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Pregunta: ¿Cuál es el concepto mormón del infierno?


Critics of Mormonism make some or all of the following attacks on Latter-day Saint doctrine regarding "hell"

  1. Members of the Church don't seem to have any clear understanding of the doctrine of Hell since they can be found using it in multiple senses.
  2. Members of the Church don't believe in Hell.
  3. Members of the Church believe, contrary to the Bible, that Hell is not eternal.
  4. Members of the Church believe, contrary to the Bible, that Hell is not burning.
  5. Members of the Church believe, contrary to the Bible, that the punishments of Hell are temporary.
  6. Members of the Church believe, contrary to the Bible, that good but unbelieving people can escape Hell (i.e., they won't end up in Outer Darkness or even in the Telestial Kingdom but will live with Jesus in glory).
  7. Members of the Church believe, contrary to the Bible, that man's eternal destiny involves more than two alternatives (Heaven and Hell).

Criticism #1: Different meanings for "hell"?

Latter-day Saint doctrine and scripture does use the term "hell" in a few different senses. This does not mean, however, that members are unclear about their doctrine, or that the particular use of the term "hell" cannot be determined by context.

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism notes, in part:

Latter-day scriptures describe at least three senses of hell:

  1. that condition of misery which may attend a person in mortality due to disobedience to divine law;
  2. the miserable, but temporary, state of disobedient spirits in the spirit world awaiting the resurrection;
  3. the permanent habitation of the sons of perdition, who suffer the second spiritual death and remain in hell even after the resurrection.

Persons experiencing the first type of hell can be rescued from suffering through repentance and obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Savior suffered so that he could deliver everyone from hell (Alma 7:11-13; Alma 33:23). Those who do not repent, however, may experience the pains of hell in this life as well as in the next (D&C 76:104; 1 Nephi 16:2; Alma 40:14). The Prophet Joseph Smith described the true nature of hell: "A man is his own tormenter and his own condemner. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone".[1] Thus, hell is both a place, a part of the world of spirits where suffering and sorrow occur, and a state of mind associated with remorseful realization of one's own sins (Mosiah 2:38; Alma 36:12-16).

A second type, a temporary hell of the postmortal spirit world, is also spoken of as a spirit prison. Here, in preparation for the Resurrection, unrepentant spirits are cleansed through suffering that would have been obviated by the Atonement of Christ had they repented during mortality (D&C 19:15-20; Alma 40:13-14). At the last resurrection this hell will give up its captive spirits. Many of these spirits will enter into the Telestial Kingdom in their resurrected state (2 Nephi 9:10-12; DC 76:84-89,106; Revelation 20:13). References to an everlasting hell for these spirits are interpreted in light of the Doctrine and Covenants, which defines Endless and Eternal as referring not to the length of punishment, but rather referring to God's punishment because he is "endless" and "eternal" (D&C 19:4-13). Individual spirits will be cleansed, will cease to experience the fiery torment of mind, and will be resurrected with their physical bodies.

The Savior's reference to the "gates of hell" (Hades, or the spirit world; Matthew 16:18) indicates, among other things, that God's priesthood power will penetrate hell and redeem the repentant spirits there. Many have been, and many more will yet be, delivered from hell through hearing, repenting, and obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ in the spirit world after the death of the body. LDS doctrine emphasizes that after his mortal death Jesus Christ went to the spirit world and organized the teaching of the gospel there (D&C 138:; cf. Luke 23:43; 1 Peter 3:18-20). The Athanasian Creed and some forms of the "Apostles"' Creed state that Christ "descended into hell." LDS teaching is that Jesus entered the spirit world to extend his redemptive mission to those in hell, upon conditions of their repentance....

A third meaning of "hell" (second spiritual death) refers to the realm of the devil and his angels, including those known as sons of perdition (2 Peter 2:4; D&C 29:38; D&C 88:113; Revelation 20:14). It is a place for those who cannot be cleansed by the Atonement because they committed the unforgivable and unpardonable sin (1 Nephi 15:35; D&C 76:30-49). Only this hell continues to operate after the Resurrection and Judgment.[2]

Criticism #2: Don't believe in hell?

This claim is false. LDS scripture repeatedly refers to hell, as does the Bible, and as demonstrated above, the LDS have a clear use of hell in their theology.

Criticism #3: hell is not eternal?

Some critics claim that the LDS doctrine of hell violates the Book of Mormon and the Bible, because the Church does not teach a hell of endless duration. For example, Jerald and Sandra Tanner wrote:

All others, who are not classed as sons of perdition, will be "redeemed in the due time of the Lord"; that is, they will all be saved. The MEANEST SINNER will find some place in the heavenly realm...

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, THERE IS NO HELL. ALL will find a measure of salvation, ... The gospel of Jesus Christ has NO HELL in the old proverbial sense. (Joseph Smith--Seeker After Truth, Salt Lake City, 1951, pp. 177-178).

The Apostle John A. Widtsoe seemed to be teaching the very thing that the Book of Mormon condemned![3]

This quotation, however, does not fairly represent either Elder Widtsoe's views or the LDS doctrine he is explaining.

Note how Elder Widtsoe is trying to explain the differences between the sectarian vision of hell and the LDS one. He nowhere claims that sinners get a 'free ride' into heaven, and even opines that LDS understanding of punishment may be worse, in some ways. Note too the author's tendency to distort and obscure meaning through ALL CAPS and emphasis.

  • The quotes in context:

To illustrate the definite break with the Christianity of the day, [consider a doctrine] foreign to the truth of the gospel but taught almost vehemently over centuries by the priests of an apostate Christianity...that sinners will be sent to hell, there to remain in torture throughout eternity....In Joseph's day preachers still taught the proverbial hell of everlasting torture. In the text books of his day, in many nations, were pictures of devils with pitchforks pushing sinners into the flames of hells, there to suffer the agony of being burned, but never consumed. With one hand the preacher offered a fragment of God's love, and with the other, the torment of an unutterable never-ending hell provided by an angry, unforgiving God. Under such a cruel doctrine men would be frightened, so it was hoped, into a righteous manner of living. How men could devise so horrible a future for any one of God's children is a striking evidence of the apostasy from the simple loving gospel of Jesus Christ...the breaking of any law brings punishment which however may be paid for through repentance. If repentance does not follow sin, full punishment inevitably follows......In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is no hell. All will find a measure of salvation; all must pay for any infringement of the law; but the payment will be as the Lord may decide. There is graded salvation. This may be a more terrible punishment: to feel that because of sin a man is here, when by a correct life, he might be higher. The gospel of Jesus Christ has no hell in the old proverbial sense.[4]

Criticism #4: hell is not burning?

LDS scripture says of those in hell that "their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone" (2 Nephi 9:16, italics added). Thus, LDS scripture sees the burning of hell as metaphorical. This does not, however, mean that LDS doctrine devalues or downplays the suffering of hell. The resurrected Christ told Joseph Smith that:

15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—

19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

20 Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit. (D&C 19:15-20)

Criticism #5: punishments are temporary?

See #3, above.

Criticism #6: good but unbelieving people can escape hell?

LDS doctrine anticipates that not all people will have a full and complete chance to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ before their death. Thus, in LDS doctrine those who have not yet accepted Christ may do so after death, but before the resurrection.

Criticism #7: humanity's eternal destiny involves more than "just" heaven or hell?

It is true that the Church believes that there is more to the final judgment than just a heaven/hell split. This difference derives in part from changes made to Christian doctrine in the first centuries after the death of the apostles.

For a discussion on changes from the early Christian conception of sin, death, hell, and salvation, see:

Christian view of Hell

Critics manage to mangle the Christian view of Hell as badly as they do with the correct, authentic and original Christian view of Heaven.

They don't start off well, confusing both the New Testament concepts of Hell in the sense of "hades" or "sheol" (spirit prison) and "gehenna" (everlasting burning)-terms with completely different meanings-and using the terms interchangeably, blissfully ignorant of the distinctions LDS (and the Bible, and most other Christians) make between the two. While it is probably true that, as they say, "...many [Latter-day Saints] find the [Biblicist] view of hell (eternal punishment with no second chances) to be both unfair and offensive," what offends us even more is that such an oversimplification is not Christian doctrine. Oddly enough, they are not even representing normative Protestant doctrine when they fail to make a difference between hades/sheol and gehenna.

As Innes explains,

"Hell" in the AV normally renders one of the three words, Sheol, Hades, and Gehenna.

Sheol...is the word [that] is used in the Old Testament for the place of the dead. In general, we may say that it is the state of death pictured in visible terms....In the later Jewish literature we meet with the idea of divisions within Sheol for the wicked and the righteous, in which each experiences a foretaste of his final destiny (Enoch xxii. 1-14). This idea appears to underlie the imagery of the parable of Dives and Lazarus in the New Testament.[5]:518

"Hades" is the Greek term used to translate the Hebrew word "sheol" in the New Testament. Innes again:

In the LXX [6] it almost always renders sheol, and in the New Testament the Pesh.[7] renders it by shyul. It is used in connection with the death of Christ in Acts ii. 27, 31, which quotes Ps. xvi. 10. In Mt. xvi. 18 Christ says that the gates of Hades (cf. Is. xxxviii. 10; Pss. ix. 13, cvii. 18) shall not prevail against His Church. As the gates of a city are essential to its power, the meaning here is probably the power of death.[5]:518

With respect to Gehenna, Innes goes on to explain,

In later Jewish writings Gehenna came to have the sense of the place of punishment for sinners (Assumption of Moses x.10; 2 Esdras vii.36) The rabbinic literature contains various opinions as to who would suffer eternal punishment. The ideas were widespread that the sufferings of some would be terminated by annihilation, or that the fires of Gehenna were in some cases purgatorial. But those who held these doctrines also taught the reality of eternal punishment for certain classes of sinners...The teaching of the New Testament endorses this belief.[5]:518

In the New Testament, the Hebrew word is usually transliterated as ge'enna, but on occasion the general (i.e., non-Judaeo-Christian) Greek word Tartarus is also used. "Gehenna" comes from the imagery of a continuously smoldering garbage pit in the Valley of Hinnom in New Testament Jerusalem. Tartarus is a classical Greek word for the son of the god Chaos but came to mean that part of the afterworld where the wicked suffered for their sins. So we have two pairs of Greek/Hebrew words used in the New Testament: Sheol/Hades for the afterworld in general, and Gehenna/Tartarus for the place of eternal punishment. But as noted, Tartarus is a rarely used word in the New Testament (originally written, of course, in Greek).

Given such a fundamental and critical failure to distinguish between very clearly different concepts in the New Testament, precious little of the authors' commentary on the Gospel's beliefs regarding Outer Darkness, Perdition, Spirit Prison and the Telestial Kingdom makes any sense whatsoever and the critic of their work wonders where to even begin to approach it. A basic primer in Christianity (let alone its restored form) is needed by the authors.

Pregunta: ¿Qué creían realmente los judíos y los cristianos primitivos con respecto a un cielo de tres partes?


Note: The following text is based upon an essay written by Marc A. Schindler


Let's take a look at what Jews and early Christians really believed. Before we start, let's point out that simply mining the Church Fathers and pseudepigrapha for references that defend one's point of view is akin to proof-texting and in and of itself, doesn't prove anything. However, even finding one reference in the patristic and pseudepigraphal writings is sufficient to destroy an "argument from absence". That is, if critics say, in effect, "Jews and early Christians never believed x" and we succeed in finding even one solitary reference to x then we have proven their assertion wrong. Proving that it was a common or even normative (authoritative or orthodox) belief is something else altogether, but fortunately many critics' style of criticism tends to lean towards the absolute: things are either all or nothing. And this kind of position is easy to demolish.

Having said that, it so happens that there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to sources contemporary with or within a few centuries of Paul, sources that showed consistently what ancient Christians and Jews believed in-enough, as it happens, to establish not just an objection to an argument from absence, but an actual consensus. And that consensus is exactly the opposite of what some claim. The following sections examine only a sample of quotes both from modern commentaries and ancient sources to show that the normative belief of early post-Apostolic Christianity and contemporary Judaism was in a multi-tiered Heaven in the LDS sense of different mansions corresponding with the achievement of different levels of earthly valour.

Modern Christian Scholarly Commentary: The Anchor Bible

Orr and Walther have this commentary on the term "third heaven":

The third heaven. The original text (=a) of T Levi [Testament of Levi] 2:7-10; 3:1-4 seems to have conceived of the heavenly spheres as three in number, in the third of which Levi found himself standing in the presence of the Lord and his glory. Later, however, this material was re-worked to refer to a set of four additional heavens, conforming the narrative to the common Jewish and Christian tradition about seven heavens, as in Apoc Mos [Apocalypse of Moses] 35:2; 2 Enoch 3-20; b. Hag [Babylonian Talmud tractate of Hagiga]; Ascension of Isaiah; Apoc Paul [Apocalypse of Paul] 29, etc...The otherworldly journey is a common feature in ancient apocalyptic literature.[8]

Modern Christian Commentary: Daniélou (Roman Catholic)

The LDS commentator Seiach[9] quotes,

Jean Daniélou [a Roman Catholic theologian and cardinal] has recently shown that contemporary Jews had further developed this three-step attainment of God's glory into a system of three heavens: the heaven of God, the heaven of stars, and the heaven of meteors.....[10]

That this three-tiered heavenly world was also recognized by the original Christians is evidenced by the Savior's mysterious saying that the 'seed of the Kingdom' (i.e. the saved) would bring forth fruit 'some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold' (Matt 13:8,23). That this was also an esoteric doctrine, is suggested by the fact that it was introduced by the usual covert signal: 'Who hath ears, let him hear' (Matt 13:9). As might be expected, 'orthodoxy' soon forgot it, either expanding the three heavens to seven (see below), or reducing them to a single place reserved for 'all' who are 'saved by grace,' without further effort on their part.

Nevertheless, for several centuries, the original Church continued to speak of a graduated system of heavens and rewards, just as the Saviour had taught (Matthew 16:27). The very early Church Father, Papias, for example, understood that the Saviour's three degrees of 'fruitfulness' (Matthew 13:8, Matthew 13:23) corresponded to the Pauline three 'heavens' or 'glories' (1 Corinthians 15:41). According to him (as recorded in the first century account of Polycarp),[11] the 'Elders' agreed that 'Those who are deemed worthy of an abode in Heaven shall go there, others shall enjoy the delights of Paradise, and others shall possess the splendor of the City.[12] For everywhere the Saviour will be seen, according as they shall be worthy who see him. But that there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce an hundredfold, and that of those who produce sixtyfold, and that of those who produce thirtyfold; for the first will be taken up into Heaven; the second class will dwell in Paradise, and the last will inhabit the City; and that on this account the Lord said, 'In my house are many mansions,' for all things belong to God, who supplies all with a suitable dwelling place, even as his word says, that a share is given to all by the Father, according as each is or shall be worthy (Relics of the Elders, 5).

By the 'Elders' Papias meant the Primitive Community, including the Apostles, whose oral traditions he had diligently preserved as he himself heard them. 'If anyone chanced to be a fellow of the Elders,' he wrote, 'I would enquire as to their discourse, what Andrew, or what Peter said, or what Philip, or what Thomas or James or what John or what Matthew or any other of the Lord's disciples...For I did not think that things out of books could profit me so much as the utterances of a voice which liveth and abideth.'[13]

Modern Christian Commentary: Disley (Mainstream Protestant)

Protestant theologian Emma Disley cites many of the early Reformers and their first followers as teaching the concept of differing degrees of glory. She points out at the outset that "the writings of the Father were weightily disposed towards the concept of degrees of reward and punishment" and refers to Ambrose, John Chrysostom, Augustine, Jerome, and Pope Gregory the Great. She concludes her article:

"For the majority of Protestant writers who addressed the issue, belief in degrees of reward in heaven thus did not conflict with the Protestant insight of justification freely attained through the merits of Christ, since rewards resulted naturally or automatically from good works, which were part of the elect's sanctification."[14]

Modern Christian Commentary: Daley (Catholic)

Brian E. Daley, a Jesuit scholar, cites the following Church Fathers as teaching varying degrees of glory: Irenaeus, Cyprian, Ambrose, and some lesser-known fathers: Macarius, Quodvultdeus (died 453) Bishop of Carthage, and friend of Augustine; Severus, Bishop of Antioch (died 538); and Caesarius, Bishop of Arles.[15]

Modern Christian Commentary: Ryk (Eastern Orthodox)

Twenty-five years ago Marta Ryk wrote an article on deification in Eastern orthodoxy in which she pointed out that there are "diverse degrees of deification."[16]

Modern Jewish Commentary: Dr. Eliezer Lorne Segal (Scholarly Orthodox)

Further evidence of Jewish traditions of a hierarchy of heavens (as opposed to some proto-astronomical interpretation) can be found in an interesting Website, "The Seventh Heaven," by Dr. Eliezer Lorne Segal, who teaches a number of senior-level courses in Judaism in the Religious Studies Department of the University of Calgary (including RS 365 - Medieval Judaism; RS 463 - Jewish Mysticism; RS 465 - Topics in Rabbinic Judaism, RS 201 - World Religions: Western; RS 361 - Second Temple Judaism; RS 363 - Judaism in the Modern World; and RS 367 - Judaism of the Talmud and Midrash [commentaries by Rabbis on the Talmud]).

In his article "The Seventh Heaven"[17] he takes issue with the answer given to a phone-in listener on the local CBC[18] Radio One morning program feature called "Good Question." This particular question, about where the term "seventh heaven" comes from, elicited the response that the term comes from "the popular Muslim conception of paradise, which is divided into several celestial levels, awarded according to the degree of righteousness achieved during one's mortal lifetime." Now that, in and of itself, is interesting, but Prof. Segal says it actually predates the rise of Islam by "many centuries" and has "deep roots in Jewish tradition."

Segal says that the Talmudic rabbis were presumably influenced by the fact that the Hebrew word for "heavens" or "sky" appears only in a plural form, shamayim, implying a multiplicity of heavens. The number seven has special significance in Biblical writings, and Jewish sages, Segal reports, "had no trouble finding distinct functions for each of the seven levels." While several had purely "astronomical" functions, the others had distinctly religious functions: "According to their imagery these heavens are actually palaces-'heikhalot'-and the task of the mystic is to ascend as high as he can until he reaches the highest level, where he will be vouchsafed a peek at the throne of God." Thus we have a direct connection with the Enochian tradition of a mystical ascent through the spiritual realms to the Throne of God, and also to the terminology "palaces" or, as the KJV puts it, "mansions."

Modern Jewish Commentary: Tracey Richards (Popular Orthodox)

The Talmud states that all Israel has a share in the Olam Ha-Ba.[19] However, not all "shares" are equal. A particularly righteous person will have a greater share in the Olam Ha-Ba than the average person. In addition, a person can lose his share through wicked actions. There are many statements in the Talmud that a particular mitzvah will guarantee a person a place in the Olam Ha-Ba, or that a particular sin will lose a person's share in the Olam Ha-Ba, but these are generally regarded as hyperbole, excessive expressions of approval or disapproval.

Some people look at these teachings and deduce that Jews try to "earn our way into Heaven" by performing the mitzvoth [the covenant to obey the commandments]. This is a gross mischaracterization of our religion. It is important to remember that unlike some religions, Judaism is not focused on the question of how to get into heaven. Judaism is focused on life and how to live it. Non-Jews frequently ask me, "do you really think you're going to go to Hell if you don't do such-and-such?" It always catches me a bit off balance, because the question of where I am going after death simply doesn't enter into the equation when I think about the mitzvot. We perform the mitzvot because it is our privilege and our sacred obligation to do so. We perform them out of a sense of love and duty, not out of a desire to get something in return. In fact, one of the first bits of ethical advice in Pirkei Avot (a book of the Mishnah [part of the Talmud]) is: "Be not like servants who serve their master for the sake of receiving a reward; instead, be like servants who serve their master not for the sake of receiving a reward, and let the awe of Heaven [meaning G-d, not the afterlife] be upon you."

Nevertheless, we definitely believe that your place in the Olam Ha-Ba is determined by a merit system based on your actions, not by who you are or what religion you profess. In addition, we definitely believe that humanity is capable of being considered righteous in G-d's[20] eyes, or at least good enough to merit paradise after a suitable period of purification.[21]

Modern Judaism: Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi (Conservative Mystical)

When a soul is ready to enter Gan Eden (Paradise, literally the Garden of Eden), it must first be immersed in the River of Light, created from the perspiration that flows from the heavenly hosts as they fervently sing glory to the Highest. This immersion is to empty the soul of any lingering earth images so that it may, without further illusion, see heaven for what it really is.

First the soul enters the lower Gan Eden, which is a paradise of emotional bliss. While on earth most persons are unable to experience more than one dominant emotion at a time. However, the bliss of the souls in the lower Gan Eden is likened to a majestic chord of benign emotions, which the soul feels towards God and towards other souls. In the Hasidic view, heaven is organized into societies. Those souls who share mutual interests are drawn together so they can serve His Blessed Name according to their own specialty and individuality. Each heavenly society is taught by its own rabbi and led to further celestial attainments. Thus, the lower Gan Eden is the heaven of emotional fervor.

Before a soul is raised from the lower to the higher Gan Eden, it must again immerse itself in the River of Light so that it will forget and forsake the furor of the emotions. for the even greater delights of knowing God through understanding. The serving of God with insight through the study of Torah is itself a reward. The societies of the upper Gan Eden are organized into yeshivot (schools! in which a blissful understanding of the divine mind is attained. Each midnight, the Holy One, blessed be He. Himself appears and enters Gan Eden to delight in the sharing of His blessed wisdom with the righteous who have gained the upper Gan Eden."[22]

Jewish Commentary: Lurian Kabbalism (Mediaeval Mysticism)

Karen Armstrong refers to the Lurian Kabbalah tradition of the 16th century mystic Saint Teresa of Avila:

Like John of the Cross, Teresa was a modernizer and a mystic of genius, yet had she remained within Judaism[23] she would not have had the opportunity to develop this gift, since only men were allowed to practice the kabbalah. Yet, interestingly, her spirituality remained Jewish. In The Interior Castle, she charts the soul's journey through seven celestial halls until it reaches God, a scheme which bears a marked resemblance to the Throne Mysticism that flourished in the Jewish world from the first to the twelfth centuries CE. Teresa was a devout and loyal Catholic, but she still prayed like a Jew and taught her nuns to do the same.[24]

This tradition of a hierarchy of celestial "halls" (or mansions?) goes back even further.

Ante-Nicene[25] Church Fathers: Irenaeus

Irenaeus directly contradicts the critics' theory of "earth/astronomical" heavens and then refers explicitly to the thirty/sixty/hundredfold imagery in terms of a hierarchy of Heaven:

If, then, the Lord observed the law of the dead, that He might become the first-begotten from the dead, and tarried until the third day "in the lower parts of the earth;" then afterwards rising in the flesh, so that He even showed the print of the nails to His disciples, He thus ascended to the Father; [if all these things occurred, I say], how must these men not be put to confusion, who allege that "the lower parts" refer to this world of ours, but that their tuner man, leaving the body here, ascends into the super-celestial place? For as the Lord "went away in the midst of the shadow of death," where the souls of the dead were, yet afterwards arose in the body, and after the resurrection was taken up [into heaven], it is manifest that the souls of His disciples also, upon whose account the Lord underwent these things, shall go away into the invisible place allotted to them by God, and there remain until the resurrection, awaiting that event; then receiving their bodies, and rising in their entirety, that is bodily, just as the Lord arose, they shall come thus into the presence of God.[26]

He goes on to say about the degrees of glory:

[They {the presbyters} say, moreover], that there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce an hundred-fold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold: for the first will be taken up into the heavens, the second will dwell in paradise, the last will inhabit the city; and that was on this account the Lord declared, "In My Father's house are many mansions." For all things belong to God, who supplies all with a suitable dwelling-place; even as His Word says, that a share is allotted to all by the Father, according as each person is or shall be worthy. And this is the couch on which the guests shall recline, having been invited to the wedding. The presbyters, the disciples of the apostles, affirm that this is the gradation and arrangement of those who are saved.[27][cita requerida]

Ante-Nicene Church Fathers: Clement of Alexandria

Chapter XIII.-Degrees of Glory in Heaven Corresponding with the Dignities of the Church Below.

For these taken up in the clouds, the apostle writes, will first minister [as deacons], then be classed in the presbyterate, by promotion in glory (for glory differs from glory) till they grow into "a perfect man."[28]

One of the chapters of the Stromata is even entitled "Degrees of Glory in Heaven." In this chapter, he writes,

Chapter XIV.-Degrees of Glory in Heaven.

Conformably, therefore, there are various abodes, according to the worth of those who have believed. To the point Solomon says, "For there shall be given to him the choice grace of faith, and a more pleasant lot in the temple of the Lord." For the comparative shows that there are lower parts in the temple of God, which is the whole Church. And the superlative remains to be conceived, where the Lord is. These chosen abodes, which are three, are indicated by the numbers in the Gospel-the thirty, the sixty, the hundred.[29]

Ante-Nicene Church Fathers: Origen

And some men are connected with the Father, being part of Him, and next to these, those whom our argument now brings into clearer light, those who have come to the Saviour and take their stand entirely in Him. And third are those of whom we spoke before, who reckon the sun and the moon and the stars to be gods, and take their stand by them. And in the fourth and last place those who submit to soulless and dead idols.[30]

Compare this with modern LDS scripture: "These are they who receive of His glory, but not of his fulness. These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father." (D&C 76:76-77)

Pseudepigrapha: 2 Enoch

Enoch is a book that was held in high regard in the early Church, being quoted by Jude, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Apocalypse of Peter, and many Church Fathers, including Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria. We don't know which, if any, of the three major textual traditions we have today is the one that Jude, for instance, would have known (Ethiopic, Slavonic and Hebrew, referred to respectively as 1 Enoch, 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch), but regardless, this pseudepigraphal work is a genuinely ancient tradition. In 2 Enoch, a first century AD work that would have been unknown to Joseph Smith, in Chapters 6 through 20, Enoch is taken on a tour of the heavens.

The First Heaven was called the "stellar order" (in LDS terminology, the "Telestial Kingdom"). In Chapter 7 he travels to the Second Heaven, where he gazes down upon those who "turned away from the Lord, who did not obey the Lord's commandments, but of their own will plotted together and turned away with their prince and with those who are under restraint in the fifth heaven." In Chapter 8 he goes to the Third Heaven where he gazed down upon Paradise, where the tree of life is located. Although the imagery is confusing, there appears to be a "northern" portion that is a frightful and dark place (is this paradise and the spirit prison?). In Chapter 11 he goes to the Fourth Heaven where the moon and the sun have their orbits, and which is filled with wondrous beasts. The emphasis isn't so much on the astronomical bodies as upon the order and the timing of the universe in which we reside. Now, this does appear to be an astronomy and horological treatise of some strange, mystical kind, but it all relates to the Earth. (Could this be a reference, then, to the Terrestrial Kingdom?)

In Chapter 18 we accompany Enoch to the Fifth Heaven, which is filled with a strange contingent of "soldiers" and princes known as the Grigori. The sense is one of disappointment, of a potential not quite achieved somehow-not much detail is given (could this be the lowest level of the Celestial Kingdom?) The next chapter brings us to the Sixth Heaven where the leaders of the angels and of celestial speech and life preside. The keys of life are in their hands (the ministering angels of the second level of the Celestial Kingdom?).

Finally, in Chapter 20 we read Enoch's vision of the Seventh and highest Heaven. Here is the throne of God Himself, surrounded by cherubim and seraphim. Enoch's Virgilian guides desert him-they may not enter, and Enoch is left by himself, terrified at the sight. He is comforted by the archangel Gabriel who tells him to present himself to the Lord.

2 Enoch exists in two recensions (families of manuscripts), the "A" or shorter recension and the "J" or longer recension. In a brief flurry of verses in Chapter 20, after mention of the Seventh Heaven, some astrological references are given and given the names of the Eighth through the Tenth Heavens are given to these, but this exists only in the "J" recension. At present it's hotly debated as to which recension is older, but it has been argued that "J" is a later expansion of "A", which might account for the brief and post-first-century AD additions of the Eighth through Tenth heavens. The point isn't to speculate as to how 2 Enoch can be made to fit into the Restored Gospel as a textual defense-that would be the Biblicist approach. Rather it is to show that there is ample precedent for LDS beliefs in the ancient world, documented in texts that would have been unavailable to Joseph Smith, and thereby refuting the claim that the Restored Gospel can't be the original Christianity. If we can show plausible precedent, then we do not have to prove authenticity, but we do disprove our critics' claims of impossibility. Possibility is not proof of existence, but it is disproof of non-existence.[31]

Pseudepigrapha: Testament of Levi

Listen, therefore, concerning the heavens which have been shown to you. The lowest is dark for this reason: It sees all the injustices of humankind and contains fire, snow, and ice, ready for the day determined by God's righteous judgment. In it are all the spirits of those dispatched to achieve the punishment of mankind. In the second are the armies arrayed for the day of judgment to work vengeance on the spirits of error and of Beliar. Above them are the Holy Ones. In the uppermost heaven of all dwells the Great Glory in the Holy of Holies superior to all holiness. There with him are the archangels, who serve and offer propitiatory sacrifices to the Lord in behalf of all the sins of ignorance of the righteous ones.. They present to the Lord a pleasing odour, a rational and bloodless oblation. In the heaven below them are the messengers who carry the responses to the angels of the Lord's presence.[32]

New Testament Pseudepigrapha: The Apocalypse of Paul

The Apocalypse of Paul, a Coptic work found in the Nag Hammadi Library,[33]</ref> is typical of Jewish and early Christian apocalyptic writings that feature a tour of the heavens. The earliest versions seem to have only three; later texts, under Gnostic influence, elaborated this to seven and even ten. Here is MacRae and Murdock's introduction:

The first of the series of four apocalypses in Codex V, the Apocalypse of Paul, describes the ascent of Paul through the heavens. Though other ancient works of the same or similar name are known, the Coptic Apocalypse of Paul seems quite unique in its focus upon Paul's ascent through the fourth to the tenth heavens [as opposed to just three heavens -- MS]. The precise circumstances surrounding the composition of the document remain uncertain. Yet the polemic against the apocalyptic "old man" in the seventh heaven may indicate that the document comes from a Gnostic group with an anti-Jewish tendency. Furthermore, the portrait of Paul as one exalted above his fellow apostles resembles the portrayal of Paul in the Gnosticism, and especially the Valentinianism, of the second century C.E.

The Apocalypse of Paul opens with an epiphany scene: a little child, probably the risen Christ, encounters Paul on the mountain, provides a revelation, and guides Paul to the Jerusalem above. Clearly this scene with the heavenly child provides an interpretation of Galatians 1:11-17 and 2;1-2. Of course, the basis for the entire ascent narrative is to be found in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. As Paul ascends through the heavens, he witnesses, in the fourth and fifth heavens, a scene of the judgment and punishment of souls, a scene which is reminiscent of similar pictures in Jewish apocalyptic literature but which also illustrates popular syncretism. Paul's heavenly journey seems to rely upon Jewish apocalyptic tradition, but the Gnostic character of the present ascent narrative is obvious. Finally Paul reaches the tenth heaven where, tranformed, he greets his fellow spirits.[34]

Pseudepigrapha: Vision of Ezra

It seems that, in general, one reason Biblicists have such trouble accepting the clear references to different rewards after this life is that they are hampered by post-Biblical notions which came into vogue during the Reformation; especially the idea of salvation by grace alone (sola gratia). Latter-day Saints accept that salvation in the sense of all of us receiving some level of glory (with the exception of a presumably small number of "Sons of Perdition" who actively fight the atonement-whatever that may mean), but because Biblicists have lost the doctrine of exaltation and theosis/deification, they assume these doctrines of levels of glory are wrong. And in any case, they reject the notion of works as being a prerequisite for which level of glory one is to receive-they have lost the original doctrine, especially under the influence of fifteenth- through eighteenth-century Protestant Reformers.

But we know that not everything that Jesus taught is contained in the New Testament-it explicitly says this in two places, one of which in particular has some interesting significance in light of documents that have come to light since Joseph Smith's day.

The first passage is at the end of the Gospel of John: "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." (John 21:25)

That should be clear enough to Biblicism, but the second, even more significant verse is also towards the end of John: "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (John 20:30-31) In other words, John (and presumably his fellow-evangelists) wrote their books to give the basic knowledge proselytes (investigators and new members) would need to know in order to come to a belief in Christ, and excluded that which might distract from a proselyte's education. But there was more to Christian doctrine, "signs" not to be revealed publicly.

Was this something unique to John, or is it found elsewhere in early Christian thought?

We've already discussed the common theme of touring up through the heavens until one finally reaches the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom, a theme that runs through the ancient non-canonical works called the Pseudepigrapha, and Church Fathers. Latter-day Saints perform a dramatic (liturgical, or participatory and symbolic) form of this every time they go through the endowment ceremony, so temple worship fits well into ancient tradition. This isn't the place to go into the details of temple worship, but the point is that not all doctrine is to be found in the gospels and epistles of the New Testament. The canonical books of the New Testament (the books which ended up becoming part of the modern-day New Testament) suffer from two limitations: a) they happen to be what survived; we know that many other writings did not survive; and b) they were directed by and large to new members and proselytes, so they deliberately avoided deeper doctrines.

Now the concept of the necessity of works is a clear theme in the New Testament, despite the best efforts of Biblicists to ignore or rationalize it, but it so happens that some of the esoteric doctrine that seems to have been revealed in these visionary tours of the heavens was the doctrine of exaltation, wherein more than mere belief is required-the building up of the Kingdom of God (works) is also a requirement over and above universal grace in order to gain a higher degree of glory.

For instance, the second- or third-century pseudepigraphal work, "Vision of Ezra," which was traditionally considered an Old Testament pseudepigraphum, but which scholars now believe is actually of Christian provenance, has the Lord saying the following to Ezra when Ezra is finally admitted into His presence:

And after he saw this, he was lifted up into heaven, and he came to a multitude of angels, and they said to him, 'pray to the Lord for the sinners.' And they put him down within the sight of the Lord. And he said, 'Lord, have mercy on the sinners!' And the Lord said, 'Ezra, let them receive according to their works.' And Ezra said, 'Lord, you have shown more clemency to the animals, which eat the grass and have not returned you praise, than to us; they die and have no sin; however, you torture us, living and dead.' And the Lord said, 'In my image I have formed man and I have commanded that they may not sin and they sinned; therefore they are in torment. And the elect are those who go into eternal rest on account of confession, penitence, and largesse in almsgiving.' And Ezra said, 'Lord, what do the just do in order that they may not enter in judgment?' And the Lord said to him, '(Just as) the servant who performed well for his master will receive liberty, so too (will) the just in the kingdom of heaven.' Amen.[35]

Pregunta: Con respecto a los tres grados de gloria, ¿qué significa la palabra "telestial"?


Telestial is a neologism (a "new word") that was coined as part of the revelation of D&C 76

What does the word "telestial" mean, as used in Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon's vision (see DC 76:) of the post-mortal worlds?

Telestial is a neologism (a "new word") that was coined as part of the revelation of D&C 76. English allows and even encourages creation of neologisms richly all the time (see for instance Shakespeare). That's just the way the language works, and is one of the reasons English has become a lingua franca in our modern world.

Celestial and terrestrial are both derived from Latin. The word caelum means "sky, heaven"; turned into an adjective, that form becomes caelestis "heavenly"; and apparently that ending was extended with another Latin adjectival ending, -(i)alis, to get the form caelestialus. The Latin ending -us was dropped when the word was anglicized (and the ae diphthong was reduced), giving us "celestial."

Terrestrial underwent a similar evolution. Terra means "earth"; terrestris is the adjectival form, "of or relating to the earth"; and terrestrialus would be an extended adjectival form, with the -us ending being dropped in English, for terrestrial.

Telestial appears to have been formed by analogy to celestial. Working backwards, the hypothetical forms would be telestialus, then telestis. The -stial is thus an adjectival formation. The question then becomes what the root tele signifies.

There is of course no answer book we can open to find out for sure what was intended.

  1. One option is that that the root was taken from Greek. One possibility would be telos, which means "end, purpose"; the cognate verb telein means "to bring to an end; to complete." [36]
  2. Another possibility is that the root comes from the Greek adverb tele, which means "far away, distant." This root is commonly seen in English formations, such as telephone, telescope and television. As an adverb, normally it is a combining form with other words, but it may convey the basic idea of something far away or distant (from God?), or it may have been coined backwards from English telescope, reflecting the basic idea that the stars (which are used as a symbol for telestial beings--see DC 76:) are far away (i.e., much further than the sun or moon).
  3. A third possibility suggests that it may be helpful to think about what we ought to expect based on the progression of terms from celestial to terrestrial to telestial. The analogy used in the revelation talks about sun, moon and stars, so certainly any connection we can find to the stars would be worth considering. But the terms themselves reflect a different progression: caelum is heaven/sky, terra is earth, so to me the natural progression would be something designating a nether or underworld, something like Sheol or Hades. We see this progression in Phillippians 2:10 which talks about things “in heaven” (GR epouranios), things “on earth” (GR epigeios), and things “under the earth” (GR katachthonos). The latter term is formed from the preposition kata (in this usage, “under”) and chthon (“earth”) and is the Greek equivalent of such words as subterranean, infernus. When used in the plural, that Greek term refers to those who dwell there, the departed souls who dwell in the world below, the netherworld.

    With that background, this option suggests that perhaps the root to telestial is the Latin tellus, which means “earth, ground” and from there “land, district, country, region, territory.” (In Hebrew literature, words for the “earth” often do double duty and also can represent the netherworld.) If that were the case, the word was imperfectly formed, dropping an l from the root of the word. It might be odd to have two kingdom names both grounded in terms for “earth,” but recall that this earth is considered to be in a telestial state, its terrestrial state being a higher existence from which it fell. [37]

All we have at this point is guesswork to go by, but it is an interesting linguistic question.

Pregunta: ¿Los "Tres Grados de Gloria" tienen una base en la Biblia?

Está claro que José Smith fue más allá de la información que se encuentra en la Biblia acerca de los grados de gloria en la resurrección

Se afirma que la doctrina de tres cielos no tiene ningún fundamento en la Biblia.

Está claro que José Smith fue más allá de la información que se encuentra en la Biblia acerca de los grados de gloria en la resurrección. Sin embargo, es igualmente claro que muchos de los detalles adicionales que se incluyen son corroboradas por el testimonio de los primeros escritores cristianos-y esto hasta tal punto que es difícil de explicar el fenómeno como una mera coincidencia.[38]

La Biblia deja en claro que toda la humanidad se " juzga ... según sus obras . " (Apocalipsis 20:12) Y si es así , no serán las recompensas de todos, ser diferentes unos de otros ? Jesús insistió en que en su "casa del Padre hay muchas moradas " (Juan 14:2), y Pablo escribió que en la sentencia obras de una persona pueden ser añadidos a su recompensa o quemadas , pero de cualquier manera aún podría ser salvado : " Si la obra de alguno respetar que él ha construido [ sobre el fundamento de Jesucristo] , recibirá una recompensa, pero si se quemó la obra de alguno , él sufrirá pérdida . pero él mismo será salvo , aunque así como por fuego. " (1 Corintios 3:14-15) Pablo también indicó que había visto una visión de " el tercer cielo. " (2 Corintios 12:2) " . grados de gloria " Por lo tanto , uno puede lógicamente concluir de estos pasajes que los destinatarios de la salvación será asignado variando recompensas dentro de por lo menos tres "cielos" diferentes o Sin embargo , hay que reconocer que este hecho no es muy explícito en la Biblia, por lo que es comprensible que el mundo cristiano ha sido durante muchos siglos han conformado con la doctrina de un cielo y un infierno .

La doctrina mormona de tres grados de gloria

Mientras analizaba el significado de algunos de los pasajes mencionados en la Biblia, José Smith y Sidney Rigdon se les dio una visión más llamativo del destino de la humanidad después de la resurrección y el juicio general, que incluye una descripción de los tres principales reinos de gloria. (D. y C. 76) Ellos encontraron que el primer reino, llamado celestial, será habitado por aquellos que han vencido por la fe en Jesucristo (D. y C. 76:50-70, 92-96), incluyendo a los niños que han muerto y los que lo haría han aceptado el evangelio en esta vida, pero no se les dio la oportunidad hasta que llegaron al mundo de los espíritus. (DC 137:1-10) El segundo reino, llamado Terrestre, será habitada por la gente buena que se encontraban justo y amable, pero no fueron valientes en su testimonio de Jesús. Los que rechazaron el evangelio en esta vida, pero después lo recibieron se les dará una recompensa en este reino, también. (DC 76:71-80,91,97)[39]El tercero, o Telestial, reino será dado a las masas en general impíos de la tierra que pasaron toda su permanencia en el mundo de los espíritus en el infierno, por lo que no eran dignos de cualquier gloria mayor. (DC 76:81-90,98-112)

Otra distinción entre estos reinos es que los que reciben la gloria celestial residirán en la presencia del Padre mismo, mientras que aquellos en el reino terrenal recibirán la presencia del Hijo, y aquellos en el Telestial tendrá el Espíritu Santo para ministrar a ellos .(DC 76:62,77,86)

Sun, la luna y las estrellas como las representaciones de los grados de gloria

¿Qué luz tan maravillosa esta visión ha arrojado sobre pasajes bíblicos oscuros! Por ejemplo, ¿qué bien le hace saber que hay tres cielos, si uno no sabe nada acerca de ellos? Otro ejemplo de un pasaje iluminado por esta revelación es la descripción que hace Pablo de la gloria del cuerpo resucitado:

Y hay cuerpos celestiales, y cuerpos terrenales; pero la gloria del celestial es una, y la gloria de lo terrestre es otra. Una es la gloria del sol, y otra gloria de la luna, y otra gloria de las estrellas: porque una estrella difiere de otra en gloria. Así también es la resurrección de los muertos.(1 Corinthians 15:40-42)

En la visión de los reinos de la gloria, el Señor reveló que este pasaje no es sólo una comparación de los cuerpos terrenales con celestial, sino también una referencia al hecho de que hay tres grandes niveles diferentes de la gloria a la que un cuerpo puede ser resucitado:

Y la gloria de lo celestial es una, así como la gloria del sol es una. Y la gloria de lo terrestre es una, así como la gloria de la luna es una. Y la gloria de lo telestial es una, así como la gloria de las estrellas es una; como una única estrella es diferente de otra en gloria, así difieren uno de otro en gloria en el mundo telestial. (DC 76:96-98)

Orígenes, a principios del siglo III, reveló que la Iglesia primitiva interpretó este pasaje esencialmente de la misma manera:

Nuestra comprensión del pasaje a la verdad está, que el Apóstol, con el deseo de describir la gran diferencia entre los que se levantan de nuevo en gloria, es decir, de los santos, prestado una comparación de los cuerpos celestes, diciendo: "Una es la gloria del sol, otra la gloria de la luna, otra la gloria de las estrellas ".[40]

Explicó, además, que el más alto de los tres grados está asociado con el Padre, y el segundo grado con el Hijo:

Y algunos hombres están conectados con el Padre, siendo parte de él, y junto a ellos, a los que nuestro argumento ahora trae a la luz más clara, los que han venido al Salvador y tomar su posición totalmente en él. Y en tercer lugar están los de los que hablamos antes, que reconozco que el sol y la luna y las estrellas para ser dioses, y adoptan su posición por ellos. Y en el cuarto y último lugar aquellos que se someten a los ídolos sin alma y muertos.[41]

Veremos que la doctrina de Orígenes de cuarto grado para los más malos es bastante consistente con la creencia mormona, también.

Juan Crisóstomo fue otro testigo del hecho de que la Iglesia primitiva consideró este pasaje sea una referencia a grados de recompensa en el más allá:

Habiendo Y dicho esto, se asciende de nuevo al cielo, que decía: "Una es la gloria del sol, otra la gloria de la luna." Porque como en los cuerpos terrenales, hay una diferencia, así también en la celestial; y esa diferencia no una normal, pero llegando incluso hasta el extremo: que exista no sólo una diferencia entre el sol y la luna, y las estrellas, sino también entre las estrellas y las estrellas. Por lo que aunque sean todos en el cielo? pero algunos tienen una más grande, otros una menor parte de gloria. ¿Qué aprendemos de aquí? Eso a pesar de que sea todo en el reino de Dios, no todo tienen derecho a igual paga; y aunque todos los pecadores en el infierno, todo no se afirmará el mismo castigo.[42]

Más testimonios antiguos a los tres grados de gloria

Esta doctrina se remonta mucho más allá de Orígenes y Crisóstomo, sin embargo. Ireneo conserva la misma tradición que supuestamente habían venido de los ancianos que conocieron a los Apóstoles. Muchos piensan que él lo recibió de Papías:

Y como dicen los presbíteros , Entonces los que sean juzgados dignos de una morada en el cielo será ir allí , otros disfrutarán de los placeres del paraíso, y otros poseerán el esplendor de la ciudad ; por todas partes el Salvador se verá de acuerdo en que quienes ven lo será digno . [ Dicen que , por otra parte ] , que existe esta distinción entre la morada de aquellos que producen un centenar de veces , y la de aquellos que producen sesenta veces , y la de aquellos que producen treinta veces : la primera se tomará a los cielos , la segunda morará en el paraíso, los últimos serán habitar la ciudad ; y que fue en esta cuenta el Señor declaró: "En la casa de mi Padre hay muchas moradas ". Para todas las cosas pertenecen a Dios, que suministra toda una morada adecuada ; como dice su Palabra, que una parte se asigna a todos por el Padre, de acuerdo , ya que cada persona es o será digno . Y este es el sofá en el que los invitados se sentarán , habiendo sido invitado a la boda . Los presbíteros , los discípulos de los Apóstoles, afirman que se trata de la gradación y la disposición de los que se salvan , y que avanzan a través de los pasos de esta naturaleza ; además, que ascienden a través del Espíritu al Hijo , y por medio del Hijo al Padre, y que a su debido tiempo el Hijo entregar a su trabajo al Padre, como se ha dicho por el Apóstol : "Porque Él reine hasta que haya puesto a todos sus enemigos debajo de sus pies. El último enemigo que será destruido es la muerte ".[43]

Clemente de Alejandría también expresó su creencia en los tres grados, y se hizo eco de la revelación del Señor a José Smith que quienes están en el más alto grado "son dioses, sí, los hijos de Dios." (DC 76:58)

Concordantemente, por lo tanto, hay varias moradas, de acuerdo con el valor de los que han creído. . . . Estas moradas elegidos, que son tres, se indican con los números en el Evangelio - el treinta, el sesenta, el ciento. Y la herencia perfecta pertenece a aquellos que alcanzan a "un hombre perfecto", de acuerdo a la imagen del Señor. . . . A la semejanza de Dios, entonces, que se introduce en la adopción y la amistad de Dios, a la herencia sólo de los señores y dioses se lleva; si él puede perfeccionar, según el Evangelio, como lo enseñó el Señor mismo.[44]

Clemente también predicó que los tres grados de gloria se adquieren en virtud de los tres tipos de acciones:

[Clemente de Alejandría] reconoce tres tipos de acciones, la primera de las cuales es. . . acción correcta o perfecta, que es característica del hombre perfecto y solo gnóstico, y lo eleva a la altura de la gloria. La segunda es la clase de. . . acciones medianas o intermedias, que se realizan por menos creyentes perfectos, y adquieren un grado más bajo de la gloria. En el tercer lugar se reconoce las acciones pecaminosas, que se realizan por los que se alejan de la salvación.[45]

Otros sistemas de múltiples cielos

En realidad, hubo varios esquemas para la estructura de los cielos, con diferente número de cielos que variaban también en sus contenidos.[46] Pero incluso los que no se mencionan específicamente tres grados, se sostuvo que diversas gradaciones de la existe elegidos. Por ejemplo, Similitud 8 en el Pastor de Hermas habla de varios tipos de elegidos. Los editores de una colección de documentos cristianos antiguos prefacio del capítulo con este resumen: "Que hay muchas clases de los elegidos y de los pecadores arrepentidos: y cómo todos ellos recibirán una proporcionable recompensa a la medida de su arrepentimiento y las buenas obras. "[47]

Jesús, en la Epístola de los Apóstoles, hizo una distinción entre los "elegidos" y [48] "más elegidos." Y en consonancia con esto, los cristianos Clementine Reconocimientos judíos redujo el número de los cielos a dos.[49]

Uno de los esquemas más populares fue el de los siete cielos. Daniélou afirma que la idea de los siete cielos se introdujo por primera vez por algunos grupos judíos y cristianos "se deriva de las influencias orientales, irano-babilónicas," mientras que la tradición apocalíptica judía más antigua y muchos otros grupos de los primeros cristianos celebran el esquema de tres cielos. [50] Sin embargo, parece que los siete cielos originalmente pueden haber sido coherente con la doctrina de tres cielos. Por ejemplo, hemos visto que Ireneo conserva la doctrina de Papías de tres cielos, pero en otro pasaje, ha aseverado que "la tierra está rodeada por siete cielos, en los que habitan Poderes y Ángeles y Arcángeles, dando homenaje al Dios Todopoderoso que creó todas las cosas .... "[51] Como Daniélou señala, ya que los siete cielos eran las moradas de los ángeles, que probablemente se cree que han sido degradados en el segundo de los tres cielos principales.[52]

Las tinieblas de afuera

Como señalamos en la discusión sobre la naturaleza del mundo de los espíritus, tanto los Santos de los Últimos Días y los primeros cristianos han enseñado que el "infierno" asociado con el mundo espiritual tendrá un fin. Cabe señalar aquí, sin embargo, que habrá un infierno eterno después de la resurrección, y la promesa de castigo eterno es muy real para aquellos que en esta vida y la siguiente no sólo rechazar a Cristo y su Reino, sino que conscientemente la lucha contra la una vez que han recibido un testimonio de su verdad. El Señor le reveló al Profeta que aquellos que niegan el Espíritu Santo, y cometiendo así el pecado imperdonable, se le dará un reino de gloria totalmente sin llamado "tinieblas de afuera":

31 Así dice el Señor concerniente a todos los que conocen mi poder, y han llegado a participar de él, y se dejaron vencer a causa del poder del diablo, y niegan la verdad y se rebelan contra mi poder.
32 Estos son los hijos de perdición, de quienes digo que mejor hubiera sido para ellos no haber nacido;
33 porque son vasos de ira, condenados a padecer la ira de Dios con el diablo y sus ángeles en la eternidad;
34 concerniente a los cuales he dicho que no hay perdón en este mundo ni en el venidero,
35 habiendo negado al Santo Espíritu después de haberlo recibido, y habiendo negado al Unigénito del Padre, crucificándolo para sí mismos y exponiéndolo a vituperio. (DC 76:31-35)

Del mismo modo, tanto el cristiano gnóstico Evangelio de Felipe y el Pastor de Hermas describen los habitantes de "tinieblas de afuera", como los que han hecho una elección consciente y específica a rebelarse contra Dios;

Un hombre apostólico en una visión vio a algunas personas encerradas en una casa de fuego y ataron con cadenas de fuego, tirado en llama de pomada. . . . Y él les dijo: "[Por qué no son capaces] para ser salvo? [Respondieron]," Ellos no desean. Recibieron [este lugar como] castigo, lo que se llama 'la oscuridad [exterior],' porque está [lanzada] out (en él) ".[53]

Desde la primera montaña, que era negro, que cree que son los siguientes: los apóstatas y blasfemos contra el Señor, y los traidores de los siervos de Dios. A éstos el arrepentimiento no es libre; pero la muerte está delante de ellos, y por este motivo también son ellos negro, por su raza es un hombre sin ley.[54]

Orígenes enseñó que los impíos en las tinieblas de afuera sería carente de inteligencia, y en posesión de los cuerpos despojados de toda gloria.

Pero las tinieblas de afuera, a mi juicio, ha de entenderse no tanto algo de ambiente oscuro sin luz, como de aquellas personas que, siendo sumieron en la oscuridad de la ignorancia profunda, se han colocado más allá del alcance de cualquier luz de la comprensión. . . . El también malos, que en esta vida han amado las tinieblas del error y de la noche de la ignorancia, puede ser vestido con los cuerpos oscuros y negros después de la resurrección. . . .[55]

Por último, el Señor le dijo a José Smith que él nunca revela plenamente a los hombres los castigos de las tinieblas de afuera, pero sólo breves visiones de la misma. Considere la redacción de esta revelación, en comparación con la utilizada por Jesús en el Evangelio apócrifo de Bartolomé:

Y al final de la misma, ni el lugar, ni su tormento, ningún hombre conoce; Tampoco fue revelada, ni es, ni será revelado al hombre, salvo a quienes se hacen participantes de ello; Sin embargo, yo, el Señor, la muestra de la visión a muchos, pero en seguida lo cierro otra vez; Por lo cual, al final, la anchura, la altura, la profundidad y la miseria de los mismos, que no entienden, ni a ningún hombre, excepto los que son ordenados para esta condenación. (DC 76:45-48)

45 y ni el fin de ello, ni el lugar, ni su tormento, ningún hombre lo sabe;
46 ni tampoco fue, ni es, ni será revelado al hombre, salvo a quienes se hacen participantes de ello;
47 sin embargo, yo, el Señor, lo manifiesto en visión a muchos, pero en seguida lo cierro otra vez;
48 por consiguiente, no comprenden el fin, la anchura, la altura, la profundidad ni la miseria de ello, ni tampoco hombre alguno, sino los que son ordenados a esta condenación. [56]

La pérdida de la doctrina de los grados de gloria

Hemos visto que la doctrina de grados de gloria pronto se confundió por lo que una serie de planes, en particular la de los siete cielos, fueron adoptados, pero siempre fue claro para todos que existen diferentes grados de gloria en el cielo. Entonces, ¿cómo se perdió esta doctrina esclarecedora? Su destino no está completamente claro, pero el ejemplo de Joviniano, un monje de Milán que predicó alrededor de la vuelta del siglo V, puede ser instructivo. Clark describe la enseñanza de Jovino, y la reacción de Jerome a la misma: "la opinión de Jovino, que sólo hay dos categorías, los salvados y los condenados, se evalúa por Jerome como más afines a la filosofía de los antiguos estoicos que el de los cristianos."[57] Por lo tanto, una vez más, una doctrina cristiana más antigua fue sustituida por las especulaciones de una escuela filosófica griega.

Pregunta: ¿Los mormones creen que hay progresión entre los tres grados de gloria?


There is no official pronouncement on this question. Some leaders of the Church have, however, expressed deep skepticism about this idea

Elder Bruce. R. McConkie made it one of his "Seven Deadly Heresies," concluding:

They neither progress from one kingdom to another, nor does a lower kingdom ever get where a higher kingdom once was. Whatever eternal progression there is, it is within a sphere. (Full text here).

A major scriptural argument against this idea comes from the Doctrine and Covenants, speaking of the telestial kingdom:

But behold, and lo, we saw the glory and the inhabitants of the telestial world, that they were as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the seashore;...And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end. (D&C 76:109–112).

This seems to suggest that for telestial residents, at least, there can be no advancement to terrestrial or celestial.

There is a further reference to the eternal state of those who do not reach a full celestial glory:

Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever. (D&C 132:16–17).

This scripture again seems to state that there can be no further progression for those who have not accepted all the necessary ordinances and covenants.


Pregunta: ¿José Smith derivó la idea de "tres grados de gloria" del libro de Emanuel Swedenborg, Heaven and its Wonders and Hell?


The charge that Swedenborg was Joseph's source is a late one, and was not even mentioned by those who disliked both Joseph and Swedenborg, and knew both works

It is claimed by critics of Mormonism that Joseph Smith derived the idea of "three degrees of glory" in the afterlife from Emanuel Swedenborg's book, Heaven and its Wonders and Hell From Things Heard and Seen (1758). [58] It is also claimed that Joseph Smith's practice of plural marriage was similar to Swedenborg's philosophy of "spiritual wifery."

Swedenborg said,

There are three heavens, entirely distinct from each other, an inmost or third, a middle or second, and an outmost or first. These have the same order and relation to each other as the highest part of man, or his head, the middle part, or body, and the lowest, or feet; or as the upper, the middle, and the lower stories of a house. In the same order is the Divine that goes forth and descends from the Lord; consequently heave, from the necessity of order, is threefold....The Divine that flows in from the Lord and is received in the third or inmost heaven is called celestial, and in consequence the angels there are called celestial angels; the Divine that flows in from the Lord and is received in the second or middle heaven is called spiritual, and in consequence the angels there are called spiritual angels; while the Divine that flows in from the Lord and is received in the outmost or first heaven is called natural; but as the natural of that heaven, unlike the natural of the world, has the spiritual and celestial within it, that heaven is called the spiritual- and the celestial-natural, and in consequence the angels there are called the spiritual-natural and celestial-natural. Those who receive influx from the middle or second heaven, which is the spiritual heaven, are called spiritual-natural; and those who receive influx from the third or inmost heaven, which is the celestial heaven, are called celestial-natural. The spiritual-natural angels and the celestial-natural angels are distinct from each other; nevertheless they constitute one heaven, because they are in the same degree.[59]

However, elements in Joseph's schema are present in the Bible, but not present in Swedenborg's model. The claim of "similarity" rests on a few superficial similarities between Joseph and Swedenborg and the Bible—and ignores the many marked differences between them.

Even if one is not inclined to grant Joseph Smith prophetic status, it seems far more plausible that his view of a three-tiered heaven derives from the New Testament, and not from Swedenborg.

Some believe that Joseph Smith borrowed the concept of three degrees of glory from Swedish philosopher and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). This portrait shows him at age 75. Original from en.wikipedia.org.

The concept of different degrees of heaven is not original to Swedenborg

1 Corinithians 15:41:

There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

Swedenborg was hardly the first theologian or thinker to suggest that heavenly rewards were not all identical, but graduated into degrees of glory. The discussion and debate about the fate of the righteous in heaven goes back to the earliest Christian centuries. Non-LDS scholar Emma Disley indicates that the primary sources for the idea of different degrees of glory are Matthew 5:; John 14:2 ("in my Father's house are many mansions"); Matt 5; John 14.2 (‘many mansions’); 1 Corinithians 15:41 (stars differ in glory from one another); Matthew 20:1-4 (parable of the Vineyard).

Thus, the "raw material" for such ideas is Biblical, and noted long before Joseph or Swedenborg. Joseph received the vision of the three degrees of glory on 16 February 1832. Joseph had been involved in his translation/revision of the Bible, and indicates that this effort was what led to the reflections which preceded the vision. Joseph indicated that the vision came after reading John 5:29: "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." [60]

Problems with the thesis that Joseph borrowed Swedenborg's ideas

The issues arguing against borrowing come in at least three different ways:

  1. a common source for both Swedenborg and Joseph
  2. no early charge that Joseph had borrowed from Swedenborg
  3. the "similarities" are superficial, while there are many deep differences.

Part of the basis for Doctrine and Covenants Section 76 is clearly rooted in the New Testament, and Swedenborg cannot be the source for the notion of three heavens because of this

First, as discussed above, there is the issue of other sources available to both Joseph and Swedenborg. 1 Corinthians 15: uses both the words celestial and terrestrial to name two of the three heavens. Joseph Smith in Section 76 uses both of these terms. Swedenborg only uses the word celestial. Whether or not Joseph borrowed from Swedenborg, part of the basis for Section 76 is clearly rooted in the New Testament. Swedenborg cannot be the source for the notion of three heavens because of this. At the most we could say that some of Swedenborg's expansions on the idea of heavenly glory have something in common with the revelations received by Joseph Smith.

The charge of Joseph "borrowing" idea from Swedenborg only occurs much later

Second, we don't really see any early charges that Joseph Smith borrowed from Swedenborg. That is, with the Book of Mormon, we have a nearly constant stream of claims that Joseph stole his ideas in the book from somewhere else—Spaulding's manuscript, Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews, and so on. But, we don't see anyone claiming that Joseph borrowed from Swedenborg—until D. Michael Quinn makes the claim late in the twentieth century.

Joseph's early critics and readers were quite familiar with Swedenborg—one early critique of Joseph compared him to Swedenborg since both were regarded as false prophets, but said nothing about Swedenborg as a source for Joseph's ideas. [61] A second critique complained about the lack of symbolism in Joseph's ideas. While regarding Swedenborg as a fraud and false prophet, this critic notes that while Swedenborg "was vailed in figures, tropes, and parabols: It: is not so with Joseph Smith: He speaks plainly. He lies openly; and hopes to succeed by inspiring falsehood with the fearlessness of truth...." [62] Thus, neither critic saw the parallels which modern critics are so keen to insist were there.

The lack of an early attack on Joseph on these grounds is thus problematic for a couple of reasons. First, while we know that Joseph probably had some contact with Swedenborg's writings by 1839, the same kinds of arguments made for early access to Swedenborg can also be made for those around Joseph. Swedenborg's work was, after all, in the public library of Joseph's home town, and it was widely published. The same kinds of individuals who would have talked to Joseph certainly could have talked to those around him—and yet we don't get the claims of his being influenced. And this means that it is quite likely that this discussion is purely of more recent manufacture.

The claim ignores the many differences between Joseph's concepts and Swedenborg's

Third, it is easy to claim that there is borrowing when you get to summarize everything. It's a lot harder when you get to read the texts. Here, for example, is the first part of the bit about three heavens from Swedenborg:

There Are Three Heavens

29. There are three heavens, entirely distinct from each other, an inmost or third, a middle or second, and an outmost or first. These have the same order and relation to each other as the highest part of man, or his head, the middle part, or body, and the lowest, or feet; or as the upper, the middle, and the lower stories of a house. In the same order is the Divine that goes forth and descends from the Lord; consequently heave, from the necessity of order, is threefold.

30. The interiors of man, which belong to his mind and disposition, are also in like order. He has an inmost, a middle, and an outmost part; for when man was created all things of Divine order were brought together in him, so that he became Divine order and form, and consequently a heaven in miniature. For this reason man, as regards his interiors, has communication with the heavens and comes after death among the angels, either among those of the inmost, or of the middle, or of the outmost heaven, in accordance with his reception of Divine good and truth from the Lord during his life in the world.

31. The Divine that flows in from the Lord and is received in the third or inmost heaven is called celestial, and in consequence the angels there are called celestial angels; the Divine that flows in from the Lord and is received in the second or middle heaven is called spiritual, and in consequence the angels there are called spiritual angels; while the Divine that flows in from the Lord and is received in the outmost or first heaven is called natural; but as the natural of that heaven, unlike the natural of the world, has the spiritual and celestial within it, that heaven is called the spiritual- and the celestial-natural, and in consequence the angels there are called the spiritual-natural and celestial-natural. Those who receive influx from the middle or second heaven, which is the spiritual heaven, are called spiritual-natural; and those who receive influx from the third or inmost heaven, which is the celestial heaven, are called celestial-natural. The spiritual-natural angels and the celestial-natural angels are distinct from each other; nevertheless they constitute one heaven, because they are in the same degree.

32. In each heaven there is an internal and an external; those in the internal are called internal angels, while those in the external are called external angels. The internal and the external in the heavens, or in each heaven, hold the same relation as the voluntary and intellectual in man - the internal corresponding to the voluntary, and the external to the intellectual. Every thing voluntary is intellectual; one cannot exist without the other. The voluntary may be compared to a flame and the intellectual to the light therefrom.

So, there are three heavens in Swedenborg. And there are three heavens in Joseph Smith, and there are three heavens in 1 Cor. 15. In the New Testament we have "bodies celestial" - from 1 Cor. 15:40

40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

And in Section 76 we have celestial bodies (verse 78)

78 Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun.

And in Swedenborg, we get External, Spiritual-Natural Angels.

The New Testament and the D&C both use a tiered system based on the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars—but Swedenborg's system is repeated brought back to a comparison with the body. When Swedenborg suggests that "... for when man was created all things of Divine order were brought together in him, so that he became Divine order and form, and consequently a heaven in miniature" and for Joseph Smith, man is created in God's image.

It is therefore very easy to portray similarities—but here we can read Swedenborg, and it sounds very little like Joseph Smith. Sure, we can point to some shared words—words like "degree"—but these are not unique to Joseph Smith or to Swedenborg, and so they aren't that useful in demonstrating a connection. On the surface it sounds nice, but once you spend the time to read both texts, it becomes hard to imagine one as the source for the other.

Pregunta: ¿Los mormones creen que todos los demás serán "condenados"?


Mormons believe that almost all people will receive a greater salvation than they anticipate

Since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims to be "the only true Church," does this mean that the LDS believe that everyone else will be damned? And, since the Church teaches that the dead will have the opportunity to hear the gospel preached to them, doesn't this imply that the witness given to those "after death" will be so compelling that virtually everyone will become "a Mormon"?

Almost all people will receive a greater salvation than they anticipate. The coming of the Lord, or the preaching to departed spirits after death, will not compel belief.

These teachings highlight the necessity of good-will and tolerance among peoples and religions—if the Lord in his glory will allow each religion and group to live peaceably, should we not do the same now?

Leaders of the Church have long taught that a kingdom of glory and salvation is granted to almost everyone

Leaders of the Church have long taught that a kingdom of glory and salvation is granted to almost everyone, save perhaps those who fully follow Satan as "sons of perdition."[63]

Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught:

For Latter-day Saints, being “saved” can also mean being saved or delivered from the second death (meaning the final spiritual death) by assurance of a kingdom of glory in the world to come (see [1 Corinthians 15:40-42). Just as the Resurrection is universal, we affirm that every person who ever lived upon the face of the earth—except for a very few—is assured of salvation in this sense...The prophet Brigham Young taught that doctrine when he declared that “every person who does not sin away the day of grace, and become an angel to the Devil, will be brought forth to inherit a kingdom of glory”.[64] This meaning of saved ennobles the whole human race through the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In this sense of the word, all should answer: “Yes, I have been saved. Glory to God for the gospel and gift and grace of His Son!”[65]

President Brigham Young

Brigham Young taught much about the continuation of a variety of belief systems and religious practices in the hereafter:

15 August 1852

With your mind's eye look at the millions of them in all nations who are doing according to the best knowledge they possess. What! the Roman Catholics? Yes, and then every one of her daughters down to the latest Protestant Church that has been organized. They are all doing just as well as they can, and living according to the best light they have—a great many of them, though not all. What shall we do with them? They pass from the world, their spirits go into the spiritual world, and their bodies go back to their mother earth, and there sleep, while their spirits are before the Lord.

Are they happy? Every son and daughter of Adam who live according to the best light and knowledge they have, when the go into the spiritual world, are happy in proportion to their faithfulness. For instance, take a view of some of our late reformers; take the best specimen of reformers that we have, who are all the time full of glory and happiness and full of praise to the Lord—who meet together oft and sing and pray and preach and shout and give thanks to the Lord Almighty; and in a great many instances and in a great degree they enjoy much of a good spirit, which is the Spirit of the Lord, or the Light of Christ, which lighteth the world.

Now, this may be singular to some. What! they enjoy the Spirit of the Lord? Yes, every man and woman, according to their faith and the knowledge they have in their possession. They enjoy the goodness of their Father in heaven. Do they receive the Spirit of the Lord? They do, and enjoy the light of it, and walk in it, and rejoice in it.

What will be their state hereafter? Every faithful Methodist that has lived up to and faithfully fulfilled the requirements of his religion, according to the best light he had, doing good to all and evil to none, injuring no person upon the earth, honouring his God as far he knew, will have as great a heaven as he ever anticipated in the flesh, and far greater. Every Presbyterian, and every Quaker, and every Baptist, and every Roman Catholic member,—every reformer, of whatever class or grade, that lives according to the best light they have, and never have had an opportunity of receiving a greater light than the one in their possession, will have and enjoy all they live for.

I am telling you the truth as it is, and you may write it down if you please, and call it revelation if you will. But it has been revealed before I revealed it here to-day. This is the situation of Christendom after death.

You may go among the Pagans, or among all the nations there are, and they have their religion, their sacraments, and ceremonies, which are as sacred to them as ours are to us: they are just as precious and dear to them, though we call them heathen. They are idolatrous worshippers; yet their religion is as sacred to them as ours is to us. If they live according to the best light they have in their religion, God is God over all and the Father of us all; we are all the workmanship of his hands; and if they are ignorant, filled with superstition, and have the traditions of the fathers interwoven like a mantle around and over them, that they cannot see any light, so will they be judged; and if they have lived according to what they did possess, so they will receive hereafter.[66]

15 August 1852

How many glories and kingdoms will there be in eternity? You will see the same variety in eternity as you see in the world. For instance, you see here one class of men who have lived according to the best light they had: you may go among the heathen, or among the Christians, it is no matter; I will call them all Christians, or all heathens, if it will accommodate any body's feelings, for they don't come much short of all being heathen. We will take the best men we can find among them,—when they pass through the veil they are in happiness, they are in glory, they go among the disembodied spirits; but they do not go where there are resurrected bodies, for they cannot live there: a Prophet or an Apostle cannot live there. They also go into the spiritual world to live with spirits. Do they commune with the Father and Son? The Father communes with them as he pleases, through the means of angels, or otherwise the Son and the Holy Ghost. This is the situation of the Prophet, the Apostle, and all Saints before they receive their resurrected bodies; but they are looking forward to the time when they shall receive their bodies from the dust; and those that have been faithful, probably, will now soon get their resurrected bodies. Abraham has had his body long ago, and dwells with the Father and the Son, among all the Prophets and faithful Saints who received their resurrected bodies immediately after the resurrection of the Saviour. They were then prepared to enter into the Father's rest and be crowned with glory and eternal lives; but they were not prepared before.

No spirit of Saint or sinner, of the Prophet or him that kills the Prophet, is prepared for their final state: all pass through the veil from this state and go into the world of spirits; and there they dwell, waiting for their final destiny. It no doubt appears a singular idea to you that both Saint and sinner go to the same place and dwell together in the same world. You can see the same variety in this world. You see the Latter-day Saints, who have come into these valleys,—they are by themselves as a community, yet they are in the same world with other communities. But I do not feel as though I am dwelling where there are six or eight kinds of religion or more, and, after all, no religion at all; I am not dwelling where there is cursing, and swearing, and horse-racing, and gambling, and everything else that is calculated to disturb a peaceable community. Though I am in the same world where all this exists, I am not dwelling where it is, nor am I disturbed by it; but I am peaceable and serving the Lord.

You can see the variety here. The Presbyterians can go away by themselves and build cities and towns, and try to prohibit all other persons who are not Presbyterians from dwelling with them: the Methodists can do the same; the Baptists can do the same. We have the privilege of organizing society in the world as we please, in one sense. This is what Mr. Owen calls Socialism. He says mankind are controlled by circumstances, and others say that mankind govern and control circumstances. Both are true. We govern and control circumstances; but when we come into circumstances which the Lord controls, we are then controlled by circumstances. I and my brethren can go and settle down in a certain part; and if you choose, we can go into merchandising or stock-raising; and if we choose, we can live without a family, like a Shaker. In this way we can control circumstances in a great degree, while there are circumstances over which we have no control. All this exhibits precisely the situation of the people hereafter: they control circumstances to a great degree, and sometimes circumstances control them. When they are in the world of spirits, there is the Prophet and the Patriarch; all righteous men are there, and all wicked men also are there.[67]

7 October 1857

Many have thought that all will believe in the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ when the kingdom of God is fully established; but they will not; and if those characters were in heaven, they might believe, but would not obey the revelations of Jesus Christ. There are multitudes in this Church who have not yet learned these truths; and there are multitudes in the world who would not know Jesus, were he to pass before their eyes, and would not understand what he meant, if he were to speak to them. Such will be the case in the millennium.[68]

22 May 1859

When all nations are so subdued to Jesus that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess, there will still be millions on the earth who will not believe in him; but they will be obliged to acknowledge his kingly government. You may call that government ecclesiastical, or by whatever term you please; yet there is no true government on earth but the government of God, or the holy Priesthood. Shall I tell you what that is? In short, it is a perfect system of government—a kingdom of Gods and angels and all beings who will submit themselves to that government.[69]

23 December 1866

If the Latter-day Saints think, when the kingdom of God is established on the earth, that all the inhabitants of the earth will join the church called Latter-day Saints, they are egregiously mistaken. I presume there will be as many sects and parties then as now. Still, when the kingdom of God triumphs, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, to the glory of the Father. Even the Jews will do it then; but will the Jews and Gentiles be obliged to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? No; not by any means. Jesus said to his disciples, "in my Father's house are many mansions; were it not so I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am, there ye may be also," &c. There are mansions in sufficient numbers to suit the different classes of mankind, and a variety will always exist to all eternity, requiring a classification and an arrangement into societies and communities in the many mansions which are in the Lord's house, and this will be so for ever and ever. Then do not imagine that if the kingdom of God is established over the whole earth, that all the people will become Latter-day Saints. They will cease their persecutions against the Church of Jesus Christ, and they will be willing to acknowledge that the Lord is God, and that Jesus is the Savior of the world.[70]

  1. Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected by Joseph Fielding Smith, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976), 357. ISBN 087579243X. off-site (Inglés)
  2. M. Catherine Thomas, "Hell," in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow, (New York, Macmillan Publishing, 1992), 2:585–586. off-site (Inglés) off-site (Inglés)
  3. Plantilla:CriticalWork:Tanner:Mormonism Shadow
  4. Plantilla:Book:Widtose:Joseph Smith Seeker After Truth
  5. 5,0 5,1 5,2 D.K. Innes, "Hell," The New Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, 1962)
  6. LXX is the commonly used abbreviation for the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament written in Alexandria, Egypt, several centuries before Christ. It's the tradition of the Old Testament Christ and the Apostles (as well as the Jews of the day) used; at the end of the first century A.D. Jewish scholars rejected the LXX tradition and developed a new one, one that took over half a millennium to compile-this new one is known as the MT, or Masoretic Text, and is the one most modern Christian Old Testaments, including that in the King James Version, are based on.
  7. Pesh. is, like LXX, an abbreviation for a version of the ancient Bible. In this case it stands for "Peshitta," the Old Syriac version still used today by Lebanese Marionite Christians and Palestinian Christians.
  8. Victor Paul Furnish, II Corinthians. Anchor Bible, Vol. 32A, (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1984), 525.
  9. Eugene Seiach, Ancient Texts and Mormonism: Discovering the Roots of the Eternal Gospel in Ancient Israel and the Primitive Church, Second Edition (Salt Lake City: Eugene Seiach, 1995), 572.
  10. Jean Daniélou, The Theology of Jewish Christianity (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1964), 174, quoted in Seiach, Ancient Texts and Mormonism, 571.
  11. In Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Vol. 3:4. [cita requerida]
  12. Ante-Nicene Fathers, I:154, fn.
  13. Quoted by Eusebius, "Preface to Papias," Historia Ecclesia, III.39:3-4. See also "Fragments of Papias" V at http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-43.htm#P3497_597426
  14. Emma Disley, "Degrees of Glory: Protestant Doctrine and the Concept of Rewards Hereafter," Journal of Theological Studies 42 (1991), 77-105. I am thankful to Ted Jones for this citation.
  15. Brian E. Daley, The Hope of the Early Church. A Handbook of Patristic Eschatology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). I am thankful to Ted Jones for this citation.
  16. Marta Ryk, "The Holy Spirit's Role in the Deification of Man According to Contemporary Orthodox Theology," Diakonia 10 (Fordham University, 1975), 122. I am thankful to Ted Jones for this citation.
  17. [cita requerida] http://www.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/Shokel/891103_7th_Heaven.html
  18. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; somewhat similar to National Public Radio in the United States. See also http://www.calgary.cbc.ca/
  19. Olam Ha-Ba (oh-LAHM hah-BAH): literally "the world to come." 1) The messianic age; 2) the spiritual world that souls go to after death.
  20. "G-d" [sic]; many observant Jews try to avoid spelling "God" out in full in English just as they substitute the word "Adonai" ("Lord") for the "Tetragrammaton" (YHWH, "Yahweh," or "Jehovah.")
  21. Tracey Richards, "Judaism 101," an Orthodox Jewish FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Website: http://www.jewfaq.org. See specifically: http://www.jewfaq.org/olamhaba.htm.
  22. Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi is Professor Emeritus, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA; 1987 through the present; see http://www.elevated.fsnet.co.uk/index-page13.html
  23. Teresa was a 'conversa' or forced convert to Christianity from Judaism.
  24. Karen Armstrong, The Battle for God (New York: Ballantine, 2000), 14.
  25. Ante-Nicene refers to Church Fathers who lived and wrote before the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.
  26. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Vol. 31:2; see also http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-63.htm#P8900_2545577, (énfasis añadido). [cita requerida]
  27. Ibid., Vol. 36:2; [cita requerida] see also http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-63.htm#P8900_2545577
  28. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata (Miscellanies): XIII.13; see also http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-02/anf02-67.htm#P8215_2366146
  29. [cita requerida]
  30. Origen, Commentary on John, II.3; see also http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-10/anf10-38.htm#TopOfPage.
  31. For the complete text of 2 Enoch, see "2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch," The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Vol. 1, edited by James H. Charlesworth (Garden City, New York: Doubleday; 1983), 102-213.
  32. Testament of Levi 3:1-8, in H.C. Kee, "Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs," The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Vol. 1, edited by James H. Charlesworth (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1983), 788-789.
  33. The Nag Hammadi library was found by an Egyptian farmer in Upper Egypt in December, 1945. It contains the library of an early Christian (Gnostic) monastery.
  34. George W. MacRae and William R. Murdock, "The Apocalypse of Paul (V,2)," The Nag Hammadi Library in English, directed by James M. Robinson (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1977), 239. For an online text, see also http://apoc.port5.com/apocl/fgapcpl.htm. [cita requerida]
  35. J.R. Mueller and G.A. Robins, "Vision of Ezra," The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Vol. 1, edited by James H. Charlesworth (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1983), 590.
  36. See related discussion of the Greek in Russell M. Nelson, "Perfection Pending," Ensign (November 1995), 86. off-site (Inglés)
  37. See Kevin Barney, "The Etymology of “Telestial”," bycommonconsent blog (27 January 2010). off-site (Inglés)
  38. This response is originally from Plantilla:Restoringancientchurch It may have been added to or modified since, by nature of a wiki project.
  39. Note also that the paradise of Adam and Eve was in a Terrestrial state, and translated beings dwell in this sphere awaiting the resurrection, as well. See Chapter Note 2.
  40. Origen, De Principiis 2:10:2, in ANF 4:294.
  41. Origen, Commentary on John 2:3, in ANF 10:324-325.
  42. John Chrysostom, Homilies on 1 Corinthians 41:4, in NPNF Series 1, 12:251.
  43. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5:36:1-2, in ANF 1:567, brackets in original.
  44. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 6:14, in ANF 2:506.
  45. ANF 2:506.
  46. Daniélou, The Theology of Jewish Christianity, 179.
  47. The Lost Books of the Bible (New York: Bell Publishing Company, 1979), 240.
  48. Epistula Apostolorum, in NTA 1:210.
  49. Daniélou, The Theology of Jewish Christianity, 174; However, it is clear from the passages which mention two heavens in the Recognitions that the two heavens spoken of are the visible heaven, which men can see, and the invisible, where the angels, etc., dwell. See Clementine Recognitions 9:3, in ANF 8:183; Clementine Recognitions 3:27, in ANF 8:121; Clementine Recognitions 2:68, in ANF 8:116. There is no mention of any division in the invisible heaven, but the following passage may be an oblique reference to the three degrees: "Be this therefore the first step to you of three; which step brings forth thirty commands, and the second sixty, and the third a hundred, as we shall expound more fully to you at another time." Peter, in Clementine Recognitions 4:36, in ANF 8:143. The footnote to this passage makes clear that whatever it referred to was most likely part of the esoteric tradition.
  50. Daniélou, The Theology of Jewish Christianity, 174.
  51. Irenaeus, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching 9, in ACW 16:53.
  52. Daniélou, The Theology of Jewish Christianity, 176.
  53. The Gospel of Philip, in , James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library in English (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1977), 140, brackets in original.
  54. The Pastor of Hermas, Sim. 9:19, in ANF 2:50.
  55. Origen, De Principiis 2:10:8, in ANF 4:296.
  56. The Gospel of Bartholomew, in ANT, 173.
  57. Clark, The Origenist Controversy, 131.
  58. The Latin title of the original was De Caelo et Ejus Mirabilibus et de inferno, ex Auditis et Visis. An on-line version is available as translated by J.C. Ager, off-site (Inglés)
  59. Emanuel Swedenborg, Heaven and its Wonders and Hell
  60. See DC 76:76; see also Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 1:245–252. BYU Studies link
  61. Plantilla:CriticalWork:Clark:Gleanings by the Way VI
  62. Plantilla:CriticalWork:Scott:Mormon Bible III
  63. See D&C 76:28-38
  64. (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 288)
  65. Dallin H. Oaks, "Have You Been Saved?," Ensign (May 1998), 55, Plantilla:Io.
  66. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:292-293
  67. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:293-295
  68. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 5:330-330
  69. Brigham Young, "Necessity Of Trials — Glory Of The Saints' Religion — Government Of God, etc.," (22 May 1859) Journal of Discourses 7:142-?
  70. Brigham Young, "Union—Persecution—The Nature of the Kingdom of God—Trading With Enemies—The Jews—On the Murder of Dr. Robinson," (23 December 1866) Journal of Discourses 11:275