The Celestial GloryPDF Version
50 And again we bear record--for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just--
51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given--
52 That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;
53 And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
54 They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.
55 They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things--
56 They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;
57 And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.
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.
60 And they shall overcome all things.
61 Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet.
62 These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.
63 These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people.
64 These are they who shall have part in the first resurrection.
65 These are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just.
66 These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all.
67 These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn.
68 These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all.
69 These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood.
70 These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical.
92 And thus we saw the glory of the celestial, which excels in all things--where God, even the Father, reigns upon his throne forever and ever;
93 Before whose throne all things bow in humble reverence, and give him glory forever and ever.
94 They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace;
95 And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.
96 And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one.
Joseph Smith (Poetic Version)
again I bear record of heavenly things,
Where virtue's the value, above all that's pric'd--
Of the truth of the gospel concerning the just,
That rise in the first resurrection of Christ.
receiv'd and believ'd, and repented likewise,
And then were baptis'd, as a man always was,
Who ask'd and receiv'd a remission of sin,
And honored the kingdom by keeping its laws.
buried in water, as Jesus had been,
And keeping the whole of his holy commands,
They received the gift of the spirit of truth,
By the ordinance truly of laying on hands.
these overcome, by their faith and their works,
Being tried in their life-time, as purified gold,
And seal'd by the spirit of promise, to life,
By men called of God, as was Aaron of old.
44. They are
they, of the church of the first born of God,--
And unto whose hands he committeth all things;
For they hold the keys of the kingdom of heav'n,
And reign with the Savior, as priests, and as kings.
priests of the order of Melchisedek,
Like Jesus, (from whom is this highest reward,)
Receiving a fulness of glory and light; As written:
They're Gods; even sons of the Lord.
46. So all
things are theirs; yea, of life, or of death;
Yea, whether things now, or to come, all are theirs,
And they are the Savior's, and he is the Lord's,
Having overcome all, as eternity's heirs.
wisdom that man never glory in man,
But give God the glory for all that he hath;
For the righteous will walk in the presence of God,
While the wicked are trod under foot in his wrath.
48. Yea, the
righteous shall dwell in the presence of God,
And of Jesus, forever, from earth's second birth--
For when he comes down in the splendor of heav'n,
All these he'll bring with him, to reign on the earth.
are they that arise in their bodies of flesh,
When the trump of the first resurrection shall sound;
These are they that come up to Mount Zion, in life,
Where the blessings and gifts of the spirit abound.
are they that have come to the heavenly place;
To the numberless courses of angels above:
To the city of God; e'en the holiest of all,
And to the home of the blessed, the fountain of love:
51. To the
church of old Enoch, and of the first born:
And gen'ral assembly of ancient renown'd.
Whose names are all kept in the archives of heav'n,
As chosen and faithful, and fit to be crown'd.
are they that are perfect through Jesus' own blood,
Whose bodies celestial are mention'd by Paul,
Where the sun is the typical glory thereof,
And God, and his Christ, are the true judge of all.
[From Times and Seasons 4:82-85]
Baptism, Gate to the Celestial Kingdom
D&C 76:51Joseph Fielding Smith
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. . . .
principles of the gospel are principles that save. By obedience to them
we enter the celestial kingdom of God. Then, when we get into
that kingdom, if we have received the other covenants, have been true
and faithful to other obligations, we will advance until we shall
like God -- his sons, his daughters, receiving a fulness of his
kingdom. That is the promise. (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:45-46)
Bruce R. McConkie
serves four purposes: 1. It is for the remission of sins. (D. & C.
13; 19:31; 20:37; 33:11; 49:13; 68:27; 84:27, 64, 74; 107:20.) 2. It
admits the repentant person to membership in the Church and kingdom of
God on earth. (D. & C. 20:37, 71-74.) 3. It is the gate to the
kingdom of heaven, that is, it starts a person out on the straight and
narrow path which leads to eternal life. (2 Ne. 9:23-24; 31:13-21.) 4.
It is the
means whereby the door to personal sanctification is opened. "Repent,
all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my
name," the resurrected Lord proclaimed to the Nephites, "that ye may be
sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost that ye may stand
spotless before me at the last day." (3 Ne. 27:20.) [Mormon Doctrine,
There is but
one way in which men can receive salvation, exaltation, and glory, and
that is through the order of baptism and the ordinances
connected therewith. No mortal man or woman will ever receive celestial
glory unless he or she has been baptized, receiving this ordinance
personally or by proxy. That is the order that God has established. (Teachings
of Lorenzo Snow, p.96)
Spencer W. Kimball
celestial world can only be entered by unlocking the doors with the
proper keys -- the first key being baptism by immersion for the
of sins and then the reception of the Holy Ghost follows, by those in
authority to give it. Then we must continue with our church and temple
work, serving others, loving the Lord with all our heart, might, mind,
and strength, and loving our fellowmen more than ourselves. (The
Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.28)
Three Degrees in the Celestial GloryD&C 131
1 In the
celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
Marriage is the Gate into the
Third Glory of the Celestial Kingdom
1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
4 He may
enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot
have an increase.
Spencer W. Kimball
One young man said that he expected to reach exaltation in the celestial kingdom as one of the Lord's messengers, without having to marry. He does not understand. No one who rejects the covenant of celestial marriage can reach exaltation in the eternal kingdom of God.
[Quotes D&C 131:1-4.]
He cannot have an increase! He cannot have exaltation!
The Lord says further in the 132nd section of the Doctrine and Covenants:
"No one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory" (D&C 132:4).
No one! It matters not how righteous they may have been, how intelligent or how well trained they are. No one will enter this highest glory unless he enters into the covenant, and this means the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.
These are the words of the Lord. They were said directly to us.
"And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law. …
"Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants [they may be worthy and righteous, but they are ministering servants], to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.
"For these angels did not abide by 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 132:6, 16-17.)
say, "Well, I'd be satisfied to just become an angel," but you would
not. One never would be satisfied just to be a ministering angel
to wait upon other people when he could be the king himself. ("The
Importance of Celestial Marriage," Ensign, Oct. 1979, pp. 5-6)
Bruce R. McConkie
the gate to the celestial kingdom; celestial marriage is the gate
to an exaltation in the highest heaven within the celestial world.
C. 131:1-4.) To gain salvation after baptism it is necessary to keep
the commandments of God and endure to the end (2 Ne. 31:17-21); to gain
exaltation after celestial marriage the same continued devotion and
righteousness is required. Those who have been married in the temples
eternity know that the ceremony itself expressly conditions the receipt
of all promised blessings upon the subsequent faithfulness of the
husband and wife. (Mormon Doctrine, p. 117)
Celestial Glory For Those Who
Keep The Whole Law
To enter the
celestial and obtain exaltation it is necessary that the whole law be
kept. The word of the Lord is that they of the celestial world are
those sanctified from all unrighteousness. (D.C. 88:21, cf. verse 18.)
To become sanctified there are certain definite covenants we must keep
faithfulness, living by "every word that proceedeth forth from the
mouth of God." "They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and
believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial,
* * * That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and
cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying
on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto the power."
are they "who overcome by faith and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of
promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and
(D.C. 76:51-53. See also verses 54-60.) And they who are not sealed by
the Holy Spirit of promise and who are not just and true, need not
expect their great blessings. (The Way to Perfection, p.206)
Must Be Governed By Certain
Laws, Principles, and Feelings
interested in the whole of the human family. He cannot take them all
into the celestial kingdom, for they are not all prepared to go there,
and you cannot prepare them and He cannot, because they have to be
governed by certain laws and certain principles and certain feelings,
if they are not governed by these and will not be governed by a
celestial law, they are not prepared for a celestial glory. There are
may be governed by a terrestrial law, and may be prepared for a
terrestrial glory, but not for a celestial glory. Still, they are God's
He is doing the best by them He can. (Journal of Discourses,
D&C 76:51Ezra Taft Benson
A most priceless blessing available to every member of the Church is a testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ and His church. A testimony is one of the few possessions we may take with us when we leave this life.
To have a testimony of Jesus is to possess knowledge through the Holy Ghost of the divine mission of Jesus Christ.
A testimony of Jesus is to know the divine nature of our Lord's birth--that He is indeed the Only Begotten Son in the flesh.
A testimony of Jesus is to know that He was the promised Messiah and that while He sojourned among men He accomplished many mighty miracles.
A testimony of Jesus is to know that the laws which He prescribed as His doctrine are true and then to abide by these laws and ordinances.
To possess a testimony of Jesus is to know that He voluntarily took upon Himself the sins of all mankind in the Garden of Gethsemane, which caused Him to suffer in both body and spirit and to bleed from every pore. All this He did so that we would not have to suffer if we would repent. (See D&C 19:16, 18.)
To possess a testimony of Jesus is to know that He came forth triumphantly from the grave with a physical, resurrected body. And because He lives, so shall all mankind.
To possess a testimony of Jesus is to know that God the Father and Jesus Christ did indeed appear to the Prophet Joseph Smith to establish a new dispensation of His gospel so that salvation may be preached to all nations before He comes.
To possess a testimony of Jesus is to know that the Church, which He established in the meridian of time and restored in modern times is, as the Lord has declared, "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth." (D&C 1:30.)
a testimony is vital. ["Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus," Ensign,
Feb. 1987, pp. 1-2]
Neal A. Maxwell
requires both turning away
from evil and turning to God. (See Deut. 4:30; see also Bible
Dictionary, s.v. "Repentance.") When "a
mighty change" is required, full repentance involves a 180-degree turn,
and without looking back! (Alma 5:12-13.) Initially, this turning
progress from telestial to terrestrial behavior, and later on to
celestial behavior. As the sins of the telestial world are left behind,
the focus falls
ever more steadily upon the sins of omission, which often keep us from
full consecration. ("Repentance," Ensign, Nov. 1991, p. 30)
Neal A. Maxwell
Must Repent of Sins of Omission
Consider three examples of how honorable people in the Church keep back a portion and thus prevent greater consecration (see Acts 5:1-4).
A sister gives commendable, visible civic service. Yet even with her good image in the community, she remains a comparative stranger to Jesus' holy temples and His holy scriptures, two vital dimensions of discipleship. But she could have Christ's image in her countenance (see Alma 5:14).
An honorable father, dutifully involved in the cares of his family, is less than kind and gentle with individual family members. Though a comparative stranger to Jesus' gentleness and kindness, which we are instructed to emulate, a little more effort by this father would make such a large difference.
Consider the returned missionary, skills polished while serving an honorable mission, striving earnestly for success in his career. Busy, he ends up in a posture of some accommodation with the world. Thus he forgoes building up the kingdom first and instead builds up himself. A small course correction now would make a large, even destinational, difference for him later on.
These deficiencies just illustrated are those of omission. Once the telestial sins are left behind and henceforth avoided, the focus falls ever more on the sins of omission. These omissions signify a lack of qualifying fully for the celestial kingdom. Only greater consecration can correct these omissions, which have consequences just as real as do the sins of commission. Many of us thus have sufficient faith to avoid the major sins of commission, but not enough faith to sacrifice our distracting obsessions or to focus on our omissions.
omissions occur because we fail to
get outside ourselves. We are so busy checking on our own temperatures,
we do not notice the
burning fevers of others even when we can offer them some of the needed
remedies, such as encouragement, kindness, and commendation. The hands
which hang down and most need to be lifted up belong to those too
discouraged even to reach out anymore. ("Swallowed Up in the
Will of the Father," Ensign, Nov. 1995, p. 23)
Only the Valiant of the Church
Will Go to the Celestial Kingdom
D&C 76:79D&C 121
thrones and dominions,
principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who
have endured valiantly for the gospel of
Ezra Taft Benson
But of even greater importance is being valiant in our testimony.
A testimony of Jesus means that we accept the divine mission of Jesus Christ, embrace His gospel, and do His works. It also means we accept the prophetic mission of Joseph Smith and his successors and follow their counsel. As Jesus said, "Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." (D&C 1:38.)
Speaking of those who will eventually receive the blessings of the celestial kingdom, the Lord said to Joseph Smith:
"They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given." (D&C 76:51.)
they who are valiant in their
testimony of Jesus, who, as the Lord has declared, "overcome by faith,
and are sealed by the Holy Spirit
of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just
and true." (D&C 76:53.) ["Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus," Ensign,
Who will [go to the Celestial Kingdom]? Those who are valiant and inspired with the true independence of heaven, who will go forth boldly in the service of their God, leaving others to do as they please, determined to do right, though all mankind besides should take the opposite course. (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 383)Spencer W. Kimball
Bruce R. McConkie
Mark E. Petersen
The Just and True
D&C 76:53Ezra Taft Benson
"Those who are just and true." What an apt expression for those valiant in the testimony of Jesus! They are courageous in defending truth and righteousness. These are members of the Church who magnify their callings in the Church (see D&C 84:33), pay their tithes and offerings, live morally clean lives, sustain their Church leaders by word and action, keep the Sabbath as a holy day, and obey all the commandments of God.
To these the
Lord has promised that
"all thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be
revealed and set forth upon all who have
endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ" (D&C 121:29).
["Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus," Ensign, Feb. 1987, p. 2]
Marion G. Romney
a testimony comes of a
sudden or whether it comes by degrees, it does something to a person.
One is different after he receives a
testimony than he was before he received one. Good men, great men, are
different. . . . My father use to tell me that the difference between a
man when he has a testimony and when he does not have one is the
difference between a living, growing tree and a dry stump. (Look to
and Live, Salt Lake: Deseret Book, 1973, pp. 42-43).
Who Overcome by Faith
he that endureth in faith
and doeth my will, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an
inheritance upon the earth when the
day of transfiguration shall come.
You need an
endowment, brethren, in
order that you may be prepared and able to overcome all things . . . (Teachings
of the Prophet Joseph
Neal A. Maxwell
Sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise
D&C 76:53Joseph Fielding Smith
I will make an explanation of the expression, "Sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise." This does not have reference to marriage for time and all eternity only, but to every ordinance and blessing of the gospel. Baptism into the Church is sealed by this Spirit, likewise confirmation, ordination, and all ordinances as well as marriage for time and all eternity.
The meaning of this expression is this: Every covenant, contract, bond, obligation, oath, vow, and performance, that man receives through the covenants and blessings of the gospel, is sealed by the Holy Spirit with [page 95] a promise. The promise is that the blessing will be obtained, if those who seek it are true and faithful to the end. If they are not faithful, then the Holy Spirit will withdraw the blessing, and the promise comes to an end. (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:94)Harold B. Lee
I shall inject here another phrase that is oft discussed (and I think is misunderstood) and to which we try to attach some mysteries. This phrase, where the Lord directs that all of these things are to be eternal, is: "must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise." Let me refer first to the 76th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. Speaking of those who are candidates for celestial glory, the Lord says:
"They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands . . . And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true" (D&C 76:51-53.)
In other words, baptism is only efficacious, and the initiary ordinance is applicable, when it is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. We have that same phrase repeated in section 132, verse 19, for the Lord is speaking now of celestial marriage.
". . . if a man marry a wife by my word and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of Promise, they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things. . . .
And with reference to the priesthood, when the Lord discusses in the 84th section the oath and covenant, exactly the same principle is implied. By the laying on of hands we get the promise of power and authority, but it will not be ours -- worlds without end -- unless we keep our part of the covenant.
In the following verse, in explaining still further the mission of the Holy Ghost, the Lord said:
"Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things; and hath power according to wisdom, merry, truth, justice, and judgment." (Moses 661.)
Now with that in mind, let me refer to two other scriptures. In the twentieth chapter of Revelation, John said:
"And I saw the dead small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which was the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works [done in the flesh]" (Revelation 20:12.)
And in the 128th section of the Doctrine and Covenants: ". . . and the book which was the book of life is the record which is kept in heaven. . ." (D&C 128:7.)
Now, who is the keeper of that record kept in heaven? I ask you to think about that.
Here is an explanation one of the brethren made about this phrase "sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. Elder Melvin J. Ballard, in his Three Degrees of Glory pamphlet, said:
"We may deceive men but we cannot deceive the Holy Ghost, and our blessings will not be eternal until they are also sealed by the holy spirit of promise, the Holy Ghost, one who reads the thoughts and hearts of men and gives his sealing approval to the blessings pronounced upon their heads. Then it is binding, and of full force" (Sermons and Missionary Service of Melvin J. Ballard, Deseret Book Co., 1949, p. 237.) [Stand Ye In Holy Places, p.53]Cree-L Kofford (of the Seventy)
The covenants, commitments, and promises that each of you make (D&C 132:7 calls them "covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations") must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.
The Holy Spirit of Promise is another way of saying the Holy Ghost. What the scriptures mean when they say that something must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise is that it must receive the approval of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost can see into the heart of each of us and can consequently discern deceit, half-truths, or misrepresentations. Thus, when a sealing ordinance is "sealed by the Holy Spirit," the Holy Ghost is satisfied that the parties to the sealing ordinance have been obedient in order to enter into the sealing ordinance and afterward obedient to the covenants they have made. ("Marriage in the Lord's Way, Part One," Ensign, June 1998, p. 12)James E. Faust
I wish to say a word about the Holy Spirit of Promise, which is the sealing and ratifying power of the Holy Ghost. To have a covenant or ordinance sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise is a compact through which the inherent blessings will be obtained, provided those seeking the blessing are true and faithful (see D&C 76:50-54).
For example, when the covenant of marriage for time and eternity, the culminating gospel ordinance, is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, it can literally open the windows of heaven for great blessings to flow to a married couple who seek for those blessings. Such marriages become rich, whole, and sacred. Though each party to the marriage can maintain his or her separate identity, yet together in their covenants they can be like two vines wound inseparably around each other. Each thinks of his or her companion before thinking of self.
One of the great blessings available through the Holy Spirit of Promise is that all of our covenants, vows, oaths, and performances, which we receive through the ordinances and blessings of the gospel, are not only confirmed but may be sealed by that Holy Spirit of Promise. However, that sealing may be broken by unrighteousness. It is also important to remember that if a person undertakes to receive the sealing blessing by deceit, "then the blessing is not sealed, notwithstanding the integrity and authority of the person officiating" (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-56, 2:98-99).
To have a covenant or ordinance sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise means that the compact is binding on earth and in heaven. ["The Gift of the Holy Ghost--A Sure Compass," Ensign, Apr. 1996, pp. 5-6]Bruce R. McConkie
When any ordinance or contract is sealed by the Spirit, it is approved with a promise of reward, provided unrighteousness does not thereafter break the seal, remove the ratifying approval, and cause loss of the promised blessing. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 55; vol. 2, pp. 94-99) Seals are placed on contracts through righteousness.
The operation and power of the Holy Spirit of Promise is best illustrated by the ordinance and contract of baptism. An unworthy candidate for baptism might deceive the elders and get the ordinance performed, but no one can lie to the Holy Ghost and get by undetected. Accordingly, the baptism of an unworthy and unrepentant person would not be sealed by the Spirit; it would not be ratified by the Holy Ghost; the unworthy person would not be justified by the Spirit in his actions. If thereafter he became worthy through repentance and obedience, the seal would then be put in force. Similarly, if a worthy person is baptized with the ratifying approval of the Holy Ghost attending the performance, yet the seal may be broken by subsequent sin.
These principles also apply to every other ordinance and performance in the Church. Thus if both parties are "just and true," if they are worthy, a ratifying seal is placed on their temple marriage; if they are unworthy, they are not justified by the Spirit and the ratification of the Holy Ghost is withheld. Subsequent worthiness will put the seal in force, and unrighteousness will break any seal. (Mormon Doctrine, p.362)Melvin J. Ballard
We may deceive men but we cannot deceive the Holy Ghost, and our blessings will not be eternal until they are also sealed by the holy spirit of promise, the Holy Ghost, one who reads the thoughts and hearts of men and gives his sealing approval to the blessings pronounced upon their heads. Then it is binding, and of full force, (Sermons and Missionary Service of Melvin J. Ballard, Deseret Book Co., 1949, p. 237.)
They are the Church of the Firstborn
D&C 76:54, 94Joseph Fielding Smith
The higher ordinances in the temple of God pertain to exaltation in the celestial kingdom. . . . In order to receive this blessing, one must keep the full law, must abide the law by which that kingdom is governed; for, "He who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory."
So being ordained an elder, or a high priest, or an apostle, or even President of the Church, is not the thing that brings the exaltation, but obedience to the laws and the ordinances and the covenants required of those who desire to become members of the Church of the Firstborn, as these are administered in the house of the Lord. To become a member of the Church of the Firstborn, as I understand it, is to become one of the inner circle. We are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by being baptized and confirmed, and there are many who seem to be content to remain such without obtaining the privileges of exaltation. (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:41-42)
Bruce R. McConkie
The purpose of the church on earth is to prepare us for an inheritance in the church in heaven. Those who so obtain having overcome all things, shall pass by the angels and the gods and enter into their exaltation. "They are they who are the church of the Firstborn. They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things -- they are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory; and are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son. Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God -- 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 76:54-59.) [A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p.337]
The Church of the Firstborn is made up of the sons of God, those who have been adopted into the family of the Lord, those who are destined to be joint-heirs with Christ in receiving all that the Father hath. "If you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; . . . And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the Firstborn." (D. & C. 93:20-22; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 9, 41-43.) [Mormon Doctrine, p.139]
Temple Ordinances Necessary to
Enter the Church of the Firstborn
I spent the
day in the upper part of
the store, that is in my private office * * * in council with General
James Adams, of Springfield, Patriarch
Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and President
Brigham Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards,
instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood,
attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of
pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of
the Melchizedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the
Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which any one is
enabled to secure the fullness of those blessing which have been
prepared for the Church of the Firstborn, and come up and abide in the
presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. In this council was
instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last
days. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.237)
ordinances of the house of God are
expressly for the Church of the Firstborn. (Discourses of Brigham
Joseph Fielding Smith
The Lord has made it possible for us to become members of the Church of the Firstborn, by receiving the blessings of the house of the Lord and overcoming all things. Thus we become heirs, "priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory," who shall "dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever," with full exaltation. Are such blessings worth having?
I have said that only one man at a time on the earth holds the keys of this sealing power of the priesthood, but he may, and does, delegate power to others, and they officiate under his direction in the temples of the Lord. No man can officiate in these sealing ordinances until he receives the authority to do so by being set apart by the one who holds the keys, notwithstanding he may hold the priesthood. All the authority exercised in the temples is then, after all, the authority centered in one man. He has the power and calls upon others to officiate, and they seal upon us the keys and powers which, through our obedience, entitle us to become sons and daughters and members of the Church of the Firstborn, receiving all things in the kingdom. This is what we can get in the temple, so that we become members of the family, sons and daughters of God, not servants. (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:42-43)
Into Whose Hands the Father
Has Given All Things
D&C 76:56Joseph Fielding Smith
If the faithful, who keep the commandments of the Father, are his sons, then they are heirs of the kingdom and shall receive of the fulness of the Father's glory, even until they become like the Father. And how can they be perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect if they are not like him? . . .
Now, if they overcome all things, then there are not some things which they do not overcome. If these are to receive "of his fulness and of his glory," and if into their "hands the Father has given all things," then the Father has not withheld some of the fulness of his glory, or some things. And if they receive his fulness and his glory, and if "all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs," how can they receive these blessings and not become gods? They cannot. (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:39)Melvin J. Ballard
"They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things--" Is there anything that you have ever dreamed of that you wanted, that you longed for? Into the hands of those who attain this glory shall all things be given. What a world of meaning! You can ponder over that all the rest of your lives and every though and aspiration of the human heart in righteousness that it is possible for men to conceive of will be but a fraction of that which is comprehended in this statement, that 'unto them shall be given all things, because it is not possible for mortals to think of a thousandth part of what this means. (Three Degrees of Glory, p.8)
They are Priests and Kings
D&C 76:56Joseph Smith
We understand that we are to be made kings and priests unto God; now if I be made the king and lawgiver to my family, and if I have many sons, I shall become the father of many fathers, for they will have sons, and their sons will have sons, and so on, from generation to generation, and, in this way, I may become the father of many fathers, or the king of many kings. This will constitute every man a prince, king, lord, or whatever the Father sees fit to confer upon us. In this way we can become king of kings, and lord of lords, or father of fathers, or prince of princes, and this is the only course, for another man is not going to raise up a kingdom for you. (Discourses of Brigham Young, p.195)John Taylor
Duty of Parents to Train Their
Children To Be Kings and Priests
Spencer W. Kimball
Children have destiny equal to our own. We do not rear children just to please our vanity. We bring children into the world to become kings and queens, and priests and priestesses for our Lord. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.331)
After the Order of Melchizedek,
Enoch, Only Begotten Son
Ezra Taft Benson
To enter into the order of the Son of God is the equivalent today of entering into the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood, which is only received in the house of the Lord. ("What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children About the Temple," Ensign 15 [August 1985]: p. 8.; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.25)
Just Men Made Perfect
D&C 76:69Bruce R. McConkie
They Are Gods, Even the Sons of God
D&C 76:58Gordon B. Hinckley
The whole design of the gospel is to lead us onward and upward to greater achievement, even, eventually, to godhood. This great possibility was enunciated by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the King Follet sermon (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 342-62); and emphasized by President Lorenzo Snow. It is this grand and incomparable concept: As God now is, man may become! (See The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, comp. Clyde J. Williams, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1984, p. 1.)
have criticized us for
believing in this. Our reply is that this lofty concept in no way
diminishes God the Eternal Father. He is the
Almighty. He is the Creator and Governor of the universe. He is the
greatest of all and will always be so. But just as any earthly father
for his sons and daughters every success in life, so I believe our
Father in Heaven wishes for his children that they might approach him
stature and stand beside him resplendent in godly strength and wisdom.
("Don't Drop the Ball," Ensign, Nov. 1994, p. 48)
Spencer W. Kimball
transform himself, and he must.
Man has in himself the seeds of godhood, which can germinate and grow
and develop. As the acorn
becomes the oak, the mortal man becomes a god. It is within his power
to lift himself by his very bootstraps from the plane on which he finds
himself to the plane on which he should be. It may be a long, hard lift
with many obstacles, but it is a real possibility. ("The Abundant
Ensign, Oct. 1985, p. 6)
Boyd K. Packer
What is in
error, then, when we use the
term Godhood to describe the ultimate destiny of mankind? We may now be
young in our
progression--juvenile, even infantile, compared with Him. Nevertheless,
in the eternities to come, if we are worthy, we may be like unto Him,
enter His presence, "see as [we] are seen, and know as [we] are known,"
and receive a "fulness." (D&C 76:94.) ["The Pattern of Our
Ensign, Nov. 1984, 68]
Equal in Power, Might, and Dominion
D&C 76:95Bruce R. McConkie
Oneness in the Celestial Kingdom
There is a
principle connected with
this that I think is very important to us as a people and as a Church
on the earth. With all the divisions, and
all the discontent, and the quarrelings and opposition among the powers
on earth, or that have been revealed from heaven, I have never heard
that it has ever been revealed to the children of men that there was
any division between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy
Ghost. They are one. They always have been one. They always will be
one, from eternity unto eternity. Our Heavenly Father stands at the
being the author of the salvation of the children of men, having
created and peopled the world and given laws to the inhabitants of the
This principle is shown unto us by the revelation of the laws which
belong to the different kingdoms. There is a celestial kingdom, a
kingdom, and a telestial kingdom. There is a glory of the sun; a glory
of the moon, and a glory of the stars; and as one star differs from
star in glory, so also is the resurrection of the dead. In the
celestial kingdom of God there is oneness. -- there is union. (The
Wilford Woodruff, p.127; emphasis added)