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This heading is for more detailed discussions of all or part of a passage. Discussion may include the meaning of a particular word, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout the passage, insights to be developed in the future, and other items. 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. →
- Verse 7:11: Isaiah
This verse is a quote of Isa 53:4 (cf. Matt 8:17) that is a more faithful translation of the Masoretic Hebrew text than the KJV translation (see the Thomas Wayment article below for an in depth analysis of this issue).
- Verse 7:11
Affliction. The 1828 Webster dictionary defines affliction as “the cause of continued pain of body or mind, as sickness, losses, calamity, adversity, persecution.”
The use of the word affliction here suggests some of the things Christ suffered, namely sickness, losses, calamity, adversity, and persecution. In verse 12, Christ's taking upon himself afflictions (viz. death and infirmities) leads to a strength (viz. overcoming death and konwing how to succor others in their infirmities). Compare Paul's words, “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10).
Temptations of every kind. By suffering "temptations of every kind," the Savior seems particularly qualified to credibly promise that he will not tempt us above that which we can bear (cf. D&C 64:20 and 1 Cor 10:13). Because Christ did not yield to temptation he is able to lead, guide, and protect us from falling into temptation if we will hearken to the words of Christ via the Spirit (cf. 2 Ne 32:3).
Pains and sicknesses of his people. In taking upon himself the pains and sicknesses of the people, Christ is exemplifying the covenant in Mosiah 18:8 and establishing a personal relationship with the people. The use of the possessive in the phrase "his people" also helps to establish this personal relationship (contrast this with Ex 17:4).
- Verse 7:12
Christ suffered death to save us from bondage from Satan, and allow us to return to our Heavenly Home. Because of sin and mortality we could not return to our Father in Heaven, unless Christ came down on earth and gave his life as a ransom. Because Christ came down to Earth and suffered all these things, even death, we can break the bands of death both spiritually, from sin, and physically, from death of the body.
The word infirmity has always intrigued me because it is all encompassing. Infirmity covers a wide range of things mainly, “unhealthy state of body, weakness, feebleness, weakness of mind, failing, fault, foible,” and others (1828 Webster’s dictionary). The reason the Savior took upon Him our infirmities is so that he can know us individually and know our problems because he suffered the same things. He also did this so that he could know what we need to do to overcome all of our infirmities. This knowledge allows the Savior to succor or to deliver and relieve His people. The word succor is used because it means a fast response, not merely a response (1828 Webster’s Dictionary).
For me, this scripture brings an added measure of feeling loved by the Savior and His Father. The Savior and His Father are so willing to aid us that they will run to our support if we will only let them. The key to these passages is that although the Savior knows exactly what we need, to overcome anything in our lives, we still need to ask for the help. After asking we then must have the courage to move forward with faith and trust in the Savior.
- Verse 7:13
The word blot means to “erase, to cause to be unseen, or forgotten,” by the Father and the Son. Because of the Atonement of Christ we can all return to our Father in Heaven in all His celestial glory. If we are willing to trust in the Savior and let Him be our light through tough times we will be saved at the last day.
I want to add my testimony to Alma’s that Jesus Christ did suffer afflictions, temptations, and all things so that we can live with Him and our Father in Heaven again. This is the main message of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, Another Testament of the Savior Jesus Christ. Christ lives and we too can live if we have faith in him, repent of our sins, and come unto Christ through baptism and all of the other ordinances necessary to return to our Father in Heaven.
- Verse 7:27: All that you possess.
Perhaps many scriptures make a distinction between owning and just possessing (what is really the Lord’s.) Notice that Alma interjected the phrase "all that you possess" before it went on to add 'your women and your children' highlighting the different relationship we have to them.
Points to ponder
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- Verses 7:3, 6: Gideonites. Are the Gideonites different than the people of Zarahemla, or is Alma’s hope that they are different vain?
- Verses 7: 7, 9-12. Does Alma’s message to the Gideonites differ from his message to those of Zarahemla? Verse 12 teaches a doctrine that hidden from most of the rest of the world, that Christ suffered so that he will know how to succor his people? What does “succor” mean? How does Christ succor us?
- Verse 7:14: Baptism and faith. This verse commands the Gideonites to be baptized not only that they be washed of their sins, but also that they may have faith in Christ. How does baptism make faith in Christ possible?
- Verse 7:22. If the Gideonites were living righteously, why did they have to be awakened to a sense of their duty to God? As Alma uses the phrase here, what is “the holy order of God"? Is that different from “the order of the church” in Alma 8:1? Is he using the word “order” here in the same way he used it in Alma 5:49?
- Verse 7:23. How does what Alma says here correlate with what he told those of Zarahemla in Alma 5:6, 13-15, 27-30, and 53-55? How does it correlate with Mosiah 4? What themes recur in each of these sermons about salvation?
- Verse 7:24. Alma says “if you have faith, hope, and charity, then you will always do good works.” Do faith, hope, and charity guarantee good works? If so, how? Can we do good works without them? If not, why not?
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- Shayne M. Bowen, "The Atonement Can Clean, Reclaim, and Sanctify Our Lives," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 33–34. Elder Bowen asks, "Is it possible to reclaim a life that through reckless abandon has become so strewn with garbage that it appears that the person is unforgivable?"
- Dallin H. Oaks, "He Heals the Heavy Laden," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 6–9. Elder Oaks promises "if your faith and prayers and the power of the priesthood do not heal you from an affliction, the power of the Atonement will surely give you the strength to bear the burden."
- Neal A. Maxwell, "Becoming a Disciple," Ensign, Jun 1996, 12.
- "When Jesus took upon Himself the heavy, atoning yoke in order to redeem all mankind by paying the agonizing price for our sins, He... also volunteered to take upon Himself additional agony in order that He might experience and thus know certain things 'according to the flesh,' namely human sicknesses and infirmities and human griefs, including those not associated with sin. Therefore, as a result of His great Atonement, Jesus was filled with unique empathy and with perfect mercy" (emphasis added).
- D&C 19:16-20 gives additional insight to the depth of the atonement.
- Verse 7:11: Underlying Hebrew text. Thomas A. Wayment, "The Hebrew Text of Alma 7:11," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies Volume 14 Issue 1, pp. 98-103.
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 are preferable to footnotes.