Alma speaks to Zeezrom—The mysteries of God can be given only to the faithful—Men are judged by their thoughts, beliefs, words, and works—The wicked will suffer a spiritual death—This mortal life is a probationary state—The plan of redemption brings to pass the Resurrection and, through faith, a remission of sins—The repentant have a claim on mercy through the Only Begotten Son. About 82 B.C.
1 Now Alma, seeing that the words of Amulek had silenced Zeezrom, for he beheld that Amulek had caught him in his alying and deceiving to destroy him, and seeing that he began to tremble under a bconsciousness of his guilt, he opened his mouth and began to speak unto him, and to establish the words of Amulek, and to explain things beyond, or to unfold the scriptures beyond that which Amulek had done.
2 Now the words that Alma spake unto Zeezrom were heard by the people round about; for the multitude was great, and he spake on this wise:
3 Now Zeezrom, seeing that thou hast been taken in thy lying and craftiness, for thou hast not lied unto men only but thou hast lied unto God; for behold, he knows all thy athoughts, and thou seest that thy bthoughts are made known unto us by his Spirit;
4 And thou seest that we know that thy plan was a very asubtle plan, as to the subtlety of the devil, for to lie and to deceive this people that thou mightest set them against us, to brevile us and to cast us out—
5 Now this was a plan of thine aadversary, and he hath exercised his power in thee. Now I would that ye should remember that what I say unto thee I say unto all.
6 And behold I say unto you all that this was a asnare of the adversary, which he has laid to catch this people, that he might bring you into subjection unto him, that he might encircle you about with his bchains, that he might chain you down to everlasting destruction, according to the power of his captivity.
7 Now when Alma had spoken these words, Zeezrom began to tremble more exceedingly, for he was convinced more and more of the power of God; and he was also convinced that Alma and Amulek had a knowledge of him, for he was convinced that they aknew the thoughts and intents of his heart; for power was given unto them that they might know of these things according to the spirit of prophecy.
8 And Zeezrom began to inquire of them diligently, that he might know more concerning the kingdom of God. And he said unto Alma: What does this mean which Amulek hath spoken concerning the resurrection of the dead, that all shall rise from the dead, both the ajust and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be bjudged according to their works?
9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to aknow the bmysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart conly according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
10 And therefore, he that will aharden his heart, the same receiveth the blesser portion of the word; and he that will cnot harden his heart, to him is dgiven the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser aportion of the word until they bknow nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the cchains of dhell.
13 Then if our hearts have been hardened, yea, if we have hardened our hearts against the word, insomuch that it has not been found in us, then will our state be awful, for then we shall be condemned.
14 For our awords will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the bmountains to fall upon us to chide us from his presence.
15 But this cannot be; we must come forth and stand before him in his glory, and in his power, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge to our everlasting ashame that all his bjudgments are just; that he is just in all his works, and that he is merciful unto the children of men, and that he has all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.
16 And now behold, I say unto you then cometh a death, even a second adeath, which is a spiritual death; then is a time that whosoever dieth in his sins, as to a temporal bdeath, shall also cdie a spiritual death; yea, he shall die as to things pertaining unto righteousness.
17 Then is the time when their torments shall be as a alake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting destruction, according to the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will.
19 Now it came to pass that when Alma had made an end of speaking these words, the people began to be more astonished;
20 But there was one Antionah, who was a chief ruler among them, came forth and said unto him: What is this that thou hast said, that man should rise from the dead and be changed from this mortal to an aimmortal state, that the soul can never die?
21 What does the scripture mean, which saith that God placed acherubim and a flaming sword on the east of the garden of bEden, lest our first parents should enter and partake of the fruit of the tree of life, and live forever? And thus we see that there was no possible chance that they should live forever.
22 Now Alma said unto him: This is the thing which I was about to explain. Now we see that Adam did afall by the partaking of the forbidden bfruit, according to the word of God; and thus we see, that by his fall, all mankind became a clost and fallen people.
23 And now behold, I say unto you that if it had been possible for Adam to have apartaken of the fruit of the tree of life at that time, there would have been no death, and the word would have been void, making God a liar, for he said: bIf thou eat thou shalt surely die.
24 And we see that adeath comes upon mankind, yea, the death which has been spoken of by Amulek, which is the temporal death; nevertheless there was a space granted unto bman in which he might repent; therefore this life became a cprobationary state; a time to dprepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state which has been spoken of by us, which is after the resurrection of the dead.
25 Now, if it had not been for the plan of redemption, which was laid from the foundation of the world, there could have been no aresurrection of the dead; but there was a plan of bredemption laid, which shall bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, of which has been spoken.
26 And now behold, if it were possible that our first parents could have gone forth and partaken of the atree of life they would have been forever miserable, having no preparatory state; and thus the bplan of redemption would have been frustrated, and the word of God would have been void, taking none effect.
28 And after God had appointed that these things should come unto man, behold, then he saw that it was expedient that man should know concerning the things whereof he had appointed unto them;
29 Therefore he sent aangels to converse with them, who caused men to behold of his glory.
30 And they began from that time forth to call on his name; therefore God aconversed with men, and made known unto them the bplan of redemption, which had been prepared from the cfoundation of the world; and this he made known unto them according to their faith and repentance and their dholy works.
31 Wherefore, he gave acommandments unto men, they having first transgressed the bfirst commandments as to things which were temporal, and becoming as gods, cknowing good from evil, placing themselves in a state to dact, or being placed in a state to act according to their wills and pleasures, whether to do evil or to do good—
32 Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made aknown unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second bdeath, which was an everlasting cdeath as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for on such the plan of redemption could have no power, for the works of djustice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme egoodness of God.
33 But God did call on men, in the name of his Son, (this being the aplan of redemption which was laid) saying: If ye will brepent, and harden not your hearts, then will I have mercy upon you, through mine Only Begotten Son;
35 And whosoever will harden his heart and will do ainiquity, behold, I swear in my wrath that he shall not enter into my rest.
36 And now, my brethren, behold I say unto you, that if ye will harden your hearts ye shall not enter into the rest of the Lord; therefore your iniquity aprovoketh him that he sendeth down his bwrath upon you as in the cfirst provocation, yea, according to his word in the last provocation as well as the first, to the everlasting ddestruction of your souls; therefore, according to his word, unto the last death, as well as the first.
37 And now, my brethren, seeing we know these things, and they are true, let us repent, and harden not our hearts, that we aprovoke not the Lord our God to pull down his wrath upon us in these his second commandments which he has given unto us; but let us enter into the brest of God, which is prepared according to his word.