The Savior's Reference To Outer Darkness
When the scriptures were originally written, during the time of Christ, "scientists" in the days of Christ only knew five things about the Universe:
It is questionable whether they knew that "stars" were really "Suns" which were really far, far, far, far away!!!
Yet in three places in the book of Matthew the term "Outer Darkness" is used which would not apply to any of these five types of celestial bodies!!!
First, Matthew 8:11-13:
11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
Second, Matthew 22:11-14:
11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
It is interesting that the only "sin" of this person is that he was not wearing the proper wedding garment. Yet he was cast into outer darkness.
Here is third example of the Savior using the phrase: outer darkness:
Third, Matthew 25:28-32:
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
The Book of Mormon also uses the term "outer darkness" in Alma 40:12-14:
12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
13 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil.
14 Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this estate, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection.
The resurrection of the wicked happens 1,000 years after the Second Coming of Christ. This 1,000 year period is known as the Millennium. Only the righteous are allowed on this planet after the Second Coming so those burning in hell for 1,000 years (i.e. the Millennium) suffer on another planet.
At the end of Millennium the wicked are brought to this planet to be resurrected (their body stayed in the grave until the end of the Millennium) and then they are taken to a "Telestial" planet assumedly forever.
I should note that the people who burn in hell for 1,000 years are precisely the same people who will be on the Telestial planet.
Those who qualify for the Celestial Kingdom or the Terrestrial Kingdom are resurrected at the time of the Second Coming and they live on this planet which will be "Celestialized" at the Second Coming of Christ.
Celestial Objects In Our Solar System That Might Qualify For Being In "Outer Darkness"
There are three places in our extended solar system (i.e. the Sun and all of the planets) where there would clearly be "darkness:"
You might want to Google these three phrases as I will not go into very much detail about them.
By the way, the Oort Cloud extends a very long ways away from our Sun and is essentially a bunch of rocks and ice and mountains which form a sphere around our Sun but very, very far away from the Sun.
Here is a quote from NASA about the Oort Cloud:
Note the difference betwen our solar system, which is on a flat plane, versus the shape of the Oort Cloud, which is sperical.
There are hundreds of "dwarf planets" (Pluto being one of them) which are in the Kuiper Belt (I don't know if the Oort Cloud includes any dwarf planets, the objects may not be that big). My point is that people could live (i.e. be banished to) almost countless icy rocks which would easily qualify as an outer darkness punishment!!! Certainly any object in the Oort Cloud would also be considered "outer darkness" and I suppose a person could be banished to an icy mountain in the Oort Cloud (where it would be really, really dark because everything is far, far, far away from the Sun)!!!
Note that these icy/rock objects are way, way, way outside of Neptune's orbit, especially on the Oort Cloud!!! Living by yourself on one of these icy rocks (which could be another punishment) would be a very serious punishment!!!
Here are five of the dwarf planets (I assume that most of them have not been named, but I don't know):
Here is an excellent article on the Kuiper Belt:
And remember the Oort Cloud is beyond the Kuiper Belt!!
Scientists know there is a "Planet 9" because they can see the effects of the gravity of this gigantic planet!!! But astronomers cannot "see" Planet 9 with their telescopes. There are multiple reasons why they cannot "see" it with their telescopes.
While it is obvious that anything further from the Sun than Neptune would qualify as "outer darkness." Planet 9 is a different case for two reasons.
First, is the orbit of Planet 9. It is hypothesized to follow a gigantic elliptical orbit!!!!
Anyone living on Planet 9 (as the "outer darkness" punishment) would see our Sun much dimmer than almost anything outside of Neptune's orbit. At times it would be way, way further away than anything in the Kuiper Belt or Oort Cloud. But it is not clear to me whether it gets as far out as the Oort Cloud or even much further out than the Oort Cloud!!!
Even though Planet 9 is estimated to be about ten times bigger than Earth, NO OBSERVATORY has ever "seen" Planet 9!! I do not know if any space telescopes have tried to see it!!!
The only reason that astonomers know Planet 9 exists is because they see clear gravitational pulls from Planet 9!!! Maybe the new James Webb Space Telescope will be able to see it. Planet 9 may be one hundred times bigger than Earth.
Second, what if Planet 9 were a gas giant??? I will talk more about that in a moment.
Anyone standing on the surface of Planet 9, and given its gigantic orbit aroud the Sun, and if it was a gas giant, would be in such darkness that they literally would not have a clue what direction the Sun was from them!!!!
The only way to replicate this darkness on Planet Earth (that is us) would be to be in a gigantic, winding cave, at least 1 mile from the entrance to the cave!!!
Planets And Other Objects Which Are Outside Of Our Solar System!!!!
Heavenly Father is not limited to having the Sons of Perdition stay in our solar system. There are many other options outside of our solar system where sons of perdition would be very, very uncomfortable!!! So let's talk about other solar systems.
A planet called a "Hot Juipiter" is a gas giant (like Jupiter) but it is very, very close to the sun/star that it orbits and the surface of these planets get really, really hot!!!
I quote another website (a "Hot Jupiter" would not be an "outer darkness" but I want to give a demonstration of the many, many planets in our Universe):
Some stars are giant X-Ray machines and you would not want to get anywhere near one these stars or you would get fried in an instant!!!
One of the things that we would not normally even think about is very factual: planets which do not orbit a sun!!! One estimate is that 100,000 planets may exist which do not orbit a star "for every main sequence star"!!!
The Spitzer Space Telescope, is an infrared telescope in space that specializes in looking at exoplanets which, by definition are outside of our solar systems. It pretty much specializes in finding places that would make anything in our solar system seem cold.
By the way, you have no idea how many people are in the field of astronomy. I put this into Google: "PhD in Astronomy"
On the home page of this website are comments about Mercury, which has some interesting characterists for anyone who lives on that planet.
Final Comments About Our Solar System
The big question is this: why haven't astronomers been able to see a planet (Planet 9) which has about ten times the mass as our planet???
If Planet 9 is a "gas giant" like Juipiter, just much further away, it would be easy to figure out why astronomers cannot see Planet 9. The very dim light from the Sun (at this distance away from our Sun), would probably not penetrate the clouds surrounding Planet 9 to even get to the hard core of Planet 9.
To make things worse, what little, or no light, gets to the hard surface of Planet 9 would have to "bounce" off of the hard core of Planet 9 and AGAIN GO THROUGH THE GAS CLOUD (a second time) to get back to earth!!! Ain't gonna happen!!!!!
So let's now think of someone who is banished to live on the surfact of Planet 9.
For reasons I just mentioned, very little light, if any, would get to the surface of Planet 9 because of the clouds PLUS the distance from the Sun!!! These people would literally be in outer darkness!!!
Final Comments About The Phrase "Outer Darkness"
When the Savior was talking about "Outer Darkness" He could have been thinking about:
Regarding item #4, the Milkey Way galaxy alone may have billions of rogue planets!!! You don't want to live on one of those planets as it would be very, very, very dark and if you were the only person on that planet you would be very, very lonely!!!!
A major hot planet would be a Hot Jupiter which was Tidal locked to the Sun it is orbiting!!! This would be in "outer darkness" relative to our planet, but it would be a punishment beyond comprehension!!!
In short, there are quite a few options that the Savior might have been thinking about!!!
But perhaps the worst punishment of all would be a rogue planet wandering around in outer space!!! You cannot imagine how dark it would be and how lonely you would be!!!
But even if you were living on something in the Oort Cloud, from that viewpoint our Sun would look slightly larger than a star!!!
Both Planet 9, if it had thick clouds and was in our solar system much of the time (if it had a giant elliptical orbit most of the time it would be far, far away from our Sun), or deep, deep, deep into the Oort Cloud would both create unbelievable darkness!!!
And I should add that the Oort Cloud, way, way, way, way away from the Sun would be very, very, very cold!!!! Remember, the Oort Cloud has a lot of ice in it!!! In the Oort Cloud, millions of different people could live alone on their own private, frozen icecube!!!!
Don't forget loneliness as a punishment!!!
And if you did run into other people, who are also in outer darkness think what kind of people they would be!!!
This is the key to me: it seems to me that God intentionally and carefully designed Planet 9 to be HELL!!!!!
The two worst options would be to live on:
These two objects make living on an object in the Oort Cloud look like a vacation!!!
What do you think??? Your guess is as good as mine!!!
To Whom Might The "Outer Darkness" Punishment Apply???
It is not exactly clear who might fit into the category of "outer darkness," but I would assume it would be sons of perdition or perhaps the "like unto the son of perdition" which is mentioned in 3 Nephi 29:5-7 in the Book of Mormon
Basically, anything in our solar system which is outside of the orbit of Neptune could be considered to be in "outer darkness" because the Sun would be so far away.
Pluto was demoted from being a planet to being a "dwarf planet" so it is no longer considered a "planet." Pluto is now rated as just another Kuiper Belt object.
It is not clear as to who would end up in "outer darkness," or exactly why they will be sent there, but it is clear that some people will go there or the Savior would not have mentioned it!!!
Back To The Time Of Christ
The people in Jerusalen in the time of Christ did not have a clue what the Savior was talking about!!! But the aposles would clearly have known that outer darkness was not a good thing!!!
Here is my point, when the Savior made his comments, no one, not even His disciples, would have had a clue what He was talking about!!!
But today we know many options that the Savior could have been talking about.
But perhaps some people will end up on Planet 9 and others may end up way, way, way, way out on the Oort cloud where it is lonely. I just hope I am not in any of the places I have talked about!!!