I’ve been wondering about the conditions in spirit paradise, mainly are spirits there able to be tempted by Satan, and other wicked influences? Also, will all spirits in spirit paradise be eventually exalted after the Resurrection?
In order to answer your first question, this quote from the Church’s website is a great place to start, “Spirit beings have the same bodily form as mortals except that the spirit body is in perfect form (see Ether 3:16). Spirits carry with them from earth their attitudes of devotion or antagonism toward things of righteousness (see Alma 34:34). They have the same appetites and desires that they had when they lived on earth.”
Let’s also review the provided verse of scripture Alma 34:34 to further answer this first question:
“Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.”
Let’s now review the main points of the quote and the verses provided that answer your question:
1. Spirits will have the same attitude of devotion or antagonism toward things of righteousness
2. Spirits will have the same appetites and desires
3. The same spirit that possessed our body on earth will be the same spirit that possesses our heart and mind when we leave this earth as spirits
4. If we subjected ourselves to the Spirit of righteousness then that Spirit will still have sway, and the Spirit of the Lord will not withdraw from us
5. If we subjected ourselves to the Spirit of the devil, then that spirit will have power over us, and the Spirit of the Lord will have withdrawn from us
Will all people, spirits, in paradise be exalted?
This is a great question that needs a little more explanation. When we pass away from this earth we will either enter “paradise” or “prison.” Those who immediately enter paradise are the spirits of righteousness. They have received all necessary ordinances in order to become exalted.
We know we have spirits that enter prison but then are taught the gospel and receive the gospel and then are received into paradise. There are varying degrees of righteousness (like the stars in heaven) pertaining to people who first entered prison but are now in paradise after they received the gospel as taught in spirit prison.
We also know that there are three degrees of glory: Telestial, Terrestrial, and Celestial. There would be no point to having three kingdoms if all in paradise (including those who accepted the gospel in prison) were exalted. So, the answer is, “No, not everyone who enters paradise will be exalted.”
Fortunately, our Heavenly Father and his beloved son — Jesus Christ — are perfect in judgement, love, mercy, and justice (neither can rob the other). In the end, all who are exalted will be through the bounteous mercy and love of our Savior. All who are received in the Terrestrial kingdom will also be because of the bounteous mercy and love of our Savior Jesus Christ. All who receive the Telestial kingdom (due to their choices, like all other kingdoms) will be because of the bounteous mercy and love of our Savior Jesus Christ.