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I realized my anxiety is about religious standing before the Lord

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33 minutes ago, Zarahemla said:

If it's just either heaven or hell I have a 50% shot of making the best. If There's Outer Darkness, and the Telestial, Terrestrial, and 3 levels of Celestial Kingdom I only have a 1 in 6 chance of making the best. The percentages go way down and it takes a lot more effort completing all the tasks necessary.

You think eternal life is task-based? You think that life is a series of hoops you have to jump through, at the end of which the Great Judge will grade your performance? Brother, you need to rethink every aspect of your approach to the gospel and to God.

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36 minutes ago, Zarahemla said:

The percentages go way down and it takes a lot more effort completing all the tasks necessary.

As has already been said - it's not about accomplishing a set of tasks, it's about becoming a type of person.  The celestial kingdom is not a reward for good behavior or high marks.  It is a lifestyle.  IMO, the celestial kingdom exists in the hearts of celestial beings.  (There might be a place where they associate, but I think it's more their presence that makes it celestial than any other designation.  Thus, you don't "get there", you become one of (with) them.)

Rather than thinking about tasks to perform, think about how to be a particular kind of person.  E.g. a celestial person is not the sort who checks scripture study off his daily list, rather he is the sort who feasts on the words of Christ, who loves and lives by them.  Don't worry about checking scripture study off your daily list.  Worry about becoming the type of person who loves and feasts on the words of Christ.  Etc.

It has been said that we will all end up in the kingdom we really want to be in, and I believe this to be true.  The celestial kingdom would be the worst kind of torment for a terrestrial being.  Therefore, I think your worry is misplaced.  You are guaranteed to end up in that place where you will be happiest.  Rather than worry about which place that is, worry about becoming the best person you can become - that will guarantee you the best future in this life and the next.

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3 hours ago, Zarahemla said:

If it's just either heaven or hell I have a 50% shot of making the best. If There's Outer Darkness, and the Telestial, Terrestrial, and 3 levels of Celestial Kingdom I only have a 1 in 6 chance of making the best. The percentages go way down and it takes a lot more effort completing all the tasks necessary.

I see, you think that anything less than Celestial is some sort of "punishment".  Not true.  Study some more about what it is all about.  Start with D&C 88.

As others have said, the "being" rather than "doing".  You said that if you had your calling and election made sure, then you could relax.  You're looking at it all wrong.  If you're the kind of person who would have his election made sure, you wouldn't be the kind of person who would want to relax.

Do you remember in many other threads where I said things like, "It is about the journey, not the destination"?  That applies here.  Keep your eye on the destination, keep your mind on the journey.  The journey is life.  All the ups and downs of life (physical, mental, emotional, financial, spiritual) are all part of the journey towards the Celestial.  Just keep your eye on the ball.

Edited by Guest

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3 hours ago, Zarahemla said:

If it's just either heaven or hell I have a 50% shot of making the best. If There's Outer Darkness, and the Telestial, Terrestrial, and 3 levels of Celestial Kingdom I only have a 1 in 6 chance of making the best. The percentages go way down 

What?  No.  No, mainstream Christians don't view it as 50/50 chance going to heaven or hell, and no LDS don't view you as have a 1/6 chance making it the CK.  No, there is no "chance" or "percentage" involved with any of this, rather God's in the helm (if you let Him).  If you let Him there's 100% certainty. 

3 hours ago, Zarahemla said:

 it takes a lot more effort completing all the tasks necessary.

Agains, being a disciple of Christ is about BEING.  Not a "To do" list.  

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To be exalted, you HAVE to be baptized, confirmed, have your endowments, and be sealed in the temple in marriage. Those are tasks that have to happen if you want exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom. There's your to do list. You can't be exalted without them.

Edited by Zarahemla

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35 minutes ago, Zarahemla said:

To be exalted, you HAVE to be baptized, confirmed, have your endowments, and be sealed in the temple in marriage. Those are tasks that have to happen if you want exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom. There's your to do list. You can't be exalted without them.

It's not about the to do list.  Take that idea and put it in the dumpster, because it's seriously messing your view of the Gospel up.

Let's take the example of "Mike" and "Sarah".  

Mike doesn't really believe in Christ, nor does he have any interest in believing in Christ or repenting or ay of that stuff (we can know this because he's a hypothetical person).  But Mike has a Mormon family, so he "goes with it".  He goes to church, is baptized, endowed, perfect home teaching record, Eagle scout, and everything that could possibly be on the "to do list".  Still, he doesn't really believe in Christ nor having any interest in it, despite the HG prompting many times.  He's just going through the motions to look good, and gets straight A's on the outward "To Do" list.

Sarah is a young lady who wants to be baptized, but can't get baptized because she's a minor and her parents oppose.  Also because of her parents she seldom can come to church.  Yet she loves Christ, prays with all of her heart, repents when she makes a mistake, and does her best to learn more of Him (which isn't much because of her parents).  She cares for her fellows, listens to the Spirit, and thanks God every day.  Then one day Sarah dies to a tragic car accident.  So she never got baptized, confirmed, endowed, sealed, or even really made it to church.

 

Zarahemla: who was the better disciple of Christ: Mike or Sarah?

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42 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

It's not about the to do list.  Take that idea and put it in the dumpster, because it's seriously messing your view of the Gospel up.

Let's take the example of "Mike" and "Sarah".  

Mike doesn't really believe in Christ, nor does he have any interest in believing in Christ or repenting or ay of that stuff (we can know this because he's a hypothetical person).  But Mike has a Mormon family, so he "goes with it".  He goes to church, is baptized, endowed, perfect home teaching record, Eagle scout, and everything that could possibly be on the "to do list".  Still, he doesn't really believe in Christ nor having any interest in it, despite the HG prompting many times.  He's just going through the motions to look good, and gets straight A's on the outward "To Do" list.

Sarah is a young lady who wants to be baptized, but can't get baptized because she's a minor and her parents oppose.  Also because of her parents she seldom can come to church.  Yet she loves Christ, prays with all of her heart, repents when she makes a mistake, and does her best to learn more of Him (which isn't much because of her parents).  She cares for her fellows, listens to the Spirit, and thanks God every day.  Then one day Sarah dies to a tragic car accident.  So she never got baptized, confirmed, endowed, sealed, or even really made it to church.

 

Zarahemla: who was the better disciple of Christ: Mike or Sarah?

Wonderful example @Jane_Doe

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1 hour ago, Jane_Doe said:

It's not about the to do list.  Take that idea and put it in the dumpster, because it's seriously messing your view of the Gospel up.

Let's take the example of "Mike" and "Sarah".  

Mike doesn't really believe in Christ, nor does he have any interest in believing in Christ or repenting or ay of that stuff (we can know this because he's a hypothetical person).  But Mike has a Mormon family, so he "goes with it".  He goes to church, is baptized, endowed, perfect home teaching record, Eagle scout, and everything that could possibly be on the "to do list".  Still, he doesn't really believe in Christ nor having any interest in it, despite the HG prompting many times.  He's just going through the motions to look good, and gets straight A's on the outward "To Do" list.

Sarah is a young lady who wants to be baptized, but can't get baptized because she's a minor and her parents oppose.  Also because of her parents she seldom can come to church.  Yet she loves Christ, prays with all of her heart, repents when she makes a mistake, and does her best to learn more of Him (which isn't much because of her parents).  She cares for her fellows, listens to the Spirit, and thanks God every day.  Then one day Sarah dies to a tragic car accident.  So she never got baptized, confirmed, endowed, sealed, or even really made it to church.

 

Zarahemla: who was the better disciple of Christ: Mike or Sarah?

Sarah only if she has her temple ordinances done for her. Without the temple oridnances done on her behalf she's screwed.

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Just now, Zarahemla said:

Sarah only if she has her temple ordinances done for her. Without the temple oridnances done on her behalf she's screwed.

There is no "if" here: everyone's temple ordinances WILL be done.  A loving Heavenly Father does not abandon His child to be "screwed".

Now, why is Sarah the better disciple of Christ?  She didn't do anything on the "to do" list you had.    What's wrong with Mike?  He did everything on the "to do" list perfectly.

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@Zarahemla

i have a relative who has uncontrolled anxiety. She "floods". Experiences a wide range of worries on a variety of topics. This flooding can be reduced by antidepressants but the antidepressants make her feel flat. She misses the variety of moods that she has without medication. Anxiety can be controlled by cognitive therapy. A good inexpensive form of cognitive therapy is a book called 'The Feeling Good Handbook' by David Burns. This book is meant to be as successful as a course of therapy for those who do the exercises in the book. The book costs about $20 and most public libraries stock it. You might also find in on abebooks, the international online source for used books. Abebooks also has a wide variety of lds religious books.

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On 12/6/2016 at 6:59 PM, Zarahemla said:

To be exalted, you HAVE to be baptized, confirmed, have your endowments, and be sealed in the temple in marriage. Those are tasks that have to happen if you want exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom. There's your to do list. You can't be exalted without them.

I just wanted to make sure you understood that those ordinances do not save a person.

https://askgramps.org/take-ephesians-28-face-value-need-temple-ordinances/

(Pay attention to Pres Uchdorf's speech in that link).

1) Ordinances are commanded of us because they help us.
2) As commandments, we must do them simply because it would be incredulous for someone to say they follow the Lord and refuse to obey his commandments.
3) The "going through the motions" is not what has the power to save.
4) Ordinances, obedience to commandments, making and keeping covenants are what reconcile us to Christ so that He can reconcile us to the Father.

IT IS CHRIST WHO SAVES.

Also see:

http://www.byutv.org/watch/49475abb-10d4-4f45-a757-7000b9945468/byu-devotional-address-brad-wilcox-71211

Edited by Guest

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Spirit Prison is where many will go, usually as a temporary place, where even many of the righteous will suffer the "buffetings of Satan" (DC 132).  For most of us, it is because we've held onto some of our sins, our pride, our fears, our weaknesses.  As with Alma, we suffer temporarily in Darkness until we are ready and willing to give it all up and turn everything over to Christ through repentance and humility (Alma 36).

Most of us try to save ourselves, attempting to earn our way into heaven.  We cannot do that. In fact, Jesus condemned the Pharisees and Sadducees for trying to do that. What Paul, King Benjamin, Alma and others try to explain to us is that only Christ can save us.  We turn everything over to Christ, and he exalts us.  All we can do is repent and have enough faith  to let Him change us. Obedience, ordinances, and everything else become a natural outgrowth of our faith and reliance on Christ's Grace.

And Grace is not a backup plan. It is found everywhere since before the Creation. Grace IS Creation.  Just as we breathe in air that is all around us, so we can breathe in Christ's Grace, which is all around us.

However, most of us attempt to create our own little form of gospel, wherein we save ourselves. In doing so, we deny Christ's power to save us.

So, do not fear too much about having spent time in Spirit Prison, as others (like Alma) have also spent time there.  Instead, use it as a gauge to know that there are things to change.  Realize that God wants to save and exalt you, because He loves you. Then develop your loving relationship and faith in Him. Allow Him to save you, for you cannot do it yourself.  Then allow that growing faith to build your Hope, so that Hope becomes an anchor to your soul (Ether 12).

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4 minutes ago, rameumptom said:

Spirit Prison is where many will go, usually as a temporary place, where even many of the righteous will suffer the "buffetings of Satan" (DC 132).  For most of us, it is because we've held onto some of our sins, our pride, our fears, our weaknesses.  As with Alma, we suffer temporarily in Darkness until we are ready and willing to give it all up and turn everything over to Christ through repentance and humility (Alma 36).

Most of us try to save ourselves, attempting to earn our way into heaven.  We cannot do that. In fact, Jesus condemned the Pharisees and Sadducees for trying to do that. What Paul, King Benjamin, Alma and others try to explain to us is that only Christ can save us.  We turn everything over to Christ, and he exalts us.  All we can do is repent and have enough faith  to let Him change us. Obedience, ordinances, and everything else become a natural outgrowth of our faith and reliance on Christ's Grace.

And Grace is not a backup plan. It is found everywhere since before the Creation. Grace IS Creation.  Just as we breathe in air that is all around us, so we can breathe in Christ's Grace, which is all around us.

However, most of us attempt to create our own little form of gospel, wherein we save ourselves. In doing so, we deny Christ's power to save us.

So, do not fear too much about having spent time in Spirit Prison, as others (like Alma) have also spent time there.  Instead, use it as a gauge to know that there are things to change.  Realize that God wants to save and exalt you, because He loves you. Then develop your loving relationship and faith in Him. Allow Him to save you, for you cannot do it yourself.  Then allow that growing faith to build your Hope, so that Hope becomes an anchor to your soul (Ether 12).

This is very nicely put and given me a lot to think about. I havent died yet but I have experienced time in a mental state that I would call spirit prison like Alma so that's why i try so hard to avoid that feeling again or that state after this life in the spirit world.

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Hi Z!

I also suffer from Aniexty sometimes,  it can complicate things can't it.  I found this talk very useful, it's one of my favourites

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2009/10/truths-and-lies?lang=eng

also,  on this topic,  everyone is going to have their ordanaces completed and have opportunity to accept the Gospel.   I think on the other side when we can see more clearly we will be amazed at how lenient Heavenly Father actually is. My husband isn't a member but I believe that we will be together as a family,  my husband finds the Gospel difficult to understand as he has never been a Christian.   He is a good husband / Father and provider. I know we are going to be together along as I remain faithful as It is promised in the scriptures that I will be placed where I want to be in my heart and this is where I want to be.   

I hope you feel better soon,  maybe if you talk to your Bishop he will help you pay to speak to a therapist. 

Edited by An Investigator

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8 hours ago, An Investigator said:

I think on the other side when we can see more clearly

Interesting idea. This is what we commonly think: At some future point, the blindfolds will come off and we'll all say, "Oh, look, I was right about this and wrong about that. Silly me! Silly you!"

This idea is beguiling, but I am not convinced it is so. Truth is a precious commodity, freely given to all who actively seek it, but otherwise withheld. In the eternities, pearls are not cast before swine. I personally find it likely if not self-evident that only those who inherit eternal life will have a fullness of truth. I don't think all of our disputes will be resolved in the "next life", because I think that many of us (or at least many around us) will not want to see their error and know the condemnation of the truth. I assume they will be allowed to live in the bliss of their ignorance.

Not meaning to derail or hijack. I just found An Investigator's comment thought-provoking.

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33 minutes ago, Vort said:

I don't think all of our disputes will be resolved in the "next life", because I think that many of us (or at least many around us) will not want to see their error and know the condemnation of the truth. I assume they will be allowed to live in the bliss of their ignorance.

I'm not sure if you're saying the same thing or not, so I'll state my take on it.  And I'll tie it back to the OP so it isn't derailing.

I would believe that those who are dedicated to the truth (whatever that may be) will be more readily willing to give up any past notions in favor or the revealed truth that was not revealed before.  Sch people are probably already disposed to accept the revealed truth while on earth.  Those that are not dedicated to the truth here will also be less willing to give up past notions and refuse the further light and knowledge that will be available in the next life as well.

In @An Investigator's post, the context was about our Father's leniency. "What level of leniency" is not apparent to @Zarahemla at the moment.  We're trying to encourage him to recognize such leniency (Mercy).  And if he endures to the end on that hope, he will have that greater understanding when it is revealed in purity on the other side.

Edited by Guest

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I was thinking about this thread some more last night.  What is interesting is how blessed we truly are to have a loving Father in Heaven.  I mean, here we are, worrying about missing the Celestial Kingdom and having to settle for only blessings in the Terrestrial Kingdom beyond anything any of us can imagine!  (Same goes for those going to the Telestial Kingdom, although my understanding is it is very easy to avoid going there by avoiding adultery-level sinning - I doubt many on this thread are currently in real danger of going to the Telestial Kingdom, and if so, they can repent and fix it).  

Do you know how lucky we are to have this understanding?  Millions of other Christians and Muslims think that God casts basically good people into outer darkness for little things like not believing every word of the Nicene Creed.  As Mormons, we believe that God will simply bless some people less than others if they are not worthy for those blessings.  Maybe we should be thankful that realistically for most of us, the worst case scenario is still... wonderful!

 

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What kind of changed my feelings around on this topic today was watching a performance by a girl named Reese on youtube of the primary song Gethsemane. The visuals and the lyrics made me see the atonement's power and just how far reaching Jesus' atonement can be and that I should look to Him and turn my sins over to Jesus and love Jesus and most importantly, trust Jesus. It all came from that one video. Here is the video, watch it:

 

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4 hours ago, Vort said:

Interesting idea. This is what we commonly think: At some future point, the blindfolds will come off and we'll all say, "Oh, look, I was right about this and wrong about that. Silly me! Silly you!"

This idea is beguiling, but I am not convinced it is so. Truth is a precious commodity, freely given to all who actively seek it, but otherwise withheld. In the eternities, pearls are not cast before swine. I personally find it likely if not self-evident that only those who inherit eternal life will have a fullness of truth. I don't think all of our disputes will be resolved in the "next life", because I think that many of us (or at least many around us) will not want to see their error and know the condemnation of the truth. I assume they will be allowed to live in the bliss of their ignorance.

Not meaning to derail or hijack. I just found An Investigator's comment thought-provoking.

My meaning was clearly around how lenient Heavenly Father will be. I understand it is stated in the scriptures that people have the same disposition In spirit prison as here on earth yet I believe that in spirit prison people will know that the truth is just that,  having the same problems on the other side of the Vale as they do here.  That is not to say acceptance is impossible but will be difficult.. if your someone who is puffed up with pride, becoming humble will still be a hard thing to do.   

The fact Heavenly Father gives us this opportunity is just amazing.. to be with our families again.  I have to believe Heavenly Father will make this so for me even though my husband isn't a member or why would I even want to go to the celestial Kingdom?  Do I believe that Heavenly Father is going to punish me by not allowing me to be with my family,  when I hadn't even heard of the Church when I got married? of course not, maybe Heavenly Fathers plan is for some to accept the Gospel in the afterlife as they couldn't handle it here? 

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When the veil is lifted we will remember everything we learned in premortal life. I wonder how much we learned then?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We 

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If you are anxious about missing out on the Celestial Kingdom, then I suggest that you let this anxiety work upon you in such a way that it motivates you to do those things that will better prepare you for eternal life in the Celestial Kingdom. Can you let your anxiety become your fuel for improvement? This would seem to be consisted with the counsel contained in Doctrine and Covenants 58:27

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 58:27)

27  Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 58:28)

28  For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves.  And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

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"It is not only in making covenants but also in faithfully keeping these covenants that we are prepared to receive eternal life. That is our hope, our goal, and our joy." -Jean A. Stevens

I like that quote.

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