Selected Teachings on
Only the Valiant of the Church Will Go to the Celestial Kingdom

D&C 121

29 All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ezra Taft Benson (President)

But of even greater importance is being valiant in our testimony.

A testimony of Jesus means that we accept the divine mission of Jesus Christ, embrace His gospel, and do His works. It also means we accept the prophetic mission of Joseph Smith and his successors and follow their counsel. As Jesus said, "Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." (D&C 1:38.)

Speaking of those who will eventually receive the blessings of the celestial kingdom, the Lord said to Joseph Smith:

"They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given." (D&C 76:51.)

These are they who are valiant in their testimony of Jesus, who, as the Lord has declared, "overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true." (D&C 76:53.) ["Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus," Ensign, Feb. 1987, p. 2]                  

Brigham Young (President)

Who will [go to the Celestial Kingdom]? Those who are valiant and inspired with the true independence of heaven, who will go forth boldly in the service of their God, leaving others to do as they please, determined to do right, though all mankind besides should take the opposite course. (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 383)

Spencer W. Kimball (President)

The terrestrial kingdom will not be enjoyed by the very wicked, for they shall obtain only the telestial. Neither will the terrestrial be given to the valiant, the faithful, the perfected, for they will go into the celestial kingdom prepared for those who live the celestial laws. But into the terrestrial will go those who do not measure up to the celestial. Speaking of one category of terrestrial people, the Lord says: "These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God." (D&C 76:79.) The "unvaliant" Latter-day Saint will find himself there. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.48)

As I read the seventy-sixth section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the great vision given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, I remember that the Lord says to that terrestrial degree of glory may go those who are not valiant in the testimony, which means that many of us who have received baptism by proper authority, many who have received other ordinances, even temple blessings, will not reach the celestial kingdom of glory unless we live the commandments and are valiant. There are many people in this Church today who think they live, but they are dead to the spiritual things. And I believe even many who are making pretenses of being active are also spiritually dead. Their service is much of the letter and less of the spirit. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.183)

Only the valiant will be exalted and receive the highest degree of glory, hence "many are called, but few are chosen." (D&C 121:40.) As the Savior put it, "... strait is the gate, and narrow the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." And conversely, " ... wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat." (Matt. 7:13, 14.) It is true that many Latter-day Saints, having been baptized and confirmed members of the Church, and some even having received their endowments and having been married and sealed in the holy temple, have felt that they were thus guaranteed the blessings of exaltation and eternal life. But this is not so. There are two basic requirements every soul must fulfill or he cannot attain to the great blessings offered. He must receive the ordinances and he must be faithful, overcoming his weaknesses. Hence, not all who claim to be Latter-day Saints will be exalted. (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p.9)

Bruce R. McConkie (Quorum of the Twelve)

Only the valiant are saved. Members of the Church who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus, not valiant in the cause of Christ, not valiant in defense of his prophets and in preaching his word are not heirs of the celestial kingdom. ("The Caravan Moves On," Ensign, Nov. 1984, p. 85)

Members of the Church who have testimonies and who live clean and upright lives, but who are not courageous and valiant, do not gain the celestial kingdom. Theirs is a terrestrial inheritance. Of them the revelation says, "These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God." (D&C 76:79.) ["Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith," Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 34]

Mark E. Petersen (Quorum of the Twelve)

The only way to save our souls is to put God first in our lives. If we reverse the process and relegate him to second, third, or fourth place, we make an exchange that we will rue throughout the eternities. It is possible to lose our salvation by default. Realizing this, can we afford to be other than active in the Church? Can we afford to neglect our families? Can we afford to mix worldliness and Godliness, knowing very well that they will not blend and knowing, too, that Jesus said we cannot serve both God and mammon? The Lord teaches that unless we are valiant in his service, we surrender the opportunity for celestial glory. To be valiant means to be anxiously engaged in the good cause. It means to serve him in all diligence, with an eye single to his glory, and to labor in his kingdom with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. But it must be in his kingdom, not in some other group, religious or otherwise. ("What Will a Man Give?" Ensign, Jan. 1974, p. 111)

The Lord has told us plainly that only those who are valiant in the testimony of Jesus will inherit celestial glory. It is the valiant who keep their testimonies aglow, and this they do by constant activity in the Church and continuous study of the gospel. ("Sunday School Is Everybody's Business," Ensign, Dec. 1974, p. 11)