Friday 4 October 2019

The meaning of End Times

I don't think these are the result of any 'timetable' kind of prophecy - but are the result of the development of human consciousness such that many people (especially Westerners) have become capable of detaching themselves from the divine and denying the divine.

(In which the divine is defined in Christian terms.) 

This leads to a crux - where the assumption (from society, from institutions - even, implicitly, from most churches) is that there is no divine; that the divine is not really real... so each individual must choose the divine, if he is to know the divine.

Knowledge (here and now) depends on choice. Choice is the beginning of knowledge of the divine.

The End Times are when the assumption of the unreality of the divine is normal, propagandised, assumed, and imposed. When, in other words, the default is for people to choose their own damnation (choose to reject Heaven).

The End Times seems to refer to a state of positive-feedback when this becomes prevalent, and worsening.

Why? Why does it happen., Why is it allowed (by God) to happen?

The answer is perhaps because the End times are also the era of maximum clarity, of maximum differentiation between salvation and damnation; between choosing Good or evil - the dwelling in Heaven or the various personal hells.  For some incarnate Men, this is the best time to be born, the best chance.

What will end the End Times?

The best answer is that they end themselves. In the End Times, values are inverted - hence evil, death and spiritual destruction become the implicit objective of human motivation (albeit, motivation is itself severely weakened by the inversion and the consequent deep-confusion).

What comes after the end? Who knows ? It is not knowable - because we really are free agents.

Probably it depends... A new beginning, or the end to the experiment of mortal life... or both.


Desert Rat said...

Sooner or later all those who were appointed to undergo the test of mortality on this world will have done so. At that point the test ends and the final results are handed out. I believe that sooner is more likely than later.

Bruce Charlton said...

@DR - I don't think it can be a 'test' - on the basis that putting his children into a test-arena that he has created, doesn't sound like the kind of thing a loving Father would do.

I think it is more likely to be a time for those children of God who need things to be as clear as possible, in order for them (i.e. us) to make the choice in favour of Life Everlasting.

The nature of this world is thus a consequence of a multitude of individual situations of maximum clarity; where the nature and consequences of wrong choices are as clear as possible; where the right choice is simpler than ever before.

Desert Rat said...

I write based upon Joseph Smith's work which describes a "grand council" held in pre-mortal times that determined that we would be "tested and tried" and that a savior would be provided for us. According to this story Lucifer put forward a proposal that guaranteed the outcome for all and was rejected and this led to the rebellion. The significant thing about this, for me, is that if this story is true then we came here voluntarily knowing that the outcome would not be uniform for all. Joseph Smith also received revelation that salvation would be near universal with only those who had the truth revealed to them and chose to reject it and oppose it as the people truly condemned for all time. Everyone else reaps consequences according to their faith and actions.

You are, in my estimation, quite right about the need for clarity. One thing we are seeing more and more is choices being made and loudly proclaimed either for or against Our Father.

Bruce Charlton said...

@DR - As a general point - I feel that Joseph Smith did not have time to work through the implications of the astonishing and radical theology he revealed; so that his statements are often at odd with these implications - and he often expressed a theology that was passively inherited from his protestant roots rather than what was implied by his understanding of the nature of God, Men and the organisation of reality.

Joseph can be seen exploring the radical implications of his theology and correcting this right up to the end of his life - e.g. in the King Follet discourse, which introduces some amazing new ideas (with JS asserting his right to think-aloud, speculate; as part of a trial and error process he intended to be continued without ending).

So Joseph's own understanding of the meaning, the interpretation, of scriptural events was evolving, and was meant to evolve. I am sure he would approve of a continuation of this; would indeed regard this as vital (as with the principle of continual personal revelation; of continual evolution of CJCLDS doctrine, organisation, interpretation etc - a trial and error (or zig-zag) process that has happened since JS's death).

Thus to consider the End Times as a (paternally engineered) opportunity, rather than a test, consistent with Joseph's deepest insights into the nature of the Father; and the way he relates to his Children.

Likewise, Joseph regarded the Father as actually Heavenly Parents; but was not able to work through this understanding into the transformation of understanding that is required - and his successors need to do that work.

LDS members are required to wait upon these works being done by the General Authorities taking account of the needs of a large and international membership; but Mormon believers outside the church - such as myself - will naturally proceed along these lines (to the best of our capacity) as and when our personal intuitions and motivations make this the proper course of action.

Desert Rat said...

I very much agree that Joseph Smith's understanding was evolving and expanding throughout his life. It is really unfortunate that he was cut down at such a young age.

The story of the "grand council" has always appealed to me because it seems to me to comport very well with a loving Heavenly Father. That we were told what we would be getting into and what various outcomes were to be expected sounds like the action of a Father who loves his children and would not plunge them into this weird mortal world without a full explanation of what was coming and a promise that ultimately all who so choose will be saved and, again based on choice, could progress to greater states of being. I infer that potential pitfalls were also explained (and that those who went with Lucifer were not willing to take the chance of failure). That we were given the opportunity to choose to come here is, I think, significant. But obviously much detail is missing and so only general conclusions can be reached regarding these matters.

I do believe there will come an end to this age of fallen mankind. When or how are open questions but I believe we are close. One thing is sure that we will all witness it either in the flesh or out.

God bless you. Keep up the good work. And thanks.

David said...

w"the right choice is simpler than ever before."

Do you really believe that? It seems that the opposite is actually true. At an earlier time in history, the basic set up of assumptions supported a spiritual belief set of some form. Everyone 'knew' that there are souls, spirits, God's, an after life, good and evil were objective and culturally agreed facts. One could simply go along with the zeitgeist and not stray far from the right general direction. You yourself have said as much multiple times on this blog. But, if we contrast that with now, everything is deliberately made confusing by the modern culture. All previously agreed metaphysical assumptions have been/are being overturned. Western people are being born into this and immersed in this confusing environment from craddle to grave. It seems, for most atheistic materialist westerners, they have their work really cut out to sort the wheat from the chaff and figure out previously obvious truths, challenge strongly enforced indoctrinations, even before being able to start down a Christian path. And even then, the world will try and pull the seekers back in and encourage backsliding every step of the way! It takes a lot of work to resist that and keep pressing forward to seek out God and truth. That has certainly been my life experience at any rate.

Bruce Charlton said...

@David - Yes, I really believe that! We are all born, and spend early childhood, knowing all the same stuff that was always known - the things you mention, the nature of reality, the basis of morality etc.

Then we become detached from this knowledge - in a spiritual adolescence; and are confronted with the free choice of whether to believe the child's innate view voluntarily - or something else.

Between living by the real-divine self and living by expedient false/ social selves.

We know, early on, that we ought-to repent - but by not repenting we get (by increments) to a state where a choice has been made to live by the inversion of values.

It seems that a lot of people are in that state - but it has been reached by many choices, many refusals to repent, many embraces of lies and evil. Of course it is not easy for such people to see the truth and join the side of good; how could it be? They could do this in a fraction of a second if they wished, but they do not wish.

However that is, for each person in that situation, their own responsibility - God has done everything possible to prevent it, but ultimatrely anyone can defy God: that is the nature of things.

If we get to feel that the defiance of God is the greatest thing we can do as free agents (ie. the fullness of the sin of pride) then that is the toughest of all sins to escape from - because we do not want to escape.

We will then get what we have chosen, what we wanted... If Hell is seen as true freedom, then Hell it shall be.