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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.
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.
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.