Dec 24, 2010

IS RESURRECTION UNIVERSAL?

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints has always been very careful to make clear whether somebody explaining her belief-system is speaking in her name or is just giving his ("her" can be omitted in that case for reasons of priesthood-holdership) personal opinion of what LDS faith is about, it seems to me. Reminds me of the noble tradition of "Imprimatur" in the Roman Catholic Church (not to be confused with the not so noble traditions of inquisition and indexes).
In this vein, the reader of Bruce R. Mc Conkie's (to the left) Mormon Doctrine's 2nd edition, SLC, 1979, (however revised, because "experience has shown the wisdom of making some changes, clarifications, and additions") is informed in a lengthy passage I will not quote in its entirety that the book "is a valuable tool but should not be considered an official statement of doctrine".
So what?
I guess it would make a fine subject for a MA-thesis to compare that book's content to the official LDS "Encyclopedia of Mormonism". Whatever the result of that may be, I stumbled upon McConkie's rendering of the topic of resurrection. Without going into detail, I find similarities and slight differences - the details of which would be worthwile to explore - between his approach & the EoM article on the same topic written by Douglas L. Callister (to the right).
Why did I look up EoM? Because of that rather surprising statement of Elder Mc. Conkie: "Nothing is more absolutely universal than resurrection. Every living being will be resurrected" (his italics). It raises (at least) 2 questions: a) please define "living being" - will all the plants, bees, ants, moths, tse-tse-flies, worms, parasites, protozoans, HIV-Viruses and the like be resurrected? b) as resurrection presupposes death, death has to be (at least) equally universal as the former.
Wisely enough, Elder Callister does not say anything about the amount of creatures to be resurrected and mainly focusses on the human being's resurrection, going into limited discussions with western religious and philosophical traditions on the issue at stake. I have not had the nerve to do an in-depth comparison of his article with Elder McConkie's, but my overall impression is that Callister relied to the framework established by McConkie, adjusting it and adding some new aspects. Be that as it may, at least, he added some logic too, when writing: "Resurrection is as universal as death".
Solves problem b), I would say, but does not solve problem a), methinks. But is there anybody who could know?

4 comments:

  1. This subject is very interesting and full of unaswered questions. Rather most of the people don't know if their wrong or right when they are talking about religions, they must be well informed when they start a discussion with everyone. A little blog recently published on wordpress gives an overview of the principles of some of the world's famous religions. We could visit http://culturereligionmonde.wordpress.com to be informed of the general topics.

    Note:the website is in French.

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