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Eternal Progression


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In my last thread, (damnation in the terrestrial kingdom), the topic of eternal progression kept popping up. So I'm starting this thread so we can discuss the topic of eternal progression and find out if people believe in progression between kingdoms of heaven. I would also like to hear the views of the non mormons on this board since I dont know a whole heck of alot about what they believe heaven will have in store for us.

   You can find apostles and prophets disagreeing on the topic of progression between kingdoms all the way back to the days of Joseph Smith. Lorenzo Snow and Brigham Young seemed to believe that eternal progression was possible between kingdoms, while Joseph Fielding Smith and Spencer W Kimball seemed to believe the exact opposite. 

      I'm going to give you my personal opinion, but I warn you, if you take heart medication, you might want to stop reading now, learning about the inner workings of my brain can be hazardous to your health😁😁. I personally think there's no progression between kingdoms. I think heaven is set up much like a city municipality, God being the mayor, the spirits in the celestial kingdom being the department supervisors, the terrestrial spirits being middle management and the telestial spirits being the worker bee's, all working in harmony to keep Gods collection of worlds turning and running like well oiled machines. Think about it, this earth we're on is constantly changing. There's a good chance that what we're taught in the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms isn't about eternal progression at all, it could be the inner workings if everything God has created and how to help maintain them. There's no way this world runs itself. Maybe there's different departments in the lower kingdoms that your assigned to, like the marine department that maintains anything to do with the ocean. The atmosphere department, the mammal department, the reptile department, I personally would like to be in charge of the gravity department, because I still have no idea how in the hell gravity works. I think there's a really good chance that right now, there's 1000s of spirits working in harmony in the gravity department of this earth, to keep our feet stuck to the ground so we dont float away. Thank you gravity department. Who knows,  they could even be in the middle of the earth as far as we know🤣. If any of you want to find out, I'll buy you a shovel and have it shipped to you, as long as you promise to start digging as soon as you receive it and report back as soon as you get there 😁

     I think there's progression in the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms,  but that progress is inside the kingdom, not transferred to the next higher kingdom. I think a celestial government that is overseen by God is way more complex than what we ever actually think about. The amount of science involved in making everything you see on this earth and everything you dont see, like gravity, is 1000 times more complex than we could ever imagine.  I think we're sent here to be tested so God can see who can be trusted to be put in management positions, to share some of the responsibility in running a universe. That doesn't mean terrestrial and telestial spirits aren't important, actually, its probably just the opposite.

      I would love your opinion, especially non mormons, I would really like to know what you see heaven being like.

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As the D&C suggests, our placement in the afterlife is largely based on what we are willing to receive or abide by. If I am comfortable with the celestial laws and way of life, I will be welcome there. If not, I would not want to be there and so would choose not to be.

Is there kingdom hopping? As you point out, there is no consensus on the topic. However, for me, since I believe in the continued progression/evolution of the individual I am comfortable with the idea of kingdom hopping if a telestial or terrestial person grows to the point where they are comfortable with a new and better way. That seems logical to me.

Others, however, accept the idea of continued progression but suggest that kingdom hopping while theoretically possible is pragmatically not possible because the growth of individuals will accelerate at different rates (celestial most, telestial least). Thus while a telestial person now could progress at some future point to what is currently a celestial state, by that time the celestial "goal posts" will have moved and thus be inaccessible. (https://www.amazon.com/Three-Degrees-Glory-discourse-Ballard/dp/B0008CD7Z0). I personally disfavor this view.

But as for your question to non mormons, the Pixar Souls movie (see other thread) is rather suggestive. :)

Edited by Nofear
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I don't claim to know all the details.  I don't think we know if the three kingdoms are separate locations physically or all located on our resurrected earth.  As a result I don't think we know how complete the separation is.

It could be a separation of class and authority (ie by resurrected bodies).  God dwells in his own sphere yet we are told the earth will become a Celestial Kingdom near where God dwells.

Without knowing how the kingdoms will exist or the people reside it's hard to even speculate.  But I firmly believe that progression and learning are eternal.  So whether people progress "between kingdoms" or the kingdoms themselves continue to progress in glory I am convinced that Telestial can advance to Terrestrial and Terrestrial to Celestial and that there are kingdoms higher than Celestial.  Infinite time to learn and progress and perfect makes any limiting alternative seem foolish.

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44 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I don't claim to know all the details.  I don't think we know if the three kingdoms are separate locations physically or all located on our resurrected earth.  As a result I don't think we know how complete the separation is.

It could be a separation of class and authority (ie by resurrected bodies).  God dwells in his own sphere yet we are told the earth will become a Celestial Kingdom near where God dwells.

Without knowing how the kingdoms will exist or the people reside it's hard to even speculate.  But I firmly believe that progression and learning are eternal.  So whether people progress "between kingdoms" or the kingdoms themselves continue to progress in glory I am convinced that Telestial can advance to Terrestrial and Terrestrial to Celestial and that there are kingdoms higher than Celestial.  Infinite time to learn and progress and perfect makes any limiting alternative seem foolish.

A very interesting point to ponder within this particular area of speculative theology is that, according to the Doctrine and Covenants, we’ve already existed as individual autonomous intelligences for all eternity. Which means you could travel in reverse through unimaginably long eons and never arrive at a point in time when you didn’t exist as a thinking intelligence capable of acting on your own volition and initiative.

Now here’s the kicker: If we’ve already existed for endless eternities, why is this lowly sphere of existence only as far as we’ve gotten within the program of eternal progression? It seems to me that if we’ve already been around for an infinite number of eternities that we should have arrived at the point of Godhood a long time ago. Yet here we are groveling on this fallen, benighted world, with many of our fellow eternal beings who will, after endless eternities, only be prepared to inherit a telestial glory far from God’s seat of power.

Edited by teddyaware
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7 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Is there a question in the thread, or just a sermon? 

Yes, Mike is asking what you think heaven is like, do you progress from one kingdom to another or stay in one kingdom. And he's asking for non LDS's view of what heaven is like. 

 

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2 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

In my last thread, (damnation in the terrestrial kingdom), the topic of eternal progression kept popping up. So I'm starting this thread so we can discuss the topic of eternal progression and find out if people believe in progression between kingdoms of heaven. I would also like to hear the views of the non mormons on this board since I dont know a whole heck of alot about what they believe heaven will have in store for us.

   You can find apostles and prophets disagreeing on the topic of progression between kingdoms all the way back to the days of Joseph Smith. Lorenzo Snow and Brigham Young seemed to believe that eternal progression was possible between kingdoms, while Joseph Fielding Smith and Spencer W Kimball seemed to believe the exact opposite. 

      I'm going to give you my personal opinion, but I warn you, if you take heart medication, you might want to stop reading now, learning about the inner workings of my brain can be hazardous to your health😁😁. I personally think there's no progression between kingdoms. I think heaven is set up much like a city municipality, God being the mayor, the spirits in the celestial kingdom being the department supervisors, the terrestrial spirits being middle management and the telestial spirits being the worker bee's, all working in harmony to keep Gods collection of worlds turning and running like well oiled machines. Think about it, this earth we're on is constantly changing. There's a good chance that what we're taught in the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms isn't about eternal progression at all, it could be the inner workings if everything God has created and how to help maintain them. There's no way this world runs itself. Maybe there's different departments in the lower kingdoms that your assigned to, like the marine department that maintains anything to do with the ocean. The atmosphere department, the mammal department, the reptile department, I personally would like to be in charge of the gravity department, because I still have no idea how in the hell gravity works. I think there's a really good chance that right now, there's 1000s of spirits working in harmony in the gravity department of this earth, to keep our feet stuck to the ground so we dont float away. Thank you gravity department. Who knows,  they could even be in the middle of the earth as far as we know🤣. If any of you want to find out, I'll buy you a shovel and have it shipped to you, as long as you promise to start digging as soon as you receive it and report back as soon as you get there 😁

     I think there's progression in the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms,  but that progress is inside the kingdom, not transferred to the next higher kingdom. I think a celestial government that is overseen by God is way more complex than what we ever actually think about. The amount of science involved in making everything you see on this earth and everything you dont see, like gravity, is 1000 times more complex than we could ever imagine.  I think we're sent here to be tested so God can see who can be trusted to be put in management positions, to share some of the responsibility in running a universe. That doesn't mean terrestrial and telestial spirits aren't important, actually, its probably just the opposite.

      I would love your opinion, especially non mormons, I would really like to know what you see heaven being like.

The face to face vision of God. Catholics call it the Beatific Vision. Jesus experienced this heaven from the beginning of His life on earth, so it does not imply inactivity. Rather, it implies a combination of contemplative and active life.

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28 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Is there a question in the thread, or just a sermon? 

There's a clear question.

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Yes, Mike is asking what you think heaven is like, do you progress from one kingdom to another or stay in one kingdom. And he's asking for non LDS's view of what heaven is like. 

 

Haven’t been there yet...

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1 hour ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Is there a question in the thread, or just a sermon? 

 

1 hour ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Is there a question in the thread, or just a sermon? 

How do you see what I wrote as a sermon? Honestly? I dont get it. Also, I thought the question was pretty clear,  how do you see heaven? And I'm especially interested in a non mormon view because I would love to know how they see heaven when they close their eyes and think about what's in store for us after we die. Im tired of hearing the standard mormon view o f Christian heaven which is always " Christian's think they're going to go to heaven and spend eternity playing harps and floating on clouds, I've heard that a thousand times throughout my life from mormons, and they usually laugh afterwards, it pisses me off. Each child of God has a personal view of what heaven looks like, even atheist have thought about it. I'm simply asking, how do you Invision heaven?  I gave you my opinion. If you dont want to share yours bill papa lee, then go hide somewhere with your safety blanket.

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40 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

 

How do you see what I wrote as a sermon? Honestly? I dont get it. Also, I thought the question was pretty clear,  how do you see heaven? And I'm especially interested in a non mormon view because I would love to know how they see heaven when they close their eyes and think about what's in store for us after we die. Im tired of hearing the standard mormon view o f Christian heaven which is always " Christian's think they're going to go to heaven and spend eternity playing harps and floating on clouds, I've heard that a thousand times throughout my life from mormons, and they usually laugh afterwards, it pisses me off. Each child of God has a personal view of what heaven looks like, even atheist have thought about it. I'm simply asking, how do you Invision heaven?  I gave you my opinion. If you dont want to share yours bill papa lee, then go hide somewhere with your safety blanket.

To the bold, me too!

Here's an idea from wikipedia, since I'm thinking we don't have that many non LDS members on the board. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_in_Christianity#:~:text=The Catholic Church teaches that,'opened' heaven to us.

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2 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

 

How do you see what I wrote as a sermon? Honestly? I dont get it. Also, I thought the question was pretty clear,  how do you see heaven? And I'm especially interested in a non mormon view because I would love to know how they see heaven when they close their eyes and think about what's in store for us after we die. Im tired of hearing the standard mormon view o f Christian heaven which is always " Christian's think they're going to go to heaven and spend eternity playing harps and floating on clouds, I've heard that a thousand times throughout my life from mormons, and they usually laugh afterwards, it pisses me off. Each child of God has a personal view of what heaven looks like, even atheist have thought about it. I'm simply asking, how do you Invision heaven?  I gave you my opinion. If you dont want to share yours bill papa lee, then go hide somewhere with your safety blanket.

I have no problem “sharing” my opinion, but it would be just that, “an opinion”, not doctrine. Or rather, doctrine is not dictated by what I believe, but is based upon “eternal truths”. Not what is fair to we mortals, because “fair”, is always in the eye of the one who feels slighted in some way. In simple terms, there are no “second chances”, once we leave this mortal existence, only “a chance”. For those who did not have an opportunity to receive the “fullness of the everlasting Gospel”, they will have that chance, or opportunity. For those who reject “the truth”, (Everlasting Gospel) once they received it, and does not repent in this lifetime, then they cannot progress “upward and onward”, although I am sure there is some sort of “digression”, possible. As one can (I think) always opt out of “Eternal Life”, not to be confused with, “Immortality”, which all will retain. Except for maybe those who are cast into “other darkness”, which is more like “eternal death”. The “sermon”, to which I referred, was based on your opening comments concerning your “opinion”, which is not necessarily “doctrine”. I was not trying to insult you, I was wondering what the “overall question” was, or is, in this circumstance? In short, if you are seeking “only opinion” in a forum such as this, you are not necessarily seeking an “answer”. So if not seeking a “true answer”, is in my opinion not to be asking a question, as it relates to true doctrine anyway. 

If you want to know what the truth about, the Kingdom’s of Heaven, or of Darkness are, it would be a very loooooooooong answer. :) 

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23 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

I have no problem “sharing” my opinion, but it would be just that, “an opinion”, not doctrine. Or rather, doctrine is not dictated by what I believe, but is based upon “eternal truths”. Not what is fair to we mortals, because “fair”, is always in the eye of the one who feels slighted in some way. In simple terms, there are no “second chances”, once we leave this mortal existence, only “a chance”. For those who did not have an opportunity to receive the “fullness of the everlasting Gospel”, they will have that chance, or opportunity. For those who reject “the truth”, (Everlasting Gospel) once they received it, and does not repent in this lifetime, then they cannot progress “upward and onward”, although I am sure there is some sort of “digression”, possible. As one can (I think) always opt out of “Eternal Life”, not to be confused with, “Immortality”, which all will retain. Except for maybe those who are cast into “other darkness”, which is more like “eternal death”. The “sermon”, to which I referred, was based on your opening comments concerning your “opinion”, which is not necessarily “doctrine”. I was not trying to insult you, I was wondering what the “overall question” was, or is, in this circumstance? In short, if you are seeking “only opinion” in a forum such as this, you are not necessarily seeking an “answer”. So if not seeking a “true answer”, is in my opinion not to be asking a question, as it relates to true doctrine anyway. 

If you want to know what the truth about, the Kingdom’s of Heaven, or of Darkness are, it would be a very loooooooooong answer. :) 

I, like you, also believe there aren't any second chances, like I said, I dont personally believe there's progression from kingdom to kingdom but I do believe there's progression within your assigned kingdom. But, at the same time, I do realize over the past 190 years the prophets of our church haven't even agreed on this subject,  they're all over the place, so it doesn't bother me one bit if someone thinks there's progression because their guess is as good as mine. I dont think the church has ever really took a stance on progression from kingdom to kingdom. So basically it's all opinion, and really fun to think about. That's what I'm asking, what's your personal opinion of what the day to day operations will be like in heaven? I think about it all the time. I think alot of people see heaven as a 24/7 sunday school lesson,  but it's got to be more than that, that would be boring. To me, that would be hell🤣🤣

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7 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

I personally think there's no progression between kingdoms.

I grew up learning this view. I believe it was President Kimball’s view and so I’m not sure that belief would be a shock to anyone who came of age in the 70’s or 80’s. I’m not sure I believe that anymore but it was definitely the prevailing view for a large part of the 20th century. I just don’t see eternity being completely determined by what we do in the three seconds we are here in mortality. 

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2 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

I grew up learning this view. I believe it was President Kimball’s view and so I’m not sure that belief would be a shock to anyone who came of age in the 70’s or 80’s. I’m not sure I believe that anymore but it was definitely the prevailing view for a large part of the 20th century. I just don’t see eternity being completely determined by what we do in the three seconds we are here in mortality. 

Yes that was his view, no progression. President Kimballs view can be found in multiple places but the best example can be found in The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp.243-244.  Thank you.

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34 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

If the Lord is an environmentalist then He recycles,,, even composts. 😉

Oh no, let's not get into the potter's wheel doctrine...:diablo:

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55 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

I grew up learning this view. I believe it was President Kimball’s view and so I’m not sure that belief would be a shock to anyone who came of age in the 70’s or 80’s. I’m not sure I believe that anymore but it was definitely the prevailing view for a large part of the 20th century. I just don’t see eternity being completely determined by what we do in the three seconds we are here in mortality. 

It was one of McConkie's deadly heresies and I believe Pres. Kimball agreed.  I believe they were wrong.

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2 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

I, like you, also believe there aren't any second chances, like I said, I dont personally believe there's progression from kingdom to kingdom but I do believe there's progression within your assigned kingdom. But, at the same time, I do realize over the past 190 years the prophets of our church haven't even agreed on this subject,  they're all over the place, so it doesn't bother me one bit if someone thinks there's progression because their guess is as good as mine. I dont think the church has ever really took a stance on progression from kingdom to kingdom. So basically it's all opinion, and really fun to think about. That's what I'm asking, what's your personal opinion of what the day to day operations will be like in heaven? I think about it all the time. I think alot of people see heaven as a 24/7 sunday school lesson,  but it's got to be more than that, that would be boring. To me, that would be hell🤣🤣

Actually, Elder Bruce R. McConkie, son-in-law wrote that, “eventually all sin will be forgiven”. Except of course the sons of perdition, but he did not elaborate of what that really meant. I will just be happy to share one little corner of the Celestial Kingdom with just my family, and just enjoy eternally with them.   

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50 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Actually, Elder Bruce R. McConkie, son-in-law wrote that, “eventually all sin will be forgiven”. Except of course the sons of perdition, but he did not elaborate of what that really meant. I will just be happy to share one little corner of the Celestial Kingdom with just my family, and just enjoy eternally with them.   

That's nice, but hardly in keeping with the level of blessings promised in the marriage covenant and in the House of the Lord.  I think the blessings are so much further reaching.

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

That's nice, but hardly in keeping with the level of blessings promised in the marriage covenant and in the House of the Lord.  I think the blessings are so much further reaching.

If there are blessings that come in addition to having my family for all eternity, so be it, but that is not my primary motivation. I live and obey the commandments of God, to enter back into the presence of God, and to live eternally with my family. I have no other ambition, none at all. 

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1 hour ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

If there are blessings that come in addition to having my family for all eternity, so be it, but that is not my primary motivation. I live and obey the commandments of God, to enter back into the presence of God, and to live eternally with my family. I have no other ambition, none at all. 

Fortunately God does and his plan is for something more.

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4 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Fortunately God does and his plan is for something more.

As I said, so be it. I will accept whatever blessings he has for me. It is not the driving force for me, the other things that is...

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21 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I don't claim to know all the details.  I don't think we know if the three kingdoms are separate locations physically or all located on our resurrected earth.  As a result I don't think we know how complete the separation is.

It could be a separation of class and authority (ie by resurrected bodies).  God dwells in his own sphere yet we are told the earth will become a Celestial Kingdom near where God dwells.

Without knowing how the kingdoms will exist or the people reside it's hard to even speculate.  But I firmly believe that progression and learning are eternal.  So whether people progress "between kingdoms" or the kingdoms themselves continue to progress in glory I am convinced that Telestial can advance to Terrestrial and Terrestrial to Celestial and that there are kingdoms higher than Celestial.  Infinite time to learn and progress and perfect makes any limiting alternative seem foolish.

I didn't catch what you said the first time I read this post about there could kingdoms higher than the celestial,  that's interesting,  I've never considered that a possiblity. I could see that being part of the plan. 

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9 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

If there are blessings that come in addition to having my family for all eternity, so be it, but that is not my primary motivation. I live and obey the commandments of God, to enter back into the presence of God, and to live eternally with my family. I have no other ambition, none at all. 

That's a great answer bill "papa" lee. I know alot of people who live to keep the commandments so they enter the celestial kingdom with as many family members as possible, and I guess I do to, but I never worry about if family is going to be there with me, I rarely think about. Growing up we were taught that our #1 reason for being here was to spread the gospel, to be warriors for christ. If we do that, everything else will fall into place. 

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