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GREG - i was pondering the celestial kingdom, trying to get a better understanding of it. Maybe your insight will help? We had a scripture in Sunday school that stated "neither is the man without the woman in the lord". I know in the highest degree of glory in the celestial kingdom, this is so! Someone said this verse pertains to the kingdom of God. As I understand it the lower degrees of the Celestial kingdoms, marriage isn't essential? This is the kingdom of God also isn't it? just a different degree! I know we want to achieve the higher degree to have increase. Some think that the lower degrees are as a damnation it seems. Seems to me, we will all be one with Christ in the celestial kingdom, no matter what degree he sees fit for us to obtain. To me, it will be like the priesthood; there's high priest, priest, elders and etc. But all priesthood is melchizedik. None is greater than the other, just different roles. What's your take on it? Or the leaders of the churches view of it , as you have read or heard?

JOEL - You said "i was pondering the celestial kingdom, trying to get a better understanding of it". That was your first mistake :-) There is very little known information about the Celestial kingdom that we can call "official" doctrine. Like you said we do know that the highest level of the Celestial kingdom requires an eternal companion with which one can have eternal increase.

"In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase." (D&C 131:1-4)

And God has told us what happens if we do not fulfil the requirements of that level of that kingdom:

"For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant (eternal marriage); and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory. (D&C 132:4)

"Damned" seems like a harsh word but in fact in LDS doctrine, to be damned means to be stopped, blocked, or limited in one's progress. People are damned whenever they are prevented from reaching their full potential as children of God. Damnation is falling short of what one might have enjoyed if one had received and been faithful to the whole law of the gospel. In this sense, all who do not achieve the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom are damned, even though they are saved in some lower level of that glory or some other degree of glory. They are damned in the sense that they will not enjoy an eternal increase or the continuation of the family unit in eternity (D&C 132:4, 19).

Notice also that verse says they will not be able to enter into His glory. So even though people can enter into one of the other two levels of the Celestial kingdom they will not be in the presence of the glory of God (whatever that means).
The following verse applies to those who do not reach the highest level:

"Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever." (D&C 132: 16-17)

Apparently eternal marriage is not required for the lower levels although some of them may have been civially married on earth or even were sealed in the temple but were for some other reason not worthy of the highest level. All those who desire to be sealed to an eternal companion, but could not because of circumstances beyond their control, will at some point in time(perhaps the Millennium) receive that opportunity.

"For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts." (D&C 137: 7-10)

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