askandanswer

Progression between kingdoms?

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On 12/7/2019 at 10:47 AM, Fether said:

What I’m talking about is the fact that we really don’t know what the celestial kingdom will be like.

Say I expect it to be an eternity of relaxation and spending time with family and friends. I spend my life living righteously so I can qualify for that. but when I get there, I find that there is actually a lot of work to be done and I’ll be spending eternity creating worlds and bringing about the salvation of other spirits. I may think to myself “even though I qualified for this, this isn’t what’s i wanted. The terrestrial kingdom is closer to the heaven I am looking for”.

Though you “wanted” exaltation while on earth and qualified for it, it turned out to be something other than what you thought and one of the other kingdoms meets your expectations better.

I believe that members of the church have a pretty good idea of what they are getting into with this whole Celestial kingdom thing, especially if they are married with children. But the Celestial kingdom has something for everyone who wants to be there. Singles get all the power, but no added glory and there will be those that have no power but get to be there and just basically go along for the ride. So, if one just wants to visit friends and family, they will be able to do that. I don't think there will be any "if you don't do your chores, you'll be relegated to the Telestial kingdom for 2 Millenium" kind of situations.

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On 12/7/2019 at 5:09 PM, askandanswer said:

I've sometimes wondered about the efficacy of the above ^^ as a methodology for coming to know and understand God's character. Joseph taught that         “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God”   and it seems to me as if one way of learning about God's character is to study the choices and decisions He has made and to try and work out the values and motives that underlay them and the opportunities that were foregone by choosing X rather than Y. I suspect that if we study enough choices and decisions, and make it a thorough study, understandings and insights would begin to emerge that are not readily apparent through other methods of coming to know His character.

I would be very interested to hear the thoughts of others about this.

I believe that the statement that Joseph Smith made meant, simply, that God was once a man on an earth just like we now are and has experienced all that we now experience. In other words, God is one of us. He was dispelling the myth that God is a being that lives outside of time and space and has no connection with us at all.

No amount of study about what God did would lead one to God. In fact, I would think that a neutral study of Christ would lead a person to question whether Jesus knew what he was doing because it all relied on things that were not yet realized and still aren't realized. However, if one is convinced that Christ is who he said he was, the study would be quite different. It's not the study of the character of God that brings us to him or even enables us to strive to be more like him, but; there is a separate element which draws us to him which cannot be found in books or even association, had we been alive in his day. There are two things that I believe lead to this, 1) His message is familiar to us, we knew him before and heard this before. and 2) the inexplicable blessing of a witness that He has what we are looking for, that He is the way. Then our study of him will be more meaningful, but such a study will not reveal how truly close to us He actually is. To get this "first principle", we needed a teacher sent from God.

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On 12/7/2019 at 5:27 PM, MrShorty said:

I'm not sure why. Maybe because I find it interesting that different apostles would have different opinions on the matter -- especially when one of those apostles (Elder McConkie) calls the opposite opinion a deadly heresy.

Exactly! With McConkie, it was either my way or the highway and McConkie got a lot of things wrong. 

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On 12/7/2019 at 6:37 PM, Vort said:

Is the idea heretical? Certainly it's not orthodox. Accepting the idea of eternal "progression between kingdoms" is basically teaching the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. I'd say that, for a Latter-day Saint, that must certainly qualify as heresy.

Is the idea deadly? In my opinion: Absolutely. Together with other false doctrines espoused by some Latter-day Saints (e.g. "continuing mortality", aka "the baby resurrection"), this encourages a spirit of "don't worry about cleaning up your act now; you'll have plenty of time in future lives." That's just about as spiritually deadly an idea as I can think of.

BONUS FACTOID: Only one 'k' in "McConkie".

It is neither heretical nor is it deadly. Purgatory is spelled out in D&C 76

These are they who are thrust down to hell.
These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the blast resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work.

The principle qualifying factor between any of these glories is who one is willing to accept as God, from what I can tell. Telestial, accept the Holy Ghost or the being best described in the creeds, The terrestrial accept Jesus but not the Father and the Celestial accept the Father. The other major factor is the glory they are willing to abide, meaning the law they are willing to obey. If one can progress from hell to the telestial kingdom, it seems that their only limit would be based on what they were willing to obey and who they were willing to accept. I see no reason we cannot see a person who is willing to accept the Father and obey the Celestial law cannot advance, like all the other sinners to be in the Celestial kingdom with them.

Like others have stated here, it is not likely that they would be willing to do something for eternity that they were not willing to do for a small moment in time. However, with encouragement from family, it must be feasible that it could be done. As far as I know, nothing but McConkie says otherwise.

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3 hours ago, brotherofJared said:

I did teach that to my class and they all revolted. Now I'm not in the EQ presidency anymore. LOL

.The temple endowment clearly shows a movement up and down the rungs and as far as I can see, there is no difference between Romney's and Smith's statements concerning the rungs of Jacob's ladder. These are all temple related. As I was thinking about this, we symbolize the Terrestrial world in the temple, but in reality we are still in a telestial world. IOW, when we go to the temple, we repeatedly climb that ladder only to return to our telestial world.

Joseph also indicated that by sealing our posterity, family, in the temple, we can reach through the eternities and bring them with us or words to that effect. The idea is that a lost son or daughter can be recovered from their condition and brought up with us. How is this possible if Bruce's concept of being locked into a particular kingdom is correct. We already know that many who will live in the telestial kingdom will arrive there after spending time in hell.

The workings of life hereafter is not well known and there is very little doctrine concerning it. However, it is evident that many have asked questions about it and some have obtained answers that, when it was received, it was significant enough to be included in the scriptures. Two instances come to mind, though there are many subtle statements, mostly made in parables, but the two that come to mind are Joseph Fielding Smith's preaching to gospel to the dead and Alma the Younger's explanation about the state of the soul betwixt the time of death and the resurrection. Outside of these, there is precious little so everything else is speculation.

 I personally think McConkie taught the gospel according to McConkie. He said several things that I just can't accept, so I wouldn't rely on him as the final word on anything. He is one GA who has had to apologize for more statements than any other GA I know, but a lot of members still accept what he said as gospel and I think that is why I had such a hard time with my lesson. The source of my topic actually came from Elder Oaks' talk referring tot he woman who wanted to know if she would have a separate house or would have to live with her husband's other wife in the same house. The gist of that talk was that we not dwell on speculation nor teach it in our classes. Specifically, he stated that such conversations are ok for small intimate groups but are inappropriate for a public discourse. 

Joseph Fielding Smith made this statement: 

Those born under the covenant, throughout all eternity, are the children of their parents. Nothing except the unpardonable sin, or sin unto death, can break this tie. If children do not sin as John says, "unto death," the parents may still feel after them and eventually bring them back near to them again....

If this is true, it seems that parents can reach their children and bring them up with them. How is this possible without the possibility of moving up from one capacity to another, from one glory to another? Joseph Smith said pretty much the same thing in the KFD. He said this continues until the resurrection. It would have to also continue in the spirit world in that time between death and the resurrection. The question then becomes, when is the resurrection and frankly, I don't think anyone can specify when the last resurrection will be, but I suspect will will be a sufficient time for every person who will have lived on this earth to accept or reject the teachings of Christ. We cannot force anyone to do something they don't want to do. I personally believe that every person will obtain the kingdom they are willing to accept the principles that govern that kingdom. 

We might think that given the chance, everyone will want to do what God does, but I don't think that's true. What God does is hard. It's painful and comes along with a lot of grief, but it also comes along with a lot of inexplicable joy. There are some people who simply are not willing pay the price.The joy they have without the grief is enough.

And what about those who had the truth here and then turned away? That is not really a subject we can judge. I know we teach there are no second chances, but how can we say who really had it the first time? We can't. I would never suggest that anyone decide on these ideas that they can let go of the iron rod and play in the mist of darkness because even if they ende up in the great and spacious building, they might still have a chance at celestial glory. Those who are on the right path have so much the advantage over those who never had it and over those who decided to take a vacation from it.

I am curious about what others have said on this subject... Good topic.

Well, you have to read the rest of what Joseph F. Smith wrote on the matter.

In the regard to children, those who do not make it to the Celestial Kingdom but were born under the covenant or sealed to their parents CAN be brought to the Celestial Kingdom as per Joseph F. Smith (and not just him, other prophets prior to him as well).

It should be noted that present day prophets seem to disagree (and in some instances call them heretical preachings ironically, which I don't agree with) many of the statements of prophets on similar matters to this that were taught from the time of Joseph Smith to Joseph F. Smith (and later even, though normally not as blatant).

The idea is NOT that they receive Celestial Bodies.  If they have done things that merit punishment, they will suffer the utmost for that and then be brought forth with Telestial bodies.  They will gain whatever bodies they earn in this life, whether Telestial or Terrestrial.  Then, through the bonding power of Sealing they can be brought to live in the Celestial Kingdom, but they do NOT attain a Celestial body nor the powers that come with it. 

In this way it was also insinuated what the three different degrees of glory within the Celestial Kingdom were.  The lowest is composed of these individuals that do not have Celestial Bodies, but have Telestial and Terrestrial bodies.  They are sealed eternally to their families and thus can enjoy the rest and respite as well as the glory of the Celestial, but do not have the inherent properties thereof.

The second degree are composed of those with all the powers of the Celestial Kingdom except that afforded to those who are sealed together in an eternal marriage.  In this, they serve those (and it is happily, imagine the uncle who loves their nieces and nephews and the babies that come thereof) who are in this eternal matrimony. 

The Highest degree is afforded to those who have the eternal bond of marriage and thus can have eternal increase.  They will have children who increase their glory, and as they design worlds and their children also progress, it increases their own progression forward.

However, this teaching sort of stopped being taught many decades ago, with Joseph Fielding really kind of being the last to push such ideas.  Spencer W. Kimball and others after him did not specifically deny such things (and borrowed liberally from the idea of children being able to be with parents in the Celestial Kingdom, though normally it focuses on Joseph Smith's teaching of them receiving thrones of glory rather than children over the age of 8 which were also covered to some degree, as referred to by your quote from Joseph Fielding), but they didn't really push or teach them either.

You see more of a denial of the idea by a FEW Saints (and I see it grows in popularity as those of us who understood the ideas above are dying off) later and growing in popularity under Gordon B. Hinckley.  Today, most do not agree with the above idea or claim that we never were taught.

Technically, they are correct as this was merely opinion of the prophets previously and not specifically stated as doctrine (as were many of the teachings they taught, including the Famous King Follett sermon by Joseph Smith which taught the entire idea of eternal progression initially), but the idea of which you stated and quoted above is NOT about people able to progress between kingdoms specifically, but the power of the Sealing ability and the power of the Lord.  His promises cannot be denied and those he seals with his power will remain sealed even in eternity as long as a married couple obtains the Celestial glory together.  In this, families CAN be together forever.  However, whatever rewards one merits in this life are still the rewards they obtain, they do not gain the powers and abilities of those of a higher reward if they do not merit it...

At least as per the teaching that you quote...and I believe Joseph Fielding even specifies this in the Doctrines of Salvation which I think your quote comes from (though others had specified this prior to him already).

AS I said though, in general there are those that disagree with this specific teaching (and the origins of it at times have been called heretical teachings today) and it is not really something that is considered a valid teaching in the church today by many.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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2 hours ago, brotherofJared said:

Exactly! With McConkie, it was either my way or the highway and McConkie got a lot of things wrong. 

McConkie actually taught old school and what he taught, in my readings and experience were pretty accurate.  However, in many instances it was not palatable in his time, or acceptable to really be spreading about.

A prime example would be the teaching that the Catholic Church was the great and abominable Church.  This was actually an opinion held by several of the General Authorities prior to that time period and was taught at times.  It, however, was not deemed apropos by many to say this, and instead the teaching that ALL churches that were not part of the Church of our Lord were the Great and Abominable church was the opinion being leaned on to be taught at the time.

His teachings today are even MORE out of sync with what modern readers with Modern Western Morality would agree with and thus he has fallen out of popularity.  It has even become popular to bad mouth McConkie, Joseph F. Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith and even more especially Brigham Young (who many of these teachings actually originated from).

I see this as unfortunate as I love to read the teachings of these General Authorities.  I find the closer one gets to Joseph Smith in the time period of their reading, the closer they get to understanding many of the things Joseph Smith taught but are not truly understood today.  I find that a greater and more complete picture of the truth is revealed which are greatly hidden today. 

In many ways they are mostly the opinions (and once again, the King Follett Sermon is a perfect example.  In it, Joseph Smith is not saying...thus sayeth the Lord, nor is he saying it is now Church doctrine, and thus one could say it is in theory, merely his opinion.  However, I would probably trust Joseph Smith's opinion over the some 'doctrines' espoused today over the pulpit if they come at odds between each other and disagree on the doctrine or teachings...as my OWN personal preference) of those who were teaching then and thus plausibly the church can deny whatever ideas they espoused in favor of the newest and most popular fad that is popular to adhere to today.

Luckily, normally leaders today do not choose to openly oppose Joseph Smith so it is normally NOT an issue (plausible deniability).

Edited by JohnsonJones

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On 12/7/2019 at 3:47 PM, zil said:

IMO, people frequently claim to want things they don't really want (as much as other things - often laziness).  Those things we truly want, we work for, we don't just wish for them.  And they are in our hearts, minds, and efforts.  Anyone who will reject the celestial kingdom will also never qualify for it, because it's way too much work to get there without it being completely in your heart, mind, and efforts.

To reinforce the point:

Quote

Receiving THOUSANDS of messages about how I made a mistake having an abortion 7 years ago and how I must be a miserable person... I am in fact a happy, thriving multi millionaire, madly in love, with free time, good sleep and a wonderful career and life.

 -- Jameela Jamil

Some people would rather have more money than more children.  Some people want more free time than emotionally and spiritually rewarding work.

Some people spend all their time at work in pursuit of a career, neglecting their time with family.  In their twilight years, I'm sure they have no regrets about why their children don't come to visit or why they don't get to see their grandchildren.  Sure, many of them say how they should have spent more time at the office.

Edited by Mores

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I am friends with James E. Faust nephew and he has always told me that Bruce R. McConkie said that there was progression between kingdoms and that in an old priesthood manual or Sunday school manual that it used to say that. But the church removed it and my friend asked why and Bruce r McMonkie said that it shouldn't have been revealed just yet.

There's something in the doctrine and covenants that supports progression between kingdoms and I can't remember where it's at but roughly it says that celestial beings will minister to the lower kingdoms. Now the question is is why are they ministering unto the lower kingdoms if their fate is sealed?  if they're ministering to the lower kingdoms they're probably teaching them something. And if they are learning something they're progressing. Progressing where? The logical conclusion would be progressing to the the celestial kingdom. You can only go up in degrees when you are learning.

I think this is interesting that you bring this up. I was wondering if my friend was misinformed.

 

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The Scriptures and Modern Prophets are clear that one should not procrastinate the day of our repentance.

Anything (true or not) that would encourage us to procrastinate and disobey should be avoided.

The idea of progression between kingdoms is exactly this kind of idea.

Thinking we have forever to work out our salvation and exaltation is a trap we are forewarned about in the scriptures.

If there is no progression between kingdoms then this warning makes all kinds of sense.

If there is progression between the kingdoms then there must be another reason for the warning.  (The best guess I have for another reason would be that it is so much easier to make changes in mortality.)

Either way it makes this a topic we should be very careful on how we share our speculations and reasons

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54 minutes ago, Queolby said:

I am friends with James E. Faust nephew and he has always told me that Bruce R. McConkie said that there was progression between kingdoms and that in an old priesthood manual or Sunday school manual that it used to say that. But the church removed it and my friend asked why and Bruce r McMonkie said that it shouldn't have been revealed just yet.

This is a great example of why such speculation is dangerous. If Elder Faust's nephew was wrong, either because he was lying or because he misunderstood his uncle, then what he said is worse than useless. On the other hand, if Elder Faust's nephew was right, and this really was a true doctrine that should not have been revealed because it's dangerous, then for sure what he said is worse than useless.

See the common theme between the two possible answers?

54 minutes ago, Queolby said:

There's something in the doctrine and covenants that supports progression between kingdoms and I can't remember where it's at but roughly it says that celestial beings will minister to the lower kingdoms. Now the question is is why are they ministering unto the lower kingdoms if their fate is sealed?  if they're ministering to the lower kingdoms they're probably teaching them something. And if they are learning something they're progressing. Progressing where? The logical conclusion would be progressing to the the celestial kingdom. You can only go up in degrees when you are learning.

You think that those who forfeit their exaltation because of their love of the flesh are eternally worthless beings that God himself doesn't care about? That perfect people in a position of superiority would never condescend (real, original meaning) to minister to those beneath them? On the contrary, acting in that manner is the Godly thing to do, not some sign of eventual exaltation being extended to those served.

I minister to my dog. That doesn't mean I think she'll grow up to be my child some day. She is what she is, and that is not going to change. That the heavens minister to us on earth says far more about the heavens than about us. I am guaranteed nothing merely by the fact that God offers me his gifts. The operative condition is whether I accept his gifts. And we are told that this life—not the eternities, but right now—is the time for us to prepare to meet God. We are told that after this day, the night comes wherein no work can be performed. The doctrine of "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die, and it shall be well with us" is from the evil one.

Don't just take my word for it. This has all been laid out very clearly in scripture and by our leaders. For all those with eyes to see and ears to hear, it is trumpeted from the walls. Whispering about "kingdom progression" is vain and very foolish. Let us denounce it for the false doctrine that it is and move on to greater things.

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On 12/7/2019 at 6:09 PM, askandanswer said:

I've sometimes wondered about the efficacy of the above ^^ as a methodology for coming to know and understand God's character. Joseph taught that         “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God”   and it seems to me as if one way of learning about God's character is to study the choices and decisions He has made and to try and work out the values and motives that underlay them and the opportunities that were foregone by choosing X rather than Y. I suspect that if we study enough choices and decisions, and make it a thorough study, understandings and insights would begin to emerge that are not readily apparent through other methods of coming to know His character.

I would be very interested to hear the thoughts of others about this. < Are you really sure you want our thoughts? :)

In relation to @zil's comment (welcome back zil, nice to hear your thoughts, hope creative writing is superb) I would first specify the thought you provided gives credence to zil's comment.

For example, if a person chooses to study choices and decisions the Lord has made then that person is showing the Lord where his treasure's are -- on the Lord and knowing him. I would also say that the given thought is one of the most important ways we come to know the character of God.

We know Christ was perfect, and a perfect man took a whip and rushed everyone out of the temple for making it a den of thieves. If we saw an owner of a building removing people from his building with a whip how many of us would consider that action without sin? Yet, our Savior was without sin!

We know from scripture that the Lord gave a promise to Mosiah regarding his sons. That promise of protection was fulfilled when Ammon was out cold and someone tried to kill him. The Lord protected Ammon by causing the other person to give up the Holy Ghost.

And yes, that is the point of revelation, personal revelation and the spirit of prophecy, to reveal truths that are not black and white (on paper). To show the hidden things that can only be spiritually discerned. I would specify, the only way to come to know the character of God is through the spirit of prophecy and revelation and allowing the Lord to show us "hidden" things that people without the Spirit would never comprehend because it is spiritually discerned.

I would also add, that we should be cautious in revealing things that are hidden. I am not sure that line, but I have had experience like Nephi where the Spirit stopped my utterance and I understood I was about to share/reveal something that wasn't mine to reveal.

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I certainly agree that you receive a better quality of information and understanding through revelation and inspiration than through study, but I also believe that well-intentioned study motivated by faith leads to better quality revelation and inspiration than would be the case without study. I would also be inclined to think that a person who has received such inspiration can still be of much benefit to others and help others to build a better understanding even if they do not reveal the essence of any spiritual truths that have been revealed to them. 

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1 hour ago, askandanswer said:

I certainly agree that you receive a better quality of information and understanding through revelation and inspiration than through study, but I also believe that well-intentioned study motivated by faith leads to better quality revelation and inspiration than would be the case without study. I would also be inclined to think that a person who has received such inspiration can still be of much benefit to others and help others to build a better understanding even if they do not reveal the essence of any spiritual truths that have been revealed to them. 

True. If you were responding to my response I thought what you specify was implied.

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9 hours ago, Queolby said:

I am friends with James E. Faust nephew and he has always told me that Bruce R. McConkie said...

Uhmmm... just how many degrees removed does it have to be before you would excuse us for dismissing it as hearsay?

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On 12/11/2019 at 8:26 AM, Queolby said:

I am friends with James E. Faust nephew and he has always told me that Bruce R. McConkie said that there was progression between kingdoms and that in an old priesthood manual or Sunday school manual that it used to say that. But the church removed it and my friend asked why and Bruce r McMonkie said that it shouldn't have been revealed just yet.

There's something in the doctrine and covenants that supports progression between kingdoms and I can't remember where it's at but roughly it says that celestial beings will minister to the lower kingdoms. Now the question is is why are they ministering unto the lower kingdoms if their fate is sealed?  if they're ministering to the lower kingdoms they're probably teaching them something. And if they are learning something they're progressing. Progressing where? The logical conclusion would be progressing to the the celestial kingdom. You can only go up in degrees when you are learning.

I think this is interesting that you bring this up. I was wondering if my friend was misinformed.

 

Funny.  I knew some of McConkie's kids and they NEVER mentioned anything similar to this, in fact, everything they ever discussed with me in regards to this matter is basically...somewhat opposite of this.

Maybe it was secret enough that he never told them or told them never to divulge it to anyone, but it was okay to divulge to James E. Faust's nephew?

Edit:  There IS something...one could say...similar...but not quite.  It does not deal with progression between the Kingdoms per se, but it DOES relate to something related.  Regardless, it is probably not appropriate to relate here, but it IS found in the Temple (and they haven't gotten rid of that so there's that) which talks about such things.  As such, unless we are in the temple I can't really go into any depth or discussion of it except to say, go to the temple.

The implication is STILL that the ONLY changes that can occur HAVE TO BE in mortality or in this type of life we experience here in mortality.  In eternity things are unchanging, they cannot change.  This is one reason to be here, due to time and mortality things change.  In eternity, things are eternal and do not change.

Edited by JohnsonJones
rephrasing to say I knew since it was a while ago, and also to add the edit.

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On 12/6/2019 at 7:56 PM, askandanswer said:

I've long accepted the view espoused by Bruce R McConkie, and I believe others, that there is no progression between kingdoms However, a few minutes ago I came across the following, I think from Elder McConkie's son in his book Gospel Symbolism in the chapter on The Mountain of the Lord's House:

In his dream Jacob saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven, with angels ascending and descending on it. Above the ladder stood the Lord, who (and we must assume that Jacob ascended the ladder) covenanted with Jacob, as he had with Abraham and Isaac, to bless him and his posterity throughout all generations. He was told, as had been his fathers, that through his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed. Joseph Smith tells us that the "three principal rounds of Jacob's ladder" were the same ascended by Paul (2 Corinthians 12:2) and that they represented progression from telestial to terrestrial, and from terrestrial to celestial degrees of glory (Smith, Joseph. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1927 (published by the Church). 5:402).

To me, it seems as if Brother McConkie is saying that Jacob and Paul progressed from one kingdom to another. Is this a correct understanding of what Brother McConkie is saying, and is Brother McCnkie correct in his idea that there is progression between kingdoms?

As a side issue, I note that the interpretation by President Marion G Romney of Jacob's vision as recorded in Genesis 28:12 is somewhat different from Joseph Smith's explanation. Joseph Smith said 

"Paul ascended into the third heavens, and he could understand the three principal rounds of Jacob’s ladder—the telestial, the terrestrial, and the celestial glories or kingdoms." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p.305)

President Romney said 

"Jacob realised that the covenants he made with the Lord were the rungs on the laddter that he himself would have to climb in order to obtain the promised bliessings - blessings that would entitle him to enter heaven and associate with the Lord." ("Temples - the Gates to Heaven" Ensign, March 1971 page 16)

I was planning to teach President Romney's interpretation in my Elders Quorum lesson tomorrow but now I'm not so sure, given that it seems to be different from what Joseph Smith said.

 

When we speak of the glory of the resurrection we are told that there are three societies over which the Father is the Supreme Suzerain or King.  Each society is governed by laws and those that are citizens are governed by the laws.  When we talk about qualifying a citizens and if one can change their citizenship there are two aspects to be considered.  First is Possibility and the second is probability. 

If it is possible for someone to abide a law then they can be governed by and live under such a society.  We know it is possible for all G-d's children to abide the laws of whatever kingdom or society of G-d.  Therefore we need only concern ourselves with the probability of any individual changing to a different kingdom and abiding such laws.  It is my personal opinion that for all that G-d has granted that we learn and abide by laws that once we have completed his process that the probability of change is Zero.  But I give it as my opinion.

 

The Traveler

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On 12/7/2019 at 6:27 PM, MrShorty said:

I'm not sure why. Maybe because I find it interesting that different apostles would have different opinions on the matter -- especially when one of those apostles (Elder McConkie) calls the opposite opinion a deadly heresy.

Or maybe it illustrates the process of how the Church comes to decide truth. Before Elder McConkie, apostles and others were offering up different opinions. Then Elder McConkie comes along and makes a strong declaration -- even couching it in terms of heresy -- and the Church seems to kind of accept that Elder McConkie is correct and the issue is settled.

McConkie's talk was approved through Correlation, which means it was approved by the Twelve and the First Presidency, therefore it is the official doctrine of the Church, until a new clarification comes from the Leadership of the Church.

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2 hours ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

McConkie's talk was approved through Correlation, which means it was approved by the Twelve and the First Presidency, therefore it is the official doctrine of the Church, until a new clarification comes from the Leadership of the Church.

We must have different standards for how something becomes official doctrine of the Church. IMO, it takes a lot more than just being approved through Correlation. For example, Elder McConkie also included evolution as one of his heresies, but our own debates on this forum show that many of us do not believe that evolution is inherently heretical. It tends to be an ugly debate, so I am not interested in following the trail into that particular rabbit hole, only to say that there seem to be a good many of us who do not equate "got passed Correlation" to "official position of the Church.

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8 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

We must have different standards for how something becomes official doctrine of the Church. IMO, it takes a lot more than just being approved through Correlation. For example, Elder McConkie also included evolution as one of his heresies, but our own debates on this forum show that many of us do not believe that evolution is inherently heretical. It tends to be an ugly debate, so I am not interested in following the trail into that particular rabbit hole, only to say that there seem to be a good many of us who do not equate "got passed Correlation" to "official position of the Church.

Indeed on the matter of Doctrine the church itself has a higher requirement https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/approaching-mormon-doctrine

On the matter of heresies evolution has the potential to be just as damaging as progression between Kingdoms.  We have already talked about how if one takes the Progression between Kingdom idea as an excuse to procrastinate the day of their repentance.  This is a  it is a very damaging idea.  If one were to take the Evolution as a reason to act on their base desires and forget that they are a Child of God well I would be hard pressed to find it any less damaging to ones immortal soul.  Thus I see every reason to agree with McConkie classification.  In both cases an individual can hold such a belief personally without harm if they are firm in there understanding of the important parts of the Gospel.  However preaching and teaching such can have very determental effects to the less firm and sure.

The only real difference is that between McConkie's time and ours is that evolution has become the de facto standard  in the world so we had to become more firm in our understanding just to stand in place.  Do not mistake being able to stand firm against the dangerous effects as if there was/is no dangerous effects.

 

 

 

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On 12/9/2019 at 3:49 AM, JohnsonJones said:

Well, you have to read the rest of what Joseph F. Smith wrote on the matter.

In the regard to children, those who do not make it to the Celestial Kingdom but were born under the covenant or sealed to their parents CAN be brought to the Celestial Kingdom as per Joseph F. Smith (and not just him, other prophets prior to him as well).

It should be noted that present day prophets seem to disagree (and in some instances call them heretical preachings ironically, which I don't agree with) many of the statements of prophets on similar matters to this that were taught from the time of Joseph Smith to Joseph F. Smith (and later even, though normally not as blatant).

The idea is NOT that they receive Celestial Bodies.  If they have done things that merit punishment, they will suffer the utmost for that and then be brought forth with Telestial bodies.  They will gain whatever bodies they earn in this life, whether Telestial or Terrestrial.  Then, through the bonding power of Sealing they can be brought to live in the Celestial Kingdom, but they do NOT attain a Celestial body nor the powers that come with it. 

In this way it was also insinuated what the three different degrees of glory within the Celestial Kingdom were.  The lowest is composed of these individuals that do not have Celestial Bodies, but have Telestial and Terrestrial bodies.  They are sealed eternally to their families and thus can enjoy the rest and respite as well as the glory of the Celestial, but do not have the inherent properties thereof.

The second degree are composed of those with all the powers of the Celestial Kingdom except that afforded to those who are sealed together in an eternal marriage.  In this, they serve those (and it is happily, imagine the uncle who loves their nieces and nephews and the babies that come thereof) who are in this eternal matrimony. 

The Highest degree is afforded to those who have the eternal bond of marriage and thus can have eternal increase.  They will have children who increase their glory, and as they design worlds and their children also progress, it increases their own progression forward.

However, this teaching sort of stopped being taught many decades ago, with Joseph Fielding really kind of being the last to push such ideas.  Spencer W. Kimball and others after him did not specifically deny such things (and borrowed liberally from the idea of children being able to be with parents in the Celestial Kingdom, though normally it focuses on Joseph Smith's teaching of them receiving thrones of glory rather than children over the age of 8 which were also covered to some degree, as referred to by your quote from Joseph Fielding), but they didn't really push or teach them either.

You see more of a denial of the idea by a FEW Saints (and I see it grows in popularity as those of us who understood the ideas above are dying off) later and growing in popularity under Gordon B. Hinckley.  Today, most do not agree with the above idea or claim that we never were taught.

Technically, they are correct as this was merely opinion of the prophets previously and not specifically stated as doctrine (as were many of the teachings they taught, including the Famous King Follett sermon by Joseph Smith which taught the entire idea of eternal progression initially), but the idea of which you stated and quoted above is NOT about people able to progress between kingdoms specifically, but the power of the Sealing ability and the power of the Lord.  His promises cannot be denied and those he seals with his power will remain sealed even in eternity as long as a married couple obtains the Celestial glory together.  In this, families CAN be together forever.  However, whatever rewards one merits in this life are still the rewards they obtain, they do not gain the powers and abilities of those of a higher reward if they do not merit it...

At least as per the teaching that you quote...and I believe Joseph Fielding even specifies this in the Doctrines of Salvation which I think your quote comes from (though others had specified this prior to him already).

AS I said though, in general there are those that disagree with this specific teaching (and the origins of it at times have been called heretical teachings today) and it is not really something that is considered a valid teaching in the church today by many.

I'm really confused by your response. It seems like a statement I might hear from a politician... there are a lot of words but it doesn't really say anything or commit to a specific point. I thought I was pretty clear, it was McConkie who set the bar that most GAs march by today, but even his own son thinks he wasn't right about everything and specifically that he was wrong about this.

I'm not even sure what you claim I'm in denial about. It's a gray area, so you're right in one aspect - there is no hard and fast doctrine concerning this topic. That being said, there is no doctrine that specifically states that no one can advance between kingdoms. That is speculation just as is people can advance between kingdoms. So, until there is a doctrine that clarifies it, both are equally correct and both are equally wrong. McConkie Jr offered his speculation on the topic and I happen to agree with him.

I'm fascinated by the rules of order in the Celestial kingdom. Where do you get the idea that anyone who does not have a celestial glory can dwell in the Celestial Kingdom? What is the source for that piece of speculation? 

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On 12/9/2019 at 4:00 AM, JohnsonJones said:

McConkie actually taught old school and what he taught, in my readings and experience were pretty accurate.  However, in many instances it was not palatable in his time, or acceptable to really be spreading about.

A prime example would be the teaching that the Catholic Church was the great and abominable Church.  This was actually an opinion held by several of the General Authorities prior to that time period and was taught at times.  It, however, was not deemed apropos by many to say this, and instead the teaching that ALL churches that were not part of the Church of our Lord were the Great and Abominable church was the opinion being leaned on to be taught at the time.

His teachings today are even MORE out of sync with what modern readers with Modern Western Morality would agree with and thus he has fallen out of popularity.  It has even become popular to bad mouth McConkie, Joseph F. Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith and even more especially Brigham Young (who many of these teachings actually originated from).

I see this as unfortunate as I love to read the teachings of these General Authorities.  I find the closer one gets to Joseph Smith in the time period of their reading, the closer they get to understanding many of the things Joseph Smith taught but are not truly understood today.  I find that a greater and more complete picture of the truth is revealed which are greatly hidden today. 

In many ways they are mostly the opinions (and once again, the King Follett Sermon is a perfect example.  In it, Joseph Smith is not saying...thus sayeth the Lord, nor is he saying it is now Church doctrine, and thus one could say it is in theory, merely his opinion.  However, I would probably trust Joseph Smith's opinion over the some 'doctrines' espoused today over the pulpit if they come at odds between each other and disagree on the doctrine or teachings...as my OWN personal preference) of those who were teaching then and thus plausibly the church can deny whatever ideas they espoused in favor of the newest and most popular fad that is popular to adhere to today.

Luckily, normally leaders today do not choose to openly oppose Joseph Smith so it is normally NOT an issue (plausible deniability).

I'm okay with many of the things that McConkie taught, but even he admitted that he had to eat crow, specifically on race an the priesthood. So, we both have our examples of things he was right about and things he was wrong about. I'm not bad-mouthing McConkie. I'm bad-mouthing some of his teachings, namely this one. Just because McConkie said it doesn't mean it's true or that it's doctrine. It's not. When I read McConkie, there are things that I love and there are things that I can't abide by.

In a talk given to BYU on marriage, he made the bold statement that a returned missionary got married outside the temple because of circumstances and while they were on their way to the temple to get sealed, they had an accident that killed them both. He basically said, too bad for them, they can never be married in all the eternity because they had their chance and blew it. I skip that portion because it's basically baloney. He also told a story of a woman who was married to a member of the church who chose not to live the gospel. She said that when she asked her husband about it, saying, You know it's true, why don't you take me to the temple and be sealed to me. His reply was that yes, he knew it was true, but he liked the kind of life he was living and he knew that when he died, she'd take him to the temple and be married and sealed by proxy for all eternity. Then McConkie said of the situation, He died and she took him to the temple to be sealed and it was the biggest waste of time. More baloney. This is the hard line that McConkie drove like a stake through the heart of people whose circumstances weren't perfect through no fault of their own. Basically... Too bad, you're going to hell.

What was this woman supposed to do? Divorce her husband and find a better one? What if she didn't want another one? What if that one man was the one? She can't force him to do what she wants. But, even more to the point, was McConkie now advocating divorce to fix eternal issues, issues that aren't necessarily eternal? That's a new one for me. I don't recall any GA recommending divorce except for personal safety. There was one that I heard rumored where Brigham Young suggested it as an alternative for a couple where the husband was sterile and then when she got pregnant, she could divorce biological father and marry the first husband, but I hardly believe that's true.

IMO, people love to be able to pigeon hole others and judge them to be in less than Celestial. There's just no way so-and-so can get into the Celestial kingdom because of this and that. So-and-so is telestial material and he'll never ever get into the Celestial kingdom because he can't advance.

The only stipulation is that those who don't rely on Christ in this life will have to work it out themselves in the next life and that they will suffer for their sins even as Christ suffered for our sins which caused him to bleed at every pore. Tell me, if they suffered like this, why do you think they can't advance to live with that being who did the suffering for us?

So sorry, but we are not capable of pigeon-holing anyone. Our knowledge is limited to this life. We have almost no knowledge of the previous one and just a little more of the next one and we still arent' talking about the resurrection and life thereafter.

All I'm saying is that it is entirely possible that we can advance to the Celestial Kingdom so long as we have not sinned against the Holy Ghost. Why would the next life be different than this one? We are sinners in this life and have hope for exaltation, why shouldn't we expect to have the same hope in the next life before the resurrection? Is it because McConkie said so?

Edited by brotherofJared

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On 12/11/2019 at 8:00 AM, estradling75 said:

The Scriptures and Modern Prophets are clear that one should not procrastinate the day of our repentance.

Anything (true or not) that would encourage us to procrastinate and disobey should be avoided.

The idea of progression between kingdoms is exactly this kind of idea.

Thinking we have forever to work out our salvation and exaltation is a trap we are forewarned about in the scriptures.

If there is no progression between kingdoms then this warning makes all kinds of sense.

If there is progression between the kingdoms then there must be another reason for the warning.  (The best guess I have for another reason would be that it is so much easier to make changes in mortality.)

Either way it makes this a topic we should be very careful on how we share our speculations and reasons

Well, there are class-half-full kinds of people and glass-half-empty kinds and then there are people who, I guess, try to say don't try to figure out whether it's half full or half empty regardless of the fact that it does make a difference. For the person whose glass is half empty, the idea that there is progression is really really helpful because it means they aren't lost and there is still a chance. It means that Christ's work still has value for them.

I agree that it would be tempting to play around knowing there's always going to be that chance, but it doesn't seem to matter that this isn't a doctrine, people still play around believing that there is still going to be a chance even though GA's like McConkie preached that there is no chance after this life. It means that the woman who never found a husband and now, today, the man who never found a wife, will still have a chance to be exalted. We don't know how, but it seems that it is the general speculation that they will have a chance at exaltation and I suspect that it will be one that they will be happy with, i.e. they aren't going to get leftovers or rejects from another failed relationship or be forced into a polygamous relationship. We don't know how it's going to work, but if we are to believe Elder Oaks, trust in the Lord and lean not unto our own understanding... quoted scripture from his talk last conference ... then that glass is half full.

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On 12/11/2019 at 8:33 AM, Vort said:

This is a great example of why such speculation is dangerous. If Elder Faust's nephew was wrong, either because he was lying or because he misunderstood his uncle, then what he said is worse than useless. On the other hand, if Elder Faust's nephew was right, and this really was a true doctrine that should not have been revealed because it's dangerous, then for sure what he said is worse than useless.

See the common theme between the two possible answers?

All I see is your speculations which, indeed, are dangerous. You assert the reason it should not have been revealed. That's your speculation and it appears to be something you inserted in order to make your point and that's the reason why speculation is dangerous. You make your speculation a fact stating, there is a common theme between the two possible answers when there isn't.

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On 12/11/2019 at 8:33 AM, Vort said:

You think that those who forfeit their exaltation because of their love of the flesh are eternally worthless beings that God himself doesn't care about?

Where would you get such a ridiculous idea?

On 12/11/2019 at 8:33 AM, Vort said:

That perfect people in a position of superiority would never condescend (real, original meaning) to minister to those beneath them? On the contrary, acting in that manner is the Godly thing to do, not some sign of eventual exaltation being extended to those served.

Wow. Just wow. Your dog was never your child, but that isn't true of those beings in other heavens besides the Celestial Kingdom, now is it. Aren't they all children of God? It's not like we expect them to grow up to be something they never were. Geez.

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On 12/11/2019 at 5:17 PM, Mores said:

Uhmmm... just how many degrees removed does it have to be before you would excuse us for dismissing it as hearsay?

One. But that doesn't mean it wasn't said.

Edited by brotherofJared

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