For the Nephites it would soon become “everlastingly too late.”
37 Behold, we are surrounded by demons, yea, we are encircled about by the angels of him who hath sought to destroy our souls. Behold, our iniquities are great. O Lord, canst thou not turn away thine anger from us? And this shall be your language in those days.
38 But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.
President Joseph Fielding Smith said:
“In relation to the Nephites spoken of by Jacob, Alma, Samuel, and others, we should remember that these were once members of the Church who had turned away and denied the truth and fought to destroy it. They were not like the people in the gentile nations who never received the truth. These Nephites had received the light, rebelled, and then attempted to destroy it. . . . The Lord established His Church in all its fulness among them, and when they began to rebel they did it knowingly. . . . Samuel’s castigation of these Nephites was fully justified in his accusation and prophecy of their punishment.”
(Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 1:79.)