Friday, April 15, 2011

Excommunicated Members that are Innocent Can Still go to the Celestial Kingdom

I have been instructed for years that only baptized members will get into the Celestial Kingdom.

Those people that are valiant in that good works will get into the Terrestial Kingdom.

And all the unrepentant sinners will go to the Telestial, apart from the rare sons of Perdition.

For much of my member life I was instructed that church courts were conducted by inspiration and that all decisions were thus correct. This meant that all excommunicated members were unable to obtain the Celestial Kingdom without repentance and re-baptism.

Yet over latter years I have come to see problems with this simplistic viewpoint. Also personal guidance by the Spirit brought some of it into question. And recently a Scripture text was pointed out that supported that guidance.

The message of this text has significance to the excommunicated members who were never guilty of the sins of which they were accused, but were still found guilty by church courts. Sad as it may be, and as much as we may like to believe otherwise, it is far too prevalent.

"The heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell....I saw Father Adam and Abraham; and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin, that has long since slept; And marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins. Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts." D&C 137:1 & 5-9

This demonstrates that it is really by our works and the desires of our hearts that we will or will not enter in. As these excommunicated people can't repent and show remorse for undone deeds, they can never satisfy the demands of the church court system, to obtain re-baptism. Yet these people need not fear as they fit in the category of those unable to be baptized in this life.

We see an additional instance of people unable to be baptized who also enter into the Celestial Kingdom _

"And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven." D&C 137:10


Martain said...

In regards to church disciplinary courts and the judgments therein made, the Prophet Joseph Smith said the following:

"Our acts are recorded, and at a future day they will be laid before us, and if we should fail to judge right and injure our fellow-beings, they may there, perhaps, condemn us; there they are of great consequence, and to me the consequence appears to be of force, beyond anything which I am able to express. ..." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, p 69) (Link:

How could a man sitting in such council reach a verdict of guilty incorrectly save they either did not seek personal revelation or were unworthy to receive it?

Doesn't such a verdict have to be unanimous? If it does, how could a whole council reach such an uninspired verdict?

While I do not dispute that it is possible does anyone truly think that the excommunication of innocent individuals is prevalent?

I don't see how anyone could prove that such uninspired decisions are being made any more than I could prove that they aren't but there is this to consider.

If an individual feels that the courts decision was incorrect, he may appeal to a higher court for satisfaction all the way up to the First Presidency.

Do any of us truly think it likely that an innocently excommunicated individual aware of such recourse would not so appeal?

Do any of us truly think it likely that upon reviewing the matter our First Presidency would not be inspired to retry the case?

Do any of us truly think it likely that upon retrying a case that our Apostles would reach an uninspired verdict?

Nevertheless, should such an event occur where for what ever reasons an innocent is excommunicated, while not an automatic pass, I do agree that this would not be a bar on preventing them from inheriting the Celestial Kingdom.

Doug Towers said...


Well I certainly would agree with Joseph there. But I don't think I will find any value in condemning others. Their spirits can do that to themselves well enough.

You've asked _

"How could a man sitting in such council reach a verdict of guilty incorrectly save they either did not seek personal revelation or were unworthy to receive it?"

Bigotry is a powerful thing. We only would have to take someone back to the Salem witch trials to see how easily inspiration can be blocked.

Such things as rape, wife bashing and child abuse are very sensitive subjects where people are assumed guilty by accusation.

Not to mention such things as an affair with the secretary. A gorgeous looking secretary walks in and the trial is all over.

Indignation arises in the person's heart and a desire to rid the world of such things. A sense of "this is my chance to do something about it" comes forth.

Inspiration goes out the window.

It must be remembered that these are human beings with the normal problems we humans can all suffer from. As I always say, "position does not make the man."

Collective indignation is how a whole council can make the wrong decision. Also a desire to fit in. Also a sense of "the majority must be right so I'll vote with them" can exist.

I have no idea of the rate of wrong decisions to right decisions, but the wrong ones seem too prevalent nonetheless.

I do have evidence that such cases do exist, yes.

I get the opinion you have never been involved with anyone making such an appeal to the first presidency. The matter is automatically passed back to the stake president to deal with - very helpful. Let Caesar judge Caesar.

The innocent person will face the same problem in getting back into the church after an appropriate time period. If the innocent person can't pretend a repentance process has occurred then he can always make the same appeal to have it sent back to the stake president to judge himself.

God can't make a perfect system for imperfect people.