The Prophet Joseph Smith described the true nature of hell: “A man is his own [tormentor] and his own [condemnor]. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone.”1 It is a misnomer to speak of the “kingdom of the devil,” because the description presumes something more organized than is the case. It is difficult to organize when fear, hatred, and anger are the primary motivations. Love is a far more cohesive, creative, and loyalty-producing motivation. All that Satan does is designed to destroy itself, as well as all those who follow him.2 An endless “Hell” is an invention of the historic Christian faith.3 How can the gates of hell be opened? It requires someone upon whom death and hell could have no claim to go there. When justice itself requires Him to be released, then death and hell are conquered. This is what He would do. He would suffer the wrath of the guilty and vile, fully assume their punishment and abuse, and bear their penalty of death itself. When the fury relented and the wrath ended, He could reclaim life. His captivity ended the captivity for all. Having then returned to life, because it was just for Him to do so, He acquired the keys of death and hell. Now He can open those gates for any and all because it was unjust for Him to have been put through either. He can now advocate for others by virtue of what He suffered and the injustice of that suffering.4 Death and hell are the devil’s domain. He’s the god of that world, and since we have death and suffering here, he calls himself the god of this world. Those who come here are subject to his buffeting and his will. They are tormented, tempted, troubled, and then they die. While captive here, they endure the insults of the flesh and the difficulties of trying to find their way back to God.5 The references to the “hell that hath no end” is that same play on words that is defined in T&C 4:1–4. It is a place of torment, where people suffer as in the telestial kingdom (or the world in which you presently reside, to paraphrase the LDS Endowment). How long will people endure such an experience? Until they repent (see T&C 69:26). What if they do not repent? They will suffer, worlds without end (see T&C 69:28).6

    1 TPJS, 357; WJS, 353.

    2 “The Kingdom of Heaven contrasted with Hell,” Feb. 1, 2010, blog post.

    3 “Constantine and Correlation,” May 7, 2010, blog post.

    4 “Isaiah 53:5,” May 13, 2010, blog post.

    5 “1 Nephi 14:7,” July 7, 2010, blog post.

    6 “1 Nephi 14:3–4,” July 6, 2010, blog post.