Saturday, January 24, 2015

Spirit Prison

In Alma 40 we learn that Alma's son Corianton is concerned with what happens to men in the space between their death and resurrection. In Alma 40, Alma explains that the state of the soul between death and the resurrection:

" 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 wether they be good or evil are taken home to that God who gave them life, and then shall it come to pass that the spirits of those who are righteous are received in 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, and then it shall come to pass that the spirits of the wicked, yea who are evil, for behold they have no part nor portions 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 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. 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. "

We have a witness of this state " betwixt " or in between the time of death and Resurrection ( Alma 40:6 ) from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks of a prison, that He was also referencing " Spirit Prison " in his teachings. 

Matthew 5:25 Jesus teaches: " Agree with thine adversary quickly whiles thou art in the way with him, lest any adversary deliver thee to judge and the judge deliver to the officer and thou be cast into prison; Truly I say unto you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny."

Another witness is when Peter teaches in 1 Peter 3:19-20 that Christ went :
" By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometimes were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing were in few, that is eight souls were saved by water. 

An interesting note about the word prison used in both of these scripture passages is that translated into their original form of Greek, the word "Phulake" means , persons being watched or a place where captives are kept ( Greek Lexicon ) adding a witness to Joseph Smith's revelations about the gospel being preached to the dead.

I am very thankful for my knowledge at this time about the space between life and death. I am thankful that I also know that those whom did not have the gospel preached to them, will have the chance to hear it in the next life. 

It is important to remember that this time in between is not for the purpose of giving a second chance for salvation. Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught:

" The foolishness of believing that a person can reject the gospel in this life, accept it in the next, and still inherit celestial glory. “This life is the time and day of our probation. After this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
“For those who do not have an opportunity to believe and obey the holy word in this life, the first chance to gain salvation will come in the spirit world. If those who hear the word for the first time in the realms ahead are the kind of people who would have accepted the gospel here, had the opportunity been afforded them, they will accept it there. …
“… Those who reject the gospel in this life and then receive it in the spirit world go not to the celestial, but to the terrestrial kingdom.” (“The Seven Deadly Heresies,” in Speeches of the Year, 1980 [Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1981], pp. 77–78.)

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