I ran across some interesting verses that observe two different kinds of death of believers.

And it came to pass that there were many who died, firmly believing that their souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ; thus they went out of the world rejoicing. (Alma 46:39)

But there were many who died with old age; and those who died in the faith of Christ are happy in him, as we must needs suppose. (Alma 46:41)

So there were those who firmly believed they were redeemed by Christ, and they left life rejoicing, while there were others who died in the faith of Christ, but no emotion was attributed to their death, except that Mormon supposed they were happy.

The question that comes to me is—if I had to choose between these different types of death, which would I want?

On one hand, I think it is good to die in the faith of Christ because that suggests I’d endured to the end, but to only have people supposeI achieve happiness doesn’t seem good enough. I’d like to leave the world rejoicing. I’d like to die in a state of firmly believing I’d been redeemed by Christ.

But I’m also a little leery of that phrase “firmly believing” because there is a chance of believing something that isn’t really true, and that would be a tragedy to believe I was redeemed if I wasn’t. There’d be a shock of unmet expectations on the other side. I’d like to have more assurance.

But maybe Mormon uses that phrase “firmly believing” to express how an external observer doesn’t really know how assured a believer really is of their redemption except through how firm they are. Going out of the world rejoicing seems to indicate there is real joy there, given by God as part of some extra assurance.

So, this leads to a question—“How can I achieve firmness in my salvation?” I suppose by repenting every day, and the assurance will come by the presence of the Spirit in my life, since the Holy Ghost is the earnest (or down payment) of our salvation.

A little later after I wrote about this, I stumbled across another verse elsewhere that expounded on it further:

Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God. (Helaman 3:35)

So, this verse also suggests fasting and praying often, and promises greater humility will come, greater faith in Christ will come, greater joy and consolation will come, greater purity will come, and greater submission to God will come. We can have that in this life, instead of waiting to have it just at the point of death.

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