Thursday, April 14, 2011

Principles from Joseph Smith’s description of the celestial kingdom in D&C 137

In D&C 137 Joseph Smith has a vision of the celestial kingdom in the Kirtland temple. He sees his parents and his brother Alvin and is given the doctrine of salvation for the dead. Something that struck me as interesting recently was the features of the kingdom that he noticed before he observed his family there.
2 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;
3 Also the blazing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son.
4 I saw the beautiful streets of that kingdom, which had the appearance of being paved with gold. (D&C 137:2-4)
I wondered why Joseph Smith chose to focus his description of the physical parts of the celestial kingdom on the gates, the throne of God, and the streets. Was there anything this could teach us?

After some thought, it seemed like they could be of symbolic importance. The gates are the entrance. Our entrance is baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. The throne of God teaches of our goal, which is to be reunited with Him and sit with Him on His throne as exalted beings. The streets are the way and give us a new perspective of the commandments. Do we consider the commandments as valuable as gold and as the way to the throne of God? Also, Christ is the way.

Another thing I noticed was the difference in the light level between the gates and the throne of God. The gates are like circling flames, but the throne is “blazing.” The throne seems much brighter than the gates. I think this teaches how we are to progress in light even after baptism.

Another thing I notice is that the gate is circling flames, but the throne… well, you SIT IN brightness and heat. This seems to show us that we don’t just want to be surrounded by glory, we want to BE glorious.


Luis said... do you doing? can think in all this think? much time do you spend thinking about these vers.....really I wanna know...
Is okay if I can quote this in some class o lesson?
anyway, thank you for you dedication.

saludos desde Chile.


Michaela Stephens said...

Luis, lovely to hear from you. You seem to be asking how I can think of these things and how much time I spend thinking about them.
Everything I learn, I learn by the Spirit. I have to do my part first. I pray to learn more when I start my reading. I often ask questions when I am reading about why something is in the scriptures. I think about what I read from as many angles as I can. I ask for enlightenment and I write about interesting things I find. Often in the process of writing, the Spirit enlightens me.

Feel free to share anything that you feel will help someone else.