Friday, September 25, 2015

Doctrine and Covenants 19

(September 24, 2015)
                I struggle to know how to deal with this Section.  On the one hand, the language of this Section seems pretty clear – what we consider eternal or endless punishment is not what we expect.  On the other hand, this threatens us to come to some improper conclusions and perhaps to encourage or enable sin.

                As best as I understand it, though, this is the Lord speaking out against the conception of Hell that existed at the time this revelation was given.  I don’t think that He was teaching us that we could progress from the Telestial Kingdom to the Celestial Kingdom, but rather than the Telestial Kingdom would not be fire and brimstone and pitchforks.

                Is such progression between kingdoms possible?  I honestly don’t know.  I can see language to support both possibilities in the scriptures and if there is a conclusive statement from the Church I am unaware of it.  But if we aspire to any kingdom but the Celestial Kingdom in hopes of future progression, we take and awfully large risk.  The only course that offers safety is a Celestial one.

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