Hell is on Earth! No, Seriously!

All the souls of the wicked, which allowed themselves to be governed by the evil impulses of the evil spirit will still be under the influence of that evil spirit. It is prison because misery reigns.

Burning fires of hell represented. Though hell is more than a physical place, it is a spiritual state of mind.
Burning fires of hell represented. Though hell is more than a physical place, it is a spiritual state of mind. | Source

Pitch forks and burning "physical" lakes are the imagination of men, not the word of God.

God has declared that no man knows the horror of hell save those who are assigned to it because God has not revealed the end thereof. Hell is worse than anything people can imagine apparently.

Jesus Christ declared through Joseph Smith and speaking of the Father,

Wherefore, He saves all except them (the sons of perdition)—they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment—And the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows; Neither was it revealed, neither is, neither will be revealed unto man, except to them who are made partakers thereof; Nevertheless, I, the Lord, show it by vision unto many, but straightway shut it up again; Wherefore, the end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation, Doctrine and Covenants 76:44-48.

Now, the hell of which the Savior speaks of to Joseph is called outer darkness. Very few will be "ordained to" that "condemnation." The hell that parallels the traditional understanding is known and revealed and the end thereof exist. Let's explore this hell or Spirit Prison.

Hell or Prison

[T]he souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection. Alma 40:13

Far from flattering, hell is a temporary place where the souls of the wicked go to await the resurrection. All the souls of the wicked, which allowed themselves to be governed by the evil impulses of the evil spirit will still be under the influence of that evil spirit. It is prison because misery reigns. It is prison because the wicked do not know peace.

brimstone

Burning inside out. Guilt has a powerful grasp on the minds of suffers.
Burning inside out. Guilt has a powerful grasp on the minds of suffers. | Source

The suffering is as fire and brimstone because as brimstone burns inside-out, the souls of man will burn with the knowledge of abusing themselves by disobeying the laws of God. The lake of fire is the mutual suffering all the unrepentant will endure in agony.

The fire is not physical in nature because the spirits are not physical. It is a spiritual power that burns on the minds of men not their bodies. Not because spiritual things lack substance, but because spiritual things cannot perish.

It will end though. The wicked will be resurrected along with the righteous in the due time of the Lord. They will hear the gospel of Jesus Christ again for most of them. They will be redeemed from hell or prison and given their eternal reward. Hell is also a place here among us.

Hell is Eternal For the Filthy

In the article The Truth About Heaven, I described how heaven is paradise and hell is prison.

Hell is not an eternal place in the sense that it lasts forever for each individual.

Hell is an eternal state in that God continues to progress with His children accepting His Son's atonement and becoming heirs of eternal life, or rejecting His Son and become heirs of lower kingdoms of glory. In other words, as long as God has children who come to earth and sin, there will always be a state of hell.

Since God is eternal and never ends, neither will His children cease to come to earths and live.

Often I hear people say that this life on earth is hell. Well, hell is here on earth--really!

Representation of tortured soul

Source
"The Living, Dead and Unborn in a theatre near you!"
"The Living, Dead and Unborn in a theatre near you!" | Source
Source

Though each individual's hell is temporary, the psychological status of hell or prison will always remain a place prepared for the children of men who ever rejected God.

Said Nephi,

And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel, 2 Nephi 9:12.

Nephi assures us that hell ends for each soul after he or she has suffered for their own sins having rejected Jesus Christ. There will be a resurrection and judgement so that each will receive a just reward.

Nephi further describes the filthy ones--those who could not even make it to earth,

And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end, 2 Nephi 9:16.

The devil and his angels will be the ones burning forever. These will have no physical body, no kingdom or glory because never at any time did they accept Christ or His Atonement. (In Before Adam and Eve: True Character of God, I explain the origin of the devil and demons.) They are the ones who will be filthy still, and a small segment of humanity. The rest of us whether good or bad will be cleansed of our sins and receive a mansion or hut in the Kingdom of God. Nephi clearly establishes that there are two hells--the spirits in prison version and the outer darkness version.

Going through Hell to get to Heaven

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Ezra Taft Benson

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Often I hear people say that this life on earth is hell. Well, hell IS here on earth--really. Hell is all around because it is not in some far off place or at the center of the earth. We cannot dig down to the devil or step on his head. He walks the earth with the rest of us. The earth is filled with the children of God both living, dead and the unborn.

I know it sounds like the name of some horror movie:

"The Living, Dead and Unborn in a theatre near you!"

As fantastic as it reads, it is true that all of humanity AND the unborn inhabit this planet at the same time.

I know that we all have a mansion or a shack figuratively speaking awaiting us when we die--and some small few have a hell that only they will know.

Brigham Young

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Latter-day prophets have said that the spirits of those who have died are not far from us.

President Ezra Taft Benson said

Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1971, 18; or Ensign, June 1971, 33). President Brigham Young taught that the postmortal spirit world is on the earth, around us (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 279).Gospel Principles Manual

All the dead live here on earth.

All those who have not yet been resurrected live here on earth, which means heaven is here on earth.

I will re-emphasis: The devil and one-third of the host of heaven, all of the living 7 billion (plus) people, and all dead people since the time of Adam, who have not been resurrected, simultaneously live on this planet called earth!

We have the metaphysics and physics and laws of this and that that speak of dimensions and such--well, do not be so quick to dismiss it.

Alma teaches in the Book of Mormon that as soon as we die, whether we are good or evil we return to that God who gave us life in Alma chapter 40.

He teaches implicitly that our visit with God is a partial judgement to assign us to paradise-heaven or prison-hell.

We will receive a complete judgement upon resurrection and be rewarded for our deeds. If they have been evil, our mansion will be appropriately made.

If we have been good, the same applies--in all the degrees of our goodness. I cannot judge individual salvation because my Master prohibits it seeing as I do not know the hearts of men as He does.

I know that we all have a mansion or a shack figuratively speaking awaiting us when we die--and some small few have a hell that only they will know.

God does not force any truth upon his children at any stage of our lives--here or the next.

After our judgement we remain here on Earth until we are resurrected.

Hell is a psychological function of the mind, and those who must endure it will not leave that state until they have paid the price of all their sins.

Then will they be resurrected--lastly, at the end of the reign of Christ on earth for one thousand years before the great wars of Gog and Magog..

Speculatively, it may not seem like much in writing, but living without a body after having had one is not a pleasant experience. Think of it as being an amputee. The only difference is, instead of appendages and digits missing, an entire body is missing!

Some amputees speak of having an itch on the missing limb. They cannot scratch something that is not there. Their brains are remembering the missing appendages sending echoes of what it was to once have that appendage.

The same occurs when we die. Our spirits will have echos of the body we once occupied and long for its return, which is a free gift from God. Some of us will have to wait until the end--it will be torture for the wicked.

The righteous will have freedom of movement and revelation just as we enjoy now in this life, and more! It will occur, however, without the limitation of a mortal physical body, a body that has to sleep, get sick, or die. The righteous too will long for a physical body that is perfect without disease and limitations of our mortal bodies.When Jesus Calls, the righteous will be resurrected.

They, the righteous, will have learned to master our mortal bodies in this life so that we will not yearn and suffer as will the wicked. All must master the physical appetites now in this life, mortality, or suffer the yearnings in the next life without a physical body to satisfy them!

Hell, talk about craving cheesecake every blinking moment with no way to satisfy it! Again, I say hell!

The point is, we are all on earth--heaven and hell and the devil.

Billions of people are all here right now occupying the same space, but un-attuned mortals cannot see the dead. It is a cultural practice of many to say, "I know my (insert loved one) is watching over me."

In truth, the righteous dead do see us and pray for us as we live out our lives because they are here. The evil dead do not see us because they are too busy suffering to pay attention. Some of them are not even aware they are dead probably!

Also, a point of interest, we are no more wise than we are in this life without faith.

Death will not bring to us a sure knowledge of something we did not believe before we perished. There are Christians teaching the spirits of men in the spirit world as there are Christians who teach it here in the land of the living.

In other words, a Baptist is still a Baptist, a Muslim is still a Muslim, a Hebrew is still a Hebrew and so on and so forth. Only those of us who are open to the spirit of truth will learn here in this life or in the next towards progression. God does not force any truth upon his children at any stage of our lives--here or the next.

What do you think?

Does it make sense to you that heaven and hell would be here on Earth?

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© 2012 Rodric Johnson

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