Unpardonable (Weekend Poll)

By: wheatmeister
April 19, 2014

Is there any sin that is truly unforgivable?  If so, what is it?

What is the unpardonable sin? (Choose the one that you believe is meant by the expression)

View Results

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16 Responses to Unpardonable (Weekend Poll)

  1. Erin on April 19, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    I know that I am supposed to click on the murder option–isn’t that the sin that Christ just won’t (can’t?) pardon. But I’ve always found that piece of LDS doctrine a bit sketchy. Who is to judge whether a person truly understands the gravity of *any* sin, including murder? What makes any of my sins (and I admit, sometimes I commit them knowing good and well they are sins, but maybe I like the consequences [i.e., the emotional release from cussing out a rude driver, keeping a found item if I like it, etc.], maybe I didn’t understand the *complete* depths of the gravity of the sin, etc.) “better”–more pardonable–than someone else’s sins?

    And saying that Christ won’t pardon a sin, seems to place limits on his empathy and unconditional love.

    Maybe that makes me a bad Mormon, but this idea seems really reminiscent of the harsher, 19th century forms of Christianity (Calvinism, maybe? I don’t know, I’m not a scholar). It just doesn’t jibe with how I understand Christ.

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  2. Alo on April 19, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    Erin, I’ve never heard that murder was unpardonable. I have heard that denying the Holy Ghost is unforgivable, and by that I think it means denying your testimony when you know it to be true. I think the only reason it’s unpardonable is because it’s impossible to forgive someone when they deny the very things that could grant them forgiveness.

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  3. fbisti on April 19, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    I agree with Erin. But I have a more specific definition of unpardonable.

    If we, through our Agency, change our character and intent (repentance) from that wherein we formerly murdered; denied the Holy Ghost; etc., then God must forgive us and accept us. The so-called “unpardonable sin” is to choose not to live with God and Christ in their “kingdom.” One must know and understand the reality of their “realm” and consciously choose not to be in it (aka “son of perdition”) along with all that means, e.g., “outer darkness.” Joseph Smith spelled this out…

    “All sins shall be forgiven, except the sin against the Holy Ghost; for Jesus will save all except the sons of perdition. What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. 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.” (King Follet sermon)

    Regarding murder, etc., that is not to say that it may well be humanly impossible to make the necessary change in our character once we have sunk to certain depths of depravation in the “intent of our heart.”

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  4. Andrew on April 19, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    I think the closest one on this list is “denying the HG exists.” However, it was too oversimplified for me to give it my vote. I think the unpardonable sin is to know the Godhead personally to the point that your faith truly passes into knowledge, and then to defiantly reject Them in spite of your knowledge. I think those conditions are incredibly rare and the overwhelmingly vast majority of humankind will never be in a position where committing this sin is even possible.

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  5. DavidH on April 19, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    I didn’t see a button for “none,” (I tried the “other” button, but couldn’t figure out how it worked)

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  6. Nate on April 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    I also want to choose “none.”

    “To forgive wrongs darker than Death or Night….This, like thy glory, Titan! is to be Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free; This is alone Life, Joy, Empire and Victory.” – Percy Shelley

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  7. Douglas on April 20, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    I would suppose “First-Degree” murder, even though it doesn’t have to result in banishment to “Outer Darkness”, would apply. It’s hard to describe what “Denial of the Holy Ghost” means, I suppose it’s that one deliberately, after having his/her calling/election made “sure”, denies his Savior and his testimony. Like the 1/3 of the Heavenly Host that elected to follow Lucifer in the pre-mortal existence, it’s a choice made with clear vision, and not a result of a faltering in faith.

    As for what constitutes “murder”, at least sufficient to say that one is eternally doomed, I could only speculate what would apply in the Lord’s eyes. For example, is the late SS-Oberstrummbannfuhrer Jochen Peiper, of Battle of the Bulge and Malmedy Massacre infamy, lost? Are those that killed him in 1976 in a fit of revenge also “doomed”? Who can say?


    This is where I’m glad that the Savior will judge and not I. Even with the best of intentions I simply don’t have the wherewithal to judge a man’s eternal future. However, I have faith that the One that does is Man enough for the job.

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  8. handlewithcare on April 20, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    A good question, because I’ve never been clear about this I’m glad to see this discussed.

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  9. Kullervo on April 20, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    What? How can murder possibly be the top result in light of Matthew 12:31?

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  10. Erin on April 20, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    “What? How can murder possibly be the top result in light of Matthew 12:31?”

    I think the idea that murder is unpardonable is in the Book of Mormon, maybe? Maybe in Mormon Doctrine? I used to know, but since I don’t believe in that little piece of doctrine anymore, I’ve allowed myself to forget its source. Anyone know?

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  11. Kullervo on April 21, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    Well, 1 John 3:15 says no murderer has eternal life and Alma 39:5 says murder is the worst sin, but check out D&C 42:19 and 132:19,27, and it’s pretty clear where the Mormon idea that murder is unforgivable comes from.

    But Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-29, and Luke 12:10 all feature Jesus himself saying that all sins other than blasphemy against the Holy Ghost will be forgiven.

    So my point is, it’s one thing to believe that murderers can’t be completely forgiven (it’s absolutely false and denies the depth and power of the cross, but at least I understand where Mormons get the idea), but it’s another thing entirely to choose murder from a list of options on a poll asking what is the unforgivable sin, when that flatly contradicts the words of Jesus.

    Jesus told us himself what the one unforgivable sin is. I don’t know why we’re even having a poll.

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  12. Last Lemming on April 21, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    Murderers must suffer for their own sins, but eventually get out of hell and inherit a telestial glory. That constitutes a form of pardon. Those who sin against the holy ghost do not inherit even a telestial glory, but become sons of perdition. So what is the sin against the holy ghost? Simply denying that it exists is much too broad, covering a majority of the world’s population. Denying one’s own testimony is also too broad, since most of our testimonies fall far short of a sure knowledge, our rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding. Being willing to crucify Christ knowingly comes the closest–knowingly being the key word.

    (See paragraphs F2 and H3 here: https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrines-of-the-gospel-student-manual/chapter-33-kingdoms-of-glory-and-perdition?lang=eng)

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  13. Kullervo on April 21, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    This is a good discussion of what constitutes the unforgivable sin from a Protestant perspective: http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2013/08/have-i-committed-the-unforgivable-sin/

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  14. annegb on April 21, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    I think eventually, perhaps eons and eons, all of us are forgiven and progress. “Unpardonable” sins are many if we don’t repent, really. Pardon implies a free ride. I don’t even know if we have a doctrine on progression for sure, but I believe in eternal progression for every one. Might need to bring a lunch, but………

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  15. Kullervo on April 21, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    So annegeb, was Jesus lying?

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  16. Mormon Heretic on April 21, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    I have to assume that “other” means “none” in this poll.

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