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Eternal Man

4.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  133 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
The concept of "eternal man" is vital to a full understanding of the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is as important to Latter-day Saints that there will be a "forever forward" as that there has been a "forever backward."

Here is a scholarly book written to make manifest the truth that man is an eternal individual, and that he has had and wi
Paperback, 80 pages
Published December 15th 1966 by Shadow Mountain (first published December 1966)
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Feb 25, 2010 Deja rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This is out of print, but my father got it from the library and scanned in every page for me. (It's only 67 pages, but still, an act of love, no?)

Madsen was a Mormon, a scholar of religious philosophy (at Harvard Divinity School, I think), and this book is a set of essays on the doctrine of man's eternal nature and the implications of our intelligence stretching out in both directions. He sets all of this into the great questions of the philosophy, and answers them in simple (if occasionally too
Jul 04, 2008 John rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
In 1970 a wise Sunday school teacher gave me this book, which opened my mind to the philosophical brilliance of the teachings of Joseph Smith. Largely because of this teacher, and the works of Truman Madsen, I began a scintillating intellectual journey toward spiritual things.

This book raises issues much pondered by modern philosophers in chapters titled: Evil and Suffering, Identity or Nothing, Freedom and Fulfillment, Creation and Procreation, Whence Cometh Man, The Spirit and the Body, and R
Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)
Aug 25, 2013 Erika B. (SOS BOOKS) rated it really liked it
Shelves: spir-tual, moauthor

This book is DEEEEEEPPPP!!!!!! Holy cow I think my brain just exploded! Honestly I would read a page and then have to read it again because I didn't comprehend what Truman Madsen was talking about! I gave it 4 stars just for making me stretch my vocabulary! My word-you can definitely tell he lectured at Harvard! I feel like I'm a second grader trying to understand quantum physics! BUT there were a few parts that I did grasp! So I'm proud of myself for that!

“To be or not to be?' That is not the
Dec 15, 2010 Tamra rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all Mormons who like to think about their doctrine
What a great little book! I found this on my husband's grandfather's bookshelf and took it home with me.

It's straight-forward and well put (except the Preface, which you should avoid at all costs). I thought it was easy to read, but I also have a background in philosophy and the theological questions with their typical answers or lack thereof. I thought Madsen did a good job of summing up some of the philosophical views and their implications, and answering those views, while still making it rea
Nov 17, 2015 Brandon rated it really liked it
Great summary of how LDS theology addresses issues found in worldwide, historical theologies of many other kinds. There are some seriously good gems in here. There are also so parts that are extremely difficult reading for those that have a weak background in philosophy and world religions. It is not really for the casual reader.

The best section, for me, was the one about human suffering, and how it fits in the grand plan. A little reminiscent of CS Lewis' "The Problem of Pain," but much briefe
Aug 08, 2014 Jane rated it it was amazing
Fortunately this was reprinted last year with a spiffy new cover so I bought this at DB a few days ago. Madsen contrasts other world views of the nature of man with the revelations Joseph Smith received and then taught about the eternal individual nature of each of us. I'm familiar with the philosophies he discussed, and still this made my brain hurt a little. I'm going to reread and annotate now--this one is worth some extra time and effort.
Whoa! This was a phenomenal book to read! Whew - talk about deep doctrine. Truman G. Madsen was a very bright man.

This book goes over how men (and women) have always existed, and that the idea that we had some sort of mysterious beginning in God's creation is false. We have always existed. Brother Madsen went over some of the philosophies of men that exist, and puts down their false and nihilistic notions of both God and Man.

This book actually sat on my mother's shelf while I was growing up, and
Joshua Johnson
Apr 08, 2014 Joshua Johnson rated it it was amazing
A must read of Truman Madsen's writings. I'm still thinking about some of the implications of these essays, and will probably revisit their content later. A valuable resource.
Josh Davis
Dec 29, 2014 Josh Davis rated it it was amazing
Short, but dense. This book shows the importance of mankind from an eternal perspective using the teachings of Joseph Smith. Worth your time.
Mar 05, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it
Reading works written from such a scholarly view are a great way to stretch the mind. I liken reading it to when I am pushing myself while exercising. If my average comfortable jogging speed is 6 mph and I knock it up to 8.5 mph then I am getting stretched. When I bring it back down to 6 the pace feels like I am walking effortlessly in contrast to where I was before.

It is well to read books like this from time to time to stretch the mind. Praying and pondering is helpful too.

I believe Madsen tru
Nov 12, 2011 Adam rated it it was amazing
For what it is it has to get 5 stars. For how it is is presented I would maybe give it 4 stars. Obviously it was written for those who have philosophical and theological backgrounds, but if a book like this is going to be put together then it would be more useful to have it a little more approachable. All the same, it is a good intellectual challenge, and of course his clarifications of the divine are his right given his spiritual gifts. I would recommend it to anyone who is willing to give it t ...more
Mar 31, 2014 Sara rated it it was amazing
This is only 60 pages long, but it really gives you a lot to ponder. If you like the deep stuff this is for you. If you're LDS then this is a must-read. Deseret Book published a recent edition in 2013, so it shouldn't be too hard to find a copy. As one of my old professors used to say, "good stuff!"
Jul 16, 2013 Meggen rated it really liked it
A really great book that made me think and stretch my mind. It is definitely an overview of the principles discussed in its pages...if you want to understand things better you have to study more for yourself...which was his point in the first place. It was easy enough to understand in some ways, but really complex in others. I think I will have to read this book several times before I really grasp what he is trying to teach more fully. Definitely worth the read, though.
Apr 03, 2008 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doctrinal
" is only a rootless prejudice of our time that morbidity is profundity, and that any insight that seems consoling is bound to be a wishful and vagrant bromide." Madsen does not confuse "the Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane. What matters is that Christ and his prophets are, in all history, those most immersed in these realities and therefore in ours." This is a book of understanding and therefore, hope.
May 19, 2008 Rae rated it really liked it
Shelves: religiosity
Madsen discusses Mormon and other Christian and non-Christian philosophies regarding man as an eternal entity. He has excellent chapters on freedom, suffering, and intelligences, along with discussions of humanism, fatalism, determinism and existentialism. I enjoy Madsen very much and go through spurts when I read his stuff again and try to get more understanding. I like the fact that he makes me reach upward in my thoughts.
Mar 04, 2012 Mike rated it liked it
Shelves: lds-books
The late Truman G Madsen, an LDS scholar and Havard grad, brings LDS doctrine and compares it to different philosophies of man. Interesting read and has some mind stimulating thoughts. Overall a worthwhile read for those who like philosophy, but don't plan on being super inspired although some stuff is really good.
Russ Page
Sep 21, 2009 Russ Page rated it really liked it
I learned a ton from this book, but it's one of the more difficult to grasp books I've read because Madsen takes everything from a philosophical approach and is constantly quoting the thinkers of the world.

It also depicts the depth of how Joseph Smith thought about the eternities, and quotes him frequently.
May 04, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it
I'm slow to catch up on my Madsen--this is the first I've read of him-- and though I was apprehensive at first, thinking he was over-simplifying complex philosophical schools, I was really won over by the end. The last chapter, in particular, was breathtakingly beautiful, and I'm excited to read more.
Jun 29, 2011 Carol rated it it was amazing
I had to think while reading this book. Sometimes I had to read the same paragraph (or sentence) three or four times. And there were times I had no idea what he was talking about. But I will certainly read it again. There are so many wonderful, shining truths!
Jan 28, 2010 Andre rated it it was amazing
Truman Madsen is a brillian writer and thinker and this is his masterpiece. I highly recommend it for anyone who is striving to learn the purpose of life.
Katie Robinson
Jun 27, 2013 Katie Robinson rated it really liked it
This is a good book to use as a starting point on the topics of man's being eternal. It really makes you think. It's a bit footnote heavy though.
May 09, 2013 Kristy rated it really liked it
Hard stuff, had to read some paragraphs more than once, but some really great LDS-philosophy (if that's what you call it).
Stephen Cranney
Jul 11, 2012 Stephen Cranney rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-buy
He does a very good job of delineating how Mormon theology answers core philosophical questions.
Ernie Dawson
Aug 09, 2010 Ernie Dawson rated it really liked it
Truman Madsen (the late) is a great author. He stays focused on his subject matter.
Jul 02, 2008 Brent rated it it was amazing
read long (>35yrs) ago, still remember his discussion of "the problem of evil"
May 12, 2008 Brenda rated it it was amazing
This is a book that changed the way I see life and purpose and religion.
Mar 09, 2013 Brandon rated it really liked it
Powerful teachings but not easily accessible.
Jul 13, 2008 Bennion rated it really liked it
Philosophy from a Latter Day Saint perspective.
Jul 19, 2009 Todd rated it really liked it
Read it.
Ben Stoker
Ben Stoker marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2016
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Truman G. Madsen is a philosopher, essayist, teacher and biographer. He is emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Brigham Young University, and was Director of the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies in Jerusalem. He held the Richard L. Evans Chair in Religious Studies at B.Y.U. He has been guest professor at Northeastern University, Haifa, and Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California ...more
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“To be or not to be?' That is not the question. What is the question? The question is not one of being, but of becoming. 'To become more or not to become more' This is the question faced by each intelligence in our universe.” 69 likes
“Actually, the most frightening power of freedom is to freely give itself up to the forces that stunt it.” 2 likes
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