I just found this old post that I never published. Can’t remember why.
For some reason, Mormons often cling to the old creeds of eternal, objective truth. Perhaps they are wary of the “boogey-men” of relativism. This makes no sense to me because Mormonism arose out of an intellectual environment that was questioning these very foundations of eternal truth. In the end, Mormonism becomes the ultimate example of a religion without any eternal, objective truths because the eternities are the participation in a culture.
Consider the brief statement in D&C 130:2: “And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.” Here, the heavens are described as an extension of mortality. Sociality is just how it is both here and there, though we will have “eternal glory,” in the next life (not sure what that is…). This vision is confirmed in D&C 138 that sees us all just going to work in the afterlife. There is no access here to immediate truth. Instead, the same sets of issues we face in this life concerning the contingency of culture will persist in the culture of heaven. It is all now, and will always be, culture; turtles all the way down. All “truths” are the product of that culture, which both structure and are structured by that culture.
Though Mormons have longed for immediacy in relationship to the divine, this path has consistently been cut off. Though we have often longed for a “pure” Adamic language that will somehow transcend the limitations of mortal language, we still imagine communication as bound within language, which means that the signified is forever deferred, unaccessible outside of language. Before the linguistic turn, Mormons already had imagined that language was inescapable.
When we imagine that God is an exalted human, we have forever left behind traditional notions of eternal truth. God is one member of the human community who produces and reproduces all truths, which are bound to culture. As Joseph Smith taught, “that is the great secret.”