Mormonism: What would Pascal say?
This is not an argument against Mormonism. It's just an observation I thought was interesting.
Pascal argued that in a situation where a person was 50/50 on whether God exists or not, that the safer bet would be to believe God exists since you have much to gain and nothing to lose by believing in God, and you have much to lose and nothing to gain if you don't believe in God.
According to LDS theology, there are three levels of glory--the Celestial Kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom, and the Telestial Kingdom. The Celestial Kingdom is the highest kingdom, and that's the one Mormons shoot for. It allows them to progress and become more like the Father. But to get to the Celestial Kingdom, you have to "live the fullness of the gospel," which entails partaking of all the ordinances of the LDS Church.
The Terrestrial Kingdom and the Telestial Kingdom are for most everybody else. Hardly anybody goes to hell, or what Mormons call "perdition." The only way you can go to perdition according to LDS theology is if you absolutely know that Mormonism is true and you reject it anyway. So you've got to basically be visited by Jesus or an angel, or have some kind of experience like that that tells you beyond all doubt that it's true. But since most of us never get that kind of confirmation, we're in no danger of perdition. We're going to go either to the Terrestrial Kingdom or the Telestial Kingdom.
The Terrestrial and Telestial kingdoms are unimaginably better than this world. Those of us who are basically decent people, whether we are Christians, atheists, or whatever, will go to the Terrestrial Kingdom, which is a groovy place. All the rotten people (Hitler, etc.) go to the Telestial kingdom, and even they are going to experience a wonderful eternity there. It turns out that even some Mormons will go to the Terrestrial kingdom because you have to be married and have your marriage sealed for eternity before you can go to the Celestial kingdom. So Mormons who are in good standing and who live faithfully according to their religion will go to the Terrestrial kingdom as long as they remain single.
So let's suppose you're an ordinary protestant Christian trying to decide whether to convert to Mormonism or not. And let's suppose you're sitting on the fence. What would Pascal say?
Well, if conventional Christianity is true, and you believe in it, then you'll be saved. But if you convert to Mormonism, you'll suffer the wrath of God for your sins because the Mormon gospel is a false gospel that can't save. So if conventional Christianity is true, and you convert to Mormonism, you have a lot to lose.
But if Mormonism is true, and you don't convert to Mormonism, you're still going to spend an eternity in heavenly bliss. You're not in any danger of suffering the wrath of God. The only thing you lose out on is becoming a god and populating other worlds. If Mormonism is true, and you believe in it, you STILL may not ever become a god and populate other worlds. First, you have to tie the knot for eternity before you can go to the Celestial kingdom and progress to godhood. That seems like a high price to pay. But even if you get married for eternity and enter the Celestial Kingdom, it's not an easy road to godhood. Going to the Celestial Kingdom only gives you the opportunity to continue on the road of progression. It still takes a lot of effort once you get there.
So if you're happy with what conventional Christianity has to offer--an eternity of bliss free from sickness, suffering, and sorrow--then you might as well stick with that because if Mormonism happens to be true, that's what you're going to get in the Terrestrial kingdom anyway. There's little advantage to converting to Mormonism--especially if the idea of eternal marriage does not appeal to you, or if the idea of being responsible for a whole universe and billions of people does not appeal to you, or if you just happen to like coffee and Dr. Pepper.