What if this world, which we know is in a telestial state, is really a kingdom? What if you live in a telestial kingdom and don’t even realize it? Would that mean that you’d be surrounded by liars and sorcerers and whoremongers (D&C 76:103)? In the New Testament the Greek the word pharmakos is translated as sorcerer; which forms the core of the more familiar word “pharmaceuticals”. Hey, aren’t Mormon moms across the Wasatch Front popping mind-altering drugs in record quantities? Aren’t Mormon men falling to the allure of pornography in record quantities? Isn’t that (liars, consumers of drugs and pornography) a relatively good description of much of the world today? Come to think of it, that’s a good description of Utah today. But just a second; if this really is hell, wouldn’t Satan and his angels be here too? Oh yeah, they are.
What if the only way to get out of hell is to seek the face of God, pierce the veil while in mortality, and secure a promise from God of a place in a higher kingdom? And then, once you’ve “made it”, been resurrected, glorified, and become a God, might you have the option of coming back down to earth–with the veil drawn again on your previous experiences–to live additional mortal lives with the purpose of helping more of Father’s children know Him during their mortal probation?
If this were true wouldn’t general authorities have talked about it?
“I will tell you what will be good for us, and it will bestow upon us all the luxuries of this life, of heaven and earth. You are talking about heaven and about earth, and about hell, &c.; but let me tell you, you are in hell now, and you have got to qualify yourselves here in hell to become subjects for heaven; and even when you have got into heaven, you will find it right here where you are on this earth. When we escape from this earth, we suppose we are going to heaven? Do you suppose you are going to the earth that Adam came from? that Eloheim came from? where Jehovah the Lord came from? No. When you have learned to become obedient to the Father that dwells upon this earth, to the Father and God of this earth, and obedient to the messengers He sends–when you have done all that, remember you are not going to leave this earth. You will never leave it until you become qualified, and capable, and capacitated to become a father of an earth yourselves. Not one soul of you ever will leave this earth, for if you go to hell, it is on this earth; and if you go to heaven, it is on this earth; and you will not find it anywhere else. Is it not hard to bring these truths home to you.” Heber C. Kimball, JD 1:354-358
“It is said that those of the terrestrial glory will be ministered unto by those of the celestial; and those of the telestial will be ministered unto by those of the terrestrial – that is, those of the higher glory minister to those of a lesser order of glory. We can conceive of no reason for all this administration of the higher to the lower, unless it be for the purpose of advancing our Father’s children along the lines of eternal progression . . . But if it be granted that the chief fact about Intelligences is that they have power to add fact to fact and thus build up knowledge, and through knowledge have wisdom, and thus make progress; and if to such intelligences there is granted eternal life – immortality – then it is useless to postulate any limitations for them; for in the passing of even a few thousands of millions of years, even if progress be very slow – there will come a time when these intelligences – men and women of even the telestial glory – may become very acceptable characters, and very important personages.” – B. H. Roberts, Outlines of Ecclesiastical History, pp.416-417
“I tell you, brethren, if you are not passive you will have to go into that mill, and perhaps have to grind there one thousand years, and then the Gospel will be offered to you again, and then if you will not accept of it, and become passive, you will have to go into the mill again, and thus you will have offers of salvation from time to time, until all the human family, except the sons of perdition, are redeemed. The spirits of men will have the Gospel as we do, and they are to be judged according to men in the flesh. Let us be passive, and take a course that will be perfectly submissive.” Heber C. Kimball, General Conference, 1852
In light of this information, reconsider the meaning of the following scripture. Is it possible that there were two different types of beings in the pre-existence, those who had already become celestial (the noble and great ones) and those who would be getting another try in the forthcoming round?
“Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;” (Abraham 3:22)
How could some have been considered noble and great before they had successfully completed a mortal probation? What if they were noble and great because they had already been exalted based on a previous probation? Would it not be a godly sacrifice to lay aside one’s glory to re-enter mortality again (with the veil fully in place), dependent upon the softness of your heart and your love of God to prompt you to seek the face of the Lord (again), and then help others do the same with power? Why else might a god need access to all things, including death?
58 Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—
59 Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. (D&C 76)
If this is true, does the possibility exist for one who has been successful in a previous mortality to fail in a subsequent mortality?
“Those of the Terrestrial Glory either advance to the Celestial or recede to the Telestial, else the moon could not be a type as it ‘waxes and wanes.'” (Hyrum Smith, August 1, 1843. Remarks transcribed by Franklin D. Richards. See F.D.R. Journal)
The quotes below provide useful context for the Heber C. Kimball quote above regarding the potter’s wheel–
“Elder Heber C. Kimball preached at the house of President Joseph Smith, on the parable in the 18th chapter of Jeremiah, of the clay in the hands of the potter, that when it marred in the hands of the potter it was cut off the wheel and then thrown back again into the mill, to go into the next batch, and was a vessel of dishonor; but all clay that formed well in the hands of the potter, and was pliable, was a vessel of honor; and thus it was with the human family, and ever will be: all that are pliable in the hands of God and are obedient to his commands, are vessels of honor, and God will receive them. President Joseph arose and said–“Brother Kimball has given you a true explanation of the parable…'” (Minutes of a meeting of the Twelve in the house of the Prophet. HC 4:478)
“Upon the same principle, supposing I have a lump of clay which I put upon my wheel, out of which clay I want to make a jug; I have to turn it into as many as 50 or 100 shapes before I get it into a jug. How many shapes do you suppose you are put into before you became Saints, or before you become perfect and sanctified to enter into the celestial glory of God? You have got to be like clay in the hands of the potter. Do you not know that the Lord directed the prophet anciently, to go down to the potter’s house to see a miracle on the wheel? Suppose the potter takes a lump of clay, and putting it on the wheel, goes to work to form it into a vessel, and works it out this way, and that way, and the other way, but the clay is refractory and snappish; he still trys it, but it will break, and snap, and snarl, and thus the potter will work it and work it until he is satisfied he cannot bring it into the shape he wants, and it mare upon the wheel; he takes his tool, then, and cuts it off the wheel, and throws it into the mill to be ground over again, until it becomes passive, (don’t you think you will go to hell if you are not passive?) and after it is ground there so many days, and it becomes passive, he takes the same lump, and makes of it a vessel unto honor.
Now do you see into that brethren? I know the potters can. I tell you, brethren, if you are not passive you will have to go into that mill, and perhaps have to grind there one thousand years, and then the Gospel will be offered to you again, and then if you will not accept of it, and become passive, you will have to go into the mill again, and thus you will have offers of salvation from time to time, until all the human family, except the sons of perdition, are redeemed. The spirits of men will have the Gospel as we do, and they are to be judged according to men in the flesh. Let us be passive, and take a course that will be perfectly submissive.” Heber C. Kimball, General Conference, 1852 (see JD 1:161)
If God’s work is one eternal round, and each new round means an additional opportunity for more of His children to secure a place in the celestial kingdom, then wouldn’t we expect the scriptures to talk about eternal “lives”, or even the multiple deaths implied by such doctrine?
22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.
With this information, how could you ever look on another brother or sister in this world with anything but charity? If you don’t reach out to help them come to God now you may be back again working with them in the next round. Truly we are all in this together.
So that’s why God tells us we have to choose between Him and riches. All our efforts to provide nicely for ourselves during our probation are just natural-man attempts to get comfortable here in hell. Riches are the key to getting comfortable in hell, according to the god of this world. If you can have anything in this world for money, then I would suppose the converse is also true; if you can get something with money it must be of this world. Which world do we want, the celestial one that we may just be beginning to understand, or the telestial one that surrounds us at present?
Does this mean we have to repudiate everything of this earth to truly seek the things of heaven? Well, that depends. Can man serve two masters?