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I recently listened to an episode on a Catholic podcast called Pints with Aquinas.  The episode was about Hell. The podcast host had some truly frightening things to say.  First he quoted Christ’s teaching that the way to eternal life is narrow and that most people will go to Hell.  

He then quoted several Catholic Saints over the centuries who gave horrifying descriptions of Hell which literally lasts forever.

The very concept of anybody condemned to being tortured forever is unimaginable.  Especially when it’s the majority of the human family. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.  I can’t fathom how a loving God could do this to anybody.  Can anyone explain how one reconciles Hell in the mainstream Christian sense with benevolent God?

Also, I heard somewhere that Brigham Young taught that some spirits will eventually be taken out of existence.  Anybody know the source for that?

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10 minutes ago, Rivers said:

The very concept of anybody condemned to being tortured forever is unimaginable.  Especially when it’s the majority of the human family. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.  I can’t fathom how a loving God could do this to anybody.  Can anyone explain how one reconciles Hell in the mainstream Christian sense with benevolent God?

How is that different from condemning one third of the spirits in the pre-existance to outer darkness?

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8 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

How is that different from condemning one third of the spirits in the pre-existance to outer darkness?

Good question.  We really don’t know much about outer darkness. Were they condemned or did they willingly walk away?  

I like to believe that even they have hope for repentance.  

 

Edited by Rivers
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1 hour ago, Rivers said:

Also, I heard somewhere that Brigham Young taught that some spirits will eventually be taken out of existence.  Anybody know the source for that?

At one stage he postulated that some spirits would be "recycled", that is, broken down into their original "spirit matter" and used to create new spirit. (As far as I'm aware, he's the only one that has taught that)

From "Brigham Young's Garden Cosmology" in Journal of Mormon History Jan 2021

Quote

Brigham Young went so far as to claim that not only were spirits created through celestial procreation, but that the irreparable spirit would also be destroyed. Like the burning of wood and coal, or the composting of weeds, their matter—what Young frequently called “native element”—was recycled in births of new spirits.

On wood, coal, and weeds, see Brigham Young, Sermon, October 9, 1859, transcripts of George Watt’s shorthand record by LaJean Purcell Carruth, Church History Department, Pitman shorthand transcriptions, 2013–2020, digital images of transcripts, CR 100 912, Church History Library (hereafter CR 100 912). Compare with Brigham Young, October 9, 1859, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (London and Liverpool: LDS Booksellers Depot, 1854–1886), 7:287. Note that the Journal of Discourses diverges significantly from the shorthand. On Young teaching that spirits can be destroyed and their matter recycled, see the following: Sermons, April 17, 1853, and July 10, 1853, transcripts of Watt’s shorthand by Carruth, CR 100 912 (cf. Journal of Discourses, 2:124, 1:352); Council Meeting Minutes, June 22, 1856, 4:00 pm, Silvia Ghosh transcript of long hand notes and shorthand by Thomas Bullock, Historian’s Office General Church Minutes, digital images of manuscript, CR 100 318, box 3, folder 11, Church History Library (hereafter CR 100 318); Brigham Young, Sermons, February 27, 1853, August 14, 1853, August 17, 1856, September 21, 1856, July 19, 1857, June 27, 1858, July 31, 1859, January 12, 1862, April 17, 1870, September 17, 1876, in Journal of Discourses, 1:118, 1:275, 4:31, 4:54, 5:53–54, 7:57–58, 6:346, 9:149–50, 13:136–37, 18:234; February 2, 1860, Brigham Young Office Journal, Book D, Brigham Young Office Files, digital images of manuscript, CR 1234 1, Church History Library; Sermon, November 25, 1860, in “Tabernacle,” Deseret News, November 28, 1860, 312.7:57–58, 6:346, 9:149–50, 13:136–37, 18:234; February 2, 1860, Brigham

Edited by JustAnAustralian
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On 2/24/2021 at 10:31 PM, CA Steve said:

How is that different from condemning one third of the spirits in the pre-existance to outer darkness?

Do we know what outer darkness is like?  Is it suffering imposed on the person from the outside (which if there was no possibility of change for the better would be torture in my view if never ending) or if there is suffering, is it self imposed (regret, anger, jealousy, pride...don’t see it as including guilt or shame as if they could feel those, I believe they could repent)?  

Maybe outer darkness is called that solely because God veils or even withdraws his presence completely because those who are there would be in pain if they were aware of him.  Maybe the worse they suffer is boredom...which is not a minor discomfort in my view though I suppose one would likely become numb to it eventually. Maybe that is the ultimate experience of outer darkness....numbness.  A pitiful state still, but endurable in my experience (certain medications  destroy the highs and lows of life for me and turn it into one big blah).

Edited by Calm
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3 hours ago, Rivers said:

......................  Can anyone explain how one reconciles Hell in the mainstream Christian sense with benevolent God?................

English Hell comes from ancient pagan Indo-European mythological roots bound up with Old Norse Helheim which was ruled by the goddess Hel, and which was one of the Nine Realms, including Niflheim.

We use Hell to translate Hebrew Sheol, a “dark and benighted dominion” (D&C 121:4).  In both Bible and Book of Mormon, Hell is described:  “the depths of hell” (1 Nephi 12:16), “awful hell” (1 Nephi 15:29,35), “gates of hell” (2 Nephi 4:32), “pains of hell” (Jacob 3:11, Alma 26:13), and “chains of hell” (Alma 5:7,9).

English Death and Hell = Mot and She’ol.  Hebrew māwet , and šĕʼôl (Hosea 13:14) = Greek Thanatos kai Hadēs (Revelation 1:18, 6:8, 20:13-14).

The notion of a “second death” (Egyptian mt m wḥm, or mwt.f m wḥm), or the final death in a “lake of fire,” is common to ancient Egyptian literature, but not to the Old Testament.  One does, however, find it in the Book of Revelation (2:11, 20:6,14, 21:8).

See Dennis L. Largey, “Hell, Second Death, Lake of Fire and Brimstone, and Outer Darkness,” in The Book of Mormon and the Message of the Four Gospels, ed. Ray L. Huntington and Terry B. Ball, 77-89.  Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 2001. Online at https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/hell-second-death-lake-fire-and-brimstone-and-outer-darkness .


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5 hours ago, Rivers said:

 Can anyone explain how one reconciles Hell in the mainstream Christian sense with benevolent God?

One can't that is what happens with false doctrine...

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Just now, gav said:

One can't ... that is what happens with false doctrine.

 

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8 hours ago, JustAnAustralian said:

At one stage he postulated that some spirits would be "recycled", that is, broken down into their original "spirit matter" and used to create new spirit. (As far as I'm aware, he's the only one that has taught that)

From "Brigham Young's Garden Cosmology" in Journal of Mormon History Jan 2021

Actually his 1st counselor Heber C. Kimball also taught it in his Potter's Wheel discourse.  Apparently they were in agreement on this.

Edited by JLHPROF
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3DOP from the other duplicate locked thread:

Quote

Rivers, don't pay attention to that crap. It will just confirm you against the Catholic religion further. Rather than a pint, I hold to this "gallon" from Aquinas about Hell:

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that Hell is compatible with varying degrees of real though imperfect happiness."

---Iota Unum, Romano Amerio, A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the 20th Century, Sarto House, (Pope St. Pius X was named Giuseppe Sarto), fifth printing, Sept. 2004, p. 700.

I will try to find the untranslated Latin that prompted this opinion from Amerio if desired, that corroborates what "Pints with Aquinas" apparently denies. I agree with you Rivers. All. ALL. Will accept the final judgment without a murmur. If there is a Hell, and I believe there is. I am Catholic. If there is a Hell, nobody including the occupants will complain. They would choose it again and again over the alternative. Anyone who would repent and love God will be okay, forever, in heaven.  In the meantime, know that with that said, there is mercy in the Catholic hell.

This reminds me of Dante's inferno, where the damned are ferried across the river Acheron into hell by Charon. The damned were swarming the shore, rushing to their fate. They couldn't wait to get there.

Edited by MiserereNobis
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10 hours ago, Rivers said:

I recently listened to an episode on a Catholic podcast called Pints with Aquinas.  The episode was about Hell. The podcast host had some truly frightening things to say.  First he quoted Christ’s teaching that the way to eternal life is narrow and that most people will go to Hell.  

He then quoted several Catholic Saints over the centuries who gave horrifying descriptions of Hell which literally lasts forever.

The very concept of anybody condemned to being tortured forever is unimaginable.  Especially when it’s the majority of the human family. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.  I can’t fathom how a loving God could do this to anybody.  Can anyone explain how one reconciles Hell in the mainstream Christian sense with benevolent God?

Also, I heard somewhere that Brigham Young taught that some spirits will eventually be taken out of existence.  Anybody know the source for that?

Just realize it is all a fantastical lie and don't worry about it anymore.

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I looked into my copy of Iota Unum to find the reference, 3DOP, and was able to find one translations on the matter.

Firstly it cites De Malo, 5, 3, "Do Those Who Die with Only Original Sin Suffer the Torment of Internal Anguish?". An excerpt that I think is appropriate is:

Quote

...But that the perfect good for which human beings have been created is the glory that the saints possess is beyond natural knowledge. And so the Apostle says in 1 Cor. 2:9 that "the eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of human beings, what things God has prepared for those who love him," and then (v. 10) adds: "And God has revealed them to us through his Spirit." And this revelation indeed belongs to faith. And so the children's souls do not know that they are deprived of such a good, and they accordingly do not grieve. But those souls possess without anguish what they have by natural knowledge.

Replies to the Objections:

• The souls of children who die in original sin indeed know happiness in general regarding its common aspect but not in particular. And so they do not grieve about losing it.

• As the Apostle says in Rom. 5:15, Christ's gift is greater than Adam's sin. And so it is not necessary that unbaptized children should be sorrowful because of Adam's sin if baptized children are joyful because of Christ's merit.

• Children who die in original sin are indeed eternally separated from God regarding their loss of the glory of which they are ignorant but not regarding their partaking in the natural goods that they know.

 

From Regan's 2003 Oxford translation

Secondly it cites the Commentary on the Sentences, book two, distinction 33, q.2, a.2. I don't believe there is currently an English translation (or at least I'm yet to find one), and my Latin is no where near sophisticated enough to understand it, so I'll just link the appropriate text:

Sentences Commentary  - Page 853 should be the relevant part, I believe. 

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39 minutes ago, Kermit said:

I looked into my copy of Iota Unum to find the reference, 3DOP, and was able to find one translations on the matter.

Firstly it cites De Malo, 5, 3, "Do Those Who Die with Only Original Sin Suffer the Torment of Internal Anguish?". An excerpt that I think is appropriate is:

From Regan's 2003 Oxford translation

Secondly it cites the Commentary on the Sentences, book two, distinction 33, q.2, a.2. I don't believe there is currently an English translation (or at least I'm yet to find one), and my Latin is no where near sophisticated enough to understand it, so I'll just link the appropriate text:

Sentences Commentary  - Page 853 should be the relevant part, I believe. 

Welcome to the board, Kermit! That's a lovely first post :) 

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8 hours ago, Calm said:

Do we know what outer darkness is like?  Is it suffering imposed on the person from the outside (which if there was no possibility of change for the better would be torture in my view) or if there is suffering, is it self imposed (regret, anger, jealousy, pride...don’t see it as including guilt or shame as if they could feel those, I believe they could repent)?  

Maybe outer darkness is called that solely because God veils or even withdraws his presence completely because those who are there would be in pain if they were aware of him.  Maybe the worse they suffer is boredom...which is not a minor discomfort in my view though I suppose one would likely become numb to it eventually. Maybe that is the ultimate experience of outer darkness....numbness.  A pitiful state still, but endurable in my experience (certain medications  destroy the highs and lows of life for me and turn it into one big blah).

In my opinion, LDS eschatological theology is mostly one big unknown, with rampant wild speculation. Your interchange with Ahab regarding the resurrection in another thread shows just how absurd some beliefs can be. We really don't know anymore about outer darkness than we do about Hell, purgatory, the spirit world, the apocalypses, the millennium, and eternity. What we do know is we believe in a God who enforces eternal judgements for temporal actions. So perhaps the Hell River's describes is worse than our outer darkens, we just don't know.  I choose to believe in a God who would not condemn his/her children to either estate and find both beliefs to be rooted in archaic beliefs from centuries ago.

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11 hours ago, CA Steve said:

How is that different from condemning one third of the spirits in the pre-existance to outer darkness?

What is outer darkness, anyway? A place of punishment? For all we know, that is from whence we all came, as ur-intelligences. If so, then we're just sent back to where we came from. 

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1 hour ago, Teancum said:

Just realize it is all a fantastical lie and don't worry about it anymore.

Reminds me of this:

Atheist_Bus_Campaign_Citaro.jpg

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On 2/24/2021 at 10:18 PM, Rivers said:

.......................  Can anyone explain how one reconciles Hell in the mainstream Christian sense with benevolent God?.............

 

On 2/25/2021 at 4:00 AM, gav said:

One can't that is what happens with false doctrine...

As Dennis Largey points out (in the source I cited above), notions of fire and brimstone and of outer darkness are metaphors.  Those are descriptive of the absence of the love and light of God, a condition over which He has no control.  This is a concomitant of the LDS finite God who is subject to natural law.  God is not the author of natural law, but is required to obey it, else He cannot be God.  Lehi's Law of Opposition is the primary source of that LDS doctrine, although there are others.

Ultimately, we choose whether we wish to partake of God's Plan of Salvation.  All of us have full free agency in making that decision, as did the third of the Host of Heaven who followed Lucifer.  God's great benevolence is bound up in his Plan to provide a Savior who would make an infinite Atonement -- a brilliant plan, which requires the hardest job of all, bearing the iniquity of everyone.  What could be more benevolent in the face of hard reality?

False doctrine makes God out to be the only necessary being, who created the universe and all law, and who therefore created both good and evil.  That is the description of a beast, not a god.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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What is the Atonement for then? Most will go to hell and be tortured maybe? I'd rather be an Atheist and not wake up if that were true. That's why I don't believe it, thank goodness. This is where religion is dangerous and harmful by putting these ideas in people's heads. 

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21 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

In my opinion, LDS eschatological theology is mostly one big unknown, with rampant wild speculation. Your interchange with Ahab regarding the resurrection in another thread shows just how absurd some beliefs can be. We really don't know anymore about outer darkness than we do about Hell, purgatory, the spirit world, the apocalypses, the millennium, and eternity. What we do know is we believe in a God who enforces eternal judgements for temporal actions. So perhaps the Hell River's describes is worse than our outer darkens, we just don't know.  I choose to believe in a God who would not condemn his/her children to either estate and find both beliefs to be rooted in archaic beliefs from centuries ago.

And yet, your description is completely unrelated to LDS theology.  What you describe is indeed monstrous and not in keeping with a benevolent God, and opposing claims from LDS theology are certainly not widely understood, even if known.  However, your claim that LDS theology is a speculative and unknown endeavor subject to wild speculation does not actually take account of the standard LDS epistemological solution:  Personal revelation.  Such a solution is rejected outright by mainstream Protestantism, and sidestepped by the Roman Catholic megisterium.

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42 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Welcome to the board, Kermit! That's a lovely first post :) 

Thank you! I appreciate it.

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12 hours ago, Rivers said:

I recently listened to an episode on a Catholic podcast called Pints with Aquinas.  The episode was about Hell. The podcast host had some truly frightening things to say.  First he quoted Christ’s teaching that the way to eternal life is narrow and that most people will go to Hell.  

He then quoted several Catholic Saints over the centuries who gave horrifying descriptions of Hell which literally lasts forever.

The very concept of anybody condemned to being tortured forever is unimaginable.  Especially when it’s the majority of the human family. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.  I can’t fathom how a loving God could do this to anybody.  Can anyone explain how one reconciles Hell in the mainstream Christian sense with benevolent God?

Hell is more a state of being than an actual place, although any place we experience God's displeasure could be considered Hell.  But God just reveals what he feels and thinks about us and our behavior to us and then we choose how to respond to what he tells us.  And some of us are actually okay with God telling us he doesn't like how we are or something we have done, whether we use that knowledge to try to become better or we choose to remain as we are.

12 hours ago, Rivers said:

Also, I heard somewhere that Brigham Young taught that some spirits will eventually be taken out of existence.  Anybody know the source for that?

No, but I'll guess he meant send us from some place in existence to another place where we would still exist.  We don't believe in total obliteration, as if we could ever completely vanish from all of existence.

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4 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Hell is more a state of being than an actual place, although any place we experience God's displeasure could be considered Hell. 

Joseph Campbell said "All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells are within you."

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