In this episode we conclude last week’s discussion of the three degrees of glory as told in the scriptures. We cover the telestial category, outer darkness, and the sons of perdition.
D&C 88:15-35, 100-102, 110-116
D&C 76:25-39, 43-44, 81-112
2 Nephi 28:11-15
D&C 124:8, 40-41
2 Nephi 31:15
3 Nephi 15:9
It’s becoming clear to me that the end of the millennium and the season where satan is loosed, within that terrestial corresponds to the next battle of heaven, premortal council, and decision of a new Adam and Eve on a new world. Among the Lord’s faithful, then, are the great and Noble ones Choosen to work for the salvation of man on a new earth. Thus thus we see the work of the Father, for the salvation of souls. There will always be those majority who will choose to remain telestial and damned, those who covenant with the Adversary, and those who choose to progress through the Everlasting Covenant of the Father and his Christ.
I couldn’t help thinking that the topics discussed in this podcast were much easier to conceptualize than the previous two because it dealt with things I can relate to in the everyday world (very flawed people!). As you reminded us about the different laws by which we can be judged (mercy, justice, or judgment) I could easily relate them to charitable service/humanitarian donations, mutual exchange/contracts, and the criminal justice system.
Where it got really interesting to me was thinking about recent events where those in charge of our federal criminal justice system have abused their stewardship by applying different standards of prosecution or acquittal based on who it is they are investigating. These people have become a law unto themselves and cannot be saved by mercy, judgment, nor justice because these qualities were not found in them. Perhaps there are people behind the “Russian collusion” origins who were legitimately operating in a spirit of teamwork with their fellow bureaucrats, but their eventual status will be based on whether they repent as the gravity of their crimes are known (become cooperating witnesses and accept a lesser punishment), or whether they continue to protest their innocence in the face of hard evidence to the contrary.
At the same time, I see Pres. Trump trying to operate within the bounds of existing Constitutional and federal law, even when it means upsetting his base or letting things drag through the courts which he could push through with executive authority. As a result of operating within law, he seems to be able to achieve his objectives in spite of the personal and political attacks that would have sunk another man. (Kind of like how the “3 Nephites” were protected from harm, despite being thrown in prisons and dens of wild animals — they were operating on a higher law so the lower realms had no power over them.)
I apologize if this comment offends anyone by bringing a political context to what we are reading in the scriptures, but this is simply my way of sharing my personal thoughts on the subject, not an invitation to debate political perspectives. I think the lack of immediate context is why I have had a harder time with the terrestrial/celestial categories. Maybe those will come into focus better next week when you talk about the servants.
Enlightening podcast the last two weeks as always. Recently I’ve been pondering whether there are more than three kingdoms. D&C 130 has some suspect parts like the Father having a body of flesh and bones, however other parts don’t appear to contradict anything in the scriptures. For example, verses 9-10 say:
9 This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s.
10 Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known;
So this mentions lower kingdoms than the earth in its Celestial state which makes sense, but then verse 10 also mentions higher order of kingdoms than the Celestial. If we compare this to section 88 the parable given in verses 51-61 mentions at least 12 kingdoms, now whether these are 12 representative celestial kingdoms or multiple terrestrial or telestial kingdoms I’m not sure, all I know for certain is that we have been told specifically of three kingdoms, but we don’t know details about any others. Verses 24 and 32 say:
24 And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.
32 And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.
Is this kingdom without glory Satan’s kingdom where the sons of perdition go? or is there perhaps a kingdom in between the telestial and Satan’s kingdom? Again the text doesn’t seem clear.
Another thing I find interesting is that the lower law we have been given which includes the masonic temple endowment actually supports your guys’ views of the three kingdoms. It portrays the telestial world as the fallen world we live in, and in order to enter the terrestrial world we must enter into a covenant with God, receive the priesthood, and live consecration, thus, the terrestrial world = zion a place to prepare to enter God’s presence. Finally to enter the celestial kingdom you must be called by God’s voice and receive the fullness of the priesthood. So God in His mercy gave us the truth it is simply veiled in satanic masonic symbolism to blind Israel until the fullness of times.
In your research on the sons of Perdition, did you look at Moses 5:24-25 where Cain is told that he will be called Perdition and that “it shall be said in time to come that these abominations were had from Cain”? That might lead to a connection between abominations and the great and abominable church of the devil. This might also tie in with the “account concerning them of old, that they by their secret plans did obtain kingdoms and great glory” mentioned by the daughter of Jared (Ether 8:9,15-16) “which were handed down even from Cain, who was a murderer from the beginning”. Alma mentions these same “oaths and their covenants, and their agreements in their secret abominations; …and all their signs and their wonders” when he is giving commandments to his son Helaman about keeping the records (Alma 37).
The Book of Mormon has a very consistent message related to secret combinations and works of darkness. I think that talking about these same things we were warned about in our day is rejected as conspiracy theory. The link between Perdition and Cain and secret societies/combinations might help people recognize the lines that are drawn between those who will eventually be saved and those who will not because many secret societies are ultimately tied back to Satanism, whose adherents will not bow their knee to Jesus.
I had this thought when listening.
Here are the scriptures that linked the idea together for me…
81And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament.
82These are they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus.
83These are they who deny not the Holy Spirit.
84These are they who are thrust down to hell.
85These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work.
86These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial;
19For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
I found it interesting that it’s the Holy Spirit in both cases and not the Holy Ghost. Now it could be semantics, but this is what caught my attention.
That it’s the Holy Spirit that works on these “natural” spirits for 1,000 years and after a millennium they finally yield to its enticings and accept the atonement. Or accept it and are “willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [them]” even 1,000 years in hell.
It definitely seems like those two ideas are connected. Here’s something else I forgot to mention while recording:
D&C 76 says:
71 And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament.
72 Behold, these are they who died without law;
73 And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh;
74 Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.
75 These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.
Yet D&C 137 says
7 All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;
8 Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;
So those who didn’t receive the gospel during mortality, but receive it later, do they go to the Celestial kingdom per D&C 137? Or the Terrestrial kingdom per D&C 76? If you hold to the traditional view, they both cannot be correct. If you believe both D&C 76 and 137 to be true, then the traditional Three Degrees interpretation must be incorrect.
Mormon, in Moroni 8, writes how children are alive in Christ. He states in verse 12 that someone who supposes that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and the bonds on iniquity, lacking faith, hope, and charity. “For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saves one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he has no baptism.”
Then, verse 22:
For behold that all little children are alive in Christ. And also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption comes on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is undo no condemnation, cannot repent, and unto such avails nothing.
Those without the law cannot repent? Look what he said in verse 19: “Little children cannot repent; wherefore it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy.” I guess that means it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto those without the law.
But D&C 76 says that those without the law are terrestrial. If “it is wickedness to suppose that God saves one child because of baptism and the other must perish because he has no baptism,” and those without the law are the same as children without baptism, then it is wickedness to supposed that God saves one person with the law and the other must perish because he lived without the law. Yet if the person with the law goes to the Celestial kingdom, and the person without the law goes to the Terrestrial kingdom forever, then God is a partial God.
I don’t believe in a partial God.
This is a tricky one. I believe there are at least two ways to look at “without law” in the scriptures. There are those who are without reasoning, like little kids. Such as those that have diminished mental capacity as you pointed out in Moroni 8.
The other way to look at is is those who do have the mental ability to reason right from wrong, but live in a nation where the gospel isn’t taught, but will be judged according to their works based on the amount of light received.
Such as D&C 45:54
54And then shall the heathen nations be redeemed, and they that knew no law shall have part in the first resurrection; and it shall be tolerable for them.
I don’t know what tolerable or redeemed mean in this context or what a heathen is for that matter.
I don’t know of any scripture that links diminished mental capacity to being without the law. Please share it if you have one. The scriptures I have found considers those without the law or having no law to have not received the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
22 For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing
Let’s look at “no law”
D&C 45 links them to the heathens, not the mentally diminished:
54 And then shall the heathen nations be redeemed, and they that knew no law shall have part in the first resurrection; and it shall be tolerable for them.
2 Nephi 9
23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.
24 And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it.
25 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.
26 For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment; and they are restored to that God who gave them breath, which is the Holy One of Israel.
27 But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!
D&C 76 describes the terrestrials as those who died “without law”.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9 that being without law seems to be more than just non-Jews, but is now non-Christians that haven’t had Christ taught unto them.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
In Romans 2, Paul again links not having the law to not having the Gospel:
11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Where do Down Syndrome individuals fall on the agency spectrum? I can’t think of of scripture per se other than we were taught in our mission not to baptize them because they’re alive in Christ and are “without law”.
I think Mormon covered Down Syndrome and other diminished mental capacities when he declared in Moroni 8:10 that they should teach “repentance and baptism to those who are accountable and capable of committing sin.” If someone has diminished mental capacities to the point they aren’t accountable, they don’t need repentance nor baptism, because they are like little children. So your mission president was doing the right thing, I think he was just using the wrong words to characterize why he was doing the right thing.
Here is an interesting account of a near death/life after death experience by an atheist. You might be interested in how his account compares with the discussion on the initial judgment, related to spirit prison and paradise, as well as what might be considered “outer darkness”. In this case, there was no particular judgment that led him to hell, he seemed to walk there by following the spirits that called to him after his death. Once he was lost, he didn’t know how to get out, until he acted on a thought that came to him to pray. https://www.near-death.com/experiences/exceptional/howard-storm.html
Thanks for an eye opening pod cast. I don’t get how I could have read those verses in Alma 40 so many times and never wondered.
I just finished listening to podcasts 036, 037, and 037. When Searcher was reading: D&C 88:35 “That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.” It suddenly hit me that these are the three ways to obtain sanctification. It hit me about 5 seconds before Searcher explained it.
I found something in Church History that supports what you are saying. I think it is important that everybody understand this and know that Joseph understood it, too. These are the comments he wrote in his journal.
“Nothing could be more pleasing to the Saints upon the order of the kingdom of the Lord, than the light which burst upon the world through the foregoing vision. Every law, every commandment, every promise, every truth, and every point touching the destiny of man, from Genesis to Revelation, where the purity of the scriptures remains unsullied by the folly of men, go to show the perfection of the theory [of different degrees of glory in the future life] and witnesses the fact that that document is a transcript from the records of the eternal world. The sublimity of the ideas; the purity of the language; the scope for action; the CONTINUED DURATION FOR COMPLETION, in order that the heirs of salvation may confess the Lord and bow the knee; the rewards for faithfulness, and the punishments for sins, are so much beyond the narrow-mindedness of men, that every honest man is constrained to exclaim: “It came from God.”” DHC 1:252-253.
It’s still “so much beyond the narrow-mindedness of men”.