Chapter 17, The Second Estate

Abraham 3:22-28

Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences [spirit children of Heavenly Parents] that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those that were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

And those who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.

And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.

And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him.

Daniel Ludlow BYU Education Week Presentation “The Postmortal Spiritual Existence” 1998

The scriptures and the prophets of this dispensation have referred to our present condition–a combination of spirit body and physical mortal body–as being part of our second estate. This estate began when our spirit body and physical mortal body came together initially, and it ends at the resurrection when our spirit body and our immortal physical body come together, never to be separated again. Our second estate does not end with our physical temporal death; it ends with our resurrection. Therefore, our next major phase of existence—the postmortal spiritual existence–is part of our second estate.

Elder Boyd K. Packer , Quorum of the Twelve Mine Errand from the Lord Deseret Book 2008 page 3.

The great plan of happiness is like a three act play. Act 1 is entitled pre mortal life, the scriptures describe it as our First Estate. Act 2, from birth to the time of resurrection, the Second Estate. Act 3, Life after death or Immortality and Eternal Life.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell , Quorum of the Twelve Apostles The Promise of Discipleship

Sometimes in the Church we speak imprecisely at funerals and otherwise as if individuals who die go immediately to the Celestial Kingdom and are at once in the full presence of God. We tend to overlook the reality that the spirit world and paradise are part, really, of the second estate. The work of the Lord, so far as the second estate is concerned, is completed before the judgement and resurrection. (p. 119)

Again, our existence in the Spirit World is part of the mortal sector of our Father’s plan which culminates with the Judgment and the Resurrection. (p. 120)

Thus, if not on this side of the veil, then in the spirit world to come, the gospel will be preached to all, including all transgressors, rebels, and rejectors of prophets, along with all those billions who died without a knowledge of the gospel. (p. 122)

He gave the gift to us of mortality, or the second estate, where all might be “added upon.” He provides in the spirit world a continuum of mortality’s probation, the great opportunity for all. (p. 122)

Eldred G. Smith , Church Patriarch, 1947-1979 Understanding Patriarchal Blessing, Brough and Grassley, Horizon Publishers, 1984, page 67, 68

In a talk at the Institute at the University of Utah about Patriarchal Blessings:

When I talk about blessings being eternal and what can be accomplished I think of the time element involved…not just between birth and until they are thirty or forty or fifty…or not from birth until death. Think of mortality and the time we have of accomplishing the purposes and developments that mortality gives us; the time between birth and resurrection. Now, some people say, “so and so was given such and such in his blessing and he died before it was ever fulfilled.” Well, so what? That isn’t the end of his life or the end of what can be accomplished as the result of mortality. The purpose of mortality, or what we can accomplish here is between birth and the resurrection.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks , Quorum of the Twelve May 2000 Ensign, Resurrection

In our eternal journey, the resurrection is the mighty milepost that signifies the end of mortality and the beginning of immortality.

D&C 138: 30-32, 58, 59

30. But behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.

31. And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.

32. Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.

58. The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,

59. And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.

Alma 12:24

And we see that death comes upon mankind, yea, the death which has been spoken of by Amulek, which is the temporal death; nevertheless there was a space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life [Second Estate] became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state which has been spoken of by us, which is after the resurrection of the dead.

Dale Mauritson The Spirit World our next Home, Ensign January 1977

The Spirit World, our next home, is a continuation of our second estate, which began at birth and will end at the resurrection. It is chiefly a place of learning and waiting, not suffering.

I became acquainted with George Durrant a number of years ago. He has extensive Church education experience: President of the MTC, mission president a couple of times, institute director at UVSC, professor at BYU, and author of a number of books. He is doctrinally sound.

When greeting him,“How are you doing today?” he would often say “It’s my best day.”  After his wife passed away, he would say, “It’s my best day,…because of what I know.”

Sometimes on greeting him he would ask, “What do you know?” or What have you learned, new? On one occasion,  Don Coplin, a good friend and I, saw Brother George.  He asked us, “What do you know.”  Don answered, “The second estate is birth to resurrection, not birth to death.” George replied emphatically. “Thats exactly right!!! And it’s too bad the Latter-day Saints don’t understand that!”

On this side of the veil we reconcile ourselves to God through having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repenting of our sins, then striving to keep the commandments. On the other side of the veil we reconcile ourselves to God through having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repenting of our sins, then striving to keep the commandments.

That reconciliation opportunity does not terminate at death, it terminates at the resurrection.