I have learned a very important lesson this weekend. Never, ever skip over Alma because of it’s daunting length. I’m only in Alma chapter 12 in my second go-round with the Book of Mormon and I am already so touched by the spirit!
Alma 12 talks about spiritual death, which is to “die as to things pertaining unto righteousness.” A spiritual death makes it “as though there had been no redemption made(Alma 12:18).” It is, essentially a seperation from God the Father and his influences. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ and the obidience of Gospel principles, man and woman can overcome this spiritual death.
Alma also talks about the fall of Adam, which struck me as it is something that I was recently discussing with a non-member friend. Alma teaches;
22 Now Alma said unto him: This is the thing which I was about to explain. Now we see that Adam did afall
by the partaking of the forbidden bfruit
, according to the word of God; and thus we see, that by his fall, all mankind became a clost
and fallen people.
23 And now behold, I say unto you that if it had been possible for Adam to have apartaken 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: bIf thou eat thou shalt surely die.
24 And we see that adeath 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 bman in which he might repent; therefore this life became a cprobationary state; a time to dprepare 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.
So, in these verses Alma is saying that Adam did not die temporally after partaking the fruit as God promises in Genesis 3:3. So, if Adam ate the fruit, and he’s still kicking, does that make God a liar? No. In verse 24 Alma explains the need for spiritual death. That by partaking of the fruit Adam died a spiritual death, and God granted unto man a way to fix this through of course, repentance. Thus, this life became a time granted to us to prepare us to be worthy and clean to meet God.
Alma continues to elaborate on this “Plan of Redemption(Alma 12:25)” in which God made so that we could repent and be with Him again. In the next three verses Alma talks about the purpose of the Fall.
26 And now behold, if it were possible that our first parents could have gone forth and partaken of the atree
of life they would have been forever miserable, having no preparatory state; and thus the bplan
of redemption would have been frustrated, and the word of God would have been void, taking none effect.
27 But behold, it was not so; but it was aappointed
unto men that they must die; and after death, they must come to bjudgment
, even that same judgment of which we have spoken, which is the end.
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;
If it weren’t for the fall, friends, there would be no prepatory state. There would be no misery, or atonement, or joy. Because, in Genesis 3:3 it says that God knew that Adam would partake of the fruit and their eyes would be open. So, it was a part of the plan for the first man to Sin, without it, the entire plan of God would have been frustrated.
The rest of Alma 12 teaches that after this event, God sent angels to converse with man, and that he told man about the plan of redemption made possible by the atonement and made necessary by the fall. He then set commandments for man to follow, knowing that if he lives in wickedness he will die a spiritual death.
This all just clicked for me! I was so confirmed by the spirit of it’s truthfulness it still touches me. A lot of things, spiritually have been clicking lately. I re-read my blessing last night and saw so many things that have already happened, and remembered a lot of great advice the Lord gave me that perfectly pertains to things I was really stressing about last night.
God does live. He sent his son to atone for my sins, for your sins, and he does love us as a kind loving Father. We are his children, promised a great inheritence if we follow him righteously. I know without a doubt that Christ did this for me. I know that the Book of Mormon was brought forth in the time that it was by a Prophet of the Lord, Joseph Smith specifically for us. I know that God’s mouthpiece is on the Earth today through Thomas S. Monson, and that he lovingly and prayerfully directs God’s flock. I love this Church and I love my Savior, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.