Adam became like God by knowing good and evil--He would have lived forever if he ate from the tree of life--The fall of
Adam caused humans to have a spiritual death--You can't repent if you haven't sinned--you can't sin if there are no
laws--There can't be laws without a punishment--or mercy would rob God and God wouldn't be God anymore--That's why there's
a hell. QED (743 BCE)
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Alma explains hell to Corianton
1 And now, my son, I perceive there is somewhat more which doth worry your mind,
which ye cannot understand -- which is concerning the justice of God in the punishment of the sinner; for ye do try to suppose
that it is injustice that the sinner should be consigned to a state of misery.
Alma Jr. continues his talk with his son, Corianton, saying:
I perceive that you're wondering how a good God could torment people forever after they die.
2 Now behold, my son, I will explain this thing unto thee. For behold, after
the Lord God sent our first parents forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground, from whence
they were taken -- yea, he drew out the man, and he placed at the east end of the garden of Eden, cherubim, and
a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the tree of life --
Well, I'll explain it all to you.
3 Now, we see that the man had become as God, knowing good and evil; and lest he should put forth
his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever, the Lord God placed cherubim and the
flaming sword, that he should not partake of the fruit --
4 And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a
time to repent and serve God.
5 For behold,
if Adam had put forth his hand immediately, and partaken of the tree of life, he
would have lived forever, according to the word of God, having no space for repentance; yea, and also the word
of God would have been void, and the great plan of salvation would have been frustrated.
6 But behold, it was appointed
unto man to die -- therefore, as they were cut off from the tree of
life they should be cut off from the face of the earth -- and man became lost forever, yea, they became fallen man.
7 And now, ye see by this that our first parents were cut off both temporally and spiritually from the
presence of the Lord; and thus we see they became subjects to follow after their own will.
8 Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that
would destroy the great plan of happiness.
Adam became like God by knowing good and evil.
And he would have lived forever if he had eaten from the tree of life.
So God sent a cherub with a flaming sword to prevent him from doing that.
9 Therefore, as the soul could never die, and the fall had brought upon all mankind a spiritual
death as well as a temporal, that is, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord, it was expedient that
mankind should be reclaimed from this spiritual death.
12 And now, there was no means to reclaim men from this fallen state, which man had brought upon
himself because of his own disobedience;
But the fall caused humans to have a spiritual death.
13 Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on
conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for
these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of
justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.
14 And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the
justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.
15 And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made;
therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the
demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.
And justice can't be destroyed.
Because if that happened,
God wouldn't be God anymore.
16 Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal
as the life of the soul should be, affixed opposite to the plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the
life of the soul.
You can't repent unless there's a punishment.
17 Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin
if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment?
18 Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience
19 Now, if there was no law given -- if a man murdered he should die -- would he be
afraid he would die if he should murder?
20 And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin.
21 And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they
would have no claim upon the creature?
But how you repent if you haven't sinned?
And how can your sin if there is no law?
And how can there be a law unless there is a punishment?
22 But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance
mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the
punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.
23 But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the
atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth
back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their
works, according to the law and justice.
24 For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own;
and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.
Then the works of justice would be destroyed,
and God wouldn't be God anymore.
25 What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit.
If so, God
would cease to be God.
If mercy robbed justice,
God wouldn't be God anymore.
26 And thus God bringeth about his great and eternal purposes, which were prepared from the
foundation of the world. And thus cometh about the salvation and the redemption of men, and also their
destruction and misery.
27 Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come may come and partake
of the waters of life freely;
and whosoever will not come the same is not compelled to come; but in the last day it shall be restored unto
him according to his deeds.
So God brings salvation and redemption,
and also destruction and misery.
28 If he has desired to do evil, and has not repented in his days, behold, evil shall be done
unto him, according to the restoration of God.
If someone does evil, then God will do evil to them.
29 And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your
sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance.
So don't be troubled anymore by these things
30 O my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse
yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of
God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust
31 And now, O my son, ye are called of God to preach the word unto this people. And now, my
son, go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance,
that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them. And may God grant unto you even according to my words.
and don't deny the justice of God.
Behold: Behold [42:2, 3(2), 5,
6, 8, 24, 28]
Yea: 42:2, 4, 5, 6,
(42:2) Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned
every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Genesis 3:23-24
(42:6) And as it is appointed unto men once to die Hebrews 9:27
(42:27) Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17
The Annotated Book of Mormon