One of life's greatest pleasures, for me at least, is the ability to indulge now and again. One of the greatest snack inventions ever created is the tortilla chip. Give me a large bag of tortilla chips, a quality salsa, and the possibly some cheese and I am in Hog Heaven.
Sometimes, however, the left overs in a bag of tortilla chips can become a little stale. This is a result of moisture getting into the chip. Any true lover of tortilla chips will be able to tell you that this is not a problem. You simply have to throw the chips on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or so and, viola, crunchy, warm chips.
Recently, I was fixing my stale chip problem when it popped in to my head that I was redeeming the chips. They had fallen from their ideal and perfect form and had become stale and undesirable. Circumstances had caused them to become something that they were not meant to be. (I am going to give the chips the benefit of the doubt and assume that they had no choice in the matter. I would hate to think that they would purposely choose to fall to such a lowly state. I mean, it's not like they are Eve or anything.) As I popped them in the oven, I began to think that maybe this culinary trick of tortilla redemption could be applied to the reason people believe there is a Hell.
Most Christians believe in Hell, and Mormons believe in paying for ones own sins. What about if the fires of Hell aren't just a metaphor, but are actually necessary. I mean, the Mormons say that we had to come here to get experience, and that those types of challenges weren't available to us in the preexistence. Like a sterile laboratory, our home in the preexistence had no sin or temptation, so we wouldn't have been able to learn about those things there. Just like the bag of chips that keeps it's crunchy goodness while still in the bag, once the bag is open (i.e., we are born and come to this world) the chips start to get stale. The more humidity, the staler the chip will get. And the more sin we get into, the more "stale" we get. And, as my lovely wife pointed out, the best sins have a tendency to be moist.
So, there it is. We have gotten stale and moist and have got to be redeemed in the fires of Hell to get the moisture out. Even though I am no longer a believer, I can't think of any other reason that a kind, loving, all powerful Heavenly Father would send so many of his children to suffer such unspeakable torment, unless it was to redeem us to crunchiness again. My only fear it that upon coming out the other side, I'm going to be smothered in cheese and find myself next to a large side of Salsa. I understand that DinoJesus likes his nachos.