Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The sacrifice of the angels: the prodigal son as a parable of mortal incarnation

October 17th, 2017 by Bruce Charlton

God’s garden by William Arkle


I have edited the following italicised section from William Arkle’s A Geography of Consciousness pp. 123-4:


Mortal Man’s right to, and experience of, autonomy is a very destructive and dangerous process in that it is paved with ugly and inharmonious desires and ideas. If the Angelic stage of evolution was also open to this reactive phase, the result would be total destruction and collapse of the necessary field of earthly experience.

So, while we Humans make the great sacrifice of suffering and pain to achieve an autonomous and individual divine nature, so the Angels make the great sacrifice which is to create and maintain the necessary ground for our Human experience; and they clean up the mess we make in the course of this experience. This work requires them to remain always in harmony with the divine purpose and aspiration, and consequently does not properly allow them the experience of objective valuation which ultimate understanding requires.

Such is the interpretation given to the parable of the Prodigal Son. The Prodigal is the Human who is bound to sin for a reason he does not understand, but which – in the end – gives him knowledge of very great value.

But his Brother, who does not sin and who does not venture off into the wilds of poverty and hunger, does not experience the pain and misery of this hunger; and therefore does not value that which is hungered-for in quite the same way. The Brother [like the Angels] is never lost and never has cause to be rejoiced-over; for he never returns of his own accord with this priceless treasure, and his Father in Heaven never has anxiety about him.


I understand the above from the Mormon perspective that these Angels are pre-mortal spirit Children of God – whose ‘job’ includes creating and maintaining the earth and creation for incarnate mortal Men to inhabit; and where we may experience the consequences of our agency and sin; such that we may ultimately repent, return, and bring-home the precious treasures won from our suffering, and our death.

That is the sacrifice of mortals.

The premortal Men/ Angels vital role is to help mortal Men, and to ‘clean-up the mess’ created by mortal Men so that mortal life does not rapidly self-destroy and collapse. Such a job entails absolute concordance with the divine will and purpose; therefore the Angels must have limited agency and, consequently, delayed spiritual progression. They must patiently wait their turn for incarnation.

And that is the sacrifice of the Angels.

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October 17th, 2017 04:48:38

How Beautiful

October 16th, 2017 by John Mansfield

Isaiah 52:7. Explained by Abinadi in Mosiah ch. 15 to the priests of Noah who were too lazy to understand it. Partially repeated in Nahum 1:15. Cited by Jesus in 3rd Nephi 20:40. And Paul in Romans 10:15. Also Doctrine and Covenants 128:19.

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October 16th, 2017 14:18:03

Settler-American Heritage Month

October 09th, 2017 by The Junior Ganymede

Daniel Boone: Passing the Torch - True West Magazine

The JG is happy to announce Settler-American Heritage Month, running from Columbus Day to Thanksgiving.   During this period, we celebrate the rich tradition of Settler-Americans, who have contributed much to the diverse fabric of America by founding the nation and the state, and giving it its laws, language, and customs.  Diversity is our strength! (more…)

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October 09th, 2017 06:53:05

Through Study and Faith

October 06th, 2017 by Patrick Henry

One of the big things is the non-contradiction between material sources of knowledge and metaphysical sources of knowledge.  Because there is one truth.  If something true metaphysically, this has implications for material reality.  Those implications mean that the same knowledge can also be known from the material.

-a Wayfarer

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October 06th, 2017 11:20:44

Someone is Calling My Name from the Back of the Restaurant

October 03rd, 2017 by John Mansfield

Looking back at sunsets on the eastside
We lost track of the time
“Smile Like You Mean It” from the Killers 2004 Hot Fuss album

The photo above was taken from the east side of the Las Vegas Valley. It was sent yesterday by an LDS missionary of my acquaintance who is serving in my hometown. As Brandon Flowers once told a Times reporter, “Have you been to Los Angeles? Well, our sunsets are better!” The large buildings below the mountain silhouette are hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. (more…)

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October 03rd, 2017 17:20:58

Mormon fertility decisions – a request for information

October 03rd, 2017 by Bruce Charlton

I am about to continue some research I began a few years ago on the psychological causes of fertility decisions among Mormon – that is, why do Mormons (both in general, and as individuals) decide to have the specific number of children that they do.

This research, and its background is summarised here.

The intention is to explore this by interviews with individual English Mormons, discussing fertility plans and intentions among younger people, and reasons for past fertility decisions among those whose families are ‘completed’.

Before we finalise the areas we want to explore, and so that we do not accidentally miss out on asking something important; I would be very interested to hear from any Mormons about their own experiences in this area – either in the comments, or by e-mailing me directly at: bruce.charlton@outlook.com .

Thank you!

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October 03rd, 2017 06:56:12

General Conference

September 30th, 2017 by G.

Watch at LDS. org.  Also on youtube, BYUtv.com, and other locations.

Your comments welcome. (more…)

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September 30th, 2017 12:22:28

Note on Jeremy Guthrie

September 29th, 2017 by John Mansfield

Early in the spring, former LDS missionary and veteran pitcher Jeremy Guthrie started what would be his only game of the 2017 season. (“So, how was your 38th birthday?”) July 31st he announced his retirement. (link) On August 31st, Brother Guthrie let anyone reading Twitter know: “My next chapter has me teaching early morning seminary class at Sunset High. Please share any ideas you may have from your fav teachers.” Something to think about as the regular season concludes this last weekend of September. Repeating myself from April, “He’s one of us, and it’s on to the next part of his life.”

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September 29th, 2017 09:41:36

Damnation or Eternal Life: Therefore Choose

September 22nd, 2017 by G.

All that is Good is inside this creation – creation is where the concept of Good has meaning. In particular all loving relationships are inside of creation, made possible by God’s creation.
Yet there is another reality outside of creation; so denial of Christianity is not incoherent – there is another reality which might coherently be chosen in preference to God’s creation.
What would such an opt-out of God’s creation entail? Outside creation is not evil; but it is chaotic, meaningless, purposeless and lacking in any true relationships between beings.

-thus Bruce Charlton.

Very good, though I don’t know if it makes much sense to distinguish between that which is evil and that which is chaotic, meaningless, purposeless and lacking in true relationship. (more…)

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September 22nd, 2017 05:43:54

Link Corral

September 20th, 2017 by Pecos Bill

Gints, I aim to round up a few links.

This here cayus J.S. Mills was an goldurn hornswoggling skunk and a varmint.  Taint natcheral that we base our moral cogitations on the screech-owl hootin’s of a feller who needed ridin’ out o’ town on a rail.

Their marriage was preceded by twenty years of brazen and self-righteous infidelity. When Mill met Harriet she was married to a good-natured pharmacist of enlightened political opinions, if no great intelligence, named John Taylor. After three years of growing mutual obsession, they bullied him into giving Harriet her own household, where she lived with their three children and entertained Mill on weekends. No one, not even his family, was permitted to mention Harriet’s name in Mill’s presence, much less to allude to the scandal their conduct had raised. His oldest friend, John Arthur Roebuck, was the only one who ever dared; Mill never spoke to him again. The couple withdrew into their private ménage, reassuring each other that it was only society’s “baby morality” (her phrase) that cast shame on their exalted passion.

I have a pair of hosses that is as matched as a feller could want.  I call the one o’ them Cassandra and t’other Mark Steyn.

‘Margaret Thatcher famously said that the problem with socialism was that you eventually run out of other people’s money. Similarly, the problem with open borders lunacy is that eventually you run out of other people’s neighbourhoods


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September 20th, 2017 15:23:36

Religion for Atheists

September 17th, 2017 by Zen

Or in other words, why religion is needed, even for the disbelievers.

In my limited experience, while atheists disbelieve in Deity, they still have a sense (if incomplete) of what right and wrong is. Let us give credit where credit is due.

From that great respository of human knowledge, Wikipedia
“There is no scholarly consensus over the definition of “religion”. Conventionally, a “religion” is any cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, ethics, or organizations, that relate humanity to the supernatural or transcendental. Religions relate humanity to what anthropologist Clifford Geertz has referred to as a cosmic “order of existence”.” (more…)

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September 17th, 2017 21:22:35

Christian Hurricane Relief

September 13th, 2017 by G.

Christians have provided more hurricane relief than FEMA.

Purpose-built solutions are less powerful and less flexible than purposeful people.

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September 13th, 2017 16:56:36

The Great American Eclipse

September 13th, 2017 by The Junior Ganymede

As seen by friend of the Junior Ganymede, Kent Budge.

If you are impatient of the geologic ramblings, you may skip to the good stuff here.


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September 13th, 2017 06:45:09

That Kind of Trust

September 12th, 2017 by G.

... Christ: Do you know the way to Emmaus? - The United Methodist Church

Elder Packer refers to “that kind of trust which makes it possible to talk of serious, even sacred things.” (more…)

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September 12th, 2017 07:30:29

Coping with a happy childhood…

September 12th, 2017 by Bruce Charlton

The Enchanted Places by Christopher Milne, 1974

This is one of the best autobiographies I have read; perhaps because it has a fascinating theme, satisfyingly discussed – as well as being very well written, by someone whose personality was sympathetic to me.

The main explicit theme is that of living (up to age 52 at the time of writing) with the strange and vast fame of being Christopher Robin from the four books published by his father in a four year period from 1924-8: two collections of poems – When we were very young, and Now we are six; and two volumes of Winnie-the-Pooh stories – Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner.

Christopher Robin’s response to these books was positive as a young boy, but became negative as an older child, adolescent and young adult; mainly because he was an exceptionally shy and sensitive person (a trait inherited, with interest, from grandfather Milne, he tells us). Try as he might, he simply never got used-to the endless parade of people who made comments about this; and never was able to react spontaneously and appropriately – but became tongue tied and embarrassed. However, writing the autobiography was a coming-to-terms with the whole situation – and this provides a satisfying sense of closure to the book.

The implicit theme, which really gripped me, was the question: What to do with the rest of your life, after having a very happy childhood?

This was also the question that dominated the life of Christopher Robin’s father – AA Milne himself; and consequently Christopher writes extremely well about the father with whom (especially aged 9-18, after his Nanny had left) he had such a close and empathic relationship.

It is also a question which has been very much a part of my own life trajectory; since I too had a very happy childhood including early-middle teen years, and I too felt (for a long time) that adult life did not remotely match-up. Indeed, according to the most vivid and cherished memories, one of the best aspects of being a non-child was the reawakening triggered by loving relationships with younger children – first my brother, later my own children.

Neither Christopher Robin nor his father ever came to terms with this, or found a way of regarding post-childhood life as anything other than a let-down – to be escaped-from to some extent, but never integrated with the world of work, chores, and shallow public interactions.


Read the whole thing at Bruce Charlton’s Notions

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September 12th, 2017 05:48:39