What are some of the differences between LDS theology and that of Mormon fundamentalist theology? Lindsay Hansen Park will answer that question, and we’ll talk about how many wives a man must have in order to inherit the highest degree in the Celestial Kingdom.
Lindsay: Within Mormon doctrine and still on lds.org, the top level is called the Celestial Kingdom. To get to the Celestial Kingdom, you have to have gone through the temple. You have to have a sealing ordinance. There are certain things you have to do. That’s why I say we’re a works doctrine. Mormons are very much about earning our way into heaven. Nobody likes to say that, but that is absolutely why people don’t think we’re Christians. I mean, grace is such a–this is why I think it’s different.
GT: I would caveat that, because I think Evangelicals and Catholics are very different. Now, Catholics don’t think we [Mormons] are going to heaven, certainly, but evangelicals drive me crazy. I’ll just say that.
Lindsay: Well, Mormons drive them crazy.
GT: I probably just ticked off all of my Evangelical listeners right now.
Lindsay: I think [with] Evangelicals, what’s hard is we know what they’re about. We know that they don’t respect us. They don’t think that we’re saved.
GT: What I’m saying is the whole grace-works [issue], I don’t want to call that Christian. I want to call that Evangelical, because you’ve got–you’re born again…
Lindsay: That’s fair.
GT: I would argue that was the whole difference between Luther and Catholicism. It was this whole idea about grace and works. I don’t want to turn this into a grace and works [discussion,] because to me, it’s two sides of the same coin.
Lindsay: Mormonism is very Calvinist. Let’s just say this. For you to get in the highest degrees of [heaven], it is like a special order. There are secret tokens, handshakes, signs, wording, behaviors, things like that. So within the Celestial Kingdom are three degrees. You can go to lds.org. Look it up. It’s still on our site.
Lindsay: Now, in the old frontier doctrine, when this was really discussed and believed, it was widely believed and preached that the highest [level of Celestial Kingdom] was for the polygamous families, and then you sort of went down from there. Now in fundamentalist circles, I’d say it’s a sacred doctrine. It’s sort of a taboo to talk about still, but they believe the Celestial Kingdom is only for polygamists and to get in the top level you have to have seven wives, five in the middle, three in the bottom.
Do you agree or disagree with our discussion about grace and works? Did you know about the number of wives needed to get into the Celestial Kingdom? Check out our conversation….
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