By Mark Stoddard
We might, from time to time, stand back and think some of the Restored Gospels beliefs are so radically different from Catholicism and Protestantism that we consider ourselves perhaps too peculiar.
Take the doctrine of Eternal Progression. Lorenzon Snow blows the minds of many with his easy summary of this: As man is God once was. As God is man may become. Blasphemy cries the Preacher.
But is it really so bizarre? Consider first the words of the Gospel of John, Chapter 10 in the New Testament:
33-35 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
Read similar thoughts in Psalms and Isaiah.
Consider also the words of a 20th century philosopher and famous Christian apologist (that doesnt mean hes sorry but just seeks to explain Christianity). He is arguably the most popular Christian thinker, a member of the Church of England, a professor at Oxford, had a great following who listened to him on the radio during World War II and thereafter.
Today we know his works like the Chronicles of Narnia The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Of course this wonderful collection of books is actually an allegory about the Plan of Salvation and life of Christ.
Heres what this non-Mormon had to say about the concept of Eternal Progression on one radio program:
The command, Be Ye Perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. His going to make us into creatures that can obey that command.
He said (in the Bible) that were gods and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him for we can prevent Him, if we choose He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy.
And wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness.
The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for.
Nothing less. He meant what He said.
Clive Staples Lewis (C.S. Lewis)
Its a striking concept so full of promise that most people cannot comprehend that God means to help us. How could we be deserving of such a noble and glorious plan.
Many picture heaven as an endless, and to my way of thinking monotonous, round of praising God. I cant imagine a magnificent God having such an ego to stand that much affection, nor a God possessing such megalomania as to make us suffer through the great trials of earth life just so we can better praise him.
Moses stated the truth when he quoted our Father in Heaven as saying, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.Now, that is a God that makes sense and inspires man to greatness. Hes doing something. Were here for a reason. It strikes deep into my heart and spirit every time I hear such a truth that a loving Father would care so much about what we will become.