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Gramps,

The only sins we can’t be forgiven for are murder and denying the holy ghost. Is that correct? I’m a convert just curious? Thanks

Josh, from California

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Dear Josh,

Not exactly. When you say “murder,” I assume that you are referring to the scriptural term, “shedding innocent blood,” as in Alma 39:5.

Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?

In this scripture, the two phrases “the shedding of innocent blood” and “denying the Holy Ghost” are not the summation of two concepts, but the repetition of the same concept in different terms. If one denies the revelation of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ after it was plainly manifest to him, such that it became sure knowledge rather than assured belief, it would be as if he had crucified the Savior anew, “and put him to open shame.” The innocent blood referred to here is the blood of the crucified Lord, of which the blasphemer would be guilty if he denied the sure knowledge given to him by the Holy Ghost. This is how Elder Bruce R. McConkie explains it-

“Commission of the unpardonable sin consists in crucifying unto oneself the Son of God afresh and putting him to open shame. (Heb. 6:4-8; D. & C. 76:34-35.) To commit this unpardonable crime a man must receive the gospel, gain from the Holy Ghost by revelation the absolute knowledge of the divinity of Christ, and then deny the new and everlasting covenant by which he was sanctified, calling it an unholy thing, and doing despite to the Spirit of grace (Teachings, p. 128.) He thereby commits murder by assenting unto the Lord’s death, that is, having a perfect knowledge of the truth he comes out in open rebellion and places himself in a position wherein he would have crucified Christ knowing perfectly the while that he was the Son of God. Christ is thus crucified afresh and put to open shame” (D&C 132:27) (Mormon Doctrine, p.816).

-Gramps

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