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'Families can be together forever' well, kind of


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1 hour ago, let’s roll said:

Our perfect spiritual parents are estranged from many of their children, not because of any fault of our parents, and certainly not by their choice (or desire), but because those children have exercised their agency in a way that has deadened their ability to feel the perfect love of our spiritual parents.

Those of us who choose to accept the invitation of our spiritual parents to join them in their work of creation and parenting must, because of the principle of agency, expect and prepare for the same result with respect to our own spiritual children.

And if our spiritual parents’ perfect parenting doesn’t result in eternal togetherness with ALL of their children, why would we feel entitled to that result with respect to our earthly children or spiritual children.  Regardless of how faithful the parents, children will always have the agency to choose with whom they will dwell in the eternities.

A major aspect of being prepared to join our heavenly parents in their work is developing the ability to honor agency, come what may.

 

 

 

 

I can say that my relationship with my mortal father is probably healthier than my relationship with God.

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Our desires will be taken into consideration.

Perhaps even serious wrongs and misunderstandings among family members can be forgiven when we can see through the glass clearly.

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13 hours ago, Amulek said:

he deliberately orders booze whenever his parents are around because he knows it bothers them.

What you said above made me laugh. Why? Because the consumption of alcohol in front of some Mormons can make the Mormon mind go into overload and start over heating. 

   We went to a movie a while back with a bunch of couples and one of the ladies ordered a margarita and the lady sitting beside her who was Mormon, totally shut down when the drink arrived. She was chatty and smiling before the drink arrived and totally clammed up once the drink was sitting right beside her. It was as if the waiter brought in a live bomb with a timer, ticking down to zero, because everyone could feel the tension she was giving off. The alcoholic drink broke my friends psyche, she didn't know what to do with herself. A few minutes later the lady who ordered the drink asked her if she wanted her to have the waiter take the drink back, i don't get embarrassed easily, but I was so embarrassed. 

     I would assume that's why the person in your story orders alcohol in front of his parents, because he knows it makes them uncomfortable. But isn't it the parents who have the problem, not the guy who is ordering the drink?

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8 hours ago, let’s roll said:

Our perfect spiritual parents are estranged from many of their children, not because of any fault of our parents, and certainly not by their choice (or desire), but because those children have exercised their agency in a way that has deadened their ability to feel the perfect love of our spiritual parents.

Those of us who choose to accept the invitation of our spiritual parents to join them in their work of creation and parenting must, because of the principle of agency, expect and prepare for the same result with respect to our own spiritual children.

And if our spiritual parents’ perfect parenting doesn’t result in eternal togetherness with ALL of their children, why would we feel entitled to that result with respect to our earthly children or spiritual children.  Regardless of how faithful the parents, children will always have the agency to choose with whom they will dwell in the eternities.

A major aspect of being prepared to join our heavenly parents in their work is developing the ability to honor agency, come what may.

 

 

 

 

are you talking about the third of the hosts of Heaven?

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22 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

* I am aware of and acknowledge that there is a lot of speculation among believers that Celestial family members will be aloud to make visits to their family members serving out their eternal sentences in the lower kingdoms.  But I could find nothing official to support this speculation.

I can't find it explicitly mentioned, but there is this, in the subsection about the terrestrial kingdom:  https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2005/04/messages-from-the-doctrine-and-covenants-the-three-degrees-of-glory?lang=eng

There's also the few quotes about mothers helping their wayward children into eternal families, which I think you would find interesting.

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10 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Well, what if they just shun the COJCOLDS and have faith in a God/Jesus? They're still shunned or put at a lower level in the LDS belief. Sort of like prison where they cannot visit loved ones, only wait for them to visit.

According to the position of JLHPROF, as far as I understand, they can still progress to celestial glory.  They will be given to know the truth and align themselves with it if that is what they desire.  Nothing preventing them from it.

I will also add that sociability in the next world is really just speculation at this point.  We don’t know much of anything what it will be like as far as visiting or maintaining relationships from mortality.

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22 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

I don't know what happens to us after we die, but the church teaches us that we are eternal beings and following this earthly sojourn we are judged according to how well we did during our earthly test in obeying God's commandments and keeping our Temple covenants and are then awarded our eternal glory according to those test results, receiving either Celestial, Terrestrial or Telestial glory for eternity.  

I reject the whole test/reward and punishment model in favor of a natural consequence alternative.  I am also not convinced of total geographic separation.

Quote

* I am aware of and acknowledge that there is a lot of speculation among believers that Celestial family members will be aloud to make visits to their family members serving out their eternal sentences in the lower kingdoms.  But I could find nothing official to support this speculation.

The official scriptures specifically state that the Terrestrial people will be ministered to by the Celestial people.  Why not those closest to them?

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3 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

What you said above made me laugh. Why? Because the consumption of alcohol in front of some Mormons can make the Mormon mind go into overload and start over heating. 

   We went to a movie a while back with a bunch of couples and one of the ladies ordered a margarita and the lady sitting beside her who was Mormon, totally shut down when the drink arrived. She was chatty and smiling before the drink arrived and totally clammed up once the drink was sitting right beside her. It was as if the waiter brought in a live bomb with a timer, ticking down to zero, because everyone could feel the tension she was giving off. The alcoholic drink broke my friends psyche, she didn't know what to do with herself. A few minutes later the lady who ordered the drink asked her if she wanted her to have the waiter take the drink back, i don't get embarrassed easily, but I was so embarrassed. 

     I would assume that's why the person in your story orders alcohol in front of his parents, because he knows it makes them uncomfortable. But isn't it the parents who have the problem, not the guy who is ordering the drink?

Maybe, but I had a friend who was a church member and left seemingly primarily because he fell in love with beer. He became obnoxious and was constantly asking if he could bring beer to our gatherings where we did stuff that is pretty incompatible with beer. The group was about a third active members, a third inactive members, and a third nonmembers and both of the latter groups drink alcohol and it doesn’t bother the first group when it is appropriate.

I have no idea which scenario this particular situation falls under. I will say that doing something intentionally to ‘trigger’ someone because you can is obnoxious whether it work or not. There is a reason I now only ‘had’ a friend.

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18 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Maybe, but I had a friend who was a church member and left seemingly primarily because he fell in love with beer. He became obnoxious and was constantly asking if he could bring beer to our gatherings where we did stuff that is pretty incompatible with beer. The group was about a third active members, a third inactive members, and a third nonmembers and both of the latter groups drink alcohol and it doesn’t bother the first group when it is appropriate.

I have no idea which scenario this particular situation falls under. I will say that doing something intentionally to ‘trigger’ someone because you can is obnoxious whether it work or not. There is a reason I now only ‘had’ a friend.

We have a lot of good to offer as a religion, but one of our biggest "sins" is being judgemental toward people who don't think or act as we do. It's not just Mormonism, most people know matter if they're religious or not judge people. 

     I was in a four man best ball tournament last week and I was one of the only people out of 150 golfers not drinking. The 7 guys I was teeing off with were all drunk by the time we reached the 7 hole. My job was to makes sure 3 of the guys didn't drink after the 14th hole, that way they could drive home safely. A lot of Mormons can't comprehend that drinking is a way to have fun and blow off steam. It just doesn't compute to us. Me, I love hanging around drunk people, especially when golfing and playing for money. 

 

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22 hours ago, JAHS said:

I guess so. but you know, I have been to many family reunions and I have never known the religious status of most of the relatives so there was never a feeling of shunning; just family being together.

Try going to one of my family reunions. It’s like a competition to see who is in the highest calling or who’s kids are. I swear some of them wouldn’t have a life if it wasn’t for a church calling. 
 

the shunning isn’t much of a thing though but in my immediate family they will let you know they don’t approve of “name it”

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23 minutes ago, secondclasscitizen said:

Try going to one of my family reunions. It’s like a competition to see who is in the highest calling or who’s kids are. I swear some of them wouldn’t have a life if it wasn’t for a church calling. 
 

the shunning isn’t much of a thing though but in my immediate family they will let you know they don’t approve of “name it”

That sounds awful. My family and extended family mocks the people with “prominent” callings. Somehow we still end up getting a lot of them. Go figure.

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Quote

Paraphrasing the Prophet Joseph Smith, Elder Orson F. Whitney said “that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. … They will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1929, 110).

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1997/02/when-our-children-go-astray?lang=eng

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13 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Well, what if they just shun the COJCOLDS and have faith in a God/Jesus?

We'll let God sort that out.

13 hours ago, Tacenda said:

They're still shunned or put at a lower level in the LDS belief.

That depends, I think, on the light and knowledge acted upon by the individual.

13 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Sort of like prison where they cannot visit loved ones, only wait for them to visit.

Again, if God has given me the means whereby my family can "be together forever," and if I thereafter refuse to be "faithful over a few things" (Matt. 25:21), then it is spectacularly inappropriate for me to find fault with God or His Plan. 

Again, Calvinism is not our thing, but you and Fair Dinkum are speaking as if it is.  As if God is arbitrarily depriving His children of a blessing, which is false.  Instead, He has provided a way for His children to obtain that blessing.  The individual is then left to use his agency as to whether he will accept that blessing and utilize the means whereby it obtained.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Again, if God has given me the means whereby my family can "be together forever," and if I thereafter refuse to be "faithful over a few things" (Matt. 25:21), then it is spectacularly inappropriate for me to find fault with God or His Plan. 

Again, Calvinism is not our thing, but you and Fair Dinkum are speaking as if it is.  As if God is arbitrarily depriving His children of a blessing, which is false.  Instead, He has provided a way for His children to obtain that blessing.  The individual is then left to use his agency as to whether he will accept that blessing and utilize the means whereby it obtained.

Of course you have come big IFs there. Also I am not seeing Calvinism in their posts. Can you explain why you think so?

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2 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

What you said above made me laugh. Why? Because the consumption of alcohol in front of some Mormons can make the Mormon mind go into overload and start over heating. 

Some people are just uncomfortable being around certain things.

Sometimes that discomfort is rational or even justified; sometimes it isn't.

Alcohol has never bothered me personally. I've gone to Happy Hour with my team on multiple occasions, but I get that not everyone feels the same and I'm okay with that too.

 

Quote

I would assume that's why the person in your story orders alcohol in front of his parents, because he knows it makes them uncomfortable. But isn't it the parents who have the problem, not the guy who is ordering the drink?

No, the guy who is deliberately trying to offend his parents is the one who is being disrespectful and acting like a jerk.

 

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14 minutes ago, Teancum said:
Quote

Again, if God has given me the means whereby my family can "be together forever," and if I thereafter refuse to be "faithful over a few things" (Matt. 25:21), then it is spectacularly inappropriate for me to find fault with God or His Plan. 

Again, Calvinism is not our thing, but you and Fair Dinkum are speaking as if it is.  As if God is arbitrarily depriving His children of a blessing, which is false.  Instead, He has provided a way for His children to obtain that blessing.  The individual is then left to use his agency as to whether he will accept that blessing and utilize the means whereby it obtained.

Of course you have come big IFs there.

Don't we all?

"For we walk by faith, not by sight."  (2 Cor. 5:7.)

14 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Also I am not seeing Calvinism in their posts. Can you explain why you think so?

Broadly speaking, Calvinism's "Five Points."  

Fair Dinkum: "Only families reaching Celestial Glory supposedly end up receiving the promised reward for their obedience by being 'Together Forever'.  Everyone else?  Well sorry folks but you're out of luck, the rest are simply relegated into eternal shunning..."

This sure sounds like Calvinistic elitism.  See here:

Quote

Five points of Calvinism

Most objections to and attacks on Calvinism focus on the "five points of Calvinism", also called the doctrines of grace, and remembered by the mnemonic "TULIP".

...

The central assertion of these points is that God saves every person upon whom he has mercy, and that his efforts are not frustrated by the unrighteousness or inability of humans.

  • "Total depravity", also called "total inability", asserts that as a consequence of the fall of man into sin, every person is enslaved to sin. People are not by nature inclined to love God, but rather to serve their own interests and to reject the rule of God. Thus, all people by their own faculties are morally unable to choose to trust God for their salvation and be saved (the term "total" in this context refers to sin affecting every part of a person, not that every person is as evil as they could be). This doctrine is derived from Calvin's interpretation of Augustine's explanation about Original Sin. While the phrases "totally depraved" and "utterly perverse" were used by Calvin, what was meant was the inability to save oneself from sin rather than being absent of goodness. Phrases like "total depravity" cannot be found in the Canons of Dort, and the Canons as well as later Reformed orthodox theologians arguably offer a more moderate view of the nature of fallen humanity than Calvin.
  • "Unconditional election" asserts that God has chosen from eternity those whom he will bring to himself not based on foreseen virtue, merit, or faith in those people; rather, his choice is unconditionally grounded in his mercy alone. God has chosen from eternity to extend mercy to those he has chosen and to withhold mercy from those not chosen. Those chosen receive salvation through Christ alone. Those not chosen receive the just wrath that is warranted for their sins against God.
  • "Limited atonement", also called "particular redemption" or "definite atonement", asserts that Jesus's substitutionary atonement was definite and certain in its purpose and in what it accomplished. This implies that only the sins of the elect were atoned for by Jesus's death. Calvinists do not believe, however, that the atonement is limited in its value or power, but rather that the atonement is limited in the sense that it is intended for some and not all. Some Calvinists have summarized this as "The atonement is sufficient for all and efficient for the elect."
  • "Irresistible grace", also called "efficacious grace", asserts that the saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save (that is, the elect) and overcomes their resistance to obeying the call of the gospel, bringing them to a saving faith. This means that when God sovereignly purposes to save someone, that individual certainly will be saved. The doctrine holds that this purposeful influence of God's Holy Spirit cannot be resisted, but that the Holy Spirit, "graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ." This is not to deny the fact that the Spirit's outward call (through the proclamation of the Gospel) can be, and often is, rejected by sinners; rather, it is that inward call which cannot be rejected.
  • "Perseverance of the saints" (also known as "perseverance of God with the saints" and "preservation of the believing") (the word "saints" is used to refer to all who are set apart by God, and not of those who are exceptionally holy, canonized, or in heaven) asserts that since God is sovereign and his will cannot be frustrated by humans or anything else, those whom God has called into communion with himself will continue in faith until the end. Those who apparently fall away either never had true faith to begin with (1 John 2:19), or, if they are saved but not presently walking in the Spirit, they will be divinely chastened (Hebrews 12:5–11) and will repent (1 John 3:6–9).

The Plan of Salvation espoused by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints places at its center the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and agency as the means whereby the children of God can accept, or not accept, measures of the Lord's mercy.  

In contrast, Calvinism posits that "God has chosen from eternity those whom he will bring to himself," that this is "not based on foreseen virtue, merit, or faith in those people," such that "God has chosen from eternity to extend mercy to those he has chosen and to withhold mercy from those not chosen." 

Calvinism further posits that "only the sins of the elect were atoned for by Jesus's death," and that the Atonement "is intended for some and not all."

Calvinism further declares that "when God sovereignly purposes to save someone, that individual certainly will be saved," and that the individual really has no say in the matter because "{the} influence of God's Holy Spirit cannot be resisted."  

Fair Dinkum's characterization of the Plan of Salvation is far more Calvinistic than Latter-day Saint.  It does not account for agency, and even seems to implicitly suggest that no such thing exists ("Everyone else?  Well sorry folks but you're out of luck...").

Thanks,

-Smac

 

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2 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

We have a lot of good to offer as a religion, but one of our biggest "sins" is being judgemental toward people who don't think or act as we do. It's not just Mormonism, most people know matter if they're religious or not judge people. 

     I was in a four man best ball tournament last week and I was one of the only people out of 150 golfers not drinking. The 7 guys I was teeing off with were all drunk by the time we reached the 7 hole. My job was to makes sure 3 of the guys didn't drink after the 14th hole, that way they could drive home safely. A lot of Mormons can't comprehend that drinking is a way to have fun and blow off steam. It just doesn't compute to us. Me, I love hanging around drunk people, especially when golfing and playing for money. 

 

I’m a convert of 30 years, but I drank a lot of alcohol, coffee and tea before I became a member. It doesn’t bother me to see people drink responsibly. The majority of the people in the world don’t even know about the Word of Wisdom and aren’t constrained by it. If they choose to have a drink, it doesn’t lessen my opinion of them. Hopefully, they don’t think less of me for not drinking. 

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

They could all be jerks.

If we're talking hypothetically then yes, that can certainly be the case.

In this particular instance, however, I can say with confidence that the parents in question are genuinely nice people.

To be fair, they do seem to like me reasonably well enough, so they've got that going against them. ;)

 

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4 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

We have a lot of good to offer as a religion, but one of our biggest "sins" is being judgemental toward people who don't think or act as we do. It's not just Mormonism, most people know matter if they're religious or not judge people. 

     I was in a four man best ball tournament last week and I was one of the only people out of 150 golfers not drinking. The 7 guys I was teeing off with were all drunk by the time we reached the 7 hole. My job was to makes sure 3 of the guys didn't drink after the 14th hole, that way they could drive home safely. A lot of Mormons can't comprehend that drinking is a way to have fun and blow off steam. It just doesn't compute to us. Me, I love hanging around drunk people, especially when golfing and playing for money. 

 

I remember breaking for 'happy hour' during our HS 10-yr reunion (many moons ago!). The main room was packed. With the announcement that the bar was open everyone but a half dozen of us rose and rushed the bar. I decided to wander into the bar area to hook up with a few of my HS buddies where each of them were drinking. The exchange was great (they're great men) but I noticed after a few rounds the conversation style & wit began tanking. It took me a few minutes before I realized why. Hanging around with others who are drinking is not my style. I do not like being around others who are becoming 'typsy' if I am the only one who is not drinking. I would much rather have a hilarious time with others who can remain sober. I tell my kids this often. Of course, hanging around a bunch of sober LDS folks is sometimes quite painful too... ; )

Edited by Vanguard
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On 6/29/2021 at 9:37 AM, Fair Dinkum said:

I don't know what happens to us after we die, but the church teaches us that we are eternal beings and following this earthly sojourn we are judged according to how well we did during our earthly test in obeying God's commandments and keeping our Temple covenants and are then awarded our eternal glory according to those test results, receiving either Celestial, Terrestrial or Telestial glory for eternity.  The promise of eternal families however comes with an important caveat.  Only families reaching Celestial Glory supposedly end up receiving the promised reward for their obedience by being "Together Forever".  Everyone else?  Well sorry folks but you're out of luck, the rest are simply relegated into *eternal shunning to one of the inferior rewards, separated for eternity from their earthly loved ones.

And knowing that only a few faithful receive Celestial Glory the vast majority of those who have lived on earth will end up living out eternity alone and separated from their loved ones in kind of a Eternally Baked into the process Eternal Shunning

I've been aware of the official shunning that takes place by many religious organizations here on earth.  The Jehovah Witnesses are at the forefront of literally cutting off family members who decide that the Witnesses are not a true religion and decide after investigation to leave.  The earthly consequence is the loss of family now in this earthly existence, followed by the knowledge and belief that their apostate family members will be burned and destroyed at Armageddon never to be seen again.

Mormonism, on the other hand, is much more subtle in their shunning here on earth. There is no official doctrine to shun apostate family members in the church, it's just this very large and uncomfortable elephant constantly being in the room that no one ever really wants to address.  This reality has its own set of consequences. The ones who have lost belief are often left out of family events or text trees.  They are left outside alone at weddings. They receive the "Looks" and head shakes of sadness and disappointment. They are often talked about in judgemental ways behind their backs instead of directly in that Utah Mormon passive aggressive way. And of course, never are those who leave ever asked to explain why, in fact just the opposite, they are told that the believer does not even want to know the reasons why they are leaving the church. But its more than that.  It leaves the parents of the apostate to live out their remaining years on earth broken hearted with the knowledge that their family is broken and will not be together in the eternities. (barring some post-life awakening)

To be clear, the church does not encourage any shunning and in fact encourages that those that believe maintain love and support of their non believing family members.  But oft time that is more difficult when dealing with the reality created by the divide of non-belief and belief.

So while there can be great joy in the knowledge afforded by God's Plan of eternal families being able to be together throughout eternity there is another side of that coin that we rarely consider, the earthly pain imposed on families here and now who live their lives with their beliefs that baked into God's Plan is the Eternal Shunning that must also be endured for eternity by both the Celestial bound and the the non-believing family members relegated to the damp, rotting, cobweb filled root cellar of eternal rewards found in the Telestial Kingdom or worse Outer Darkness.

So remember that when we say, Mormon's don't shun family members, that in reality shunning is baked right into God's Eternal Plan in a much more painful consequence through Eternal Shunning

* I am aware of and acknowledge that there is a lot of speculation among believers that Celestial family members will be aloud to make visits to their family members serving out their eternal sentences in the lower kingdoms.  But I could find nothing official to support this speculation.

Nah. We know nothing beyond a few verses and statements about the afterlife. We just like to pretend that is all that needs to be said and make it up from there. You can be a bit of a universalist and be quite comfortable in Mormon theology. 

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26 minutes ago, juliann said:

Nah. We know nothing beyond a few verses and statements about the afterlife. We just like to pretend that is all that needs to be said and make it up from there. You can be a bit of a universalist and be quite comfortable in Mormon theology. 

I think we pretty much need to be universalist.  See here:

Quote

Within the telestial glory there will be varying degrees of glory even as the stars vary in brightness as we see them. It embraces those who on earth willfully reject the gospel of Jesus Christ, and commit serious sins such as murder, adultery, lying, and loving to make a lie (but yet do not commit the unpardonable sin), and who do not repent in mortality. They will be cleansed in the postmortal spirit world or spirit prison before the resurrection (D&C 76:81-85, 98-106; Rev. 22:15).

The glory of this lowest kingdom "surpasses all understanding" (D&C 76:89).

Thanks,

-Smac

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8 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I think we pretty much need to be universalist.  See here:

Within the telestial glory there will be varying degrees of glory even as the stars vary in brightness as we see them. It embraces those who on earth willfully reject the gospel of Jesus Christ, and commit serious sins such as murder, adultery, lying, and loving to make a lie (but yet do not commit the unpardonable sin), and who do not repent in mortality. They will be cleansed in the postmortal spirit world or spirit prison before the resurrection (D&C 76:81-85, 98-106; Rev. 22:15).

The glory of this lowest kingdom "surpasses all understanding" (D&C 76:89).

Thanks,

-Smac

Do you think that list includes four distinct profiles (i.e, rejecting the gospel, commiting serious sins, loving to make a lie, and being unrepentant) or is it one profile that must include all four of those elements?

Edited by Vanguard
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