Ok, so I finished up with all the questions that were emailed to me about the LDS women--I'm hoping all of your questions were answered, if anything needs clarifying please email me and let me know.
I have been emailed by 3 different people asking me about the same question, each person has asked in a different way but the question is the same.
Do Mormons believe if a person is not sealed (married) in a Temple here on earth, they will not be permitted to live in the presence of God when they die?
ANSWER: NO -- remember there are a majority of women in the church who have never had the opportunity to be sealed (married) in the Temple
LDS members believe there are 3 degrees, or levels of Heaven. The Celestial Kingdom is the highest degree-the terrestrial kingdom is the middle degree-and the telestial kingdom is the lowest. I'm going to try and explain all of these degrees of Heaven.
In the Bible it speaks of 3 heavens in the resurrection: "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another of the stars, for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead" I Corinthians 15:41-42) In 2 Corinthians 12:2 the Apostle Paul spoke of being "caught up to the third heaven" in a vision. The Prophet Joseph Smith had a remarkable vision where he saw each heaven and the characteristics of each one of their inhabitants Doctrine and Covenants 76.
Please remember all of these levels are a part of heaven. Even the lowest kingdom--the telestial--is still a kingdom of glory.
LDS members believe that the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice will allow all people a place in one of these kingdoms. We believe those who are in the outer darkness, will inherit a degree of heaven which is much better than anything we can relate to here on earth. We believe this is God's plan of salvation.
The Celestial Kingdom: This kingdom is the highest degree of heaven. It is truly where we, as LDS members want to inherit. In the scriptures, it is compared to the brightness and glory of the sun (1Corinthians 15: 40-41) In the celestial kingdom, we live in the presence of God and Jesus Christ, we are eventually able to become like them, we can live together forever with those of our family who qualify, and we will receive a fullness of joy. Anyone who has exercised faith in Jesus Christ, repented of their sins, received baptism and the Holy Ghost by those in proper authority (Priesthood) and continued in faithfulness in the gospel will attain celestial glory.
The Terrestial Kingdom: This is the middle heaven. In the scriptures, is is compared with the brightness and glory of the moon. (1 Corinthians 76:97) Generally, the LDS people believe that those who live an honorable life on earth but who deliberately choose not to accept or fully live the gospel of Jesus Christ will go to the middle kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom.
The Telestial Kingdom: In the scriptures, this kingdom is likened tot he glory of the stars (1 Corinthians 15:40-41) The people who never accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, in this this life or in the spirit world and who do not repent but continue in rebellion and major sin will receive this kingdom, which we believe is the lowest kingdom of Heaven. We believe that the people who go here will have to wait in the spirit world for a thousand years after the 2nd coming of Christ before they will be resurrected and receive their telestial glory (Revelation 20:5) This kingdom is basically for those who are not honorable people and who do not repent of their sins, these are the liars, adulterers, murderers, rapers, etc. We believe that these people will still suffer sins and pay the price for their rebelliousness here on earth, they did not obey the laws of God, but had a knowledge of them. the difference is that we believe their suffering will eventually come to an end and they will receive a kingdom of glory, the lowest kingsom. They will not dwell in the prescence of the Lord.
DO MORMONS BELIEVE IN HELL?:
Answer: We do not believe in the "common" thoughts of HELL, no eternal flames, and wailing or gnashing of teeth.
We believe more that the eternal suffering of the wicked is more of a figurative than literal HELL. The actual suffering that people endure for rebellion and sins comes to an end once the penalty for their transgression has been paid and served it's purpose. "Endless torment" and "eternal damnation" are more figurative than literal, but we used these words to help us change our hearts, I think that in the scriptures when these phrases are used it means 'God's punishment' that will one day come to an end after the person has paid for their sin before God.
Outer darkness is "hell" the LDS people believe that is where Satan and the lowest kingdom of Heaven is where these people will go and dwell. These are people who commit the unforgivable sins against God and who are not saved in any kingdom of glory.