Question: Will sons of perdition be resurrected?


Question: Will sons of perdition be resurrected?

Scripture and subsequent Latter-day Saint teaching indicates that all mortals will be resurrected, without exception

There are multiple citations from Church leaders indicating that sons of perdition born into mortality will be resurrected, since "there is a time appointed that all shall come forth from the dead" (Alma 40:4), and "this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption" (Alma 11:44-45.

Statements by Church leaders have reflected this scriptural foundation

George Q. Cannon

A careful reading of these verses [DC 76:38-39], however, 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 sufferings of his wrath."[1]

I was given to understand, while I and others of the brethren were in exile, that because of this passage [DC 76:32-39], contained in this revelation, some of the Elders had conceived the idea, and were teaching it, that the sons of perdition would not be resurrected; and inquiry was made of us concerning it. The doctrine as taught, was, that a certain class of spirits that had received tabernacles upon the earth, would not be resurrected; and to sustain this view [p.379] the paragraphs just read were quoted: "For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made." Because of this language some have inferred that all the rest would be resurrected, and the sons of perdition would not be resurrected. If you will read the context carefully you will see this is not the meaning. "And the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power; Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, * * * For all the rest shall be brought forth," etc. That is, they will be redeemed and brought forth, but they will not be brought forth in the manner that we will be resurrected; they will not receive that redemption which the rest of the children of men will receive. God in this glorious revelation through His servant, Joseph, taught this to us: that there will be a time when every human being, except the sons of perdition, will partake of the salvation of our God. And even, it is said concerning them of the telestial glory, that they are heirs of salvation. But the sons of perdition are not heirs of salvation; they will not receive redemption, they having committed the unpardonable sin, from which they never can be redeemed, so far, at least, as God has taught us in His revelations. Now if you will turn to the 29th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, you will find how plain the Lord has made this matter, so plain as to leave no doubt about it....[2]

Charles W. Penrose

[S]ome of our brethren entertain the notion that the sons of perdition will not be resurrected. But the Lord has told us, as you will read in section twenty-nine of the book of D&C, that "then shall all the dead awake, for their graves shall be opened and they shall come forth, yea, even all." Very emphatic are the words in that section, verse twenty-six. The same doctrine is to be found in the Book of Mormon. But there is a passage in section eighty-eight, of the book of D&C which will make the matter very clear to those who desire to understand it.[3]

Anthon H. Lund

Perhaps the sons of perdition are the last class. All will be resurrected. Jesus died for us all. He became the Redeemer, He bought us for a price, and His death brought the privilege of resurrection unto every soul, whether he be a sinner or not. All will receive a share in the resurrection--not in the first resurrection, but they will be resurrected, and will be brought before the bar of our Heavenly Father.[4]

John A. Widtsoe

They who will be judged to be sons of perdition will arise from the grave with their bodies.[5]

Joseph F. Smith

'Whether the sons of perdition will be privileged to retain their bodies after the resurrection, or whether they will be resurrected or not?' First, yes. They will doubtless be resurrected. Second, yes. They will without doubt retain their bodies. First see DC 29:26,27. This means all the dead shall be raised from the dead. Again see Alma 11:43,44, Revelation 20:11-15, 1 Corinthians 15:21-23. Second, Mosiah 16:11, DC 29:27-28, Alma 11:45, Alma 34:34. . . .[6]

Joseph Fielding Smith

Question: "Will those who in this life become sons of perdition receive their bodies in the resurrection? If so, will they have to pass through death again? If they do not, and their bodies and spirits are again united never to be divided, will they have ascendancy, or jurisdiction, over Satan and those who rebelled with him and who have no bodies of flesh and bones?"

Answer: The matter of the resurrection being universal has been discussed in former articles appearing in The Improvement Era. Therefore it is sufficient to say here that the resurrection will be universal and every soul born into this world must receive his body and spirit reunited inseparably in the resurrection.[7]

Notes

  1. George Q. Cannon, "The Resurrection As Affecting the Sons of Perdition," The Juvenile Instructor {{{vol}}}/{{{num}}} (15 February 1900): 123.
  2. George Q. Cannon, "Union, Fate of Sons of Perdition," in Brian H. Stuy (editor), Collected Discourses: Delivered by Wilford Woodruff, his two counselors, the twelve apostles, and others, 1868–1898, 5 vols., (Woodland Hills, Utah: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987–1989), 1:378–379. [Discourse given on 6 October 1889.]
  3. Charles W. Penrose, Conference Report (Octrober 1911), 51–52.
  4. Anthon H. Lund, Conference Report (April 1904), 8.
  5. John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations: Aids to Faith in a Modern Day, arranged by G. Homer Durham (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960), 213. GL direct link
  6. Joseph F. Smith, From Prophet to Son: Advice of Joseph F. Smith to his missionary sons (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co., 1981), 68. ISBN 0877478856.
  7. Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols., (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1957–1966), 2:169. ISBN 1573454400. GospeLink (requires subscrip.)