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BOB - In our Sunday Schol class the question of when our "testing period" would end came up. Some felt it was over at death, when the spirit and body were separated, and others thought it was at the judgement when the veil was lifted from our minds. This brought up a healthy discussion on whether someone who had worked hard in their mortal life and had proven worthy to inherit the Celestial Kingdom could later do something wrong while waiting the resurrection in Paradise to change their inheritance.

JOEL - I very much doubt that anyone who has proven themselves worthy in this life to inherit the Celestial kingdom would do anything in the next life to change their destiny. When such a person dies he will be in the presence of God in Paradise and most likely be enlisted into the numerous saints that will preach to the spirits in prison (D&C 138: 29-32) with no time or inclination to commit any sin. However those who are in spirit prison who are taught the gospel must at some point be tested and tried to see if they will be faithful before they can move into Paradise.

President Brigham Young once said:
"When you lay down this tabernacle, where are you going? Into the spiritual world…Where is the spirit world? It is right here. Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes they do…. Do they go beyond the boundaries of the organized earth? No, they do not…. Can you see it with your natural eyes? No. Can you see spirits in this room? No. Suppose the Lord should touch your eyes that you might see, could you then see the spirits? Yes, as plainly as you now see bodies" [Discourses of Brigham Young, ed. John A. Widtsoe, pp. 376-81. Salt Lake City, 1946.].

And Brigham Young makes the connection between those in the spirit world and Satan and his evil spirits when he said, "Those who have died without the Gospel are continually afflicted by those evil spirits, who say to them—'Do not go to hear that man Joseph Smith preach, or David Patten, or any of their associates, for they are deceivers.'" (Young, Journal of Discourses, 3:731)

Therefore, knowing that Satan and his spirits were cast down to this earth and that the spirit world is here on earth with us, we must conclude that Satan and his evil spirits must have access to both the physical world to tempt the living and spirit prison to tempt the dead, as suggested by Brigham Young. They function in their role as tempters to those trying to prove themselves worthy in both realms.

For those in Paradise President Joseph F. Smith said:
"The spirits of all men, as soon as they depart from this mortal body, whether they are good or evil, we are told in the Book of Mormon (Alma 40:11-12.), are taken home to that God who gave them life, where there is a separation, a partial judgment, and the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they expand in wisdom, where they have respite from all their troubles, and where care and sorrow do not annoy." (Gospel Doctrine, p. 448).

Presiden George Q. Cannon said:
"if we listen to the Lord, if we strive to keep His commandments, if we seek to be governed by His Spirit, when death comes, Satan's power ceases. He can no more afflict or torment or tempt or annoy those who are thus faithful. His power over them ceases forever". (Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon)

Statements such as these tend to lead one to understand that the righteous who end up in Paradise will no longer be tempted to do anything wrong that would change their Celestial inheritance. So for those righteous who die and enter Paradise the "testing period" is over. For those in spirit prision the testing continues.

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