The King of Kings Over One Heavenly Kingdom

You can watch the whole talk here. A downloadable .mp4 file of video is available here.

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65 Responses to The King of Kings Over One Heavenly Kingdom

  1. setfree says:


    You just told me that you’re not going to talk about all the “only one God” verses because they’re off topic. That’s fine, you don’t have to talk to me about them. But what are you doing with them in the privacy of your own heart?

  2. Olsen Jim says:

    Notice that in Aarons rant in the video he had to clarify which version of the Bible he was quoting. Wait a minute, does that mean there are variations. Which version is the most correct? Who decides?

    I always find this funny coming from people who so vehemently criticize the corrections that have been in the Book of Mormon.

  3. Olsen, I never mentioned the version, but only mentioned that the KJV did a poor job of translating μονή into “mansions”, when it was more appropriate to use something like “rooms”. But use whatever word you want, as long as it refers to an abode or dwelling place. Either way it doesn’t take away from the larger point if the passage is considered in context. If Jesus prepares an abode for you, he will take you back to where he is, so that you may be where he is also. That doesn’t work for the Telestial abode at all. The context is devastating to the traditional Mormon usage of the term.

    Even the Joseph Smith Translation (if one even wants to call it a translation) has multiple manuscript copies that a scholar has to do textual criticism on. Mormons are the ones attacking the Bible as corrupted and stripped of many plain and precious truths. We’re just considering the uninformed standard that Mormons have on the Bible and asking that they use it on the BofM as well. Also, when a Bible translation team tries to improve on a translation, they look back to the reliable reconstruction of the original Greek. Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church have no Reformed Egyptian to look back to, and in some important cases they move away from the significant original meaning in the first 1830 edition.

  4. shematwater says:


    I never espoused it as authority. I said that when you reason it out in your own mind the interpretation and the belief is possible. I think that is what is meant, but I cannot say that it is what the church teaches that it means. If the churches teaches differently please show me where and I will gladly alter my belief.


    as to your original idea in the video, using all the logic that God gave us, regardless of whether it is mansions or rooms, what Joseph Smith said is still very logical.

    Think, if there is only one house where all go to be with Christ, why does Christ need to prepare anything. From the wording of the verse it seems to me that Christ is stating that in Heaven there are many places, and I will not be in all of them, so I go to prepare a place for you where I will be. Thus, the Terrestial and Telestial fit very neicely. He lives in the west wing, and went to prepare a room in the west wing for the Apostles. However, he did not say he would be in the east wing.

  5. shematwater, read all of John 14:1-7.

    Jesus starts out with “Let not your hearts be troubled”. This isn’t a “it’s time for me to scare the living tar out of you, busters” sermon of Jesus. It’s not as though we, who come to the Father though Jesus, should be fearful of being in the “Father’s house” because somehow we could be banished in there from Jesus forever. This isn’t a “you better earn your exaltation or you’ll be condemned to the eternal punishment of regret and suffering and writhing in the basement of my father’s house” talk. Jesus isn’t preparing an heavenly hellish attic in his Father’s house separate from his dwelling for some of those who come through him to the Father.

    Jesus goes on to say in verse 6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” What does it mean to go “to the Father”? In context, it, among other things, means to go to the Father’s house. Should we be worried that there isn’t enough room for us? No, there are “many rooms”.

    No one comes to the Father’s house except through the preparing of Jesus.

    When Jesus leaves to go prepare a place for those who come through him to the Father’s house, should we be scared that we could be cast into the hellish heavens or heavenly hells of Mormonism, sequested from Jesus forever?

    No, all those who come through the Son to the Father are brought into one of the many rooms of the Father’s house. And if Jesus prepares one of those rooms for you, he is bringing you back to be where he is, so that you may be where he is also. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (v. 3)

    shematwater, I say this with a burden in my heart for you. Don’t buy the lie that Jesus may be preparing a basement or attic for you (or anyone else who comes through Jesus to the Father) in the Father’s house that is somehow sequestered from the Father and Jesus forever. When Jesus was speaking in John 14, he was speaking words of comfort for those who know Jesus as the only way, the only truth, and the only life.

  6. jackg says:


    Could you please come up with a new argument regarding biblical “translations.” Also, despite the differences in translation, it is interesting to note that the GOSPEL message of GRACE has NOT changed. There’s a significant difference between the BOM and the Bible. The Bible was GOD-BREATHED; the BOM is a fictional writing with fictional setting and characters. BIG difference, Olsen. I would suggest reading Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” to see how a real servant of the LORD Jesus Christ so expertly uses a variety of translations. The message doesn’t change, Olsen.

    Praying for your deliverance out of Mormonism…

  7. shematwater says:


    I will admit what you say is a possible interpretation. However, so is what I say (or what Joseph Smith said).

    There are two questions that I have to ask about this passage.
    One: Why did Christ feel it necessary to point out the many mansions (or rooms)? Why was this important, and what does it mean?
    Two: What was meant by “I will acome again, and receive you unto myself; that bwhere cI am, there ye may be also?”

    Now, your interpretation answers the second, but it does not answer the first. By your belief there is no difference in the rooms, and thus there would have been no need in saying this. Christ could have just said “I go to my Father’s house to prepare a place for you.”

    But he didn’t say this. Not only does he tell us there are many rooms, but he tells us “if it were not so, I would have told you.” As it is obviously important that these many rooms exist, we must ask ourselves why?
    The only possible reason is that they are not all the same, that some are different from others. If this is true, then what does this tell us about the second question?
    It tells us that Christ will not be in all the rooms, and thus he has prepared a place for us, and he will come again to take us to that place, that room in which he will be.

    This is not a troubling thing. It is a very comforting thing. He has prepared it, and he will take us there. We are not left on our own. We will be with him in our Father’s house.

    But just because he is speaking comfort these other verses do not prove either interpretation right or wrong. I believe as I do because it answers the questions, it explains the passage in a more complete way, and I am still comforted by this passage.

  8. shematwater, in context, all that we have explicated is the multiplicity of rooms. There won’t be a shortage. This is an appeal to the illustration of a Jewish wedding. There is nothing in the passage about the differing glories or sequestered-from-Christ-kingdom-places. At best, one could make an argument from other scriptures in the NT for the varying glories of resurrected, glorified persons, but even then you wouldn’t have Biblical warrant for placing those persons in separate kingdoms sequested from Christ. It’s hermeneutically irresponsible to immediately dump the bulk of one’s pre-existing theology onto a passage. You have to spiral outward from the passage, not inwardly onto the passage.

    By your belief there is no difference in the rooms

    On the contrary, traditional Christianity has held that those in heaven will have different rewards of glory and starting points of ever-increasing joy, etc., but that all of those resurrected unto glory will be in one heavenly kingdom, enjoying eternal life forever in full fellowship with the Father, Son, and Spirit.

    Long before Smith had his eisegetical heyday, Christians like Jonathan Edwards and John Wesley used the “many mansions” to support the idea that there are differing glories of those resurrected unto glory (different starting points for ever-increasing joy), but never did they place any of these glorified persons in a kingdom apart from Jesus Christ.

    It is not comforting nor is it contextual in John 14 to push/force onto the passage the notion of a heavenly kingdom that is sequested from the King of Kings. Jesus said that if he goes to prepare a place for you, he will bring you back to where he is. You have failed to connect that promise of Jesus with the immediately surrounding context. The “place[s]” he prepares for others in verse 3 are in the Father’s house spoken of in verse 2. And the only way to come to the Father (and his house) is through Jesus. “No one comes to the Father except through me” (v. 6). But the only way to have a place prepared for you is to come through Jesus. That is why verses 4-6 follow verse 3. Verses 4-6 serve as a follow-up explanation. Thomas asks how we can know the way to where Jesus is going, and Jesus answers that it is through a person: himself. And where is Jesus going? He is going “to the Father” (verse 6). Disconnecting the Father and his house, or the rooms in his house and the place Jesus is going is all unnatural.

    Better take the passage at face-value and submit to it rather than set up Smith’s interpretative enterprise as a golden calf and bow it it.

  9. Olsen Jim says:


    My point is that EVs like yourself claim the Bible is inerrent and perfect, that God has preserved it in its perfection. Yet it is beyond question and well documented that there are thousands of differences between the many New Testament manuscripts and translations. Not all of these differences can be correct. So, there have to have been mistakes, no?

    I again bring this up not to attack the Bible (this really doesn’t create a problem for me or other LDS) because it strikes at the core of the claims you make about authority. It also shows the double standard and hypocrisy of those people like yourself who insist on absolute perfection in the BOM publications and everything LDS.

    By the way, the whole issue of rooms vs. mansions poses no problem for our doctrine, despite what you say. Jesus was using familiar imagery to describe the Kingdom of Heaven and the after life. Bottom line, there are multiple places, divisions, rooms, whatever you want to call it.

    Nothing you present from the NT contradicts our doctrine. Yes, the path to God’s Kingdom is through Christ. Christ prepared that path. Nothing in those truths proves that there are others who will not live with God who are neverless resurrected. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” ALL WILL BE RESURRECTED. So what happens to those who are resurrected but who do not live with God? What of the “third heaven” Paul spoke of?

    And you have it backwards. Our doctrine is not squeazed out of New Testament verses. It comes from revelation- the same place the New Testament comes from, whether or not you recognize that. And these revealed truths are what all these NT verses allude to. Revelation vs. old opinions. No contest.

  10. If you can show me any compelling Greek textual variants related to the discussion of John 14 that evidence corruption, then I’m all ears, but if not, then you’re just asking me to swallow the Mormon conspiracy theory that so often is just an excuse to reject what the Bible says.

    In one sense, I’m simply not interested in how people think the NT might indirectly “allude” to their favorite modern extra-biblical falsified prophet. I’m not willing to give the Mormon prophets a free pass to contradict the Bible and abuse its text.

    As for universal resurrection, you speak as though traditional Christianity has not already affirmed it. In fact, in the very fifth chapter of the Gospel of John, a dichotomy is spoken of: there is a resurrection unto life, and a resurrection unto judgment (John 5:29). The dichotomous view of the afterlife so often spoken of in the Bible (and even the BofM) is hardly affirmed in post-D&C-76 Mormonism.

    As far as dumping the massive Mormon theological worldview into the phrase “third heaven”, I would rather read it through the lens of the 1st century worldview of a Palestinian Jew.

  11. shematwater says:


    My point is not that John 14 has to mean what I said, but that it is a very logical interpretation, just as logical as yours. The rest of the verses do not prove either one right.

    The only proof you have that you can offer that you are right is your interpretation and belief. The only proof I can offer that I can offer is my interpretation and belief. We are on even ground.

    Now, I have one question. You admit that you believe there are different degrees of glory (or starting points for joy). What determines your degree when you reach heaven?

  12. shematwater, as I have shown, “Disconnecting the Father and his house, or the rooms in his house and the place Jesus is going is all unnatural.” If you can find an exegetical reason to dispute that, by all means, please show us. Otherwise, simply appealing to what you think logically can fit after forcing 19th century theology onto a 1st century text isn’t convincing.

    I’m not going down a divergent trail with you here until you show you’re willing to tackle the exegetical issues head-on.

  13. shematwater says:


    Explain unnatural. Is it unnatural because you believe it.

    Also, you seem to understanding my words very differently than what I am actually saying.

    I have not disconnected Christ from the Father’s House. When did I ever say that Christ would not be in his Father’s house. All I said is that he will not be in every room of his Father’s house. If you want to get picky about the details I am speaking of where he will live. This does not mean he will not visit the rest of the House.

    I would compare it to a large house with many people residing in it. Christ has the best room. His living quarters are in the east wing (this is just for arguments sake of course). In the east wing there are also many other bedrooms, which all share a sitting room and other comforts.
    Then there is the west wing, which also has many bedrooms and a sitting room and so forth, though not quite as luxurious. And lastly you get the servant quarters (still very comfortable).
    Christ lives in the East wing, but he still lives in the house, and thus he will visit those in the West wing and the servants quarters. They will enjoy a personal relationship with him, but they will not enjoy the luxury of his wing, or the level of intamite relation as those who live with Christ in the East wing.

    So you see, I have not disconnected “the Father and his house, or the rooms in his house and the place Jesus is going” at all. I have simply stated the logical fact that in a house not everyone lives in the same room.

  14. setfree says:

    I seriously don’t understand why God would have made what He needed us to know so hard that only people like Shematwater can keep it straight.

  15. shematwater says:


    He didn’t. Wicked and designing men, or maybe just plain lazy translaters and transcribers, did.

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