It is often said that all sin is sin and this is true in a sense, yet completely false in another. Can the same be said for righteousness? Is all righteousness the same? Or can wickedness and sin, or righteousness be classified with degrees. How this is true is that one single sin, one dark stain on our spiritual cloak, and we are not longer allowed to be in the presence of God. Yet, a simple lie cannot be compared to genocide in any way; these simply do not go together as one may barely harm a small number of people whereas the other indefinitely changes the course of history.
God’s judgment comes after the resurrection of the dead, which means that judgment comes after we are redeemed from permanent physical death and removed from the horrifying presence of darkness and evil and that all is forgiven in terms of mistakes, but not in terms of what level or degree of glory our resurrected body has attained. Our resurrected body will reflect both the intents of our heart as well as where our soul gravitated towards in our original earthly experience as well as post-mortal experience. This gravitation is why God’s gift of free agency is so vital and important, so that we ourselves are freely able to sift ourselves and the degree of glory in which we would like to attain or posses in that decisive hour.
These degrees have my own names added to them, yet are based on the scriptures. With the scriptures as the foundation, I am attempting to add my understanding in my own words to these degrees of being, usually called glory. These degrees include:
1. Devilish (Low Degree Telestial and Perdition)
Those who are devilish are no longer able to experience pleasure through shear sensuality. They are miserable and dark to the core and the only moments of gratification they experience are when others are miserable as well due to their own doing. They are those who are full of secrets, lies, cunning plots, pacts and gangs, and who love death and destruction especially indulging in the destruction of innocents or beauty. Being a devilish person is a wicked person, someone who actively seeks to make the world a worse place, a place less enjoyable to live in or void of scenic vistas and culture and beauty.
These are those who have sought to not only indulge in the desires of their flesh, but who enjoy the carnal experience beyond their instinctual place and actively seek out acts of the flesh to derive enjoyment from them. Often, these perversions are based on the desire to reproduce but taken to levels well beyond simple reproduction. Sensuality can also come from willfully rebelling against the laws of god, the laws of man, or the laws of civility or the prominent culture of the time. Thrills and pleasures that are short lived and cost something in terms of innocence or integrity are at the heart of this level of being.
Carnality is also known as “the natural man.” This is the state in which an animal is born especially in a Telestial sphere. King Benjamin declares that this state is an enemy of God and that all of mankind became carnal after the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden. Being in a carnal state is the heart of damnation or spiritual death. Transgressions of the laws of God will happen freely as life is driven by instinct and a pursuit of instinct namely after a desire to be dominant and reproduce. Being driven by instinct and the drives of the body leaves almost no room for divine intervention in one’s life and is a state of being allowing for little amount of glory through overcoming the flesh.
Those who are lukewarm are those who could be described as generally slothful. They are those who are engrossed in themselves to the point of not even acting on base instincts. They belong to neither the side of good or evil, they are not necessarily good people but are not people to be feared. They do not have desires to heart others yet they do not have desires to help others. They allow themselves to be stuck in a routine and do not particularly seek to repent of their wrongs, progress their station, seek after truth, help others or even pursue after their carnal instincts. They are those whose personality, intelligence, and character atrophies over time and at the end of their life, find that they did not accomplish much in terms of either doing good in the world or seeking after thrills.
5. Paradisaical (Terrestrial)
Being in a paradisaical state is when you are in a state in which you are a great person. You have learned to control your carnal desires, quash the impulses, learned to obey law, to resist temptation, and to even repent of personal sins being holy before God and His son. Paradise is not a person who is past taking care of themselves, or in other words is seeking for the salvation of those around them. They yearn for a state of peace and contentment. Like they could sit on a beautiful beach all of their lives sipping delicious drinks and staring at the sunset. They are hard workers but the work is always for their betterment of their situation. A person who is paradisaical is someone who is rewarded for their obedience, their sacrifice, their repentance, their faith and belief yet is someone who does not want to necessarily put others before themselves. They are totally content taking care of their needs and experiencing life for themselves within the parameters set by God.
6. Selfless (First and Second Degrees Celestial)
A person who is in a state of selflessness is someone who has attained all the attributes of those who deserve paradise but who has come to be less ego centric and more focused on the welfare of others. Selfless people extremely love people who are happy to help, serve, support, and do what is in their power to make the world around them a better place. They look for those who are greater than they to guide them in their work, to allow for others to seek their help or be called to help others. They are happy to answer the call, but they don’t necessarily have the spiritual desire to be the one making all the calls. This is someone who might still carry with them fears and limitations in this life with regard to their abilities but who generally are able to radiate love to those around them. Being selfless is someone who will forget themselves when assigned a task and get the job finished if they know it will help the person they are asked to help. In the scriptures, the angels of God are often these individuals receiving great glory and highly content in eternal service of the Father and others who are a full degree above them!
7. Divine (Exalted)
A Divine person is someone who has been able to not only be selfless but also overcome many personality limitations through constant self awareness, humility, meekness, repentance and character building through trial and experience. They have developed outstanding character in all the pillars of life remaining diligent and sober, keeping their covenants and doing all they are asked, being filled with love but above all else, they are those who wish to create. They are those who adore life, love, and again creation. They have overcome fear and above all other desires wish to create life, beauty, relationships, etc. They are those who are no longer even tempted by carnal or sensual desires, who adhore those who are devilish and will defend at all cost life and liberty. They are exceptionally empowered individuals able to respond to life in a carefully decided or premeditated fashion having overcome impulse, impatience, and general reactivity. Light and truth are their banner and they are always seeking to live out each scenario full of faith and true progression. These are they who are entrusted with all the Father has, as they are they whose desires and actions are in line with those that he would do in the same scenario. No other individual has more personality and uniqueness, yet is more in tune with those of the same degree of glory.