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Question

 

Gramps,

While having a religious discussion I was asked about the 3 degrees of Glory. In my friends eyes, all of our works are as a dirty rag to be burned and all of our sins are equally as horrible before the Lord so you are either a believer or you are not. Having 2 or 3 places to send the sinners to meant that we could justify some sins as being not so bad and still getting some glory. So he wanted to know why there all the extra kingdoms when you are ether on the Lord’s side or you are not.  Thanks.

Cindy

 

Answer

 

Dear Cindy,

The trouble is you are basically comparing apples and oranges.  LDS doctrine differs substantially from other Christian doctrine in some areas.  In order to help your friend, you need to explain things outside her box of understanding and help her expand her understanding by expanding her conceptual framework.

Joseph Smith answered the question this way:

“The idea that some men’s form of the justice, judgment, and mercy of God, is too foolish for an intelligent man to think of: for instance, it is common for many of our orthodox preachers to suppose that if a man is not what they call converted, if he dies in that state he must remain eternally in hell without any hope. Infinite years in torment must he spend, and never, never, never have an end; and yet this eternal misery is made frequently to rest upon the merest casualty [chance]. The breaking of a shoe-string, the tearing of a coat of those officiating, or the peculiar location in which a person lives, may be the means, indirectly, of his damnation, or the cause of his not being saved.

 

“I will suppose a case which is not extraordinary: Two men, who have been equally wicked, who have neglected religion, are both of them taken sick at the same time; one of them has the good fortune to be visited by a praying man, and he gets converted a few minutes before he dies; the other sends for three different praying men, a tailor, a shoemaker, and a tinman; the tinman has a handle to solder to a pan, the tailor has a button-hole to work on some coat that he needed in a hurry, and the shoemaker has a patch to put on somebody’s boot; they none of them can go in time, the man dies, and goes to hell: one of these is exalted to Abraham’s bosom, he sits down in the presence of God and enjoys eternal, uninterrupted happiness, while the other, equally as good as he, sinks to eternal damnation, irretrievable misery and hopeless despair, because a man had a boot to mend, the button-hole of a coat to work, or a handle to solder on to a saucepan.”

 

“The plans of Jehovah are not so unjust, the statements of holy writ so [illusory], nor the plan of salvation for the human family so incompatible with common sense; at such proceedings God would frown with indignance, angels would hide their heads in shame, and every virtuous, intelligent man would recoil.”

 

Chapter 35:  Redemption for the Dead

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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