“The Worth of Souls Is Great in the Sight of God”

Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–13

10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.
13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“There are many reasons why the worth of souls is great in the sight of God, and why He desires to have them redeemed. First, man is the offspring of God in the spirit; we are His children, and as such He has a deep love and earnest concern for us one and all. It is necessary, however, to bring about His purposes and the salvation and exaltation of His children, that they have the free exercise of free agency, which is a gift from God. Therefore when we come in contact with mortal conditions with all their sin and temptation, many of us fail to continue in the path which leads to glory and exaltation wherein we may become the sons and daughters of God and as heirs have the fulness of His kingdom. It becomes necessary, therefore, that punishments as well as rewards be meted out, and based on the law of justice men will be assigned to the place which they merit because of their actions. In speaking to Enoch the Lord wept because of the wickedness of men. It is not the will of the Lord, as once was taught so generally, that some men are created for damnation and some for salvation. The Lord would have all men to be saved, and the privilege is theirs if they will receive it. Second, it is the privilege of those who are faithful to become like God. The human soul will not only become immortal through the resurrection, but may be exalted to godhood, as a joint heir with Jesus Christ. Man’s possibilities as a son of God are unlimited, because he too, like his father, will be infinite. A soul, therefore, is worth more than a world which is created for his habitation.

“Christ, because of His great love for mankind was willing to come to earth and endure suffering which is beyond the power of mortal men to comprehend. We should show our gratitude to Him and His Father for this great blessing which He gave to us through His suffering and death upon the cross.”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 83.)