“The Glory and Reward of Exalted Beings in the Celestial Kingdom Is Described”
Doctrine and Covenants 76:50–70, 92–96
50 And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—
51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
52 That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;
53 And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
54 They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.
55 They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things—
56 They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;
57 And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.
58 Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—
59 Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
60 And they shall overcome all things.
61 Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet.
62 These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.
63 These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people.
64 These are they who shall have part in the first resurrection.
65 These are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just.
66 These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all.
67 These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn.
68 These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all.
69 These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood.
70 These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical. . . .
92 And thus we saw the glory of the celestial, which excels in all things—where God, even the Father, reigns upon his throne forever and ever;
93 Before whose throne all things bow in humble reverence, and give him glory forever and ever.
94 They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace;
95 And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.
96 And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one.
President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:
“. . . After the vision closed of the punishment of the sons of perdition the vision of the glory of the celestial kingdom was opened to the eyes of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, and they bore record of the glory which shall come to those who receive the resurrection of the just. Those who partake of the fulness of the celestial kingdom are those who have received the testimony of Jesus and were baptized in His name and, after receiving baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, continue to ‘be washed and cleansed from all their sins’ [D&C 76:52], through obedience to the gospel to the end. All of these overcome by faith and are ‘sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true’ [D&C 76:53]. They are they who have entered into covenants in the temple of the Lord and have had sealed upon them the blessings of exaltation in the celestial kingdom, and have become, thereby, sons and daughters unto God. These are the people spoken of by John when he said: ‘Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is; and every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure’ [1 John 3:2–3]. To be like Him we too must become sons of God, and this doctrine was understood and taught by the Apostles in the Primitive Church. [See Romans 8:14–18; Revelation 21:7.]
“. . . Those who enter into these covenants and are cleansed from all their sins, and who are just and true, and little children who die become members of the Church of the Firstborn. From the reading of these revelations it is apparent that there will be many who will enter into the celestial kingdom who will not be partakers of the blessings of the Church of the Firstborn. To receive this exaltation they must become sons of God and daughters of God through covenant and obedience. It is here made known to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, that the members of the Church of the Firstborn are ‘they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory [vv. 54–56]. These are priests of the Most High after the order of the Only Begotten Son. ‘All things are theirs, whether life or death or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s and Christ is God’s’ [D&C 76:59]. There will be many who shall not be given the exaltation, and in the celestial kingdom in their saved condition are barred from passing by the angels and the gods who stand to guard the way to the exaltation and continuation of the seeds forever. [See D&C 131; 132:16–17, 19–22.] The Church of the Firstborn, ‘who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, . . . are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all. . . . They . . . are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood’ [vv. 67–69]. ‘They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace; and he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion’ [vv. 94–95]. Those who receive a lesser degree in the celestial kingdom will not be made equal in power, might, and dominion, and many blessings of the exaltation will be denied them. To be ‘made equal in power, and in might, and in dominion’ [v. 95] does not mean that all shall advance with equal rapidity to perfection, but that the means are given to them as sons of God by which they may obtain this fulness. We learn from the book of Abraham that some intelligences are greater than others [see Abraham 3:21–23] and so will it be in the celestial kingdom.
“The following vision was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple, January 21, 1836:
“‘The heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell. I saw the transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire; also the blazing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son. I saw the beautiful streets of the kingdom, which had the appearance of being paved with gold. . . . Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me saying—
“‘All who have died without a knowledge of this Gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, 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 desires of their hearts.
“‘And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability, are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven’ [History of the Church, 2:380–81; see also D&C 137].”
(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. , 1:286–87.)