> Regardless, in 1836 when the revelation was given, Alvin still had not
> been baptized, but was considered by God good enough to be in a vision of
> the Celestial Kingdom. This tells me that the man was accepted as a
> 'true' Christian.

I have no idea what God condsiders a true Christian (or rather, how "true" one has to 
be before one is "true enough").

Alvin was clearly a very good man.  He believed Joseph Smith and encouraged him.  
Nonetheless your logic does not follow.  The vision was of the future.  If you saw a 
currently wicked person in a vision in the Celestial Kingdom would you say that they 
were a sufficiently good Christian?  No, you would say that the person will repent 
sometime in the future and thus be admitted.  Clearly, what Joseph Smith saw coupled 
with other revelation shows that Alvin would be admitted to the Celestial Kingdom 
because he was righteous _and_ someone would do his temple work.

What do we know about being a true Christian?  Not much, really, because God has never 
revealed any definition for "true Christian".  He has given the requirements for 
entering the Celestial Kingdom, however, and if you want that to be your definition of 
"true" then fine.  It doesn't mean that one is perfectly keeping all the commandments 
here in this life.  By the revealed requirements in D&C 76 and elsewhere, there are 
probably very many living now who qualify.

=========  Mark Gregson  [EMAIL PROTECTED]  =========

    
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