I know I’ve been asking you a lot of questions, primarily because I haven’t seen them addressed before. This one has come to my mind periodically since I was in middle school. I don’t believe that Judas knew that the Pharisees wanted Christ dead. Why would he have committed suicide when he learned of the coming crucifixion? I believe he just wanted to scare Jesus into becoming the Savior everyone assumed he should be – freeing Judea from the Romans. It disturbs me that people put Judas on par with Satan. Did he side more with Satan, but not completely rebel, in the premortal life? It makes no sense to me that someone is predestined to do some “evil” without having a choice in the matter. That is not the purpose of this existence. Freedom of choice is first in God’s plan. People cite Matthew 26:24 “…woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born.” But how can we be sure, when the earliest gospel was written about the mid 2nd century AD, that it is written down verbatim since it’s not in the other gospels? Also there was likely much antagonism towards Judas that tainted the memories of the gospel writers.
Remember above all that judgment for everyone, including Judas, is in Christ’s hands and His is the only opinion that really matters. Everything else is speculation, some of which might be pretty good based on solid doctrine and principles. But in the end, we simply cannot know enough to make that call.
Now let’s do some speculation of our own. We are told that we are judged according to the light and knowledge we have. The greater the light and knowledge we have when we rebel, the greater our condemnation. We don’t know how much light and knowledge Judas had. If we compare him to Peter who was taught with him by Christ, we know that Peter denied Christ three times after Judas’ betrayal. Peter was able to recover from that. Therefore it seems likely that the light and knowledge Judas had wasn’t that great. Of course his sin was also greater then Peter’s denial, and it lead to Christ’s death. So there is room for it to go either way depending on what the full circumstances were.
Then there is the issue of damnation. We LDS use that to mean lots of different things. It could mean being a Son of Perdition, or it could mean someone who did not gain Exaltation. That is a broad range of potential damnation. On the one definition very few will be damned. Under the other quite a few will be. So the answer to your question depends on what definition we are using. For me I could see him ending up in the Telestial Kingdom easily enough, but I say that knowing that I could very well be wrong about it, and that my opinion doesn’t really matter on this issue.
Therefore, I wouldn’t say it would have been better if he had never been born. We can’t judge him. That is left to Christ.