A Video Supplement for
Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon Lesson 30
“The Great Plan of Happiness” (Alma 39-42)
In Alma 41, Alma is counseling his son Corianton and discussing the principle of restoration, which comprises partly of the Nephite understanding of the resurrection and judgement. It is also, apparently a subject of some controversy among them, which appears to be part of why we get more information about it than we would expect in a more casual mention, beginning in verse 1,
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. 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.
So to begin with the Nephites understand that the resurrection will in effect restore the body to the soul bringing them once again into union, though immortal instead of mortal. Continuing with verse 3,
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.
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—
This restoration is effectively unbiased. If one loves evil and chooses evil actions one will receive the bitter consequences of ones actions and the corruptions upon which one has placed the affections of ones heart. On the other hand if we have desired and chosen good, we will receive that good. I find all of this both just and beautiful in the way that God truly gives people what they most desire, and does so in a way that shows his own respect and reverence for agency. Continuing with verse 5,
5 The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; 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.
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.
A natural concern that may arise in thinking about this is “what is if I mess up?” (We all do.) Sometimes in the garden of our lives a weed begins to spring up? We all have this happen from time to time. Does this mean that we cannot be saved according to the justice of God? As generations of gardeners can attest, even if weeds spring up, if you remove the weeds, they won’t become a barrier to your garden becoming fruitful. If we repent, we can remove them and plant in their place the seeds from which we can harvest fruit springing up unto everlasting life. If on the other hand we let the thistles proliferate, they will choke the garden and we will soon find ourselves in a thorny situation. Continuing with verse 7,
7 These are they that are redeemed of the Lord; 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 that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved.
Some may complain about others judging them, but in this case the most important judge is you. You will judge yourselves. By the choices that you make you present evidence to the world of exactly what kind of a person you are and leave a record written in actions of your judgements and repentance. Let us therefore do good, and render through our actions a good judgement upon ourselves, and blessings upon all. And put our trust in Christ in whom we can find redemption and all of the blessings that are possible through repentance.