The Witness of Alma the Younger to His Son, Corianton—Repent (Alma 39-42)

Another Witness

This post is part of a series and personal assignment titled, “Unveiling the Doctrine of Christ in the Book of Mormon.” Through this we have revealed the Book of Mormon for what it really is. It started with featuring the Savior’s own witness of the doctrine of Christ in the Book of Mormon. Then starting from the beginning, we have demonstrated how other Book of Mormon prophets have taught and shared their own personal witness of the true Doctrine of Christ.

Today, I will share yet another witness of the Doctrine of Christ from Alma the Younger to his son, Corianton, in Alma 39-42. I will always invite you to first read the assignment on your own first and use the spirit of the Lord to help you see the doctrine of Christ with new eyes. Then feel free to supplement your own reading with mine if you would like. There is so much to comment on in each chapter, but I will try to limit my comments to only those things that are relevant to the doctrine of Christ and this specific project. I invite you to seek the spirit to teach you their meaning. If you have the proper context of the doctrine of Christ, it should be easier. Use the spirit to discern any of my personal messages. My comments are only there to help clarify the simplicity and beauty of Christ’s true saving doctrine.

The Witness of Alma the Younger to Corianton

Chapter 39

1 And now, my son, I have somewhat more to say unto thee than what I said unto thy brother; for behold, have ye not observed the steadiness of thy brother, his faithfulness, and his diligence in keeping the commandments of God? [adhering to personal revelation] Behold, has he not set a good example for thee?

2 For thou didst not give so much heed unto my words as did thy brother, among the people of the Zoramites. Now this is what I have against thee; thou didst go on unto boasting in thy strength and thy wisdom [not relying upon the Lord and seeking to be the Lord’s servant].

3 And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel.

4 Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted.

5 Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?

6 For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you [the gift of the Holy Ghost after having received a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost], and ye know that ye deny it, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.

7 And now, my son, I would to God that ye had not been guilty of so great a crime. I would not dwell upon your crimes, to harrow up your soul, if it were not for your good.

8 But behold, ye cannot hide your crimes from God; and except ye repent [turn away from the world and turn or return to the Lord with an eye single to His glory (what He has to offer)] they will stand as a testimony against you at the last day.

9 Now my son, I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross yourself in all these things; for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God [see more about the Kingdom of God]. Oh, remember, and take it upon you, and cross yourself in these things.

10 And I command you to take it upon you to counsel with your elder brothers in your undertakings; for behold, thou art in thy youth, and ye stand in need to be nourished by your brothers. And give heed to their counsel.

11 Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing; suffer not the devil to lead away your heart again after those wicked harlots. Behold, O my son, how great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words. [The point of teaching the doctrine of Christ is to promote the amazing things that are offered to all and that what the world offers pales in comparison. For Corianton to seek these worldly things undermined the powerful message of the doctrine of Christ.]

12 And now the Spirit of the Lord doth say unto me: Command thy children to do good, lest they lead away the hearts of many people to destruction; therefore I command you, my son, in the fear of God, that ye refrain from your iniquities; [An entire sermon could be given about what it means “to do good.” In general, to do good means to do the will of the Lord through personal revelation. It is “good” because the Lord is omniscient and the source of all truth and righteousness. If He commands it, it is therefore “good” or best or right at that moment. Think “charity” because it is the pure love of Christ.]

13 That ye turn to the Lord with all your mind, might, and strength [repent; return to the Lord]; that ye lead away the hearts of no more to do wickedly; but rather return unto them, and acknowledge your faults and that wrong which ye have done [reconcile yourself with your people; 3 Nephi 12:24].

14 Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world [to the individual and the institutional]; for behold, you cannot carry them with you.

15 And now, my son, I would say somewhat unto you concerning the coming of Christ. Behold, I say unto you, that it is he that surely shall come to take away the sins of the world; yea, he cometh to declare glad tidings of salvation unto his people [The message of the Savior in the the New Testament is a message of personal salvation/redemption for all that will seek Him].

16 And now, my son, this was the ministry unto which ye were called, to declare these glad tidings unto this people [to teach the pure doctrine of Christ], to prepare their minds [to help them start their own journey in and through the Lord]; or rather that salvation might come unto them, that they may prepare the minds of their children to hear the word at the time of his coming [It is all about seeking for personal salvation/redemption from the Lord].

17 And now I will ease your mind somewhat on this subject. Behold, you marvel why these things should be known so long beforehand. Behold, I say unto you, is not a soul at this time as precious unto God as a soul will be at the time of his coming? [Each soul in each generation is important to the Lord. He is constantly inviting all to come unto Him.]

18 Is it not as necessary that the plan of redemption [the Savior’s fulfillment and authorship of personal salvation/redemption as taught in the doctrine of Christ] should be made known unto this people as well as unto their children?

19 Is it not as easy at this time for the Lord to send his angel to declare these glad tidings unto us as unto our children, or as after the time of his coming?

Chapter 39

1 Now my son, here is somewhat more I would say unto thee; for I perceive that thy mind is worried concerning the resurrection of the dead [I will propose to you that there are different kinds of resurrections. You must also consider the real meaning of “dead.”].

2 Behold, I say unto you, that there is no resurrection—or, I would say, in other words, that this mortal does not put on immortality, this corruption does not put on incorruption [Do not think of “the resurrection” as your mortal body being replaced or upgraded with an immortal one.]—until after the coming of Christ.

3 Behold, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead. But behold, my son, the resurrection is not yet. Now, I unfold unto you a mystery [Not the resurrection teaching you were likely taught of upgrading your mortal to immortal]; nevertheless, there are many mysteries which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself [This is why all things are revealed in and through a personal relationship with the Lord]. But I show unto you one thing which I have inquired diligently of God that I might know—that is concerning the resurrection.

4 Behold, there is a time appointed that all shall come forth from the dead [the fallen state of each soul when they enter mortality]. Now when this time cometh no one knows; but God knoweth the time which is appointed [the time in mortality when each soul receives personal salvation/redemption.].

5 Now, whether there shall be one time, or a second time, or a third time, that men shall come forth from the dead [see previous comment on “the dead” in v4], it mattereth not; for God knoweth all these things [The Lord knows the spiritual estate of each soul. He mentors each soul through eternal progression.]; and it sufficeth me to know that this is the case—that there is a time appointed that all shall rise from the dead.

6 Now there must needs be a space [period of time] betwixt [between] the time of death [the time you enter mortality] and the time of the resurrection [the time when your soul receives personal salvation/redemption in mortality].

7 And now I would inquire what becometh of the souls of men from this time of death to the time appointed for the resurrection?

8 Now whether there is more than one time appointed for men to rise it mattereth not; for all do not die at once, and this mattereth not; all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men [The Lord is absolutely in control of the relationship with each soul. All things will happen in His wisdom and His timing].

9 Therefore, there is a time appointed unto men that they shall rise from the dead; and there is a space between the time of death and the resurrection. And now, concerning this space of time, what becometh of the souls of men is the thing which I have inquired diligently of the Lord to know; and this is the thing of which I do know.

10 And when the time cometh when all shall rise, then shall they know that God knoweth all the times which are appointed unto man. [when each soul can comprehend the majestic work of the Lord more fully they will know that the Lord is and has been in complete control the entire time]

11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection [Consider re-reading v5—that it matters not whether a person comes forth from the dead (into mortality) more than once or not. Regardless, this is the time between the first time a soul enters mortality and the time of their personal salvation/redemption. This means this includes the carryover period of time between mortalities.]—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 [the spirits return to the vast kingdom of light that administrates the spiritual development of each eternal spirit. In each spirit’s eternal development they will serve in various capacities both for their own growth and the growth of those they are connected to].

12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous [The term “the righteous” is often misunderstood in the scriptures. See more about “The Righteous” in The Kingdom of God] 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. [rest from the troubles of mortality]

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.

14 Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection [a different resurrection which is a final judgment]. 

15 Now, there are some that have understood that this state of happiness and this state of misery of the soul, before the resurrection, was a first resurrection. [See also Mosiah 15, 18] Yea, I admit it may be termed a resurrection, the raising of the spirit or the soul and their consignation to happiness or misery, according to the words which have been spoken.

16 And behold, again it hath been spoken, that there is a first resurrection, a resurrection of all those who have been, or who are, or who shall be, down to the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

17 Now, we do not suppose that this first resurrection, which is spoken of in this manner, can be the resurrection of the souls and their consignation to happiness or misery. Ye cannot suppose that this is what it meaneth. [Not final judgment]

18 Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but it meaneth the reuniting of the soul with the body, of those from the days of Adam down to the resurrection of Christ. [You essentially have two selves. You have your “eternal self” and you have what you know right now as your “current mortal self.” Your eternal self is a unique identity—like an amalgamation of experiences temporarily hidden from you. When your mortal body dies the light you gained in mortality goes with you and returns and is added and restored to your eternal self.]

19 Now, whether the souls and the bodies of those of whom has been spoken shall all be reunited at once, the wicked as well as the righteous, I do not say; let it suffice, that I say that they all come forth; or in other words, their resurrection cometh to pass before the resurrection of those who die after the resurrection of Christ.

20 Now, my son, I do not say that their resurrection cometh at the resurrection of Christ; but behold, I give it as my opinion, that the souls and the bodies are reunited, of the righteous [See more about “The Righteous” in The Kingdom of God], at the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into heaven.

21 But whether it be at his [Christ’s] resurrection or after, I do not say; but this much I say, that there is a space between death and the resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or in misery until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works.

22 Yea, this bringeth about the restoration of those things of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets.

23 The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame. [See also my comments in v18. This is not the resurrection you may have been taught about every detail of your physical corpse being rejoined with your spirit. Your physical corpse will be dust.]

24 And now, my son, this is the restoration of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets—

25 And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God. [There is a lot to say about this. Ponder it based on what this chapter reveals about “the righteous.”]

26 But behold, an awful death [spiritual] cometh upon the wicked; for they die as to things pertaining to things of righteousness; for they are unclean [unredeemed by the Lord], and no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God [which is why a person must receive personal salvation/redemption from the Lord—to become clean which is how a person inherits the kingdom of God]; but they are cast out, and consigned to partake of the fruits of their labors or their works, which have been evil; and they drink the dregs of a bitter cup.

Alma 41

1 And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the restoration of which has been spoken; for behold, some have wrested the scriptures, and have gone far astray because of this thing. And I perceive that thy mind has been worried also concerning this thing. But behold, I will explain it unto thee.

2 I say unto thee, my son, that the plan of restoration is requisite with the justice of God; for it is requisite that all things should be restored to their proper order [the doctrine that you have to be spiritually redeemed in order to inherit the kingdom of God is perfectly just]. Behold, it is requisite and just, according to the power and resurrection of Christ, that the soul of man should be restored to its body, and that every part of the body should be restored to itself [see comments in 40:18].

3 And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good. [The only good works are those that are seeking Christ and exercising faith in Him and His personal commands.]

4 And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—[there is literal opposition in all things]

5 The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good [the desire to earnestly seek the Lord and to do His will]; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh [end of mortality].

6 And so it is on the other hand. If he hath repented of his sins, and desired righteousness until the end of his days, even so he shall be rewarded unto righteousness [receive personal salvation/redemption from the Lord in his/her own right time].

7 These are they that are redeemed of the Lord [the righteous]; yea, these are they that are taken out, that are delivered from that endless night of darkness; and thus they stand or fall; for behold, they are their own judges, whether to do good or do evil.

8 Now, the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore, the way is prepared [Jesus is the way, the truth and the life] that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved [whosoever lives the doctrine of Christ may receive personal salvation/redemption from the Lord].

9 And now behold, my son, do not risk one more offense against your God upon those points of doctrine [the doctrine of Christ which is the doctrine of personal salvation/redemption], which ye have hitherto risked to commit sin.

10 Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness [not without fulfilling the doctrine of Christ]. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.

11 And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the [divine] nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness [light].

12 And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature?

13 O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish—good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful.

14 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 receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.

15 For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all.

Alma 42

1 And now, my son, I perceive there is somewhat more which doth worry your mind, which ye cannot understand—which is concerning the justice of God in the punishment of the sinner; for ye do try to suppose that it is injustice that the sinner should be consigned to a state of misery.

2 Now behold, my son, I will explain this thing unto thee. For behold, after the Lord God sent our first parents forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground, from whence they were taken—yea, he drew out the man, and he placed at the east end of the garden of Eden, cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the tree of life—

3 Now, we see that the man had become as God, knowing good and evil; and lest he should put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever, the Lord God placed cherubim and the flaming sword, that he should not partake of the fruit—

4 And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time [mortality], a time to repent and serve God.

5 For behold, if Adam had put forth his hand immediately, and partaken of the tree of life, he would have lived forever, according to the word of God, having no space for repentance; yea, and also the word of God would have been void, and the great plan of salvation would have been frustrated.

6 But behold, it was appointed unto man to die [enter mortality; death]—therefore, as they were cut off from the tree of life they should be cut off from the face of the earth—and man became lost forever, yea, they became fallen man [This is what it means “to be saved” or “redeemed”—to be saved from this fallen state when you entered mortality. See more about the teachings of Alma about being “saved.” Alma 4-6; Alma 6-8].

7 And now, ye see by this that our first parents were cut off both temporally and spiritually from the presence of the Lord; and thus we see they became subjects to follow after their own will [Just like each of us, we are left to learn the doctrine of Christ and then exercise our own personal will to follow it or not.].

8 Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness.

9 Therefore, as the soul could never die, and the fall had brought upon all mankind a spiritual death as well as a temporal, that is, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord, it was expedient that mankind should be reclaimed from this spiritual death.

10 Therefore, as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state. [Preparation for what? Preparation for eternal progression. Preparation to be mentored through eternity by the Savior. The Lord is the only means of eternal progression and faith in Him is both the mortal means and eternal means of progressing.

11 And now remember, my son, if it were not for the plan of redemption, (laying it aside) as soon as they were dead their souls were miserable, being cut off from the presence of the Lord.

12 And now, there was no means to reclaim men from this fallen state, which man had brought upon himself because of his own disobedience;

13 Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.

14 And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.

15 And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also [This is why the Lord stands at the gate and employeth no servant there (2 Nephi 9:41). No one enters into the kingdom of God without going in and through Him.].

16 Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal as the life of the soul should be, affixed opposite to the plan of happiness [see also 2 Nephi 1-2], which was as eternal also as the life of the soul.

17 Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment?

18 Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.

19 Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die—would he be afraid he would die if he should murder?

20 And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin.

21 And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature?

22 But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.

23 But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead [personal salvation/redemption]; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice.

24 For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved [“Saved from what?” Saved from that fallen state we inherited at birth into mortality.]

25 What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.

26 And thus God bringeth about his great and eternal purposes, which were prepared from the foundation of the world. And thus cometh about the salvation and the redemption of men [in mortality], and also their destruction and misery.

27 Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosoever will not come the same is not compelled to come [each person is given absolute free will to choose what they desire]; but in the last day it shall be restored unto him according to his deeds.

28 If he has desired to do evil, and has not repented in his days, behold, evil shall be done unto him, according to the restoration of God.

29 And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance [turn and return to the path that leads to the Lord with an eye single to His glory].

30 O my son [you, each of us], I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more [do not doubt the plainness of the pure doctrine of Christ]. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility [have a broken heart and contrite spirit].

31 And now, O my son [you, each of us], ye are called of God to preach the word [the doctrine of Christ] unto this people. And now, my son, go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them [that each soul may receive personal salvation/redemption from the Lord]. And may God grant unto you even according to my words. Amen.

Concluding Thoughts

This could easily be a message to each of us. Maybe You don’t think your sins are as grievous as Corianton’s but the overall message is the same. Repent of our pride. Repent of our unwillingness to seek the Lord. Remove anything in our lives that is keeping us from seeking for and receiving personal salvation/redemption. Remove our idols which includes any desires for worldly possessions or success. And when you know the true doctrine of Christ, share it and teach it to everyone.


JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org is based on free, online study guides to help you learn, believe, live and teach the Doctrine of Christ. The Study Guides invite any and all to see and know this truth for themselves that the Savior, Jesus Christ, has, in fact, introduced His doctrine and He personally invites all to receive personal redemption and to even literally receive Him while in the flesh (mortality).

Blog posts are only intended to supplement the Study Guides.  Per all blog posts, seek the understanding and confirmations from the Lord in your own personal revelation.  Study guides are intended to point you to both the Lord’s written word and His voice (personal revelation). These study guides will help you uncover what the Doctrine of Christ is and other essential topics that will help you in your journey to literally “come unto Christ” while in mortality. All study guides are available at JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org.

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