“What is necessary for celestial glory?” New Era, July 1972, 37
Answer/Brother Lynn A. McKinley
When Joseph Smith was divinely appointed as the Prophet to open up the dispensation of the fulness of times, a decisive blow was struck against the then prevailing religious mysticism and religious sentimentalism as the sum of religious experience.
From that time forward, religion could clearly be seen to be eternal law operating on things and on human beings. Hence, celestial glory, the highest degree of glory provided by a just and merciful Father, was not to be obtained merely by wishing fervently after confessing the name of Christ; neither was it to be obtained merely by accumulating a stockpile of merit in the frequent doing of good deeds.
These feelings and acts as ends in themselves might qualify an honorable person for the terrestrial glory, but not the celestial. For, while fervent desire and good deeds are most assuredly an essential part of celestial living, there is a dimension that far exceeds the limited terrestrial dimension, as the sun exceeds the moon in power and splendor.
The law controlling the reality and vitality of celestial experience was explained to the Prophet Joseph Smith as follows:
“And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
“Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
“And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh.” (D&C 84:19–21.)
The receiving of the ordinances of the gospel by one directly imbued with the power and authority of the Master himself inducts one, by administration of law, into the celestial dimension of living. And the continuous development of the unique godly powers growing out of all the ordinances of the restored gospel of Christ, including celestial marriage, will inevitably yield fruits of the highest position of exaltation in the celestial kingdom, for the Lord has said:
“They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.
“Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
“And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.
“And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.” (D&C 88:28–31.)
Observing carefully and living the law of the celestial kingdom, which includes all the truth and good and beauty of the telestial and terrestrial kingdoms, constitute what is necessary for obtaining celestial glory.
The thrilling insight from this concept is that all the sweet and satisfying joys of this glory need not be postponed till the life after the resurrection but can and should be experienced with increasing frequency and intensity every day we live in the world.