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Is Baptism required for exaltation?

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I had a discussion with someone recently that really caused me to go back and review required ordinances and the Plan of Salvation.  His stance was that baptism is not required for everyone in order to achieve exaltation (for the purpose of this discussion, we are only talking about those past the age of accountability).  He founded that belief upon D&C 137 and the fact that the Prophet envisioned his brother, who had never been baptized, in heaven.  I absolutely disagree with that interpretation and believe it must be a future event, as his mother and father were also there.  

While I'm certainly no expert, it would seem to me that doctrine requires baptism to achieve exaltation.  Am I missing something?

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33 minutes ago, Grunt said:

I had a discussion with someone recently that really caused me to go back and review required ordinances and the Plan of Salvation.  His stance was that baptism is not required for everyone in order to achieve exaltation (for the purpose of this discussion, we are only talking about those past the age of accountability).  He founded that belief upon D&C 137 and the fact that the Prophet envisioned his brother, who had never been baptized, in heaven.  I absolutely disagree with that interpretation and believe it must be a future event, as his mother and father were also there.  

While I'm certainly no expert, it would seem to me that doctrine requires baptism to achieve exaltation.  Am I missing something?


If it’s not required, we have sure wasted a lot of time in the temples performing vicarious ordinances. 
 

 

From the Handbook:

 

 

18.1
Ordinances of Salvation and Exaltation

The priesthood includes the authority to administer gospel ordinances that are necessary for salvation and exaltation. People make sacred covenants with God as they receive these ordinances. The ordinances of salvation and exaltation are listed below:
    Baptism

    Confirmation and gift of the Holy Ghost

    Conferral of the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordination to an office (for men)

    Temple endowment

    Temple sealing

The ordinances of salvation and exaltation are not performed for persons who have intellectual disabilities that make them not accountable and unable to make covenants with God. Nor are these ordinances performed for children who die before age 8. These persons are “saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven” (Doctrine and Covenants 137:10; see also Moroni 8:8–12).

Edited by Colirio

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1 hour ago, Grunt said:

I had a discussion with someone recently that really caused me to go back and review required ordinances and the Plan of Salvation.  His stance was that baptism is not required for everyone in order to achieve exaltation (for the purpose of this discussion, we are only talking about those past the age of accountability).  He founded that belief upon D&C 137 and the fact that the Prophet envisioned his brother, who had never been baptized, in heaven.  I absolutely disagree with that interpretation and believe it must be a future event, as his mother and father were also there.  

While I'm certainly no expert, it would seem to me that doctrine requires baptism to achieve exaltation.  Am I missing something?

Alivin Smith being in the Celestial Kingdom certainly a future event, and Kingdoms of Glory are not assigned until after the Second Coming and Final Judgement.

The entire purpose of D&C 137 is teaching about salvation (& exaltation) of the dead.  That does include baptisms for the dead, which were previously described in section 127 & 128.  

Edited by Jane_Doe

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1 hour ago, Grunt said:

I had a discussion with someone recently that really caused me to go back and review required ordinances and the Plan of Salvation.  His stance was that baptism is not required for everyone in order to achieve exaltation (for the purpose of this discussion, we are only talking about those past the age of accountability).  He founded that belief upon D&C 137 and the fact that the Prophet envisioned his brother, who had never been baptized, in heaven.  I absolutely disagree with that interpretation and believe it must be a future event, as his mother and father were also there.  

While I'm certainly no expert, it would seem to me that doctrine requires baptism to achieve exaltation.  Am I missing something?

Two things.  First is that there are indications that for eternal beings existing in the same conditions with G-d; they are not subject to time.  If time has no eternal sequence for divine beings - then the assumption that Alvin (The Prophet Joseph Smith's brother) was "NEVER" baptized is categorically false.

Second.  Anciently the meaning of "Righteous" was an individual that has a covenant with G-d.  By definition the first covenant with G-d is Baptism.   This is exactly the logic that Jesus referenced at his baptism - That baptism was necessary to fulfill all righteousness.  In other words baptism is necessary in order to have a covenant with G-d and thereby - necessary in order to be righteous.

As a side note Joseph lived in a era when time was not as well understood.  Recent and more modern science has proven that even in our space-time there is proof that time is not a continuous function.  This is the seeming paradox between general and special relativity.   You may suggest to your friend that they join you and the rest of us in the 21st century.

 

The Traveler

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On the Church's website we have the following statement from one of the articles:

Quote

That authority came two months later, when Elijah delivered to the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery the keys of temple work for the living and the dead. (See D&C 110:15–16.) Four years later, in 1840, Joseph taught his ailing father the newly revealed doctrine of baptism for the dead, and Father Smith asked that “Joseph should be baptized for Alvin immediately.”75 That work was done by Hyrum, and appears first in the 1840 Nauvoo records.76

The excerpt provides this as the source:
 

Quote

Nauvoo Baptisms for the Dead, 1840 vol. p. 145; 1841 vol., p. 149. The ceremony may not have been done twice: in 1840, the name of the deceased was not written last name first, so it may have been recorded again in 1841 in correct alphabetical order.

 

 

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On 8/26/2020 at 10:57 AM, Traveler said:

As a side note Joseph lived in a era when time was not as well understood.  Recent and more modern science has proven that even in our space-time there is proof that time is not a continuous function.

Are the 7000 years of D&C 77:7 continuous?

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On 8/26/2020 at 8:54 AM, Jane_Doe said:

Alivin Smith being in the Celestial Kingdom certainly a future event, and Kingdoms of Glory are not assigned until after the Second Coming and Final Judgement.

The entire purpose of D&C 137 is teaching about salvation (& exaltation) of the dead.  That does include baptisms for the dead, which were previously described in section 127 & 128.  

To add:  in D&C 137 Smith also recounts seeing his parents in the celestial kingdom; and they were both alive at the time of the vision.

Furthermore, not all of the account from which Section 137 is drawn, was canonized into the D&C.  In another portion of that account (I’m going from memory here) Smith related seeing, in vision, Brigham Young preaching to a group of hostile-looking Indians.  The details of that account were specific enough for us to say that nothing like this ever had, or ever would, happen in Young’s lifetime either before or after the vision.

Thus, D&C 137–and the other visions Smith received at the time—were visions of what could happen, not visions of what definitely would happen or what already had happened.  The major thrust of the revelation, as it pertained to Alvin; was not that he was already saved.  It was that he wasn’t irretrievably lost.

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15 minutes ago, Jonah said:

Are the 7000 years of D&C 77:7 continuous?

From a scientific background, the answer would be that it depends on the reference frame of the observer.  From earth, as long as the gravity (and other applicable forces) remain constant; time over the specified interval will be a continuous  function.  It most certainly appears that from what little we know or understand of the reference frame of G-d - that quite likely that time is not a continuous function over the same or any other interval of time.

If you want to look into something rather mind blowing - there was a song written by a contemporary and friend (WW Phelps)  of Joseph Smith.  The Song is titled "If You Could Hie to Kolob".  A little background.  Kolob is mentioned in the Pearl of Great Price - the Book of Abraham (which in itself is most confusing to non-LDS scholars).  Some believe Kolob to be a star and others say it is a planet.  In either case Kolob is believed to be significantly large not only in size but mass which would mean that time would be altered significantly.  Kolob is believed to be the reference frame of G-d and the physical place or home from where he governs the Universe.  Could this be the basis that one day with G-d corresponds to 1,000 years on earth. 

What is interesting about the song is the idea exceeding speed of light travel may allow an observer to see time as discontinuous (see {and control} the future and the past from the present) - not only in the space-time of our universe but of an additional dimension (or higher order of things).  In short there are ideas in the song thought to have originated with Einstein.  And so I will now speak strictly from my own background in science and religion.  I strongly speculate that there is no conflict in knowledge between pure science and pure religion and that when the advances of science seem to contradict - it is because there is something critical missing from our ability to understand scripture or nature or both.  Generally it is my impression that someone that has incapable (be it by desire or ability) of understanding nature most likely their ideas and impressions of religion are also screwed up.  That ALL THINGS testify that there is a G-d - including what we observe in nature.

 

The Traveler

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17 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

To add:  in D&C 137 Smith also recounts seeing his parents in the celestial kingdom; and they were both alive at the time of the vision.

Furthermore, not all of the account from which Section 137 is drawn, was canonized into the D&C.  In another portion of that account (I’m going from memory here) Smith related seeing, in vision, Brigham Young preaching to a group of hostile-looking Indians.  The details of that account were specific enough for us to say that nothing like this ever had, or ever would, happen in Young’s lifetime either before or after the vision.

Thus, D&C 137–and the other visions Smith received at the time—were visions of what could happen, not visions of what definitely would happen or what already had happened.  The major thrust of the revelation, as it pertained to Alvin; was not that he was already saved.  It was that he wasn’t irretrievably lost.

He also saw in that vision, if I recall correctly, several people that were still alive.  It was an interesting vision to say the least.

On 8/26/2020 at 7:04 AM, Grunt said:

I had a discussion with someone recently that really caused me to go back and review required ordinances and the Plan of Salvation.  His stance was that baptism is not required for everyone in order to achieve exaltation (for the purpose of this discussion, we are only talking about those past the age of accountability).  He founded that belief upon D&C 137 and the fact that the Prophet envisioned his brother, who had never been baptized, in heaven.  I absolutely disagree with that interpretation and believe it must be a future event, as his mother and father were also there.  

While I'm certainly no expert, it would seem to me that doctrine requires baptism to achieve exaltation.  Am I missing something?

In my opinion...

It is a commandment for all men  (meaning humanity collectively with each individual who is a part of that human race) to be baptized.  This means that in order to follow the commandments of the Lord, we all need to be baptized.  This can occur in this life through physical baptism, or in the next life if by accepting vicarious baptism for the dead in it's place.

In this way, those who are living can be saviors on mount zion by acting in the place of others who cannot do their own ordinances.  We can serve in the temple as proxies or in place of others, taking their place to do the work that needs to be done.

With that said, it is a commandment from the Lord, and as such, we need to obey...BUT...the final decisions and judgement are his to make.  He is the ONLY one who decides what is or what is not ultimately needed to attain what reward.  If he decides that it is not needed for someone, we have no position to argue or disagree.  It is his atonement which makes our salvation possible, and his commandments are there to guide us in the direction which we need to heed.  We have things we must do to follow him, but he has the ultimate decisions on who gets salvation and exaltation.

He is bound when we keep the things that he has told us to do, as he is an honest and honorable being.  He has told us that if we do as he has commanded, we will be rewarded, thus obeying him is actually very beneficial to us as it covenants things between us and him, guaranteeing us certain blessings if we fulfill our part of the covenant.  Those who do not have this protection or covenant are much more taking chances with their eternal fate.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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On 8/27/2020 at 7:28 PM, Traveler said:

Kolob is believed to be the reference frame of G-d and the physical place or home from where he governs the Universe

Abraham 3:2-3,9 mentions it is a star nearest to the throne of God so it doesn't appear that he is
governing from the star itself but rather from his throne.

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On 8/29/2020 at 7:43 AM, Jonah said:

Abraham 3:2-3,9 mentions it is a star nearest to the throne of God so it doesn't appear that he is
governing from the star itself but rather from his throne.

Lets take a close look at these scriptures but let us also keep in mind we are looking at something that is 4,000 years old and corresponds to the time of Abraham - and yet we are reading a modern translation in a era of Newtonian Physics that has failed what we now know today.  Never-the-less, let us begin in Abraham Chapter 3:

Quote

2 And I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it;

3 And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest.

Note in Chapter 3 that G-d uses stars to create order and to govern.  In short we are governed by the star Kolob.  This is a very hard concept for a thinkers depending on philosophical notions coming out of the dark ages when it was thought that our earth was flat and the center of the universe.  It is important to realize that Abraham spent some time in Egypt at the same time that Egypt went through a significant scientific revolution that changed - not only the architecture of the time but the notions of the universe as well.  Even as recent as two hundred years ago there was no understanding that supermassive stars could evolve into Black Holes and that galaxies could not form or exist without them.  Today science has brought to light that life (as we know it) cannot exist anywhere without a star or sun.

For fun look at a couple of things with me:

 

One picture is our milky way  galaxy the other is a picture of human brain cells.  I find the similarities remarkable. 

131261827_braincellsandgalaxy.png.e07e76d534c9c91edb24587ec831275f.png

But now I want to show you something else.

 

images.jpg.6799834332b38c720fb4f7e025875573.jpg

This is a depiction of a recent scientific effort to map our universe that led to the discovery that we are a part of a super cluster of galaxies that has been named Laniakea.  The little red dot shows where our milky way galaxy fits in.  Our galaxy is about 100,000 light years across.  This super cluster is hundreds of millions of light years in size.  Each speck of light is an entire galaxy.  As near as we can tell - at the convergence or center is what is called "The Great Attracter" that somehow keeps this whole thing together.  The current concept is that at this convergence there are many supermassive Black Holes (stars).  This super cluster is many times bigger that what anyone thought the entire universe was just 100 years ago and we have discovered thousands of these super clusters.

In short what you have referenced in our sacred scriptures known as the Book of Abraham is the best notion of G-d and his methods of governing his creations that I have ever encountered in any religion.  When I first saw this depiction of Laniakea - I thought to myself that it looks like a living thing.  Our best and brightest scientist cannot explain the wonder of how such a thing as a super cluster could exist.  And so it has been determined that stuff called Dark Matter and Dark Energy keeps and defines such things.  It has been determined that 95% of the universe is this Dark Matter and Dark Energy stuff - and yet our science cannot find anything but the traces and power of this stuff.  The best theories predict Great Stars (black holes) at the convergence or center.  In short the universe as we think we know it cannot exist without Black Holes (Stars) that bring order and govern all that we see.

Even the Bible prophesies of an era (at the end of times) which is called "The Fullness of Times" when the knowledge of creation will be revealed like the opening of a scroll.   There is no doubt that science and technology has advanced in the last couple of hundred years and is expanding exponentially decade by decade. There is hardly a religious mind of any religion that does not realize this era is a time of great change leading to something quite spectacular.   I have suggested to you that there is a reason for all these changes in our understanding of science and religion.  That we live in a time of fulfillment or "fullness" that is to prepare a people for the return of the Messiah.   

Perhaps the question to you is what are you going to do with all these changes in religious and scientific thinking?  The ancient religious term "repentance" suggests a change of heart and mind about the things of G-d and your fellow men.  In short a change in thinking and believing.

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

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On 8/29/2020 at 7:43 AM, Jonah said:

Abraham 3:2-3,9 mentions it is a star nearest to the throne of God so it doesn't appear that he is
governing from the star itself but rather from his throne.

There are parts of Abraham that are difficult to explain as well.  In this chapter there is a GREAT DEAL of symbolism and symbology.  In my opinion, perhaps too much to really explain offhand.

Symbolically, this would also be talking about the organization of heaven and men, much like the rest of the chapter also gets into. 

 

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10 minutes ago, JohnsonJones said:

There are parts of Abraham that are difficult to explain as well.  In this chapter there is a GREAT DEAL of symbolism and symbology.  In my opinion, perhaps too much to really explain offhand.

Symbolically, this would also be talking about the organization of heaven and men, much like the rest of the chapter also gets into. 

 

Anciently in Egypt there was a cult of mathematicians that believed their knowledge came from G-d.  It is interesting that they appeared about the time of Abraham.  We have learned a lot about ancient Egypt since the time of Joseph Smith and when the Book of Abraham was published.  What is so interesting to me is that the symbolism in the Book of Abraham follows very closely the symbolism of the ancient mathematicians of Egypt.  But there is something else - Parley P Prat once drew a diagram of how G-d organized the universe.  I wish I could provide the diagram - but I cannot find it to display it.  But the diagram was vary similar to the Super Cluster Laniakea that I displayed above - with the difference that Parley drew straight lines and the deception above uses curved lines.

 

The Traveler

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