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The testament of Alma the high priest
composed ca. 72 bc
Now Alma, being grieved: For the iniquity of his people, yea for the wars, and the bloodsheds, and the contentions which were among them; and having been to declare the word, or sent to declare the word, among all the people in every city; and seeing that the hearts of the people began to wax hard, and that they began to be offended because of the strictness of the word, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.
Therefore, he caused that his sons should be gathered together, that he might give unto them every one his charge, separately, concerning the things pertaining unto righteousness. And we have an account of his commandments, which he gave unto them according to his own record. The commandments of Alma to his son Helaman:
My son, give ear to my words!
For I swear unto you, that inasmuch as ye shall keep
The commandments of God, ye shall prosper in the land.
I would that ye should do as I have done,
In remembering the captivity of our fathers.
For they were in bondage, and none could deliver them
Except it was the god of Abraham, and the god of Isaac,
And the god of Jacob.
And he surely did deliver them in their afflictions.
And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth.
And therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear
My words and learn of me for I do know that whosoever
Shall put their trust in God shall be supported
In their trials, and their troubles. And their afflictions,
And shall be lifted up at the last day.
And I would not that ye think that I know of myself:
Not of the temporal but of the spiritual,
Not of the carnal mind but of God.
Now, behold, I say unto you, if I had not been born of
God I should not have known these things, but
God has, by the mouth
Of his holy angel, made these things known unto me,
Not of any worthiness of myself : For I went about
With the sons of Mosiah, seeking to destroy the Church of God!
But behold, God sent his holy angel to stop us by the way.
And behold, he spake unto us, as it were the voice of thunder! And
The whole earth did tremble beneath our feet!
And we all fell to the earth, for the fear of the Lord came upon us.
But behold, the voice said unto me: Arise!
And I arose and stood up, and beheld the angel.
And he said unto me: If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed,
Seek no more to destroy the Church of God.
And it came to pass that I fell to the earth!
And it was for the space of three days and three nights
That I could not open my mouth, neither had I the use of my limbs.
And the angel spake more things unto me, which were heard by
My brethren, but I did not hear them
For when I heard the words — If thou wilt be destroyed of thyself,
Seek no more to destroy the Church of God — I was struck
With such great fear and amazement lest perhaps I should
Be destroyed, that I fell to the earth and I did
Hear no more. But I was racked with eternal
Torment, for my soul was harrowed up to
The greatest degree and racked with all my sins.
Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities!
For which I was tormented with the pains of Hell!
Yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my god,
And that I had not kept his holy commandments.
Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or
Rather led them away unto destruction.
Yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities,
That the very thought of coming into the presence of my god
Did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.
Oh, thought I, that I could be banished!
And become extinct both soul and body!
That I might not be brought to stand in
The presence of my god, to be judged of my deeds.
And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked!
Even with the pains of a damned soul.
And it came to pass that as I was thus racked
With torment, while I was harrowed up by
The memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also
To have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning
The coming of one Jesus Christ, a son of God,
To atone for the sins of the world.
Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried
Within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me!
Who am in the gall of bitterness and am encircled about
By the everlasting chains of death!
And now, behold, when I thought this,
I could remember my pains no more!
Yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
And oh, what joy! And what marvelous light I did behold!
Yea, my soul was filled with joy, as exceeding as was my pain!
Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing
So exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea,
And again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand,
There can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting
Upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels,
In the attitude of singing and praising their god!
Yea, and my soul did long to be there.
But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again,
And I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people
That I had been born of God. Yea, and from that time even
Until now, I have labored without ceasing,
That I might bring souls unto repentance;
That I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy
Of which I did taste, that they might also be born of God,
And be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Yea, and now behold, O my son!
The Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in
The fruit of my labors. For because of the word which he
Has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God,
And have tasted as I have tasted,
And have seen eye to eye as I have seen.
Therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken,
As I do know, and the knowledge which I have is of God.
And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind,
Yea, and in all manner of afflictions, yea, God has
Delivered me from prison, and from bonds,
And from death, yea, and I do put my trust in him,
And he will still deliver me. And I know that he will raise me
Up at the last day, to dwell with him in glory!
Yea, and I will praise him forever,
For he has brought our fathers out of Egypt,
And he has swallowed up the Egyptians in the Red Sea, and he led
Them by his power into the promised land, yea,
And he has delivered them out of bondage and captivity
From time to time. Yea, and he has also brought
Our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem
And he has also, by his everlasting power, delivered them
Out of bondage and captivity, from time to time, even down
To the present day and I have always retained
In remembrance their captivity
Yea, and ye also ought to retain in remembrance,
As I have done, their captivity.
But behold, my son, this is not all!
For ye ought to know as I do know,
That inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God
Ye shall prosper in the land, and ye ought to know also,
That inasmuch as ye will not keep the commandments of God
Ye shall be cut off from his presence.
Now this is according to his word.
And now, my son Helaman, I command you that ye take the records
Which have been entrusted with me.
And I also command you that ye keep a record of this people,
According as I have done, upon the Plates of Nephi,
And keep all these things sacred which I have kept,
Even as I have kept them, for it is for
A wise purpose that they are kept.
And these Plates of Brass, which contain these engravings,
Which have the records of the holy scriptures upon them,
Which have the genealogy of our forefathers, even from the beginning.
Behold, it has been prophesied by our fathers, that they should be kept
And handed down from one generation to another,
And be kept and preserved by the hand of the
Lord until they should go forth unto every nation, kindred,
Tongue, and people, that they shall know of
The mysteries contained thereon.
And now behold, if they are kept they must retain their brightness.
Yea, and they will retain their brightness! Yea, and also shall all
The plates which do contain that which is holy writ.
Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me!
But behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things
Are great things brought to pass, and small means in many
Instances doth confound the wise.
And the Lord God doth work by means to bring
About his great and eternal purposes, and by
Very small means the Lord doth confound the wise
And bringeth about the salvation of many souls.
And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things
Should be preserved, for behold, they have enlarged the
Memory of this people, yea, and convinced many
Of the error of their ways, and brought them to
The knowledge of their god unto the salvation of their souls.
Yea, I say unto you, were it not for these things
That these records do contain, which are on these plates,
Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many
Thousands of the Lamanites of the incorrect
Tradition of their fathers, yea, these records
And their words brought them unto repentance!
That is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their god,
And to rejoice in Jesus Christ their redeemer.
And who knoweth but what they will
Be the means of bringing many thousands of them,
Yea, and also many thousands of our stiffnecked brethren,
The Nephites, who are now hardening their hearts in sin
And iniquities, to the knowledge of their redeemer?
Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me.
Therefore I shall forbear. And it may suffice if I only say
They are preserved for a wise purpose, which purpose is
Known unto God. For he doth counsel in wisdom over
All his works, and his paths are straight, and his course is
One eternal round.
O remember, remember, my son Helaman,
How strict are the commandments of God.
And he said: If ye will keep my commandments, ye shall prosper
In the land — but if ye keep not his commandments, ye shall be
Cut off from his presence.
And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted you
With these things, which are sacred, which he has kept sacred,
And also which he will keep and preserve for a wise purpose in him,
That he may show forth his power unto future generations.
And now behold, I tell you by the spirit of prophecy,
That if ye transgress the commandments of God, behold!
These things which are sacred shall be taken away from you
By the power of God, and ye shall be delivered
Up unto Satan, that he may sift you as chaff before the wind.
But if ye keep the commandments of God, and do with
These things which are sacred according to that which the Lord doth
Command you, for you must appeal unto the Lord for all things
Whatsoever ye must do with them; behold, no power of earth
Or Hell can take them from you,
For God is powerful to the fulfilling of
All his words. For he will fulfill all his
Promises which he shall make unto you, for
He has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto
Our fathers. For he promised unto them that he would
Preserve these things for a wise purpose in him,
That he might show forth his power unto future generations.
And now behold, one purpose hath he fulfilled,
Even to the restoration of many thousands of
The Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth
And he hath shown forth his power in them, and he will also
Still show forth his power in them
Unto future generations, therefore they shall be preserved.
Therefore I command you, my son Helaman,
That ye be diligent in fulfilling all my words,
And that ye be diligent in keeping the commandments of God
As they are written.
And now, I will speak unto you concerning those twenty-four plates.
That ye keep them, that the mysteries and the works
Of darkness, and their secret works, or the secret works
Of those people who have been destroyed, may be made
Manifest unto this people, yea, all their murders, and
Robbings, and their plunderings,
And all their wickedness and abominations, may be made
Manifest unto this people, yea, and that ye
Preserve these directors [interpreters 1920 ed.]
For behold, the Lord saw that his people began to work in darkness,
Yea, work secret murders and abominations
Therefore the Lord said, if they did not repent
They should be destroyed from off
The face of the earth. And the Lord said:
I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem,
A stone, which shall shine forth
In darkness unto light, that I may discover
Unto my people who serve me,
That I may discover unto them the works of their brethren,
Yea, their secret works, their works of
Darkness, and their wickedness and abominations.
And now, my son, these directors [interpreters 1920 ed.]
Were prepared that the word of God might be fulfilled, which he
I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all
Their secret works and their abominations!
And except they repent I will destroy them
From off the face of the earth, and I will
Bring to light all their secrets and abominations,
Unto every nation that shall hereafter possess the land.
And now, my son, we see that they did not repent.15Alma has quoted for us some portion of an un-published text, presumably translated from the same twenty-four plates that Moroni will use for his history of the Jaredites.
Therefore they have been destroyed.
And thus far the word of God has been fulfilled.
Yea, their secret abominations have been brought out
Of darkness and made known unto us.
And now, my son, I command you that ye retain all their oaths,
And their covenants, and their agreements
In their secret abominations. Yea, and all their signs and
Their wonders ye shall keep from this people,
That they know them not, lest peradventure they should fall
Into darkness also and be destroyed.
For behold, there is a curse upon all this land, that
Destruction shall come upon all those workers of darkness,
According to the power of God, when they are fully ripe.
Therefore I desire that this people might not be destroyed.
Therefore ye shall keep these secret plans of their oaths
And their covenants from this people,
And only their wickedness and their murders and their
Abominations shall ye make known unto them
And ye shall teach them to abhor such wickedness
And abominations and murders, and ye shall also
Teach them that these people were destroyed
On account of their wickedness and
Abominations and their murders.
For behold, they murdered all the prophets of the Lord who came
Among them to declare unto them concerning their
Iniquities, and the blood of those whom they murdered did cry
Unto the Lord their god for vengeance upon those who were
Their murderers! And thus the judgments of God did come
Upon these workers of darkness and secret combinations.
Yea, and cursed be the land forever and ever
Unto those workers of darkness and secret combinations,
Even unto destruction, except they repent before they are fully ripe.
And now, my son, remember the words which I have spoken
Unto you! Trust not those secret plans unto this people,
But teach them an everlasting hatred against sin
And iniquity. Preach unto them repentance, and faith
On the Lord Jesus Christ, teach them to humble themselves
And to be meek and lowly in heart, teach them to withstand
Every temptation of the devil,
With their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Teach them to never be weary of good
Works, but to be meek and lowly in heart.
For such shall find rest to their souls.
O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth.
Yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.
Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support. Yea,
Let all thy doings be unto the Lord,
And whithersoever thou goest let it be
In the Lord, yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto
The Lord, yea, let the affections of thy heart be
Placed upon the Lord forever.
Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings,
And he will direct thee for good
Yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord,
That he may watch over you in your sleep
And when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks
Unto God. And if ye do these things,
Ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing
Which our fathers call a ball, or director.
Or our fathers called it Liahona, which is,
Being interpreted, a compass. And the Lord prepared it.
And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of
So curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto
Our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness.
And it did work for them according to their faith in God
Therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause
That those spindles should point the way they should go,
Behold, it was done! Therefore they had this
Miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by
The power of God, day by day.
Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means
It did show unto them marvelous works.
They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence.
And then those marvelous works ceased!
And they did not progress in their journey.
Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness,
Or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with
Hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.
And now, my son, I would that ye should understand
That these things are not without a shadow.
For as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass;
Now these things were temporal; they did not prosper.
Even so it is with things which are spiritual.
For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ,
Which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss,
As it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass,
Which would point unto them
A straight course to the promised land.
And now I say, is there not a type in this thing?
For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers,
By following its course, to the promised land,
Shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course,
Carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.
O my son, do not let us be slothful because of
The easiness of the way! For so was it with our fathers.
For so was it prepared for them, that if they would look
They might live. Even so it is with us.
The way is prepared, and if we will look, we may live forever.
And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things,
Yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and
Declare the word, and be sober.
My son, farewell.
The commandments of Alma to his son Shiblon.
My son, give ear to my words, for I say unto you,
Even as I said unto Helaman, that inasmuch as ye shall keep
The commandments of God, ye shall prosper in the land
And inasmuch as ye will not keep the commandments of God
Ye shall be cut off from his presence.
And now, my son, I trust that I shall have great joy in you,
Because of your steadiness and your faithfulness
Unto God. For as you have commenced in your youth
To look to the Lord your god, even so I hope that you
Will continue in keeping his commandments!
For blessed is he that endureth to the end.
I say unto you, my son, that I have had great joy in thee
Already, because of thy faithfulness and thy diligence,
And thy patience and thy long-suffering
Among the people of the Zoramites.
For I know that thou wast in bonds, yea,
And I also know that thou wast stoned for the word’s sake
And thou didst bear all these things with patience
Because the Lord was with thee.
And now thou knowest that the Lord did deliver thee.
And now my son, Shiblon,
I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put
Your trust in God, even so much ye shall be delivered out of
Your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and
Ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
Now, my son, I would not that ye should think
That I know these things of myself, but it is
The Spirit of God which is in me, which maketh these things
Known unto me. For if I had not been born of God
I should not have known these things.
But behold, the Lord in his great mercy sent
His angel to declare unto me that I must stop the work
Of destruction among his people, yea, and I have seen an angel
Face to face, and he spake with me, and his voice was as
Thunder, and it shook the whole earth.
And it came to pass that I was three days and three nights
In the most bitter pain and anguish of soul!
And never, until I did cry out unto the Lord Jesus Christ
For mercy, did I receive a remission of my sins.
But behold, I did cry unto him, and I did find peace to my soul.
And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom,
That ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means
Whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ.
Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold,
He is the word of truth and righteousness.
And now, as ye have begun to teach the word
Even so I would that ye should continue to teach, and I would
That ye would be diligent and temperate in all things.
See that ye are not lifted up unto pride!
Yea, see that ye do not boast in your own wisdom,
Nor of your much strength.
Use boldness, but not overbearance.
And also see that ye bridle all your passions,
That ye may be filled with love.
See that ye refrain from idleness.
Do not pray as the Zoramites do, for ye have seen
That they pray to be heard of men,
And to be praised for their wisdom.
Do not say: O God, I thank thee that we are better
Than our brethren. But rather say: O Lord, forgive my unworthiness!
And remember my brethren in mercy.
Yea, acknowledge your unworthiness before God at all times.
And may the Lord bless your soul, and receive you
At the last day into his kingdom, to sit down in peace.
Now go, my son, and teach the word unto this people.
Be sober. My son, farewell.
The commandments of Alma to his son Corianton.
And now, my son, I have somewhat more to say unto thee
Than what I said unto thy brother.
For behold, have ye not observed the steadiness of thy brother,
His faithfulness, and his diligence in keeping
The commandments of God? Behold,
Has he not set a good example for thee? For thou didst not give
So much heed unto my words as did thy brother,
Among the people of the Zoramites. Now this is what
I have against thee: thou didst go on unto boasting
In thy strength and thy wisdom. And this is not all,
My son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me
For thou didst forsake the ministry,
And did go over into the land of Siron
Among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel.
Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many.
But this was no excuse for thee, my son.
Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry
Wherewith thou wast entrusted.
Know ye not, my son, that these things are an
Abomination in the sight of the Lord? Yea, most abominable
Above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood
Or denying the Holy Ghost?
For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once
Has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it,
Behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable!
Yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light
And knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness
Yea, I say unto you, my son,
That it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.
And now, my son, I would to God that ye had not been guilty of
So great a crime. I would not dwell upon your crimes,
To harrow up your soul, if it were not for your good.
But behold, ye cannot hide your crimes from God!
And except ye repent they will stand as
A testimony against you at the last day.
Now my son, I would that ye should repent and forsake
Your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes,
But cross yourself in all these things, for except ye do this ye can
In nowise inherit the Kingdom of God.
Oh, remember, and take it upon you, and cross yourself
In these things.
And I command you to take it upon you to counsel with
Your elder brothers in your undertakings.
For behold, thou art in thy youth,
And ye stand in need to be nourished by your brothers.
And give heed to their counsel. Suffer not yourself
To be led away by any vain or foolish thing!
Suffer not the devil to lead away your heart again
After those wicked harlots! Behold, O my son,
How great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites.
For when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words.
And now the spirit of the Lord doth say unto me:
Command thy children to do good! Lest they lead away the hearts
Of many people to destruction. Therefore I command you, my son,
In the fear of God, that ye refrain from your iniquities!
That ye turn to the Lord with all your mind, might, and strength!
That ye lead away the hearts of men no more to do wickedly!
But rather return unto them, and acknowledge your faults
And that wrong which ye have done.
Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world!
For behold, you cannot carry them with you.
And now, my son, I would say somewhat unto you
Concerning the coming of Christ. Behold, I say unto you,
That it is he that surely shall come to take away the sins of the world.
Yea, he cometh to declare glad tidings of salvation unto his people.
And now, my son, this was the ministry unto which ye were called,
To declare these glad tidings unto this people,
To prepare their minds, or rather that salvation might come
Unto them, that they may prepare the minds of their children
To hear the word at the time of his coming.
And now I will ease your mind somewhat on this subject. Behold,
You marvel why these things should be known so long beforehand.
Behold, I say unto you, is not a soul at this time as precious unto God
As a soul will be at the time of his coming?
Is it not as necessary that the plan of redemption should be
Made known unto this people as well as unto their children?
Is it not as easy at this time for the Lord to send his angel to declare
These glad tidings unto us as unto our children,
Or as after the time of his coming?
Now my son, here is somewhat more I would say unto thee.
For I perceive that thy mind is worried concerning the
Resurrection of the dead. Behold, I say unto you,
That there is no resurrection — or, I would say,
In other words, that this mortal does not put on immortality,
This corruption does not put on incorruption,
Until after the coming of Christ.
Behold, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead!
But behold, my son, the resurrection is not yet.
Now, I unfold unto you a mystery.
Nevertheless, there are many mysteries
Which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself.
But I show unto you one thing which I have inquired
Diligently of God that I might know –
That is concerning the resurrection.
Behold, there is a time appointed that all shall come forth
From the dead. Now when this time cometh no one knows
But God knoweth the time which is appointed.
Now, whether there shall be one time, or a second time,
Or a third time, that men shall come forth from the dead,
It mattereth not. For God knoweth all these things.
And it sufficeth me to know that this is the case:
That there is a time appointed that all shall rise
From the dead. Now there must needs be a space betwixt
The time of death and the time of the resurrection.
And now I would inquire what becometh of the souls of men from
This time of death to the time appointed for the resurrection?
Now whether there is more than one time appointed for men to rise
It mattereth not, for all do not die at once,
And this mattereth not. All is as one day with God,
And time only is measured unto men.
Therefore, there is a time appointed unto men
That they shall rise from the dead
And there is a space between the time of death
And the resurrection. And now, concerning this space
Of time, what becometh of the souls of men is
The thing which I have inquired diligently of the Lord to know.
And this is the thing of which I do know.
And when the time cometh when all shall rise,
Then shall they know that God knoweth all the times
Which are appointed unto man.
Now, concerning the state of the soul between
Death and the resurrection: Behold, it has been made known
Unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon
As they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men,
Whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that god who gave
Them life. 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.
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.
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
State, as well as the righteous in paradise, until
The time of their resurrection.
Now, there are some that have understood that this state
Of happiness and this state of misery of the soul, before
The resurrection, was a first resurrection.
Yea, I admit it may be termed
A resurrection, the raising of the spirit or the soul
And their consignation to happiness or misery, according
To the words which have been spoken.
And behold, again it hath been spoken,
That there is a first resurrection, a resurrection
Of all those who have been, or who are,
Or who shall be, down to the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
Now, we do not suppose that this first resurrection,
Which is spoken of in this manner, can be the resurrection
Of the souls and their consignation to happiness
Or misery. Ye cannot suppose that this is what it meaneth.
Behold, I say unto you, Nay!
But it meaneth the reuniting of the soul with the body, of those
From the days of Adam down to the resurrection of Christ.
Now, whether the souls and the bodies of those
Of whom has been spoken shall all be reunited
At once, the wicked as well as the righteous, I do not say.
Let it suffice, that I say that they all come forth
Or in other words, their resurrection cometh to pass before
The resurrection of those who die, after the resurrection of Christ.
Now, my son, I do not say that their resurrection cometh
At the resurrection of Christ, but behold, I give it as my opinion,
That the souls and the bodies are reunited, of the righteous,
At the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into Heaven.
But whether it be at his resurrection or after, I do not say
But this much I say, that there is a space between death and
The resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul
In happiness or in misery until the time which is appointed of God
That the dead shall come forth, and be reunited,
Both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God,
And be judged according to their works.
Yea, this bringeth about the restoration of those things
Of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets.
The soul shall be restored to the body,
And the body to the soul, yea, and every limb and joint
Shall be restored to its body, yea, even a hair of the head
Shall not be lost, but all things shall be restored to
Their proper and perfect frame.
And now, my son, this is the restoration
Of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets
And then shall the righteous shine forth, in the Kingdom of God.
But behold, an awful death cometh upon the wicked!
For they die as to things pertaining to things of righteousness
For they are unclean, and no unclean thing can inherit the
Kingdom of God but they are cast out, and consigned to partake
Of the fruits of their labors or their works, which have been evil,
And they drink the dregs of a bitter cup.
And now, my son, I have somewhat to say
Concerning the restoration of which has been spoken, for
Behold, some have wrested the scriptures, and have gone far astray
Because of this thing. And I perceive that thy mind has been worried
Also concerning this thing. But behold, I will explain it unto thee.
I say unto thee, my son, that the plan of restoration
Is requisite with the justice of God, for it is requisite
That all things should be testored to their proper
Order. Behold, it is requisite and just,
According to the power and resurrection of Christ,
That the soul of man should be restored to its body,
And that every part of the body should be restored to itself.
And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged
According to their works, and if their works were good in this life,
And the desires of their hearts were good, that they should
Also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good.
And if their works are evil they shall be
Restored unto them for evil.
Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order,
Every thing to its natural frame :
Mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption,
Raised to endless happiness to inherit the Kingdom of God,
Or to endless misery to inherit the Kingdom of
The Devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other:
The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness,
Or good according to his desires of good
And the other to evil according to his desires of evil
For as he has desired to do evil all the day long.
Even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.
And so it is on the other hand.
If he hath repented of his sins, and desired righteousness until
The end of his days, even so he shall be rewarded unto righteousness.
These are they that are redeemed of the Lord
Yea, these are they that are taken out, that are
Delivered from that endless night of darkness
And thus they stand or fall, for behold, they are their own judges
Whether to do good or do evil. Now
The decrees of God are unalterable! Therefore,
The way is prepared, that whosoever will, may walk
Therein, and be saved.
And now behold, my son, do not risk one more
Offense against your god upon those points of doctrine,
Which ye have hitherto risked to commit sin.
Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning
Restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness.
Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.
And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature,
Or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of
Bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity, they are without God
In the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God
Therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.
And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration
To take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state,
Or to place it in a state opposite to its nature?
O, my son, this is not the case
But the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again
Evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for
Devilish. Good for that which is good, righteous for that
Which is righteous, Just for that which is just, merciful
For that which is merciful. Therefore, my son, see that
You are merciful unto your brethren,
Deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually.
And if ye do all these things then shall ye
Receive your reward, yea, ye shall have mercy restored
Unto you again, ye shall have justice restored unto you
Again, ye shall have a righteous judgment restored
Unto you again, and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.
For that which ye do send out shall return unto you
Again, and be restored, therefore, the word restoration
More fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him
Not at all.
And now, my son, I perceive there is somewhat more
Which doth worry your mind, which ye cannot understand:
Which is concerning the justice of God in the punishment of
The sinner, for ye do try to suppose that it is injustice
That the sinner should be consigned to a state of misery.
Now behold, my son, I will explain this thing unto thee.
For behold, after the Lord God sent our first parents forth from the
Garden of Eden to till the ground, from whence they were taken,
Yea, he drew out the Man; and he placed at the east end of the garden
Of Eden, cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way,
To keep the Tree of Life. Now, we see
That the man had become as God,
Knowing good and evil, and lest he should put forth his hand,
And take also of the Tree of Life, and eat and live forever,
The Lord God placed cherubim and the flaming sword,
That he should not partake of the fruit.
And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man
To repent, yea, a probationary time, a time
To repent and serve God.
For behold, if Adam had put forth his hand
Immediately, and partaken of the Tree of Life, he would have lived
Forever, according to the word of God, having no space for
Repentance, yea, and also the word of God would have been void, and
The great plan of salvation would have been frustrated.
But behold, it was appointed unto man to die.
Therefore, as they were cut off from the Tree of Life, they should be
Cut off from the face of the earth – and man became lost forever,
Yea, they became Fallen Man. And now, ye see by this
That our first parents were cut off both temporally
And spiritually from the presence of the Lord, and thus we see
They became subjects to follow after their own will.
Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be
Reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy
The great plan of happiness. Therefore, as the soul could never die,
And the Fall had brought upon all mankind
A spiritual death as well as a temporal, that is,
They were cut off from the presence of the Lord, it was
Expedient that mankind should be reclaimed
From this spiritual death. Therefore, as they had become carnal,
Sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state
Became a state for them to prepare: it became a preparatory state.
And now remember, my son, if it were not for the plan of redemption,
Laying it aside — as soon as they were dead their souls
Were miserable, being cut off from the presence of the Lord.
And now, there was no means to reclaim men from this fallen state,
Which man had brought upon himself because of his own
Disobedience. Therefore, according to justice,
The plan of redemption could not be brought about
Only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state.16Alma teaches that without this plan of redemption, there was no return to the presence of the Lord. Ever. There were “no means to reclaim man from this fallen state,” and the plan could not, even on “conditions of repentance” be taken up, although repentance does now bring about mercy from God. Thus only by God becoming at-one with his creation could any redemption be brought about.
Yea, this preparatory state, for except it were for these conditions,
Mercy could not take effect, except
It should destroy the work of justice.
Now the work of justice could not be destroyed
If so, God would cease to be God.
And thus we see that all mankind were fallen,
And they were in the grasp of justice, yea, the justice of God
Which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.
And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except
An atonement should be made, therefore, God himself atoneth for
The sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy,
To appease the demands of justice, that God might be
A perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.
Now, repentance could not come unto men
Except there were a punishment, which also was eternal as
The life of the soul should be, affixed opposite to
The plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the life of the soul.
Now, how could a man repent except he should sin?
How could he sin if there was no law?
How could there be a law save there was a punishment?
Now, there was a punishment affixed,
And a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.
Now, if there was no law given – if a man murdered, he should die,
Would he be afraid he would die, if he should murder?
And also, if there was no law given against sin,
Men would not be afraid to sin.
And if there was no law given, if men sinned
What could justice do, or mercy either?
For they would have no claim upon the creature.
But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed,
And a repentance granted, which repentance, mercy claimeth
Otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law,
And the law inflicteth the punishment, if not so,
The works of justice would be destroyed,
And God would cease to be God. But God ceaseth not to be God,
And mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh
Because of the atonement, and the atonement bringeth to pass
The resurrection of the dead, and the resurrection of the dead
Bringeth back men into the presence of God, and thus they are
Restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works,
According to the law and justice.
For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy
Claimeth all which is her own, and thus, none but
The truly penitent are saved. What? Do ye suppose
That mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay, not one whit. If so,
God would cease to be God.
And thus God bringeth about his great and eternal
Purposes, which were prepared from the foundation of the world.
And thus cometh about the salvation and the redemption
Of men, and also their destruction and misery.
Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come
May come and partake of the waters of life freely, and whosoever will
Not come the same is not compelled to come, but in the last day
It shall be restored unto him according to his deeds.
If he has desired to do evil, and has not
Repented in his days, behold, evil shall be done unto him,
According to the restoration of God.
And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you
No more, and only let your sins trouble you,
With that trouble which shall bring you down
Unto repentance. O my son, I desire that ye should deny
The justice of God no more. Do not endeavor
To excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins,
By denying the justice of God, but do you let the justice of God,
And his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart
And let it bring you down to the dust in humility.
And now, O my son, ye are called of God to preach the word
Unto this people. And now, my son, go thy way,
Declare the word with truth and soberness,
That thou mayest bring souls unto repentance,
That the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them.
And may God grant unto you
Even according to my words. Amen.
And now it came to pass that the sons of Alma did go forth among the people to declare the word unto them. And Alma, also, himself, could not rest, and he also went forth. Now we shall say no more concerning their preaching, except that they preached the word, and the truth, according to the spirit of prophecy and revelation and they preached after the Holy Order of God by which they were called.
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