The Terrestrial Kingdom
Those that are not saved can still enter the “Terrestrial Kingdom.”
“Behold, these are they who died without law; And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh; Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it. These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men. 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. Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun. These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God. – Doctrine and Covenants 76:72-79
So the terrestrial kingdom is basically for people who accept the gospel of Christ after death, in the spirit world. In the spirit world, those that were saved will witness in to those that are in prison. Some will then come to believe and know Christ during this time. The concept of the terrestrial kingdom is the Mormon’s answer to God’s law of Jubilee and the restoration of all things. The concept is Biblical, but their explanation is incorrect. Again, refer to my article on the Barley Overcomers for details on this.
The Telestial Kingdom
The lowest level of heaven is the telestial kingdom, as described here:
“And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world; […] But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant. Last of all, these all are they who will not be gathered with the saints, to be caught up unto the church of the Firstborn, and received into the cloud. These are they who are the liars, and sorcerers, and adulters, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie. These are they who suffer the wrath of God on earth. These are they who suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work; When he shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father, spotless saying: I have overcome and have trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God. Then shall he be crowned with the crown of his glory, to sit on the throne of his power to reign forever and ever.” – Doctrine and Covenants 76:98-103
According to this passage, the telestial kingdom is for those that reject the gospel, are liars, sorcerers, and adulters. They will suffer in “eternal” fire but later will be delivered by Christ and reign with Him “forever.” This is clearly contradictory. Remember that “eternal” has no beginning nor end. What does the Bible have to say about this?
Revelation 21:8 – and to fearful, and unsteadfast, and abominable, and murders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the liars, their part [is] in the lake that is burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (YLT)
Revelation says that this group of liars and sorcerers will suffer in the lake of fire, which is the second death. This is spiritual death which is neither “forever” nor “eternal” as I discussed in my article on the lake of fire. Again, Mormons are trying to account for the inconsistency of an “eternal hell” in Christianity by creating this idea of the telestial kingdom. However, both Mormons, and most Christians are incorrect.
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