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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

They're here: Celestial, Terrestrial, Telestial

In D&C 76, the Lord reveals descriptions of people who abide a telestial glory, a terrestrial glory, and a celestial glory. You can and should go re-read that and study it.

In a gross oversimplification, the:

Telestial receive the Holy Ghost through terrestrial ministers (including angels).
Terrestrial obtain the presence of the Son.
Celestial obtain the presence of the Father and the Son.

Now, future situations aside, are there not those on the earth now pertaining to each of these kingdoms? There are. How do you prove it? Right now, there are those who have obtained---in this life---the presence of the Father and the Son. This is a blessing that can only be realized if they are of the celestial kingdom. There are those, right now, who have obtained the presence of the Son. This can only be realized if they are of the terrestrial kingdom. And there are those who have not received the Son or the Father, who are telestial.

21 And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.
 22 For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.
 23 And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory.
 24 And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.

I think that most members of the Church would consider angelic visitation a rare event. There are many reasons for this. I think the trend is to think that it just isn't as necessary anymore. King Benjamin or Jacob might have needed a visit from an angel to give them what they should speak at General Conference, but since that is not the case for contemporary Presidents of the Church, clearly rank-and-file members should not expect angels. Or something like that. Well, a lot could be said on this topic. I want to be brief here.

With membership rather expecting not to see angels, it might be tempting to think that if an angel visited you you must be something special. At the very least, surely the Lord is condoning your life's path.

Here is some perspective which suggests otherwise. 

Scripture stories. Have men who previously received angels turned away from the faith afterward? They have. Have wicked men received angels in the scriptures, even in the midst of sin? They have.

The assignment into kingdoms. Do you recall that when this life is over we will all be assigned to kingdoms? Heavenly Father administers to the Celestial Kingdom, because the glory of lower kingdoms cannot abide his presence. Jesus Christ administers to the Terrestrial Kingdom, because the glory of lower kingdoms cannot abide his presence. Do you know where administering angels minister? To the Telestial Kingdom (D&C 76:88).

The moral of the story is that if you are entertaining angels, it only testifies that you are not a son of perdition. There is more to this, however. Receiving the ministering of angels is a part of the gospel we really should strive for. Angels teach us what we need to know but can't glean from other sources about how to prepare for Christ's presence. If it is a privilege afforded even to adulterers (Telestial kingdom) and mentioned in the conferral of the lower priesthood (D&C 13:1), shouldn't you and I start asking ourselves why we have not yet received angels (if we haven't)? At the very least, shouldn't we suspect we might be further from Celestial glory than we think?

We should strive to be worthy of the presence of God, and nothing less should satisfy us.