I recently had a near-death experience, during which I caught a glimpse of something not normally seen or written about: The Terrestrial Kingdom. I'd like to share what I experienced.
To give you some background, I had to undergo a surgery. During the course of the procedure an artery was inadvertently nicked, and I lost a lot of blood, to the point that I was clinically dead on the table. The doctors were (obviously) able to revive me, but while I was dead I was transported somehow to the Terrestrial Kingdom.
Just like described in movies and stories, I felt like I was in a tunnel with a light at the end. I went to the light and came out in a beautiful city. The buildings were tall and gleaming; the streets were clean and lined with beautiful trees, and people were walking around smiling and going about their business.
No one told me that I was in the Terrestrial Kingdom, but somehow I knew. It all made sense because I had left the church during my mortal life, yet I had lived a good and worthy life. I was truly terrestrial material.
I walked about the city, taking in the sights, when I came to a beautiful park. I strolled along, enjoying the amazing landscaping and the peaceful tranquility that I felt all around me. The path I was on wound through the trees, eventually reaching the edge of a crystal clear lake. At the edge of the lake there was a man sitting on a bench, sobbing.
This seemed curious to me, so I sat down beside him and asked him what was the matter.
He seemed to recognize that I was not yet a permanent resident of the kingdom, and as such he opened up to me in a way that perhaps he normally wouldn't have.
"I've been given an impossible task," He replied. "My name is Muroni, and I am in charge of segregation."
"Segregation?" I asked.
"Yes," he answered. "Only those worthy of Celestial glory are able to remain with their families here in the afterlife. So, it is my job to make sure that those sent here to the Terrestrial Kingdom are kept separated from their families.
At first, it was easy. This world is vast, and when the first inhabitants arrived here, I sent each one out to start a new city. Once the world had been filled with individual cities, the new arrivals would be assigned to one of those cities. I kept a list of the inhabitants of each city, and whenever there was a new arrival, I simply had to assign them to a city where none of their relatives lived."
Muroni looked off into the distance, as if remembering simpler times.
"That worked for the longest time," he said. "But eventually, with the billions of souls pouring in, there were simply too many people, and it was impossible to place a new arrival in a city that was devoid of relatives."
"Aren't we all related anyway? Through Adam and Eve?" I asked.
"Yes," he sighed. "The original directive was to keep people separated from anyone who was within 7 degrees of separation- 7th cousins from each other, for example, or great-great-great-great-great grandchildren from their great-great-great-great-great grandparents. But as the cities filled, it became impossible, and I received permission to move the cutoff to 5 degrees of separation.
That fixed the problem for a while, but then. . . then came the polygamists. Who would have thought that the new and everlasting covenant would be my undoing? It turns out that with such huge families, it's impossible to place someone and keep them truly segregated from anyone and everyone who is within 5 degrees of separation."
"Wow," I said. "How did you fix that?
I built a huge wall through the center of each city, and I had to shuffle people around so that any relatives in a given city were on opposite sides of the wall. As the populations grew, I had to build another wall, dividing the cities into quadrants, and again reshuffle and arrange to keep people apart. But the population just continues to grow, and I don't know how many walls I can build."
"That is quite the challenge," I said.
"That isn't the half of it," he replied. People have also learned how to work the system. Eternity is a long time, and, not surprisingly, people want to see their family members, and they spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to contact their loved ones. And they succeed, all the time. They write letters with detailed information about who they were on earth and when and where they lived, and who they are trying to contact. Then they throw the letter over a wall. The people on the other side collect the letters, and if the description doesn't match anyone in their section, they throw it over a different wall, and, with enough time, some of the letters find the intended recipients."
"Interesting," I said. "So what are you going to do?"
"I don't know," he answered. I wanted to put everyone in their own concrete box so they couldn't talk to anyone else. But my superiors tell me that Joseph Smith promised that the Terrestrial Kingdom, and even the Telestial Kindgom, is supposed to be such a wonderful place that if people on earth understood then they would be killing themselves just to get there. So, turning this into a prison world is out.
Then I suggested simply wiping everyone's memory so that they don't remember their relatives. But my superiors denied that suggestion too. You see, despite the fact that this is supposed to be a wonderful place to live, part of the point of being here is for people to reflect on the fact that they were not worthy of the higher kingdom. There is no hell with burning fire and brimstone, but this world is meant to be a mental hell, where people can continually remember and regret not accepting the church. To remember that they do have family members out there somewhere, but they can't see them or talk to them. If we wiped memories, they would not be able to experience this mental torment that God intends."
Muroni paused and stared out over the lake, deep in thought. I was content to sit and drink in the scenery at his side.
Suddenly, he jumped to his feet and shouted "I've got it! I know exactly how to make this world a paradise compared to earth, yet filled with mental anguish and the inability to interact with family members!"
"How?" I asked
He opened his mouth to tell me, and at that moment I was pulled away from him, back down the dark tunnel and back into my body.
I have made a full recovery, and therefore I will have to wait a few more years before I know Muroni's master plan for the Terrestrial Kingdom.