DWONG - How do you explain your doctrine of no forgiveness for murder, when in Scripture the great Apostle Paul was a persecutor of the church and had many people put to death, the first mentioned being Stephen. He became the great apostle and had a true conversion. This I simply do not understand, for God forgives sin...He forgave those who crucified Him, etc. Does this make sense?
JOEL - This idea of no forgiveness comes mainly from the LDS scripture which states,
"And now, behold, I speak unto the church; Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.
Notice where it says, "I speak unto the church". The Doctrine and Covenants is quite clear in applying the "unforgiveable" qualifier "to the church,"; that is, to those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and covenanted to obey the laws and ordinances of the gospel. This means that Paul and those who crucified Jesus are off the hook, so to speak, since the killings they commited were done before their acceptance of Jesus Christ(I saw "The Robe").
For those members of the church whom forgiveness is refused; this means that they can not repent sufficiently enough in "this world nor the world to come" to be able to receive the type of forgiveness that would allow them to enter into the highest degree of heaven. Forgiveness through the atonement of Christ cannot work for them in the case of murder. However, God is a just and loving God and knows what is in our hearts. He wants to rescue as many of His children as possible. Therefore, the person may eventually receive another type of forgiveness. This requires paying the price themselves for the sin of murder by suffering in hell. Then they can be rescued from hell, as in the case of David in the Old Testament who had Uriah killed (PS 16:10), and still obtain some degree of glory in heaven after the final judgement. Where they go will depend on how good they were during the rest of their life on earth. They will not, however, receive exhaltation into the highest degree of heaven.
And it shall come to pass, that if any persons among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness; and it shall be proved according to the laws of the land."(D&C 42:18, 79)
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