The resurrection of this earth and of the people who live on it, will be the completion of our creation. It will be able to rest from the iniquity that has inhabited it and become the home of celestial beings. Three scriptures help us understand its importance. One is D&C 88:17-20 that was already quoted. The other two are:
61 And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;
62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem (Moses 7:61-62).
25 And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law—
26 Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it (D&C 88:25-26).
The Lord promised Enoch:
62 I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem (Moses 7:62).
The Prophet Joseph explained:
9 This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s (D&C 130:9).
That relationship is described more fully in two other places in the scriptures. A short version is reported by the Prophet Joseph when he saw a vision of his brother Alvin.
1 The heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell.
2 I saw the transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire;
3 Also the blazing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son.
4 I saw the beautiful streets of that kingdom, which had the appearance of being paved with gold (D&C 137:1-4).
That “Holy City” is described in some detail in the last two chapters of the book of Revelation. Here is just part of that description.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal…
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof (Revelation 21:10-11, 22-23).
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
17 … And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:14, 17).
The Savior’s great intercessory prayer is the ultimate expression of those eternal relationships. Here is part of what he said.
1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word…
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves…
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:1-26).
The Savior promised his disciples:
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions : if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:2-3).
My old Strong’s [# 3438] says “mansions” means “a staying,” “abode”; another says “abiding places.” Perhaps a good modern translation might be “motels.” That is what is suggested in D&C 130 where it talks about persons in the celestial kingdom.
10 Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known;
11 And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word (D&C 130:10-11).
The persons who receive a white stone are already in the celestial kingdom. I suppose that if one has access to a stone “whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known,” that stone is also a guide whereby one may achieve those “higher orders of kingdoms.”
The conclusion has to be that if we receive a celestial body that is capable of withstanding the power of intensely pure light, then after the resurrection there is a great adventure awaiting us.