Preparing for Exaltation Lesson 8: The Three Kingdoms of Glory

February 2010

Preparing for Exaltation Teacher’s Manual

Purpose: To encourage class members to strive for exaltation in the celestial kingdom by keeping the commandments and exercising faith in Jesus Christ.

Note to the teacher: The extent of our obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel determines the glory we will receive after we are resurrected. Encourage class members to have as their goal exaltation in the highest kingdom, the celestial kingdom, where we can experience a fulness of happiness.

* The horrific LDS teaching about Heaven and Hell (pages 38-40):

The Truth about Heaven and Hell-Quiz. After everyone has completed the quiz, discuss each answer until you are sure everyone understands it well. Following are the statements and answers with some suggestions for discussion:
1. After we have been resurrected and judged, each of us will dwell in one of three kingdoms of glory. True. Just as there are different degrees of righteousness on the earth, there are kingdoms of differing glory in the next life…
2. God has already determined which kingdom each of us will inherit, no matter what we do. False. We are agents unto ourselves (see D&C 58:27–28). This means that we are responsible for the choices we make. We will be judged by our thoughts and actions. …“Each of you will be judged according to your individual works and the desires of your hearts. … Your eventual placement in the celestial, terrestrial, or telestial kingdom will not be determined by chance. The Lord has prescribed unchanging requirements for each.
3. All you have to do to get to the celestial kingdom is say that you believe in Jesus Christ. False. We must do more than just say we believe in Jesus Christ; we must follow him. All people, regardless of their level of righteousness, will be saved from death because of the Resurrection of Christ. However, in order to attain the highest degree of glory in the resurrection, we need to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him” (Moroni 10:32). We come unto Christ by having faith in him, repenting of our sinsobeying the commandments, and keeping the covenants we make with our Heavenly Father. …Alma 3:26.
4. To be damned is to be stopped or held back from blessings we might have received if we had obeyed God’s commandments. True. When we sin, we prevent our own progress. Our Heavenly Father wants to bless us. However, because he is just, he will reward us only when we obey his commandments (see D&C 82:10).
5. Hell is a place of never-ending suffering where sinners go. Most of mankind will be there forever because of their wickedness. False. Hell, or spirit prison, is a place for people who have rejected the gospel and people who have died without a knowledge of the gospel. The gospel is preached to them there, and those who accept the gospel and repent of their sins will be released and allowed to enter paradise until the Resurrection and Judgment (see D&C 138:29–34). Most of those who do not accept the gospel there will have to suffer for their own sins but will eventually be resurrected and go to a kingdom of glory (see D&C 76:81–85, 98–106).
6. A great multitude of Heavenly Father’s children will dwell in the celestial kingdom. True. See Revelation 7:9–10, in which John describes his vision of the exalted sons and daughters of God.
7. There are three degrees of glory in the celestial kingdom. In order to receive the highest of these degrees, a person must be sealed to his or her spouse in the temple. True. Have class members read… Doctrine and Covenants 131:1–4. Then… read the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks… about the highest degree of the celestial kingdom: “Those who have met the highest requirements for this kingdom, including faithfulness to covenants made in a temple of God and marriage for eternity, will be exalted to the godlike state referred to as the ‘fulness’ of the Father or eternal life (D&C 76:56, 94; see also D&C 131; 132:19–20). … Eternal life is family life with a loving Father in Heaven and with our progenitors [ancestors] and our posterity”… Be sure to emphasize that temple marriage is not a guarantee of exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Those married in the temple should strive to be exalted together in the celestial kingdom by continually growing in their love for each other and for the Lord.
8. God loves all his children and will give them the greatest reward that they have prepared for through their obedience and their faith in Jesus Christ. True. Have class members read… Doctrine and Covenants 76:89, and point out that even the telestial kingdom, the lowest of the three kingdoms, is a place of indescribable glory. [89 And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding; 90 And no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it.]

* Who goes where and why–The Three LDS Kingdoms of Glory (page 41):

WHO WILL INHERIT TELESTIAL GLORY?
(D&C 76:81–83, 98–103) Those who: a. Reject the gospel (D&C 76:82, 101). b. Reject the testimony of Jesus (D&C 76:82–83, 101).
c. Are liars, sorcerers, adulterers, and whoremongers (D&C 6:103).
WHO WILL INHERIT TERRESTRIAL GLORY? (D&C 76:71–80) Those who: a. Reject the gospel in this life but receive it in the spirit world (D&C 76:71–74). b. Are honorable but are blinded by the craftiness of men (D&C 76:75). c. Are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus (D&C 76:79).
HOW CAN WE INHERIT CELESTIAL GLORY? (D&C 76:50–70) We must: …c. Keep the commandments (D&C 76:52). …f. Be made perfect through the Atonement of Jesus Christ (D&C 76:69).
WHO ELSE WILL INHERIT CELESTIAL GLORY? (D&C 137:7–10) Those who: g. Die without a knowledge of the gospel but “would have received it with all their hearts” (D&C 137:7–9). And those who:
h. Die before they arrive at the years of accountability” (D&C 137:10).

Link to Lesson:
https://www.lds.org/manual/preparing-for-exaltation-teachers-manual/lesson-8-the-three-kingdoms-of-glory?lang=eng

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