I considered tacking this onto the end of David J.’s welcome post (of which I am trying not to be covetous of his responses.)
John C. made an allusion to my unusual religious upbringing; well, here it will be revealed in this system of things. (hint)
When reading about the Second Anointing, the topic of “Calling and Election made sure” featured prominently. When I was investigating the church, I had heard the phrase, and it sounded pretty much like the topic title. All one word and completely incomprehensible. (Much like FamilyHomeEvening.) When I got someone to explain it to me, it sounded very similar to a concept in the religion I had grown up in. In that religion, certain people (usually in leadership) would get a special feeling that they had been chosen to be a special servant of God and sit at his right hand. In other words, they would get to be one of the 144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation (Chap 14) . Now, this “special feeling”, in LDS terms, could be likened to the Holy Ghost, which it sounds like modern interpretations of the Second Anointing are tending towards.
So, having this background, I wondered if the CAEMS might refer to the 144,000 for us, too. John C. thought not.
In case it’s not really obvious, I grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness. I was quite active until I was about 14 or so, when I began to question some of the doctrines that didn’t really make sense. Unable to get any good answers from them, I felt the need to seek elsewhere, which ended me up here. =)
So, any speculation, comments, words of wisdom on the similarities of these two versions of Heavenly Selection? I can’t actually believe that it is THE Holy Ghost visiting the Witnesses, so what gives?
4 Replies to “CallingAndElectionMadeSure (CAEMS)”
Interesting. Well, first of all, I’m not too sure about the 144,000 number. I tend to take more of a non-fundamentalist reading.
As to the more recent explainations of CAEMS that have grown out of the curtailment of temple ordinances, I pretty much think they are futile grasps at reconciling peoples aspirations to what is practically available.
In our dispensations there have been two forms of securing one’s election. The Kirtland endowment and the Nauvoo Fullness. That’s it.
That is not to say that we can’t be sanctified by the Spirit, however.
For me, the 144K is allegorical, not actual. Pseudepigraphic literature, FWIW, also utilizes multiples of 12 for stuff like this, but never at the literal level. Whether or not the J-Dubs are feeling the HG when they feel they’ve been “elected” remains to be seen. I wouldn’t entirely dismiss the HG’s influence upon their feelings, though, because it is a biblical doctrine. Are they “fully” elected when this feeling comes over them in the sense that we view election? Doubtful, but again, I don’t doubt God’s power to make it happen for them.
Again, C&E made sure is something that many folks in the church have only heard of, but rarely directly read or studied. And if they have, most people default to BRM’s take on it, which I don’t think is entirely representative. TPJS (about page 149-150 if I’m not mistaken) is a pretty good place to go for this. Also, Lyle Brown (can’t remember the name exactly) wrote a good paper on the Second Comforter of Promise vs. the Second Comforter of Presence. Again, his paper ties into the end of the endowment ceremony quite nicely, but this isn’t the place for that.
I pretty much think they are futile grasps at reconciling peoples aspirations to what is practically available.
Bravo, J! You took the words out of my … keyboard?
FHL, welcome to our cult. It’s much better, don’t you think? 🙂
I would also recomend reading the HC sections cited in this post.
Um, I think I have something small to add to this besides my own opinion. I work for Richard Draper here at BYU, the person many members accept as the Church’s authority on Revelation and apocalyptic literature (not pseudipigraphic). He and I diagree on what it means. He thinks, like J., that the number does not need to be literal (from “Opening the Seven Seals, 82) but I don’t see why it can’t be. They don’t seem to be the only ones being saved or given power or anything. Mostly they get to sing a song that no one else does. Big deal. John turns around in the very next verse (7:9) and sees a numberless multitude dressed in the same white robes which the angel says represents those who have come out of tribulation and washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb (7:14). I don’t really care if I get to sing a song no one else does. And their description in chapter 14 doesn’t have to only apply to them either. How else did the numberless multitude back in chapter 7 get their robes washed clean in the blood of the Lamb? I always thought that Saints and Witnesses never really read this right. Draper disagrees to some extent though. He thinks they are responsible for getting people sealed into the kingdom which idea he gets from amalgmating something Joseph Smith said with something Bruce R. McConkie said. So take it for what it’s worth.
As for my two cents about the rest, I’m still under the impression that CAEMS is individual and the second anointing is between couples. Although you can’t have the 2A without the CAEMS and the latter is performed for most people right before they rieceive the former. I think.