Reason #188: Because of LDS Teachings about Hell and Sons of Perdition
Who will go to the LDS hell? Very few. Those who go to the Telestial Kingdom will already have suffered from the time of their deaths until the end of the Millennium in the hell of the spirit prison. Mormons say that their suffering, or self-atonement, in the Millennium, will have been as exquisite as the passion of Christ.
The final hell, or “outer darkness,” though, will have a sparse human population. Its inhabitants will be resurrected in the second resurrection, along with the inhabitants of the Telestial Kingdom. At that time, the hell of the spirit prison will be cast into the “lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14). (It was, after all, only “eternal” and “everlasting” in the sense that God instituted it.) The lake of fire is the final hell, and the home forever of Satan, his angels, and the sons of perdition—who remained filthy even after a thousand years of detention.
These sons of perdition (literally, “sons of Satan,” who is Perdition) will have their bodies restored, but they will not be glorious bodies, they will be shameful. They alone of all mankind will not be released from the control of Satan, but because of their bodies they will have certain powers over Satan. Their eternity will be one of struggle and contention, forever.
The LDS Church teaches that these sons of perdition were those who sought to be a law unto themselves.[i] Very few persons are qualified to be sons of perdition. These were holders of the Melchizidek Priesthood (which by implication would mean that no females will be in hell),[ii] and had personal knowledge of the power of God. They performed the sacred temple covenants, and had partaken of God’s power and then left the LDS Church. Some shed innocent blood; others sinned in other ways against the Holy Ghost. In this final hell, said Joseph Smith, man will be his own tormentor.
Some LDS authorities say that hell will not end for “those who have wholly given themselves over to satanic purposes. . .They go on forever in the hell that is prepared for them.”[iii] But others, like John A. Widstoe, taught that the sons of perdition will finally have their spirit bodies disintegrated, and they will revert back to their original condition as intelligences. They would await new spirit bodies from another god, and a chance to start all over again.[iv]
Still other LDS leaders have asserted that “In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is no hell. All will find a measure of salvation. . .The gospel of Jesus Christ has no hell in the proverbial sense.”[v]
For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition: A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today (Zondervan, 2009). Also available as an audiobook and as an expanded-text E-book for Nook, Kindle and other reading devices.
[i] Doctrine and Covenants 88:33-35.
[ii] Brigham Young said he doubted whether there were any females in hell (Journal of Discourses VIII, 222.) I have been called by Mormons such things as Beezebub, Judas and a son of perdition. My response has always been to ask how I’m a son of anything.
[iii] McConkie, 351.
[iv] John A. Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliations (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960) 213-214.
[v] LDS Apostle John A. Widtsoe, Joseph Smith-Seeker After Truth, Prophet of God (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1951), 178.