The Second Coming of Jesus Christ cannot save you

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The most salient message of the Book of Mormon is arguably the dramatic revelation that Jesus Christ’s establishment of a dictatorial empire is insufficient for sustaining a peaceable kingdom.

Start to finish, the master warning of the Book of Mormon is that efforts to obliterate otherness necessarily end in universal annihilation. Indeed, the invisible message from the dying hand of Moroni is that salvation must be purchased through queering every division you know.

As a modern classic of queer literature, the Book of Mormon defecates on the theology of premillennialism. In contrast to postmillennialism (the view that Jesus’s kingship on earth begins after Christian ethics have prospered on the planet), premillennialism is the mythology of a chaotic world wherein order is imposed by a terrible descent of the God-man.

The rampant violence and destruction in the book of Third Nephi are caused by establishment of Celestial tyranny on earth. It should make the most hawkish Republican cringe. Not only do the premillennial tactics of Third Nephi’s Jesus devastate the humanity and tenderness of those outside his theocratic order; they utterly fail, as well, to create an empire with lasting contributions to the welfare of societies in the narrative. In a shorter life cycle than the nation states of history, the spiritual martial law of Third Nephi’s premillennial Jesus eventually corrodes back into disordered violence.

And so it is that postmillennial coronation of a Supreme Monarch is understood from the text as the dreamer’s hopeful paradise. This is in stark contrast to the premillennial assumptions that dominate today’s Mormon eschatological discourse.

So how do we get there?

Only when we have dismantled every binary can we enter into a sustainable oneness that has illuminated visionary minds through the ages. Only when we have queered our in-group/out-group dichotomies can we hope to escape the torturous opposition inherent to enemy mentalities. The illustration of Nephite/Lamanite hostility tells a true story of “us versus them” archetypes.

“Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” This, and only this.

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2 thoughts on “The Second Coming of Jesus Christ cannot save you

  1. dor

    The Second Coming of Jesus is not literal. It is not an event. It is not about Jesus reappearing as a person.
    The Second Coming of Jesus is the “arc of history bending toward justice.” It is the awareness that we are all worthy of love, dignity, respect and love. When we each stand up for that, we are participating in storing the Kingdom of God, “on earth as it is in Heaven.”

  2. theoccasionalman

    I think it’s also useful to remember that the greatest time of peace and prosperity is when the Lamanites and Nephites blended together. The division was re-instituted later, and the us/them mentality led to the downfall you describe.

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