For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Friday, July 1, 2011

Eternal Life?

I study game theory and strategic interaction. Much of this is predicated on the belief that people are self-interested actors who respond to incentives. I suppose somehow this view of the world settled into my view of the world. This is important for my own view of the gospel plan.

Yesterday I took the time to read several books on psychoanalytic therapy of gay men; specifically how have gay men negotiated and found comfort and joy in being both gay and Christian. This obviously is material that would be burned by Evergreen and its proselytes. Much of this work is centered on love; coming to accept ones self and love ones self as God loves and accepts. I think this is incredibly helpful!

However, as I pondered how that might fit within the LDS doctrine, I realized there's a part of me that continues to resist key tenants and principles of the gospel. One of those is eternal life. I read in Robinson's Believing Christ: "You see, we all want something desperately...we want the kingdom of God. We want to go home to our heavenly parents worthy and clean." In Alma 29, Alma seems to imply that the incentive to do good and be good and righteous is for the reward of eternal life.

This has unsettled me. But it was not until this morning as I was reading my scriptures on the bus ride to work that I realized I had trouble believing and accepting this doctrine. As I've reflected on it, I think part of it is I am still fearful of what eternity might mean. My hesitancy in finding joy in that doctrine is a function of my fear and lack of trust in God. While I say I'm willing to submit, in reality, I'm fearful of the change that might happen. I'm afraid of the eternities and what it represents. My mind continues to cling to this mortal condition and the paradox of my life that currently represents such confusion and loneliness.

Eternal life as an incentive to be righteous, at this point, seems, well pointless - as it seems to appeal to the very basest of our natural desires. This seems somehow odd and strange. Yet, I admit I don't understand. Even what I'm writing now, makes no sense. But there is a connection between this "incentivizing" of heaven framework I have, my fear and the truth. I am at a point where I recognize that I really don't know anything, but letting go that and letting God is incredibly difficult. I recognize that my framework, my interpretation is lacking, but its hard to let go and have it replaced with what I think is nothing.

I wish the desire of my heart was to have eternal life, but still that seems the wrong incentive for me. I'm not really sure what is the right one. But I know that I must let my pride go, I must let God.


  1. What if the promise of eternal life were not intended to be an incentive to righteousness?

    What if the Presence of God in the "now" of life turned out to be more fulfilling of all your emotional needs than you ever predicted?

    What if the incentive to walk in righteousness was simply knowing the beauty of God and the love within Him as the source of all your motivations and the fulfillment of all your loneliness?

  2. Thank you for your humble expression of your struggles. I'm inspired by your words to be more humble and submissive in my search to understand and be what God want's me to be.

  3. This life can be tough, the struggles can smothering, addictions are painful, but you can do it! I just read through most of your blogs. Thinking about Eternal Life can be overwhelming, especially in this mortal estate.