THE BOOK OF ALMA
"This is the thing which I was about to explain..."
Alma preaches about hell and acheiving the proper predatory state.
Version - Chapter 22: Alma’s Mission to Ammonihah
|12:1 Now Alma, seeing that the words of Amulek had silenced Zeezrom, for he beheld that Amulek
had caught him in his lying and deceiving to destroy him, and seeing that he began to tremble under a consciousness 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. ||
(12:1-2) The words of Amulek had silenced Zeezrom.|
After Amulek shut Zeezrom up, Alma hopped on the soapbox and continued preaching. A crowd had gathered, and he wanted to take full advantage.
|12:2 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: ||
|12:3 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 thoughts, and thou seest that thy
thoughts are made known unto us by his Spirit; ||
(12:3-6) Thy plan was a very subtle plan, as to the subtlety of the devil.|
Amulek continues to give Zeezrom a hard time, and call him an agent of the devil.
|12:4 And thou seest that we know that
thy plan was a very subtle plan, as to the subtlety of the
devil, for to lie and to deceive this people that thou mightest set them against us, to revile us and to cast us
out -- ||
|12:5 Now this was a plan of thine adversary, 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. ||
|12:6 And behold I say unto you all that this was a snare 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 chains,
that he might chain you down to everlasting destruction, according to the power of his captivity. ||
|12:7 Now when Alma had spoken these words,
Zeezrom began to tremble more
eexceedingly, 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 knew 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. ||
(12:7-8) Zeezrom began to tremble more exceedingly.|
By this point even Zeezrom was convinced. He began trembling (a universal sign of guilt in the Book of Mormon), and started to ask some real
questions to Alma. Zeezrom asks about the resurrection of the dead, and if everyone is brought before God for
judgment after their death.
|12:8 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 pthe resurrection of
the dead, that all shall rise from the dead, pboth the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be
judged according to their works? ||
|12:9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to
know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only
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. ||
(12:9-13) The greater portion of the word|
Alma answers him in very vague terms, basically saying that some people get to know the mysteries of God, and some don't. The better
you behave, the more you get to know, and the worst-behaving people are punished by receiving less and less knowledge of God, which is a vicious
cycle that ends up sending them into the jaws of Hell. Seems fair.
Oh, and whoever hardens his heart will receive a lesser portion of the word. (They'll be stuck with just the Bible, without getting
"the greater part of the word" -- which is, of course, the Book of Mormon.)
|12:10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of
the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given
unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
|12:11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word
until they know 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 chains of hell. ||
|12:12 And Amulek hath spoken plainly concerning death, and being raised from this mortality
to a state of immortality, and being brought before the bar of God, to be judged according to our works. ||
|12:13 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. ||
|12:14 For our words 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 mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence. ||
(12:14) Our words will condemn us.|
Zeezrom also asked whether people are judged by their works or not. Alma answered that God judges people by their works, their words,
and even their thoughts. On the judgment day a person will not be found faultless, and they would be
happy to let a mountain fall upon them rather than look upon God and be judged. Indeed.
|12:15 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 shame that all his judgments 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 pbringeth forth fruit meet for repentance. ||
|12:16 And now behold, I say unto you then cometh a death, even pa
second death, which is
a spiritual death; then is a time that whosoever dieth in his sins, as to a temporal death, shall also die a spiritual
death; yea, he shall die as to things pertaining unto righteousness. ||
|12:17 Then is the time when ptheir torments shall be as a lake 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. ||
(12:17) Alma then gives a nice description of Hell:|
Their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever ... they shall be chained
down to an everlasting destruction."
|12:18 Then, I say unto you, they shall be as though there had been no redemption made; for
they cannot be redeemed according to God's justice; and they cannot die, seeing there is no more corruption. ||
|12:19 aNow it came to pass that when Alma had made an end of speaking these words,
the people began to be more astonished; ||
(12:19-21) The people began to be more astonished.|
When Alma was done speaking, the people were astonished. Or most of them, at least. There was still one doubter among them. His name
was Antionah, and he was their chief ruler. He said: "What do you mean, that people can live forever? Didn't God place cherubim and a flaming
sword on the east of the Garden of Eden, so that our parents couldn't eat from the tree of life and live forever?"
1830 Book of Mormon: cherubims (as in the King
Cherubims is the incorrect plural of cherub.
|12:20 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 immortal
state that the soul can never die?
|12:21 What does the scripture mean, which saith that God placed cherubim and a flaming sword
on the east of the garden of Eden, 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.
|12:22 Now Alma said unto him: This is the thing which I was about to explain, now we see that
Adam did fall by the partaking of the forbidden fruit, according to the word of God; and thus we see, that by his fall,
all mankind became a lost and fallen people. ||
(12:22) This is the thing which I was about to explain.|
Alma said: "Oh yeah, I was getting to that."
|12:23 And now behold, I say unto you that if it had been possible for Adam to have partaken
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: If thou eat thou shalt surely die. ||
(12:23-27) They would have been forever miserable, having no preparatory state.|
Then he explains how the fall of Adam was all part of the plan, because people would have been miserable if they lived forever
in the Garden of Eden, because they wouldn't have the proper "predatory state," and then redemption wouldn't have been possible.
It all makes sense if you really think about it (or if you don't think about it very hard).
|12:24 And we see that death 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 man in which he might repent;
therefore this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare 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.
|12:25 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 resurrection of the dead; but there was a plan of redemption laid, which shall
bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, of which has been spoken.
|12:26 And now behold, if it were possible that our first parents could have gone forth and
partaken of the tree of life they would have been forever miserable, having no preparatory state; and thus the plan
of redemption would have been frustrated, and the word of God would have been void, taking none effect.
|12:27 But behold, it was not so; but pit was appointed unto men that they must die; and after
death, they must come to judgment, even that same judgment of which we have spoken, which is the end. ||
|12:28 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; ||
|12:29 Therefore he sent angels to converse with them, who caused men to behold of his glory. ||
|12:30 And they began from that time forth to call on his name; therefore God conversed with men,
and made known unto them the plan of redemption, which had been prepared from the foundation of the world; and
this he made known unto them according to their faith and repentance and their holy works. ||
|12:31 Wherefore, he gave commandments unto men, they having first transgressed the first
commandments as to things which were temporal, and becoming as Gods, knowing good from evil, placing themselves
in a state to act, or being placed in a state to act according to their wills and pleasures, whether to do evil or
to do good -- ||
|12:32 Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan
of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second death, which was an everlasting death
as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for on such the plan of redemption could have no power, for the works of
justice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme goodness of God. ||
|12:33 But God did call on men, in the name of his Son, (this being the plan of redemption which
was laid) saying: If ye will repent and harden not your hearts, then will I have mercy upon you, through mine Only
Begotten Son; ||
|12:34 Therefore, whosoever repenteth, and hardeneth not his heart, he shall have claim on
mercy through mine Only Begotten Son, unto a remission of his sins; and these shall enter into my rest. ||
|12:35 And whosoever will harden his heart and will do iniquity, behold,
pI swear in my wrath that he shall not enter into my rest. ||
|12:36 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 provoketh him that he sendeth down his wrath upon you as
in the first provocation, yea, according to his word in the last provocation as well as the first, to the everlasting
destruction of your souls; therefore, according to his word, unto the last death, as well as the first. ||
(12:36-37) Let us repent.|
Then Alma finishes the way he usually does, with a call to repentance.
|12:37 And now, my brethren, seeing we know these things, and they are true,
let us repent, and
harden not our hearts, that we provoke 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 rest of God, which is prepared according to his
And it came to pass (12:19)
And it came to pass (12:19)
(12:8) There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust
(12:15) Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. Matthew 3:8
(12:16) This is the second death. Revelation 20:14
(12:17) And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone.... And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever.
(12:27) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27
(12:35) So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. Heberws 3:11