Here you will find the journal of a Queer, Mormon, Transhumanist.

Heaven is a Place on Earth

Heaven is a Place on Earth

* Presented at the Sunstone Summer Symposium on August 3, 2019.

Mormon transhumanism needs a catch phrase. Something that grabs your attention and gets stuck in your head like a catchy song. There are some good ones among Mormon Transhumanists such as “May You Live Forever.” However, when I think about all that Mormon Transhumanism encompasses, immortality and resurrection are only a part of the Mormon Transhumanist goal. To capture the broadness and tangibility of Mormon Transhumanism, I can’t help but feel the call to echo the words of Belinda Carlisle’s 1987 hit song “Heaven is a Place on Earth.”

If you’re wondering to yourself, is she really going to play the song “Heaven is a Place on Earth” at a Sunstone presentation? The answer is yes, you bet I am.


Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth?
Ooh, heaven is a place on earth.
They say in heaven love comes first.
We'll make heaven a place on earth.
Ooh, heaven is a place on earth.

In this world we're just beginning
to understand the miracle of living.
Baby, I was afraid before,
but I'm not afraid anymore.

Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth?
Ooh, heaven is a place on earth.
They say in heaven love comes first.
We'll make heaven a place on earth.
Ooh, heaven is a place on earth.

When I think about what Mormon Transhumanists are advocating for, I think about making heaven a place on earth. This encompasses many goals, moving parts, complexities, sub-categories, visions, and interests. It takes all types of people with different skills and talents. Making Earth the heaven it was prophesied to be is not a simple or easy task.

Transhumanism is the idea that we should use science and technology to greatly improve humanity. Not only that, as we continue to grow we will continue to assist in our own evolution. The transhumanist movement is generally led by secularists and non-religious folks, but religious transhumanists have a slightly different take.

Mormon Transhumanists don’t see religious and transhumanist goals as necessarily at odds with one another.  In fact, many Mormon Transhumanists see transhumanism as the fulfillment of their Mormon beliefs. If Mormonism is the prophecy, then transhumanism is the fulfillment of that prophecy. This should cause us to consider what myths and narratives we are telling ourselves when a religious prophecy can become a self-fulfilled prophecy.

In this presentation, I’m going to focus on three aspects of making heaven a place on earth.


Renewal of the Earth

In Mormonism, it is prophesied that Christ shall reign upon the earth, and the earth shall be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.[1] Not only that, the highest degree of celestial glory is prophesied to be on earth. The very purpose of the earth is to be crowned with glory as the home of celestial beings.[2] To prepare the earth for celestial glory, it must be cleansed of all unrighteousness.[3]

This is a lofty prophecy to fulfill, and make no mistake, this is our prophecy to fulfill. God has promised not to impinge on agency [4] and compels us into righteousness. God will not save us from ourselves. In Alma we read that God grants to us according to our desires.[5] Whether it to our salvation of destruction, it’s according to our wills. We are free to choose liberty and eternal life, or captivity and death.[6]

Quite literally, if we want celestial glory on the earth, it is up to us to make that happen. God isn’t going to magically make that happen for us without effort on our part. The renewal of this earth starts with us doing the hard work of actually renewing the earth to its paradisiacal glory. We are literally called to make heaven a place on earth.

This also happens to be a goal among many transhumanists. Transhumanists have some great ideas when it comes to environmental conservation and preservation. There are technological advancements being made in sustainable living, agriculture, and energy. We still have a long way to go, but the point is transhumanist goals include providing a healthy planet for exalted beings.



Immortality and Resurrection

In Mormonism the earth is designated to carryout the work of God which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of [humankind].[7] The earth will also be graced with the presence of God,[8] but it is only through Christ that this can happen. Jesus is anointed as a Christ and has invited each of use to join him in the body of Christ.[9] We are all the body of Christ when we take on the role of Jesus and join him in divine labors. As Jesus said, those who believe in him will do the works that he has done.[10] Not only that, whatever we ask of Christ in Christ’s name, Christ will provide.[11] Again, quite literally, we are told we are the body of Christ and we should perform the works and miracles Jesus performed. We should heal the sick, cure the blind, help the lame, and raise the dead.[12] Yes! Jesus has quite literally asked us to raise the dead!

Imagine for a moment a glorified and cleansed earth that is home to exalted beings who can heal the sick and raise the dead. If this is starting to sound a little too good to be true, well, Mormon transhumanists are ready to make that prophecy become true.

Transhumanists have optimistic views about the potential of medical advancements which could reverse or end aging. Further down the line are potential technologies which could even allow us to resuscitate those who would have been previously presumed dead.[13] We have been fighting death since the day we invented hand soap, antibiotics, vaccines, and cryonics. Reaching beyond our impending death is one of the most human things we do. Moving into the future I am confident there will be more advanced technologies which will be indistinguishable from magic. Again, we have to choose it. We must have faith is it possible and then get to work. Faith without works is dead,[14] and transhumanism is the works to our faith.


Becoming Gods

We’re on our way to making heaven a place on earth. We have an amazing glorified earth where exalted immortal, compassionate beings raise folks from the dead. The Mormon narrative and the transhumanist narrative are starting to look quite similar. You might even say they are the same story in just a different language. However, we’re not done yet.

In Mormon theology we are prophesied to be Gods. God desires us to become just like Them, essentially theosis.[15] This makes us Gods in embryo with the potential to have all the divine attributes which God has—that we might become exalted, embodied, intelligent, immortal beings like Them. There is room for all of us to share in God’s glory.[16]

To know God is to become God, and God will not do for us what we can do for ourselves. This includes immortality, or at the very least our sincerest tries. As Joseph Smith taught, "Here, then, is eternal life-to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power." [17]

One defining feature between secular transhumanism and Mormon transhumanism is that Mormon transhumanism is centered around the divine commandment to love God and love one another. We cannot become Gods without love. The scriptures say if we dwelleth in love, we dwelleth in God [18] and if we do not know love, we do not know God.[19] I suspect it is only through radically loving one another that we will ever come to know God, since intelligence, science, and technology alone are insufficient. We must love as God loves and become Gods ourselves.

To clarify, this is not something that happens magically. I like the way Elder Holland put it.

“We’re the church that says we’re gods and goddesses in embryo. We’re the Church that says we’re kings and queens. We’re priests and priestesses. People accuse us of heresy. They say we’re absolutely heretical, non-Christians because we happen to believe what all the prophets taught and that is that we are children of God, joint heirs with Christ. We just happen to take the scriptures literally that kids grow up to be like their parents. But how does that happen? How does godliness happen? Do we just pop up? Are we just going to pop up out of the grave? Hallelujah, it’s resurrection morning! Give me a universe or two. Bring me some worlds to run! […] I don’t think so. That doesn’t sound like line upon line or precept upon precept to me. How do you become godly? You do godly things. That’s how you become godly. And you practice and you practice and you practice.” [20]



Heaven is a Place on Earth

This is how we make heaven a place on earth. As Mormons, we already have the narrative and vision. We’re implicitly transhumanists seeking to improve humanity with both faith and works, we just need to start taking our narratives a little more seriously. Transhumanism can help that, but even transhumanism, without the ethical framework of becoming benevolent, compassionate, and creative Gods, we risk creating our own hellish nightmare. The stakes are high. Making heaven a place on earth isn’t a task reserved for casual or careless engagement. It deserves our sincerest efforts.

However, even with all the risks involved in making heaven a place on earth, it is the Mormon way. It’s the fulfillment of our faith. Transhumanism is just a practical extension of Mormon theology.



[1] Article of Faith, 10th, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

[2] Doctrine and Covenants 88:19-20

[3] Doctrine and Covenants 88:18

[4] Moses 4:3-4

[5] Alma 29:5

[6] 2 Nephi 2:27

[7] Moses 1:39

[8] Doctrine and Covenants 88: 18-19

[9] 1 Corinthians 12

[10] John 14:12

[11] John 14:13-14

[12] Matthew 11:5

[13] Blaire Ostler, “O Death Where is Thy Sting?” April 15, 2019

[14] James 2:17, 20, 26

[15] Matthew 5: 48

[16] John 14:3

[17] Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 346-47

[18] John 4:16

[19] John 4:7-8

[20] Elder Jeffery R Holland, Tempe Arizona Devotional, April 26, 2016

A Queer Mormon Transhumanist

A Queer Mormon Transhumanist