Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone? -James Thurber
Question #91418 posted on 06/12/2018 12:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Casual doctrinal question for you based on Alma 34:33, "I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed."

So to me it sounds like he's saying that if we don't take care of our salvation in this mortal life, we're essentially screwed for eternity. BUT we believe that people are totally still able to repent and accept vicarious saving ordinances after death, though. Does this contradict the quoted scripture?

One possible interpretation could be that by "then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed," he might be referring to the sort of temporary spirit-prison Hell those who haven't repented will have to endure until they fully repent? Maybe?

Let me know your thoughts,
Dave

A:

Dear you,

First off, great question! According to the Gospel Principles manual: 

In the spirit prison are the spirits of those who have not yet received the gospel of Jesus Christ. These spirits have agency and may be enticed by both good and evil. If they accept the gospel and the ordinances performed for them in the temples, they may leave the spirit prison and dwell in paradise.

Also in the spirit prison are those who rejected the gospel after it was preached to them either on earth or in the spirit prison. These spirits suffer in a condition known as hell. They have removed themselves from the mercy of Jesus Christ, who said, “Behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; but if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit” (D&C 19:16–18). After suffering for their sins, they will be allowed, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, to inherit the lowest degree of glory, which is the telestial kingdom.

I would also consider this resource as well.

To answer your question, I don't think there is a contradiction between our doctrine and the scripture you referenced. It is important to go back to the scriptures and figure out the context of Alma 34:33. Amulek is teaching in this chapter, but who is he speaking to? If you go back to Alma 32, we recognize that Alma and Amulek are teaching "the poor whose afflictions had humbled them" (quote taken from the chapter heading). This means Amulek's words in Alma 34:33 are directed to faithful members of Christ's church. Taken in this context, I believe Amulek is saying that people who belong to Christ's church and know the truth need to repent in mortality, and if they don't they won't have an opportunity to do that in the Spirit World. However, I don't think Amulek is saying the same thing for people who have not accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, he's not talking to those people in this chapter and so I feel pretty confident in my conclusion.

Like referenced in the Gospel Principles manual, "In the spirit prison are the spirits of those who have not yet received the gospel of Jesus Christ. These spirits have agency and may be enticed by both good and evil. If they accept the gospel and the ordinances performed for them in the temples, they may leave the spirit prison and dwell in paradise." (emphasis added).

Anyways, that is how I read Alma 34:33. It seems consistent with the context of the scripture and is also consistent with LDS theology. I hope my answer is clear. If you have additional questions, I would be happy to see an email from you or another question!

-Sunday Night Banter

P.S. Please keep asking these types of questions while you read the scriptures. I think you will find that your scripture study will become more fruitful as you search for answers to your gospel questions.