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Progression between Kingdoms


Lamanite

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I have always thought that progression from lesser degrees of glory (Telestial/Terrestrial/lower degrees of the Celestial) to the Highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom was possible. I based this opinion on my understanding of the Atonement as a substitution/satisfaction type of sacrifice. This in mind, I read section 19:

16For behold, I, God, have asuffered these things for all, that they might not bsuffer if they would crepent; 17But if they would not repent they must asuffer even as I;

(In that section I read the words "Endless" and "Eternal" as types of suffering not lengths of time.)

If we refuse his atonement then we will suffer for our own sins. And when that is done, if we desire to take his name upon us (covenant) then we may become (conversion) like him, and go where he his. I have read BY and Wilford Woodruff statements that seem to agree with me, but I have never taken the time to gather those quotes. Recently, the blog New Cool Thang did just that. From that website:

The brethren direct me to say that the Church has never announced a definite doctrine upon this point. Some of the brethren have held the view that it was possible in the course of progression to advance from one glory to another, invoking the principle of eternal progression; others of the brethren have taken the opposite view. But as stated, the Church has never announced a definite doctrine on this point.”

-Secretary to the First Presidency in a 1952 letter; and again in 1965

“None would inherit this earth when it became celestial and translated into the presence of God but those who would be crowned as Gods
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Every endowed member, whether they realize it or not, take part in the endowment ceremony that does indeed advance them from the telestial kingdom into the terrestrial kingdom and then from there into the celestial kingdom.

So, is there advancement fromt he telestial to the terrestrial and from there into the celestial? If one believes the endowment, then one must subscribe to this doctrine for we all make covenants and promises and are shown this pattern in the very house of God.

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Rob Osborn:

We don't do proxy Endowment sessions for anything less than the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom.

That's because the plan of salvation shown to us in full in the endowment has each one of advance from the lowly telestial kingdom into the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. After all, is it not Gods work and glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man? Would you not think his plan incorporates a way to exalt every individual?

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Lamanite:

I don't believe there is progression between Kingdoms. My reading of the Scriptures has we are Resurrected to a specific Kingdom.

How could someone who is resurrected to say the Terrestrial Kingdom be re-resurrected into a higher Kingdom?

Maybe you could address one of the quotes in particular?

Big UP!

Lamanite

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Based on the quotes we can conclude no one knows for sure, but I too don't see how once we get a body resurrection to a certain kingdom I don't know how we get a re-do. Now progressing within kingdoms seems reasonable.

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Based on the quotes we can conclude no one knows for sure, but I too don't see how once we get a body resurrection to a certain kingdom I don't know how we get a re-do. Now progressing within kingdoms seems reasonable.

Perhaps we need to think more in the terms of "quicken". Bodies of one glory can be "quickened" to a higher glory. We know th eearth will be quickened to the glory of Christ when he comes. From there it will be quickened again by the Father's glory when the He comes at the end of the millennium.

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Personally, I think this concept is utterly ridiculous and has no place in the Gospel. I think it is funny that it is argued very hard that what past Prophets say is not doctrine and only their opinion, unless it is approved and published. Every one of the statements provided cannot in anyway shape or form be considered binding. I know the current position of the Church, but believe the canonized scriptures tell a story against progression between kingdoms. Here are a few quotes from past Prophets which agree with my view (my GA quotes can beat up your GA quotes :P ) and scriptures that I believe support my view. If that was the case, why try? Why go to Church, keep the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity? Why is obedience stressed so hard in the Gospel today and consequences of not keeping those laws death, if we will all eventually be saved? To me, it does not fit in with the Gospel. But it does, however, fit into satans plan presented to the Father of saving everyone. Remember Christs plan was more difficult and some would be lost. Which does this sound like?

There are some people who have supposed that if we are quickened telestial bodies that eventually, throughout the ages of eternity, we will continue to progress until we will find our place in the celestial kingdom, but the Scriptures and revelations of God have said that those who are quickened telestial bodies cannot come where God and Christ dwell, worlds without end. -George Albert Smith, Conference Reports, p. 172, October, 1945

"Those whose lives have entitled them to terrestrial glory," he maintained, "can never gain celestial glory. One who gains possession of the lowest degree of the telestial glory may ultimately arise to the highest degree of that glory, but no provision has been made for promotion from one glory to another" ("Three Degrees of Glory," discourse delivered in the Ogden Tabernacle, 22 September 1922). Elder Ballard's feelings were later shared and echoed by Elders Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie. "It has been asked if it is possible for one who inherits the telestial glory to advance in time to the celestial glory?" Elder Smith posited. "The answer to this question," he continued, "is, No!" (Doctrines of Salvation II:31, emphasis in original). Elder McConkie forcefully remarked, "There are those who say that there is progression from one kingdom to another in the eternal world. Or if not that, lower kingdoms eventually progress to where higher kingdoms once were. This is worse than false. It is an evil and pernicious doctrine" ("Seven Deadly Heresies", 1 June 1980, unedited).

(Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, Pg.243-244) "Exaltation in the celestial kingdom will be granted to those only who enter and faithfully observe the covenant of celestial marriage. Christ says in unmistakable terms: In the celestial glory there are three heavens, or degrees;And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase (D&C 131:1-4. Italics added.) He cannot have an increase! He cannot have exaltation! That means worlds without end. After a person has been assigned to his place in the kingdom, either in the telestial, the terrestrial or the celestial, or to his exaltation, he will never advance from his assigned glory to another glory. That is eternal! That is why we must make our decisions early in life and why it is imperative that such decisions be right."

"They shall go away into everlasting punishment which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment." They are "the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power" after the resurrection; they are the only ones who shall not be "redeemed" from spiritual death "in the due time of the Lord, [and] after the sufferings of his wrath." (D&C 76:37-44.) As Alma expressed it: "They shall be as though there had been no redemption made; for they cannot be redeemed according to God's justice; and they cannot die seeing there is no more corruption." (Alma 12:18.) There are three kingdoms of glory in which resurrected men will be saved: the celestial, the terrestrial, and the telestial. "In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees." The highest of these is reserved for those who gain eternal life. All others are damned in the sense that their progress is limited. There are restrictions placed upon them; they have reached the "end of [their] kingdom"; they "cannot have an increase." (D&C 131:1, 4.)

Alma 34:33

I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

D&C 76: 12 And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end.

D&C 131: 4 He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.

2 Ne. 9:27 But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!

...remember [they're] awful guilt in perfectness, and be constrained to exclaim: Holy, holy are thy judgments, O Lord God Almighty

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If that was the case, why try? Why go to Church, keep the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity? Why is obedience stressed so hard in the Gospel today and consequences of not keeping those laws death, if we will all eventually be saved?

Maybe because it brings you happiness and joy?

I might add that those who so vehemently reject this idea, often do so out of a betrayed sense of fairness. Be honest with yourself on this point.

11And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

13But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

14Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

15Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

(Matt 20 11-16)

The last question from vs 15 is especially telling if we are honest about our motivations. Maybe those people who espouse the view in the OP are sinners who are hoping to get away with something? Eat drink and be merry for there is always eternity to progress? Sound right?

Big UP!

Lamanite

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I don't know if there is jumping between kingdoms or not (my opinion is not formed on that). There is, I have heard, jumping between the levels in a specific kingdom though, I think.

Curiously, if we were able to jump in between kingdoms, the system would not be all that different from the one in Islam. They have a sort of all end in highest kingdom thing too. Which is pretty cool.

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That is actually speaking about living the Gospel in this life, not in the eternities. You have quite a few of canonized scriptures to explain before you start, what I see as twisting, scriptures in an attempt to bolster your theory (no offense intended).

You do not know why I disagree with this doctrine, and you are wrong in assuming that it is because I feel "betrayed". I am against it because, as I stated above, I think it contradicts the Gospel of Christ in every sense of the word.

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That is actually speaking about living the Gospel in this life, not in the eternities. You have quite a few of canonized scriptures to explain before you start, what I see as twisting, scriptures in an attempt to bolster your theory.

You do not know why I disagree with this doctrine, and you are wrong in assuming that it is because I feel "betrayed". I am against it because, as I stated above, I think it contradicts the Gospel of Christ in every sense of the word.

"Twisting" scriptures to fit within my existing paradigms is not my intent. Just interpreting the best I know how. I seem to be in pretty good company though. However, I would never assert my opinion as doctrine, it's merely my opinion. But congratulations on your unbending dogmatism. Let me know how that works out for you. That last part was uncalled for.

Big UP!

Lamanite

edit to add: I find your position completely rational. I understand how you arrived at your beliefs.

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After all, is it not Gods work and glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man?

Yes, but Heavenly Father is also a God of justice, if you fail to obey the requirements of the plan he cannot give you the glory. To obtain the highest glory one must be ready for that glory, God wishes all of us to attain Celestial Glory and prepared a way for us to achieve it IF we follow his plan. This plan requires us to accept the fullness of the Restored Gospel in this life, if we have access to it, or in the next life if we do not have access to it. This what is stated in D&C 67 and 138, I have yet to see any new revelations to change this.

Would you not think his plan incorporates a way to exalt every individual?

No I do not, Lucifer sought to exalt every individual this plan was rejected by Heavenly Father since it removed our agency. Our Plan of Salvation does not guarantee exaltation, it gives each of us the chance to receive Celestial Glory and Exaltation to Godhood but if we reject this plan, by rejecting the restored Gospel and/or Jesus Christ then we cannot ever receive Celestial Glory.

The temple represents our eternal progression not progression from one glory to the next, the Gospel teaches us that we our eternal reward at the Day of Judgement is just that, eternal.

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Maybe because it brings you happiness and joy?

I might add that those who so vehemently reject this idea, often do so out of a betrayed sense of fairness. Be honest with yourself on this point.

11And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

13But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

14Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

15Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

(Matt 20 11-16)

The last question from vs 15 is especially telling if we are honest about our motivations. Maybe those people who espouse the view in the OP are sinners who are hoping to get away with something? Eat drink and be merry for there is always eternity to progress? Sound right?

This is not germane IMO, this is talking about those who accept Christ in different stages of life, some accept right away others late in life, in the end it doesn't matter how old you were when you accepted the Lord and joined his one true Church all who do the required labor receive the same reward.

To imply that those who do no labor can inherit the reward of those who do labor is taking the parable out of context.

Remember D&C 42:42 "Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer."

It has nothing to do about men seeking fairness, it has to do with the Gospel teaching us that we have to work to receive our reward in Heaven and that this life is the time alloted to do that work.

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I see the opposition to progression from kingdom to kingdom like the opposition to the Prodigal's Son being reinstated as a Son of the Father or the opposition to the worker who became employed at the last hour receiving the same compensation as the one who worked all day.

An objection to a sinner's receiving, millions or billions of years later, the same reward as someone who repented sooner seems unfair. On the other hand, an argument can be made that to God time does not exist, or not exist in the linear sense that we experience. To God, the question of whether there can be progression from Kingdom to Kingdom may seem an odd one. That is, the when a person becomes transformed by accepting grace through faith and repentance may not matter as much as if the person does. That is, just as it is the essentially the same for God if a person is baptized at age 8, or 80, or receives a proxy baptism 800 years after death, I submit that it may not matter to God how long it takes as it does that we in fact reach that point through grace, faith and repentance and ordinances.

I realize the Book of Mormon seems to teach that after this life it is too late. I suspect that is because the teachings about post-life teaching, repentance and ordinances had not yet been revealed.

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Thought some of you would appreciate this collection of quotes.

I think the Lord allows us to form opinions on matters like this as needed to help motivate ourselves to serve Him and His children with all our heart, might, mind and strength. Of course the best motivation is of the Spirit, but we need to do some things on our own (D&C 58: 26). Such proper service involves teaching the pure doctrine of Christ (3 Nephi 11) and not our opinions; practicing the pure religion (James 1: 27), not one of our own making that has us a) do less because we know we can always do more later ("slothful"); or b) do too much because we have no hope in the future (a form of "anti-christ" as in Alma 30: 17).

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I see the opposition to progression from kingdom to kingdom like the opposition to the Prodigal's Son being reinstated as a Son of the Father or the opposition to the worker who became employed at the last hour receiving the same compensation as the one who worked all day.

The prodical son returned to after learning his lesson, if you do not return and repent in this life there is no second chance.

Why else are we constantly warned by the Scriptures and the modern prophets to not procrastinate the day of our repentance?

Do you think that if we could live this life in sin and make up for it later and enter Celestial Glory through progressing from one kingdom to the next that the Prophet of God and the Apostles of Jesus Christ would spend almost every chance they get exhorting us to stop sinning?

This is the false teachings we are warned about by the Prophet Nephi, "And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God

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The prodical son returned to after learning his lesson, if you do not return and repent in this life there is no second chance.

So there is some Eternal law that prevents conversion after the resurrection? What natural law would prevent someone from repenting and converting and thus entering the presence of the Lord? At what point would you not receive a wayward son or daughter if they desired to change and live a Celestial law/life? I know I would receive him or her as soon as they are ready. And I think God will exceed my own inadequate parental feelings of forgiveness and bless each of His children as much as they are willing to receive. Even a Celestial inheritance.

11If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

13If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give athe Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Besides, don't we receive Celestial blessings when we begin to live Celestial lives?

20There is a alaw, irrevocably decreed in bheaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all cblessings are predicated
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While I don't know enough to have an official position on it, I can't allow myself to believe in it too strongly. It would be too easy for me to slip into all manner of wickedness.

This is my biggest problem with this idea, it makes people think they can procrastinate there repentance and if they don't get around to it in this life they will make up for it in the next and still receive the same glory as labors!

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Personally, the only arguments I see in behalf of progression between kingdoms are a few quotes by GA's (which don't mean much since there are more than enough GA quotes which say the opposite), and interpretation and guesswork of scripture by it's advocates. There is a lot of conjecture. However, advocates against it (like me) have scriptures which plainly say that it is impossible. There is solid evidence against it. I also think it is telling that in scripture, it has only been advocated by satan in the pre-mortal council, and the antichrist Nehor who falsely taught that

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This is my biggest problem with this idea, it makes people think they can procrastinate there repentance and if they don't get around to it in this life they will make up for it in the next and still receive the same glory as labors!

Thank you for making my point. You have fairness issues. And probably an overly developed sense of orthopraxy.

The comparison between the procrastinators and the laborers is evidence of a Pride issue.

"It is the comparison that makes you proud:" ETB

Big UP!

Lamanite

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Thank you for making my point. You have fairness issues. And probably an overly developed sense of orthopraxy.

I don't have any issue, the Scriptures are the one with the issue, all I am doing is professing the eternal truths of the Restored Gospel.

One must hold to the Iron Rod if they wish to stay on the path to eternal life.

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....

No unclean thing can enter into the presence of God, and so it must needs be that all who enter into his presence bring forth the fruits of repentance. All of us alike. Time is the emphasis in our equation and I just don't think it matters that much, except for the time we allow ourselves to be obedient (which equals happiness) and the time we allow ourselves to live in sin (misery). We all get to choose the circumstances under which we accept salvation.

It's always funny to hear the "righteous" lament the fact that some may take the liberty of saying they can eat, drink, and be merry; and resent the fact that they are getting away with something. To be sure, the wages of sin are death and despair. We get away with nothing when we act in open rebellion to those things we know are true. So don't despair, the sinful reap what they sow.

But why on earth would you reject the sincerely repentant?

Big UP!

Lamanite

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