One God, but…?

Mormon 7:7 And he hath brought to pass the redemption of the world, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.

D&C 76:50, 62, 70–71, 77, 81, 85–86
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—

62 These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.

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.
71 And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament.

77 These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father.

81 And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament.

85 These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work.
86 These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial;

John 14:6–9
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

If the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, and he that sees and knows the Son sees and knows the Father, what is the practical consequence of those in the terrestrial kingdom having the presence of the Son, but not the fulness of the Father, and those in the telestial kingdom having the fulness of the Holy Spirit, but not of the Son or the Father? Why is that an important point?

14 thoughts on “One God, but…?

  1. Knowing someone and being with them are different things. I’m very close to my mom but we live hundreds of miles apart now. I can call her, email her, even snail-mail here but it’s not the same as being with her. I can’t hug her, I can’t watch the expressions on her face as we talk.

    I think being in the telestial or terrestrial kingdoms is like that. Through the Holy Ghost or through Jesus you can still communicate with God but you can’t be in His prescence.

  2. Receiving “the fulness of the father” refers to much more than his company; it’s also referring to receiving an inheritance of his capacities/divinity (which is apparently a prerequisite to withstanding the full strength of his presence). But that leads to another question: why would the glory of the Son be less powerful than that of the Father?

  3. why would the glory of the Son be less powerful than that of the Father?

    Your dad’s a lawyer. You follow in his footsteps. Who is the better lawyer? Your father because he has the experience plus all his personal years of growth behind him.

    The glory of the Son is the same as the glory of the Father, just different in degree relative to their stations.

    At least that’s my take on it. Too bad the GA don’t blog!

  4. Or is the child the better lawyer because he is able to build on the experience of those who have gone before?

  5. I’m just wondering how a god accumulates glory — and the first thing that comes to mind is this: through relationships with his/her posterity.

  6. I don’t know, I think I might not go to the celestial kingdom because I don’t want to live that way for eternity. I don’t want to have endless children, although if I am a perfected person, should I be able to endure to the end, I might.

    It’s just not my idea of heaven. I think God is going to work it out in a way that I’m happy, not deprived, if I do the best I can. But I can’t see me being happy surrounded by kids forever. I want some of that peace and quiet we’ve talked about on another thread.

  7. YCNHTM Heathers,

    If what you say is true, what do you make of Jesus’ statements about his relation to the Father? Has Jesus’ not received his Father’s fulness?

  8. To put things in perspective, maybe it’s important to look back at the premortal existence (First Estate) and what our relationships to God and Christ were then, and how they will have changed after the resurrection, depending on our choices during the Second Estate.

    In the First Estate, Jesus was of the same “spiritual generation” as we were, but he was the Firstborn and was therefore The One to look to as our examplar. At that point, God had a body and all of his Eternal Perfected Attributes. The pre-existent spirits wanted to be like the Father, and the Father wanted us to experience his joy also. So, in accordance with the Father’s plan, Jesus agreed to “bridge the gap” between our “spiritual generation” and the Father’s “generation” by also having God as the Father of his physical body in the Second Estate. With this unique birth, Jesus inherited the full potential of our Father and still retained his connection to our “spiritual generation” thus qualifying as the mediator between us and the Father.

    So, when Jesus was born into his second estate, both his relationship to the Father and his relationship to us changed. Jesus could choose to die (like us) and could also choose to be resurrected (like the Father). I have not seen a good explanation as to how, but since Jesus retained his connection to our “spiritual generation” this also opened the door for US to be resurrected. But, Jesus still had to work out the next step (the Atonement), which would define the terms for the quality of our resurrection.

    Had Jesus not worked out the Atonement, he could still have chosen to die and be resurrected and, theoretically, having lived a perfect life, He would have qualified to live with the Father. This could become a circular argument, however – we could speculate that if Jesus chose NOT to work out the Atonement, this would not have been in keeping with his mission, therefore it would have been a “sin”. Jesus being resurrected with no Atonement would make it possible for us to have an immortal physical body, but Jesus wouldn’t have the power to “raise” us to a kingdom of glory. That would be the equivalent of Sons of Perdition. We could do many, many good works and pray 24/7 to be with God and Jesus but it wouldn’t make any difference.

    SO, with the Atonement, we are now totally reliant on Jesus to somehow change our relationship with the Father so that we can live with Him and achieve our second objective – to inherit His Eternal Perfected Attributes. Before the Atonement, we could choose to do everything or nothing and the result would be the same. After the Atonement, the choice to do nothing at least gets us a degree of glory but doesn’t change our relationship to God and Christ. We continue on with what we have now – the ministration of the Holy Spirit. With the Atonement having been wrought, we have to totally rebel against the Holy Spirit in order to receive NO kingdom of glory.

    So, to inherit anything other than the telestial kingdom, something has to change in our relationship to God and, since we are totally reliant on Jesus for that, something has to change in our relationship to Jesus. What is it that has to change in order to inherit the terrestrial kingdom ?

    I think the key is here:

    79 These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.

    To get to the terrestrial kingdom, you need to accept the testimony of Jesus but then not do much with it (the telestial kingdom is for those who reject the testimony of Jesus). How does your relationship to Jesus change if you become terrestrial ? At least you are on His team and not working against Him. Does that mean the Atonement has worked on your behalf ? Yes, it has helped you obtain a higher degree of glory just as it helped “those who do nothing” to escape being Sons of Perdition. Does this change your relationship to God the Father sufficient to live in his presence and inherit his Eternal Perfected Attributes ? No, it doesn’t. The best you get to experience is the Glory of Jesus, and I would say, in proportion to the love and devotion you have shown to Him. It makes sense to me that Jesus won’t show forth all of his glory (which is now the same as the Father’s) in the terrestrial kingdom – since that kingdom’s glory is analogous to the moon and the celestial is compared to the sun. Quite a difference there. I don’t think the terrestrial beings will be able to bear Christ’s full celestial glory. Also, it makes sense that terrestrial beings won’t experience Jesus’ glory (presence) as OFTEN as celestial beings.

    Now, to achieve in the Third Estate both of the objectives we aspired to in the First Estate, we have to be valiant in the testimony of Jesus, and here is the other key:

    # D&C 88: 21

    21 And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.

    It is critical to realize and remember that our eternal destiny still hangs entirely on how we respond to Jesus’ Atonement, in spite of how valiant we are and how many good works we perform. If we do many, many good things but never tap in to the power of the Atonement, we will default to the terrestrial kingdom.

    In the celestial kingdom, we will experience the Glory of the Father and the Full Glory of the Son.

  9. Brent, I’m not trying to quibble, just curious how you would fit this scripture in:

    “And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children who belongeth to the family of Adam. And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.” (2 Ne. 9:21–22)

    Also, I’m not sure that those in the terrestrial kingdom have done nothing to draw upon the atonement, since there’s no mention in the scriptures of their having to suffer for their own sins (that I’m aware of).

  10. Nice explanation Brent.

    One line confuses me though. “eternal destiny still hangs entirely on how we respond to Jesus’ Atonement, in spite of how valiant we are and how many good works we perform.”

    Aren’t responding to the atonement and valiance the same thing? What’t the difference between the two?

  11. Kathy quoteth:

    “And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children who belongeth to the family of Adam. And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.” (2 Ne. 9:21–22)

    The above verse appears to say that the suffering Jesus endured was also necessary before the resurrection could take place. This prompted me to read the Bible Dictionary (BD) about the Atonement, which helps me to see that I am compartmentalizing too much when I make my conclusions that Jesus’ resurrection brought about our resurrection, and his Atonement brought about the possibility of our sanctification. The BD says this:

    Jesus Christ, as the Only Begotten Son of God and the only sinless person to live on this earth, was the only one capable of making an atonement for mankind. By his selection and foreordination in the Grand Council before the world was formed, his divine Sonship, his sinless life, the shedding of his blood in the garden of Gethsemane, his death on the cross and subsequent bodily resurrection from the grave, he made a perfect atonement for all mankind.

    So, the BD appears to treat the resurrection as part of the entire process of the Atonement.

    The other thought I had was that there would hardly be any point in being resurrected if the entire process of the Atonement hadn’t taken place. 2 Ne. 9:21–22 also could imply that Jesus’s suffering made it possible for us be judged after the resurrection. Had the Atonement not taken place, what would there be to judge ?

    This leads to Eric’s question….

    Aren’t responding to the atonement and valiance the same thing? What’s the difference between the two?

    I meant “responding to the Atonement” in the sense that we must believe that Christ can provide forgiveness and sanctification, and that we need to obtain an assurance from the Spirit that we have received these gifts. This would be in addition to being valiant in our words and deeds.

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