Thursday, December 27, 2007
INHABITING OTHER WORLDS
I'd like to return to "The Existence of Other Worlds" by Baruch Crowley from The Jewish Magazine which I blogged yesterday. In reading through the article one passage jumped off the page. Allow me to first explain why.
Many years ago a family member married a woman who was raised in the Mormon faith. Curiosity led me to research what Mormons believe. The most striking aspect of that faith is its belief that after death the righteous Mormon will inhabit and rule other planets. In Crowley's article is a passage that addresses essentially the same thing, but he is talking about Judaism, not Mormonism. He writes:
...the Oral Tradition states that each and every trueTzaddik
(supremely righteous person) will eventually become the governor of a planet in outer space. This interplanetary scenario is all set to occur in the post-Messianic age, following a general resurrection from the dead. According to the Talmud, the quote in the Book of Isaiah, (40:3) "They shall rise like the eagle", refers to the righteous being able to take off and fly into outer space.
Rabbi Horowitz was of the opinion that many planets are inhabited and that just as sea creatures differ from land creatures, because of their different environments, so too will natives of other worlds differ from human beings.
The last thing I would expect to find within Judaism is a Mormon doctrine, yet there it is. In an effort to verify that this is, in fact, a Mormon doctrine, I found MormonInfo.org. This is a Christian apologetics website. It compares Christianity and Mormonism. There you can read:
Worthy Mormons may become gods to create, rule over and receive worship from their own worlds some day. They will do this exclusively as the god or the team of gods for that world or that set of worlds (like the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are for this world or this set of worlds), and thus the God of this world will not perform those functions there.
An ex-Mormon puts it this way:
1 - God was once a man who lived on another planet
This is the most important teaching of Mormonism. Nothing else comes close to it. We believe that God was once a mortal man on another planet who progressed by living in obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel he had on his world, then he died. He became a resurrected man and evolved to become a god. He is still married now (some early leaders say he is a polygamist) and created this world. We worship only the one true god, which is really one god among millions or billions or more. We believe that we will follow in God's footsteps by becoming perfect and we too will become Gods and Goddesses creating spirit children and peopling other worlds. The Mormon TV commercials showing family togetherness is the foundation for life in the next world - as a family - as gods.
Reference: Journal of Discourses Vol. 6 Page 4, 1844. Joseph Smith speaking:
"...you have to learn to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, - namely, by going from one small degree to another..."
Reference: Journal of Discourses Vol. 6 Page 275, 1852. Brighan Young speaking:
"After men have got their exaltations and their crowns - have become Gods..."
In an article at Catholic Answers, Fr. Brian Harrison discusses "The Wacky World of Joseph Smith And the un-Christianity of Mormon Theology":
Some Catholics are aware of the demonic dimension of reality and of the extensive, well-documented evidence of strange preternatural phenomena that sometimes occur in connection with dabbling in the occult. They will not need to insist that the whole phenomenon must necessarily be explained in entirely "natural" terms.
The Scriptures predict the arrival of false prophets with deceptive "signs and wonders," and testify to Satan’s ability to disguise himself as an "angel of light" (2 Cor. 11). If there were indeed some extraordinary phenomena—visions, voices, automatic writing or whatever—this could help to explain the early growth of the Mormon Church. Such phenomena, coupled with the success of the movement and the adulation of ever-growing crowds of converts, may well have led Smith to believe increasingly in his own divine mission, regardless of his duplicity. Such self-deception seems to be a fairly common psychological phenomenon amongst cult leaders. ...
Although Mormons commonly talk about "God" in a way that might create an impression of the unique Being of orthodox Christianity, they believe in the existence of many "Gods" ruling the many worlds scattered throughout the universe. ...
by their own admission, Mormons worship a being who is not necessarily the Supreme Being; he is merely our local deity. ...
the Latter-Day Saints’ polytheistic gospel proclaims a whole race or "species" of divine beings of which "Heavenly Father" is only one member. ...
Joseph Smith declared, "I will preach on the plurality of Gods... .
Our Father in heaven is married to at least one female deity, and together they procreated all the billions of human beings as "spirit children."
If we accept the Mormon gospel and live virtuously, we shall not only rise again physically along with all mankind but will keep on developing until we ourselves are Gods.
And if that isn't enough to send up red flags for Catholics, Fr. Harrison adds:
Respected LDS theological opinion surmises that Jesus himself married Mary Magdalene, Martha, and possibly others and naturally appeared first to "his own dear wives" after the Resurrection (Whalen, p. 123).