“All People and All Kindreds, and All Nations and Tongues Shall Stand Before God, to Be Judged of Their Works”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

Even though there are perhaps billions of people who have never been exposed to or given the opportunity to learn from the scriptures in mortality, in the spirit world they all will be taught the “everlasting gospel” as contained in the holy scriptures.

Hence all people will have full opportunity to learn of and either accept or reject the laws, principles, ordinances, and commandments that the Lord has revealed to man and commanded to be written in the books.

It is in this ultimate sense that the scriptures become the books out of which mankind will be judged, both here and hereafter, “according to their works.” Ultimately all people—their deeds, desires, thoughts, actions, and so forth—will be judged or balanced against the standards that are recorded in the scriptures—the “standard works.”

“Judged of Their Works”

John the Revelator saw mankind “judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (see Revelation 20:12-13). While there may be many books—both earthly and heavenly in nature—involved in the judgment process, the Book of Mormon seems to emphasize the primacy of specific books as standards of judgment The Lord told Nephi that out of the books He commanded that men should write—in other words, the scriptures—“I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written” (see 2 Nephi 29:11-14).

This and other passages testify of the relationship between the scriptures and the works of each person. We are judged by our works, “according to that which is written,” by measuring how well our lives—our thoughts, words, and deeds—correspond to those principles, laws, and ordinances that the Lord has revealed in the scripture. Thus the scriptures become the standard of judgment of which all mankind will be “judged according to their works.”

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4