| they must suffer | even as i |


I will try to make this short and sweet. In D&C 19:15-20, we read:

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 |

for behold | i | god | have suffered these things for all | that they might not suffer | if they would repent | but if they would not repent | they must suffer | even as i | 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 | nevertheless | glory be to the father | and i partook | and finished my preparations unto the children of men | wherefore | i command you again |

to repent | lest i humble you with my almighty power |

and that you confess your sins | lest you suffer these punishments | of which i have spoken | of which in the smallest | yea | even in the least degree you have tasted | at the time i withdrew my spirit |

When I was a young man, reading this scripture, I had always thought that this spoke of the punishment of the devil and his angels and the sons of perdition, being cast out into outer darkness at the last and great day of judgment.

Today, however, as I was teaching one of my children about the afterlife (for there was a recent death in our extended family), I taught that this scripture also had application to all those souls who entered hell, that every soul who was bound down there would suffer in spirit even as Jesus suffered in spirit.

A description of the suffering of the Lord

The suffering of the Lord is described by the angel in this way: “he shall suffer temptations, and pains of body, hunger, thirst and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death” (Mosiah 3:7.) The Spirit told Alma that the Son of God “shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind” and that “he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people” (Alma 7:11.) The Spirit also said that “he will take upon him their infirmities” (Alma 7:12.)

Christ’s physical body could sustain levels of suffering beyond our comprehension, without dying, allowing the pain to be piled on everlastingly. No mortal human, therefore, could experience what Jesus experienced, while in the physical, mortal body. But once dead, man’s immortal spirit is up to the task of infinite suffering.

Thus, all those who descend into hell will come to know how sore, how exquisite and how difficult to bear were the sufferings of Christ, for they will go through the same pain and anguish.

Now, there was much more that I taught my child, but I thought that this topic might make for some interesting discussion on this blog.

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25 Comments

  1. I think we will experience pain and suffering in this life too if we don’t repent. leviticus 26

  2. This part:

    The suffering of the Lord is described by the angel in this way: “he shall suffer temptations, and pains of body, hunger, thirst and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death” (Mosiah 3:7.) The Spirit told Alma that the Son of God “shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind” and that “he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people” (Alma 7:11.) The Spirit also said that “he will take upon him their infirmities” (Alma 7:12.)

    reminded me of my thoughts written in the Unity of God post:

    Upon death, we will each of us find that the laws of physics which had [until that point] allowed us to:

    force air into our lungs by manipulating air pressure differences between our chest cavity and the atmosphere

    force gases to exchange at our lungs and tissues by taking advantage of the partial pressures of the various gases

    prevent our bodies from going right through physical objects [including the ground] by relying on the electromagnetic repulsion of the electrons surrounding our body and the electrons surrounding the other objects

    rob food of its low-entropy/high-energy value by chemically stripping the carbons and the electrons from the fats and starches and giving back out high-entropy/low-energy waste products

    etc.

    will have ceased to work “just so”.

    [The elements of this present, mortal environment] are currently voluntarily-submitting to God’s request — and this is why we are presently able to manipulate the elements that make up our mortal existence, according to a specific set of laws that we’ve observed, studied, and defined as “The Laws of Physics”

    Upon death — God’s merciful probation with the physical elements ends. The elements will again respond as they always have — according to the principles of free-agency, consent, and respect. If we have not learned to command our will in the universe according to the principles of righteousness — then we will find ourselves in an awful situation in the afterlife. For it will be impossible for your spirit [your “soul” or “consciousness”] to force the elements to do anything against their will.

    You will find yourself with an insatiable desire to eat, the feeling of unquenchable thirst, the perpetual sensation of suffocation — but have no way to alleviate the feelings. You will find yourself pulled-down by gravity into the central portion of the earth’s outer shell — a place of immense heat and crushing pressure, a “spirit prison” or hell.

    Once at the center of hell, gravity pushes you equally in all directions. Therefore, your body will act like an astronaut’s does while in orbit. You will have no power to move this-way or that-way. There is nothing your spirit could “act upon” in order to move around.

    In fact, the only way you will be able to “move” at all is by Satan moving you around [as he desires you to be moved] by pulling on the chains of hell attached to the base of your head [– making you entirely subject to his will].

  3. After of few zillion years, it won’t be so bad.

  4. I initially brought this subject up (to my child) because of a statement by someone that our recently departed relative was now in a better, happier place, being reunited with loved ones, in a celebration. This was understandably stated to comfort those who loved the deceased. My family consists of LDS and non-LDS, so there are diverse beliefs about all things, nevertheless, there seems to be consensus among everyone that when people die, they go to a better place, unless they are really, really wicked. This particular comment seemed to indicate a belief that there were three locations in the afterlife, corresponding to the three degrees of glory. One was paradise, where the celestial people go, one was spirit prison, where terrestrial people go, and one was hell, where telestial people go; hell being where people suffer and spirit prison being where people simply wait, without suffering, for the missionaries to arrive and teach them the gospel. In other words, the Catholic concept of limbo, seemed to have been adopted by the LDS family members.

    Now, I don’t know if this is peculiar to my family, because of Catholic influence, or if this has come from Mormon traditions, as well. I haven’t really talked much to LDS about the afterlife and who goes where. But, in the course of explaining about my departed relative, having lived, as far as we know, a terrestrial life, I felt it necessary to explain that terrestrial souls do not simply enter a third place called “spirit prison,” which is separate from hell, and just wait around, sitting, standing, walking, but essentially doing nothing, without anything to torment them except the boredom of the place and the memories of their lives.

    My understanding of the afterlife is fundamentally different from this idea, and to illustrate my point I pulled this scripture out (section 19) and applied it to the space between death and resurrection, to both terrestrial and telestial lives. I attempted to explain, to the LDS relative who originally made the statement, that terrestrial souls are not sinless. The difference between the two souls, terrestrial and telestial, is that telestial souls sin inwardly (hard hearts and blind minds) and outwardly (doing harm to others), while terrestrial souls repent of outward sins, but still remain in their inward sins (hard hearts and blind minds.) Thus, they still remain sinners, even hypocrites, for they appear to be good on the outside to others.

    And this is the point of section 19, that if a person doesn’t repent of their sins (inward or outward, it doesn’t matter), they must suffer in this manner, meaning after the manner of the suffering of the Lord. Also, that their suffering comes through the agency of Satan, the resident sadist in hell. Satan, hating all these people who are found within his realm, people who opposed him in their pre-mortal existence, this is his opportunity to “get back” at them for not having chosen him, as the one-third did.

    Of course, these afflictions he brings upon these people actually work into the purposes of the Lord, for through their sufferings they are finally brought to repentance and faith, after the missionaries arrive with the light of Christ to free them from their shackles.

    So, the idea of telestial and terrestrial people being reunited with their telestial and terrestrial family and friends, is, in a sense, sound, since they all go to the same place, but I cannot see happy celebrations taking place.

    Growing up, I remember seeing a church film, Man’s Search for Happiness, I think it was called, in which the pre-mortal existence and afterlife was depicted, I think, and it just showed people milling around, doing nothing. That image stuck with me and tainted my understanding of what happens after we die. I wouldn’t doubt that many LDS think that people aren’t really tortured, at all, by anyone, that they are merely tortured by their own minds. In a sense, that is true, since the tares are connected to their minds, but the suffering has a source external to them, which is the devil. Also, that “spirit prison” is jurisdiction of the Lord, thus is a place of justice, meaning those who are more wicked, suffer more than those who were less wicked. All such concepts are contrary to how I read and understand the scriptures.

    I attempted to explain that such statements actually lull people into a false sense of security, taking away any urgency to warn our neighbors, after we ourselves have been warned by the gospel. For, if boredom is the only lot of those who do not go to paradise, then there is no reason to go about preaching the gospel to every soul on this side of the veil. We can let the missionaries on the other side of the veil preach the gospel, for all things are done in fairness, and people deserve whatever they will get.

    In other words, the sense of fairness that God has given mankind takes away any urgency to warn our neighbors to immediately repent of their sins, if it is applied to the afterlife, for just about everyone is okay with people reaping what they sow, both here and there. But, when you realize that sin in mortality creates a situation in which you receive the maximum penalty (the suffering of the Lord) on the other side of the veil, which is totally unfair, it creates a sense of urgency to turn people from their sins, for who desires that a man who dies in his sins should receive greater punishment than what his sins really merit? There is no sense of fairness in that, and that is the point. This is why these warnings go forth, that we might understand that hell (or spirit prison) is not a place of justice and those people do not deserve the punishments that will be inflicted on them by the devil.

    The devil does not punish these people for the sins that they did in mortality, no, his motive is revenge upon them for not choosing him. Therefore, the devil has no justification, whatsoever, in his devilish work. And so on and so forth.

  5. As LDS, my wife and I had always understood something similar to the the “three degrees” you described above. My wife grew-up LDS — so I think the idea of “spirit prison” as a “neutral” place for “good” people to go and wait until the resurrection is common.

  6. I found Man’s Search For Happiness on YouTube.

    Watching it again, I see that the video is almost entirely correct, except for this part of the narration:

    After death, though your mortal body lies in the earth, you, your spirit self, being eternal, continue to live. Your memory of this life will remain with you and the knowledge of your life before birth will be restored. Like coming out of a darkened room into the light, through death you will emerge into a place of re-awakening and find loved ones waiting to welcome you.

    The first part in bold is simply not true, according to my understanding, for the knowledge of our pre-mortal life only returns when we are resurrected. The second part is partially true, or is true for those who will enter paradise, but is not true for those who enter hell. As all go to paradise, initially, I suppose we could say that all souls will find loved ones waiting for them, in the sense that those residing in paradise love the sinners as much as the saints, and they will be waiting for them, but they will only welcome those who are to enter into paradise. All the others will be dragged down to hell, into the regions of darkness.

    The picture painted by this film, then, as far as the afterlife is concerned, is the same one portrayed by my LDS relative who attempted to console the other non-LDS relatives. So, I guess this misunderstanding doesn’t come from Catholicism, after all. It’s a 100% Mormon-made perversion, recorded into celluloid under authority of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles and sent far and wide to the ends of the earth. Btw, according to the YouTube comments, the narrator of this film was Richard L. Evans, who, I believe, was an apostle.

  7. Reminds me of what my grandmother told me. She said my Grandfather visits her sometimes in her dreams (actually she says her dreams seem pretty real).
    There were some times were my Grandfather comes to her room and is very tired, and she asks him what he’s doing and he replies: “i’m working for the Lord. There is a lot of work to do.”. Once she said he came with very dirty clothes and looked like he lost weight and he told her he only came quick to asure her that everything is fine, that she had to stay strong and that he must go back now but will visit her soon.
    It’s been over a year, i wonder if he did visit her again. It really doesn’t seem like the souls are on vacation in the spirit world.

  8. I like to quote St. Alphonsus of his “equally” impressive understanding of the passion and the atonement, touching on the post above :

    Behold, our most loving Saviour, having come to the
    Garden of Gethsemani, did of his own accord make a
    beginning of his bitter Passion by giving full liberty to
    the passions of fear, of weariness, and of sorrow to come
    and afflict him with all their torments : He began to fear;
    a?id to be heavy? to grow sorrowful, and to be sad. 1

    He began, then, first to feel a great fear of death, and
    of the sufferings he would have soon to endure. He
    began to fear ; 3 but how? Was it not he himself that
    had offered himself spontaneously to endure all these
    torments ? He was offered because He willed it.” Was it

    1 “Coepit pavere et taedere.” — Mark, xiv. 33.

    8 ” Contristari et moestus esse.” — Matt. xxvi. 37.

    8 ” Coepit pavere.”

    4 ” Oblatus est, quia ipse voluit.” — Isa. liii. 7.

    not he who had so much desired this hour of his Pas-
    sion, and who had said shortly before, With desire have 1
    desired to eat this Pasch with you ? l And yet how is it
    that he was seized with such a fear of death, that he
    even prayed his Father to deliver him from it ? …

    ….And there appeared to Him an angel, . . . strengthening
    Him. Strength came, but, says the Venerable Bede,
    this rather increased than lightened his sufferings :
    “Strength did not diminish, but increased his sorrow.” 2
    Yes, for the angel strengthened him, that he might suffer
    still more for the love of men and the glory of his
    Father.

    …: Ami His sweat became as
    drops of blood trickling down upon the ground. .’ So that, ac-
    cording to the Evangelist, this bloody sweat was so
    copious that it first bathed all the vestments of our
    Blessed Redeemer, and then came forth in quantity and
    bathed the ground.

    Ah, my loving Jesus, I do not behold in this garden
    either scourges or thorns or nails that pierce Thee; how,
    then, is it that I see Thee all bathed in blood from Thy
    head to Thy feet ? …

    THE ASCETICAL WORKS.
    Volume V.
    The
    Passion and the Death
    of Jesus Christ.
    by St. ALPHONSUS de LIGUORI

    http://archive.org/stream/passiondeathofje00ligu/passiondeathofje00ligu_djvu.txt

  9. I really dig this part:

    ….And there appeared to Him an angel, . . . strengthening
    Him. Strength came, but, says the Venerable Bede,
    this rather increased than lightened his sufferings :
    “Strength did not diminish, but increased his sorrow.” 2
    Yes, for the angel strengthened him, that he might suffer
    still more for the love of men and the glory of his
    Father.

  10. oh! if you can post any additional insight you can have and I’m happy to read from them, LDS A, thanks for your feedback in the quote…

  11. LDSA, thanks for directing me to this post. It (and the comments) moved me to a prayer of gratitude. I wept a little as I realized how much love both the Father and the Son have for me so that both of them are willing to die and suffer enormous suffering just to save me, their creation. What a powerful thought that was.
    (I realize that the Father did not suffer like the Son did, but Jesus revealed to us the Father’s character and so even the Father was willing to suffer if He had to)

    And so my mind turned to the verses below.
    I was wondering if there is more meaning to all those “according to”s than meets the eye?

    12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
    13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
    (Alma 7:12–13)

    I dont understand the phrase “His bowels may be filled with mercy according to the flesh”.
    Can this be paraphrased “His bowels may be filled with mercy while He was in the flesh (while He was living on the Earth)”? Would this mean that He was filled with mercy while going through the agony?

    Basically all 5 instances of “according to”s are a puzzling to me as they can be interpreted in many ways, so Im kindly asking you to provide your exposition.

  12. Oh, and the original BoM edition has the phrase “how to suffer the people” instead of “how to succor the people”. I dont know if it is a legitimate typo or the true meaning.

  13. jackdale76,

    Im kindly asking you to provide your exposition.

    Here you go:

    And he will take upon him death,
    that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people;
    and he will take upon him their infirmities,
    that his bowels may be filled with mercy,
    [The bowels of Christ are already filled with mercy, and have been from eternity to all eternity, so Alma needs to qualify this statement, which he does by saying:]
    according to the flesh,
    [Meaning that Christ is going to suffer all the pains, anguish, sicknesses and infirmities of His people, while He dwells in flesh, feeling it in His very flesh, so that no one can say to Him, “You didn’t know what it was like.” He already knew and knows what it was like, from the very beginning, even before He was born in the flesh, but regardless of that fact, He is going to put on flesh anyway and feel it all again while clothed in flesh.]
    that he may know
    [Once again, Christ already knows all things, including how to succor His people, from the very beginning, but regardless of that fact, He is going to know it all again, while clothed in flesh, feeling it in his fleshly covering, as well as in His spirit, that no one can say to Him, “But you have no idea what we went through.]
    according to the flesh
    how to succor his people
    according to their infirmities.
    [It is according to their infirmities because, having gone through exactly what they went through, in His flesh, His knowledge is perfect, yet again, for it was perfect while He was an unembodied Spirit, but it remains just as perfect while clothed in flesh, so that no one can say, “How can you know how to succor us? You never knew what it was like!” So, He goes through it all, in the flesh, putting aside His almighty power, so that He can feel all things in His very flesh, just as we feel it.]
    Now the Spirit knoweth all things;
    [In other words, Christ, the Spirit of truth, already knows all this stuff, and has known it since forever.]
    nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh
    [This is to be a fleshy atonement, not an atonement wrought out by the almighty power of God. He is going to feel this thing bodily, as well as in His spirit, and none of His power is going to be used to lessen the effect.]
    that he might take upon him the sins of his people,
    that he might blot out their transgressions
    according to the power of his deliverance;
    [This power of deliverance is a fleshy atonement, not just God snapping His fingers and saying, “I’ve taken all the sins away! Now y’all are free!” No, He is going to perform this miracle without using His almighty power, by merely drinking down the whole freaking bitter cup and allowing the effects to take their toll on His body and spirit; and even though it is a mere fleshy atonement, it still works to blot out our transgressions! So, it still ends up being the greatest miracle of all time, even though no miraculous power of God is used, at all. In other words, He remains alive and conscious through the ordeal, not by the exercise of His miraculous power, but by His mere force of will. No one but the Son of God has such strength of will. Everyone else would have their concentration broken and pass out or die. Or, they would do something mentally to remove the effect, such as thinking of a black period, which removes all pain and suffering instantly. No one but Christ could just let the suffering continue. Not even the Josephite could do it.]
    and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
    (Alma 7:12–13)

    Now, the part about taking upon Him death, in order to loose the bands of death, is also, in part, a fleshy atonement, because God has power to snap His fingers and say, “Y’all resurrected!” But instead He sends His son to die, and then commands Him to come back alive in three days, and to break the band of death, by His almighty power (faith). So, the resurrection is a manifestation of the power of God, yet it is initiated by a fleshy death. All this shows that God can do anything, even if you tell Him, “Yeah, but can you do it without using your power?!” Yep, He can, and did.

  14. A couple of more things

    First,

    that he might take upon him the sins of his people,
    that he might blot out their transgressions
    according to the power of his deliverance

    “according to the power of his deliverance” qualifies Him blotting out their transgressions. In other words, Christ isn’t going to blot out everyone’s transgressions. This isn’t the doctrine of Nehor. There are conditions that must be fulfilled first, namely, faith in Him and the repentance of all our sins. When we comply with those conditions, then He has power to deliver us.

    Secondly, Jesus basically exercised faith as a principle of action, of inaction and of power, in His atonement. The Father basically said, “Here, Son, drink every drop of this infinitely large cup filled to the brim of the most bitter bitterness.” And His ever obedient Son swallowed every drop. The rest of us would gag and convulse at the first taste, but He gulped it all down. This was Christ exercising faith as a principle of action. Then the Father said, “Now don’t do anything to reduce your suffering, Son, but feel every single bit of it wholeheartedly.” And the ever obedient Son of God just let the feeling have full sway in Him. This was faith as a principle of inaction. Then the Father said, “Now, Son, go die on that cross after they mock you and whip you and spit on you and nail you to it. Oh, and remember, keep feeling the contents of that bitter cup you drank right up to the end of your life, okay.” And the ever obedient Son went and suffered all that humiliation and then died right where He was told to die. This was faith as a principle of action. Finally, the Father said, “Now come back alive and while you at it, break the bands of death forever, so that men may be resurrected just like you.” And the ever obedient Son of God broke the bands of death and came back alive, a miracle no miracle worker had ever done, or would ever do. This was an exercise of faith as a principle of power. So, He did it all in this atonement.

  15. the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people

    In your opinion the meaning here is
    A) His suffering of their infirmities/ilnesses etc is a prerequisite for Him to take upon Him the sins of His people
    B) It speaks of a separate installment of suffering, meaning there are 2 sufferings: 1. of their infirmities and 2. to take upon Him the sins.

  16. jackdale76, how perceptive you are! Yes, He took upon Himself their illnesses/infirmities because that was also likely necessary to rid them of their sins. Sin is the cause, then, of all illnesses/infirmities/sickness/death, etc. The effects of sin, then, can alter one’s genetic code, producing physical maladies, not only in us but in our posterity (hereditary diseases.) To work out a perfect atonement, then, Christ had to experience all the effects of sin, that He might extinguish it all. The Three Nephites are illustrative of this. They became sanctified in the flesh, so that nothing could harm them, and all the effects of hereditary maladies were likewise cut off, by the repentance of all their sins, Christ bearing the full weight and effects of their sins.

  17. No one but Christ could just let the suffering continue. Not even the Josephite could do it.

    Having thought about it some more, I’d like to take my words back. The Josephite will be the greatest miracle worker bar none, after all.

  18. LDSA,

    I am perplexed at the idea put forth by you that Christ did this or that “so that no one can say” as if there is anyone that must be satisfied other than the Father. Only the Father has to be appeased acc to this verse:

    Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified
    (Doctrine and Covenants 45:4)

    I also remember Cleon Skousen’s talk “The Atonement” where his reasoning is – because the Father is always full of mercy towards us then the following verse must mean that someone else’s bowels must be filled with mercy

    And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.
    (Alma 34:15)

    But we established a few comments earlier that it is Christ’s bowels according to the flesh that must be filled with mercy, not some other inteligence’s bowels as Scousen postulated.

    But then again, I am only surmising, so your thoughts are welcome.

  19. jackdale76,

    Here is my understanding of the atonement: The Compassionate Empathy Model of the Atonement

    See the follow-up comments, too.

  20. take upon him the sins of his people
    (Alma 7:13)

    Im wondering what exactly this phrase entails. If He takes upon Him the sins of the people, He now becomes as if He was the sinner. What’s His next step during his Atonement? Does He now have to repent of those sins or does He have to suffer being cast off forever or does He have to simply continue with the realization that He is the sinner while other sins of other people get piled on top of Him?

    The other aspect of why Im wondering is that if Christ’s suffering’s purpose was to overpower justice, He might as well have chosen any other thing to suffer for. Wouldn’t it bring about the same effect? The Universe would be moved to compassion regardless of what exactly the Christ suffered for as long as the suffering is so enormous and overwhelming.

  21. jackdale76,

    If He takes upon Him the sins of the people, He now becomes as if He was the sinner.

    Only as if, not in reality. So, no, God does not have to repent, but He had to suffer the penalty of being cast off forever.

    Also, He couldn’t choose anything else to suffer, because all suffering comes from, or originates from, sin. So, what other kind of suffering is there? There is only one penalty for sin: death, or the death penalty. And sin leads to suffering (pain, affliction, poverty, sorrow, sickness, etc.) and ends, ultimately, in death, both of the body and of the spirit, so that was all He had to suffer, because that is the only suffering available to suffer. The righteous, who are perfect in every way, do not suffer the effects of sin, hence the translated Nephites, but they still have the capacity to mourn for others.

  22. 16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
    17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
    (Matthew 8:16–17)

    LDSA, do you understand how Jesus’s healings in v.16 fulfilled what seems to be the events of the Atonement in v.17 ?

  23. LDSA, do you understand how Jesus’s healings in v.16 fulfilled what seems to be the events of the Atonement in v.17 ?

    All illnesses and infirmities proceed from sin, according to my understanding, so He’s got power over the spirit body (sin) and the physical body (illness). All of these things go onto Him, so He can take it all away, as He did when He healed those people and cast out devils.

  24. At the Great Judgement the Lord will declare to those who are filthy still:

    23 And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity
    (3 Nephi 14:23)

    JST Matt. 7:33 And then will I say, Ye never knew me

    So, Jesus will say both “I never knew you” and “you never knew Me”.
    Those people he addresses are former saints for they prophesied, cast out devils and did many wonderful works.

    When he tells them “I never knew you”, I interpreted it “I did not bear your pains,sicknesses,infirmities during the Atonement so that I could know how to succor you”. That makes sense because owing to God’s foreknowledge Christ only suffered for those who repent.

    22 Therefore, whoso repenteth … for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again;
    (3 Nephi 9:22)

    Now, my question is, what does He mean by “you never knew Me”?
    My understanding is that to know Christ is to be baptized with fire.

    ye … and after this [the baptism of fire] should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me
    (2 Nephi 31:14)

    So, those former saints did indeed know Christ at some point in their lives. How is it that “they never knew Him”?
    Any thoughts?

  25. It’s just a reset:

    And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God. (D&C 82:7

    The sons of perdition commit spiritual suicide, going back instead of forward, returning like the dog to his vomit, so everything gets reset to its former condition. In other words, they didn’t know the Lord, then they knew the Lord, then they committed spiritual suicide and so go back to their former condition of not knowing the Lord. Put another way, the Lord never knew them, then He knew them, then they committed spiritual suicide and so the Lord goes back to the former condition of not knowing them. They had sins, their sins were remitted, then they committed spiritual suicide and so all their former sins return, as if the atonement and redemption never happened. The experience of this reset leaves them completely gutted or empty, so that now the devil has full control over them and they are lost (perdition) forever.


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