When visiting a group of Lehi’s descendants in the Americas (soon after His resurrection in about 34 A.D.), Jesus Christ taught them about all things from the beginning of Earth’s existence until it’s end.
“…[Christ] did expound all things, even from the beginning until the time that he should come in his glory—yea, even all things which should come upon the face of the earth, even until the elements should melt with fervent heat, and the earth should be wrapt together as scroll, and the heavens and the earth should pass away; And even unto the great and last day, when all people, and all kindreds, and all nations and tongues shall stand before God, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—If they be good, to the resurrection of everlasting life; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of damnation; being on a parallel, the one on the one hand and the other on the other hand, according to the mercy, and the justice, and the holiness which is in Christ, who was before the world began.” (3 Nephi 26:3-5)
-What would it have been like to be taught about the whole existence of the Earth by Christ Himself?
Alma teaches his son that God does not experience time as we on Earth do.
“All is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men.” (Alma 40:8)
-Could a God who sees and comprehends all be within the confines of time as we know it?
Gratitude: I am grateful to worship a living God who works beyond our current understanding of time and space. The highest level of comprehension available to humans through scientific and linguistic inquiry is but a small fraction of His knowledge. God’s miraculous interventions in our lives, for which I am also grateful, are based on His mastery of the fullness of eternal truth and are not limited to our understanding of what is and isn’t “possible.”
Amulek (in about 74 B.C.) teaches that only Jesus Christ (a God filled with infinite and eternal power) could make the sacrifice necessary to offer salvation to the inhabitants of the Earth.
“…It is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice…there can be nothing short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world…and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal.” (Alma 34:10-14)
-Do you believe God forgives sin without reference to the demands of justice?
-Does Christ’s willingness to meet those terrible demands help you understand how deeply He loves all who have ever lived?
Alma teaches that God gives a portion of His perfect knowledge to each nation and people of the Earth according to His perfect wisdom regarding what they should have.
“…The Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.” (Alma 29:8)
-Can you start to better understand who God is when surveying the rich tapestry of the best and most refined aspects of all the different nations, languages, and cultures covering the Earth?
-Can you imagine bringing all that is good, wise, and praiseworthy among all the people of the Earth into your being?
- Does the potential of doing this (and more) in the eternities begin to give insight to what Christ meant when he told His disciples that His Father’s house has many mansions? (John 14:2)
- Is the wisdom and truth God has bestowed upon His creations limited to this Earth?
Alma testifies that the Lord is always prepared to clear away wickedness from the Earth.
“…The Spirit saith: Behold the ax is laid at the root of the tree; therefore every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire, yea a fire which cannot be consumed, even an unquenchable fire. Behold, and remember, the Holy One hath spoken it.” (Alma 5:52)
“…All ye that will persist in your wickedness, I say unto you that these are they who shall be hewn down and cast into the fire except they speedily repent.” (Alma 5:56)
-Will the death of each individual, who has not brought forth good fruit, be the equivalent the tree being cut down and cast into the fire?
-Is the orchard analogy also a reference to groups of people (nations, cultures, etc.)?
-Could the purifying fire (influence) that emanates from God be anything but unquenchable? Could it ever be consumed?
-How intensely will that fire burn if it was never lit in the heart of a person prior to the Final Judgment?
-How is repentance tied to allowing God to purify our hearts now, during this time of probation, prior to the Last Judgment?
The Book of Mormon testifies (through the teachings of the prophet Jacob) that God created the earth and the life upon it by the power of His word.
“…By the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word.” (Jacob 4:9)
-How many see the earth and the life on it as a creation of God?
-Does the fact that it is a fallen creation (including the people of the earth) cause some to feel that God is distant or doesn’t exist?