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John Prather

What will those in the bottom two kingdoms do after it is all over and done?

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I was wondering the other day; what will those not in the Celestial Kingdom do with their eternity? Stand around thinking about how they should have done better? Endless games of solitaire? Lay around in fetal positions cursing their mortal decisions?

 

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From my understanding of my own opinion  :scribe:

 

They will have a larger measure of joy in their existence then we can experience now and they will have the opportunity to progress towards even greater joy if they choose.  So they will do what makes people truly happy now, creating art, enjoying nature, enjoying friendships, worshiping Heavenly. Their capacity is limited basically for a fullness of joy. 

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I was wondering the other day; what will those not in the Celestial Kingdom do with their eternity? Stand around thinking about how they should have done better? Endless games of solitaire? Lay around in fetal positions cursing their mortal decisions?

even those in the lowest of kingdoms will be angels.

I surmise that people will all be servants of God, what will differ will likely be how much work, and how great the works will be.

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Not to say that there isn't potential for more discussion here, because I feel there is; but, I think Windseeker and Blackmarch pretty much sum it up.

I also wonder what those in outer darkness will be doing for all eternity to occupy themselves and their "time" (for lack of a more appropriate term) with.

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Well, what stops those in outer darkness from pursuing art, enjoying nature, and enjoying friendships?

 

I'm not sure such an idea properly conveys what a kingdom of glory will be. Unless we presume (and perhaps this is the case) that those in outer darkness will literally be in darkness (blind), and perhaps rendered deaf and mute too, locked away in some place where they can never interact with anything or any one. It's possible. Maybe even probably. But it's all guesswork. But if they have sight, sound, smell, others around, etc., then what's to stop them from pursuing these things that "makes people truly happy"?

 

Moreover, if people can be "truly" happy there, then why are they lower kingdoms?

 

I'm not convinced.

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My understanding: people in the bottom two kingdoms progress forever.  They are just not progressing towards exaltation because they are on a different track and are moving towards other good, though lesser, things through eternity.  I think they will be very happy in eternity, but at the same time the chance for exaltation (and what some Mormons may call a fullness of joy) is lost, and as they go through eternity enjoying comfort and happiness, they will always know that they kind of blew it.  I imagine that an otherwise very happy person in the terrestrial kingdom may occasionally gnash their teeth in frustration when, every once in awhile, they think about the fact that exaltation was in reach, but they missed it.

 

As for the few people in outer darkness, the reason they can't be happy is because of what they became to get there.  If you become truly and fully evil, you lose the ability to experience things like love, friendship, and happiness, in my opinion.  Essentially, people in outer darkness are in complete, and ultimate, self-inflicted perpetual punishment.  I think that fire is very good symbolism for their state- they are so consumed by anger, rage, hatred and evil that they can never feel any sort of happiness.   Really quite tragic, but fortunately rare.

Edited by DoctorLemon

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My understanding: people in the bottom two kingdoms progress forever.  

 

People keep just saying this. Some sort of support would be nice. Where'd you get this idea? Oral tradition? Is it folk-doctrine? Why do you have this understanding? I'm legitimately curious. Because as near as I know, doctrinally, the only place we get eternal progression is the top level of the Celestial kingdom.

 

I'm guessing some Orson Pratt quote or something????

 

...and what some Mormons may call a fullness of joy

 

That's an interesting way to refer to words that are directly from the scriptures. I'm curious. Do you know some Mormons who don't call it a fulness of joy?

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I have heard the idea of progression in or perhaps through each kingdom (outer darkness is not a kingdom) goes back to JS, BY, and the early Q 12. There is probably sources for this, However it is almost certainly their personal speculations. Much like we still like to speculate  :rolleyes:

 

+1 Sources anyone?

Edited by Crypto

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Taken from Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual (2000)

 

Regarding the Telestial Kingdom it quotes the following:

 

“That glory granted the inhabitants of the lowest kingdom of glory is called telestial glory. In the infinite mercy of a beneficent Father it surpasses all mortal understanding, and yet it is in no way comparable to the glory of the terrestrial and celestial worlds. Telestial glory is typified by the stars of the firmament, and ‘as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world’ (D. & C. 76:81–1121 Cor. 15:41), meaning that all who inherit the telestial kingdom will not receive the same glory” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 778).

 

“Even to hell there is an exit as well as an entrance; and when sentence has been served, commuted perhaps by repentance and its attendant works, the prison doors shall open and the penitent captive be afforded opportunity to comply with the law, which he aforetime violated. …

“The inhabitants of the telestial world—the lowest of the kingdoms of glory prepared for resurrected souls, shall include those ‘who are thrust down to hell’ and ‘who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection.’ ([D&C] 76:82–85.) And though these may be delivered from hell and attain to a measure of glory with possibilities of progression, yet their lot shall be that of ‘servants of the Most High, but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end.’ (v. 112.) Deliverance from hell is not admittance to heaven” (James E. Talmage, The Vitality of Mormonism, 255–56).

 

 

There is a  simple truth that the above quote seems to miss, The Telestial World is a GLORY. I don't think I'm interpreting it wrong to assume that a Glory is a good thing. It's not a measure of Glory, it's 'A' Glory although a lesser one. This could just be the language.

 

As far as "Deliverance from Hell is not admittance to Heaven" issue, You can't describe a Glory as a Hell...that makes no sense. I think he's referring to the fact they receive any Glory at all. So maybe a better way to put it would be to say that The fact they are saved from Eternal Damnation does not guarantee they will all progress to to the Celestial Kingdom.

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Well, what stops those in outer darkness from pursuing art, enjoying nature, and enjoying friendships?

 

I'm not sure such an idea properly conveys what a kingdom of glory will be. Unless we presume (and perhaps this is the case) that those in outer darkness will literally be in darkness (blind), and perhaps rendered deaf and mute too, locked away in some place where they can never interact with anything or any one. It's possible. Maybe even probably. But it's all guesswork. But if they have sight, sound, smell, others around, etc., then what's to stop them from pursuing these things that "makes people truly happy"?

 

Moreover, if people can be "truly" happy there, then why are they lower kingdoms?

 

I'm not convinced.

probably the same thing that prevents depressed, addicted, or angry people from pursuing such, would be my guess.

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All interesting comments. Another factor that I muse over is that why can't one opt for some sort of annihilation if they don't like their eternity? To me, existing when you don't want to exist is pretty darn close to be a Hell.

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All interesting comments. Another factor that I muse over is that why can't one opt for some sort of annihilation if they don't like their eternity? To me, existing when you don't want to exist is pretty darn close to be a Hell.

Now that sounds like an approximation of what I expect outer darkness to be.

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All interesting comments. Another factor that I muse over is that why can't one opt for some sort of annihilation if they don't like their eternity? To me, existing when you don't want to exist is pretty darn close to be a Hell.

First off I would point out that for whatever kingdom we end up in - We have spent all of our pre-existence and current life to get there.  We will be doing what we have prepared for billions of years for us to do.  I see us spending the rest of eternity perfecting it to enjoy the more.  I do not believe that we will suddenly decide to change our precious choices and start all over.  But then maybe we will – and that the most recent choice would change everything about us and the kingdom we built around us from our previous choices.

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Well, what stops those in outer darkness from pursuing art, enjoying nature, and enjoying friendships?

 

I'm not sure such an idea properly conveys what a kingdom of glory will be. Unless we presume (and perhaps this is the case) that those in outer darkness will literally be in darkness (blind), and perhaps rendered deaf and mute too, locked away in some place where they can never interact with anything or any one. It's possible. Maybe even probably. But it's all guesswork. But if they have sight, sound, smell, others around, etc., then what's to stop them from pursuing these things that "makes people truly happy"?

 

Moreover, if people can be "truly" happy there, then why are they lower kingdoms?

 

I'm not convinced.

The gradation in happiness is not so much in terms of what a person does but with whom they share it.  The higher the Kingdom the more connected, the more they are "one", the lower the Kingdom the more they are like one star differing from another, separated and less connected.

 

The reason the greatest commandments are to love God with all our heart and to love neighbor as self is because that is the differing characteristic of those that find their self in the higher Kingdoms.  When we love others as self then all of their achievements become our own, just like when my daughter gets an A in school becomes a different experience than any other kid in her class gets an A.  If one is relatively (pun intended I suppose) disconnected then their is a limitation to happiness as it becomes more and more limited to just self achievement.  If happiness is a function of someone else' achievement, which is to say to love thy neighbor as thy self then the happiness becomes endless and eternal. 

 

It is not so much what is done but with whom it is shared. Of course, when it is shared more can be done.

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The gradation in happiness is not so much in terms of what a person does but with whom they share it.  The higher the Kingdom the more connected, the more they are "one", the lower the Kingdom the more they are like one star differing from another, separated and less connected.

 

The reason the greatest commandments are to love God with all our heart and to love neighbor as self is because that is the differing characteristic of those that find their self in the higher Kingdoms.  When we love others as self then all of their achievements become our own, just like when my daughter gets an A in school becomes a different experience than any other kid in her class gets an A.  If one is relatively (pun intended I suppose) disconnected then their is a limitation to happiness as it becomes more and more limited to just self achievement.  If happiness is a function of someone else' achievement, which is to say to love thy neighbor as thy self then the happiness becomes endless and eternal. 

 

It is not so much what is done but with whom it is shared. Of course, when it is shared more can be done.

 

Just wondering; for the clarification of terms - what is the difference in loving with al one's heart and loving something as we love ourselves?  Would it be okay to love our neighbors with all our heart and to love G-d as we love ourselves?  For the sake of honesty I will admit there is a subsurface trick question hidden here -- It has to do with semantics and the definitions of terms used in scripture as opposed to the English language.  Since such things are very important to you – I thought I would see how you deal with the question.

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Just wondering; for the clarification of terms - what is the difference in loving with al one's heart and loving something as we love ourselves?  Would it be okay to love our neighbors with all our heart and to love G-d as we love ourselves?  For the sake of honesty I will admit there is a subsurface trick question hidden here -- It has to do with semantics and the definitions of terms used in scripture as opposed to the English language.  Since such things are very important to you – I thought I would see how you deal with the question.

Loving someone or something with all our heart implies the underlying purpose of our activity which is synonymous to having an eye single to his glory.  Loving someone as self implies empathy, it implies being able to understand another's feelings, circumstances, situation, struggles and to assist them in a very intimate way as one would do with a very close family member.

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Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden into the telestial world. We are informed in similar language in the endowment "or the world which ye now live"... Interesting thought there. Brigham Young went as far to say YOU are living in ETERNITY NOW. And we are. The lords work continues "worlds without end". His work never changes (Moses 1:39). But the glory thereof is only withheld because... 

Read the next two verses in Section 76.

 

Telestial:

 86 These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial;

 

Vision of Glory

115 Which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter;

 116 Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him;

 117 To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves;

 118 That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory.

 119 And to God and the Lamb be glory, and honor, and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Joseph taught the following.

 

 

When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave. - King Follet, Ensign 1971

 

Two points here. Great work...

 

1) Beyond the veil

2) Beyond the grave ("even beyond the grave")

 

Do not equate veil with death. But rather with "rending the veil of unbelief" as ether calls it HERE AND NOW. If you don't do that. Than you will be found wanting, and your work beyond the grave will be greater. It takes time. It takes experience. There is no other way. God is in much less of a hurry than we are. But we see things in "time" and all things are before him continually. Past, future, and present.

 

You have got to learn to be Gods like those who have gone before you.

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Question:  Over the years several here have suggested to me that a fair number of faithful LDS will end up in the Terrestial Kingdom.  A few have even speculated that there might be the occasional non-LDS Christian who makes the Celestial Kingdom.  And certainly, those who achieve exaltation will be less than those who make the top kingdom.

 

If so, might it not be that we will find ourselves in the Kingdom that suites us.  Are they not all Heavenly Realms?  Of course the highest is infinitely greater than the middle, and the middle infinitely greater than the lower.  Nevertheless, perhaps the higher kingdoms would be too high for those who do not go there? 

 

Sadly, for those in the outer darkness, all heavenly kingdoms are too much, for they have chosen the way of exile.

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probably the same thing that prevents depressed, addicted, or angry people from pursuing such, would be my guess.

 

Really though? You've never heard about depressed, addicted, or angry artists?

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Question:  Over the years several here have suggested to me that a fair number of faithful LDS will end up in the Terrestial Kingdom.  A few have even speculated that there might be the occasional non-LDS Christian who makes the Celestial Kingdom.  And certainly, those who achieve exaltation will be less than those who make the top kingdom.

 

I'm sure you'll get all sorts of views on this by various LDS folk. And every one of them is probably nothing more than opinion. So here's my opinion.

 

I, personally, think that a lot more LDS folk are going to end up in outer darkness than we think. A fair number, indeed, will be in the Terrestrial, and a fair number more, indeed, will be in the Telestial.

 

As to the non-LDS making the Celestial Kingdom...sure...but only if they choose so...which also means choosing to accept the gospel at some point, whether it be in this life or the next. There are some concretes requirements we can point to for Celestial glory, and the ordinances of the priesthood performed by proper authority are undeniable requisites. No one who has not taken upon themselves the ordinances required will enter therein. So, from a certain point of view, no one who hasn't joined some form of the LDS church at some point will qualify. But specifying it as strictly "LDS" is invalid. (The LD stands for Latter-day, after all. Surely those in previous days who took on the gospel and followed the proper ordinances, etc., will qualify as wall as those in latter-days, and yet they did not belong to the "latter" day church in any regard. ;))

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And certainly, those who achieve exaltation will be less than those who make the top kingdom.

 

Oh...and I think this state will be very rare. Exaltation without Eternal Life (no marriage and eternal family progression)? Those who chose to follow all of God's ways but said, "No thanks" to marriage and family?  Not common, imo.

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I'm guessing that those who intimate that some non-LDS will make it into the Celestial Kingdom are very impressed with some of their non-member acquaintances, and simply assume that such awesome folks will receive the gospel in the afterlife.  Interesting that Folk Prophet believes many LDS will end up in the lowest and outer realms--but I suppose to whom much is given much is required.

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Really though? You've never heard about depressed, addicted, or angry artists?

but how far do they progress? what happens to their life when they remain that way? combine that with living in an abyssmal situation, without access to what God knows.

Edited by Blackmarch

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