The Light of Christ - Part 2

By Rick Brunson

Click here to read part one of this article. 

The Second Coming


We have been discussing how the Light of Christ falls on a continuum, with light in its largest particles is on one end, and light in its most pure particles is on the other end.  They are from lesser to greater, physical light, instinct, our conscience, and the light of the gospel.  The point I want to make here is that physical light is the only form of the Light of Christ we can see.  The other forms are too pure and refined for our physical eyes to behold; however, they are all around us, and we can recognize them with our spiritual organs.  This is interesting because electromagnetic waves are also all around us, but our eyes are only capable of seeing the visible light waves.  These light waves are nothing more than physical light, and as we have already discussed, physical light is a form of the light of Christ. 

Whatever the case may be, the important thing to remember is that the Light of Christ is all around us in one form or another, but are eyes are only capable of seeing some of it.  At the present time, there is a veil that covers our eyes, which protects us from beholding too much light at once; only by being transfigured, could we actually see all of it.

On a similar note, not only are our eyes veiled from beholding all this light, but we also know that God has veiled the entire earth from beholding too much light.   As we mentioned during our discussion of Facsimile #2, there is an organization of light in the universe, which light begins at Kolob, and is given to planets of a lesser order.  What we also need to explain, is that the Lord has shielded this earth from beholding too much of this light at once.  He has made it so the right degree of light hits this earth, and no more.  Hyrum Andrus stated,

Joseph Smith’s “Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar” indicates that God has established laws which regulate the emission of His glory so that “the right degree of light” cheers “the face of millions of planets.”  The Prophet thus anticipated the discovery of the ionosphere that shields the earth from harmful forms of radiation coming from outer space…. 

Some spheres cannot endure the full glory of God.  Consequently the great Creator has set “a cloud round about the heavens,” by which certain bounds and limits are given to light “lest it pass over and consume the planets.”[1]  

If it were not for this veil protecting the earth, we would be consumed instantly.  It is believed that Kolob is located in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy.[2]  The interesting thing about this is that astronomers tell us that right in the middle of our Galaxy, there is a giant star, which is thousands of times larger that our sun.[3]  Surrounding this giant star, there is a huge cloud of dust and gas, which blocks the vast majority of light this giant star is giving off, making it so less than one trillionth of it ever reaches the earth.[4]  Truly the Lord has made it so “the right degree of light” reaches us and no more.    
             
The important thing to remember, is that at the second coming this “veil…which hideth the earth, shall be taken off,”[5] and all of a sudden, there will be much more light hitting the earth than that which we are used to.  Joseph Smith said that “God has set the bounds of Light lest it pass over and consume the planets.”[6]  However, at the Second Coming, “the veil …which hideth the earth, shall be taken off.”[7]  One can only imagine what the result will be, this earth will be burned with fire.   

On top of all this, mankind will suddenly be in the presence of a celestial being, who will come in all his glory.  This is, of course, Jesus Christ.  Orson Pratt said that at the second coming, Christ’s glory will “outshine the sun in his strength.”[8]  D&C 133 tells us that “so great shall be the glory of [Christ’s] presence that the sun shall hid his face in shame.”[9]  To understand the magnitude of Christ’s glory at this time, consider the following.  We are able to see the light of the moon during the night, but as soon as the sun comes up, the light of the moon disappears.  Why?  Is not the moon still reflecting the suns light?  Yes, but the sun is so bright that we are not able to see the light of the moon in this setting.  The same thing will occur during the second coming.  The sun will still be in the sky, but “so great shall be the glory of [the Lord] that the sun shall hid his face in shame.”[10]  In other words, just as the moon disappears when the sun comes out, the Lords presence will be so great that we will not be able to see the sun’s light, even though it will still be shining.[11]  The glory that Christ will bring with Him will surely cause “the elements [to] melt with fervent heat.”[12]  

During this time, there will be more light hitting the earth than we are used to, both by the presence of Jesus, as well as by the from the outside universe.  The result will be that the earth will be burned with fire.  The only people who will be able to “abide the day” will be those whose bodies are filled with enough light to endure Christ’s glory,[13] light which was earned by keeping the commandments.  Those who will be consumed will be those whose bodies are filled with darkness, people who have not earned enough light to be able to stand in Gods presence. 

But behold, the residue of the wicked have I kept in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day, which shall come at the end of the earth…the day soon cometh that ye shall see me, and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day.  (D&C 38:5,8)

Only those who have filled their lamps with oil, or those who have “taken the Holy Spirit for their guide,” shall not be “hewn down and cast into the fire.”[14] (For a detailed study on the second coming, please visit www.Beforethe2ndComing.com).

Sons of Perdition


In the vision of the three degrees of glory given to Joseph Smith, the Lord said this about the future torment of the sons of perdition,

And the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows;  Neither was it revealed, neither is, neither will be revealed unto man, except to them who are made partakers thereof;  Nevertheless, I, the Lord, show it by vision unto many, but straightway shut it up again;  Wherefore, the end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation.  (D&C 76:44-48)

When I read this for the first time, it put a curiosity in me that would not be satisfied until I understood to my liking what the punishment was for the sons of perdition.  I began studying more on the subject, to find out everything that had been revealed, not only on the sons of perdition, but also on outer darkness.  Below are my findings.

The first truth to keep in mind as we discuss this topic, is that of eternal progression.  We are taught that God is constantly progressing, in that His kingdom, glory, dominion, etc, are ever increasing; however, what many of us do not know, is that the opposite is true for Satan and the sons of perdition.  They will continue to digress in eternity. 

This doctrine was taught by many of the early General Authorities.  It was said that God is eternally progressing in one direction, and Satan, along with all those who will become perdition, will be eternally progressing in the other direction.  To understand this we need to learn some things about sons of perdition.  They are in a state in which they reject all light and truth.  This is evident by the fact that they commit the unpardonable sin, which is denying the Holy Ghost.

It might be helpful to pause and talk about what it takes to become a son of perdition.  As we shall see in a moment, in order to become a son of perdition, one must be so righteous that they are worthy of having their calling and election made sure, which is basically a promise given from the Lord that seals ones exaltation in the world to come.  Nothing you do in mortality, with the exception of murder[15], denying the Holy Ghost,[16] and adultery,[17] can prevent you from entering into the highest degree of the celestial kingdom.  If there are any unrepented sins that you have committed after you have received this promise, the scriptures state that you shall be “delivered unto the buffetings of Satan,”[18] until those sins are paid for in full, after which you will be redeemed and inherit the highest degree of the celestial kingdom.[19]


Joseph Smith taught, that in addition to receiving your calling and election, you must also live worthy enough to have the heavens open up to you and be ministered to by the Father and Son.[20]  This is known as the Second Comforter.  It is important to remember that not everyone who receives their calling and election will receive the Second Comforter, only those who are worthy of it.  In other words, it is possible to receive your calling and election and not receive the Second Comforter while in mortality.[21]  


The important thing to remember, is that in order to become perdition, you must prove yourself worthy enough to receive your calling and election, then continue to prove yourself worthy enough to receive the Second Comforter, in which you have the heavens open up unto you, and have the Son personally minister unto you, who will reveal unto you the mysteries of the kingdom, at which time the Holy Spirit of Promise confirms to your heart and soul that it is all true,[22] and after all this, you must deny this confirmation you received from the Holy Ghost, and by so doing, deny the Holy Ghost, as well as the Father and the Son by turning on them, or by persecuting them to the point that if given the chance, you would crucify the Son of God, and “put him to an open shame.”[23]  It is easy to see why there is no forgiveness in this world or in the world to come for such sons of perdition.  Even if forgiveness was offered them, both Paul and the Prophet Joseph tell us that they would refuse to repent, and therefore refuse to be saved.  Paul teaches us that “it is impossible…to renew them again unto repentance.”[24]  The Prophet Joseph said that “you cannot save such persons; you cannot bring them to repentance.”[25]  Sons of Perdition will be the only persons who will not bow the knee, nor confess with their mouth that Jesus is the Christ, and by so doing, it will prevent them from being redeemed and will be cast out to outer darkness.


The reason we know that you must live worthy enough to receive the Second Comforter in order to become perdition comes from a number of sources.  D&C 76:43, tells us that in order to become a son of perdition, you must, “deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.”[26]  Hebrews 6:5 teaches us that in order to commit the unpardonable sin, you must have first “tasted…the powers of the world to come.”  Perhaps the most important statement on the subject comes from Joseph Smith, who asked,

What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy. This is the case with many apostates of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

When a man begins to be an enemy to this work, he hunts me, he seeks to kill me, and never ceases to thirst for my blood. He gets the spirit of the devil—the same spirit that they had who crucified the Lord of Life—the same spirit that sins against the Holy Ghost. You cannot save such persons; you cannot bring them to repentance; they make open war, like the devil, and awful is the consequence.[27]

Once these persons sin against the Holy Ghost, they will lose light, and as Joseph Smith said, “once that light which was in them is taken from them, they become as much darkened as they were previously enlightened.”[28]

With this in mind, we may now begin to understand what will happen to the sons of perdition after the resurrection.  Before we discuss this however, it might be important to state that there will be two groups who will be labeled as “perdition.”  The first group is the one which we have been discussing.  These people have come to this earth, received a body, and committed the unpardonable sin.  The second group consists of those who were cast out of heaven for rebellion.  This includes Satan and the one-third who followed him.  Both of these groups will be labeled as “perdition,” and will be cast out to outer darkness.  It is important to clarify that the first group, those who commit the unpardonable sin while in mortality, will still be resurrected at the end of the Millennium.[29]  They will be cast into outer darkness with their resurrected bodies.  Satan and his one-third on the other hand, will not be given a body, and will be cast out to outer darkness as spirits.  With this in mind, we will now discuss what we know about outer darkness.

Outer darkness

Earlier, in our discussion of the universe, we mentioned that outside the organized universe (in the unorganized universe), there is an endless amount of space which is filled with unorganized intelligences.  As mentioned before, there is absolutely no Light of Christ throughout this unorganized universe.  The reason for this is because law does not exist there, and we know that the only way to receive light is to obey law.  All the intelligences that are willing to obey our Heavenly Father are brought into the organized universe, where they are able to progress. 

Since the Light of Christ does not exists anywhere in this universe, it is referred to in the scriptures as “outer darkness.”[30]  Joseph Smith is the one who taught us that the Spirit of God, or the Light of Christ does not exist in this universe.  In one instance, Orson Hyde advanced the idea that the Spirit of the Lord, or the Light of Christ existed throughout the endless bounds of eternity, even throughout the unorganized universe.  He told this theory to Joseph, in which he was corrected.  Brigham Young recalled,

After portraying his views upon that theory very carefully and minutely, he asked brother Joseph what he thought of it?  He replied that it appeared very beautiful, and that he did not know of but one serious objection to is.  Says brother Hyde, “What is that?”  Joseph replied, “it is not true.”[31]

We are told that everyone will receive a kingdom of glory except the sons of perdition.  Why is this?  It is because the sons of perdition reject everything that has to do with God and His laws.  Everything inside the organized universe are obeying laws which were given them by our Father in Heaven, and sons of perdition refuse to follow any of these laws.  They must therefore dwell in a place which there are no laws.  Question: what place do we know of where there is no law?  Answer: the unorganized universe, also called outer darkness.  The reason it is called outer darkness is because there is no light throughout this universe; for how can there be any light if there is no law?  The sons of perdition have sinned against all the light and knowledge that they once had, and will therefore eventually lose all their former light, and be forced to live in a place where there is no light to be found.  This concept is clearly explained in the Doctrine and Covenants.  In section 88, the Lord teaches us what will happen to all the different classes of people after the resurrection.  As we mentioned before, the glory of our resurrected body will entirely depend on the light we earned while in mortality.  For example, D&C 88:28 teaches us that all celestial spirits will receive a celestial resurrected body, which will be able to endure the glory of the celestial kingdom.  But what about the sons of perdition?  What will happen to them?  They will, by disobedience and open rebellion, lose all the light they once had, and be forced to live in a place with no Light of Christ anywhere.  This is what the Lord teaches us in D&C 88.  The scripture states,

And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.  For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.  And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.  That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.  All kingdoms have a law given;  And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom.  And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.  All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified.  (D&C 88:32-39)

We shall now take a moment and discuss these very important verses.

They who remain – All those who are not celestial, terrestrial, nor telestial.  These will be the sons of perdition. 

Shall also be quickened – Even the sons of perdition will be resurrected.

They shall return again – They will return to the place they came from, which is the unorganized universe, also called outer darkness.  This is one of the reasons how we know that outer darkness is the same place as the unorganized universe.  The scripture says that they will return again to this place, and we know that it is impossible to return to a place that you have never before been.  They started out in the unorganized universe, and they will eventually have to return there. 

They were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received – As Joseph Smith stated, it is impossible to get any of the sons of perdition to repent; therefore, they will refuse the gift which is offered to them, which gift is a kingdom of glory.

That which…abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself – Sons of perdition have come out in open rebellion to God and His laws.  They refuse to follow any of Gods laws, and will therefore lose all the light they once had.  Rather than letting God rule over them, they would rather “become a law unto itself,” and therefore must live outside of Gods kingdom where there is no law.  This, of course, is outer darkness.

All kingdoms have a law given – The kingdoms the Lord is speaking of here, consists of all His organizations.  Every atom, molecule, cell, plant, animal, human being, even our planet earth, may all be considered a “kingdom.”  It is to these organized kingdoms that God has given his laws.                        

There is no space in the which there is no kingdom – With the above statement in mind, we can begin to understand how everything inside the organized universe is considered a kingdom.  Contrary to what scientists may tell us, everything within our universe is organized and therefore constitutes a kingdom.  Even if it appears that there is empty space within our universe, this scripture tells us otherwise.  Brigham Young it this way,

There is not a particle of element which is not filled with life, and all space is filled with element; there is no such thing as empty space, though some philosophers contend that there is.[32]

Either a greater or lesser kingdom – The Lord tells us that there are some organized kingdoms that are greater than others.  For example, a human being is surely greater than a plant or animal.[33]   The Lord even tells us that among His children, there are those who are lesser, and those who are greater,[34] meaning some will attain more light and intelligence than others, and will therefore be greater in the eternities.

At the end of these verses the Lord says, “unto every kingdom is given a law…and who abide not in those conditions are not justified.”[35]  There are laws given to every person, including to all those who will be sons of perdition.  However, we have already discussed that the sons of perdition will refuse to abide by these laws.  With this information in mind, we are more able to understand what their punishment will be. 

Earlier, we discussed how one progresses from a single intelligence, to a spirit, to receiving a physical body, and finally to receiving a resurrected body.  What is important about this process is the fact that the only way that we could progress was by obeying the law which was governing our sphere.  A cell for example is able to function in its sphere because it is obeying the laws that our Heavenly Father has given it.  If the cell refused to obey these laws, what would happen to it?  Would it continue to function as a cell?  No.  The intelligences that make up this cell would no longer be organized together in this sphere, and they would separate and disorganize back to the state they were originally in, which was separate, unorganized intelligences. 

This holds true for all of Gods creations.  Everything in our bodies is made up of these intelligences, which are all held together because they are obeying the laws that God has given them.  Everything in our universe, every planet, every star, every animal, are all functioning by this same principle. 

The sons of perdition however, reject everything that has to do with God and His laws.  They reject all light, and therefore must live outside the organized universe in outer darkness.  Once they are cast out to this place where there is no law, and no light, what will happen to their resurrected bodies?  What will happen to the cells that make up their bones and muscles?  As for Satan and his one-third, what will happen to their spirit bodies, which are also held together by individual intelligences?  The result will be that of an eventual disorganization of everything that is organized in there systems.  This is known as the second death.  As Brigham Young explained,

The first death is the separation of the spirit from the body; the second death is…the dissolution of the organized particles which compose the spirit, and their return to their native element.[36]

One can only imagine the excruciating pain this will cause them as everything which makes up their spirits and resurrected bodies, is disorganized, and returns back to the state it originally came from, which are separate, unorganized intelligences.  This doctrine was taught by many early General Authorities.  One of whom was Erastus Snow of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who said,

I understand that that second death is a spiritual death. Is it meant that the spirit shall die? Each of you can draw your own conclusions as well as I. Your traditions may be such that your thoughts do not run in the same channel with mine in this respect. But I can conceive of no other spiritual death than dissolution. I understand, when applied to the mortal tabernacle, it alludes to the dissolution of that tabernacle: it ceases to act in its functions, being dissolved, to return to its native element.
I conceive that the same term is applicable to the spirit in like manner. Whether it be a dissolution, or whether it be an eternal preservation of that spirit in a state of torment and misery, which I do not admit, one thing is certain—that the hope of redemption and eternal life is past forever from those who are the subjects of the second death.
I understand this to be a curse upon those who give themselves up altogether to work wickedness and abominations, who have sinned so far that they have no longer any part in life: they have sinned that sin which is unto death, for which there is no redemption or forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.
Some people entertain the idea from the sayings in the Revelations of St. John, that those wicked ones are to be preserved in a literal liquid lake of fire and brimstone, to suffer the torments of fire for ever and ever, without the possibility of being consumed or changed. I do not so understand the meaning and intention of the sacred writers. The Saviour says—“Fear not him that is able to destroy the body only, but rather fear him that is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” “Hell” may be an analogous term, and applicable in different places to different things; but in this passage it is evident he implies the destruction of the soul as well as the body. . . .
The idea of the second death, or dissolution of the spirit, is that which is the most terrifying to the soul. But our Father has so ordained that our spiritual organizations, as well as our tabernacles, can only be maintained and perfected through obedience to the laws of eternal life.[37] 

Brigham Young said this about the sons of perdition,
They are taking the downward road to destruction. They will be decomposed, both soul and body, and return to their native element. I do not say that they will be annihilated; but they will be disorganized, and will be as though they never had been, while we will live and retain our identity, and contend against those principles which tend to death or dissolution.[38]
He also said this about them,

They go to hell and will stay there until the anger of the Almighty consumes them and they become disorganized, as the elements of the fuel we burn are disorganized by the action of fire and thrown back again to their native element. The wicked will endure the wrath of God and be “turned into hell, with all the nations that forget God.”[39]
 
On another occasion He said,

God is the Father of our spirits; He begat them, and has sent them here to receive tabernacles, and to prove whether we will honor them. If we do, then our tabernacles will be exalted; but if we do not, we shall be destroyed; one of the two—dissolution or life. The second death will decompose all tabernacles over whom it gains the ascendancy; and this is the effect of the second death, the tabernacles go back to their native element.[40]
 
Another to teach this was Heber C. Kimball, who said that the sons of perdition have

dishonored the spirit and bodies that God gave them; therefore God will make a desolation of those bodies and spirits, and he will throw them back into the earth; that is, that portion that belongs to the earth will go back there. And so it will be with [their] spirits: they will go back into the elements or space that they once occupied before they came here.[41]
 
On another occasion, President Kimball said,

I believe in annihilation in one degree. Men will sin so that they will be damned spiritually and temporally. There will be a dissolution of the natural body and of the spirit, and they will go back into their native element, the same as the chemist can go to work and dissolve a five-dollar gold piece, and throw it into a liquid. Does not that show there can be a dissolution of the natural body and of the spirit? This is what is called the second death.[42]
 
Brigham Young is also recorded to have said,

If you dishonor that body—transgress the natural laws pertaining to it, you are not worthy, in your sphere, to possess this body in the immortal state. What will become of it? It will return to its native element.[43]
This truth is also found in the scriptures.  In Zechariah, the Lord describes Satan as being “a brand plucked out of the fire” (Zech. 3:2).  To understand this, one might ask this question, “What will happen to this piece of burnt wood after it has been removed from the fire?”  The answer is that after it cools, it will crumble and disintegrate.  Is this what the Lord had in mind when He was describing Satan?[44]  When Satan is cast out to outer darkness, will he become disorganized as the elements which make up his spirit body crumble back to the original state they came from?  From all that has been discussed in this article, it appears that this will be the case.  

This teaches us of the principle of eternal progression.  While God is progressing eternally in one direction, Satan will be digressing eternally in the other direction, until all the intelligences that make up his system, loose the light that they previously had, and his spirit body crumbles back into a naked intelligence.  Satan and the rest of the sons of perdition will remain in this state for eternity,[45] or as Joseph smith said, “worlds without end.”[46]  They will lose everything, from their resurrected bodies, to their spirit bodies, to the light they once possessed.  They will even digress to the point where all their former knowledge is lost.  Brigham Young said,

To choose life is to choose an eternal existence in an organized capacity: to refuse life and choose death is to refuse an eternal existence in an organized capacity, and be contented to become decomposed, and return again to native element….

All organized existence is in progress, either to an endless advancement in eternal perfections, or back to dissolution. You may explore all the eternities that have been, were it possible, then come to that which we now understand according to the principles of natural philosophy, and where is there an element, an individual living thing, an organized body, of whatever nature, that continues as it is? It can not be found. All things that have come within the bounds of man’s limited knowledge—the things he naturally understands, teach him, that there is no period, in all the eternities, wherein organized existence will become stationary, that it cannot advance in knowledge, wisdom, power, and glory.
If a man could ever arrive at the point that would put an end to the accumulation of life—the point at which he could increase no more, and advance no further, we should naturally say he commenced to decrease at the same point. Again, when he has gained the zenith of knowledge, wisdom, and power, it is the point at which he begins to retrograde; his natural abilities will begin to contract, and so he will continue to decrease, until all he knew is lost in the chaos of forgetfulness. As we understand naturally, this is the conclusion we must come to, if a termination to the increase of life and the acquisition of knowledge is true.
Because of the weakness of human nature, it must crumble to the dust. But in all the revolutions and changes in the existence of men in the eternal world which they inhabit, and in the knowledge they have obtained as people on the earth, there is no such thing as principle, power, wisdom, knowledge, life, position, or anything that can be imagined, that remains stationary—they must increase or decrease… Death, in reality, is to decompose or decrease, and life is to increase….
Nothing less than the privilege of increasing eternally, in every sense of the word, can satisfy the immortal spirit. If the endless stream of knowledge from the eternal fountain could all be drunk in by organized intelligences, so sure immortality would come to an end, and all eternity be thrown upon the retrograde path.

If mankind will choose the opposite to life held out in the Gospel, it will lead them to dissolution, to decomposition, to death; they will be destroyed….

Now understand, to choose life is to choose principles that will lead you to an eternal increase, and nothing short of them will produce life in the resurrection for the faithful. Those that choose death, make choice of the path which leads to the end of their organization. The one leads to endless increase and progression, the other to the destruction of the organized being, ending in its entire decomposition into the particles that compose the native elements.[47]
             
On another occasion He said,

Is there a time when a person will cease to learn? Yes, when he has sinned against God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Ghost—God’s minister; when he has denied the Lord, defied Him and committed the sin that in the Bible is termed the unpardonable sin—the sin against the Holy Ghost. That is the time when a person will cease to learn, and from that time forth, will descend in ignorance, forgetting that which they formerly knew, and decreasing until they return to the native element, whether it be one thousand or in one million years, or during as many eternities as you can count. They will cease to increase, but must decrease, until they return to the native element. These are the only characters who will ever cease to learn, both in time and eternity. . . .

We shall never cease to learn, unless we apostatize from the religion of Jesus Christ. Then we shall cease to increase, and will continue to decrease and decompose, until we return to our native element.[48]

The Book of Mormon also teaches the principle that we may digress in knowledge.  After telling us that it is given unto the righteous to know the “mysteries of God,” the Lord tells us what will happen to those who will harden their hearts, which group certainly includes the sons of perdition.  He says,

And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction.   (Alma 12:11)

Thus, Alma teaches us that it is possible that the sons of perdition will loose all their former knowledge, [49] and be lead by the devil “down to destruction,” which includes a disorganization of their spirits and bodies. 

The last statement I want to mention concerning the fate of the sons of perdition, comes from Brigham Young, who said this about outer darkness,

I was trying to think of the place where God is not, but it is impossible, unless you can find empty space; and there I believe He is not. If you can find such a place, it will become useful for a hiding place to those who wish to hide themselves from the presence of the Lord, in the great day of accounts.[50]

We have already discussed that the only empty space there is, is outside the organized universe, in outer darkness.[51]  This will be the only place where sons of perdition may hide themselves from the presence of the Lord, and when this time comes, awful will be their state!

We will now take a closer look at the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and compare His sufferings, with the sufferings of the sons of perdition.

The Atonement

Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered more than man is able to suffer.  In the Doctrine and Covenants, He gives us a small glimpse of what He went through.  He said,

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.  (D&C 19:15-19)

One might ask what made this suffering so terrible.  One reason, was because He actually felt the individual pains, both physical and spiritual, that we have all felt throughout our lives.  But this is not all, He also felt our sicknesses, heartaches, sorrow, and every other trial we have faced, as well the effects of our individual transgressions.  Alma teaches us that He took upon him “the pains and the sicknesses of his people,” and also felt our “infirmities” (Alma 7:11-12).  Jacob tells us that the Lord “suffereth the pains of all men” (2 Ne. 9:21).  Matthew tells us that the Lord, “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Matt. 8:17).

We, throughout our lives, feel these pains one by one.  For instance, we may feel the effects of an injury, until soon after it has healed and the pain goes away.  Another day, we may feel heartache and sorrow, until we are able to coop with those feelings.  Another day we may commit a grievous sin, and suffer in spirit until we repent and are forgiven.  For the most part, we go through these trials one at a time.  Can you imagine if we felt all the pain we have ever felt in this life, both spiritual and physical, all at the same moment?  I cannot even comprehend the suffering that this would cause me.  There is one instance in the scriptures where someone felt the effects of all their sins at once.  Listen to the words of Alma the younger as he describes what it is like to feel the effects of these sufferings,

I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.  Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments.…the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.  Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds.  And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.…there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains.  (Alma 36:12-21)

We just discussed what Christ said the punishment would be for those who would not repent (see D&C 19:15-19).  Alma the younger was one who had to suffer for his own sins as Christ suffered.  The sufferings that Alma went through were so intense that it caused him to loose the use of his body.  He said,

It was for the space of three days and three nights that I could not open my mouth, neither had I the use of my limbs.  (Alma 36:10)

The difference between Alma’s sufferings, and the sufferings that Christ endured, was the fact that Alma suffered only for his sins, and not for all his physical and emotional pains, as Christ did.  The other difference is that Christ suffered for everyone who has ever lived, while Alma only felt the effects of His own sins.  Truly, Alma suffered very small in comparison to that of Christ.  This fact is made known in D&C 19:20,

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.

Alma felt the sufferings that Christ felt, only “in the least degree.”[52]  Christ felt these pains for the six billion who currently live on this earth, as well as for the countless billion who have lived previous, as well as those who will yet be born, and if that was not enough, He felt these pains all at the same moment, for some three hours in Gethsemane, and again for some three hours on the cross.

What made this suffering worse, is that Jesus had do descend to the depths of hell, even to the bottom of outer darkness, and He had to do it all alone.  This is what D&C 88:6 is referring to, which states that Jesus “descended below all things.”  We have already discussed what the sons of perditions must go through by being cast out to outer darkness.  I will now suggest that a similar thing happened to Christ during Gethsemane, and again on the cross.  His spirit had to descended to the depths of hell, where there is no light, and law.  This must have caused Him excruciating pain.  Maybe this is one reason why He bled from every poor.  Perhaps as a direct result of descending below all things in outer darkness, the capillaries which held His blood in his system began to be disorganized, and was no longer held together by the laws which it was previously obeying.  While we do not know if this was the direct reason or not, it still should be considered as a real possibility.

Another reason the Son would have sweat drops of blood, would be due to the fact that during this time of great suffering, the Father placed a veil over the Son.  Brigham Young explained,

The Father withdrew His spirit from His son, at the time he was to be crucified. Jesus had been with his Father, talked with Him, dwelt in His bosom, and knew all about heaven, about making the earth, about the transgression of man, and what would redeem the people, and that he was the character who was to redeem the sons of earth, and the earth itself from all sin that had come upon it. The light, knowledge, power, and glory with which he was clothed were far above, or exceeded that of all others who had been upon the earth after the fall, consequently at the very moment, at the hour when the crisis came for him to offer up his life, the Father withdrew Himself, withdrew His Spirit, and cast a vail over him. That is what made him sweat blood. If he had had the power of God upon him, he would not have sweat blood; but all was withdrawn from him, and a veil was cast over him, and he then plead with the Father not to forsake him. "No," says the Father, "you must have your trials, as well as others."[53]

Christ suffered in Gethsemane suffer for “some three or four hours.”[54]  After this, He was scourged, and then tortured in the worst way known to man, which was that of crucifixion, for some six hours, three of which, he again felt the agonizing pains of Gethsemane,[55] as he again “descended below all things,” except this time, all alone.  The Father, at this time withdrew his Spirit,[56] which means that all light was removed from the Son, as he again descended to the depths of hell.  All this was done so that we “might not suffer if [we] would repent.”[57]  How grateful we should be for our Savior Jesus Christ! 

Conclusion


As we have discussed, the Light of Christ consists of many things.  It is critical that we understand what this light is and what it does for us.  It is essential that we all seek after that light which is earned by obedience, and that as we receive it, we may grow “brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”[58] 

 

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Appendix A - The literal translation of the Egyptian writing in facsimile #2.


The statement was made earlier in this article, that facsimile #2 was the means that the Egyptians could take with them the information given in the endowment that would enable them to “pass the angles” and enter into heaven.  The claim was also made, that this is the reason why facsimile #2 contains Egyptian writing that is only revealed in the temple.  Although the literal translation of these figures has nothing to do with what is said in the temple, that does not matter because the translation the Lord has in mind, does not always match what man says the literal translation should be.  For example, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Breathings (which was written on papyri, and found with the mummies in Egypt) into what is now the Book of Abraham; however, when you compare the two, you get a very different translation.  But the Lord is interested in what Abraham really meant when he wrote the book of breathings, regardless of what was actually written down and which was then copied and copied, (over a period of two thousand years), into what is now the Book of Breathings, which text Joseph Smith was given.  The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith exactly what Abraham meant, and not what uninspired learned men say that He meant.  Here’s a clip of an Ensign article from July of 1988.  Michael Rhodes explained,
What [did] Joseph Smith [mean] by the word translation. While translating the Book of Mormon, he used the Urim and Thummim rather than dictionaries and grammars of the language. Translating with the Urim and Thummim is evidently a much different process than using the tools of scholarly research.
Section seven of the Doctrine and Covenants provides us with a good example of that process. It is a revelation given to the Prophet through the Urim and Thummim of a translation of a “record made on parchment by John [the Revelator] and hidden up by himself.” (See section heading to D&C 7.) In other words, the document being translated wasn’t even in the Prophet’s possession; yet by means of the Urim and Thummim he was able to translate it.
His translation of the Bible, parts of which are in the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price, was also done without having the original text before him. Instead, while he was using the King James Version of the Bible, the correct meaning or content was revealed to him, including extensive revelations of both Enoch and Moses that are not found in the King James Version.
We can envision a possible similar process taking place in Joseph Smith’s translation of the papyri he got from Michael Chandler. Instead of making a literal translation, as scholars would use the term, he used the Urim and Thummim as a means of receiving revelation. Even though a copy of Abraham’s record possibly passed through the hands of many scribes and had become editorially corrupted to the point where it may have had little resemblance to the original, the Prophet—with the Urim and Thummim, or simply through revelation—could have obtained the translation—or, as Joseph Smith used the word, he could have received the meaning, or subject-matter content of the original text, as he did in his translation of the Bible. This explanation would mean that Joseph Smith received the text of our present book of Abraham the same way he received the translation of the parchment of John the Revelator—he did not even need the actual text in front of him.
…In the final analysis, however, the proof of the truth of the book of Abraham does not come by human means. As with all aspects of the restored gospel, “by the power of the Holy Ghost [we] may know the truth of all things.” (Moro. 10:5.) I have studied the book of Abraham, and the truth of it has been made known to me in a way I can’t deny. I know that anyone who earnestly wants to know if the book of Abraham is true can also receive this same witness and knowledge from God.
The important thing to remember is that regardless of the literal translation of the Egyptian writing throughout the facsimile, the real meaning is given in the temple.  We do not need to understand Egyptian in order to get what Abraham wanted us to know, instead we go to the temple, and it is given to us there.

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References:

[1] Andrus, God, Man, and the Universe, p. 251
[2] For an interesting discussion on this subject, see, Skousen, Earth in the Beginning, 226-34
[3] Skousen, Earth in the Beginning, p. 232
[4] Skousen, Earth in the Beginning, p. 233
[5] D&C 101:23
[6] Smith, Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, under “Flos isis: Fifth degree.”
[7] D&C 101:23.  For more information on how this event is compared to a marriage between us and Christ, see my article, Hidden in the Old Testament.
[8] Journal of Discourses, 18:59
[9] D&C 133:49
[10] D&C 133:49
[11] This writer is indebted to Bro. Robert Norman for this insight.
[12] D&C 101:25 
[13] Matt 25:1-13; D&C 45:56-57
[14] D&C 45:56-57
[15] Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 339
[16] Matt. 12:31-32
[17] See for example: McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, under “Adultery,” pp.24-25; McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, pp. 342-347.
[18] D&C 132:26.  See also: Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 338; McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, pp. 342-347; Journal of Discourses, 2:260
[19] For more information on this, see McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, pp. 323-350.
[20] See for example, Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 149-51, 279-99, 305-06, 321,337-40, 366; John 14:16-26.
[21] Joseph Smith taught that those who receive their calling and election have the privilege of receiving the Second Comforter (see, Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 150); however, they must continue to prove worthy of this sacred experience.  See also: McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, pp. 337-42. 
[22] McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, pp. 336-37, 333-337
[23] Heb. 6:6
[24] Heb. 6:4-6
[25] Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 358
[26] Hebrews 6:5 teaches us that the sons of perdition have “tasted…the powers of the world to come.”
[27] Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 358
[28] Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 67
[29] Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 1:38-41
[30] For example, Mathew 8:12; D&C 101:91; D&C 133:73
[31] Journal of Discourses, 4:266
[32] Journal of Discourses, 3: 277
[33] Matt. 6:26
[34] Abr. 3:19
[35] D&C 88:38-39
[36] Journal of Discourses, 9:149
[37] Journal of Discourses, 7:358-59
[38] Journal of Discourses, 7:57
[39] Journal of Discourses, 7:287
[40] Journal of Discourses, 4:54
[41] Journal of Discourses 5:271
[42] Journal of Discourses 5:95
[43] Journal of Discourses 8:28
[44] This writer is indebted to Bro. Robert Norman for this insight.
[45] See for example, D&C 29:28-29; Smith, Documented History of the Church, 1:366
[46] Roberts, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6:317
[47] Journal of Discourses, 1:349-52
[48] Journal of Discourses, 3:203
[49] 2 Ne. 28:30 also speaks of those who will have their former knowledge taken from them.
[50] Journal of Discourses, 1:50
[51] D&C 88:37
[52] D&C 19:20
[53] Journal of Discourses, 3:206
[54] Ensign, May 1985, McConkie, “The Purifying Power of Gethsemane,” p. 9
[55] Ensign, May 1985, McConkie, “The Purifying Power of Gethsemane,” p. 10
[56] Matt. 27:46; D&C 19:20
[57] D&C 19:16
[58] D&C 50:24
[59] Journal of Discourses, 7:163
[60] Matt. 5:5; D&C 88:17
[61] Smith, Seek Ye Earnestly, p. 274-75
[62] Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:88-89
[63] Journal of Discourses, 13:271
[64] Journal of Discourses, 17:143
[65] Journal of Discourses, 17:143
[66] Journal of Discourses, 17:143
[67] Skousen, Earth in the Beginning, p. 238.  We know this because Kolob is located in the central regions of the Milky Way Galaxy.  For a detailed discussion on this, see, Skousen, Earth in the Beginning, 226-34.  It must be remembered that Kolob is not the center of the entire organized universe.  Rather, it is the center of the universe which concerns us.  The fact the Lord told Abraham when He said, “Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God, to govern all those planets which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest” (Abr. 3:9).  The universe which concerns us is, of course, the Milky Way Galaxy. 
[68] See for example, Skousen, Earth in the Beginning, 244-59
[69] Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:140
[70] Journal of Discourses, 19:290-91
[71] Journal of Discourses, 14:236-37
[72] Millennial Star, Feb., 1841, p. 257-58.  For more information on this subject, read my paper on The Lost Ten Tribes.
[73] The first hymn book of the Church, hymn no. 386, entitled, Address to Earth.  These lines were included in the hymnals for over fifty years throughout the administrations of Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow.  See also, Smith, The Last Days, p. 216 
[74] Walker, Journal of Charles L. Walker, Jan. 28, 1881
[75] Rodgers, Journal of Samuel H. Rogers, Brigham Young University, H.B. Lee Library, p.17