Since there is a lot of substance in these verses, I plan on breaking this article into smaller parts. Below I have highlighted some of the phrases from verses 4 and 5 that stood out to me as deserving a closer look:
4 And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.Salvation is not without cost. In fact, it comes at an infinite price which was paid by the Savior. Salvation is also not "a gimme"; we will not awake one day surprised to find ourselves saved. However, salvation is freely available to anyone who desires it; none are excluded.
5 And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.
How are men instructed? Surely not everyone in this life has been fortunate enough to receive gospel instructions from the scriptures, but verse 5 states that "they know good from evil." The Spirit of Christ is given to all men, and all men are born with an innate understanding of good and evil. That is not to say that they have a perfect understanding of all eternal laws governing the universe. On the contrary, this verse seems to imply that man knows just enough about good and evil to be condemned for his actions. No man is justified in choosing evil, because he knows better; by the law no flesh is justified.
The carnal nature of man precludes his obedience to the eternal laws which would ensure his happiness. As a consequence of his choices, he drifts ever further from the light. Without some intervening force, he becomes permanently separated from light and truth, and from all that is good.