The Mormon Restoration, from 1830 onwards, can be seen as a move towards the state that Barfield terms Final Participation – which is one where Man carries-through self-consciousness into an understanding of spiritual progression towards divinity.
Final Participation is, indeed,
qualitatively the same state as full-divinity – which is why it is
‘final’ – because God is both agent (self-conscious) and also
fully-participating in all of creation. It is the state in which there
is no limit to knowledge, and all knowledge is potentially explicit.
Mormonism – conceptualised in terms of its theology – can be seen as a
very conscious process of spiritual progression; in which –
layer-by-layer – cumulative prophetic and personal revelations will
clarify and make explicit much that was previously an incomprehensible
‘mystery’ in Christianity.
The first step came with the additional scriptures and revealed
doctrines provided by Joseph Smith; but there was a built-in expectation
that the process would continue with an unfolding of implications and
more specific details.
This has been concisely stated in the LDS church’s summaries of God’s
Plan of Salvation (or of Happiness) – with (as examples)
greater knowledge of the nature of God; the insight that men
and women are metaphysically distinct, and existed as primordial
‘intelligences’ in pre-mortal life before becoming (literal) children of
Heavenly Father and Mother; the description of pre-mortal, mortal
incarnate, and post-mortal resurrected states – with spiritual
progression towards divinity possible in all phases; the doctrine of
celestial marriage and a permanent dyadic, creative and
fertile relationship of a deified man and woman as necessary for ultimate divine status – and so on.
Implicit in Joseph Smith’s revelations was a completely new
metaphysics underpinning the theology – a pluralist, evolutionary,
open-ended metaphysics – that has gradually become more evident (for
those interested by it) with each generation.
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