Friday, February 26, 2010

The Telestrial

Here's a troubling thought to ponder:  The Telestrial are those who have received and bear testimony of their faith in prophets, such as Paul, John, Moses, Elias, Isaiah, Enoch, and Joseph Smith, but who "received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus."  (See D&C 76: 98-102.)

Security therefore lies not in following men, even men identified in the verses who are true prophets, but only in following Christ and receiving His Gospel and testimony.  What an absolutely uniform, individual obligation the Gospel imposes upon everyone. 


  1. My question has always been: What becomes of the true believers in Christ, that had the best of intentions, who were not LDS? -In the Spirit World will one of us teach them by saying: "Oh by the way, guess what, you had most of it right w believing in the Savior, but you need to know more to have the fullness of His Gospel, are you ready to progress and learn more"? Will it be a Pride issue at that point for them, or will those who love Christ, say, "How foolish of me while on earth of course I want to advance! I'm sorry for not recognizing that the fullness was there. Please forgive me and teach me now, so I can progress further and do what it takes to have all the requirements to enter into the Presence of the Lord. Is that the scenario of how it will all play out? What say you counselor?

  2. db,

    People who will "accept Christ" will always be interested in obtaining ordinances from Him. The more difficult problem is willingness to accept Him. The less difficult is the ordinances. We perform those vicariously.

    Alvin died before the ordinances had been restored, but Section 137 lets us know Alvin was not in any way limited by that. He was among those for whom vicarious ordinances were performed first.

    The great hurdle for those who claim religion is described in Section 76, verses 99-101. To be a "follower of Christ" is something different from being a fan of Christ's, or a follower of a "prophet" rather than Christ. In fact, the verses there might well be evidence that those who accept the mantra "follow the prophet" have substituted a false standard for the correct one. We are not supposed to say we are of "Paul, and of Apollos and of Cephas" (all of whom were true prophets, by the way). We are not supposed to claim we are a disciple of the man holding any mantle or office. We are required to "receive the testimony of Jesus, [His true messengers].... and the everlasting covenant." (v. 101.) I've inserted the words: "His true messengers" into the quote in place of "neither the prophets" because if you use the scriptures as a guide, I think there may be a difference between what we think and what the Lord does. I don't want to rule out the possibility that history in our day will repeat itself, and a voice crying in the wilderness will come without rank, authority, position or status which the Lord commissioned. Someone like Abinadi, Samuel the Lamanite, Isaiah, Lehi, John the Baptist, and even Christ. I've tried to discuss this possibility in Come, Let Us Adore Him in a way which highlights just how difficult it can be to really follow Him. He's always requiring us to find the truth through our hearts, not by relying on presumed infallible institutional means. That can be a trap.

    I think you can be a perfectly content, active, recommend-holding Latter-day Saint and "follow the prophet" but not follow Christ. Therefore the more relevant question is whether we who have received the ordinances have also received Christ. Because both are required. We all have to receive Him, and then receive the ordinances, just as He did.

    It is a perfectly equal Gospel, you see. No-one has any great advantage. Including Latter-day Saints.

  3. db:

    If you would like, I have an email response to your last (unposted) comment.

    Comment moderator


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