Question: Does the Book of Mormon support the idea that "eternal" or "endless" punishment can be temporary?

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Question: Does the Book of Mormon support the idea that "eternal" or "endless" punishment can be temporary?

In the Book of Mormon, Alma's "eternal torment" only lasted three days

The Book of Mormon does indeed provide some indication of the true nature of "eternal" and "endless" punishment. Consider Alma's description of his conversion experience during the three days that he was incapacitated after seeing an angel. Alma says,

I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins. (Alma 36:12) (emphasis added)

Alma's "eternal torment" lasted only three days, which implies that he was describing the nature of his torment rather than its duration. Similarly, in Mosiah 27:28 Alma says

Alma was also removed from a state of "everlasting burning"

Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God.

The term "everlasting burning" obviously refers to a state of torment rather than a duration.

In the Book of Mormon, we find:

O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. 2 Nephi 9:19 (emphasis added)

The statements by Alma and Nephi effectively negate the criticism that the Book of Mormon contradicts Joseph Smith's teachings on the nature of "endless" and "eternal" punishment.

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