Friday, May 25, 2007

Swedenborg’s Heavenly Kingdoms and World of Spirits

I had long heard the idea that Joseph Smith got his ideas about the Celestial Kingdom and differing degrees from Swedenborg, but had never gotten around to looking at the actual writings of Swedenborg to compare for myself their similarities.

In case anyone does not know, by Joseph Smith's own statements, he was familiar with Swedenborg. Said Smith to Edward Hunter, "Emanuel Swedenborg had a view of the world to come, but for daily food he perished".

Anyway, I found an online copy of Swedenborg's book "Heaven and Its Wonders and Hell" ( ). Using the table of contents you will be able to quickly identify the relevant chapters. You'll also be able to read about "the veil", "spirit prison", and "celestial marriage". Swedenborg's complexity of language is a little difficult to get through, but anyone who has been a Mormon will be able to see the "Mormon doctrines" shine through.

Of course, Joseph changed a few things, perhaps with the help of Sidney Rigdon, but the basic doctrines are there.


Anonymous said...

Thanks I learned something new today. Have a great weekend.

Astarte Moonsilver said...

Thanks for this post, saw it on postmormon.

I would like to post something similar on my site because of the link to the Swedenborg information. Hope that's ok with you...I have a couple of TBM lurkers on my blog.

Have a good Mem weekend, bright blessings to you...


Hüffenhardt said...

Thanks az and astarte.

monkeymo recently posted this on NOM and I wanted it to be here too.

There are many simialarities between Swedenborg's works and JS's doctines. Heaven and Its Wonders and Hell teaches the follwing:

1. There are three heavens (Celestial, Spiritual and Natural)

2. Priesthood robes are worn in heavenly marriage ceremonies.

3. There are three heavens in the celestial glory or kingdom

4. You must be married in heaven to inherit the highest heaven. (Swedenborg was never married)

5. The world of spirits is a place of preparation for either heaven or perdition

6. There are angels who communicate between worlds

7. Likens the celestial, spiritual (terrestrial?), and natural (telestial?) heaven to the sun, moon, and stars

8. The church Christ established has passed from the earth

9. The Lord will establish a New Church on the earth once more

10. Little children who die, Christian or not, go directly to heaven

11. Man is not saved by faith alone but must show works from a changed heart. salvation is only possible through the conjunction of faith and charity. Faith and charity must be exercised by doing good works whenever possible.

12. One way to qualify for perdition is to know the truth and deny it

13. Celestial beings incorporate the law of consecration into their lives.

14. The creation and the garden of Eden stories are allegories to our spiritual progress