The Soul Gem is one of six of the Infinity Gems. Its mother is a star and its father destruction. The gems were once one sentient being and the Soul Gem itself remains sentient. The Soul Gem requires a host body and usually combines itself to the host and domains the host's will and spirit.
The Soul Gem has the power to manipulate and enrich the life & death force of anything or everything with a soul of its own. It can steal a person or beings soul leaving their body a lifeless husk or peer into someone's soul and manipulate it, along with the host being's corporeal form. The Soul Stone is so powerful it can even restore life energy on a Planetary scale. It can also be used to translate any language and make them instantly understandable to the bearer of the gem. Soul can also reveal the purity of the spirit within and unless properly handled, the gem will steal a soul of any touching it. Said gem can also be used to create forceful energy pulses known as Karmic Blasts which attack the spirit. Even without a host, the gem is capable of speaking, flying and shooting powerful blasts. The Soul Gem pairs well with the Mind Gem and together can achieve feats that alone they cannot. After Infinity Warps, Warlock utilized the soul stone's power to bestow autonomy or the expression of which onto the other five infinity gems. Indicating Soul has the power to bestow sentience inducing motion in the motionless.
Any soul taken is then transported inside the gem. This world is known as Soul World. It is nearly inescapable. Many lose their powers and abilities once inside.
In this place everyone inside knows every other person inside as if they have met before. It is a very peaceful and calm place.
Adam Warlock once became the 'ruler' of this world and said that he found a peace that he could never obtain in reality there. Only he has had the power to escape but chose not to. He has helped others escape, such as Drax and the Silver Surfer.
The Soul Gem has need of a host body and has had countless hosts throughout the eons of it's existence. It came into the possession of the High Evolutionary, but he never used the gem because he was unsure of it's power. He eventually gave the gem to Adam Warlock to help protect Counter Earth.
Adam Warlock possessed the gem for many years. Adam and the gem were close as though they were one. The gem once took in his spirit in order to save his life and provided him with a donor body and resurrected him, as well as Pip and Gamora. The gem slowly drained his soul into it, thus he cold not survive without it. It became his very life force. It began to control his subconscious and began taking souls without his actions. The gem even tried to enslave Warlock inside its world but he knew that it could happen and had chosen a desert world to confront the gem so that it could not find another host to carry on living.
The gem would come into possession of the Kree Empire and was used by the Supreme Intelligence to contain and control the warring blue and pink Kree minds located within his construct. The Silver Surfer removed the gem from him, which caused his mind to come apart.
The Soul Gem next fell into the possession of the Elders of the Universe. They attempted to use all the gems to kill Galactus. The gem first fell into the possession of Gardener after Adam Warlock died fighting Mad Thanos, the Elder looking to seed new gardens with its power. Then the hulk utilized it to breath life back into the vegetation of the barren world K'ai by throwing it into the planets core. It was deposited into a black hole afterward that led to the Magick Realm. Having come into the possession of the In-Betweener since then.
The In-Betweener maintained possession of the gem while he was imprisoned by his masters in the Nexus of All Realities. It was here that Thanos took the gem from him during the Thanos Quest. He collected all the gems and combined them for ultimate power. The events that followed were known as the Infinity Gauntlet. The space pirate Nebula managed to take the gauntlet from Thanos and temporarily wielded it's power.
After Thanos' defeat, the gem was returned to Adam Warlock as a member of the Infinity Watch. During the Infinity War, the gem and all the others came to the possession of the Magus, who wished godhood for himself as well. After his defeat, the gem was once again placed on the brow of Adam Warlock. The gem once tried to leave Adam for a new host, named Darklore, because it could not enslave Adam's soul to his will and remained a free spirit. Adam of course did not permit this to happen.
When the Illuminati was in possession of the gems, the soul gem was trusted to Doctor Strange.
When Adam Warlock used the Soul Gem to imbue all the gems with the ability to choose their own destinies, the Soul Gem chose Multitude to be its host.
Avengers: Infinity War
After kidnapping Gamora, Thanos reminded her of how he entrusted her to find the Soul Stone. Thanos began to torture Nebula in order to force Gamora to reveal the stone's location, the planet Vormir. Taking Gamora with him, Thanos travelled to Vormir, and was greeted by the Red Skull, who had been sent to Vormir years ago after he abused the power of the Space Stone. The Red Skull reveals to Thanos that in order to get the Stone, he must give up something he loves. While Gamora believes that Thanos loves nothing but himself, she soon realizes she was actually the closest things he's ever come to love. A tearful Thanos tosses Gamora off the cliff of the temple, receiving the stone for her sacrifice.
He combine the soul stone with the other Infinity Stones to wipe out 50% of life in the universe.
Thanos uses the combined power of the stones to destroy them so that his work couldn't be undone. After Tony Stark perfects time travel, the surviving Avengers steal the stones from earlier in the timeline. Hawkeye and Black Widow go to Vormir where they struggle with who should sacrifice themselves. Widow jumps, granting Hawkeye the stone.
Hawkeye brings it to the present, where Hulk uses the combined powers to bring back the 50% of life Thanos wiped away.
Captain America returned the stones exactly where they found them in the timeline.