Damnation


I recently (Sept. 17) had the opportunity to participate in a discussion on The Millennial Star blog.  The topic was on the meaning of the word “damned” in D&C 132: 4-6.  I stopped participating when I realized that I needed more room than a comments section to explain my understanding of damnation.  So, I thought I’d take the topic up in earnest on this blog.

Bible Dictionary definition of damnation

BIBLE DICTIONARY
Damnation
As used in the KJV this word has a wider meaning than is at once apparent from modern usage. Damnation is the opposite of salvation, and exists in varying degrees. All who do not obtain the fulness of celestial exaltation will to some degree be limited in their progress and privileges, and hence be damned to that extent. See Matt. 23: 14, 33; Mark 3: 29; Mark 16: 16; John 5: 29; Rom. 13: 2; 1 Cor. 11: 29; 2 Ne. 9: 24; 3 Ne. 18: 28-29; D&C 58: 26-29; D&C 84: 74; D&C 112: 29; D&C 132: 4, 6, 27.

This is the definition that the modern Mormons have accepted, and which they routinely teach.  According to this interpretation, there are four degrees of damnation:

  • Sons of perdition. These are people who are cast into outer darkness, who inherit the kingdom of the devil.   They receive the full measure of damnation, being fully limited in their progress and privileges.  They are damned in that they do not partake of either the Telestial, Terrestrial or Celestial kingdoms of glory and the happiness which is found therein.  The kingdom of the devil is not a kingdom of glory, but a hell, and all who inherit it are miserable forever.
  • Telestials. These are people who inherit the Telestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They escape the misery of outer darkness, but partake of the misery in knowing that they will eternally miss out on the glories of the Terrestrial and Celestial kingdoms.  Although this kingdom of glory is termed a heaven (see the section heading of D&C 76), because of the damnation of these individuals in what they might have received, but did not, they feel regret and longing and are miserable forever.  And thus their kingdom of glory is also a hell.
  • Terrestrials. These are people who inherit the Terrestrial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They escape the misery of outer darkness and the misery of the Telestial kingdom, but partake of the misery in knowing that they will eternally miss out on the glory of the Celestial kingdom.  Although this kingdom of glory is termed a heaven, because of the damnation of these individuals in what they might have received, but did not, they feel regret and longing and are miserable forever.  And thus their kingdom of glory is also a hell.
  • Celestial angels. These are people who inherit the Celestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They escape the misery of outer darkness and the misery of the Telestial and Terrestrial kingdoms, but partake of the misery in knowing that they will eternally miss out on the glory of the exalted, those who are gods in the Celestial kingdom.  Although this kingdom of glory is termed a heaven, because of the damnation of these individuals in what they might have received, but did not, they feel regret and longing and are miserable forever.  And thus their kingdom of glory is also a hell.

Under this model, there is only one type of person that is not damned:

  • Celestial gods. These are people who inherit the Celestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein, and who are exalted.  They escape the misery of outer darkness and the misery of the Telestial and Terrestrial kingdoms, as well as the misery of Celestial angels.  This kingdom of glory is termed a heaven, and it verily is to these individuals, because they have no regrets and long for nothing, for they possess all things and thus are not miserable, but have a fulness of joy and happiness.

Salvation, who gets it and who doesn’t

As the Bible Dictionary mentions salvation in its definition of damnation, it might be helpful to give the Mormon understanding of who gets saved.  Specifically, we know of four types of people who receive salvation:

  • Celestial gods. These are people who inherit the Celestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein, and who are exalted.  They dwell in the presence of God and Christ and receive that salvation known as eternal life (exaltation), becoming like God.
  • Celestial angels. These are people who inherit the Celestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein, but who are not exalted.  They are servants to God and Christ and dwell in their presence, but are not exactly like them.  They are in a saved condition, like gods, but without exaltation.
  • Terrestrials. These are people who inherit the Terrestrial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They do not dwell in the presence of God, but receive of “the ministration of the celestial.”  Like the Celestials, these people are saved.
  • Telestials. These are people who inherit the Telestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They do not dwell in the presence of God, nor receive of the fulness of Christ, but receive of the Holy Spirit through “the ministration of the terrestrial.”  These people are also “heirs of salvation.”

There is only one type of person that is not saved:

  • Sons of perdition. These are people who are cast into outer darkness, who inherit the kingdom of the devil, a kingdom which is not of glory.

Damned and saved at the same time?

The Bible Dictionary model creates a conflict in which it is possible to be damned and saved at the same time, to be eternally happy and eternally miserable at the same time. Despite damnation being “the opposite of salvation,” according to the Bible Dictionary these two opposite conditions will exist in Celestial angels, Terrestrials and Telestials.  This thought goes contrary to the principle of like things cleaving unto like things:

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 way around this quandary is to redefine the word damnation (or damned) to mean something other than what it traditionally means.  The Bible Dictionary would have us believe that damnation means “to be limited in one’s progress and privileges” in certain passages of the scriptures, in other words, that “this word has a wider meaning than is at once apparent from modern usage.”

Acceptance of this theory creates an internal conflict of regret and longing, and a judgmental attitude, with comparisons of those “above us” and “below us,” and ultimately will and does lead to depression.  In other words, according to this model, happiness comes from knowing you got more than someone else and unhappiness comes from knowing you didn’t get as much as others.  This is what LDS look forward to in the eternities, having accepted this doctrinal theory, and this is what they routinely display in their mortal lives.

Correcting an error

The redefining of the words damnation and damned to fit certain passages of the scripture, assigning them a meaning of “a limiting of one’s progress and privileges,” has become systemic throughout the church.  Every LDS I know believes the Bible Dictionary assertion.  I do not know how or when it crept into the church, but I am a convert member of some decades and I have never heard another model other than this one since my baptism, so I know it’s been around a long time.

It is a bit embarrassing to admit that I not only accepted it myself from the beginning without question, but also preached it as a missionary to others. It wasn’t until September 17, 2009, that I actually got around to checking to see if the model held up to scriptural scrutiny.  It was then that I discovered that the standard LDS damnation model (of being saved and damned at the same time) is incorrect.  Many thanks go out to JA Benson and his/her Friday Forum post at The Millennium Star blog, as well as the comments of others on that post, for providing me the excuse and impetus to investigate this subject.

Although I don’t know the origins of this particular doctrinal theory, it seems apparent that it was the result of not understanding the scriptures.  So, to correct it, I will attempt to lay out the scriptures to the understanding of the reader and expound the real meaning of the words damned and damnation.  Perhaps with a proper understanding of these words, LDS won’t be such chronically depressed people.

Number of scriptural uses of damned and damnation

Damn In the scriptures, there are ZERO uses of the word damn.

Damning In the Doctrine and Covenants there is but ONE use of the word damning. (See D&C 123: 7Damning in this verse means detestable and so it doesn’t need to be addressed.)

Damned In the New Testament there are THREE uses of the word damned. (See Mark 16: 16; Rom. 14: 23; and 2 Thes. 2: 12.)  In the Book of Mormon there are EIGHT uses of the word damned. (See 2 Ne. 9: 24; Alma 14: 21; Alma 36: 16; 3 Ne. 11: 34; Morm. 2: 13; Morm. 9: 4, 23; and Ether 4: 18.)  In the Doctrine and Covenants there are TEN uses of the word damned. (See D&C 42: 60; 49: 5; 58: 29; 68: 9; 84: 74; 112: 29; and 132: 4, 6, 27.)  And in the Pearl of Great Price there is but ONE use of the word damned. (See Moses 5: 15.)  The total number of scriptural uses, then, of the word damned, comes to 21.

Damnation In the New Testament there are ELEVEN uses of the word damnation. (See Matt. 23: 14, 33; Mark 3: 29; 12: 40; Luke 20: 47; John 5: 29; Rom. 3: 8; 13: 2; 1 Cor. 11: 29; 1 Tim. 5: 12; and 2 Pet. 2: 3.)  In the Book of Mormon there are NINE uses of the word damnation. (See Mosiah 2: 33; 3: 18, 25; 16: 11; Alma 9: 28; Hel. 12: 26; 3 Ne. 18: 29; 26: 5; and Morm. 8: 33.)  In the Doctrine and Covenants there are THREE uses of the word damnation. (See D&C 19: 7; 29: 44; and 121: 23.)  The total number of scriptural uses, then, of the word damnation, comes to 23.

So, there are only 44 verses in the English Standard Works that mention damn or damnation.  It shouldn’t be too hard for us to figure this all out.

1828 Webster’s Dictionary definition of damned and damnation

First let’s establish what people understood these words to mean during the time of Joseph Smith:

DAM’NED, pp.

1. Sentenced to everlasting punishment in a future state; condemned.

2. a. Hateful; detestable; abominable;

A word chiefly used in profaneness by persons of vulgar manners.

(Taken from the damned entry of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

DAMNA’TION, n.

1. Sentence or condemnation to everlasting punishment in the future state; or the state of eternal torments.

How can ye escape the damnation of hell. Matt. xxiii

2. Condemnation.

(Taken from the damnation entry of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

From the same dictionary, here are the definitions of the words condemned and condemnation:

CONDEMNED, pp. Censured; pronounced to be wrong, guilty, worthless or forfeited; adjudged or sentenced to punishment.

(Taken from the condemned entry of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

CONDEMNATION, n.

1. The act of condemning; the judicial act of declaring one guilty, and dooming him to punishment.

For the judgment was by one to condemnation. Romans 5.

2. The state of being condemned.

Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation. Luke 23.

3. The cause or reason of a sentence of condemnation.  John 3.

(Taken from the condemnation entry of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

Okay, so the words damned, damnation, condemned and condemnation all deal with a judicial act of declaring one guilty (no mercy applied) and dooming him to punishment.  In the case of the words damned and damnation, this can refer to either eternal (everlasting) punishment or temporal punishment (condemnation).  Condemned and condemnation usually refer to temporal punishment unless the scriptural text is speaking specifically of the last day (day of judgment) and eternal punishment.  Regardless of which word you use, though, the meaning always is that a judgment has taken place, you have been found guilty because no mercy has been applied and you are to receive a punishment.

To condemn means to damn

In the scriptures, the verb to damn is never used.  Instead, the verb to condemn is used.  This makes sense from an etymological standpoint:

Etymology of condemn: Middle English, from Anglo-French condempner, from Latin condemnare, from com- + damnare to condemn

See that damnare? Damnare means damn, or to damn. So, the verb to condemn is really just the verb to damn with the prefix con- attached to it.

Damned and damnation in Spanish

Remember those 44 total verses listed above?  If you look them up in Spanish, you will find that in 40 of them the word damned is translated as condenado and the word damnation is translated as condenación.  The Spanish word condenado means condemned and condenación means condemnation.  Also, regardless of whether the word in English is damned or condemned, the Spanish word is almost always condenado (condemned). In the same manner, regardless of whether the word in English is damnation or condemnation, the Spanish word is almost always condenación (condemnation). So, in Spanish there is no distinction made between damnation and condemnation and the Spanish speaking population merely allows the context to indicate whether we are talking of temporal or eternal condemnation (judgment, verdict of guilty and punishment).

The other four verses are translated as follows:

Matt. 23: 33 reads in English, “damnation of hell,” but in Spanish it reads, “juicio del infierno” (judgment of hell).

Mark 3: 29 reads in English, “eternal damnation,” but in Spanish it reads, “juicio eterno” (eternal judgment).

1 Cor. 11: 29 reads in English, “damnation,” but in Spanish it reads, “juicio” (judgment).

2 Pet. 2: 3 reads in English, “judgment” and “damnation,” but in Spanish it reads, “condenación” (condemnation) and “perdición” (perdition).

All of this shows that in the scriptures, whenever it speaks of damnation (or condemnation), it is always talking about a judgment being passed, no mercy has been applied, a guilty verdict is the result and punishment is inflicted.  Always.

Abinadi’s definition of damnation

Even this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption, and shall be brought to stand before the bar of God, to be judged of him according to their works whether they be good or whether they be evil—if they be good, to the resurrection of endless life and happiness; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of endless damnation, being delivered up to the devil, who hath subjected them, which is damnation—having gone according to their own carnal wills and desires; having never called upon the Lord while the arms of mercy were extended towards them; for the arms of mercy were extended towards them, and they would not; they being warned of their iniquities and yet they would not depart from them; and they were commanded to repent and yet they would not repent.  (Mosiah 16: 10-12)

According to Abinadi’s definition, damnation consists of “being delivered up to the devil.”  Those who are damned are subject to the devil. Notice that Abinadi says that there is an endless damnation. There is also a damnation that ends.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.  (D&C 132: 26)

So, we see from this verse that it is possible to be delivered up to the devil for a time, and then be redeemed when repentance occurs.

Two types of damnation

This shows that there are two types of damnation: eternal damnation (that damnation that comes after the resurrection) and temporal damnation (that damnation that comes prior to the resurrection and which has an end prior to the resurrection.)  This is why the scriptures speak of two time frames of forgiveness: this world and the world to come.

But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come. (D&C 84: 41)

And now, behold, I speak unto the church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come. (D&C 42: 18)

And we saw a vision of the sufferings of those with whom he made war and overcame, for thus came the voice of the Lord unto us: Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power—they are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born; for they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity; concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.  (D&C 76: 30-35)

Those who do not have forgiveness in this world, but who receive forgiveness in the world to come are those who are temporally damned, meaning that they are delivered unto the buffetings of Satan until the day of their redemption.  They are subject to the devil in the mortal world or in the spirit world, being delivered up to him until the day that they finally have faith in Jesus and repent of their sins.  At that point, they are washed clean in the blood of the Lamb and are no longer damned.  In other words, at that point they no longer have a judgment with a guilty verdict and a punishment hanging over them, because mercy and forgiveness is extended to them and they become heirs of salvation.  This applies to all mankind who inherit any of the three glories.  None of these people will be among the “filthy still” because they will have accepted Christ and mercy will be applied to them.

Those who do not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come are those who are eternally damned, meaning that they are delivered up to the devil, are in subjection to him and remain subjected to him, having no deliverance.  These are the sons of perdition.  (Remember the 2 Pet. 2: 3 Spanish scripture above, where condemnation was translated as perdition?)  These are the people who are cast into outer darkness, who inherit the kingdom of the devil.

Greater damnation, lesser damnation

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. (Matt. 23: 14)

Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. (Mark 12: 40)

Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation. (Luke 20: 47)

What is the greater damnation?  It is eternal damnation. What is the lesser damnation?  It is temporal damnation.

It is impossible to be saved and damned at the same time

Remember that I wrote above that condemnation requires that no mercy is applied?  It is a judgment of guilty with punishment executed upon the party.  Well, consider Jacob’s words:

Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.  (2 Ne. 9: 25)

By the same token, where there is mercy, there is no condemnation and where there is no condemnation, there is no punishment.  Speaking of the day of judgment (the last day), there is only one punishment or penalty affixed to the law: death.  The spiritual death that is the second death means dying as to things pertaining to righteousness, meaning that those who receive it are banished from the kingdom of God and cast into outer darkness, where the devil will eternally subject them (Abinadi’s definition of damnation).

None of the inhabitants of the three degrees of glory receive this punishment.  In fact, it is impossible for them to receive it because Satan will be cast out into outer darkness.  Once out of the kingdom of God, he cannot subject anyone in the kingdom of God to himself.  Only those cast out with him (the filthy still) can be subject to him.  So, the inhabitants of the three kingdoms will be free forever from the power and influence of Satan.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  (John 3: 16-18)

The above scripture shows that you are either saved or condemned (damned) based upon your acceptance of Christ.  It is one or the other, not both. If you do not accept Him now, you are condemned (damned) already (temporal damnation).  But once there is acceptance of Christ, there is salvation not damnation. This is why the inhabitants of the three glories are only spoken of as being saved.  There is not a single scripture that indicates that these people are eternally damned.  They may be temporally damned (for a time) but eventually they, too, will be redeemed and be heirs of salvation.

Mormonism is so much more excellent and merciful than apostate Christianity because the people they say are damned to hell, we say are saved in a kingdom of glory.  Unfortunately, we go awry of the pure doctrine of Christ by adopting the man-made precept found in the Bible Dictionary theory of damnation.

The misunderstood scripture

I believe the reason why people generally accept the Bible Dictionary model of damnation is due to a misunderstanding of D&C 132: 4-6.  Here are those verses, along with the comments I gave on them over at The Millenial Star blog:

For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.  For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world.  And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.  (D&C 132: 4-6)

And now my comments:

The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary definitions, which gave how these words were used in Joseph Smith’s time, are consistent with the usage of the word damned in the above quotes.

I will break it down for you:

For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.

The key word here is “abide.” To “abide…that covenant” means “to endure or sustain” or “to bear or endure; to bear patiently” the covenant. You cannot abide a covenant without first entering the covenant, so the use of the word damned here refers to people who have entered the covenant and have not abided it, or, as the Lord states later in the same sentence, to people who have entered the covenant and then “reject” it. These people are damned. The verse does not refer to people who never enter the covenant.

Next, the following verse:

And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.

The key here to understanding the verse are the words “he that receiveth a fulness thereof.” The Lord doesn’t say “he who would receive a fulness thereof,” but refers to people who already received a fulness thereof. These people must and shall abide the law or they shall be damned. In this particular verse, the damned people we are talking about have already entered the covenant and have received a fulness of the Lord’s glory, who then do not abide (or, in other words, they reject) the law. However, we are assured by the Lord that such people “shall abide the law,” so there is no danger of such being damned, because they will not reject it after receiving such a fulness.

However, those who enter the covenant and who have not yet received of this spoken fulness, who reject the covenant, are damned.

These verses, then, are explicitly referring to one type of damnation: that received by the sons of perdition (see verse 27) and not to merely not receiving exaltation (a stopping of progression.)

27 The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.

My comments were meant to show that there is no need to invent another shade of meaning of the word damned to fit into these particular verses, as the normal shades of damned work just fine.  When the above scriptures are misunderstood to mean that “if you don’t enter the covenant, at all, you will miss out on the opportunity for exaltation,” then you must invent a new shade of meaning of the word damned, giving it the meaning of a “stopping or limiting of progress and privileges,” which is what LDS appear to have done.

Apparently, I am not the only one to come to this conclusion.  Another person commented on the same Millennial Star post, one Rob Osborn, and he essentially said the same thing:

As for defining “damnation”, in Joseph Smiths day he grew up with a protestant background and upbringing. In their day they used the word “damned” to mean “condemnation to hell”. I have done a lot of research on this noting how Joseph himself used the word outside of scriptural text. In every account I have run accross, Joseph uses it in the traditional protestant sense of condemnation to hell. To this day, that definition is what other Christian religions use. It is only our LDS religion that uses the word out of context. This is almost entirely due to a misunderstanding of the scriptural text. As has already been discusssed, section 132’s usage of the word “damned” literaly is used in the context of “condemantion to hell”. Verse 26 speaks of those who enter into the fulness and then perhaps sin in the new and everlasting covenant. It says they will be destroyed in the flesh and delivered over to the buffetings of Satan (in hell). This is the usage of “damned” in verses 4-6.

The three glories are not punishments; they are rewards

Only those who go into outer darkness receive punishment after the resurrection.

Wherefore, he saves all except them—they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment—  (D&C 76: 44)

So, if everyone else gets saved and receives a fulness of joy and endless happiness, why is everyone put into one of three glories?  Why not have one glory, instead of three?  Why do all the Telestials eventually receive a fulness of the Telestial glory, the Terrestrials a fulness of the Terrestrial glory and the Celestials a fulness of the Celestial glory, without being able “to go up a glory?”  If the assignment to a kingdom of glory is not a punishment for wicked deeds, but a reward, upon what principle is the reward based?

I will simply say that these questions and their answers have to do with the doctrine of the resurrection.  They could be explained with a review of D&C 76, D&C 88 and Alma 41, but I am done with expounding scripture for today.  This post is long enough already and I want to keep it on the topic of damnation and not delve into the mysteries of the resurrection.  However, I will say that assignments to one of the three glories has nothing to do with dishing out punishments.  None of the saved people long for something they could have had, but are eternally blissful, content, happy and joyful in their saved condition.  Assigning them to a kingdom of glory does not, and cannot, damn them.  I hope this post is sufficient to get that point across.  If there is still confusion, I will open it up further in the comments section.

I have listed above and hyper-linked all of the scriptures that mention damned and damnation. I invite everyone to read those verses again, with the information in this post fresh in your mind, and see if the scriptures are not more plainly unfolded to your view.

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44 Comments

  1. It’s almost like most Latter-day Saints think the different Kingdoms are degrees of damnation instead of degrees of salvation.

    I frankly believe most members only have a superficial grasp on anything D&C 76 is saying.

    Like the notion most have that members of the Telestial kingdom “pay for their own sins”.

  2. “And again, another trump shall sound, which is the third trump; and then come athe spirits of men who are to be judged, and are found under condemnation; And these are the rest of the dead; and they live not again until the thousand years are ended, neither again, until the end of the earth.” (section 88)

    “For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I” (Section 19)

    “Those who enter into the telestial kingdom, where their glories differ as do the stars of heaven in their magnitude, and who are innumerable as the sands of the seashore, are the ungodly, the filthy who suffer the wrath of God on the earth, who are thrust down to hell where they will be required to pay the uttermost farthing before their redemption comes. These are they who receive not the gospel of Christ and consequently could not deny the Holy Spirit while living on the earth…
    They have no part in the first resurrection and are not redeemed from the devil and his angels until the last resurrection, because of their wicked lives and their evil deeds. Nevertheless, even these are heirs of salvation, but before they are redeemed and enter into their kingdom, they must repent of their sins, and receive the gospel, and bow the knee, and acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of the world” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:22

    Notion?!?!

  3. I think Justin is referring to people who believe that the thousand years of suffering is sufficient to satisfy the demands of justice (no need for Christ, for their suffering redeems) and not that the thousand years of suffering allows these people to finally repent of their sins, which repentance allows them to be forgiven and washed clean in the blood of the Lamb (Christ redeems or satisfies the demands of justice, not their suffering redeems). Am I correct in this Justin?

    I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this subject with other LDS, so I don’t know how many people think that the suffering of man in hell for a thousand years is sufficient to wash away people’s sins. I know in other religion such a doctrine of paying for one’s own sins exists, but among the LDS, I’ve never heard such a theory discussed. But that doesn’t mean that there are no LDS who believe it. With the way certain scriptures are worded, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find LDS misunderstanding them and subscribing to a suffer-to-be-forgiven doctrine.

  4. LDS Anarchist, Your interpretation of my words were correct.

    Sorry, OWIW, perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. I’m glad you provided that quote from President Joseph Fielding Smith — I have previously written it in my scriptures in the margin of D&C 76:

    “Nevertheless, even these are heirs of salvation, but before they are redeemed and enter into their kingdom, they must repent of their sins, and receive the gospel, and bow the knee, and acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of the world”

    Perhaps it is just me, but I run into this notion of the Telestial kingdom’s inhabitants having paid the debt for their own sins — not that they are suffering because of their sins until they exercise faith and choose to repent — quite regularly.

    I teach the Gospel Essentials class, and the lesson manual is frustrating in this regard. It states:

    “These people [Telestial] did not receive the Gospel or the testimony of Jesus either on earth or in the spirit world. They will suffer for their own sins in hell until after the Millennium, when they will be resurrected.”

    If the Temple is to function at all as a model of the degrees of glory in the Kingdom of Heaven — do some not realize that the person for whom you are officiating must be baptized before you could take them into the Telestial room?

    As President Smith stated, everyone who inherits the Kingdom of Heaven — regardless of what glory — must repent of their sins and receive the gospel. To not do otherwise would leave a person damned.

  5. Justin

    Let me ask you a question that may help to illustrate the point I want to make and may help clarify if we are on the same page in our interpretations pertaining to the issues you have brought up.

    Regarding section 29 verse 26-28, would the telestial spirits be on the “right hand” or the “left hand” of Christ?

    “….before the earth shall pass away, \Michael, mine archangel, shall sound his trump, and then shall all the dead awake, for their graves shall be opened, and they shall come forth—yea, even all.
    And the righteous shall be gathered on my bright hand unto eternal life; and the wicked on my left hand will I be ashamed to own before the Father;
    Wherefore I will say unto them—Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

    Are the telestial spirits numbered among those who are “righteous” that gain “eternal life” OR are they among the “wicked” who Christ is ashamed to own?

  6. If verse 22 indicates that this event is taking place after the Millenium, then the Telestial cannot be on the left because they will be returning from the the everlasting fire, not going into it.

    However, everything else about the verses you bring up do indicate to me that those on the right are only those who receive the highest degree of salvation.

    Seeing as how the final state of the Telestial spirits will be “heirs of salvation” because they “repent of their sins, and receive the gospel”, then I must conclude that when all is said and done, the right/left distinction is going to be:
    Right = The Kingdom of Heaven [which is made of 3 degrees of glory]
    Left = The Kingdom of the Devil [outer darkness]

  7. “If verse 22 indicates that this event is taking place after the Millenium..”

    Are you saying you don’t know if this event is taking place before or after the Millennium?

    It seems to me that perhaps the first thing we need to do is to see if we can come to an agreement on this issue.

    “However, everything else about the verses you bring up do indicate to me that those on the right are only those who receive the highest degree of salvation.”

    Ok.. so you are saying that only the Celestial Soulds who inherit the highest kingdom of glory are on the right hand but the terrestrial and telestial are on the left hand with the S of P?

    “Right = The Kingdom of Heaven [which is made of 3 degrees of glory]
    Left = The Kingdom of the Devil [outer darkness]

    No… I guess what you are saying is that only the Sons of Perdition are on his left hand and that the Celestial, terrestrial and Telestial Souls are on the right.

    i guess I am not sure where you stand on this.. for sure, but I assume it is the last answer above… Only the S of P on the left.

    I’ll wait for the Anarchist to clear things up for you again, in case I misunderstood you again, and then I will respond with my interpretation of the left hand and right hand.

    I am not trying to give you a hard time, I just disagree with your initial statements that began all of this and I think the right hand, left hand event provides a great opportunity for further discussion relating to the topic at hand.

    Thank you for your response.

    Watcher

  8. I am going to guess that Justin subscribes to a

    “Right = The Kingdom of Heaven [which is made of 3 degrees of glory]
    Left = The Kingdom of the Devil [outer darkness]”

    interpretation of D&C 29: 26-28.

  9. And do you put your holy water on that definition?

  10. I don’t have any holy water (I hold Mormon, not Catholic priesthood), but if this is truly how Justin is interpreting the passage and I were a Catholic priest, I suppose I could put holy water on it, as there are scriptures that support such an interpretation. Of course, Catholics don’t really need scriptural support to put holy water on things, just so you know…

  11. Correct me if I am wrong Anarchist, but I thought you were originally baptized into the Catholic Church.

    According to a catholic chat board I recently visited,

    “Once Baptized always baptized. You cannot undo your Baptism….There is a process known as excommunication. But this is merely a formal recognition that the excommunicated person themselves has, by their own acts, placed themselves outside the Church, rather than the Church casting anyone out.”

    I doubt that you were ever excommunicated from the Catholic church but even if you were, you still are considered a baptized Catholic.

    According to this information Anarchist, you are still Catholic despite the fact that you have allowed your membership to “lapse”.

    You will be happy to know, however that reactivation does not require re-baptism,

    “It is also true that the vast majority of lapsed Catholics are only a good confession away from coming back as well, no matter how long they’ve been away”

    If I am wrong about your status in the Catholic Church, forgive me. It just seems I read it somewhere…

    But to get back on topic, I am going to prepare a short explanation as to why I disagree with you and Justin.

    I’ll post it when I get it done.

    Then you guys can show me the error of my ways… with or without holy water.

  12. You are right, OWIW, I was baptized Catholic, but I hold no Catholic priesthood (which is what I said.) Technically, I’m on the records of two churches, Catholic and Mormon. But I don’t really count the Catholic part much, as I was forced into it kicking and screaming (I was baptized as an infant), whereas I entered the Mormon religion of my own free will. Surely the principle of duress applies to religion, too, right?

  13. I am not sure about that.

    I noticed this statement on the chat board as well.

    “Baptism makes you a Christian and member of the Mystical Body of Christ. Yes, it is correct that the Mystical Body of Christ is the Catholic Church.”

    That statement got me thinking about the MOA in a deeper, more mystical way and how the pope declares himself to have primacy over the whole world (Council of Florence (1439))

    As I have pondered the events of the reformation, inquisition, purpose and calling of the Jesuits and several statements made in the scriptures about the GAAC which is the WOATE, it occurred to me why it is that those in high places in the Catholic Church consider ALL Christians to be Catholics… and in fact, I am not sure they are wrong.

    Hence, perhaps we are all Catholics!

  14. I ultimately rest upon my concluding statement:
    “Then I must conclude that when all is said and done, the right/left distinction is going to be:
    Right = The Kingdom of Heaven [which is made of 3 degrees of glory]
    Left = The Kingdom of the Devil [outer darkness]”

    But I’m willing to listen to what you have to say on the matter because, as my earlier remarks indicated, I am open to it meaning other things.

    Of the three statements that I initially made, am I correct in guessing that it was,
    “Like the notion most have that members of the Telestial kingdom ‘pay for their own sins.'”
    that you disagree with? May I ask, why — if this is your disagreement — why you believe otherwise?

  15. Hah! I was right! (About what Justin believed, that is.) Perhaps I should be designated as his official interpreter?

  16. Ok Justin…

    Since you are begging and pleading with me to expound on why I disagree with you… LOL

    Here it is…

    (BTW I have not taken the time to correct punct. And spelling on this post and I think my editorial rights have been limited on this site, so I apologize for any typos, etc. I will probably post this on one of my other blogs where it will be easier to read)

    Let me suggest that the event pertaining the left hand and the right hand mentioned in section 29, wherein Michael blows his trump and awakens the dead does not take place AFTER the paradisaical millennium It takes place BEFORE the paradisaical millennium.

    You can verify this by comparing these verses in section 29 to matt 25:31-41, Luke 13:25-14, 63:53-54, 88:92-110 Dan 12:1-2

    Why is this important to understand if this event takes place before or after the Millennium?

    Because the timing of this event is a critical factor in order to have an accurate context before we can make a correct interpretation of what is being said.

    But we need to drill down even further than that regarding the time when this takes place.

    We need to know if it is taking place between the first redemption of the celestial souls and the 2nd redemption of the terrestrial souls OR if it takes place between the 2nd redemption of the terrestrial souls and the beginning of the Millennium.

    I would suggest that the “right hand/ left hand” event described in section 29 is taking place at the end of mortal probation when Christ returns in the glory of his Fathers kingdom, after the 1st redemption of the Celestlial Souls and BEFORE 2nd redemption of the Terrestrial souls.

    The terrestrial and telestial souls who have fallen short of the mark and not accepted the fullness of the Gospel during probation are classed among the sons of perdition until they have suffered for their portion of time.

    In the case of the terrestrial souls, they will finish their suffering under the “buffetings of Satan” during the hour of judgment, between the end of the six thousand year mortal probation and the beginning of the Millennium.

    In the case of the terrestrial souls, they will finish their suffering AFTER the space of 1,000 years. At that point, the telestials will be clean and able to withstand a telestial glory.

    Please note sections 77″12 and 88100-102 that the telestial souls are not redeemed at the end of probationary time when the celestial and terrestrials are redeemed, they are not redeemed until after the millennium, hence, the “right hand, left hand” event in section 29 that takes place at the time of the end of probation when Michael blows his trump, must be including the telestials with the Sons of Perdition on his left hand.

    Additionally, even the terrestrials are temporarily classed among the telestials and S of P at the time of the right hand/left hand event at Christs coming.

    this is easily proven because “eternal life” categorically means “Celestial Life” in the highest kingdom of Glory.

    Section 29 clearly states that those on his right hand will gain “eternal life”.

    According to Joseph Fielding Smith, the term “eternal life” is synonymous with “exaltation”,

    “Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He possesses all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the Father of spirit children. He is a creator. We can become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation.

    If we prove faithful to the Lord, we will live in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of heaven. We will become exalted, just like our Heavenly Father. Exaltation is the greatest gift that Heavenly Father can give his children” (see Doctrine & Covenants 14:7). Gospel Principles ch. 47, Exaltation.

    Here is what Bruce R. Mcconkie says about “eternal life”

    “Eternal life is life in the highest heaven of the celestial world; it is exaltation; it is the name of the kind of life God lives.” Bruce R McConkie in April 1977,

    Here is what http://www.lds.org says about “eternal life:
    ,
    “Eternal life is the phrase used in scripture to define the quality of life that our Eternal Father lives. The Lord declared, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Immortality is to live forever as a resurrected being. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, everyone will receive this gift. Eternal life, or exaltation, is to live in God’s presence and to continue as families (see D&C 131:1–4). Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, to inherit eternal life requires our “obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (Articles of Faith 1:3). ”

    I have searched the term “eternal life” in the scriptures just to keep Bruce and Joseph honest and I have never found the term to mean anything other than the highest salvation in the highest kingdom of God.

    Please review a few of the following definitions of eternal life as contained in the scriptures below.

    Terrestrial Souls do not qualify under ANY of the definitions of “eternal life” as given in the scriptures.

    Eternal life is obtained by ;

    1- Mat 19:16:23 consecrating temporal wealth.
    2- Luke 10:25-27 Loving the Lord with all thy aheart, soul, and mind;
    3- John 6:53-54 eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ during probation
    4- John 17;2 receiving power over all flesh
    5- Acts 13:48 believing when the Gospel of Christ is preached to you
    6- D&C 14:7 obtaining the greatest gift of God
    7- D&C 20:14 obtaining a celestial “Crown”. (Lesser glories don’t get a crown)
    8- D&C 45:8 BECOMING the Sons of God
    9- D&C 88:4 Obtaining the Comforter which is the apromise of beternal life
    10- D&C 131:5 Receiving the more sure word of prophecy or calling and election
    11- D&C 133:62 Those who become sanctified

    Among other things we learn from our study on eternal life that it comes with a “Crown”.

    Those who inherit a terrestrial or telestial glory do not inherit a “Crown”.

    Clearly those on the right hand of God that inherit eternal life are those who are exalted in the highest degree of glory with a crown.

    The same right hand, left hand event mentioned in section 29 is mentioned in section 101 in the form of the parable of the wheat and tares.

    Notice how those who have eternal life are those who seek the face of the Lord. Additionally, the wheat receive a crown while the tares do not.

    38 And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.
    • • •
    65 Therefore, I must gather together my people, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory, when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father to reward every man according as his work shall be; D&C 101: 38, 65

    That being the case, it is interesting to note that celestial souls gain “eternal life” while everyone else on the left hand don’t gain eternal life..

    the terrestrials are washed in the blood of the Lamb and cleansed after they suffer under the buffetings of Satan for a short period of time.

    The telestial come forth in a cleansed and saved condition after they have suffered for 1,000 years.

    Even after the telestial souls are cleansed and are redeemed from hell, they are not allowed to be in the presence of Christ.. he is still ashamed to own them even after they are redeemed from hell. They are only administered to by the Holy Ghost (see 76)

    Although the terrestrials can be in Christs presence, he cannot bring them into the Fathers kingdom.. he would be ashamed to do so.

    This brings us back to why I quoted section 19 originally

    “For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I” (Section 19)

    From the above verse we learn,

    1- God suffered for all

    2- Those that repent during probation don’t need to personally suffer for their own sins

    3- Those that don’t repent during probation must suffer even as Christ did.

    THE ONLY GROUP OF SOULS THAT REPENT DURING PROBATION ARE THE CELESTIAL SOULS!

    The telestial and terrestrial souls NEVER repent during probation.

    That is why they cannot be redeemed in the highest kingdom of God.

    The telestial are thrust into hell with the sons of perdition to suffer for 1,000 years.

    Please notice from the following verses in Revelation that the new Jerusalem (celestials) are the first to be redeemed.

    They are the ones that overcome and inherit ALL THINGS.

    Those that initially stand outside of the New Jerusalem after the redemption of the celestial elect, are;

    1- Terrestrials; fearful, unbelieving

    2- Telestials; whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters, liars

    3- Sons of Perdition; abominable, murderers

    All three groups have a “part” or “portion” of suffering that takes place after probation.

    Even the terrestrials experience their part and portion of suffering prior to the millennium, hence, those from Judah “AFTER THEIR PAIN” and all of the terrestrials after they are “JUDGED ACCORDING TO MEN IN THE FLESH” are redeemed before the millennium but not before they have been turned over to the buffetings of Satan and have suffered as a result of having rejected the fulness of the Gospel during probation.

    “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first dearth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
    2 And I John saw the holy city, anew bJerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a cbride adorned for her husband.

    The above passage describes the holy city which is filled with those who will inherit the highest of the three kingdoms of glory.

    In the passage below we are informed that it descends upon the earth to dwell with men.

    Notice how eventually the terrestrials will no longer have any pain from their suffering.

    3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
    4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
    5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things anew. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
    6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

    The next verse informs us that the celestials are those that “overcome all things”.

    7 He that overcometh shall inherit call things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

    The next verse informs us that those outside the holy city are the other three groups of people. (terrestrial, telestial & S of P)

    8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

    The Lord reiterated and clarified the doctrine taught in the above passages in modern revelation. Section 88 informs us that there are three resurrections for the celestial, terrestrial and telestial souls.

    Notice in the following section how the “fearful and the unbelieving” terrestrials are classified among the telestials and Sons of Perdition as not having a part in the first resurrection;

    17 Wherefore, I, the Lord, have said that the fearful, and the unbelieving, and all liars, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie, and the whoremonger, and the sorcerer, shall have their part in that flake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
    18 Verily I say, that they shall not have part in the first resurrection.

    This proves that even the terrestrial “unbelievers” will have a part or portion of suffering in the lake of fire prior to their being “justified” and “redeemed” from the chains of Satan.

    Notice the following passages referring to terrestrial “unbelievers”,

    9 And all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of teeth. D&C 85: 9

    90 And in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time, will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites, and unbelievers; D&C 101: 90

    After the suffering and redemption of the terrestrials they will be justified. They are then allowed to enter into the city. But the other two groups remain unjustified.

    After the terrestrials suffer and become justified, now those on the outside are the following two groups

    1- Telestials; sorcerers, whoremongers idolaters, liers

    2- Sons of Perdition; dogs, murderers

    He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
    12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
    13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
    14 Blessed are they that ado his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
    15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

    Even the last enemy which is called the “second death” is finally destroyed. All four groups of souls will continue to exist for eternity… but “eternal life” is not synonymous with “living for eternity”

    14 And behold, they shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews; and for this intent shall they go—that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant;

    6 O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day. Morm. 9: 6

    The Book of Mormon provides even more clarity to the Book of Revelation scripture I quoted

    Notice how verse ten describes the celestial inhabitants in the New Jerusalem that come forth in the first resurrection.

    Then notice how verse 11 describes the terrestrial inhabitants that come forth as the “Old Jerusalem”.

    The celestial souls in the New jerusalem have “garments” that are “white” because of the blood of the Lamb. (they knowingly accepted the atonement)

    The terrestrials who were redeemed through the Old Testament covenant with Abraham, under the preparatory gospel, have been “washed IN the blood” of the Lamb. (they had to suffer and repent after probation… then they were cleansed in the blood of the Lamb)

    10 And then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel.

    11 And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham.

    Indeed, it is only the celestial elect of God that are on the right hand of Christ in verse 29.

    My point in all of this?

    Yes, the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms are kingdoms of salvation in that the inhabitants thereof continue through eternity in a “saved condition”, BUT they certainly do do not have eternal life, and those kingdoms and glories certainly do represent being damned or prevented from progressing to greater light, exaltation and eternal life.

    …and if you think that the telestials and terrestrials don’t suffer for their sins, you had been search the scriptures a little more.

    Both will suffer because they did not repent during probation just as section 29 says they will.

    This does not imply that their suffering is more powerful than Christs.

    Nor does it imply that their suffering is necessary in addition to Christ’s, in order to save them or make them clean, it has more to do with the fact that you cannot receive a gift you are not willing to accept… and there are consequences to not accepting the atonement and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    I

  17. I would hope my statements are written clear on their own, however, I do appreciate your spot-on analysis and clarifications.

  18. Anarchist.. I think my response is caught in your spam filter…

  19. Lol, OWIW, I can see why this got caught in the spam filter! LMAO!

    I think I once told you need to back up your stuff a little better, didn’t I? Can you please decipher for me what you wrote here: “You can verify this by comparing these verses in section 29 to matt 25:31-41, Luke 13:25-14, 63:53-54, 88:92-110 Dan 12:1-2?”

    I could read Matt. 25: 31-41, but what the heck is Luke 13: 25-14? Lol! And where is 63: 53-54 and 88: 92-110? Yeah, yeah, I know you said there were typos, but this is the crux of your argument. If you can show that the time frame is not at the end of the Millennium, but before the Millennium, then nothing else needs to be said, as the visitors of this blog are LDS who are familiar with the doctrine (or should be.) So, to make typos on these scriptures puts you on crutches from the get-go. If you fail to prove this one point, then your other theories about it fall flat. So, I would recommend that you give the precise scriptures that you believe show why the verses in section 29 refer to the time frame you think they refer to and build your argument solidly (if possible) on that alone.

  20. Actually,

    My case was proven when I provided the definition of “eternal life”. That proves conclusively who is on the right hand of Christ and who is not, during that prophetic event.

    Beyond that, if you can’t use your ability to key word search to determine that the event takes place before the Millennium, it wouldn’t help for me to show it to you any way.

    If you want to think that it takes place after the Millennium.. so be it.

  21. OWIW, I’m going to help you out. Specifically, you’ve got to show that D&C 29: 26, which mentions Michael the archangel, is not talking about the same time frame as D&C 88: 112-113 and 115, which mentions Michael the archangel (the seventh angel.) Also, you’ve got to show that the seventh angel (Michael) is the one who calls forth the dead in the time period you are thinking, and not the first three angels as indicated by D&C 88: 94-100. If you can show that conclusively, you’ve got a strong case.

  22. I believe the majority of your readership is very advanced in searching the scriptures.

    I have provided more than enough information for anyone who is interested to find what they need to regarding this topic.

  23. One other thing, OWIW, about that eternal life thing. I know you think it means exaltation in every instance in the scriptures, but in the very same section we are talking about (29) it is used twice, once in the verses you brought up and once in these verses:

    And thus did I, the Lord God, appoint unto man the days of his probation—that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe; and they that believe not unto eternal damnation; for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall, because they repent not; for they love darkness rather than light, and their deeds are evil, and they receive their wages of whom they list to obey. (D&C 29: 43-45)

    Eternal life here cannot be referring to only exaltation, because then you end up getting a saved and damned at the same time doctrine, which is false. Eternal life, then, in this section, is given to those who are saved (3 glories). It is counter-intuitive to think that the Lord uses a term twice in the same revelation, but changes its meaning each time, to confuse us. Thus, eternal life in both uses of this section refers to salvation in 3 kingdoms and not explicitly to exaltation.

  24. “One other thing, OWIW, about that eternal life thing. I know you think it means exaltation in every instance in the scriptures, but in the very same section we are talking about (29) it is used twice, once in the verses you brought up and once in these verses:

    And thus did I, the Lord God, appoint unto man the days of his probation—that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe; and they that believe not unto eternal damnation; for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall, because they repent not; for they love darkness rather than light, and their deeds are evil, and they receive their wages of whom they list to obey. (D&C 29: 43-45)

    Eternal life here cannot be referring to only exaltation, because then you end up getting a saved and damned at the same time doctrine, which is false. Eternal life, then, in this section, is given to those who are saved (3 glories). It is counter-intuitive to think that the Lord uses a term twice in the same revelation, but changes its meaning each time, to confuse us. Thus, eternal life in both uses of this section refers to salvation in 3 kingdoms and not explicitly to exaltation.”

    Wrong again Anarchist.

    the term categorically means exaltation just as Joseph, Bruce and the website states.

    It ALWAYS means exaltation EVERY SINGLE TIME. Including the verses you just quoted.

    Those in the telestial and terrestrial kingdoms are DAMNED from ever attaining exaltation in the highest kingdom. You are so locked into the theories you have been teaching that you can’t see that those passages prove them wrong.

    The very passages you quoted substantiate what I just wrote about.

  25. Lol! I guess you disagree with the post, then!

  26. I’m actually glad that you brought up this “eternal life” topic, OWIW. You wrote above,

    “I have searched the term “eternal life” in the scriptures just to keep Bruce and Joseph honest and I have never found the term to mean anything other than the highest salvation in the highest kingdom of God.”

    I’ll take you at your word that you truly haven’t found the term to mean anything other than exaltation. But when I did a word search for “eternal life,” I found that it did not mean exaltation in every instance. (As I don’t want to dedicate an entire post to this subject, I’ll use this comment to address it.)

    Click here to see every instance of “eternal life” in the scriptures

    For those curious about this subject, let me suggest that you click the above link and read every verse that contains “eternal life.” When reading, though, substitute the word “exaltation” in its place and see if exaltation fits every single time. I’ve done this, and it doesn’t fit every time. For example,

    And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have [exaltation], and salvation cometh to none else. (Alma 11: 40)

    So, salvation only comes to exalted people? Or, how about,

    And there cometh a resurrection, even a first resurrection; yea, even a resurrection of those that have been, and who are, and who shall be, even until the resurrection of Christ—for so shall he be called. And now, the resurrection of all the prophets, and all those that have believed in their words, or all those that have kept the commandments of God, shall come forth in the first resurrection; therefore, they are the first resurrection. They are raised to dwell with God who has redeemed them; thus they have [exaltation] through Christ, who has broken the bands of death. And these are those who have part in the first resurrection; and these are they that have died before Christ came, in their ignorance, not having salvation declared unto them. And thus the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these; and they have a part in the first resurrection, or have [exaltation], being redeemed by the Lord. And little children also have [exaltation]. (Mosiah 15: 21-25)

    So, who receives exaltation (if we substitute, that is)?: The prophets, those who keep the commandments of God, those who never had the gospel preached to them and who died before Christ, and also little children. So, when did it become a doctrine that if you died without having salvation declared to you, that you automatically get exaltation?

    These are just two examples of inconsistencies when holding to a firm “eternal life”=”exaltation” in every instance stance. Check the other verses, if you have interest.

    One last thing, after substituting “exaltation” for “eternal life,” try substituting “salvation” for “eternal life” and see if it fits. You may be surprised at what you find.

    Okay, back to our regularly scheduled damnation programming…

  27. Great response Anarchist-

    I am leaving to go somewhere now and when I return i will address the points and scriptures that you have presented. And I will provide evidence to show that my previous suppositions are correct and that your suppositions in your previous reply are incorrect.

    However, before this discussion morphs into the related subtopics and scriptures that you are bringing up, perhaps you would be willing to provide a little closure to the original topic if in fact you have arrived at a final belief relating to it.

    You have obviously put some additional thought into the previous propositions that I have made… particularly regarding the interpretation of the verses in section 29:26-27

    Would you please make a declaration as to where you stand and be willing to acknowledge that my interpretations about those passages are correct if you sincerely believe they are.

    1- Are you ready to admit that the prophetic “right hand/left hand” event mentioned in section 29:26-27 takes place BEFORE the Paradisaical Millennium? If not, why not?

    2- Are you ready to concede that the term “righteous” in those same verses refers exclusively to the celestial souls who repented during probation (or would have repented if given a chance) and not to the terrestrial or telestial souls who did not accept the fulness of the gospel and repent during probation? And if not, why not.

    3-Are you willing to concede that the phrase “eternal life” in the specific context used in those passages does in fact refer to the highest salvation in the celestial kingdom of God as defined by Joseph and Bruce and not to the terrestrial or telestial kingdoms? And if not, why not?

    It is fine if you honestly don’t agree with the interpretation that I laid out, but I think you should make a statement for everyone to know where you stand on this most important issue before we move on…

    Obviously you and I currently disagree as to whether the term “eternal life” always means exaltation in every use of the term in the scriptures.

    I still maintain that it does and when I return I am going to go even further and make some suppositions that will undoubtedly shock a few people and maybe even create a little indigestion regarding another term that relates to this general topic, but before moving on, I suspect that you may have already realized what those passages in section 29 are referring to and I think you should make a declaration as to where you stand.

    I suspect there are a few people who have studied the information that you and I have brought forth and they have formulated their own opinions based on there own scripture study and searching, and I really think you should let every know what your conclusions are and if you do or do not agree with the interpretations that I have set forth pertaining to those passages.

    Even if you were right about a few scriptures using the phrase “eternal life” differently than the definitions provided by Bruce and Joseph, (which you aren’t) my interpretation of the passages in section 29 would very probably still be correct since even you appear to realize that the vast majority of the time the terms means what the church teaches that it means…

    Where do you stand?

  28. I have trouble believing in eternal damnation or eternal confinement to any particular glory of heaven. If you believe in eternal life, then how could you not also believe in eternal progression? I mean, if it goes on forever, then how could progression be limited?

    In addition, with so many varieties of naughty and nice things people have done, how are you going to draw a line between two people. The difference between the last person to make the Terrestrial kingdom and the first person to make the Telestial kingdom will be imperceivable. Yet, you believe God is going to have to draw a line somewhere though, right? The line is going to come down to two people, one going to one kingdom and the other going to the other kingdom. I find it hard to believe that a just God would draw eternal lines like that, when the difference between two people is so minute.

    Really, I don’t personally believe in any of that. If there is a life after death, I believe heaven and hell are a state of mind, not a physical place. It would be illogical to think otherwise, since nothing other than a state of mind could provide everlasting happiness or misery. I also believe there are as many degrees of glory as there are people. Someone may be eternally damned because they will eternally regret not taking advantage of their earthly opportunity, even though they are eternally progressing and eternally happy. It’s possible to be happy with where you are but regret having made poor decisions in the past.

    If heaven and hell are a state of mind, then wouldn’t it be possible to achieve either heaven or hell here on earth?

  29. Anarchist,
    I am waiting for your replies to OWIW.
    IT’s been a while?! I am looking forward to it.

  30. Anarchist,
    You fade away at the most inopportune times… These seem like fair questions from OWIW. Enlighten us!

    Would you please make a declaration as to where you stand and be willing to acknowledge that my interpretations about those passages are correct if you sincerely believe they are.

    1- Are you ready to admit that the prophetic “right hand/left hand” event mentioned in section 29:26-27 takes place BEFORE the Paradisaical Millennium? If not, why not?

    2- Are you ready to concede that the term “righteous” in those same verses refers exclusively to the celestial souls who repented during probation (or would have repented if given a chance) and not to the terrestrial or telestial souls who did not accept the fulness of the gospel and repent during probation? And if not, why not.

    3-Are you willing to concede that the phrase “eternal life” in the specific context used in those passages does in fact refer to the highest salvation in the celestial kingdom of God as defined by Joseph and Bruce and not to the terrestrial or telestial kingdoms? And if not, why not?

    It is fine if you honestly don’t agree with the interpretation that I laid out, but I think you should make a statement for everyone to know where you stand on this most important issue before we move on…

  31. TruthSeeker,
    Why are you fighting OWIW’s battles?

  32. Anonymous,
    Dito…

  33. Actually, the crux of all your arguments rests upon the interpretation of this verse:

    Isaiah 28:16 — “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”

    How could Christ be a stone tested and tried unless there is something we don’t yet know about the plan of salvation? We can only be tested and tried under the veil in the absence of knowledge, and yet we proclaim that Christ didn’t live in ignorance in his life on this world.

    If Christ was tested in ignorance, tried, and judged righteous in a previous mortal probation, then must those of us here destined for exaltation likewise live again with perfect knowledge and stand as saviors in Zion for future worlds.

    People here are awfully proud of their own understandings when it is obvious we understand so little. There are plenty of folk-Mormonisms, such as the idea that eternal progression may include graduation through the kingdoms of glory.

    Murderers must suffer the pains of the crucifixion in their resurrection… Others must suffer pains of torment in the purgatory of spirit prison until their proxy temple work or, worse yet, their resurrection… Others still (found arguing on blogs) must proclaim what it will be like to be gods in heaven before they find themselves burning in hell…

  34. Note to all blog visitors: My computers have committed electric hari kari, so I may be absent from this blog for quite some time, as it is not a priority to get a new computer (we are enjoying the cyber silence.) In the meantime, what4anarchy is in charge of moderating the blog. I’m only visiting today (on someone else’s computer) to answer OWIW’s questions to me. As my visits may be few and far between, I’m making this comment a bit comprehensive. Just a warning…

    OWIW (and TruthSeeker):

    OWIW asked me (LDSA): Would you please make a declaration as to where you stand and be willing to acknowledge that my interpretations about those passages are correct if you sincerely believe they are?

    1- Are you ready to admit that the prophetic “right hand/left hand” event mentioned in section 29: 26-27 takes place BEFORE the Paradisaical Millennium? If not, why not?

    D&C 29: 12-21 refers to PRE-MILLENNIUM events, while D&C 29: 22-28 refers to POST-MILLENNIUM events. Search the footnote references to the verses for more scriptures on these two periods of time. For example, Rev. 20: 7-15 refers to the same events as D&C 29: 22-28.

    OWIW asked me: 2- Are you ready to concede that the term “righteous” in those same verses refers exclusively to the celestial souls who repented during probation (or would have repented if given a chance) and not to the terrestrial or telestial souls who did not accept the fulness of the gospel and repent during probation? And if not, why not?

    The “righteous” in D&C 29: 27 are all those during the POST-MILLENNIUM event (mentioned above) that inherit eternal life (salvation) as opposed to eternal death, which is the last death (the second death.) See D&C 29: 41 for clarification. In other words, these are those who inherit the kingdom of God (any of the 3 glories) and not those who are cast into outer darkness. These are heirs of eternal life (see verse 43) and not those who receive eternal damnation (see verse 44 as well as the entire post above.)

    OWIW asked me: 3- Are you willing to concede that the phrase “eternal life” in the specific context used in those passages does in fact refer to the highest salvation in the celestial kindgom of God as defined by Joseph and Bruce and not to the terrestrial or telestial kingdoms? And if not, why not?

    The words “eternal life” in D&C 29: 27, 43 are synonymous with “salvation.” “Eternal life” in these passages means being saved in the kingdom of God, regardless of which of the three glories you end up receiving.

    OWIW, there are a couple of places where you have gone wrong in your interpretation of D&C 29.

    1) You have combined the two prophetic events mentioned in D&C 29: 12-21 and D&C 29: 22-28 into the same PRE-MILLENNIUM event, instead of keeping them separate.

    2) You have treated the words “eternal life” as if it were a compound noun meaning one thing only in every instance of the scriptures, instead of treating “eternal” as an adjective modifying the noun “life.” The adjective “eternal” has several shades of meaning which, depending on the shade, will modify the noun “life” to mean something different. As there is no compound noun “eternal life,” the precise meaning of the term is determined by the context it is used in.

    IN section 29, the Lord explained what perils might come upon the 6 elders it was addressed to if they sinned again (see verse 3), namely, a temporal desolation of abomination in this world, represented by the PRE-MILLENNIUM tribulations and desolations upon the wicked in verses 12-21, and also an eternal desolation of abomination in the world to come, represented by the POST-MILLENNIUM departure of the cursed wicked into everlasting fire in verses 22-28. The Lord was explaining to the 6 elders that damnation means becoming “subject to the will of the devil” (verse 40) due to yielding to temptation (which definition is nearly identical to that given by Abinadi), and that such transgressions result in spiritual death, even a first spiritual death (temporal damnation or damnation in this world), which if not repented of will turn into a second or last spiritual death (eternal damnation or damnation in the world to come), being overcome by the devil and residing with him and his angels in outer darkness.

    OF the two desolations of abominations (“for abominations shall not reign“), the one that happens in the world to come involves Michael and concerns the last day, the day of judgment and the end (temporal death) of the earth. The Lord has given us very little information on POST-MILLENNIUM events and, in fact, has forbidden the prophets from disclosing more about them until the great and marvelous work begins. (See Ether 13: 13.)

    ONE more thing, when the Lord says, “they have no power” in verse 29, referring to the cursed wicked who have departed into everlasting fire, it does not mean that they have no power to come to where the Lord is, but that they have no power. Period. In other words, it’s not that they don’t have power to get into the celestial kingdom, yet they have power to get into the terrestrial kingdom or the telestial kingdom, no, the meaning is that they don’t have any power, at all. Those who inherit the telestial glory do have power, power being agency. This is why they become “servants of the Most High.” (See D&C 76: 112.) Satan, his angels and the sons of perdition, though, once cast into outer darkness, will have no agency (existence). Without agency (the power to act for oneself) there is no existence within the created Universe (the inner sphere of light where the Lord is) and so these must go into outer darkness because they “receive not the light.” (See D&C 93: 30-31 and also The role of agency in political systems.) These are the only ones eternally condemned or who receive eternal damnation. Everyone else is eternally saved (receives eternal life) in an undamned state, regardless of the glory (light) they inherit. As agency (power) has everything to do with this topic of the first shall be last and the last shall be first—the first and second creation (the beginning of the Lord’s work) reversing order (the last of the Lord’s work, see verses 30-32)—the Lord talks of agency in verses 36-45. So, the meaning of “they have no power” in verse 29 is “they have no agency.” (***)

    LASTLY, I will address the scriptures you gave to support a PRE-MILLENNIUM time frame for D&C 29: 26-27. Daniel 12: 1-2 is speaking of POST-MILLENNIUM events. D&C 88: 92-110 is speaking of PRE-MILLENNIUM events. D&C 63: 53-54 is speaking of PRE-MILLENNIUM events. Luke 13: 23-30 is speaking of POST-MILLENNIUM events. Matt. 25: 31-41 is a parable of the sheep and the goats and speaks of POST-MILLENNIUM events. Admittedly, the wording of verse 31 might be confusing and even the footnotes point a person to the Topical Guide entries: Jesus Christ, Second Coming and Millennium, but the Lord is referring to POST-MILLENNIUM events, nonetheless.

    *** This ties in to D&C 29: 39, which states: “And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet—” This scripture is widely misunderstood, but it has everything to do with the doctrine of subjection to the devil (damnation) and why the devil CANNOT be kicked out into outer darkness until the very last day, why he MUST stay within the sphere of light until that day and why he MUST go at that day. All of this is due to the agency OF MAN.

  35. Anarchist

    Thank you for clarifying where you stand in your interpretations on those issues.

    I had a feeling that Rev 20 would play a role in leading you to the assumption that the right hand, left hand event in section 29:26-27 takes place after the millennium.

    I have provided a partial commentary on Revelation 20 that you might want to review.

    A correct interpretation of Revelation 20 provides a great foundation for understanding when the event in secion 29 takes place and what it is talking about.

    Part One explains why Revelation 20 cannot be speaking about those who have already been judged at the coming of Christ.

    Part Two will address what Revelation 20 actually is speaking about.

    http://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/revelation-20-part-one/

  36. […] the Gentile church is proof positive that the church is condemned, or to be plainer in writing, damned, because “if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, […]

  37. Wow! Well you’ve just converted two more people to the correct definition of “damned” I absolutely loved the clarification of section 132 as well. Coming from a polygamous background I would thoroughly enjoy if you analyzed the entire section. I’ve heard several different interpretations of that section…but then maybe you already have?? Except for this little hop I am still in 2007.

  38. liv435,

    I would recommend downloading GEMTAM (Chapter 3) Multihusband-Multiwife. That addresses many of the verses of D&C 132. I don’t know that I have ever taken up the revelation and attempted to just lay the whole thing out. I think you’ll find bits and pieces of it expounded here and there around this blog, in this or that post, but I don’t recall a single post or set of posts that try to tackle the whole thing. Chapter 3 of the GEMTAM, I think, is the most comprehensive attempt I, personally, have made to “bring it all together.” And so reading that chapter would probably be your best bet to get my own, personal understanding of the meaning of D&C 132, (at least insofar as it deals with the doctrine of plural marriage and concubinage, for there are other doctrines present in that revelation, such as its plasma cosmological interpretation, etc.)

  39. I didn’t really know where to put this, as I don’t have a post dedicated to just the sons of perdition. Since this post mentions them, I figured I’d just drop this here.

    The principle is this: God gives to men according to the desires of their hearts.

    I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction. (Alma 29:4)

    The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh. (Allma 41:5)

    The sons of perdition, when they are brought forth in the resurrection and arraigned before the judgment seat of Christ, will desire what Alma desired in the following scripture:

    Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds. (Alma 36:15)

    And the Lord, in His mercy, will grant their request by banishing them from the kingdom of God and granting them the second death, so that they cease to exist.

  40. What the hell, I’ll throw this out, too.

    The phrase “where their worm dieth not” has reference to the “cosmic string of pearls” that is the Universe when viewed from outer darkness.

    The recent discovery that stars form like a string of pearls conforms to the laboratory tested electromagnetic pinch theory of plasma cosmology. (Taken from here.)

    (See also The Cosmic String of Pearls, by Marinus Anthony van der Sluijs in Aeon; A Journal of Myth, Science, and Ancient History, 6. 4 (2003), 19-46.)

    In other words, the entire Universe looks (from the outside) like a string of pearls, one sphere of light attached to another sphere of light by a plasma tube (a string), appearing very much like a string of pearls, or the pearls of great price. In outer darkness, though, at a great enough distance, it looks like a segmented worm, an everlasting or ever living worm (the worm dieth not) of light.

    This is the meaning of the scripture and the torment of those who are cast out, as they gaze upon the “worm” that might have been theirs had they received Christ and not denied Him.

  41. LDSA, you said that

    The “righteous” in D&C 29: 27 … are those who inherit the kingdom of God (any of the 3 glories)

    which would include the telestials.
    And yet elsewhere on this blog you said that the telestials will rise in the resurrection of the UNjust.
    How can they be both righteous and unjust?

  42. How can they be both righteous and unjust?

    Through the atonement of Jesus Christ all the unrighteous and unjust people, except for the sons of perdition, may become righteous.

  43. Thanks for your reply.
    Let me rephrase my question for clarity.
    How is it that the telestial spirits who are unjust at the time of their resurrection end up on the right hand of Christ among the righteous?
    Is there a space of time between their resurrection and when they “shall be gathered on my right hand unto eternal life”?

  44. The telestial spirits are not unjust at the time of their resurrection. They are unjust at the time they leave this life, which is why they get the second resurrection (the resurrection of the unjust) and not the first resureection (the resurrection of the just). They cannot be lumped with the terrestrial spirits, who are honorable spirits that have been decieved by the craftiness of men, because if they were to get the first resurrection, they’d be “filthy still” and thus they inherit eternal damnation and get cast out. So, they must wait longer, until the second resurrection, giving them a longer time to repent and exercise faith in Christ, so that they can become spotless finally.

    Is there a space of time between their resurrection and when they “shall be gathered on my right hand unto eternal life”?

    The resurrection locks you in and you get what you get, so you cannot repent after the resurrection and expect to get in, but must repent before it ocurrs.


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