A Guest Blog by Elder Lopez

“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.”

-Tom Hardy (I cannot for the life of me remember his name… Cut me some slack, it’s been a while.)


Hello there beautiful readers! Hmm… Maybe that’s too strong. Hello there wonderful readers, I am the one, the only Elder Lopez! I’d like to think that Lights, Camera, Lopez!‘s popularity has taken me to other venues and that’s why I’m guest posting today! I’d like to say that… But no, I was asked as a favor. But it’d be pretty cool if it was the first one huh?


I’m about to tell you about one of, if not, THE greatest movies that has ever existed in the realm of Cinematography. Oh yeah, I’m talking about Inception. If you haven’t watched it and your’re currently on your mission, resist temptation and wait till your time is done. If however, you’re normal and haven’t watched it, go ahead and change your life. No worries, I can wait… All done? Awesome huh? It’s one of the more confusing movies but it’s perfect in explaining what I’m gonna talk about. It’s called The Plan of Salvation, also known as, The Plan of Happiness. Why is it so happy? I’ll get to that in a second, but first you’re gonna need a bit of a diagram in order to follow what I’m about unfold.

I’m a sucker for drama.

It’s a pretty crazy picture sure, but it’ll all make sense. At least I hope… You can never tell with me… But one of the most obvious things you can tell about the picture is the, well, let’s call them levels. There’s the Pre-mortal life, then Earth Life and the three Kingdoms. There’s also three questions that most people wonder but never have answered. Where do I come from? What is the purpose of life? Where will I go when I die? So as such let’s start with the first one:

Where did I come from? Or, how I learned the importance of Prefixes

See? There’s Jesus being the Awesome!

big brother he is

So in the beginning we all lived with our loving Father in Heaven in what is known as the Pre-mortal existence. Before we came to Earth, we existed as spirits which was I guess cool for the most part, but God wanted much more for us, a chance to become like him, to have a body and to have knowledge, wisdom and all that good stuff. This was a pretty big deal for us and I wish I could remember where it says it, but a certain scripture, summed up, says that we rejoiced when we heard we would receive this opportunity. 

Ahh, you didn’t think I’d remember huh? Well the scripture is found in Job.

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 

-Job 38:7

But a chance to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father doesn’t come cheap, we had to earn it but how could we earn it if with Agency, the power to choose for ourselves, would allow us to sin and therefore lose our right to return to the Father’s presence? 

Well, Satan had a plan, it involved us getting our Agency taken away and being forced to do right things or be destroyed… Doesn’t sound great huh? Well that’s where Jesus comes in. His plan was to allow us to make mistakes but through his Atonement, (We’ll get to that in a second) we can repent and have our sins be made clean. So where does Inception come into play on this one? Hold your ponies, I’m getting there.

Not all planning is exciting… Trust me on this one…

So if you remember from the Oscar winning spectacle that is Inception, Dom and his team didn’t immediately just wing that whole operation. No, it took weeks to months (The movie isn’t very clear) to formulate every detail of the plan and it had to be perfect because one small error could spell disaster for the team. Everything from the anesthesia they would use to the plane that Scarecrow (I can’t remember his name in the movie) is going to be flying to his father’s funeral. So in this “Pre-Inception” stage, a plan was given and everyone had their part to play. Ariadne was in charge of creating the mazes and the dreamscape, Tom Hardy (Bane, still can’t remember his name in the movie… OH got it! It’s Eames!) was a forger, the Indian guy made the anesthesia, etc. All nearly perfectly calculated to bring about its purposes.   

Our Purpose on Earth. Or, why stepping on gum isn’t always a bad thing.

Adam and Eve play a major role in all of this. You know the story already so I won’t go into detail, but know that of it weren’t for the fall, than none of us could exist which meant our chances for returning were kaput. So thank your first parents for the incredible sacrifice they made.

So here we are on Earth and that brings us to now. You’re currently reading Sister Yate’s blog and I’m probably falling off a bike. Yet you’re probably wondering, why don’t I remember any of that stuff you said a while back? Well, simply put, it’d be pretty cheap if you did. Think about it. You remember our Heavenly Father and the Plan so you know everything. What was the point in the first place? We call came down to obtain experience and progress. As a scripture, that I actually know, says, 

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 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.

-Alma 12:24

Scientificular!

There you go, A time to prepare to meet God. So the preparation stage is pretty important huh? It’s also pretty hard to prepare yourself to meet God knowing you mess up every second of everyday. Well, it’s necessary. We are allowed to be tempted so that we can learn to overcome it. If everyday was a sunny day, you wouldn’t appreciate it if there wasn’t a rainy one every so often. There has to be an opposition to all things. Bitter to sweet, rain to sunshine, Lightning Dust to Rainbow Dash. Newton knew what he was talking about when he said that for every reaction, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. So when you find that a bird has lessened its load on you, stop and think, maybe this is a trial, and what do we do with trials? We overcome them!

Some people take trials better than others.

Most people aren’t Leonardo DiCaprio.

Okay so back to the Critics Choice award-winning film that is Inception. So it was a good thing they did all that planning earlier because when Dom and the gang enter the first layer of the dreamscape, it is one mishap after another. One might say it was one trial after the other…But it was in that first layer were the deception that would allow for Inception was to occur. In order for Scarecrow to dissolve his father’s empire, he needed to believe that his godfather was a bad guy which is where the forger Eames comes in. Eames job is to act as the godfather and convince Scarecrow in that first layer that he was a slippery snake, well, it had to be subtle, so that in future layers, Scarecrow’s mind would create the godfather using what Scarecrow thinks of him. It’s really a lot cooler and makes more sense watching it than me trying desperately to remember it… So pretty much, everything relied on what would happen in that very first layer due to kicks and a whole bunch of Nolan jargon that I’m having a hard time remembering. It’s been a little more than a year people. Cut me some slack.

Death, The Spirit World and pretty much, The Afterlife. Or, Are we really just dust in the wind?

So the final question and the one that takes the longest to answer, is where do we go once we die? It’s not a hard question to answer, it just takes some time to explain cause it’s Elder Lopez you’re reading. So the easiest way to explain death is to read this little excerpt I shamelessly copied from Mormon.org!

I don’t know if it will look EXACTLY like that when we die.

The mustache might be a different color.

“Picture your hand inside a glove. The glove moves only when your hand does. Take your hand out and the glove sits lifeless on the table. This is an easy way to visualize what happens when you die. Imagine your body is the glove being operated by who you really are—your spirit. When you die your body gets left behind, lifeless like a glove, but your spirit lives forever.”

So it’s for the most part, accepted by all of us that we are all going to die, it happens and ironically, it’s part of life. You can’t stay still, you gotta Keep moving forward. But it’s okay because death isn’t the end, only the beginning, the beginning of a new life where we enter a state of rest and peace called Paradise.Unlike every other irony involving Paradise, this one is actually quite paradisaical and doesn’t sound like quite a bad place to be in. Okay scratch that, you want to go there, don’t kid yourself. I may not have described it well, but it sufficeth me to say that it seems like the place to be. However, it is only reserved for those who were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and remained faithful. We didn’t make this up, that’s just the way it is.

You almost got it Harry. Just a little more!

The alternative is a place called Prison but don’t think of a jail cause I don’t think that’s how it’ll be. I like to think of it like that one scene in part two of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where Harry is dead and with Dumbledore at a train station and everything’s white. It’s like they’re waiting for a train to come, but they can’t get on just yet, they have to wait. I REALLY wish I could find a picture of this scene cause it is just perfect… But I can’t… So instead, enjoy Harry reaching for his wand. But because God is indeed a loving Heavenly Father, he gives those in prison a chance at redemption. See, it’s not just relaxation all day in Paradise, those in Paradise will preach the gospel to those in prison so they can decide for themselves if they want to accept the gospel. A sort of see a need, fill a need type thing. (Okay, I don’t know what that means but I wanted to use it…)

Seriously, why are not watching this movie?

In the 2011 winner of the Saturn award for Best music, Scarecrow at this point was killed during the dream which means he is now trapped in Limbo. Put your Divine Comedies down, it’s not THAT kind of Limbo. Limbo in this sense is unconstructed, unstable dream space that was created by someone already there, in this case, it’s Dom. So it’s been quite a while since Dom has been there and it has fallen in quite a bit of disarray. According to his works, limbo was created, pretty much like Spirit Paradise/Prison. But much like Prison, he has a chance to make things right and set himself up for success. But much like us when we die, he is the exact same as when he left, personality, knowledge and everything. See, just because you’re dead and the gospel is in your face, doesn’t mean everyone will openly accept it. It’s kind of like the parable of The rich man and Lazarus.

Resurrection, Judgement and The Three Degrees of Glory. Or, Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?

The answer to that is no. But we’ll get there.

So after our brief stay in The Spirit World, it’s time for us to be reunited with our glorious bodies, and yes, they will be glorious. These bodies, unlike our old ones, will be perfect made of flesh and bone, immune to any illness or injury. They may even glow but that one’s more of me than doctrine. Everyone will obtain these bodies due to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ took upon himself our sins and sacrificed his life for us, but because he overcame death, we will too. The Fall brought physical death and Christ’s Atonement gave us a way to overcome that. It’s a free gift to all of us and one we need to be extremely grateful for.

But once we receive these glorious bodies, our works come into play as we reach Judgment. I for one like to picture a courtroom a la Phoenix Wright, but that’s neither here nor there. Christ will judge us according to

OBJECTION! This probably isn’t how it will

be…

our works done here on Earth. He will be our judge, prosecution and defense attorney. That’s why it kind of helps to have him on our side, which is also why you don’t want to have done something that can condemn you. Which is where Repentance comes in. Thanks to the Atonement, Repentance is possible and all those sins can be forgiven and won’t be used against us. A double jeopardy is you will. You won’t be punished twice for the sins you’ve already committed, which is always nice. This whole thing about our actions determining our faith is found in the Bible.

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”-James 2:17

But after all is said and done we will all end up in one final resting place. Okay, maybe that’s not the best way to describe it. There are three different glories in the Kingdom of God. One that is comparable to the glory of the stars, one that is comparable to the glory of the moon, and one that is comparable to the glory of the sun. It’s not to say that we will actually live on said celestial bodies, that would just be silly. But each of these kingdoms has a name, the sun is called the Celestial Kingdom, the Moon is called the Terrestrial Kingdom and the stars is known as the Telestial Kingdom. So before you start going crazy and branding me a heretic, let me ask a question. If there were only a heaven and a hell, that to me would sound like a VERY thin line between who’s going where. Imagine a man who spent his WHOLE life devoting himself to God, he’s gonna make it to heaven right? Well, now imagine a man who was so and so but didn’t exactly do much wrong. He just sort of loafed around, squandered his talents and stuff like that. Well, why does he deserve to go to the same place as the other man? I just imagine a conversation like this.

“Okay, you showed good works every so often, oh your church attendance was better than most, could’ve done better on the whole coffee thing. As far as I can see, you ALMOST made it, if you would’ve given that five dollars to that homeless man, you would’ve had enough points to enter. Sorry, Hell’s this way.”

Pictures make EVERYTHING simpler.

See? It’s ridiculous right? Cause Heaven and Hell don’t work on a point system. So back to those kingdoms.

The Celestial Kingdom

So we have the glory of the sun which is known as the Celestial Kingdom, it is in a sense, all that, AND a bag of chips. It is where God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ dwell and where families can in fact be together forever. How great is that? A perfect place where you get to be with the perfect people forever. It sounds paradisaical doesn’t it? I’m sure they will in fact be playing Inception as well as My Little Pony but all that dwarfs compared to the extreme happiness you’ll feel being there. It is where you want to strive to be, but it’s not easy, far from it. This glorious kingdom is reserved for those who were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who participated in a sealing marriage but not only that, that lived worthily throughout their entire lives, using the full effects of Christ’s atoning sacrifice to repent and be made clean. Yeah, it’s a lot to do but man oh man, doesn’t it sound worth it? The answer is yes. But nothing in life is easy or free, which is why we gotta make the most out of it in order to get to this magnificent kingdom.

The Terrestrial Kingdom 

The glory of the moon is what this kingdom is described as. Just like the moon is the brightest thing in the nighttime sky, this kingdom is bright, but is nothing compared to the glory and brightness of the aforementioned kingdom, and no, I don’t mean bright as in ‘go grab your nearest pair of Oakley sunglasses’ bright… It is a kingdom reserved for honorable people who were unfortunately “blinded by the craftiness of man. They’ll be able to enjoy the presence of the Son, but not of the Father, and even then, that presence will be temporary, kind of like when a friend sleeps over. However, it’s not to say that all members of the LDS church will inherit Celestial glory. Those who accepted the gospel but did not continue to live it’s doctrine will dwell here, as well as those who those who rejected the opportunity to receive the gospel in mortality but who later received it in the postmortal spirit world. See, God is a God of mercy. Many religions state that those who aren’t of their faith will burn in hell which is kind of harsh cause there are good people in all religions and they will still inherit the kingdom of God, it just won’t be the full glory. 

The Telestial Kingdom

The final kingdom, with its glory compared to the brightness of the stars is known as the Telestial Kingdom. Just like the stars in the nighttime velveteen sky twinkle faintly, this kingdom too is rather lackluster compared to the other celestial bodies. It’s a place where those who denied the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness will dwell. 2 Timothy 3: 2-4 has an accurate description of those who will dwell here.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters,proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers,incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
-2 Timothy 3: 2-4

It’s not exactly what you would call, the best place to live in but it’s not all bad. I’m sure there’s free cable. I kid, but in all seriousness, it is said to be a million times better than the world we live in, a true paradise where we will be happy. It’s not to say that you should shoot low though. However, one of the most important things to remember about these three kingdoms is that no matter where we end up, we will feel comfortable where we are. We won’t be ashamed or feel like we deserve better. It will be made for us. 

So Where Does That Put Us?: Or, Do You Understand The Words That Are Coming Out Of My Mouth?!

You weren’t paying attention were you…?

Simply put, God loves us and has made all of this possible through the infinite Atonement of His son, Jesus Christ. We all have a plan and a potential to achieve beyond our understanding of greatness, but it also means that we have to be worthy of achieving that greatness which is why our decisions here on Earth are so important. In order to make it to our Heavenly Father, you have to do your part in living by the full Gospel of Jesus Christ. What is that? Well, that’s a lesson for another day.

Check out this article and more pop culture nonsense at: Light’s, Camera, Lopez! (Hurray for shameless advertising!)

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