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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

In Doctrine & Covenants131 it doesn’t state that you will have to be baptized to get into the lower two levels of the celestial kingdom. So do you have to be a Mormon or not?

Tyra

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Answer

 

Dear Tyra,

Section 131 of the Doctrine & Covenants discusses the requirements for exaltation in the celestial kingdom, which state that exaltation is available only to those who enter into the new and everlasting covenant of eternal marriage. But there are three degrees of glory in the celestial kingdom. Speaking of the requirements to enter any of the degrees of glory in the celestial kingdom, we read in Doctrine and Covenants 76 the following—

They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given–

 

That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;

 

And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true. (D&C 76:51-53)

The terrestrial kingdom will be inhabited by the good people, the honorable men of the earth (v75), who did not accept in mortality the Savior as their redeemer and were not baptized for the remission of their sins by the requisite priesthood authority. Also to the terrestrial kingdom will be remanded those who claim membership are members of the Mormon Church, but who were not valiant in the testimony of Jesus, wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God (v79).

The lowest kingdom of glory, the telestial kingdom is reserved for the wicked–those who because of their wickedness are thrust down to hell…who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work (v85) They will pay the full price for their own sins, as if there had been no Savior. But at the end of the millennium they will be resurrected, and will inherit the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding! (v89).

How marvelous the love, kindness and mercy of our Heavenly Father, who saves even the wicked of the earth in a kingdom of glory that surpasses all understanding!

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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