Hello again Casen,
From the thread on the BoM forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=717931#post717931 ] you requested the following:
I would be interested, perhaps in another thread, in hearing what you feel you gave up and also gained by choosing RCC over CoJCoLDS in terms of doctrine. For example, I’d have a real problem giving up the beautiful doctrine found in D&C Section 76 which describes the Plan of Salvation in so much detail and for which I’ve received a personal witness (but I’m no expert on Catholicism so perhaps there is something similar in Catholic teachings, considering the Bible talks of “many mansions”).
That’s just an example but I’m curious if there were items taught in the D&C or PoGP you felt you were “giving up” or RCC beliefs that differ from LDS beliefs that you are grateful to have gained. Your answer might help me better appreciate the RCC.
Me: Wow, interesting, but complex, and tough questions to answer. I will give it a shot, but please keep in mind that much of I will have to say is very subjective. Here goes.
D&C 76 expounds the three degrees of glory/heaven from the LDS perspective. Though I have found no explicit official teaching (i.e. Ecumenical councils and/or *ex cathedra *Papal decres) on degrees in heaven, I personally find solid evidence in the scriptures for such a belief.
For instance, we find 3 distinct rewards/degrees in Jesus’ parables of the “talents” (Matt. 25:14-30), and of the “pounds” (Luke 19:11-27).
There is also the Pauline reference to what appears to be 3 distinct rewards/degrees; “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars” (1 Cor. 15:41).
And we have some very interesting thoughts on this issue related to us by St. Irenaeus:
And as the presbyters say, Then those who are deemed worthy of an abode in heaven shall go there, others shall enjoy the delights of paradise, and others shall possess the splendor of the city; for everywhere the Savior shall be seen according as they who see Him shall be worthy.
[They say, moreover], that there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce an hundred-fold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold: for the first will be taken up into the heavens, the second will dwell in paradise, the last will inhabit the city; and that it was on this account the Lord declared, “In My Father’s house are many mansions.” For all things belong to God, who supplies all with a suitable dwelling-place; even as His Word says, that a share is allotted to all by the Father, according as each person is or shall be worthy. And this is the couch on which the guests shall recline, having been invited to the wedding. The presbyters, the disciples of the apostles, affirm that this is the gradation and arrangement of those who are saved…(Against Heresies, 5.36 – ANF 1.567)
More later, the Lord willing.