The False doctrine of exaltation.

The LDS doctrine of exaltation is Not part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is merely a doctrine of man created to sell polygamy. The easiest way to prove this to yourself is to do a word search in the the scriptures. Click here and type in ‘exaltation‘ in the search the scriptures window. You will then find only 12 results in all the scriptures. And guess what? 11 of them are found in one chapter and constitute the first and only introduction of a new, higher doctrine called  “exaltation”. The only other use of the word exaltation, found outside section 132, in all other scripture is found in D&C 124 and has nothing to do with the doctrine of exaltation, introduced, created and found only in D&C 132. Strange, Huh?

Don’t you think it is odd that in all scripture you can only find out about the supposedly highest reward and glory one can receive in one dubious chapter, with a highly questionable origin?  And only showing up many millennium after the world began and after thousands of years of God’s recorded dealings with his children. We also know Joseph Smith never put section 132 in the D&C and while living never demonstrated any intent to do so either. Why not, as it is the only ‘scripture’ which lays out the supposed highest degree of glory a human can attain? It was only put into the D&C many years after his death and after the practice of polygamy was firmly ingrained in the culture.  I find that very troubling.

More importantly why is there no mention of the doctrine of exaltation in the Book of Mormon(which remember, contains the FULLNESS of the gospel) or the Bible? Neither the word exaltation nor the doctrine of exaltation appear in any of those books . . . not even once. Why not? Up until the grand, disjointed revelation contained in D&C 132 the promise of eternal life was the highest reward one could receive and there are more than a hundred verses cementing that truth in all the books of scripture. And yet no mention of “exaltation”. That raises a big red flag in my eyes.

How come we find in Moses 1:39  “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man“. ? ? Why doesn’t it say, “to bring to pass the exaltation of man”?  Surely God knew there was something better than just eternal life, right? Or maybe there really isn’t. Maybe He meant what he said and said what He meant. Maybe the doctrine of exaltation didn’t come from God at all. We can find many references all throughout scripture to the immortality and eternal life of man as being the reward God has in store for his children but only in D&C 132 do we learn of a higher reward, called exaltation, reserved for polygamists. Pretty strange, right?

Lets go read some verses that teach of eternal life, none of them being of suspicious and questionable origin like section 132:

D&C 14:7 And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.

Alma 11:40 And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else.

Mosiah 26:20 Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life; and thou shalt serve me and go forth in my name, and shalt gather together my sheep.

Helaman 5:8 And now my sons, behold I have somewhat more to desire of you, which desire is, that ye may not do these things that ye may boast, but that ye may do these things to lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven, yea, which is eternal, and which fadeth not away; yea, that ye may have that precious gift of eternal life, which we have reason to suppose hath been given to our fathers.

2 Nephi 31:20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

D&C 81:6 And if thou art faithful unto the end thou shalt have a crown of immortality, and eternal life in the mansions which I have prepared in the house of my Father.

Alma 22:15 And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.

Moroni 7:41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

D&C6:13 If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.

D&C 50:5 But blessed are they who are faithful and endure, whether in life or in death, for they shall inherit eternal life

D&C 75:5 And thus, if ye are faithful ye shall be laden with many sheaves, and crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality, and eternal life.

D&C 133:62 And unto him that repenteth and sanctifieth himself before the Lord shall be given eternal life.  

Moses 5:11 And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.

Abraham 2:11 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.

Where is the promise of exaltation in these verses??

Doesn’t God know exaltation is better than mere “eternal life”? Better than just salvation. Better than plain old immortality.

Why did He wait so long to reveal the doctrine of “exaltation”?

Salvation, Eternal Life and Immortality, Yes.


Don’t bet on it.

13 thoughts on “The False doctrine of exaltation.

  1. You are so right. Exaltation is a totally false doctrine used to sell another false doctrine of plural marriage.

    Christ taught the concept of ‘Eternal Life’, a different thing and which requires lifelong monogamy to 1 wife for eternity, in order to gain it.

    Christ condemned all polygamy and taught that if a person or prophet falls for, it would cause them to miss out on Eternal Life.

  2. Matthew 23:12
    12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

  3. Wow, I never realized this. Great observation skills. How would you describe exaltation as opposed to living with God? Immortality and eternal life? I need a refresh on what these terms mean.

  4. Exaltation is the doctrine that men will become gods. It’s something Joseph Smith NEVER taught in his lifetime.

    • on the contrary…. Joseph Smith did teach this doctrine: 7 April 1844 (Words of Joseph Smith pg. 341)

      “you have got to learn how to make yourselves God, Kings, Priests, etc., by going from a small to a great capacity; until they are able to dwell in everlasting burning and everlasting power… God is glorified in the salvation and exaltation of his ancestors… not all to be comprehended in this world…”

      “I want you to know the first principle of this law… enjoying the same rise to exaltation and glory until you arrive at the station of a God. What did Jesus Christ do, the same thing as I see the Father do, see the father do what, work out a kingdom, when I do so too I will give the Father which will add to his glory, He will take a Higher Exaltation and I will take His place and am so exalted. Those are the first principles off the gospel.” (Words of Joseph Smith pg. 345).

  5. When William Law grumbled about the new doctrine of exaltation, Joseph called him out for apparently never having read DC 76 and 88 which spell out exaltation much clearer than 132.

    Apparently you missed that as well.

    • I don’t see anything in the two sections you cited backing up your claim at all. Neither of them say that in order to go to the celestial kingdom a person must have a plural/celestial marriage done in a temple. And neither does any other scripture.

  6. You are on very shaky ground. Lets look deeper into the matter.

    The lectures on faith are most certainly scripture:

    “…and you have got to learn how to be
    Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead…”

    TPJS may not be a perfect compilation, but I would certainly yield to it before I made so a bold, damning claim.

    “Knowledge saves a man. And in the world of spirits no man can be exalted but by knowledge.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 357, hereafter “TPJS.”) He also said in another talk: “When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step-by-step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It’s not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.”

    Notice the distinction: salvation AND exaltation.

    Then, if you will permit, the King Follett:

    “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make himself visible—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another.”


    “Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. And I want you to know that God, in the last days, while certain individuals are proclaiming His name, is not trifling with you or me.”


    “… when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to My Father, so that He may obtain kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt Him in glory. He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will take His place, and thereby become exalted myself.”

    Clearly, you have researched and considered these quotes and sources. ANd clearly there is much, much more discussion about clearly and correctly attributed to Joseph Smith. I recognize you have spent far more time preparing your blog post than the few minutes I have spent doing quick copy/paste searches, so please share your reasoning. Rather than being trapped by guile on the matter, please reason your intent and motivation.

    In the event that these quotes you had not considered, please reverse your post to include them as viable understandings on the topic. You have taken issue with one word, yet there is a complex idea Joseph is presenting. Please consider that. Yes, there were motivations by men who were eager to practice an idea that they had no clear understanding of. I agree with you on that point. But please don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and thereby lead others into less light and truth.

  7. I take issue with the word which describes a different gospel and reward than the rest of the scriptures. I take issue with the doctrine of exaltation, found only in D&C 132, inseparable from the abomination and travesty of polygamy. It didn’t come from from God and it isn’t part of his gospel or his plan. The doctrine of exaltation is wrong in so many ways and completely incompatible with all other scripture. It was created to sell and justify polygamy, period.
    Joseph Smith fell into the trap of polygamy and the attempt to sell it, so anything he may have said to justify it is irrelevant. It isn’t justifiable in scripture and that is the crux of the matter. The overwhelming body of scripture refutes it over and over and over again.
    God is not a polygamist and there will be no polygamists in heaven.

    • stockoneder… you are almost correct. However the word “exaltation” does appear in D&C 124:

      Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, January 19, 1841. HC 4:274–286.
      (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 124:Heading)

      And again, I will visit and soften their hearts, many of them for your good, that ye may find grace in their eyes, that they may come to the light of truth, and the Gentiles to the exaltation or lifting up of Zion.

      (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 124:9)

      So D&C 132 isn’t the only place it appears in scripture… the word was commonly used in the 1800’s

      I take issue with your statement that “Joseph Smith fell into the trap of polygamy.” I “know” he (Joseph Smith) was never involved in polygamy nor did he receive D&C 132 (this was a Brigham Young indoctrination and invention) and an attempt to introduce it into the Church using “Joseph Smith’s” name falsely and as an alibi for deceiving the members into the abomination of polygamy.

      Joseph Smith the Prophet was never involved in polygamy, he taught against it his whole life. He was true and faithful to Emma and the children. He followed the principles taught in the 1835 D&C Section 101 on Marriage (which Brigham Young had removed as soon as he introduced Section 132 eight years after the Prophet Joseph’s death. In this mortal world Brigham Young never had the mantle of a “Prophet,” only a “President of the Church” IMO and that goes for all the others that got caught up in the polygamy issue.

  8. Amen. Exaltation is NOT part of Christ’s gospel.

    In fact, neither are any of the so-called degrees of glory.

    3 Nephi 26:5
    4 And even unto the great and last day, when all people, and all kindreds, and all nations and tongues shall stand before God, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—
    5 If they be good, to the resurrection of everlasting life; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of damnation; being on a parallel, the one on the one hand and the other on the other hand, according to the mercy, and the justice, and the holiness which is in Christ, who was before the world began.

    You are either saved and move on in eternal lives, or you are damned.

  9. Very interesting thoughts here.
    It occurred to me…I remember seeing the gospel essentials teacher happily and sweetly teaching about the 3 degrees of glory one Sunday. I was comfortable with that and still am, but…as I’m remembering this, I can’t help but wonder: she taught the lesson as she found it in the manual. She taught what a committee put in the manual. No one questioned her. Why would we? The MANUAL said what we needed to know. If we questioned the manual, where would we go to get our answers? Another manual? The GC conference archives? We certainly wouldn’t go to the scriptures bc that’s not what we’ve been taught to do.
    We ALL teach out of a manual. When was the last time we taught straight from the scriptures?
    Are we putting the precepts of men before the words of God?

    • Yep… think of all the funds that could be saved if we just used the scriptures (and Lectures on Faith) to teach from. We should be getting our own commentary from the Holy Spirit and teach by the Spirit.

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