1. DavidC

    Might this have anything to do with Alma 40:15? I’ve wondered if Alma’s word for raising and his word for resurrection might be related in a potentially confusing way. Perhaps his word for ascent would be tied into this as well.

  2. I may be a little confused by Huchel’s following comment:

    “After one has made the journey of the heavenly ascent and has been taken into the embrace of God at the veil, one gains possession of certain keys. He has the keys of traveling at will up and down the path of the heavenly ascent (see D&C 132:19–20). He has the keys to bind, to seal, and to loose.”

    So, if one obains his calling and election sure in this life, he is “ordained” with the sealing keys? Is this person then duly authorized to perform temple sealing ordinances (sans the calling, of course)? And if this is the case, are those called to perform temple sealing ordinances ordained with the same sealing keys/powers as Peter or Nephi when they had their “mortal resurrection”?

    Lastly, I’m not sure that scripture supports his assertion, unless I am missing something.

  3. Hi Jeremy,

    Here are my personal thoughts. When one receives the highest blessings of the temple, he is ordained with the sealing power. He has the authority to perform sealings. But, having the authority is different than the right to exercise that authority. There is only one man on earth who has the right of delegation to exercise priesthood authority in that way, and that is the prophet. Those that are called to perform temple sealing ordinances, I do not believe, are given all the same keys/authority/power as those who receive the more sure word of prophecy, their “mortal resurrection.” I believe much is reserved for those who receive those higher ordinances. But I could be wrong.

    Regarding the scripture, I believe he is referring to “…and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths…” If one has power over all heights and depths, then they have the power of traveling up and down the path of heavenly ascent. IMO.

  4. JL

    Since learning of the fulness of the priesthood being available in this life, I have wondered what differences–if any–occur in one’s daily life. Therefore, does “traveling up and down the path of heavenly ascent” in this life mean one has open communion with the Holy Council in Heaven?

  5. Bryce,
    Thanks for this great article. I must admit that when I first came across this line of thinking regarding the resurrection in Margaret Barker’s writings, I had a hard time getting my head around it. But when I understood her emphasis on the heavenly ascent and the role the resurrection plays in the “at-one-ment” with God, I was able to follow her better. I had always just thought of the resurrection as the moment when our spirit rejoins our body –and of course that’s part of it– but the resurrection is also the event where we are lifted up to stand before God.
    I think you are right on to emphasize that this idea is key to our temple experience. We are given the keys to be able to rise in the first resurrection and successfully navigate the heavenly ascent.
    I think JL’s question is great, as that is what prophets of all ages have experienced as a result of the heavenly ascent — “open communion with the Holy Council in Heaven.” For example –although some would disagree with me– I see Isaiah 6 as a heavenly ascent. Isaiah has ascended to the House of the Lord, to the heavenly Holy of Holies. He is standing in God’s council and this is where he receives his prophetic calling. Similarly, where does Joseph Smith receive his calling? In the presence of God — although we probably wouldn’t describe this as a heavenly ascent, the presence of God has come to Joseph to extend the prophetic calling (we can perhaps relate this to Ezekiel’s vision in Ezekiel 1 where the Glory of the Lord comes to Ezekiel).
    –Just another (somewhat) related thought — the different stories that we have of transfiguration (whether biblical or extra-biblical) generally involve anointing, clothing, transformation/transfiguration into a luminous being, gaining a crown, throne, etc. These are all themes that we know well from the temple. Just as transfiguration is, you could say, a premature or temporary resurrection, the ordinances of the temple are kind of a preparation (perhaps a practice?) for when we will be truly and literally anointed, clothed, crowned, etc. in the presence of God.
    Thanks again for your very insightful and clearly written article and for helping to share these important ideas.
    David Larsen

  6. I just came across this statement from “The Temple: Where Heaven Meets Earth” by Brother Truman Madsen:

    “Thou hast made [man] a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.” (Psalm 8) [Originally that verse most likely read], “Thou hast made [man] a little lower than the Gods, and hath crowned him with a physical body and with honor.” This is the truth. The body is a step up in the scale of progression, not a step down. God is God because He is gloriously embodied; and were He not so embodied, He would be less than God.

    “The privilege of attending the house of God is in effect to have our physical beings brought into harmony with our spirit personalities… President Lorenzo Snow [taught] that participating in the temple ceremonies is the only way that the knowledge locked in one’s spirit can become part of this flesh; thus occurs that inseparable union, that blending, which makes possible a celestial resurrection. It is as if, if I may mix the figure, we are given in the house of God a patriarchal blessing to every organ and attribute and power of our being, a blessing that is to be fulfilled in this world and the next, keys and insights that can enable us to live a godly life in a very worldly world, protected–yes, even insulted–from the poisons and distortions that are everywhere. That is the temple. And the glory of God, His ultimate perfection, is in His house duplicated in us, provided we go there with a susceptible attitude.” (pg. 9-10)

  7. MF Bukowski

    D&C 84:33 “For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies”

    The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood promises a “renewing of the body” which I have always understood to be at least a “partial resurrection”, and of course the possibility that this renewing could extend to a fully resurrected state. I think the longevity of the prophets is an evidence of the truth of this principle.

  8. Ano

    While there are some interesting and worthwhile parallels, I would suggest that the use of the terms “resurrection” and “heavenly ascent”, by Margaret Barker more closely align with the LDS theology of “entering into the rest of the Lord”. (see Alma 13)

    Although most references pertaining to entering into the rest of the Lord are referring to after the resurrection, we are also informed that one can enter into the rest of the Lord during mortality. (Moroni 7)

    Entering into the rest of the Lord, in my opinion, is simply getting through the veil of unbelief, as documented in ether 3.

    Undoubtedly, a person is changed in their nature after being temporarily transfigured and entering into the presence of God, however, I still see the state of “translation” and also the state of “quickening” when the living saints are caught up at the last day, (section 88:96) as something greater and distinctly different than what is being suggested by Barker.

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