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Is 'Telestial' A Made Up Word?


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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?

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Having done a little extra searching...

Here's Nibley:

http://maxwellinstit...nscripts/?id=58

In this connection, there is an interesting sidelight to the word telestial, a word long considered as one of Joseph Smith's more glaring indiscretions. We know now that there are three worlds: the telestial, in which we live; the celestial, to which we aspire; and in between them another world, called the terrestrial. It is of neither the celestial nor the telestial. According to the ancients, this world is represented by the temple, the in-between world where the rites of passage take place. Indeed the root telos is a very rich word in this regard and has been treated a lot recently. It deals with the mysteries. Telos means initiation.45 Teleiomai means to be introduced into the mysteries.46 Professor Werner Jaeger of Harvard, a close friend of mine who wrote Paideia, was much exercised with that word teleiotes when he was editing Gregory of Nyssa. He claimed that Gregory was talking about the mysteries. A teleiotes is a person who has been initiated into some degree or other of the mysteries, and the completion of the degree qualifies him as complete or "perfect."47

This word root first appears as indicating various steps from beginning to end of the initiation ordinances of the mysteries. In a recent book, just out this year (1973), Morton Smith has shown at great length that the word "mystery," as used by the early Jews and Christians (taught in secret to the apostles), was nothing else than a series of initiatory ordinances for achieving the highest salvation which today are lost and unknown to the Christian world. He says we don't know what they are; but that is what Christ meant by the mysteries of the kingdom. He meant ordinances, which were necessary; and these he revealed to the apostles during his very confidential teachings of the forty days after the resurrection.48 The purpose of such ordinances is to bridge the space between the world in which we now live, the telestial world, and that to which we aspire, the celestial world. Therefore, the events of the temple were thought to take place in the terrestrial sphere. Recall that you leave the creation, and you end up at the celestial; but nothing happens in the celestial. Everything happens in the telestial and terrestrial, but not until after you leave the garden. Then the fun begins, until you arrive at your celestial rest. The whole temple represents teleiotes. It is also in the "telestial" world below, a word that nobody used but Joseph Smith. And it means that very thing—the lowest world, the world in which we are placed below the other two. Because the ordinances bridge the two worlds—the telestial and the celestial—the events of the temple were thought to take place in both terrestrial and telestial spheres, the world of the mysteries or ordinances. But the Coptic Text called the in-between world the world of transition. This is a beautiful score for Joseph Smith.

Edited by canard78
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The etymology and definition of Celetial (heavens/heavenly bodies) and Terrestrial (Of, on, or relating to the earth) is well established.

The etymology of 'tele-' could fit: tele- word-forming element meaning "far, far off," from Greek tele-, combining form of tele "far off, afar, at or to a distance," related to teleos (genitive telos) "end, goal, result, consummation, perfection," literally "completion of a cycle," from PIE *kwel-es- (cf. Sanskrit caramah "the last," Breton pell "far off," Welsh pellaf "uttermost"), from root *kwel- (see cycle).

Except the last part doesn't really work. Telestial is not a completion of a cycle/end goal. Unless it's the end goal of those in the pre-mortal world. The earth is the distant world, far off (from God). That would then bring into question why Terrestrial is the word for the middle world?

Bycommonconsent also has a post on it and draw similar conclusions:

http://bycommonconsent.com/2010/01/27/the-etymology-of-telestial/

My thoughts. Seems to have a possible implication of being the "far off" place. Either in terms of people who distance themselves from God today and make themselves "at a distance" and therefore may find themselves in a similar situation for (some of?) the eternities. Given the Telestial kingdom also has implications for the world we live in today in Temple theology, it may also be the "far off place" we all traveled to. We are currently in a "far off" place and see through a glass darkly.

(Thank you for joining in this conversation with myself :) )

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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?

Not English, I believe it was created by JS using Tele for "far" and ial for "of or like" while adding in the st to make it sound more appropriate, just as celeste is "heaven" and ial "of or like"

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=celest&searchmode=none

Edited by calmoriah
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However, I think "telestial" may be derived from the Greek wordtelos which means "the end, complete/finish, full, perfect" etc. It is used in connection with the Telestial Kingdom because it is the last resurrection of the saved that happens at the end of the world when Jesus has completed and perfected his work. I think this is evident in the following verse from the New Testament:

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power(1 Cor. 15:22-24).......

"[Telestial inhabitants] are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work" (D&C 76:85)

"[Telestial inhabitants] are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work; when he shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father [cf. 1 Cor. 15:24] " (D&C 76:106-107)

http://strongreasons...-word-mean.html Edited by calmoriah
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Also in the comments from that link there was mention about teleos meaning both initiated and completed and one referred to a teacher who said this world was the telestial because it was where the initiation takes place...or something along those lines, the computer froze as I was about to copy then and I don't want to retrieve them again.

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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?

Was telestial perhaps at that time a relatively new idea? Perhaps a new word was necessary to represent an idea that had not been widely used. Words come and go as do the ideas they represent.

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Was telestial perhaps at that time a relatively new idea? Perhaps a new word was necessary to represent an idea that had not been widely used. Words come and go as do the ideas they represent.

True. Terrestrial seems a better fit for the idea of 'earthlike' (especially in the context of LDS temple worship) - but the etymology of 'tele' being 'far from' also works.

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Web definitions

Telestial is a mobile virtual network operator headquartered in San Diego with a large share of North America’s international cell...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telestial

Forgive them, for the know not what they do.....

;)

Edited by mfbukowski
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It certainly is a neologism.

Not this meaning of neologism I presume ;)

"Psychiatry. a new word, often consisting of a combination of other words, that is understood only by the speaker: occurring most often in the speech of schizophrenics."

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