Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Evangelicalism in Me?

Am I the only Mormon out there who does not like Mormonism's discussion of theosis (doctrine of becoming gods) at times? This Sunday, we talked about it in our Elder's Quorum. Whenever we talk about this particular doctrine, I get really uncomfortable. Let me give a few reasons as to why I think I get uncomfortable with this.

1. It's often presented in a manner that seems... well... almost irreverent. ( I really don't mean to judge, you can call me out if you feel I am absurd.) It seems almost like it's irreverent when we discuss it because it is something that we really don't actually know that much about. In fact, I don't know that we really know much of anything about it, besides the possibility of it.

2. It leads to a lot of folk doctrine. I heard someone asked where a scriptural reference was for "As man is God once was and as God is, man may become." Turns out, that's actually not scripture. Then I heard someone else say that it was said by a living prophet, so it might as well be scripture. This again, seems folk doctrine-y to me. We really don't take everything that prophets say as doctrine because to do such is a scary proposition. We only take statements that are evaluated and made canon. I am not saying I don't agree with Lorenzo Snow's couplet but I am saying we need to be very careful when we start throwing around doctrine when, in reality, it could just as well be folk doctrine.

3. As mentioned earlier, it gets at my Evangelical side when Mormons talk about it. Again, it's not that I don't believe it, it's just that I don't claim to understand it. I don't know how it works, when it will happen, and what it means exactly. Of course I believe in our divine potential, but there is still something about it that makes me really uncomfortable. Now I know we shouldn't cater to be popular, but I can't help but imagine what would happen if we had had a non-member in our midst. What would they have thought of our discussion? Are we keeping our discussions in harmony with Gospel teachings? Are we recognizing the role of grace in our salvation? Are we recognizing that we need grace? Again, my evangelism creeping in.

Granted, dear readers, please realize, I do believe in divine potential. I think it's a beautiful doctrine, but I just wish it were presented differently.

I hate to sound judgy. I am not trying to judge anyone in particular, I am just stating my opinions and questioning this theological undestanding. If I am in the wrong, I will back off, but could someone please help me to understand this?


Catherine Agnes said...

It's interesting that a doctrine as major as this is not included anywhere in the scriptures.

Even harder to explain than other established-but-non-scriptural doctrines, I think.

stellastruck said...

I think I pretty much agree with you... And I think President Hinkley would, too. When a newspaper asked him about theosis, he essentially said that it was a doctrine we didn't know much about and didn't talk about much.

PolarBeccaBear said...

There is a man at work that always calls me a Goddess because of this particular doctrine. The Elders and he, a long time ago, ended up talking about it. It WAS presented to him in a far from reverent manner. I think that sometimes the people of the church aren't aware that this particular belief hardly applies to our lives, in general and is VERY easily misconstrued.

It won't happen until be are dead and all the spiffy and confusing stuff happens, anyway! I, personally, almost think that the 'knowledge' of it shouldn't exist.

And technically speaking, since I am female I only have the ability to be like HM, not God. I hold no priesthood and technically never will. So that's one less thing for me to think about, haha.

We know nothing. We like to pretend that we do. It's good that you admit that you are unsure. I wish I could see that more often, to be honest. Having a strong testimony doesn't necessarily mean that you need to feel as if you know everything.

You're such a cool kid.

daine said...

Maybe we can make a deal with the Mormon culture: we allow them to continue talking about us becoming Gods (even though it hasn't been canonized) in exchange for them not talking about the Proclamation to the World (also not canonized, thank goodness)?