This is part two. You may want to read “Dealing With Evil and Unclean Spirits” first.
In order to be a son of perdition, you must have been born. In other words, you must have been mortal. Perdition, a name which means lost, is Satan, Lucifer or the Devil. However, those who followed him in the spirit world, and thus were cast out with him to this earth, are not sons of perdition, as we define it in the church.
Yes, Bruce R McConkie taught that to be a follower of Satan in the pre-earth life was to be a son of perdition. I admit that following Lucifer in rebellion can be a form of son-ship. Satan for them became their father. They would not have God to be their father. However, this definition of the phrase is not what Joseph taught.
Lucifer became the devil because he committed the unpardonable sin. That sin is to deny the Holy Ghost, meaning that you come out in open rebellion against God and seek to destroy him and his work, after he has revealed himself and His Son to you. Lucifer was in a position of great authority and knowledge before he rebelled.
Son of Perdition Defined
Joseph said, “All sins shall be forgiven, except the sin against the Holy Ghost; for Jesus will save all except the sons of perdition.” In order to become a son of perdition, a man “must have the heavens opened onto him, and know God, and then sin against Him.” He said there are some souls who simply cannot be saved.
There are relatively few who will become sons of perdition. They must, in this life, have obtained a perfect knowledge of the divinity of the gospel cause, a knowledge that comes only by open revelation from God. Those who deny the Holy Ghost will not be saved because they will not repent. They make open war against God.
“He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it.” God will not force anyone to be saved if they do not desire it. Sons of Perdition inherit a kingdom without glory.
Two Questions to Ponder
Yes, I know what is written in section 76. Those spirits that were cast out with Lucifer will not be redeemed from death because they never lived or died. In other words, they will never be resurrected or have a physical body, mortal or immortal. They are in hell now but will they or can they eventually be saved from hell?
The question before us then is twofold: Can evil spirits repent and what is their ultimate destiny? I think we can safely answer the second part that if they do not repent then they are doomed to dwell with Satan in some kingdom without glory forever. In other words, they chose on their own to be damned and cursed forever.
But is being damned and cursed the same as being in hell? To be damned is to be stopped in one’s progression. To be cursed by God is to be declared to be a thing of no worth, not able to be saved. Joseph taught that we are our own tormentors. If we decide that we cannot or will not repent, then there is no way we can be saved.
Evil Spirits Tortured Christ
In other words, can an evil spirit exercise faith in Jesus Christ? I know that they became evil spirits precisely because they chose not to believe that Jesus Christ could successfully perform his mission. Perhaps they also did not believe that we mortal men could perform our mission – to believe, repent and obey in faith.
It must be obvious to them that Jesus did complete his mortal mission with perfect success – the performance of the atonement and the resurrection. They know because they were there that night he suffered in the garden. In fact, they caused a large part of it. God allowed them to torment him as if he were guilty.
Surely they must know by now that many mortal men have successfully completed their missions and have been resurrected. Just as there are various levels of faith and valiancy among men here there must be varying levels of power among the spirits that followed Satan. Their power comes from knowledge and experience.
Sons of Perdition Not Saved
But having the power of knowledge and experience is not the same as having power that comes from light and intelligence. They do not have intelligence because they do not have light. The glory of God is intelligence or in other words, light and truth. Their evil energy is negative, dark and lacking in light or truth.
We are beings of energy. Our objective here on earth is to increase our light. The evil spirits are also beings of energy but they are beings of darkness – dark energy. Is it possible for these dark entities to turn to the light, to believe and exercise faith in Jesus Christ and choose to leave Satan’s employ? Again, can evil spirits repent?
Section 76:42-43 teaches that through Christ, “all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him; Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.” But again, do evil spirits qualify as sons of perdition?
Bound by Chains of Hell
Jude 1:6 declares that the angels that kept not their first estate have been reserved in everlasting chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day. What happens after that great day? We know that they will not inherit a kingdom of glory. Is it possible some can escape the power of Satan and repent before that dreadful day?
If they repent, what is their eternal destiny? If it is possible for them to exercise faith and repent or change, is there any mercy for them? Is it possible for them to escape or are they precluded from doing so because they are bound to Satan by the chains of hell? Can they break the chains of hell and if so, how can they do that?
In 2 Peter 2:4 we read, “For … God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” We know the purpose or function of these evil spirits. They are to tempt and to deceive mortal man. Do they thus fulfill one of the purposes of God?
Forfeited Their Agency
In D&C 29:36–37 we find, “… the devil … rebelled against me … and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency; And they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels.” Do they still have their agency or has that been eternally lost? Can they turn from their rebellion?
Now I don’t believe for one moment that Satan will repent. He’s having too much fun right now. It is the great day of his power. Of course, he only has that power because the Lord allows it and because weak mortal man refuses to believe, repent and obey Jesus Christ. But I ask again, do the evil spirits still have their agency?
Was their only punishment the loss of the opportunity to receive a mortal body and the curse of being bound to the devil by the chains of hell? We are taught that we can cast off the chains of hell that bind us through our faith in Jesus Christ and by choosing to do good works instead of evil. Will evil spirits have that opportunity?
Priesthood and Sons of Perdition
One more thought that causes me to question the idea that evil spirits who followed Satan can be classified as sons of perdition. President Joseph Fielding Smith once taught in General Conference that there will be no sons of perdition who do not hold the priesthood. Do those who followed Satan hold the priesthood? I think not.
Joseph taught that once we have passed to the spirit world, there is no possibility to become a son of perdition. “No man can commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the mortal body … he must do it in this world.” To me, that excludes spirits who chose to follow Satan in the pre-earth life. How much did they know?
Doug Mendenhall shares on page 190 of his book, Conquering Spiritual Evil, the story of a woman who believed she could invite evil spirits to come to her so she could teach them to repent. They told her to kill herself. She is now in a mental hospital. Only a fool would invite evil spirits to come and teach them to repent.
Devils Have No Desire to Repent
However, is it possible that if they come uninvited, and we are aware of their presence that we could take advantage of the opportunity to declare deliverance through faith in Jesus Christ? Can we not teach them that they do not have to follow Satan anymore? Can they not go to the light and start to do some good?
Doug seems to think not. He agrees that disembodied or earthbound spirits can repent and move on but he does not support the idea of sending devils and demons to the light. I’m not sure I agree with his definition of demons but I yield to his more extensive experience with the subject. To me demons are female devils.
I like his argument. He writes on page 192, “Do we really believe that the devils are going to say, ‘Oh, yes, we were deceived by Lucifer. I think I’ll change now. You have convinced me after talking to me for five minutes. I know I have rejected the greatest beings in the universe, rejected their light, and fought against them for eons, but because of your argument, I’m going to change instantly.”
They Won’t Go To The Light
Doug then asked a friend and quoted his answer at length. I think I know his friend who I have written about extensively on my blog. You can read it on pages 193 to 195 of Doug’s book. If I were the author of the unclean spirits blog I would read those pages carefully and then weigh it against whatever personal evidence he has.
I am being careful on purpose. I don’t want to offend the author of that blog who has obviously spent many years researching the subject and hints at many years of personal experience in helping “millions” of evil spirits repent. I know there are many energy workers who teach we can send devils and demons to the light.
I simply ask you to be careful. This is an area where you want and need to be right. We can be deceived in this area and I can see why Satan would want us to believe that we can help evil spirits repent. Perhaps one might feel that the repentant spirit would then be available to help with future work in this area. Think carefully.
Summary and Conclusion
So who is right about the idea that evil spirits can repent? Does the author of the unclean spirits blog know what he is talking about? If you want a copy of the opposing argument from Doug’s book, email me and I will ask Doug if I can share it. If it comes from who I think it does, then I have made up my mind on the issue.
Do not confuse devils with unclean spirits. They are two different kinds of entities. Unclean spirits can repent. That’s the whole purpose of the spirit world – to give them time to reflect upon this life and what they have learned. As a church, we perform saving ordinances for them. They are not devils, just temporarily lost.
Devils and Demons cannot repent. They don’t want to. They tortured the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane. They are liars from the beginning. Their sole desire is to deceive us and to cause us to suffer. They remain unconvinced that the Lord’s pronouncements of their fate will come to pass. They still believe they can win.