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A House Divided, Luke 11:14-26; Matthew 12:31-42

Luke 11:14-26; Matthew 12:31-42 (see also Luke 12:9-10)

There is a passage here that discusses blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and thanks to a Joseph Smith translation, I now understand the connection between that topic and the passages that discuss the effects of an unclean spirit going and coming from a man's house.

So here is the doctrine--

Christ in several different places talks of the comparison between blasphemy against himself as compared with blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. For example:
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (Matthew 12:31-32)
The Joseph Smith Translation on Luke 12, also clearly states the difference between blasphemy against the Son of God, which with repentance is pardonable, and blasphemy against the Holy Ghost:
But he who denieth me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God.
Now his disciples knew that he said this, because they had spoken evil against him before the people; for they were afraid to confess him before men.
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, He knoweth our hearts, and he speaketh to our condemnation, and we shall not be forgiven. But he answered them, and said unto them,
Whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, and repenteth, it shall be forgiven him; but unto him who blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him. (JST, Luke 12:9–12)

In Luke 11:24, there are footnotes to the Joseph Smith Translation that suggest a simple switch of one pronoun:
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, it walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, it saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.
The changed focus is not on the man in whom the unclean spirit dwelt, but rather on the unclean spirit itself. So the scripture helps to illustrate what the unclean spirit finds in a man who denies the Holy Spirit. At first he is cast out of his house -- the body of him who once was possessed of the unclean spirit. Because of his denial of the Holy Spirit, the man has made of himself an empty house, ready for occupancy. So when the evil spirit returns, he brings others with him, and final state of the man, who has denied the Holy Spirit, is much worse than the first.

A combination of verses from Matthew and the Joseph Smith Translation, also illustrate the same:

Then came some of the scribes and said unto him, Master, it is written that, Every sin shall be forgiven; but ye say, Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven. And they asked him, saying, How can these things be?
 And he said unto them, When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest and findeth none; but when a man speaketh against the Holy Ghost, then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth him empty, swept and garnished; for the good spirit leaveth him unto himself. (JST, Matthew 12:37–38)
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. (Matthew 12:45)


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