The Harangue turned 3 years old this week (so it isn't New anymore, and how Cool it ever was is subject to debate). Happy berfday to them.
As their regular readers know, the focus of the posts there has always been trying to look beyond the mark when it comes to Mormon doctrine, theology, and scriptures. They have spent a lot of time trying to speculate wildly about the atonement of Jesus Christ, free will/agency, foreknowledge, personal revelation, eternal progression, and all sorts of other difficult theological and philosophical subjects they really know very little about. Along the way there has been a lot of contention and disagreement. Why? Because:
GeoffJ hates knuckleheaded comments.
In the middle of them speculating wildly on the atonement of Jesus Christ some numbskull (i.e., anyone who doesn't agree with GeoffJ) will come along and tell them to stop wasting their time. Not surprising, quite frankly, given some of the ridiculous things they discuss. Like Multiple Mortal Probations and wacky Atonement theory that ignores what the rest of Christendom figured out nearly 2000 years ago. No, I’m not kidding. These types of comments irritate GeoffJ to no end, because they don't dwell on how greatly enriched by these discussions he is and how he feels more knowledgeable about the things of God.
Since GeoffJ is irritated as he blogs uncharitably, I will guess about a potential reason for that kind of comment: A severe inability to live the restored gospel. Yup — worldly people are afraid that pulling back the curtain and looking hard in the mirror will reveal that they are living a sham or something (to put it in Wizard of Oz terms). Being willing to look closely at yourself takes faith that the restored gospel holds up when applied to your life and my guess is that some people are deathly afraid that looking closely at their own lives will reveal awful results.
Speculating wildly is nonsense. Studying the scriptures closely in order to know how we should act and what we should do is a good thing. The restored gospel can easily tell someone how they live their life. The scriptures certainly are not against us studying the gospel so we will know how to act:
Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. (D&C 130: 18-19)As this Scripture states, the knowledge and intelligence is gained through diligence and obedience, just as Jesus taught, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine" meaning if we do the Father's will then we will be filled with His doctrine. Nothing there about being ardently dedicated to speculating wildly in ignorance, just talking about living right and learning as a result of it.
The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. (D&C 93: 36)Yes, and taking it in context with D&C 93, when people exercise their agency to reject evil and do good, then they are filled with light and truth, which the adversary takes away because of disobedience. So, what do we need to do to be filled with light and truth? Speculate? No. Obedience? Yes.
It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance. (D&C 131: 6)Here, Joseph makes it plain that choosing to ignore the ordinances of God will damn you, as he states:
There are a great many wise men and women too in our midst who are too wise to be taught; therefore they must die in their ignorance, and in the resurrection they will find their mistake. Many seal up the door of heaven by saying, So far God may reveal and I will believe.So, the ignorance Smith is talking about is not that of esoteric bits of soteriological knowledge, but the willful ignoring of the call to repent and be baptized by an authorized servant of God. So, once again, the Scriptures do not support what GeoffJ is saying.
All men who become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ will have to receive the fullness of the ordinances of his kingdom; and those who will not receive all the ordinances will come short of the fullness of that glory, if they do not lose the whole (TPJS, Pg. 509)
But, look, people can live the Gospel all they want. We are all free to choose. But there at the Harangue they are all about trying to understand what they consider to be important, and not actually living the gospel. Those who don’t like that are free to step off. (Of course GeoffJ mean that in that in the nicest possible way, which is to say, "If you aren't a rampant speculator who likes looking beyond the mark and ignoring the obvious, then don't comment there, but please still do read the blog, because he watches the stats very closely, just don't comment, because he doesn't care what you think, unless you agree with him.")
Oh and a Happy New Year to all speculators! The rest of you, who focus on living the Gospel and point out speculating is largely a waste of time, can step off. We get enough of that at Church already!
[Associated Radio Thang song: Noisepie — Hey Mr. Bighead]