Comments 22

  1. I couldn’t answer because I don’t know who the terrorists are? How many levels are you talking about?

    1. Al Quada who supported them?
    2. The actual members who flew the planes into the buildings?
    3. The government and financial insiders who may have known about it and were complicit in it?
    4. The demolitions team that brought the buildings down?
    5. We, the people, who believe all of the media bullcrap on 9-11?

    As with anything, the answer is all of the above, because only God knows the intentions of the heart and the nuances of the situations folks were placed in. For some, this could have been a job, a blackmail, a lie, who knows? Only God.

  2. Not to be a party pooper, but I didn’t feel like I could vote because: (1) scripture makes it pretty clear that only God should be making those sorts of predictions/judgments; and (2) my personal answer would be “(e) it depends on whether they sincerely thought they were performing an act of righteousness, or whether they knew deep down inside that they were doing an act of unspeakable evil.”

  3. I went with at least one might, at some point, go to the Celestial Kingdom. It all depends if anyone is able to accept the principles of the Gospel in the Spirit World – and they had no opportunity to do so in this world.

    Mormon 4:5 states: “…The judgments of God will overtake the wicked;…for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed.”

    It is an interesting question. One might be innocent in the sense that they believed in the “false” promises of their religion. But how many does one have to kill in order to no longer be innocent? Suppose all the planes involved carried nuclear bombs and millions died. But whether it’s one or millions – it’s still murder.

    It is up to God. Maybe one will get through.

  4. who are the 9/11 terrorists? Who judges that they are “terrorists?” Clearly if Americans were the judge, then these “9/11 Terrorists” would be consigned to outer darkness. There are far too many variables for any of us to make that judgment. We do not know much of anything at all about these “9/11 terrorists.” I’m guessing this label is only attached to those individuals who committed suicide on 9/11 on the airplanes, and not on individuals such as KSM who allegedly organized the action. Even there, we don’t know much of actual facts.



    There were no demolitions team that brought the buildings down.

  5. The question isn’t a judgment of anyone’s righteousness or salvation, but a question about our understanding of the Atonement.

    I voted that one or more might enter the Celestial Kingdom. Although this is abhorrent to my sense of justice, I understand that at least one of these guys may have commit murder in ignorance, may have been mentally challenged, may have had mitigating life experiences, etc., and it is possible that if he heard the gospel of Jesus Christ he might repent like the Anti-Nephi-Lehites.

    “And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.” -Nephi, son of Lehi

  6. I lack enough information to judge the terrorists. For example: What does Islam teach about murder? Suicide? Under what circumstances does Islam justify an act of war? Does Islam justify killing someone just because that other person is an “infidel” and what is the definition of infidel?

    Meanwhile, our scriptures tell us that we cannot be tempted beyond our capacity to resist committing the sin. We cannot receive a blessing unless we obey the principle upon which that blessing is predicated. God won’t punish us if we commit a transgression in ignorance, although we can’t avoid the natural consequences of our actions even if we are ignorant. There are lots of issues to consider beyond the two verses in Matthew when it comes to September 11th.

  7. I voted Celestial kingdom. I am not a judge. God is.

    I suppose the biggest question has to do with actions vs intentions (As a side note: in Buddhism, our karma is actually determined by our INTENTIONS, and not necessarily our actions – a very interesting concept). Anyway. People have killed for religious reasons throughout all recorded time. The Bible is replete with it. Abraham was willing to kill his own son. Even Nephi killed Laban as he thought it was God’s will. So, killing in and of itself isn’t necessarily bad. It’s more the INTENT with which you kill.

    For the 9/11 terrorists, we are necessarily looking at it from our point of view. From an Arab point of view – couldn’t we reasonably be seen as being responsible for thousands of deaths in the Middle East, couldn’t we reasonably be seen as promoting a decadent and sinful lifestyle to the world through our media and other influence, and couldn’t they reasonably be seen as thinking that there was a religious motivation behind this – that it was God’s will.

    We certainly look at it differently, but I would dare say that the Laban had a different view of Nephi’s actions than Nephi did. Or any of the cities destroyed by the Israelites. It’s all a matter of perspective.

    I’d let God sort it out.

  8. Ray
    The scriptures you cited cause me to take pause and evaluate my judgments (which may have been your intent all along). Like Adam said, I interpret this to mean that your question has little to do with the terrorists and their eternal salvation and more to do with my own judgments and attitudes. I appreciate you bringing this to my attention and reminding me of it.

    Since I don’t think the root of your post has anything to do with terrorists or eschatology, I didn’t vote. This also allows me to avoid passing any judgment at all since this isn’t my job and I would hate to be judged by the same judgments I use on others.

  9. Yeah, I can’t vote in this poll. Only God should judge.

    You could make an argument for most of the possibilities, though:
    – Telestial Kingdom: since murderers go here, the hijackers could possibly fall into this category.
    – Terrestrial Kingdom: people who are basically good but are blinded by the craftiness of men go here. The 9/11 hijackers thought they were doing good, they were just blinded by the craftiness of a charismatic leader.
    – Celestial Kingdom: The Celestial Kingdom is for people who did the best they could with the truth they were given. We don’t know enough about any of the hijackers to say whether they were doing the best they could with what they had.

    The only one that’s not a possibility is Outer Darkness, though, because none of them were ever Mormons.

  10. I voted Terrestrial, because I believe that the ‘intent of the heart’ is paramount. I don’t believe anyone who hijacks plans knowing hundreds of innocents will die is really Celestial material. On the other hand, they certainly don’t qualify for outer darkness.

    “The only one who has 70 virgins waiting for him on the other side is some early Mormon polygamist…”

    I don’t believe that either.

  11. I hesitated to post this for the date it appeared, since I knew I wouldn’t be able to respond to comments as they were made. Let me just emphasize one thing:

    This really does focus on the issue of judgment, not the terrorists – which is why the options were an exclusive, sure one (“will be”), a limited one (“at best”), a less-but-still limited one (“might” land in the middle) and an unlimited one (“might” gain all the Father has).

    Fwiw, there is NO reason, given the careful wording for anyone to be unable to answer the post. Those who said they couldn’t make such a choice, in effect, chose #4 – that there is a possibility of Celestial reward for at least one of the 9/11 terrorists.

    PS. If anyone else wants to add to this thread, I will narrow the question to those who were on the planes – especially if that helps avoid attracting any more conspiracy theorists.

  12. Ray,

    Problem is that God doesn’t just judge us based on our actions here, but the overall context. The men on the plane likely never heard his Gospel, never had an opportunity to make that choice. If they hear the Gospel in Spirit Prison and respond with “Dang, if we only knew, we would never have done what we did!” then surely the equation is vastly different. When you are fighting for a cause, and you kill innocents, (as many Mormons have done in World War II, any who dropped bombs on civilian targets in Germany or Japan) their actions are excused because they were ordered to do so by their superiors. Of course, those innocents will have their voices heard on Judgment Day, and we of course will have no idea how that will turn out. Will the victims of Hiroshima get the vengeance they surely feel for the nuclear incineration they had to endure? Americans certainly don’t think so, the way we’ve so easily forgiven Truman and the others of that crime against humanity. Will those hundreds of thousands of innocents get a say in the final judgment of Truman and the others who executed that drop?

    Conceivably every single one of those 19 men could enter the Celestial Kingdom in the end. They certainly didn’t kill more innocents than the boys who flew the plane that dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. And we’re of the opinion that those guys will be immune from prosecution for that act. In a conflict for survival, a lot of judgment about who gets to go to hell and who gets to go to heaven is just unknown.

  13. Dan, I’m not sure where we disagree – at least with respect to your last comment.

    The use of the word “terrorist” fits the action, as did the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I have no problem whatsoever extending the term to those who ordered the attacks but didn’t die in them, but it is the “active participants” who are the public face of the event – so I chose to focus on them.

    Frankly, I have NO problem with discussions of the culpability of the leaders, or a comparison to American actions in other situations, but I just don’t want to hear about crews who took down the towers or politicians who knew about it but ignored it. That crosses my own line.

  14. Comparing the pilots over Hiroshima to the pilots of the hijakced airplanes of September 11, 2001… that crosses my line. The war between the U.S. and Japan was an open, officially-declared war. Civilian targets were known to be in danger. And the so-called “crimes against humanity” that ended the war actually saved the country of Japan. Neither the circumstances, the motives nor the outcomes can be compared to September 11.

  15. Greg, let me be crystal clear:

    I DON’T have a problem with the bombs being dropped in that particular situation. I really don’t. I DO have a problem with how and where they were dropped. The motivation to do so was to kill so many CIVILIANS that the Japanese people and government would be terrified to continue the war. It’s easy to say they were dropped to preserve greater loss of life, but they killed civilians. In that way, those bombs were no different than the planes of 9/11. They were “weapons of mass destruction” used to kill civilians. That is the classic definition of terrorism – kill innocent people and scare the beejeebers out of people, thus weakening their will to continue to fight.

    The question then becomes: Is it ever appropriate to engage in terrorism?

    If nobody else is interested in pursuing the actual point of the post further, have at the new question.

  16. I voted celestial because maybe one or two can make it, depends on other things.

    While they were terrorist for us, they believed that they were fighting a foreign power (USA) using unconventional warfare. For them it was for a cause and not just for money or revenge.

    For me its almost the same as when our special forces ‘take out’ a target. That target will always claim that he was assassinated but we say that its a necessary evil and even collateral damage sometimes. It all depends on whose side you’re on.

    Ray “In that way, those bombs were no different than the planes of 9/11.” another very rare example of when I can agree with you. But the punishment for all these fighters, the US bombers in WWII or the terrorists on 9/11, I believe may be minimal. Its the killing motivated by revenge or for money or to cover up another sin that is the problem imho. If Osama is motivated by money, well then he is in trouble, not his foot-soldiers who fanatically believe in him ideology.

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