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Relationship to Chapters 17-29. The relationship of Chapters 22b-26 to the rest of Chapters 17-29 is discussed at Chapters 17-29.
Story. Chapters 22b-26 consists of ____ major sections:
Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 22b-26 include:
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- Alma 24:4, 14: Missionary "angels." In verse 24:14 we learn that the Lamanite converts regard the sons of Mosiah as angels. In what they here say, the converts, no doubt intentionally, pay their missionaries a kind of ultimate compliment. The converts undoubtedly know that their missionaries were saved from their wayward ways as young men by the visitation of an angel. They are saying, in effect, "You are our angels!" This compliment seems to have deeply touched the sons of Mosiah. It is mentioned both in verse 14 and, even more explicitly, in 27:4 (see comment on that verse). The fact that the equation with angels is mentioned twice in the brief account we have of this 14 year mission is strong evidence that the missionaries were deeply touched by the compliment. Being humble, modest men, they do not make their equation with the angel to whom they owe so much fully explicit. But a moments reflection will make clear what the Lamanite converts intended when they called their missionaries angels.
- Alma 25:15: Outward. The use of the word "outward" here is of some significance, not only because it anticipates the usage of the word in D&C 107:14, 20, but because it can be read as following the (priestly?) tradition that appears in Ezekiel's exilic usage of the same word (cf. Ezek 40:17, 20, 34; 44:1; cf. the post-exilic references in Neh 11:16 and Est 6:4). In all of these examples, the word "outward" has reference to the antechamber or outer court of a temple or palace (this last only in Esther). This would seem to suggest that the word "outward" here has reference not to the entire cultus of the Mosaic Law, but to the sacrificial rites that are performed in the courtyard and/or holy place (as opposed to the Holy of Holies itself). But what kind of a theology does such an understanding suggest? That is a far more difficult question.
- Alma 25:16: Retain a hope through faith. This phrase may be read as suggesting that hope is a consequence of faith rather than a cause of faith. See also Alma 32:21 and commentary regarding the relationship between faith and hope.
- Alma 26:1. Ammon begins by addressing "my brothers and my brethren." Alma 20:2-3 suggests that by "my brothers" Ammon was referring to his literal brothers; by saying "my brethren" Ammon was referring to his brothers in the church.
- Alma 26:13: The Song of Redeeming Love. According to Nibley, "the song of redeeming love was a very important part in the cult of Moses. When the people all came together, they would sing the song of redeeming love. It was part of their ritual” (The Book of Mormon, Vol 2, p. 326). This song is preserved in Revelations 15:3-4 where it is called the song of Moses. Since the Nephites still practice the Law of Moses, this ritual song would be an important part of their worship. It is an important motif in the Book of Mormon that also occurs in Alma 5:9 and Alma 5:26. Here, the words of the song are an apt expression of what Ammon is feeling: "Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest” Revelations 15:3-4.
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Prompts for life application
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Prompts for further study
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- Alma 24:18: Why did the people of Ammon covenant "that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives?” Is this example of refusing to take up arms something we should seek to emulate?
- Alma 24:21-25: Is there a difference in being willing to die for a cause, as opposed to being willing to kill for a cause?
- Alma 24:23: Is it just coincidence that this verse sounds very similar to this Old Testament verse: "ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left" (Deut 5:32)?
- Alma 24:21-25: Why were the Anti-Nephi-Lehis willing to "lie down and perish, and [praise] God even in the very act of perishing under the sword" rather than defend themselves and their families?
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- Alma 23:17. See "Anti-Nephi-Lehi: Tradition, Sin, Guilt, and Reconciliation" by Sam MB at the BCC blog. Sam argues (contra Hugh Nibley's reading which takes "Anti" to mean something like "mirror image") that "Anti" here means "against," in the same sense as the term "anti-Christ." This title is thus taken on as a kind of public confession of cultural sin they had committed by previously rejecting the prophetic call of Lehi and Nephi (which they are now accepting).
- Alma 26:21-25. Why does Ammon place repentance before faith in verse 22 (a seeming inversion of gospel principles)?
- Alma 26:21-25. What does it mean to exercise faith? (Results of a search for this expression in the scriptures is here.)
- Alma 26:31-37. Ammon claims that his converts are more loving than the Nephites, because they would rather die than kill another (verse 33-34). Does this mean we should see their willingness to sacrifice themselves as a more loving example to follow than that of the Nephites, who would rather kill than be killed?
- Alma 26:31-37. Do the Anti-Nephi-Lehis or Nephites more closely follow the Lord's teachings about loving your enemies?
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.