1 Now Alma, seeing that the words of Amulek had silenced Zeezrom, for he beheld that Amulek had caught him in his lying and deceiving to destroy him, and seeing that he began to tremble under a consciousness of his guilt, he opened his mouth and began to speak unto him [Sometimes we just need to open our mouth and speak when the Spirit tell us.], and to establish the words of Amulek, and to explain things beyond, or to unfold the scriptures beyond that which Amulek had done.
2 Now the words that Alma spake unto Zeezrom were heard by the people round about; for the multitude was great, and he spake on this wise: [Its not every day that the former Chief Judge of the land and leader of the church of Christ speaks in your town, and that a prominent citizen of the town claims an angel taught them, and at the same time they silence the most ruthless lawyer that the town knows. This is alarming to them.]
3 Now Zeezrom, seeing that thou hast been taken in thy lying and craftiness, for thou hast not lied unto men only but thou hast lied unto God; for behold, he knows all thy thoughts, and thou seest that thy thoughts are made known unto us by his Spirit;
The spirit of discernment is where we are given clarity regarding another’s thoughts, intentions, or even the dynamics of a situation, so that we may be a servant of the Lord for others, or be protected ourselves from the scheming of the adversary.
4 And thou seest that we know that thy plan was a very subtle plan, as to the subtlety of the devil, for to lie and to deceive this people that thou mightest set them against us, to revile us and to cast us out— [As I read this I think of the many social issues in America today, and the many who work to lie and deceive the people.]
5 Now this was a plan of thine adversary, and he hath exercised his power in thee. Now I would that ye should remember that what I say unto thee I say unto all.
6 And behold I say unto you all that this was a snare of the adversary, which he has laid to catch this people, that he might bring you into subjection unto him, that he might encircle you about with his chains, that he might chain you down to everlasting destruction, according to the power of his captivity. [There are three things that easily bind a people down to destruction: a passionate false belief in something that is contrary to God’s laws, an addiction that is not thought to be harmful, and idolatry for someone or something. All of these are the result of pride, where we place personal gratification above our faith in God.]
7 Now when Alma had spoken these words, Zeezrom began to tremble more exceedingly, for he was convinced more and more of the power of God; and he was also convinced that Alma and Amulek had a knowledge of him, for he was convinced that they knew the thoughts and intents of his heart; for power was given unto them that they might know of these things according to the spirit of prophecy. [The difference between the spirit of discernment or revelation, and the spirit of prophecy, is that prophecy means you are commanded to speak what the Lord has given to you.]
8 And Zeezrom began to inquire of them diligently, that he might know more concerning the kingdom of God. And he said unto Alma: What does this mean which Amulek hath spoken concerning the resurrection of the dead, that all shall rise from the dead, both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according to their works? [Asking questions is a sign of a repentant heart.]
9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: 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.
This is one of my favorite scriptures. Here, Zeezrom begins to ask questions regarding something that is considered part of the mysteries, the truth regarding the resurrection of the dead. There are rules regarding how the Lord imparts this knowledge to us. Many are given the mysteries and receive according to their faith and the questions they ask. The “heed and diligence” that Alma is referring to is another way to describe faith – seeking revelation and acting upon it.
10 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.
What does it mean to “harden his heart?’ Our heart is the foundation of our desires and willingness to believe. When we place stakes in the ground and our unbelief is rigid we prevent the Lord from giving us His revelations. When we have a “broken heart” we are willing to hear and see all things without limitations. From there, depending upon the questions we ask (a sign of our faith), we are taught line upon line until we know all things.
What are the mysteries? All things which are kept from the world. These begin with an understanding of the Everlasting Covenant and God’s dealings with men. They encompass his creations, both of heaven and earth and all things associated with them. The mysteries of heaven are the most beautiful and sacred of the Lord’s word to us and should be sought with all one’s heart and mind until you are able to stand in the presence of God and ask questions uninhibited. This is His desire for you when you have reached that level of faith and holiness.
In my writings I have touched upon many mysteries, which the Lord has allowed me to share. However, it only scratches the surface and you are invited to come to Him and drink of the living Waters of Life and partake of the Fruit yourself.
11 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. [The vast majority of those who live upon this earth believe only the lesser portion of the word, and some are taken captive by Satan because they seek to know him more intimately.]
12 And Amulek hath spoken plainly concerning death, and being raised from this mortality to a state of immortality, and being brought before the bar of God, to be judged according to our works. [The nature of a telestial realm is that we endure mortality. The higher realms are immortal, where death does not exist. To say we are judged, is to mean we are separated and organized according to the intelligence or glory which we possess, and sent to a sphere where we may abide.]
13 Then if our hearts have been hardened, yea, if we have hardened our hearts against the word, insomuch that it has not been found in us, then will our state be awful, for then we shall be condemned. [When we are bathed in the fire of God’s glory our hearts are made pure and white, which is a sign of our standing before God.]
14 For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence. [Our words, works, and thoughts are a record of who we are. When we repent and come unto Christ we begin to acquire the virtues of godliness until the Father declares that we are worthy, and the virtue of charity is bestowed upon us, and the baptism of fire makes us clean. Then the blood of the Lamb makes us holy as we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost and born again as a Son or Daughter of Christ, worthy to stand in His presence.]
15 But this cannot be; we must come forth and stand before him in his glory, and in his power, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just; that he is just in all his works, and that he is merciful unto the children of men, and that he has all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance. [We are all standing before God every day as we make choices of what we desire and whom we serve. His all-seeing-eye knows all things. There is a day of judgment for all men and women, which is according to our day of reckoning in this life or the next.]
16 And now behold, I say unto you then cometh a death, even a second death, which is a spiritual death; then is a time that whosoever dieth in his sins, as to a temporal death, shall also die a spiritual death; yea, he shall die as to things pertaining unto righteousness. [Death of the physical body is where we see our immediate standing with God. To be prevented from entering His presence is to know we have not yet been washed clean from the blood and sins of our generation.]
17 Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting destruction, according to the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will. [These are those who have chosen the adversary. They have received the baptism of darkness, which is an oath like covenant to seek that which Satan would give them in exchange for their love.]
18 Then, I say unto you, they shall be as though there had been no redemption made; for they cannot be redeemed according to God’s justice; and they cannot die, seeing there is no more corruption. [They cannot try again, because they will not be allowed to inherit a body. These shall be sent to Outer Darkness.]
19 Now it came to pass that when Alma had made an end of speaking these words, the people began to be more astonished; [To hear the highest authority of the church preach such divisive (true) doctrine with such an authoritative way must have both shocked and angered the proud people of Ammonihah.]
20 But there was one Antionah, who was a chief ruler among them, came forth and said unto him: What is this that thou hast said, that man should rise from the dead and be changed from this mortal to an immortal state, that the soul can never die?
21 What does the scripture mean, which saith that God placed cherubim and a flaming sword on the east of the garden of Eden, lest our first parents should enter and partake of the fruit of the tree of life, and live forever? And thus we see that there was no possible chance that they should live forever. [a beautiful mystery]
Cherubim are the angels that guard the gates, particularly the gates to the Throne of Heaven where God dwells. There is an actual Tree of Life there, but the flaming sword is the glory of God that prevents all things unclean and unholy from entering. When Adam and Eve condescended they were clothed in skins (mortal flesh) and began the process of redemption for themselves and their posterity.
22 Now Alma said unto him: This is the thing which I was about to explain. Now we see that Adam did fall [required to condescend] by the partaking of the forbidden fruit, according to the word [commandment] of God; and thus we see, that by his fall, all mankind [seed of Adam] became a lost and fallen people. [was separated from God]
23 And now behold, I say unto you that if it had been possible for Adam to have partaken of the fruit of the tree of life at that time [chosen to remain in the presence of God], there would have been no death [mortality in the second estate for his posterity], and the word [commandments of the Elohim] would have been void, making God a liar, for he said: If thou eat thou shalt surely die. [This would have thwarted the work of the Lord.]
24 And we see that death 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 man in which he might repent; therefore this life [mortality] became a probationary [transitional] state; a time to prepare 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. [The purpose of life is to learn how to have faith sufficient to stand in the presence of God. Our resurrection is when our spirit bodies are made holy and capable of this ascension.]
25 Now, if it had not been for the plan of redemption [Everlastng Covenant], which was laid from the foundation of the world, there could have been no resurrection of the dead; but there was a plan of redemption laid, which shall bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, of which has been spoken.
26 And now behold, if it were possible that our first parents could have gone forth and partaken of the tree of life they would have been forever miserable, having no preparatory state; and thus the plan of redemption would have been frustrated, and the word of God would have been void, taking none effect. [They would have never progressed, and all creation would cease to move forward.]
27 But behold, it was not so; but it was appointed unto men that they must die; and after death, they must come to judgment, even that same judgment of which we have spoken, which is the end. [This is the final judgment at the end of the Millennium where all people are separated according to their glory.]
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;
29 Therefore he sent angels to converse with them, who caused men [and women] to behold of his glory. [Angels converse with us often, especially when we are awakening to the Lord, or have made previous covenants.]
30 And they began from that time forth to call on his name; therefore God conversed with men, and made known unto them the plan of redemption, which had been prepared from the foundation of the world; and this he made known unto them according to their faith and repentance and their holy works. [Adam and Eve went through this same process. Your faith, repentance, and holy works will open unto you the mysteries of Heaven as the angels prepare you to receive all things.]
31 Wherefore, he gave commandments unto men, they [Adam and Eve] having first transgressed the first commandments as to things which were temporal [required to condescend to enter mortality], and becoming as gods, knowing good from evil [learning to have great faith], placing themselves in a state to act, or being placed in a state to act according to their wills and pleasures, whether to do evil or to do good—
Faith is the greatest principle which we learn in this life. It is the power of creation, according to the Spirit of Truth which is in us, to see in our mind’s eye the reality of what must be, and power of God to its fulfillment.
32 Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil [follow Satan], the penalty thereof being a second death [separation from the dominion of God], which was an everlasting death as to things pertaining unto righteousness [Outer Darkness in the Dominion of Lucifer]; for on such the plan of redemption could have no power, for the works of justice [dividing of glory] could not be destroyed [altered], according to the supreme goodness of God.
33 But God did call on men, in the name of his Son, (this being the plan of redemption which was laid) saying: If ye will repent, and harden not your hearts, then will I have mercy upon you, through mine Only Begotten Son;
34 Therefore, whosoever repenteth, and hardeneth not his heart, he shall have claim on mercy through mine Only Begotten Son, unto a remission of his sins; and these shall enter into my rest. [The Atonement]
35 And whosoever will harden his heart and will do iniquity, behold, I swear in my wrath that he shall not enter into my rest.
The Atonement is the link between Father and Son, Mother and Daughter, an eternal sealing that allows for the raising of our glory through the graces (estates), according to His word.
36 And now, my brethren, behold I say unto you, that if ye will harden your hearts [not repent] ye shall not enter into the rest of the Lord; therefore your iniquity provoketh him that he sendeth down his wrath upon you as in the first provocation [testing], yea, according to his word in the last provocation as well as the first, to the everlasting destruction of your souls; therefore, according to his word, unto the last death, as well as the first. [Our first death was when we were required to enter our second estate and leave the presence of God. The second death is for those who choose in the second estate to follow Satan and are permanently disconnected from the Father.]
37 And now, my brethren, seeing we know these things, and they are true, let us repent, and harden not our hearts, that we provoke not the Lord our God to pull down his wrath upon us in these his second commandments [revelations] which he has given unto us; but let us enter into the rest of God, which is prepared according to his word.
The people of Ammonihah were after the order of Nehor, which means they believed that all men were saved equally. To hear this new doctrine regarding the justice of God must have been shocking to their current beliefs; therefore, Alma emphasized that if their hearts were hard they would not accept it.
It is not a sin to share the mysteries of God when the Lord requires it. Usually, the Lord opens these things when there is a purpose. For those who read my comments, understand that there is a purpose to these mysteries, which is to inspire your faith to seek the Lord for yourselves. I have only exposed a tiny portion of these mysteries in my writing. You must come to the Lord and ask questions so that He may teach you all that you need to know.