A breathtaking vision for humankind

A breathtaking vision for humankind October 17, 2018

 

Another view of the Kinshasa Temple
The Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple is nearly ready for its open house and dedication. This is a great day for Africa and for the Congolese Saints.
(LDS Media Library)

 

I realize that my use of the term may jar some just a bit, but I’ve always thought of the Restored Gospel as a form of religious humanism.

 

Please don’t think of the common modern use of the word humanism as shorthand for the more precise term secular humanism.  That’s not what I have in mind at all.

 

What I do have in mind is probably something more like the exuberant, newly confident Renaissance humanism of European history, when most humanists were still Christians.  (Erasmus of Rotterdam, for example, was a very serious Christian.)  It had its own problems, of course, but it had also caught sight of something very important.

 

Why do I use the word humanism with regard to my religious faith?  Because it seems to me so deeply opposed to many alternative forms of Christian and non-Christian religion that denigrate humanity.  Because it offers what to me seems, by many light years, the most spectacular vision of human destiny that can possibly be imagined.  Because — and, as I’ve said before, I regard this as the central heresy of “Mormonism” — it sees divinity and humanity as fundamentally akin, not opposed, and as points on a continuum rather than opposite sides of a dividing chasm.  Granted that we mortals are very far, in innumerable ways, from God, still, nevertheless, we have the innate potential to be like our Father — and that is precisely what he wants for us.

 

“If within the short space of mortal life there are men who rise up out of infancy and become masters of the elements of fire and water and earth and air, so that they well-nigh rule them as Gods, what may it not be possible for them to do in a few hundreds or thousands of millions of years?” (B. H. Roberts, The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, 35)

 

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Now available on the website of The Interpreter Foundation:

 

““Cease to Sleep Longer Than Is Needful”: Stories of the Saints in the DR Congo, Part 7”

 

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This goes pretty much for us at The Interpreter Foundation, as well:

 

“Why Are We Still Called Mormon Newsroom?”

 

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I really like this blog, and I like this particular article:

 

“Can the teachings of the Church ever change? Absolutism vs. Ongoing Revelation”

 

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This little essay or column strikes me as very relevant here, even though it’s mostly not about religion and certainly isn’t “Latter-day Saint.”  And it starts off with one of the most unexpected similes that I’ve encountered for quite some time.  Jonah Goldberg writes very, very well:

 

“A Free People Must Be Virtuous”

 

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Here’s another piece about the newly-released film Jane and Emma, which I’ve commended to your attention:

 

““Jane and Emma” Film Examines Power of Unlikely Friendships”

 

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“Rising Generation Aiding Remarkable Growth of Church in Cambodia”

 

There’s soon to be a temple there!  Who could have imagined such a thing even a generation ago?

 

 

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