Monday, March 24, 2014

Mormon Monday: Kingdoms of Glory; Part 6 of the Plan of Salvation

Here are the previous parts, if you want to read them in order:

As I discussed last week, after we are resurrected, we will be judged.

Our judges will be our Heavenly Father and our Savior. They are perfect beings, and cannot make mistakes.
Mosiah 29:12 Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgments of God are always just, but the judgments of man are not always just.
When that day comes, there are no more chances. We will stand before our Savior, and we will have a perfect remembrance of our guilt and our iniquities. However, if we accepted the Lord's gospel, were baptized under proper authority, kept the commandments, and endured to the end, then will his grace be upon us, and we will be clean before our brother.

One of the things that we believe very differently from other Christian religions is the concept of Hell. We don't believe that there is a fine line between salvation and damnation. Instead, we believe that there are three degrees of glory. Christ said that (John 14:2):
In my Father's house are many mansions.
People sin to varying degrees. One person may have been a good person, but decided to never accept Christ. They went through their whole lives being a basically moral person, but just never would accept Christ as a real person. Would it be just for this human to be placed in the same place as a serial killer?

The Lord loves all his children. He allows them to choose what they will, but He will try to place them in a kingdom where they can be as happy as possible.

We believe there are three kingdoms of glory. Paul also spoke of these kingdoms. He said (1 Cor. 15:39–41):
39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

Celestial Kingdom 

The highest degree of glory that you can attain is called the celestial kingdom. Its glory is likened to the sun. This is where Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ dwell, and this is the only place where we can continue to progress to become like our Father. Here, families are eternal and will be together forever. 

Those who reach this kingdom are those who have repented of their sins, received the ordinances of salvation, and kept the covenants that they made through the Lord through these ordinances. These people shall be cleansed from their sins and shall live forever with their eternal families. 

We have also been told, that those who would have received the gospel in their mortal life but didn't have the opportunity to make and keep these sacred covenants, will be saved as well. (Doctrine and Covenants 137:7-10)
 Thus came the avoice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died bwithout a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be cheirs of the celestial kingdom of God;
 Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, whoawould have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;
 For I, the Lord, will ajudge all men according to their bworks, according to the cdesire of their hearts.
 10 And I also beheld that all achildren who die before they arrive at the byears of accountability are csaved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.
This really is the only kingdom that we should strive to reach. It is the only kingdom that will bring everlasting happiness and joy and the only place where we can dwell with our families forever.

Terrestrial Kingdom

This kingdom is the next kingdom of glory. Its glory is likened to the moon. This is where those who live honorable lives, but refuse to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ will dwell. It will still be an incredible, wonderful place, but it will be incomparable to the celestial kingdom. 

Telestial Kingdom

Those who revel in their sins and refuse to repent of them will be placed in the lowest kingdom, the telestial kingdom. This is the place where those who do not accept Christ shall go. Its glory is compared to that of the stars. 

Those who reach the higher kingdoms will minister to those who reside in the lower kingdoms. The terrestrial and telestial kingdoms do not have the opportunity for eternal progression, and in that sense, their occupants are damned. 

Personally, I want to do my best to be saved in the celestial kingdom. Those who dwell in the lower kingdoms will be those who are not clean and cannot bear to be in the presence of our Father. How awful would it be to not be able to even look at our Heavenly Father? Doctrine and Covenants 88:22 For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.

I testify that our choices in this life do matter. The Lord has given us very strict commandments, and as we strive to listen and hear his voice, we will be lead to truth. I know that God lives, and that His Plan of Salvation is perfect and is a plan for living life. If we follow the teachings of his prophets, both modern and ancient, we will be lead to eternal happiness.

Do your best. That's all that He expects of you. Listen closely, and heed His voice when you hear it. He is real and does speak to us if we will only listen. The world is pretty crazy right now, and we need all the help and peace we can find. Don't let the voices of the world overwhelm the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost. 

Be humble and prayerful. Repent of your sins. We all have them, and we are all trying to get to the same place. Help others and allow others to help you. 

It wouldn't be Heaven if we got there and we were all alone.

If you would like more information about these three kingdoms or the Plan of Salvation visit, read this article on the 3 degrees, or meet with the missionaries. They can answer your questions, and that's why they exist.

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