D&C 88 is my text for this post. It is not my intention to expound the entire section, only to bring to the reader’s attention one very significant theological point that I feel the LDS are generally overlooking: the emphasis on PLANETS. As a help, I will put in bold all the references to planets.
The first sentence of section 88—The First Key/Clue of Understanding
Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you who have assembled yourselves together to receive his will concerning you: Behold, this is pleasing unto your Lord, and the angels rejoice over you; the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world. (D&C 88: 1-2)
This is the first indication that the Lord is going to start talking of planets, or, as He puts it here, worlds. The terms world, planet, kingdom and thing, the Lord will explain in this section, are all synonymous.
Third sentence of section 88—The Second Key/Clue of Understanding
This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom; which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son—he that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth. (D&C 88: 4-7)
Here we have the Lord using the second designation of the celestial world, calling it the celestial kingdom. He also starts talking about things. Later on He will teach us that the things He is referring to are planets or worlds. I will explain the reason for bolding God later.
The fourth sentence of section 88
This is the light of Christ. (D&C 88: 7)
This is referring to the ether which fills space. (I won’t get into this as it is not the topic of this post.)
The fifth sentence
As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. (D&C 88: 7)
The sun is one of the planet/world/kingdom things this section talks about.
The sixth sentence
As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made; as also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made; and the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand. (D&C 88: 8-10)
The moon, stars and earth are some of the the planet/world/kingdom things this section talks about.
The seventh sentence
And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things. (D&C 88: 11-13)
Keep in mind that the things are planets, which will be explained later. Also God will be explained later.
The 11th sentence
And the redemption of the soul is through him that quickeneth all things, in whose bosom it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it. (D&C 88: 17)
The 12th sentence
Therefore, it must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the celestial glory; for after it hath filled the measure of its creation, it shall be crowned with glory, even with the presence of God the Father; that bodies who are of the celestial kingdom may possess it forever and ever; for, for this intent was it made and created, and for this intent are they sanctified. (D&C 88: 20)
The 13th sentence
And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom. (D&C 88: 21)
The 14th sentence
For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory. (D&C 88: 22)
The 15th sentence
And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory. (D&C 88: 23)
The 16th sentence
And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. (D&C 88: 24)
The 17th sentence
Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory. (D&C 88: 24)
The 18th sentence
And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law—wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it. (D&C 88: 25-26)
The 30th sentence
All kingdoms have a law given; and there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom. (D&C 88: 36-37)
The 31st sentence
And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions. (D&C 88: 38)
The 33rd sentence
For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things. (D&C 88: 40)
The 34th sentence
He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever. (D&C 88: 41)
The 35th sentence—The Third Key/Clue of Understanding
And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons; and their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets. (D&C 88: 42-43)
It is here that the Lord finally explains that the things He is referring to are planets.
The 36th sentence
And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years—all these are one year with God, but not with man. (D&C 88: 44)
In other words, all the times, seasons, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of all of the worlds of the created Universe combined equal one God year.
The 37th sentence
The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God. (D&C 88: 45)
Notice that the earth and moon are both female planets, while the the sun is a male planet. God, of course, is male. All these worlds are referred to as if they were people with gender.
The 38th sentence—The Fourth Key/Clue of Understanding
Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand? (D&C 88: 46)
Here the Lord lumps the earth (a planet), the sun (a star), the moon (a natural satellite), and the stars (the rest of the stars or suns) together, calling them all kingdoms. The Lord is finally tying it all together so that we understand that He is talking about planet/kingdom/world things in this section.
The 39th sentence—The Fifth Key/Clue of Understanding
Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power. (D&C 88: 47)
The Lord again reiterates that these worlds are all kingdoms, as if to drive His point across so that we don’t miss it. And then He drops a bombshell, explaining to His saints that if you’ve seen any of these worlds, you’ve seen God!
This is because God, in addition to being the anthropomorphic, personal Being we worship, is also a planet. This is also why the ancients of every culture worshiped the planets/stars, calling them gods.
The 40th sentence—The Sixth Key/Clue of Understanding
I say unto you, he hath seen him; nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended. (D&C 88: 48)
Again, the Lord reiterates that if we’ve seen any of the planets, we’ve seen God.
Notice, also, that the Lord doesn’t say that if we’ve seen the planets, we’ve seen the Lord. In other words, He doesn’t say, “I say unto you, he hath seen me (the Lord).” Instead, He says, “He hath seen him (God).” This is because the Lord Jesus Christ, Jehovah, in addition to being an anthropomorphic, personal Being, is also a planet. However, the planet Jehovah is not currently around (in sight).
Also, seeing a planet is not the same as comprehending it.
The 41st sentence
The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him. (D&C 88: 49)
Keep in mind that the Lord is equating planets with God, so that if you see a planet, you see God. Therefore, in this sentence, when He says “you shall comprehend even God,” the Lord is referring to comprehending a planet.
The 42nd sentence
Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, and that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me; otherwise ye could not abound. (D&C 88: 50)
Don’t lose track, yet! Keep your eye on the ball and topic at hand, even PLANETS! The Lord is still talking about planets, only now He is saying that at some point we will see Jehovah (the planet.)
Perhaps to keep our attention firmly fixed on the topic of astronomy, as this is what D&C 88 is all about, the Lord gives the following parable about space and planets.
The parable of the man (Jehovah planet) sending his servants (planets) into the field (space) and visiting them in turn
Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field to dig in the field. And he said unto the first: Go ye and labor in the field, and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance. And he said unto the second: Go ye also into the field, and in the second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance. And also unto the third, saying: I will visit you; and unto the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth. And the lord of the field went unto the first in the first hour, and tarried with him all that hour, and he was made glad with the light of the countenance of his lord. And then he withdrew from the first that he might visit the second also, and the third, and the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth. And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their lord, every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season—beginning at the first, and so on unto the last, and from the last unto the first, and from the first unto the last; every man in his own order, until his hour was finished, even according as his lord had commanded him, that his lord might be glorified in him, and he in his lord, that they all might be glorified.
Therefore, unto this parable I will liken all these kingdoms, and the inhabitants thereof—every kingdom in its hour, and in its time, and in its season, even according to the decree which God hath made. (D&C 88: 51-61)
Note: The joy/light of the countenance of the lord in this parable indicates that the planet Jehovah is a discharging star.
Next sentence and the rest of the section
And again, verily I say unto you, my friends, I leave these sayings with you to ponder in your hearts, with this commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near—draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (D&C 88: 62-63)
Now, when you read the rest of the section (D&C 88: 64-141), try to keep in mind that this section is a lesson in ASTRONOMY! The Lord is talking of heavenly things, meaning PLANETS! Nevertheless, as above, so below.
(D&C 88 is really long and I don’t want to take the time now to break down every single verse and show the planetary references. Anthony Larson, if you feel up to it, you can take up where I’ve left off. Maybe I’ll do it myself in a future post. But if neither one of us does it, I think what I’ve written above is sufficient to get someone in the right frame of mind to extract the astronomy from the section. Good luck to all, in that end.)