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Article 10, Paradise and Eternity, Part 6

The tenth LDS Article of Faith says: “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.” LDS doctrines about earth’s renewal may sound like what many Christians believe since President Joseph Fielding Smith, the LDS 10th Prophet said, “The great change (in the earth) which shall come when Christ our Savior begins His Millennial reign, is to be a restoration to the conditions which prevailed before the fall of man…This new heaven and earth which will come into existence when our Lord comes to reign, is the same earth with its heavens renewed or restored to its primitive condition and beauty.” (The Restoration of All Things, pp. 294-295).

But the 10th LDS Prophet also wrote, “The earth, in its paradisiacal state shall have two capital cities—the City Zion or New Jerusalem (in Missouri) and Old Jerusalem (in Israel). The city of Enoch, which was translated, shall return to the earth with the result that there shall be three great holy cities. Zion, or the New Jerusalem, is yet to be built {by LDS} in Jackson County, Missouri (Religious Truths Defined, p. 389). He said the same thing in Doctrines of Salvation vol. III, p. 78. Then he said, “Some of the members of the (LDS) Church seem to be fearful lest the word of the Lord fail.” LDS should be concerned about that since Joseph Smith’s revelation on Sept. 22 & 23, 1832 said the temple in Jackson County, Missouri would be built by the gathering of the (LDS) saints living in 1832 and that generation would not “all pass away until an house (temple) shall be built unto the Lord” (Doctrine & Covenants {D. & C.} 84:1-5). Previous blogs pointed out that that gathering was aborted so the temple in Jackson County, MO still hasn’t been built nearly 200 years after Smith’s revelation! LDS scripture in the Pearl of Great Price, Moses 7:62-69 says when Enoch was translated, the righteous city of Enoch was also caught up to heaven with him. That city of Enoch will return to earth at the beginning of the millennium and be merged with the New Jerusalem or Zion in Missouri. And Smith said, During the cleansing and renewal of the earth, the Lord shall remove his holy cities with the righteous inhabitants thereof. It is this new city of Zion or New Jerusalem that John saw coming down out of heaven after the earth’s cleansing in Rev. 3:12… Then shall the inhabitants of the city of Enoch meet those of New Jerusalem—‘And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion’ (P. of G. P., Moses 7:64)…Though the earth will rest during the millennium, the (LDS) saints will not be idle. It will be a period of great activity. Work must be done for the salvation of the dead. Thousands of (LDS) temples will be built to permit mortals to do vicarious work for the righteous who died without the privileges of the (LDS) gospel. Resurrected angels of God will direct the work, furnishing the names and information of the dead worthy of celestial glory…Baptism is a celestial law. Baptism and other ordinance work will only be done for those who are heirs of the celestial kingdom. Temple work will not be required for terrestrial or telestial beings and they are numerous (Religious Truths Defined, pp.390-391).

The 10th LDS Prophet also said, “When the reign of Jesus Christ comes during the millennium, only those who have lived the telestial law will be removed. The earth will be cleansed of all its corruption and wickedness. Those who have lived virtuous lives, who have been honest in their dealings with their fellow man and have endeavored to do good to the best of their understanding, shall remain…So we learn that all corruptible things, whether men or beasts or element, shall be consumed; but all that does not come under this awful edict shall remain (on earth). Therefore, the honest and upright of all nations, kindreds, and beliefs, who have kept the terrestrial or celestial law, will remain (Doctrines of Salvation vol. III, pp. 62-63). Joseph Fielding Smith also said, “The Prophet Joseph Smith has said: ‘There will be wicked men on the earth during the thousand years’… In using this term wicked it should be interpreted in the language of the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 84:49-53. Here the Lord speaks of those who have not received the (LDS) gospel as being wicked as they are still under the bondage of sin, having not been baptized (by LDS)…The(LDS) gospel will be taught far more intensely and with greater power during the millennium until all the inhabitants of the earth shall embrace it…The righteous dead are to come forth from their graves and there will be a mingling of mortals and immortals upon the earth. Christ and the resurrected (LDS) saints who hold the priesthood shall teach the people, so there can be no misunderstandings and mistakes. For 1,000 years shall this happy time of peace prevail and in due time ALL the inhabitants of the earth shall be brought into the fold of the (LDS) Church (Doctrines of Salvation vol. III, PP. 63-66). Smith said on p. 65 of the same book, “We have people coming to us all the time just as fearful as they can be that a child of theirs who has died will lose the blessings of the kingdom of God unless that child is sealed to someone who is dead.” The reason for such fear is that Mormonism teaches that only those married in an LDS temple for all eternity will inhabit the highest realm of the celestial kingdom. Babies and young children who die haven’t thought about marriage, and (LDS) parents want them to get to the highest heaven. But Smith said after the child grows up in the spirit world they can choose their mate!

The above content is part of the LDS view of eternal progression that happens during the millennium. LDS General Authorities assigned Milton R. Hunter to write Gospel Through the Ages which contains a brief summary of LDS “eternal progression” on pp. 127-129. He said Revelations were given by the Lord to the Prophet Joseph Smith relative to several phases of the eternal progression of man. In the first stage, man was an eternally existent being termed an intelligence…we completed our work in that realm and were permitted to go forward…The next realm where man dwelt (was) in the spirit world…eternally-existing intelligences were clothed (born) with spirit bodies in the mansion of their Eternal Father …numerous (spirit) sons and daughters were begotten and born of heavenly parents…and reared to maturity…prior to coming upon this earth…Following his stay in the spirit world, man comes on earth in a probationary state preparatory to the eternal existence beyond the confines of this world. Here he receives his physical body…Eventually, however, mortal death comes upon all. The eternal spirit goes to the spirit world to await resurrection and judgment …In due time all will rise from the grave and stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. There they will be assigned to the glory they have merited…Some will receive telestial glory (lowest glory); others, terrestrial (middle glory), while those (LDS) in the Lamb’s book of life will enter celestial glory” (highest glory). None of this is Biblical, yet LDS call themselves Christians.

Our next blog will discuss the 11th LDS Article of Faith.


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