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Helaman 12:21-26


Maidservant

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I have often wondered about the balance between God's mercy and his justice. Who, in the end, when all is said and done, who will God save? A few? some? almost all? And on what basis? None of these questions are to mean that I question things such as the necessity of baptism (for example) . . . but when does it become too late? and how? and why? I tend to personally believe that salvation will be for more than we think, in fact, for anyone who is still willing to try to love, to try to do their best as a human . . . whether in this life or the next.

But I wondered if I really was supported by any scriptural or prophetic statements on the matter, to the extent I had taken it in my own mind.

I read Helaman 12:21-26. This is Mormon writing a commentary on the record of Nephi (brother: Lehi). I call him Nephi of the garden tower :P. It comes to mind that Mormon grew up, lived, served, was surrounded by, a most unholy and iniquitous society, a brutal society. And yet his sentiments are often so gentle and charitable.

In this passage, Mormon discusses being cut off from the presence of God; he uses the phrase "cannot be saved"; he says "cast out", "cast off"; he says "everlasting damnation".

And, yet, in these passages, I still read a process that is conditional, even reversible (until you get to the "everlasting damnation" part).

Yes, your iniquities cut you off from the presence of God (v 21). Yes, you can't be saved in iniquity (v 22). But, you can repent! That's why there's repentance! When you repent and "hearken" to God, then you ARE saved! (v 23)

And I find verse 24 utterly intriguing. "And may God grant, in his great fulness [????], that men might be brought [???] unto repentance and good works, that they might be restored [????] unto grace for grace [???], according to their works." So . . what does this mean? If men are "brought unto repentance" in "his great fulness", then what condition are we in (as mankind) BEFORE this great fulness?

verse 25 "I would that all men might be saved." Sounds like Mormon is a little like me. "But we read [he seems reluctant to swallow it whole, just the "we read", ha ha] that in the great and last day there are some who shall be cast out".

So what do you think? I have no conclusion, I just think the wording is awesome, and gives some interesting indication of how our mortal probation and salvation/judgment/progression works.

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I think the phrase brought unto repentance to me means in teh Book fo Helaman is just part of the pride cycle. As bad as it is to be on that scary go round He is saying that I hope you move onto repenting and not just the sinning part. I think some people are stuck in the sinning and don't care part and he wants us to repent.

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I have often wondered about the balance between God's mercy and his justice. Who, in the end, when all is said and done, who will God save? A few? some? almost all? And on what basis? None of these questions are to mean that I question things such as the necessity of baptism (for example) . . . but when does it become too late? and how? and why? I tend to personally believe that salvation will be for more than we think, in fact, for anyone who is still willing to try to love, to try to do their best as a human . . . whether in this life or the next.

But I wondered if I really was supported by any scriptural or prophetic statements on the matter, to the extent I had taken it in my own mind.

I read Helaman 12:21-26. This is Mormon writing a commentary on the record of Nephi (brother: Lehi). I call him Nephi of the garden tower :P. It comes to mind that Mormon grew up, lived, served, was surrounded by, a most unholy and iniquitous society, a brutal society. And yet his sentiments are often so gentle and charitable.

In this passage, Mormon discusses being cut off from the presence of God; he uses the phrase "cannot be saved"; he says "cast out", "cast off"; he says "everlasting damnation".

And, yet, in these passages, I still read a process that is conditional, even reversible (until you get to the "everlasting damnation" part).

Yes, your iniquities cut you off from the presence of God (v 21). Yes, you can't be saved in iniquity (v 22). But, you can repent! That's why there's repentance! When you repent and "hearken" to God, then you ARE saved! (v 23)

And I find verse 24 utterly intriguing. "And may God grant, in his great fulness [????], that men might be brought [???] unto repentance and good works, that they might be restored [????] unto grace for grace [???], according to their works." So . . what does this mean? If men are "brought unto repentance" in "his great fulness", then what condition are we in (as mankind) BEFORE this great fulness?

verse 25 "I would that all men might be saved." Sounds like Mormon is a little like me. "But we read [he seems reluctant to swallow it whole, just the "we read", ha ha] that in the great and last day there are some who shall be cast out".

So what do you think? I have no conclusion, I just think the wording is awesome, and gives some interesting indication of how our mortal probation and salvation/judgment/progression works.

Bottom-line: You will not lose your last Estate of Glory, except in the case of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.

Example: Lucifer and his angels lost their first estate of glory in the pre-mortal existence and they will never gain an increase. But those angels who chose the Plan of Salvation and entered mortality have the ability to gain an increase. If they fail to gain it they will never be less than what they were; namely, the spirit children of God, unless they also commit the unpardonable sin, which is outright rebellion against the Holy Ghost.

Likewise, having obtained a glorified and resurrected body in God and Christ it can never be lost. We will never be required to live in mortality again, whereas His angels could again be given another opportunity to live and progress through mortality (in another time and another place).

So it is with those who obtain the priesthood in this life. After death the priesthood could be withdrawn if it was lived in falsely. Exaltation may be denied, but not necessarily salvation or a glorified resurrection. However, once glorified as a Priest in God and Christ, it can never be lost, except I suppose through blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (if it were possible to be blasphemous against ones own self).

Again, exaltation as a Priest is a lesser glory than exaltation as a married pair in the Priesthood, but the same would apply. One half or both of a couple married in an LDS Temple on earth may fail their final glorification after death, but lesser estates in the Kingdom of Heaven remain available to them.

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In this passage, Mormon discusses being cut off from the presence of God; he uses the phrase "cannot be saved"; he says "cast out", "cast off"; he says "everlasting damnation".

And, yet, in these passages, I still read a process that is conditional, even reversible (until you get to the "everlasting damnation" part).

...So what do you think?

Scattering. Gathering.

Appropriately receiving chastening.

There's an assurance in the title page that some may find relevant.

Some believe it was written by Mormon too.

Each can determine whether and how it may be relevant to your query.

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I think the phrase brought unto repentance to me means in teh Book fo Helaman is just part of the pride cycle. As bad as it is to be on that scary go round He is saying that I hope you move onto repenting and not just the sinning part. I think some people are stuck in the sinning and don't care part and he wants us to repent.

Interesting angle . . . yes, the pride cycle. Hmmmm.

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Bottom-line: You will not lose your last Estate of Glory, except in the case of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.

Example: Lucifer and his angels lost their first estate of glory in the pre-mortal existence and they will never gain an increase. But those angels who chose the Plan of Salvation and entered mortality have the ability to gain an increase. If they fail to gain it they will never be less than what they were; namely, the spirit children of God, unless they also commit the unpardonable sin, which is outright rebellion against the Holy Ghost.

Likewise, having obtained a glorified and resurrected body in God and Christ it can never be lost. We will never be required to live in mortality again, whereas His angels could again be given another opportunity to live and progress through mortality (in another time and another place).

So it is with those who obtain the priesthood in this life. After death the priesthood could be withdrawn if it was lived in falsely. Exaltation may be denied, but not necessarily salvation or a glorified resurrection. However, once glorified as a Priest in God and Christ, it can never be lost, except I suppose through blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (if it were possible to be blasphemous against ones own self).

Again, exaltation as a Priest is a lesser glory than exaltation as a married pair in the Priesthood, but the same would apply. One half or both of a couple married in an LDS Temple on earth may fail their final glorification after death, but lesser estates in the Kingdom of Heaven remain available to them.

Thanks for the reply. I think I need to think a little more about how our post-death and resurrection life will be (I think so much in the present). I guess I would want to ponder about what that estate life will be, when we are glorified. What does that really mean, I would wonder; for example, on a day-to-day basis, and how does my repentance and hearkening affect that?

Also, I see when you give the "angels" another shot at mortality, you are offering as much as possible a chance for reaching our full potential . . . EVERLASTING salvation. In other words, no permanent condemnation. (If I understood you correctly.)

I guess I am also thinking of good people of other religions or no religions, who reject the gospel message here. Or? Does saying, "No, thanks" to the missionaries constitute "rejection"?

What does Mormon think iniquity is? How would he define it? Is he only talking to members of the Church here, or society at large, or what? (Just riffing). :P

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Scattering. Gathering.

Appropriately receiving chastening.

There's an assurance in the title page that some may find relevant.

Some believe it was written by Mormon too.

Each can determine whether and how it may be relevant to your query.

You know, that is a great catch in the title page. It matches Mormon's groove of thinking . . . in terms of being cast off, OR being in the covenant. I'm wondering if Mormon's point of view is more societal (whole church), than individual? Or based on the Israelite covenant?

AND, if that title page is written to people of our world who have long been in chains by the errors of the traditions of their fathers--in other words, sin--but Mormon is here telling them, you AREN'T cast off! And here is the gospel (in the record Mormon prepared) to help you be restored and be freed! A voice crying from the dust. That grammar could go a couple different ways "that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever". It could mean the necessity of the covenants in order to be saved from being cast off.

I have been teaching my children from Hebrews over the last few months. And we just recently did Hebrews 12 and had a big discussion about chastening. It is interesting that you would place that in the same framework as moving from iniquity to repentence, but I guess that is about as true as anything. I do know that all sons of God (and daughters) pass through chastening as THE way. It's not a corrollary. It is THE way to become. (And here, chastening is NOT to be defined as or equated with punishment.)

Thanks for sharing.

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This is a doctrine that has struck a certain nerve in me for quite a few years now. It has totally changed my view on salvation. It used to be that I thought like most in the church in that God would save even the sinner into a atate of glory in the end after he at least aknowledged God and the Savior Jesus Christ....and then I came to a greater understanding of Gods ways and it has forever changed my views on repentance and the importance of it.

The BoM is giving us a message of what Christ wants us to know- that we must repent or we are dommed to torment forever. It seems harsh on the surface but the reality of it is for our own benefit and good. You see, the Lord has no power to save anyone in their sins, he can only save them from from their sins upon the conditions of repentance. Repentance means a change of heart from evil into goodness. In the end, God will save no sinner who has not repented from his sins. The notion that the whoremonger, liar, sorcerer, etc, will find a place of salvation in the telestial in the end is perhaps the greatest misinformation of the gospel that could possibly exist. The scriptures are quite clear that everyone who is saved will have these like characteristics-

1. Changed from their carnal and fallen state

2. Become a son or daughter unto God (born again)

3. Repent and be baptized

4. Become a member of the church of the Firstborn

5. Clothed in white raiment signifying purity before God

6. Have access to the very throne of God in the Holy city

7. Have eternal life.

Make no mistake, the scriptures are very clear that repentance must take place for every individual. This life is impossible to achieve that state of perfection. The next life (during the millennium) is just that- a state to continue ones progress to living without sin. And yes, repentance is granted in both our mortal probation and after we die without any penalty other than just delaying ones eventual salvation int he kingdom of heaven.

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Make no mistake, the scriptures are very clear that repentance must take place for every individual. This life is impossible to achieve that state of perfection. The next life (during the millennium) is just that- a state to continue ones progress to living without sin. And yes, repentance is granted in both our mortal probation and after we die without any penalty other than just delaying ones eventual salvation int he kingdom of heaven.

This is stated well, and is what I believe also (whether or not I am correct). I may not have been clear. I know for a fact (in my own mind, at least) that entering the celestial kingdom is not a piece of real estate nor a reward for being good little girls and boys (or for "everyone"). The celestial kingdom represents the full potential of what we become. The condition we are in, by our choices and by grace, IS our kingdom -- whether we are in mortal life, or in another opportunity for progression. In other words, you can't be GIVEN something you ARE NOT. And you cannot deceive -- because you will either BE godly (through repentance and covenants), or you won't.

But I guess I just wonder when it becomes too late to keep working on the process. And also, I just thought this particular passage was quite interesting, hadn't quite "seen" it before.

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This is a doctrine that has struck a certain nerve in me for quite a few years now. It has totally changed my view on salvation. It used to be that I thought like most in the church in that God would save even the sinner into a atate of glory in the end after he at least aknowledged God and the Savior Jesus Christ....and then I came to a greater understanding of Gods ways and it has forever changed my views on repentance and the importance of it.

The BoM is giving us a message of what Christ wants us to know- that we must repent or we are dommed to torment forever. It seems harsh on the surface but the reality of it is for our own benefit and good. You see, the Lord has no power to save anyone in their sins, he can only save them from from their sins upon the conditions of repentance. Repentance means a change of heart from evil into goodness. In the end, God will save no sinner who has not repented from his sins. The notion that the whoremonger, liar, sorcerer, etc, will find a place of salvation in the telestial in the end is perhaps the greatest misinformation of the gospel that could possibly exist. The scriptures are quite clear that everyone who is saved will have these like characteristics-

1. Changed from their carnal and fallen state

2. Become a son or daughter unto God (born again)

3. Repent and be baptized

4. Become a member of the church of the Firstborn

5. Clothed in white raiment signifying purity before God

6. Have access to the very throne of God in the Holy city

7. Have eternal life.

Make no mistake, the scriptures are very clear that repentance must take place for every individual. This life is impossible to achieve that state of perfection. The next life (during the millennium) is just that- a state to continue ones progress to living without sin. And yes, repentance is granted in both our mortal probation and after we die without any penalty other than just delaying ones eventual salvation int he kingdom of heaven.

D&C 76:87 says that those in the telestial kingdom are heirs of salvation.

Where I think some go awry is in believing they can inherit ANY glory without first repenting. We can repent in mortality or in the Spirit World. JS said that it is NEVER too late for a soul to approach the throne of God. In other words, the process of repenting and progressing will continue long after we are dead and the resurrection will occur in stages that parallel our spiritual readiness to progress.

D&C 76:44 says He saves all except them, referring to the sons of perdition mentioned in the preceeding verse. Saves = salvation.

All those who are saved will first repent. The crucial point is how much "chastening" you endure before you are sufficiently humble and turn toward God. For some, it will be a millenium in hell, that temporary state reserved for telestial beings who much suffer the buffetings of Satan and suffer even as Christ did, before being presented with the rest of the kingdom "spotless" (D&C 76:106)

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But I guess I just wonder when it becomes too late to keep working on the process. And also, I just thought this particular passage was quite interesting, hadn't quite "seen" it before.

As far as I know, the point at which it becomes too late is after the millennium, although, that may not be totally correct either. We do know that repentance is granted after death according to D&C 138

30 But behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.

31 And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.

32 Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.

33 These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,

34 And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 138:30 - 34)

I have heard people in the church say that there must be some eternal penalty for those who refuse the gospel in mortality but then accept it in the spirit world. This is a false doctrine as the Lords hands are open continually to all those who turn to him with faith repenting from all their sins. Because they abide according to the same law as everyone else who accepted in mortality, they will be raised up as priests and kings during the millennium to reign with Christ doing his work to build up the kingdom of heaven on earth. Thus, all those who repent, whether here or in the spirit world will qualify themselves for the celestial state after the millennium.

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Who, in the end, when all is said and done, who will God save?

I beleive that, both in the beginning and in the end, God saved everyone, that is, made it possible for everyone to be exalted. This is the Atonement. The only thing that hampers a person from realizing this is his personal choice not to abide in the Atonement.

Regarding verse 24, "And may God grant, in his great fulness, that men might be brought unto repentance and good works, that they might be restored unto grace for grace, according to their works," I beleive this refers to the process that we undergo during mortality and /or before the resurrection. We are not yet "full" or "perfect" or "done with our probation" or "complete" or "one" with God (which I think fulness means). As we repent and then perform good works, we are restored (that is, brought back to the exalted state that God envisioned and prepared all along and which the Atonement has already realized for us if we choose). The "grace for grace" is the same building process that Christ went through, as in D&C:11-13, and that we can go through as indicated in verse 20.

I view Moroni's use of the term "may God grant" indicates his hope and prayer for us, not his petition to God.

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I have heard people in the church say that there must be some eternal penalty for those who refuse the gospel in mortality but then accept it in the spirit world. This is a false doctrine as the Lords hands are open continually to all those who turn to him with faith repenting from all their sins. Because they abide according to the same law as everyone else who accepted in mortality, they will be raised up as priests and kings during the millennium to reign with Christ doing his work to build up the kingdom of heaven on earth. Thus, all those who repent, whether here or in the spirit world will qualify themselves for the celestial state after the millennium.

Actually what you are stating is false doctrine at least if you believe in this:
(D&C 76:71-79) "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; Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it. These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men. These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness. These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father. Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun. These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.
Thus there is no "second chance" for the Celestial Kingdom. As for those we do work for the dead see here:
(D&C 137:7-9) "Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: 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; Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts."
So nobody need think they can procrastinate their repentance to the very end.
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Actually what you are stating is false doctrine at least if you believe in this:

So do you believe that those who "died without law" are only going to merit terrestrial salvation for all eternity? Too bad for them eh? Too bad they died without any law. I guess celestial salvation is only for those who "have the law" in mortality? Also, how does one explain them receiving the presence of the Son but not the Father if they are both supposed to have the same Celestial glory? I could pick apart section 76 all day long but we have gone the rounds already. I will kindly adhere to the latest doctrine clarifying the matter- that found in the temple. We will all pass through the terrestrial world on our way to the celestial. So, is it safe to say that we will inherit the terrestrial at the beginning of the millennium?

Thus there is no "second chance" for the Celestial Kingdom. As for those we do work for the dead see here:So nobody need think they can procrastinate their repentance to the very end.

False doctrines for sure! As for "chances" the Lord has made it clear that all men must repent by the last judgment if they are to be saved. And, as far as I can tell, the gospel only has one method for salvation- that of repentance and baptism for the remission of sins. By the way, that is the requirements for not only basic salvation but also admittance into the celestial kingdom in th eend.

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You know, my main concern, I realized, in understanding this matter, is NOT for other people who haven't heard the gospel or accepted it in this life. (I do concern myself with them, but I think it is not what I may have meant here.)

I am thinking of myself.

Yes, I have my baptism. Big ETC.

But I will not be "finished" by the time I die, I know I won't be. If I was "finished", I would have entered God's presence already (so I say). So I just hope that I'll have continued opportunity to still continue to become . . . I don't ever! want to get (permanently) stuck anywhere! in our spiritual journey as a being.

In other words, I do NOT think that my ordinances grant me an automatic "pass". It's precisely my need for repentance, constantly . . . and I still want that graceful opportunity to repent, beyond this life; to gain more knowledge, beyond this life; etc. so that I can REALLY return to live with my Father in heaven, by REALLY becoming like him.

My point was NEVER that repentance should be procrastinated. My point was NEVER that repentance and baptism aren't necessary. My point is . . . it doesn't matter how "good" I am, my repentance will never be enough to become perfect. Which is the point of having a Savior, of course.

To take it back to other people who do not yet (NOT 'NEVER') have their baptisms and repentance . . . really? they haven't done ANY repentance in the course of being human being, according to the light of Christ and their experiences and the best knowledge they had? Really? I'm THAT 'far ahead' of them based on my covenants in Christ (which I treasure), for which I can take no credit, since they were administered to me by virtue of my ancestry and through no choice of my own (initially) and God's grace in placing me in my position in this world where I was surrounded by the gospel? I don't think so. I think the "distance" we have in terms of repentance before we become godly (whether you would call it telestial, terrestrial, or celestial) is of no measure between ourselves and other human beings, when measured towards an eternal perspective of what God is.

I do know that we cannot be given what we haven't prepared for/become/repent/obey/etc. This is in Alma's talk with his son.

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/alma/41/1-4,10,12-15#1

I also like this parable and find it applicable. (And note verse 27, where Jesus discusses the necessity of repentance.)

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/luke/14/12,16-17,24#12

And there is the very definite (?) scriptures in Sec. 76, which I love that section, and I do not want to be found denying anything true, so I'm grateful for the opportunity to further understand and gain a testimony of the mechanisms of the plan of salvation.

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