Exalting the Mormons

mormon templeNewsweek magazine splashed a story on the growth of the Mormon Church on its cover last week. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints keeps receiving more and more media coverage, and it is handling it quite well, considering some of its more controversial teachings. Nothing extremely shocking in this piece (and GetReligion has covered some of these issues here, here, here and here), but this is one of the country's major newsweeklies and an article that will gather quite a number of eyes should not be ignored.

The author, Elise Soukup, seems a bit transfixed by the polygamy issue, but it's clear that LDS leadership abandoned that teaching a long time ago. It's old news.

The news too me is LDS teaching on exaltation, but the following few sentences are all that is mentioned on the issue:

However, LDS doctrine holds that some polygamist marriages will exist in the celestial kingdom, the highest tier of heaven. Smith taught that humans (who were spirits in a "pre-existence") come to earth to get a body and to be tested. After death, everyone is placed into one of three kingdoms, depending on his level of righteousness. Those in the highest degree will dwell with God, their families will be eternal and they'll even become gods themselves -- as God did. Lorenzo Snow, fifth LDS prophet, articulated doctrine when he said, "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be."

Tmatt tells me that the big question is whether it is prejudice to even write about Mormon doctrine. I see it as quite necessary, if it is indeed an essential holding of the Mormons. And as tmatt showed us, last month this issue could blow up in the face of many conservative Mormon politicians.

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