Alma

Knowledge is a key of salvation

"A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God." (Joseph Smith, HC 4:34)

We must search the mysteries

"I advise all to go on to perfection, and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Godliness." (Joseph Smith, HC 6:17)

We must seek to know the mysteries in full, otherwise we will be damned to hell

"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 he 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." (Alma, Alma 12:10-11)

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"And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace." (Genesis 14:25–40, Inspired Version)

"But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father." (Alma 13:18)

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"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." (Alma 12:11)

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Alma discourses on the Melchizedek Priesthood

"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 exceedingly 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 have 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 forever, 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.

"Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish; Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.

"Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.

"And now, my brethren, I would that ye should humble yourselves before God, and bring forth fruit meet for repentance, that ye may also enter into that rest. Yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of Melchizedek, who was also a high priest after this same order which I have spoken, who also took upon him the high priesthood forever.

"And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed. Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord.

"Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness; But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father.  Now, there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater; therefore, of him they have more particularly made mention." (Alma 13:1-19)

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People of Ammon bury their weapons deep in the earth lest they commit sin and risk another offense:

"Now, my best beloved brethren, since God hath taken away our stains, and our swords have become bright, then let us stain our swords no more with the blood of our brethren.  Behold, I say unto you, Nay, let us retain our swords that they be not stained with the blood of our brethren; for perhaps, if we should stain our swords again they can no more be washed bright through the blood of the Son of our great God, which shall be shed for the atonement of our sins." (Alma 24:12)

Alma warns Corianton to to risk another offense, speaks of restoration:

"And now behold, my son, do not risk one more offense against your God upon those points of doctrine, which ye have hitherto risked to commit sin....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 41:15)

The works of faith are the only works which please God:

"Yea, signs come by faith, unto mighty works, for without faith no man pleaseth God; and with whom God is angry he is not well pleased; wherefore, unto such he showeth no sign, only in wrath unto their condemnation." (D&C 63:11)

The law condemns every man, seems to be its very purpose:

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3:19-20)

From the law to faith:

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." (Galatians 3:24-25)

 

"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:4)

"Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" (Peter, Acts 15:10)

"...for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)

"And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save." (2 Nephi 31:19)

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

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"O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth. But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me." (Alma 29:1-3)

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What measure ye mete

“And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.” (Moroni 7:18)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matt 7:1-2, Nephi 14:1-2)

“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…. For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored.” (Alma 41:13, 15)

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“…all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Matthew 26:52) He that lives by the sword has judged his fellow men worthy of death by the sword. I have no doubt that such a man shall die by the sword as the Savior proclaimed, otherwise he is a liar. Let's make this more personal: “In whatsoever conditions ye deem a people or nation worthy of death, ye shall as a people likewise be deemed worthy.” “If you hold life so valueless that you will be persuaded by falsehoods to kill, you too will have to learn what it is like as an innocent person or young family in a weaker nation to be killed.” Do not find comfort in the fact that some people escape this judgment now, for, for the word of God to be fulfilled, they too must experience what they inflict. Their judgment will return to them.

If you believe it is just through your vote to force a family to conform to your ideas of education, religion or social ideas, though they may find those ideas reprehensible, you must learn in eternity, what it is like to be forced contrary to your conscious and beliefs and face the confiscation of your children and the tears to which anonymous others are oblivious.

The balance of eternity is perfect, it is merciful, it is educational.

Joseph said: “A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge.” (TPJS p. 217) We must and will know what it is like to inflict evil upon our fellow man until we shudder and shrink from the thought of offending, until it becomes contrary to our nature to do evil.

Eternity is a summary; a word for many things. Brigham Young said we are living in eternity right now. We are living in a spiritual kingdom and under a certain law right now.

An adulterer, as Joseph stated, cannot inherit the celestial kingdom, but must inherit another, why? Because he must learn what it is like to have a man seduce and violate that which is most precious to him, her loyalty dissipate and his family broken up, until he finds it reprehensible. An adulterer cannot be saved until he gains knowledge.

“Why will not man learn wisdom by precept and example at this late age of the world and not be obliged to learn everything we know by sad experience?” (Joseph Smith, HC 3:26)

Our experiences in life are limited, we cannot experience all things, but they are perfectly suited for us, to bring us the knowledge we need to be saved.

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If you feel like the meat of the gospel has disappeared, and even the milk is turning to water, there is a reason.

"Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough! ...and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have." (2 Nephi 28:29-30)

It is no coincidence that this verse comes right after:

"Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost." (2 Nephi 28:31)

As a consequence of neglecting the duty devolving upon ourselves and looking to a "Strong-man" for light and wisdom, we are bound by the chains of hell.

"It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God....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. 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." (Alma 12:9-11)

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"But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering." (Alma 13:28)

Note that we can be tempted more than we can bear, and there are conditions to being able to bear or escape them.

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"O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth. But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me." (Alma 29:1-3)

In his wish, he setup an image of what he is not, instead of the perfect I am.

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