02 September 2023

The Great Houses of the Celestial Realm

In previous posts, I presented my personal thoughts (not official statements of doctrine promulgated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) on the afterlife and its conditions. I had hopefully vivid descriptions of the "spirit world" (squaring up), judgement (full disclosure), the telestial reward (no consequences), and the terrestrial reward (no responsibilities). I feel I did a rather pathetic job on giving some analogy for the celestial reward (no limits), but after watching episodes of the "Downton Abbey" television series, I feel a bit more prepared to talk about my conception of the highest glory and what it will be like there.

There will be three basic divisions of the celestial glory, although only the highest is mentioned much in holy writ. The celestial reward is the state which God and his angels enjoy and the description that we have, of mansions and kingdoms, are a good description of the whole of it. The three divisions have more to do with what individual people will be doing on these expansive "Downton Abbey" manors - if you live upstairs, you work downstairs, or if you live and labor in the adjoining crofts or village.

It would be easiest to begin at the top and work our way down. Every great house has "the family", which consists of the Lord and Lady of the manor and their children who may also become heirs of the manor.  These people are either actively administering the manor or learning how to lead it someday.

Downstairs, the staff attends to all the support services needed by "the family" and the house. Obviously, the attention of family members are better spent on higher matters than housekeeping, food preparation and serving, physical maintenance and repair of grounds and equipment, and other service functions required of a great house. These are the servants to the manor.

Beyond the great house are lands and peoples that are under the stewardship of the Lord and Lady of the manor. Some have individual grants of land for cultivation or husbandry, others work in attached villages, all owing some fealty or rents to the Lord and Lady of the larger manorial estate. Although each individual villager has their own lives and feelings, each has an obligation to the Lord's summons.

Don't like the idea?  A little too patriarchal? Think socialism or democracy is more fair?  You can always choose a "lesser reward", I suppose.  Living a celestial life might not be a matter of just qualifying for it, but desiring the reality of or service to God's life and circumstances.  We may not become a God ourselves but if we choose, through desire and deeds, to qualify for a celestial reward, we will be a part of the eternal work.

Want to be a part of a ruling house? It seems that it really will be up to each one of us if we desire such.