The Reality of the Judgment

Church Educational System
When Adam transgressed the commandment in the Garden of Eden and brought about the fall of man, two kinds of death were introduced into the world: physical death, which is the separation of the body and the spirit, and spiritual death, which is separation or alienation from God. Because both conditions come automatically upon all men through no act of their own, it is only just that they be taken care of without condition or price.

Physical death is automatically overcome for all men by Christ through the Resurrection, wherein the body and the spirit are reunited, never to be separated again. Something that is not so well understood, however, is that the Resurrection also automatically brings all men back into the presence of God, or overcomes the state of spiritual death caused by the fall of Adam. Thus all the effects of the fall of Adam are overcome automatically without condition.

In the case of spiritual death, however, we must remember that our state of being separated from God in mortality is only partially due to Adam’s transgression. We are born mortal, away from the presence of God, because of the Fall. But once we become accountable and yield to temptation we are responsible for our own state of uncleanness. In other words, we are then to blame for maintaining our state of alienation or spiritual death. If we will turn to God and accept the sacrifice of his Son before the Judgment, then we can be “clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness” (2 Nephi 9:14) through the redemptive power of the Savior. In other words, the spiritual death caused by our own fall will also be overcome in Christ, and we can dwell with God forever. But everyone will be brought back into God’s presence (see vv. 13–15). Everyone will have their state of spiritual death caused by Adam’s fall temporarily overcome. For those who refuse to come unto Christ, their state of spiritual death or separation from God will be overcome only long enough to bring them into his presence for judgment. Then they will be banished from his glory and presence because of their refusal to repent.

The idea that at the time of judgment we will have a perfect remembrance of our righteousness or our unrighteousness is also taught by Alma. Alma describes the awful shame that will grip all those who have not repented of their sins (see Alma 12:13–15).

Book of Mormon Student Manual (1996 Edition)