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Why We Live in an Open Enrollment

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Open enrollment is a term familiar to most people with health insurance policies.  During a specified window of time, the insured are given an opportunity to select their coverage plan for the coming term.  By analogy, it may be said that we are living in an open enrollment period, one in which we are choosing our care coverage for eternity.  Please allow me to explain.

Today if Ye will Hear His Voice

As with other open enrollment periods, this earthly life affords us the opportunity to choose certain aspects of care that effect the next segment of our lives, that of our eternal existence.  It determines our on-going relationship with God and the level of glory that we may expect to receive from Him on a never-ending basis.[1]

In essence, this life affords us the opportunity to choose our eternal reward and the corresponding bounds and conditions of our habitation in eternity.[2]

Matthew 16:30For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Matthew 25:35-37 Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Colossians 3:23-25And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ.  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done; and there is no respect of persons.

As such, it is very important to recognize just how limited this life is in scope and duration.  God did not intend for it to last forever.[3]  Rather, He gave it to us so we could make specific choices about our future beyond this life.[4]

Psalm 95:6-9Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker.  For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.  Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness; when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

Hebrews 3:7-19… exhort one another daily, while it is called Today lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin … For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end …

Hebrews 4:7Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Hebrews 9:27 – … it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment …

This limited period of time called Today is referred to in the Book of Mormon as a probationary state and the days of your probation.  It is a portion of time that God has set in place for us to prepare to meet Him before He ushers us on into eternity.

Alma 9:41Therefore this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state, which has been spoken of by us, which is after the resurrection of the dead.

I Nephi 3:33-36Therefore remember, O man, for all thy doings thou shalt be brought into judgment.  Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment seat of God; And no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore ye must be cast off for ever.  And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things and deny them not.

The term probation makes it clear that our decisions during this special window of time called Today has serious consequences.  Certain conditions, called the conditions of repentance, define this preparatory state and its outcome.  Briefly comprehended, those individuals who repent and come to Jesus Christ will obtain mercy,[5] while those who do not come to Him will be judged without mercy.[6]

Alma 19:94Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only, on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state; yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice.

We would do well, then, to heed the call to be wise in the days of our probation!

Mormon 4:94Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.

My Reward Is With Me to Give

What exactly are the options being presented to us in this life, in this time of open enrollment?   And what are the possible outcomes of the choices we make, either good or evil?  According to the last chapter of the Bible, our eternal reward will be directly connected to one of four final conditions to which we may be restored,[7] that of being:  1) unjust / unhappy, 2) filthy, 3) righteous, and 4) holy / happy (blessed[8]).

Revelation 22:11,12He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me to give every man according as his work shall be.

Mormon 4:74And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy, shall be filthy still, and he that is righteous, shall be righteous still; he that is happy, shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy, shall be unhappy still.

Paul likened three of these final conditions or estates to three glories that differ in their measure of light.  In his analogy, those who are holy shine like the sun, those who are righteous shine like the moon, and those who are unjust shine like stars.

I Corinthians 15:41-44There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory.  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.  There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

What about the fourth final estate, that of the filthy?  They inherit an eternal estate that is without glory or light (intelligence).

I Corinthians 6:17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Isaiah 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure; and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

Recall how Jesus has testified that He will come in the glory of His Father at an appointed time and that His reward will be with Him.[9]  What is His reward?  The glory of His Father.[10]  Not everyone will receive the fullness of His Father’s glory, however.  Some people will receive just a portion of His glory while others will receive none.

Although all people were created in God’s image and likeness, not everyone is willing to abide in the fullness of the Father’s glory.[11]  Therefore, Jesus is prepared to give two lesser measures of glory (intelligence[12]) to certain individuals, while He will give no glory to those who are offended by or who outright reject His Father’s glory.[13]

In terms of the present analogy of comparing our probationary state to an open enrollment, the four glories or eternal estates of light (or lack thereof in the case of the fourth estate) described by Paul may be represented as four plan options:

Plan A:  Glory like that of the sun (the glory of the day)

Plan B:  Glory like that of the moon (the greater of the two night glories)

Plan C:  Glory like that of the stars (the lesser of the two night glories)

Plan D:  No glory

Described in terms provided in latter day revelation,[14] the benefits of each plan may be briefly summarized as:

Plan A:  Receives the fullness of the Father

Plan B:  Receives the presence of the Son, but not the fullness of the Father

Plan C:  Remains eternally separated from the Father and Son as servants

Plan D:  Receives judgment without any measure of grace or mercy

Their Works Do Follow Them

While this life does not last forever, the consequences of our choices and actions in it do last forever.  For, as it is written, our works follow us.[15]

Revelation 14:13And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.

III Nephi 12:22-24And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel, then will the Father shew forth his own works in it; but if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you, They have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return; for their works do follow them, for it is because of their works that they are hewn down; therefore remember the things that I have told you.

D&C 59:1aBehold, blessed, saith the Lord, are they who have come up unto this land with an eye single to my glory, according to my commandments; for they that live shall inherit the earth, and they that die shall rest from all their labors, and their works shall follow them, and they shall receive a crown in the mansions of my Father, which I have prepared for them…

God’s justice is the reason our works follow us.  For we all must be judged according to our works or deeds that we have done in the flesh.

Matthew 7:31For the day soon cometh, that men shall come before me to judgment, to be judged according to their works.

II Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive a reward of the deeds done in the body; things according to what he hath done, whether good or bad.

Revelation 20:13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works.

Alma 19:66-69And it is requisite with the justice of God, that men should be judged according to their works … If he hath repented of his sins, and desired righteousness until the end of his days, even so shall he be rewarded unto righteousness.[16]

Because we are originally born of the flesh, we naturally do the works of our corruptible flesh.[17]  That is, by nature we bear the fruit of the flesh.[18]  If, however, we are born of the Spirit of God, we then receive sufficient grace from Jesus Christ to do good works, those that come of faith on His name and in His redemption.[19]

Ephesians 2:10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Titus 2:11-15For the grace of God which bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared; teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.  These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.  Let no man despise thee.

This is why Paul has shown us that we “should repent and turn to God and do works meet for repentance.[20]  Good works are those works that are born of the Spirit of Jesus Christ in us.  They are the only works that are meet for or agreeable to repentance.[21]   Ultimately, they bear witness of the Father’s work within us.[22]

Philippians 2:12,13Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Good works also reveal who is truthful and who is a deceiver, i.e. a person who claims to be righteous but who does not live a righteous life.[23]

I John 3:7-9 – Little children, let no man deceive you; he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.  He that continueth in sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.  For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not continue in sin; for the Spirit of God remaineth in him; and he cannot continue in sin, because he is born of God, having received that holy Spirit of promise.

Without being grafted into Jesus by the Father, we cannot help but be deceivers, i.e. those who do not represent the truth completely or correctly.[24]  But when we are grafted into Jesus, we can do all things that are upright and just.[25] In order to do so, we must take steps of faith toward the mark God has set before, that of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:13,14Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

I Peter 1:5-11And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

No one grows into the full stature of Christ all at once.  Our walk of faith with Him begins with simple steps, with baptism being the first-fruits of repentance.[26]  Why begin with baptism?  In baptism we enter into Jesus’ death to sin so we may come forth in the newness of His life according to the new covenant.[27]  By repenting and coming to Christ in this way, we allow Him to bring us to the Father.  From this point on, the plan of redemption immediately goes into effect in our lives.

Alma 16:226-228And now, my brethren, I would that after ye have received so many witnesses, seeing that the holy scriptures testify of these things, come forth and bring fruit unto repentance; yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time, and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you. For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God: yea, behold, the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

If we sin and come short of the glory of God, it is important to remember how Jesus is our advocate with the Father and that He intercedes for us.  By repenting of our sins, we witness our willingness to be corrected and restored to Him in fellowship.

I John 2:1,2My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. But if any man sin and repent, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

Revelation 3:19,20 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.

Like Paul, we must not judge anything before its time while remembering that we keep the commandments of God by continuing in repentance and faith until we all grow up in the stature of Christ.[28]

D&C 3:16a18Behold, this is my doctrine: Whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church; whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore, he is not of my church.  And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church [i.e. those who repent and come to Christ] to the end, him will I establish upon my Rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against him.  And now, remember the words of him who is the life and light of the world, your Redeemer, your Lord, and your God.  Amen.

He Shall Reward Every Man According to His Works

When we are brought before the Lord at the appointed time of judgment after living in this world, all of our works will be tried by fire.[29]  Those works that are not works or fruits of the Spirit of God (those that are works of the flesh) will be burned up and will be lost to us.  Those works that are born of the Spirit will remain for eternity.  In this way we will receive a reward in an eternal estate that is consistent with and in keeping with how we have lived our lives in this world.[30]

I Corinthians 3:13-15Every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself may be saved; yet so as by fire.

No works will go without testing.  All will be tried by fire.  Secret works especially will be exposed by fire in the day of the Lord’s judgment.[31]  To prepare the way of the Lord, then, He sent His gospel forth in these last days with this word of warning.

D&C 1:1a-dHearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes are upon all men; yea, verily I say, Hearken ye people from afar, and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together; for verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape, and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated; and the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow, for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed; and the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days, and they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them.

D&C 85:34-35b – And then shall the first angel again sound his trump in the ears of all living, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the mighty works of God in the first thousandth year.  And then shall the second angel sound his trump, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts, and the mighty works of God in the second thousandth year: and so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump…

For our reward, the Lord will measure out to each of us the same measure we have measured out to others, whether good or evil.[32]  In other words, our reward will return upon our own heads, even with the same reward with which we rewarded others.

Obadiah 1:15For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen; as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee; thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

Luke 6:38Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.

D&C 1:2c-eAnd verily, I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given to seal, both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious; yea, verily, to seal them up unto the day when the wrath of God shall be poured out upon the wicked without measure; unto the day when the Lord shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man.

You Were Bought with A Price

Amazingly and to the glory of Jesus Christ, He has paid the premiums for each plan of glory completely and endlessly!

I Corinthians 6:19,20What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

As our Redeemer Lord, Jesus did not pay this price just for some people, but for everyone.  He has covered the cost of salvation for the whole world, for each person who has lived, who is living, or who will yet live on this earth.[33]

I Timothy 4:9,10This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation.  For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.

I John 2:1-3My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  But if any man sin and repent, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

Tragically, not everyone will accept our Lord’s free gift of salvation[34] and will, therefore, remain as if there had been no redemption made for them;[35] except, that is, to be raised from the dead to be judged according to their works.[36]

Alma 8:97,98Therefore the wicked remain as though there had been no redemption made, except it be the loosing of the bands of death; for behold, the day cometh that all shall rise from the dead and stand before God, and be judged according to their works.

The foregoing discussion leaves us with at least a couple of questions:  In eternity will we inherit one of the three glories, or will we receive no glory?  The answers are straightforward:  Our heavenly Father has assigned these determinations to Jesus.[37]

John 5:20-23 For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth; and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.  For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.  For the Father judgeth no man; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father who hath sent him.

Colossians 1:16-18 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him; And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  And he is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Remember, Jesus Christ’s work of atonement was completed on the cross of His sufferings.[38]

Matthew 27:54-57Jesus when he had cried again with a loud voice, saying, Father, it is finished, thy will is done, yielded up the ghost.  And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and the bodies of the saints which slept, arose, who were many.  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, went unto the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Hebrews 1:1-3God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high …

Now, Jesus’ work of judgment and bestowing rewards of glory is yet before Him.[39]

Isaiah 62:11Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

Revelation 22:11,12He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me to give every man according as his work shall be.

After His work of judgment and assignment of glory, then comes Jesus Christ’s work of sustaining us and maturing us in His ways[40] – in full or in part according to the three glories to be manifested in the resurrection.[41]

Luke 12:40-43Verily I say unto you, Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching; for he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.  For, behold, he cometh in the first watch of the night, and he shall also come in the second watch, and again he shall come in the third watch.  And verily I say unto you, He hath already come, as it is written of him; and again when he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, blessed are those servants when he cometh, that he shall find so doing; for the Lord of those servants shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

Revelation 22:1-5And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him; And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.  And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign forever and ever.

As both our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ not only stands ready to judge us righteously according to the justice and mercy of the Father, but He also stands ready to intercede for us as our Advocate forever![42]  He is prepared to support and sustain each of us everlastingly, not just part of the time, but continuously, throughout all eternity by way of His constant intercession and grace.[43]

Hebrews 7:23,24… this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Therefore, as the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ is calling to us, to listen to His voice so He might lead us home to our heavenly Father.

D&C 45:1c-eListen to him who is the Advocate with the Father, who is [not was or will be] pleading your cause before him, saying, Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.

All Kingdoms Have a Law Given

We read earlier in Revelation 22:11,12 how the Lord will assign each of us to one of four groups in eternity:  the unjust, the filthy, the righteous, and the holy.[44]  For the work of redemption and to maintain an ongoing relationship with mankind in each group, God manifests Himself as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.[45]  He also manifests Himself as the Lawgiver for granting and maintaining certain measures of His glory and grace for the regulation of each of these groups in kingdoms.[46]

D&C 85:5b,5cFor he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom, can not abide a celestial glory; and he who can not abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom, can not abide a terrestrial glory; he who can not abide the law of a telestial kingdom, cannot abide a telestial glory: therefore, he is not meet for a kingdom of glory.  Therefore, he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.

Note how each of the three estates of glory and the estate of no glory constitutes a separate and distinct kingdom.  Each one is governed by a specific law given to it, one which is according to the level of glory its citizens are willing and able to abide.[47]

D&C 85:9a,9bAll kingdoms have a law given: and there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or lesser kingdom.  And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also, and conditions.

This is why it is written:

Alma 16:232… 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.[48]

Individuals who are of a celestial spirit when they die will inherit the celestial kingdom, whereas those who are of a terrestrial or of a telestial spirit will receive their inheritances in kingdoms of lesser light and glory – just as the light of the moon and the stars differ from the light of the sun (just as night differs from day).

D&C 85:6c-7… for, notwithstanding they die, they also shall rise again a spiritual body: they who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body, which was a natural body: even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.  Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory, shall then receive of the same, even a fullness; and they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory, shall then receive of the same, even a fullness: and also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory, shall then receive of the same, even a fullness: and they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.  For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.

Correspondingly, individuals who are not able to abide the celestial law – the law of Zion – must abide by a different, lesser law – that of the terrestrial or moon glory, or that of the telestial or star glory.  As such, the laws of these two lesser or night glories are insufficient to build Zion, the kingdom of the pure in heart.[49]  They simply cannot uphold the celestial kingdom and its principles.

D&C 102:2a-dBehold, I say unto you, Were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now; but, behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I require at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh Saints, to the poor and afflicted among them, and are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom; and Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom, otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself; and my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer.

What about the inheritors of the kingdom that has no glory?  They too are governed by a law given from the Lord.[50]  But because they are unwilling to abide a spirit of glory, they cannot be preserved by a law of glory.  So, they must remain filthy still.

D&C 85:8a,bAnd again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law, is also preserved by law, and perfected and sanctified by the same. That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, can not be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, or judgment; therefore, they must remain filthy still.

But why exactly do they remain filthy?  In this life they failed to repent and come to Christ to be cleansed of their sins.[51]  Remember, God created our bodies to be the temple of the Holy Ghost.[52]  He does not, however, dwell in unholy temples.[53]

Alma 5:36,37And he doth not dwell in unholy temples; neither can filthiness, nor anything which is unclean be received into the kingdom of God; Therefore I say unto you, The time shall come, yea, and it shall be at the last day, that he who is filthy, shall remain in his filthiness.

Filthiness leaves room for evil spirits to return and infest the souls of the unrepentant, causing them to remain as if no redemption had been made (except for the resurrection).[54]

Matthew 12:37-39… When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest and findeth none; but when a man speaketh against the Holy Ghost, then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth him empty, swept and garnished; for the good spirit leaveth him unto himself.  Then goeth the evil spirit, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in and dwell there; and the last end of that man is worse than the first

Closing Thoughts

By taking the scriptures as our open enrollment manual, we see that our eternal estate is determined by the spirit that is in us at the time of our death.[55]  When we die, we will be of one of the following spirits or a portion thereof:  1) a celestial spirit, 2) a terrestrial spirit, 3) a telestial spirit, or 4) a spirit of no glory.[56]

Hopefully, this study letter has been helpful to you in choosing wisely your care plan for eternity in this open enrollment period, i.e. in this probationary state.  As you consider your four options, I trust you will remember just how short this life is compared to the endless duration of eternity!  With this in mind, I am encouraging you to choose eternal life in Christ, knowing how great the eternal rewards are for those who repent and come to Him.[57]

For more on this topic, see Why Three Glories – Part 1: Eyes to See & Ears to Hear, go to:

 

 

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen.”  Hebrews 13:20,21


[1] e.g. I Thessalonians 4:17 with Hebrews 7:24

[2] cf. Acts 17:26 with D&C 85:9a,b

[3] Revelation 21:1-8 with Luke 17:39, II Peter 3:10-14, Isaiah 65:17-25, Isaiah 66:22 & Ether 6:8-12

[4] cf. Deuteronomy 30:19 & Joel 3:14 with Joshua 24:15, Jeremiah 21:8, John 1:18 & Romans 6:23

[5] D&C 3:16a-18, D&C 16:3c-f, Alma 9:55 & Helaman 2:71-75 with Hebrews 4:15,16

[6] Mosiah 1:126-130 & Alma 19:107-111 with James 2:13 & Revelation 14:9-11

[7] Alma 19:55-80 with Alma 8:99-107 & Helaman 5:85,96

[8] cf. Mosiah 1:88 with I Nephi 2:49 & Alma 21:77; cf. Matthew 5:1-18 with James 5:11, I Peter 3:14 & I Peter 4:14

[9] Matthew 16:30, Mark 8:41, Luke 9:26, Luke 21:36, Revelation 1:7 with III Nephi 13:17-19

[10] e.g. Revelation 22:12-14 with Isaiah 40:9-31 & Isaiah 62:6-12

[11] Genesis 1:27-29

[12] D&C 90:6a with D&C 83:7a-7d, D&C 85:2a-3b & D&C 85:10a

[13] Matthew 25:42 with Revelation 14:9-12

[14] D&C 76:3a-7w with D&C 85:5a-8b

[15] cf. III Nephi 12:24 with Alma 15:56, Alma 19:65-71 & D&C 63:4b,c

[16] See also I Nephi 3:187,188 with Matthew 10:19 & Mark 13:13

[17] Colossians 3:5-9 with Genesis 6:57

[18] Galatians 5:19-21

[19] John 3:3-17, Alma 3:27-32 & Titus 2:14 with Matthew 5:15-18

[20] Acts 26:19,20

[21] Matthew 7:22-29 with Philippians 2:12,13

[22] Matthew 5:15-18 & Philippians 2:12,13 with John 1:11-18, John 14:12 & I Nephi 1:65

[23] Isaiah 64:6 with Romans 3:22,23

[24] John 15:4,5 with John 14:6 & John 16:13-15; see also Alma 16:152-173 with Luke 8:4-18

[25] Philippians 4:13 with Matthew 19:26

[26] Moroni 8:29

[27] Romans 6:3-16 with Ezekiel 18:31, Ezekiel 36:26, Jeremiah 24:7, Jeremiah 31:31-34 & Jeremiah 32:39

[28] I Corinthians 4:5 with Ephesians 4:11-16

[29] cf. Matthew 16:30 with Jude 1:14-25

[30] cf. I Nephi 4:35-64 with II Nephi 11:76-160

[31] Joel 2:31, Amos 5:18-20, Obadiah 1:15, Zephaniah 1:14,18, etc. with Hebrews 12:28,29

[32] Luke 8:17 with Romans 2:16; cf. Luke 6:36-38 & Matthew 6:6,18 with Ephesians 5:11-14

[33] John 3:14-22 & Romans 5:15-18 with Alma 16:190-197 & Numbers 21:6-9

[34] Hebrews 3:7-19 & D&C 85:7 with Romans 5:6-21

[35] Mosiah 8:77,78, Alma 8:95-98 & Alma 9:21-32 with Revelation 9:19-21, Revelation 16:8-11, etc.

[36] Jacob 4:8-17 with Revelation 3:17-22

[37] Hebrews 1:1-14 & Hebrews 2:1-18

[38] John 19:28-30 with John 17:4,5

[39] See also Isaiah 40:10 with Luke 12:40-43; cf. Hebrews 1:1-3 & Hebrews 4:3-12

[40] Matthew 11:29,30 with Isaiah 2:2-4 & Micah 4:1-3

[41] Matthew 16:30, Mark 8:41, Luke 9:26, etc. with I Corinthians 15:41-44, Revelation 22:11 & Psalm 73:25

[42] Hebrews 1:1-3 with I John 2:1,2

[43] I Peter 1:3-25 with I Corinthians 15:12-58 & Colossians 1:13-18

[44] cf. Luke 8:4-18, I Nephi 2:54-76 & D&C 76:3a-7w with Revelation 22:11,12 & Mormon 4:74

[45] cf. I Timothy 3:16 with Luke 10:23 & John 14:9; cf. Isaiah 7:14-16 & Isaiah 9:6,7 with Isaiah 40:1-15,28-31; Isaiah 41:8-14; Isaiah 42:5-9; Isaiah 43:11-19,25-26; Isaiah 44:6-8,21-28; Isaiah 45:5-22; Isaiah 46:9-13; Isaiah 47:4; Isaiah 48:1-19; Isaiah 49:16-26; Isaiah 50:1,2; Isaiah 51:12,13; Isaiah 52:3-12; Isaiah 53:1-12; Isaiah 54:5; Isaiah 55:8-11; Isaiah 56:8; Isaiah 57:15-19; Isaiah 58:13,14; Isaiah 59:21; Isaiah 60:14-22; Isaiah 61:1-11; Isaiah 62:11,12; Isaiah 63:9-16; Isaiah 64:4-8; Isaiah 65:17-25; Isaiah 66:1,2

[46] James 4:12 & Ephesians 4:6 with Isaiah 33:22, Colossians 1:12-18 & Romans 11:36

[47] Alma 9:15-32 with Luke 8:18

[48] Matthew 12:37-39 with II Nephi 6:38-42, II Nephi 6:93, Mosiah 1:72-82, Alma 8:100-107, Alma 14:58, Alma 19:66-71, etc.

[49] D&C 102:1a-2d with D&C 85:5a-c & D&C 94:5a-5g

[50] D&C 85:9a,b & Revelation 19:16 with Colossians 2:8-15

[51] II Nephi 12:23-26, Mosiah 1:79-82 & Alma 9:6-9 with Genesis 7:43 (D&C 36:7f,g) & John 8:39-47; cf. Alma 21:121,122 with Alma 14:58

[52] I Corinthians 6:19,20 with I Corinthians 3:16,17

[53] Alma 16:235 with Mosiah 1:82 & Helaman 2:59

[54] Hebrews 6:4-6 & Hebrews 10:23-31 with Mosiah 8:77,78, Alma 8:97,98, Alma 9:17-32, Alma 9:52,53 & Moroni 7:32-43

[55] Alma 16:229-232

[56] D&C 85:5c-7 with Alma 16:229-232 & Ezekiel 18:20-28

[57] cf. John 1:11-18 with I John 1:5-7, I John 2:1-5, I John 3:7-11, I John 4:13-17 & I John 5:9-12