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Please help me out. I've been troubled for many years by the question of the status of those who qualify only for the Telestial and Terrestrial Kingdoms. Will these people be allowed to grow, repent, progress, and eventually move up to the Celestial Kingdom, or will they remain in their assigned kingdom for eternity? If progressing from kingdom to kingdom is not possible, then, what will those who inherit the Telestial and Terrestrial Kingdoms do for all eternity?
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.
The church often teaches about the 3 degrees of glory. Within the highest glory, the Celestial Kingdom, there are also three subdivisions. It is taught that to achieve the highest level in the highest degree one must enter into celestial marriage. I further recall that the lowest level of the Celestial Kingdom will be home to angels and those who will be servants, ie those who did not enter the covenant of celestial marriage. I cannot seem to recall who resides in the middle degree of the Celestial Kingdom. There seems to be very little taught about the 3 degrees within the Celestial Kingdom but I'd love to hear ideas or see references about it.
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.
From an article by common consent I read this...
From D&C 76: 92 96 And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one.
Also, from another thread where we have been discussing the teaching the Jackson County, Missouri (Independence) was the location of the Garden of Eden, it has been argued by some that despite a number of different prophets/apostles teaching that in various talks, conference, books, and Ensign articles, that because we don't have anything directly from Joseph (Even though Brigham cites Joseph) that it is an unreliable teaching. But this common consent article raises the same point about the 3 degrees within the Celestial Kingdom.
The church seems to hang on to the concept of three degrees within the Celestial Kingdom but there really isn't much known or taught about it, beyond the highest level. What do we know about the bottom 2 levels of the Celestial Kingdom?
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.