Alma

From Feast upon the Word (http://feastupontheword.org). Copyright, Feast upon the Word.
Jump to: navigation, search

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma

Subpages: Chapters 1-3  •  4-7  •  8-16  •  17-29  •  30  •  31-35  •  36-42  •  43-44
Subpages: Chapters 45-48  •  49-51  •  52-55  •  56-58  •  59-63

                                                                 Next page: Chapters 1-3


This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary[edit]

This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Relationship to Book of Mormon. The relationship of Alma to the Book of Mormon as a whole is discussed at Book of Mormon: Unities.

Story. Alma is a very long book, comprising about a third of the entire Book of Mormon. Alma consists of two parts with many subparts:

  • Alma 1-44: The record of Alma the Younger. The first two-thirds of Alma, often called the missionary chapters, consists of seven major sections:
  • Chapters 1-3: Nehor and the Amlicite Rebellion. Nehor's teaching is the religiously liberal doctrine of universal salvation taken to a murderous extreme: Since God will save everyone regardless of what they do, it does matter if I kill you. Here the Nehor adherent Amlici starts a rebellion that results in a pitched battle at the River Sidon. The false doctrine of the Nehors, and Alma's response to it, dominate chapters 1-16.
  • Chapters 4-7: Alma regulates the church. Alma preaches throughout the land, with his preaching at Zarahemla and Gideon recorded. In this preaching Alma's authority as high priest over the members of the church is accepted, as is his teaching.
  • Chapters 8-16: Mission to apostate Nehors at Ammonihah. Alma leads a mission to the Nehors at Ammonihah. They reject Alma's authority as high priest, they reject his teaching, and they kill those of their own people who accept his teaching. The city of Ammonihah is then destroyed.
  • Chapters 17-29: Mission of Mosiah's sons to the Lamanites. The Lamanites are agnostic and unsure of exactly what to believe. But like the apostate Nehors and Zoramites, they believe that whatever they do is right. This belief system leads king Lamoni to kill many of his servants. At the end of this section those who have not been converted are led to start the War over the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's. Here preaching is not by the high priest Alma, but by the sons of Mosiah who have renounced all claims to authority and begins with Ammon being a servant. Also at the end of this section is a brief account of Alma's encounter with Korihor (Chapter 30). Korihor is also an agnostic, but he is a militant agnostic: "I don't know, and neither do you!" This agnosticism, and the response of the sons of Mosiah and Alma to it, dominate chapters 17-30.
  • Chapters 31-35: Mission to apostate Zoramites at Antionum. The teaching of the Zoramites is the religiously conservative doctrine of predestination taken to a murderous extreme: Since God will save me and condemn you at the last day regardless of what we do, it does not matter if I kill you. Alma's authority as high priest is again rejected. The Zoramites do not kill those of their own people who accept Alma's teaching, but they do cast them out. The false doctrine of the Zoramites, and Alma's response to it, dominate chapters 31-44.
  • Chapters 36-42: Alma instructs his sons. Alma's last instructions to his sons Helaman, Shiblon, and Corianton is recorded. Alma's authority as father is not questioned, and his son Corianton apparently accepts his father's call to repentance.
  • Chapters 43-44: The Zoramite War. Here the apostate Zoramites start a war that results in a pitched battle at the River Sidon.
  • Alma 45-63: The record of Helaman I. The last third of Alma, often called the war and disunity chapters, consists of __ major sections:
  • Alma 45: Changing of the guard.
  • Alma 63: Changing of the guard and the record of Shiblon.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Alma include:

Historical setting[edit]

This heading should be brief and explain facts about the historical setting that will help a reader to understand the book. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Discussion[edit]

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

The book of Alma[edit]

Importance of Alma: Words per year[edit]

Events in the Book of Alma are covered in more detail than those in other periods of Book of Mormon history. There are 2,065 words per year in Alma whereas there are only 5 per year in 4 Nephi. Apparently, in Mormon's view, the events treated in Alma are of special relevance to us, the intended audience of the book. Presumably, the Book of Alma is so important because it recounts the years that lead up to the coming of Christ in the New World. That first coming in the Americas is the best analog we have for the Second Coming of Christ. In both cases, the Lord comes in power to usher in an extended period of righteousness and peace. Mormon, presumably, thinks this account of the last days before Chrit's arrival in power in the New World has special value for the last few generations who live in the period that leads up to the Second Coming of the Savior.

Editorial comment[edit]

  • Alma 46:8-10
  • Alma 50:19-22
  • Alma 51:10

Alma 1:1: Thesis Statement for the Book of Alma[edit]

The opening of any well-constructed piece of writing is always important, and the Book of Alma is a carefully crafted literary work. The book opens with a morally and politically normative thesis statement that encapsulates the point of view that will govern the narrative: “[Mosiah] had established laws, and they were acknowledged by the people; therefore they were obliged to abide by the laws which he had made” (Alma 1:1). The main narrative thread of the book then focuses on the conflict between those who accept and those who reject this obligation.

When one reads an ancient history, one must reconstruct the points of view of losers from what their winning opponents say about them. In the Book of Alama, the losers are those who opposed Mosiah's political reforms. Their position, while unstated, is clearly implied. The antithesis of the book’s thesis is the following: when Mosiah died without a royal successor, the right to rule reverted by virtue of the Davidic covenant to the Mulekite royal line that had governed prior to the arrival of Mosiah. Mormon leaves this antithesis unstated, probably because it is so plausible and so well supported by scripture that stating it might leave readers ambivalent about the conflict between the judges and the revanchist Amlicite\Amalekite kingmen. (It was, after all, the Davidic covenant that entitled Jesus to rule as king of Israel [Matthew 1: –17].) Mormon reveals what was surely a key political fact and the strongest argument of the Mulekites—that they descend from Mulek, a son of David—only after the land of Zarahemla has fallen into the hands of the Lamanites and thereby weakened any Mulekite claim to the throne (Hel 6:10; 8:21). This conflict between incompatible Nephite and Mulekite ideologies pervades the Book of Alma, from the appearance in verse two of Nehor, the religious leader of the Amlicites, to a final great battle in the last three verses of the book as the dissenters again stir up anger and send forth yet another army that must be repelled (Alma 6314–17). It is also an important, though more subtle theme in the Book of Mosiah, and the conflict continues in Helaman as Coriantumr, another Mulekite descendant of Zarahemla (Helaman 1:15), the last king of the Mulekites, attacks and temporarily seizes power in the land of Zarahemla (Helaman 1:18-20).

Mormon and His Sources[edit]

The superscription to the Book of Alma—the italicized paragraph found immediately following "The Book of Alma, the Son of Alma" in the current edition of the Book of Mormon—is, like many superscriptions in the Book of Mormon, original text. This superscription not only offers a summary of the material to be found in the Book of Alma; it also tells the reader something about Mormon's relationship to his sources. Most important in this regard is the following phrase: "according to the record of Alma, the first and chief judge."

What this phrase implies, though, is difficult to know. In order to sort out its implications, it is necessary to look at other clues about Mormon's editorial procedure, clues that are scattered throughout the Book of Alma.

Alma 1-29

Occasional lengthy quotations from "the record of Alma" make clear that the source Mormon was working with was—or at least purported to be—originally written and/or compiled by Alma (the Younger) himself. Alma was, according to Mosiah 28:20 and Alma 37:1, the keeper of the large plates of Nephi for twenty years or more (from before the inauguration of the reign of the judges to the eighteenth year of the judges' reign. Usually, it is clear that Mormon is the "author" of the text, since Alma appears in the narrative as a character, but at times—for instance, in Alma 9 and Alma 28-29—it is clear that Alma's own words from the original record are quoted at length, since Alma appears as narrator, speaks of himself in the first person, and describes events in the present (rather than past) tense. Of course, even where it is clear that Mormon is the authorial voice, much (most?) of what he says can be presumed to be copied directly over from his sources, but it is much more difficult in these cases to determine what is Mormon's contribution and what comes directly from Mormon's sources.

Addressing these issues somewhat naively, one might divide up the first half of the Book of Alma as follows:

Alma 1:1 - 5:1 — Mormon as author/editor
Alma 5:2 - 5:62 — Alma's original words
Alma 6:1 - 6:8 — Mormon as author/editor
Alma 7:1 - 7:27 — Alma's original words
Alma 8:1 - 8:32 — Mormon as author/editor
Alma 9:1 - 9:33 — Alma's original words
Alma 9:34 - 28:6 — Mormon as author/editor
Alma 28:7 - 29:17 — Alma's original words

(Parts of this interpretation can be called into question and are based on what at times is somewhat problematic evidence. See, in particular, the commentary for the superscription to Alma 9, for Alma 9:34, for Alma 10:12, for Alma 11:20, for Alma 11:46, for Alma 13:31, and for Alma 28:7.)

Alma 1-44: The record of Alma the Younger[edit]

Outline[edit]

I. Nehor, invasion by dissenter Amlici at River Sidon (1-3)
II. Alma regulates two churches(4-7)
III. Nehors kill converts (8-16)
IV. Mission of sons of Mosiah (17-29)
IV. Korihor (30)
III. Zoramites expel converts (31-35)
II. Alma's last counsel and regulation of his sons (36-42)
I. Invasion by dissenter Zoramites at River Sidon(43-44)

Part 1 of Alma (chapters 1-44) addresses the atonement from several different angles. Chapters 4-7 focus on church members who, though many of them needed exhortation and stirring up unto remembrance, knew the truth and were entreated back into the way of righteousness without raising opposition: If you have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, do you still feel that now? The parallel chapters 36-42 focus on Alma's sons, who were similarly situated.

Chapters 8-16 focus on the Nehors, who took the liberal doctrine of universal salvation to a murderous logical extreme: Since God is going to save both you and me no matter what we do in mortality, I can kill you today without any consequence on judgment day. The parallel chapters 30-35 focus on the Zoramites, who took the conservative doctrine of predestination to an equally murderous logical extreme: Since God is going to save me and condemn you no matter what we do in mortality, I can kill you today without any consequence on judgment day. These groups illustrate incorrect beliefs about God's salvation.

The middle chapters focus on two groups who did not know what to believe. Like the Nehors and Zoramites, the Lamanites (chapters 17-29) also believed that whatever they did was okay. But this Lamanite belief did not derive from a mistaken belief about God, but rather from a lack of knowledge about God. This is epitomized in King Lamoni's prayer: God, if there is a God, and if you are God, ... Like the Lamanites, Korihor (chapter 30) was also agnostic. But he was much more certain and militant about his agnosticism: I don't know, and neither do you.

Part 1 of Alma (chapters 1-44) is a record of preaching the atonement to people holding each of these different points of view. It is not surprising then that so many of the great atonement sermons in the Book of Mormon are contained in these chapters.

The Nephites confront false religious doctrine[edit]

Alma 1-44 is unique in the Book of Mormon. We as readers are warned in other places about false doctrines that will prevail among the Gentiles in the last days (see especially Second Nephi 28; Mormon 8-9). But only in Alma 1-44 do we watch the Nephites confront false doctrines in narrative real time. In particular, those who preach the gospel in Alma 1-44 confront four groups of people who all believe that it does not matter what you do in this life, or that there is no right and wrong. This begins immediately when Nehor is introduced in the second verse of Alma and his false doctrine is introduced in the fourth verse.

In Chapters 8-16 Alma preaches to the Nehors at Ammonihah. The Nehors believe what we today would call a very liberal doctrine of universal salvation: that God will save everyone at the last day regardless of what they do in this life (Alma 1:4, 15; 15:15; 16:11). But the Nehors take this doctrine to a logical extreme: Since God is going to save everyone at the last day anyway, including me, I can kill you without suffering any eternal consequences.

In Chapters 31-35 Alma preaches to the Zoramites at Antionum. The Zoramites believe what we today would call a very conservative doctrine of predestination: that God has already decided who will be saved and who will not regardless of what they do in this life (31:16-18). Unsurprisingly, the Zoramites believe that they have been preselected for salvation and that all others have been preselected for damnation. Like the Nehors, the Zoramites take this doctrine to a logical extreme: Since God is going to save me and condemn you at the last day anyway, I can kill you without suffering any eternal consequences.

In between, in Chapters 17-29, the sons of Mosiah preach to the Lamanites who appear to have a vaguely defined notion of God as a Great Spirit. This is epitomized in Lamoni's prayer: "O God … if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me" (Alma 22:18). We are not informed of any supporting doctrine except that, again, "They supposed that whatsoever they did was right" (Alma 18:5).

In each case the response is to teach that it does in fact matter what we do in this life. Because righteousness matters, and because we all fall short, we must all repent in order to be saved through Christ's atonement. The reason that so many of the great atonement sermons are located here together in Alma 1-44 is that this portion of the Book of Mormon is designed specifically to counteract false doctrines that deny not only the existence of the atonement, but also any need for an atonement. To oversimplify, First Nephi can be read as saying that Christ does deliver those who come unto him (1 Ne 1:14, 20), Mosiah as saying that the only name by which one can be saved is that of Christ (Mosiah 3:17; 5:8), and Alma 1-44 as saying that because it matters what you do in this life, you do in fact need to be saved by Christ.

In Chapter 30 Alma confronts Korihor who, like the Lamanites, does not have a highly developed alternative theology of God (or at least not one that we are told about) and believes that "whatsoever a man did was no crime." In today's terms, he is agnostic. But in contrast to the Lamanites, he is militantly agnostic. To paraphrase: I don't know, but I do know that neither do you! (Alma 30:15-17). In Korihor's case Alma's response is not to teach why Korihor is wrong, but simply to demonstrate through power that God is in fact real. This lack of extended discussion makes Chapter 30 the shortest section in Alma 1-44.

Note: Sherem is often identified as belonging to a group of four anti-Christ's in the Book of Mormon: Sherem, Nehor, Korihor, and the Zoramites. Like Korihor (Alma 30:13-15, 48-50), Sherem denies that Christ will come or that his future coming even can be known, and he is stricken after demanding a sign as proof of the prophet's teaching (Jacob 7:7, 13-15). He therefore does qualify as an anti-Christ. But there are also significant differences between Sherem's teaching and the four doctrines addressed in Alma 1-44. Sherem does acknowledge his belief in the Law of Moses, Jacob does not turn Sherem's denial of Christ into a discussion of why the atonement is necessary but rather simply affirms in a single sentence that the atonement is needed (Jacob 7:7, 12), and nowhere does it say that Sherem ever denied the existence of a final judgment based on a person choosing right and wrong during this life. The story of Sherem appears in Jacob rather than in Alma 1-44, and it likely fits better there as a contrast to Jacob's good shepherding (Jacob 1:19; 2:6-7; 7:4, 18) than it would in Alma 1-44 as a discussion about the existence of right and wrong and the reasons why the atonement is necessary.

Place in Book of Mormon[edit]

Preaching in First and Second Nephi and in Jacob tends to emphasize exhortation, or obedience to what the audience already knows is correct behavior. Mosiah and Alma tend to emphasize teaching people so they will feel the Holy Ghost and have a change of heart. Ether and Moroni tend to address those who are already living correctly how to obtain greater faith to not only obey but to also work miracles, ant to obtain hope and charity.

First Nephi teaches that God will deliver those who come unto him so that they will not perish. Mosiah teaches that there is not other name given by which we can be saved than the name of Christ. Alma Part 1 teaches that we do in fact need to be saved or delivered.

Mosiah teaches that there is a problem with monarchy: it is not accountable to you and may abuse you. Alma Part 2 teaches that there is also a problem with democracy: it is accountable to your neighbor, and may therefore become paralyzed by disunity. Helaman teaches that democracies are also susceptible to secret combinations. Ether teaches that monarchies are likewise susceptible.

Alma 45-63: The record of Helaman I[edit]

Part 2 of Alma (chapters 45-63) is very different. While it contains references to righteousness and revelation from God, it does not contain a single reference to the atonement or to the process of personal conversion. What is discussed is the need for unity. Mromon expressly tells us that the cause of all the Nephites' hardship was the internal dissension of the kingmen. And it is after the Nephites finally deal with the kingmen that they begin again to be victorious and rather quickly recover all of their territory.

Correspondences between the two halves of Alma[edit]

The difference between "the atonement chapters" at the beginning of Alma and "the war chapters" at the end is widely recognized. The wide extent of this recognition suggests that Mormon, who was a skillful editor, intended to draw a contrast between the two halves of the book. He even marked the point of contrast by labeling the first half as being taken from the record of Alma the Younger (superscript to Alma 1), and the second half from the record of Alma's son Helaman (superscript to Alma 45).

But Mormon did edit the book of Alma into its final form as a single book, not two books. This suggests that the reader should read each half of Alma in light of the other. In other words, the reader should look for correspondences or points of similarity between the two halves, and then use those similarities as guides to recognize what in the first half should be contrasted with what in the second half.

Two halves of Alma through the lens of agency[edit]

The Book of Mormon repeatedly addresses two social institutions that affect free agency: the church and the state. The role of the church is to provide accurate information so that people accurately understand the nature and consequences of their choices. Part 1 of Alma shows the prophet Alma providing this accurate information in his role as high priest of the church and prophet of God. It also shows others such as Ammon, Amulek and Zeezrom who either volunteered or were enlisted to preach. But Part 1 also recounts a time when there were many threats to this function as anti-Christs preached false doctrine so that people were misled and misunderstood their choices. Indeed, with the sole exception of Sherem in Jacob 7, lists of anti-Christs in the Book of Mormon usually draw exclusively from Part 1 of Alma.

The role of the state is too protect liberty so that people are free to in fact act upon their choices. Part 2 of Alma recounts a time when this function was threatened. The Lamanite invasion is characterized as a threat to life, livelihood and free exercise of religion. So is the internal dissension that threatened the Nephite democracy with paralysis and overthrow. Part 2 of Alma likewise describes how people can protect their liberty by standing up to both external and internal threats.

The main character at the middle of Part 1 is Ammon, a Nephite prince who gives up the throne to go be a servant among the Lamanites. He refuses an offer to marry the king's daughter, and when it appears that he has killed the king, he explains the situation to the king's wife. His Lamanite converts eventually migrate to go live with the Nephites in peace. Ammon does all this in the process of fulfilling the church's mission to preach truth to all and thereby increase their free agency.

The main character in Part 2 of Alma is Amalackiah, a Nephite who acquires the Lamanite throne by killing the king, lying about it, and marrying the king's widow. He then sends his Lamanite subjects into a lengthy war against the Nephites. This is done as Amalackiah abuses the state to compel his own people - against their own better judgment - to attack another people for the purpose of subjugating them and ending their access to the church and the accurate information it provides.[1]

It is significant that in both halves part of the lesson is that regular people are able to act and influence the outcome of both struggles.

Complete outline and page map[edit]

This heading contains an outline for the entire book. Items in blue or purple text indicate hyperlinked pages that address specific portions of the book. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

I. Nehor, invasion by dissenter Amlici at River Sidon (1-3)
II. Alma regulates two churches(4-7)
III. Nehors kill converts (8-16)
IV. Mission of sons of Mosiah (17-29)
IV. Korihor (30)
III. Zoramites expel converts (31-35)
II. Alma's last counsel and regulation of his sons (36-42)
I. Invasion by dissenter Zoramites at River Sidon (43-44)


Alma 45-63

● Alma's departure, 19th year (Chapter 45a)

• Nephites rejoice and are devout because of their deliverance (45:1)
• Alma requests that Heleman confirm his faith (45:2-8)
• Alma's prophecy that Nephites will be destroyed around 400 AD (45:9-14)
• Alma blesses his sons, the land, and the church, and departs, not heard of again (45:15-19)


● ___, 19th year (Chapter 45b-46)

• Helaman regulates the church but is rejected by social elites that are flattered by Amalickiah (45:20-46:7)
thus we see: that people forget, that one man can cause great wickedness, and how liberty is attacked (46:8-10)
• Moroni raises the title of liberty (46:11-27?)
• Amalickiah flees, Moroni heads off his army (46:28?-33)
• Moroni and Helaman regulate dissenters and the church, peace for four years (46:34-41)


● Amalickiah obtains the Lamanite kingdom (Chapter 47)

• Amalickiah stirs up Lamanite king, given command of loyal troops to compel Lamanite army to invade Nephites (47:1-8)
• Amalickiah delivers his troops into hand of Lehonti, becomes leader of entire army (47:9-19)
• Amalickiah kills Lamanite king, blames the king's servants (47:29-31)
• Amalickiah marries queen and becomes king of the Lamanites (47:32-36)


● (Chapter 48)

• Amalickiah stirs up the Lamanites to anger against the Nephites, 19th year (48:1-6)
• Moroni prepares Nephites with fortification, his philosophy of war, Helaman preaches (48:7-20 -25?)

● (Chapter 49)

• invading Lamanite army is scared off from attacking Ammonihah (49:1-8 -13?)
• Lamanite army is defeated at city of Noah (49:14-24)
• Lamanite army reports its defeat to Amalickiah (49:25-29)


● (Chapter 50a)

• Moroni continues fortifying Nephite cities (50:1-6)
• Nephites drive Lamanites out of east wilderness to secure east border (50:7-12)
• Nephites build new cities on east to secure east border (50:13-16)
• the Nephites are in prosperous and blessed circumstances, peace (50:17-24)


● (Chapters 50b-51)

• dispute between cities of Morianton and Lehi, Moroni stops people of Morianton fleeing (50:25-36)
• Nephihah succeeded as chief judge by Pahoran (50:37-40)
• Pahoran refuses to install a king, people vote support, Amalickiah invades, Moroni execute kingmen who will not defend, rest in prison, 25th year (51:1-21)
• Amalickiah takes new cities built to secure east border (51:22-28)
• Teancum halts Amalickiah at borders of Bountiful, sneaks into camp and kills Amalickiah (51:29-37)


● (Chapters 52-53)

• Ammoron succeeds his brother Amalickiah, Lamanites retreat to conquered cities (52:1-4)
• Teancum likewise fortifies his cities and retains prisoners for trade (52:5-10)
• Ammoron attacks on west border, defended by Moroni (52:11-14)
• Teancum abandons his planned assault on Mulek and joined by Moroni's army, 27th year (52:15-18)
• Moroni, Teancum, and Lehi employ a ruse to capture city of Mulek, 28th year (52:19-40)
• summary: with a ruse Moroni has beaten a large army, captured stronghold Mulek, and turned Bountiful into a stronghold (53:1-7)
• West: Nephite intrigues allow Lamanites to capture several cities (53:8-9)
• Helaman persuades people of Ammon to not break oath, he leads 2,000 stripling warriors to west border, end 28th year (53:10-23)


● Negotiating for and rescuing prisoners (Chapters 54-55)

• Ammoron writes a letter offering to exchange prisoners (54:1-3)
• Moroni's letter back to Ammoron (54:4-14)
• Ammoron's reply (54:15-24)
• Moroni determines to rescue prisoners without an exchange (55:1-3)
• Moroni liberates Nephite prisoners with ruse of drunkenness (55:4-26)
• Nephites again begin to e victorious over Lamanites (55:27-35)


● Helaman's account of his stripling warriors, written early 30th year (Chapters 56-58)

• historical background (56:1-8)
• Helaman's warriors join downtrodden army of Antipas in the west, not attacked, 26th year (56:9-20a)
• once fortified, hope Lamanites will attack but they do not, 27th year (56:20b-26)
• stratagem decoys Lamanites out of _____, 2,000 warriors return to fight, none killed (56:27-57)
• Ammoron offers city of Antiparah in return for prisoners, then abandons city anyway, end 28th year (57:1-5)
• Nephites cut off Cumeni from resupply and it surrenders (57:6-12)
• Lamanite prisoners escape en route to Zarahemla, guards return in time to protect Cumeni (57:13-27)
• guards explain how the prisoners escaped (57:28-36)
• West army receives no response to request for resources to conquer Manti (58:1-8)
• West army prays and receives comfort, so conquer Manti by ruse (58:98-28)
• Lamanites abandon the entire western front (58:29-31)
• Helaman questions why the west army is not sent more support, end 29th year (58:32-41)


2,060 wounded?


● Putting down kingmen and victory, 30th year (Chapters 59-62)

• Moroni and his chief captains worry when Pahoran does not send support to Helaman or city of Nephihah (59:1-13)
• Moroni writes a second letter to Pahoran (60:1-__)
• Pahoran writes a reply to Moroni's letter (61:1-__)
• Moroni and Pahoran put down second rebellion of kingmen and defeat Lamanites (62:1-38)
• Moroni raises the title of liberty as he marches to Pahoran's aid in the land of Gideon, 30th year (62:1-6)
• Moroni and Pahoran defeat and execute the kingmen, peace restored in Zarahemla (62:7-11)
• Moroni sends reinforcements to Helaman and Teancum, marches to city of Nephihah, 31st year (62:12-18)
• Moroni sneaks over wall of Nephihah and captures city, no Nephites killed (62:12-19)
• Nephites drive Lamanites before them, Teancum sneaks in to kill Ammoron Lamanites driven away (62:30-38)
• peacetime (62:39-52)
• summary of what the Nephites suffered during this invasion, 32nd year (62:39-41)
• peace restored, regulation of the church and the state (62:42-47)
• Nephites prosper but remain humble rater than proud (62:48-52)


● Shiblon's record (Chapter 63)

• Helaman I delivers the record to his brother Shiblon, 36th year (63:1-3)
• many people migrate to the north and are not heard from again, 37th-38th years (63:4-9)
• Shiblon publishes the record to the people and delivers it to Helaman II, 39th year (63:10-13)
• newly dissenting Nephites stir up another Lamanite invasion that is quickly defeated, 39th year (63:13-17)

Unanswered questions[edit]

This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for life application[edit]

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Prompts for further study[edit]

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Resources[edit]

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

Previous editions.

The original 1830 edition of Alma was divided into only thirty chapters (I-XXX). For the 1879 edition Parley Pratt further divided those thirteen into the sixty three chapters (1-63) still used today. • I: 1-3 • II: 4 • III: 5 • IV: 6 • V: 7 • VI: 8 • VII: 9 • VIII: 10-11 • IX: CH.12-13:9 • X: 13:10-ch.15:19 • XI: 16 • XII: 17-20 • XIII: 21-22 • XIV: 23-26 • XV: 27-29 • XVI: 30-35 • XVII: 36-37 • XVIII: 38 • XIX: 39-42 • XX: 43-44 • XXI: 45-49 • XXII: 50 • XXIII: 51 • XXIV: 52-53 • XXV: 54-55 • XXVI: 56-68 • XXVII: 59-60 • XXVIII: 61 • XXIX: 62 • XXX: 63

Related passages that interpret or shed light on First Nephi.

References cited on this page.

  • Book of Mormon, 1830 edition: Alma

Other resources.

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

  1. Many of these correspondences are noted and explored in a blog post by Joe Spencer.

                                                                 Next page: Chapters 1-3