flourish_left_60.png

STORIES FROM OUR HEARTS

SharingC orner

flourish_right_60.png

Does hell exist as a punishment for sins?


Some of my most oft asked questions have to do with hell and punishment for our sins in the afterlife. Many want to know if God's unconditional love is real and how this affects the consequences for our mistakes and sins. Here are some samples of the questions I receive:


If everyone just automatically goes to heaven, then why did Jesus Christ come into this world? Clearly, there must be punishment for our sins.
In the end, does God forgive all sins no matter how big or small? My brother died without receiving the last sacrament. It still bothers me not knowing if he is reconciled with God.
If there is no hell, wouldn't the Bible be wrong? And then, wouldn't God be wrong since the Bible is God's word? Please enlighten me on this because I'm living in fear of the afterlife.

I can only share what has been given me and what was taught me during my visit to the spirit world. When I asked the Savior similar questions, he asked me if I would throw any of my children into a burning hell of fire and brimstone. Then he gently reminded me how much greater the Heavenly Father's love is than mine. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Luke 11:11


I can say that I did not see “hell,” and also that I find it hard to conceive of such a place, given what I experienced. I felt greater mercy and understanding from God than I had ever imagined. To say that the fires of hell will claim anyone forever is to deny the extent of God’s love, of his understanding, and of his willingness to forgive. We doubt his judgment in the first place if we believe he would send us here, block us from heaven, and then expect us to return to him unblemished. We must not think in black and white, but more like God thinks, without limiting any possibility for love and redemption. We should try everyday to see the good in people as he sees it, Not that we should blindly trust all people, but we can temper our judgment with the recognition that a piece of God dwells in each person, which is always redeemable.


For 25 years I have thought about this judgment and forgiveness and about the worth of each soul to God. My experience was just my personal experience, not the collective experience of all, but pondering these things I have come to the conclusion that no soul, once remembering his or her true nature and previous life with God, would behave in ways God would not approve of. To do so would damage their own happiness. But in life we don’t remember. We cannot hear, see, or physically feel God. We act blindly and perhaps our true colors or our true ignorance comes out. These revelations about ourselves teach us what we need to work on to become more like God, and he kindly gives us the time and space to work on them. —The Ripple Effect, page 89