Seeker of truth

Forgiveness and degrees of glory

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Growing up in the church, graduating from seminary, serving a mission and remaining active all of my life even to this day (I’m 47) it has always been my understanding and belief that if you repent of your sins you'll be forgiven, made clean AND more importantly if you do repent you will inherit the celestial kingdom.

Recently re-reading the miracle of forgiveness and coming across the following teachings found in the gospel doctrine manual that I’ll share I am confused now if my understanding has been wrong all of this time.

From the following statements they seem to be saying that every person that inherits any degree of glory, telestial, terrestrial, or celestial are forgiven for their sins. 

After reading the following excerpts I would like to know your thoughts on the following question. The D&C dilineates which sins go to which kingdom of glory. It was always my impression those were people who didn’t repent of those sins. And that those who repented went to the celestial kingdom. My new understanding is that all people that go to any degree of glory, including telestial and terrestrial are forgiven of their sins, made clean, but still consigned to those lesser kingdoms based upon the seriousness of the sins they committed. Is this so?

Please read the following excerpts from the Gospel doctrine manual regarding King David and Joseph Smith’s statement found in Miracle of Forgiveness and give me your thoughts.

Gospel Doctrine manual excerpts:

Matt 12
31 ¶ Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

———my original understanding over the years of this scripture is that they all CAN be forgiven...new understanding after following teachings is all WILL be forgiven———

(26-21) 2 Samuel 12:13. David Is Still Paying in Hell for His Sins
The Joseph Smith Translation says, “The Lord also hath not put away thy sin” (JST, 2 Samuel 12:13).
Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, commenting on David’s sin, said: “David committed a dreadful crime, and all his life afterwards sought for forgiveness. Some of the Psalms portray the anguish of his soul; yet David is still paying for his sin. He did not receive the resurrection at the time of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peter declared that his body was still in the tomb, and the Prophet Joseph Smith has said, ‘David sought repentance at the hand of God carefully with tears, for the murder of Uriah; but !!!!he could only get it!!!! through hell: (my comment: does this indicate he repented and was forgiven?) he got a promise that his soul should not be left in hell.’ Again we ask: Who wishes to spend a term in hell with the devil before being cleansed from sin?” (Answers to Gospel Questions, 1:74.)

His repentant feelings were no doubt sincere, but he could not repent enough to restore the life of his friend, Uriah, nor the virtue of his wife. Though he later hoped and prayed that his soul would not be left forever in hell (the spirit prison), yet the eternal destiny of doers of such twin sins does not look good. (See Psalms 16 and 51; then see Hebrews 6:4–6; Revelation 22:14–15; D&C 132:27; 76:31–37; 29:41 and 42:18, 79.)” (Rasmussen, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1:185.)

Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained the limits of David’s eternal inheritance:
“Murderers are forgiven eventually but only in the sense that all sins are forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost; they are not forgiven in the sense that celestial salvation is made available to them. (Matt. 12:31–32; Teachings, pp. 356–357.) After they have paid the full penalty for their crime, they shall go on to a telestial inheritance. (Rev. 22:15.)” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 520.)


“From celestial to telestial—that is tragedy.”


“Murder is so treacherous and so far-reaching! Those who lose their possessions may be able to recover their wealth. Those defamed may still be able to prove themselves above reproach. Even the loss of chastity leaves the soul in mortality with opportunity to recover and repent and to make amends to some degree. But to take a life, whether someone else’s or one’s own, cuts off the victim’s experiences of mortality and thus his opportunity to repent, to keep God’s commandments in this earth life. It interferes with his potential of having ‘glory added upon [his head] for ever and ever.’ (Abraham 3:26.)” (Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 195–96.)

END of excerpts found in the Gospel Doctrine manual.

From Miracle of Forgiveness excerpt:

“If a man commit adultery, he cannot receive the celestial kingdom of God. Even if he is saved in any kingdom, it cannot be the celestial kingdom.” Joseph Smith

Kimball goes on to explain that forgiveness can be had for adultery. Which I whole heartedly believe. However, my problem in my understanding now is...are they forgiven and consigned to telestial glory? I always believed if you repented and were forgiven you inherited celestial glory. But those preceding excerpts have me confused whether or not that is true. Those statements appear to me to show that King David repented and received forgiveness for his crimes but ultimately consigned a telestial glory. What am I missing? Or is that just how it is. 

So to summarize:

Am I to understand that King David “received repentance” was forgiven and still consigned to telestial kingdom. If so does that apply to all sins dilineateed in D&C for each kingdom, that those people in those kingdoms are forgiven of those sins but still consigned to that kingdom?

Or is my original belief that if you repent you will be forgiven (all but blasphemy against the Holy Ghost) and go to the celestial kingdom? If this is the case how do I rectify the apparent discrepancy between that belief and the excerpts shared above?

Edited by Seeker of truth
Misspelling

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57 minutes ago, Seeker of truth said:

Growing up in the church, graduating from seminary, serving a mission and remaining active all of my life even to this day (I’m 47) it has always been my understanding and belief that if you repent of your sins you'll be forgiven, made clean AND more importantly if you do repent you will inherit the celestial kingdom.

Recently re-reading the miracle of forgiveness and coming across the following teachings found in the gospel doctrine manual that I’ll share I am confused now if my understanding has been wrong all of this time.

From the following statements they seem to be saying that every person that inherits any degree of glory, telestial, terrestrial, or celestial are forgiven for their sins. 

After reading the following excerpts I would like to know your thoughts on the following question. The D&C dilineates which sins go to which kingdom of glory. It was always my impression those were people who didn’t repent of those sins. And that those who repented went to the celestial kingdom. My new understanding is that all people that go to any degree of glory, including telestial and terrestrial are forgiven of their sins, made clean, but still consigned to those lesser kingdoms based upon the seriousness of the sins they committed. Is this so?

Please read the following excerpts from the Gospel doctrine manual regarding King David and Joseph Smith’s statement found in Miracle of Forgiveness and give me your thoughts.

Gospel Doctrine manual excerpts:

Matt 12
31 ¶ Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

———my original understanding over the years of this scripture is that they all CAN be forgiven...new understanding after following teachings is all WILL be forgiven———

(26-21) 2 Samuel 12:13. David Is Still Paying in Hell for His Sins
The Joseph Smith Translation says, “The Lord also hath not put away thy sin” (JST, 2 Samuel 12:13).
Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, commenting on David’s sin, said: “David committed a dreadful crime, and all his life afterwards sought for forgiveness. Some of the Psalms portray the anguish of his soul; yet David is still paying for his sin. He did not receive the resurrection at the time of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peter declared that his body was still in the tomb, and the Prophet Joseph Smith has said, ‘David sought repentance at the hand of God carefully with tears, for the murder of Uriah; but !!!!he could only get it!!!! through hell: (my comment: does this indicate he repented and was forgiven?) he got a promise that his soul should not be left in hell.’ Again we ask: Who wishes to spend a term in hell with the devil before being cleansed from sin?” (Answers to Gospel Questions, 1:74.)

His repentant feelings were no doubt sincere, but he could not repent enough to restore the life of his friend, Uriah, nor the virtue of his wife. Though he later hoped and prayed that his soul would not be left forever in hell (the spirit prison), yet the eternal destiny of doers of such twin sins does not look good. (See Psalms 16 and 51; then see Hebrews 6:4–6; Revelation 22:14–15; D&C 132:27; 76:31–37; 29:41 and 42:18, 79.)” (Rasmussen, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1:185.)

Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained the limits of David’s eternal inheritance:
“Murderers are forgiven eventually but only in the sense that all sins are forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost; they are not forgiven in the sense that celestial salvation is made available to them. (Matt. 12:31–32; Teachings, pp. 356–357.) After they have paid the full penalty for their crime, they shall go on to a telestial inheritance. (Rev. 22:15.)” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 520.)


“From celestial to telestial—that is tragedy.”


“Murder is so treacherous and so far-reaching! Those who lose their possessions may be able to recover their wealth. Those defamed may still be able to prove themselves above reproach. Even the loss of chastity leaves the soul in mortality with opportunity to recover and repent and to make amends to some degree. But to take a life, whether someone else’s or one’s own, cuts off the victim’s experiences of mortality and thus his opportunity to repent, to keep God’s commandments in this earth life. It interferes with his potential of having ‘glory added upon [his head] for ever and ever.’ (Abraham 3:26.)” (Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 195–96.)

END of excerpts found in the Gospel Doctrine manual.

From Miracle of Forgiveness excerpt:

“If a man commit adultery, he cannot receive the celestial kingdom of God. Even if he is saved in any kingdom, it cannot be the celestial kingdom.” Joseph Smith

Kimball goes on to explain that forgiveness can be had for adultery. Which I whole heartedly believe. However, my problem in my understanding now is...are they forgiven and consigned to telestial glory? I always believed if you repented and were forgiven you inherited celestial glory. But those preceding excerpts have me confused whether or not that is true. Those statements appear to me to show that King David repented and received forgiveness for his crimes but ultimately consigned a telestial glory. What am I missing? Or is that just how it is. 

So to summarize:

Am I to understand that King David “received repentance” was forgiven and still consigned to telestial kingdom. If so does that apply to all sins dilineateed in D&C for each kingdom, that those people in those kingdoms are forgiven of those sins but still consigned to that kingdom?

Or is my original belief that if you repent you will be forgiven (all but blasphemy against the Holy Ghost) and go to the celestial kingdom? If this is the case how do I rectify the apparent discrepancy between that belief and the excerpts shared above?

My understanding:

It is ultimately God who judges where everyone goes based off of His perfect knowledge of circumstance, intent, and acts.

Generally, if you repent of your major sins IN THIS LIFE, and are constantly striving to repent of your minor sins, and are working towards perfection, you will go to the Celestial Kingdom, assuming you have accepted the saving ordinances offered by the Church.

If you do not repent of your major sins in this life, and wait until the next life to repent, they may prevent you from going to the Celestial Kingdom.  That is why you don't want to procrastinate the day of your repentance - waiting until the next life to repent of major sins (e.g., adultery) may result in you winding up in the Telestial kingdom.  Refusing to constantly improve and refusing to put in efforts to repent of minor sins may result in you going to the Terrestrial Kingdom due to becoming lukewarm.

There are some sins, such as murder, for which there is often no complete forgiveness, though.  Murderers can repent in the sense that they can be saved from outer darkness, but they may find that exaltation is impossible afterwards.  David found himself in this position.  Fortunately, there aren't many sins like this (only murder and denying the Holy Ghost come to mind).  So David is kind of a special case.

To answer your question about adultery, I think the general understanding in the Church is you can absolutely repent of adultery and be saved in the Celestial Kingdom.  Joseph Smith appears to be talking about unrepentant adulterers.  I don't have any references on me to back this up, but as far as I can tell, this is the widespread interpretation.

A more interesting question is the case of repeat adulterers - someone who commits adultery, repents fully, and then does it again.  I believe in the Miracle of Forgiveness (and I am remembering this book after reading it 20 years ago), it says that such repeat offenders may run into difficulties gaining exaltation having committed such a big sin, repented fully, and having then done it again, though debates on the subject in this forum say this may not be the case.  Hopefully a very rare situation!

Edited by DoctorLemon

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1 hour ago, Seeker of truth said:

Growing up in the church, graduating from seminary, serving a mission and remaining active all of my life even to this day (I’m 47) it has always been my understanding and belief that if you repent of your sins you'll be forgiven, made clean AND more importantly if you do repent you will inherit the celestial kingdom.

Recently re-reading the miracle of forgiveness and coming across the following teachings found in the gospel doctrine manual that I’ll share I am confused now if my understanding has been wrong all of this time.

From the following statements they seem to be saying that every person that inherits any degree of glory, telestial, terrestrial, or celestial are forgiven for their sins. 

After reading the following excerpts I would like to know your thoughts on the following question. The D&C dilineates which sins go to which kingdom of glory. It was always my impression those were people who didn’t repent of those sins. And that those who repented went to the celestial kingdom. My new understanding is that all people that go to any degree of glory, including telestial and terrestrial are forgiven of their sins, made clean, but still consigned to those lesser kingdoms based upon the seriousness of the sins they committed. Is this so?

Please read the following excerpts from the Gospel doctrine manual regarding King David and Joseph Smith’s statement found in Miracle of Forgiveness and give me your thoughts.

Gospel Doctrine manual excerpts:

Matt 12
31 ¶ Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

———my original understanding over the years of this scripture is that they all CAN be forgiven...new understanding after following teachings is all WILL be forgiven———

(26-21) 2 Samuel 12:13. David Is Still Paying in Hell for His Sins
The Joseph Smith Translation says, “The Lord also hath not put away thy sin” (JST, 2 Samuel 12:13).
Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, commenting on David’s sin, said: “David committed a dreadful crime, and all his life afterwards sought for forgiveness. Some of the Psalms portray the anguish of his soul; yet David is still paying for his sin. He did not receive the resurrection at the time of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peter declared that his body was still in the tomb, and the Prophet Joseph Smith has said, ‘David sought repentance at the hand of God carefully with tears, for the murder of Uriah; but !!!!he could only get it!!!! through hell: (my comment: does this indicate he repented and was forgiven?) he got a promise that his soul should not be left in hell.’ Again we ask: Who wishes to spend a term in hell with the devil before being cleansed from sin?” (Answers to Gospel Questions, 1:74.)

His repentant feelings were no doubt sincere, but he could not repent enough to restore the life of his friend, Uriah, nor the virtue of his wife. Though he later hoped and prayed that his soul would not be left forever in hell (the spirit prison), yet the eternal destiny of doers of such twin sins does not look good. (See Psalms 16 and 51; then see Hebrews 6:4–6; Revelation 22:14–15; D&C 132:27; 76:31–37; 29:41 and 42:18, 79.)” (Rasmussen, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1:185.)

Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained the limits of David’s eternal inheritance:
“Murderers are forgiven eventually but only in the sense that all sins are forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost; they are not forgiven in the sense that celestial salvation is made available to them. (Matt. 12:31–32; Teachings, pp. 356–357.) After they have paid the full penalty for their crime, they shall go on to a telestial inheritance. (Rev. 22:15.)” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 520.)


“From celestial to telestial—that is tragedy.”


“Murder is so treacherous and so far-reaching! Those who lose their possessions may be able to recover their wealth. Those defamed may still be able to prove themselves above reproach. Even the loss of chastity leaves the soul in mortality with opportunity to recover and repent and to make amends to some degree. But to take a life, whether someone else’s or one’s own, cuts off the victim’s experiences of mortality and thus his opportunity to repent, to keep God’s commandments in this earth life. It interferes with his potential of having ‘glory added upon [his head] for ever and ever.’ (Abraham 3:26.)” (Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 195–96.)

END of excerpts found in the Gospel Doctrine manual.

From Miracle of Forgiveness excerpt:

“If a man commit adultery, he cannot receive the celestial kingdom of God. Even if he is saved in any kingdom, it cannot be the celestial kingdom.” Joseph Smith

Kimball goes on to explain that forgiveness can be had for adultery. Which I whole heartedly believe. However, my problem in my understanding now is...are they forgiven and consigned to telestial glory? I always believed if you repented and were forgiven you inherited celestial glory. But those preceding excerpts have me confused whether or not that is true. Those statements appear to me to show that King David repented and received forgiveness for his crimes but ultimately consigned a telestial glory. What am I missing? Or is that just how it is. 

So to summarize:

Am I to understand that King David “received repentance” was forgiven and still consigned to telestial kingdom. If so does that apply to all sins dilineateed in D&C for each kingdom, that those people in those kingdoms are forgiven of those sins but still consigned to that kingdom?

Or is my original belief that if you repent you will be forgiven (all but blasphemy against the Holy Ghost) and go to the celestial kingdom? If this is the case how do I rectify the apparent discrepancy between that belief and the excerpts shared above?

Ah, now you are seeing the same contradictions that I too saw some twenty years ago and brought me to a different belief system to where I am at today, and yet still being an active supporting LDS.

It is a fact (in my opinion) that our doctrine we teach concerning the plan of salvation is flawed, and in a grand paramount way. The Book of Mormon is the cornerstone of our religion. In it we learn of the plan of salvation. It teaches that to avoid the eternal hell one must repent of all their sins and be baptized into the Kingdom of heaven. There are only two outcomes in this plan- heaven, or, hell. This is also the same plan as taught in the New Testament, Pearl of Great Price, and portions of the D&C.

Then Joseph Smith brought along the kingdoms of glory and with it a myriad of problems, paradoxes and contradictions. I believe he really did have a vision only his deciphering of that vision is in error. Yes, these are all my opinions which do indeed run contrary to official doctrine. Nevertheless I know our doctrine has a major flaw that needs addressing. 

Our doctrine teaches that one can be saved in a lower kingdom without baptism. We also teach that they are cleansed by their own suffering. These are false teachings though. One cannot ever be saved eternally from hell without repentance and baptism. So, all the saved must repent of all their sins and must be baptized. There is no way around that principle and law. What does repentance and baptism do? It has the power to cleanse, through the atonement of Christ and make one perfect (spotless). In fact, all those saved eternally from hell will be perfectly spotless and no sin they ever committed can be used in judgement against them as Christ will remember them no more. So, what then prevents them from returning to Gods literal presence? Nothing. Thats the gospel in a nutshell. 

Now, as to the telestial and terrestrial kingdoms. These are temporary stages of our earth before the celestial kingdom begins. Right now we are in the telestial kingdom. At the beginning of the millennium all qualified will enter into the terrestrial kingdom and continue towards perfection. Then, after Christ has perfected all of this singular kingdom he will present it to the Father spotless in its entirety for all the saved to enjoy eternal life. Then the celestial glory begins and all of those saved from hell will dwell with the Father and Son in celestial glory.

Now, as to your questions. King David committed the unpardonable sin because he had already entered into the covenant of priesthood and then murdered in cold blood. He will not be forgiven his sin and will go into perdition in the lake of fire and brimstone with the devil and his angels.

Any other sin can be pardoned if a person repents and are baptized. Even murder can be forgiven as long as they did not previously enter into the new and everlasting covenant of the priesthood. Adultery, theft, etc can be completely forgiven, even in the spirit world. Those repent and are baptized are made members of the Church of the Firstborn and heirs to the celestial kingdom.

These are all my opinions but nevertheless I believe them to be true.

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There is forgiveness... and there is being able to endure a Weight of Glory... They are not the same thing but we often conflate them.

All but those that commit the unpardonable sin will be forgiven, by Christ through the power of his atonement, and be cleaned from sin. And thus be able to enter Heaven.  However in Heaven there are three degrees of Glory.  Which Glory we get depends on what kind of person we became. 

 

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9 minutes ago, estradling75 said:

There is forgiveness... and there is being able to endure a Weight of Glory... They are not the same thing but we often conflate them.

All but those that commit the unpardonable sin will be forgiven, by Christ through the power of his atonement, and be cleaned from sin. And thus be able to enter Heaven.  However in Heaven there are three degrees of Glory.  Which Glory we get depends on what kind of person we became. 

 

Well said, sir.  Well said.

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3 hours ago, Seeker of truth said:

After reading the following excerpts I would like to know your thoughts on the following question. The D&C dilineates which sins go to which kingdom of glory. It was always my impression those were people who didn’t repent of those sins. And that those who repented went to the celestial kingdom. My new understanding is that all people that go to any degree of glory, including telestial and terrestrial are forgiven of their sins, made clean, but still consigned to those lesser kingdoms based upon the seriousness of the sins they committed. Is this so?

...

So to summarize:

Am I to understand that King David “received repentance” was forgiven and still consigned to telestial kingdom. If so does that apply to all sins dilineateed in D&C for each kingdom, that those people in those kingdoms are forgiven of those sins but still consigned to that kingdom?

Or is my original belief that if you repent you will be forgiven (all but blasphemy against the Holy Ghost) and go to the celestial kingdom? If this is the case how do I rectify the apparent discrepancy between that belief and the excerpts shared above?

I saw no mention of D&C 76 in your entire post.  What do you read in D&C 76 regarding your question?

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23 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

I saw no mention of D&C 76 in your entire post.  What do you read in D&C 76 regarding your question?

I have always thought that sins 1-10, if you repent fully of you will be granted celestial glory. 

In light of the Gospel Doctrine excerpts I quoted it would seem that eventually all mankind will be forgiven for all their misdeeds- even if it is after this life by going through hell first. It would make it seem that even though forgiveness was obtained one still might not inherit the celestial kingdom.

Those excerpts I shared and am trying to understand in light of Section 76 would make it seem like sins 1-3 committed (least serious sins) repented and forgiven of will obtain celestial glory, sins 4-7 committed (moderately serious sins) repented and forgiven of will obtain terrestrial glory and sins 8-10 committed (most serious sins) repented and forgiven of will obtain telestial glory.

What is your take on section 76?

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1 hour ago, estradling75 said:

There is forgiveness... and there is being able to endure a Weight of Glory... They are not the same thing but we often conflate them.

All but those that commit the unpardonable sin will be forgiven, by Christ through the power of his atonement, and be cleaned from sin. And thus be able to enter Heaven.  However in Heaven there are three degrees of Glory.  Which Glory we get depends on what kind of person we became. 

 

I always understood that only those that obtained celestial glory had repented and were made clean through the atonement which is what allowed them to enter that kingdom. Everyone else failed to repent, thus remained unclean and could not enter  the celestial kingdom, they were consigned to terrestrial or telestial glories because of their uncleanliness, they didn’t repent, didn’t receive forgiveness, and thus not worthy to enter Celestial glory- no unclean thing can enter.

If everyone but those unpardonable are forgiven and cleansed what would keep them from the celestial kingdom? Why are they consigned to terrestrial and telestial if they are forgiven and cleansed (without spot)?

 

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55 minutes ago, Seeker of truth said:

I have always thought that sins 1-10, if you repent fully of you will be granted celestial glory. 

In light of the Gospel Doctrine excerpts I quoted it would seem that eventually all mankind will be forgiven for all their misdeeds- even if it is after this life by going through hell first. It would make it seem that even though forgiveness was obtained one still might not inherit the celestial kingdom.

Those excerpts I shared and am trying to understand in light of Section 76 would make it seem like sins 1-3 committed (least serious sins) repented and forgiven of will obtain celestial glory, sins 4-7 committed (moderately serious sins) repented and forgiven of will obtain terrestrial glory and sins 8-10 committed (most serious sins) repented and forgiven of will obtain telestial glory.

What is your take on section 76?

If one repents, is he forgiven 100%, 50%, or 25%?

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16 minutes ago, Seeker of truth said:

If everyone but those unpardonable are forgiven and cleansed what would keep them from the celestial kingdom? Why are they consigned to terrestrial and telestial if they are forgiven and cleansed (without spot)?

Nothing will keep them from the celestial kingdom. Heaven is not what we think it is and thus why the confusion and contradictions exist.

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6 minutes ago, Seeker of truth said:

I always understood that only those that obtained celestial glory had repented and were made clean through the atonement which is what allowed them to enter that kingdom. Everyone else failed to repent, thus remained unclean and could not enter  the celestial kingdom, they were consigned to terrestrial or telestial glories because of their uncleanliness, they didn’t repent, didn’t receive forgiveness, and thus not worthy to enter Celestial glory- no unclean thing can enter.

If everyone but those unpardonable are forgiven and cleansed what would keep them from the celestial kingdom? Why are they consigned to terrestrial and telestial if they are forgiven and cleansed (without spot)?

 

You understood wrong.

Forgiveness is in the hands of Christ, and he will forgive all but the unpardonable.

The judgement is also in the hands of Christ and it will flow from what we have become.

A Celestial Glory holder will find happiness and joy in eternal sacrifice, and service (Like Christ and the Father do)

A Telestial Glory holder would be in eternal torment under the conditions of Celestial Glory and therefore are rewarded with a lesser state and enjoy the maxim happiness and joy that state brings.

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The unrepentant will have to suffer for those sins before the atonement plays a part in their glory and will be part of the 2nd resurrection.  Those who are part of the first resurrection will be those who inherit celestial glory and those of the 2nd resurrection will receive the lessor kingdoms/damnation. 

 

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1 hour ago, Seeker of truth said:

If everyone but those unpardonable are forgiven and cleansed what would keep them from the celestial kingdom? Why are they consigned to terrestrial and telestial if they are forgiven and cleansed (without spot)?

In the Church, we tend to default to thinking of the kingdoms of glory as places. 

But what if the key issue isn’t where people go, but what they become?  

And what if what they become is less a matter of divine fiat, and more a natural product of the choices and priorities and testimonies that people produced during their lifetimes?

Could it be that—at a certain point in our progression—God can fully forgive us while still not having the power to change us beyond a certain point?

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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Let's review different possibilities pertaining to forgiveness, law, and kingdoms of glory:

1) Children who die before the age of accountability
2) Those without the law in this life, but would have accepted it if it had been preached to them (these accept ordinances beyond the veil)
3) Those without the law in this life, and would have chosen not to accept it if it had been preached to them (these reject the ordinances beyond the veil)
4) Those who die in their sins and enter the spirit world (the law is preached unto them, or they are somehow made aware of the law)
5) Those who repent, and are saved from their sins in this life (the law is preached unto them)

The atonement of Jesus Christ will cover children before the age of accountability, those without law but would have received it, and those who repent and are saved from their sins (pertaining to Celestial light and truth). These will come forth in the first resurrection (which has already happened for some) and will inherit all the Father hath. These are those who are forgiven.

There are Terrestrial Laws, Telestial Laws, and Celestial Laws. In one of our general conferences, I remember hearing a talk regarding "divorce" and the scriptures that highlight couples who divorce and if the woman remarries she is committing adultery. Here is the verse, "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."  This is scripture, and do we practice this principle? No. It was mentioned that this is a Celestial Law. To whom much is forgiven, much is required, and he who sins against the greater light shall receive greater condemnation. If we are living Celestial Laws, and have covenanted to do so (we have received greater light and knowledge) then we can expect the consequence to be greater pertaining to forgiveness and repentance.

Joseph Smith's quote regarding forgiveness with adultery, is probably better understood in correlation with other scriptures within Doctrine and Covenants regarding adultery and forgiveness.

We can also receive forgiveness while suffering the consequences of our decisions. Those who merit Telestial glory are those who have received forgiveness, and will experience their eternal consequence of Telestial glory. This is the choice they made and who they became. The same for Terrestrial and the same for Celestial. These are all predicated laws that are received through predicated obedience. These are all predicated laws that are received through predicated disobedience.

We are no different as earthly parents. We forgive our children all the time, and our forgiveness doesn't remove consequences if we are apply proper parenting principles. Our children will say "I'm sorry" and we will still apply punishment while we already have forgiven them. Forgiveness doesn't remove consequences, nor eternal consequences regarding who we chose to receive and who we chose to become.

I honestly don't see any contradiction with what you are sharing and the manuals provided. The discrepancy is believing that "all" will go to the Celestial kingdom (meaning receiving all the Father hath); however, this former thought pattern creates the following question: Can we progress from Telestial bodies, to Terrestrial, and on to Celestial? Which appears what you are drawing attention to with your statement of if we repent all go to Celestial kingdom (which doesn't specify if we repent in this life or die in our sins, which are important distinctions).

King David according to scripture fell from his exaltation. That appears pretty clear to me. Similar to parents God can forgive, doesn't mean consequences are removed from us -- eternal consequences.

 

 

Edited by Anddenex

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3 hours ago, Seeker of truth said:

What is your take on section 76?

I was waiting to hear yours.  I find it interesting that you're not placing focus on the scriptures.  Even when I asked how you thought it addressed your question, you still didn't really refer to it.

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Jesus paid for our sins. That's already done.

However, if we don't repent, we must also pay for those sins.

D&C 19

4 And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless.

5 Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand.

 

So, repent now, or your forgiveness will not be easy and you WILL pay the price yourself.

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There are as many different opinions here as there are posters. I have always been interested in this. We teach the three kingdoms yet opinions vary from one end to the other. I tend to think we dont have very good correlation in manuals.

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5 hours ago, Seeker of truth said:

I always understood that only those that obtained celestial glory had repented and were made clean through the atonement which is what allowed them to enter that kingdom. Everyone else failed to repent, thus remained unclean and could not enter  the celestial kingdom, they were consigned to terrestrial or telestial glories because of their uncleanliness, they didn’t repent, didn’t receive forgiveness, and thus not worthy to enter Celestial glory- no unclean thing can enter.

If everyone but those unpardonable are forgiven and cleansed what would keep them from the celestial kingdom? Why are they consigned to terrestrial and telestial if they are forgiven and cleansed (without spot)

All will repent who obtain a kingdom of glory, "And thus did I, the Lord God, appoint unto man the days of his probation - that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe; and they that believe not unto eternal damnation; for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall, because they repent not." (D&C 29:43-44). As it says, those not redeemed repent not, all others will repent and obtain a kingdom. 

Just as others have said, the kingdom we receive is according to the glory by which we are quickened, "They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened" (D&C 88:28). That quickening has to do with who we have become. 

 

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2 hours ago, bytebear said:

Jesus paid for our sins. That's already done.

However, if we don't repent, we must also pay for those sins.

D&C 19

4 And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless.

5 Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand.

So, repent now, or your forgiveness will not be easy and you WILL pay the price yourself.

While we may indeed suffer for our sins, I don't believe there is any such thing as paying for our sins by suffering. When a person sins he must repent, period. Suffering does not pay for sin, it never did, it never will. Repentance, or in other words turning to God and changing, is the only way to extricate ourselves from sin. When the Lord says, "repent or suffer" (D&C 19:4) he means that we will suffer until we repent. However, he is not saying that if we suffer we do not need to repent. That simply is not true.   

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30 minutes ago, james12 said:

While we may indeed suffer for our sins, I don't believe there is any such thing as paying for our sins by suffering. When a person sins he must repent, period. Suffering does not pay for sin, it never did, it never will. Repentance, or in other words turning to God and changing, is the only way to extricate ourselves from sin. When the Lord says, "repent or suffer" (D&C 19:4) he means that we will suffer until we repent. However, he is not saying that if we suffer we do not need to repent. That simply is not true.   

Do you believe repentance means anything without baptism?

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12 hours ago, Seeker of truth said:

Or is my original belief that if you repent you will be forgiven (all but blasphemy against the Holy Ghost) and go to the celestial kingdom? If this is the case how do I rectify the apparent discrepancy between that belief and the excerpts shared above?

i recommend reading CS Lewis' book "The Great Divorce".  That's more or less the viewpoint i ascribe to - but it is just my opinion.

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7 hours ago, Rob Osborn said:

Do you believe repentance means anything without baptism?

If one is to be saved with the just I believe both will be required. But any person, at any time, may change and turn to God and it will be well with them.  

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The scriptures declare that God teaches us line upon line, precept upon precept.

On of the most basic and fundamental set of lines are.

No unclean thing can enter the Kingdom of God.

Sin makes us unclean.

We all sin. So we all fall Short and need help.

Christ paid for our sins and his forgiveness will make us clean.

These ideas can be found all over in the scriptures and they are so fundamental that every Christian faith that I know of accepts it (they might reword it but they accept it)

Now the LDS faith believes that there is More (Greater Light and Knowledge).  This Greater Light and Knowledge does not make the prior Light and Knowledge false, but sometimes we "assume" stuff based on the Lesser Light and Knowledge and those assumptions can be (and often are) false.

For example from the Lesser Light as described many people assume that all those that accept Christ and gain his forgiveness will gain the same reward, and all those that deny Christ will have the same punishment.

Thus we gain the assumption of a very Binary Heaven/Hell afterlife setup.  Based on the Limited Light this assumption makes a lot of sense.

But if we believe that God teaches line upon line, and will reveal Greater Light and Knowledge then we need to be prepared and ready to check and modify our assumptions when we receive it.

In D&C 76 we received Greater Light and Knowledge.  Nothing there contradicts the prior truths, but it does blow away some of the things we "Assumed" including a binary Heaven/Hell after life.

For example in the subset of people that Accept Christ and his atonement there are two divisions (That we know of) those that were "Valiant in their testimonies" will gain a Celestial Glory, and those that were not Valiant will gain a Terrestrial Glory.

For the subset of people that did not Accept Christ and his atonement they are in Prison/Hell but that is not the end.  After Christ finish his work with those that accepted him he will once again extend his help to those that suffered in Hell.  For those that accept he will break the bands of hell and end their suffering and they will get the Telestial Glory.  Those that continue to reject him remain as they are without Glory (Aka Sons of Perdition)  The greater light and knowledge crushes the Binary Heaven and Hell model into four different states.

We also need to be careful when we read the scriptures that as we are reading descriptions of the Lesser Light that we do not try to cram the Greater Light into it... It will not fit.  We need to accept that the bulk of the scripture talk about the Lesser Light. And not discount or minimize the Greater Light by claiming the Prophets did not understand what they revealed

 

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1 hour ago, estradling75 said:

The scriptures declare that God teaches us line upon line, precept upon precept.

On of the most basic and fundamental set of lines are.

No unclean thing can enter the Kingdom of God.

Sin makes us unclean.

We all sin. So we all fall Short and need help.

Christ paid for our sins and his forgiveness will make us clean.

These ideas can be found all over in the scriptures and they are so fundamental that every Christian faith that I know of accepts it (they might reword it but they accept it)

Now the LDS faith believes that there is More (Greater Light and Knowledge).  This Greater Light and Knowledge does not make the prior Light and Knowledge false, but sometimes we "assume" stuff based on the Lesser Light and Knowledge and those assumptions can be (and often are) false.

For example from the Lesser Light as described many people assume that all those that accept Christ and gain his forgiveness will gain the same reward, and all those that deny Christ will have the same punishment.

Thus we gain the assumption of a very Binary Heaven/Hell afterlife setup.  Based on the Limited Light this assumption makes a lot of sense.

But if we believe that God teaches line upon line, and will reveal Greater Light and Knowledge then we need to be prepared and ready to check and modify our assumptions when we receive it.

In D&C 76 we received Greater Light and Knowledge.  Nothing there contradicts the prior truths, but it does blow away some of the things we "Assumed" including a binary Heaven/Hell after life.

For example in the subset of people that Accept Christ and his atonement there are two divisions (That we know of) those that were "Valiant in their testimonies" will gain a Celestial Glory, and those that were not Valiant will gain a Terrestrial Glory.

For the subset of people that did not Accept Christ and his atonement they are in Prison/Hell but that is not the end.  After Christ finish his work with those that accepted him he will once again extend his help to those that suffered in Hell.  For those that accept he will break the bands of hell and end their suffering and they will get the Telestial Glory.  Those that continue to reject him remain as they are without Glory (Aka Sons of Perdition)  The greater light and knowledge crushes the Binary Heaven and Hell model into four different states.

We also need to be careful when we read the scriptures that as we are reading descriptions of the Lesser Light that we do not try to cram the Greater Light into it... It will not fit.  We need to accept that the bulk of the scripture talk about the Lesser Light. And not discount or minimize the Greater Light by claiming the Prophets did not understand what they revealed

 

I would like to discuss a few points you make here. Several points you bring up are important. Breaking it down we have the valiant and not valiant. I understand that obviously the valiant go on into celestial glory. But those that arent valiant Im a little bit in the fog on this one. For instance, we read-

72 Behold, these are they who died without law; (D&C 76:72)

Now, we know that they accept the gospel on the other side. For whatever reason in mortality this particular group werent under the law. So, they cant really be judged by not being valiant in mortality as they never had the law. So, we know they accept the gospel in the spirit world and that during the millennium they are resurrected and reign with Christ. If we are thus judged by what we become, do you think that during the millennium they lack being valiant during that period? 

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2 minutes ago, Rob Osborn said:

I would like to discuss a few points you make here. Several points you bring up are important. Breaking it down we have the valiant and not valiant. I understand that obviously the valiant go on into celestial glory. But those that arent valiant Im a little bit in the fog on this one. For instance, we read-

72 Behold, these are they who died without law; (D&C 76:72)

Now, we know that they accept the gospel on the other side. For whatever reason in mortality this particular group werent under the law. So, they cant really be judged by not being valiant in mortality as they never had the law. So, we know they accept the gospel in the spirit world and that during the millennium they are resurrected and reign with Christ. If we are thus judged by what we become, do you think that during the millennium they lack being valiant during that period? 

When we talk about those without Law the official answer is Christ is the Judge and he make the call.

My opinion (Which I think pretty solid but it is worth exactly what you pay for)  Is that no one is completely without Law,  (All have the Light of Christ for example)  We might not have a lot but what we choose to do with what we have is how the judgment is made.

As for those that die young (aka little children) again as my opinion there is either more Light and Knowledge to have on the subject and/or they proved themselves in the preexistence.  I do not think anyone dies in a manner that thwarts God's plan or judgment.  We just don't alway have the information needed to understand how it works in all individual cases

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