Can you explain what Outer Darkness is and who will spend eternity there?
Samantha, from Atlanta Georgia
In the eternities, after the resurrection all mankind will be relegated to one of four states or conditions. Three of these are kingdoms of glory, the celestial, the terrestrial and the telestial, and the fourth is outer darkness. Those who will inherit the celestial kingdom are those who have accepted Christ as their Savior, and who have lived in accordance with all the precepts, ordinances and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ The terrestrial kingdom will be inhabited by all the good people of the earth, the just and honorable, but those who have not accepted Christ as their Savior, or paying obeisance to him. live by man-made rules rather than living in compliance with His gospel The Telestial kingdom will be inhabited by the evil people of the earth–those who loves Satan more than God, they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.
The kingdom that is not a kingdom of glory is called outer darkness. This is the final destination of Satan himself. In this realm, as the name implies, there will be no light, and consequently no heat. But what is light? As explained in Doctrine & Covenants 88:11-13—
And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space–The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.
Thus, the power of God will not be there, which power gives understanding, gives life to all things, and is the law by which all things are governed.
Now, for a bit of related physics. Light is the energy that produces heat. Our planet is warmed by the sun, that deposits about 2 calories of heat per minute on every square centimeter of the earth’s surface that faces the sun. Without that source of heat only coldness remains. Heat is a manifestation of molecular motion; the hotter something is, the faster the molecules of which it is composed bounce off one another. There is a temperature which is so cold that there is no molecular motion. It is called absolute zero. In other words, it is the mark of zero on the absolute scale of temperature. Absolute zero in -273 degrees centigrade. At that temperature there is no light, no motion, no energy. The Satan inspired statement that people will burn in hell is just wishful thinking on Satan’s part.
We learn the following about outer darkness in the Book of Mormon—
And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil–for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house–and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil (Alma 40:13).
There is only one class of people who will merit this ultimate punishment. All manner of sin will eventually be forgive except one, and that is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. That blasphemy consists of the following: when the Holy Ghost has revealed to a person that Jesus is the Christ in such a way that he has gained a sure knowledge of that fact, rather than only a consummate faith, and then that person turns against God and denies the truth that is in him, he becomes a son of perdition, and will go with Satan to his ultimate condemnation. As is mentioned in the Doctrine & Covenants 76:31-38—
Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power– 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.