Sunday, April 8, 2012

2 Nephi 2: Predicting Distopia

The dying patriarch of the family continues to share his parting words, preaching important doctrines to his sons.

The Millennium is Going to be Really Lame
Among these doctrines is the claim that "it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things" (verse 11) and that without sin and misery we can't experience goodness and joy (verse 23).  Which begs the lame will Christ's Millennial reign be?

The Devil will be locked up, so nobody can sin, and it's supposed to be this perfect, utopian society for a while.  But that means nobody will be happy and nobody will really be good because there won't be any sin or misery.  So that means...Christ is going to reign over the blandest, boringest, most unremarkable period of human history.  Oddly enough, I was never taught that.

But that's what it says, right there in the scriptures.  All I'm doing is putting all the pieces together.

The Purpose of Our Existence
Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
Second Nephi, Chapter 2, verse 25--a Mormon classic.  It's very comforting to think that the purpose of our existence is for us to be happy.  But it's not a very solid claim.  It comes from a father trying to console his children before he dies.  Do you really expect Lehi to cough weakly, motion for his sons to lean in closer, and then whisper "it all means--nothing" right before he breathes his final breath?

Of course he wants to send his children out to face the world armed with a positive outlook.

But if the reason the Mormon god created people was to make them happy, he's certainly not doing a great job of it--even assuming that the happiness is meant to be the eternal, afterlife kind and not necessarily the lifetime, "second estate" kind.  Considering his habit of cursing people for generations following the offense and then keeping the priesthood from an entire race, limiting them from reaching the highest degree of glory in the afterlife, it looks like a whole bunch of his precious souls are slipping through his fingers.

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