What does the term “their worm dieth not” mean?

Posted on April 22, 2006 at 11:27 am

LDS Scriptures

Follow Gramps:

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail
Print Friendly

Dear Gramps,
What does the term, Their worm dieth not (D&C 76:44) mean? what sources do you know that discuss this?

Robert, from Citrus Heights, California

 

Dear Robert,

The verse that you refer to in the Mormon scripture, The Doctrine and Covenants, is part of the passage reprinted below:

 

 

Wherefore, he saves all except them–they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment–

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)

 

 

The condemnation referred to here is the damnation to remain in hell with the devil and his angels for eternity, without forgiveness. The damnation is reserved for the sons of perdition spoken of in verse 32 to 38 of the same section, which reads as follows:

 

They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born; For they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity; Concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come– Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame. These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels– 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, after the sufferings of his wrath. (D&C 76:32-38)  

. (D&C 76:32-38)

. (D&C 76:32-38)

. (D&C 76:32-38)The phrase where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched is an allegorical expression referring to the conditions that the damned will encounter during their endless punishment– the worm allegorical of the sufferings of the body from internal torment, and the fire being allegorical of the sufferings for the body a hostile environment..

Joseph Fielding Smith and Joseph F. Smith speak of the condition where “their worm dieth not” in the following two quotations:

 

 

Salvation will come to the great body of humanity. The redemption of the soul is the resurrection. Salvation is to find a place somewhere in that redeemed state, freed from the realms “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” in its fulness, or in other words redemption from that spiritual death which shall be pronounced upon the wicked when the Lord says unto them, “Depart,” and they go into the realms of Satan (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie, 2:, p).

The sons of perdition, men who once were in possession of the light and truth, but who turned away from them and denied the Lord, putting him to an open shame, as did the Jews when they crucified him and said, “His blood be on us, and on our children;” men who consent, against light and knowledge, to the shedding of innocent blood, it will be said unto them, “Depart from me, ye cursed.” (Matt. 25:41) I never knew you; depart into the second death, even banishment from the presence of God for ever and ever, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched, from whence there is no redemption, neither in time nor in eternity. Herein is the difference between the second and the first death wherein man became spiritually dead; for from the first death he may be redeemed by the blood of Christ, through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, but from the second, there is no redemption at all.(Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Joseph F. Smith, compiled by John A. Widtsoe, p)

 

 

Gramps

Summary
Article Name
What does the term
Author
Description
What does the term, Their worm dieth not (D&C 76:44) mean? what sources do you know that discuss this?

Follow Gramps:

In Luke, why was the Unjust Steward commended?

November 26, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, Why is the unjust steward commended for his behavior in Luke 16? Lou   Answer The parable of the Unjust Steward is among the most difficult (more)

What do Mormons believe about respecting animals?

November 25, 2014 8:26 am

Question Gramps, In my experience it seems that a lot of Mormons don’t respect animals. When I was at BYU my roommates didn’t respect them. Once a cat (more)

Is God both our Father and Mother in Heaven?

November 20, 2014 8:09 am

Question Gramps, Forgive me for this question. I have many speculate that our Father in Heaven is our Mother in Heaven too. Can you please clarify this for (more)

What are the third set of scriptures spoken of by Elder Neal A. Maxwell?

November 19, 2014 7:49 am

Question Gramps, What are we to understand from these words spoken by Elder Maxwell in his talk “God Will Yet Reveal” when he said, “We would not even (more)

Will we still have our tattoos when we are resurrected?

November 18, 2014 7:31 am

Question Gramps, My brother is a tattoo artist. He does it for a living. My mom doesn’t like it though and therefore approaches him constantly about it. My (more)

Does the Church not want thinkers?

November 17, 2014 8:17 am

Question Dear Gramps, I joined the church in 98, raised Evangelical, so Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal,  I feel like when I question something the answer is always the same (more)

I’m too ashamed to talk to my Bishop, but how can I stop my skinpicking?

November 12, 2014 5:00 am

Question Dear Gramps, I have been struggling with skinpicking (Dermatillomania) since 10 years. I feel so horrible about my picking that I have really low self-esteem. I know (more)

Is saying “Oh my Lord” using His name in vain?

November 11, 2014 1:03 am

Question Gramps, Does saying “good Lord’ or “Oh my Lord” count as using the Lord’s name in vain? Marie   Answer Marie, I believe it does. I avoid (more)

Did the Nephites and Lamanites have access to the gold plates?

November 8, 2014 5:48 am

Question Gramps, Is it true that the Nephites and Lamanites did not have access to the writings on the gold plates? The writings of their prophets?  It is (more)

Will we, as Saints, ever have to flee to avoid being destroyed?

November 7, 2014 8:14 am

Question Hi Gramps, Since we live in the last days and there are alot of troubling things going on, I’ve noticed a pattern in the scriptures, Whenever things get (more)

What is the Mormon Church’ stance on the Mark of Cain?

November 6, 2014 1:49 am

Question Gramps, I’ve been told several times that the dark skinned people are descendants of Adam’s son, Cain.  Thus the ‘Mark of Cain’.  Moreover, in the Book of (more)

Why doesn’t the Mormon Church keep the Jewish Feast Days?

November 5, 2014 5:24 am

Question Dear Gramps, Why doesn’t the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints keep the Jewish feast days? The Apostle Paul stated in Acts 18:21 that he had to keep the (more)