This weeks blog is about the Spirit World and some clarification about this wonderful dwelling place.
I have read a couple of new books this past week and was reminded of a frequently re-occurring frustration I experience when dealing with the subject matter of the Spirit World and our experience with it. There are very few books out there that explain throughly the aspect of the Spirit World and the different places in it. The stories that I come across roll both of these places into one or as a permanent place. I think it is confusing and does not help us to understand the Spirit World better.
Where we lived before this life and where we go when we die are not the same place. The Spirit World is here upon this earth, in a kind of different dimension is the best way to describe it. It is divided into different levels. Depending on your knowledge and what you did in this life, will depend on your placement in the Spirit World. As I have read many different books and experiences over the past 35 years, very few give complete information in regard to this aspect of the Spirit World.
The Spirit World is a temporary place that our spirits reside and a place of rest and of learning.
With this clarification we can understand that the Spirit World has two places are very different and distinct. They have aspects that are similar but they are not the same. For this weeks discussion on the Sprit World, lets start with Jesus on the Cross. In the book; “Mormon Doctrine’ by Bruce R. McConkie he talks of this experience under the subject: PARADISE pg.554
“To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43), is a statement our Lord is purported to have made to the thief on the cross. Actually, as the Prophet explains, “there is nothing in the original word in Greek from which this was taken that signifies paradise; but it was- This day shalt thou be with me in the world of spirits: then I will teach you all about it and answer your inquiries”, meaning, of course, that such teaching and answers would be given, as is nearly always the case, by the mouths of his servants appointed so to serve.
Further on in “Mormon Doctrine” under the topic of: SPIRIT WORLD is the best description as to the differences between the two places in the Spirit world.
“By spirit world is meant the abiding place of disembodied spirits. Those who have passed from pre-existence to mortality and have also gone on from this temporal world to another sphere to await the day of their resurrection…, final redemption, and judgment. This world is divided into two parts: paradise which is the abode of the righteous, and hell which is the abode of the wicked. (Alma 40:11-14.)
Until the death of Christ these two spirit abodes were separated by a great gulf, with intermingling of their respective inhabitants strictly forbidden. (Luke 16: 19-31.) After our Lord bridged the gulf between the two (1 Peter 3: 18-21; Moses 7:37-39), the affairs of his kingdom in the spirit world were so arranged that righteous spirits began teaching the gospel to the wicked ones. (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 472-476.)
Thus, although there are two spheres within the one spirit world, there is now some intermingling of the righteous and the wicked who inhabit those spheres; and when the wicked spirit repent, they leave their prison-hell and join the righteous in paradise. Hence, we find Joseph Smith saying: “Hades, sheol, paradise, spirits in prison, are all one: it is a world of spirits. The righteous and the wicked all go to the same world of spirits until the resurrection.”
The great work in the world of spirits is the preaching of the gospel to those who are imprisoned by sin and false traditions. The faithful elders who depart this life continue their labors for the salvation of their brethren in the spirit world. Those who would have received the gospel in this life, if the opportunity had come to them, will repent and receive it in the next life and will thereby become heirs of salvation.
I know through Kory’s experiences that this is the case of how the work works in the spirit world. Kory has had the privilege of assisting with tho work.
Have a great week.