The Ladder as a Symbol of Deification

Ladders to heaven represent the souls ascension towards "Christian moral perfection," and sometimes include other symbols of deification too, such as crowns, or hand or wrist grips. Monastic Orders used illustrations of ladders, where each rung up the ladder represents a Christ like trait, such as love, charity, kindness, etc., etc. The further up the ladder you go, the closer you are to reaching "moral Christian perfection."

The LDS version of the ladder to perfection, was explained by President Spencer W. Kimball who taught that "each command we obey sends us another rung up the ladder to perfected manhood and toward godhood; and every law disobeyed is a sliding toward the bottom where man merges into the brute world" (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.153).

The Ladder To Heaven

During the 7th century, ST. JOHN CLIMACUS, abbot of St. Catherines, wrote a treatise for the spiritual life, directing the monastic in his ascent to a godly life through 30 steps up each rung of the ladder to heaven, and various ascetic exercises, the degrees of self-improvement, and penance leading to the attainment of moral perfection and the soul's ascent to heaven. Hence, the struggle towards moral perfection were depicted in numerous art works of ladders to heaven & were given particular popularity and authority for the Middle Ages by the Scala Paradisi of John Climacus.

Also See:
St. John Climacus Ladder of Divine Ascent The ladder with a brief of each rung.

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