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AKANIMO - I don't understand 2 nep 9:26-27.The part that says those without the law, does it mean they have express road to the celestial kingdom?
JOEL - 2 nep 9:25-27 (I am including verse 25 to make the meaning clear)
25 Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.
26 For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment; and they are restored to that God who gave them breath, which is the Holy One of Israel.
27 But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!
The apostle Paul said something similar:
"Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression." (Rom 4: 15)
"For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law:
and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law. (Rom. 2:12)
This just means that for those who never had the opportunity to hear the gospel and learn the laws and commandments will not be held accountable for sins they commit in ignorance against those laws. God's mercy and atonement will pay for those sins committed in ignorance, and when that person dies he will have the opportunity to hear and accept the gospel and commandments in the next life. On the other hand, where the Lord's law has been given, punishment always follows disobedience.
This is not to say that those people who commit gross atrocities against mankind will not be held accountable for their acts. We know that the Spirit of Christ is given to all mankind so they know basic rights and wrongs (Moro. 7:16), even without knowing the laws of God, so those who act against this inborn knowledge will certainly be held accountable in some way for what they do. Those who do not know the law will also suffer by not receiving the blessings of living the law. (D&C 130: 20-21)
The D&C describes the fate of those who lived without the law:
71 And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament.
72 Behold, these are they who died without law;
73 And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh;
74 Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.
75 These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.
76 These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness. (D&C 76: 71-76)
President Brigham Young taught: "If I do wrong knowingly, then I sin. When this people can live and never do a wrong knowingly, if they should sin in their ignorance, God will freely forgive that sin, if they are ready to repent when it is made known to them and refrain from it in the future." (JOD vol 9, 1862)