#LDSConf – Alma 40

CLICK HERE to read Alma 40.

This chapter continues Alma (Jr.)’s speech to his son Corianton, because Alma knows Corianton is worried about the resurrection of the dead (verse 1).  Alma reassured him that it had not happened yet, because it won’t happen until Christ comes (verse 2).  This is still 75 years before the birth of Christ, and death was not conquered until Christ resurrected himself (verse 3).  Then resurrection will be possible, though the great resurrection of all of us will not happen until Christ returns again (verse 4).  No one knows exactly how it will work, but we know that God knows, and that is enough.  We know that in His Order, according to His plan, “there is a time appointed that all shall rise from the dead” (verse 5).

So what of this space in “time”, between death and the resurrection? (verse 6)

What happens to souls during this window of time? (verse 7)

Alma teaches that “time” is only an illusion, measured for us here and now physically based on our experience on this planet, and so “time only is measured unto men” (verse 8).  So time for us is really only an illusion, other than there being specific Order to things – and there will be a specific time when we will be called forth in the resurrection (verse 9), and God knows when that time is (verse 10).

But what of that space between our experience of death, and our experience of resurrection?

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 (verse 11).

The “spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise” (verse 12), and the “spirits of the wicked” (those who do “evil works rather than good”) “shall be cast out into outer darkness” (verse 13).  This is where the spirits remain until the resurrection (verse 14).   In this way, spirits are assigned to the places (“happiness or misery”) they have chosen (verse 15), and this will happen for everyone (verse 16).

However, the resurrection itself means the “the reuniting of the soul with the body” (verses 17-20).

After the resurrection, in our resurrected bodies, we will “be brought to stand before God”, and be judged according to our works (verse 21).  What Christ has done makes our resurrection possible, and everyone will receive that gift of immortality.  But the quality of that immortality – the kind of life it will be – depends on the choices we make now.

But in the resurrection, everything will be “restored to their proper and perfect frame” (verses 23-24).

The righteous will “shine forth in the kingdom of God” (verse 25), for “no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God” (verse 26).

This is why we are grateful for the atonement, which makes entering the kingdom of God even possible, and for the Holy Spirit that does sanctify us so that we may be clean enough to do so.

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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