Mormons Believe There Are 3 Kingdoms of Glory in Heaven

Most People Will Merit One of These Unless They Qualify for Hell

Earth, Moon and Sun
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There is not just one place where good people go to and where bad people go to after this life. There are different degrees of glory, just as there are different degrees of how good and bad people can be. God's judgment will be just for he is a just God.

This last part of the Plan of Salvation is about heaven and hell. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/Mormon) we believe that heaven consists of three kingdoms of glory.

They are, in order from highest to lowest:

  • Celestial Kingdom
  • Terrestrial Kingdom
  • Telestial Kingdom

Hell is also called outer darkness. Which glory we receive will depend on the life we live during mortality. Our fate will be decided by God during judgment. Below you will learn more about each kingdom of glory and outer darkness.

Celestial Kingdom

The Celestial Kingdom is the highest degree of glory we can receive. This is where God and Jesus Christ dwell. Those who receive this glory have:

  • Accepted Christ as their Savior
  • Repented and received a remission of their sins through Christ's Atonement
  • Kept God's commandments
  • Received the saving ordinances (such as baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost)

The Celestial Kingdom itself is divided into three degrees. To attain the highest degree and be an eternal family, one must receive the ordinance of marriage. This is called a sealing. It is only performed in sacred temples.

Children Who Die Receive a Celestial Glory

The Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon saw a vision where they saw the three degrees of glory and outer darkness. In this vision they discovered that children who die before age eight, the age of accountability, go straight to the Celestial Kingdom.

God is a just God.

Those who die without a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but would have accepted Him, will receive the highest degree of glory within the Celestial Kingdom.

Those who did not have the opportunity to be married (sealed in the temple) but would have if they could will also have this opportunity given to them.

Terrestrial Kingdom

The second degree of glory is the Terrestrial Kingdom and its glory is compared with that of the moon. Those who inherit this kingdom of glory are they who were good people during life, but were misled here on earth.

Also, those who did not receive the gospel of Jesus Christ in mortality, but accepted it in the postmortal life will also merit this kingdom.

LDS members who were not valiant during mortality will also merit this kingdom.

Telestial Kingdom

This last kingdom is like the glory of the stars and is for those unrepentant sinners who did evil in life. They will suffer for their sins before inheriting the Telestial Kingdom.

They are also those who did not accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. Also, liars, murderers and other sinners who did not repent will occupy this kingdom.

These people will have to suffer for their own sins. After their suffering, they will be resurrected and inherit this kingdom of glory.

Hell: Outer Darkness

Outer darkness is where the sons of perdition are sent. A son of perdition is someone who denied the witness of the Holy Ghost, after having received it. See D&C 76:43.

These people are not worthy to receive a kingdom of glory and will be thrust down into Outer Darkness.

After being resurrected, they will occupy hell with the devil and his other followers for eternity. Forgiveness is not available to them. They rejected it.

Cain, son of Adam and Eve, is an example of a son of perdition. He walked and talked with Christ, but he chose Satan and denied the truth when he lied to God, thus becoming a son of perdition. See Moses 5:16-26.

Wherever we end up after resurrection, we will have earned it. Find more brief or extensive information on Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness.

Updated by Krista Cook.