Teachings on hell and the spirit world


The following is some of what I recently taught my wife and daughter about hell.  For the most part it is a re-hash of things I had learned previously, but it does contain a couple of new concepts (new to me, at least), so I’m putting it on this blog.

The spirit world is the Earth’s spirit

When we speak of the spirit world, we are not speaking of a different planet made of spirit matter, but of the spirit body of our planet Earth. Latter-day saints are taught that “the spirit world is here” because the Earth’s spirit is still attached to its physical body, just as mortal, human spirits are connected to their physical bodies. The Earth’s spirit body, like all spirit bodies, conforms to the configuration of the physical elements that make up its physical body.

How the physical world is configured

The Earth’s physical body (the physical world) is a hollow, spherical shell that has north and south polar openings. The shell has inner and outer surfaces which meet at these two openings. At the exact center of the hollow is another spherical object, which is also a hollow shell that has its own polar openings, but much smaller in diameter than the larger shell that surrounds it. The smaller shell discharges plasma in glow mode, like an inner sun.

In appearance, the Earth is constructed as “a tree yielding fruit, whose seed is in itself”. When the Earth is stacked with other planets, a plasma column connects the planets through their poles, creating a visual display that looks like a tree. The “seed” of this “tree” is the small hollow shell found at the exact center of the larger hollow sphere.

Men live and walk upon the outer surface of the larger shell. They also walk upon the inner surface. Gravity (the Earth’s spirit) pushes all matter towards a point between the two surfaces of the shell. (Everything in the Universe is a push; there is no such thing as a pull.) So, a man walking on the outside of the shell will be pushed inward towards the inner surface; and a man walking on the inner surface of the shell will be pushed outward towards the outer surface. To each of these men, gravity is pushing them “down” even though “down” is in opposite directions for them. Almost all of the physical matter of the Earth is found within the larger shell and this is where most of the gravity is concentrated.

Above each surface side (inner and outer) there is an atmosphere, in which man and other creatures can live and breath. The atmosphere extends upward only to a certain distance. Above that, we find the apparent vacuum of space. In the case of the outer surface, this vacuum is called by us “outer space,” but in the case of the inner surface, the vacuum of space above their heads, it being above the atmosphere, might be termed “inner space.”

The inner sun is held in the very center of the inner space vacuum by gravitation. It is pushed equally in all directions towards the outer shell and thus is held stationary (or fixed) in the center of the hollow of the larger shell. However, just as the outer shell rotates or spins, so does the inner shell, though at a different rate.

To men living on the inner surface of the outer shell, the inner sun appears to be roughly similar in size to how the outer Sun appears to the men living on the outer surface. The outer Sun is exceedingly large, hot and radiant, yet very distant, and so appears kind of small to people on the outside of Earth, whereas the inner sun is miniscule by comparison, but fairly close to the inner surface; and so the inner and outer Suns appear to approximate each other in size.

The inner sun is not as brilliant or as hot as the outer Sun, so that the inner surface of the Earth’s larger shell is not scorched with heat and radiation, but is bathed in amounts conducive to human life.

Limit of gravity field is apparent limit of spirit world

The spirit world proceeds outward beyond the confines of the physical world, just like every other spirit body. The extent of the Earth’s gravitational field is the apparent extent of its spirit body. In other words, once something leaves the confines of Earth’s gravitational field, it has apparently left the confines of the spirit world.

The same principle of spirit encompassing element applies to all spirit bodies connected to physical bodies. The spirit body of a man, for example, contains the physical body of the man within its confines, and extends some distance beyond the physical element. It is incorrect, then, to say that one’s spirit body is entirely within one’s physical body. The reverse is the true nature and pattern of the Universe. Every spirit body surrounds the physical body it is connected to, the spirit matter of the spirit body surrounding each particle of the elements that compose the physical body and moving it around with a push. This is one of the reasons why sometimes people can “sense” the presence of another person without their physical senses apparently being involved (because an outer edge of a person’s spirit has come into contact with an outer edge of some other person’s spirit), or why those who see people’s auras say that they extend beyond the physical body, or how two celestial objects can interact with each other at a distance, etc.

The spirit world is divided into two parts

Just as the physical world is divided into two parts, a large outer shell and a small inner shell, so the spirit world has two parts, spirit prison (otherwise known as hell) and paradise.

Where everything is located

Paradise is located where the inner sun is found. Spirit prison (or hell) is found in the depths of the larger, outer shell. To men walking on the outer surface of the larger shell, as well as on the inner surface, hell is found below them, or below their feet. Hell is also called the underworld because it is underneath the surface of the Earth (deep within the larger, outer shell).

Spirit world hell is patterned after universal outer darkness

Outer darkness is that area outside of the inner sphere of light known as the created Universe. The boundary between outer darkness and the inner sphere of light is a lake of fire and brimstone “which ascended up forever and ever.”

The hell of the spirit world is also called outer darkness because it lies in the larger, outer shell of the Earth. When men die, their spirits go to “that God who gave them life,” meaning that they go to the inner sun (a god-star), which is the location of spirit world paradise. The righteous among them are received into paradise (see the gates of righteousness below), while the unjust spirits are cast out into outer darkness (hell).

Spirit world hell is a place of darkness and powerlessness. Gravity in hell is different than that at the surface, it being either largely reduced or altogether canceled out. Hell is the abode of Satan and his angels and is their base of operations. From there they travel to the two opposing surfaces of the planet where mortal men are found and tempt them to break God’s commandments. The departed spirits of men found in hell are subject to the spirit of the devil, who keeps them miserable like himself.

Hell fire

Spirit world hell is also surrounded by fire and brimstone (magma) or what the scriptures call hell fire or God’s “fiery indignation.” All these terms are descriptions of real things, as well as states of mind and heart.

The gates of hell

The scriptures speak repeatedly of “the gates of hell.” These gates are openings found upon the Earth that lead down to the physical location of hell. They include certain volcanoes, as well as cave systems that seemingly go on and on, and also holes and cracks in the earth that appear to be bottomless pits. They are found in various locations around the planet and are often called by the local population by some name indicating hell, such as Mouth of Hell, etc. No one typically tries to go down these apertures and cavities due to dangerous conditions, such as noxious gases, magma flow, utter darkness, fearful noises (which sound like the screams of the damned souls in hell), etc.

The gates of righteousness

The scriptures also speak of “the gates of righteousness.” These gates are the polar openings found upon the two shells that compose the physical world, or four gates total. Paradise, which is located within the inner sun, cannot be seen by those living on the outside surface of the planet. One would need to enter either the north or south polar opening (gate of righteousness) to view the physical location of spirit world paradise (the inner sun). In the same way, in order to actually enter into spirit world paradise, one would need to go through either the north or south polar opening (gate of righteousness) of the inner sun so as to be on its inner surface, where paradise is found.

The gates of righteousness are, essentially, “narrow gates,” hidden from the view of most people, or unknown or disbelieved to exist by almost all men. Few men find them. The gates of hell, on the other hand, are well-known, documented and often wide gates.

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus

In Luke 16: 19-31 the Savior mentions “a great gulf fixed” between hell and “Abraham’s bosom” (the paradise of the inner sun). No one could pass from hell to paradise, nor from paradise to hell because of this gulf. The gulf is the space that exists between the inner sun and outer shell of Earth.

After Jesus’ death, He went to paradise and “organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.” (See D&C 138.)  These messengers required power to cross the “great gulf fixed.”

Scriptures are both spiritual and temporal

As the above shows, many of the scriptural terms that we take to have strictly figurative or symbolic meaning also have a literal or physical counterpart. Or, as Nephi told his brothers Laman and Lemuel, the prophets spoke of things both temporal and spiritual.

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36 Comments

  1. I had read about the hollow earth here and before in other places. But I sure appreciate the bringing together of all this information much of which is new to me. I believe it all. Thanks for putting it up.

  2. You’re welcome. I left out the long lecture about hell that I gave them about why it’s so damn important (no pun intended) that we avoid going there at all cost. I didn’t want to make the post five miles long and I also figured that most LDS probably already know those details.

    I started thinking about this subject when we saw a television program about how so many different cultures and civilizations, both ancient and modern, described the place the dead go to (and in particular the wicked dead) in very similar terms. I was amazed at how close the descriptions were to what I understood, regardless of which religion was speaking, but I wanted to present a little more detail to my family than what was given in the program.

    I was also impressed that so many Christian churches preach hell and damnation for the wicked to their congregations, but we hardly mention it at all, though our scriptures teach it plainly and continually. The Nephite missionaries, for example, preached hell and damnation as part of their “discussions.” It was a focal point of their missionary preaching. It was the reason why we need Christ. This is why we find converts, saints and prophets praising God for escaping hell. (“O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell!” Alma 19: 29; and “Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell” Alma 26: 13.) What LDS praises God for escaping hell? Hell never even enters our minds. We are so focussed on heaven, that hell is just a footnote. We even have gone so far as to pretty much strike it from our vocabulary. (We call it “spirit prison,” not hell.)

    So, with these thoughts in mind, I thought to give them (my wife and daughter) a deeper understanding of hell than they would get at church.

  3. I was also impressed that so many Christian churches preach hell and damnation for the wicked to their congregations, but we hardly mention it at all…

    I attribute this to a lack of understanding about the differences between hell/spirit prison/outer darkness — and who goes where and why.

    I think most LDS know that when the term “hell” is used, most Christians mean outer darkness [the never-ending assignment to punishment]. However, LDS doctrine is that many souls will go to hell, but upon repentance, are freed. Since it is our desire to be numbered among the Christians, we try not to mention it at all so as to avoid any differences in our doctrine.

  4. LDSA, as you were talking about “gates of righteousness” being polar openings, it triggered a memory of a passage in “Genesis for The New Space Age”. The inner sun is described thusly:
    “As they approached the huge 600 mile diameter orb, they noticed it resembled a
    gigantic China lantern, around the circumference of which there went a railed cat- walk. Plainly visible were huge doors leading to the interior where it was apparent the source of the diffused light was located.”
    Could those doors be the “gates of righteousness”?

  5. truthNow!, I am not familiar with that book, but yes, of course, it could be refering to those gates.

  6. You’re kidding, right? That’s a nice bit of fiction you have going there. Mind if I ask what your sources are?

  7. LDSA:

    “I left out the long lecture about hell that I gave them about why it’s so damn important (no pun intended) that we avoid going there at all cost.”

    To “avoid” going somewhere would seemingly imply that instilling a fear of something in someone is of paramount benefit, would it not? Maybe that’s an overstatement, but telling somebody that it’s “damn important that we avoid” going someplace is a teaching predicated on fear.

    Now, fear – and the use of it in teaching – is scriptural. It happens all the time. Fear-preaching in congregational churches (especially the evangelical variety) is likely a well used pathway to get people to change behavior enough to avoid something. Indeed, it can be a divinely used tool (as countless scriptural examples attest).

    But, of what use is the tactic? Does this tactic bring any real, lasting change in the hearts of the listener? If we acknowledge that there are two different gospels from which we can draw, and which represent the dualities of man (i.e. the gospel of the tree of knowledge vs. the gospel of the tree of life), does partaking of the fear bring one to experience the tree of life, or does it, in the end, give the listener a twisted view of God or Jesus or whatever it may be?

    To complement these thoughts, I’d recommend going here and reading chapter 3 (pages 27-34) – the link will take you to a .pdf download of a book that discusses, at least in part, this idea.

    “A recent full-page advertisement for Evangelism Explosion in a popular Christian leadership journal quoted a popular televi¬sion preacher: “If God would dip all pastors in hell for a fraction of a second and then yank them up by their shirttails—as they are standing there smoldering and their clothes and skin are full of black soot, and their shoes have half melted off, I think their commitment to the Great Commission would substantially increase.”

    Sadly, he’s probably right, but that may point more to our weakness than God’s intentions. The threat of hell may get people to evangelize more, to repeat a sinner’s prayer or even join a congregation, but in doing so it gives a sordid view of God as one who delights in searing the soles of our shoes in order to get us to do things his way. Such a view of him will not invite us into the depths of his love.

    Here is the problem, isn’t it? Scripture seems to paint two contradictory portraits of the Living God—a terrible judge and a loving Father. Which is it? Can he be both?

    We read not only that God has prepared hell for the unbelieving, but also that he commanded Joshua to practice ethnic cleansing in Canaan, poured out fire from heaven to consume Sodom and Gomorrah and opened the earth to swallow those who opposed Moses. Unapproachable in his purity, even the most righteous fell on their faces near his presence paralyzed by their unworthiness. He demanded unquestioning obedience and punished with unspeakable anguish those who did not comply.

    No wonder we’re at least a little confused when he appears in the New Testament telling us how much he loves us and inviting us to be his children. We see Jesus healing the sick, forgiving prostitutes and murderers, going into the houses of sinners. He invited children in his lap and portrayed his Father as so tender that the most wayward sinner could run to his side in absolute safety.

    So what happened to God? Did he get saved somewhere between Malachi and Matthew? Had he reinvented himself into a nicer, gentler God? Of course not! He is unchanging, the same throughout all eternity.

    So, then is he both? Is he kind and gentle to those who please him, and vengeful toward the wicked? That’s what many of us have been taught to think, which is why we end up playing he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not games. We sift through every event to try and figure out if we are in his favor or out of it. If we think we are in, we can relax and coast through life. If, however, we think our difficulties prove we are out of favor then we have to try harder to please him; a course of action, Paul warns us against. True righteousness cannot come from human effort.

    There’s the problem. I can’t please him until I’m certain of his love for me, but he will not love me if I cannot please him. This is an endless loop that offers no resolution. How can he be a mean and vengeful God one moment and a kind and tender one the next. Those portraits don’t depict the same God in different circumstances, but rather contradictory portraits that leave us confused and uncertain of God’s true nature.

    Unless we can glean from Scripture a cohesive view of God’s nature we’ll never know who he really is or have the confidence to embrace the relationship he desires with us. God did not change between Malachi and Matthew. Our perception of him, however, changed drastically.

    Before Jesus came we could only see God’s actions and assume he was moved by motivations similar to our own. His actions against sin made him appear as if he didn’t care for people. His attempts to teach his people to trust him were misunderstood as vengeful punishment.

    Jesus changed all of that. By listening to his words and watching how he lived we suddenly see God’s motivations. He fully reflected the Father’s glory so we might know him as he really is and no longer be victims of our own misinterpretations. Love dwells at the core of God’s being, and the Old Testament contains hundreds of pictures of a God who is rich in mercy, willing to forgive, and passionate about setting us free from the sin that diminishes and devours the life he wants us to experience in him.

    Now, to be fair, I’m not against teaching the idea of Hell, or giving a scriptural background for Hell, or something similar, but I would likely disagree with any tactics predicated on using the fear of the same to influence a change in the listener. But even then, I wouldn’t paint such a broad stroke because scriptural accounts seem to indicate that the Spirit does, at times, inspire people to talk in terms of the fear of Hell as a means for change – but, IMO, this should be a method of last resort.

    Telling my kids about Hell in an effort to bring them into alignment with the gospel may bring about change for a day or four, or perhaps longer, but if they do it because they’re nevertheless afraid of something, then that fear is overshadowing love in every way. Until we act out of love – either for ourselves, or our children, or our God – then we should probably ask ourselves a few more introspective questions.

  8. P.S. Can you clarify this statement:

    “Spirit world hell is a place of darkness and powerlessness. Gravity in hell is different than that at the surface, it being either largely reduced or altogether canceled out. Hell is the abode of Satan and his angels and is their base of operations. From there they travel to the two opposing surfaces of the planet where mortal men are found and tempt them to break God’s commandments. The departed spirits of men found in hell are subject to the spirit of the devil, who keeps them miserable like himself.”

    Especially in reference to this:

    “We go now with Adam and Eve into the lone and dreary world. Brethren and sisters, this represents the Telestial Kingdom, or the world in which we now live. Adam, on finding himself in the lone and dreary world, built an altar and offered prayer, and these are the words he uttered: … “

    What the “hell” (pun intended) are you talking about?

    The references to the “hell that hath no end” (1 Nephi 14) is that same play on words that is defined in D&C 19: 5-12. It is a place of torment, where people suffer as in the Telestial Kingdom, or the world in which we presently reside (to paraphrase the Endowment). How long will people endure such an experience? Until they repent. (D&C 76: 99-101.) What if they do not repent? They will suffer, worlds without end. (D&C 76: 109-112.)

    All of this according to “the justice of God.”

    People arrive here because of the “abominable church” that will always be ready to preach to you false, vain and foolish doctrines. These will offer anything to distract you and keep you from seeing the Lord “bring again Zion.” They will use the words of Zion to preach a false faith. They are “abominable” because their false teachings are clothed in the vocabulary of truth.

  9. fanfare, I am confused. What exactly do you want me to clarify? Which part of the first quote did you not understand?

    Also, what does the second quote (found in the LDS endowment) about Adam and Eve have to do with what I said in the first quote?

    Finally, the third quote comes from Denver Snuffer. Are you trying to say that what Denver wrote invalidates what I wrote? Are you trying to get my opinion on his words? I do not wish to attack anyone else’s words or bring Denver’s opinion into question. Everyone is entited to their own opinion and to each his own, I always say, so I hope he does not get offended by me discussing his words.

    For the most part, I agree with what he wrote. Specifically, I agree with everything that he wrote from “How long will people endure such an experience?” and onward to the end. Hell as a state of being, continues on until we repent, just as Denver says.

    Where Denver and I diverge in our understanding is in his first two sentences that you quoted. The term “hell that hath no end” is not “that same play on words as recorded in D&C 19: 5-19.” Hell as a place (and not just as a mere state of mnd), residing within the confines of the outer and inner surfaces of a hollow sphere, is, itself, shaped like a sphere. If you were to walk in a straight line, you would never reach the end, but would circumnavigate the globe and return to the same spot you started from. Anywhere you walk in hell, you see the same, horrifying world, dismal, dark and surrounded by fire (magma). ‘We are free to interpret these passages as purely symbolic, but the symbolism is based upon real people, places and things.

    I agree with Denver ‘s statement that hell “is a place of torment.” However, his next statement, “…where people suffer as in the Telestial Kingdom, or the world in which we presently reside”, I disagree with.

    First of all, people do not suffer in the Telestial Kingdom, nor in the Terrestrial, nor in the Celestial. Secondly, the Earth in its current, fallen state is only representative of the Telestial Kingdom. It is not in very deed a Telestial Kingdom. Thirdly, although Earth contains hell inbetween the two surfaces of the planet, the people residing upon those surfaces are not living in hell. So, although there is suffering occuring among the living, it does not compare to the suffering that goes on in hell.

    Human mortal bodies have a built-in limit to suffering, beyond which we die. However, once in the spirit (in an unembodied state), our immortal, eternal spirits are capable of suffering to a much greater extent. So, you can not adequately compare the anguish of the souls in hell to that found among mortals living on the surfaces.

    (As an aside, all suffering, joy, feeling, etc., that we experience in our physical bodies is spiritual anyway. At no time does the flesh feel anything. It is always the spirit that feels, never the flesh. For example, when you shake hands with someone, the compression that you feel are the two spirit hands touching, not the physical elements that make up your hands coming into contact. At no time does any physical element touch any other physical element. Each of the tiniest bits of matter is surrounded by a ‘cushion” of spirit matter. Thus, it is always the spirits that touch and feel and never the physical component of us.)

    People need to be informed of the next life so that they can make correct choices now, don’t you think? The ancients preached of death, hell and the devil for this very reason. If they preached only the rewards of righteousness, without explaining the penalties attached to sin, not everyone would be motivated. For example, if you told a man that if he goes to the local 7-Eleven he’ll get a free six-pack of root beer because they are giving them out to everyone that goes there, he might ask you, “And what will happen if I don’t go there?” If you answer, “Nothing will happen,” he may not be motivated to go, despite it being a free gift (“salvation is free,” etc.). Not everyone runs to get free stuff. Some people are content with what they have. As long as they believe they aren’t going to lose what they have, and are content with it, simply offering something better or more of something may not be enough motivation.

    We do not live static lives. We either go foward or backward. If we do nothing, we eventually will go to hell, for Satan’s power will captivate us and drag us there. If we sin, we will go to hell that much faster. If we perform righteousness (“exercise faith unto repentance”) we go to the kingdom of God. These are the facts of the Universe in which we live. It is not enough to tell people of hell alone, just as it is not enough to tell people of heaven alone. People need to be informed of both heaven and hell so that they can make their decisions based upon all the facts.

    ———————————–

    Now, concerning your first comment, about using fear and whether that is healthy, etc., I will come back at some other time and answer that. I have recently been taught a new lesson about the doctrine of fear and I am currently engaged in some theological research that touches on it. When I am done with the research, I will put up my findings in a new post, then I’ll come back and answer your questions about fear in light of the new information. I’m sorry to make you wait but a comment section doesn’t do the topic justice and besides, I’m not finished, yet, with the research.

  10. “First of all, people do not suffer in the Telestial Kingdom, nor in the Terrestrial, nor in the Celestial. Secondly, the Earth in its current, fallen state is only representative of the Telestial Kingdom. It is not in very deed a Telestial Kingdom. Thirdly, although Earth contains hell inbetween the two surfaces of the planet, the people residing upon those surfaces are not living in hell. So, although there is suffering occuring among the living, it does not compare to the suffering that goes on in hell.”

    Where is/are your source(s) for this “representative” view?

    ““A sinner has his own mind, and HIS OWN MIND DAMNS HIM. He is damned and man is his OWN tormenter and condemner. Hence the saying: They will go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. I have no fear of hell fire, THAT DOESN’T EXIST; but the torment OF disappointment IN THE MIND OF MAN is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone. So is the torment of man.” – Joseph Smith, DHC 6:302-307 (emphasis mine)

    As an aside, “informing” people of what hell is/isn’t is entirely different than telling them to “avoid it at all costs.” One is predicated on learning (hopefully through the spirit) and gaining knowledge, the other predicated on fearing people into a state of reaction.

    “As long as they believe they aren’t going to lose what they have, and are content with it, simply offering something better or more of something may not be enough motivation.”

    And the necessary motivation comes about by scaring someone into action? And, how long with that motivation last? A day, a week, a month? Then what? Scare them a little more, keeping them in fear of the boogieman?

    Honestly, what is the real point of telling people just how bad hell is, or just how much we should avoid it? Is it really to present two sides of a coin and enable people to act for themselves, or to put the very “fear of God” in their hearts and get them to change in ways that our efforts have previously been unable to do? So, say you tell your kids + wife how bad hell is according to your understanding. Then what? Is it a way to get them to turn to Christ and accept his love? Does it work that way? Perhaps – I’m not sure. Does it work to increase our perceived self-righteousness (i.e. “I know what hell is, and I’m not going there” and serve to get us to cling to our “efforts” to avoid hell?

    “All this is not to say that hell does not exist, nor that those who refuse God won’t end up there. Scripture is remarkably clear on that point. What I am saying is that when we use the threat of hell to motivate people to come to God, we are using it in a way Jesus never did and in a way he never intended. In doing so, we push people further away from God’s greatest desire, not invite them closer to it.

    His message was not, come to God or you’ll burn in hell. His message was that God’s kingdom has come near you and you can become a participant in it. You have a Father who loves you like no other father you’ve ever known in your life and can now discover what it means to have a daily relationship with him. If not, then your own sin will destroy you utterly completely. Jesus compared this life to a treasure discovered in a field; something so valuable that you would give up anything to pos¬sess it. His life is not something you have to follow. He is worth knowing just because of how incredibly awesome he is. If you only want his gifts without wanting him you cheat yourself out of the best portion.

    Here the fear of hell is no use to us at all. The insecurity it breeds only takes us further from him and makes us uncertain about who he is. Jesus wanted us to be very clear about who his Father is because we only grow in him to the degree that we trust his love for us.”

    I’m not even convinced that just because multiple groups of people have similar views on something that that is enough evidence – indeed, proof positive – that that is how it is. Joseph couldn’t have been more clear about what he stated above, but we seem wont to throw that to the side and accept differing views.

    People grasping to describe the torment of their own minds doesn’t necessarily make something a manifest reality. Whatever you focus on grows larger and is increased or magnified – that is an eternal principle. It is a never-ending cycle.

  11. P.S. The reason I originally used the temple quote relating to Adam + Eve is because of the specific directions the ceremony gives all participants:

    “We now go with Adam and Eve into the lone and dreary world. Brethren and sisters, this represents the Telestial kingdom, or the world in which we now live.”

    Prior to this selection, all participants (both male and female) are told that they are to consider themselves as Adam (for the males) and Eve (for the females). If we are to consider ourselves as Adam + Eve, then it’s not that far of a leap to consider that the quote I blocked above is representative of us in the “world in which we now live.” If we live in the Telestial world, today, then we are living in hell.

    Why, indeed, does God want us to respond to His message and get out of this Telestial Kingdom into another, higher kingdom?

  12. fanfare, I still don’t understand why you are equating the Telestial kingdom/world with hell.

    In the vision of the three degrees of glory, what we get is a stack of planets (kingdoms). In the center of the Universal Sphere (the Universe) is found the Celestial Kingdom. Below that, which would be the halfway point from the center of the Universal Sphere to the edges or ends of the Universe, is found the Terrestrial Kingdom. Below that, which would be in the nether regions of the Universe, near to the edges or ends of the Universal Sphere, is found the Telestial Kingdom. Below that, which would be beyond the ends of the Universe, lies the Kingdom of the Devil, or Outer Darkness.

    Hell is always described as the Underworld. Just as Hell (the Universal Outer Darkness) is found below the Telestial Kingdom/World, past the lake of fire and brimstone, so the terrestrial hell (temporal outer darkness) is also an underworld, being found below the world of the living (the lone and dreary world, representative of the Telestial Kingdom), which is the fallen world we currently live in.

    The pattern is the same. I suppose I could draw up a graphic to show it better. But, at any rate, Adam and Eve left the paradisaical state (representative of the Terrestrial Kingdom) and entered a state representative of the Telestial Kingdom, not representative of hell. Nevertheless, the pattern of hell being below the Tel Kingdom must follow suit on Earth as it is in heaven (as above, so below), so we find that spirit prison (hell) is literally found below our feet in the depths of the earth, below the magma. And thus we find a pattern in all things.

  13. fanfare: I ultimately see your point about:

    And the necessary motivation comes about by scaring someone into action? And, how long with that motivation last? A day, a week, a month? Then what? Scare them a little more, keeping them in fear of the boogieman?
    Honestly, what is the real point of telling people just how bad hell is, or just how much we should avoid it?

    To the extent that “obedience” or “righteousness” is brought to pass via fear of failure, it is not permanent. This is what is wrong with shame-talks about pornography from General Conference. The person listening is shamed and told that the addiction will destroy his/her family and soul — but it’s like putting chewing gum into a leaking dam, the water will always eventually burst thru.

    But you also asked:

    Honestly, what is the real point of telling people just how bad hell is, or just how much we should avoid it? Is it really to present two sides of a coin and enable people to act for themselves, or to put the very “fear of God” in their hearts and get them to change in ways that our efforts have previously been unable to do?

    I think that it is two sides of the same coin. Why do we devote time to explaining how glorious it will be to return to the celestial kingdom, to live again with God, etc? To the extent that it’s to “buy” obedience — then I agree that it won’t work [just like fearing people into obedience won’t either].

    These two are complementary: the fear of hell and the anticipation of heaven. Both must be explained [as LDSA points out] for an informed decision on the gospel to be made — however, no real change occurs when either side of the coin is used as a control tactic: scaring people about hell or selling them on the “greatness” of heaven.

  14. Fanfare,

    Why do you hold so fast to the Joseph Smith quote while conveniently ignoring his teachings regarding the Three Kingdoms or Degrees of Glory. He said that even the lowest degree of glory, if made known unto us would entice many to end their mortal lives prematurely in order to go there. So even if this means that The Telestial Kingdom occupies what we would call the same space as the world in which we now live but is another dimension, well that still does not make this planet itself into Hell, The Telestial Kingdom or anything else.
    You’re right that Joseph states these things very clearly. His words have even more apparent clarity to us than say, Lehi (who as translated by Smith, speaks of the lake of fire and brimstone which acsendeth up forever and ever — silly old man). This is mostly because Joseph’s words were spoken in our same dispensation. And while/since the Kabalistic teachings you bring up are true and beautiful they do not say, hint at, or in any way contradict or exclude the actual physical representation of these things. Hell and Heaven are real places. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. Which is why you referenced the writings you did above:

    His message was not, come to God or you’ll burn in hell. His message was that God’s kingdom has come near you and you can become a participant in it…… If not, then your own sin will destroy you utterly completely.

    Although we could tell you that this is a contradiction (to say “I’m not going to tell you to do this or burn in Hell. I’m going to tell you that, if you do not, then you own sin will destroy you utterly and completely!” See how funny it can sound, Fanfare? People can get use to almost anything even a lake of fire and brimstone given some form of existence is possible. But I think I speak for not only myself when I say that complete and UTTER destruction sounds a little harsh. Ha ha! Both the mental, spiritual suffering state of beings in anguish Here and Now or There and Then throughout the universe and the physical pains of people going through physical sensations….in short ALL OF IT IS REAL. It is like the Garden of Eden. Just because it is a symbol doesn’t mean there never was an actual spot with that name and those conditions. And just because there existed a place and time known as The Garden of Eden does not mean that it doesn’t currently exist within your and my minds and hearts at any given moment in an equally REAL way.

    I think the REAL POINT here however is…what makes you think that what your brother, LDSA, communicated to his wife and daughter had the intention or effect of putting fear in their hearts? Oh is it the word AVOID? Break it up — A Void — still scared of it? Don’t be. : )

  15. fanfare, I responded to your last P.S. comment because that was all that was here. Then I discovered that your Joseph Smiith citation comment (which preceded the P.S. comment) was in moderation and fished it out, but did not have time to respond to it. So, here it goes, a little late…

    You asked, “Where is/are your source(s) for this “representative” view?”

    The part of the endowment that you quoted states, “We now go with Adam and Eve into the lone and dreary world. Brethren and sisters, this represents the Telestial kingdom, or the world in which we now live.”

    And I stated, ” Secondly, the Earth in its current, fallen state is only representative of the Telestial Kingdom. It is not in very deed a Telestial Kingdom.” One’s representative is not the same as oneself, is it not? I don’t see any contradiction, do you?

    You quoted JS as saying, “I have no fear of hell fire, that doesn’t exist;”

    Joseph could not have meant that there is no fire in hell, for there is fire in hell (magma). But the people in hell are all spirits and magma cannot harm an immortal disembodied or unembodied spirit, so there cannot exist any fear of hell fire. So, perhaps JS was saying that the fear of hell fire does not exist, with which I entirely agree.

    All things are split into twos, some things are concrete, some things are abstract or symbolic. The symbols are all based upon concrete (real) things. There are the real things and then there are the representative things (the symbols). There is no such thing as a pure symbol, without any basis in a real thing. I always tell my kids that anything you invent or draw or imagine already exists somewhere, for God has already thought of it, for He thinks of everything first, and whatever thought enters His mind He does or brings into existence and gives it purpose (Isaiah 14: 24; 2 Nephi 2: 12). There is also no such thing as a concrete thing that does not have a symbol attached to it. All things, then, have their likeness.

  16. I have no idea if you care, but I thought you might be interested in this new Anarchy forum and blog called zerogov: http://zerogov.com/forum/index.php?action=unread
    The creator has been published on Lew Rockwell many times. His name is Bill Buppert.

  17. fanfare, I finally put up the post that I said would address your question about the use of fear in the gospel of Jesus Christ. You’ll find it here.

  18. The spirit world proceeds outward beyond the confines of the physical world, just like every other spirit body…
    …The same principle of spirit encompassing element applies to all spirit bodies connected to physical bodies. The spirit body of a man, for example, contains the physical body of the man within its confines, and extends some distance beyond the physical element. It is incorrect, then, to say that one’s spirit body is entirely within one’s physical body. The reverse is the true nature and pattern of the Universe. Every spirit body surrounds the physical body it is connected to, the spirit matter of the spirit body surrounding each particle of the elements that compose the physical body and moving it around with a push.

    Inasmuch as the physical element is organized in the spirit matter — it seems to complicate the question of when a person’s spirit body “enters” the physical body being organized in the womb of the mother.

    I could imagine [from the point-of-view that the spirit body is encompassed or contained by the physical body] my spirit being placed within the small vessel of dividing cells — with the eventual differentiation of cells leading to a physical body formed after the pattern of my spirit body.

    However, if receiving a physical body is having the physical element placed “in” the associated spirit particles [having “truth” in us] — how can a developing physical body that begins with a single cell go on thru cell-multiplication, changes in shape, and cell differentiation while it is being placed into a fully-developed spirit body?

    I have a hunch-of-an-answer personally — but I was just throwing the question out there.

  19. Ah, yes, the question as to when the fully-developed spirit body of the child enters the fully-developed spirit body of its mother to possess the developing physical body being formed in iher womb…

    What is your hunch?

  20. I have long imagined [from the time of my Catholic school days at age 9 or so] the Spirit being placed into a single, initially fertilized egg that then goes on to take shape — allowing the Spirit to better “fit” into its new home.

    I used to just picture a fully formed Spirit body becoming more dense [reducing in size, but maintaining the same form] and filling into the single physical Element cell at fertilization. Then the physical body goes on to grow to fit the form of the Spirit body that is “in” it.

    What is your hunch?

    When I initially pondered the question I posed in the comment above — I imagined that:

    The initial embryo [a fertilized seed containing the genetic material of father and mother] is the piece of physical Element that placed placed within the Spirit steward of the spirit body.

    At this point — we become mortal humans. When a Spirit steward incorporated with that initial single cell of physical Element — Spirit and Element have combined, and there exists mortal flesh [or a human being].

    Multiplied/differentiated cells [the other Elemental concerns] go on to be placed into the associated Spiritual concerns particles of the Spirit body. This process is on-going throughout development — until the person reaches the full stature of the Spirit body.

    Meaning the Spirit steward [the “you” of the Spirit body] receives its physical Element at the moment of conception. The remainder of in-utero gestation and childhood growth is the process of all of the Spiritual concerns particles of the Spirit body receiving their physical Element particles.

  21. A Christian talk radio host was remarking this morning about how we wouldn’t now much about hell if it weren’t for the teachings of Christ on the matter [in the Bible].

    Well, he’s right [at least as far as finding information about hell in the Bible is concerned] — and in looking Jesus’ teachings about hell, He referred to it as a physical location, the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the garbage and dead animals of the city were cast out to be burned.

    Christians see this as an apt symbol for hell — when in fact Jesus may have been referencing Gehenna as one of the literal “gates of hell”.

  22. “We go now with Adam and Eve into the lone and dreary world. Brethren and sisters, this represents the Telestial Kingdom, or the world in which we now live. Adam, on finding himself in the lone and dreary world, built an altar and offered prayer, and these are the words he uttered: … “

    Could the “this” in “this represents” be referring to the drama setting or the Telestial room as opposed to actual “lone and dreary world”? I use to think the latter, but I’m not sold on that anymore. I’v never been able to find the quote that Joseph said one would kill themselves to go to the Telestial kingdom. That seems to be a myth now. When someone asks me what the Telestial kingdom will be like, I’m inclined to say “Just like this earth, your living in one” This earth has glories of all degrees following the type of different brightnesses of the stars. I see no reason why I can’t take more literal the saying that the Telestial kingdom is the world that we now live (this earth is located in a telestial location in the galaxy following the model suggested in one of the comments). That doesn’t preclude a day of resurrection and living in a resurrection state in a kingdom of glory which includes the sticking around in another type of the Telestial Kingdom. Alma teaches we are restored to what we choose or have become here in this life. Most people concern themselves with the things of this life (a telestial kingdom) and following the law of restoration taught by Alma, will thus be restored to the same condition; a new telestial life.

    Changing to the subject when spirits enter the body, I’ve always been intrigued that before conception, an ovum selects the sperm it chooses to accept. The victor sperm isn’t always the fastest or the strongest sperm (although the ovum will select one of the fastest of strongest but there is no model as to which of the fastest of strongest it will accept). I can’t help to think that the Lord or the spirit assigned to that conception, isn’t actually making choices before conception so the physical DNA is in the likeness of its spirit (at least to the extent possible). Just a thought.

  23. So, what happens when the sun becomes a red giant and eventually explodes in a billion years, thus engulfing the Earth in fire?

  24. Your ideas are ridiculous nonsense. Won’t find any of these ideas in the scriptures or from the brethren.

  25. Yea — an anonymous drive-by comment — my favorite!!

  26. Previously, I wrote about:

    if receiving a physical body is having the physical element placed “in” the associated spirit particles [having “truth” in us] — how can a developing physical body that begins with a single cell go on thru cell-multiplication, changes in shape, and cell differentiation while it is being placed into a fully-developed spirit body?

    Read this today in preparing for a Primary lesson:

    Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.

    And I wondered — how was the spirit of Jesus able to communicate with Nephi if He was in Mary’s womb?

    Either — He still wasn’t in the womb yet [which contradicts with how I’ve heard the babe leaped in her womb from Luke 1:41 interpreted — i.e. that Jesus was in the womb of Mary and John recognized His presence at that point].

    Or — spirits, even when bound to their physical body, are able to translocate themselves or project their presence elsewhere to communicate with someone.

  27. Before my mom died (she was in a coma), she came to me briefly. I do believe it is possible to leave one’s body. Sometimes I wonder if Nephi had a similar experience when he said the Spirit took him up to a mountain where he had never been before.

    “FOR it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot” – 1 Nephi 11:1

  28. …which mountain was in…Asia..the Himalayans, perhaps?

  29. Another explanation I have heard is that Jesus gave an angel the charge to communicate that message in the name of the Savior, before the Lord ever entered the womb. I don’t know, though, where I heard or read that.

  30. I know the “Divine Investiture of Authority” is a common way to explain things like this — e.g., “Oh that was Jesus speaking for God” or “That was an angel speaking as though he were God”, etc.

    Many planetary bodies can speak in the name of EEAAOOAAEE, I guess.

  31. And then later in 3 Nephi 8 and 9 — the Lord speaks audibly to them again, but this was after His crucifixion — when His spirit was ministering in hell [between the two layers of the outer shell, under the ground] and was speaking out to the inhabitants on the surface of the outer shell — so He would not have been disconnected from a physical body.

    As far as I’ve found, there is no other reference in the scriptures to a person’s spirit speaking to someone when their physical body is in another location.

  32. Some recent comments of mine on another post probably should have been placed under this post, since they deal with conditions found in hell. They are:

    Comment #1 by LDS Anarchist on March 15, 2012
    Comment #2 by LDS Anarchist on March 19, 2012
    Comment #3 by LDS Anarchist on March 20, 2012

  33. Adding to the above three hyperlinked comments, I’d just like to address one point that seems to escape a lot of people when they think of hell or spirit prison, and that is that the concept of fairness does not exist there.

    The devil is the “warden” of spirit prison. It is his kingdom and he is its sadistic, murderous king, who reigns supreme there. As a result, everyone receives the maximum penalty. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t fair that a person who commits one small sin receives the same misery as the person who commits many great sins, because the kingdom of the devil is not patterned after the principles of the kingdoms of men or the kingdom of God, which have concepts of justice and fairness.

    Btw, those three hyperlinked comments may be easier to understand after reading the following post: The role of agency in political systems.

  34. Hello. I was doing some recent research on the hollow Earth and came across information that the Earth does not spin! In addition, apparently none of the planets/heavenly bodies spin! The planets in our solar syster orbit around the Earth, but not even our moon spins or rotates.(Ever wonder why we see the exact same craters night after night?). I would be happy to supply my links and research if you’re interested, so that you can update/edit your article by removing the statement/reference that the outer and inner crusts “spin”.

  35. Sure, let’s see the links.

  36. Ive discovered that paradise is actually the kingdom of God. This is significant because all the stipulated conditions for entering the Kingdom of God must also apply to paradise.

    The 9 Nephites desired and were granted to come to the kingdom after they die

    We desire that after we have lived unto the age of man, that our ministry, wherein thou hast called us, may have an end, that we may speedily come unto thee in thy kingdom.
    (3 Nephi 28:2)

    Later it says that when they died they went to paradise

    yea, even an hundred years had passed away, and the disciples of Jesus, whom he had chosen, had all gone to the paradise of God, save it were the three who should tarry; (4 Nephi 1:14)


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