Our Souls at Trial

Below is an excerpt from Elder Ephraim’s The Art of Salvation which someone read to me so it might not match the actual text:

“We are ignorant and therefore cannot fully grasp the meaning of the word eternity. This word is defined as life without end, without sunset. Just as God’s existence has no end similarly man’s soul will live without end. Consequently, in the event that we fail to attain salvation we will live in eternal misfortune. This misfortune will not be limited to one type of pain or to something that can be overcome or forgiven. No, unfortunately we will live in a frightful and horrific never ending hell. This is why I say that we have no grasp what will take place after death.

Through her teachings, her preaching and her mysteries our Church enables our mind to open and comprehend  the crucial matter. The only thing we are in need of not to be condemned to hell. We must become attune to our spiritual condition and regulate our life accordingly, we must give this our immediate attention as we do not know what tomorrow will bring. We do not have tomorrow at our disposal, time is not in our possession. When we get up to leave from here something can possibly happen to end our life. Shortly thereafter the book of our conscience and our life will be opened before God and the trial will commence. Christ will turn the pages, one by one and point out, here you did this on that day you did something else. Our conscience will respond, Indeed these things occurred, this is how it is, everything is true. And once the entire book has been read during the trial our soul will quiver with fear like an autumn leaf in the wind or like a live fish out of water.

This is how the soul will tremble before the awesome tribunal as it wonders what God’s decision will be. If it is positive then we cannot fathom the depth, height, extent of our achievement. The soul will enter into the Kingdom of God, it will come to know Him as much as possible and it will return to her own God and Father. Just think, God is the source of all happiness.

In the case of a negative decision and unsuccessful outcome and an incriminating verdict most dreadful hell will unfold before this unfortunate soul. If someone were to grasp the meaning of this fully his mind would instantly stop working. Under no circumstance can the horrific extent of hell be understood. I will give you an example. When we have a sever toothache we almost lose our mind on account of the pain and we frizzly search for medication in order to stop it. But what is this pain or what is any other pain we experience which oftentimes is severe, unbearable and compels us to seek medical attention immediately? What will happen however when the soul confronts hell. If a person were to see a demon with his physical eyes he would die immediately on the spot. Yet, a condemned person will live together eternally with not only one but with millions of demons. Is it possible for anyone to live in such a state? And yet this is how things are. This is why our Christ, our love, our Savior, our God-man who spilled His immaculate blood on the Cross….”



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