Ask A Latter-day Saint: What Is The LDS View Of Heaven?
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By Mindy Wright
What is the LDS view of Heaven? Are there different levels? Are only a certain number of people allowed in?
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that all people dwelt with God before this life and that every individual has the opportunity to dwell with God after this life in a state of eternal joy. Our life here on Earth is a time of testing and growth.
At death, our bodies remain on Earth whereas our spirits reside in a state of rest (spirit world or heaven) until the day of resurrection. When resurrected, all who have died will be restored to their physically perfected forms and be judged by a perfectly merciful and just God. A person’s reward in the afterlife will be determined by what we really desire in this life as well as by the desires of our hearts and how we translate those desires into good works. The promise of growing to become more like God and ultimately returning to His presence with our families motivates Latter-day Saints to do their best to live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. How comforting to know that when a loved one passes away, they are not “gone.” Upon our own death, we will see them again and continue those family and friend relationships we enjoyed on earth.
Also, upon resurrection, we will have a perfect knowledge of our past actions and desires and be judged by a perfectly merciful and just God. At that time, we will inherit a place in a realm of glory corresponding to our faithfulness and obedience. Paul’s teachings to the Corinthians (Corinthians 15:40-41) talks of three degrees of glory: the celestial, terrestrial and telestial and likens them to the brightness of the sun, moon and stars. While all human beings will receive the gift of an eternal union of the body and spirit, the realm of glory each person attains will be assigned through our desires and actions here on earth.