As Soon as They Are Departed – Alma 40:11-13

11 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.
12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
13 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil.

Last week, I studied about our premortal lives. I reviewed the following principles:
  • We lived with God before we were born.
  • Heavenly Father established a plan before the world was created. The most important part of that plan was the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
  • We were foreordained to fulfill specific responsibilities in this life. Our ability to fulfill those assignments depends upon our faithfulness.
A review of those doctrines has strengthened my faith and has enabled me to view my responsibilities in a broader context.
This week, I’m going to study what happens after we die. In the passage above, Alma teaches his son Corianton that all of us will be brought into the presence of God immediately after death. One of two things will then happen to us:
  1. We may be “received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace.”
  2. We may “be cast into outer darkness, [where] there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.” We commonly refer to this state as spirit prison (see 1 Peter 3:19).
Alma goes on to teach his son that this assignment to paradise or spirit prison is not the end of the story. Instead, we will “remain in this state…until the time of [our] resurrection” (Alma 40:14).
I’m grateful that the Book of Mormon gives us specific information about what to expect after this life. Today, I will remember the importance of acting in righteousness, so that I can be received into that state of happiness and peace when my life on this earth comes to an end.
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2 Responses to As Soon as They Are Departed – Alma 40:11-13

  1. Aaron R. says:

    Interesting to reflect on verse 12. As you point out, we will be in a state of rest and peace…which could be hard to imagine, given the fact that the Father sees us and I'm not sure watching my life would give Him rest from troubles, cares and sorrow. However, you have to imagine that the rest and peace we receive is because our eternal destiny will have been determined at that point and no longer subject to our mortal frailties. What a wonderful blessing to look forward to as we pass through life!

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  2. Good point, and I agree with your interpretation. I think of the tremendous relief and satisfaction I feel when I have completed a project and met all the objectives. I imagine we will feel something like that when we are received into paradise. We will still be concerned for the people we love, both those still in mortality and those in spirit prison. But an enormous burden will have been lifted from our shoulders, and I think “rest and peace” will be an apt description of how we feel.

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