Jeff Benedict: Deseret News Exclusive: ABC '20/20' special on 'Heaven' will include Mormon perspective

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  • obrycki SANDY, UT
    July 10, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    I tried in a previous post to address my experience with Morman families not allowing my children to participate in their parties etc...along with the "heaven" issue. Got an email from DN saying it was off topic. Although, others have brought this up. I hope they allow my post on my experience with Mormans on the heaven issue. I was told by a person who I consider a good friend (also a bishop's wife) that people like me (non LDS) will likely go to "heaven prison" until I accept the LDS church. Then I can move on to be with the others (I assume Celestial) I have many wonderful friends who are LDS. I just don't share their views on religion and heaven.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 9, 2012 4:27 p.m.

    Salisbury, MD
    We are on a Telestial Earth right now.

    In the Mellinium it will be Terestrial.

    Then at some point Celestial.

    But we believe in Eternal Progression...


    Wait! Stop the Press....


    You mean - We as Mormons,
    we are PROGRESSIVES?!

    I knew all along...but, that's what makes me a Liberal.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    The problem for most people is not the NOTION of "Heaven". It's when we start assigning people to different places.

    I'm pretty sure their is a better, perfect Judge of us all, and Him, we are not.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2012 2:41 p.m.

    I hope, when it comes to the Final Judgement, that I'm standing right BEHIND Jeffrey Dahmer. :)

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    July 9, 2012 1:35 p.m.

    Having watched the entire 2 hour program I thought it was rather dopey and "dumbed down" like most of network TV programming. The Mormon segment was ok but it made Mormon doctrine appear much like any other Catholic or Protestant doctrines dealing with Heaven which it isn't. Mormon Doctrine is much deeper, loving, compassionate and fair and simply beautiful which unfortunatly could not be presented in the time allowed.

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    The only ones that know for sure are the dead, and they're not talking.

  • SteveAngell53 Salisbury, MD
    July 8, 2012 6:56 p.m.

    We are on a Telestial Earth right now.

    In the Mellinium it will be Terestrial.

    Then at some point Celestial.

    But we believe in Eternal Progression and that two thirds of the Book of Mormon was sealed from us. Thus we believe there is much we do not know. We do work for the dead of all religious faiths thus we do believe people of all faiths on Earth will be in Heaven.

    What is important is we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and do our best to live as he would every day of our life. If we do this we will qualify for progression into the Kingdoms to come.

    We should not concern ourselves much with what the degrees are. Just that we are living as Jesus Christ would want us to.

  • DebAdams Safford, AZ
    July 8, 2012 8:53 a.m.

    Thank you to Barbara Walters, ABC's 20/20 and to the church for the wonderful program. It was wonderful that our church was included in the program. I loved that the celestial room was shown and that the celestial rooms are here for all to enjoy. Thank you!
    Sister Debbie Adams
    (Wife, Mother and Grandmother)
    (Safford Sixth Ward, Safford, AZ)

  • bwoods Tucson, AZ
    July 8, 2012 7:31 a.m.

    This is wonderful. I can't wait to watch the broadcast.

  • Dr S Purcellville, VA
    July 6, 2012 7:57 p.m.

    I find the LDS version of heaven to be more advanced than the more traditional views. Most Christian denominations have a dichotomus notion of heaven; either you make it or you don't. A simple model, but not very useful or motivating. It also implies that one can never improve in the next life.

    The LDS version is more continuous, based on the individual's behavior, given the individual's opportunities. Yes there are the three categories or kingdoms, but these are essentially discriptions along a continuum. Thus, because of the grace of God, we have the opporunity to progress based on our own decisions and behaviors.

    Another unique feature in the LDS concept is one's status in heaven is not necessarily static. Just as we make mistakes and have the opportunity to correct those mistakes (repent)in this life, we will also have the option of correcting the mistakes we have made in this life in the next life. Thus, there is always an opportunity to improve ourselves throughout eternity.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 6, 2012 4:47 p.m.

    @mg scott
    "For that reason alone, Temple work, I think it could be argued that the LDS religion is the most INclusive of all religions, Christian and otherwise."

    There are plenty of Christian churches that believe non-members will get to heaven too. The Catholic church is one of those.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    July 6, 2012 2:35 p.m.

    Sorry but JS taught many things that were not correct and are false doctrines (D&C, PoGP, JST, BoA).
    All your quotes are wrestings and corruptions of scripture and are not correct interpretations.

    "mansions" means "mansions" not segregated kingdoms or "degrees" in heaven.

    1Cor.15:40-42 means the different glorified ways we will look in heaven. Different hair color, different eye color, different facial features.

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    July 6, 2012 2:07 p.m.

    Well, if you don't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, then your point is interesting.
    If you believe the BoM to be scripture, then Joseph Smith must have been a prophet.
    If Joseph Smith was a prophet, then he received REVELATION (that's what prophets do) and he was shown the 3 degrees of glory that he describes in D&C 76.
    Christ did allude to the VARIOUS degrees of glory in the KJV of the Bible (in John 14 he talks about "many mansions"); Moroni also talks about "mansions" in Ether 12 in the BoM; and Paul teaches about different degrees of glory 1 Corinthians 15:40-42.
    I don't think that Joseph Smith was "peer pressured by the Masons" to believe one way or the other.
    I don't know everything about life after death, but the LDS map speaks to my heart in harmony, and motivates me to live in a way that God would want me to live and He would want me to be in His Kingdom forever as I accept the Sacrifice and Atonement of Jesus Christ as the one true path back to Him.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    July 6, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    Thinkman you know full well that if you have attended any LDS Church Sunday School Gospel Doctrine class that we are all heirs to what the Father has. You also know that one of the pictures inside the Salt Lake Temple has a picture of both the Savior and the Father, remakably with the same marks in both their hands. So to answer your question, yes it is taught and yes it is discussed.

    But you also know that we all have that opportunity not just members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The highest kingdom is the Celestial Kingdom. Exaltation comes after much progression that allows each of us to become like our Father in Heaven. That is the Plan of Salvation. That is the Plan of Happiness. That is and has always been, "to bring to pass the imortality and eternal life of man".

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    July 6, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    I grew up in SLC from an active LDS home. I had friends who were LDS and not LDS. We did lots of things together--went to the same parities, dated and double dated, played sports, etc. My parents never discouraged me from associating with people not of my faith and I don't remember any of my other LDS friends being discouraged from associating with non LDS kids either. I'm not saying that some narrow minded LDS aren't overprotective, but I think the problem is sometimes exaggerated by people who are looking for a reason to complain. It's like when I was living or visiting in non LDS areas, there were isolated incidents of some kids teasing or not being allowed to play with me because I was a Mormon, but those times were rare.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    July 6, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    For those LDS who say there is no hell, only 3 degrees of glory and outer darkness:

    There most certainly IS a hell - spoken of at length in the KJB and BOM. It is equated with Spirit Prison, where those spirits who have not accepted the gospel and atonement of Christ await their resurrection and final judgement before receiving their eternal realm of (varying degrees of) glory. Weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth are all there, along with figurative 'eternal' fire, but also soul searching repentance, hope and eventual acceptance (or not) of the atonement of the Savior of the World.

    The other concept of hell we sometimes speak of may or may not exist - the supposed eternal realization that we could have attained to so much more while we look up from the telestial kingdom.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    July 6, 2012 9:22 a.m.

    I appreciate joe5's comment. I don't believe the admonition to refrain from believing "all is well in Zion" is a call to every LDS member to constantly berate their fellow members for sinning differently than they do.

    At least Wildcat seems to do it with the right intent. Regardless, it's neither yours nor LDS Liberal's place to call your fellows to repentance. Let that be between them and their gods.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    July 5, 2012 6:51 p.m.

    I think one of the most important points Elder Walker made was that people of all backgrounds will be in heaven. Many outside the Mormon community seem to believe we think it will only be us who have been active members in our lives. If that were true then there would be no reason for Temples and the work done in them. For that reason alone, Temple work, I think it could be argued that the LDS religion is the most INclusive of all religions, Christian and otherwise.

  • peter Alpine, UT
    July 5, 2012 6:32 p.m.

    All these varying opinions about the subject of God and Heaven are all the more reason to ask the author Himself. I believe that I will account to God for my choices alone, even if I chose to follow someone elses opinion on the subject.

  • CTguy30 Colchester, CT
    July 5, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    Re: Michigander: Funny you didn't mention the only other person, besides Joseph Smith, present when the revelation, "The Vision"(D&C 76) was received...was he a mason?
    In fact, this person was so physically weak from being present for this revelation that the Prophet told him that he was just not used to being in the presence of the Lord.

  • gcrobmd GADSDEN, AL
    July 5, 2012 3:13 p.m.

    It's interesting to discuss ideas of heaven, as they vary significantly. For myself, the LDS viewpoint seems the most logical, enlightened, and consistent. I suspect the reality will be a lot more than what any of us believe.

    It is interesting that just before Steve Jobs died, he looked up and said, Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow! I hope I nor anyone I know says, Oh, h--l! The atheist hopes heaven will be the most peaceful sleep ever.

    I wonder how many of us look at the Garden of Eden as a preview of the paradisiacal state, which will be restored and added-upon through the atonement of Christ (immortal bodies of flesh and bone, eternal marriage, and having children)?

    Hope to see us all there!

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 5, 2012 1:47 p.m.

    RE: Christianity is all about community. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic(universal) church; the communion(community) of saints. The true Christian church is not necessarily a visible church but an invisible church. But you are a Chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession (peculiar people),…(1 Peter 2:9 NIV).

    RE; ECR: In the temple, we are all equal in God's eyes.
    The Community of Christ owns temples , both are open to the public. The CofC "rejects the whole system of temple rituals, secret names, signs, oaths, and handshakes which the Church in Utah proclaims are essential to the ultimate salvation of man.

    RE: Shelama, the real Jesus never said the words put into his mouth by the author(s) of John.
    Peter disagrees,(Jesus) saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.(John 21:17)V.19,Jesus said to Peter follow me.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    July 5, 2012 1:27 p.m.

    I would like Barbara to ask the LDS church, though she probably didn't, whether the LDS church still believes in the "As God is man may become and as man is God once was" couplet.

  • PennStater USA, PA
    July 5, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    I am very excited to see this interview as I have heard the previous showing was very insightful.

    Before passing judgment on the interview and what was said, how about we watch the entire thing?

    I just want to also say be careful that you don't dig too deep into what he's saying. The audience is people that don't know much about the Church. He's keeping it simple and he should not be criticized for saying what he did. "How do we get to heaven?" is a fairly involved question. Don't put his answers under a microscope. The purpose of this interview is to give people the general idea, not dig into deeper doctrine.

    I love being a member of the Church because I know how to find truth. It certainly isn't through debating and "bible-bashing" and pulling out obscure quotes to prove points. It isn't through scrutinizing and reasoning. Truth comes from God.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2012 11:22 a.m.


    Just because you say it, doesn't make it true. Similarly, just because Joseph Smith said it doesn't make it true. We all must live by faith, and at a later time the proof will, indeed, be in the pudding.

    Until then you could consider showing some of the charity espoused by Paul in the Bible. Or do you still see things darkly?

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    July 4, 2012 9:39 p.m.

    In a local junior high school near the history room there is board in the hall with photos of a lot of famous people in history with a question of who are these people. We will stand and point that out, "Greta Barbo", "Jackie Robinson". There are other, Hermman Goering, striking a dramatic pose, Adolf Hitler, Einstein, Stonewall Jackson, a mugshot of Rosa Parks, Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, Robert E. Lee. Fame, fortune, education, power does not convey piety. It doesn't count in heaven.

    In one of the ancient Hindu epics there is a story about two kings who fought a terrible war in ancient times. Eventually, one died and he went up to heaven and he saw the other king and he asked, "What is he doing here?" The answer was, "He is here because he was true to his values."

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 4, 2012 9:28 p.m.

    @Bill in Nebraska,Celestial kingdom of which the highest is exaltation. Christians want to be in heaven to worship God, Mormons want to be God.

    RE: (D&C 138:9)=.(1Peter 3:20)…eight souls were saved by water. Verse 21 … baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh), but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ... . In other words, people are saved by believing that of which baptism speaks, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Remember, the eight souls that were saved were in the ark, they did not get(wet) in the water, He drowned the non-believers. The ark was a type of Christ.

    (1 Peter 4: 6 NIV)…the gospel was preached even to those who are “Now dead’, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit .
    The gospel was (past tense) preached ,for the Mormon doctrine to be correct it should read IS preached

  • deep in thought Salt Lake, UT
    July 4, 2012 7:24 p.m.

    @ LDS Liberal

    I have moved 3 times in the last 3 years and have always lived next to or across the street from a non-Mormon person. Their kids have played as freely at my house as any other child and I have actually never met anyone close to the straw man LDS person you constantly rant against.

    People are complex and nuanced and I think your rants have more to do with a daily self-esteem program than a call to repentance as you like to claim. (Oh look how enlightened and accepting I am compared to everyone else).

    If your neighborhood really is that bad please move.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    July 4, 2012 4:05 p.m.

    Wildcat: With your "uniqueness," I'm astonished you stereotype fellow church members. I was born Catholic, christened as a baby. Child of divorce at five. Kidnapped at gunpoint by my father shortly after. Raised by a single mother in a racially integrated neighborhood (black, Mexican, white trash) in California. Baptized with my mom when I was eight. Our ward had black members before 1978. One member would shout "Amen" from the congregation during sacrament meeting talks. I learned cribbage from a member who had been a professional gambler. Another member was one of the first Koreans ever baptized.

    I've now lived in Utah almost 30 years. Both growing up and now here, I've never seen the seamy side of church members that you seem to see. Perhaps it comes down to you and me. I give people the benefit of the doubt. You just doubt them.

    BTW, I don't understand your statement about attending meetings. It's true or it's not. Nobody else controls whether I am faithful. No matter how people treat me, I'll be there because I know its true. Because of that, I can let others work out their own salvation.

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    July 4, 2012 3:16 p.m.


    The bishop was upset at the parent who told me I couldn't bring my non-LDS friend. As an eight-year-old, I didn't want to lash out at an adult (I was taught to respect adults), so I just left the party with my friend.


    I am including myself in that we have to do better. I am far from thinking that I can't do better in helping others. Respectfully, I am not posting to get your good opinion. My intention is to let everyone know that there is a problem, and that we all can better in treating people in a Christ-like manner.

    I am a single LDS that didn't serve a mission. I don't fit neatly into the LDS culture, but the culture is not the Gospel--thank heavens. With all the discrimination I have gone through (intentional and non-intentional), it's amazing I still attend meetings. I do feel like I need to voice the problems faced by LDS in my situation and the non-LDS (who mostly comprise my friends). If it raises any awareness levels, then it is worth the postings. Have a nice day.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    July 4, 2012 2:09 p.m.

    Sharrona: Again you mix scripture to try and make a point but again it is as false as it has ever been.

    The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ: Specifies that paradise is a period of which righteous spirits go to after death awaiting the resurrection. Section 138 of the Doctrine & Covenants specifies even further what happened during Christ's time in the spirit world as described by Peter. There are differences that individuals go to as they await the resurrection and judgement that is to come. As Section 138 so vividly states is that Christ gathered his forces together to teach the Gospel to the dead. You are right only in that marriage is not given in heaven as you say but that is after the resurrection, not before. Marriage is an earthly ordinance that must be taken care of. Remember that just as there are three degrees of glory as stated in Corinthians but three degrees of the Celestial kingdom of which the highest is exaltation which is after the resurrection and judgement of all.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 4, 2012 1:58 p.m.

    South Jordan, UT
    8:31 p.m. July 3, 2012
    Wildcat: I want to grow up to be just like you!
    But fortunately we have you and LDS Liberal to ensure that we don't get too comfortable, that we aren't at ease in Zion.


    It's boastful pride like that led the Pharisees to crucify Christ.
    Rameupmton sounds familiar as well.
    Wouldn't want to think the Lamanites were evil, and Nephites righteous.
    God preserved the Lamanites in BoM.

    Call me the publican -- God have mercy on me, a sinner.


    Stay the Course
    Salt Lake City, utah
    LDS liberal as one LDS member to another I say thou hast a chip on your shoulder.


    You can just say I expect more for those who profess to be THE only true Church,
    Have a Living Prophet to follow and don't,
    and call themselves "Saints".

    By their fruits, ye shall know them.

    For the record ---
    I do tend to rant against my fellow Bro & Sis,
    But I also expect better.
    I've had MANY Non-LDS friends and neighbors doing circles as being Christlike vs. many of the Cultural Mormons found here in Zion.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    July 4, 2012 1:45 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal

    I would love to meet these "Utah Mormons" you describe, since I've never met them. Ever since I was in Primary I was taught there would be people of all beliefs in the Celestial Kingdom.

    Since you stated you've had this argument with many Utah Mormons, perhaps you would share with us a little of what they said in defending their argument.

    I know a girl in Canada who is one of the most amazing people I know. Even if she doesn't accept the LDS faith in this life, I'd be stunned if I didn't see her in the Celestial Kingdom raising me to her level.


    You said - "A parent (yes parent) told me that I could not bring him there, and that it was only for LDS. I remember seeing the hurt in his eyes as we both left the party. Of course my parents told the bishop, and he was very upset."

    Was the bishop upset at you or the parent? If I were that bishop, I would tell that parent to get off their self-righteous soapbox and recognize goodness is found in all faiths and beliefs.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    July 4, 2012 1:35 p.m.

    Wildcat: Seriously, let me speak more clearly and omit the sarcastic tone of my previous posting.

    I'm just curious why you think it is your job to correct others in their prideful natures. You even used yourself as an example of what we should be like. Isn't that the epitome of pride? Wouldn't all of us be a little better served if we focused more on our own weaknesses and less on the weaknesses of others. Do you really expect that your words are somehow going to effect change in people who are posting on the internet. None of us has yet felt the "increase of love" that should follow your gentle rebukes. Honestly, how do you think your criticism is received by others? Do you really think you are doing some good or does it come across a little hypocritical. How would you respond to someone who posts like you do?

    I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't weigh in on topics. But couldn't you do so in a little less judgmental manner? I assume you're a good man/woman with good intentions but it sure doesn't feel like it.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 4, 2012 1:27 p.m.

    "Imagine the shame I feel in being human and making mistakes. But fortunately we have you and LDS Liberal to ensure that we don't get too comfortable, that we aren't at ease in Zion"

    Well it's obvious you take questioning the same way that people do when they slam doors in missionaries faces.

  • annewandering oakley, idaho
    July 4, 2012 1:09 p.m.

    I dont think we will be surprised at all who is in the Celestial Kingdom. Not if we pay attention. Still what does it matter, personally, if we dont do what we need to be there ourselves?
    The interview sounded very interesting. Looking forward to that one and all the others interviewed. I think it will prove be a very good missionary tool.

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    July 4, 2012 1:00 p.m.


    I'll save a seat on the back row right by me in the meetinghouse anytime you want to come. Sorry if my words caused the "peaceful" feeling to leave you, that was not my intent. I just feel that we can do a lot better and not be lifted up into pride (like many local LDS), but that is just my particular view.

    I find it funny that many people took exception to LDS Liberal and myself. I guess if you ignore the problem, it doesn't exist. I'll try to remember that many LDS here think any words of improvement must mean that there is a problem of some kind--and they take that news very harshly. LDS members are perfect and above any question, sorry for trying to suggest otherwise.

  • RGB Sandy, UT
    July 4, 2012 12:50 p.m.

    If/when we get there, I'm sure we'll be surprised who else is there - and even more surprised who isn't...

  • DrGroovey Salt Lake City, UT
    July 4, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    I believe people will be held eternally accountable for any false information, hurtful statements, or other garbage they post on the internet. As such, I think heaven will not be very full.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    July 4, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    Can you believe we're arguing over what some men wrote down in a book 2000 years ago and actually letting it lead our entire lives? WOW!

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 4, 2012 9:58 a.m.

    RE: Bill in Nebraska, Heaven= Paradise, The word "paradise" is found in the O. T.(Genesis 2:8 Septuagint) a garden(paradeisos,3857)in the east of Eden . Paradise occurs three times in the N.T.: Luke 23:43,where Jesus on the cross says to the thief, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise"; 2 Corinthians 12:2-4,where Paul alludes to his vision of the third heaven and also to paradise; and Revelation 2:7,which describes the righteous who partake of the tree of life in the midst of God's paradise.
    (Mormon Doctrine p. 555 The Prophet(JS) explains there is nothing in the original word in Greek… that signifies paradise; but it was This day shalt thou be with me in the world of spirits) JS was wrong about heaven.

    “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like(as) the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30 NIV). AS Angels (aggelos,32).

    Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home… Fallen angels(devils) Nothing to with pre mortal being.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    July 4, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    There is a paradox in beliefs about the qualifications to enter Heaven in the Gospel. Rituals such as baptism and sacrament are a requirement. Then, in Matthew 25 the requirements are laid out, "Feed the hungry, cloth the sick, visit the prisoners, be kind to strangers." Nowhere in Matthew 25 does it refer to the correct rituals.

    Another interesting thing is that String Theory in Physics throws open the door to parallel universes. In metaphysical terms we could call them "Heaven", "Hell" and anything else. We don't see them because energy (or at least, not very much) does not cross between them. One theory is that gravity is weak because it is 'leaking' in from another universe. Apparently the five (known) fundamental forces of physics may not be the same in other parallel universes.

    When I die and I get to heaven, I think that I would like to go what passes as a university there and study physics.

  • Island Mom Saipan, MP
    July 4, 2012 7:32 a.m.

    Interesting-- Not much mention of grace-- without it, there would be no Heaven at all.

    Someone mentioned the LDS concept of Heaven isn't kosher with contemporary Christianity's concept. That sparks the question, where did modern Christians get their concept of Heaven? I'd be even more curious about what was believed about Heaven in the early church--- like pre-Nicean council times. Moving along, what was Martin Luther's understanding of Heaven? Has contemporary Christianity's concept of Heaven evolved, or has it always been the same? A question for a scholar/historian, I guess.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 4, 2012 4:27 a.m.

    Obviously lots of different opinions on the subject.

    People would do well to look at all the differing beliefs and realize that all or none may be correct.

    How about this.

    - What you learn in church may not be correct
    - you can have your "beliefs" but you really "know" very little
    - be a good person and treat others as you wish to be treated

    Then, if there is a heaven and a god, you are probably all set
    If there isn't, you haven't lost anything.

    If there is a god, he or she is probably saddened on how much time we spend arguing and fighting over religion.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    July 4, 2012 12:54 a.m.

    I love the Mormon moment and all the spot light the faith is getting. I think it's going to b e a good thing for those who don't have a clue about LDS to see that it's Christian, not a cult, etc. I also think when people Google it and see the post/ex mormon sites, read the history, see the recent mass resignation, etc. that they will be pretty shocked that the church has so many problems to deal with compared to others. They will probably ask, as I did, why?

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    July 4, 2012 12:36 a.m.

    After reading some of the comments,I now know what it means 'casting your pearls before swine.'

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    July 3, 2012 10:43 p.m.

    Yes, there is three degrees of glory and then there is outer darkness where the sons of perdition are cast off to live with Satan and his angels.

    The three degrees of glory: Telestial World (most of the world will be here), Terrestial World (most LDS members will live here), Celetial Kingdom (members of the all parts of the world will live here but only a select few).

    As someone once said the only individual that can determine your eternal progression is yourself and after all you can do, then it is the Grace of Jesus Christ that allows us to enter into the Father's kingdom.

    The Doctrine & Covenants spells out in I believe Section 76 all of this. Remember the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Baptism by immersion by those authorized to do so, and then the laying on of hands for receipt of the gift of the Holy Ghost. Without this no one will enter in the celestial kingdom. That is why baptism for the dead is so essential.

    As Elder Holland states, "it wouldn't be heaven with out our family there with us."

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    July 3, 2012 10:27 p.m.

    LDS liberal as one LDS member to another I say thou hast a chip on your shoulder.
    Similar posts with the same theme on multiple occasions cause me to "judge you" that way
    As President Hinckley once said we can all see the grey in the sky if we want to but lets look at the blue sky as well

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    July 3, 2012 10:20 p.m.

    Have any of you ever realized that if you lived on this planet alone, you'd be perfect - because there would be no one to irritate you? We differ in our beliefs on many levels, but as to getting to heaven......I'm thinking that we should find what makes us happy, live good lives, be tolerant of each other and leave it to a loving Heavenly Father to decide the ultimate reward we will receive.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    July 3, 2012 8:31 p.m.

    Wildcat: I want to grow up to be just like you! Imagine the shame I feel in being human and making mistakes. But fortunately we have you and LDS Liberal to ensure that we don't get too comfortable, that we aren't at ease in Zion. I would hate to have a feeling of peace when I'm so beset with weakness and sin. Can you tell me what ward you're in so I can get your pearls of wisdom, your caution against weakness, and most of all your "encouragement" every week? I'm sure I'll be better for it.

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    July 3, 2012 8:05 p.m.


    I am glad that you have never run across any problems in your life with LDS people. I can tell you that I have seen it all too much. I remember taking a non-LDS friend to a summer bbq party when I was eight-years old. A parent (yes parent) told me that I could not bring him there, and that it was only for LDS. I remember seeing the hurt in his eyes as we both left the party. Of course my parents told the bishop, and he was very upset.

    Gordon B. Hinckley mentioned in a conference talk how he had read many letters concerning incidents like mine, and that he feared we are responsible for some of the bad image being spread.

    I don't do it to rip on LDS people. I am just suggesting we all have a lot of work to do, and we all are our brother's keeper. Some non-LDS people are more in touch with the Spirit than LDS people--our membership means nothing if our actions aren't Christ-like. Sorry to exhaust you, but all is not well in Zion.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    July 3, 2012 7:41 p.m.


    "I guess we'll all find out what is true doctrine at some point, won't we?"

    We already have found out that knowledge. It is contained in the KJV and the BoM only (no 3 degrees of glory or 3 kingdoms of heaven mentioned anywhere!)

    Joseph Smith got the false notion of 3 degrees of glory from the 3 degrees of the Masonic Lodge: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, plus the fact that Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, Heber Kimball, along with many others were Freemasons (peer pressure on JS). What eventually resulted was the abominably erroneous D&C 76.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    July 3, 2012 7:00 p.m.

    The mormon church will get themselves into trouble with this one. Just more propoganda and contradiction. It should be concerning for members to see the spin machine in such a public forum.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    July 3, 2012 6:18 p.m.

    It's not often that I agree with Hutterite, but this time I really do, Well said!

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 3, 2012 6:12 p.m.

    @Counter Intelligence


    Perhaps we should be even more truthful and profess our actual LDS Doctrine of the after-life and the Final Judgement.
    That there really is NO Hell at all, only 3 Degrees of Glory.

    That most certainly doesn't fit into mainstream "Christianity" or in-line with the Bible.

    Should really make some heads spin on TV and put us right back into the Evangelical cross-hairs -- not something Mitt Romney needs with only 100 days until the General Election.

    The Church did a great job of not being too controversial which I quite frankly applaud, but it was a watered-down general answer.

    But, I digress....

    On anothrer note;

    O-town, UT

    Agreed with your comment.
    My kids are the only friends with the non-Mormon kids in our 95% Mormon neighborhood -- I wonder why?....
    Johnny's daddy drinks a beer now and then, and Tommy doesn't go to primary.

    My LDS upbringing taught it's "members" to abstain - then set a good example - and love and accept all as friends and neighbors --
    They are fellow CITIZENS with the Saints -- just like Paul said,
    That is what I've taught my children.

  • Freedom-In-Danger WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    July 3, 2012 6:08 p.m.

    LDS Liberal,

    "Utah-Mormons" and nearly every other member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knows that Joseph Smith was surprised to see his brother in a vision, someone who clearly wasn't a 'by the book Utah Mormon' either. If Utahns know about that, then we aren't as short-sighted as you suggest.

    There are three degrees of glory which are all heaven compared to what we see in the world around us today. Just because one person can't or won't abide a specific glory, doesn't mean they are the heathen, an outcast, and condemned forever. Anyone who thinks that doesn't understand LDS doctrine rightly if at all.

    There are 3 degrees of glory and an outer darkness. That's more than a simple "heaven or hell" and such analogies aren't adequate to answer people's questions that seem to only include that or refuse the possibility of a different belief system.

    Please, stop judging the rest of the membership and just live your own life already. You can't justify your own judgments of others, no matter how much you try.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 3, 2012 5:54 p.m.

    It's pretty clear even just from the posts here that we simply don't know what lies in the great beyond and what we take on faith varies widely. I guess we'll have to just wait it out.

  • justhappytobehere Orem, UT
    July 3, 2012 5:45 p.m.

    Good grief, all you people, L.D.S. and non-L.D.S., who can't stop ragging on the church and its members. Give it up, would you please? I have lived in Utah almost my whole adult life. I have never come across anyone who wouldn't allow their children to play with non-L.D.S. children. And not invite non-L.D.S. to parties? That's crazy, as we're always accused of trying to proselytize because we do invite them to things. And as far as who gets to be in Heaven goes, I don't know a Mormon soul who would profess to know exactly how it's going to be. Who are these L.D.S. people you all seem to know who are so self-righteous? Because as I said, I don't know a single one in all of my L.D.S. acquaintance. Please, just give it a rest. You're exhausting me.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    July 3, 2012 5:38 p.m.

    The alternatives to LDS heaven are interesting and I hope I'm not incorrectly stating them:

    Agnostic heaven -- no idea
    Atheist heaven -- none
    Evangelical heaven -- eternity praising God
    LDS heaven -- eternal progression

    I'll opt for the latter.

    If one believes that no one really knows what happens after we bite the dust, why not pick one that has some future rather than nothing or sitting around praising some megalomaniac deity who makes us go through this junk so we can sing to him.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    July 3, 2012 4:48 p.m.

    I yearn for the day of candor.
    Joseph Smith had a good time with the journalists of his day when he answered some repeated questions.
    "Will everybody be damned, but Mormons?"
    Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness.
    History of the Church, Vol.3, Ch.3, p.28-30

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    July 3, 2012 4:38 p.m.

    LDS Liberal

    I totally agree with you. I have had many non-LDS friends who have been chased away from the LDS religion by some of the self-righteousness of some LDS members. Their kids aren't allowed to play with their kids, they aren't invited to parties, etc. I have also heard them describe that some LDS claim that they are the only ones who will get into heaven.

    Standing in a church doesn't make you spiritual just like standing in a garage doesn't make you a mechanic. I trust in God's justice. He is no respecter of persons and looks upon people's hearts. Many of my non-LDS friends are better examples of followers of Christ than many of my LDS friends. I am sure the right will be done!

    In the meantime, we all need to be more compassionate to everybody!

  • AT Elk River, MN
    July 3, 2012 3:59 p.m.

    "Elder Walker said that Mormons believe our lives will be evaluated on how we live," said Walters in an interview from her office last week. "And if we live with a love for others and we contribute to society and we keep the commandments of God, we will have a better opportunity to go to heaven. He said that Mormons believe that our lives will be evaluated on how we lived them. That is reasonable and optimistic."

    Oh, I hope he mentioned grace and Christ's atonement...

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    July 3, 2012 3:58 p.m.

    I believe the Mormon concept of heaven is any degree of glory. If true, virtually everyone on earth will go to heaven except a small number of people who disqualify themselves.

    Other than those sons of perdition, everyone will receive a reward far better than this mortal existence. John Lennon's song Imagine described what many people view as heaven. Yet he only scratched the surface of the least degree of glory.

    I think most people will receive a heavenly reward similar to what they envision. In that way, other faiths are correct. However, they limit what could be theirs if they really understood the plan of salvation.

    My Christian friends often quote John 3:16, yet when queried they have no idea what to do with eternal life. They envision singing in choirs and floating around without any cares or praising God all day long. Few of them recognize the value of growth, work, family relationships, etc that are part of what really brings happiness for eternity. Seriously, how can anybody believe in a heaven without the love of our family members being a major part of it all?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 3, 2012 3:38 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" all depends on how you look at things. They never explain what they are calling Heaven.

    From an LDS perspective, yes, there will be people of all faiths in the Celesestial Kingdom. Any child, regardless of faith, who dies before the age of 8 will be there. Now, here is where symantics comes into play. Suppose a Catholic dies, then while awaiting the final judgement, joins the LDS church and accepts the posthumous work done on their behalf. When they enter the Celestial Kingdom, are they Catholic or LDS? Lets also consider those at the time of the Old Testament and New Testament. The Old Testament people would be considered Jewish (or whatever name they had for their religion at the time), and those during the time of the New Testament would have been considered Saints.

    As the scriptures states, those that enter the Celestial Kingdom will be his Saints, or "whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;" (D&C 85) Some people would consider that to be God's Church. So, you can lay off your antiUtah drivel.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 3, 2012 2:47 p.m.

    Michigander and LDS Liberal,

    Thanks for posting. I read it on the internet so it must be true, right?

  • Doug Forbes Greenfield, IN
    July 3, 2012 2:37 p.m.

    There is segregation in heaven.. of a sort.
    There is class distinction in heaven.
    There is sex in heaven.
    Heaven is a continuation of life for good people.
    Hell is a continuation of life for bad people.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 3, 2012 2:36 p.m.

    The most humorous moment in the interview took place when Walters asked Elder Walker whether non-Mormons will make it to heaven. After Walker insisted that people of all religious persuasions will be in heaven..." ~ article



    That ought to be a real shock eye opener to many Utah Momrons who insist only card carrying Mormons will be there.

    Same goes for Zion and the New Jerusalem having Non-Mormons and people of all religions residing there too.

    I can't count the times I've debated this with my fellow Brothers and Sisters.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    July 3, 2012 2:36 p.m.


    I guess we'll all find out what is true doctrine at some point, won't we?

    Until then I'll respect your beliefs although I doubt you'll respect mine.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    July 3, 2012 2:17 p.m.

    The LDS "perspective" on heaven is false doctrine and the corruption of 2 Cor.12:2 (1-4).

    The "3rd heaven" mentioned in the above scripture is where God dwells and all His holy angels (Alma 18:30).

    The 2nd heaven is Outer Space.

    The 1st heaven is Earth's Atmosphere, which consists of the following 5 layers (lowest to highest):
    Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere, and the Exosphere.

    There is no segregation in heaven. There is no going to the back of the bus in heaven.