Thoughts on Gospel Doctrine Lesson 28

by | Jul. 15, 2004

Sunday School

Alma 32

26. Ye cannot know of their surety at first] There are no shortcuts to a testimony of the gospel. We cannot fully understand principles that we have not lived. "If any man will do his will," the Savior declared, "he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17).

An understanding of the principles of salvation does not come, in an instant. The idea is demeaning to the principles involved. Joseph Smith did not come out of the Sacred Grove knowing all that was necessary for his salvation. He, like Christ, found it necessary to advance from grace to grace. To suppose that at some sort of a religious revival we can obtain all the knowledge necessary to be saved vulgarizes true religion. The divine injunction, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught, is that we seek learning "even by study, and also by faith." This that we might "grow up" in the knowledge of God and that we might "receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost." (D&C 109:14-15.) Similarly, Paul admonished us to "grow up into [Christ] in all things" (Ephesians 4:15). "The things of God," said the Prophet, "are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out."

27. Arouse your faculties] Centuries earlier, Jacob had written: "O my brethren, hearken unto my words; arouse the faculties of your souls; shake yourselves that ye may awake from the slumber of death; and loose yourselves from the pains of hell that ye may not become angels to the devil" (Jacob 3:11). "In the midst of a fallen world, a world prone to degradation and spiritual decay, it is often necessary for men and women to be jolted from their carnal security and brought to the frightening realization that they are working at cross purposes to God; that they are going contrary to their own inner spiritual nature; and that they are on a collision course with misery and destruction. Such an arousal from the deep sleep of spiritual death often comes through the powerful testimony of one of the Lord's legal administrators, a witness and warning which are attended by the spirit of prophecy and revelation."

27. An experiment upon my words] The quest for truth is essentially an experiment upon the words of Christ. The experimenter is encouraged to "prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). We do then know (see Ether 12:6; John 7:17; compare Malachi 3:10).

27. No more than desire to believe] This is the beginning, the introduction to true faith. Alma asks the Zoramites to desire to believe, to hope that perhaps what he is saying is true. One who approaches his or her study and experiment upon the Book of Mormon and the gospel with a neutral attitude may miss the mark and miss the opportunity to know. There must be an openness to the possibility that the gospel message is true. There must be a deliberate suspension of disbelief.

27. Give place for a portion of my words] "We consider that God has created man with a mind capable of instruction," taught the Prophet Joseph Smith, "and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment: he must have been instructed in the government and laws of that kingdom by proper degrees, until his mind is capable in some measure of comprehending the propriety, justice, equality, and consistency of the same."

"It is the will of the heavens that all men receive truth according to their ability to decipher and digest eternal verities.... This concept demonstrates both divine wisdom and mercy. Men ought not to receive more than they are ready to receive; the Lord would never want to drown one in the living waters!" (Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Sustaining and Defending the Faith, p. 99; see also Alma 12:9-11; D&C 19:29, 31; D&C 71:1.)

28. A true seed] A true seed, or correct principle, is one in which faith can be exercised. It is one which, if properly understood and nourished, will grow and bring forth good fruit in its season. In this case, the seed is not some vague philosophical abstraction; rather, the seed is something very specific. It is the word of truth concerning the coming of Christ (see Alma 33:22-23; Alma 34:4-5). The proposition or principle Alma is challenging them to consider, asking them to pray about, encouraging them to experience, pertains to Christ Jesus.

28. Ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord] "There are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, that it hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught" (2 Nephi 33:2).

28. Feel these swelling motions] This is the beginning of testimony. Truth is felt. We know and recognize it by a feeling within our souls. Joseph Smith wrote: "I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart." (Joseph Smith History 1:12.) Explaining to Oliver Cowdery why his efforts at translation had been unsuccessful, the Lord said, "I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right" (D&C 9:8). Conversely, the Savior warned the meridian disciples against those who would not "understand with their heart" (Matthew 13:15); Nephi spoke of his rebellious brothers as being "past feeling" (1 Nephi 17:45); and Paul described those given up to uncleanness and greed as "having the understanding darkened," as being blind of heart, and as "being past feeling" (Ephesians 4:18-19).

28. It beginneth to enlarge my soul] Alma repeatedly emphasizes that obtaining spiritual maturity is a process. That which is of God enlarges the soul, while that which is of the adversary quietly "cheateth" souls "and leadeth them away carefully down to hell" (2 Nephi 28:21).

28. It beginneth to enlighten my understanding] "And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness. That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day." (D&C 50:23-24.)

28. It beginneth to be delicious to me] Describing the fruit of the tree of life, Lehi said, "it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit" (1 Nephi 8:12). Lucy Mack Smith records a similar vision granted her husband, Joseph Smith Sr. Finding that the fruit of the tree was "delicious beyond description," he also determined that he could not eat it alone. He gathered his family to the tree and invited them to eat. "The more we ate," he said, "the more we seemed to desire, until we even got down upon our knees and scooped it up, eating it by double handfuls." (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother Lucy Mack Smith, pp. 49-50.)

29. We need not be so vain as to suppose that because we have a testimony, because we have had spiritual experiences of one sort or another, we have a perfect or even an adequate knowledge of the gospel.

30-31. As temporal seeds produce after their own kind, so it is with spiritual seeds. Each produces that which is in its own image and likeness. The seeds of faith produce faith, the seeds of righteousness produce righteousness, virtue produces virtue, and so on. Conversely, meanness produces meanness, hatred produces hatred, as vanity, impurity, hypocrisy, and all other seeds germinated in darkness and sin produce after their own kind. Those who accept the challenge to experiment upon the proposition that Jesus is the Christ do more than read and pray about him; they seek to do those things he has commanded us to do. They do his will. Then they come to know. Further, those who do the works of Christ begin to receive the fruits of Christ and acquire the nature of Christ, since every good seed brings forth fruit after its own likeness (see Moroni 7:13-16). To acknowledge, in this case, that the seed is good is to acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, that his Church is true, and that his power and authority are held by his anointed servants.

32-33. That which causes the soul to grow is good and of God. Seeds that do not have that effect are to be cast away. All good seeds, that is, all good doctrine, will share characteristics in common with all other good doctrine- they will lift the soul, enlighten the mind, bring a sense of peace and joy, encourage, inspire, motivate to faithfulness, create a desire for a greater knowledge of the things of God, and attract other good seeds.

34. Your faith is dormant] See commentary on verse 21.

34. Your mind doth begin to expand] The gospel does not just stretch the heart and the soul of its adherents; it expands their minds. Sainthood cannot be found in ignorance. True religion could hardly be mindless. Indeed, the religion of heaven must embrace an endowment to the intellect.

35. Is not this real] Spiritual experience is real. Spiritual things are known. They cannot be explained away by reference to the physical senses and the meager means of measuring those senses. Indeed, things of the Spirit descend to the core of being and can be known with greater certitude than things of the physical world.

35. Because it is light] The light of the gospel quickens the understanding and enlightens the eye. "And if your eye be single to my glory," the Lord said, "your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things" (D&C 88:67).

35. Because it is discernible] The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a mystery. It is discernible. An understanding of it is within the capacity of all who are expected to live it. None need be dependent for their salvation on the scholarship, understanding; or spiritual gifts and powers of others.

35. Tasted this light] In the midst of a great doctrinal discourse, Joseph Smith said: "This is good doctrine. It tastes good. I can taste the principles of eternal life, and so can you. They are given to me by the revelations of Jesus Christ; and I know that when I tell you these words of eternal life as they are given to me, you taste them, and I know that you believe them. You say honey is sweet, and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life. I know it is good; and when I tell you of these things which were given me by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive them as sweet, and rejoice more and more." (Teachings, p. 355.)

37-43. The spirit has the same need for nourishment as the physical body. Spiritual health requires the same attention to diet as does its physical counterpart. Many are sick or, to all intents and purposes, dead in the realm of spiritual things because their spirits have known no diet other than the mundane, the impure, the unholy. Others are spiritually anemic, having only nibbled at eternal truths and preferring to stuff their bellies with spiritual junk food. Still others, who have feasted upon the meat of the gospel, lack spiritual strength because they have not exercised or used the spiritual gifts that have been given them.

Spiritual strength, testimony, faith-none are the product of a moment; all must be nurtured, each comes quietly, almost imperceptibly. Impatience is characteristic of the spiritually immature. A mistake common to the spiritually inexperienced is the establishing of deadlines for the Lord. This is done by determining that they will submit themselves to a given ritual of spiritual activities for a specified period, by which time the Lord is to have manifest himself or his will to the prescribed degree. This would be something akin to a parent giving a child a goal to grow a given number of inches in a prescribed period, promising rewards if they succeed and punishments should they fail. A good seed properly nourished will bring forth a rich harvest, but the season of harvest is of the Lord's choosing-it will come "in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will' (D&C 88:68).

38. "Some [seeds] fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away" (Matthew 13:5-6).

42. If we so live that we nourish the seed-seek to strengthen our witness and knowledge of Christ-all the days of our lives, there will come a time when we shall see as we are seen and know as we are known. We shall partake of the tree of life in the ultimate sense, that is, partake of the glory of the celestial kingdom; we shall drink of the waters of life and cat the hidden manna in exaltation evermore.

Alma 34

9. It is expedient that an atonement should be made] The Atonement was not simply a nice thing, a sweet offering of a gentle and kind man; it was and is absolutely necessary. Though Christ's atonement was a voluntary offering, though he suffered and laid down his life of his own free will, what he did needed to be done; all eternity hung in the balance until it was an accomplished reality. Had there been no atonement, no amount of goodness, no amount of caring and concern, no amount of human strength could have made up the difference. We are forever indebted to him who bought us with his blood.

9. All are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost] Because of the fall of Adam and Eve, all the children of men inherit the conditions of mortality, including a fallen nature. They are oblivious to things of righteousness, are hardened and insensitive to matters spiritual, are lost and alienated from the family of God. "Adam fell," Elder Bruce R. McConkie has written. "We know that this fall came because of transgression, and that Adam broke the law of God, became mortal, and was thus subject to sin and disease and all the ills of mortality. We know that the effects of his fall passed upon all his posterity; all inherited a fallen state, a state of mortality, a state in which spiritual and temporal death prevail. In this state all men sin. All are lost. All are fallen. All are cut off from the presence of God."

10-14. Because of the importance of the doctrinal concept contained herein, it seems appropriate to quote from an earlier volume of this commentary. "The atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite and eternal. First, it is infinite in the sense that it is timeless-embracing past, present, and future. Our Savior is the Lamb 'slain from the foundation of the world' (Revelation 13:8), and the effects of his atonement reach back to Eden and forward to the Millennium's end. Adam and Eve were taught to call upon God in the name of the Son for a remission of their sins, by virtue of an atonement which would be worked out some four thousand years hence (Moses 5:8). Enoch saw and bore witness some three thousand years before the events of Gethsemane and Calvary: 'The Righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world' (Moses 7:47). Jesus Christ offered himself a ransom for sin in one singular moment in earth's history, so 'that as many as would believe and be baptized in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end, should be saved-not only those who believed after he came in the meridian of time, in the flesh, but all those from the beginning, even as many as were before he came, who believed in the words of the holy prophets . . . , as well as those who should come after, who should believe in the gifts and callings of God by the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and of the Son' (D&C 20:25-27; cf. Alma 39:17-19). Those who lived before the meridian of time were taught to repent and believe in the name of the Holy One, 'to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was' (Jarom 1:11).

"Second, the atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite in the sense that it conquers the most universal reality in mortal existence-death. The earth and every plant and animal upon it-all forms of life-are subject to death through the Fall. The light of the Atonement must shine upon all who were previously shadowed by the effects of the Fall. An infinite atonement must bring life to all that is subject to death.

"Third, the Atonement is infinite in that it encompasses all the worlds Christ created. Jesus Christ, as Jehovah, advanced and progressed in the premortal existence to the point at which he, under the direction of Elohim, became the creator of countless worlds and became known as the Lord Omnipotent. In speaking of those orbs formed by the Lord Jehovah, God said to Moses: 'And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth. And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.' Likewise, in the Vision of the Glories, the Lord explained that by Christ, 'and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God' (D&C 76:24; cf. vv. 40-42). In 1843 Joseph Smith prepared a poetic version of the Vision; the verses associated with the above passage read as follows:

And I heard a great voice, bearing record from heav'n,
'He's the Saviour, and only begotten of God-
By him, of him, and through him, the worlds were all made,
Even all that careen in the heavens so broad,
'Whose inhabitants too, from the first to the last,
Are sav'd by the very same Saviour of ours;
And, of course, are begotten God's daughters and sons,
By the very same truths and the very same pow'rs.'
(Times and Seasons 4:82-83.)

"Fourth, the atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite because Christ himself is an infinite being. From his mother, Mary-a mortal woman-he inherited mortality, the capacity to die. On the other hand, he inherited from his Father, the Almighty Elohim, immortality, the power to live forever. The suffering and sacrifice in Gethsemane and on Golgotha were undertaken by a being who was greater than man, one possessing the powers of a God. This was no human sacrifice, not even simply an act of a wise and all-loving teacher. It was more, infinitely more, than an example of submission or a model of humanitarianism. He did for us what no other being could do. Yes, it is true that 'there was no other good enough to pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate of heav'n and let us in.' ('There Is a Green Hill Far Away,' Hymns, no. 194.) But it is equally true that what Jesus of Nazareth accomplished in and through the awful atonement is beyond human comprehension; it is the work of an infinite personage." (Commentary 1:236-38, italics in original.)

10. A great and last sacrifice] Christ's atonement was great and last in terms of its spiritual significance, its impact, its timelessness and eternal and everlasting relevance, not necessarily in terms of its chronology. John the Baptist, as a part of his prayer of ordination upon the heads of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, explained that the Aaronic Priesthood "shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness" (D&C 13). According to Oliver Cowdery, the Baptist said: "Upon you my fellow-servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer this Priesthood and this authority, which shall remain upon earth, that the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness!" (Messenger and Advocate, vol. I [October 1834] pp. 14-16, italics added; cited in 1981 ed. of the Pearl of Great Price, p. 59.) Likewise, a modern revelation speaks of the sons of Moses and the sons of Aaron offering an acceptable sacrifice in the temple to be erected in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri (see D&C 84:31).

Joseph Smith taught: "The offering of sacrifice has ever been connected and forms a part of the duties of the Priesthood. It began with the Priesthood, and will be continued until after the coming of Christ.... These sacrifices, as well as every ordinance belonging to the Priesthood, will, when the Temple of the Lord shall be built, and the sons of Levi be purified, be fully restored and attended to in all their powers, ramifications, and blessings. This ever did and ever will exist when the powers of the Melchizedek Priesthood are sufficiently manifest; else how can the restitution of all things spoken of by the Holy Prophets be brought to pass? It is not to be understood that the lazy of Moses will be established again with all its rites and variety of ceremonies; this has never been spoken of by the prophets; but those things which existed prior to Moses' day, namely, sacrifice, will be continued. It may be asked by some, what necessity for sacrifice, since the Great Sacrifice was offered? In answer to which, if repentance, baptism, and faith existed prior to the days of Christ, what necessity for them since that time?" (Teachings, pp. 172-73, italics added.) It may be that such a sacrifice, as a part of the restitution of all things, will be instituted one final time to point toward the great and last sacrifice of Jesus the Lamb (see Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 3:94; Bruce R. McConkie, Mortal Messiah 1:128).

10. Not a sacrifice of man. . . . it shall not be a human sacrifice] As we have observed Jesus Christ was more than man, more than human. He was God, and thus his sacrifice was infinite in the sense that it was not limited by what puny man can do.

11. That is, no mortal man can do such a thing. But Jesus Christ, the Son of Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57). was empowered through conception to accomplish his foreordained task.

13. A stop to the shedding of blood] When the resurrected Lord appeared to the Nephites, he told them: "I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega the beginning and the end.... And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood ... And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit." (3 Nephi 9:18-20.) In our day that same Lord has commanded: "Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit" (D&C 59:8; compare Psalms 51:17; Isaiah 66:2; 2 Nephi 2:7).

14. The law of Moses was as one grand prophecy of Christ inasmuch as it testified of the salvation to be obtained in and through his atoning blood. Jesus was the fulfillment of that prophecy.

14. Every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice] "Everything connected with the lesser law pointed to the higher law, or in other words it pointed to Christ and his gospel. Each Mosaic performance was so arranged and so set up that it was a type and a shadow of what was to be. Their sacrifices were performed in similitude of the coming sacrifice of their Messiah; the rituals out of which they gained forgiveness of sins were tokens of what was to be in the life of Him whose atonement made forgiveness possible; their every act, every ordinance, every performance-all that they did-pointed the hearts and minds of believing worshippers forward to Jesus Christ and him crucified. All this was understood by those among them who were faithful and true; the rebellious and slothful were like their modern counterparts, unbelieving, nonconforming, unsaved." (Bruce R. McConkie, Promised Messiah, p. 416.)

14. The Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal] As we noted earlier, the atonement was infinite because Christ was an infinite being.

31. Now is the time and the day of your salvation] In a general sense, Amulek is stating that mortality is the time given us to prepare for life with God. In a narrower sense, he may be suggesting that the Zoramites should take advantage of the moment, grab for the opportunity at the present to search out and secure the truth, for time and circumstance will quickly rob them of subsequent opportunities.

31. Immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you] People do not need to wait until some distant day in order to enjoy the fruits of gospel living. In fact, the true Saints enjoy heaven on earth. Indeed, if we will quickly humble ourselves, call upon the Lord in mighty prayer in behalf of our souls, and submit ourselves to the divine will, we can participate directly and immediately in the blessings of the plan of salvation.

32. The day of this life] Here the word day seems to refer to a period of time. Thus Amulek is saying, in essence, "The period of time in this mortal existence is the time granted us to perform our labors."

33. Ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance] Indeed, procrastination is the thief of eternal life. As a person puts off his repentance until later, he learns to his dismay that the power to change is inversely proportional to the power of habit: the greater the strength of habit, the lesser the strength to change.

33. If we do not improve our time while in this life] This is an unusual phrase, for we generally do not speak of "improving" our time. We might say, "If we do not make effective use of our time . . . " or "If we do not improve ourselves during this period of time, then it will be too late." Jacob warned against wasting "the days of [our] probation" (2 Nephi 9:27), while Samuel the Lamanite warned against procrastinating the time of our repentance until it is "everlastingly too late". (Helaman 13:38). See also 2 Corinthians 6:1-2.

33. Then cometh the night of darkness] If we are not careful, if we do not prepare properly, if we do not focus upon things that matter most, we shall eventually come, unprepared, face to face with death. While the sun shines we are expected to walk in the light and perform labors appropriate to the light, for sooner than we think we shall be called upon to pass through that veil which separates the embodied from the disembodied. The spirit world, called here the "night of darkness" (compare Alma 41:7), is a place wherein righteous works are to be continued, not begun.

33. There can be no labor performed] It is not to be understood from this verse that no labors are performed in the postmortal spirit world after physical death. The Church of the Lamb is organized there, the gospel is preached there to millions, and thus the work of the Lord goes forward on both sides of the veil. If, however, a person has enjoyed the privileges of gospel understanding but chooses in this life to deny or defy that light, to reject the truth and avoid the works of righteousness when he knows better, it becomes extremely difficult for him to turn around, to change directions at the time of death.

Elder Melvin J. Ballard explained that until a person "learns to overcome the flesh, his temper, his tongue, his disposition to, indulge in the things God has forbidden, he cannot come into the celestial kingdom of God-he must overcome either in this life or in the life to come. But this life is the time in which men are to repent. Do not let any of us imagine that we can go down to the grave not having overcome the corruptions of the flesh and then lose in the grave all our sins and evil tendencies. They will be with us. They will be with the spirit when separated from the body. The spirit only can repent and change, and then the battle has to go forward with the flesh afterwards. It is much easier to overcome and serve the Lord when both flesh and spirit are combined as one. . . . Every man and woman who is putting off until the next life the task of correcting and overcoming the weakness of the flesh are sentencing themselves to years of bondage, for no man or woman will come forth in the resurrection until they have completed their work, until they have overcome, until they have done as much as they can do." ("The Three Degrees of Glory," sermon delivered in Ogden, Utah, on 22 September 1922.)

34. That awful crisis] The crisis of being unprepared to meet one's Maker.

34. That same spirit which doth possess your bodies] Amulek is here making use of the word spirit to refer to one's disposition, attitude, proclivity, spiritual direction. Men and women will not have an immediate reversal of attitude at the time of death. If they have desired evil things; if they have sold their souls for attention and applause and acclaim; if they have craved carnal pleasures alone-if their lives have followed this course, they need not expect to inherit spirituality in the world to come. This is in harmony with what Alma will later call the doctrine of restoration (see Alma 41).

34. That eternal world] This is a specific reference to the spirit world and not to life in the kingdoms of glory. As we have seen already (see Elder Ballard's words in commentary on verse 33) all persons will repent. The only questions are where and under what circumstances they will repent and thus what degree of glory they will obtain. There are no murderers and liars and whoremongers in the telestial kingdom, only repentant murderers, liars, and whoremongers. See Alma 3:26; Alma 48:23.

35. He doth seal you his] See commentary on Helaman 13:32, 38. Compare also 2 Nephi 9:46.

35. The Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you] One of the immediate consequences of sin is the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit, a withdrawal which leads to feelings of guilt and pain and emptiness (compare D&C 19:20). Moroni taught that "despair cometh because of iniquity" (Moroni 10:22). When one is void of holiness he opens himself to the influence of the unholy.

35. This is the final state of the wicked] Telestial persons shall, as we have noted above, eventually repent of their sins, and thus being subject to Satan is not exactly their final state: they shall inherit a kingdom of glory. This verse seems to apply more directly to the sons of perdition, those who have lost all desire and disposition to repent, who have gone beyond the point of no return, who shall be resurrected but to a kingdom of no glory. Such is their final state.

36. The righteous shall sit down in his kingdom, to go no more out] They have returned to their heavenly home after a long and arduous sojourn in mortality. They shall advance and progress everlastingly, shall grow from grace to grace and from exaltation to exaltation, and shall reside in the family of the Gods forevermore.

36. Their garments should be made white] "These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood" (D&C 76:69).

The above commentary was excerpted from Robert L. Millet and Joseph Fielding McConkie, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 3.
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