Criticism of Mormonism/Books/One Nation Under Gods/Use of sources/Distorted account of three degrees of glory

FAIR Answers Wiki Table of Contents

A distorted account of three degrees of glory

A FairMormon Analysis of: One Nation Under Gods, a work by author: Richard Abanes

Author's Claims

One Nation under Gods, page 103, Endnote 2, page 523 (hardback); page 521 (paperback)

The author provides this description of the three degrees of glory:

"The first degree of glory, which provides a very limited amount of glory/reward, is reserved for non-Mormons whose lives are marked primarily by immorality. The second degree, which offers a slightly greater glory/reward, is granted to non-Mormons and Mormons alike who live good lives marked primarily by kindness, goodness, and trying to live the best life possible. Finally, the third degree, which is basically the highest heaven attainable, is reserved for faithful Mormons who lived an exemplary life as "priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizadeck (sic)."

Author's Sources

Endnote 2, page 523 (hardback); page 521 (hardback)

DC 76:70-98

Here ONUG betrays a superficial grasp of LDS theology and scripture. Especially significant is the omission of verse 69 from the citation, which describes the source of the exaltation granted the celestial—the grace of Christ making men perfect, through His own blood.

Question: Are there different degrees of glory assigned to "Mormons" versus "non-Mormons"?

Latter-day Saints who sin can receive a lower degree of glory than non-Mormon's who are more righteous

  • The lowest degree of glory is not "a very limited amount of glory/reward"—the scripture quoted by the author says that "thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding" (verse 89, emphasis added).
  • The lowest degree is not just for "non-Mormons," but for anyone who is guilty of such sins as: not receiving the gospel, not receiving the testimony of Jesus, liars, sorcerers, adulterers, whoremongers, and whoever loves and makes a lie. Mormons are as susceptible to such sins as others.
  • The next degree does not offer "slightly greater glory/reward," but as the "glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament" (verse 81). The key characteristic of the terrestrial is that it is those who "were not valiant in the testimony of Jesus" (verse 79).
  • The celestial is available to those are "just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood" (verse 69).