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This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- D&C 131:1-2. Is the Celestial Kingdom Divided into Three Subdegrees? This post by Kevin Barney at the BCC blog considers the history of this verse and different possible interpretations.
- D&C 131:1-4. These verses are often cited in General conference addresses. These verses are often cited within the context of teaching that a men and women cannot be exalted alone--each needs the other. As Elder Nelson put it in a November 1989 address "Men and women receive the highest ordinance in the house of the Lord together and equally, or not at all." To see other citations look at theLDS General Conference Scriptural Index.
- D&C 131:4. On the necessity of marriage (a theological conundrum). This post by Geoff J. at the New Cool Thang blog discusses various ways we might think about Jesus as Jehovah as being exalted in light of this passage.
- D&C 131:4. Verse 3 tells us that one who does not enter into "this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]" cannot obtain the highest heaven or degree of the celestial glory. Here in verse 4 we read that such a person "may enter into the other" two heavens or degrees, "but that is the end of his kingdom, he cannot have an increase." This last statement may seem to support the view that once assigned to a degree one cannot move to another. In fact, this verse works well under both views; it doesn't support one view or the other.
- If one believes that one cannot move to a higher degree once assigned to a lower degree, then to say that a person "may enter into the other" is to give them a fixed position. Under this reading for a person assigned to a lower kingdom, the phrase "he cannot have an increase" supports their already held view that such an assignment is permanently fixed.
- On the other hand, if one believes that one may be able to move to a higher degree once assigned to a lower degree, then the phrase "he cannot have an increase" is read within the context of a person who does not enter into this order of the priesthood. Or in other words, verse 4 mainly becomes a restatement of verse 3, which itself is a restatement of verse 2. In that case all three verses say thee same thing: someone who doesn't enter into the order of the priesthood cannot obtain the highest degree in the celestial glory. In that case, these verses don't comment on whether or when there will be an opportunity later to enter into this covenant and progress to the highest degree.
- D&C 131:5. The phrase "through the power of the Holy Priesthood" has reference to certain priesthood ordinances performed in the temple as promised to those who are true and faithful to the covenants entered into in the endowment.
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Prompts for life application
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Prompts for further study
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- D&C 131:4. What does it mean to say that someone in the Celestial Kingdom "cannot have an increase"? Does this mean that they do not progress eternally? How might this be related to the ability to have eternal posterity?
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- The oldest surviving copy of D&C 131 is __.
- D&C 131 was first published in __.
- D&C 131 was first included in the Doctrine & Covenants in the 18__ edition.
- The text of D&C 131 in significant editions of the Doctrine & Covenants can be found at: <NEED TO UPDATE REFERENCES>
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Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.