Here’s a great story I read on Time a few days ago. It is from an interview with N.T. “Tom” Wright, the Bishop of Durham (fourth most senior cleric in the Church of England) regarding the false idea that heaven is a place to play harps and hop across clouds.
In the Bible we are told that you die, and enter an intermediate state. St. Paul is very clear that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead already, but that nobody else has yet. Secondly, our physical state. The New Testament says that when Christ does return, the dead will experience a whole new life: not just our soul, but our bodies. And finally, the location. At no point do the resurrection narratives in the four Gospels say, “Jesus has been raised, therefore we are all going to heaven.” It says that Christ is coming here, to join together the heavens and the Earth in an act of new creation.
What the New Testament really says is God wants you to be a renewed human being helping him to renew his creation, and his resurrection was the opening bell. And when he returns to fulfil the plan, you won’t be going up there to him, he’ll be coming down here.
Hmm, sounds an awful lot like this:
We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
While these are things we in the LDS Church are taught from a very young age, it’s good to see that others who read the scriptures closely come away with the same ideas. I’m glad that heaven is a place where we can be actively involved in good things. Seems it would be kind of boring after an eternity or two otherwise. :)