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by Susan Easton Black
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches of three degrees of glory in the afterlifethe celestial, terrestrial, and telestial. Jesus alluded to these when he said, "In my Father's house are many mansions" (John 14:2). Paul likened them to the sun, moon, and stars, with the highest or celestial being typical of the sun (1 Cor. 15:40-41; cf. D&C 76:50-98). The Celestial Kingdom was seen in vision by John the Revelator, Paul, and the Prophet Joseph Smith (Rev. 4:6; 2 Cor. 12:2; TPJS, pp. 106-107). This earth in its "sanctified, immortal, and eternal state" will become a celestial sphere (D&C 88:19-20; 130:9).
Celestial glory comes to those "who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, 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). Within the celestial glory are three levels, and to obtain the highest requires a temple marriage or sealing.
Inhabitants of the highest celestial degree inherit "thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers," and dwell with God and Jesus Christ forever (D&C 76:54-70; 132:19-20).
[See also Degrees of Glory; Telestial Kingdom; Terrestrial Kingdom; Basic Beliefs home page; Teachings About the Afterlife home page]
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Celestial Kingdom
Copyright © 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company
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