askandanswer

Doctrine and Covenants 7: 5 - 6

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Does Doctrine and Covenants 7: 5 -6 support the conclusion that the work of salvation going on on this side of the veil is somehow greater, or more important than the work of salvation going on on the other side of the veil? It seems from these verses that Jesus is saying to Peter that John, by asking to remain alive and continue the Lords work here on Earth has asked something greater than what Peter asked. I suspect that Peter would be just as busy as John in carrying on the work of salvation, with the only substantial difference being the location so I'm a little puzzled as to why John's work would be thought to be greater.

I say unto thee, Peter, this was a good desire; but my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater awork yet among men than what he has before done.

Yea, he has undertaken a greater work; therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a aministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be bheirs of salvation who dwell on the earth.

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5 hours ago, askandanswer said:

Does Doctrine and Covenants 7: 5 -6 support the conclusion that the work of salvation going on on this side of the veil is somehow greater, or more important than the work of salvation going on on the other side of the veil? It seems from these verses that Jesus is saying to Peter that John, by asking to remain alive and continue the Lords work here on Earth has asked something greater than what Peter asked. I suspect that Peter would be just as busy as John in carrying on the work of salvation, with the only substantial difference being the location so I'm a little puzzled as to why John's work would be thought to be greater.

I say unto thee, Peter, this was a good desire; but my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater awork yet among men than what he has before done.

Yea, he has undertaken a greater work; therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a aministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be bheirs of salvation who dwell on the earth.

The problem is that we do not know the extent of what work is being done by the spirits of just men in the spirit world nor do we know the full extent of the work being done by those that are translated.  I would suggest that without all the information concerning these options that we take the Savior at his word.  What I personally find to be of the most interest to me about these verses is that in some cases it appears that individual are offered a choice between the two options.

 

The Traveler

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15 hours ago, askandanswer said:

Does Doctrine and Covenants 7: 5 -6 support the conclusion that the work of salvation going on on this side of the veil is somehow greater, or more important than the work of salvation going on on the other side of the veil? It seems from these verses that Jesus is saying to Peter that John, by asking to remain alive and continue the Lords work here on Earth has asked something greater than what Peter asked. I suspect that Peter would be just as busy as John in carrying on the work of salvation, with the only substantial difference being the location so I'm a little puzzled as to why John's work would be thought to be greater.

I say unto thee, Peter, this was a good desire; but my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater awork yet among men than what he has before done.

Yea, he has undertaken a greater work; therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a aministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be bheirs of salvation who dwell on the earth.

I think it is a greater work than what he, John, has done before in the Lord's service, and not a greater work in the eyes of the Lord regarding His own ministry on both sides of the veil.

Edited by CV75

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That is a good question, and I think verse four adds more to the conversation.

John the Beloved's desire, "he desired of me that he might bring souls unto me."

Peter's desire, "that thou mightest speedily come unto me in my kingdom."

If we are looking at the desires, it would be similar to the twelve disciples of the Nephites and how three desired to continue to serve God -- in this life -- to bring souls. In this light, the desire to continue to bring souls in this life means -- temporally -- the time of "rest" is not yet for them. Life after death, although work, is still a time of rest (think of scriptures pertaining to paradise) -- so to speak.

The Lord tells Peter it is a good desire, yet, John has desired to do even a greater work than he has already done. It appears also that Peter is a ministering angel unto John and James.

I would liken this unto a Father who is working in his vineyard. An agreed upon time for the work to be completed is given to two sons. At the end of that time, one son says to the father, "Father, I would like to continue working with you in your vineyard." The other son says, "Father, I would like to go home now."

The agreed upon time is completed, both have served faithfully. One desires further to work with the Father, and continue to perform a greater work. The other desires to go home, as his work is also finished -- according to the decree given by the Father.

Verse eight is nice also, giving more clarity, "ye shall both have according to your desires, for ye both joy in that which ye have desired." As their work, time period, is finished the Lord finds joy in their joy that they have desired. Neither are wrong. One simply wants to continue -- temporally -- working with the Father in his vineyard and in his work.

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Peter wanted to return to God, as do all the righteous. That was the deepest and most consuming of Peter's desires: After his mortal duties were finished, his spirit craved to return speedily to his Creator. Doubtless John, too, wanted to return to God. But John also wished to continue serving his fellow beings and help to bring forth the gospel of Christ in the latter days as well as in his own time. He deeply wanted to help with the process for the benefit of his brothers and sisters, apparently even more than he craved immediate return to God. So the way I see it, John's desire was greater in the sense that it was more selfless.

When it comes to the choice each of them made, I realized many decades ago that I'm firmly in Peter's camp. I wish I weren't; I wish I were so naturally unselfish that the deepest desire of my heart was not merely to return to God's presence, but to help him to bring about his purposes for the benefit of everyone else. Maybe that personality trait is why John was called "the Beloved" of Christ. Maybe it's more than just a personality trait; maybe it's a spiritual gift or stature that we can grow into. Frankly, that decision is so far above my current state that it's all purely academic for me.

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I think the work on this side of the veil is "greater" at least in a quantitative way in two ways. One is that the dead are reliant on the living to perform any needed ordinances. So the work on this side truly affects both sides. Also the ability to progress seems much more enhanced while in the flesh and there is a deadline attached, death, both of which makes the work here perhaps more urgent and even substantial, though maybe that's not the best word for it. But from a qualitative perspective it's all the same importance.

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On 2/5/2021 at 4:27 AM, Anddenex said:

The Lord tells Peter it is a good desire, yet, John has desired to do even a greater work than he has already done. It appears also that Peter is a ministering angel unto John and James.

I would liken this unto a Father who is working in his vineyard. An agreed upon time for the work to be completed is given to two sons. At the end of that time, one son says to the father, "Father, I would like to continue working with you in your vineyard." The other son says, "Father, I would like to go home now."

The agreed upon time is completed, both have served faithfully. One desires further to work with the Father, and continue to perform a greater work. The other desires to go home, as his work is also finished -- according to the decree given by the Father.

I find it a bit difficult to agree with the idea that Peter was to be a ministering angel to John and James - I though he was more in the role as senior member of the First Presidency, with John and James as his counsellors, although ideally, as we all know, the best leaders are the best ministers.

I also don't think the analogy works so well - Peter was indeed going home, but at home, he still continued working in the Lord's vineyard - just a different part of the vineyard and almost certainly in a work that had the same ultimate objective as the work that John was happy to continue doing in this part of the vineyard.

On a less important matter, I'm a little puzzled at the use of the word work in this context. Wouldn't the word service better captures the essence of the idea?

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On 2/5/2021 at 5:34 AM, Vort said:

But John also wished to continue serving his fellow beings and help to bring forth the gospel of Christ in the latter days as well as in his own time. He deeply wanted to help with the process for the benefit of his brothers and sisters, apparently even more than he craved immediate return to God. So the way I see it, John's desire was greater in the sense that it was more selfless.

This line of thought seems to place less emphasis on the fact that Peter, like John, would also be continuing to serve his fellow beings  and would also continue to be engaged in the process of benefiting his brothers and sisters. One interesting difference is that John chose to continue his Father's work absent from, or away from, his Father, while Peter chose to be with his Father. 

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3 hours ago, askandanswer said:

I find it a bit difficult to agree with the idea that Peter was to be a ministering angel to John and James - I though he was more in the role as senior member of the First Presidency, with John and James as his counsellors, although ideally, as we all know, the best leaders are the best ministers.

I also don't think the analogy works so well - Peter was indeed going home, but at home, he still continued working in the Lord's vineyard - just a different part of the vineyard and almost certainly in a work that had the same ultimate objective as the work that John was happy to continue doing in this part of the vineyard.

On a less important matter, I'm a little puzzled at the use of the word work in this context. Wouldn't the word service better captures the essence of the idea?

Verse 7 pertaining to Peter, is where the initial thought of Peter ministering to John and James, "And I will make thee to minister for him and for thy brother James;" You can find it difficult, and that is OK. Peter ministered unto Joseph Smith, there isn't any reason to think Peter is unable to minister to John the Beloved as a ministering angel. As I initially stated, "it appears," doesn't mean this is factual just an option from the given scripture and not really difficult to fathom. Prophets minister unto those they serve with. There isn't any reason why President Monson, President Hinckley are unable to minister unto President Nelson. It seems reasonable, as Brigham Young was ministered unto by Joseph Smith if I am recalling history correctly and words from Brigham Young.

The analogy works fine, if you don't think so, I can't do anything to change your mind and I'm OK with that.

Work can be service, I would say you are mincing words. Either word works fine. The word "work" is used because that is the word used in the scriptures you shared. So, not sure why the word "work" would have any issues. Service and work can easily be interchanged depending on the need. In this verse the Lord used "work" rather than service. Service though works fine also as John is still serving his brethren while performing the work of the Lord.

The scripture that comes to my mind is the joy of one soul you bring unto me in the Kingdom of heaven. It is a work and it is a service, either works fine.

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I think the Lord is perhaps also factoring in degree of difficulty points. When speaking to the three Nephites he talked about them still experiencing sorrow for the evil in the world that apparently the dead are largely free from. John would likewise be willingly subjecting himself to this sorrow in order to work in far less pleasant circumstances than I think we find in the spirit world. But these conditions also create opportunity and so John was willing to make that sacrifice because he knew of the increased good he could do. But like @Vort said that's a difficult thing to desire. I think we see a microcosm of this in the experiences of Alma and Ammon. Alma was an absolutely amazing man who would go preach the gospel, sometimes amidst horrifying circumstances, and would then go home, rest up and then go out again. Meanwhile Ammon dedired to commit the rest of his life if necessary to the hated enemy the Lamanites, perhaps never to return home again. Upon meeting years later Ammon experienced a depth of joy that even Alma couldn't. This is nothing against Alma nor should we think less of Peter but there seems to be a whole nother level of love and willing sacrifice that very few in this life attain to. I think Alma and Peter would have agreed to similar assignments if called but there are those who seek such service out and that's a rare trait.

Edited by laronius

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In verses 5 & 6 the Lord is clearly speaking to Peter directly. In verse 7 the Lord then speaks to John again. "And I will make thee to minister for him and for thy brother James". Working backwards, who is the brother of James? John is the "thy" and "thee" of this sentence and Peter is the "him". "I will make John to minister for Peter and for John's brother James" makes more sense than "I will make Peter to minister for John and Peter's brother James".

As for Peter's desire, I don't think we can freely assume that Peter knows about the work on the other side of the veil, or (if he does know it) how much conviction he has in his knowledge. He had been taught about the Resurrection, but was still shocked to see Jesus in the flesh. He's participated in the 40 day ministry and, rather than take on the mantle of senior apostle, declares to his brethren "I go a-fishing".

Even in our own dispensation, there's 6 years between when Joseph Smith is first told that Elijah must com and when he actually does. It's another 6 years between when he learns that Alvin has a place in the Celestial Kingdom and when he learns about the mechanism (baptisms for the dead) that ensures it. With all this, the only thing Joseph reveals about the work on the other side is that "we can't be made perfect without them" and that they also have "administrators". It's not until 80 years later that we finally learn about the missionary force organized on the other side of the veil by Jesus.

Returning to Peter, he wrote that Jesus descended to hell to preach to the Noah's generation, but Joseph F. Smith showed that Peter did not fully understand how it was ordered because Jesus did not actually teach them in person but sent emissaries instead. Even if Peter had this knowledge, it's not clear that Peter had this knowledge immediately following the Resurrection.

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Verse 3 says about John, "thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and 
shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people
".

How would John be doing this over the last almost 2000 years?  Would his
appearance be changing so that no one in history would make any record of 
this immortal evangelist?

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4 hours ago, Jonah said:

Verse 3 says about John, "thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and 
shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people
".

How would John be doing this over the last almost 2000 years?  Would his
appearance be changing so that no one in history would make any record of 
this immortal evangelist?

I imagine not many people would remember his face.  If you've ever been to San Francisco you know in some locations there are a great number of homeless people.  How many of their faces would one remember?  Even if you ran into one, unless you travelled that area regularly you may never see that individual again...and that's just in ONE city.

John may not have stayed in the same spot and may have traveled in many places similar to other Biblical missionaries.  Not many pay heed to the wandering travelers even today (unless they commit crimes, and even then it can be hard to track down individuals). 

We can't even identify what we consider more historic figures appearances (for example, what did St. Augustine actually really look like?  Or how about John Calvin?  We may have paintings, but many times these do not accurately reflect the actual appearance of some individuals).  If I asked you what the Mayor of Tokyo looked like today would you be able to tell me without looking it up on the internet?  Even after that could you identify him on the street among others.  That's a MAJOR political figure today.  How about the Mayor of Tel Aviv?

If we cannot identify major individuals of our world without using the internet, for an individual that has stayed mostly under the radar today (with all our modern technology) would one be able to actually identify what they looked like or who they were?

I don't think his appearance would need to be changing.  I think most people may not even give heed to him or what he does.  We may like to think we would, but in truth, we normally center on what and who the WORLD makes us feel are the important people of the world rather than the individuals which the Lord has elevated in his sight.

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On 2/3/2021 at 5:29 PM, askandanswer said:

Does Doctrine and Covenants 7: 5 -6 support the conclusion that the work of salvation going on on this side of the veil is somehow greater, or more important than the work of salvation going on on the other side of the veil? It seems from these verses that Jesus is saying to Peter that John, by asking to remain alive and continue the Lords work here on Earth has asked something greater than what Peter asked. I suspect that Peter would be just as busy as John in carrying on the work of salvation, with the only substantial difference being the location so I'm a little puzzled as to why John's work would be thought to be greater.

I say unto thee, Peter, this was a good desire; but my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater awork yet among men than what he has before done.

Yea, he has undertaken a greater work; therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a aministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be bheirs of salvation who dwell on the earth.

What Peter desired of the Lord is to be resurrected to a fullness of celestial glory very soon after death, thereafter to dwell eternally in the immediate presence of God in heaven. This means Peter spent very little time in the spirit world after death, so it’s highly unlikely these verses have any focus at all on the work of preaching the gospel to the dead in the post-mortal spirit world. 

Edited by Jersey Boy

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15 hours ago, Jersey Boy said:

What Peter desired of the Lord is to be resurrected to a fullness of celestial glory very soon after death, thereafter to dwell eternally in the immediate presence of God in heaven. This means Peter spent very little time in the spirit world after death, so it’s highly unlikely these verses have any focus at all on the work of preaching the gospel to the dead in the post-mortal spirit world. 

What you say may well be true, but I think its fairly unlikely that anyone in the immediate presence of God in heaven is not going to be anxiously and continously engaged in doing His work. 

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On 2/11/2021 at 12:45 PM, askandanswer said:

What you say may well be true, but I think its fairly unlikely that anyone in the immediate presence of God in heaven is not going to be anxiously and continously engaged in doing His work. 

Of course they’re still going to be anxiously engaged in the Lord’s work. But isn’t the the original question that kicked off this thread focused on whether or not the work of salvation performed while in the flesh is a greater work than the work of salvation performed in the post-mortal spirit world? The point I’m trying to make is that Doctrine and Covenants 138 makes it clear the work or salvation performed in the spirit world is carried out only by righteous spirits who have not yet received the resurrection, so the verses quoted from Doctrine and Covenants couldn’t possibly be comparing the relative importance of the work of salvation on earth with the work of salvation in the spirit world.

Edited by Jersey Boy

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On 2/11/2021 at 9:22 PM, Jersey Boy said:

Of course they’re still going to be anxiously engaged in the Lord’s work. But isn’t the the original question that kicked off this thread focused on whether or not the work of salvation performed while in the flesh is a greater work than the work of salvation performed in the post-mortal spirit world? The point I’m trying to make is that Doctrine and Covenants 138 makes it clear the work or salvation performed in the spirit world is carried out only by righteous spirits who have not yet received the resurrection, so the verses quoted from Doctrine and Covenants couldn’t possibly be comparing the relative importance of the work of salvation on earth with the work of salvation in the spirit world.

What types or degrees of salvation are available to those on whom the proxied work is performed for 
in the spirit world and can you provide references?

Matteo

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4 hours ago, romans8 said:

What types or degrees of salvation are available to those on whom the proxied work is performed for 
in the spirit world and can you provide references?

Matteo

See D&C 137:1-7.  Joseph Smith sees a vision of the Celestial Kingdom and notes his brother Alvin there.*  Alvin Smith had died unbaptized, and the Protestant teachers of the day had insisted to the Smith family that Alvin’s soul was irretrievably lost.  In response to Joseph’s surprise during the vision, he is told that “All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God” (v 7).

*It’s important to note that at the time of the vision Joseph also sees his own parents in the Celestial Kingdom—even though they were still alive at the time of the vision.  Thus the vision represents the future (or at least, a potential future), not the 1836 status quo.  The vision should not be interpreted as suggesting that Alvin received his exaltation before/without receiving the covenant rituals that are associated with salvation.  

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On 2/13/2021 at 9:47 AM, romans8 said:

What types or degrees of salvation are available to those on whom the proxied work is performed for 
in the spirit world and can you provide references?

Matteo

1 Corinthians 15:29; 1 Corinthians 15:40; Doctrine and Covenants 76; Doctrine and Covenants 138

 

Edited by Jersey Boy

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On 2/14/2021 at 3:58 PM, Jersey Boy said:

1 Corinthians 15:29; 1 Corinthians 15:40; Doctrine and Covenants 76; Doctrine and Covenants 138

 

I looked at Doctrine and Covenants 138 and verse 10 says "For for this cause was the gospel preached 
also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according 
to God in the spirit
".

This appears to be the same description given to those who inherit a terrestrial glory in Doctrine and
Covenants 76:71-73 - "And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who 
are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received 
the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament. Behold, 
these are they who died without law; And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the 
Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the 
flesh
".

Is there a reference to show proxied work elevates someone into the celestial kingdom?

Matteo

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37 minutes ago, romans8 said:

I looked at Doctrine and Covenants 138 and verse 10 says "For for this cause was the gospel preached 
also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according 
to God in the spirit
".

This appears to be the same description given to those who inherit a terrestrial glory in Doctrine and
Covenants 76:71-73 - "And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who 
are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received 
the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament. Behold, 
these are they who died without law; And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the 
Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the 
flesh
".

Is there a reference to show proxied work elevates someone into the celestial kingdom?

Matteo

The reference would be D&C 138:10. The phrase in D&C 76: 73 needs to be read with verses 74-75.

73 And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh;

74 Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.

75 These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.

Everyone captive in spirit prison may be freed and enter the highest kingdoms. Those in the terrestrial receive the testimony of Jesus eventually, but may still hold to some preferences (whether to live without law or with the blindness implanted by craftiness) into the next life. That is up them; freedom, law and vision will not be forced upon them.

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On 2/20/2021 at 11:02 AM, romans8 said:

I looked at Doctrine and Covenants 138 and verse 10 says "For for this cause was the gospel preached 
also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according 
to God in the spirit
".

This appears to be the same description given to those who inherit a terrestrial glory in Doctrine and
Covenants 76:71-73 - "And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who 
are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received 
the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament. Behold, 
these are they who died without law; And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the 
Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the 
flesh
".

Is there a reference to show proxied work elevates someone into the celestial kingdom?

Matteo

Doctrine and Covenants 137.

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On 2/22/2021 at 3:22 PM, Jersey Boy said:

Doctrine and Covenants 137.

I looked at that section and I see one individual and two groups of people who entered the celestial
kingdom without post-death (proxied) ordinances.

Verses 5-6 - Alvin - he received no baptism.

Verses 7-8 - Those who had died prior to this revelation and who die from this point onwards will be 
heirs in that kingdom if they had not heard the gospel while alive.

"All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been 
permitted to tarry
".

Verse 10 - Children who died before the age of accountability.

Matteo

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2 hours ago, romans8 said:

I looked at that section and I see one individual and two groups of people who entered the celestial
kingdom without post-death (proxied) ordinances.

Verses 5-6 - Alvin - he received no baptism.

Verses 7-8 - Those who had died prior to this revelation and who die from this point onwards will be 
heirs in that kingdom if they had not heard the gospel while alive.

"All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been 
permitted to tarry
".

Verse 10 - Children who died before the age of accountability.

Matteo

Alvin was baptized. As soon as the doctrine of baptism for the dead was revealed,  Joseph Smith had his older brother Hyrum vicariously baptized for their beloved deceased older brother. When Joseph Smith had this vision in 1836 his father and his mother were still alive! Joseph Smith Sr died in 1840, 4 years after the vision, and Luck Mack Smith died in 1856, 20 years after the vision. So what the prophet Joseph Smith saw in 1836 was a vision of his Father, Mother, and brother Alvin as they would be in the future, after the final judgment and the resurrection.of the dead.

All those who inherit the celestial kingdom of post-resurrected glory must first be baptized either in the flesh or vicariously after death for the remission of sins. Doctrine and Covenants 76 testifies that the inheritors of the Celestial glory “are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given...”

Edited by Jersey Boy

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On 2/27/2021 at 8:41 AM, romans8 said:

I looked at that section and I see one individual and two groups of people who entered the celestial
kingdom without post-death (proxied) ordinances. . . . 

No, you don’t; because it was explained to you well over two weeks ago (by me) (in this very thread) that:

It’s important to note that at the time of the vision Joseph also sees his own parents in the Celestial Kingdom—even though they were still alive at the time of the vision.  Thus the vision represents the future (or at least, a potential future), not the 1836 status quo.  The vision should not be interpreted as suggesting that Alvin received his exaltation before/without receiving the covenant rituals that are associated with salvation.

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