My sister and I were all three molested as young girls by our father. He raped one of my sisters. We also suffered severe physical abuse. He was excommunicated.
When as adults we confronted him with this he denied it. He has since apologized blaming his actions on his childhood. What does Church Doctrine teach as to the consequences of being a child molester? Will he be forgiven?
My heart goes out to you and your sisters. No child should ever have to endure such treatment from their parents.
I know others who have also gone through such treatment from their parents and the parents were never excommunicated. She, today, still wonders if her baptism counted because her father was the one that baptized her. Even with reporting from the kids to their Bishop, the Bishop did not act or just didn’t believe the accusations from the children.
In researching some scriptural references to your question, I was reading 3 Nephi 17. This was when Christ was visiting the Nephites and asked for the little children to come forward.
3 Nephi 17:20-24
20 And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.
21 And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
22 And when he had done this he wept again;
23 And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.
24 And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.
How the Lord feels about little children is made abundantly clear. The Lord frequently references that we must all humble ourselves and become as little children to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
In Jacob 2:35, Jacob is speaking to the Nephites. (Think of it like a General Conference.)
35 Behold, ye have done greater iniquities than the Lamanites, our brethren. Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.
Will he be forgiven? This will take a little more time, so please bear with me.
Every sin committed, has a price to pay for repayment. You can either accept Jesus Christ, or suffer and pay for your own sins.
However many sins we commit in this life, which may be innumerable to us, they are finite. There is a finite amount of sins that we will have committed in this life.
All sins can be paid for, but we may not inherit the Celestial Kingdom unless we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and accept ordinances performed on our behalf (if deceased).
It’s a common Christian belief that if we don’t do well in this life and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, that we will be damned to an Endless and Eternal punishment.
What does it mean to be damned? It means that our progression has stopped. We cannot continue to grow to become like our Father in Heaven.
What is Endless & Eternal punishment?
10 For behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore –
11 Eternal punishment is God’s punishment.
12 Endless punishment is God’s punishment.
Because it is God’s punishment, and God’s name is Eternal and Endless, it is characterized as such, not to be confused with the “length” of the punishment.
The only sin that I know of where there is no forgiveness are those who are Sons of Perdition, who utterly turn against God and serve Satan. I am not one to judge another’s sins or actions… but while sins and crimes against children are horrific, they are still not severe for the sinner to become a Son of Perdition. I have always believed that to become a Son of Perdition, one must have been visited by Jesus Christ (received the Second Comforter) and completely turn away, deny, attack and lead others astray from Him.
My final question isn’t one that you asked: Will you forgive him?
Part of me thinks that you might already have forgiven him as your question was originally about the status of his soul, instead of your own. This shows a forgiving nature as one who has been healed.
If this assumption is false, please forgive me. (That’s one of the problems of reading/writing through the written word.)
Here’s a good talk from President Faust on this subject:
And Doctrine & Covenants Section 98 is good reading as well, as it talks about the Lord’s laws for forgiveness.
Hope this helps.