#LDSConf – Alma 41

CLICK HERE to read Alma 41.

In this chapter, Alma is still talking with his son about the resurrection (verse 1).

He says something interesting: “it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works” (verse 2).  God cannot be holy if there is not also the opposite, that which is un-holy.  It is His being separate from that which is not holy that does make Him holy. Opposites are required.   Since He is the God of Holy, or the Man of Holiness (Moses 7:35, see 1 Nephi 15), then his kingdom is made up of only that which is holy.  This is the justice, that what is not-holy cannot enter.

What that means for us, is that we get what we choose.  The atonement of Christ meets the demands of justice, and so God, the Man of Holiness, is able to grant us mercy – to let us in, even though we do not deserve it.  But we must choose and apply the atonement, and the evidence of our doing so shows in our life through our choices.  Are we choosing holiness?  Or not?  If so, there should be evidence to prove it.  If our choices are good, then our actions will be good.  And if our actions are good, then it means our hearts are also good, and so we will be restored to what we have chosen: goodness (verse 3).

But if we choose evil, even now, then we would not be comfortable later in a holy place because we have not yet been transformed to be the people of holiness.  “Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame” (verse 4).   Those who desire happiness and work toward it now, will receive it; those who have “desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh” (verse 5).

But we are not perfect yet, of course.  So those who repent, and desire righteousness, they will be blessed with the righteousness they seek (verse 6).  “These are they that are redeemed of the Lord…” (verse 7).  This is how His plan works (verse 8), so, Alma tells his son, “do not risk one more offense against your God” (verse 9).

This was always the plan, and we are a part of it whether or not we agree.  Those who choose wickedness will reap those consequences; those who choose righteousness will be changed into the people of holiness.  But righteousness – the evidence of good choices – is required, is a pre-requisite, because that is what leads to holiness, which is what leads to happiness, while “wickedness never was happiness” (verse 10).

For now, without God, we are in a our natural state, bound to bitterness and iniquity (verse 11).  We will not be placed where we are not comfortable or be placed in opposition to my nature (verse 12).  Instead,  any restoration “is to bring back again” to the state in which it was before (verse 13).  This is the principle that teaches that we get “evil for evil and good for good” (verse 13).

Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren, deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things, then shall ye have your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again… for that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored”  (verses 14-15).

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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