Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Movie Reviews: City of Ember, Inkheart, Eagle Eye

Mari and I recently saw three movies: City of Ember, Inkheart, and Eagle Eye.

In hindsight, I should have visited rottentomatoes.com before seeing any of them.

City of Ember and Inkheart are adaptations from popular kids' books. They were both a bit slow in developing and somewhat disjointed in how the stories were presented. As with many books-turned-movies, they had interesting ideas but did not survive the transition to the big screen. I give City of Ember two stars and Inkheart one and a half stars.

Eagle Eye is a bad adaptation of a bad script. I give it one star for laughs.

Mormon Humor

I recently discovered My Religious Blog, by Gatsby.

This stuff is pretty funny Mormon humor. And really funny Mormon humor is hard to come by. I know I'm not funny, although I thank everyone who has laughed at my attempts at humor.

Below are a couple posts lifted from his site.

Liahona Painting
I guess Arnold Friberg must have read the Liahona Study Guide...

"Ask it if Ishmael's daughter likes my furry vest."

Puns Of Perdition

I am thinking of starting a satelite TV network here in Utah.
It would be called Tight Like Unto A Dish Network and it wouldn't have Showtime or HBO.

A Stupor Of Thought
A lot of people think that because I haven’t mentioned which women’s deodorant I prefer, that there is some religious reason I don’t want to talk about it. But they’ve got it all wrong!

It’s not sacred.

It’s Secret.

A New TV Series
I am developing a new TV show for KBYU about a guy who heard the gospel in this life, but his brother didn’t. So after they die, he tries to help his brother get into paradise.

It’s called Spirit Prison Break.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Satan's Plan of Salvation

I'd always been taught that in the premortal council in heaven, Satan proposed to save all mankind by forcing everyone to do good. He would destroy our agency by preventing us from making wrong choices. While this is possible, it does not entirely make sense to me. I propose that there is another plan Satan could have proposed to destroy our agency that is more consistent with the scriptures. What if Satan proposed to come to earth, suffer for our sins, and then forgive all mankind for all its sins? Satan would not require faith, obedience, or repentance to Heavenly Father's will. Instead, he would "save" everyone by destroying the law, consequences, and spiritual suffering for sin.

Moses 4:1 describes Satan's role in the council in heaven:

"And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor."

In verse 3, God explains that Satan was cast down because he rebelled, sought to destroy man's agency, and sought God's own power.

Under the traditional theory of Satan's plan, this verse is a little confusing. Why would Satan say "I will be thy son"? And why would he offer to "redeem all mankind"? If he would not allow mankind to sin, why would we need to be redeemed?

I believe Satan was offering to be Heavenly Father's Only Begotten Son and suffer for our sins, just like Christ. In fact, earlier in Moses' vision, Satan tempted him and tried to get Moses to worship him. When Moses cast Satan out in Christ's name, "Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me."

Satan is a deceiver, but he is consistent. He wanted to be the Only Begotten in the premortal world, and he tried to convince Moses he was the Only Begotten in the mortal world.

Under Heavenly Father's plan, Jesus Christ would suffer for the sins of all mankind. His atonement is infinite and eternal, which I understand to mean not limited to a certain number of sins, but somehow encompassing all sin. All of our sins have been paid for, whether or not we repent. But because Heavenly Father seeks to build us up and to have us return to him, He chooses to forgive only those who repent. This is the only way any of Heavenly Father's children will return to Him. Satan and the billions of rebellious souls like him didn't like that idea. I imagine that Satan's argument may have gone something like this: "If all of our sins are paid for, why should anyone suffer for sin? I will go. I will be the redeemer. But I will forgive everyone. No one will suffer for sin. There will be no punishment."

Satan thought to "save" us (or at least himself and those who followed him) by destroying the consequences of sin. At best, his plan may have provided for a resurrection and possibly some degree of glory. However, his plan would have destroyed our agency, destroyed our chances of returning to live with Heavenly Father, and ultimately was inconsistent with the very existence of Heavenly Father. Because of Heavenly Father's character and purpose for us, he could not even consider Satan's plan. This theory of Satan's plan is not only more consistent with Moses 4:1, but it is also supported by scriptures that discuss how Satan deals with mankind. Under Satan's plan, there would have been no consequences for sin, and that is still his message today.


In conclusion, based on the present scriptural record, it is more likely that Satan offered to be a savior by suffering for our sins and forgiving all mankind than it is that he offered to save us by forcing us to do good. But I doubt Satan would have been able to follow through with his plan. We know that Christ suffered terrible anguish in Gethsemane for our sins because he loved us. I can imagine Satan feeling a part of that anguish, deciding it was too much and that we were not worth it, and getting up and walking away, while we all looked on in despair.

I recently put together a brief description of what I think Satan's plan was for us, based on the scant scriptural account. The above thoughts are an excerpt of the document, and the full document may be found here. Although it is a finished thought, it could probably still use some fleshing out. If anyone has comments, citations, or arguments in support of or against this idea, I would appreciate them.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Ellsworth Family Blog

We tried the family blog on the Mac, but it just didn't work out for us.

So here is the new Ellsworth Family Blog.

This blog (acellsworth.blogspot.com) will still be used for my personal ramblings and musings.