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  1. David Carroll

    Celestial Marriage is not the key to entering into God’s kingdom. God’s Kingdom is the Celestial Kingdom. The entrance is baptism and Christ is the gate keeper. Celestial Marriage is an ordinance reserved for those who are already members of God’s kingdom. You cannot have an eternal marriage without having a baptism into the kingdom.
    Celestial Marriage is the key to eternal progression and entrance into the highest degree of the Celestial Glory. You cannot have eternal progress without a companion to be there with you. It just doesn’t work. Gender is an eternal principle and there will continue to be genders in the next life, just as there were in the previous life. Man is not complete without the woman, neither is woman complete without the man. So together we go on in eternal progression, ever growing, never ending. I hope this clears up the matter that Celestial Marriage is NOT required to enter into God’s presence and dwell with Him forever in His kingdom.

  2. The way I have come to understand it:
    Baptism is the ordinance that allows us to live with God [Celestial Kingdom],
    Temple sealing is the ordinance that allows us to live like God [Exaltation].

  3. You are right that celestial marriage is not required to enter into God’s presence, but it is the key to entering into a portion of that kingdom reserved for those who receive exaltation and become like God. So, when we define the term kingdom more specifically, celestial marriage is a key to entering into God’s “king”-dom, if we are not referring to the front door of the celestial but to those who have a throne and mansion reserved to become kings (and queens) in that kingdom. Those who become like God will receive much more of a fulness of God’s kingdom than those who only enter in through baptism and dwell in His presence. Indeed, those who only enter in will become ministering servants “for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory” (D&C 132:16). The kingdom of the gods is only in that highest degree of the celestial, and I would say that those who enter this portion of God’s kingdom have more fully entered therein.

  4. What will happen to my daughter, who is baptized, has her endowment, but is not married? Will she not be able to go to the Celestial Kingdom? I realize the significance of celestial marriage, but I find it hard to believe that someone as worthy as my daughter who is not married, but otherwise worthy, will be excluded from the celestial kingdom. You better start looking for her a temple worthy husband. She lives in West Jordan, and knows more about sports than most Utah guys she has met. That, in addition to her endowment, should get her some place in the celestial kingdom.

  5. Paul,

    Everyone who is baptized by the authority of the priesthood and is worthy will enter into the celestial kingdom (married or single).

    But if one wishes to enter into the highest degree of the celestial, then they must be married. I believe that everyone will have the right opportunity to be married, if not in this mortal life, then they will have that opportunity in the spirit world. Sister Sheri Dew, former General Relief Society President, is a great example of someone who is not married yet, but will have that opportunity at some point. And so will your daughter, and so will every other worthy daughter of our Heavenly Father.

    Now, if someone refuses to be married, ever, that is another story. Marriage is a requirement to enter into that highest portion or degree of the celestial kingdom. Those who wish to remain single forever will not receive a fulness of celestial glory:

    For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever. (D&C 132:17)

  6. You are exactly right Bryce, and I said what I did to get you to point that out. An unmarried, endowed person can still go to the Celestial Kingdom. Albeit not to the highest level. Your headline specified Baptism and Temple Marriage. Thanks also for mentioning Sheri Dew, I should have. She may be the best example of this.

  7. I submit the following, which I know will not be popular:

    1.) The Kingdom of God is any degree of glory.

    2.) Anyone who enters any degree of glory is cleansed from all sin though the atonement of Christ (you can not pay for your own sins and enter any degree of glory). Salvation is a free gift to those who receive it through baptism. Only the son’s of perdition remain “filthy still.”

    3.) Baptism is required to enter the Kingdom of God (at any degree). In Nephi vision, those who have not been baptised are on the other side of the river.

    4.) What determines what glory a person receives is what law a person is willing to live – See D&C 88.

    5.) Anyone worthy of a degree of glory will not be deprived because of lack of opportunity.


  8. What an interesting perspective! I think I agree with you on points 4 and 5, but I have my questions about 1, 2, and 3.

    I agree that entering any kingdom is receiving salvation. The LDS believe there is a big difference between salvation and exaltation, and that most will receive a universal salvation except the Sons of Perdition. But I’m not sure if I would label any kingdom a kingdom “of God.” They are a kingdom “of glory,” to be sure, but God the Father will not be present in the terrestrial kingdom (D&C 76:77), and God the Son will not be present in the telestial kingdom (v. 86). So I’m not sure if that place where God will not reside or dwell can rightly be called a kingdom “of God,” per se. He will not be there, and the only ministration that will be done among them is by His angels (v. 86-88).

    I’m not sure those in the terrestrial or telestial kingdoms will have requirement of baptism. Can you cite any other references for this? In verse 82 we are told that those who inherit the telestial kingdom “received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus” and in verse 101, “received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.” The terrestrial are said to have eventually accepted the testimony of Jesus, but not necessarily His gospel (v. 74). Doesn’t the gospel of Christ include baptism? Isn’t the everlasting covenant spoken of baptism? (Earlier in the section we’re taught that those who had received of the gospel of Christ, and had a testimony of Jesus, are the ones who were baptized and inherit the celestial kingdom (v. 50-51).) It never says that these ever received or accepted the ordinance, the gospel, or the covenant, and this vision is after all vicarious work is done and judgment has placed everyone into their appointed kingdom.

    I would say that those who receive of the terrestrial or telestial kingdoms do suffer, if it is not more than just mental anguish for being damned (full stop of progression) for eternity. Even those in the celestial kingdom who receive not exaltation will be in this state (D&C 132:16-17). Even some who will inherit exaltation in the celestial kingdom will experience some suffering (D&C 132:26). We are told in D&C 19:17-20 that those who suffer are those who refuse to repent. There will probably be many liars, sorcerers, adulterers, and whoremongers in the telestial kingdom who will still refuse repentance in the spirit world, as they will probably refuse baptism too (v. 103). Indeed, I’ve heard it spoken of that hell is more of a mental state than a physical space, of those who did not receive exaltation but could have, and they will reflect on their blighted circumstance for eternity. We are told that those in the telestial kingdom will be feeling God’s consequences, wrath, and suffering for being thrust down to hell (v. 84, 104-106) but this can’t be a place necessarily because we’re also told the glory of the telestial surpasses all understanding (v. 89). That is why I believe it is more a psychological hell.

    Those that are the Sons of Perdition are not those exclusively that will suffer, for we are told explicitly that some in the telestial, terrestrial, and even celestial will suffer (see above), but they are those who deny the Holy Spirit, the unpardonable sin, which those even in the telestial will not do, as bad as they are (v. 83). Albeit, the suffering of those in the telestial will probably be much less than those in outer darkness, and there is a hint in verse 106 that the suffering of those in the telestial may come to an end at some point, although it is hard to understand how considering their state of damnation. The suffering of the Sons of Perdition will be eternal, and their hell will probably be much more real than the psychological hell that those in the lower kingdoms will experience (v. 30-38).

  9. David Carroll

    The physical place that is the Telestial Kingdom is the Earth in a state of Telestial Being. I do not fully understand it, but the Earth will be made into multiple degrees of glory, being the Celestial Kingdom on one plane of existence, the Terrestrial Glory on another level of perfection, and the Telestial Kingdom as well. Outer Darkness, I believe, is the state of being where all light brings pain, so the damned seek out the depths of space as far from light and glory as they can. Those that have Telestial Bodies will be in pain if they pass into the level of the Terrestrial Kingdom. Likewise for those in the Terrestrial that wish to go into the Celestial Kingdom. Those in the Celestial Kingdom will have bodies capable of dwelling in all glories, as they please, but will be happiest in the Celestial Kingdom.

  10. Bryce:

    I would like to dialoge on this but I am somewhat limited on time today.

    The problems come in to this topic because of understanding what time a scripture is referring to, for example someone may reject something while in the flesh, but later accept it, and receive a glory.

    Regarding suffering, the penalty for sin is physical and spiritual death FOREVER MORE – FOR EVER. We can suffer for our own sins forever and we will never be forgiven. We can not ever pay the penalty in full not matter what we suffer. Only Christ can pay the penalty in full. And this is done thru the atonement. And when it is done, it is done in full, it is called salvation (saved from physical and spiritual death). The sign of the acceptance of salvation is baptism. At the judgement, if a persons rejects his baptism (that was done in person or done for him) he is rejecting the work of Christ and becomes a son of perdition. You can not reject Christ at the Judgement and gain salvation. And there are not two ways to be forgiven of your sins (by your own suffering or by Christ’s suffering), there is only one way.

    In short, I don’t expect to change anyones mind with this short assertion, but as you study the gospel if you keep this understanding tucked back in the mind, you will find those sharp edges of the puzzle that don’t quite fit, they will go away. And I will tell you, when you understand this, it’s like a gate you will go through that will all of a sudden bring a flood of other understandings. I don’t usually bear my testimony on line, but this is my experience.

    If you would like to know what it takes to get into any kingdom, the temple is the template. See what it takes to get into the telestrial level of the temple, baptism is among the requirements. If you want to know what it takes to get to the terrestrial kingdom, what does it take or what do you get in the terrestrial room? And the same for the Celestial Kingdom. And of course for exaltation, the sealing room. This is pure LDS doctrine. Now the teachings we receive today in the temple are a abbreviated representation of all of the requirements for each kingdom, but we can get the picture if we pay attention.

    Do you get it?


  11. Bryce SAID:
    “We are told that those in the telestial kingdom will be feeling God’s consequences, wrath, and suffering for being thrust down to hell (v. 84, 104-106) but this can’t be a place necessarily because we’re also told the glory of the telestial surpasses all understanding (v. 89). That is why I believe it is more a psychological hell.”

    This is an example of the problem of time. When the above person dies, thy are thrust down to hell, hell being spirit prison. But then at the judgement they inherit the Telstial Kingdom.

    I don’t want to dilute this discussion to much, but I think that there is more than just a “psychological hell.” May I recommend my two short chapters on “Glory” and “Resurrection.” Here is the LINK


  12. Otherwise how do we reconcile the many palces in scripture that say something like: “raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—“ Alma 41:4.

    There are two kingdoms, the Kingdom of God (with 3 degrees of glory), or the Kingdom of the Devil.


  13. David:
    I think that the “Temple as a template” example isn’t quite the truth.
    We are told that liars, murders, lovers of lies, etc. will be those in the Telestial Kingdom. I don’t think those qualities are the same as what we see in the Temple ceremony.

  14. It sounds like an interesting perspective, but I’m still unconvinced. 😉 I have never heard before, in the scriptures or from the GAs, that baptism is a requirement to enter into all of the kingdoms of glory. Do you have any references from GAs that discuss this view?

    We can suffer for our own sins forever and we will never be forgiven. We can not ever pay the penalty in full not matter what we suffer. Only Christ can pay the penalty in full. And this is done thru the atonement.

    Yes, I believe this to be true, which is why I believe that some will not enter into celestial glory, because they didn’t accept Christ or His gospel, and therefore will never be made at-one with God again, i.e. dwell in His presence. Only those who accept Christ’s atonement fully will be made at-one with God. If all people were redeemed and saved by the atonement of Jesus Christ, and cleansed perfectly from all sin, then all people could return to dwell in the immediate presence of God, which isn’t the case.

  15. In my view the kingdoms of glory are not made up, or divided by lingering degrees of sin, but what law you are willing to live. In the 88th section of D&C it clearly says why one person goes to one kingdom, and why people go to another.

    Again, I don’t expect to change anyones mind here, I’m just sharing. 😎


  16. “So it will be with those who are damned [in spirit prison] in the way that I have described and who are consigned to torment. They will remain in that condition, according to the enormity of their offenses, until punishment will be meted out to them sufficiently to bring them to a condition that they will receive the Gospel of salvation. That Gospel which is taught to us will be taught to them, and they will have an opportunity of obeying it in their damned condition and through repentance will receive will salvation.” (George Q. Cannon-Gospel Truth pg. 62)

    Taken from New Cool Thang


  17. I don’t want to seem argumentative, but in the spirit of brotherhood, may I argue this point a little?

    Here is D&C 76:

    ” 106 These are they [Telestial beings] who are cast down to ahell and suffer the wrath of cAlmighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work;
    107 When he [Christ] shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father, spotless, saying: I have covercome and have dtrodden the ewine-press falone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.”

    Notice He delivers it up “spotless.” This is the covenant from the pre-existance.


  18. I believe that section 76 describes the acts of people in this life which ultimately determine which law they are able to abide by in section 88. They are related. The things people do in this life, given the knowledge they have of righteousness, witness to the law they are able to abide.

  19. “However, “these [Telestial beings] all shall bow the knee, and every tongue shall confess . . . that Jesus Christ is Lord” (v. 110; Philip. 2:9-11). This obeisance and confession will come sometime during the process of preparing to be “heirs of salvation” (v. 88). 29 This cleansing process involves their spirits’ being called up and judged unworthy of resurrection at the beginning of the Millennium (D&C 88:100-1), then spending one thousand years in hell suffering for the sins they earlier refused to repent of, and learning to obey at least a telestial law (vv. 84-85, 105-7). Once they are cleansed and prepared, they shall be resurrected and placed in the telestial kingdom, the glory of which “surpasses all understanding” (v. 89). 30 No longer liars, sorcerers, whoremongers, adulterers, “they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end.”

    Studies in Scripture, Vol. 1, by Kent P. Jackson, Robert L. Millet, LARRY E. DAHL

  20. This thread has gone a ways off topic. 🙂 I’d still like to see a quote from a General Authority that said that baptism is required for entrance into all the kingdoms of glory. For up to this point I have only known that baptism is required for entrance into the celestial kingdom.

    Baptism in water has several purposes. It is for the remission of sins, for membership in the Church, and for entrance into the celestial kingdom; it is also the doorway to personal sanctification when followed by the reception of the Holy Ghost. (Bible Dictionary)

  21. TELESTIAL SALVATION. 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

    Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, by Bruce R. McConkie, Joseph Fielding Smith

  22. Here is a quote by Brigham Young:

    “We will bring up all the inhabitants of the earth, except those who have sinned against the Holy Ghost, and save them in some kingdom where they will receive more glory and honor than ever the Methodist contemplated. This should be a comfort and a consolation to all the inhabitants of the earth. They will not save themselves, millions have not had a chance, and millions now living, through the strength of their traditions, will not do it; their consciences and feelings are bound up in their systems and creeds, whereas if they felt as independent as they should feel, they would break loose and receive the truths; but they will live and die in bondage, and we calculate to officiate for them. Many a man I know of, who has fallen asleep, we have been baptized for, since the Church was organized—good, honest, honorable men, charitable to all, living good, virtuous lives. We will not let them go down to hell; God will not. The plan of salvation is ample to bring them all up and place them where they may enjoy all they could anticipate. 14:97.”

    Discourses of Brigham Young, CHAPTER XXXVI

  23. David Larsen

    I really don’t know if baptism will be required for entrance into even the Telestial Kingdom, but I can see David Littlefield’s theory as plausible. Certainly during the 1000 years of the Millenium there would be time to do baptisms for all of them. We now do baptisms for as many of our ancestors as possible without any knowledge of which kingdom they will end up in. I don’t think they will automatically qualify for Celestial Glory just because we are performing the ordinances for them. Those waiting in Spirit Prison need to be cleansed, even if they will only inherit the Telestial Glory-I think it is reasonable to conclude that they will need to receive baptism to get there. This is just my opinion…

  24. Thanks David for your comment. I think it is plausible, I just haven’t heard anything like it before. I’ll have to search that one out a little more. As far as the judgment goes, there is probably much we can learn from the scripture,

    For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (1 Peter 4:6; see also D&C 138 for a thorough explanation.)

    Particularly interesting is:

    The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,
    And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation. (D&C 138:58-59)

  25. David Carroll

    Baptism gives you the following benefits, so long as you live up to the covenants you make:
    1. Entrance into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    2. A remission of sins for which you have repented through faith in Jesus Christ
    3. Preparation to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost
    4. A demonstration of obedience to God’s law.
    5. Passage from Spirit Prison to Spirit Paradise.
    6. Entrance to the Celestial Kingdom.
    7. Eligibility to renew our covenant through partaking worthily of the Sacrament.

    For item one, it was established by Joseph Smith that baptism by the proper authority is required for people to become members of the church. There were some who were baptized prior to the formation of the church that were rebaptized specifically for acceptance into the church.
    Item two indicates that this is the first ordinance of the gospel. When you are properly prepared through Faith in Christ and proper repentance, your sins are washed away through the atonement of Christ.
    Item three is taught by the missionaries as the next step in the first four principles and ordinances of the gospel. You cannot receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost without being baptized.
    Item four is taught by Nephi as the reason that Jesus Christ Himself was baptized. He showed obedience to God and an example for man.
    Item five is the reason that temple work is so important and why you hear stories of ancestors appearing to their offspring to ask that their temple work be done. Without a proper baptism, the spirit is damned from progressing. That is the defining aspect of Spirit Prison. It was Jesus Christ that opened the way between the two realms and the preaching of the gospel began among the unbaptized deceased.
    Item six seems to be the point of confusion for this posting. Once you have had your sins forgiven, and have demonstrated your obedience to God, how could you expect to end up in any lesser kingdom than the Celestial Glory? It is true that once you have been baptized you can still end up in a lesser glory, but only by failing to live up to the covenant of baptism. It should be pointed out that not everyone will accept the ordinances performed in their name. Everyone will have at least one genuine opportunity to accept the gospel. To me that means that the gospel must be explained to everyone to the point that they understand the concepts of Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, and Baptism. If a person accepts these principles of the gospel, and the ordinance of baptism is performed, they have met the criteria for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom. They are clean and obedient. How could they then be kept from God’s presence?

    As to the other kingdoms, I have been taught that the Telestial Kingdom is essentially for those that are comfortable with the presence of the Holy Ghost, but uncomfortable in the presence of Christ. They have not accepted Him as their Redeemer. The Terrestrial Kingdom is for those that are comfortable in the presence of Jesus Christ. They have accepted Him as their Redeemer, but do not meet the criteria of being clean and obedient. Here also are those that do not live up to the covenants they make with God, including the covenant of baptism. While they may have been baptized in their life, or accepted the baptism from the Spirit World, that covenant was broken by them in some way. Not to the point of being cast out, but to the point that they would be uncomfortable in the presence of the Almighty God.
    From the descriptions of the lesser kingdoms, it should be clear that to obtain the Celestial Kingdom we must be clean and obedient to God’s Laws. The first law to obey is baptism. This covenant of baptism commits us to live all of God’s laws as we are taught them from God’s appointed messenegers, which includes angels, church leaders, sunday school teachers, and the promptings of the Holy Ghost. If we fail to live up to that covenant, we are not worthy of God’s presence and cannot enter the Celestial Kingdom.

    And as to item seven, which was added for completeness, worthily partaking of the sacrament is the equivalent of being rebaptized as far as the covenant with God is concerned. It keeps us clean and obedient so that we are continually worthy to enter the Celestial Kingdom. This does not mean that all sins are easily swept aside by the mere partaking of the sacrament. It means that once you have repented of your sins, whether that require an apology to God, the the Church, or to those you have offended, or all three, once the repentance process is complete, those sins are washed away. The way we show our commitment to this process is the Sacrament.

    If you have questions about any point of doctrine here, I would be happy to spend the time finding the sources for which my knowledge was obtained. I am confident that I have not strayed from church doctrine in the slightest or given any statement which cannot be backed up with canonized scripture.

  26. Guys,
    How about D & C 137:10. and I quote “And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven”. I don’t think I saw this mentioned in this thread yet. Baptism is not necessary for these children, yet they still go to the Celestial Kingdom.

  27. David Carroll,

    I tend to agree with you. But this issue of whether people in the Terrestrial and Telestial will still have the stain of sin or not is an interesting one that I haven’t thought of before. Will they have to be redeemed from their sin at some point to live in their kingdom of glory? And if so, the only way I know of to be cleansed from sin and receive a remission is through baptism. It’s thought-provoking. D&C 138 suggests that they might have to be baptized, although they will still be judged and receive the reward according to their works in mortality.


    I had thought about that too. Baptism will never be necessary for children who die before the age of accountability, which teaches us something profound about baptism. Baptism is only necessary for those who have arrived at the age of accountability in mortal life, and have thereby become stained by their sins. The atonement of Jesus Christ automatically saves little children (and mentally handicapped as well) in the celestial kingdom. But they will still have to be married if they wish to receive exaltation, for there are no single angels among those who receive a fulness and become like God the Father.

  28. I hate to keep this going and be picky, but according to McConkie “Not only will little children be saved in the Celestial Kingdom of God, but the will be heirs of exaltation in that kingdom. ” On this point the Prophet said: “They will there enjoy the fullness of that light, glory and intellignece, which is prepared in the celestial kingdom. . To inherit the fullness is to have exaltation. (In both cases the word fullness is in italics). So I guess I take a little bit of issue with your comment about them having to be married to receive exaltation. However, I am worried about the second half of your comment about single angels.

  29. I still maintain that in order for anyone to reach exaltation and to become like the Father, they will need to be married and sealed by the holy priesthood (D&C 132:16-17). Exaltation is synonymous with being married and having family. No one can be exalted and become like the Father without being married, for God is a married being, and his life consists in exalting his children. Given, most if not all of little children that so die will probably marry and receive their exaltation.

  30. I understand I have a minority view, so I am not trying to push it on anyone, or to spark a hot debate.

    I would go back to my original point that the temple is the templete of eternity. Simply look at Solomon’s temple for simplicity, but all temples follow the same format.

    Each of the three levels correspond to one of the three degrees of glory. What goes on, the principles, covenants, and ordinances, in each level is what is required to achieve that level in the resurrection. This is the purpose of the temple.

    The font was in the first section (can be thought of as the gate) of the Kingdom of God. The first section of the Kingdom of God is a Telestial glory. Any liars, murders, etc who receive a Telestial resurrection, will repent before that happens, and when they repent they shall be washed clean. Nobody is going to the Telestial kingdom until they accept their baptism.

    I ask, can we then also go to the Celestial Kingdom, and skip the ordinances of the Terrestrial Kingdom (that is administered in the Terr. room) as well? If baptism is what is required to enter Celestial Kingdom, can we skip the rest? We are told in D&C 88 that if we receive any degree of a kingdom that over time we can receive a fulness thereof.

    I don’t care about anyone’s view of the requirements of the Celestial kingdom, the only reason I commented on it is because without understanding that the temple is the template of eternity, it is the plan of salvation mapped out in stone, we miss a fantastic understanding that can otherwise be ours. When you get this, it will be an epiphany in your life, at least it was for me.


  31. David Carroll

    The cleansing of sins comes only through Jesus Christ. People have to repent and ask for forgiveness and go through the repentance process. Not everyone is willing to do this. This does not mean that they are doomed for outer darkness. That is reserved only for those whose faith was once perfect in having a knowledge beyond a mere hope of the divinity of Christ, and afterwards turned against God and fought against His purposes, thereby rejecting the Holy Ghost and making it impossible for them to abide in even the lowest degree of the Telestial Kingdom. Since it is clear to me that not everyone will repent of their sins, and judging from the case of King David, there will remain stains of sin on some people throughout the eternities. These people are not evil enough to be cast off from into outer darkness, and so there must be a place reserved for them in the lesser kingdoms. Not everyone accepts the temple baptism done in their name. Not everyone accepts the gospel when it is presented to them in this life or the next. To think that these people belong in outer darkness would make my soul quake at the thought. No, they will be given a glory of happiness, but not a fullness of glory. They may not accept the atonement of Christ necessary to have a forgiveness of their sins, but they don’t have enough knowledge to become a Son of Perdition.

  32. David Carroll

    Children who die before the age of accountability demonstrated in the pre-existance that they have met the requirements to enter the Celestial Kingdom. The only reason they need to come to earth is to obtain a body. I have heard some say that righteous mothers will have their children returned to them during the millenium, at which point they will continue to grow and have the chance to get married. I do not know of this being gospel doctrine, but it is a nice thought. What is clear from the Proclamation to the World on the Family is that Families are eternal. In order to progress in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, everyone, child or not, will need an eternal companion. We do not, at this time, that I am aware of, arrange marriages for those who have passed on before the age of accountability. There will be an opportunity to fulfill all ordinances required for salvation when worthiness is not an issue. This applies to young children and missionaries and worthy church members alike. Just because the marriage was not accomplished in this life does not mean there won’t be an opportunity for such a union at a later time. How that happens and when is not said, nor is it important to know at this time. What is important to know is that everyone who does not achieve a Celestial Marriage in this life, through no fault of their own, will receive that opportunity. Were this not so, the plan of salvation would be frustrated. It is true that there are no single angels in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. The way I understand it, if you are not in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, then there is no purpose in your marriage. This point of doctrine is not well illucidated, but it is clear that Celestial Marriage IS required for exaltation.

    As for baptism being required for the Telestial Kingdom, I do not remember seeing the baptism of Adam portrayed in the ceremony. The fact that baptism is a prerequisite for the additional ordinances and endowments does not mean that it is necessary to obtain a degree of glory. Those in the Telestial Kingom may have rejected Christ completely. They do not fight against God, but they do not need to accept Christ. That is why the Holy Ghost is present in the Telestial Kingdom and Jesus Christ is not there. It is true that everyone will have an opportunity to accept or reject a baptism performed either in person or vicariously, but rejection of that baptism cannot be an automatic expulsion into outer darkness. God loves His children too much to cast so many into outer darkness.

  33. David Carroll Said: “…outer darkness. That is reserved only for those whose faith was once perfect in having a knowledge beyond a mere hope of the divinity of Christ, and afterwards turned against God”

    LITTLEFIELD SAYS: I would suggest that we have the same problem of time here, as discussed above.

    The above is true NOW. But, that when a person stands at the judgment bar, he known as much as anyone can know. If he rejects it there, he is a son of perdition. If he accepts it, including his baptism, he receives a glory, based on the law he is willing to live. IMHO.


  34. We are told in scripture that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess before God, even those who may not want to or be willing right now. Perhaps there will come a time when they will see more clearly than they do now the plan of salvation, and that if they do not accept Christ and his gospel, they will be cast off into outer darkness.

    According to the quotes above it would appear that even those in the terrestrial or telestial will not remain in the stain of sin for eternity. According to these brethren (McConkie, Smith, Jackson, Millet, Dahl), even those who receive the telestial kingdom must eventually repent and be redeemed from their sins, including cleansing, and accept the gospel, and bow the knee, before they will be allowed into the kingdom prepared for them.

    Elder McConkie said this about those who reject Christ after having been taught it perfectly, and thereby become Sons of Perdition:

    He thereby commits murder by assenting unto the Lord’s death, that is, having a perfect knowledge of the truth he comes out in open rebellion and places himself in a position wherein he would have crucified Christ knowing perfectly the while that he was the Son of God. Christ is thus crucified afresh and put to open shame.

    I think all those who hear the gospel in spirit prison will have a perfect knowledge of the truth, and if they reject it there, it is in essence putting Christ to an open shame and crucifying him afresh.

    Joseph Smith said this about the Sons of Perdition:

    He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy.

    This would certainly be the case for those who hear the preaching of the gospel in the spirit prison, and still deny it. They become enemies to God.

    Elder McConkie also said this:

    Our Lord told the Jews that eventually — either in this world or in the world to come — all sins would be forgiven except the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. . . .

    Particular note should be taken in this connection of the fact that forgiveness of sins does not thereby confer celestial salvation upon a person. “All will suffer until they obey Christ himself,” the Prophet said. (Teachings, p. 357.) The wicked and ungodly will suffer the vengeance of eternal fire in hell until they finally obey Christ, repent of their sins, and gain forgiveness therefrom. Then they shall obtain the resurrection and an inheritance in the telestial and not the celestial kingdom. (Mormon Doctrine)

    I’m beginning to see from your perspective, David Littlefield. You may be absolutely right.

  35. Baptism doesn’t need to be portrayed in the endowment. It has already occurred previously in the baptistry.

    I don’t think those in the telestial glory will have rejected Christ completely, especially after they have a perfect knowledge of Him having been taught in spirit prison. If people reject Christ completely, they will not repent and will not enter into telestial glory.

  36. Another way to think about the Sons of Perdition is that they have received a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ, a knowledge of which can only come through revelation of the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit is the one who testifies and teaches of the divinity of Christ. No one can say Jesus is the Christ, but by the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 12:3). So if you reject Christ in the end, you are also denying the witness of the Holy Ghost – the unpardonable sin. Those who commit the unpardonable sin must go to outer darkness, for all others their sins will be pardoned eventually.

  37. First off, we have way to many Davids in this discussion 😎

    I don’t mean to complicate this further, but David Carroll said regarding baptism: “5. Passage from Spirit Prison to Spirit Paradise.”

    And again in the spirit of brotherly discussion, I know this is a common belief among us LDS, but I don’t believe it is true.

    Why I do believe baptism is required to enter the Tel. Kingdom, I don’t believe it is required to enter the spirit paradise, nor is baptism for the dead required to move from prison to paradise. IMHO


  38. David Carroll

    This discussion has gotten to the point where we are basically saying that we disagree on the points of doctrine. The only way to resolve these issues now is to appeal to those who can speak with authority which we will all recognize. A simple topic search on lds.org reveals the following link to an article from the July 2003 Ensign: http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=f0791c90483eb010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1
    In the article it indicates that baptism is a prerequisite to entering into the Kingdom of God and that the unbaptized dead reside in Spirit Prison. Even a cursory scan of this article clarifies for me that no one will be forced to accept baptism, baptism is essential for passage into Spirit Paradise, and that Christ opened the way for those in Spirit Paradise to preach the gospel to those in Spirit Prison so that they could accept or reject the vicarious baptism with the proper understanding of its significance. Without the ordinance of baptism, they are not in Spirit Paradise.

    As for the Kingdom’s of Glory, the church websites gives the criteria for entering into each kingdom. I have read through what is there. It does indicate that those in the Telestial Kingdom are those that rejected the gospel in the spirit world. They may have had opportunity on earth, but they rejected that as well. They reject the covenant of keeping God’s commandments, meaning that they have rejected baptism. It also says that they are redeemed from Spirit Prison as the last to be resurrected. The Telestial Kingdom is also explicitly stated as being thrust down to hell. There is no indication that acceptance of baptism is a requirement for being redeemed from Spirit Prison into the Telestial Kingdom. In fact, I believe it is fairly clear that the opposite is in fact true. They remain in Spirit Prison until the end because they have reject Christ and His baptism.

    To further illustrate this point, the description of the Terrestrial Kingdom indicates that it is reserved for those who accepted the gospel on Earth, but were not faithful, as well as for those who rejected the Gospel on Earth, but later accepted it in the Spirit World. From this statement, it seems that baptism is required to enter the Terrestrial Kingdom. I had not thought of it that way before. But keep in mind that this kingdom is for those that were not faithful to that covenant or those that rejected it when it was offered to them in this life, who later accepted it.

    If you still believe that baptism is required to enter into all Kingdoms of Glory, please read the gospel topic on the official church website, and find for us a quote which leads you to believe this. I do not mind being shown things in a new light. Something of this magnitude needs to be backed by something official from the church.

  39. Here are some good quotes:

    The specific ordinances, if there be such, which will be required for entrance into the terrestrial or telestial kingdoms have not been revealed. The initiatory ordinances of water baptism and the laying on of the hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and other ordinances known to us, are for only the celestial kingdom. (Roy Doxey)

    I wish to say that we do not know the terms nor the conditions that candidates for telestial or terrestrial glory may have to comply with. All that we have been given in the principles of the Gospel, including baptism by water, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, are means to prepare and admit men and women into the celestial kingdom. We are not preparing candidates for terrestrial or telestial glory. I presume after this life, in the spirit world, among those great hosts of our Father’s children who are candidates for this kingdom I am now talking about, we will be given clearly to understand what the principles are they must comply with. We do know, however, that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. Absolute obedience will be required. I think it is well we are striving exclusively for the celestial kingdom, not for the terrestrial or telestial. Now this is the place provided for those who die without law. (Melvin J. Ballard)

    They of the telestial glory are such as receive not the gospel (and hence, we may infer, not baptism), neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant. They will not be gathered with the saints to be caught up unto the Church of the Firstborn. They will suffer the wrath of God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and perfected his work. Then shall all these bow the knee, and every tongue shall confess to him who sits upon the throne for ever and ever; and they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions of the telestial kingdom of glory. They shall be servants of the Most High, but where God and Christ dwell, they cannot come, worlds without end.” (President Joseph F. Smith, Era, 6:786.)

    Here is the kicker from President Joseph Fielding Smith in Answers to Gospel Questions, vol. 5, pg. 147:

    Question: “Is baptism necessary to gain entry into the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms? Won’t all who are resurrected and go into these lower kingdoms have to be baptized before they can leave paradise? What will happen to those in paradise who refuse to accept the gospel and accept baptism, even by proxy?”

    Answer: The scriptures are very clear in declaring that baptism is for the celestial kingdom only. For a place in the terrestrial or the telestial kingdom, baptism is not required.

    The Prophet Joseph Smith said:

    . . . A man may be saved, after the judgment, in the terrestrial kingdom, or in the telestial kingdom, but he can never see the celestial kingdom of God, without being born of water and the Spirit. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 12.)

    The kingdom of God mentioned by the Savior in his conversation with Nicodemus points clearly to the fact that it is the celestial kingdom that is meant. This is also implied in the instructions given by our Savior to his apostles when he left them. They were to go into all the world and preach the gospel, all who accepted and were baptized should enter the celestial kingdom, but all others would be damned, or be assigned to one of the other kingdoms. . . .

    It is a damnation (stopping) and denied progress in exaltation to all those who refuse to receive the light. We will never be baptized for all the dead. Baptism for the dead is for those who died without the knowledge or the privilege of having the knowledge of the gospel, and then it will apply only to those who are dead who are willing to accept the gospel in the spirit world.

    Looks like most believe that baptism is not necessary for those who enter the telestial or terrestrial kingdoms. Well, it sounded good in theory. 🙂

  40. I just had an email interchange with Joseph Fielding McConkie, and his opinion on the matter is that those who reject Christ in this life or in the world of spirits when the gospel is taught to them have forfeited the right to receive baptism, ever, and that they will, indeed, have to atone for their own sins as described in D&C 19 before being redeemed into their kingdom of glory. They will not be cleansed by the sacrifice of Christ, but they will suffer for their own sins. They will still have to bow the knee and and confess Christ, but they have denied his atoning sacrifice for them, and will have to atone for themselves. And in the end they will be forgiven by God’s justice, and enter into their kingdom.

    The Sons of Perdition apparently then are those that not only reject Christ, but do so after having received the Holy Ghost first, after having entered into the new and everlasting covenant of baptism and have received the Holy Ghost (D&C 132:27), and having an undeniable witness of the divinity of Christ, and then turn from it and attack it. They are not only wicked, but evil and fight against God. That is why Joseph Smith said “This is the case with many apostates of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” because it is these dissenters who can only become Sons of Perdition, as they are the only ones who have received the everlasting covenant, and some have received an undeniable witness of God, and then altogether turned from it. They actively crucify Christ afresh and put him to an open shame (Heb. 6:6, D&C 76:35). For them there will never be forgiveness, and they will never be able to atone for their own sins either – they will remain “filthy still” for eternity. That sin is truly unpardonable by the suffering of Christ or themselves, and they will receive no glory.

    I’ve also forwarded the question to Br. Millet, Br. Draper, and Br. Skinner. I’ll let you know if any of them return a response.

  41. A comment from one of the earlier posts from David Carroll ->

    Is it through baptism by water that one receives a remission of their sins? That is a popular notion in the LDS church but is it scriptural? According to 2 Nephi 31: 17:

    “17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
    18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.”

    We receive a remission of sins through the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. This is the same thing that Christ taught when he visited the Nephites as found in 3 Nephi 12:1-2.

    Receiving a remission of sins is the same as being sanctified. As we are taught, no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God. We must be sanctified before we can dwell in the Kingdom of God. That is why Nephi defined the remission of sins by the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost as the gate to the strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life. Baptism by water is only half a baptism according to Joseph Smith. It is also the core theme of the gospel as found in D&C 39:6:

    “And this is my gospel—repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which showeth all things, and teacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom.”

    There are a number of examples of this baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost in the Book of Mormon including the people of King Bengamin, Enos, Alma, and the 300 Lamanites in Helaman. It is requisite upon all who wish to dwell with God to be cleansed by fire and the Holy Ghost.


  42. David Carroll

    “Is it through baptism by water that one receives a remission of their sins? That is a popular notion in the LDS church but is it scriptural?”

    Moro. 8: 11, 25
    11 And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.
    • • •
    25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;

    D&C 55: 2
    2 And then thou shalt be ordained by the hand of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., to be an elder unto this church, to preach repentance and remission of sins by way of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.

    A of F 1: 4
    4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, bFaith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    I would say there is sufficient scriptural evidence to say that one purpose of baptism is for the remission of sins. I just wanted to point out that the scriptures refer to the remission of sins as coming through the baptism of water in preparation for receiving the Holy Ghost. They also clearly state that this remission of sins comes through the baptism of fire. While I agree that baptism of water without the baptism of fire is only half a baptism, it is not correct to say there is no scriptural basis for stating that the baptism of water is not for the remission of sins. A person must repent first, and seek a remission of their sins through baptism.

  43. My point is that it appears from my reading of the scripture that baptism by water is necessary but not sufficient for a remission of sins.

    It states in Mormon 7:10:

    “…if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost…”

    Again from 2 Nephi:

    “For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.”

    I don’t know how much more clear it can get than this last quote. Can you leave out any step from this and get the expected results?


  44. Br. Robert Millet responded to me on the question of the baptism requirement for lower kingdoms:

    The ordinances of salvation are only for those who receive the fulness of the gospel, live faithfully, and inherit the celestial kingdom. President Joseph Fielding Smith taught this in DOCTRINES OF SALVATION, volume 2, page 330.

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