According to LDS theology, heaven will be split into 3 kingdoms, the Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial. They say this doctrine is in the Bible and quote from 1 Corinthians 15, 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory (KJV).
The Greek words for ‘celestial’ and ‘terrestrial’ mean ‘heavenly’ and ‘earthly,’ which is how the more modern versions translate them. Why would Paul refer to a kingdom of heaven as ‘earthly’?
Even some non-Mormons say verse 41 might be suggesting there will be different kinds of glory. Maybe some heavenly bodies will be more glorious than others. Even if that’s true, it still doesn’t support the LDS interpretation of the passage. An accurate interpretation becomes much easier once we look at the context. Heavenly, celestial references are in blue and earthly, terrestrial references are in red.
35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body (KJV).
Paul raises questions of how the dead will be raised and what kind of bodies they will have. His answer includes Paul referring to different kinds of bodies with various terms 18 times. But how many times does he mention kingdoms in heaven? Zero. He doesn't mention heaven itself at all. The focus of the passage is what heavenly bodies will be like, not different kingdoms in heaven. Our earthly bodies are corrupted, dishonorable, weak and natural. Heavenly bodies will be incorruptible, glorious, powerful and spiritual.
The doctrine of 3 separate kingdoms in heaven is a fundamental part of the LDS gospel, but it’s not taught in the Bible at all. Paul made it very clear that if anyone teaches a gospel different than the one taught in the New Testament, they are accursed (Gal. 1:8-9). Why should we trust anything an accursed “prophet” taught?