Sunday, July 26, 2020

Spirit World and the Doctrine of Restoration (Alma 40-42) QUESTIONS

The Spirit World and the Resurrection of the Dead

READ Alma 40:1-5
Who holds the keys to the resurrection of the dead?

READ Alma 40:6-7
Why must there be a space between death and the resurrection; why can’t it be immediate or almost immediate?

READ Alma 40:8
With regards to time, how would you describe the difference between what God experiences and what man experiences?
What is the implication on understanding God – when He reveals things to men?
What is the implication for how we should live each day on earth?

READ Alma 40:11-14
What happens to the spirits of all mankind at death?
Who is the God who gave our spirits life?
Why does Alma tell us that an angel told him that “as soon as” all people die, their spirits are taken to God to be sorted into paradise or hell, when this is not the current doctrine of the Church?
What does Alma mean by “outer darkness” here and how does it differ from how the term is used in the Church?
If the righteous are received into paradise, what defines "righteous"?
Who then is righteous?
Who then are the "wicked" and what happens to them?
Can people move from hell to paradise prior to the resurrection and if so, how?

READ Alma 40:15
Why would Alma say that the initial judgement and consignment to paradise or hell can be termed a "resurrection"?

READ Alma 40:16-21
What is the implication of Alma's admitting there are things about the resurrection that he does not know?
Why is the doctrine of a literal resurrection difficult for most Christian sects?
If we don't have a physical resurrection, what would we be in the eternities?

The Doctrine of Restoration

READ Alma 40:22-26 and Alma 41:2-7, 12-13
What is the doctrine of Restoration?
Given that God follows the doctrine of Restoration, why is an atonement necessary?
What is required of us to be restored to good?
What does it mean that these who are restored to good are "taken out" or "delivered from that endless night of darkness"?

READ Alma 41:14-15
How should the doctrine of Restoration shape our behavior in mortality?

READ Alma 41:1
What does it mean to wrest the scriptures and how does this happen?

READ Alma 41:8
Why are the decrees of God unalterable?
What is the Way and where does it lead?
What does it mean “that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved”?

READ Alma 41:9
What is the relationship between understanding true points of doctrine and committing sin?

READ Alma 41:10-11
What does "wickedness never was happiness" mean in the context of the doctrine of Restoration?
What does it mean to be in a state of nature?
Why is the natural man without God in the world?

The Great Plan of Happiness

READ Alma 42:1
Why would Corianton feel it was unjust to consign a sinner to a state of misery?

READ Alma 42:2-5
What would have happened if Adam had eaten the fruit of the Tree of Life after he had partaken of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, but before he had repented?
What is the role of the Cherubim?

READ Alma 42:6-10
What happens if one does not partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life?
So, why would it have been injustice to allow man to partake of the Tree of Life after falling, as enabling this would consign a man to be lost forever – which we deserve?
So why is the probationary nature of this mortal life so important?
What is the "great plan of happiness" that Alma explains to Corianton?
Can man follow his own will while in God's presence?
Why was it not expedient that man be reclaimed from temporal death but it was expedient that s/he be reclaimed from spiritual death?

The Law of Justice

READ Alma 42:11-14
Why would God cease to be God if He violated the Law of Justice?
Given that mankind chose to fall and continue to sin, what justice do we deserve?
Why could mercy not be brought about except through repentance; can't mercy be decreed by God upon whomever He chooses?

READ Alma 42:15-16
What does justice require?
How are mercy and justice both served?

READ the Parable of the Mediator: a man wanted something very much and went into debt to get it.  While he made token payments over time, he was vastly short of paying back the money when the loan fell due.  The creditor required justice, which meant losing all the man had to begin to pay off the debt.  The debtor begged for mercy.  The creditor told the debtor that mercy would serve only the debtor; didn't the debtor believe in justice?  The debtor looked around for someone, anyone, to save him.  The debtor had a friend.  The friend, who was debt-free, came to the creditor and offered to pay the whole amount.  He reminded the creditor that it wouldn't be just to refuse the offer.  He went to the debtor and asked if he would take himself as the debtor's new creditor.  The friend told the debtor that they would restructure the loan so that it would be possible for the debtor to meet the new terms of the contract.  The debtor wholeheartedly agreed.  The friend went to the creditor and paid off the debt, freeing the debtor from bondage and beginning a new relationship with the debtor.

How is the Mediator able to extend mercy?

READ Alma 42:17-21
So why isn’t this the answer to all our problems: God, don’t give us a Law that must be obeyed, because if you don’t there is nothing for justice to condemn and no need for Christ to suffer or us to repent or anyone to be lost?

READ Alma 42:22-28
What is the default condition for man, coming out of mortality?
Since mercy cannot rob justice of this default condition, what must mankind do to receive mercy?
How does God bring about His great and eternal purposes (His work and glory) which is our immortality and eternal life?
What is implied about God’s willingness to make available His “waters of life”?
If we are restored unto righteousness, whose righteousness are we restored unto?

READ Alma 42:29-30
What does true doctrine do to the one who will open their ears to hear it?
Why does Alma tell Corianton not to let the true doctrine trouble him any longer but to only let his sins trouble him?

The Bread of Life (John 5-6; Matthew 14; Mark 6) QUESTIONS

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