The Lord is merciful to the innocent whether by age or through ignorance. However, those who exhibit willful rebellion are in the shallow end of the mercy pool. They feel the weight of the ruthless demands of divine justice more fully than any other group. Abinadi taught that they would not be eligible for the first resurrection (Mosiah 15:26). This is because they would not receive of the power of Christ's atonement. In other words, they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received (DC 88:32). Furthermore, "willful rebellion" more aptly describes the attitude of Satan than any other phrase. It is the defining characteristic of those who become the Sons of Perdition. The Lord says they are those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and yet deny the truth and defy my power (DC 76:31).
Elder ElRay L. Christiansen
"'Now, they did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God concerning them, for it had been taught unto them therefore they did wilfully rebel against God.' (3 Nephi 6:15-16, 18.) So it is with us today. We, too, are well-taught, but many, too many of us, in the Church and out of the Church, are led away by crafty men whom the Adversary uses as tools, from the standards and the ideals the Lord has set for our happiness and our security.
"Will history repeat itself? Shall we in this beloved land again lose our freedom because of disobedience? No nation rises above its religion." (Conference Report, Apr. 1961, p. 74)