Sunday, March 3, 2013


Last week my Thought included my experiences during the pursuit of my Master’s degree and how this influenced the way I divide Ancient and Modern Scripture and further how this has influenced my understanding of how the Lord reveals His knowledge to the children of men through his Prophets.

This line upon line process of the revealing of Eternal Truths to mankind is very evident in that which I wish to express my gratefulness for during this week’s Thought.


As we search the Ancient Scriptures (Old Testament – Pre 3rd Nephi Book of Mormon) it is hard to find any variance about what mortals are to expect after death. There seems to be a universal understanding that those who do evil will go to an existence of everlasting misery and those who live righteously will go live in an everlasting state of happiness. The one called hell and the other called heaven.

A major problem with this understanding of life after death is that it is extremely difficult to draw the line between those who have been evil and those who have been righteous. Even the concept of works being balanced on a scale leaves us wondering about the variable weight of a good work and the weight of an evil work. We are also unable to unravel the mystery of unequal opportunities during mortality. Some are born with an obvious advantage when it comes to making decisions which will determine survival, while others must break commandments in order to meet the next day’s sunrise. Since all of us are continually enveloped in the struggle between being good and being evil our confidence in our eventual living conditions are continually in flux.

The Modern Scriptures (New Testament – Doctrine and Covenants – Latter day Revelators) add lines upon lines to our understanding.

The Savior adds a line to ponder upon when he says: In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14: 2

Paul then adds a few lines to our understanding in his first epistle to the Corinthians: There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. 1 Corinthians 15: 41-42

Joseph Smith brings a great deal of clarification in Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants:

33-34 They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born; For they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity; Concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—

50-52, 58, 59, 62,70 And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever. These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical.

71-76, 80 And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fullness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament. 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 fullness. And now this is the end of the vision which we saw of the terrestrial, that the Lord commanded us to write while we were yet in the Spirit.

81-84 And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament. These are they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus. These are they who deny not the Holy Spirit. These are they who are thrust down to hell.

96-98 And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one. And the glory of the terrestrial is one, even as the glory of the moon is one. 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;

The latter day Prophets remind us that almost all of those who pass through mortality will inherit one of the GLORIES of God which brings new meaning to the good news of the teachings of Jesus the Christ and Heavenly Father’s declared work and glory, which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal lives of his children.

Although I would be the first to admit that my understandings of the Plan of Exaltation is but yet in its elementary stages of development, I am grateful that I have been privileged to live in a dispensation when the Lord has added lines upon lines to our understanding of our existence after the mortal body is laid down.



  1. Hermanito Riley gozamos siempre con sus hermosos pensamientos, en verdad nos hemos acostumbrado a leerlos, cada vez que estan en nuestra pagina y nos han ayudado a entender muchas cosas no solo del libro de Mormon sino en general, no todos pero varios pensamientos nos ayudan para enviarle mensajitos especiales a nuestros hijos algunos domingos, como todos estan lejos de nosotros queremos siempre recordarles muchas verdades importantes.
    Siempre con mi esposo los recordamos cuando usted estuvo en Colombia.
    GRACIAS por sus ensenanzas y amor un saludo muy especial para su esposita y recuerden que en nosotros siempre encontraran unos hermanos verdaderos,

    con amor

    Jaime y Angela Chaparro

  2. Bill,
    As you point out: some men say this, some that; all, as you and I, men.
    Ah, but some men purport to speak for God. These men make themselves to be special men indeed ... not as you or I. They would have all men accept them as such, "special men indeed". Humble they are of course before God, at least they would have us see them as such, as they ask such deference from us.
    Can any man expect to be deferred to so by other men without pride? You explain to me with all the skill of a true scripturologist, using their own words, how this can be so.

    Paul Maddox

  3. Bill,
    No one is sufficiently humble and righteous enough to stand on his own.
    The difference between us on this issue as I see it is that God speaks to me (and can to you) through what your prophets call the "holy ghost". Even so your strong preference seems to be to try to hear his voice through self designated, purportedly humble, (and because my life's experiences compel me to believe that none are without sin), prideful men.
    And no one ought, certainly not I, to be ungrateful for those who are able to bring His light into clearer view. You for one.

    Paul Maddox

  4. I should by now be expecting unexpected responses from you. Yet i have become slow and so slothful in my thinking that they remain unexpected. Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
    I believe that lights of the sort you mention, as seen by others, the much broader audience, if perceptible are apparent to each of us as individuals. If not, darkness! Truth, that is eternal truth, may be determined by access to that source to which you (and I) turn as individuals. Without that Guide we have but our own judgement. And that by hearsay. However with that Guidance, the world all around us is filled with light from oh so many unexpected sources, sacred and secular, prophets and populace.

    Paul Maddox

  5. Despues de leer su mensaje no me ha quedado el más mínimo deseo de pecar.

    Miguel Angel Garcia Lòpez

  6. Catching up in the real world, after being away for 2 weeks, with Don's family in Florida. None members of our wonderful church, but all wonderful people. One sister and her husband did attend Sacrament meeting with us. Now I am looking forward to reading your messages. This one strikes home.. I choose to believe our Heavenly Father loves us so much that we will be grateful for the Kingdom to which we are justly assigned after this life. Your institute lessons have influenced my thinking and feeling , and I am so grateful for that. It was so good to see you in the Reno temple last Friday. How did your temple ever do without you?

    Jean Seavey