In a PEW survey a few months back, 24% of American adults indicated that they believed in reincarnation (ie, that people will be reborn into this world again and again). Apparently many Christians don’t have a problem overlapping their Christianity with Eastern beliefs. For example, “roughly one-in-ten white evangelicals believes in reincarnation, compared with 24% among mainline Protestants, 25% among both white Catholics and those unaffiliated with any religion, and 29% among black Protestants.”
I have not considered myself among those who seamlessly coordinate reincarnation with Christianity. But the following quotes have given me pause to reconsider:
The character of those who are such sticklers for it [working against law and Christianity] will perish, for they are taking the downward road to destruction. They will be decomposed, both soul and body, and return to their native element. I do not say that they will be annihilated; but they will be disorganized, and will be as though they never had been, while we will live and retain our identity, and contend against those principle[s] which tend to death or dissolution. I am after life; I want to preserve my identity, so that you can see Brigham in the eternal worlds just as you see him now. I want to see that eternal principle of life dwelling within us which will exalt us eternally in the presence of our Father and God. If you wish to retain your present identity in the morn of the resurrection, you must so live that the principle of life will be within you as a well of water springing up unto eternal life. JD 7:57 ? p.58, Brigham Young, June 27, 1858
President Brigham Young has suggested that the ultimate punishment of the sons of perdition may be that they, having their spiritual bodies disorganized, must start over again—must begin anew the long journey of existence, repeating the steps that they took in the eternities before the Great Council was held. That would be punishment, indeed. John A. Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliation, 213
Perhaps a limited reincarnation—according to these statements—is compatible with my LDS beliefs. In fact, while I certainly don’t want to repeat a thousand awkward high school moments or the day I fell rock climbing and shattered my leg, being “dis-organized” and trying the whole thing again sounds better than the hell of outer darkness—not that I’m aiming for either of those options. A God who gives the worst of the worst a “do-over” sounds like just the kind of merciful Father who does all in His power to bring about the salvation of his children.