How can God condemn the billions who have lived and died throughout history who were truly deceived by Satan? Also the many in isolated places who never even heard the name Jesus Christ,much less what he taught? Please don’t use the scripture Romans 1:20. That is a misapplication of scripture to answer my question. God giving men intuitive knowledge that there must be a creator is not the means by which Jesus Christ (our judge) will issue judgement-only by rejecting our Savior are we condemned. Thank you in advance for your feedback. Regards.
As I contemplate your question the spirit brings back to my remembrance John 3:17, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
My next thought contemplates the perfection of God, our Father and his son, Jesus Christ, and their perfect plan. In the Book of Mormon we read, Alma 9:16, “many promises which are extended to the Lamanites; for it is because of the traditions of their fathers that caused them to remain in their state of ignorance.” We recognize God’s mercy regarding those who have become ignorant due to their parents choices, who might otherwise have lived a different life if their parents remained faithful. We recognize promises are extended to these individuals.
Mosiah 15:24, “And these are those who have part in the first resurrection; and these are they that have died before Christ came, in their ignorance, not having salvation declared unto them. And thus the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these; and they have a part in the first resurrection, or have eternal life, being redeemed by the Lord.”
We further read, Moroni 7:16-17, “For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil.” In our Heavenly Father’s perfect plan all of his children are provided with the Spirit of Christ allowing them to know “good from evil.” All who have lived upon the face of the earth will be judged according to their works and the desires of their hearts. In essence, it is our individual choices and desires of our hearts which either redeem or condemn us.
With further contemplation and reading our scriptures (Book of Mormon, Holy Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price) we recognize that God has prepared a way for people who have been “ignorant” in this life to gain eternal life via baptisms we perform, by proxy, in our temples. In this manner, Elder Neil A. Maxwell shared, “God’s canopy of mercy is stretched out, including “all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of [the gospel], who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;
“For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:8–9).
In relation to the previous two paragraphs the scriptures provide further insight to God’s perfect mercy when Peter shared, 1 Peter 3:19, explaining how the Lord went and taught spirits who were in prison. Through the prophet Joseph Smith the great truth regarding redemption for our dead, our ancestors, has been revealed.
Within the walls of our temples we are able to perform “by proxy” baptisms for the dead, endowments for the deceased, and eternal sealings for companions who have passed through the veil. This truth gives light, edification, to the words declared by Peter also, 1 Peter 4:6 and Doctrine & Covenants 138:10 (Please read all of section 138):
“For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”
When I consider the great plan, the wondrous plan, our Father in heaven created for us, considering those who are truly condemned, I am reminded of the words of Nephi, 2 Nephi 16:7, “O the pain, and the anguish of my soul for the loss of the slain of my people! For I, Nephi, have seen it, and it well nigh consumeth me before the presence of the Lord; but I must cry unto my God: Thy ways are just.”
With the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, through the prophet Joseph Smith, we are truly a fortunate people to be blessed with more insight, more knowledge, regarding the love, grace, and mercy our Father in heaven has for his children within his perfect plan.