Thursday, July 14, 2016

Degrees of Glory

This week as studying the Doctrine and Covenants Section 76, I realized just how blessed that I have been to be able to know and understand that there are degrees of glory, rather than just a Heaven and Hell which will be assigned to each person at the final judgement. 

As I consider the messages that would be most vital to my children whom someday will read my thoughts written here; I desire to share a beautiful experience that I was given in the Celestial Room of the Dallas, TX temple. 

I often go to the temple to receive comfort, guidance and instruction in my life. However, on this day I had stopped at my Father and Mother's home and asked if my Father would give me a Priesthood Blessing which I believe allowed for a more power in my experiences that day. In the blessing that my Father gave me, he blessed that I would receive direction in my life, and the strength that I needed. I left on the road to the temple that Sat. morning with unwavering faith, knowing that I was going to have blessings given to me as promised through a faithful servant, my Father.

Among very special messages that I was given as I was seeking to receive answers and comfort in regards to my husband not being a member of God's Kingdom upon the earth, I was suddenly drawn to the Chandelier in the temple. 

It was just as Joseph Smith had described the way that the spirit speaks to him, as he said, 

" Revelation is pure intelligence, which may give sudden strokes of ideas." ( Teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith )  

I knew with assurance at that moment that My Heavenly Father wanted me to know that the Celestial Kingdom was likened unto the Chandelier that I was looking at, and each and every part of it is very beautiful, just as each person in His kingdom has great worth. I knew that each part of it was necessary to hold it up, and make it as it was purposed to be, and shine together perfectly, and I knew that no matter what would happen, He has a plan for all of us in His kingdom, and that His plans are perfect and marvelous to both see and be a part of, no matter what the outcome.

1 Corinthians 12:

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him?

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary..

Following tender messages that I do not write, my eyes were then drawn to each light in each the room, and I felt and knew clearly of the beauty and blessing in not just the Celestial Kingdom, but also in each of His degrees of glory that He has prepared for His children to eventually obtain. I felt great peace to know that each and every part of My Heavenly Father's work has glory and beauty of it's own. I knew and felt that in which ever kingdom that one obtains in the next life, it would be the place of best experience, and measure of joy that they would enjoy obtaining. 

 "The doctrinal teachings concerning desire, relates directly to our moral agency and our individuality. Whether in their conception or expression, our desires profoundly affect the use of our moral agency. Desires thus become real determinants, even when, with pitiful naivete, we do not really want the consequences of our desires.
Desire denotes a real longing or craving. Hence righteous desires are much more than passive preferences or fleeting feelings. Of course our genes, circumstances, and environments matter very much, and they shape us significantly. Yet there remains an inner zone in which we are sovereign, unless we abdicate. In this zone lies the essence of our individuality and our personal accountability.
Therefore, what we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity. “For I [said the Lord] will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:9; see also Jer. 17:10). Alma said, “I know that [God] granteth unto men according to their desire, … I know that he allotteth unto men … according to their wills” (Alma 29:4). To reach this equitable end, God’s canopy of mercy is stretched out, including “all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of [the gospel], who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;
“For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:8–9).
God thus takes into merciful account not only our desires and our performance, but also the degrees of difficulty which our varied circumstances impose upon us. No wonder we will not complain at the final judgment, especially since even the telestial kingdom’s glory “surpasses all understanding” (D&C 76:89). God delights in blessing us, especially when we realize “joy in that which [we] have desired” (D&C 7:8).
However, in contrast to God’s merciful plan for our joy and glory, Satan “[desires] that all men might be miserable like unto himself” (2 Ne. 2:27)."
( According to the Desire of Our Hearts - Elder Neal A. Maxwell ) 

I truly feel the great mercy and love that our Father in Heaven has for each of us His children as He has provided this perfect plan and earthly state where we can each choose exactly what we want and that because of our agency and the chance that we had to choose for ourselves, we are much more happy in our choice, than had the adversary chosen or made us to choose to live after a manner that we did not desire. 

The depth of love that I felt that our Father had for each of His children was incredibly sweet to feel. It felt such joy and peace to know that truly all things are going to work together for the good, for those whom love God. ( Romans 8:28 ) 

I think of Him, I want to please Him and I desire to live with Him. I hope that what I insistently desire over time, will be what I receive, as  Elder Maxwell explained. 

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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