Alma 42: Mercy and Justice

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 129–130

As Alma concluded his teachings to Corianton, he answered questions about what life would be like without repentance, sin, law, and punishments. God can be both just and merciful. Alma 42 can help you understand why you are here on earth and how important earth life is to your eternal progression.

Understanding the Scriptures

Alma 42

Consigned (vv. 1, 14)Assigned, judged
Cherubim (vv. 2–3)A kind of angelic being
Probationary time, probationary state (vv. 4, 10, 13)Time of testing (mortal life)
Temporally, temporal (vv. 7–9)Physically, mortal
Appease (v. 15)Fulfill, satisfy
Remorse of conscience (v. 18)Shame, guilt, regret
Executeth (v. 22)Carries out, enforces
Penitent (vv. 23–24)Repentant, humble
Whit (v. 25)Little bit, small part
Soberness (v. 31)Seriousness

Alma 42:7–9, 15—Temporal and Spiritual Death Came by the Fall and Are Overcome by the Atonement of Jesus Christ

In their testimony of Jesus Christ, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles declared:

“He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

“We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

“He rose from the grave to ‘become the firstfruits of them that slept’ (1 Corinthians 15:20)” (“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” Ensign, Apr. 2000, 2–3).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity B or activities A and C as you study Alma 42.

Activity A iconWrite Your Answers


Use Alma 42:1–10 to help you answer the following questions:

  1. 1.

    What two deaths came about as a result of Adam’s Fall?

  2. 2.

    Which death would have had no effect if Adam had partaken of the tree of life?

  3. 3.

    Which death would Adam have still experienced if he had partaken of the tree of life?

  4. 4.

    What would have been the consequences if Adam had partaken of the tree of life after the Fall?

  5. 5.

    What did the Lord do with the tree of life after the Fall? Why?

  6. 6.

    What is one purpose of our probationary time, or mortal life?

  7. 7.

    How can you use your probationary time wisely?

Activity B iconFill in the Diagram

Draw the following diagram in your notebook. Use Alma 42:11–24 and the statement from the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Alma 42:7–9, 15 to fill in the ovals with the two major results of the Fall and the rectangle with how those results are overcome. Then answer the questions.

  1. 1.

    According to verse 15, what does the Atonement “bring about” and what does it “appease”?

  2. 2.

    Write the following sentence in your notebook, filling in the blanks with information from verse 17: Man could not

    unless he first
    , which he could not have done unless there was a
    , which could not exist without a

  3. 3.

    How does the Atonement overcome temporal death? (see v. 23).

  4. 4.

    How does the Atonement overcome the spiritual death brought by Adam’s Fall? (see v. 23).

  5. 5.

    To what group is mercy given? (see vv. 23–24).

  6. 6.

    In what ways does knowing what the Atonement does for you influence how you feel about Jesus Christ?

Activity C iconWrite a Summary

Alma’s final words to his son Corianton are found in Alma 42:27–31. Imagine being a parent with a wayward son or daughter. Review Alma 42:27–31 and write a summary of what you would say to correct and strengthen your child.