Each of the kingdoms, including the inglorious one of the sons of perdition, detailed in section 76 is a description of divine mercy and justice. There is a delicate balance between the two, even in the darkest realms.
The sons of perdition.
The first kingdom described is the only one without glory.
“And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory. “ ( D & C 88:24 )
This kingdom is difficult to access. The extreme kingdoms of the plan of salvation are demanding in the admission of its inhabitants. The conditions are rigorous.
“Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power—” ( 31 )
El Salvador made it very difficult to access this. There are five necessary conditions to escape its redemption (it is so powerful to save).
Bearing in mind that “Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.” ( D & C 84:20 )all those who receive them must take care of themselves, “Yea, and even let those who are sanctified take heed also“ ( D & C 20:34 ). The saints, therefore, are candidates to be in any of the kingdoms and to know all the lights or the darkness. Such freedom is only accessible to those who “know all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old” ( 7 )
Crucifying it for themselves
Some other requirements are mentioned for these candidates.
“Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.” 35
In the case of Cain, he took one in the likeness of Christ, Abel, and killed him for himself. Not for defense, but for profit and spite. Therefore to crucify him for himself, is to participate in the vituperation of the crowd in front of Pilate, preferring Barabbas.
Cain knew God, acted against the light and rebelled violently. The Lord tells him “thou shalt be called Perdition; for thou wast also before the world.”
It is necessary to understand well this kingdom without glory (but with laws) to be able to understand others. The description made by these two verses is a detailed picture of the rebellion in the heavens. To be a son of perdition here, you need to reach the same level of knowledge and rebellion there.
An opposite image
What we see in these verses (31 and 35) is a mirror image of salvation but negative. In that contrast we notice the incredible power of salvation of Christ. El Salvador has surrounded the access to the kingdom of the second death of enormous obstacles. Overcoming them requires a stubborn rebellion against God.
That difficulty to be a son of perdition, would not be possible if he had not taken the sediments of the bitter cup. The faeces of dead yeasts, which are the cause of the fermentation of evil in the heart of man. They are the chains of hell. By rushing the cup and its feces, not only did it free us from the chains, but it broke them. To break those chains means to free, without conditions, the human race of death.
That second mile, unexpected, astonished the cosmos. The walls of condemnation fell back to the minimum possible limit. I have the impression that nobody, except the Father, expected him to remove the grounds for the last drink. To be able to request forgiveness by those who “… for they know not what they do“ ( Luke 23:34 )
The exact universe
Bend the iron justice of an exact universe. Turning its millenary wood to welcome a strange creature. Flatten your just demands against us; aspirants dark, weak, imperfect, disobedient. That must have been more difficult than passing a camel through the eye of a needle. But nothing is impossible for God.
However, many insist that, if it exists, demonstrate its power or existence by contradicting itself. They demand absolute forgiveness, which is nothing other than absolute indifference to his work. They prefer wandering Ulysses in favor of those upstarts, who devour the family inheritance, by demanding absolute hospitality.
And it is that ” the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.”
So the big question is not why God allows so much injustice in the world? but rather, how is it possible that mercy extends even in absolute emptiness?
The first question is born of nihilism , of the defeated with fallen arms, who adapt to the dark and lugubrious desert . These, who in the name of men stand as oracles. Of what they did not form. of those whom they did not create and for those who claim a release they did not pay. As bells for themselves, they congratulate themselves on their fine criterion, on their great sensitivity and ask themselves, what God could forge a bronze like mine?
The second question arises when “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. “ ( D & C 6:36 )
Where your worm does not die
“Wherefore, he saves all except them—they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment—” ( 44 )
In this verse he describes a fundamental aspect of this place, the absence of time. To understand it you have to compare it with other kingdoms and their conditions.
The divinity has its great movement in the turn . “… therefore his paths are straight and his way is an eternal turn …” ( D & C 3: 2 ). In his radius is all humanity and the condition of his work is to be eternal.
This writing. by itself, it would result in a circular movement and a flat creation. It would be a closed plan, the same one that taught apostasy. A static God, immutable, without passions, hieratic. A salvation finished in its deeds, consummated in its ideas and without a future. A kingdom locked in a bottle.
But the scriptures of the restoration add another dimension: time.
When he tells us “the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity” ( D & C 38: 1) does not describe a finished kingdom, but with a pending history that expands in time ..
When reading “… as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. “ ( 1 Nephi 10:19 ) we find that the Lord adds that axis of time (t) to his plan. This axis projects the work of God as a permanent act in time and its salvation as an idea in permanent growth. This expands continuously in the likeness of the DNA helix.
However, in the dark realm described in verse 44 , words without movement stand out. Perpetual, eternal, endless … Resemble this description to a static image, to a circle without time. That worm that does not die perpetuates death and its losers in a landscape without seasons or rotation.
This idea, of the absence of time in that kingdom without glory, we also see in the description of space in that kingdom.
“Wherefore, the end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation.” ( 48 )
We see how the Savior identifies the three dimensions of space ” the width, the height, the depth”. But when he should add time as a magnitude, which is present in writings related to other kingdoms, here he does it with misery.
Being the misery in our world, a condition of the soul, however there is a magnitude of its space. That is why when this vision has manifested itself to some, ” I, the Lord, show it by vision unto many, but straightway shut it up again “ ( 47 )
And we do not understand why our world admits enough glory to be ” granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God” (Alma 42: 4 ) and thus confine misery to a condition of the soul and not of the world.
But these sons of perdition, oblivious to time, can not change their space. Thus, misery is part of the surrounding tissue, it is a dimension of its space. Therefore, repentance is incompatible with the geometry of his kingdom. That rage unleashed in the war of the heavens is immobile and perpetual in its interior, like a flame sculpted in stone.
Unlike, here we flow in time on a straight path, in the eternal turn of the plan of salvation. Accumulating the baggage of our works over time.
The sense of orientation in the scriptures
We often try to understand and maneuver through the scriptures with the guidance of a terrestrial logic. Up, down, left right etc. Our language unfolds in that world. Poetic language, for example, is not logical. However, it makes us discover emotions and a strange knowledge. It displaces our common sense in a certain way to a different place and changes our way of thinking.
The scriptures include accounts from other places, “… the hidden mysteries of [his] kingdom.” As explorers, we must be willing to invest our logic at times. We can not move in the same way with gravity as without it. As we enter the scriptures, we change our environment. We need to use the soul to understand. Many times the chest. The scriptures teach us to know our body in a different way. When he tells us “I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you” ( D & C 9: 8 ) it is not poetic language. It is the language of “[his] strange work” (D & C 101: 95) realizing in us a “strange actt” ( D & C 95: 4)
The gradients of glory.
In the kingdoms of glory, three are distinguished in a general way. However, we know that there are many more within each one. The Father has been very careful to provide the climate that each one of us can endure.
Not all bodies can support life at 5,400 meters of altitude. An adaptation is needed for altitude sickness. Living in an Amazon rainforest requires being able to withstand extreme temperatures and humidity, as well as unknown parasites. Just as climates on earth require bodies adapted to bear the worlds of glory as well.
However, the reign of the sons of perdition is the absolute zero of redemption. It’s the 8,000 where death comes slowly. It is the roof of salvation. They will “return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received” ( D & C 88:32 ) That world is outside the atmosphere of Christ.
Without Christ and without God
That “returning again to your own place” means obtaining what a single arm can in front of a hostile Universe. Go back to homelessness after giving up the inheritance and the ring of Israel. Despising the capital accumulated by the lineage of Elohim, the greatest, during many eternal turns.
And so, like Roman exile, expelled to the gloomy forests of Germania. Without the laws that vilify, without the magistrates that I cheat. Without the virile toga or the ring of the house that I despise. He still has on his finger the mark of that ring he sold for nothing. He will no longer listen to Cicero’s words or Virgil’s poetry. He will be without Pliny, without Tacitus or Suetonius without Hypatia. Losing the family name of the tribe that accompanied him from birth.
Lost everything Rome achieved in a thousand years. Now he only has one arm in the snow, the rain and the hostility that surrounds him. Now he knows the cold out there, now he knows that the world has always been hostile, predatory and wild. That the Universe never wanted him, that he always conspired for its destruction.
Now he knows that only his Father’s love “preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will,” ( Mosiah 2:21 ). And the memory of that love now, is “a flaming fire, which ascendeth up unto God forever and ever, and hath no end” ( 1 Nephi 15:30 )
Like those Nephites
“… the Spirit of the Lord hath already ceased to strivewith their fathers; and they are without Christ and God in the world; and they are driven about as chaff before the wind. “ ( Mormon 5:16 )