1 And now, my son [Corianton], I have somewhat to say concerning the restoration [judgment of the soul] of which has been spoken; for behold, some have wrested [manipulated for personal use] 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.
Another definition of the principle of restoration is that you reap what you sow. Corianton had reconciled himself with the belief he would simply be forgiven.
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. [The principle that the body, spirit, and mind of an individual is restored according to its glory.]
3 And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged [divided and separated] 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. [receive a glory in proportion to that faith]
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—[These are the two opposites.]
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.
One might ask, “Why would anyone choose to follow Satan?” The great divide between righteousness and evil is that the followers of Christ seek the will of the Father, and desire good that they may save souls – it is Christ-love. The followers of Satan seek the will of self and the desire to have power, dominion, and self-gratification. This is self-love and is the temptation that leads all fallen beings to become perdition.
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.
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 [telestial world]; and thus they stand or fall; for behold, they are their own judges [they separate themselves], 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. [This is the mercy of God, that every soul will have a way prepared that they may come unto Christ. In this is a mystery.]
9 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.
10 Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.
Alma describes a distinct difference between wickedness and happiness. Some would argue that free expression and self gratification is happiness, but Alma preaches that its result is agony and despair; whereas, righteousness (harmony with God) is true happiness.
11 And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature [without the law, subject to the natural man] , or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.
12 And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature? [Like saying, “Can you place a square object through a round hole? This is why there must be a separation and judgment that all things may be in harmony according to God’s laws.]
13 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. [That our spirit body will be resurrected according to the glory it possesses. We cannot simply hop from one state of glory to another. A popular doctrine amongst the Nephites (and even today) is that God will excuse all our sins despite our nature and we will be made holy in the next life. The belief that we need not worry for we shall be forgiven. (2 Nephi 28:8, 21)]
14 Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously [Recognize the difference between good and evil according to the Spirit.], and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward [You will find what you seek.]; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.
This is the principle of “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” When we are compassionate to others we qualify for greater light and mercy from Christ. To have Christ-love instead of self-love is the path to righteousness.
15 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.
There are many Christians today that believe God loves them just as they are, and that if they simply are good people, all their sins will be taken away. That all religions are a part of a great whole, where love is the only way. But, this is not truthful, of there is only one way. 2 Nephi 9:23-46