“If They Be Good to the Resurrection of Everlasting Life”

Alan C. Miner

According to John Welch, as Mormon was giving an editorial commentary speech in Helaman 12, he talked about the dust of the earth being greater than man because the dust of the earth will obey. He concluded chapter 12 by saying, "But we read that in the great and last day there are some who shall be cast out, yea, who shall be cast off from the presence of the Lord." We will stand before God to be judged. "They that have done good shall have everlasting life; and they that have done evil shall have everlasting damnation" (Helaman 12:25-26):

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.

Now it is interesting. Mormon says, "as we read," but he doesn't say where. Where has he read it? He has read it in the account of the Savior's visit, exactly here in 3 Nephi (26:4-5). Now he hasn't yet abridged the account of the Savior's visit as found in 3 Nephi, but he knows it is there. He has read it, and he quotes the text. That's really rather remarkable. Here you have Joseph Smith going along translating in the book of Helaman, and he quotes a text that he hasn't even encountered yet, which he will later find in 3 Nephi 26. [John W. Welch, "Understanding the Sermon at the Temple, Zion Society," in Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 4, p. 162] [See the commentary on Helaman 12:25-26]

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