THE SECOND BOOK OF NEPHI|
Jews shall be gathered in all their lands of promiseAtonement ransoms man from the fallThe bodies of the dead shall come forth from the grave, and their spirits from hell and from paradiseThey shall be judgedAtonement saves from death, hell, the devil, and endless tormentThe righteous to be saved in the kingdom of GodPenalties for sins set forthThe Holy One of Israel is the keeper of the gate. [Between 559 and 545 B.C.]
AND now, my beloved brethren, I have read these things that ye might know concerning the acovenants of the Lord that he has covenanted with all the house of Israel
That he has spoken unto the Jews, by the mouth of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down, from generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be arestored to the true church and fold of God; when they shall be bgathered home to the clands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise.
Behold, my beloved brethren, I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice, and alift up your heads forever, because of the blessings which the Lord God shall bestow upon your children.
For I know that ye have searched much, many of you, to know of things to come; wherefore I know that ye know that our aflesh must waste away and die; nevertheless, in our bbodies we shall see God.
Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great aCreator that he bsuffereth himself to become csubject unto man in the flesh, and ddie for eall men, that all men might become subject unto him.
For as adeath hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful bplan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of cresurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the dfall; and the fall came by reason of etransgression; and because man became fallen they were fcut off from the gpresence of the Lord.
Wherefore, it must needs be an ainfinite batonementsave it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the cfirst judgment which came upon man must needs have dremained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.
O the awisdom of God, his bmercy and cgrace! For behold, if the dflesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who efell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the fdevil, to rise no more.
And our spirits must have become alike unto him, and we become devils, bangels to a cdevil, to be dshut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of elies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who fbeguiled our first parents, who gtransformeth himself nigh unto an hangel of light, and istirreth up the children of men unto jsecret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.
O how great the agoodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our bescape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, cdeath and dhell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.
And because of the way of adeliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this bdeath, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave.
And this adeath of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is bhell; wherefore, death and hell must cdeliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its dcaptive espirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive fbodies, and the bodies and the gspirits of men will be hrestored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.
O how great the aplan of our God! For on the other hand, the bparadise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is crestored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and dimmortal, and they are living souls, having a eperfect fknowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.
Wherefore, we shall have a aperfect bknowledge of all our cguilt, and our duncleanness, and our enakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their frighteousness, being gclothed with hpurity, yea, even with the irobe of righteousness.
And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the ajudgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the bjudgment, and then must they be judged according to the holy judgment of God.
And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal aword, which cannot bpass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are cfilthy shall be dfilthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the edevil and his angels; and they shall go away into feverlasting fire, prepared for them; and their gtorment is as a hlake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end.
O the greatness and the ajustice of our God! For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out of his mouth, and his law must be bfulfilled.
But, behold, the arighteous, the bsaints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the ccrosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall dinherit the ekingdom of God, which was prepared for them ffrom the foundation of the world, and their gjoy shall be full hforever.
O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he adelivereth his saints from that bawful monster the devil, and death, and chell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.
O how great the aholiness of our God! For he bknoweth call things, and there is not anything save he knows it.
And he cometh into the world that he may asave all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the bpains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of cAdam.
And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.
And he commandeth all men that they must arepent, and be bbaptized in his name, having perfect cfaith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.
And if they will not repent and believe in his aname, and be baptized in his name, and bendure to the end, they must be cdamned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it.
Wherefore, he has given a alaw; and where there is bno claw given there is no dpunishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.
For the aatonement satisfieth the demands of his bjustice upon all those who chave not the dlaw given to them, that they are edelivered from that awful monster, death and fhell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment; and they are restored to that God who gave them gbreath, which is the Holy One of Israel.
But wo unto him that has the alaw given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that btransgresseth them, and that cwasteth the days of his dprobation, for awful is his state!
O that cunning aplan of the evil one! O the bvainness, and the frailties, and the cfoolishness of men! When they are dlearned they think they are ewise, and they fhearken not unto the gcounsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their hwisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
But to be alearned is good if they bhearken unto the ccounsels of God.
But wo unto the arich, who are brich as to the things of the cworld. For because they are rich they despise the dpoor, and they persecute the meek, and their ehearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their ftreasure is their god. And behold, their gtreasure shall perish with them also.
And wo unto the deaf that will not ahear; for they shall perish.
Wo unto the ablind that will not see; for they shall perish also.
Wo unto the auncircumcised of heart, for a knowledge of their iniquities shall smite them at the last day.
Wo unto the aliar, for he shall be thrust down to bhell.
Wo unto the amurderer who deliberately bkilleth, for he shall cdie.
Wo unto them who commit awhoredoms, for they shall be thrust down to hell.
Yea, wo unto those that aworship idols, for the devil of all devils delighteth in them.
And, in fine, wo unto all those who die in their asins; for they shall breturn to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins.
O, my beloved brethren, remember the awfulness in atransgressing against that Holy God, and also the awfulness of yielding to the enticings of that bcunning one. Remember, to be ccarnally-minded is ddeath, and to be espiritually-minded is flife geternal.
O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words. Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel. Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will arevile against the btruth; for I have spoken the words of your Maker. I know that the words of truth are chard against all duncleanness; but the erighteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken.
O then, my beloved brethren, acome unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the bway for man is cnarrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the dgate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.
And whoso aknocketh, to him will he open; and the bwise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their clearning, and their dwisdom, and their richesyea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves efools before God, and come down in the depths of fhumility, he will not open unto them.
But the things of the wise and the aprudent shall be bhid from them foreveryea, that happiness which is prepared for the saints.
O, my beloved brethren, remember my words. Behold, I take off my garments, and I shake them before you; I pray the God of my salvation that he view me with his aall-searching eye; wherefore, ye shall know at the last day, when all men shall be judged of their works, that the God of Israel did witness that I bshook your iniquities from my soul, and that I stand with brightness before him, and am crid of your blood.
O, my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins; shake off the achains of him that would bind you fast; come unto that God who is the brock of your salvation.
Prepare your souls for that glorious day when ajustice shall be administered unto the righteous, even the day of bjudgment, that ye may not shrink with awful fear; that ye may not remember your awful cguilt in perfectness, and be constrained to exclaim: Holy, holy are thy judgments, O Lord God dAlmightybut I know my guilt; I transgressed thy law, and my transgressions are mine; and the devil hath eobtained me, that I am a prey to his awful misery.
But behold, my brethren, is it expedient that I should awake you to an awful reality of these things? Would I harrow up your souls if your minds were pure? Would I be plain unto you according to the plainness of the truth if ye were freed from sin?
Behold, if ye were holy I would speak unto you of holiness; but as ye are not holy, and ye look upon me as a ateacher, it must needs be expedient that I bteach you the consequences of sin.
Behold, my soul abhorreth sin, and my heart adelighteth in righteousness; and I will bpraise the holy name of my God.
Come, my brethren, every one that athirsteth, come ye to the bwaters; and he that hath no cmoney, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your alabor for that which cannot bsatisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and cfeast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.
Behold, my beloved brethren, remember the words of your God; pray unto him continually by day, and give athanks unto his holy name by night. Let your hearts brejoice.
And behold how great the acovenants of the Lord, and how great his bcondescensions unto the children of men; and because of his greatness, and his cgrace and dmercy, he has promised unto us that our seed shall not utterly be destroyed, according to the flesh, but that he would epreserve them; and in future generations they shall become a righteous fbranch unto the house of Israel.
And now, my brethren, I would speak unto you more; but on the morrow I will declare unto you the remainder of my words. Amen.