Mosiah 16

Mosiah 16:1 all shall see the salvation of the Lord

Abinadi's interpretation of the concept of "seeing the salvation of the Lord" revolves around the day of judgment. Apparently, we may not fully appreciate the justice and mercy of God until we stand before him in judgment. It is then that all will fully see the salvation of the Lord. "The expression eye to eye is figurative, and here it means that all people, as one, will understand and discern that the judgments of the Lord are just. Their minds will apprehend His justice and unitedly they will sing His praises." (Reynolds and Sjodahl, Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 2, p. 177) At that time, we must come forth and stand before him in his glory, and in his power, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just (Alma 12:15). There are two great days of judgment-at the Second Coming, and at the end of the earth, just before it is celestialized to become the home of the righteous. The latter is the time when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, when the sheep are separated from the goats, and when those who cannot be sanctified...must remain filthy still (DC 88:35). At that time, even the vilest of sinners must confess before God that his judgments are just. Based on DC 133:3-11 and Mosiah 16:1, one can deduce that this phrase of Isaiah's, all shall see the salvation of the Lord, is referring to both of these great judgment days.

Mosiah 16:2 then shall the wicked be cast out

Again, it is important to understand that this phrase has reference to the judgment of God upon the sons of Perdition. Although resurrected, these are the only ones who are not redeemed by the Lord, therefore the Lord redeemeth them not. The Lord has said, they are the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord (DC 76:38). Those who are not redeemed suffer the second spiritual death, to be forever banned from dwelling with the Father, Son, or Holy Ghost. They are as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God (v. 5).

Mosiah 16:3 becoming carnal, sensual, devilish

The Fall of Adam brought about a remarkable change upon Adam and Eve. It is a change which we all inherit-the first spiritual death-or being separated from the presence of God. At the age of accountability the innocent child begins to sin. He begins to be subject to the power of Satan, and Satan's goal is to make him carnal, sensual, devilish. The innocence is gone-almost in an instant. The only apparent advantage of making this grand step downward is the acquisition of necessary knowledge. The knowledge of good and evil of necessity comes at a steep price. The price is that we become subject to a carnal world and to the temptations of Satan. Yet, knowledge is power.

Prior to the fall, Adam and Eve lacked the power that they had after they had learned the difference between good and evil. Similarly, a child is powerless, spiritually speaking, compared to the servant who is spiritually mature and yet has become as a little child, meek, submissive, etc. For Adam and Eve and us, it is a long road through the wilderness of the carnal, sensual, and devilish to return the innocence we had as a child (and that Adam and Eve had in the garden). But this is all according to the wisdom and knowledge of God. For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he...becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father (Mosiah 3:19). The Lord loves purity and innocence, but He would rather we make this difficult journey, from childhood innocence to the innocence of the childlike servant because the virtuous servant is so much more powerful. This power comes by virtue of his knowledge of good and mastery over evil.

David O. McKay

"When left to grope in a natural state, [man] would have become, and did become, so we are told in modern scripture, 'carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature.' (Alma 42:10.) But the Lord, through his grace, appeared to man, gave him the gospel or eternal plan whereby he might rise above the carnal and selfish things of life and obtain spiritual perfection. But he must rise by his own efforts and he must walk by faith.

"'He who would ascend the stairway leading upward to eternal life must tread it step by step from the base stone to the summit of its flight. Not a single stair can be missed, not one duty neglected, if the climber would avoid danger and delay and arrive with all safety and expedition at the topmost landing of the celestial exaltation.' The responsibility is upon each individual to choose the path of righteousness, of faithfulness and duty to fellow men. If he choose otherwise and as a result meets failure, misery, and death, he alone is to blame." (Conference Reports, Apr. 1957, p. 7)

Mosiah 16:4 Thus all mankind were lost

Elder Charles A. Callis

"Spiritual ruin came by the fall of man. This is the sad story told in the Holy Scriptures: 'Because that Adam fell we are; and by his fall came death; and we are made partakers of misery and woe. And men have become carnal, sensual and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God.' (Moses 6:48-49)

"Man, by sin, brought himself into the captivity of sin. His nature, by reason of the fall, became evil continually. He was shut out from the presence of the Lord. What a terrible sentence! Imagination cannot conceive a more dreadful judgment. It was not in man's power to escape from the misery that never dies. This judgment mortal man could not reverse. There was no appellate court. It was to be of endless duration. Hope seemed to have bade the world farewell. In despair man stood helpless.

"Against this dark background, God, who is love and with whom there is forgiveness, caused to shine brightly, the three graces, Faith, Hope and Love. He told Adam that Jesus Christ, the righteous Judge, would come in the meridian of time and atone for original guilt.

"Down through the ages this living faith and hope sustained those who believed in the heavenly promises. The Messiah became the consolation of Israel. 'God had turned away his judgments because of his Son.'" (Conference Reports, Oct. 1937, p. 121)

Mosiah 16:5 as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God

The sons of Perdition are those for whom the redemption has no effect. The terms resurrection and redemption are different, and it is important to underscore that they are resurrected and thereby overcome physical death. But they are never redeemed (DC 76:38). This means that they cannot dwell with God. They suffer the second spiritual death. Even those of the telestial kingdom will be blessed with the ministration of the Holy Ghost (DC 76:86), but not the sons of Perdition. They are barely holy enough to dwell with Satan. Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever. And now I say unto you, that mercy hath no claim on that man; therefore his final doom is to endure a never-ending torment. (Mosiah 2:38-39)

Mosiah 16:6 speaking of things to come as though they had already come

"Although he lived nearly 150 years before the birth of Christ, Abinadi was so certain Jesus Christ was going to be born on the earth that he sometimes referred to the life of the Savior in the past tense. He was aware, of course, that he was doing this. In Mosiah 16:6 he states: ' ... and now if Christ had not come into the world, speaking of things to come as though they had already come, there could have been no redemption.' (Italics added.)" (Daniel Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, p.187)

Mosiah 16:8 the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ

On the most superficial level, the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ because all those who die will be resurrected. However, this doctrine has many more layers. First, the sting of the death of a loved one can be swallowed up by the compassion and mercy of Him who knows how to succor his people according to their infirmities (Alma 7:12). How many saints have been comforted by the Lord at times of tragic loss. The Savior applies the balm of Gilead to soothe their sting and heal their wounds. The sting is also lessened by the knowledge of God's plan of salvation. Elder James A. Cullimore said, "I was greatly impressed by the peace and understanding with which Sister Longden accepted the passing of John. Only she will know, of course, of the real sorrow, the pangs of loneliness, that he will not return in this life. But the understanding of the gospel and the plan of salvation can greatly ease the sting of death...Knowing the beauty of God's plan for the salvation of his children sometimes makes even death beautiful. We understand that death is a very necessary part of the great plan of salvation." (Conference Reports, Oct. 1969, p. 71)

Second, the sting of death is also lessened by the great sealing ordinances of the temple. The promise of eternal association is only possible because Christ had first engineered the resurrection. This was known to Paul who underscored the importance of the resurrection to the temple ordinances when he asked, Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? (1 Cor 15:29) George Q. Cannon has said, "We know that when a wife is sealed to us by the authority of the holy Priesthood, that that ordinance is binding as eternity if we are faithful. We know that when we have children born to us in the everlasting covenant and death takes them away, we are comforted with the assurance that though they be consigned to the silent tomb, we shall yet have them in eternity. Thus the sting of death is taken away, and the grave has no victory. Death does not fill us with gloom and apprehension and doubt and uncertainty. We know as well as we can know anything of that character that when time ends we shall be united with our children and dwell with them eternally. We know also that when a man buries his wife, the faithful partner of his life, if she were married to him by the holy Priesthood, he knows when he lays her away in the grave that that is not an eternal separation, but that they will again be united." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 24, p. 223)

Third, death is not a frightening or painful experience for the righteous. In this respect also, the Lord has tempered the sting of death, And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them (DC 42:46).

Fourth, Paul explains that the sting of death is sin. The powers of sin are also overcome by the Savior. The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 15:56-7) President Kimball has written, "Can any miracle compare with that one which is provided by Jesus? '... to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free ...' (Isa. 58:6.) He healed the sick, cast out devils, calmed the storm and even raised the dead. But can any miracle be equal to that one which frees men from the fetters of ignorance, superstition, and transgression? The Prophet Joseph Smith said: 'It is better to save a man than raise one from the dead.' Paul said: 'O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin .' (1 Cor. 15:55-56.) And this prompts the statement, 'There is no tragedy except in sin.'" (Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. viii-ix)

Mosiah 16:9 He is the light and the life of the world

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (Jn 8:12). How many ways is Christ the light and the life of the world? He is the light of truth, the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not (DC 6:21). He is the intelligence of the world, for The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth (DC 93:36). He gives all of us the light of Christ, the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings (DC 88:11). He is the literal giver of life through his light, The light...giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God (DC 88:13). He is the giver of life by virtue of the resurrection, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (Jn 11:25). Christ is the literal source of power for the light of the sun, moon, and stars, he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made; As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made (DC 88:7-9). Lastly, he will replace the sun as the source of light for the inhabitants of the celestial kingdom, the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof (Rev 21:23).

Joseph F. Smith

"But the thing for us to do is to live according to the light and intelligence that God has revealed to us in this dispensation, that we may be in harmony with the heavenly powers and with heavenly beings, and especially with our Lord Jesus Christ, who stands at our head, who is our lawgiver, our exemplar, and the way of life and salvation to all the world, through whom we may enter into the celestial kingdom of God, and without whom we can never enter that state of glory worlds without end. He is the way, the light and life of the world; and whosoever will obey the commandments He has given, and do the works which he has done, and commanded us to do, shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have in them the light of life." (Journal of Discourses, vol 22, Jan. 29, 1882)

Ezra Taft Benson

"The babe of Bethlehem became the Nazarene, the Man of Galilee, the Life and Light of the world, the Savior and Redeemer of mankind, the miracle of all time. More books have been written about Him, more buildings have been erected to His honor, more men have died with His name on their lips than any other person who ever lived.

"I bear witness to you that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world-the very Son of God. He was born the babe of Bethlehem. He lived and ministered among men. He was crucified on Calvary." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 12)

Mosiah 16:10 this corruption shall put on incorruption

At first glance, this scripture may seem at variance with another Book of Mormon passage about the resurrection. Alma taught of the resurrection and accompanying restoration as follows:

   'And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature?

   O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish' (Alma 41:13).

According to this scripture, one might think that corruption could only put on corruption again. However, Abinadi is speaking of the resurrection of the body when the mortal body becomes perfected. Corruption, in this sense, is the natural decay which the human body undergoes after death. This stench and decay will be renewed and perfected at the resurrection. Speaking of the body, Paul taught, this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality (1 Cor 15:53). So Abinadi and Paul are speaking of the perfection of the physical body.

On the other hand, Alma is speaking of the restoration of the spirit at the time of the resurrection. He is teaching that the same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to posses your body in that eternal world (Alma 34:34). Therefore, the righteous will still be righteous at that day, the wicked will still be wicked, and the lukewarm will still be lukewarm, For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all (Alma 41:15).

Bruce R. McConkie

"Corruption is also used to signify the decay and change that will take place after death. Thus David recorded the Lord's promise that he would not suffer his Holy One to see corruption (Ps. 16:10), a promise amply fulfilled in Christ as both Peter (Acts 2:27) and Paul (Acts 13:30-37) testified.

"The term is further used with reference to the wicked, depraved, and dissolute acts of those who are steeped in iniquity. 'He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting,' Paul says (Gal. 6:8); and it is by thus sowing to the Spirit that the saints have 'escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.' (2 Pet. 1:4.)" (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163)

Mosiah 16:14 if ye teach the law of Moses, also teach that it is a shadow of those things which are to come

This is the conclusion of Abinadi's speech. His point is that Noah and his priests are hypocrites because they pretend to teach the people but they have no idea what they are teaching. They have missed the boat with respect to the significance of the Law of Moses. Unfortunately, Noah's priests are not the only ones who have missed this boat. Millions have similarly misunderstood the symbolism and shadow of the Law of Moses. "But it has been said, 'There can be no shadow unless there is sunshine.' And that sunshine is the word of the Lord; the word of Him  who is the son of Righteousness,  the light of the World." (Reynolds and Sjodahl, Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 2, p. 182)

After this great sermon of Abinadi-having delivered the message he was sent to deliver-he is now prepared to die as the first martyr of the Book of Mormon.

Mosiah 16:15 Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father

See explanation for Mosiah 15:3.