Alma 34 and Work for the Dead
Alma 34:31-34 indicates that one must repent during this mortal life and that after death “there can be no labor performed.” This contradicts the Latter-day Saint view that salvation can be provided for the dead by means of proxy ordinances.
Amulek’s words were addressed to the Zoramites, who had dissented from the Nephite religion and had already “received so many witnesses” (Alma 34:30). Unlike those who die without having heard the gospel (see D&C 138:32-34), the Zoramites had heard and accepted the gospel but then had rejected it. Amulek was calling upon them to repent and return to the fold lest they die in their sins, thereby placing their souls in eternal jeopardy (see Mosiah 2:33; D&C 76:31-38). He warns them that, if they do not repent, they will be subject to the “same spirit” (Alma 34:34) that controls them in this life, which he identifies as “the devil” (Alma 34:35). The same idea is found in Mosiah 2:36-39.
For a discussion, see John A. Tvedtnes and Matthew Roper, “Do Not Procrastinate the Day of Your Repentance,” Insights: An Ancient Window 20/10 (October 2000), posted on BYU’s Maxwell Institute web site.