Alma 41:10


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When I read of the entry requirements for the Telestial kingdom, and the glory of that kingdom, I am inclined to believe that, contrary to what Alma taught, there will be a great many who will restored from sin to happiness. I think that their happiness will be less than, or of a lesser quality, than those who inherit a kingdom of greater glory, but that they will still be happy to be where they are. So does that raise the question of whether or not there are limitations, or exceptions, to Alma’s suggestion that we will not be restored from sin to happiness?

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1 hour ago, askandanswer said:

When I read of the entry requirements for the Telestial kingdom, and the glory of that kingdom, I am inclined to believe that, contrary to what Alma taught, there will be a great many who will restored from sin to happiness. I think that their happiness will be less than, or of a lesser quality, than those who inherit a kingdom of greater glory, but that they will still be happy to be where they are. So does that raise the question of whether or not there are limitations, or exceptions, to Alma’s suggestion that we will not be restored from sin to happiness?

No. Sinfulness is by its nature opposite to happiness. You can be cleansed from sin to happiness, but to be restored means to return to a previously held position. Those in the telestial kingdom will indeed experience joy and happiness, but only as they are cleansed from their sin.

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This reminds me of President Uchtdorf's general conference talk when he related his experience during physical training. He kept the word of wisdom with specific promises and yet there were so many people running faster and who had more strength, how so?

The Great and Spacious building outwardly appears to be finding happiness in sin. Except when the building falls.

I'm inline with the two other thoughts provided already. We have to look at the meaning of "restored," and look at the possibility of some degree of happiness even in the Telestial kingdom.

The concept of restoring is returning us to our innocent state we had before this life. This correlates with his other thoughts that corruption become incorruption. One thing to remember, is that these individuals who inherit the Telestial kingdom are no longer in their sins. Remember, they are placed in a situation where they must repent, once they have fully repented they are received in the Telestial kingdom, but can no longer progress beyond the Telestial kingdom. Their sins did not bring them a fullness of joy, which is what Alma in these chapters are referring to. Yes, they may find happiness, but only after they have suffered for their sins. So wickedness never was happiness.

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I have never read a compelling case for the Telestial Kingdom not being part of the Kingdom of God.
 
The scriptures teach that the Kingdom of God has no sin or filthiness, the scripture also teaches us that we are all sinners, filthy and unworthy of the Kingdom of God. It then teaches us that only through Christ can we be forgiven, made clean, and found worthy, because he is all of those things.  It is only through him and by no other means can this happen.  Not even intense personal suffering because of our own sins can do this, otherwise Sons of Perdition would have an end.
 
Now we are told that Hell will be emptied out and those inside it enter the Telestial Kingdom, but we don't need to suppose or imagine some new mechanism for this to happen.  We have already been told that there is only one way.  Christ, by the power of his atonement.  No other idea, theory or proposal has any scriptural authority.
 
For those still unclear of the implications of this I would like to point to the conversion of Alma the Younger.  He was a wicked and evil man.  When he was out doing evil with  friends and Angel of God appeared before them and smote them with the words of his mouth. This smiting was so powerful that it effectively sent Alma the Younger straight to hell while still alive.
 
Alma the Younger had only one way out and it discovered it/found it/remembered it three days later.  He called upon Christ and was converted.
 
We need not and even very much should not pretend that there is any other way out.  Those following the path of Hell-Telestial Kingdom will get out when they convert to/accept Christ when they arrive at the Telestial Kingdom will no longer be like Alma the Younger pre angel, but like Alma the Younger (and friends) after he wakes up and is converted.  That is a pretty glorious state even if it is not as much as it could have been.

It is also in no way a restoration from Sin to Happiness unless we exclude the power of Christ in the changing of what they are... and if we go there none of us make it.
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The following is not really an answer to your question, but a commentary on your leadup.

19 hours ago, askandanswer said:

When I read of the entry requirements for the Telestial kingdom, and the glory of that kingdom, I am inclined to believe that, contrary to what Alma taught,

It is my theory that prior to the Resurrection, the three degrees of glory and the doctrine of the Spirit World as we know it today were not taught to the Covenant People.  That is why we see no record of it in Old Testament times. 

Consider Alma's words:

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20 Now, my son, I do not say that their resurrection cometh at the resurrection of Christ; but behold, I give it as my opinion, that the souls and the bodies are reunited, of the righteous, at the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into heaven.

21 But whether it be at his resurrection or after, I do not say; but this much I say, that there is a space between death and the resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or in misery until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works.

 -- Alma 40:20-21

The way I read this is that the very concept of "a waiting period" was a new one.  And Alma had some intimations of it based on what he did know.  But it was not commonly taught. Alma told this to his son during a blessing as they were filled with the Spirit.  He didn't quote it from any known scriptures (neither the Brass Plates, nor from any Nephite scriptures).  So, it was not common knowledge to the Covenant People of the time.

Divine knowledge is given to the degree that mankind is prepared to receive it.  And it appears that such knowledge was not meant for mankind prior to the Resurrection.  As it is, much of mankind currently are not prepared to receive it.  But as the salt of the earth is prepared to receive it, He will reveal it.

If they did not know about the three degrees of glory, what would have been taught?  A heaven/hell dichotomy seems to be the most likely choice.  As such, the comments he made must be put in that context.  It was really about O.D. or the C.K.  The other kingdoms were not even within their paradigm.  So, any comments would not apply to either of those kingdoms.

Modern revelation gives us knowledge and the understanding of the three degrees.  So, we look to those revelations and the words of modern prophets to inform us about that.

Edited by Carborendum
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On 8/30/2022 at 4:37 PM, askandanswer said:

When I read of the entry requirements for the Telestial kingdom, and the glory of that kingdom, I am inclined to believe that, contrary to what Alma taught, there will be a great many who will restored from sin to happiness. I think that their happiness will be less than, or of a lesser quality, than those who inherit a kingdom of greater glory, but that they will still be happy to be where they are. So does that raise the question of whether or not there are limitations, or exceptions, to Alma’s suggestion that we will not be restored from sin to happiness?

The plan of happiness is also called the plan of salvation. Since sin does not yield salvation, no matter the degree of sin or salvation, it cannot yield happiness. Since everyone will face their Maker, however briefly, to receive their restoration, they can do nothing but suffer the pains of the differential between their willingness and His grace. Recovery from this kind of trauma, where a modicum, or degree, of happiness/salvation is not the same as a restoration to greater happiness/salvation, I think Alma is correct.

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I don't know the answers, but I have thoughts on the matter (obviously).

I don't think people will be "less" happy in the Telestial or Terrestrial Kingdom necessarily.  To be LESS Happy probably requires coveting or knowledge.  I think that as one progresses, one attains more knowledge, but if one cannot progress, it may be that one cannot attain the knowledge necessary to understand certain things?

They will be aware of higher beings and higher power, but whether they will regret not having such or yearn to have it...I don't know.  I suspect each will be happy within the sphere of which they have chosen.

For the Telestial I feel we will be restored to our bodies we have here, but they will be perfect and immortal bodies.  They will otherwise be the same as the Telestial bodies we currently have in a world without strife, illness, war, or other ailments.  Imagine a garden with perfect weather and abundance of which you can live in peace for eternity.  It would be a wonderful world to live in.  Many would probably consider such a place an ideal heaven...and that's just the Telestial Kingdom.

They will have angelic visitors and live in the Kingdom of Heaven.  It may not be the greatest glory, but I feel they will still have joy.  They will lack the powers and abilities that are granted to those in higher kingdoms and thus will not have the ability or power to act in the same ways as those in the Terrestrial or Celestial Kingdoms.  I think they will be happy though.  You do not need power to be happy.  They will have less responsibility as well, for with power comes responsibilities and expectations.  The Telestial Kingdom will have very little of those comparatively to other Kingdoms. 

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I think our doctrine teaches that, those who inherit the Telestial Kingdom go straight to hell for at least 1000 years.  So... not happiness.  They're gonna be in a world of hurt.

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DC19

15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink

While Jesus' sacrifice is still the enabling power behind their eventual redemption from this hell, their own suffering is key too.  (or so I say, and I think the scripture hints at it too because I'm convinced that God does not hurt people needlessly)  Their suffering for their sins will be transformative, except for the most evil people (sons of perdition).  It will make them fit for a kingdom of glory.
If they truly come out of that suffering changed, then when they are given the Telestial Kingdom, at that time they are being restored from repentance to happiness, not sin to happiness.

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2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

???  Where did you get that from?

The scriptures lay out that sinners of various sorts are cast down to hell.  We (or I) do not deny that this happens.  It does.  The main points of disagreement we have with others, are

1) the nature of the torment (us = like a fire, similar to the sufferings of christ; them = literally a fire)

2) the duration.  (us = it ends for almost everyone, but not quite everyone, them = forever for the most part)

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Bible Dictionary, hell:

....In latter-day revelation hell is spoken of in at least two senses. One is the temporary abode in the spirit world of those who were disobedient in this mortal life. It is between death and the Resurrection, and persons who receive the telestial glory will abide there until the last resurrection (D&C 76:84–85, 106), at which time they will go to the telestial glory. In this sense the Book of Mormon speaks of spiritual death as hell (2 Ne. 9:10–12). Hell, as thus defined, will have an end, when all the captive spirits have paid the price of their sins and enter into a degree of glory after their resurrection. Statements about an everlasting hell (Hel. 6:28; Moro. 8:13) must be interpreted in their proper context in the light of D&C 19:4–12, which defines eternal and endless punishment.

On the other hand, the devil and his angels, including the sons of perdition, are assigned to a place spoken of as a lake of fire—a figure of eternal anguish. This condition is sometimes called hell in the scriptures (2 Pet. 2:4; D&C 29:38; 88:113). This kind of hell, which is after the Resurrection and Judgment, is exclusively for the devil and his angels and is not the same as that consisting only of the period between death and resurrection. The one group are redeemed from hell and inherit some degree of glory. The other receive no glory. They continue in spiritual darkness. For them the conditions of hell remain...

Now for some scriptural supports:

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Alma 40 

11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.

12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.

13 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil.

14 Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection.

 

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DC76

81 And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament.

82 These are they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus.

83 These are they who deny not the Holy Spirit.

84 These are they who are thrust down to hell.

85 These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work...

...103 These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.

104 These are they who suffer the wrath of God on earth.

105 These are they who suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.

106 These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work;

These scriptures establish that telestial people are in hell until their resurrection.  Their resurrection coincides with the end of the millenium

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DC88

100 And again, another trump shall sound, which is the third trump; and then come the spirits of men who are to be judged, and are found under condemnation;

101 And these are the rest of the dead; and they live not again until the thousand years are ended, neither again, until the end of the earth.

 

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Rev 20

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Revelation 20 also helps establish, biblically, that people exit hell and are judged at that time:

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Rev20

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

As for the duration of their torment (at least 1000 years), the scriptures make clear that telestial people are instakilled at the start of the millennium.

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DC29

9 For the hour is nigh and the day soon at hand when the earth is ripe; and all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that wickedness shall not be upon the earth;

(there are a few other scriptural proofs of the death of the wicked at the millennium)

So, if the wicked are dead at the start of the thousand years and are not delivered until the end of the thousand years, then their hell lasts at least 1000 years.

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5 hours ago, popatr said:

So, if the wicked are dead at the start of the thousand years and are not delivered until the end of the thousand years, then their hell lasts at least 1000 years.

This ^^ was really all that was needed.  The rest is just fluff.

It does stand to reason that if the Millennium is literally a millennium, then it becomes obvious.  I've just never heard it couched in this manner before.  Of course, that is only for those who die at the beginning of the Millennium.  Many who have slept since the days of Adam will be suffering a lot longer.

Edited by Carborendum
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9 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

This ^^ was really all that was needed.  The rest is just fluff.

It does stand to reason that if the Millennium is literally a millennium, then it becomes obvious.  I've just never heard it couched in this manner before.  Of course, that is only for those who die at the beginning of the Millennium.  Many who have slept since the days of Adam will be suffering a lot longer.

I had no idea which part of my assertion needed support in your view.  So I just tried to support the whole thing

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On 8/30/2022 at 3:46 PM, mikbone said:

Its all relative.  You can be happy and still have regret.

What may be acceptable to Charles Manson probably wont be so for Alma.

When discussing the three degrees of glory, I've found myself talking about humans vs dogs and cats.

  • Humans want a lot more than mere Kreecher comforts.
  • Dogs want some love and affection.  They want to play fetch and go for walks with their familly.
  • Cats just want to play with their gadgets and sleep most of the day free from worry.

You can't ask a dog or cat to organize and start a business to grow into a multinational corporation that will have influence across the entire world.  And they would never want to do it either.  They'd be like: "You want me to do what?"

If you can think of spiritual things in the same manner, there are some who will be perfectly happy with lesser kingdoms.  And they usually don't even think that they are missing out.

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14 hours ago, popatr said:

... which part of my assertion ...

I'm glad you mentioned this.  It got me to thinking (which is always a dangerous proposition).

"Hell" has several meanings in scriptures.  Death/grave, Outer Darkness, and Spirit Prison. (Forgive me for not going into the lesser used meanings).  Most of the time, we take it to mean Outer Darkness.  But the "waiting time" from death to judgment/resurrection is not Outer Darkness, but Spirit Prison.

My understanding was that, while S.P. is not a happy place, it is not exactly O.D. either.  So, what confused me was the usage of the term "hell" in the context in which you used it.  If O.D. and S.P. are exactly the same thing (forgetting the permanent/temporary status) then I'd like to know if there is anything definitive on that.

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16 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

I'm glad you mentioned this.  It got me to thinking (which is always a dangerous proposition).

"Hell" has several meanings in scriptures.  Death/grave, Outer Darkness, and Spirit Prison. (Forgive me for not going into the lesser used meanings).  Most of the time, we take it to mean Outer Darkness.  But the "waiting time" from death to judgment/resurrection is not Outer Darkness, but Spirit Prison.

My understanding was that, while S.P. is not a happy place, it is not exactly O.D. either.  So, what confused me was the usage of the term "hell" in the context in which you used it.  If O.D. and S.P. are exactly the same thing (forgetting the permanent/temporary status) then I'd like to know if there is anything definitive on that.

No, I think spirit prison and "outer darkness" are EXACTLY the same for a telestial person.  Alma 40:13-14 is in my scripture block above, and I think supports this well.  It says that some reside in outer darkness until the time of their resurrection.  It describes their torment as being horrible.  DC76 from my scripture block says that some of them (most if we rely on lds thought in general) are delivered from the devil in the end.  But a few unreedemable souls go back.

DC76 says that only telestial people are cast into hell.  So a terrestrial person, or a celestial person stuck waiting on ordinances, are NOT stuck in the same state as telestial people.  Yes we still call their condition "spirit prison" but it is not the same.

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Telestial people aren't actually living the telestial law at the time of their death.  Just a portion.

Quote

DC86:4

...And your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened. You who are quickened by a portion of the Celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness. And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness. And also, they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fullness. 

What does it mean to be quickened by a "portion" of a kingdom?  Well, I think it refers to what reliably motivates you.

For me, outer darkness people are unwilling to behave themselves, or subvert their ego, for any reason.  They will gladly self-destruct rather than be subject to God or any law.

Telestial kingdom people are willing to control themselves in self interest.

Terrestial people are good and honorable for it's own sake, but still want autonomy.

Celestial people are willing to have their will swallowed up in God because they love him so much.

The motivations of a telestial person are insufficient to make them behave until they are forced to painfully learn and study their own self interest in hell, for a sufficiently long time that their self-interest is fully educated and fully wisened (the ability to see their self interest a long way off, way down in the future.  They realize that no matter how much they gain by some selfish interest now, it won't be worth it in the long run so their behavior optimizes their happiness through civility etc, even though their natural motivations do not strictly dictate these behaviors)

These musing are largely my own.  I don't think they are entirely without scriptural (and general authority) support, but I don't wish to push them off as gospel truth--nor do I wish to try to prove them by extensive exegesis, as I'm more willing to do with what I think is actual vital doctrine.

Edited by popatr
one final thought
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5 hours ago, Carborendum said:

When discussing the three degrees of glory, I've found myself talking about humans vs dogs and cats.

  • Humans want a lot more than mere Kreecher comforts.
  • Dogs want some love and affection.  They want to play fetch and go for walks with their familly.
  • Cats just want to play with their gadgets and sleep most of the day free from worry.

You can't ask a dog or cat to organize and start a business to grow into a multinational corporation that will have influence across the entire world.  And they would never want to do it either.  They'd be like: "You want me to do what?"

If you can think of spiritual things in the same manner, there are some who will be perfectly happy with lesser kingdoms.  And they usually don't even think that they are missing out.

I see what kingdom you assigned cats to….

Here, enjoy a post from past-me: 

 

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5 hours ago, popatr said:

No, I think spirit prison and "outer darkness" are EXACTLY the same for a telestial person.  Alma 40:13-14 is in my scripture block above, and I think supports this well.  It says that some reside in outer darkness until the time of their resurrection.  It describes their torment as being horrible.  DC76 from my scripture block says that some of them (most if we rely on lds thought in general) are delivered from the devil in the end.  But a few unreedemable souls go back.

DC76 says that only telestial people are cast into hell.  So a terrestrial person, or a celestial person stuck waiting on ordinances, are NOT stuck in the same state as telestial people.  Yes we still call their condition "spirit prison" but it is not the same.

If they are "EXACTLY" the same thing, then why only telestial?  The souls "in prison" include all those who did not hear the word in this life, but hear it in the Spirit World.  And those who accept the vicarious ordinances for them are raised to the Celestial.

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18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

 -- 1 Peter 3:18-19

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.

 -- 1 Peter 4:6

Your take says that otherwise celestial souls will have to be in Outer Darkness for thousands of years simply because they were unable to hear the word in this life. 

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32 minutes ago, Vort said:

I would give that a dozen thumbs-ups if I could.

If anyone here knows a GA, please double-dog dare them to use the phrase "quit dorking around" in their next General Conference sermon.  

It might not be the sermon we want; but it'll be the sermon we need.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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14 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

If anyone here knows a GA, please double-dog dare them to use the phrase "quit dorking around" in their next General Conference sermon.

Hmmmm...

Methinks that someone isn't aware of the etymology of the word...

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