October 28, 2010

"All Find What They Truly Seek" (p.4): The Fate of the Virtuous Unbeliever

Part four of “'All Find What They Truly Seek': C.S. Lewis, Latter-day Saints, and the Virtuous Unbeliever” (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 43, no. 3 [Fall 2010]: 21–62). This one discusses the fate of the virtuous unbeliever, of course. See also parts onetwo, and three.

As Lewis saw it, God may utilize different belief systems to lead His children back to Him. But “even if there are a thousand orders of beneficent being [sic] above us, still, the universe is a cheat unless at the back of them all there is the one God of Christianity” (2:108). What did Lewis think about those who would not accept that one God? Moreover, what about Latter-day Saints who believe Lewis may have missed his own opportunity to accept the “fulness of the restored gospel”? Some Latter-day Saints might emphasize this selection from the Book of Mormon:

For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.. . . I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. (Alma 34:32–33)61
Similarly, Lewis did not necessarily think unbelievers would have an eternal opportunity to turn to God. His 1940s radio broadcasts (later published as Mere Christianity) included a sense of urgency: “Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last for ever. We must take it or leave it.”62 Lewis explained this point elsewhere: “I mean that each individual only has [the chance] for a short time i.e. is only alive on this Earth for a short time” (2:776). Some LDS leaders have spoken against the possibility of a “second chance” at salvation. Elder Bruce R. McConkie listed the idea among his “Seven Deadly Heresies.” After paraphrasing from Alma 34, he declared: “For those who do not have an opportunity in this life, the first chance to gain salvation will come in the spirit world. . . . Those who reject the gospel in this life and then receive it in the spirit world go not to the celestial, but to the terrestrial kingdom.”63 McConkie did not address how mortals are to know what actually constitutes an honest and true “chance” or who has actually received one. Church president Joseph Fielding Smith, McConkie’s father-in-law, expressed a similar view in interesting terms: “All who have not had the privilege of repentance and acceptance of the plan of salvation in this life will have that opportunity in the world of spirits. Those who repent there and believe when the message is declared to them are heirs of salvation and exaltation.” Still, he concluded: “It is the duty of all men who hear the gospel to repent. If they reject the gospel when it is declared to them here, then they are damned. The Savior has said it. If they receive and endure to the end, they shall receive the blessings. Every man has his agency.”64

Neither of these works is considered “official doctrine” of the LDS Church. Other LDS leaders have presented slightly more lenient views.65 Joseph Smith’s own understanding adapted over time as he received further revelation. The Book of Mormon’s “night of darkness” (Alma 34:33)66 was somewhat brightened in 1832 by Smith’s vision of the “three degrees of glory,” presenting a significant departure from a strict heaven/hell dichotomy with graded degrees of celestial, terrestrial, and telestial. This revelation appears to depict virtuous unbelievers as being incapable of reaching the highest (“celestial”) degree of glory. “Terrestrial” inhabitants “are they who died without law; Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it. These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men. These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness” (D&C 76:72–76). This revelation may have caused consternation for the Prophet, whose older brother Alvin died before being baptized.67 However, in 1836 “the heavens were opened” again to Joseph in the Kirtland Temple. There he “beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof,” whose inhabitants included Adam and Eve, Abraham, Alvin, Joseph’s deceased father, and his still-living mother:

[I] marveled how it was that [Alvin] had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins.
Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;
Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts. (D&C 137:5–7; emphasis mine)68

This doctrine seems foreshadowed in the Book of Mormon’s “plan of restoration,” whereby people would be judged by “intent of heart” and the “law” under which they lived (Alma 41; Moro. 7:6–11).

This doctrine was vividly described in one of Brigham Young’s discourses, which told of one well-meaning—though particularly impatient—missionary:

I recollect . . . sending an Elder to Bristol, to open a door there, and see if anybody would believe. He had a little more than thirty miles to walk; he starts off one morning, and arrives at Bristol; he preached the Gospel to them, and sealed them all up to damnation, and was back next morning. He was just as good a man, too, as we had. It was want of knowledge caused him to do so. I go and preach to the people, and tell them at the end of every sermon, “he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; and he that believeth not, shall be damned.” I continue preaching there day after day . . . and yet nobody believes my testimony. . . .
“What shall I do in this case, if I am sent to preach there?” you may inquire. You must continue to preach there . . . [I would] continue to plead with them, until they bend their dispositions to the Gospel. Why?
Because I must be patient with them, as the Lord is patient with me; as the Lord is merciful to me, I will be merciful to others; as He continues to be merciful to me, consequently I must continue in long-suffering to be merciful to others—patiently waiting, with all diligence, until the people will believe, and until they are prepared to become heirs to a celestial kingdom, or angels to the devil.69
How can Young’s patient God be reconciled with scriptures describing the path to God’s kingdom as so “strait and narrow” that “few there be that find it”? (Matt. 7:14). This particular verse troubled Lewis enough that he brought it up during a weekly gathering of friends (the “Inklings”) to hash through its implications. It resulted in fireworks: “The occasion was a discussion of the most distressing text in the Bible (‘narrow is the way and few they be that find it’) and whether one really could believe in a universe where the majority were damned and also in the goodness of God. [Charles] Wrenn, of course, took the view that it mattered precisely nothing whether it conformed to your ideas of goodness or not” (2:283; see also 2:450–51, 1,008).

When Charles Williams disagreed, Wrenn was upset and “expressed a strong wish to burn Williams, or at least maintained that conversation with Williams enabled him to understand how inquisitors had felt it right to burn people” (2:283).70 However, Lewis concluded that “the general sense of the meeting was in favour of a view on the lines taken in Pastor Pastorum—that Our Lord’s replies are never straight answers and never gratify curiosity, and that whatever this one meant its purpose was certainly not statistical.” A decade later the verse still escaped Lewis’s grasp. He wondered: “Dare we gloss the text ‘Strait is the way and few there be that find it’ by adding ‘And that’s why most of you have to be bustled and badgered into it like sheep—and the sheep-dogs have to have pretty sharp teeth too!’ I hope so” (2:1,008).71

Lewis believed that all who are saved will be “saved by Christ whether His grace comes to us by way of the Natural Law” or through Christianity (3:23).72 Aquinas saw natural law as “nothing other than the light of understanding placed in us by God; through it we know what wemust do and what wemust avoid. God has given this light or law at the creation.”73 Latter-day Saints have a similar concept in the “Light of Christ” which is “given to every man, that he may know good from evil” (Moro. 7:16; see also Alma 12:9–11).74 In order to separate the true from the false manifestations, proper living will increase one’s perception and possession of “light.” Truth is measured on a scale from darkness to light which can grow “brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:24; Prov. 4:18) through obedience, regardless of initial denomination or belief, and regardless of where various truths originated, or, as Lewis wrote to a recent Christian convert: “One can begin to try to be a disciple before one is a professed theologian. In fact they tell us, don’t they, that in these matters to act on the light one has is almost the only way to more light” (3:1,540). The key for conversion is not simply arriving at a correct understanding of the nature of God or agreeing on various other theological points. The key for what Lewis called the “virtuous unbeliever”75 is virtue.

“Seriously,” Lewis wrote, “I don’t pretend to have any information on the fate of the virtuous unbeliever. I don’t suppose this question provided the solitary exception to the principle that actions on a false hypothesis lead to some less satisfactory result than actions on a true. That’s as far as I would go—beyond feeling that the believer is playing for higher stakes and incurring danger of something really nasty” (2:256).76 He had wondered what “Christ’s descending into Hell and preaching to the dead” indicated;77 and when directly asked if people could receive “another chance after death” to accept the gospel, he hedged by referring the questioner to the views of a friend (Charles Williams) on purgatory. “Of course,” he added, “our anxiety about unbelievers is most usefully employed when it leads us not to speculation but to earnest prayer for them and the attempt to be in our own lives such good advertisements for Christianity as will make it attractive” (3:245–46).78 Lewis did not believe the Bible was specific enough for him to take a definite stance on the issue: “I don’t think we know the details,” he wrote, “we must just stick to the view that (a.) All justice and mercy will be done, (b) But that nevertheless it is our duty to do all we can to convert unbelievers” (3:163).79

Borrowing from the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt. 25), Lewis privileged orthopraxy over orthodoxy in his NARNIA series. At the end of The Last Battle, Emeth finds himself in the heavenly Narnia standing before Aslan. He feels out of place and ashamed, believing he had worshipped a false god, Tash, all his life:

“The Glorious One,” [Emeth] said, “bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou has done to Tash, I account as service done to me. . . . Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou shouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”80
Latter-day Saints similarly put more emphasis on what humans have become as a result of God’s grace, combined with the individual’s actions, more than what humans have intellectually assented to or believed in creedal declaration.81 Some Christians have labeled such beliefs “damnable heresies.”82 Others claim that such believers, including Latter-day Saints, merit eternal damnation because they disobey the first of Christ’s two great commandments by loving a “false” god. Claims by some countercult movements that Latter-day Saints worship a “different Jesus” are constructed largely on ontological foundations; that is, on LDS rejection of post-biblical creeds regarding the nature of God.83 However, there can be little doubt about the devotional direction of the second of the two great commandments: “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Bible seems to depict obedience to the second as necessarily ref lecting back on the first, a concept depicted in the parable of the sheep and the goats: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40).84 Loving one’s neighbor is like loving God. Lewis believed this parable “suggests that [virtuous unbelievers] have a very pleasant surprise coming to them.”85 The way a person fulfills these two great commandments plays an important part in God’s final judgment of human souls, be they Latter-day Saint, Anglican, Buddhist, agnostic, or otherwise.

This ecumenical soteriology has carried through from Joseph Smith’s revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants to more recent LDS general conference addresses from members of the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Dallin H. Oaks has urged Latter-day Saints to “never give up hope and loving associations with family members and friends whose fine qualities evidence their progress toward what a loving Father would have them become. . . . We should never give up on loved ones who now seem to be making many wrong choices.”86 Rather than “judging and condemning” others not of one’s own faith without mercy, as “one portion of the human race” does, Joseph Smith said “the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He views them as His offspring, and without any of those contracted feelings that inf luence the children of men.”87 Citing Christ’s parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16), Oaks emphasized that all workers, those who worked all day, half the day, and part of the day, received the same wage. One lesson from this parable is “that the Master’s reward in the Final Judgment will not be based on how long we have labored in the vineyard,” which Oaks likened to belonging to and participating in the LDS Church:

We do not obtain our heavenly reward by punching a time clock. What is essential is that our labors in the workplace of the Lord have caused us to become something. For some of us, this requires a longer time than for others. What is important in the end is what we have become by our labors. Many who come in the eleventh hour have been refined and prepared by the Lord in ways other than formal employment in the vineyard. . . . [T]hese workers are in the same state of development and qualified to receive the same reward as those who have labored long in the vineyard.88
Again, as with Lewis, the emphasis is on orthopraxy.

Exhaustive-ing notes:
[61] See also 2 Nephi 2:21: “And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men.” If the “night of darkness” is seen as beginning at mortal death, those who heard about the restored gospel during mortality but did not accept it are in danger of not reaching the highest advancement God offers.

[62] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York:Macmillan, 1977), 65–66.

[63] Bruce R. McConkie, “The Seven Deadly Heresies,” Brigham Young University Devotional Speeches of the Year (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1981), (accessed February 10, 2010).

[64] Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, edited by Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1955 (1954–56), 2:134; emphasis mine. Other LDS leaders have emphasized the difficulty of repenting after death—but “difficult” is not “impossible.” Elder Melvin J. Ballard, Three Degrees of Glory (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1922), 14–15, stated: “We are sentencing ourselves to long periods of bondage, separating our spirits from our bodies, or we are shortening that period, according to the way in which we overcome and master ourselves.” President Spencer W. Kimball quoted Ballard’s statement, then added, “Clearly it is difficult to repent in the spirit world of sins involving physical habits and actions. There one has spirit and mind but not the physical power to overcome a physical habit.” Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1969), 168. These quotations typically refer directly to Alma 34:32–35. Matthew Roper and John A. Tvedtnes provide another interpretation of these verses in “Scripture Insight: ‘Do Not Procrastinate the Day of Your Repentance,’” Insights (FARMS newsletter) 20:10, n.d., (accessed March 29, 2010).

[65] A more current view from a more “official” source is “Chapter 35: Redemption for the Dead,” in the Relief Society/Priesthood instruction manual, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph  Smith (Salt Lake City: Intellectual Reserve, 2007), 401–11. Parsing official from unofficial LDS doctrine is difficult. The Church’s most recent statement is “Approaching Mormon Doctrine,” LDS Newsroom, May 4, 2007, http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/approaching-mormondoctrine (accessed February 10, 2010).

[66] This scripture demonstrates the difficulty of formulating a systematic theology using scriptural proof-texts. Because Latter-day Saints believe that God reveals His will “line upon line” in different dispensations and circumstances, taking a snapshot of any moment in scripture could mislead. This canonized f lexibility is described in Alma 29:8: “For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true” (emphasis mine). Alma 40 discusses his own uncertainty about certain aspects of the afterlife, thus canonizing some prophetic speculation and uncertainty. Quoting The Problem of Pain as though it were Lewis’s final view would be a mistake considering the greater fluidity of his views in his letters.

[67] Grant Underwood, “‘Saved or Damned’: Tracing a Persistent Protestantism in Early Mormon Thought,” BYU Studies 25, no. 3 (1985): 85–103, notes that Section 76 (“The Vision”) “was not initially appreciated for its revolutionary significance.” Even Joseph Smith seldom mentioned it. Early Mormon thought on the afterlife resembled Protestantism’s emphasis of salvation or damnation, heaven or hell. Brigham Young, June 21, 1874, Journal of Discourses, 18:247, recalled: “I was not prepared to say that I believed it, and I had to wait. What did I do? I handed this over to the Lord in my feelings, and said I, ‘I will wait until the Spirit of God manifests to me, for or against.’ I did not judge the matter, I did not argue against it, not in the least. I never argued the least against anything Joseph proposed, but if I could not see or understand it, I handed it over to the Lord.”

[68] This section and Section 138 regarding missionary work in the spirit world were added to the Doctrine in Covenants in 1981. Robert J. Woodford, “Doctrine and Covenants Editions,” Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols. (New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1992), 1:426.

[69] Brigham Young, August 8, 1852, Journal of Discourses, 3:91. Early Mormons expected the Millennium to arrive quite soon. Underwood, “Saved or Damned,” 91.

[70] Lewis joked that he and Tolkien agreed: “[Just] as some people at school . . . are eminently kickable, so Williams is eminently combustible” (2:283).

[71] Over time LDS leaders have employed the same verse: (1) to justify few converts, (2) to underscore the “great apostasy” and consequent need for restored LDS authority, (3) to encourage missionaries discouraged by few converts, and (4) to create tension before explaining the doctrines of vicarious ordinances.

[72] Lewis is quoting Dom Bede Griffiths, “Catholicism To-day,” Pax: The Quarterly Review of the Benedictines of Prinknash. Though Lewis agreed with the sentiment, he thought Griffiths’s argument needed further clarification: “All are saved by Christ or not at all, I agree. But I wonder ought you to make clearer what you mean by His Grace coming ‘by way of the Natural Law’—or any other Law. We are absolutely at one about the universality of the Nat. Law, and its objectivity, and its Divine origin. But can one just leave out the whole endless Pauline reiteration of the doctrine that Law, as such, cannot be kept and serves in fact to make sin exceedingly sinful [Rom. 7:12–13]?” One could not be saved apart from Christ, in Lewis’s view, whether His grace is received through the “Natural Law” or otherwise. In Mere Christianity, chaps. 1–5, Lewis appeals to the very existence of the natural law as indicating that something is behind it—namely, God. All are convicted by the natural law because no one perfectly obeys its moral demands. Lewis believed that the New Testament preaches repentance and forgiveness which “assumes an audience who already believe in the Law of Nature and know they have disobeyed it.” He feared that “modern England” was quickly losing belief in natural law so most New Testament “apologetic begins a stage too far on. The first step is to create, or recover, the sense of guilt” (2:470).

[73] Thomas Aquinas, Collationes in Decem Praeceptis, 1. From Catechism of the Catholic Church (London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006), 426; see also Rom. 2:14–15.

[74] D&C 93:31–32: “Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light. And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.”

[75] The virtuous unbeliever is similar to the “Anonymous Christian” idea articulated by Karl Rahner, the Jesuit theologian who played an important role in the concept’s becoming official Catholic doctrine during Vatican II. Karl Rahner, “Religious Inclusivism,” Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings, edited by Michael Peterson et al. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996). Thus to the catechism was added: “Those who through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York: Burns & Oates, 2002), 196–97. Some view this addition as unbiblical and too inclusive while others see it as parochial and offensive to other faiths. See Stephen M. Clinton, “Peter, Paul and the Anonymous Christian: A Response to the Mission Theology of Karl Rahner and Vatican II,” Orlando Institute Leadership Forum, November 1998, Evangelical Theological Society, (accessed April 15, 2009).

[76] Bruce R. Reichenbach, “Inclusivism and the Atonement,” Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers 16, no. 1 (January 1999): 43–54, succinctly phrased this approach: “One can appropriate something subjectively without knowing how it is achieved objectively. . . . Salvation or liberation is possible [for people], though they do not know or have a mistaken notion of the exact circumstances whereby the merits of Christ’s death are made available.” John Sanders distinguishes the ontological versus the epistemological necessity of Christ’s atonement in No Other Name: An Investigation into the Destiny of the Fate of the Unevangelized (1992; rpt., Eugene, Ore.: Wipf and Stock, 2001), 30. This book is an excellent overview of Christian thought on the fate of virtuous unbelievers from three main positions that he classifies as restrictivism, universalism, and “wider hope.” Lewis receives a detailed treatment on 251–57. Unfortunately, Sanders overlooks LDS thought in this book.

[77] Lewis added his own footnote to “Hell” in this letter, distinguishing “Hades, the land of the dead” from “Gehenna, the land of the lost” (3:163). D&C 19 describes hell as a place or condition that exists eternally but which will end for certain individuals.

[78] Lewis also stated: “If the Church is Christ’s body,—the thing he works through—then the more worried one is about the people outside, the more reason to get inside oneself where one can help—you are giving Him, as it were, a new finger” (2:499). Lewis had been working on the radio broadcasts at this time and uses the same example there. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 65.

[79] There is a period after the “a” but not after the “b”. Clinton, “Peter, Paul and the Anonymous Christian,” 13 note 126, ends his critique of Rahner by appealing to amore concerted Christianmissionary effort and declaring that the “anonymous Christian” idea is unbiblical and thus false.

[80] C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle, Vol. 7 in THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (London: HarperCollins, 2001 printing), 757. Applying a coherent theory of the Atonement to the inclusivist approaches of Lewis and Latter-day Saints is beyond the scope of this paper. Reichenbach, “Inclusivism and the Atonement,” discusses religious inclusivism’s relation to sin and atonement theory. How are the effects of Christ’s atonement actually available to someone who is ignorant of its occurrence? This problem exists for various atonement models (including the moral exemplar model); how can one follow an example or be encouraged or helped by something one never heard about? LDS thought posits a universal Light of Christ, posthumous missionary work, and proxy ordinances as part of the solution. Reichenbach concludes that if God truly discerns the hearts of His children, any person might employ functionally equivalent repentance techniques, though the concepts or language they employ may seem foreign to Christians. For Atonement theories in LDS thought, see Blake T. Ostler, The Problems with Theism and the Love of God, Vol. 2 in EXPLORING MORMON THOUGHT (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2006).

[81] The “grace and works” debate is beyond the scope of this article. The role of “intelligence” (not “intelligences”) in LDS soteriology should be kept in mind. Joseph Smith emphasized: “A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge,” quoted by Wilford Woodruff, discourse, April 10, 1842, History of the Church, 4:588. This statement was canonized as: “And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come” (D&C 130:19). This scripture emphasizes diligence and obedience as methods of gaining knowledge. Ultimately, correct belief on less than “weightier matters” can be acquired even beyond the veil. Joseph Smith taught: “When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them.” History of the Church, 6:306–7.

[82] See Harvest Mission Ministries, http://harvestgathering.org/page_83.html (accessed March 30, 2009). While discussing literary critics who have a similar narrow approach to anything that does not suit their fancy, Lewis quoted Alexander Pope: “Thus Wit, like Faith, by each man is applied / To one small sect, and all are damned beside” (2:734).

[83] For the most comprehensive response to the charge that Mormons worship a “different Jesus,” see Daniel C. Peterson and Stephen D. Ricks, “Offenders for aWord”: How Anti-Mormons PlayWord Games to Attack the Latter-day Saints (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1998).

[84] Mosiah 2:17: “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”

[85] He added: “But in the main we are not told God’s plans about them in any detail” (2:499). Latter-day Saints believe that they have received additional revelation concerning their fate. (See below.) Lewis referred to the parable of the sheep and goats several times. For instance, when asked about the scripture “He who has not the Son has not the father” (1 John 5:12), he responded: “[It]mustmean, I think, he who wholly lacks the Spirit of the Son. Those who do not recognizeHimas the Son of God may nevertheless ‘have’ Him in a saving sense—as the ‘Sheep’ had in the parable of the sheep and goats” (3:1447; see also 3:163).

[86] Dallin H. Oaks, “The Challenge to Become,” Ensign, November 2000, 32–34,  (accessed March 30, 2010).

[87] Joseph Fielding Smith, comp. and ed., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (1938; Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1954 printing), 218.

[88] Oaks, “The Challenge to Become.”

October 24, 2010

FAIR Podcast, Episode 4: Richard L. Bushman (p.2)

In part two, Richard Bushman discusses challenges facing Mormon graduate students, his latest book Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction, and other subjects including temples, the LDS sacraments, Mormon cosmology, and Zion. Bushman is an award-winning American historian, currently serving as the Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University and Gouverneur Morris Professor of History emeritus at Columbia University. He is also a general editor of the ongoing Joseph Smith Papers project. 

To download, right click this link and select “Save link as…” or download in iTunes here.
Support FAIR: FAIR relies on contributions from readers and listeners. To help support FAIR, make a donation today.
Runtime: 47:51