Glory, Body and Soul

“Inside us there is something that has no name, that something is what we are.”
― José Saramago

Moving on at last in the notebook. The spirit and body both make up the soul. I’m soul glad we have this truth available with us today. In today’s  world we hear of the soul merely being referred to as just a spirit. But we know better.

I am reminded of a funeral I went to a month ago (at the time I wrote this.) of an Iban woman. When you see a dead body, you see a shell, it is true. All resemblance  of the person you knew before is gone. Leaving behind a body. One cannot help but think there has to be something after this life because the body you see at the funeral is only half of the person you knew. Something is missing. That’s why I rejoice in the body and spirit being reunited again. The body needs the spirit just as much as the spirit needs the body. Without which, we cannot become like our Heavenly Father.

The resurrection of the dead is the redemption of the soul. Which the soul is the body and spirit combined. There you have it in plain english. The resurrection recombines body and spirit. I remember a letter a lady wrote about this sort of. These missionaries in Germany were looking for people to teach. They knocked on this lady’s door and she invited them in. She explained that she had seen them around the neighborhood and asked if they discussed religion. They said yes and she showed them into her study which held 3 PHDs! One in theology, philosophy, and one in European history, specializing in christianity. She also had an impressive shelf of books she had written and informed them she was a theology professor at the university of Munich. She asked them about what they wanted to talk about. They said the Book of Mormon. She listened.

At the baptism, she got up to share her feelings, Part of the things she said were, “After years of studying philosophy, I picked up the D&C and read a few little verses that answered some of the greatest questions of Aristotle and Socrates! When I read those verses, I wept for four hours.”

Case and point dear reader. The gospel has all truth You want truth? Read the scriptures. This lady’s favorite scripture, “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) One of my favorites as well. That is true. I know it is.

“The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.”
― Daniel Defoe

Verse 20 and 21 are talking about bodies being sanctified for their respective glories. Saying in effect, if you are living the celestial law, your body will be renewed unto a celestial glory. If you live the terrestrial law, renewed to terrestrial glory, telestial law, telestial glory. Footnote C hits it on the spot, potential of man to become like Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father’s entire purpose in this gig of life is to have us obtain glory and become like Him. As long as we don’t deny the Holy Ghost, we will obtain a kingdom of glory. The only decision we have to make is which one do we want? The answer to that decision will determine how hard you work.

My mom’s friend talked about this with her one day. If you are living the celestial law here on earth, of course you are going to the celestial kingdom. It seems to me that you don’t have to wait to get to the Celestial Kingdom to enjoy the blessings thereof. If you are obeying the celestial law, you will have a family that’s sealed together, you will have been married in the temple, be striving to keep the commandments and covenants, while progressing intellectually and spiritually. The blessings of doing those things are having the spirit with you, having direction in your life, having peace of mind, knowing Heavenly Father approves of the life you are leading. When you get to the Celestial Kingdom, it will be an extension or continuation of the life we are already living here.

The earth abides the law of the celestial kingdom, it fills the measure of its creation and transgresseth not the law. To me this is a “duh” scripture. Of course it does. It couldn’t have been any other way right? I mean, the earth isn’t cognizant as we understand it right?? That could make a cool book. Mankind has lived on earth for thousands of years peacefully until one day…they awoke the beast…the beast within….earth.

Filling the Measure of Your Creation

But on a serious note, can the qualifications the earth fits to receive celestial glory by applied to mankind? I think so. You have to fill the measure of your creation and transgress not the law. Those are two very broad requirements when relating to man. Let’s look at each of them individually. How could man fill the measure of his creation? Or in other words, how could man achieve the purpose he was created for? I think a better question to start off with is what is the purpose of man being created? Knowing why man was made and what his purpose is, requires a knowledge of the plan of salvation. Before we came to this earth life, we lived with our heavenly father. we were all spirits and enjoyed the same sociality there as we do here. But we progressed as far as we could. God’s ultimate purpose for his children, for any parent-child relationship for that matter, was for his children to become like Him. To gain all he had and know all he knows. In order to do that , we needed bodies. An earth was assembled and a plan for us to receive a body and prove that although we had a body and couldn’t remember our pre-mortal selves, we would still prove faithful to our Heavenly Father and his plan for us to become like him. The purpose, or measure of creation, of man is to prove faithful to the God that gave him body, breath and all he has in this world.

How do we fill the measure of our creation? I would say if you are always striving to do your best, trying to be faithful to the covenants and commandments, reading scriptures, praying, going to church and partaking of the sacrament, you are off to a good start. Get married, be sealed, have a family, work, be industrious, learn, and grow. I would say all those things fulfill the measure of one’s creation. God knew that although all the people on the earth accepted the opportunity to fulfill their measure of creation, not all would end up doing it or wanting to. Yet God still loves them and wants them to have a good place to stay. That’s why there are different kingdoms. For those who filled their measure of creation to different degrees.

An Example From Classical Literature

Verse 28 says those who have celestial spirits, shall receive celestial bodies to go along with it. This is an interesting concept. It places greater focus on spiritual self than of physical self. Makes sense. Focus more on your spiritual self then how you look. Your body will be taken care of. But I wonder how this will turn out. I know we’ll all have perfect bodies. But I don’t think “perfect” is the same for everyone. Maybe we’ll have the same perfect physical aptitudes like running, jumping, etc… But as far as the perfect look goes, it probably will be different for everyone. It reminds me a bit of a book I read a few years ago called “The Picture of Dorian Gray” In the book, a young man, very handsome I may say, has a painting done of him. But he makes a deal with the painter. He wants eternal youth. The picture takes all the hits for him. Thus begins a life in which he feels he can do anything, because he’ll never change physically. He drinks, spends time with harlots, steals, does every bad thing you can think of while living a very rich life. But eventually he gets tired of it. He wants to go back to the way things were before. His wife has died and all his friends are either dead or very old. He manages to find the painter who has been keeping this painting for him and asks if there is any way to reverse it. The painter says if he looks at the painting he’ll go back. He does. But before he does, he notices the painting is dramatically altered. No longer is there a youthful, strapping young man in the paining. But an old, angry, wrinkled monster. All the effects of his riotous living were reflected upon the picture and showed him truly what he looked like on the inside. When the picture was destroyed, all the effects transferred back to Dorian and he died. His life and lifestyle had been stretched too many years passed normal. I don’t think the resurrection will be quite the same as that but the thought your body is going to reflect your soul is interesting enough to think about.

If you have a terrestrial or telestial spirit, you will receive a body reflecting such. Oooohhhh here is a thought. What about those who do not have a spirit worthy of any type of glorified body? Verse 32 brought this questions up. Verses 29-31 talks about being  quickened by celestial, terrestrial, telestial glory but 32 talks about those who remain. It says they will be quickened but will then return again to their place where they will enjoy that which they will receive because they will not enjoy that which they might have received. I think by quickened it is meant to be resurrected. In which case, these verses support the idea all men regardless of everything, will be resurrected. But not all men will receive a glory. Resurrected bodies are good and it seems like you will inherit a kingdom but I think there is more. Because if you think about it, any kingdom lower than the celestial, could be applied to verse 32. Because every person receives a resurrected body and a place to stay. But verse 32 points out specifically its different so there has to be more details than what is written. I’m not entirely sure what those details are. Maybe, like my question above, it has to do with the condition of your resurrected body. What is the difference between a resurrected body and a glorified body? I don’t know.

One last thing before we move on. I looked up the verse in the D&C institute manual to see if there were any ideas. It brought up a good point. The connection between the Celestial spirit and the Celestial body. Don’t worry, I’ll tie it into what we were just talking about. The book pointed out there is a very noticeable change when a person decided to live a higher law. There is a change in acts, behavior, attitude, and even looks. Have you ever noticed the difference between a member and a non-member? It’s real. We are going to be resurrected with the same body we posses in this world. With these two facts in mind, consider the sons of perdition. Their spirits and bodies have received no noticeable change. I don’t know if they’ll look ugly or normal/plain. But they won’t have the glow, change or glory their faithful brethren have.

I like the comparison that is made in verse 33 with giving gifts. What does it profit a man if he is given a gift and he receives it not? Nothing! He rejoices not in the giver or the gift. The same is with the gospel/ our life. Let me change the words a little bit. What does it profit a man if he is given the gift of the Atonement and receives it not? He rejoices not in the giver, who is Christ Jesus, nor in that which is given unto him, the Atonement. Make sense?

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