- Religion and Philosophy
three degrees of glory
This text will be concerning the resurrection of the dead where it is described by John it is written- In my fathers house there are many mansions. where the word, mansion should be replaced with the word, Kingdom to read "In my fathers kingdom there are many Kingdoms. there are mansions for those who obey a celestial law and there are other mansions for those who come short of the law, every man in his own order. this is an inspired translation by the prophet Joseph Smith.
In the Bible we read of Paul's account to the Corinthians, there a small excerpt concerning different heavenly bodies is stated in chapter 15:40 "There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one and the glory of the terresterial is another." 15:41 "There is one glory of the sun and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory."
Lets take a look at these different degrees of Glory in their respective order.
The Celestial kingdom
First is the celestial glory which is described as the glory of the sun. This is the most high place that an exalted man can obtain. It is prepared for the resurrection of the just and for those who received the testimony of Jesus Christ in the flesh meaning that while they were alive they had faith in Christ or would have if they had the chance, and were baptized in his name after the manner of his burial.
"They are they who are the church of the first born. 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 fullness and of his glory, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the only begotten son."
"Wherefore it is written they are Gods, even the sons of God- wherefore all things are theirs, weather life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ's, and Christ is God's."
The Terrestrial Kingdom
For those who died without law, who do not receive the testimony of Jesus Christ during their mortal sojourn, and receive it in the hereafter, there is reserved for them a Terrestrial glory which differs from the celestial just like the glory of the sun differs from the glory of the moon. They are also those who were kept in spirit prison until the son visited them and preached to them the gospel.
This is the world, or kingdom, in which Paul referred to concerning Bodies Terrestrial.
The Telestial Kingdom
As for the Glory of the stars, I note the mentioning of the third heaven to which Paul refers in 2 Corinthians 12:2 "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago(weather in the body Cannot tell, or weather out of the body I cannot tell; God knoweth)such a one caught up into the third heaven.This obviously refers to the Celestial kingdom but plainly and preciously shows of his knowledge of a distinction between three heavens. Because he did not speak of bodies telestial , the prophet received the revelation concerning the telestial world.which is a glory that differs from the moon as the glory of the stars are even lesser in their diversity.
It is for those who are given the kingdom of hell who cannot receive any glory until the coming of Christ, They do not receive the testimony of Christ but do not reject the holy spirit, they suffer all of the plagues of the wrath of God and will be judged according to their works. "They will be servants of the most high, but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come."