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Three Degrees Of Glory...In The Celestial Kingdom?


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All that is required to become a SOP is to utterly turn away from Christ and never repent of ones sins. The BoM speaks a lot of those who never repent and thus die the second death.

Your understanding of LDS doctrine is flawed, but I appreciate your attempt at telling us what we believe. Your understand ing of the BOM is also mistaken.

Christ will only save those have chosen to believe in Him and repent of all their sins and are baptized. Any who fail to meet this minimum criteria by the end of the millennium will become sons of perdition.

Rob,

You should start your own church. I do not know any church, especially the LDS church, which teaches such doctrine. You could throw in the eternal burning hellfire, and you will find those who will follow you.

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Well, I love the generosity in this approach. This will in fact put the vast majority of Father's children into that pool of liquid fire for all eternity, where their worm dieth not. I suppose this would include all those who were born into times and places where there was no opportunity to even hear one word about Jesus Christ. Picking a place and time not at random, let us consider the continents of North and South America. In 1491 (the year before Columbus's arrival and the first opportunity to hear from any Christian missionaries) there may have been as many as 100 million Indians -- according to the book "1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus" by Charles C. Mann and other "high counters". Very few of those 100 millions then living in the Americas would ever hear of Jesus before dying -- according to Mann, the vast majority of them would die from diseases spread by incidental content with the first Europeans. And according to what you have written here, Rob, they're all going to hell. Unless there's a middle-ground category for those who had no chance to accept the Gospel.

In the recent now-closed thread that now-banned (Validating?) elguanteloko started on the morality of God, there was a lot of talk about how one could tell that God was moral, which ultimately led to nothing. Well, I can tell you one way to prove that God was immoral, and that would be if this were true, that He automatically condemns those to eternal damnation and hellfire for the crime of not accepting the Gospel, those very people whom he placed on earth with no possibility of even hearing the Gospel. In that case, could God even look upon Himself and say "I am just"?

Well, this isn't the topic of the thread, so let me repair my digression by saying that, as I see it,

* The telestial kingdom is the place for those who, when given the opportunity, chose to reject Jesus's sacrifice, and ultimately suffered the retribution described in DC 19:16-19

* The terrestrial kingdom is the place for those who accepted Jesus' sacrifice, but who were not valiant

* The celestial kingdom is the place for those who were valiant in the testimony of Jesus -- as to the divisions within the celestial kingdom, these are mentioned exactly once in scripture, DC 131, and no details are given, except that in order to attain the highest "a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]"

About the degrees within the celestial kingdom, I think this is the sum total of all we know for definite. Anything else is pretty much wild speculation.

As to the Sons of Perdition, LDS doctrine sets the requirements for admission to this class significantly higher than you do, Rob, namely that

DC 76:31,32: Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and asuffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power— They are they who are the asons of bperdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born;

DC 76:35 Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.

DC 76:43 ... except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.

In short, to qualify as a SoD one has to have received a significantly greater gift through the Spirit than most people who live their lives on earth do.

Actually, the scriptures are very clear that unless one repents of his or her sins and accepts Christ (either in this life or the spirit world) they cannot be redeemed and must suffer the second death after the millennium. Everyone who came to this earth has accepted Christ, the Father, and His plan before they came here. Although we may not remeber now, we will all have a perfect recollection at some point and a perfect understanding of who Christ is and what He stands for. At some point, before the end of the millennium, Christ will be revealed to all souls who ever lived on this earth and all will have had ample opportunity to know the truth and accpet the gospel. If one still rejects Him at the end of the millennium, they thus will become the sons of perdition. God cannot force those who wish to live outside of His laws into his kingdom of heaven. If a person continually rejects Christ and instead upholds the works of darkness, Satan will thus become their father (thus why it is called "sons of perdition") and they will go and dwell with him in eternal damnation in hell (second death).

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Have you read the Book of Mormon? Here are a few sample versus-

32 Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made aknown unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second bdeath, which was an everlasting cdeath as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for on such the plan of redemption could have no power, for the works of djustice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme egoodness of God.

(Book of Mormon | Alma 12:32)

30 And may the Lord grant unto you repentance, that ye may not bring down his wrath upon you, that ye may not be abound down by the chains of bhell, that ye may not suffer the second cdeath.

(Book of Mormon | Alma 13:30)

15 For behold, he surely must die that asalvation may come; yea, it behooveth him and becometh expedient that he bdieth, to bring to pass the cresurrection of the dead, that thereby men may be brought into the dpresence of the Lord.

16 Yea, behold, this death bringeth to pass the aresurrection, and bredeemeth all mankind from the first death—that spiritual death; for all mankind, by the cfall of Adam being dcut off from the presence of the Lord, are considered as edead, both as to things temporal and to things spiritual.

17 But behold, the resurrection of Christ aredeemeth mankind, yea, even all mankind, and bringeth them back into the presence of the Lord.

18 Yea, and it bringeth to pass the condition of repentance, that whosoever repenteth the same is not ahewn down and cast into the fire; but whosoever repenteth not is hewn down and cast into the fire; and there cometh upon them again a bspiritual death, yea, a second death, for they are cut off again as to things pertaining to righteousness.

19 Therefore repent ye, repent ye, lest by knowing these things and not doing them ye shall suffer yourselves to come under condemnation, and ye are brought down unto this second death.

(Book of Mormon | Helaman 14:15 - 19)

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Rob,

You have the ability to cut and past various scriptures, but you do not understand the fundamental doctrines of the atonement, including the doctrines of the redemption and the second death. This is not the teaching of the LDS church but a doctrine based your lack of understanding of the fundamental doctrine of the atonement.

Again, thank you for telling us what you think that we believe. May I point out that Satan himself can mngle scripture with the philosophy of man.

And, yes, I have devoted my entire life reading and studying the BOM, having read it over forty times. Now tell us about your expertise in this book, besides cut and paste.

Edited by cdowis
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Actually, the scriptures are very clear that unless one repents of his or her sins and accepts Christ (either in this life or the spirit world) they cannot be redeemed and must suffer the second death after the millennium. Everyone who came to this earth has accepted Christ, the Father, and His plan before they came here. Although we may not remeber now, we will all have a perfect recollection at some point and a perfect understanding of who Christ is and what He stands for. At some point, before the end of the millennium, Christ will be revealed to all souls who ever lived on this earth and all will have had ample opportunity to know the truth and accpet the gospel. If one still rejects Him at the end of the millennium, they thus will become the sons of perdition. God cannot force those who wish to live outside of His laws into his kingdom of heaven. If a person continually rejects Christ and instead upholds the works of darkness, Satan will thus become their father (thus why it is called "sons of perdition") and they will go and dwell with him in eternal damnation in hell (second death).

I find this whole paragraph problematic. Primarily because I seem to recall you reject the Book of Mormon as the word of God, and perhaps this is inaccurate, are sola scriptura with regard to the Bible. So statements such as:

"Everyone who came to this earth has accepted Christ, the Father, and His plan before they came here."

I have never heard this kind of talk about Pre-existence (outside of Christ) from anyone who wasn't LDS. So, if you actually believe this, what verses in the Bible lead you to believe it?

"Christ will be revealed to all souls who ever lived on this earth and all will have had ample opportunity to know the truth and accpet the gospel."

Interesting. Every non-LDS Christian I have run into that I had a conversation with on this subject either professed not to know about all those who never had a chance in this life to hear the Gospel, or stated with varying degrees of sad-but-true that they were absolutely going to hell. So what is it in the Bible that convinces you that every soul will have the opportunity and accept or reject?

Note that I can come up with Bible verses that support these two items. I just want to see if you come up with the same ones, or if you will come up with any at all.

Because in absence of Bible verse supporting these two ideas, you're believing something that is extra-biblical, something which I would not have expected of you.

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He is not saying what he believes, but making an attempt to show that LDS teachings are illogical and contradictory.

He is trying to be clever, but only showing his understanding of our doctrines is flawed.

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I was under the impression that Rob Osborn is LDS, just has some unusual interpretations of scripture.

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I don't even know where to begin with Robs statements. He makes so many of them that are contrary to the teachings of the church and are clearly based on a very unique (to put it kindly) way of reading the scriptures. he does not believe in the three degrees of glory as the church teaches it. He believes that all the prophets and apostles of this dispensation are wrong and that there is only one heaven and one hell after the resurrection, He takes the temple ordinance literally as teaching us that we progress from kingdom to kingdom but that nobody dwells in the lower two. In effect, he maintains that the D&C are incorrect and were corrected by the temple ordinance. I could go on. It is pointless to argue with him so if you disagree just smile and nod and move onto bigger and better discussions.

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Rob,

You have the ability to cut and past various scriptures, but you do not understand the fundamental doctrines of the atonement, including the doctrines of the redemption and the second death. This is not the teaching of the LDS church but a doctrine based your lack of understanding of the fundamental doctrine of the atonement.

Again, thank you for telling us what you think that we believe. May I point out that Satan himself can mngle scripture with the philosophy of man.

And, yes, I have devoted my entire life reading and studying the BOM, having read it over forty times. Now tell us about your expertise in this book, besides cut and paste.

Don't equate me with Satan. The scriptures I posted was for the purpose of showing that the doctrine is plainly spelled out on the matter, all one has to do is read it. :et's look logically at it. From the scriptures I posted we learn several facts. The first fact is that there are two spiritual deaths- a first spiritual death comes upon all men who live in sin. All accountable men and women are thus dead in trespass and sin (the first death) until they repent, are baptized, and thus "born again" (born again in the way of spiritual life with God). This first spiritual death lasts until men repent and are baptized or until they are resurrected and brought before God to be judged. The second death is also a spiritual death only that this second death does not come until after resurrection and judgment. The second death is reserved for the devil and his angels.

We also know from the scriptures posted that all men can be redeemed from the first spiritual death but not the second spiritual death. The scriptures posted state that unless men repent by the time of resurrection and judgment, they will not be redeemed and will go on into the second death. Repentance is key to not being hurt of the second death.

We also know that the second death is only reserved for the devil and his angels. A person who chooses to reject Christ by thus not repenting by the time of resurrection of judgment will be thrust out with the devil and his angels to suffer the second death. The atonement only saves the repentant- those who accpet Christ, repent and are baptized for a remission of those sins. Unless they do this they cannot be born again unto the things of righteousness.

I don't just make this stuff up, please carefully re-read the scriptures I posted and then we can discuss the items of disagreement point by point. I could be wrong, but it does seem rather logical and sound to my understanding.

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I find this whole paragraph problematic. Primarily because I seem to recall you reject the Book of Mormon as the word of God, and perhaps this is inaccurate, are sola scriptura with regard to the Bible. So statements such as:

"Everyone who came to this earth has accepted Christ, the Father, and His plan before they came here."

I have never heard this kind of talk about Pre-existence (outside of Christ) from anyone who wasn't LDS. So, if you actually believe this, what verses in the Bible lead you to believe it?

"Christ will be revealed to all souls who ever lived on this earth and all will have had ample opportunity to know the truth and accpet the gospel."

Interesting. Every non-LDS Christian I have run into that I had a conversation with on this subject either professed not to know about all those who never had a chance in this life to hear the Gospel, or stated with varying degrees of sad-but-true that they were absolutely going to hell. So what is it in the Bible that convinces you that every soul will have the opportunity and accept or reject?

Note that I can come up with Bible verses that support these two items. I just want to see if you come up with the same ones, or if you will come up with any at all.

Because in absence of Bible verse supporting these two ideas, you're believing something that is extra-biblical, something which I would not have expected of you.

Just so you don't confuse me with another "Rob", I am active LDS and believe in the Book of Mormon.

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He is not saying what he believes, but making an attempt to show that LDS teachings are illogical and contradictory.

He is trying to be clever, but only showing his understanding of our doctrines is flawed.

I am stating what I personally believe, nothing more and nothing less. Every gospel- be it catholic or LDS has some illogical and contradictory teachings, some just more than others..

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In short, Christ never said that baptism was the requirement for exaltation/the Celestial Kingdom. He said no one could enter heaven without it and the Holy Ghost. Repeatedly.

I learned this doctrine from both my mission presidents as well as two area authorities. I have several pages on it which I'll have to go find. It's pretty clear: Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess of those in the last resurrection or they will be cast out. Why would they be called Sons of Perdition? Simple. They are given one last opportunity to acknowledge who he is and accept him. It's not enough to simply SAY he is Christ. Christ taught even the devils do that. No, with all evidence, with all the suffering they went through in purification while they waited for the final/third resurrection, they would literally be rejecting and denying Christ when presented with a final ultimatum. They would be looking at him and denying him, the same as one looking at the sun and noon day and knowing it and still declaring it is night. That IS a son of perdition.

Everyone else accepts entrance into the kingdom of Heaven, recognizing Christ as Lord and King. That is baptism. Further, baptism allows the redeeming power of Christ to take effect, bringing them the Holy Ghost. No Holy Ghost means no heaven. It's more than just the fleeting promptings to join the church that a non-baptized member gets. It's the constant presence. Which is what the Telestial Kingdom will have, in the like manner that those in the Celestial will have that of God the Father.

Additionally, the Terrestrial kingdom will be full of baptized people who fully accept Christ and his redemption, but were not valiant. Can you endure the presence of Christ without having been born again? No, you cannot. So it is apparent once again that one cannot say Baptism is for the Celestial only when Christ refers to baptism as entrance into heaven and it must include the Terrestrial.

Edited by Matthew J. Tandy
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I am stating what I personally believe, nothing more and nothing less. Every gospel- be it catholic or LDS has some illogical and contradictory teachings, some just more than others..

Fair enough.

Edited by cdowis
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I would also add that they still have agency. It is not like they can't reject the baptism They can. But should they have a place in God's kingdoms when they 100% reject everything about Christ and the plan of salvation? No. They had their agency to qualify for the Celestial. They had it for the Terrestrial, and no one says they lost agency because they didn't get a free ticket into the Celestial despite not accepting and living the fullness of the Gospel. In like manner, no agency is lost in presenting a person a final choice: Recognize that Christ is the only one who can save them from eternal damnation, or reject him and his salvation completely.

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An often overlooked set of versus include these-

40 And this is the agospel, the glad btidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us—

41 That he acame into the world, even Jesus, to be bcrucified for the world, and to cbear the sins of the dworld, and to esanctify the world, and to fcleanse it from all unrighteousness;

42 That through him all might be asaved whom the Father had put into his bpower and made by him;

43 Who aglorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of bperdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 76:40 - 43)If one carefully reads these verses it states specifically that Christ saves all except the sons of perdition through the saving ordinances of the gospel, this certainly must include baptism.

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Just so you don't confuse me with another "Rob", I am active LDS and believe in the Book of Mormon.

Oops! I was indeed confusing you with another Rob, namely Bowman. My apologies!

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An often overlooked set of versus include these-

40 And this is the agospel, the glad btidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us—

41 That he acame into the world, even Jesus, to be bcrucified for the world, and to cbear the sins of the dworld, and to esanctify the world, and to fcleanse it from all unrighteousness;

42 That through him all might be asaved whom the Father had put into his bpower and made by him;

43 Who aglorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of bperdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 76:40 - 43)If one carefully reads these verses it states specifically that Christ saves all except the sons of perdition through the saving ordinances of the gospel, this certainly must include baptism.

I read it carefuly and it says that all might be saved except the sons of perdition. If you are a son of perdition you have no hope. If you are not a son of perdition, you might be saved if you are obedient to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.

But just for the fun of it, please provide the definition of saved, if there is one. It is a very generic and broad term. Sometimes it refers to the physical resurrection, sometimes it refers to being retrieved from the spirit prison, sometimes it refers to exaltation, still other times it refers to peace in times of trial.

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Have you read the Book of Mormon? Here are a few sample versus-

32 Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made aknown unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second bdeath, which was an everlasting cdeath as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for on such the plan of redemption could have no power, for the works of djustice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme egoodness of God.

(Book of Mormon | Alma 12:32)

30 And may the Lord grant unto you repentance, that ye may not bring down his wrath upon you, that ye may not be abound down by the chains of bhell, that ye may not suffer the second cdeath.

(Book of Mormon | Alma 13:30)

15 For behold, he surely must die that asalvation may come; yea, it behooveth him and becometh expedient that he bdieth, to bring to pass the cresurrection of the dead, that thereby men may be brought into the dpresence of the Lord.

16 Yea, behold, this death bringeth to pass the aresurrection, and bredeemeth all mankind from the first death—that spiritual death; for all mankind, by the cfall of Adam being dcut off from the presence of the Lord, are considered as edead, both as to things temporal and to things spiritual.

17 But behold, the resurrection of Christ aredeemeth mankind, yea, even all mankind, and bringeth them back into the presence of the Lord.

18 Yea, and it bringeth to pass the condition of repentance, that whosoever repenteth the same is not ahewn down and cast into the fire; but whosoever repenteth not is hewn down and cast into the fire; and there cometh upon them again a bspiritual death, yea, a second death, for they are cut off again as to things pertaining to righteousness.

19 Therefore repent ye, repent ye, lest by knowing these things and not doing them ye shall suffer yourselves to come under condemnation, and ye are brought down unto this second death.

(Book of Mormon | Helaman 14:15 - 19)

Yes, all wonderful quotes of typical hebrew poetic flair talking about the nature of the punishment but not the condition of the sinner. Anybody in the lower kingdoms would be cut off and under condemnation but not necessarily sons of perdition.

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Yes, all wonderful quotes of typical hebrew poetic flair talking about the nature of the punishment but not the condition of the sinner. Anybody in the lower kingdoms would be cut off and under condemnation but not necessarily sons of perdition.

You aren't making doctrine up are you? I have never come accross any scripture that equates salvation with condemnation. The scripture posted above explains exactly that all must repent by resurrection or be cast off to go into the second death.

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I read it carefuly and it says that all might be saved except the sons of perdition. If you are a son of perdition you have no hope. If you are not a son of perdition, you might be saved if you are obedient to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.

But just for the fun of it, please provide the definition of saved, if there is one. It is a very generic and broad term. Sometimes it refers to the physical resurrection, sometimes it refers to being retrieved from the spirit prison, sometimes it refers to exaltation, still other times it refers to peace in times of trial.

Almost exclusively, being "saved" means "salvation". It means to be saved from both physical and spiritual death. Here is the "Guide to the Scriptures" definition of "salvation"-

SALVATION. See also Atone, Atonement; Death, Physical; Death, Spiritual; Exaltation; Grace; Jesus Christ; Plan of Redemption; Redeem, Redeemed, Redemption

To be saved from both physical and spiritual death. All people will be saved from physical death by the grace of God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each individual can also be saved from spiritual death as well by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ. This faith is manifested in a life of obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel and service to Christ.

(Guide to the Scriptures | S Salvation.:Entry)When the Book of Mormon speaks of being "saved" in gospel terms, it exclusively means being saved from physical and spiritual death. Our articles of faith provides the simplest yet most definitive answer for the requirements of being saved-

3 We believe that through the aAtonement of Christ, all bmankind may be csaved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

(Pearl of Great Price | Articles of Faith 1:3)Hope that clarifies things.

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Almost exclusively, being "saved" means "salvation". It means to be saved from both physical and spiritual death. Here is the "Guide to the Scriptures" definition of "salvation"-

SALVATION. See also Atone, Atonement; Death, Physical; Death, Spiritual; Exaltation; Grace; Jesus Christ; Plan of Redemption; Redeem, Redeemed, Redemption

To be saved from both physical and spiritual death. All people will be saved from physical death by the grace of God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each individual can also be saved from spiritual death as well by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ. This faith is manifested in a life of obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel and service to Christ.

(Guide to the Scriptures | S Salvation.:Entry)When the Book of Mormon speaks of being "saved" in gospel terms, it exclusively means being saved from physical and spiritual death. Our articles of faith provides the simplest yet most definitive answer for the requirements of being saved-

3 We believe that through the aAtonement of Christ, all bmankind may be csaved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

(Pearl of Great Price | Articles of Faith 1:3)Hope that clarifies things.

But as you know, there are degrees of salvation, even in the celestial kingdom. One can be saved from one degree of condemnation and yet still be subject to another level. I don't know why I am arguing the point. The D&C disagrees with you and you will not be able to find a single authority that supports your perspective.

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But as you know, there are degrees of salvation, even in the celestial kingdom. One can be saved from one degree of condemnation and yet still be subject to another level. I don't know why I am arguing the point. The D&C disagrees with you and you will not be able to find a single authority that supports your perspective.

I must have missed where the scriptures disagree that all must be baptized to enter Heaven, but that the Telestial and Terrestrial degrees of glory in heaven aren't actually part of the Kingdom of God or Heaven. I must have also missed the part where it says that you can completely reject the Savior and his salvation, other than saying "yup, you're Jesus, Son of God, and Savior of Mankind... but I reject you as my Savior."

In order to reject the belief that baptism is essential to enter any part of God's Kingdom, including the part overseen by the Holy Ghost (also eventually a Celestial being), you have to constantly say things like "as you know, there are degrees of salvation", and then say that being saved in the Telestial kingdom is not salvation. I really don't understand how you come to this conclusion. Certainly it's not the BEST salvation, and you certainly are still under condemnation for your actions that got you there, but you were saved from being cast off forever for one simple reason: you finally accepted the Savior as your Savior.

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I must have missed where the scriptures disagree that all must be baptized to enter Heaven, but that the Telestial and Terrestrial degrees of glory in heaven aren't actually part of the Kingdom of God or Heaven. I must have also missed the part where it says that you can completely reject the Savior and his salvation, other than saying "yup, you're Jesus, Son of God, and Savior of Mankind... but I reject you as my Savior."

In order to reject the belief that baptism is essential to enter any part of God's Kingdom, including the part overseen by the Holy Ghost (also eventually a Celestial being), you have to constantly say things like "as you know, there are degrees of salvation", and then say that being saved in the Telestial kingdom is not salvation. I really don't understand how you come to this conclusion. Certainly it's not the BEST salvation, and you certainly are still under condemnation for your actions that got you there, but you were saved from being cast off forever for one simple reason: you finally accepted the Savior as your Savior.

Sorry but I don't understand your post. You seem to be challenging me at the beginning and then agreeing with me at the end. There are three degrees of glory. Salvation is a very generic term that can apply in many ways. Anybody who attains a glory will receive salvation to a degree. 76:76 states of the terrestial kingdom "these are th ey who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness. verse 85 mentions those of the telestial "they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection'. Redemption and salvation are often used interchangeably so it is not unreasonable to conclude that those in the lowest kingdom will be saved, but will not received the fullness of salvation available to those in the celstial kingdom. Wouldn't you agree?

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Redemption and salvation are often used interchangeably so it is not unreasonable to conclude that those in the lowest kingdom will be saved, but will not received the fullness of salvation available to those in the celstial kingdom. Wouldn't you agree?

Yes, I agree with that part. That means that in the end, they are saved, but they do not receive the same as one who is in the Celestial Kingdom. Why? Because in action and/or thought they rejected it.

The point I am making is that there is no easy way to get around the fact that the Telestial Kingdom is a degree of glory within the Kingdom of God, and Christ said no man can enter into God's kingdom except by baptism by water and the Spirit. Unless there is a scripture that excludes the Telestial and Terrestrial degrees of glory from being part of the Kingdom of God, I think it's pretty clear. Also, I do not believe there is a scripture that would ever allow anyone in to God's kingdom simply for saying who Christ is rather than accepting him as the Savior in the end. If they refuse his atonement, then they can have no part in the kingdom of heaven. Without the atonement, they simply cannot be justified.

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Yes, I agree with that part. That means that in the end, they are saved, but they do not receive the same as one who is in the Celestial Kingdom. Why? Because in action and/or thought they rejected it.

The point I am making is that there is no easy way to get around the fact that the Telestial Kingdom is a degree of glory within the Kingdom of God, and Christ said no man can enter into God's kingdom except by baptism by water and the Spirit. Unless there is a scripture that excludes the Telestial and Terrestrial degrees of glory from being part of the Kingdom of God, I think it's pretty clear. Also, I do not believe there is a scripture that would ever allow anyone in to God's kingdom simply for saying who Christ is rather than accepting him as the Savior in the end. If they refuse his atonement, then they can have no part in the kingdom of heaven. Without the atonement, they simply cannot be justified.

I understand your reasoning but my understanding is baptism is only required to be in the celestial kingdom. There is also a difference between acknowledging the savior and accepting Jesus as your savior. All must eventual be cleanse from their sins before they can be resurrected and brought before the judgment bar of Christ, this is one of the purposes of the spirit prison. I am just not certain of the role of baptism for a telestial person.

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      I first wrote a great deal more but I think it can be distilled down to a simpler situation.
      Exalted beings (eventually) are omnipotent. The have full control over existence inasmuch as control is possible . That would include their own physical and spirit body. If such a being wants to change his hair, eye, skin color -- he or she can. If such a being wants to retain physical markings consistent with mortal wounds -- he or she can. If such a being wants to be a foot taller or have four fingers -- he or she can. Celestial and Eternal Society is the pinnacle of harmony, peace, felicity, and efficacy. Our species has chosen to be basically gender binary We know that numerous sex/gender models exist and are present in different species Our spirit bodies were created by our Heavenly Parents A part of us is eternal and uncreate (I call that intelligent matter) and predates our spirit bodies We do not know if gender existed for us before our spirit body (as the D&C suggests, eternal does not necessarily mean into the infinite past or future) These are the basic facts of LDS theology. While I have several non-majority (yet still consistent with orthodoxy) opinions, I think these are mostly non-controversial as being consistent with our theology.
      So, how would you answer these questions?
      If an Exalted Being wants to change the physiological gender of their resurrected body, is that possible? Why has Eternal and Celestial Society chosen a gender binary mechanism? If gender existed before our spirit body, what does "gender" mean for a something that has no body? If gender did not exist before our spirit body, what was the mechanism whereby our Heavenly Parents chose a gender? Is that an immutable choice?  
      A note: These questions are not designed to be subversive in any way even though it might come across that way. I am theologically orthodox and orthopraxic. I fully support and sustain the Brethren, Elder Oaks, and the rest. I have my own partial answers to these questions, but other commentary may add insight that had not occurred to me.
    • By lds-convert-sw
      So my story is really long, but the short story is... My wife and I were married for 6 years, together a total of 8. I really really messed up, and I was not the man I should have been. She has been through a lot. There was a day this summer, the 'last straw' when my wife decided "Enough, I can't take anymore". And so we aren't together anymore. Divorced. But, an amazing experience happened shortly after, as I hit rock bottom in my life. A true revelation from God, and my eyes were opened to all I did, and what I needed to do. I knew our Savior on a personal level, for the first time ever. I was reborn. I know this sounds completely crazy, even clichéd, but I am not the man I used to be. (Click HERE if you have 15 minutes, you can read about what happened in great detail)
       
      My questions are:
      1. Can a marriage be saved?, especially a temple marriage. I love my (ex) wife so much, and I hurt so deeply, knowing the pain I've caused. I understand my covenants I made, finally. I want to be the husband I should have been. But it may be too late.
       
      2. Anyone who has gone through divorce as a Latter-Day Saint, how have you survived? How is it possible to live again? How can a heart heal? Most days, I feel like my heart is literally going to tear itself apart. I go to sacrament (a different ward) and while I love church, I feel alone. All the talk of marriage, and families are forever, and husbands and wives, and I don't belong anywhere anymore. I know we all have trials, but I can't find my way, I'm lost. I don't know who to talk to, I've talked to my bishop, and he's nice, but he has enough to deal with. Who do I turn to (Earthly), I have no family, my kids won't talk to me, I have no friends anymore. Every day I'm on my knees begging the Lord for forgiveness and asking for help.
    • By canard78
      Random question, but I was doing some study on the different stages in individual progress and looking into the origins and symbolic implications of the Telestial, Terrestrial, Celestial experience in both Temple worship and eternal kingdoms.
      So we have:
      1/ Celestial
      2/ Terrestrial
      3/ Telestial
      The first two have established meaning. The third seems like a made up word, it's not English. Is it?
    • By swfarnsworth
      Ever since I finally memorized that the Terrestrial is the moon glory and the Telestial is the star glory (I got them mixed up a lot as a kid), I've thought that the two names should be switched. Here's why:
      "Telestial" is an invented word to describe the unnamed degree in 1 Cor. 15 created from a combination of the names of the other two degrees, so it would make sense to have it be the name of the degree in between the Celestial and Terrestrial. In the JST, Joseph could have simply inserted the word "Telestial" in between references to the other two (making the stars correspond to Terrestrial and the moon to Telestial) rather than adding it as an appendage.
      Though the earth will become a Terrestrial sphere during the millennium, it is presently a Telestial sphere. The word Terrestrial comes from the Latin word for earth, so it would make sense for the earth to be called a Telestial sphere when it is in between its present earthly state and the Celestial state it will be in after the Millennium.

      I'm not suggesting that the names should actually be switched; rather, I'm asking if there is a particular reason (or reasons) I haven't thought of yet that the degrees have the names that they do.
      As a side note, I remember being in primary sharing time lesson with a Plan of Salvation flow-chart. Though I did often get the names mixed up, I could still remember that the order was sun, moon, stars. The primary presidency member teaching the lesson had the degrees stacked in this descending order: sun, stars, moon. At the end of the lesson, another member of the presidency quietly pointed out her mistake, which had been bothering me for the duration of the lesson. When she switched the star and the moon pictures (I can't remember if the names were in the right places or not), she said "I guess you learn something every day!". This boosted my "I'm a smart little kid" ego.
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