Quotes on Sons of Perdition

See also: D&C 64:7; D&C 76:31; D&C 132

It is very clear in D&C 76:30-37, that the only persons who will be completely overcome by this dreadful fate [the second death] are the sons of perdition, who go with the devil and his angels into “outer darkness.”  All the rest of mankind, even the wicked, will receive some measure of salvation after they suffer the wrath of God.  However, they will of necessity be brought to repentance and acceptance of the gospel of Jesus Christ as far as it will apply to them.  They will not be given the ordinances which do not pertain in their kingdoms. — President Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 1:76

All sins shall be forgiven, except the sin against the Holy Ghost; for Jesus will save all except the sons of perdition.  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. — Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 357-58

To become a son of perdition one must sin against the Holy Ghost; but before that is possible, one must receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Elder Melvin J. Ballard explained that “unto the Holy Ghost has been given the right and the privilege of manifesting the truth unto men as no other power will.  So that when he makes a man see and know a thing he knows it better than he shall ever know anything else; and to sin against that knowledge is to sin against the greatest light there is, and consequently commit the greatest sin there is.” Millennial Star, 11 Aug. 1932, pp. 499-500; Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 161

The sin against the Holy Ghost requires such knowledge that it is manifestly impossible for the rank and file to commit such a sin. — President Spencer W. Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 123; Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 161

The change of heart does not come all at once, but is due to transgression in some form, which continues to lurk in the soul without repentance, until the Holy Ghost withdraws, and ten that man is left to spiritual darkness.  Sin begets sin, the darkness grows until the love of truth turns to hatred and the love of God is overcome by the wicked desire to destroy all that is just and true.  In this way Christ is put to open shame, and blasphemy exalted.  (Joseph Fielding Smith, Instructor, Oct. 1935, p. 432)

Such people have placed themselves outside the redemptive powers of Christ (see Hebrews 6:4-9; 10:26-29; Matthew 12:31-32).  They cannot partake of his mercy because they cannot incline themselves to repent, having totally lost the spirit of God.  Their sin “is an offense so heinous that the sinner is unable to repent; and this is what makes his case hopeless.  If he could repent, he could be forgiven; but being incapable of repentance, he cannot be reached by the pardoning power.”  (Orson F. Whitney, Improvement Era, Mar. 1920, p. 413) Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 161

Those who have followed him [Satan] so that they become imbued with his spirit, which is the spirit of destruction, in opposition to the spirit which brings life, are his.  The spirit of murder enters their hearts; they are ready to put to death even the Son of God, if His existence in life comes in their way. — Elder Charles W. Penrose, Conference Report, October 1911, p. 51

The Prophet Joseph Smith asked, concerning those who become sons of perdition, “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.”  (Teachings, p. 358)

Elder Spencer W. Kimball wrote: “The sin against the Holy Ghost requires such knowledge that it is manifestly impossible for the rank and file to commit such a sin.”  (Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 123) Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 161

President George Q. Cannon explained: “A careful reading of these verses, . . . and especially of the preceding paragraphs, will show that the Lord does not, in this language, exclude even the sons of perdition from the resurrection. It is plain that the intention is to refer to them explicitly as the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power: ‘for all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb.’ This excluded class are the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power, and ‘the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the suffering of his wrath.’

“This is by no means to say that they are to have no resurrection. Jesus our Lord and Savior died for all, and all will be resurrected – good and bad, white and black, people of every race, whether sinners or not; and no matter how great their sins may be, the resurrection of their bodies is sure. Jesus has died for them, and they all will be redeemed from the grave through the atonement which he has made.” (Juvenile Instructor, Feb. 1900, p. 123) Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 162