"I have been pondering quite a bit lately and still have not put together how these three kingdoms work with the principle of reincarnation.
"I make the assumption that all of us here on this earth are in the telestial kingdom. At what point does one progress to the next kingdom? And do we progress Telestial, Terrestrial & and then Celestial in that order? Can one skip a kingdom and advance to a higher one? (Realizing there are more that these three.)
"Also, are we stuck in this Telestial Kingdom until we reincarnate into it and live a sinless life like Christ did?"
Those without an LDS [Mormon] background may not understand what is meant by the three kingdoms as most Christians merely believe in heaven and hell.
At least Mormons believe in more than one black-and-white division, but they are still far from seeing the whole picture.
Here is a supportive scripture from the Bible that they use to prove the idea that there is more than just one heaven and a hell.
40 "There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42 "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 "It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45 "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
(1 Cor 15:40-45)
Now the LDS believe that you die, live in the spirit world a while, then are resurrected, judged, and sent to one of the three kingdoms -- or "outer darkness."
This does not square with a statement made by Joseph Smith at the funeral of King Follet wherein he stated:
"Those who have died in the faith are NOW in the celestial kingdom of God. And hence is the glory of the sun."
These were not resurrected beings but recently deceased persons he was talking about.
Here is the answer to your question. There are indeed three kingdoms plus those "higher than the celestial" that Joseph spoke of. The three kingdoms are the same as the three kingdoms spoken of by DK [Djwhal Khul]. He calls them the three worlds of form.
The first world is the physical and/or etheric, or the Telestial. The scriptures says that this world is ministered to by the Holy Spirit and is composed of those who "love and make a lie." It is compared to the stars with the notation that one star differs from another. In this kingdom there is no equality as every person differs. Some have much some have little. Some have health, others affliction, etc.
This is the world in which we live and the highest we normally attain is the ministration of the Holy Spirit after opening the door through soul contact. All around us are those who "love and make a lie."
The teaching is that the higher can visit the lower, but the lower cannot enter the higher kingdoms and thus it is.
In this telestial kingdom we have inhabitants from all three spheres. It is composed mostly of very earthly, telestial inhabitants. But we have a number of visitors from the terrestrial and celestial spheres to teach us and help us upon our way. Of course, when they incarnate they appear as normal humans.
If you are a terrestrial or celestial person living in this telestial world you are still in the higher kingdom because that is where your consciousness is. The kingdoms are more a state of being than a physical location.
To find the terrestrial kingdom from here a person does not get there by going to a location so much as much as going to a vibration. At death, if the person is vibrating at the terrestrial level, he will enter the terrestrial at death.
The astral world is created of emotional matter and has two major divisions called by the LDS "paradise" and "spirit prison." Those of telestial consciousness go to the "sprit prison," which are the lower three spheres of the astral world and governed by the lower emotions. Those people of honor, but still deceived by the craftiness of men, go to one of the upper four spheres or worlds. This is the Terrestrial Kingdom.
A celestial person is one who has developed his mind and reason and can see through the craftiness of men. At death he goes to a celestial world created of mental matter which is much more refined than the astral.
Above this are four levels of the "formless worlds" where creation has its beginnings.
You therefore do not enter the higher worlds through reincarnation, but the lessons learned through multiple lives increases light so the entity eventually moves in consciousness from one kingdom to another.
"What I try to put into perspective is the how did the vision of the three levels help Joseph teach the LDS a new truth if he did not start with explaining all about chakras first.. or explain that the kingdoms are more a state of being than a physical location?
"So who took the original concept and corrupted it?"
I'm not sure what you mean by the corruption of the original concept so I'll just add a few things and hope it brings some light.
What Joseph saw in a vision was accurate but far from the whole truth. Since then the LDS church has extrapolated some incorrect conclusions from his teachings, and there is some corruption involved there.
Even though different states of consciousness is a state of being and not a place, each being lives in some place within this universe.
When the pure in heart are gathered into one place then we can call that place Zion. But before the Gathering, Zion still exists as a state of consciousness in the minds of the pure in heart, who are scattered.
There are a handful of celestial teachers among us and within their state of being is the celestial kingdom. Even so, this place we are in is of a telestial or earthly order. This is because most of the inhabitants are telestial. If all the telestial inhabitants were suddenly removed and replaced by celestial beings then the vibration of this earth would suddenly rise to the celestial level.
It is consciousness that determines the quality of the place; not the place that determines the quality of consciousness.
"The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy."
-- John Jay, Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Copyright © 2009 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved