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Three Kingdoms of Glory (Heaven)


This last part of the Plan of Salvation is about Heaven and Hell. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe that heaven consists of three kingdoms of glory. They are: (in order from highest to lowest)
  • Celestial Kingdom
  • Terrestrial Kingdom
  • Telestial Kingdom
Hell is called Outer Darkness. Which glory we receive will depend on the life we live during mortality and will be decided by God during Judgment. Here you will learn more about each kingdom of glory and outer darkness.

Celestial Kingdom:

The glory of the Celestial Kingdom is compared with that of the sun. It is the highest degree of glory we can receive and is where God and Jesus Christ dwell. Those who receive this glory have:The Celestial Kingdom itself is divided into three degrees. To attain the highest degree and be an eternal family one must receive the ordinance of marriage, called a sealing, which is performed in sacred temples.

Children Who Die Receive a Celestial Glory:

The Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon saw a vision in which they saw the three degrees of glory and outer darkness. In this vision they "beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven" (D&C 137:10). The voice of the Lord also came unto them and said:

"All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;
"Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;

"For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts" (D&C 137:7-9.)

God is a just God and so those who die without a knowledge of Christ (and his Gospel) but would have accepted Him will receive the highest degree of glory within the Celestial Kingdom. Those who did not have the opportunity to be married (sealed in the temple) but would have if they could will also have this opportunity given to them.

Terrestrial Kingdom:

The second degree of glory is the Terrestrial Kingdom and its glory is compared with that of the moon. Those who inherit this kingdom of glory are they who were good people during life but "were blinded by the craftiness of men." (see DC 76:75) They are also those who:

"died without law;

"Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.

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

"These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God" (D&C 76:72,74,77,79.)

Telestial Kingdom:

This last kingdom is like the glory of the stars and is for those unrepentant sinners who did evil in life. They will suffer for their sins before inheriting the Telestial Kingdom. They are also those:

"who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus.

"These are they who deny not the Holy Spirit.

"These are they who are thrust down to hell.

"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.

"These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit" (D&C 76:82-86.)

Outer Darkness:

Outer Darkness is where the sons of perdition are sent. A son of perdition is someone who denied the witness of the Holy Ghost. This means that God revealed His Son Jesus Christ to someone who, after receiving a witness of Christ's divinity through the Holy Ghost, later denied it. (See D&C 76:43.) These souls are not worthy to receive a kingdom of glory and will be thrust down into Outer Darkness. The Lord also said the following regarding the sons of perdition:
"Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power-

"They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born;

"For they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity;

"Concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come-
"Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.

"These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels-" (D&C 76:31-36.)

An example of a son of perdition would be Cain, son of Adam and Eve. He walked and talked with Christ but he chose Satan and denied the truth when he lied to God, thus becoming a son of perdition. (See Moses 5:16-26)

There isn't just one place where "good" and "bad" people go to after this life. There are different degrees of exaltation just as there are different degrees of how "good" and "bad" people can be. God's judgment will be just for he is a just God.

I'm thankful for God's Plan of Salvation which blesses us to know where we came from, why we are here, and where we will go when we die. You too can come to know these truths are real if you study, ponder, and pray about them. Also see the Learn More category to know how you can meet with LDS missionaries, come worship with us, or receive your own free copy of the Book of Mormon.

Take this fun Plan of Salvation Quiz and then share your quiz results with us! If you would like to reread any of these articles you can sign up for the Plan of Salvation E-Course!

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