Chapter 9

  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. 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: Now Zeezrom, seeing that thou hast been taken in thy lyings 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. 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. 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. 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.
  2. Now when Alma had spoken these words, Zeezrom began to tremble more exceedingly, 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. 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 the resurrection of the dead, that all shall rise from the dead, both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according to their works?
  3. 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. 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 they know them in full. 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.
  4. 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. 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. 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 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. 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 bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.
  5. And now behold, I say unto you, then cometh a death, even a second death, which is a spiritual death. Then is a time that whosoever dieth in his sins as to the temporal death shall also die a spiritual death; yea, he shall die as to things pertaining unto righteousness. Then is the time when their torment shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone whose flames ascendeth up for ever 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, having subjected them according to his will. 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.
  6. Now it came to pass that when Alma had made an end of speaking these words, the people began to be more astonished. 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? 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 for ever? And thus we see that there was no possible chance that they should live for ever. Now Alma said unto him, This is the thing which I was about to explain. Now we see that Adam did fall by partaking of the forbidden fruit, according to the word of God. And thus we see that by his fall, mankind became a lost and a fallen people. 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, that 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. 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. 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.
  7. And now behold, if it were possible that our first parents could have went forth and partaken of the tree of life, they would have been for ever 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. But behold, it was not so. But it was appointed unto man 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. 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. Therefore, he sent angels to converse with them, who caused men to behold of his glory. 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.
  8. 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 — 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. But God did call on man 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. 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. And whosoever will harden his heart and will do iniquity, behold, I swear in my wrath that he shall not enter into my rest. 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 in the first, to the everlasting destruction of your souls; therefore, according to his word unto the last death, as well as the first.
  9. 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 word.
  10. And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children. And I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests after his Holy Order, which was after the Order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. And those priests were ordained after the Order of his Son in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption. And this is the manner after which they were ordained: being called and prepared from the foundation of the world, according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works in the first place, being left to choose good or evil; therefore they, having chosen good, and exercising exceeding great faith, are called with a holy calling — yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such. And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds (while, if it had not been for this, they might had as great privilege as their brethren — or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren — thus, this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son who was prepared), and thus, being called by this holy calling and ordained unto the High Priesthood of the Holy Order of God to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest — this High Priesthood being after the Order of his Son, which Order was from the foundation of the world, or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity according to his foreknowledge of all things. Now they were ordained after this manner, being called with a holy calling, and ordained with a holy ordinance, and taking upon them the High Priesthood of the Holy Order — which calling, and ordinance, and High Priesthood is without beginning or end; thus, they become high priests for ever after the Order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen.