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.