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I've seen a few discussions in various locations regarding the Plan of Salvation. One of the more recent ideas someone floated to me was that there were multiple ideas of the Plan of Salvation given through the years and it's constantly changed. I did not agree with many of these and frustratingly enough when I was about done with them I was directed to a website that posted that Prophets and apostles all disagreed with the Plan of Salvation and even posited that Bruce R. McKonkie and his son Joseph disagreed upon how the Plan of Salvation worked. It listed half a dozen different (and what I see as bogus ideas in my research as an amateur Church Historian) 'plans of salvation' that were given through the years. This comes from people younger than I who are pointing me to this idea (though not all of them, one was on this site a while ago I believe), and apparently it's changed since I've been a member of the Church (I've been a member for a little over 50 years now). I was polite, but what I wanted to say was...Not to my recollection it hasn't. One of the main themes revolved around Reincarnation. The church has never officially taught that reincarnation occurs as far as I've seen (and the closest was the idea that Celestial Beings have children in a mortal like state, but than after that they return to where they came from after several centuries...but that was a brief moment in time that was even discussed, much less taught). It was included in a majority of their presentations of the "Plan of Salvation." My thought on this stuff was...that's a bunch of rot. So, this is partly a vent and partly just to lay out clearly what the Church taught about the Plan of Salvation. The first post is basically what the Church taught from the time when I investigated, to what I believe it still teaches now. I will probably at a later date post this in my personal thread on my thoughts on the Church's Culture and such but with added stuff included of my own opinions and such. However, this thread is to reiterate the basic Plan of Salvation. So, onto the basics of the Plan of Salvation as was taught to me. As far as I know, the basics have stayed the same since at least the late 19th century. The doctrine of the various Kingdoms of afterlife have been around since the time of the Prophet Joseph. I will use his words on them for a basis in D&C section 76, some that were added as Canon later with Abraham Chapter 3 and D&C section 138. I will also use Section 131. There are a few other things that will be included that were taught over the years to me, but are for the most part understood (such as the veil of forgetfulness). Beginning at the start, as per section 76:24, the worlds were and are created by the Father of us. Utilizing Abraham as well, we are his begotten sons and daughters and we were with him before this worlds creation. This is what we call the Pre-existence. In the Pre-existence a war started. There, two individual Sons of our Father had two different plans. One was in accordance with the Father and had the decision to give us Free Agency to Choose good and evil. If we chose to do evil this son would come down. Through him we would have the atonement in which we could repent of our sins and return to our Father. The other plan was in rebellion and it was that instead of choice, we would be forced to choose good. This was also an idea of to supplant the Father and sit in his place, to steal his glory, and give all the glory to the leader of this plan. This plan of rebellion was led by Satan. A third of the hosts of heaven followed him. Those of us who are on this Earth chose the former plan and followed Jesus and our Father. In selecting to follow them we kept our First Estate. Those who followed Satan will not have glory in the same Kingdom as those of us who did. This plan was to prove if we will do all the things whatsoever the Lord our God will command us (Abr 3:25). Those of us who keep our second estate will have glory added upon us. After this premortal life we are sent to Earth to live in mortality. When we come here we pass through the veil of forgetfulness. We forget our pre-existence in mortality. Here we are given choices. We are here to see if we will follow the Lord. After we die we go to the Spirit World In the Spirit world we will go to either Spirit Paradise or Spirit Prison. Those of use who are of the just, who have been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality and thosewho have offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God and have suffered tribulation in their Redeemer's name.departed this life firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ will be filled with joy and gladness. (D&C 138 12-15) Those who are such will go to what we call Spirit Paradise. There is another place also that the wicked go called Spirit Prison. There are others that may be in the waiting for the gospel and we will be organized and sent to preach the gospel to them, teaching them the principles and ordinances (ordinances for the dead) where we who are among the living can act as proxy so that those who are dead but did not get their living ordinances, can receive them as if they were alive. After this we go to a judgment where our final destinations after this life is determined. The following is almost straight from D&C 76. The Lowest are the Sons of Perdition. They denied the Holy Spirit after having received it and denied the only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame (76:35). The go to outer darkness and are the only ones the second death has any power over. The rest are brought forth by the resurrection of the dead through the triumph and the glory of the Lam (76:39). These are divided into 3 Kingdoms of Heaven, that of the Celestial Kingdom, that of the Terrestrial Kingdom and that of the Telestial Kingdom. Into the First are those who received the testimony of Jesus and were baptized, that kept the commandments and cleansed from all their sins and received the Holy spirit of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power, overcome by faith, sealed by the Holy spirit of Promise, are of the Church of the Firstborn, who are Priest and Kings and received of his fullness and glory, are priests of the Most High after the Order of Melchizedek. Therefore they are gods, even the sons of God. (76: 51-58). These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever (76:62). This is the Celestial glory and the Highest degree of glory. This glory is that of the Sun. We also know that those who did not receive the law in this life but who would have accepted the gospel if they had the opportunity will also be able to receive this Glory. (D&C 137:7) This glory is unending. Those shall dwell there in the presences of God and his Christ forever and ever (D&C 76:62). There is no end of this if we believe in it being forever and ever. This Glory is also divided into 3 Kingdoms, into which to enter the highest a man must enter into the order of the Priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage] (D&C 131: 1-2) The next degree of Glory is that of the Terrestrial world. This glory is that of the moon differs from the sun. These are they who died without law. They are who the spirits of men kept in prison who the son visited and preached the gospel to that they might be judged according to men in the flesh. These are they who received not the testimony of Jesus in the Flesh but afterwards received it. These are honorable people of the earth who were blinded by the craftiness of men. They are those who receive of his glory but not of his fullness. These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus. They shall be visited by the Son, but not of the fullness of the Father. (D&C 76:72-79) The third degree of Glory is that of the Telestial. These are they who did not receive the gospel of Christ , neither the testimony of Jesus. These are they who deny not the Holy Ghost. These are they who initially are thrust down to hell and are not redeemed until the Lord finishes his work. They do not receive the Son nor the Father in their Kingdom of Glory but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the Terrestrial. They shall have administering angels who are appointed to minister for them. (76: 82-88) There are as many different glories in the Telestial Kingdom, or divisions in the Telestial Kingdoms as stars, for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world (76:98). Those in the telestial will be as innumerable as the stars or the sand upon the seashore. They will be servants of the Most High: but where God and Christ dwell they cannot enter, worlds without end. (D&C 76:109, 112) This then is the general idea of the Plan of Salvation that I learned and has been the same since I've been a member...at least from what I've been taught (unless it's changed without me knowing it). Much of this (Especially that about the three Kingdoms) was taught in the Doctrine and Covenants and has stayed the same in writing since it was written down (as far as I know). Saying that this has changed... I don't think so. Anyways, that's the Plan of Salvation in it's basic idea with Scriptures as the background for reference.
Exaltation and Eternal Life
Xavier posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionThere seems to be a common misconception about what exaltation really is, among some members of the church. While discussing this topic in a Facebook LDS group, it is thought that anyone in the celestial kingdom will be exalted. I tried to explain that that is not the case. Exaltation is reserved only for those who enter into the everlasting covenant of celestial marriage which is the highest level in the celestial kingdom. So, she was a little upset because she didn't think that was fair. She is a single lady and has done everything in her power to live the standards and has kept all of her covenants in the temple and feels she is "married" to the Lord (she hasn't found someone to marry in the temple). I made the attempt to explain that she need no worry because the lord will make sure she has a chance to be sealed to a worthy priesthood holder either in this life or the next. Of course, exaltation and eternal life s a broad and vast subject but the gist of it is the union of two celestial law abiding individuals who are one with God. What is your take on this?
TurboGirl posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionWhy after we die would we continue to have children? After the second coming the earth will end so what is the point to having children? The church promises women in the church, that never have a chance to marry in this life, that they will have a chance in the next life and will have children then...but how do you raise a child in the church when they are already in Heaven? I was baptized in the church, and went off and on, but I just never really got into it. I didn't know some of the deep stuff until my mom died, and my dad got really into the church and married another women for time and eternity basically making him a polygamist. I have been trying to understand all this stuff, and I know there is no way of proving any of it. But every time me and my dad talk about the things I just can't wrap my head around it turns into a huge fight. So maybe someone here can help me at least understand what I am doing to trigger him so I can at least be able to talk with him again without the fighting.
Polygamy in the celestial kingdom?
annamaureen posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionWill there be polygamy in the Celestial Kingdom? I'm getting married in five weeks. The idea that my fiancé and will covenant to be devoted and faithful to each other, only to have him take more wives in the eternities, really, really upsets me. It makes me feel like our sacred bonds of marriage will be meaningless. I've confessed my feelings to my fiancé, and he too was bothered by the scenario. I'm finding very little official church doctrine to either confirm or deny, and this issue is weighing heavy on my shoulders. I don't know what to think. If being in the celestial kingdom means I must "share" my husband, I don't know if I want to be there. I have a strong testimony, but this issue is just something I can't shake. While writing this post, I've literally started crying, thinking of my husband being married to and intimate with another woman. Please help me. Edited to add: I also can't imagine WHY polygamy would be good, righteous, or acceptable. What is wrong with one man and one woman being married? Is that relationship not sacred and special?
Are There Kingdoms Above the Celestial?
Average Joe posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionGiven on April 2nd 1843: The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim. This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s. (D&C 130:8-9) Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known; And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word. (D&C 130:10-11) So those who receive a Celestial Glory will know things of inferior kingdoms by the Urim and Thummim of the earth and they will know things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms by the Urim and Thummim of their white stones. Now some may say this means the knowledge of the white stone applies to the lower two orders of the celestial kingdoms concerning the higher orders...perhaps...but the revelation pertaining to the there being two lower orders of the celestial kingdom occurred a month later on May 16th and 17th, 1843. So, are there higher orders of kingdoms then the celestial?
Celestial kingdom and marriage...
mroviatt1 posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionSo. I am an 18 year old male, finishing up high school and about to serve a mission this summer, but there's this girl that I really, reeeally like. This girl, however, is a nonmember. My parents are very.....Mormon (?) I guess, (not that I'm not), and they only want me to marry a girl in the temple. This girl has been exposed to the church and we've talked a lot about it, but she's not interested in joining. I heard that temple marriage is a requirement to be in the celestial kingdom, and that was a downer, to put it lightly. I really want to be there, of course. I know of other faithful members who did not have temple marriages. Any ideas on what's going to happen? This is all assuming that we do get married after my mission and survive college. It's a possibility. True to the Faith says that there are three degrees within the celestial kingdom, and that temple marriage is required only for the highest degree. Is there common speculation or doctrine? Thanks!