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"A Space Between Death and the Resurrection," Alma 40:15-21

Alma 40:15-21

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/tg/resurrection?lang=eng

The New Testament, after the Resurrection of Christ, is replete with testimony by the apostles of the reality of that very thing.

I took a pause from this study to reflect over in John 6. At least twice within that passage, the phrase "the resurrection of the just" had been added back into the passage in the Joseph Smith Translation.

No man can come unto me, except he doeth the will of my Father who hath sent me. And this is the will of him who hath sent me, that ye receive the Son; for the Father beareth record of him; and he who receiveth the testimony, and doeth the will of him who sent me, I will raise up in the resurrection of the just. (JST - John 6:44) Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up in the resurrection of the just at the last day. (John 6:54) Why, among other doctrines, does the adversary or the world want to suppress the doctrine of the…
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"The State of the Soul Between Death and the Resurrection," Alma 40:11-14

Alma 40:11-14

Deep consideration of the realities articulated in these verses has brought a very strong spiritual confirmation to me this morning. This doctrine is familiar to me, both because of the numerous times that I have studied these verses before, but also because of the eternal realities that cause my soul to resonate with the Spirit of the Lord. Verse 11, which I learned and memorized as a youth, especially rings deep and true.

We are taken back to God after this amazing and terrible* mortal experience. And then there is a separation between wicked and righteous. In a realm dominated by the Light, there is a separation. It is also curious to note how the same Being, God, can induce such dramatically different responses in individuals based upon their choices.

*I use terrible in the sense of "extremely unpleasant or disagreeable" or to illustrate the extreme hardships that are an inevitable part of this experience.

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In verses 12-14, the states of the righteous an…

"Concerning the Resurrection of the Dead," Alma 40:1-10

Alma 40:1-10

I have in recent days been more engaged in the invitation of the Savior to ask, seek, and knock.  Alma demonstrates this process very vividly to his son, Corianton, as he goes on in this chapter to share his knowledge of the Resurrection.

The Spirit of the Lord has impressed upon me this morning the phrase, "the time appointed"  which appears various times throughout this passage. In verse 10, there is a footnote that leads to Acts 17:26 which reads:
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; There is a footnote here on the word "bounds" that goes to Job 14:5 which says in part "thou has appointed his bounds that he cannot pass."

So what? What does this mean to me? To others? Here is where things get personal and so I now have my list of questions to take to the Lord in morning prayer.

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In verse 3, it reads &quo…

"In the Fear of God," Alma 39:12-19

Alma 39:12-19

In verse 12, Alma states that the Spirit of the Lord has said unto him, "Command thy children to do good, lest they lead away the hearts of many people to destruction." He then commands his son to refrain from his iniquities, "in the fear of God."

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Alma goes on to command his son not to seek after riches. He then expounds to his son a few thought concerning the coming of Christ.

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I've now been with this passage of scripture for 3 or 4 days. Tomorrow, let's start with questions. Typically, when I'm stuck in a scripture study, I've asked the question: how does this point me towards Christ? I will start here tomorrow. I will also be asking additional questions based off of what I am reading.

The ability to ask questions is an attribute of divinity, and is a teaching of Christ. Ask, and it shall given you. (3 Nephi 14:7)

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Going back to verse 12, the very first thing that Alma says is that it is the Spirit of the Lord that is speak…

"This Is What I Have Against Thee," Alma 39:2-11

Alma 39:2-11

One impression that comes to me in prayer as I reflect on this rather hard passage of scripture is that Alma did his son no disservice by clearly stating where the offenses lay and explaining simply the challenges that his conduct had created. Neither is this a heat-of-the-moment exchange.

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It appears to be random and off-topic, but in my prayers this morning I'm reminded of an exchange I had briefly with an older couple about a year ago with my family at a Subway's shop in Sedalia, Missouri. The details of that conversation are not for this setting, but it reminds me that there are no chance encounters.

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Back to the passage at hand, Alma spells out the begin and the end of his son's departure from the paths of safety, expounding upon the consequences of both. This allows his son to clearly see how to make course correction.  This was important in his son's darkened state because it allowed him a path of escape into greater light.

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On another morn…

"A Good Example for Thee," Alma 39:1

Alma 39:1

On family dynamics: Alma starts into his council towards his son, Corianton, by what appears to be a comparison to his older brother. This isn't a comparison though.  Rather this is guidance and a testimony of the power of "a good example".

There is a footnote here that I will delve into deeper tomorrow.

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I have spent a small amount of time reviewing scripture that talk of example. I like how it is also equated with light, leadership, standard of righteousness, and pattern.  We are commanded to be an example of what we believe.

In John 13, the Savior says, "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." Then two verses later, He adds "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." The relationship between testimony and conversion is thus put into its proper place here.

Why are we commanded to be an example of the believers? Why should we let our light shine before men that they can glorify God?

"O Lord, Forgive My Unworthiness," Alma 38:13-15

 Alma 38:13-15

Three simple verses at the end of this chapter that teach me how to pray and be humble. It seems likes such a small set of instructions, especially compared to what Alma gave to Helaman, but I find the points that he chooses to emphasis here, extremely important in teaching prayer and one's proper attitude towards prayer.

None of us really have the advantage before God. (That's not to say that he that keeps the commandments, and doeth the will of the Father, isn't approved of Him.) But there is this simple issue of humility that is required of all men when they approach the throne of the Almighty. Thus Alma counsels Shiblon:
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. (vs.14) Christ taught similarly:
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The P…