Kingdoms of Glory


“God loves his offspring, the human family. His design is not simply to furnish happiness to the few here, called Latter-day Saints. The plan and scheme that he is now carrying out is for universal salvation; not only for the salvation of the Latter-day Saints, but for the salvation of every man and woman on the face of the earth, for those also in the spirit world, and for those who may hereafter come upon the face of the earth. It is for the salvation of every son and daughter of Adam. They are the offspring of the Almighty, he loves them all and his plans are for the salvation of the whole, and he will bring all up into that position in which they will be as happy and as comfortable as they are willing to be.” (Lorenzo Snow, JD, 14:309)

Kingdoms Defined

(1 Corinthians 15:40-42)

01 – “Therefore, out of justice and proper rewarding, the Lord indicated that his children would be judged by their works and very properly established three glories as a reward—the celestial for those who achieved highly, the terrestrial for those who achieved partially, and the telestial for those who were indolent and careless.” (Joseph L. Wirthlin, CR, October 1944, pg. 38)

02 – Telestial law is the law of evil, carnality, and corruption. Those who so live develop telestial bodies, which can stand telestial glory, which is found in a telestial kingdom. Terrestrial law is the law of decency and uprightness from a worldly standpoint. Those who conform to this higher order thereby create for themselves terrestrial bodies, which in turn can stand terrestrial glory and go to a terrestrial kingdom. Celestial law is the law of the gospel; it is the law of Christ. It calls upon men to forsake the world and rise above every carnal and evil thing. It calls upon men to repent and be baptized and receive the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit of God. It requires that they become new creatures of the Holy Ghost. Only those who so live acquire thereby celestial bodies; only such bodies can stand celestial glory, and this glory is found only in a celestial kingdom. Since the final destiny of this earth is to become a celestial globe, it thereby becomes the ultimate and highest heaven for all the faithful who have lived on its surface.” (Bruce R. McConkie Millennial Messiah, pg. 697-698)

Celestial Kingdom -Those who inherit the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, who become gods, must also have been married for eternity in the temple. All who inherit the celestial kingdom will live with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ forever and ever.” (Gospel Principles, pg. 297)

Terrestrial Kingdom -These are they who rejected the gospel on earth but afterward received it in the spirit world. These are the honorable people on the earth who were blinded to the gospel of Jesus Christ by the craftiness of men. These are they who did receive the gospel and a testimony of Jesus, but afterwards were not valiant. They will be visited by Jesus Christ, but not by our Heavenly Father. They will not be part of an eternal family; they will live separately and singly forever and ever. (Gospel Principles, pg. 297-298)

Telestial Kingdom -These people did not receive the gospel or the testimony of Jesus either on earth or in the spirit world. They will suffer for their own sins in hell after the millennium, when they will be resurrected….These people are as numerous as the stars in heaven and the sand on the seashore.  They will be visited by the Holy Ghost but not by the father or the Son. (Gospel Principles, pg. 298)

Outer Darkness - No Kingdom, No Glory

(JST Matthew 12:26-27; D&C 76:25-49; Hebrews 6:4-6)

03 – The sin against the Holy Ghost is a sin against God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost that bears record of them. A man cannot sin against the Holy ghost until the Holy Ghost has revealed unto Him the father and Son and a knowledge of eternal things in a great degree. When he has a knowledge of these things, [and] with his eyes open, he rebels against God and defies His power, he sins against all three [members of the Godhead].” (Wilford Woodruff; Scott G. Kenney, Wilford Woodruff Journal, 4:95)

04 – There is an unpardonable sin, a sin for which there is no forgiveness, neither in time nor in eternity. It is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost; it is to deny Christ, to come out in open rebellion, to make open war against the Son of Man—after gaining, by the power of the Holy Ghost, a sure and perfect knowledge of the truth and divinity of the Lord's work. It is to shed innocent blood, meaning to assent unto the death of Christ—to crucify him afresh, Paul says fn—with a full and absolute knowledge that he is the Son of God. It is to wage open warfare, as does Lucifer, against the Lord and his Anointed, knowing that the course so pursued is evil. It is to deny—to say the sun does not shine while seeing its blazing light—it is to deny Christ after a sure and irrevocable testimony has been received by the power of the Holy Ghost. Hence, it is a scurrilous and evil declaration against the Holy Ghost, against the sole and only source of absolute and sure knowledge. It is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.

Let men without this sure knowledge speak even against Christ himself; let them commit all manner of sins and blasphemies, even murder, and yet when the penalties have been paid and a proper repentance granted, men shall come forth in immortality and gain an inheritance in whatever kingdom of glory they merit. Only the sons of perdition shall be cast out eternally to live and reign with Lucifer in hell forever.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mortal Messiah, 2:216)

05 – “...cannot commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the body...[they] must commit the unpardonable sin in this world.” (Joseph Smith; Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, Words of Joseph Smith, pg. 342)

Outer Darkness - Apostate Members Only

(Bruce R. McConkie, MD, pg. 109)

06 – “All sin [may be] forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost.——Got to deny the plan of salvation. etc. with his eyes open. Like many of the apostates of Christ of the Church of Jesus Christ of last Days.” (Joseph Smith; Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, Words of Joseph Smith, pg. 342)

07 – “All who partake of this, the greatest of sins, sell themselves as did Cain to Lucifer. They learn to hate the truth with an eternal hatred, and they learn to love wickedness. They reach a condition where they will not and cannot repent. The spirit of murder fills their hearts and they would, if they had the power, crucify our Lord again, which they virtually do by fighting his work and seeking to destroy it and his prophets.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 1:49)

08 – “How much does it take to prepare a man, or woman, or any being, to become angels to the devil, to suffer with him to all eternity? Just as much as it does to prepare a man to go into the celestial kingdom, into the presence of the Father and the Son, and to be made an heir to His kingdom, and all His glory, and be crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives. Now who will be damned to all eternity? Will any of the rest of mankind? No; not one of them.” (Brigham Young, JD, 3:93-94)

09 – “Satan is named Perdition, and the heavens wept over him when he fell from his high estate; and those who have followed him so that they become imbued with his spirit, which is the spirit of destruction, in opposition to the spirit which brings life, are his. The spirit of murder enters their hearts; they are ready to put to death even the Son of God, if His existence in life comes in their way. (Charles W. Penrose., CR, October 1911, pg. 51-52)

Outer Darkness - Murder of Innocent Blood

(D&C 132:27)

10 – “What is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost of which Jesus speaks? In our day the Lord has said: "The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant." (D&C 132:27) That is to say, the unpardonable sin consists in denying Christ, in fighting the truth, in joining hands with those who crucified him, knowing full well, and with a perfect knowledge, that he is the Son of God; it means pursuing this course after gaining a perfect knowledge, given of the Holy Ghost, that he is Lord of all. The innocent blood thus shed is his blood; those who so sin become murderers by assenting unto his death, an assent that is given with a full and perfect knowledge of his divinity.” (Bruce R. McConkie, New Witness for the Articles of Faith, pg. 232)

11 – “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 is the case with many apostates of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 When a man begins to be an enemy to this work, he hunts me, he seeks to kill me, and never ceases to thirst for my blood. He gets the spirit of the devil—the same spirit that they had who crucified the Lord of Life—the same spirit that sins against the Holy Ghost.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, pg. 358)

12 – “...murderers who crucify Christ anew, or consent to His death, in that they shed innocent blood knowing at the time they are thereby preventing the spread of the truth, will be subject to [the] penalty of becoming ‘sons of perdition’.” (Wilford Woodruff, Abraham H. Cannon Journal, November 29 1893, Special Collections-BYU Library; Wilford Woodruff, JD, 13:168; Bruce R. McConkie, DNTC, 3:347)

Outer Darkness - Dissolution of the Body

(D&C 76:44; D&C 88:32; Alma 42:9; Alma 12:18; Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 2:278-279)

13 – Brigham Young voiced his opinion:  “He had not the power of endless life in him, and he will be , and the particles which compose his body and spirit will return to their native element. I told you some time ago what would become of such men. But I will quote the Scriptures on this point, and you can make what you please of it. Jesus says, he will DESTROY death and him that hath the power of it. What can you make of this but decomposition, the returning of the organized particles to their native element, after suffering the wrath of God until the time appointed. That appears a mystery, but the principle has been in existence from all eternity, only it is something you have not known or thought of. When the elements in an organized form do not fill the end of their creation, they are thrown back again, like brother Kimball's old pottery ware, to be ground up, and made over again. All I have to say about it is what Jesus says—I will destroy Death, and him that hath the power of it, which is the devil. And if he ever makes "a full end of the wicked," what else can he do than entirely disorganize them, and reduce them to their native element? Here are some of the mysteries of the kingdom.” (JD,1:275-276)

14 – “Say to the brothers Hulet and to all others, that the Lord never authorized them to say that the devil, his angels or the sons of perdition, should ever be restored; for their fate of destiny was not revealed to man, is not revealed, nor ever shall be revealed, save to those who are made partakers thereof: consequently those who teach this doctrine, have not received it of the Spirit of the Lord. Truly Brother Oliver declared it to be the doctrine of devils. We therefore command that this doctrine be taught no more in Zion.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, pg. 24; HC, 1:366)

15 – “As he stands before the judgment-seat, he will find himself entirely innocent of Adam’s transgression, and entirely redeemed from the effects of it, but he still finds himself guilty of his own individual sins, the penalty of which is a second death, not a dissolution of body and spirit like that of the first death, but a banishment from the presence of God, and from the glory of his power.” (Orson Pratt, JD, 1:330)

16 – “This is what I understand spiritual death is. I do not understand it to be the separation of the body and the spirit again. I do not understand it to be the dissolution of the spirit into its native element.” (Joseph F. Smith; Brian H. Stuy, Collected Discourses,4:227-228)

Outer Darkness - Women?

17 – “I think I am safe in saying that no man can become a Son of Perdition until he has known the light.  Those who have never received the light are not to become Sons of Perdition. They will be punished if they rebel against God They will have to pay the price of their sinning, but it is only those who have the light through the priesthood and through the power of God and through their membership in the Church who will be banished forever from his influence into outer darkness to dwell with the devil and his angels. That is a punishment that will not come to those who have never known the truth. Bad as they may suffer, and awful as their punishment may be, they are not among that group which is to suffer the eternal death and banishment from all influence concerning the power of God.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, CR, October 1958, pg. 21)

18 – “Now, brethren, I will not take more of your time, but at the risk of repetition, I wanted to mention those two items again to you tonight. It is a tremendous responsibility to bear the Holy Priesthood. I wish all of you—perhaps all did not—had heard what President Joseph Fielding Smith told us yesterday, something I have long believed, and I was glad to have sanction for my belief. He said in substance that there will be no Sons of Perdition who do not hold the Priesthood. I have believed that for years because I do not think that the Lord in his mercy would ever condemn a man to that indescribable penalty of being put out entirely from the Kingdom and from all grace unless that man knew that Jesus was the Christ, unless he knew the power of the Christ, and he could only know that, I think by holding the Priesthood. I believe that in the main that can be said to be true — that only men who hold the Priesthood of God stand in danger of that terrible penalty of being classed as outcasts.” (Stephen L Richards, CR, October 1958, pg. 86)

19 – Women must atone for sins committed by the violation of her own choices. But she will never become an angel to the devil, and so far as to place herself beyond the reach of mercy...” (Brigham Young, Conference October 23, 1861, Deseret Weekly)

Outer Darkness - Numbers

20 – Evidently many among us have made a dreadful mistake, but not unpardonable, in thinking that the sons of perdition will be very few. We have heard it said at times that they will be so few that they probably could be ‘counted on the fingers of one hand.’ Where this thought originated we may not know. From the reading of the scriptures it appears that there will be a large number; far too many even if there were but one, for their punishment is most severe without any question.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 1:78)

Kingdoms of Glory

21 – “In the final judgment, all the earth children of the Lord will be assigned places in one or the other of the three grand divisions or degrees of salvation, known to us from modern revelation as the three glories. Each assignment will depend upon the use the candidate has made of the opportunities placed before him on earth and elsewhere. ‘For they shall be judged according to their works’ (D&C 76:111). By his own acts each person has shown his fitness to participate in the activities of this or that glory. It would be useless to place him higher than his capabilities would permit, and unfair to place him lower. If placed too high, he would not be competent or happy there, nor could he be content if placed too low. The degree of salvation of necessity corresponds, under the merciful justice of the Lord, with the demonstrated worthiness, capacity, and capability of each individual. The final judgment is individual.” (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, pg. 204)

22 – “The book [Doctrine and Covenants 76:89] explains clearly that the lowest glory to which man is assigned is so glorious as to be beyond the understanding of man. It is a doctrine fundamental in Mormonism that the meanest sinner, in the final judgment, will receive a glory which is beyond human understanding, which is so great that we are unable to describe it adequately. Those who do well will receive an even more glorious place. Those who dwell in the lower may look wistfully to the higher as we do here. The hell on the other side will be felt in some such way.

The Gospel is a gospel of tremendous love. Love is at the bottom of it. The meanest child is loved so dearly that his reward will be beyond the understanding of mortal man.” (John A. Widtsoe, Message of the Doctrine and Covenants, pg. 167)

Telestial Kingdom

(D&C 76:81-90, 99-102)

23 – “Those who get into the celestial kingdom have to attend to certain ordinances that are explained, and those who get into the terrestrial kingdom are to have certain qualities that are explained; there are several degrees in that one glory; and so in the telestial world, the worst kind of humanity, all except those few that are called ‘Sons of Perdition.’” (Charles W. Penrose, CR, April 1922, pg. 29-30)

24 – Most of the adult people who have lived from the day of Adam to the present time will go to the telestial kingdom. The inhabitants of this lowest kingdom of glory will be ‘as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the seashore.’ They will be the endless hosts of people of all ages who have lived after the manner of the world; who have been carnal, sensual, and devilish; who have chosen the vain philosophies of the world rather than accept the testimony of Jesus; who have been liars and thieves, sorcerers and adulterers, blasphemers and murderers.” (Bruce R. McConkie, MD, pg. 778)

25 – “From the reading of other passages we discover that there will be great multitudes embracing the vast majority of mankind, who will never be privileged to come back to dwell in the presence of the Father and the Son. These receive banishment from their presence, but not entirely do they get beyond the divine benediction.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions,  1:78)

Terrestrial Kingdom

(D&C 76:71-80)

26 – “Now, I wish to say to you that those who died without law, meaning the pagan nations, for lack of faithfulness, for lack of devotion, in the former life, are obtaining all that they are entitled to. I don't mean to say that all of them will be barred from entrance into the highest glory. Anyone of them who repents and complies with the conditions might also obtain celestial glory, but the great bulk of them shall only obtain the terrestrial glory.” (Melvin J. Ballard, Three Degrees of Glory, pg. 25)

27 – TERRESTRIAL KINGDOM. To the terrestrial kingdom will go: 1. Accountable persons who die without law (and who, of course, do not accept the gospel in the spirit world under those particular circumstances which would make them heirs of the celestial kingdom); 2. Those who reject the gospel in this life and who reverse their course and accept it in the spirit world; 3. Honorable men of the earth who are blinded by the craftiness of men and who therefore do not accept and live the gospel law; and 4. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have testimonies of Christ and the divinity of the great latter-day work and who are not valiant, but who are instead lukewarm in their devotion to the Church and to righteousness.” (Bruce R. McConkie, MD, pg. 784)

Celestial Kingdom

(D&C 76:50-70; John 3:3-5)

28 – Now the concern of the Church is to bring all men into the celestial kingdom. It has no interest in the other, lower kingdoms. Every doctrine, principle, and item of organization within the Church pertains to the celestial glory. The manner of entrance into this the highest kingdom, is therefore made clear.” (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, pg. 200)

29 – God Almighty Himself dwells in eternal fire; flesh and blood cannot go there, for all corruption is devoured by the fire. ‘Our God is a consuming fire.’ When our flesh is quickened by the Spirit, there will be no blood in this tabernacle. Some dwell in higher glory than others.

 Those who have done wrong always have that wrong gnawing them. Immortality dwells in everlasting burnings.”[Isaiah 33:14; Hebrews 12:29](Joseph Smith, TPJS, pg. 367)

30 – 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 the water and the Spirit.” (Joseph Smith, HC, 1:283)

31 – “ENDOWMENTS AND SEALINGS PERTAIN TO EXALTATION. Baptism is the door into the celestial kingdom. All the ordinances of the gospel pertain to the celestial kingdom, and any person who is faithful to the covenant of baptism will be entitled to enter there, but no person can receive an exaltation in the celestial kingdom without the ordinances of the temple. The endowments are for advancement in that kingdom, and the sealings for our perfection, provided we keep our covenants and obligations.

People baptized, and who are not endowed in the temple of the Lord, may enter the celestial kingdom. But that does not mean that a baptized person is going to get the exaltation in that kingdom. He is not going to pass on to the fulness just by being baptized. He will not pass on to the fulness even after he has been baptized and received an endowment in the temple. He has also to receive the other ordinances so that he can become through his faithfulness and obedience a son of God….” (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 2:45)

32 – “Since the celestial kingdom will have three heavens or degrees, fn no doubt all who will inherit the second degree, in addition to possessing all of the qualities of those who will possess the first, or lowest degree, will receive an endowment in the temples of God for this purpose, and will have "overcome by faith," and be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true. They attained this by obedience to the sacred obligations of the endowment which they received by covenant.

As to exaltation, or the inheritance of the third heaven or degree in the celestial kingdom, we have the following revelation which gives the dominions and powers of the spiritual bodies, who, in addition to possessing all the qualities of those who possess the first and second degrees of this kingdom, will also be: [D&C 131:1-4].” (Alvin R. Dyer, Who Am I?, pg. 547-548)

33 – Those who are endowed but not sealed in marriage and family lines to other endowed Saints will be ‘ministering servants’ in the celestial kingdom, serving as God's administrators, such as his kings and queens and his priests and priestesses, ‘to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.’ (D&C 132:16) Those worthy persons sealed in eternal families will enjoy not only the presence of God, but also his power, inheriting ‘thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths.’ (D&C 132:19)”  (Victor L. Ludlow, Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel, pg. 368)

34 – I once wondered if those who refuse to repent but who then satisfy the law of justice by paying for their own sins are then worthy to enter the celestial kingdom. The answer is no. The entrance requirements for celestial life are simply higher than merely satisfying the law of justice. For that reason, paying for our sins will not bear the same fruit as repenting of our sins. Justice is a law of balance and order and it must be satisfied, either through our payment or his. But if we decline the Savior's invitation to let him carry our sins, and then satisfy justice by ourselves, we will not yet have experienced the complete rehabilitation that can occur through a combination of divine assistance and genuine repentance. Working together, those forces have the power permanently to change our hearts and our lives, preparing us for celestial life.” (Bruce C. Hafen, The Broken Heart: Applying the Atonement to Life's Experiences, pg. 7)

35 – All the justice in the universe, administered through all the eons of time, will not produce one single saint. Sainthood, which leads to Godhood, requires repentance; repentance requires mercy; and mercy requires the atonement of Jesus Christ. It always comes back to the Atonement.” (Tad R. Callister, The Infinite Atonement, pg. 224)


(Moses 1:19; D&C 19:6-12; Moses 7:35; D&C 131:1-4; D&C 132:15-19; Brigham Young, JD, 6:275)

36 – Exaltation requires diligence. Why will only a few reach exaltation in the celestial kingdom? Not because it was not available to them, not because they did not know of its availability, not because the testimony was not given to them, but because they would not put forth the effort to pattern their lives and make them like the Savior's life and establish them so well that there would be no deviation until the end.” (Spencer W. Kimball, TSWK, pg. 51-52)

37 – “...we are to understand that only resurrected and glorified beings can become parents of spirit offspring. Only such exalted souls have reached maturity in the appointed course of eternal life; and the spirits born to them in the eternal worlds will pass in due sequence through the several stages or estates by which the glorified parents have attained exaltation.” (THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND THE COUNCIL OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, JUNE 30, 1916) (Editors' Table, Improvement Era, August 1916, pg. 942)

38 – “...the time will come when...[they] will progress and develop in knowledge, intelligence and power, in future eternities, until they shall be able to go out into space where there is unorganized matter and call together the necessary elements, and through their knowledge of and control over the laws and powers of nature, to organize matter into worlds on which their posterity may dwell, and over which they shall as gods.” (Lorenzo Snow, Improvement Era, June 1919, pg. 658-659)

39 – “When the power of endless increase shall come to us, and our offspring grow and multiply through the ages that shall come, they will be in due time, as we have been, provided with an earth like this wherein they too may obtain earthly bodies and pass through all the experiences through which we have passed...[W]e shall stand in our relationship to then as God our Eternal Father does to us.” (Melvin J. Ballard, Crusader for Righteousness, pg. 211-212)

Visiting Status

(D&C 76:86-88; D&C 138:37)

40 – “We must not overlook the fact that those who attain to the glories may minister unto and visit and associate with those of the lesser kingdoms. While the lesser may not come up, they may still enjoy the companionship of their loved ones who are in.” (Melvin J. Ballard, Bryant S. Hinckley, Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, pg. 257)

41 – “The three kingdoms of widely differing glories are organized on an orderly plan of gradation. We have seen that the telestial kingdom comprises several subdivisions; this also is the case, we are told, with the celestial; and, by analogy, we conclude that a similar condition prevails in the terrestrial. Thus the innumerable degrees of merit amongst mankind are provided for in an infinity of graded glories. The celestial kingdom is supremely honored by the personal ministrations of the Father and the Son. The terrestrial kingdom will be administered through the higher, without a fulness of glory. The telestial is governed through the ministrations of the terrestrial, by ‘angels who are appointed to minister for them’.

Exaltation in the kingdom of God implies attainment to the graded orders of the Holy Priesthood, and with these the ceremonies of the endowment are directly associated.” (James E. Talmage, House of the Lord, pg. 83)

Kingdom Status is Final

(1Corinthians 15:36-42; D&C 88:20-24; D&C 76:112)


“There has been a great deal of discussion going on in certain parts, as to whether or not those of the telestial kingdom may advance into the terrestrial, and those of the terrestrial into the celestial, and whether eventually all men enter into the kingdom where God lives and Christ reigns. Why should we worry ourselves? Why should we argue? Why should we contend? Why should we discuss a matter of that kind? When we have come out of the world and have received the gospel in its fulness, we are candidates for celestial glory; nay, we are more than candidates, if we are faithful, for the Lord has given unto us the assurance that through our faithfulness, we shall enter into the celestial kingdom, and surely, no Latter-day Saint desires a place somewhere else, there to take a chance of some day being forgiven and having the opportunity of advancing and finally reaching the place where the righteous dwell.

Then again, let us keep in mind what the Lord has said; it is unnecessary for us to go outside of that which the Lord has stated in the revelations unto the Church. He has declared, speaking of those who enter into the telestial kingdom, "that where God and Christ dwell, they cannot come, worlds without end." Then, why should we bother about it; why should we argue about it; why should we consider these things in such a serious manner?” (Joseph Fielding Smith, CR, April 1922, pg. 61-62)

43 – There are some people who have supposed that if we are quickened telestial bodies that eventually, throughout the ages of eternity, we will continue to progress until we will find our place in the celestial kingdom, but the scriptures and revelations of God have said that those who are quickened telestial bodies cannot come where God and Christ dwell, worlds without end.” (George Albert Smith, CR, October 1945, pg. 172)

44 – No progression between kingdoms. After a person has been assigned to his place in the kingdom, either in the telestial, the terrestrial, or the celestial, or to his exaltation, he will never advance from his assigned glory to another glory. That is eternal! That is why we must make our decisions early in life and why it is imperative that such decisions be right.” (Spencer W. Kimball, TSWK, pg. 50)


NO ADVANCEMENT FROM LOWER TO HIGHER. It has been asked if it is possible for one who inherits the telestial glory to advance in time to the celestial glory?

The answer to this question is, No!

The scriptures are clear on this point. Speaking of those who go to the telestial kingdom, the revelation says: ‘And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end.’

Notwithstanding this statement, those who do not comprehend the word of the Lord argue that while this is true, that they cannot go where God is ‘worlds without end,’ yet in time they will get where God was, but he will have gone on to other heights.

This is false reasoning, illogical, and creates mischief in making people think they may procrastinate their repentance, but in course of time they will reach exaltation in celestial glory.

KINGDOMS PROGRESS IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. Now let us see how faulty this reasoning is. If in time those who enter the telestial glory may progress till they reach the stage in which the celestial is in now-then they are in celestial glory, are they not, even if the celestial has advanced? That being the case (I state this for the argument only, for it is not true), then they partake of all the blessings which are now celestial. That means that they become gods, have exaltation, gain the fulness of the Father, and receive a continuation of the ‘seeds forever.’ The Lord, however, has said that these blessings, which are celestial blessings, they may never have; they are barred forever!

The celestial and terrestrial and telestial glories, I have heard compared to the wheels on a train. The second and third may, and will, reach the place where the first was, but the first will have moved on and will still be just the same distance in advance of them. This illustration is not true! The wheels do not run on the same track, and do not go in the same direction. The terrestrial and the telestial are limited in their powers of advancement, worlds without end.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 2:31-32)

46 – “NOW I wish to answer one or two queries that undoubtedly have arisen in your minds, and in doing so I wish to read some more scripture. The question is often asked, "Is it possible for one who attains telestial glory in time in the eternal world to live so well that he may graduate from the telestial and pass into the terrestrial, and then after a season that he may progress from that and be ultimately worthy of the celestial glory?" That is the query that has been asked. I have just read the answer, so far as the telestial group is concerned. "Where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end." I take it upon the same basis, the same argument likewise applies to the terrestrial world. Those whose lives have entitled them to terrestrial glory can never gain celestial glory. One who gains possession of the lowest degree of the telestial glory may ultimately arise to the highest degree of that glory, but no provision has been made for promotion from one glory to another. Let us be reasonable about it.

I wish to say in illustrating the subject that if three men were starting out on an endless race, one having an advantage of one mile, the other of two miles, and each one could run as fast as the other, when would the last ever catch up to the first? If you can tell me that, I can tell you when candidates for the telestial glory will get into the celestial glory. Each will grow, but his development will be prescribed by his environment, and there is a reason for it.” (Melvin J. Ballard; Bryant S. Hinckley, Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, pg. 255-256)

47 – “The Apostle Paul goes on to reason that if Christ was not risen, then we will not rise from the dead; but that if He has been raised from the dead then we also shall be raised; and he goes on to show how universal that resurrection shall be—some to come forth in the resurrection of the just, and some in the resurrection of the unjust, and that there are to be different grades of glory among those that are resurrected. If you want to learn a little more about that, in greater plainness, read the 88th section of the D&C and you will find there something that may be called philosophical as well as theological. Those that obey celestial laws will so improve and purify and sanctify their bodies that those bodies will be fit to come forth in ‘the first resurrection’ to celestial glory, and that they will then be ‘bodies celestial; ’ while those who would not receive the laws of God which are celestial, that is, receiving every word that comes from the month of God, but will obey a terrestrial law, will be quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory and receive of the same in a fullness; and, as we learn also in The Vision, they will not be bodies celestial but ‘bodies terrestrial,’ a different class, but raised from the dead and quickened by the power of that vital spirit which quickeneth all things. And they who do not receive the terrestrial laws but only the telestial, will come forth in the resurrection, raised with a telestial body and be quickened by the telestial glory. In the revelation that I referred to, in the 88th section, we learn that they will improve, as all things will have to, for progress is the law of the universe, and all beings, all intelligences will have an opportunity of progressing along certain lines. Those who are of a celestial body shall come forth and have a body like unto the glorious body of the Son of God, and will dwell in His presence and be with Him in glory in the presence of the Father, while those who only obey the terrestrial or the telestial laws, after they are redeemed will come forth in the way that is described, ‘but where God and Christ dwell’—so it is said of the telestial—‘they never can come worlds without end.’ That may answer some queries that are made in some of our theological classes.” (Charles W. Penrose, CR, April 1915, pg. 36)

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