Heber C. Kimball | 10/9/1852
We will bring up a few comparisons. Now supposing brother Tanner goes into the shop, to make a scythe, and he takes the materials necessary for the formation of that scythe, is he dictated to by it, as to how he shall mold it and fashion it? Would you have the scythe rise up and say – Brother Tanner, what do you do so for? Why do you strike me on the back? Well, it is just as ridiculous for you to undertake to dictate to President Young, or those whom he set to work. It is not for you to dictate to them.
Upon the same principle, supposing I have a lump of clay which I put upon my wheel, out of which clay I want to make a jug; I have to turn it into as many as 50 or 100 shapes before I get it into a jug. How many shapes do you suppose you are put into before you become Saints, or before you become perfect and sanctified to enter into the celestial glory of God? You have got to be like that clay in the hands of the potter.
Do you not know that the Lord directed the Prophet anciently, to go down to the potter’s house to see a miracle on the wheel? Suppose the potter takes a lump of clay, and putting it on the wheel, goes to work to form it into a vessel, and works it out this way, and that way, and the other way, but the clay is refractory and snappish; he still tries it, but it will break, and snap, and snarl, and thus the potter will work it and work it until he is satisfied he cannot bring it into the shape he wants, and it mars upon the wheel; he takes his tool, then, and cuts it off the wheel, and throws it into the mill to be ground over again, until it becomes passive, (don’t you think you will go to hell if you are not passive?) and after it is ground there so many days, and it becomes passive, he takes the same lump, and makes of it a vessel unto honor.
Now do you see into that, brethren? I know the potters can. I tell you, brethren, if you are not passive you will have to go into that mill, and perhaps have to grind there one thousand years, and then the Gospel will be offered to you again, and then if you will not accept of it, and become passive, you will have to go into the mill again, and thus you will have offers of salvation from time to time, until all the human family, except the sons of perdition, are redeemed. The spirits of men will have the Gospel as we do, and they are to be judged according to men in the flesh. Let us be passive, and take a course that will be perfectly submissive.
What need you care where you go if you go according to direction, and when you get to Coal Creek, or Iron County, be subject to that man who is placed there to rule you, just the same as you would be subject to President Young, if you were here, because that man is delegated by this Conference and sanctioned by this people, and that man’s word is law. And so it is with the Bishops; they are our fathers, our governors, and we are their household. It is for them to provide for their household, and watch over them, and govern and control them; they are potters to mould you, and when you are sent forth to the nations of the earth, you go to gather the clay, and bring it here to the great potter, to be ground and molded until it becomes passive, and then be taken and formed into vessels, according to the dictation of the presiding potter. I have to do the work he tells me to do, and you have to do the same, and he has to do the work told him by the great master potter in heaven and on earth. If brother Brigham tells me to do a thing, it is the same as though the Lord told me to do it. This is the course for you and every other Saint to take, and by your taking this course, I will tell you, brethren, you are on the top of the heap. We are in the tops of the mountains, and when the stone shall roll down from the mountains, it will smash the  earth, and break in pieces everything that opposes its course; but the stone has to get up there before it can roll down. | JD 1:160-162 |
Heber C. Kimball | 10/05/1856
We have not as yet any durable location; we are merely probationers in this present state, and we shall always be so, until we obtain a permanent exaltation, by following in the footsteps of our God. | JD 4:119 |
Heber C. Kimball
This day’s work is typical of this probation, and the sleep of every night is typical of death, and rising in the morning is typical of the resurrection. They are days’ labors, and it is for us to be faithful today, tomorrow, and every day.
I improved yesterday: I worked and made all the improvements I could, and did the best I could; but it came night, and I laid down to take a nap, which is typical of death. This morning I have risen up and again commenced my labors; and I am going to improve today, and do better than I did yesterday. But in comes another night of sleep; I lay down, which is typical of death; and I rise in the morning, which is typical of the resurrection, and I renew my labors. I have to begin where I left off; but you cannot realize but that you have to take one jump away ahead, when you come to leave your bodies and go into the spirit world. That is not so, for you will have to commence to hoe your row where you left off. | JD 4:329, 339 |
Below are a few quotes about our progression between kingdoms. There is not a ton of material on this topic. However, I’ve included a few engaging quotes on the topic. The main question that they invite (IMO) is NOW do we progress between kingdoms. The first quote logically requires that we lose our bodies when we progress between kingdoms. This requires multiple probations. However, there may be other ways to interpret this and the mechanism for how this works is unexplained anywhere as far as I’m aware. That is: do we go down to a new earth or the same earth? If we have a new earth each probation, how does the atonement apply to us? Do we end up with multiple saviors? If we stay at the same earth, how are we to understand the workings of the atonement in our lives – that is, do we get a clean slate each time we get a new body? do our works from each probation count in our favor (or against us) in the new probation? etc. 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.