Telestial status during the Millennium

We know that the telestial category of people remains in hell during the Millennium.

D&C 76
106 These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work;

Once issue we need to address is how long they suffer this wrath. It says until the fullness of times. In the scriptures, there is a difference between the fullness of time and the fullness of times. The fullness of time is when Christ was born of Mary.

Galatians 4
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

2 Nephi 2
3 Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi; and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God. Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men.

26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

2 Nephi 11
7 For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.

The fullness of times seems to start around the time of Christ’s Second Coming:

Ephesians 1
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

D&C 27
12 And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them;
13 Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth;

D&C 112
30 For unto you, the Twelve, and those, the First Presidency, who are appointed with you to be your counselors and your leaders, is the power of this priesthood given, for the last days and for the last time, in the which is the dispensation of the fulness of times,
31 Which power you hold, in connection with all those who have received a dispensation at any time from the beginning of the creation;

D&C 76 say the fullness of times is when Christ subdues his enemies. While this starts at the Millennium, the end is a bit fuzzy.

D&C 58:22 Wherefore, be subject to the powers that be, until he reigns whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet.

D&C 43
29 For in mine own due time will I come upon the earth in judgment, and my people shall be redeemed and shall reign with me on earth.
30 For the great Millennium, of which I have spoken by the mouth of my servants, shall come.
31 For Satan shall be bound.

D&C 49
6 And they have done unto the Son of Man even as they listed; and he has taken his power on the right hand of his glory, and now reigneth in the heavens, and will reign till he descends on the earth to put all enemies under his feet, which time is nigh at hand—

These seem to all be pointing to the Millennium when Christ will reign personally upon the earth. The telestials and the sons of perdition will be in hell and Satan will be bound, while the terrestrial and celestial category of people will be living on the earth with Christ. But it says that his enemies will be subdued. What does that mean?

SUBDUE
1. To conquer by force or the exertion of superior power, and bring into permanent subjection; to reduce under dominion.
2. To oppress; to crush; to sink; to overpower so as to disable from further resistance.
3. To tame; to break by conquering a refractory temper or evil passions; to render submissive.

If we use the first two definitions of subdue, this can’t be what happens during the Millennium, because after the end of the Millennium, Satan returns to power and people once again begin to rebel against God.

D&C 43
31 For Satan shall be bound, and when he is loosed again he shall only reign for a little season, and then cometh the end of the earth.

D&C 29
22 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you that when the thousand years are ended, and men again begin to deny their God, then will I spare the earth but for a little season;

This first conquest isn’t permanent. After the Millennium, Satan is loosed, reigns, and men again begin to deny their God. But this time, they do so after having lived in his presence and in his kingdom. This is willful rebellion. Think about it. If the people have already been assigned to the three degrees of glory forever, how can they then willfully rebel after the end of the Millennium? Does that mean someone in the celestial kingdom can rebel against God with no consequence during the little season? Preposterous. That’s why even the saved are warned they must endure to the end, because during the little season they can still rebel against God and lose it all. That little season is still part of our period of probation.

It is only after Satan has returned, leads men astray again during the little season, and is defeated at the last day. It is only then that men receive their final judgment.

Revelation 20
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

I know this is hard to conceptualize when you’ve been indoctrinated with the traditional three degrees timeline your whole life. Here is a simplified diagram I have created to try to show the scriptural timeline as I understand it.

I invite adherents to the traditional three degrees doctrine to create a similar diagram covering the Millennium, the Little Season, and the final judgement that shows the status of the celestial, terrestrial, telestial, and sons of perdition during each of those three phases, and is consistent with the scriptures. I am open to being corrected (I know I don’t have it 100% figured out, but this is closer than anything else I have found).

Let’s go back and look at what D&C 88 says about the people who suffer in hell during the Millennium:

D&C 88
100 And again, another trump shall sound, which is the third trump; and then come the spirits of men who are to be judged, and are found under condemnation;
101 And these are the rest of the dead; and they live not again until the thousand years are ended, neither again, until the end of the earth.

There appear to be two distinct groups here. Those that live not again until the thousand years are ended, which means they live during the little season, and those that don’t live again until the end of the earth. Running off and building an entire theory off of one ambiguous scripture is dangerous. So, let’s see if there are other places in scripture that talk about two groups among these wicked.

D&C 88
102 And another trump shall sound, which is the fourth trump, saying: There are found among those who are to remain until that great and last day, even the end, who shall remain filthy still.

Among those (the rest of the dead) there are some who shall remain filthy still. Which implies that there are some who shall not remain filthy. So we have an entire group that start off filthy, and some will remain filthy while others will clean themselves up. Someone could still claim we are wresting the scriptures. Is there a third witness?

D&C 38
5 But behold, the residue of the wicked have I kept in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day, which shall come at the end of the earth;
6 And even so will I cause the wicked to be kept, that will not hear my voice but harden their hearts, and wo, wo, wo, is their doom.

Why does the Lord say only the residue of the wicked are kept in chains? Doesn’t he keep all the wicked in chains? What does residue mean?

RESIDUE – That which remains after a part is taken, separated, removed or designated.

This residue that is kept are those that will not hear his voice but harden their hearts. That implies that the wicked that aren’t the residue, that aren’t  kept until the end, do hear his voice and soften their hearts, and they are released from chains of darkness. These can’t be the sons of perdition, so that leaves only the telestials.

Once someone is encircled by the chains of darkness, can they ever dwell in the presence of God? Do we have any examples of someone in this state of wickedness, encircled by the chains of darkness, actually being allowed to repent, receive forgiveness, and receive the blessings of the righteous? Yes, Alma the Younger.

Alma 36
12 But I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.
13 Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments.
14 Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction; yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.
15 Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds.
16 And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.
17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.

Mosiah 27
23 And it came to pass after they had fasted and prayed for the space of two days and two nights, the limbs of Alma received their strength, and he stood up and began to speak unto them, bidding them to be of good comfort:
24 For, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit.
25 And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;
26 And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
27 I say unto you, unless this be the case, they must be cast off; and this I know, because I was like to be cast off.
28 Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God.
29 My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more.
30 I rejected my Redeemer, and denied that which had been spoken of by our fathers; but now that they may foresee that he will come, and that he remembereth every creature of his creating, he will make himself manifest unto all.

It seems that Alma was placed into hell to suffer immediately for his sins, rather than waiting for his death. While there, he called upon Christ, was forgiven, and spiritually born of him. He even saw God on his throne. That would seem to indicate that people in hell, encircled by the everlasting chains of death, can indeed repent and be born of God. God is no respecter of persons. If he allowed Alma to repent while in hell, he must allow all mankind to repent while in hell.

All mankind in hell can repent, except for the sons of Perdition. (They are the residue that remain until the end of the earth. They rebelled against God, died in their sins, and procrastinated their repentance until it was everlastingly too late.) While telestials are in hell, they are taught the gospel by the terrestrial category of people.

D&C 88
86 These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial;
88 And also the telestial receive it of the administering of angels who are appointed to minister for them, or who are appointed to be ministering spirits for them; for they shall be heirs of salvation.

Our false traditions confuse us about what the scriptures mean when they say “eternal world”. We may think that means after the final judgment, and so these people will never receive anything more than the Holy Spirit in perpetuity. Let’s see what the scriptures actually say about this eternal world.

Alma 3
25 Now all these things were done, yea, all these wars and contentions were commenced and ended in the fifth year of the reign of the judges.
26 And in one year were thousands and tens of thousands of souls sent to the eternal world, that they might reap their rewards according to their works, whether they were good or whether they were bad, to reap eternal happiness or eternal misery, according to the spirit which they listed to obey, whether it be a good spirit or a bad one.

Alma 48
23 Now, they were sorry to take up arms against the Lamanites, because they did not delight in the shedding of blood; yea, and this was not all—they were sorry to be the means of sending so many of their brethren out of this world into an eternal world, unprepared to meet their God.

Alma can’t be claiming that those who died during these wars over 70 years before the birth of Christ had already received their final judgment and been sent to their final place for eternity. He’s talking about them being sent to the spirit world, which for the wicked is hell. So the eternal world is not the place after the final judgment, it’s between mortal death and final judgment. So back to D&C 88

D&C 88
86 These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world [in the spirit world], but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial;
88 And also the telestial receive it of the administering of angels who are appointed to minister for them, or who are appointed to be ministering spirits for them; for they shall be heirs of salvation.

The telestials in hell receive the Holy Spirit through the minstration of the terrestrials. For what purpose? So they can be heirs of salvation!

In Hebrews 1, talking about angels, the writer says:

14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Ministering spirits are not sent to people who will not inherit salvation. They are sent to people who will inherit salvation. And they are sent to the telestials for that specific purpose!

Moroni 10 tells us:

7 And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.
8 And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them.
9 For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom;
10 And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
11 And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
12 And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles;
13 And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things;
14 And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits;
15 And again, to another, all kinds of tongues;
16 And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues.
17 And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will.
18 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.
19 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men.

The world continues to stand until the end, the last day, the final judgement. That means during the Millennium, during the Little Season, and right up until the final judgement. Before then, unless you are a son of perdition, you can still have ministering spirits and angels.

Moroni 7
36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?

As long as there shall be one man upon the face of the earth that needs to be saved, he will extend his mercy and power. The end doesn’t come until the final judgment.

The next post will discuss the final judgment.

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