Skip to main content

"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 resurrection of the just? Because there is a difference between wickedness and  righteousness.

----

These verses clarify the distinction between that first resurrection, which is the literal reuniting of body and spirit, and that temporary state between death and the resurrection wherein there is a temporary assignment of the righteous and wicked to states of peace or remorse, respectively. Alma is illustrating to his son that this temporary space between death and the resurrection, which had been termed by some as a "first resurrection" was not the same as that first resurrection of the all the righteous who lived before the resurrection of Christ.

It is interesting to see Alma's ambiguity on some points of doctrine. However, by the end of this passage of scripture, one thing is clear in his mind:
"...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." (vs. 21)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"No Other Way," Alma 38:7-12

Alma 38:7-12

Alma counsels Shiblon to "bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love." (vs. 12) Not only is this a key insight to happy living, but this is a significant explanation as to why commandments, and why obedience matters. Being passionate about something is good, being driving and motivated to accomplish good works is important, but being filled with love, that is best.

In yesterday's study, we established how spiritual knowledge is a gift of God. In today's readings though, there is agency front and center as Alma explains that "never, until I did cry out unto the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy, did I receive a remission of my sins." (vs. 8) It strikes me as significant that though God's grace is a gift given, it means nothing to us until we actively turn to receive it. We still have to choose it. We have to want it.

----

Come back to verse 9 tomorrow. I read this verse, and I realized this is why I have pursued the path which I hav…

"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…

"Racked, Even with the Pains of a Damned Soul," Alma 36:6-16

Alma 36:6-16

As I study this dynamic exchange between Alma and an angel sent from the presence of God, I am reminded of Nephi's declaration about angels:

Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. (2 Nephi 32:3) Therefore, we have the words of Christ writen here to Alma. There are two recorded statements here from the mouth of the angel. First, "Arise." (vs. 8) Second, "If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God." (vs. 9)

Alma says that the angel spake many other things unto him, but this first sentence was all that he heard. It struck him with such power as to completely overwhelm him.

The power of the words of Christ, perfectly timed, penetrated and convicted Alma to the very core. The harrowing description of the state of Alma's soul is one of torment and horror. (see verses 12 -16)

It is interesting to note that this was a self-conviction.