“The Very Thought of Coming into the Presence of My God Did Rack My Soul with Inexpressible Horror”

There is no greater pain than the shame of sin. Alma describes thus the moment of judgment for the unrepentant sinner: “In this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence” (Alma 12:14).

“Do ye suppose that ye could be happy to dwell with that holy Being,” asked Moroni, “when your souls are racked with a consciousness of guilt that ye have ever abused his laws? Behold, I say unto you that ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of your filthiness before him, than ye would to dwell with the damned souls in bell. For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon youth (Mormon 9:3-5.)

On the other hand, the difference between Alma before and after his conversion is worth noting. Having been cleansed of his sins, and in vision seeing ”God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels ... [his] soul did long to be there“ (Alma 36:22).”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet -

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3