Will people that don’t hear about the Mormon Church in this life be given a pass on this life as long as they accept it in the next? In other words, are their sins forgiven them if they repent and accept the Gospel in the hereafter? I have heard people say this and it seems that if this is true the only people that will be accountable for this life are Mormons. Please enlighten me. Thanks.
Do you think that the people living in one room of a house would be responsible before the Lord while those in an adjoining would not be responsible, simply on the basis that they were in two different rooms? Mortality and the post mortal spirit world have a rather similar relationship to one another. Passing from mortality into the spirit world through the transition that we call death is very much like going from one room to another through a door. Let’s say that before going through the door from one room to another, you take off your coat and drop it on the floor. Leaving our physical bodies as we exit mortality is much the same as taking off one’s coat. In other words, when we leave mortality and enter the spirit world we still will be the same person that we have always been. We will have the same likes and dislikes; we will have the same passions and appetites.
As the environment in one room may be different from that in another, so will the environment in the spirit world be different from that in mortality, but we will still be the same person that we were before the transition of death. If we rejected the gospel on the earth, we will tend to reject it after death. If we would have accepted the gospel on the earth had the conditions been different, we could also accept it in the spirit world under different conditions
If we accept the gospel in mortality, fully repent of all our sins and are baptized by immersion for their remission by one having the requisite authority, those sins will be forgiven us and we will have entered into the Church and kingdom of God. If we accept the gospel in the spirit world and fully repent of all our sins, we are stopped in our progress at this point–the reason being that baptism is an ordinance that must be performed in mortality by submersion in water. The conditions in the spirit world are so different from the mortal world that such a baptism cannot be performed there. However, if a person in the spirit world is prepared to be baptized, the ordinance could be carried out by proxy by a mortal acting in his behalf. Then it would be as if he himself were baptized and he would be the beneficiary of the same blessings merited by those who are thus baptized in mortality. That is why Peter said what he said, as recorded in 1 Peter 4:6; and which was reiterated to the prophet Joseph F. Smith, as recorded in D&C 138:10—
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.