Celestial Marriage - A Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, August 29, 1852. Reported by G. D. Watt.
Here let me bring for the satisfaction of the Saints, the testimony of the vision given to our Prophet and Revelator Joseph Smith, and Sidney Rigdon, on the 16th day of February, 1832. They were engaged in translating the New Testament, by inspiration; and while engaged in this great work, they came to the 29th verse of the 5th chapter of John, which was given to them in these words—“they who have done good, in the resurrection of the just; and they who have done evil, in the resurrection of the unjust.”
This being given in different words from the English translation, caused them to marvel and wonder; and they lifted up their hearts in prayer to God, that He would show them why it was that this should be given to them in a different manner; and behold, the visions of heaven opened before them. They gazed upon the eternal worlds, and saw things before this world was made. They saw the spiritual creation who were to come forth and take upon themselves bodies; and they saw things as they are to be in the future; they saw the celestial, terrestrial, and telestial worlds, as well as the sufferings of the ungodly; all passed before them in this great and glorious vision. And while they were yet gazing upon things as they were before the world was made, they were commanded to write, saying, “this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him, that he lives; for we saw him, even on the right hand of God: and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father; that by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created; and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” Notice this last expression, “the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” [D&C 76:24] (meaning the different worlds that have been created and made).
Notice, this does not say, that God, whom we serve and worship, was actually the Father Himself, in His own person, of all these sons and daughters of the different worlds; but they “are begotten sons and daughters unto God;” that is, begotten by those who are made like Him, after His image, and in His likeness; they begat sons and daughters, and begat them unto God, to inhabit these different worlds we have been speaking of. But more of this, if we have time, before we get through.
Society of the Gods
On each Celestial Word resides many Gods. These are they that have bonded in Celestial Marriage to raise up seed in the eternities. Brigham Young has said, “Our fathers who have been exalted for millions of years previous to Adam’s time. They have all passed through the same ordeals we are now passing through, and have searched all things. (JD 9:243). As the Celestial World become filled with Celestial spirit children of those Gods, the children will be required to enter mortality to be tested. A world or worlds will be created to accomplish this test. “And they went down in the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.” (Abraham 4:1). “In the beginning, the head of the gods call a council of the Gods; and the came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it. (Teachings, p 349). Thus, children of this world are the children of many Gods. Each Celestial World has at its head a Head God. The Head God is known to us as the “Father of [our] Spirit” (Heb. 12:9). He is our father in the patriarchal sense. For example, Adam is known as the father of all flesh.
After the Celestialization of this world, Adam will stand at the head of this world. He will report to the Savior, Jesus Christ. This is why Brigham said he (Adam) is the only God we have anything to do with at the end of this ordeal. Those that have received temple marriage and have been faithful parents and faithful in marriage will have spirit children. This world as it is filled with spirit children will populate other worlds. Adam will be their “”Father”. One of the spirits was a son of the Head God. [May not be required.] He was Jesus Christ. He assisted in the construction of many worlds and became the Savior of those worlds when the time was right. Joseph Smith wrote: “And I heard a great voice bearing record from heaven, He is the Savior and Only Begotten of God; By him, of him, and trough him, the worlds were all made. Even all that careen in the heavens so broad. Whose inhabits, too, from the first to the last, are saved by the very same Savior of ours;” (Millennial Star, vol. 4, pp. 55).
Were all worlds made by him?
As angels can speak as they are Christ, could it be that Christ is speaking as if he is “all Gods?” This seems like it may be the case. He is the savior of all – again speak for the “God Society”.
Bruce R McConkie in Mormon Doctrine stated: “Now our Lord’s jurisdiction and power extend far beyond the limits of this one small earth on which we dwell. He is, under the Gather, the Creator of worlds without number. (Moses 1:33). And through the power of his atonement the inhabitants of these worlds, the revelation says, ‘are begotten sons and daughters unto God’ (D&C 76:24), which means that the atonement of Christ, being literally and truly infinite, applies to an infinite number of earths.”
Christ will take the Father’s (Head God) place in the patriarchal order. Adam will take Christ’s place in presiding over this earth. How is this possible? We become the Sons and Daughters of Christ by the adoption. (Eph. 1:4-50).
Each god taking his place until he preside over in the patriarchal order. Some will become heads of worlds. Each receiving his exaltation upon exaltation. Here, then, is eternal life--to know the only wise and true God. And you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves--to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done--by going from a small degree to another, from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you are able to sit in glory as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. And I want you to know that God, in the last days, while certain individuals are proclaiming his name, is not trifling with you or me.” (Teaching 346). When we pass through this probation this earth will be celestialized. Those that dwell on it will be Gods and angels to the Gods. They will people the earth with spirit children. What will be the destiny of those children? To come to an earth to be tested in their second estate. Must each of these Gods beget enough children to populate a world – 60 to 80 billion? No, the gods of this earth at a future date, will fill the earth’s bounds with children. These children than will go to an earth created by the council of Gods, of this earth. Who will be their Father? Adam, but they will know him as Elohim. We believe that we are the sons and daughters of many gods but we know it not. Ask anyone what the pre-mortal world was like. “We dwelt with God. We walked with him and talked to him. He knows us all.” Indeed. We all walked with him and talked to him and sat on his knee? All 80 billion of us? I think not. That god I cannot comprehend. That same society which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy. (D&C 130:2).
Only married couples in the temples will be allowed to have spirit children. Only perfect people will be allowed to dwell with the spirit children. Why? So that the spirit children well take on the attributes of the Gods. Family size will be a function of the capacity of the parents to raise each generation of children.
Sin in the Celestial Worlds:
In the Celestial Worlds men are not “tempted” by the father of lies. Sin is not doing those things that bring lasting joy to the “society”. Satan was not tempted. He establish his plan, his ideals and rebelled. The follower of Satan and Satan himself were cast out of the Celestial World. Where do the Satans dwell? Satan cannot have children. How does he obtain children? By sealing the children of this this earth and others to himself. (Alma 34:350. How does retain his power? By the power of his “priesthood”. Priesthood power is the sustaining of law by intelligences.
Do spirit children sin? Yes. Satan is a good example. Parents are required as on this earth to discipline their families. If the children will not adhere to the laws and openly rebel, they must be cast out for the good of the “society”.
Does God know all things?
Does God know all and see all? Can God knows all laws but not all things, thoughts and actions of all being? Orson Pratt wrote that God knows all things, past, present and future of all beings and nature. This is not sound. Brigham did not agree with Orson Pratts writing on the nature of God in part. He did not state which part was not correct.
God knows all laws. If he did not, he could error. But the Gods do not see all, past, present and future. They do not know the action and thoughts of all beings at all times. If they did, why the Urim and Thummim; why the organization of the heavens, why angels. When Sodom and Gomorrah was wicked, the Lord sent angels to see if the reports were true.
Sept 12, 1989, Sunday – I was reading a book on the Atonement today – The Broken Heart by Bruce C Hafen. As I read his discussion on Grace, I had the following thoughts: Grace is a gift of God given or allowable to man by right of the atonement working under the principle of mercy. Grace allows the spirit of God to work with man to overcome his weaknesses when he is not worthy of that spirit. The grace of God is given to lift man, to strengthen and to exalt him. Without grace, man could not receive the light of Christ, the Holy Ghost or the Priesthood.
Advancing from one degree to another:
Some have asked if it is possible to advance from one kingdom to another, if one in time lives a higher law. Melvin J Ballard in his 1925 discourse – “The Three Degrees of Glory”, states that they cannot. He used as an example three men in a race starting a different points. The one each at least as fast as the other. They will never catch each other. His thoughts were based on the idea of continually learning. This thinking is faulty. His thinking was based on the idea of continually learning. If God knows all things, how can we say that we will ever be learning? It may be more that those that live in the celestial world will be taught and live the celestial law. Those in the terrestrial world will learn and live the terrestrial law, and the telestial, the telestial law. The terrestrial will not know the celestial law or live the celestial law for he will not be taught nor be in a society where it is practiced. His day of probation is past. The intelligence in a man after these thousands of years will settle to that sphere that he has the capacity to live. Some say he will go where he is most happy. That is not necessarily the case. For example the lazy are happy to take food from the worker and live in their country. How many take advantage of America? If all members of the telestial society wish to live a higher law, they may. But the day of their probation has ended.
Why some more faithful?
Why did some spirits better prepare themselves in the pre-existence if we were all created equal at the start? Were we? We are mold into spirits from the intelligence pool? Each spark of intelligence has differing capacities. Orson Pratt said the spectrum of intelligence run from plant life at one end to the light of Christ at the other. At the higher end of the spectrum is man. In the spirit world, we all made choices. To say that we not all taught the same and given the same opportunities, would say that opportunity are growth are unjust. Why were we different?