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I have a very good friend who is a devout Catholic. She asked me this morning do Mormons believe in hell? Of course we do but only for a select few correct?





Dear Evelyn,

Yes, we do believe in hell, though I think our version of hell is very different than what your friend believes.

When we speak of hell, there are two different meanings. The first is Spirit Prison, and the Second is Outer Darkness.

Spirit Prison is a temporary state where Spirits can be taught the gospel, repent and accept the ordinances that are performed for them in temples.

For those who chose not to repent but are not sons of perdition will stay in hell and suffer for their own sins until the end of the Millennium and then they will be freed, resurrected and receive Telestial Glory.

Satan, his minions, and Sons of Perdition, those who deny the Holy Ghost, (see Doctrine and Covenants 29:36-38; and D&C 76:28-33) will be cast into Outer Darkness or hell permanently.

King Benjamin taught that the suffering in hell would be do to feeling ones own guilt.

25 And if they be evil they are consigned to an awful view of their own guilt and abominations, which doth cause them to shrink from the presence of the Lord into a state of misery and endless torment, from whence they can no more return; therefore they have drunk damnation to their own souls.


26 Therefore, they have drunk out of the cup of the wrath of God, which justice could no more deny unto them than it could deny that Adam should fall because of his partaking of the forbidden fruit; therefore, mercy could have claim on them no more forever.


27 And their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever. Thus hath the Lord commanded me. Amen.  Mosiah 3:25-27

Notice in verse 27, he says AS a lake of fire and brimstone. He is using a simile to help the people understand and inspire them to repent.

Christ also taught this principle in the Doctrine and Covenants. He explained that He suffered to that others would not have to suffer for their sins.

16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;


17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;


18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—  D&C 19:16-18

Evelyn, Heavenly Father and Jesus do not want any of us to suffer the torment that Jesus did. That is why we have been given the incomparable gift of the Atonement. Knowledge of this gift will be given to all, whether in this life or the next. And only those who refuse to accept that gift will suffer the pains of hell endlessly.

With faith in Christ,






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