Hey there! Sorry I was M.I.A.! But I'm back! :) This chapter is pretty deep and the doctrine is incredible! How blessed we are to have this knowledge!
Mortality is a probationary time to enable man to repent and serve God—The fall brought temporal and spiritual death upon all mankind—Redemption comes through repentance—God himself atoneth for the sins of the world—Mercy is for those who repent—All others are subject to God’s justice—Mercy cometh because of the atonement—Only the truly penitent are saved.
Verse 4 sums up what this life is all about! "And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God."
Basically, Alma continues to talk with Corianton because Corianton is worried about what he cannot understand - "concerning the justice of God in the punishment of the sinner..." This is such an amazing chapter, one I think we all need to read and re-read to truly understand the laws of God concerning sin, repentance, the atonement and resurrection. When I read it, I felt like this was all stuff I'd heard before... but there are a bunch of verses that have caught my attention for one reason or another...
Alma explains that because our first parents partook of the fruit and gained knowledge of good and evil, the Lord protected the Tree of Life in such a way that they would not partake of it and live forever in their sins. Thus, we are given this "probationary time"/life on earth to repent of our sins and serve God, before we die and are brought into his presence to be judged.
I found verse 10-13 interesting, "Therefore, as they had become acarnal, sensual, and devilish, by bnature, this cprobationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state. And now remember, my son, if it were not for the plan of redemption, (laying it aside) as soon as they were dead their souls were amiserable, being cut off from the presence of the Lord. "
I don't know exactly how man became carnal, sensual and devilish by nature, but we can clearly see this is true. I believe that the biggest trial of this life is overcoming that "nature" which is the opposite of what we need to be to attain Celestial Glory!
It is fascinating to me the connection between Justice and Mercy in regards to the Laws of Heaven. It's simple, yet complicated. Simply put, mercy cannot rob justice. Christ's suffering will satisfy the demands of justice for those who sincerely repent. But read verses 14-26ish for the in-depth explanation.
I also love the counsel Alma give Corianton in verses 29-30. "And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things atrouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance. O my son, I desire that ye should deny the ajustice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his bmercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in chumility. "
What wise counsel of a loving parent who truly understands!