GPC47: Exaltation, Gospel Principles Comments and Resources

Gospel Principles
Unit 10: Life after Death
Chapter 47: Exaltation
Comments and Resources


"The Father has promised us that through our faithfulness we shall be blessed with the fulness of his kingdom.  In other words, we will have the privilege of becoming like him." (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:48.)

"Exaltation consists in the continuation of the family unit in eternity.  Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life which God lives.  Those who obtain it gain an inheritance in the highest of the three heavens within the celestial kingdom.  (D&C 131:1-4)

"...  They inherit in due course the fullnes of the glory of the Father, meaning that they have all power in heaven and on earth." (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 257)

During the study of this topic, we will learn what constitutes exaltation and how you may attain it.

Resources:
Gospel Principles: chapter 47
A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, chapter 19

Scriptures:
3 Nephi 28:1-10
  "1 And it came to pass when Jesus had said these words, he spake unto his disciples, one by one, saying unto them: What is it that ye desire of me, after that I am gone to the Father?
  2 And they all spake, save it were three, saying: We desire that after we have lived unto the age of man, that our ministry, wherein thou hast called us, may have an end, that we may speedily come unto thee in thy kingdom.
  3 And he said unto them: Blessed are ye because ye desired this thing of me; therefore, after that ye are seventy and two years old ye shall come unto me in my kingdom; and with me ye shall find rest.
  4 And when he had spoken unto them, he turned himself unto the three, and said unto them: What will ye that I should do unto you, when I am gone unto the Father?
  5 And they sorrowed in their hearts, for they durst not speak unto him the thing which they desired.
  6 And he said unto them: Behold, I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me.
  7 Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven.
  8 And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality; and then shall ye be blessed in the kingdom of my Father.
  9 And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the sins of the world; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand.
  10 And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;"

D&C 76; 78:17-22; 131-132; 137

D&C 76
"A vision given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon, at Hiram, Ohio, February 16, 1832. HC 1: 245 252. Prefacing his record of this vision the Prophet wrote: Upon my return from Amherst conference, I resumed the translation of the Scriptures.  From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.  It appeared self-evident from what truths were left, that if God rewarded every one according to the deeds done in the body, the term Heaven, as intended for the Saints eternal home, must include more kingdoms than one.  Accordingly, while translating St.  John s Gospel, myself and Elder Rigdon saw the following vision.  It was after the Prophet had translated John 5:29 that this vision was given.
1-4, The Lord is God; 5-10, Mysteries of the kingdom will be revealed to all the faithful; 11-17, All shall come forth in the resurrection of the just or the unjust; 18 24, Inhabitants of many worlds are begotten sons and daughters unto God through the atonement of Jesus Christ; 25-29, An angel of God fell and became the devil; 30-49, Sons of perdition suffer eternal damnation; all others gain some degree of salvation; 50-70, The glory and reward of exalted beings in the celestial kingdom; 71-80, Those who shall inherit the terrestrial kingdom; 81-113, Status of those in the telestial, terrestrial, and celestial glories; 114-119, All the faithful may see the vision of the degrees of glory."

D&C 78:17-22
  "17 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;
  18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.  The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.
  19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.
  20 Wherefore, do the things which I have commanded you, saith your Redeemer, even the Son Ahman, who prepareth all things before he taketh you;
  21 For ye are the church of the Firstborn, and he will take you up in a cloud, and appoint every man his portion.
  22 And he that is a faithful and wise steward shall inherit all things.  Amen."

D&C 131
Instructions by Joseph Smith the Prophet, given at Ramus, Illinois, May 16 and 17, 1843. HC 5:392 393.
1-4, Celestial marriage is essential to exaltation in the highest heaven; 5-6, How men are sealed up unto eternal life; 7-8, All spirit is matter.


D&C 132
"Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives.  HC 5: 501 507. Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831.
1-6, Exaltation is gained through the new and everlasting covenant; 7-14, The terms and conditions of that covenant are set forth; 15-20, Celestial marriage and a continuation of the family unit enable men to become gods; 21-25, The strait and narrow way that leads to eternal lives; 26-27, Law given relative to blasphemy against the Holy Ghost; 28-39, Promises of eternal increase and exaltation made to prophets and saints in all ages; 40-47, Joseph Smith is given the power to bind and seal on earth and in heaven; 48-50, The Lord'seals upon him his exaltation; 51-57, Emma Smith is counseled to be faithful and true; 58-66, Laws governing the plurality of wives are set forth."

D&C 137
  "A vision given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, January 21, 1836. HC 2:380 381. The occasion was the administration of the ordinances of the endowment as far as they had then been revealed.
1-6, The Prophet sees his brother Alvin in the celestial kingdom; 7-9, The doctrine of salvation for the dead is revealed; 10, All children are saved in the celestial kingdom."

Isaiah 56:1-3
  "1 Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
  2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
  3 ¶ Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree."

Matthew 19:16-29
  "16 ¶ And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
  17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good?  there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
  18 He saith unto him, Which?  Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
  19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
  20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
  21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
  22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
  23 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
  24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
  25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
  26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
  27 ¶ Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
  28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
  29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life."

John 14:1-6
  "1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
  2 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.
  3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
  4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
  5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
  6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

2 Peter 1:10-12
  "10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
  11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth."

Revelations 21-22

Revelations 21
Those who overcome shall be sons of God The earth attains its celestial glory.

Revelations 22
The saints shall reign in celestial splendor Christ shall come and men shall be judged Blessed are they who do his commandments.

Topical Guide:
                            Celestial Glory
                            Eternal Life
                            Exaltation
                            Father
                            God
                            Grace, Man May Fall from
                            Holy, Holier, Holiest
                            Jesus Christ, Mission of
                            Man, Potential to Become Like Heavenly Father
                            Perfection, Perfect, Perfectly
                            Purity, Pure
                            Sanctification, Sancity

Bible Dictionary:
                                Heaven
                                Holiness
                                Saint

Guide to the Scriptures:
                                             Atone, Atonement
                                             Celestial Glory
                                             Crown
                                             Exaltation
                                             Eternal Life
                                             Life

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Moroni 10:4-5
  "4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
  5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."

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