Each Dispensation

Below are a few quotes that address the question of whether or not we have a new probation each dispensation.  While I have quite a bit more research about this subject for the final publication, the below quotes represent a sampling of teachings that put forth the idea that we have a new probation for each dispensation of time on this earth.  I’ve spoken to people with various opinions and interpretations of these teachings – including some who think that we have only one probation on each earth.  I invite your comments below: please share why you think these quotes should be interpreted to support either of these ideas or some other idea.
Please feel free to include your own quotes in your reasoning but please do not bother sharing any quotes post 1920 unless you think they are particularly persuasive from an academic (rather than religious) perspective.  Quotes post 1920 tend to do nothing more than decry these teachings as speculative and false and are therefore not helpful for this discussion.  Thank you.

Brigham Young | 04/07/1861
“We must live by principle; and if we do, we shall attain to perfection – to being crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives.  I would rather be purified here than to live ten thousand years to attain the same point in another existence.  The man that enters into this order by the prompting of passion, and not with a view to honor God and carry out his purposes, the curse of God will rest upon him, and that which he seems to have will be taken from him and given to those that act according to principle.  Remember it.”     | JD 9:38 |

Heber C. Kimball | 11/14/1852
“If you do not cultivate yourselves, and cultivate your spirits in this state of existence, it is just as true as there is a God that liveth, you will have to go into another state of existence, and bring your spirits into subjection there. Now you may reflect upon it, you never will obtain your resurrected bodies, until you bring your spirits into subjection.  I am not talking to this earthly house of mine, neither am I talking to your bodies, but I am speaking to your spirits.  I am not talking as to people who are not in the house.  Are not your spirits in the house?  Are not your bodies your houses, your tabernacles or temples, and places for your spirits?  Look at it; reflect upon it.  If you keep your spirits trained according to the wisdom and fear of God, you will attain to the salvation of both body and spirit.  I ask, then, if it is your spirits that must be brought into subjection? It is; and if you do not do that in these bodies, you will have to go into another estate to do it.  You have got to train yourselves according to the law of God, or you will never obtain your resurrected bodies.”     | JD 1:355-56 |

 


Heber C. Kimball | 04/02/1854
What you have agreed to do, God will require you to perform, if it should be
ten thousand years after this time.  And when the servants of God speak to you, and require you to do a thing, the Lord God will fulfill His words, and make you fulfill His words he gave to you through His servants.  Inasmuch as you have come into this Church, and made a covenant to forsake the world, and cleave unto the Lord, and keep His commandments, the Lord will compel you to do it, if it should be in ten thousand years from this time.  These are my views, and I know it will be so.     | JD 2:151 |

 


Heber C. Kimball | 09/27/1857
Now, will the day come when this pitcher will return to its mother earth?  It will; and it may be thrown into some part of the earth where it may be thousands and millions of years before that pitcher or the elements of which it is composed will be brought back again; and so it will be with thousands and millions of the people:  they never will be brought back into the shape they were in once.     | JD 5:271 |

 


Heber C. Kimball | 10/05/1856
A great many will go to hell, and the very men that are preaching to you now will visit you and offer you salvation, after you have laid there, perhaps, thousands of years, for you must stay in the mill until you are passive and obedient.

Jeremiah, at the command of God, went to the potter’s house where the potter was molding the clay, and when he went to turn it on the wheel it was refractory and rebellious; and he worked at it and sweat over it, but after all it was rebellious, and fell down on the wheel.

What did he do then?  He cut it off from the wheel and threw it back into the mill, and after he had ground it awhile, he took it out and made of it a vessel unto honor; so of the same lump he made a vessel unto dishonor, and one unto honor.

Did the potter make it dishonorable?  No, the vessel made itself unto dishonor; and the next time it was pliable and passive, and the potter made of it a vessel unto honor, because it was honorable and submissive.

I wished to make these few remarks, because they touch upon things that are on my mind all the time.     | JD 4:119 |


Heber c. Kimball | 11/22/1857
Joseph always told us that we would have to pass by sentinels that are placed between us and our Father and God.  Then, of course, we are conducted along from this probation to other probations, or from one dispensation to another, by those who conducted those dispensations.     | JD 6:63 |


Heber C. Kimball | 11/14/1852
Do you suppose you are going to the earth that Adam came from? that Eloheim came from? where Jehovah the Lord came from?  No. When you have learned to become obedient to the Father that dwells upon this earth, to the Father and God of this earth, and obedient to the messengers He sends – when you have done all that, remember you are not going to leave this earth.  You will never leave it until you become qualified, and capable, and capacitated to become a father of an earth yourselves.  Not one soul of you ever will leave this earth, for if you go to hell, it is on this earth; and if you go to heaven, it is on this earth; and you will not find it anywhere else.     | JD 1:355 |