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Question

 

Gramps,

If there are 3 degrees of glory, do gay people go to hell or do they at least get the lowest glory?

Adam

 

Answer

 

Adam,

Members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have taught that it’s not a sin to experience same-sex attraction, but it is a sin to act on the attraction, even to the degree of lustful thoughts. To be same-sex attracted but to cast upon the Savior one’s weaknesses and making every effort, relying on His grace, to stay on the covenant path will inevitably lead one to a reward in the Celestial Kingdom.The best thing about all of this is that since repentance is possible anyone still alive and able to repent is not under final judgement and is therefore eligible for exaltation.

I think in order to answer your question in a comprehensive way we need to lay a bit of groundwork. First, it’s not for me to judge you; I can only present doctrinal facts.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn’t teach that there is a literal lake-of-fire-and-brimstone Hell as the sectarian world teaches. Latter day revelation teaches that God’s great plan of happiness involves a salvation for all of His children (all humanity):

“For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.

 

And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us—

 

That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;

 

That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;

 

Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.

 

Wherefore, he saves all except them—they shall go away into everlasting punishment.” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:39-44)

In Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) Section 76 we are taught about the three kingdoms of salvation: the Celestial (verses 50-70); the Terrestrial (71-80); and the terrestrial (verses 81-113). Each is considered a salvation, but each differs in glory and each has been compared to the glory of the sun, the glory of the moon, and the glory of the stars, respectively. Verses 30-49 also discuss the plight of those who are known as sons of perdition, and this “place” in the afterlife is commonly described as “Outer Darkness” in Latter-Day Saint vernacular. We are told that sons of perdition are those “who know [the Lord’s 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 [His] power…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.” This damnation is the fate of only those who have committed “the unpardonable sin,” known as “denial of the Holy Ghost. Joseph Smith said,

“What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.358).”

Very few people can receive this damnation.

The Celestial Kingdom, the kingdom of glory referred to as eternal life, or exaltation is inherited by those who have gotten on and stayed upon the covenant path, and “are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood.” (D&C 76:69)

The Terrestrial Kingdom is the inheritance of those “who died without law…Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it…who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men…who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness,” and who were “not valiant in the testimony of Jesus.” (D&C 76:72, 74-76, 79)

The Telestial Kingdom is inherited by 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 [again, NOT in the lake-of-fire-and-brimstone sense].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” and “received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant. Last of all, these all are they who will not be gathered with the saints, to be caught up unto the church of the Firstborn, and received into the cloud. These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.” (D&C 76:82-85 and 101-103)

While the Telestial Kingdom is referred to a Hell, but Dallin H. Oaks has said,

“But even this degree has a glory that ‘surpasses all understanding’ (D&C 76:89). Its occupants receive the Holy Spirit and the administering of angels, for even those who have been wicked will ultimately be ‘heirs of [this degree of] salvation’ (D&C 76:88). [Apostasy and Restoration, Ensign, May 1995, p. 86]”

Also, Neal A. Maxwell stated,

“God thus takes into merciful account not only our desires and our performance, but also the degrees of difficulty which our varied circumstances impose upon us. No wonder we will not complain at the final judgment, especially since even the telestial kingdom’s glory ‘surpasses all understanding’ (D&C 76:89). God delights in blessing us, especially when we realize ‘joy in that which [we] have desired’ (D&C 7:8). [According to the Desire of [Our] Hearts, Ensign, Nov. 1996, p. 21]”

All human beings face temptation of various kinds, including temptation toward carnal desires. Under the entrance on repentance in our Bible Dictionary we read, “Since we are born into conditions of mortality, repentance comes to mean a turning of the heart and will to God, and a renunciation of sin TO WHICH WE ARE NATURALLY INCLINED. Without this there can be no progress in the things of the soul’s salvation, for all accountable persons are stained by sin and must be cleansed in order to enter the kingdom of heaven [emphasis added].” We are on Earth to be tested and the Lord expects us to turn to Him so we can “be perfected in Him.” (Moroni 10:32) The Savior invites us to “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30) His grace is sufficient to help us overcome every obstacle, including inappropriate, yet natural, thoughts (see Matt. 5:28) or being angry (see Matt. 5:22). Since Christ suffered as He did for our transgressions, and even our anguish in our trials, He does have every right to ask us to live our lives for Him and to live His commandments as best we can.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

 

 

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