“To Be Judged According to Their Works”

Alan C. Miner

In Alma 39-42, we find Alma's words on the resurrection to his son Corianton. At one point, he expresses the idea that "the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice" (Alma 42:23). This scripture focuses on different degrees of resurrected glory ("according to their works, according to the law and justice"), and coincides very nicely with 1 Corinthians 15:41-42:

There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.

According to Tom Cryer, different levels of glory are depicted in an ancient Mesopotamian boundary stone. The glories of the sun, moon, and stars are shown above a turtle, which represents the earth, below which are animalistic symbols representing the underworld. (see illustration) [Tom Cryer, Visual Sermons, p. 171, unpublished]

Note* Perhaps neither Alma or Paul was speaking newly revealed truths, but those which had been preached many years previous. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary