or what Matthew said vs. Luke.
Cal: What are you doing about scriptures, El.
El: Well my Adam kept a book of remembrance, but my foreknowledge tells me it will get totally lost. My children won’t have any permanent scriptures for at least a day, or a thousand years, depending on how you look at it.
Cal: So how do your young spirit children learn about the plan?
El: I’ll send down a revelation from time to time. My spirit children used to live up 800 or 900 mortal years, so they passed on the Gospel by word of mouth to at least a dozen generations. But my children rarely live past 100 years any more. They can write down things on parchment. Maybe I will tell them to write their revelations on more permanent material- clay tablets or metal plates might work. In Imhotep’s day they wrote inscriptions on temple walls.
Cal: How come your children don’t live as long as they used to, El?
Al: I’m just glad my Messiah wrote the scriptures. He was very thorough- he explained everything from pre-existence to the final judgement in detail. His scriptures explain grace and works, faith and hope, and of course most important of all- agape.
El: You mean the pure love of Christ?
Al: Yeah, well my Messiah uses the word agape so it doesn’t get confused in the translation, because there is no translation.
El: Well I still think I’d have more problems if all my children spoke the same language. Besides, that’s how it was done in other worlds. But Al, how do you control the real sinners in your world? What about your kings grinding down the poor and sending the young men off to war. Surely your male children lust after women and power.
Al: Yeah, lust and power are always going to be problems. My daughters seem to handle those evils better than my sons, so I skipped the patriarchal emphasis. With queens and priestesses, my religious and political leadership is at about 45% female, it keeps the Church and governments quite mellow. Women often just have better judgement. How does the song go? My Messiah put a parable in His scriptures about it.
Cal: “I am woman hear me roar?”
Al: No, the other song. “No hugging, no kissing, till I get a wedding vow.” (note: google The Georgia Satellites) My Messiah explains it very well in His scriptures. But there’s always plenty of room for repentance. Here’s another thing: my creative types have already invented some entertaining arts and sports. They especially help my male children deal with hormones, release those competitive urges. Musick, Dence, (sorry, dancers) Hoopball, Ballfeet, Golph; Then some spirit children came up with video games a century ago. My kids entertain themselves. We have had a problem with fans complaining about the referees though.
El: Referees? That is hardly worth repenting about. You know Al, Earth life shouldn’t be that fun and entertaining. Children need to learn to work. My children eat by the sweat of their brows. It takes that hot sun to grow plants and farmers or peasants moving water to feed them and hoeing weeds. We still have a lot of starvation. I think it keeps children humble.
Al: You could try sending down your inventors and creative spirits earlier. Pair up a capitalist spirit with an inventor spirit, add the inspiration for internal combustion or air-conditioning. You’d be surprised how it cools off farmer kids as well as city kids. They’ve built everything from center pivot systems to air-conditioned tractors with radios.
El: Tractors? In 2000 B.C.? My Messiah isn’t even going to be born for 2000 years. But listen, I am progressive. I’ve got a law-giving spirit I’ve been grooming. His name is going to be Hammurabi; He will be born in 150 years. That will give part of my world some law and order. Then there’s Abraham, but he’s just a patriarch. I haven’t planned anything real big until Moses. He will get the gospel out to twelve whole tribes.
Cal: Most of your children don’t even hear the gospel in mortality?
El: No, but there’s plenty of time in spirit prison.
Cal: But they’re still waiting for your Messiah?
El: Two or three thousand years at the most. After a couple of eons of heaven they’ll forget all about the wait.
Cal: Al, has your Messiah has already opened up your spirit prison?
Al: Yeah, 534 A.C. Right after the climbing accident 1,666 years ago. We only had 20% of our spirits in Spirit Prison but I still felt bad making them wait any longer; Even if they only make Terrestrial. It goes back to the justice vs. mercy paradox. Would you rather your kids hear the Plan of Happiness now or later?
Cal: 1,666 years ago? That number sounds kind of diabolical. You know- 666?
El: The sign of the beast! You missed that didn’t you Al. Your children will be so confused and messed up.
Al: My Messiah didn’t put 666 in the scriptures. He wrote about stuff like beatitudes, forgiveness, and agape. He explained the Godhead and Priesthood especially well. I think numerology in scriptures is overused sometimes. That can really confuse the kids in mortality.
Cal: Do your scriptures even have revelation and prophecy, Al?
Al: Sure. But my Messiah/Son kept it obscure so my children can still exercise faith. Most children don’t even worry about the future, but a few go overboard trying to fulfill prophecies before they are supposed to happen. If they can do sudoku they can figure out from the scriptures that we plan on having a millennial sabbath in about 4000 years, and then we will wrap things up another 1,000 years after that.
Cal: That 6,000-year telestial deadline can be tough to meet. I’ve heard of some worlds that had to go over one, two, even five hundred years. Somebody said that’s why Heavenly Fathers shouldn’t tell their children about the 7,000-year thing, even their Messiah.
El: I didn’t tell my Messiah when His Second Coming is going to be.
Cal: What was your allotment of spirit children? How many did you accept in your plan?
El: Isn’t everybody still getting 20 billion spirits give or take few thousand? That was my quota.
Al: Yeah. I got 20 billion, and only 2 billion of mine put in for a transfer to a later earth. I still have 18 billion to squeeze into 7,000 years. I can foresee them colonizing other planets in the last two thousand years. That will help.
El: I didn’t fool around with any transfers. They’re either in the Plan or out. Earth or Outer Darkness. That means, after the War in Heaven 6,666,666,666 don’t get born, give or take a few thousand.
Cal: Hmm, there’s that spooky number again.
El: Well my wives, all thirty of them want to go check out a parallel universe. Eternity waits for nobody. See you tomorrow, hope your third day goes well.
Al: Same to you, El. See you Cal.
Dear Reader: Thanks for following the action this far. Read on to find answers to these pressing questions: Will El stick to the Plan. Will He give his chosen people kings in addition to prophets? Are Al’s children getting enough trials? How many Messiahs are there in the universe/multiverse? Here are some important dates to remember for the Third Day. Abraham will be born @1948 A.F., 1813 B.C., when Shem is 390. Noah will die when Abraham is 58. By 3,000 A.F. Saul will be king. I’m using “Chabad.org” (an Orthodox Jewish site) for my information and it calls these dates “fact.” Who am I to disagree? But a different site: “Amazing Bible Timeline” is also available. It contradicts the Chabad.org site, by a few years. WTH? -Boyd
THE THIRD DAY
Time: approximately 3000 years A.C. (after the fall, or when death entered the world.)
Cal: Well, it’s hump day. We’re halfway through the work week.
El: My third day was so hectic. It started with Abraham’s birth. Somehow he got born in Ur. A totally heathen city. Well in order to follow The Plan I had to switch Sarai’s birthplace to Ur. Then I had to get Abram to move to Canaan. I actually had to go down and talk to him. Well, his dad Terah was reluctant and ended up staying in Haran. But Abraham made it to Canaan. Then I had to send a famine to get him to move on to Egypt and teach them astronomy. There was a little mess over whether Sarai was his sister or his wife. I told Abram to tell a half truth, that she was his sister, and leave out the wife part, so Pharaoh--
Cal: Wait- you told your child Abraham to lie? (Abr. 2:22-25)
El: It was a half-truth. Sometimes a God just has to do that sort of thing.
Cal: But what did Pharaoh think?
El: He was kind of dense. He took Sarai for a wife. Then I had to afflict him with some diseases before he figured out his mistake.
Cal: HIS mistake?
Al: It’s too bad Abraham had to go to Egypt. We have telephones and even computers in my world for that kind of thing.
El: I’m just following The Plan- that which has been done in other worlds. Abraham had to go to Egypt. Now quit interrupting. So, Abraham returns to Canaan- settles in Bethel - and he splits up the land with his nephew Lot. Then Lot gets a little too chummy with the people in Sodom. But then another whole battle starts up and pits Kedolaomer, Tidal, Amraphel, and Arioch against the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboyam, and Abraham goes out and-
Cal: Wo, I mean whoa El. Can you just give us the “Readers Digest version?
El: Well, to cut to the chase, Abram takes 318 guys and goes and kicks some royal booty. Heh, heh. Those kings didn’t know what hit them. Of course, he had my help. But he brings back all the spoils and gives a tenth to King Melchiezedek….
Cal: Who is this King Melchiezedek?
El: Do want to explain Melchiezedek to Cal, Al?
Al: Well he is a High Priest after the order of the Messiah. When my Messiah wrote the Scriptures he explains Melchiezedek’s role clearly. Hmm. Let me look it up for you.
Cal: That’s Ok. I’ll look it up later. Go on, El.
El: In my world’s future I plan on letting a couple of my children, Paul and Alma, explain Melchiezedek in my Messiah’s Scriptures. (shakes his head) My foreknowledge tells me somehow people get confused when they read Paul. Paul likes to write metaphorically, and he does tend to mix matadors, I mean metaphors.
Cal: Never mind. What’s going on in your world Al. Have you had any wars? Do you have a pornography problem?
Al: Yeah, porn has been a tough one to deal with. Media makes it available everywhere. But my Savior explained the rules clearly in his scriptures. Thank goodness nobody has shed any blood or cut off their hand about it. I was worried about that old metaphor, or law of Moses thing. Anyway, I didn’t want any self-mutilation. Thankfully my Messiah explained the difference between guilt and shame in His Scriptures, so porn will probably drop our Celestial percentages 10-15%. But we keep most of those in the Terrestrial group.
El: Don’t you think your porn users will all end up Telestial? It’s the sin next to murder you know.
Al: Well my children all have original unadulterated scriptures. It’s a new thing. My Messiah wrote them himself. He makes it clear you can repent. And he explains that all will be judged by the same judgement they judge others with. They can still be saved in the Terrestrial and even Celestial groups. If they cover each other’s sins with a cloak of Charity (see: Joseph Smith Papers: History- v. C-1, addenda, 7 Nov. 1841) they will help each other get forgiveness. My Messiah has one verse I particularly like to quote in His scriptures: “To err is human, to forgive is divine.”
El: Hmm. That’s a good one to remember. I don’t recall my past prophets writing that one down. It would be a shame if it got left out of my scriptures.
Al: Hey, we were all once sinners, except for the True Messiahs like El. Look where we are now. We have all that our Heavenly Parents have.
Cal: So guys, what’s your infant mortality rate like?
Al: My world has it down to .6%. Scientific and medically inclined spirits really made a difference.
El: My world’s DBA is a solid 25% per cent, but remember- they’re all saved. That’s 100% of 25%. Totally saved by grace. We don’t have to worry about vicarious work for them.
Cal: Don’t those spirit children miss out on the best things in earth life? Families, love, overcoming temptation, etc.
El: Well, temptation isn’t THAT important. Think about it Cal. How did you get exalted? Which were you saved by- obedience in mortality, or the pre-accountability guarantee?
Cal: I had a basic mortal experience in my mortal world’s middle ages- you know, I was born during the Great Apostacy, and then vicarious work got me the rest of the way here. I suppose I helped a few hungry people on earth, so yeah, I performed some good works but I do feel like I missed out on a lot of things. It seems to take me a little longer to pick up on some of the details in Celestial glory. I always seem to be a little behind those of you who had the Plan in mortality. And I only have one wife.
Al: Don’t forget either way you were saved by the atonement of a Messiah. And eternally speaking, one wife is all you need to start creating spirit children.
Cal: Do your spirit children face real adversity, Al?
Al: They don’t have demons around them all the time, but they still have trials. They work to earn a living. They face competition. They have weaknesses and desires of the flesh. They get sick and have disease. Sometimes they get sick of each other. (chuckles) Some are born with disabilities. In fact, all spirits will have different abilities. That’s how they learn to serve each other. The smarter, stronger ones help the others along. And sometimes the weak help the strong. My Messiah tells a story about a lion and a mouse that is real good. My children almost all get manifestations, but it’s a once in a lifetime thing for most of them. They are encouraged to find an eternal mate, but our Scriptures make it clear it’s not required. Most of them raise children. One advantage of having an early scientific culture is that disease and infertility is significantly lower. The poor are still around in most countries, although I’ve translated several Zion cities when they totally eliminated their poor. The Gospel does make bad people good, and good people better.
El: Hey, I translated my City of Enoch. You should have seen it. Enoch was preaching and baptizing. He took care of ALL the poor in his city. He even moved a few mountains and changed the course of some rivers. He needed my help of course, every step of the way. But my world needs demons too. I don’t think I can get my Messiah crucified without my demons.”
Cal: So what’s the latest with you, El?
El: I got Moses all set up to lead my favorite Twelve Tribes out of Egypt. We had to kill a whole bunch of Egyptians to show the pharaoh who was boss. Had a bunch of plagues and the Red Sea destroyed the Egyptian army. It will make a great movie in a few thousand years when we finally get movies on my world. Then my favorite Twelve Tribes went to the Promised land and kicked some Canaanite butts. They could have had things easy for a while, but they were disobedient and left a few Canaanites around. So that led to more wars. Then they decided they needed a king. That ticked Me off. What am I, chopped liver? (sigh) But I had my prophet Samuel pick a tall good-looking guy named Saul, even though my pre-knowledge told me that he wouldn’t last long. Then I told Samuel to go pick a young shepherd named David as the next king. I love David, he is so cool. He killed this philistine who was twice his size. He’s nice to King Saul, even though Saul hates his guts, and he’s great friends with Jonathan, Saul’s son. He even plays a harp!
Cal: Sounds like the perfect king.
El: Not exactly. David has been good at writing psalms for me, but not so good at staying away from his neighbor’s wife. Never trust a musician! Even after I gave him a whole bunch of wives AND concubines. He still got Bathsheba in the family way. And then he goes and kills Bathsheba’s husband.
Cal: He killed her husband? Did you punish him?
El: I had their child die six days after it was born.
Cal: I mean did you punish David? You say he killed Bathsheba’s husband? Did you have him executed? That is what the Law of Moses requires isn’t it?
El: Well, I don’t think he really meant to do it. I mean, he meant to do it, but, well, he is a king and all. And he’d been under a lot of pressure. Anyway, you ought to read some of his Psalms. They are so inspiring. And David was very, very repentant.
Al: I think El wanted to be merciful to his son, Cal.
El: Right. To err is human, to forgive is divine. Anyway, now his son Solomon is king. I’ve given him even more wives and concubines than David, and he’s building me a temple. It’s going to have a molten sea, and they’ll sacrifice hundreds of animals to Jehovah.
Cal: Who is Jehovah?
El: That’s the pre-mortal name of my Messiah, but I have my children worship Me in his name. It sounds a little confusing, but I clear it up in my last Dispensation.
Cal: Anything new with you, Al?
Al: My kids have built a whole bunch of temples, and I don’t see much apostacy. My dispensations just seem to run together. My wives, my Messiah, and I keep busy with the personal visions. Same old, same old. My kids are starting to build rockets and explore their solar system. That could be interesting.
Cal: Are they supposed to do that?
Al: Well I gave them some inspiration and they just ran with it. Oh, that reminds me, I have to pick up some black hole neutralizer. Do you guys want to get together tomorrow?
El and Cal: Sure. Same time, same station.
THE FOURTH DAY
Cal: The fourth day. You guys are over the hump.
Al: Yup. Three more days, and one of them is a Sabbath. I hate to say it, but I feel like I am coasting.
El: Al, you really know how to rub it in. I’m just getting ready for my son to get born. And it seems like a millennium since we spoke yesterday. Sometimes a day really does seem like a thousand years.
Cal: Will you have enough prophets to keep your Kingdom going on earth?
El: I’m going to have to conserve on prophets for a while. I’ve got an Old World and a New World now, two different continents, so that takes twice as many prophets. Eventually I’ll have to have an extra set of apostles too. I think I’ll just call them disciples to avoid confusion.
Cal: How many worlds or continents do you have Al?
Al: My continental set up is about the same as El’s, but we have a world-wide communications network. We lost a little land when I translated those last dozen cities …
Cal: How many cities have you translated?
Al: An even two dozen now. Some cities have no poor and get so righteous there’s just no point in making them wait, right El?
El: I translated my Enoch city to avoid the big flood. Oh, I’m not saying they weren’t righteous. They were a Zion people. And then I split the continents. I think you are overdoing the translation thing, Al. And don’t go bragging about your technology and communications. It’s not that important in the eternal scheme.
Cal: So El, your Messiah’s going to be born?
El: Any day now. He had to be born near Jerusalem because that’s the only place that would crucify him. At least that is the way I foresee it. I’ll have to remember to give the demons in the Mid-east more slack so they can really tempt the Sanhedrin and Roman governors. The whole plan fails if they don’t crucify my Messiah. Then after his mortal life in Palestine I foresee he will be crucified in about 33 years, visit the dead in spirit prison, rise on the third day, and visit a couple of other civilizations- the Lehites, and the Ten Tribes.
Cal: So your chosen people are spread out a bit?
El: All over the whole world. In fact, I haven’t heard from my ten tribes for a while. I wonder where they wandered off to- but my Messiah will find them, wherever they are.
Al: The world wide web is doing wonders for communication in my world. It’s been real helpful in our vicarious work for the dead.
Cal: Your work for the dead is going well?
Al. Yeah. We’re are all caught up in some places, just waiting for a few more heathens to die. We don’t seem to get as many heathens as we used to.
El: You won’t have any work for your children to do during your seventh day.
Al: I think that would be fine. Isn’t it supposed to be a day of rest?
Cal: You’re right Al. So how many temples do you have on your world, El.
El: Let’s see. Counting Jerusalem, and the New World- that’s my other promised land. Hmm. And then the ten tribes, hmmm. And the heathen temples- hmmm. Well, quite a few.
Cal: And are they doing vicarious work yet?
El: No! My Messiah hasn’t even been born yet. They still doing animal sacrifices. Lot’s of animal sacrifices.
Cal: And that’s important because-
El: It reminds the chosen people about their Messiah coming in the future of course. Plus, the Levite priests get to eat the leftovers.
Cal: Oh right. I remember now. Are your chosen people are prepared to follow your Messiah, when he comes?
El: That’s not important. (Pause.) Let’s talk about something else.
Cal: What’s your Messiah up to lately, Al.
Al: He’s answering prayers, a lot of prayers. We do the personal replies to prayers of faith, so He is very busy. He runs His Church through revelation, lets the prophets know when they need to change meeting schedules, and that sort of thing.
Cal: Does he ever revise the temple ordinances?
Al: Nope. They’ve stayed the same for 3500 years, or three and a half days HST.* (Heaven Standard Time)
El: What about your different races? Does everybody get to do all the ordinances?
Al: Yeah. All the different races have been allowed to participate. Why?
El: Well in my Jerusalem temple only the male Levites are even allowed work. That’s how the law of Moses works. In my Bountiful temple (New World) they still do the animal sacrifices, but any worthy adult male Israelite can do the sacrifice, I think. I’ll double check to see how my Messiah is operating that.
(5 a.m. 4/20/2020)
El: Hey Al? -pause- When you sent your Messiah to earth, was he your firstborn?
Al: Yeah, that’s the way it happened. He seemed like the only Spirit Child for the job.
El: Were you worried about Him.? Did you miss Him while he was away?
Al: Sure. But with an eternal perspective it didn’t seem that long. You remember the time formula? A day in eternity is like one thousand years on earth? 40 years on earth is like sending your child on a trip to the store. Just think of it as letting him go to the movies for a couple of hours. He’ll be back before you know it.
El: I see your point. But I foresee that it is going to be like a real intense movie, violence and temptation. Probably at least R-rated. I’m concerned about my Messiah. Don’t forget He is doing what he has seen Me do. He’s my First Born too. And when he suffers, I know I’m going to be suffering right along with Him.
Al: You surely will El. You will be right there with him in spirit.
El: But- pause- I foresee that I will forsake Him for a little while.
Al: -pause- I anticipated that too, with my Firstborn. He’s such a wonderful Son. You know it was a terrible accident with my Son. He went rock climbing solo that day. He didn’t have any friends with Him. He suffered terribly for hours before he finally expired. Just before I forsook Him he said, “Father forgive them, they didn’t know they made defective climbing tools.” I didn’t have the heart to tell Him that it really was a crack in the rock that led to His fall. It was My fault. But it had to happen. That’s the Plan. Anyway, I couldn’t watch. I just had to turn away for a little while. But I can still hear the echo of his voice saying, “My God, why hast thou forsaken me.”
El: I’m so sorry Al. What you must have felt!
Al: You know I was so angry, I felt like sending down earthquakes, hurricanes, wiping out a few cities. But in the long run, what good would that do?
El: Well, even a God has to let off a little steam once in a while.
Cal: I can see this ruling a world isn’t going to be a picnic. I just have one wife, and she’s going to be really upset with this Infinite Atonement thing.
Al: That’s so true, Cal. Death and sin is a real pain in the butt.
El: (sigh) Well. Good talking with you guys. I better go. I’ve got a big day ahead.
Cal: See you later.
Al: Our thoughts are with you El.
A Divine Parable Part 1
Discussions toward a better understanding of LDS doctrine, history, and culture. Discussion of Christianity, religion, and faith in general is welcome.
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A Divine Parable Part 1
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.
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