Planet of the Terrestrials?

July 7, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 10:26 pm   Category: Eternal Progression,MMP,Scriptures,Theology

7 There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes;
8 We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.
(D&C 131:7-8)

In Mormonism we believe all will be resurrected in to physical bodies. Such resurrected beings have to live somewhere in the physical Universe. Where do you suppose that will be?

It seems resurrected beings need to live on planets, right? We can’t have them floating through space after all. This poses a special conundrum for the permanent-kingdom crowd within the church (people who believe there is no progression between kingdoms of glory after this life). They believe that those assigned to Telestial glory will end up for all eternity in the Telestial kingdom. Logic dictates that this must be on some Telestial planet. Not only that, but it is a planet/place full of resurrected people that never age or die. (Yikes. That is just weird sounding.) Likewise, in that model all Terrestrial folks will be assigned to Planet of the Terrestrials for all eternity. I’d say the same for Celestial folks except the evidence we have in scriptures and Church history (as well as some fairly authoritative statements, I believe, but I am too lazy to check) indicates they can go anywhere they want any time. Plus we have some comments from Brigham Young and other 19th century saints speculating that celestial beings might make the sun or some other star their home…

From this line of inquiry one can see why many Christians reject a physical resurrection.

(Of course depending on the variation, the HCK/MMP model of eternity has a cleaner take on this.)

So back to the basic (and exceedingly speculative) question of the day: If everyone gets resurrected into perfected adult bodies after this life where in the Universe will they then reside?

PS — I have one additional question while I’m at it: Are we the only church that believes in a literal resurrection for all? I always assumed there were other Christian denominations that agreed but I don’t know for certain…


  1. I’ll write more when I get a second, but the Catholics are huge defenders of the doctrine of the resurection of the flesh.

    Comment by J. Stapley — July 8, 2005 @ 8:18 am

  2. Thanks J. I should know that already I guess. Anyway, it’s good to confirm that we are not the only ones that need to answer the question of where resurrected people will live (though Mormon materialism might narrow the choices for us).

    Comment by Geoff J — July 8, 2005 @ 8:40 am

  3. If you need a place for the Telestial or Terrestial to dwell for all eternity I think there are plenty of planets around. If God can make earth inhabitable for us, now and when it’s Celestialized He certainly can create a planet for the Telestials and Terrestials.

    Why does it sound weird to have the Telestials and Terrestials resurrected and living forever…when we know the Celestials will be?

    Comment by don — July 8, 2005 @ 11:41 am

  4. Don: Why does it sound weird to have the Telestials and Terrestials resurrected and living forever…when we know the Celestials will be?

    Uh oh, now you’re gonna get me going…

    Celestial beings are easier to fathom because they apparently can move all about the Universe at will. Therefore there is no sense of confinement for them.

    But what about a planet inhabitted forever by Telestial resurrected beings? These are the murderers and sorcerers and liars here. Sure one could argue they pay for their sins before they get resurrected and placed there, but I see no indication that changes their characters. It conjures images of some bizarre Star Trek episode with this penal planet where people want to kill each other but they can’t… (I can’t help but picture that movie Escape From New York too). The insistence by some that this would not become an eternal Hell is unfathomable to me.

    Nope, I’m convinced that progression or regression are always possible throughout eternity.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 8, 2005 @ 11:56 am

  5. Geoff, I’m not for or against your idea of progression. I do have a bit of a problem with how the death/resurrection/re-birth on another earth would work. Thinking about a world of Telestials does conjure up weird images like you said. But to me so does a world of Celestials too. What are we really going to be doing? How long does it take to have spirit children, have a grand council, create an earth, and wait for judgement day. What do we do in between? Is that all there is to the Celestial Kingdom? Sounds weird to me. So for me beyond this life is all weird to me!

    Comment by don — July 8, 2005 @ 2:11 pm

  6. The original idea I had for this post was to expand something I said in the last post:

    I am increasing convinced that the Celestial kingdom is not a place but rather a state of being. We are here to become celestial beings not to get a ticket into the celestial theme park. I probably ought to put up a post on that subject…

    Now I suppose there is probably a place the Celestial beings call home, but I have to assume they are not stuck there at all. Perhaps they are busy overseeing places like this world or constructing them. After all if someone becomes a Celestial being but they have loved ones that have not done so yet, wouldn’t you insist on sticking around to help those loved ones along?

    I have hinted at it before, but I am starting to wonder if those who qualified to be called Telestial, Terrestrial, and even most of those who could be called Celestial before this life are among the children of Adam here. Maybe the noble and great ones that Abraham saw were those that were already Celestial in character and they choose to come here to help others along. That is basically what Jesus did right? Perhaps Abraham and others like him also condescended (to a lesser degree) to come to earth to be a spiritual leaders.

    If that is the case then the physical home of all of us ends up being the next planet (this is, of course, assuming the MMP model is viable). This is a much more palatable solution to me than the weird planet full of less-than-righteouus immortals we discuused earlier.

    Even if we accept this theory of mine, the question left unanswered still is where the Father and Son (and their progenitors) live since we assume they are done condescending to come into mortality.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 8, 2005 @ 3:15 pm

  7. There is the whole bit about a sea of glass – big urim and thumim – thing you need to consider. Even your MMP progenitors believed in that.

    Comment by J. Stapley — July 8, 2005 @ 3:26 pm

  8. Good point J. You mean the references listed here in our scriptures. I have never given these much thought before, but now that I look at them it seems that one would be hard-pressed to not see the language used here as figurative and symbolic. I suspect that trying to get too literal with that kind of language would put one in the same boat as Gary Shapiro and his position that there was literally no death on this earth prior to the Fall of Adam — a belief that I don’t think is viable.

    Also, keep in mind that it was those same MMP progenitors that wondered if Celestial beings called stars home.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 8, 2005 @ 3:56 pm

  9. I think to be fair, one would say that they thought people were hanging out in the sun until this planet was quickened with fire, becoming a sun of its own.

    Comment by J. Stapley — July 8, 2005 @ 4:03 pm

  10. HAH! Thanks for being fair, J.

    Well, just think, when our Sun goes SuperNova perhaps this earth will literally be like a sea of fire…

    Comment by Geoff J — July 8, 2005 @ 4:34 pm

  11. I’ve said it before, I will say it again, I will keep saying it, “we have no clue.” There will be surprises.

    Comment by annegb — July 8, 2005 @ 8:37 pm

  12. Stick around, annegb. With the amount of digging and exploring we do around here I doubt we will remain clueless forever. In fact I seriously doubt God wants us to remain clueless — thus the spirit of searching and exploring I try to keep up here at the Thang.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 8, 2005 @ 10:49 pm

  13. What is the eternal/forever PURPOSE of the ter/tel beings? Are they just going to take up room in the universe? For me, that would be hell. … But then again the cel lifestyle might be ‘boring’ also. What makes life interesting for me is anticipation (“I wonder what is going to happen next”) and a sense of accomplishment (“I did it!”). Won’t both of these feelings be void if we know everything?

    Comment by Daylan Darby — July 9, 2005 @ 9:32 pm

  14. Daylan,

    Yes knowing everything would be boring. That’s why I am convinced there are things God doesn’t and can not know with exactness — like future choices of free agents.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 9, 2005 @ 11:12 pm

  15. I wonder what sort of bodies we will be resurrected into. If I have any say in the matter, I’d kind of like to be an eternal kid. I think there’s some Biblical support for this. “Unless you become as a little child, you can not enter My Father’s Kingdom…”

    Comment by V the K — July 11, 2005 @ 11:04 am

  16. I’d like to address your PS, referring to “other Christian denominations.” You make your statement from a Christian point of view. I’d challenge you to study the greek meaning of the Holy title. I’ll point you to Jesus…every time, Jesus! It comes down to Jesus word, not yours, or any other person who comes up with their own directions to heaven. There is only one way and that is through Christ Jesus. It is by His grace and your FAITH that you will be saved. It is then up to you to surrender and continue in faith and repentance to truly attain the peace that only Christ can give you.

    Comment by Elijah — December 30, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

  17. Uhhh… You didn’t answer my question in the PS at all bro.

    Comment by Geoff J — December 30, 2007 @ 9:15 pm