Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Joseph Smith - men punished for great sins, unpardonable sin, the nature of hell, etc...

These slim paragraphs from Joseph Smith contain a wealth of truth:

A man cannot commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the body, and there is a way possible for escape. Knowledge saves a man; and in the world of spirits no man can be exalted but by knowledge. So long as a man will not give heed to the commandments, he must abide without salvation. If a man has knowledge, he can be saved; although, if he has been guilty of great sins, he will be punished for them. But when he consents to obey the Gospel, whether here or in the world of spirits, he is saved.

A man is his own tormenter and his own condemner. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone. I say, so is the torment of man.

I know the Scriptures and understand them. I said, no man can commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the body, nor in this life, until he receives the Holy Ghost but they must do it in this world. Hence the salvation of Jesus Christ was wrought out for all men, in order to triumph over the devil; for if it did not catch him in one place, it would in another; for he stood up as a Savior. All will suffer until they obey Christ himself.

1) If a man has knowledge, he can be saved; although, if he has been guilty of great sins, he will be punished for them.

This is not just true of the spirit world, for men are saved and punished on the same principles there that they are here. And we should understand this truth. If a man has knowledge, he can be saved; although if he has been guilty of great sins, he will be punished for them. The knowledge of the gospel can save a man. When we are forgiven of sins that are large there still remains a punishment that we must endure, for God will not be mocked. We cannot anger God without paying the full measure of retribution, though he is merciful and in time there is no tender mercy he will not pour out upon us if we repent and return unto him.

2) A man cannot commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the body, and there is a way possible for escape.

The final phrase here is not meant  to convey that there is a way possible for escape for those who committed the unpardonable sin in this life, as Joseph Smith plainly teaches elsewhere that "There have been remarks made concerning all men being redeemed from hell; but I say that those who sin against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven in this world or in the world to come; they shall die the second death. Those who commit the unpardonable sin are doomed to Gnolom--to dwell in hell, worlds without end. As they concoct scenes of bloodshed in this world, so they shall rise to that resurrection which is as the lake of fire and brimstone." But apparently it is impossible to commit the unpardonable sin after this life in the spirit world. This is surprising, as is appears we could commit the unpardonable sin before this life, as the devil and his minions would appear to have done precisely that.


3)  So long as a man will not give heed to the commandments, he must abide without salvation.

Salvation cannot come save by obedience. As Joseph Smith also taught "any person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law, and the whole law too."

4) A man is his own tormenter and his own condemner. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone.

Who else could have said this with perfect certainty? It speaks for itself.

5) Hence the salvation of Jesus Christ was wrought out for all men, in order to triumph over the devil; for if it did not catch him in one place, it would in another; for he stood up as a Savior. All will suffer until they obey Christ himself.

I don't know if there is a person now living who could have said those words. At first glance it appears to fit with the spirit of the times. But then it concludes "All will suffer until they obey Christ himself."


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