Nephi talks aboutAnd I said unto them that the which my father saw was ; and so much was his mind swallowed up in other things that he beheld not the filthiness of the water.Wherefore, the wicked are rejected from the righteous, and also from that , whose fruit is most precious and most above all other fruits; yea, and it is the of all the of God. And thus I spake unto my brethren. Amen.
- Standing before God to be judged
- The judgement is based on our works
- There is a separation of the wicked/unclean/filthy and the righteous (the two ways)
- It is associated with water, trees and fruit that can be positive or negative, depending on the point above
Standing before God to be judged is a common theme in The Book of Mormon. The connection to works and the two ways is interesting, considering recent posts by Lord Wilmore about works and their covenant connection. I don't know if Nephite prophets had the full understanding about degrees of glory as outlined in D&C 76. But I do think that they were very much aware of the fact that they were a branch of the House of Israel, a covenant people to whom much had been given and from whom much was required ("highly favored"). They also knew about the latter-day remnant that they alrgely adressed and to whom promises had been given. With this focus on covenants, it is all about either accepting or rejecting them.This leads to a heavy emphasis on the concept of "the two ways" in the Book of Mormon, not so much degrees or some middle ground.
When the covenant people one day stands before God to be judged, the important thing is if we kept our covenants (our "works") and this is often symbolized by fruit or water for some reason. In Lehi's dream (that Nephi explains to his brothers in 1 Nephi 15 just quoted) there were two kinds of water, the filthy water and the living waters, representing each of the two ways. There was also the positive symbol of the tree of life. But as we soon shall see, it also has a negative equivalent.
This pattern is something that Alma talks about repeatedly. In Alma 40, we read
We notice not only the same pattern, but several phrases similar to 1 Nephi 15: "no unclean thing can inherit/enter into the kingdom of God", "stand before God to be judged", "awful hell/death" (marked with bold). Alma seems to have 1 Nephi 15 in mind when speaking to his son. Or perhaps both Nephi and Alma refer to a more ancient idea that is perhaps conveyed more clearly on the brass plates than our current Bible?
It is interesting to note the eating/drinking metaphor showing up again. 1 Nephi 15 talks about the tree of life. Notice how Alma uses the same expression as Lehi, "partake of the fruit", but with negative connotation. This is another illustration of the two ways; the rightous partake of the fruit of the tree of life and the wicked partake of the fruits of their evil works (i.e. broken covenants). With all these connections one may wonder if the filthy water in 1 Nephi 15 and the bitter cup in Alma 40 also are connected or somehow describe the same thing.
Like I said, this pattern is repeated by Alma several times. In Alma 5
and in Alma 42
Alma 42 also talks about the tree of life earlier in the chapter.
So what is the connection between judgment and fruit/water? Ask Alma or Nephi. All I have done so far is seeing a pattern and given some thoughts about it. But I will have to study and reflect on this to gain a deeper understanding. In any case, I find it interesting.