Heaven is Literally here on Earth!
Heaven is a place of instruction and preparation for the righteous to receive a glorious resurrection.
Paradise or Heaven
The concept with which most of the Judeo-Christian world is familiar is that spirits of the dead go to heaven to sing praises to God for eternity (or to hell and burn in a lake of literal fire for eternity). There are differences across the spectrum, I am satisfied, but what I recorded above is the basic concept I gather.
Latter-day Saints Christians tend to believe similarly with others of the Judeo-Christian background, but their understanding of what occurs in these places differ. Mind you, I have indicated that they TEND to believe similarly and not that they DO believe similarly, which will present itself shortly in this article.
Heaven or Paradise is the place where righteous spirits go after death to await the Resurrection. In this place the righteous sons and daughters of God rest from all the cares in relation to the world--having to sleep, eat and work for sustenance. It is not a place where people sit idly on a cloud singing. (I bet that would be nice for a while, but it would eventually get boring--at least for me.)
In Heaven/Paradise, people will do the work of the Lord. In this place, all righteous people will preach and hear the gospel of Jesus Christ taught. All good people from the beginning of time will have a righteous Christian adorned by the authority of God to teach those who have not had the opportunity to hear about Christ in mortal life.
It is important to understand the significance that heaven is not a place to rest in the sense of relaxing and sleeping. Heaven is where people rest from the commandment (some call it a curse) that was given to Adam recorded in Genesis that "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground (3:19)" In other words all the people of Heaven rest from the mandate that humanity must work hard to survive and enjoy the beauty and comforts of the Earth.
In His love for humanity, God organized so that all people who have not had the chance can hear and accept Jesus Christ in the next life so that it will be fulfilled that "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess" (Mosiah 27:31) that Jesus is the Christ is the son of God and the savior of all humanity.
It is essential to God's Plan of Salvation that all human beings have a chance to hear and accept Jesus so that all of His judgements are irreproachable as He assures. If you go to heaven, expect to work!
Heaven is Work
Heaven is a place of instruction and preparation for the righteous to receive a glorious resurrection.
It is also a refuge from the worries of mortality as mentioned previously so that the righteous can help those left in mortality complete their works.
Christ organized missionary work among the righteous during his visit to paradise recorded in 1 Peter chapters three and four. Christ opened the gates of heaven to the lost souls in spirit prison giving them the ability to live "that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit" 1 Peter 4:6.
Heaven is a busy place where reunions between the righteous will occur--grandparents welcoming grandchildren and children. Brothers and sisters will welcome siblings; parents will welcome children to Heaven to commence the work of Jesus Christ as spirits unencumbered by the frailties of the flesh.
What We Have Learned so far is...
- Heaven is a place of work
- All those billions of people who died without knowing about Jesus will learned about him
Heaven, Spirit Heaven is Temporary
Yes, I did type the word temporary in relation to the state of heaven that I described above. All the dead will have been judged partially for entrance into this temporary state of heaven or hell. As busy as heaven is, it is a rehearsal for what will occur after the resurrection!
The blood of Jesus Christ will have grace to allow our spirits to continue in joy in the next life as we have faith in this life. It is only by unshaken faith in the teachings of Jesus that all righteous people will continue in that state of mind.
It is important that we spend this life cultivating a relationship with God through the Holy Ghost because " that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life... will have power to possess your body in that eternal world" Alma 34:34.
When we die, we do not shed our old personalities and will not be infused with un-pursued knowledge. That is important to know and pray about.
In the media, especially religious media, it shows people repenting on their deathbeds and floating off to the fairy tale version of heaven.
It is not so. Heaven will only be a state of mind to the dead. Whatever troubles people here in mortality will trouble them in spirit. There is no getting away from the lives that we live. If we live lives of unrepentant debauchery, we should expect it to continue with us.
If we are good in this life, we will continue to be good when we die and the Holy Ghost will still have a personal influence on our actions and continued knowledge.
The righteous will have the ability to--through faith in the Lord Jesus-- know more of the mysteries of God in Heaven if we sought to know them in this life also. Heaven will last only as long as the spirits called the children of God need it to prepare for a glorious resurrection.
Heaven is as magnificent as we all believe it will be emotional because we will see our loved ones again and psychologically because our faith about post-mortal life will be confirmed in our minds.
Heaven is not far from us because it is here.
Heaven is not in the Sky
I know this because I have been in jets that fly above the clouds and I saw no angels there or people other than those who were on the flying machine next to me!
I was led to believe by my cartoons that a cloud is the resting place for the spirits of the dead. I did not learn this from church. I could find no evidence of it in the Bible. I just assumed if grown-ups allowed us to watch it, it must be true!
I am so glad childish things did not destroy my reasoning. Heaven is not in the sky per se and God does not live in the sky on a throne in a cloud. I have no idea where this concept of heaven came from, but it is not what I understand God's dwelling place to be.
Heaven Is Here
That is the great mystery solved--heaven is on earth! When the spirits of the dead leave their bodies, they don't go floating off to some distant ethereal realm in a parallel universe!
Actually, maybe that thing about the ethereal realm in a parallel universe part might be correct--but it is not in the clouds! All of the people who have ever died and not resurrected live here on Earth until they get resurrected.
Dale C Mouritsen, who served as the president of the Santa Clara California Stake Seventies wrote:
According to Latter-day Saint doctrine, the spirit world is the place of residence for all those who have died and are awaiting the resurrection and the inseparable connection of their spirits and bodies. Thus, it is not the place where God the Father, the resurrected Lord, and other resurrected beings dwell. Rather, it is an intermediate condition or state where people await the resurrection—a sphere where disembodied spirits live in one of several conditions according to what their mortal lives have merited. (The Spirit World, Our Next Home)
The righteous people become workers for God on our behalf. Call them guardian angels or not, they are constantly praying for us, with us and helping us--trying to coax us by the power of the Holy Ghost to choose the right and qualify for the righteous state of heaven that awaits.
Heaven is Eternal.
Heaven does not end. It begins with the spirits of the righteous living in peace and rest in paradise and continues after the resurrection of the souls of humanity.
I suppose we could say this is the heaven that is unique to the Latter-day Saint Christians. As long as there are children of God who come to Earth or an earth and live righteous lives there will always be a state of Heaven for them when they leave mortal life
All people, save a minority of humankind, will go to heaven. I make a bold statement, but it is true. The concept of heaven that I mention here is beyond what I have learned in Protestantism or is it?
I was taught in my Pentecostal upbringing that in my Father's kingdom there are many mansions and that Christ went to prepare a place for us. My mother, the mother of my wife, constantly speaks of getting into the basement of God's mansion and being happy with that.
She would joke about sleeping on God's porch with satisfaction. I know that she was jokingly trying to make the point that she will be happy being in God's presence as a Christian who has accepted Jesus. I will explore how all of us will go to heaven save a few.
I tell you the truth, God will have more souls than Satan will curse by far. The hell that is prepared for Satan, his angels and the lost souls of humanity is very exclusive and hard to obtain.
- The Intellectualism of Korihor the Anti-Christ
God knew that following the Age of Enlightenment, many Christians would convert to intellectualism and deny the divinity of Christ. So, he instructed Mormon to include in the record of the Book of Mormon encounters the people of God had with those sp
Published on Jul 6, 2012 Barbara Walters ABC '20/20' special on 'Heaven' will includes Mormon perspective. 6/7/12.
What about you?
Do you contemplate where you will go when you leave this life?
It is a great deception that Satan has unleashed upon the world that heaven is a hard to obtain place. Repentance is the key to Heaven.
Again, repentance is the key to getting to heaven. Baptism is the door, but that is another subject.
Heaven is easier to obtain than most think. As with all great rewards the highest mansions in heaven require the hard work, and by work I mean learning to love and keep ALL of God's commandments that we can in this life because Christ's grace is sufficient for those who love Him.
Jesus taught, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
My mother-in-law, Pamela said humorously but truthfully "To sleep on the porch of God's mansion is enough for me! Just a bed in the Basement... a cot in the yard...!"
It can happen so to speak. We are rewarded according to our faithfulness to God because of the Grace of Christ.
Our aim should be to sit at His table and join in His household as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. We were never meant to be pets to God. We are His offspring and were meant to rule with Him in the heavens in all humility.
The spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow Alma 40:12.
Surely these words of Alma sum up the LDS concept of heaven. As a convert to the church of over 20 years, I grew to a certain understanding of heaven that fits well with my protestant upbringing and has stayed with me. When I speak of heaven it has a dual meaning--paradise and exaltation.
What we have learned from this is that:
- Paradise is where we go when we die, which is heaven.
- Exaltation, the highest manifestation of heaven is where we go when we are resurrected.
© 2012 Rodric Johnson