7 And now I would inquire what becometh of the souls of men from this time of death to the time appointed for the resurrection?
8 Now whether there is more than one time appointed for men to rise it mattereth not; for all do not die at once, and this mattereth not; all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men.
9 Therefore, there is a time appointed unto men that they shall rise from the dead; and there is a space between the time of death and the resurrection. And now, concerning this space of time, what becometh of the souls of men is the thing which I have inquired diligently of the Lord to know; and this is the thing of which I do know.
I am impressed with Alma’s approach to gaining spiritual knowledge. The passage above illustrates an important component of that process: he evaluates the relative importance of his questions and allocates his time and energy to the most important ones.
As Alma explains to his son Corianton, he knew that we will all be resurrected–our body and our spirit will be reunited after we die. That much was clear to him. But that doctrine raised a number of questions in his mind. Among them:
- Will everyone be resurrected at the same time?
- What happens to people between their death and their resurrection?
As Alma explains above, he considered the second question to be far more important than the first. He went so far as to say that the first question “mattereth not.” So he “inquired diligently of the Lord” to know the answer to the second question, and he received an answer.
Today, I will prioritize my learning activities. While there may be many things I’d like to know, I will remember that all knowledge is not of equal importance and that I have finite time and resources. I will prioritize questions which will yield the most value and ignore questions which may be interesting to me but which are less important, in terms of their ability to improve my life or the lives of other people.