September 15, 2012

Q. When studying with some missionaries a number of years ago, I was told that the Mormon, LDS church did not believe in hell.  It appears that this may not be accurate.  Can you please tell me what the church’s teaching on hell is, if any?

We believe in hell, but our conception of it is a bit different than the way many Christians think of it. My good friend Dave wrote an excellent piece about it called “What Do Mormons Believe About Hell?” back in 2009.

In a nutshell, hell is “to be shut out from the presence of our God” (2 Nephi 9:9). It is a separation from Him and is the natural result of sin.

You may be asking, “Is hell used as a threat to enforce obedience in the Mormon church?” The answer is, “not too much.” That theme can be found occasionally in the Book of Mormon and the Bible, but the main thrust of our motivation to live clean and honest Christian lives comes from knowing who we are (God’s children) and knowing His plan for us. We believe the atonement of Jesus Christ provides remission of our sins and that He is willing to remit them all; consequently, a permanent hell (though it is an option) really isn’t a live option, anyway.

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2 Responses to “Hell”

  1. Glenn Thigpen

    Christ does not remit the sins of those who are unrepentant.
    Doctrine and Covenants, Section 19:
    15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
    16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
    17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
    18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—

    In the LDS doctrine, hell is the Outer Darkness where the devil and his angels will be cast on the day of final judgement. This group also includes the sons of perdition. (See D&C section 76:verses 32-37)

    I would say that is the last hell, because hell is also for the unrepentant who die in their sins and are cast down to hell until the last resurrection. This is also in section 76.


  2. Kassie

    I’ve always thought of people like Adolf Hitler going to “hell.” I have problems imagining our loving Heavenly Father sending people to “hell” because they didn’t know about the Gospel or other reasons. And who knows what Adolf Hitler did in his last moments? I am glad Heavenly Father is the judge and not me. I would have a long list i’m afraid……