In the Mormon heaven, friends are forever too

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Mette Ivie Harrison

Mette Ivie Harrison

A guest post by Mette Harrison

I love the Mormon doctrine that our familial relationships are so deep, so important, and so sacred that they last beyond this life.

When I went to the recent Ogden Temple Open House, I watched a video in which Elder Holland remarked that he could not imagine a heaven without his wife and his children there. While I do not understand precisely how the principle of family sealing will work in the eternities, with our own children grown and their children grown, extending out forever, I feel deeply connected to my children and to my husband and am grateful for the blessing of a gospel that teaches that the family that brings so much happiness to me in this life will be part of the life to come.

However, the doctrine of families being forever can be painful to a segment of our fellow Mormons, and I worry that sometimes we ignore this. There are those whose family members are not part of the church, and those who do not have families. We sometimes do a poor job of acknowledging the pain that these situations cause, particularly when we are teaching lessons about temple work.

A friend of mine whose divorced parents were never active members of the church has no temple sealing to them. She’s been told that her parents may well convert when they are dead and that she can have their temple work done and be sealed to them later.

But what if they never choose to accept the gospel? What if she has no ties to her ancestors in the eternities?

As a single woman, she has also been told that she can be sealed to her husband and her children, but she’s at an age where that no longer seems likely or even possible. Being assured that she will be married in the afterlife to someone she has never known in this life, or that she will have children then that she does not now, seems to invalidate the lessons she has learned as a single woman and the worldview that she has gained.

If she is to become a completely different person, in what sense is this “heaven”?

My personal belief is that family relationships are not the only ones that are eternal. I have dear friends whom I have known most of my life and to whom I consider myself as closely bound as to family members. Is this any less true a bond than one that is made by blood and sealed officially in the temple?

FriendshipI don’t think so. For me, heaven is just as inconceivable without my friends as it is without my family. Christ said to his disciples, describing both his own love for them, and the love He wanted them to follow in example: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

If Christ viewed friendship as one of the greatest loves, why wouldn’t we Mormons think the same?

Because I have family members and friends who do not believe in Mormonism or in any religion at all, I also find it difficult to believe that I will be cut off from them in heaven. I don’t know what it means to say that there are different degrees of glory. I certainly love the idea that there is no real “hell” for us to fear, that it is merely a matter of us choosing for ourselves how close to God we can feel comfortable being.

But my friends who are atheists or who are believing members of other religions must surely be as lovable to God as they are to me. Their deeply held beliefs are part of who they are, and I do not understand what it would mean for them to have to accept my beliefs in order for me to continue to have a relationship with them.

I suppose that I have more questions about the celestial kingdom than I have answers. Ultimately, I trust that if God is love and my love for others will make me more like Him, then I will not be expected to give up that love in order to abide in heaven with Him.

  • TomW

    I suppose that if the goal is to seal ourselves all the way up the chain to Adam and Eve, that one way or another we will be connected by covenant ties to all those whom we love, whether directly or indirectly. I love my family dearly, but I absolutely want to share eternity with all manner of clusters of friends and associates from all walks of life, whether they be past and present “ward families,” missionary associates, or myriad other loved ones. While only the smallest fraction of a fraction of information regarding eternal life has been revealed, I would like to think that the things we already know would suggest a continuation of all our deeply meaningful relationships as well.

  • Richard Morgan

    Thank you for this very touching article, Mette. You bring a lovely, warm, human touch to a religion that appears very legalistic from the outside. We have come a long way from, “When the Brethren have spoken, the thinking has been done.”
    In every religion, there will be believers whose hearts are larger than “revealed” doctrine. Human hearts who can fill in what “revelation” has missed out.
    This is what is so reassuring about the fact that, ultimately, religions are man-made, and can be re-modeled according to our human needs. Reading articles like yours, Mette, makes me think that religions still have their role to play. True, human love will fully flourish the day that all this “stuff” has passed away. When we are able to get beyond the in-group/out-group separations and conflict.
    “When the Brethren have spoken, we desperately need a warm, feminine heart.”
    A heart like yours, Mette.

  • Amen. I am so tired of leaving people out. We have been doing it for 200 years. Thanks Jana and Mette.

  • Danny S

    “As a single woman, she has also been told that she can be sealed to her husband and her children…” This phrase might be lost on those unfamiliar with LDS teachings. The gist is that Mette’s friend was told not to worry about her unmarried status in this life, she will be able to marry and have kids in the next life. In other words, the church teaches God’s ultimate plan for her and every other unmarried woman’s “heaven” is to be part of some stranger’s harem and have his kids. Sure, we value women. We surely do. Also, if she had been married in an LDS temple in this life, her non-member/inactive parents would not have been allowed to attend. Just makes you feel warm all over, doesn’t it?

  • Richard Morgan

    Amen, Carrie. Two hundred years of divinely revealed separation and exclusion.

  • john

    I think there is already doctrine in support of this concept.
    D&C 130:1-2 supports this view on my reading.
    I do not believe that the term ‘sociality’ is limited to blood family bonds but extends wider and I suspect others interpreted it this way as well.
    So, some friendships may indeed be eternal.

  • JEC

    In the Church we belong to, no one has to do anything they don’t want to do. If “harem life” as Danny calls it is repugnant, guess what- not required. There may be those who choose not to marry or have children, as they do here, and to suggest that it will be forced on anyone is contrary to basic Mormon doctrine. On the other hand, if someone wants a family life but has been unable to obtain it, the opportunity will be provided. Reminds one of baptism for the dead. It’s about making things that go unfinished or wrong here all right over there. I like that.

  • “She’s been told that her parents may well convert when they are dead and that she can have their temple work done and be sealed to them later.”

    “It is appointed unto man to die once, after that, the judgement.” There is no converting after death. Today is the day of salvation.

  • Richard Morgan

    “But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; charge.”

    2 Timothy 4:1

    You’ve been cherry-picking, Dave.

  • I think D&C 18:15-16 makes it lovingly clear that our mortal relationships, whether friends or family, will persist through the eternities. Those verses don’t specify the degrees of glory either, so I would believe that anyone we help improve their place in the eternities, even if not to a full Celestial degree, will still bring both us and that person joy.

  • Richard Morgan

    That is lovely, Kyle.
    Everybody has their preferred interpretation, which is quite normal in man-made religions.

  • Danny S

    JEC, thank you for your reply. I will quote your post only for clarity sake and not to be snarky. “In the Church we belong to, no one has to do anything they don’t want to do.” With respect, while the concept of “free” agency (the ability to make choices) instead of compulsion is certainly part of LDS teachings, agency appears to have taken a back seat in the context of polygamy/eternal marriage. (LDS teachings are that polygamy is the celestial order of things.) Take the example of Joseph Smith saying to Mary Lightner in 1842 that an angel had come 3 times, the last time with a drawn sword and threatened to kill him if he didn’t practice polygamy “more fully”. (, 8th paragraph) Mind you he had already married 5 women by 1842, Fanny Alger, Lucinda Morgan Harris, Louisa Beaman, Zina Huntington Jacobs, and Presendia Huntington Buell. Apparently even though Smith had 6 wives by 1842 he was not “fully” practicing the principle. If we are to believe this story, how can anybody say Smith had a meaningful chance to use his agency? Furthermore, how is God’s use of an angel consistent with Mormon scripture D&C 121: 41-43?Marry or die is not much of a choice. In the law, voluntariness of consent can be negated by show of force or authority. For instance, while you are surrounded by 8 cops, one asks if he can search your car. The law could find your “consent” was not freely given and require suppression of any evidence obtained as a result of the search.

    Then, in turn Smith uses compulsion on Mary Lightner in 1842, WHO WAS ALREADY MARRIED to Adam Lightner. According to Lightner, Joseph said, “The angel came to me three times between the year of ’34 and ’42 and said I was to obey that principle or he would slay me.” Furthermore, Joseph told her, “I was his before I came here and he said all the Devils in hell should never get me from him…” and “I know that I shall be saved in the Kingdom of God. I have the oath of God upon it and God cannot lie. All that he gives me I shall take with me for I have that authority and that power conferred upon me.” ( In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, Todd M. Compton 1997)

    Then look to manipulation that Smith and Heber C. Kimball (Helen Mar Kimball’s father) engaged in with 14-year-old Helen Mar Kimball to marry Smith. “[Smith explained] the principle of Celestial marrage…After which he said to me, ‘If you will take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation & exaltation and that of your father’s household & all of your kindred.[‘] This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward. None but God & his angels could see my mother’s bleeding heart-when Joseph asked her if she was willing…She had witnessed the sufferings of others, who were older & who better understood the step they were taking, & to see her child, who had scarcely seen her fifteenth summer, following in the same thorny path, in her mind she saw the misery which was as sure to come…; but it was all hidden from me.” (In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, Todd M. Compton 1997) This blatant maneuvering of a 14-year-old by the 37-year-old founder and prophet of the church with her complicit father is disturbing to say the least. That her father would participate in this is not surprising considering he took no more thought to adding another wife than he did buying a cow. (The Twenty Seventh Wife, Irving Wallace, p. 101)

    Church history seems to contradict any notion of meaningful exercise of agency in the context of polygamy/eternal marriage. JEC’s point about agency misses the point, which is that LDS doctrine says that unless a woman marries a man and has children, she is not living to her potential, nor qualifies for the highest degree of heaven. Either she does it in this life or she does it in the next, but by golly, she will do it if she wants the best heaven has to offer. Otherwise, she is damned. In other words, marry or die. How is that a meaningful exercise of agency?

  • trytoseeitmyway

    “In other words,” blah blah blah. You’re just making stuff up. No one says what you’re claiming they’re saying “in other words.” That’s just your preposterous false characterization. Maybe we can ask you to be honest about that.

    Below, your response to someone’s polite observation is to launch into a long and disconnected rant about the practice of polygamy by Joesph Smith and the early Latter-day Saints. I mean, really? Polygamy???? I had no idea. No one ever mentioned that before.

    There was a time in my life in which I was the non-member dad of children who, I anticipated, would someday be sealed in the temple without me being present. Did that trouble me? You bet! I didn’t like the idea one little bit. But exercising tolerance and love – hey, there’s a couple of concepts for you – I understood the logic and indeed the necessity. Temples are always and only about sacred covenants with God. Admission to the temple is limited to those who understand and are willing to keep sacred things sacred for much the same reason that private family conversations or other moments of intimacy are not conducted in public before onlookers who, like you, are motivated to sneer. As it happened in my case, my first experience in the temple came when our children were sealed to my wife and I for time and for eternity, in one of the single most beautiful and precious moments of our collective lives together. None of us would trade that experience for anything in the world.

    By contrast, the thing that doesn’t make me feel warm all over is the icky feeling I get reading nasty little comments from the likes of you.

  • laverl09

    The issue is really quite simple when you look at it from its macro-cosmic view.
    We are the children of God and THAT is the eternal family that will be sealed together for eternity. The children we give birth to here on this earth are in all actuality our brothers and sisters on loan to us to “practice” family conviviality in this laboratory experience we call mortality so that we can become prepared to give birth to and have an eternal family just like the one our Heavenly Parents currently have.
    Also, throughout eternity, Celestial beings can visit the other kingdoms of glory and therefore have an eternal relationship with whomever they choose.

  • laverl09

    Dave, you keep conveniently forgetting what it says in I Peter 3:19 and 4:6 about what Jesus was doing from the time he died until he resurrected– “By which he [Jesus];went and preached unto the spirits in prison; For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh.”

  • JEC

    I get your point Danny S and concede it in the general and not specific sense. What people do to people to violate agency is not my point and not something I will defend. I won’t pass judgment on people and things past except insofar as I use history to inform my path. We believe that where you wind up in the next life is a matter of choice. The Atonement will wipe away all tears, as He has borne our griefs, and gwith his stripes we are healed (gotta love Isaiah). Then, when we’re all better and can see clearly, we will choose. If we’ve chosen well here, our options there will be expanded. If we’ve not done so well here, then not so much, and that goes for all those you named and you and me. The kind of person we become in this life through our own choices will in large part determine what glory we can enjoy in the next, and this is more a function of how we react to life, not what happened to us, however frightful. I’m not too worried about people who don’t have all of the trappings of ultimate LDS success as we too often define it, as this life, you see, is only a test, and he who has the most toys of any variety, including Boy Scout merit badges or seats on the High Council, may not win. There has been ample provision made for our redemption, as the Prophet Joseph said, if we will but take advantage of it. Join me in this worthy endeavor.

  • David

    Joseph Smith said the same sociality we enjoy on Earth will continue in heaven. Yes, friends and family are forever. We will retain our memories, knowledge, and relationships.

    The only concept that I see as being unique to the Celestial Kingdom is the degree to which we can abide the presence of the Godhead and our own ability to procreate.

    Procreation is the key that makes Eternal Progression possible. Posterity is the limitless, compounding Abrahamic promise that makes our own accomplishments multiply like the sands of the sea. Otherwise, growth is personal and linear.

    If someone’s preference is to remain single, D&C 76 teaches there will be single people in the Celestial Kingdom. But it is a matter of preference or worthiness. Those desiring Eternal Progression will not be denied based on their opportunity to marry in this life.

    But neither are they lined up like cattle to be married off. The recent Gospel Topics essay talked of a “sorting out” after this life. No one will be married to someone they don’t want to spend eternity with, otherwise heaven would be no heaven.

  • Richard Morgan

    Thank you Dave for your efforts in maintaining the high level of the ridiculous in one of the funniest discussions ever on J. Riess’s page.
    I like the expression “the same sociality”. Brilliant – same friends, same enemies, same quarrels, same kissing-and-making-up.

    I’m just a little intimidated by the juxtaposition of two ideas: “the degree to which we can abide the presence of the Godhead AND our own ability to procreate.”
    In layman’s language – eternal sex in the presence of our Heavenly Parents. That sounds a bit creepy to me…
    Except that they’ll be at it aswell, so maybe they won’t notice

  • David

    Richard – I hope “nice guy” isn’t an attribute you aspire to. I’m glad to talk religion and belief, but a certain amount of mutual respect is needed.

    Would you describe yourself as atheist? If so, I’d invite you to consider the humanistic element in what I offered. If heaven is a continuation of this life, then the onus is on us to make this life and this world heavenly. There is no free pass in the world to come.

    And if the same sociality that exists in this life continues in heaven, then the most ridiculous comment on this board is to suggest that we would have sex in the presence of God or anyone else for that matter.

  • Richard Morgan

    This is priceless (my apologies to Jana):
    “And if the same sociality that exists in this life continues in heaven, then the most ridiculous comment on this board is to suggest that we would have sex in the presence of God or anyone else for that matter.”
    You mean that Mormon heaven is an eternity of, er, doing it alone? Most of the people I know have sex in the presence of at least one person.
    Astonishing. The historical role of Onan takes on a whole new meaning.

  • David

    [rolls eyes]

  • Maxine Jensen Hirro
  • Maxine Jensen Hirro

    Doctrine and Covenants
    Section 88
    Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet at Kirtland, Ohio, December 27 and 28, 1832, and January 3, 1833. The Prophet designated it as the “‘olive leaf’ … plucked from the Tree of Paradise, the Lord’s message of peace to us.” The revelation was given after high priests at a conference prayed “separately and vocally to the Lord to reveal his will unto us concerning the upbuilding of Zion.”
    1–5, Faithful Saints receive that Comforter, which is the promise of eternal life; 6–13, All things are controlled and governed by the Light of Christ; 14–16, The Resurrection comes through the Redemption; 17–31, Obedience to celestial, terrestrial, or telestial law prepares men for those respective kingdoms and glories; 32–35, Those who will to abide in sin remain filthy still;36–41, All kingdoms are governed by law; 42–45, God has given a law unto all things; 46–50, Man will comprehend even God;51–61, The parable of the man sending his servants into the field and visiting them in turn; 62–73, Draw near unto the Lord, and ye will see His face; 74–80, Sanctify yourselves and teach one another the doctrines of the kingdom; 81–85, Every man who has been warned should warn his neighbor; 86–94, Signs, upheavals of the elements, and angels prepare the way for the coming of the Lord; 95–102, Angelic trumps call forth the dead in their order;103–116, Angelic trumps proclaim the restoration of the gospel, the fall of Babylon, and the battle of the great God; 117–126, Seek learning, establish a house of God (a temple), and clothe yourselves with the bond of charity; 127–141, The order of the School of the Prophets is set forth, including the ordinance of washing of feet.
    1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you who have assembled yourselves together to receive his will concerning you:
    2 Behold, this is pleasing unto your Lord, and the angels rejoice over you; the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world.
    3 Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.
    4 This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom;
    5 Which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son—
    6 He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth;
    7 Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.
    8 As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made;
    9 As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made;
    10 And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.
    11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;
    12 Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—
    13 The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.
    14 Now, verily I say unto you, that through the redemption which is made for you is brought to pass the resurrection from the dead.
    15 And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.
    16 And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul.
    17 And the redemption of the soul is through him that quickeneth all things, in whose bosom it is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth shall inherit it.
    18 Therefore, it must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness, that it may be prepared for the celestialglory;
    19 For after it hath filled the measure of its creation, it shall be crowned with glory, even with the presence of God the Father;
    20 That bodies who are of the celestial kingdom may possess it forever and ever; for, for this intent was it made and created, and for this intent are they sanctified.
    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.
    22 For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.
    23 And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory.
    24 And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.
    25 And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law—
    26 Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it.
    27 For notwithstanding they die, they also shall rise again, a spiritual body.
    28 They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.
    29 Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
    30 And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
    31 And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
    32 And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.
    33 For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.
    34 And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.
    35 That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.
    36 All kingdoms have a law given;
    37 And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom.
    38 And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.
    39 All beings who abide not in those conditions are notjustified.
    40 For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.
    41 He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.
    42 And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;
    43 And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets.
    44 And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years—all these areone year with God, but not with man.
    45 The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.
    46 Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?
    47 Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.
    48 I say unto you, he hath seen him; nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended.
    49 The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him.
    50 Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, and that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me; otherwise ye could not abound.
    51 Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field to dig in the field.
    52 And he said unto the first: Go ye and labor in the field, and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance.
    53 And he said unto the second: Go ye also into the field, and in the second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance.
    54 And also unto the third, saying: I will visit you;
    55 And unto the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth.
    56 And the lord of the field went unto the first in the first hour, and tarried with him all that hour, and he was made glad with the light of the countenance of his lord.
    57 And then he withdrew from the first that he might visit the second also, and the third, and the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth.
    58 And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their lord, every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season—
    59 Beginning at the first, and so on unto the last, and from the last unto the first, and from the first unto the last;
    60 Every man in his own order, until his hour was finished, even according as his lord had commanded him, that his lord might be glorified in him, and he in his lord, that they all might be glorified.
    61 Therefore, unto this parable I will liken all these kingdoms, and the inhabitants thereof—every kingdom in its hour, and in its time, and in its season, even according to the decree which God hath made.
    62 And again, verily I say unto you, my friends, I leave these sayings with you to ponder in your hearts, with this commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near—
    63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
    64 Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you;
    65 And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.
    66 Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness—in the wilderness, because you cannot see him—my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.
    67 And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
    68 Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds becom esingle to God, and the days will come that you shall seehim; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.
    69 Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you; cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you.
    70 Tarry ye, tarry ye in this place, and call a solemn assembly, even of those who are the first laborers in this last kingdom.
    71 And let those whom they have warned in their traveling call on the Lord, and ponder the warning in their hearts which they have received, for a little season.
    72 Behold, and lo, I will take care of your flocks, and will raise up elders and send unto them.
    73 Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.
    74 And I give unto you, who are the first laborers in this last kingdom, a commandment that you assemble yourselves together, and organize yourselves, and prepare yourselves, and sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean;
    75 That I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation; that I may fulfil this promise, this great and last promise, which I have made unto you, when I will.
    76 Also, I give unto you a commandment that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth.
    77 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.
    78 Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;
    79 Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—
    80 That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.
    81 Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.
    82 Therefore, they are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads.
    83 He that seeketh me early shall find me, and shall not be forsaken.
    84 Therefore, tarry ye, and labor diligently, that you may be perfected in your ministry to go forth among the Gentiles for the last time, as many as the mouth of the Lord shall name, to bind up the law and seal up the testimony, and to prepare the saints for the hour of judgment which is to come;
    85 That their souls may escape the wrath of God, the desolation of abomination which awaits the wicked, both in this world and in the world to come. Verily, I say unto you, let those who are not the first elders continue in the vineyard until the mouth of the Lord shall call them, for their time is not yet come; their garments are not clean from the blood of this generation.
    86 Abide ye in the liberty wherewith ye are made free; entangle not yourselves in sin, but let your hands be clean, until the Lord comes.
    87 For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shallhide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig tree.
    88 And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people.
    89 For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.
    90 And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.
    91 And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.
    92 And angels shall fly through the midst of heaven, crying with a loud voice, sounding the trump of God, saying: Prepare ye, prepare ye, O inhabitants of the earth; for the judgment of our God is come. Behold, and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
    93 And immediately there shall appear a great sign in heaven, and all people shall see it together.
    94 And another angel shall sound his trump, saying: Thatgreat church, the mother of abominations, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood—she who sitteth upon many waters, and upon the islands of the sea—behold, she is the tares of the earth; she is bound in bundles; her bands are made strong, no man can loose them; therefore, she is ready to be burned. And he shall sound his trump both long and loud, and all nations shall hear it.
    95 And there shall be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour; and immediately after shall the curtain of heaven be unfolded, as a scroll is unfolded after it is rolled up, and the face of the Lord shall be unveiled;
    96 And the saints that are upon the earth, who are alive, shall be quickened and be caught up to meet him.
    97 And they who have slept in their graves shall come forth, for their graves shall be opened; and they also shall be caught up to meet him in the midst of the pillar of heaven—
    98 They are Christ’s, the first fruits, they who shall descend with him first, and they who are on the earth and in their graves, who are first caught up to meet him; and all this by the voice of the sounding of the trump of the angel of God.
    99 And after this another angel shall sound, which is the second trump; and then cometh the redemption of those who are Christ’s at his coming; who have received their part in that prison which is prepared for them, that they might receive the gospel, and be judged according to men in the flesh.
    100 And again, another trump shall sound, which is the third trump; and then come the spirits of men who are to be judged, and are found under condemnation;
    101 And these are the rest of the dead; and they live not again until the thousand years are ended, neither again, until the end of the earth.
    102 And another trump shall sound, which is the fourth trump, saying: There are found among those who are to remain until that great and last day, even the end, who shall remain filthy still.
    103 And another trump shall sound, which is the fifth trump, which is the fifth angel who committeth the everlasting gospel—flying through the midst of heaven, unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people;
    104 And this shall be the sound of his trump, saying to all people, both in heaven and in earth, and that are under the earth—for every ear shall hear it, and every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, while they hear the sound of the trump, saying: Fear God, and give glory to him who sitteth upon the throne, forever and ever; for the hour of his judgment is come.
    105 And again, another angel shall sound his trump, which is the sixth angel, saying: She is fallen who made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; she is fallen, is fallen!
    106 And again, another angel shall sound his trump, which is the seventh angel, saying: It is finished; it is finished! The Lamb of God hath overcome and trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.
    107 And then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him.
    108 And then shall the first angel again sound his trump in the ears of all living, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the mighty works of God in the first thousand years.
    109 And then shall the second angel sound his trump, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts, and the mighty works of God in the second thousand years—
    110 And so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump; and he shall stand forth upon the land and upon the sea, and swear in the name of him who sitteth upon the throne, that there shall be time no longer; and Satan shall be bound, that old serpent, who is called the devil, and shall not be loosed for the space of a thousand years.
    111 And then he shall be loosed for a little season, that he may gather together his armies.
    112 And Michael, the seventh angel, even the archangel, shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of heaven.
    113 And the devil shall gather together his armies; even the hosts of hell, and shall come up to battle against Michael and his armies.
    114 And then cometh the battle of the great God; and the devil and his armies shall be cast away into their own place, that they shall not have power over the saints any more at all.
    115 For Michael shall fight their battles, and shall overcome him who seeketh the throne of him who sitteth upon the throne, even the Lamb.
    116 This is the glory of God, and the sanctified; and they shall not any more see death.
    117 Therefore, verily I say unto you, my friends, call your solemn assembly, as I have commanded you.
    118 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.
    119 Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;
    120 That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High.
    121 Therefore, cease from all your light speeches, from all laughter, from all your lustful desires, from all your prideand light-mindedness, and from all your wicked doings.
    122 Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.
    123 See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires.
    124 Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.
    125 And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.
    126 Pray always, that ye may not faint, until I come. Behold, and lo, I will come quickly, and receive you unto myself. Amen.
    127 And again, the order of the house prepared for thepresidency of the school of the prophets, established for their instruction in all things that are expedient for them, even for all the officers of the church, or in other words, those who are called to the ministry in the church, beginning at the high priests, even down to the deacons—
    128 And this shall be the order of the house of the presidency of the school: He that is appointed to be president, or teacher, shall be found standing in his place, in the house which shall be prepared for him.
    129 Therefore, he shall be first in the house of God, in a place that the congregation in the house may hear his words carefully and distinctly, not with loud speech.
    130 And when he cometh into the house of God, for he should be first in the house—behold, this is beautiful, that he may be an example—
    131 Let him offer himself in prayer upon his knees before God, in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant.
    132 And when any shall come in after him, let the teacher arise, and, with uplifted hands to heaven, yea, even directly, salute his brother or brethren with these words:
    133 Art thou a brother or brethren? I salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant, in which covenant I receive you to fellowship, in a determination that is fixed, immovable, and unchangeable, to be your friend and brother through the grace of God in the bonds of love, to walk in all the commandments of God blameless, in thanksgiving, forever and ever. Amen.
    134 And he that is found unworthy of this salutation shall not have place among you; for ye shall not suffer that mine house shall be polluted by him.
    135 And he that cometh in and is faithful before me, and is a brother, or if they be brethren, they shall salute the president or teacher with uplifted hands to heaven, with this same prayer and covenant, or by saying Amen, in token of the same.
    136 Behold, verily, I say unto you, this is an ensample unto you for a salutation to one another in the house of God, in the school of the prophets.
    137 And ye are called to do this by prayer and thanksgiving, as the Spirit shall give utterance in all your doings in the house of the Lord, in the school of the prophets, that it may become a sanctuary, a tabernacle of the Holy Spirit to your edification.
    138 And ye shall not receive any among you into this school save he is clean from the blood of this generation;
    139 And he shall be received by the ordinance of the washing of feet, for unto this end was the ordinance of the washing of feet instituted.
    140 And again, the ordinance of washing feet is to be administered by the president, or presiding elder of the church.
    141 It is to be commenced with prayer; and after partaking of bread and wine, he is to gird himself according to the pattern given in the thirteenth chapter of John’s testimony concerning me. Amen.

  • Maxine Jensen Hirro

    Doctrine and Covenants
    Section 93
    Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, May 6, 1833.
    1–5, All who are faithful will see the Lord; 6–18, John bore record that the Son of God went from grace to grace until He received a fulness of the glory of the Father; 19–20, Faithful men, going from grace to grace, will also receive of His fulness; 21–22, Those who are begotten through Christ are the Church of the Firstborn; 23–28, Christ received a fulness of all truth, and man by obedience may do likewise; 29–32, Man was in the beginning with God; 33–35, The elements are eternal, and man may receive a fulness of joy in the Resurrection; 36–37, The glory of God is intelligence; 38–40, Children are innocent before God because of the redemption of Christ; 41–53, The leading brethren are commanded to set their families in order.
    1 Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;
    2 And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;
    3 And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—
    4 The Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men.
    5 I was in the world and received of my Father, and the works of him were plainly manifest.
    6 And John saw and bore record of the fulness of myglory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.
    7 And he bore record, saying: I saw his glory, that he was in the beginning, before the world was;
    8 Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation—
    9 The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men.
    10 The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him.
    11 And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us.
    12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
    13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;
    14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.
    15 And I, John, bear record, and lo, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove, and sat upon him, and there came a voice out of heaven saying: This is my beloved Son.
    16 And I, John, bear record that he received a fulness of the glory of the Father;
    17 And he received all power, both in heaven and on earth, and the glory of the Father was with him, for he dwelt in him.
    18 And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John.
    19 I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.
    20 For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.
    21 And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn;
    22 And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the Firstborn.
    23 Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth;
    24 And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;
    25 And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.
    26 The Spirit of truth is of God. I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth;
    27 And no man receiveth a fulness unless he keepeth his commandments.
    28 He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truthand light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.
    29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
    30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.
    31 Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.
    32 And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.
    33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
    34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.
    35 The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple isdefiled, God shall destroy that temple.
    36 The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words,light and truth.
    37 Light and truth forsake that evil one.
    38 Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God.
    39 And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.
    40 But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.

  • Maxine Jensen Hirro

    Doctrine and Covenants
    Section 130
    Items of instruction given by Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Ramus, Illinois, April 2, 1843.
    1–3, The Father and the Son may appear personally to men; 4–7, Angels reside in a celestial sphere; 8–9, The celestial earth will be a great Urim and Thummim; 10–11, A white stone is given to all who enter the celestial world; 12–17, The time of the Second Coming is withheld from the Prophet; 18–19, Intelligence gained in this life rises with us in the Resurrection; 20–21, All blessings come by obedience to law; 22–23, The Father and the Son have bodies of flesh and bones.
    1 When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves.
    2 And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.
    3 John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.
    4 In answer to the question—Is not the reckoning of God’stime, angel’s time, prophet’s time, and man’s time, according to the planet on which they reside?
    5 I answer, Yes. But there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it.
    6 The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth;
    7 But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like asea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.
    8 The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim.
    9 This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s.

    18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
    19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.
    20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
    21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
    22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.
    23 A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him.

  • Maxine Jensen Hirro

    Doctrine and Covenants
    Section 131
    Instructions by Joseph Smith the Prophet, given at Ramus, Illinois, May 16 and 17, 1843.
    1–4, Celestial marriage is essential to exaltation in the highest heaven; 5–6, How men are sealed up unto eternal life is explained; 7–8, All spirit is matter.
    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.
    5 (May 17th, 1843.) The more sure word of prophecymeans a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood.
    6 It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.
    7 There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes;
    8 We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.

    Doctrine and Covenants
    Section 136
    31 My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom.
    32 Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humblinghimself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyesmay be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear;
    33 For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite, and to the condemnation of the ungodly.