I’ve come across an important message in Alma chapter 34, taught by Amulek, son of Alma, in the Book of Mormon a few times while studying in the past nine months since.
The gist of the message is: Do not procrastinate!
Don’t put things off that you can do today, for tomorrow. Especially for things of a spiritual matter.
For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, 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.
Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. (Alma 34:32-34)
We came to Earth to obtain a body so that we may learn to control it and display obedience to Heavenly Father. Doing so during this probationary period prepares us for the blessings to come: Living with Heavenly Father and receiving all that he hath.
One who is not aligned with the Gospel can start changing today and should not wait for tomorrow. How do you change? Salvation comes by taking advantage of the atonement of Jesus Christ, repenting of your sins and obeying the commandments and living gospel.
In the preceding verses, the day is our life on Earth. Our labor is works that show our faith and obedience. Night is when we die. The state of your spirit, whether it be dirty or clean, becomes its permanent state after death. Who wants a dingy spirit in their perfect and brand new body? Labor cannot be performed after death. How can you show faith or obedience when you know you’ve already died and still exist?
This is why we must live righteous every single day. We do not know what day will be our last.
And what if you live good for your whole life and then so happen to pass away during an off day or off week?
What if you put off your labors until night?
That didn’t seem right to me.
I remember my missionaries answering that the labor can still be done, it will just be more difficult. Things that take ten minutes to do with a body may take ten years without one.
The severity can be seen by a scenario setup by my missionaries:
Take for example smoking. What happens if you’re a regular smoker and don’t have a cigarette for a day? You begin to crave it. If you don’t kick the habit of smoking in this life, imaging having cravings for a cigarette when you do not have a body? If it takes you one month to quit smoking in this life, it may take you one hundred years!