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Dear Gramps,

I was pondering on what happens to those who have gone over the veil and have their ordinance performed vicariously and whether they still be able to earn celestial glory if they had not lived the Gospel in life but accept it in the Spirit World. If they lived a life of sin but repent on the other side of the veil, is there anything they can do there to make amends and still earn celestial glory, though in life they may have committed even serious sins?

Mariantonia

 

Answer

 

Mariantonia,

You ask an interesting question.  But I’m afraid the title you used is misleading.  And that is the key to answering your question.

None of us “earns” Celestial Glory.  There is no way on earth for us to earn it.  All statements to that effect are either figurative or simply shorthand for the deeper doctrinal principles behind the Atonement and repentance.

You bring up the serious question of whether highly sinful individuals who happen to accept the word of God after this life could be completely forgiven.  We certainly hope so.  One of the lessons from the parable of the Prodigal Son is how prideful it is that some consider themselves “more righteous” than their more sinful neighbors.  This is a flawed way to look at it.  Remember that BOTH sons were fallen and lost.  Not just the prodigal one.  And it was to BOTH that the power of the Atonement has purchase.

Except for the most grievous sins, all sins can be forgiven with faith, repentance, baptism, and the receiving of the Holy Ghost.  It is the fact that we sin that we have the gift of repentance.  And it is repentance that allows us to take advantage of the Savior’s Atonement to receive the Celestial Kingdom.

The other misleading part of your question is that it seems “too easy” for them to repent beyond the veil.  That is not necessarily a given.  First, if you think about it, the fact that we have repentance offered to us at all makes the way fairly easy for all of us.

O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.   Alma 37:46

Sometimes, it seems that because we have the gift of repentance we tend to have this creeping pride come into our hearts.  Instead, we should just feel gratitude that we’ve been given this wonderful gift.  And we should be more than willing to want ALL people to avail themselves of this great gift.

The second consideration is that we don’t necessarily have our veils completely removed upon death.  The main thing that keeps the veil intact is that we simply lack the faith to see beyond it as the Brother of Jared did.  If it can be removed in this life because of exceeding faith, can we really know that it will be completely removed after death for someone who has no faith?  It seems to me that the veil that we create ourselves can be a much greater impediment to testimony than the actual life/death veil that is placed upon us.

The bottom line is that the conditions will be fair because Jesus Christ has earned the right to judge each and every one of us because HE was the one who paid the price for sin.  So, whatever He judges will, by definition, be just and fair.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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