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This page allows you to see all the commentary pages together for this Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine lesson. Click on the heading to go to a specific page. Click the edit links below to edit text on any pages.


Alma 8-16

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16

Subpages: Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapters 10-11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13a Chapter 13b Chapter 14a Chapter 14b Chapter 15-16

Previous page: Chapter 6-7                      Next page: Chapter 8


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 Alma. The relationship of Chapters 8-16 to the rest of Alma is discussed at Alma.

Story. Chapters 8-16 recount Alma's preaching at the city of Ammonihah during the tenth year of the reign of the judges and the city's destruction in the eleventh year. The prevailing doctrine at Ammonihah is that of the Nehors. Chapters 8-16 consists of ___ major sections:

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapters 8-16 include:

The wiki pages addressing Chapters 8-16 can certainly be better regrouped. But for now they are at least grouped into decently sized pages one way, even if not the best way.

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. →

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. →

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.



Previous page: Chapter 6-7                      Next page: Chapter 8


Alma 8:1-5

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 8
Previous page: Chapters 8-16                      Next page: Chapter 9


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 8:5: Throughout all the borders of the land. In Mesoamerican society, the elite rulers and priests lived in the city, and poorer farmers usually lived out in the smaller villages or hamlets. The people who came in to be baptized from "throughout all the borders of the land" may have been humble subsistence farmers, rather than the local elites--indicating that the gospel was taught to everyone, and not just the ruling classes.
  • Alma 8:11-15. It appears that the people of Ammonihah recognize power only in the political--they reject Alma's authority over them on the premise that he is no longer the chief judge. This obsession with the political is reemphasized in the following chapters (see Alma 10:13, Alma 10:24). It is also possible to understand some of Amulek's later discourse as addressing this situation (Alma 10:19-20).
  • Alma 8:16-20: Amulek is a Nephite. Apparently, not everyone in Ammonihah is a Nephite, or considers themselves to be a Nephite, and so it is important for Amulek to so announce himself to Alma. This may be further evidence that Ammonihah is predominantly a Mulekite city, named after a prominent Mulekite (see commentary on Alma 8:7). If so, this would shed even more light on why the people were studying to "destroy the liberty of the people" (v.17). If Ammonihah was a predominantly Mulekite city, perhaps they were seeking to break away from the new Nephite-ruled complex chiefdom based out of Zarahemla.
  • Alma 8:24-25. In verse 24 Alma describes his commission to preach as being more general, but in verse 25 he says he was turned back to Ammonihah with a specific commission to prophesy to the people there and testify against them.

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. →

  • Alma 8:1: What does “order of the church” mean? Alma is said to have established it also in Zarahemla. There he did so by ordaining priests and elders (surprising that they didn’t already have them), baptizing repentant converts, and excommunicating unrepentant members (Alma 6:1-4). What kind of order does that suggest?
  • Alma 8:1: What is the connection between the "order of the church" and the "order of the priesthood"?
  • Alma 8:1: Why are we told that Alma taught "many things that cannot be written"? Why couldn't they be written? Is it just a matter of editing, i.e. not enough room on the plates? Or is it something else--perhaps temple covenants or other things that are not to be written down?
  • Alma 8:2: Why are we told that the judges "reign...over the people"? What is the difference between a judge and any other type of ruler?
  • Alma 8:2: What do we know about how Nephite judges "reigned"?
  • Alma 8:3: Why are we told that Alma started his journey "in the commencement of the tenth year"? Why tell us at all? Is this just a way of marking time to carry the narrative, or is there something else going on?
  • Alma 8:3: What do we know about the land of Melek, or the Melek for whom it was named? Is there any connection between Melek/Mulek?
  • Alma 8:3: Why did Alma first go to Gideon and only after that go to Melek? What might have made him rank the order his journey from Gideon to Melek to Ammonihah?
  • Alma 8:4: What does it mean to teach "according to the holy order of God"? How might that differ from any other type of teaching or preaching? We learn more about this order in Alma 13, but does that tell us any more about how teaching is accomplished "according to" this order?
  • Alma 8:4: How big was this land of Melek, that it warrants mentioning his teaching "throughout all the land"?
  • Alma 8:5: Why does it say that the people came to Alma, rather than that he traveled "throughout all the land"? What might this imply about how Alma did his teaching?
  • Alma 8:5: What type of people were these who lived apparently outside of the city, throughout all the borders of the land?
  • Alma 8:7: Why does Mormon tell us that cities and villages are named after those "who first possessed them"?
  • Alma 8:7: Who is the Ammonihah who first possessed this city? Is there a relationship between the name Ammonihah and Ammon, the presumably high-ranking Mulekite of a previous generation (see Mosiah 7:3)? If so, might Ammonihah be a high-ranking Mulekite (perhaps even a descendant of Ammon), who set out from the Land of Zarahemla to start his own predominantly Mulekite settlement?
  • Alma 8:9: What do we know about these people of the city of Ammonihah? Alma later calls them to remember their Nephite ancestors, but are they all descendants of Nephi? They recognize, though are plotting to overthrough, the rulership of the chief judge at Zarahemla--but who exactly are these people several days away from the center of the government at Zarahemla? Why have they set up a city at such a distance from the heart of government?
  • Alma 8:10: Alma communes with angels from time to time. Why, then, does he also have to “wrestle with God in prayer” (emphasis added)?
  • Alma 8:10: We are clearly led to believe that Alma's desire to baptize the people of Ammonihah is a righteous desire. How does this compare to the desires of modern missionaries to baptize people? Are there any clues here to help us identify what makes Alma's desire pure, as opposed to self-serving?
  • Alma 8:11: How often does Alma talk about hardened or softened hearts? What does it mean for a heart to be hardened?
  • Alma 8:11: What do the people of Ammonihah mean by claiming that the church was established "according to your tradition" rather than "our" tradition? Who are these people that claim not to be of the same religious tradition?
  • Alma 8:11: Later we learn that these people are following after the order of Nehor. How do their statements here reflect the teachings of Nehor?
  • Alma 8:16: In Melek, Alma taught all the people throughout the land, especially those outside the city in the borders of the wilderness. Here he is commanded to preach "unto the people of the city". Is there a difference here? Is he being commanded specifically to preach just to those within the city, and not in the borders round about? If so, why might that be?
  • Alma 8:17: To what phrase do the parenthesis apply and why use the parenthesis at all?
  • Alma 8:17: To whom does "thy people" refer? Is it the Nephites as a whole, or the members of the church in particular?
  • Alma 8:17: What does it mean that the people were studying to destroy the liberty of the people? What does that studying entail?
  • Alma 8:17: In previous teaching, Alma has asked the people if they are going to "set at defiance" or come out in armed opposition to the commandments of God. Is that what the people of Ammonihah are now preparing to do?
  • Alma 8:18: Of what significance is it that Alma returned "speedily" to the city after receiving instructions from the angel? Can we draw a lesson from this example?
  • Alma 8:19: Why would Alma announce himself as "an humble servant of God"? What does this mean, and why use such language?
  • Alma 8:20: Nephite. Why does Amulek bother to state that he is a Nephite? Isn't Ammonihah a Nephite city?
  • Alma 8:22: It's noticeable that Amulek gives Alma bread and meat, but Alma ate the bread and was filled. Why might that be significant?
  • Alma 8:25: What does Alma's intent to "prophesy unto this people, yeah, and to testify against them concerning their iniquities" have to do with preaching the word of God "according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy" (v.24)?
  • Alma 8:25: In what ways might Alma's preaching form a model for modern day preaching? Is it important to prophesy to modern audiences? What might a preacher prophesy of? What about testifying against iniquities? How appropriate is it for us to call people out (in general or individually) on their sins?
  • Alma 8:26: Here Alma testifies that he had fasted many days before he had seen the angel. Did fasting make it more likely that Alma would be able to receive guidance from the angel? How appropriate is it to fast "many days"?
  • Alma 8:28: What does it mean that the people "did wax more gross in their iniquities"? What would that have looked like? How would Alma know that this was happening? How are these iniquities being measured?
  • Alma 8:29: How does this preaching about the "fierce anger" of the Lord differ from Alma's teaching in the lands of Zarahemla, Gideon, and Melek?
  • Alma 8:32: What does it mean that Alma and Amulek preached and prophesied "according to the spirit and power" given them by the Lord? How was that spirit and power manifest?

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. →

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.



Previous page: Chapters 8-16                      Next page: Chapter 9

Alma 8:6-10

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 8
Previous page: Chapters 8-16                      Next page: Chapter 9


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 8:5: Throughout all the borders of the land. In Mesoamerican society, the elite rulers and priests lived in the city, and poorer farmers usually lived out in the smaller villages or hamlets. The people who came in to be baptized from "throughout all the borders of the land" may have been humble subsistence farmers, rather than the local elites--indicating that the gospel was taught to everyone, and not just the ruling classes.
  • Alma 8:11-15. It appears that the people of Ammonihah recognize power only in the political--they reject Alma's authority over them on the premise that he is no longer the chief judge. This obsession with the political is reemphasized in the following chapters (see Alma 10:13, Alma 10:24). It is also possible to understand some of Amulek's later discourse as addressing this situation (Alma 10:19-20).
  • Alma 8:16-20: Amulek is a Nephite. Apparently, not everyone in Ammonihah is a Nephite, or considers themselves to be a Nephite, and so it is important for Amulek to so announce himself to Alma. This may be further evidence that Ammonihah is predominantly a Mulekite city, named after a prominent Mulekite (see commentary on Alma 8:7). If so, this would shed even more light on why the people were studying to "destroy the liberty of the people" (v.17). If Ammonihah was a predominantly Mulekite city, perhaps they were seeking to break away from the new Nephite-ruled complex chiefdom based out of Zarahemla.
  • Alma 8:24-25. In verse 24 Alma describes his commission to preach as being more general, but in verse 25 he says he was turned back to Ammonihah with a specific commission to prophesy to the people there and testify against them.

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. →

  • Alma 8:1: What does “order of the church” mean? Alma is said to have established it also in Zarahemla. There he did so by ordaining priests and elders (surprising that they didn’t already have them), baptizing repentant converts, and excommunicating unrepentant members (Alma 6:1-4). What kind of order does that suggest?
  • Alma 8:1: What is the connection between the "order of the church" and the "order of the priesthood"?
  • Alma 8:1: Why are we told that Alma taught "many things that cannot be written"? Why couldn't they be written? Is it just a matter of editing, i.e. not enough room on the plates? Or is it something else--perhaps temple covenants or other things that are not to be written down?
  • Alma 8:2: Why are we told that the judges "reign...over the people"? What is the difference between a judge and any other type of ruler?
  • Alma 8:2: What do we know about how Nephite judges "reigned"?
  • Alma 8:3: Why are we told that Alma started his journey "in the commencement of the tenth year"? Why tell us at all? Is this just a way of marking time to carry the narrative, or is there something else going on?
  • Alma 8:3: What do we know about the land of Melek, or the Melek for whom it was named? Is there any connection between Melek/Mulek?
  • Alma 8:3: Why did Alma first go to Gideon and only after that go to Melek? What might have made him rank the order his journey from Gideon to Melek to Ammonihah?
  • Alma 8:4: What does it mean to teach "according to the holy order of God"? How might that differ from any other type of teaching or preaching? We learn more about this order in Alma 13, but does that tell us any more about how teaching is accomplished "according to" this order?
  • Alma 8:4: How big was this land of Melek, that it warrants mentioning his teaching "throughout all the land"?
  • Alma 8:5: Why does it say that the people came to Alma, rather than that he traveled "throughout all the land"? What might this imply about how Alma did his teaching?
  • Alma 8:5: What type of people were these who lived apparently outside of the city, throughout all the borders of the land?
  • Alma 8:7: Why does Mormon tell us that cities and villages are named after those "who first possessed them"?
  • Alma 8:7: Who is the Ammonihah who first possessed this city? Is there a relationship between the name Ammonihah and Ammon, the presumably high-ranking Mulekite of a previous generation (see Mosiah 7:3)? If so, might Ammonihah be a high-ranking Mulekite (perhaps even a descendant of Ammon), who set out from the Land of Zarahemla to start his own predominantly Mulekite settlement?
  • Alma 8:9: What do we know about these people of the city of Ammonihah? Alma later calls them to remember their Nephite ancestors, but are they all descendants of Nephi? They recognize, though are plotting to overthrough, the rulership of the chief judge at Zarahemla--but who exactly are these people several days away from the center of the government at Zarahemla? Why have they set up a city at such a distance from the heart of government?
  • Alma 8:10: Alma communes with angels from time to time. Why, then, does he also have to “wrestle with God in prayer” (emphasis added)?
  • Alma 8:10: We are clearly led to believe that Alma's desire to baptize the people of Ammonihah is a righteous desire. How does this compare to the desires of modern missionaries to baptize people? Are there any clues here to help us identify what makes Alma's desire pure, as opposed to self-serving?
  • Alma 8:11: How often does Alma talk about hardened or softened hearts? What does it mean for a heart to be hardened?
  • Alma 8:11: What do the people of Ammonihah mean by claiming that the church was established "according to your tradition" rather than "our" tradition? Who are these people that claim not to be of the same religious tradition?
  • Alma 8:11: Later we learn that these people are following after the order of Nehor. How do their statements here reflect the teachings of Nehor?
  • Alma 8:16: In Melek, Alma taught all the people throughout the land, especially those outside the city in the borders of the wilderness. Here he is commanded to preach "unto the people of the city". Is there a difference here? Is he being commanded specifically to preach just to those within the city, and not in the borders round about? If so, why might that be?
  • Alma 8:17: To what phrase do the parenthesis apply and why use the parenthesis at all?
  • Alma 8:17: To whom does "thy people" refer? Is it the Nephites as a whole, or the members of the church in particular?
  • Alma 8:17: What does it mean that the people were studying to destroy the liberty of the people? What does that studying entail?
  • Alma 8:17: In previous teaching, Alma has asked the people if they are going to "set at defiance" or come out in armed opposition to the commandments of God. Is that what the people of Ammonihah are now preparing to do?
  • Alma 8:18: Of what significance is it that Alma returned "speedily" to the city after receiving instructions from the angel? Can we draw a lesson from this example?
  • Alma 8:19: Why would Alma announce himself as "an humble servant of God"? What does this mean, and why use such language?
  • Alma 8:20: Nephite. Why does Amulek bother to state that he is a Nephite? Isn't Ammonihah a Nephite city?
  • Alma 8:22: It's noticeable that Amulek gives Alma bread and meat, but Alma ate the bread and was filled. Why might that be significant?
  • Alma 8:25: What does Alma's intent to "prophesy unto this people, yeah, and to testify against them concerning their iniquities" have to do with preaching the word of God "according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy" (v.24)?
  • Alma 8:25: In what ways might Alma's preaching form a model for modern day preaching? Is it important to prophesy to modern audiences? What might a preacher prophesy of? What about testifying against iniquities? How appropriate is it for us to call people out (in general or individually) on their sins?
  • Alma 8:26: Here Alma testifies that he had fasted many days before he had seen the angel. Did fasting make it more likely that Alma would be able to receive guidance from the angel? How appropriate is it to fast "many days"?
  • Alma 8:28: What does it mean that the people "did wax more gross in their iniquities"? What would that have looked like? How would Alma know that this was happening? How are these iniquities being measured?
  • Alma 8:29: How does this preaching about the "fierce anger" of the Lord differ from Alma's teaching in the lands of Zarahemla, Gideon, and Melek?
  • Alma 8:32: What does it mean that Alma and Amulek preached and prophesied "according to the spirit and power" given them by the Lord? How was that spirit and power manifest?

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. →

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.



Previous page: Chapters 8-16                      Next page: Chapter 9

Alma 8:11-15

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 8
Previous page: Chapters 8-16                      Next page: Chapter 9


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 8:5: Throughout all the borders of the land. In Mesoamerican society, the elite rulers and priests lived in the city, and poorer farmers usually lived out in the smaller villages or hamlets. The people who came in to be baptized from "throughout all the borders of the land" may have been humble subsistence farmers, rather than the local elites--indicating that the gospel was taught to everyone, and not just the ruling classes.
  • Alma 8:11-15. It appears that the people of Ammonihah recognize power only in the political--they reject Alma's authority over them on the premise that he is no longer the chief judge. This obsession with the political is reemphasized in the following chapters (see Alma 10:13, Alma 10:24). It is also possible to understand some of Amulek's later discourse as addressing this situation (Alma 10:19-20).
  • Alma 8:16-20: Amulek is a Nephite. Apparently, not everyone in Ammonihah is a Nephite, or considers themselves to be a Nephite, and so it is important for Amulek to so announce himself to Alma. This may be further evidence that Ammonihah is predominantly a Mulekite city, named after a prominent Mulekite (see commentary on Alma 8:7). If so, this would shed even more light on why the people were studying to "destroy the liberty of the people" (v.17). If Ammonihah was a predominantly Mulekite city, perhaps they were seeking to break away from the new Nephite-ruled complex chiefdom based out of Zarahemla.
  • Alma 8:24-25. In verse 24 Alma describes his commission to preach as being more general, but in verse 25 he says he was turned back to Ammonihah with a specific commission to prophesy to the people there and testify against them.

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. →

  • Alma 8:1: What does “order of the church” mean? Alma is said to have established it also in Zarahemla. There he did so by ordaining priests and elders (surprising that they didn’t already have them), baptizing repentant converts, and excommunicating unrepentant members (Alma 6:1-4). What kind of order does that suggest?
  • Alma 8:1: What is the connection between the "order of the church" and the "order of the priesthood"?
  • Alma 8:1: Why are we told that Alma taught "many things that cannot be written"? Why couldn't they be written? Is it just a matter of editing, i.e. not enough room on the plates? Or is it something else--perhaps temple covenants or other things that are not to be written down?
  • Alma 8:2: Why are we told that the judges "reign...over the people"? What is the difference between a judge and any other type of ruler?
  • Alma 8:2: What do we know about how Nephite judges "reigned"?
  • Alma 8:3: Why are we told that Alma started his journey "in the commencement of the tenth year"? Why tell us at all? Is this just a way of marking time to carry the narrative, or is there something else going on?
  • Alma 8:3: What do we know about the land of Melek, or the Melek for whom it was named? Is there any connection between Melek/Mulek?
  • Alma 8:3: Why did Alma first go to Gideon and only after that go to Melek? What might have made him rank the order his journey from Gideon to Melek to Ammonihah?
  • Alma 8:4: What does it mean to teach "according to the holy order of God"? How might that differ from any other type of teaching or preaching? We learn more about this order in Alma 13, but does that tell us any more about how teaching is accomplished "according to" this order?
  • Alma 8:4: How big was this land of Melek, that it warrants mentioning his teaching "throughout all the land"?
  • Alma 8:5: Why does it say that the people came to Alma, rather than that he traveled "throughout all the land"? What might this imply about how Alma did his teaching?
  • Alma 8:5: What type of people were these who lived apparently outside of the city, throughout all the borders of the land?
  • Alma 8:7: Why does Mormon tell us that cities and villages are named after those "who first possessed them"?
  • Alma 8:7: Who is the Ammonihah who first possessed this city? Is there a relationship between the name Ammonihah and Ammon, the presumably high-ranking Mulekite of a previous generation (see Mosiah 7:3)? If so, might Ammonihah be a high-ranking Mulekite (perhaps even a descendant of Ammon), who set out from the Land of Zarahemla to start his own predominantly Mulekite settlement?
  • Alma 8:9: What do we know about these people of the city of Ammonihah? Alma later calls them to remember their Nephite ancestors, but are they all descendants of Nephi? They recognize, though are plotting to overthrough, the rulership of the chief judge at Zarahemla--but who exactly are these people several days away from the center of the government at Zarahemla? Why have they set up a city at such a distance from the heart of government?
  • Alma 8:10: Alma communes with angels from time to time. Why, then, does he also have to “wrestle with God in prayer” (emphasis added)?
  • Alma 8:10: We are clearly led to believe that Alma's desire to baptize the people of Ammonihah is a righteous desire. How does this compare to the desires of modern missionaries to baptize people? Are there any clues here to help us identify what makes Alma's desire pure, as opposed to self-serving?
  • Alma 8:11: How often does Alma talk about hardened or softened hearts? What does it mean for a heart to be hardened?
  • Alma 8:11: What do the people of Ammonihah mean by claiming that the church was established "according to your tradition" rather than "our" tradition? Who are these people that claim not to be of the same religious tradition?
  • Alma 8:11: Later we learn that these people are following after the order of Nehor. How do their statements here reflect the teachings of Nehor?
  • Alma 8:16: In Melek, Alma taught all the people throughout the land, especially those outside the city in the borders of the wilderness. Here he is commanded to preach "unto the people of the city". Is there a difference here? Is he being commanded specifically to preach just to those within the city, and not in the borders round about? If so, why might that be?
  • Alma 8:17: To what phrase do the parenthesis apply and why use the parenthesis at all?
  • Alma 8:17: To whom does "thy people" refer? Is it the Nephites as a whole, or the members of the church in particular?
  • Alma 8:17: What does it mean that the people were studying to destroy the liberty of the people? What does that studying entail?
  • Alma 8:17: In previous teaching, Alma has asked the people if they are going to "set at defiance" or come out in armed opposition to the commandments of God. Is that what the people of Ammonihah are now preparing to do?
  • Alma 8:18: Of what significance is it that Alma returned "speedily" to the city after receiving instructions from the angel? Can we draw a lesson from this example?
  • Alma 8:19: Why would Alma announce himself as "an humble servant of God"? What does this mean, and why use such language?
  • Alma 8:20: Nephite. Why does Amulek bother to state that he is a Nephite? Isn't Ammonihah a Nephite city?
  • Alma 8:22: It's noticeable that Amulek gives Alma bread and meat, but Alma ate the bread and was filled. Why might that be significant?
  • Alma 8:25: What does Alma's intent to "prophesy unto this people, yeah, and to testify against them concerning their iniquities" have to do with preaching the word of God "according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy" (v.24)?
  • Alma 8:25: In what ways might Alma's preaching form a model for modern day preaching? Is it important to prophesy to modern audiences? What might a preacher prophesy of? What about testifying against iniquities? How appropriate is it for us to call people out (in general or individually) on their sins?
  • Alma 8:26: Here Alma testifies that he had fasted many days before he had seen the angel. Did fasting make it more likely that Alma would be able to receive guidance from the angel? How appropriate is it to fast "many days"?
  • Alma 8:28: What does it mean that the people "did wax more gross in their iniquities"? What would that have looked like? How would Alma know that this was happening? How are these iniquities being measured?
  • Alma 8:29: How does this preaching about the "fierce anger" of the Lord differ from Alma's teaching in the lands of Zarahemla, Gideon, and Melek?
  • Alma 8:32: What does it mean that Alma and Amulek preached and prophesied "according to the spirit and power" given them by the Lord? How was that spirit and power manifest?

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. →

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.



Previous page: Chapters 8-16                      Next page: Chapter 9

Alma 8:16-20

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 8
Previous page: Chapters 8-16                      Next page: Chapter 9


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 8:5: Throughout all the borders of the land. In Mesoamerican society, the elite rulers and priests lived in the city, and poorer farmers usually lived out in the smaller villages or hamlets. The people who came in to be baptized from "throughout all the borders of the land" may have been humble subsistence farmers, rather than the local elites--indicating that the gospel was taught to everyone, and not just the ruling classes.
  • Alma 8:11-15. It appears that the people of Ammonihah recognize power only in the political--they reject Alma's authority over them on the premise that he is no longer the chief judge. This obsession with the political is reemphasized in the following chapters (see Alma 10:13, Alma 10:24). It is also possible to understand some of Amulek's later discourse as addressing this situation (Alma 10:19-20).
  • Alma 8:16-20: Amulek is a Nephite. Apparently, not everyone in Ammonihah is a Nephite, or considers themselves to be a Nephite, and so it is important for Amulek to so announce himself to Alma. This may be further evidence that Ammonihah is predominantly a Mulekite city, named after a prominent Mulekite (see commentary on Alma 8:7). If so, this would shed even more light on why the people were studying to "destroy the liberty of the people" (v.17). If Ammonihah was a predominantly Mulekite city, perhaps they were seeking to break away from the new Nephite-ruled complex chiefdom based out of Zarahemla.
  • Alma 8:24-25. In verse 24 Alma describes his commission to preach as being more general, but in verse 25 he says he was turned back to Ammonihah with a specific commission to prophesy to the people there and testify against them.

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. →

  • Alma 8:1: What does “order of the church” mean? Alma is said to have established it also in Zarahemla. There he did so by ordaining priests and elders (surprising that they didn’t already have them), baptizing repentant converts, and excommunicating unrepentant members (Alma 6:1-4). What kind of order does that suggest?
  • Alma 8:1: What is the connection between the "order of the church" and the "order of the priesthood"?
  • Alma 8:1: Why are we told that Alma taught "many things that cannot be written"? Why couldn't they be written? Is it just a matter of editing, i.e. not enough room on the plates? Or is it something else--perhaps temple covenants or other things that are not to be written down?
  • Alma 8:2: Why are we told that the judges "reign...over the people"? What is the difference between a judge and any other type of ruler?
  • Alma 8:2: What do we know about how Nephite judges "reigned"?
  • Alma 8:3: Why are we told that Alma started his journey "in the commencement of the tenth year"? Why tell us at all? Is this just a way of marking time to carry the narrative, or is there something else going on?
  • Alma 8:3: What do we know about the land of Melek, or the Melek for whom it was named? Is there any connection between Melek/Mulek?
  • Alma 8:3: Why did Alma first go to Gideon and only after that go to Melek? What might have made him rank the order his journey from Gideon to Melek to Ammonihah?
  • Alma 8:4: What does it mean to teach "according to the holy order of God"? How might that differ from any other type of teaching or preaching? We learn more about this order in Alma 13, but does that tell us any more about how teaching is accomplished "according to" this order?
  • Alma 8:4: How big was this land of Melek, that it warrants mentioning his teaching "throughout all the land"?
  • Alma 8:5: Why does it say that the people came to Alma, rather than that he traveled "throughout all the land"? What might this imply about how Alma did his teaching?
  • Alma 8:5: What type of people were these who lived apparently outside of the city, throughout all the borders of the land?
  • Alma 8:7: Why does Mormon tell us that cities and villages are named after those "who first possessed them"?
  • Alma 8:7: Who is the Ammonihah who first possessed this city? Is there a relationship between the name Ammonihah and Ammon, the presumably high-ranking Mulekite of a previous generation (see Mosiah 7:3)? If so, might Ammonihah be a high-ranking Mulekite (perhaps even a descendant of Ammon), who set out from the Land of Zarahemla to start his own predominantly Mulekite settlement?
  • Alma 8:9: What do we know about these people of the city of Ammonihah? Alma later calls them to remember their Nephite ancestors, but are they all descendants of Nephi? They recognize, though are plotting to overthrough, the rulership of the chief judge at Zarahemla--but who exactly are these people several days away from the center of the government at Zarahemla? Why have they set up a city at such a distance from the heart of government?
  • Alma 8:10: Alma communes with angels from time to time. Why, then, does he also have to “wrestle with God in prayer” (emphasis added)?
  • Alma 8:10: We are clearly led to believe that Alma's desire to baptize the people of Ammonihah is a righteous desire. How does this compare to the desires of modern missionaries to baptize people? Are there any clues here to help us identify what makes Alma's desire pure, as opposed to self-serving?
  • Alma 8:11: How often does Alma talk about hardened or softened hearts? What does it mean for a heart to be hardened?
  • Alma 8:11: What do the people of Ammonihah mean by claiming that the church was established "according to your tradition" rather than "our" tradition? Who are these people that claim not to be of the same religious tradition?
  • Alma 8:11: Later we learn that these people are following after the order of Nehor. How do their statements here reflect the teachings of Nehor?
  • Alma 8:16: In Melek, Alma taught all the people throughout the land, especially those outside the city in the borders of the wilderness. Here he is commanded to preach "unto the people of the city". Is there a difference here? Is he being commanded specifically to preach just to those within the city, and not in the borders round about? If so, why might that be?
  • Alma 8:17: To what phrase do the parenthesis apply and why use the parenthesis at all?
  • Alma 8:17: To whom does "thy people" refer? Is it the Nephites as a whole, or the members of the church in particular?
  • Alma 8:17: What does it mean that the people were studying to destroy the liberty of the people? What does that studying entail?
  • Alma 8:17: In previous teaching, Alma has asked the people if they are going to "set at defiance" or come out in armed opposition to the commandments of God. Is that what the people of Ammonihah are now preparing to do?
  • Alma 8:18: Of what significance is it that Alma returned "speedily" to the city after receiving instructions from the angel? Can we draw a lesson from this example?
  • Alma 8:19: Why would Alma announce himself as "an humble servant of God"? What does this mean, and why use such language?
  • Alma 8:20: Nephite. Why does Amulek bother to state that he is a Nephite? Isn't Ammonihah a Nephite city?
  • Alma 8:22: It's noticeable that Amulek gives Alma bread and meat, but Alma ate the bread and was filled. Why might that be significant?
  • Alma 8:25: What does Alma's intent to "prophesy unto this people, yeah, and to testify against them concerning their iniquities" have to do with preaching the word of God "according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy" (v.24)?
  • Alma 8:25: In what ways might Alma's preaching form a model for modern day preaching? Is it important to prophesy to modern audiences? What might a preacher prophesy of? What about testifying against iniquities? How appropriate is it for us to call people out (in general or individually) on their sins?
  • Alma 8:26: Here Alma testifies that he had fasted many days before he had seen the angel. Did fasting make it more likely that Alma would be able to receive guidance from the angel? How appropriate is it to fast "many days"?
  • Alma 8:28: What does it mean that the people "did wax more gross in their iniquities"? What would that have looked like? How would Alma know that this was happening? How are these iniquities being measured?
  • Alma 8:29: How does this preaching about the "fierce anger" of the Lord differ from Alma's teaching in the lands of Zarahemla, Gideon, and Melek?
  • Alma 8:32: What does it mean that Alma and Amulek preached and prophesied "according to the spirit and power" given them by the Lord? How was that spirit and power manifest?

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. →

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.



Previous page: Chapters 8-16                      Next page: Chapter 9

Alma 8:21-25

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 8
Previous page: Chapters 8-16                      Next page: Chapter 9


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 8:5: Throughout all the borders of the land. In Mesoamerican society, the elite rulers and priests lived in the city, and poorer farmers usually lived out in the smaller villages or hamlets. The people who came in to be baptized from "throughout all the borders of the land" may have been humble subsistence farmers, rather than the local elites--indicating that the gospel was taught to everyone, and not just the ruling classes.
  • Alma 8:11-15. It appears that the people of Ammonihah recognize power only in the political--they reject Alma's authority over them on the premise that he is no longer the chief judge. This obsession with the political is reemphasized in the following chapters (see Alma 10:13, Alma 10:24). It is also possible to understand some of Amulek's later discourse as addressing this situation (Alma 10:19-20).
  • Alma 8:16-20: Amulek is a Nephite. Apparently, not everyone in Ammonihah is a Nephite, or considers themselves to be a Nephite, and so it is important for Amulek to so announce himself to Alma. This may be further evidence that Ammonihah is predominantly a Mulekite city, named after a prominent Mulekite (see commentary on Alma 8:7). If so, this would shed even more light on why the people were studying to "destroy the liberty of the people" (v.17). If Ammonihah was a predominantly Mulekite city, perhaps they were seeking to break away from the new Nephite-ruled complex chiefdom based out of Zarahemla.
  • Alma 8:24-25. In verse 24 Alma describes his commission to preach as being more general, but in verse 25 he says he was turned back to Ammonihah with a specific commission to prophesy to the people there and testify against them.

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. →

  • Alma 8:1: What does “order of the church” mean? Alma is said to have established it also in Zarahemla. There he did so by ordaining priests and elders (surprising that they didn’t already have them), baptizing repentant converts, and excommunicating unrepentant members (Alma 6:1-4). What kind of order does that suggest?
  • Alma 8:1: What is the connection between the "order of the church" and the "order of the priesthood"?
  • Alma 8:1: Why are we told that Alma taught "many things that cannot be written"? Why couldn't they be written? Is it just a matter of editing, i.e. not enough room on the plates? Or is it something else--perhaps temple covenants or other things that are not to be written down?
  • Alma 8:2: Why are we told that the judges "reign...over the people"? What is the difference between a judge and any other type of ruler?
  • Alma 8:2: What do we know about how Nephite judges "reigned"?
  • Alma 8:3: Why are we told that Alma started his journey "in the commencement of the tenth year"? Why tell us at all? Is this just a way of marking time to carry the narrative, or is there something else going on?
  • Alma 8:3: What do we know about the land of Melek, or the Melek for whom it was named? Is there any connection between Melek/Mulek?
  • Alma 8:3: Why did Alma first go to Gideon and only after that go to Melek? What might have made him rank the order his journey from Gideon to Melek to Ammonihah?
  • Alma 8:4: What does it mean to teach "according to the holy order of God"? How might that differ from any other type of teaching or preaching? We learn more about this order in Alma 13, but does that tell us any more about how teaching is accomplished "according to" this order?
  • Alma 8:4: How big was this land of Melek, that it warrants mentioning his teaching "throughout all the land"?
  • Alma 8:5: Why does it say that the people came to Alma, rather than that he traveled "throughout all the land"? What might this imply about how Alma did his teaching?
  • Alma 8:5: What type of people were these who lived apparently outside of the city, throughout all the borders of the land?
  • Alma 8:7: Why does Mormon tell us that cities and villages are named after those "who first possessed them"?
  • Alma 8:7: Who is the Ammonihah who first possessed this city? Is there a relationship between the name Ammonihah and Ammon, the presumably high-ranking Mulekite of a previous generation (see Mosiah 7:3)? If so, might Ammonihah be a high-ranking Mulekite (perhaps even a descendant of Ammon), who set out from the Land of Zarahemla to start his own predominantly Mulekite settlement?
  • Alma 8:9: What do we know about these people of the city of Ammonihah? Alma later calls them to remember their Nephite ancestors, but are they all descendants of Nephi? They recognize, though are plotting to overthrough, the rulership of the chief judge at Zarahemla--but who exactly are these people several days away from the center of the government at Zarahemla? Why have they set up a city at such a distance from the heart of government?
  • Alma 8:10: Alma communes with angels from time to time. Why, then, does he also have to “wrestle with God in prayer” (emphasis added)?
  • Alma 8:10: We are clearly led to believe that Alma's desire to baptize the people of Ammonihah is a righteous desire. How does this compare to the desires of modern missionaries to baptize people? Are there any clues here to help us identify what makes Alma's desire pure, as opposed to self-serving?
  • Alma 8:11: How often does Alma talk about hardened or softened hearts? What does it mean for a heart to be hardened?
  • Alma 8:11: What do the people of Ammonihah mean by claiming that the church was established "according to your tradition" rather than "our" tradition? Who are these people that claim not to be of the same religious tradition?
  • Alma 8:11: Later we learn that these people are following after the order of Nehor. How do their statements here reflect the teachings of Nehor?
  • Alma 8:16: In Melek, Alma taught all the people throughout the land, especially those outside the city in the borders of the wilderness. Here he is commanded to preach "unto the people of the city". Is there a difference here? Is he being commanded specifically to preach just to those within the city, and not in the borders round about? If so, why might that be?
  • Alma 8:17: To what phrase do the parenthesis apply and why use the parenthesis at all?
  • Alma 8:17: To whom does "thy people" refer? Is it the Nephites as a whole, or the members of the church in particular?
  • Alma 8:17: What does it mean that the people were studying to destroy the liberty of the people? What does that studying entail?
  • Alma 8:17: In previous teaching, Alma has asked the people if they are going to "set at defiance" or come out in armed opposition to the commandments of God. Is that what the people of Ammonihah are now preparing to do?
  • Alma 8:18: Of what significance is it that Alma returned "speedily" to the city after receiving instructions from the angel? Can we draw a lesson from this example?
  • Alma 8:19: Why would Alma announce himself as "an humble servant of God"? What does this mean, and why use such language?
  • Alma 8:20: Nephite. Why does Amulek bother to state that he is a Nephite? Isn't Ammonihah a Nephite city?
  • Alma 8:22: It's noticeable that Amulek gives Alma bread and meat, but Alma ate the bread and was filled. Why might that be significant?
  • Alma 8:25: What does Alma's intent to "prophesy unto this people, yeah, and to testify against them concerning their iniquities" have to do with preaching the word of God "according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy" (v.24)?
  • Alma 8:25: In what ways might Alma's preaching form a model for modern day preaching? Is it important to prophesy to modern audiences? What might a preacher prophesy of? What about testifying against iniquities? How appropriate is it for us to call people out (in general or individually) on their sins?
  • Alma 8:26: Here Alma testifies that he had fasted many days before he had seen the angel. Did fasting make it more likely that Alma would be able to receive guidance from the angel? How appropriate is it to fast "many days"?
  • Alma 8:28: What does it mean that the people "did wax more gross in their iniquities"? What would that have looked like? How would Alma know that this was happening? How are these iniquities being measured?
  • Alma 8:29: How does this preaching about the "fierce anger" of the Lord differ from Alma's teaching in the lands of Zarahemla, Gideon, and Melek?
  • Alma 8:32: What does it mean that Alma and Amulek preached and prophesied "according to the spirit and power" given them by the Lord? How was that spirit and power manifest?

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. →

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.



Previous page: Chapters 8-16                      Next page: Chapter 9

Alma 8:26-32

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 8
Previous page: Chapters 8-16                      Next page: Chapter 9


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 8:5: Throughout all the borders of the land. In Mesoamerican society, the elite rulers and priests lived in the city, and poorer farmers usually lived out in the smaller villages or hamlets. The people who came in to be baptized from "throughout all the borders of the land" may have been humble subsistence farmers, rather than the local elites--indicating that the gospel was taught to everyone, and not just the ruling classes.
  • Alma 8:11-15. It appears that the people of Ammonihah recognize power only in the political--they reject Alma's authority over them on the premise that he is no longer the chief judge. This obsession with the political is reemphasized in the following chapters (see Alma 10:13, Alma 10:24). It is also possible to understand some of Amulek's later discourse as addressing this situation (Alma 10:19-20).
  • Alma 8:16-20: Amulek is a Nephite. Apparently, not everyone in Ammonihah is a Nephite, or considers themselves to be a Nephite, and so it is important for Amulek to so announce himself to Alma. This may be further evidence that Ammonihah is predominantly a Mulekite city, named after a prominent Mulekite (see commentary on Alma 8:7). If so, this would shed even more light on why the people were studying to "destroy the liberty of the people" (v.17). If Ammonihah was a predominantly Mulekite city, perhaps they were seeking to break away from the new Nephite-ruled complex chiefdom based out of Zarahemla.
  • Alma 8:24-25. In verse 24 Alma describes his commission to preach as being more general, but in verse 25 he says he was turned back to Ammonihah with a specific commission to prophesy to the people there and testify against them.

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]

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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. →

  • Alma 8:1: What does “order of the church” mean? Alma is said to have established it also in Zarahemla. There he did so by ordaining priests and elders (surprising that they didn’t already have them), baptizing repentant converts, and excommunicating unrepentant members (Alma 6:1-4). What kind of order does that suggest?
  • Alma 8:1: What is the connection between the "order of the church" and the "order of the priesthood"?
  • Alma 8:1: Why are we told that Alma taught "many things that cannot be written"? Why couldn't they be written? Is it just a matter of editing, i.e. not enough room on the plates? Or is it something else--perhaps temple covenants or other things that are not to be written down?
  • Alma 8:2: Why are we told that the judges "reign...over the people"? What is the difference between a judge and any other type of ruler?
  • Alma 8:2: What do we know about how Nephite judges "reigned"?
  • Alma 8:3: Why are we told that Alma started his journey "in the commencement of the tenth year"? Why tell us at all? Is this just a way of marking time to carry the narrative, or is there something else going on?
  • Alma 8:3: What do we know about the land of Melek, or the Melek for whom it was named? Is there any connection between Melek/Mulek?
  • Alma 8:3: Why did Alma first go to Gideon and only after that go to Melek? What might have made him rank the order his journey from Gideon to Melek to Ammonihah?
  • Alma 8:4: What does it mean to teach "according to the holy order of God"? How might that differ from any other type of teaching or preaching? We learn more about this order in Alma 13, but does that tell us any more about how teaching is accomplished "according to" this order?
  • Alma 8:4: How big was this land of Melek, that it warrants mentioning his teaching "throughout all the land"?
  • Alma 8:5: Why does it say that the people came to Alma, rather than that he traveled "throughout all the land"? What might this imply about how Alma did his teaching?
  • Alma 8:5: What type of people were these who lived apparently outside of the city, throughout all the borders of the land?
  • Alma 8:7: Why does Mormon tell us that cities and villages are named after those "who first possessed them"?
  • Alma 8:7: Who is the Ammonihah who first possessed this city? Is there a relationship between the name Ammonihah and Ammon, the presumably high-ranking Mulekite of a previous generation (see Mosiah 7:3)? If so, might Ammonihah be a high-ranking Mulekite (perhaps even a descendant of Ammon), who set out from the Land of Zarahemla to start his own predominantly Mulekite settlement?
  • Alma 8:9: What do we know about these people of the city of Ammonihah? Alma later calls them to remember their Nephite ancestors, but are they all descendants of Nephi? They recognize, though are plotting to overthrough, the rulership of the chief judge at Zarahemla--but who exactly are these people several days away from the center of the government at Zarahemla? Why have they set up a city at such a distance from the heart of government?
  • Alma 8:10: Alma communes with angels from time to time. Why, then, does he also have to “wrestle with God in prayer” (emphasis added)?
  • Alma 8:10: We are clearly led to believe that Alma's desire to baptize the people of Ammonihah is a righteous desire. How does this compare to the desires of modern missionaries to baptize people? Are there any clues here to help us identify what makes Alma's desire pure, as opposed to self-serving?
  • Alma 8:11: How often does Alma talk about hardened or softened hearts? What does it mean for a heart to be hardened?
  • Alma 8:11: What do the people of Ammonihah mean by claiming that the church was established "according to your tradition" rather than "our" tradition? Who are these people that claim not to be of the same religious tradition?
  • Alma 8:11: Later we learn that these people are following after the order of Nehor. How do their statements here reflect the teachings of Nehor?
  • Alma 8:16: In Melek, Alma taught all the people throughout the land, especially those outside the city in the borders of the wilderness. Here he is commanded to preach "unto the people of the city". Is there a difference here? Is he being commanded specifically to preach just to those within the city, and not in the borders round about? If so, why might that be?
  • Alma 8:17: To what phrase do the parenthesis apply and why use the parenthesis at all?
  • Alma 8:17: To whom does "thy people" refer? Is it the Nephites as a whole, or the members of the church in particular?
  • Alma 8:17: What does it mean that the people were studying to destroy the liberty of the people? What does that studying entail?
  • Alma 8:17: In previous teaching, Alma has asked the people if they are going to "set at defiance" or come out in armed opposition to the commandments of God. Is that what the people of Ammonihah are now preparing to do?
  • Alma 8:18: Of what significance is it that Alma returned "speedily" to the city after receiving instructions from the angel? Can we draw a lesson from this example?
  • Alma 8:19: Why would Alma announce himself as "an humble servant of God"? What does this mean, and why use such language?
  • Alma 8:20: Nephite. Why does Amulek bother to state that he is a Nephite? Isn't Ammonihah a Nephite city?
  • Alma 8:22: It's noticeable that Amulek gives Alma bread and meat, but Alma ate the bread and was filled. Why might that be significant?
  • Alma 8:25: What does Alma's intent to "prophesy unto this people, yeah, and to testify against them concerning their iniquities" have to do with preaching the word of God "according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy" (v.24)?
  • Alma 8:25: In what ways might Alma's preaching form a model for modern day preaching? Is it important to prophesy to modern audiences? What might a preacher prophesy of? What about testifying against iniquities? How appropriate is it for us to call people out (in general or individually) on their sins?
  • Alma 8:26: Here Alma testifies that he had fasted many days before he had seen the angel. Did fasting make it more likely that Alma would be able to receive guidance from the angel? How appropriate is it to fast "many days"?
  • Alma 8:28: What does it mean that the people "did wax more gross in their iniquities"? What would that have looked like? How would Alma know that this was happening? How are these iniquities being measured?
  • Alma 8:29: How does this preaching about the "fierce anger" of the Lord differ from Alma's teaching in the lands of Zarahemla, Gideon, and Melek?
  • Alma 8:32: What does it mean that Alma and Amulek preached and prophesied "according to the spirit and power" given them by the Lord? How was that spirit and power manifest?

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. →

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.



Previous page: Chapters 8-16                      Next page: Chapter 9

Alma 9:1-5

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 9
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Summary[edit]

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

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 9: Superscription. Before this point in the Book of Alma, Mormon is the dominant author of the text. He sometimes clearly copies over without much or any editing whole swaths of his source text (in, for example, Alma 5 and Alma 7), but he is always the narrator of the story. Suddenly, with 9:1 ("I, Alma"), Mormon is replaced by Alma. Introducing this change—as well as its somewhat odd lapse—is the superscription to chapter 9.
Like the superscription to whole Book of Alma, this superscription describes what follows as being "according to the record of Alma." But whereas this phrase in the earlier superscription seems just to indicate a source, here—at least once one reads "I, Alma" in verse 1—it seems to name the actual record being included in Mormon's text. At first, then, there seems to be a difference between Mormon's two uses of "according to the record of Alma."
When examined a bit closer, however, the problem seems to disappear. The phrase "according to the record of Alma" in the superscription to chapter 9 is attached less to what is now chapter 9 than to what is now chapter 14: "And also they [Alma and Amulek] are cast into prison, and delivered by the miraculous power of God which was in them, according to the record of Alma." Though one might quibble about punctuation, which (more or less) did not appear in the original dictated manuscript, there seems to be an indication here that it is specifically the narrative of Alma 14 that is "according to the record of Alma." And in Alma 14, Mormon seems to be following the same editorial practices employed in the larger Book of Alma: not borrowed narrative voice, but authorial abridgement.
In the first part of the superscription, Mormon describes what are now chapters 9-13: "The words of Alma, and also the words of Amulek, which were declared unto the people who were in the land of Ammonihah." Here no actual source is identified, and in those chapters Mormon not only draws on his sources in order to record parts of the sermons delivered by Alma and Amulek, but he also copies over, as already mentioned, parts of Alma's own narrative telling of the event.
It is thus important to note that there is some difficulty in determining where Alma's original narrativization ends and Mormon's abridging editorial work begins. The first unmistakable indication that Mormon is the narrator is to be found in Alma 10:12, where Alma and Amulek are referred to as "them." (Mormon's role as narrator is thereafter confirmed a number of times: the obviously non-contemporary explanation of weights and measures in 11:1-20, the emphasis on "all that I have written" in 11:46 and 13:31, the "Now Alma" of Alma 12:1, etc.) The question, though, is at what point between 9:33 (the last clear instance of Alma speaking in the first person: "the Lord did not suffer them that they should take me at that time") and 10:12 (the first clear instance of Alma being mentioned in the third person: "the spirit of prophecy which was in them [Alma and Amulek]"). Does the third person reference in 10:12 suggest that Mormon is the narrator from the beginning of chapter 10? Does Mormon's "takeover" begin as early as the last verse of chapter 9? Or does Mormon perhaps simply copy over Alma's words concerning Amulek for at least a few verses into chapter 10? These are questions that deserve attention in the respective commentaries on the relevant passages.
  • Alma 9:2. The although in verse 2 has confused some readers. To make sense of although here read it as even though (see the Oxford English Dictionary). Today we might say even if in place of even though. Under this interpretation the people are saying something like "do you expect us to believe something only one person tells us no matter how crazy it is?" See Mark 14:29 for another reference in the scriptures to where although is used to mean "even though" or "even if."
  • Alma 9:2: Who art thou? Some have considered Alma as returning somewhat in disguise, pointing to the moment when he tells Amulek who he is in Alma 8:23. However, this is likely mostly a carryover from the story of Abinadi, who was rejected and returned after 2 years in disguise (Mosiah 12:1). In Alma's story, the people are more likely to be saying "Who art thou?" not in sincerely asking who he is, but in asking Who are you to tell us such things? Interestingly, King Noah says something similar about Abinadi, even using his name: "Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?" (Mosiah 11:27) The people knew who he was when he first arrived, and mocked him in his lack of judgmental authority: "And now we know that because we are not of thy church we know that thou hast no power over us; and thou hast delivered up the judgment-seat" (Alma 8:12).
  • Alma 9:11: Woe. According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, wo [sp] is a noun that means 1. grief; sorrow; misery; a heavy calamity, 2. a curse, and 3. is used in denunciation, and in exclamations of sorrow.
  • Alma 9:13: Prosperity and the Kingdom of God. In these verses, Alma seems to link the concepts of prosperity, inheriting the kingdom of God, and being in the presence of God. It is possible to read these verses as providing the following oppositions:
A) Inherit the Kingdom, B) In the presence of God, C) Prosper in the land

versus

D) Destroyed from off the face of the earth, E) Cut off from the presence of the Lord
By this reading, prosperity should be seen as more than the accumulation of material success, but a quality related to living in the presence of God here on earth.
  • Alma 9:18-19: Not suffer the wicked to destroy the righteous. Here Alma warns the peoplee of Ammonihah that, if they persist in attempting to destroy the Lord's people, then the people of Ammonihah will instead be destroyed. For more on the subject of when the Lord destroys the wicked, see the discussion of Hel 13:14 and also Alma 10:22-23.
  • Alma 9:21. This appears to be an early formulation of gifts of the Spirit.
  • Alma 9:21: Light and knowledge. There are only four uses of the phrase "light and knowledge" in all the scriptures. (Wouldn't you have thought it was a more common phrase?) See also Alma 39:6; Alma 45:12; D&C 77:4.
  • Alma 9:26-28: Countering the doctrine of Nehor. We know that the leaders of the people in Ammonihah were followers of Nehor, and in vs. 26-28, Alma counters point by point the teachings of Nehor as recorded in Alma 1:3-4.

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. →

  • Alma 9:1: How did Alma view Amulek's role as his companion? Why does he speak of "tak[ing] Amulek?" Is this the language of God, or Alma's interpretation of it?
  • Alma 9:2: What does although mean here?
  • Alma 9:2: What are the people talking about here? Why are they talking about the earth passing away? Are they responding to something that Alma has said, or where does this come from?
  • Alma 9:2: Are the people suggesting that real prophets only come to prophesy of big and disastrous events? But even if Alma were to do that they would not believe it unless several prophets came to say the same thing?
  • Alma 9:3: What does Alma mean when he says that the earth should pass away? Why would he even record this little exchange with the people of Ammonihah?
  • Alma 9:4: Why wouldn't the people of Ammonihah believe Alma?
  • Alma 9:4: Why do the people say they won't believe Alma if he "shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in one day"? Was this a response to something Alma had said?
  • Alma 9:4: What if we read the "if" to mean: "if you are foolish enough to prophesy that this great city could be destroyed in one day, then you are an idiot and we won't believe anything else you say?" Is this a productive reading?
  • Alma 9:5: What does Alma mean by "hard-hearted" and "stiffnecked"? What scriptural precedences provide insight into these terms?
  • Alma 9:6-10: Prophets in the Book of Mormon often begin their calls to repentance by reminding the people of what the Lord has done for their ancestors. (For example, Alma the Younger did this in his sermon in Alma 5.) Why? Were a modern prophet delivering a sermon like this, to what might he refer to remind us of what the Lord has done?
  • Alma 9:6: What are the people saying here? What do they mean by "Who is God"? Are they belittling Alma's teachings about God? Do they seem to be mocking a god that would only send one messenger?
  • Alma 9:7: How did Alma avoid being grabbed by the people?
  • Alma 9:7: What does it mean for Alma to have "stood with boldness"
  • Alma 9:8: What does Alma mean by calling the people a "wicked and perverse generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: How is Alma using the word "generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: What about this generation was so wicked and perverse?
  • Alma 9:8: Did the people forget the tradition of their fathers, or did the actively reject it?
  • Alma 9:8: What is the connection between the traditions of the fathers and the commandments? How might that connection be broken? In modern terms, how is it that this generation didn't get their own testimonies of the gospel? How were the traditions passed down? Were there weaknesses in how it was transmitted from one generation to the next?
  • Alma 9:9: What does it mean to be brought "by the hand of God"? Is this just metaphorical, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:9: Why does Alma switch from "our father" in the first question, to "they...all" in the second question?
  • Alma 9:10: What does Alma mean when he says the people have "forgotten so soon"? It has been decades since the earlier generations, their "fathers", were brought out of bondage?
  • Alma 9:10: What incidents is Alma referring to here, where the fathers were "delivered" and "preserved...from being destroyed by...their own brethren"?
  • Alma 9:10: Who are the "our fathers" referred to here? Does this include Mulekite ancestors, or just literal descendants of Nephi?
  • Alma 9:11: Why does Alma refer to God's power as "matchless"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the link between being "cut off from the face of the earth" and being "consigned to a state of endless misery and woe"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the state of endless misery and woe that Alma refers to? Can we translate that into our modern understanding of the spirit world, or does it refer to something else?
  • Alma 9:11: What is woe? Does it mean the same as misery, or does it imply something more?
  • Alma 9:11: Are misery and woe a common couplet, or is there something beyond just a literary style here in their use?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the difference between being told to repent to "inherit the kingdom of God" or to avoid being utterly destroyed? Is Alma or the Lord trying to provide two different motivations to try and get the people to repent, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the place for such hellfire and damnation preaching in the modern church?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the "fierce anger" of God mentioned here? How does this fierce anger jibe with our view of God as a patient and loving Heavenly Father?
  • Alma 9:12: What does it mean for God to visit "in his anger" and "not turn away"? Is there a point at which it is too late to repent and God cannot turn back consequences for our actions?
  • Alma 9:13: What is the nature of the promise to Lehi? Is this a covenant? How does this promise or covenant relate to land covenants in the Old Testament?
  • Alma 9:13: Why is the reward for obedience a tangible prosperity, while the penalty for not keeping the commandments to be "cut off from the presence of the Lord"? Does this imply something about prosperity that we don't normally consider (cf. Mosiah 2:22)? Might there be a connection between "inheriting the kingdom of God (vs. 13) and prospering in the land here? If so, does that imply that the kingdom of God is here, and consists of the opposite of being "cut off from the presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:14: What does it mean that the Lamanites "have been cut off from the presence of the Lord"? What does that mean? Does this have anything to do with the literal presence of the Lord in the temple?
  • Alma 9:14: What does Alma mean by the "presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:15: Why is the wording here so similar to this verse in the New Testament: "But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee" (Matt 11:24)?
  • Alma 9:16: Why are promises extended to the Lamanites? What are these promises?
  • Alma 9:16: Why does ignorance provoke mercy?
  • Alma 9:16: What does prolonging existence in the land have to do with the mercy or favor of God?
  • Alma 9:17: Alma says that someday the Lamanites will learn the truth and, therefore, of the falsity of their fathers’ traditions. To what traditions is he referring? Does this mean that Native Americans will give up their cultural traditions when they are converted?
  • Alma 9:17: What does Alma mean here by being saved?
  • Alma 9:17: What does it mean to "call on" the name of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:18: How does this statement by Alma about impending destruction manifest his preaching by the spirit of prophecy and revelation?
  • Alma 9:18: Alma says the people will be destroyed by both the Lamanites and the "fierce anger of the Lord". How do the actions of the Lamanites represent the anger of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:19: Why would the Lord prefer to have all the Nephites destroyed rather than allow them to continue in sin after he has blessed them? To unbelievers the Lord may sound petulant, like a “martyr-parent,” who says, “Since you are ungrateful after all I’ve done for you, I’ll show you.” How would you explain this to someone who saw these verses that way?
  • Alma 9:19: What is the "light and knowledge" given unto the Nephites? Does this have anything to do with the further light and knowledge found in modern temple ceremonies?
  • Alma 9:20: What does it mean to have been "highly favored people of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:20: In what way were the Nephites "favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people"?
  • Alma 9:20: What great blessings did the Nephites enjoy?
  • Alma 9:20: How were "all things made known" unto the Nephites. Does this have anything to do with seership (cf. Mosiah 8)?
  • Alma 9:20: What is the relationship between desire, faith, and prayer, and how do they lead to knowledge?
  • Alma 9:21-25: How do these prophecies and Alma's teaching reflect the promise given to Lehi in 2 Ne 1:9-12?
  • Alma 9:21: What does it mean to have been "visited by the Spirit of God"?
  • Alma 9:21: How widespread was the visitation of angels in Nephite society?
  • Alma 9:21: How were the people "spoken unto by the voice of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people delivered "by the hand of the Lord"? Is this just another way of saying that the Lord did it, or is there something else referred to here?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people "saved from famine, and from sickness, and from all manner of diseases of every kind"? Is this referred to elsewhere in the Nephite record?
  • Alma 9:22: How does Alma refer to both spiritual and temporal blessings? What is the relationship between spiritual and temporal blessings? Is there a difference?
  • Alma 9:23: What does it mean to "transgress contrary to the light and knowledge" that you have? Don't we all do this sometimes?
  • Alma 9:24: What does it mean to "utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth"?
  • Alma 9:25: Alma says that the Lord sent an angel to many people to tell them to come to this people and cry repentance. Does this "many" refer to more than Alma and Amulek? Does this have anything to do with the criticism the people make in verse 6 that God only sent one person?
  • Alma 9:26: What is the glory of God? Is that the same as the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father"? What does it mean for the Son of God to come in the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father?
  • Alma 9:26: What does it mean to be "full of" grace, equity, truth, patience, mercy, and long-suffering?
  • Alma 9:26: In what ways is the Lord "quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers"? Who are "his people", members of the Church? In modern terms there a difference between how quickly he answers prayers of members of the Church ("his people") and others?
  • Alma 9:27: How does Alma's teachings here about who the Lord will redeem compare with the teachings of Nehor (which the people of Ammonihah follow) found in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:27: What does it mean to have "faith on [the Lord's] name"?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the way of the Lord? How are the people supposed to prepare the way?
  • Alma 9:28: How does this teaching about rewards for works compare with the teachings of Nehor in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "power and captivation of the devil? How is that contrasted with the "power and deliverance" of Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "damnation of...souls"?
  • Alma 9:29: Alma claims that these teachings come from "the voice of the angel". Why is it important for Alma to declare that? In our modern preaching and teaching, how important is it for us to say where our message comes from?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does Alma call these people his "brethren"?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does he call them "beloved brethren" and then call them a "lost and a fallen people"?
  • Alma 9:30: What does it mean for the people to have hearts that are "grossly hardened against the word of God"?
  • Alma 9:31: If the people were going to be "wroth" with Alma for doing so, why did he call them hard-hearted and stiffnecked? When is it appropriate to hammer people with such unflattering portraits of their behavior? When is it inappropriate?
  • Alma 9:32: Alma has really ticked these people off. Why did he have to say such harsh things against the people? Is there any sense in which this might have been counter-productive?
  • Alma 9:33: How did Alma avoid being taken into captivity if everyone was trying to "lay their hands upon [him]"?
  • Alma 9:34: Why weren't more of the words of Amulek written? To what degree should we take the teachings of Amulek, a recently converted missionary, as scripture for our day? What does taking his words as scripture imply about our own teachings in similar situations?

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. →

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.



Previous page: Chapter 8                      Next page: Chapters 10-11

Alma 9:6-10

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 9
Previous page: Chapter 8                      Next page: Chapters 10-11


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 9: Superscription. Before this point in the Book of Alma, Mormon is the dominant author of the text. He sometimes clearly copies over without much or any editing whole swaths of his source text (in, for example, Alma 5 and Alma 7), but he is always the narrator of the story. Suddenly, with 9:1 ("I, Alma"), Mormon is replaced by Alma. Introducing this change—as well as its somewhat odd lapse—is the superscription to chapter 9.
Like the superscription to whole Book of Alma, this superscription describes what follows as being "according to the record of Alma." But whereas this phrase in the earlier superscription seems just to indicate a source, here—at least once one reads "I, Alma" in verse 1—it seems to name the actual record being included in Mormon's text. At first, then, there seems to be a difference between Mormon's two uses of "according to the record of Alma."
When examined a bit closer, however, the problem seems to disappear. The phrase "according to the record of Alma" in the superscription to chapter 9 is attached less to what is now chapter 9 than to what is now chapter 14: "And also they [Alma and Amulek] are cast into prison, and delivered by the miraculous power of God which was in them, according to the record of Alma." Though one might quibble about punctuation, which (more or less) did not appear in the original dictated manuscript, there seems to be an indication here that it is specifically the narrative of Alma 14 that is "according to the record of Alma." And in Alma 14, Mormon seems to be following the same editorial practices employed in the larger Book of Alma: not borrowed narrative voice, but authorial abridgement.
In the first part of the superscription, Mormon describes what are now chapters 9-13: "The words of Alma, and also the words of Amulek, which were declared unto the people who were in the land of Ammonihah." Here no actual source is identified, and in those chapters Mormon not only draws on his sources in order to record parts of the sermons delivered by Alma and Amulek, but he also copies over, as already mentioned, parts of Alma's own narrative telling of the event.
It is thus important to note that there is some difficulty in determining where Alma's original narrativization ends and Mormon's abridging editorial work begins. The first unmistakable indication that Mormon is the narrator is to be found in Alma 10:12, where Alma and Amulek are referred to as "them." (Mormon's role as narrator is thereafter confirmed a number of times: the obviously non-contemporary explanation of weights and measures in 11:1-20, the emphasis on "all that I have written" in 11:46 and 13:31, the "Now Alma" of Alma 12:1, etc.) The question, though, is at what point between 9:33 (the last clear instance of Alma speaking in the first person: "the Lord did not suffer them that they should take me at that time") and 10:12 (the first clear instance of Alma being mentioned in the third person: "the spirit of prophecy which was in them [Alma and Amulek]"). Does the third person reference in 10:12 suggest that Mormon is the narrator from the beginning of chapter 10? Does Mormon's "takeover" begin as early as the last verse of chapter 9? Or does Mormon perhaps simply copy over Alma's words concerning Amulek for at least a few verses into chapter 10? These are questions that deserve attention in the respective commentaries on the relevant passages.
  • Alma 9:2. The although in verse 2 has confused some readers. To make sense of although here read it as even though (see the Oxford English Dictionary). Today we might say even if in place of even though. Under this interpretation the people are saying something like "do you expect us to believe something only one person tells us no matter how crazy it is?" See Mark 14:29 for another reference in the scriptures to where although is used to mean "even though" or "even if."
  • Alma 9:2: Who art thou? Some have considered Alma as returning somewhat in disguise, pointing to the moment when he tells Amulek who he is in Alma 8:23. However, this is likely mostly a carryover from the story of Abinadi, who was rejected and returned after 2 years in disguise (Mosiah 12:1). In Alma's story, the people are more likely to be saying "Who art thou?" not in sincerely asking who he is, but in asking Who are you to tell us such things? Interestingly, King Noah says something similar about Abinadi, even using his name: "Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?" (Mosiah 11:27) The people knew who he was when he first arrived, and mocked him in his lack of judgmental authority: "And now we know that because we are not of thy church we know that thou hast no power over us; and thou hast delivered up the judgment-seat" (Alma 8:12).
  • Alma 9:11: Woe. According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, wo [sp] is a noun that means 1. grief; sorrow; misery; a heavy calamity, 2. a curse, and 3. is used in denunciation, and in exclamations of sorrow.
  • Alma 9:13: Prosperity and the Kingdom of God. In these verses, Alma seems to link the concepts of prosperity, inheriting the kingdom of God, and being in the presence of God. It is possible to read these verses as providing the following oppositions:
A) Inherit the Kingdom, B) In the presence of God, C) Prosper in the land

versus

D) Destroyed from off the face of the earth, E) Cut off from the presence of the Lord
By this reading, prosperity should be seen as more than the accumulation of material success, but a quality related to living in the presence of God here on earth.
  • Alma 9:18-19: Not suffer the wicked to destroy the righteous. Here Alma warns the peoplee of Ammonihah that, if they persist in attempting to destroy the Lord's people, then the people of Ammonihah will instead be destroyed. For more on the subject of when the Lord destroys the wicked, see the discussion of Hel 13:14 and also Alma 10:22-23.
  • Alma 9:21. This appears to be an early formulation of gifts of the Spirit.
  • Alma 9:21: Light and knowledge. There are only four uses of the phrase "light and knowledge" in all the scriptures. (Wouldn't you have thought it was a more common phrase?) See also Alma 39:6; Alma 45:12; D&C 77:4.
  • Alma 9:26-28: Countering the doctrine of Nehor. We know that the leaders of the people in Ammonihah were followers of Nehor, and in vs. 26-28, Alma counters point by point the teachings of Nehor as recorded in Alma 1:3-4.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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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. →

  • Alma 9:1: How did Alma view Amulek's role as his companion? Why does he speak of "tak[ing] Amulek?" Is this the language of God, or Alma's interpretation of it?
  • Alma 9:2: What does although mean here?
  • Alma 9:2: What are the people talking about here? Why are they talking about the earth passing away? Are they responding to something that Alma has said, or where does this come from?
  • Alma 9:2: Are the people suggesting that real prophets only come to prophesy of big and disastrous events? But even if Alma were to do that they would not believe it unless several prophets came to say the same thing?
  • Alma 9:3: What does Alma mean when he says that the earth should pass away? Why would he even record this little exchange with the people of Ammonihah?
  • Alma 9:4: Why wouldn't the people of Ammonihah believe Alma?
  • Alma 9:4: Why do the people say they won't believe Alma if he "shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in one day"? Was this a response to something Alma had said?
  • Alma 9:4: What if we read the "if" to mean: "if you are foolish enough to prophesy that this great city could be destroyed in one day, then you are an idiot and we won't believe anything else you say?" Is this a productive reading?
  • Alma 9:5: What does Alma mean by "hard-hearted" and "stiffnecked"? What scriptural precedences provide insight into these terms?
  • Alma 9:6-10: Prophets in the Book of Mormon often begin their calls to repentance by reminding the people of what the Lord has done for their ancestors. (For example, Alma the Younger did this in his sermon in Alma 5.) Why? Were a modern prophet delivering a sermon like this, to what might he refer to remind us of what the Lord has done?
  • Alma 9:6: What are the people saying here? What do they mean by "Who is God"? Are they belittling Alma's teachings about God? Do they seem to be mocking a god that would only send one messenger?
  • Alma 9:7: How did Alma avoid being grabbed by the people?
  • Alma 9:7: What does it mean for Alma to have "stood with boldness"
  • Alma 9:8: What does Alma mean by calling the people a "wicked and perverse generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: How is Alma using the word "generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: What about this generation was so wicked and perverse?
  • Alma 9:8: Did the people forget the tradition of their fathers, or did the actively reject it?
  • Alma 9:8: What is the connection between the traditions of the fathers and the commandments? How might that connection be broken? In modern terms, how is it that this generation didn't get their own testimonies of the gospel? How were the traditions passed down? Were there weaknesses in how it was transmitted from one generation to the next?
  • Alma 9:9: What does it mean to be brought "by the hand of God"? Is this just metaphorical, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:9: Why does Alma switch from "our father" in the first question, to "they...all" in the second question?
  • Alma 9:10: What does Alma mean when he says the people have "forgotten so soon"? It has been decades since the earlier generations, their "fathers", were brought out of bondage?
  • Alma 9:10: What incidents is Alma referring to here, where the fathers were "delivered" and "preserved...from being destroyed by...their own brethren"?
  • Alma 9:10: Who are the "our fathers" referred to here? Does this include Mulekite ancestors, or just literal descendants of Nephi?
  • Alma 9:11: Why does Alma refer to God's power as "matchless"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the link between being "cut off from the face of the earth" and being "consigned to a state of endless misery and woe"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the state of endless misery and woe that Alma refers to? Can we translate that into our modern understanding of the spirit world, or does it refer to something else?
  • Alma 9:11: What is woe? Does it mean the same as misery, or does it imply something more?
  • Alma 9:11: Are misery and woe a common couplet, or is there something beyond just a literary style here in their use?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the difference between being told to repent to "inherit the kingdom of God" or to avoid being utterly destroyed? Is Alma or the Lord trying to provide two different motivations to try and get the people to repent, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the place for such hellfire and damnation preaching in the modern church?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the "fierce anger" of God mentioned here? How does this fierce anger jibe with our view of God as a patient and loving Heavenly Father?
  • Alma 9:12: What does it mean for God to visit "in his anger" and "not turn away"? Is there a point at which it is too late to repent and God cannot turn back consequences for our actions?
  • Alma 9:13: What is the nature of the promise to Lehi? Is this a covenant? How does this promise or covenant relate to land covenants in the Old Testament?
  • Alma 9:13: Why is the reward for obedience a tangible prosperity, while the penalty for not keeping the commandments to be "cut off from the presence of the Lord"? Does this imply something about prosperity that we don't normally consider (cf. Mosiah 2:22)? Might there be a connection between "inheriting the kingdom of God (vs. 13) and prospering in the land here? If so, does that imply that the kingdom of God is here, and consists of the opposite of being "cut off from the presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:14: What does it mean that the Lamanites "have been cut off from the presence of the Lord"? What does that mean? Does this have anything to do with the literal presence of the Lord in the temple?
  • Alma 9:14: What does Alma mean by the "presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:15: Why is the wording here so similar to this verse in the New Testament: "But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee" (Matt 11:24)?
  • Alma 9:16: Why are promises extended to the Lamanites? What are these promises?
  • Alma 9:16: Why does ignorance provoke mercy?
  • Alma 9:16: What does prolonging existence in the land have to do with the mercy or favor of God?
  • Alma 9:17: Alma says that someday the Lamanites will learn the truth and, therefore, of the falsity of their fathers’ traditions. To what traditions is he referring? Does this mean that Native Americans will give up their cultural traditions when they are converted?
  • Alma 9:17: What does Alma mean here by being saved?
  • Alma 9:17: What does it mean to "call on" the name of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:18: How does this statement by Alma about impending destruction manifest his preaching by the spirit of prophecy and revelation?
  • Alma 9:18: Alma says the people will be destroyed by both the Lamanites and the "fierce anger of the Lord". How do the actions of the Lamanites represent the anger of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:19: Why would the Lord prefer to have all the Nephites destroyed rather than allow them to continue in sin after he has blessed them? To unbelievers the Lord may sound petulant, like a “martyr-parent,” who says, “Since you are ungrateful after all I’ve done for you, I’ll show you.” How would you explain this to someone who saw these verses that way?
  • Alma 9:19: What is the "light and knowledge" given unto the Nephites? Does this have anything to do with the further light and knowledge found in modern temple ceremonies?
  • Alma 9:20: What does it mean to have been "highly favored people of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:20: In what way were the Nephites "favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people"?
  • Alma 9:20: What great blessings did the Nephites enjoy?
  • Alma 9:20: How were "all things made known" unto the Nephites. Does this have anything to do with seership (cf. Mosiah 8)?
  • Alma 9:20: What is the relationship between desire, faith, and prayer, and how do they lead to knowledge?
  • Alma 9:21-25: How do these prophecies and Alma's teaching reflect the promise given to Lehi in 2 Ne 1:9-12?
  • Alma 9:21: What does it mean to have been "visited by the Spirit of God"?
  • Alma 9:21: How widespread was the visitation of angels in Nephite society?
  • Alma 9:21: How were the people "spoken unto by the voice of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people delivered "by the hand of the Lord"? Is this just another way of saying that the Lord did it, or is there something else referred to here?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people "saved from famine, and from sickness, and from all manner of diseases of every kind"? Is this referred to elsewhere in the Nephite record?
  • Alma 9:22: How does Alma refer to both spiritual and temporal blessings? What is the relationship between spiritual and temporal blessings? Is there a difference?
  • Alma 9:23: What does it mean to "transgress contrary to the light and knowledge" that you have? Don't we all do this sometimes?
  • Alma 9:24: What does it mean to "utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth"?
  • Alma 9:25: Alma says that the Lord sent an angel to many people to tell them to come to this people and cry repentance. Does this "many" refer to more than Alma and Amulek? Does this have anything to do with the criticism the people make in verse 6 that God only sent one person?
  • Alma 9:26: What is the glory of God? Is that the same as the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father"? What does it mean for the Son of God to come in the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father?
  • Alma 9:26: What does it mean to be "full of" grace, equity, truth, patience, mercy, and long-suffering?
  • Alma 9:26: In what ways is the Lord "quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers"? Who are "his people", members of the Church? In modern terms there a difference between how quickly he answers prayers of members of the Church ("his people") and others?
  • Alma 9:27: How does Alma's teachings here about who the Lord will redeem compare with the teachings of Nehor (which the people of Ammonihah follow) found in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:27: What does it mean to have "faith on [the Lord's] name"?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the way of the Lord? How are the people supposed to prepare the way?
  • Alma 9:28: How does this teaching about rewards for works compare with the teachings of Nehor in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "power and captivation of the devil? How is that contrasted with the "power and deliverance" of Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "damnation of...souls"?
  • Alma 9:29: Alma claims that these teachings come from "the voice of the angel". Why is it important for Alma to declare that? In our modern preaching and teaching, how important is it for us to say where our message comes from?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does Alma call these people his "brethren"?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does he call them "beloved brethren" and then call them a "lost and a fallen people"?
  • Alma 9:30: What does it mean for the people to have hearts that are "grossly hardened against the word of God"?
  • Alma 9:31: If the people were going to be "wroth" with Alma for doing so, why did he call them hard-hearted and stiffnecked? When is it appropriate to hammer people with such unflattering portraits of their behavior? When is it inappropriate?
  • Alma 9:32: Alma has really ticked these people off. Why did he have to say such harsh things against the people? Is there any sense in which this might have been counter-productive?
  • Alma 9:33: How did Alma avoid being taken into captivity if everyone was trying to "lay their hands upon [him]"?
  • Alma 9:34: Why weren't more of the words of Amulek written? To what degree should we take the teachings of Amulek, a recently converted missionary, as scripture for our day? What does taking his words as scripture imply about our own teachings in similar situations?

Resources[edit]

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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.



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Alma 9:11-15

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Summary[edit]

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

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 9: Superscription. Before this point in the Book of Alma, Mormon is the dominant author of the text. He sometimes clearly copies over without much or any editing whole swaths of his source text (in, for example, Alma 5 and Alma 7), but he is always the narrator of the story. Suddenly, with 9:1 ("I, Alma"), Mormon is replaced by Alma. Introducing this change—as well as its somewhat odd lapse—is the superscription to chapter 9.
Like the superscription to whole Book of Alma, this superscription describes what follows as being "according to the record of Alma." But whereas this phrase in the earlier superscription seems just to indicate a source, here—at least once one reads "I, Alma" in verse 1—it seems to name the actual record being included in Mormon's text. At first, then, there seems to be a difference between Mormon's two uses of "according to the record of Alma."
When examined a bit closer, however, the problem seems to disappear. The phrase "according to the record of Alma" in the superscription to chapter 9 is attached less to what is now chapter 9 than to what is now chapter 14: "And also they [Alma and Amulek] are cast into prison, and delivered by the miraculous power of God which was in them, according to the record of Alma." Though one might quibble about punctuation, which (more or less) did not appear in the original dictated manuscript, there seems to be an indication here that it is specifically the narrative of Alma 14 that is "according to the record of Alma." And in Alma 14, Mormon seems to be following the same editorial practices employed in the larger Book of Alma: not borrowed narrative voice, but authorial abridgement.
In the first part of the superscription, Mormon describes what are now chapters 9-13: "The words of Alma, and also the words of Amulek, which were declared unto the people who were in the land of Ammonihah." Here no actual source is identified, and in those chapters Mormon not only draws on his sources in order to record parts of the sermons delivered by Alma and Amulek, but he also copies over, as already mentioned, parts of Alma's own narrative telling of the event.
It is thus important to note that there is some difficulty in determining where Alma's original narrativization ends and Mormon's abridging editorial work begins. The first unmistakable indication that Mormon is the narrator is to be found in Alma 10:12, where Alma and Amulek are referred to as "them." (Mormon's role as narrator is thereafter confirmed a number of times: the obviously non-contemporary explanation of weights and measures in 11:1-20, the emphasis on "all that I have written" in 11:46 and 13:31, the "Now Alma" of Alma 12:1, etc.) The question, though, is at what point between 9:33 (the last clear instance of Alma speaking in the first person: "the Lord did not suffer them that they should take me at that time") and 10:12 (the first clear instance of Alma being mentioned in the third person: "the spirit of prophecy which was in them [Alma and Amulek]"). Does the third person reference in 10:12 suggest that Mormon is the narrator from the beginning of chapter 10? Does Mormon's "takeover" begin as early as the last verse of chapter 9? Or does Mormon perhaps simply copy over Alma's words concerning Amulek for at least a few verses into chapter 10? These are questions that deserve attention in the respective commentaries on the relevant passages.
  • Alma 9:2. The although in verse 2 has confused some readers. To make sense of although here read it as even though (see the Oxford English Dictionary). Today we might say even if in place of even though. Under this interpretation the people are saying something like "do you expect us to believe something only one person tells us no matter how crazy it is?" See Mark 14:29 for another reference in the scriptures to where although is used to mean "even though" or "even if."
  • Alma 9:2: Who art thou? Some have considered Alma as returning somewhat in disguise, pointing to the moment when he tells Amulek who he is in Alma 8:23. However, this is likely mostly a carryover from the story of Abinadi, who was rejected and returned after 2 years in disguise (Mosiah 12:1). In Alma's story, the people are more likely to be saying "Who art thou?" not in sincerely asking who he is, but in asking Who are you to tell us such things? Interestingly, King Noah says something similar about Abinadi, even using his name: "Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?" (Mosiah 11:27) The people knew who he was when he first arrived, and mocked him in his lack of judgmental authority: "And now we know that because we are not of thy church we know that thou hast no power over us; and thou hast delivered up the judgment-seat" (Alma 8:12).
  • Alma 9:11: Woe. According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, wo [sp] is a noun that means 1. grief; sorrow; misery; a heavy calamity, 2. a curse, and 3. is used in denunciation, and in exclamations of sorrow.
  • Alma 9:13: Prosperity and the Kingdom of God. In these verses, Alma seems to link the concepts of prosperity, inheriting the kingdom of God, and being in the presence of God. It is possible to read these verses as providing the following oppositions:
A) Inherit the Kingdom, B) In the presence of God, C) Prosper in the land

versus

D) Destroyed from off the face of the earth, E) Cut off from the presence of the Lord
By this reading, prosperity should be seen as more than the accumulation of material success, but a quality related to living in the presence of God here on earth.
  • Alma 9:18-19: Not suffer the wicked to destroy the righteous. Here Alma warns the peoplee of Ammonihah that, if they persist in attempting to destroy the Lord's people, then the people of Ammonihah will instead be destroyed. For more on the subject of when the Lord destroys the wicked, see the discussion of Hel 13:14 and also Alma 10:22-23.
  • Alma 9:21. This appears to be an early formulation of gifts of the Spirit.
  • Alma 9:21: Light and knowledge. There are only four uses of the phrase "light and knowledge" in all the scriptures. (Wouldn't you have thought it was a more common phrase?) See also Alma 39:6; Alma 45:12; D&C 77:4.
  • Alma 9:26-28: Countering the doctrine of Nehor. We know that the leaders of the people in Ammonihah were followers of Nehor, and in vs. 26-28, Alma counters point by point the teachings of Nehor as recorded in Alma 1:3-4.

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. →

  • Alma 9:1: How did Alma view Amulek's role as his companion? Why does he speak of "tak[ing] Amulek?" Is this the language of God, or Alma's interpretation of it?
  • Alma 9:2: What does although mean here?
  • Alma 9:2: What are the people talking about here? Why are they talking about the earth passing away? Are they responding to something that Alma has said, or where does this come from?
  • Alma 9:2: Are the people suggesting that real prophets only come to prophesy of big and disastrous events? But even if Alma were to do that they would not believe it unless several prophets came to say the same thing?
  • Alma 9:3: What does Alma mean when he says that the earth should pass away? Why would he even record this little exchange with the people of Ammonihah?
  • Alma 9:4: Why wouldn't the people of Ammonihah believe Alma?
  • Alma 9:4: Why do the people say they won't believe Alma if he "shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in one day"? Was this a response to something Alma had said?
  • Alma 9:4: What if we read the "if" to mean: "if you are foolish enough to prophesy that this great city could be destroyed in one day, then you are an idiot and we won't believe anything else you say?" Is this a productive reading?
  • Alma 9:5: What does Alma mean by "hard-hearted" and "stiffnecked"? What scriptural precedences provide insight into these terms?
  • Alma 9:6-10: Prophets in the Book of Mormon often begin their calls to repentance by reminding the people of what the Lord has done for their ancestors. (For example, Alma the Younger did this in his sermon in Alma 5.) Why? Were a modern prophet delivering a sermon like this, to what might he refer to remind us of what the Lord has done?
  • Alma 9:6: What are the people saying here? What do they mean by "Who is God"? Are they belittling Alma's teachings about God? Do they seem to be mocking a god that would only send one messenger?
  • Alma 9:7: How did Alma avoid being grabbed by the people?
  • Alma 9:7: What does it mean for Alma to have "stood with boldness"
  • Alma 9:8: What does Alma mean by calling the people a "wicked and perverse generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: How is Alma using the word "generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: What about this generation was so wicked and perverse?
  • Alma 9:8: Did the people forget the tradition of their fathers, or did the actively reject it?
  • Alma 9:8: What is the connection between the traditions of the fathers and the commandments? How might that connection be broken? In modern terms, how is it that this generation didn't get their own testimonies of the gospel? How were the traditions passed down? Were there weaknesses in how it was transmitted from one generation to the next?
  • Alma 9:9: What does it mean to be brought "by the hand of God"? Is this just metaphorical, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:9: Why does Alma switch from "our father" in the first question, to "they...all" in the second question?
  • Alma 9:10: What does Alma mean when he says the people have "forgotten so soon"? It has been decades since the earlier generations, their "fathers", were brought out of bondage?
  • Alma 9:10: What incidents is Alma referring to here, where the fathers were "delivered" and "preserved...from being destroyed by...their own brethren"?
  • Alma 9:10: Who are the "our fathers" referred to here? Does this include Mulekite ancestors, or just literal descendants of Nephi?
  • Alma 9:11: Why does Alma refer to God's power as "matchless"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the link between being "cut off from the face of the earth" and being "consigned to a state of endless misery and woe"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the state of endless misery and woe that Alma refers to? Can we translate that into our modern understanding of the spirit world, or does it refer to something else?
  • Alma 9:11: What is woe? Does it mean the same as misery, or does it imply something more?
  • Alma 9:11: Are misery and woe a common couplet, or is there something beyond just a literary style here in their use?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the difference between being told to repent to "inherit the kingdom of God" or to avoid being utterly destroyed? Is Alma or the Lord trying to provide two different motivations to try and get the people to repent, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the place for such hellfire and damnation preaching in the modern church?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the "fierce anger" of God mentioned here? How does this fierce anger jibe with our view of God as a patient and loving Heavenly Father?
  • Alma 9:12: What does it mean for God to visit "in his anger" and "not turn away"? Is there a point at which it is too late to repent and God cannot turn back consequences for our actions?
  • Alma 9:13: What is the nature of the promise to Lehi? Is this a covenant? How does this promise or covenant relate to land covenants in the Old Testament?
  • Alma 9:13: Why is the reward for obedience a tangible prosperity, while the penalty for not keeping the commandments to be "cut off from the presence of the Lord"? Does this imply something about prosperity that we don't normally consider (cf. Mosiah 2:22)? Might there be a connection between "inheriting the kingdom of God (vs. 13) and prospering in the land here? If so, does that imply that the kingdom of God is here, and consists of the opposite of being "cut off from the presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:14: What does it mean that the Lamanites "have been cut off from the presence of the Lord"? What does that mean? Does this have anything to do with the literal presence of the Lord in the temple?
  • Alma 9:14: What does Alma mean by the "presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:15: Why is the wording here so similar to this verse in the New Testament: "But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee" (Matt 11:24)?
  • Alma 9:16: Why are promises extended to the Lamanites? What are these promises?
  • Alma 9:16: Why does ignorance provoke mercy?
  • Alma 9:16: What does prolonging existence in the land have to do with the mercy or favor of God?
  • Alma 9:17: Alma says that someday the Lamanites will learn the truth and, therefore, of the falsity of their fathers’ traditions. To what traditions is he referring? Does this mean that Native Americans will give up their cultural traditions when they are converted?
  • Alma 9:17: What does Alma mean here by being saved?
  • Alma 9:17: What does it mean to "call on" the name of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:18: How does this statement by Alma about impending destruction manifest his preaching by the spirit of prophecy and revelation?
  • Alma 9:18: Alma says the people will be destroyed by both the Lamanites and the "fierce anger of the Lord". How do the actions of the Lamanites represent the anger of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:19: Why would the Lord prefer to have all the Nephites destroyed rather than allow them to continue in sin after he has blessed them? To unbelievers the Lord may sound petulant, like a “martyr-parent,” who says, “Since you are ungrateful after all I’ve done for you, I’ll show you.” How would you explain this to someone who saw these verses that way?
  • Alma 9:19: What is the "light and knowledge" given unto the Nephites? Does this have anything to do with the further light and knowledge found in modern temple ceremonies?
  • Alma 9:20: What does it mean to have been "highly favored people of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:20: In what way were the Nephites "favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people"?
  • Alma 9:20: What great blessings did the Nephites enjoy?
  • Alma 9:20: How were "all things made known" unto the Nephites. Does this have anything to do with seership (cf. Mosiah 8)?
  • Alma 9:20: What is the relationship between desire, faith, and prayer, and how do they lead to knowledge?
  • Alma 9:21-25: How do these prophecies and Alma's teaching reflect the promise given to Lehi in 2 Ne 1:9-12?
  • Alma 9:21: What does it mean to have been "visited by the Spirit of God"?
  • Alma 9:21: How widespread was the visitation of angels in Nephite society?
  • Alma 9:21: How were the people "spoken unto by the voice of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people delivered "by the hand of the Lord"? Is this just another way of saying that the Lord did it, or is there something else referred to here?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people "saved from famine, and from sickness, and from all manner of diseases of every kind"? Is this referred to elsewhere in the Nephite record?
  • Alma 9:22: How does Alma refer to both spiritual and temporal blessings? What is the relationship between spiritual and temporal blessings? Is there a difference?
  • Alma 9:23: What does it mean to "transgress contrary to the light and knowledge" that you have? Don't we all do this sometimes?
  • Alma 9:24: What does it mean to "utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth"?
  • Alma 9:25: Alma says that the Lord sent an angel to many people to tell them to come to this people and cry repentance. Does this "many" refer to more than Alma and Amulek? Does this have anything to do with the criticism the people make in verse 6 that God only sent one person?
  • Alma 9:26: What is the glory of God? Is that the same as the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father"? What does it mean for the Son of God to come in the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father?
  • Alma 9:26: What does it mean to be "full of" grace, equity, truth, patience, mercy, and long-suffering?
  • Alma 9:26: In what ways is the Lord "quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers"? Who are "his people", members of the Church? In modern terms there a difference between how quickly he answers prayers of members of the Church ("his people") and others?
  • Alma 9:27: How does Alma's teachings here about who the Lord will redeem compare with the teachings of Nehor (which the people of Ammonihah follow) found in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:27: What does it mean to have "faith on [the Lord's] name"?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the way of the Lord? How are the people supposed to prepare the way?
  • Alma 9:28: How does this teaching about rewards for works compare with the teachings of Nehor in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "power and captivation of the devil? How is that contrasted with the "power and deliverance" of Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "damnation of...souls"?
  • Alma 9:29: Alma claims that these teachings come from "the voice of the angel". Why is it important for Alma to declare that? In our modern preaching and teaching, how important is it for us to say where our message comes from?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does Alma call these people his "brethren"?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does he call them "beloved brethren" and then call them a "lost and a fallen people"?
  • Alma 9:30: What does it mean for the people to have hearts that are "grossly hardened against the word of God"?
  • Alma 9:31: If the people were going to be "wroth" with Alma for doing so, why did he call them hard-hearted and stiffnecked? When is it appropriate to hammer people with such unflattering portraits of their behavior? When is it inappropriate?
  • Alma 9:32: Alma has really ticked these people off. Why did he have to say such harsh things against the people? Is there any sense in which this might have been counter-productive?
  • Alma 9:33: How did Alma avoid being taken into captivity if everyone was trying to "lay their hands upon [him]"?
  • Alma 9:34: Why weren't more of the words of Amulek written? To what degree should we take the teachings of Amulek, a recently converted missionary, as scripture for our day? What does taking his words as scripture imply about our own teachings in similar situations?

Resources[edit]

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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.



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Alma 9:16-20

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 9
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Summary[edit]

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

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 9: Superscription. Before this point in the Book of Alma, Mormon is the dominant author of the text. He sometimes clearly copies over without much or any editing whole swaths of his source text (in, for example, Alma 5 and Alma 7), but he is always the narrator of the story. Suddenly, with 9:1 ("I, Alma"), Mormon is replaced by Alma. Introducing this change—as well as its somewhat odd lapse—is the superscription to chapter 9.
Like the superscription to whole Book of Alma, this superscription describes what follows as being "according to the record of Alma." But whereas this phrase in the earlier superscription seems just to indicate a source, here—at least once one reads "I, Alma" in verse 1—it seems to name the actual record being included in Mormon's text. At first, then, there seems to be a difference between Mormon's two uses of "according to the record of Alma."
When examined a bit closer, however, the problem seems to disappear. The phrase "according to the record of Alma" in the superscription to chapter 9 is attached less to what is now chapter 9 than to what is now chapter 14: "And also they [Alma and Amulek] are cast into prison, and delivered by the miraculous power of God which was in them, according to the record of Alma." Though one might quibble about punctuation, which (more or less) did not appear in the original dictated manuscript, there seems to be an indication here that it is specifically the narrative of Alma 14 that is "according to the record of Alma." And in Alma 14, Mormon seems to be following the same editorial practices employed in the larger Book of Alma: not borrowed narrative voice, but authorial abridgement.
In the first part of the superscription, Mormon describes what are now chapters 9-13: "The words of Alma, and also the words of Amulek, which were declared unto the people who were in the land of Ammonihah." Here no actual source is identified, and in those chapters Mormon not only draws on his sources in order to record parts of the sermons delivered by Alma and Amulek, but he also copies over, as already mentioned, parts of Alma's own narrative telling of the event.
It is thus important to note that there is some difficulty in determining where Alma's original narrativization ends and Mormon's abridging editorial work begins. The first unmistakable indication that Mormon is the narrator is to be found in Alma 10:12, where Alma and Amulek are referred to as "them." (Mormon's role as narrator is thereafter confirmed a number of times: the obviously non-contemporary explanation of weights and measures in 11:1-20, the emphasis on "all that I have written" in 11:46 and 13:31, the "Now Alma" of Alma 12:1, etc.) The question, though, is at what point between 9:33 (the last clear instance of Alma speaking in the first person: "the Lord did not suffer them that they should take me at that time") and 10:12 (the first clear instance of Alma being mentioned in the third person: "the spirit of prophecy which was in them [Alma and Amulek]"). Does the third person reference in 10:12 suggest that Mormon is the narrator from the beginning of chapter 10? Does Mormon's "takeover" begin as early as the last verse of chapter 9? Or does Mormon perhaps simply copy over Alma's words concerning Amulek for at least a few verses into chapter 10? These are questions that deserve attention in the respective commentaries on the relevant passages.
  • Alma 9:2. The although in verse 2 has confused some readers. To make sense of although here read it as even though (see the Oxford English Dictionary). Today we might say even if in place of even though. Under this interpretation the people are saying something like "do you expect us to believe something only one person tells us no matter how crazy it is?" See Mark 14:29 for another reference in the scriptures to where although is used to mean "even though" or "even if."
  • Alma 9:2: Who art thou? Some have considered Alma as returning somewhat in disguise, pointing to the moment when he tells Amulek who he is in Alma 8:23. However, this is likely mostly a carryover from the story of Abinadi, who was rejected and returned after 2 years in disguise (Mosiah 12:1). In Alma's story, the people are more likely to be saying "Who art thou?" not in sincerely asking who he is, but in asking Who are you to tell us such things? Interestingly, King Noah says something similar about Abinadi, even using his name: "Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?" (Mosiah 11:27) The people knew who he was when he first arrived, and mocked him in his lack of judgmental authority: "And now we know that because we are not of thy church we know that thou hast no power over us; and thou hast delivered up the judgment-seat" (Alma 8:12).
  • Alma 9:11: Woe. According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, wo [sp] is a noun that means 1. grief; sorrow; misery; a heavy calamity, 2. a curse, and 3. is used in denunciation, and in exclamations of sorrow.
  • Alma 9:13: Prosperity and the Kingdom of God. In these verses, Alma seems to link the concepts of prosperity, inheriting the kingdom of God, and being in the presence of God. It is possible to read these verses as providing the following oppositions:
A) Inherit the Kingdom, B) In the presence of God, C) Prosper in the land

versus

D) Destroyed from off the face of the earth, E) Cut off from the presence of the Lord
By this reading, prosperity should be seen as more than the accumulation of material success, but a quality related to living in the presence of God here on earth.
  • Alma 9:18-19: Not suffer the wicked to destroy the righteous. Here Alma warns the peoplee of Ammonihah that, if they persist in attempting to destroy the Lord's people, then the people of Ammonihah will instead be destroyed. For more on the subject of when the Lord destroys the wicked, see the discussion of Hel 13:14 and also Alma 10:22-23.
  • Alma 9:21. This appears to be an early formulation of gifts of the Spirit.
  • Alma 9:21: Light and knowledge. There are only four uses of the phrase "light and knowledge" in all the scriptures. (Wouldn't you have thought it was a more common phrase?) See also Alma 39:6; Alma 45:12; D&C 77:4.
  • Alma 9:26-28: Countering the doctrine of Nehor. We know that the leaders of the people in Ammonihah were followers of Nehor, and in vs. 26-28, Alma counters point by point the teachings of Nehor as recorded in Alma 1:3-4.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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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. →

  • Alma 9:1: How did Alma view Amulek's role as his companion? Why does he speak of "tak[ing] Amulek?" Is this the language of God, or Alma's interpretation of it?
  • Alma 9:2: What does although mean here?
  • Alma 9:2: What are the people talking about here? Why are they talking about the earth passing away? Are they responding to something that Alma has said, or where does this come from?
  • Alma 9:2: Are the people suggesting that real prophets only come to prophesy of big and disastrous events? But even if Alma were to do that they would not believe it unless several prophets came to say the same thing?
  • Alma 9:3: What does Alma mean when he says that the earth should pass away? Why would he even record this little exchange with the people of Ammonihah?
  • Alma 9:4: Why wouldn't the people of Ammonihah believe Alma?
  • Alma 9:4: Why do the people say they won't believe Alma if he "shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in one day"? Was this a response to something Alma had said?
  • Alma 9:4: What if we read the "if" to mean: "if you are foolish enough to prophesy that this great city could be destroyed in one day, then you are an idiot and we won't believe anything else you say?" Is this a productive reading?
  • Alma 9:5: What does Alma mean by "hard-hearted" and "stiffnecked"? What scriptural precedences provide insight into these terms?
  • Alma 9:6-10: Prophets in the Book of Mormon often begin their calls to repentance by reminding the people of what the Lord has done for their ancestors. (For example, Alma the Younger did this in his sermon in Alma 5.) Why? Were a modern prophet delivering a sermon like this, to what might he refer to remind us of what the Lord has done?
  • Alma 9:6: What are the people saying here? What do they mean by "Who is God"? Are they belittling Alma's teachings about God? Do they seem to be mocking a god that would only send one messenger?
  • Alma 9:7: How did Alma avoid being grabbed by the people?
  • Alma 9:7: What does it mean for Alma to have "stood with boldness"
  • Alma 9:8: What does Alma mean by calling the people a "wicked and perverse generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: How is Alma using the word "generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: What about this generation was so wicked and perverse?
  • Alma 9:8: Did the people forget the tradition of their fathers, or did the actively reject it?
  • Alma 9:8: What is the connection between the traditions of the fathers and the commandments? How might that connection be broken? In modern terms, how is it that this generation didn't get their own testimonies of the gospel? How were the traditions passed down? Were there weaknesses in how it was transmitted from one generation to the next?
  • Alma 9:9: What does it mean to be brought "by the hand of God"? Is this just metaphorical, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:9: Why does Alma switch from "our father" in the first question, to "they...all" in the second question?
  • Alma 9:10: What does Alma mean when he says the people have "forgotten so soon"? It has been decades since the earlier generations, their "fathers", were brought out of bondage?
  • Alma 9:10: What incidents is Alma referring to here, where the fathers were "delivered" and "preserved...from being destroyed by...their own brethren"?
  • Alma 9:10: Who are the "our fathers" referred to here? Does this include Mulekite ancestors, or just literal descendants of Nephi?
  • Alma 9:11: Why does Alma refer to God's power as "matchless"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the link between being "cut off from the face of the earth" and being "consigned to a state of endless misery and woe"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the state of endless misery and woe that Alma refers to? Can we translate that into our modern understanding of the spirit world, or does it refer to something else?
  • Alma 9:11: What is woe? Does it mean the same as misery, or does it imply something more?
  • Alma 9:11: Are misery and woe a common couplet, or is there something beyond just a literary style here in their use?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the difference between being told to repent to "inherit the kingdom of God" or to avoid being utterly destroyed? Is Alma or the Lord trying to provide two different motivations to try and get the people to repent, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the place for such hellfire and damnation preaching in the modern church?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the "fierce anger" of God mentioned here? How does this fierce anger jibe with our view of God as a patient and loving Heavenly Father?
  • Alma 9:12: What does it mean for God to visit "in his anger" and "not turn away"? Is there a point at which it is too late to repent and God cannot turn back consequences for our actions?
  • Alma 9:13: What is the nature of the promise to Lehi? Is this a covenant? How does this promise or covenant relate to land covenants in the Old Testament?
  • Alma 9:13: Why is the reward for obedience a tangible prosperity, while the penalty for not keeping the commandments to be "cut off from the presence of the Lord"? Does this imply something about prosperity that we don't normally consider (cf. Mosiah 2:22)? Might there be a connection between "inheriting the kingdom of God (vs. 13) and prospering in the land here? If so, does that imply that the kingdom of God is here, and consists of the opposite of being "cut off from the presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:14: What does it mean that the Lamanites "have been cut off from the presence of the Lord"? What does that mean? Does this have anything to do with the literal presence of the Lord in the temple?
  • Alma 9:14: What does Alma mean by the "presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:15: Why is the wording here so similar to this verse in the New Testament: "But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee" (Matt 11:24)?
  • Alma 9:16: Why are promises extended to the Lamanites? What are these promises?
  • Alma 9:16: Why does ignorance provoke mercy?
  • Alma 9:16: What does prolonging existence in the land have to do with the mercy or favor of God?
  • Alma 9:17: Alma says that someday the Lamanites will learn the truth and, therefore, of the falsity of their fathers’ traditions. To what traditions is he referring? Does this mean that Native Americans will give up their cultural traditions when they are converted?
  • Alma 9:17: What does Alma mean here by being saved?
  • Alma 9:17: What does it mean to "call on" the name of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:18: How does this statement by Alma about impending destruction manifest his preaching by the spirit of prophecy and revelation?
  • Alma 9:18: Alma says the people will be destroyed by both the Lamanites and the "fierce anger of the Lord". How do the actions of the Lamanites represent the anger of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:19: Why would the Lord prefer to have all the Nephites destroyed rather than allow them to continue in sin after he has blessed them? To unbelievers the Lord may sound petulant, like a “martyr-parent,” who says, “Since you are ungrateful after all I’ve done for you, I’ll show you.” How would you explain this to someone who saw these verses that way?
  • Alma 9:19: What is the "light and knowledge" given unto the Nephites? Does this have anything to do with the further light and knowledge found in modern temple ceremonies?
  • Alma 9:20: What does it mean to have been "highly favored people of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:20: In what way were the Nephites "favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people"?
  • Alma 9:20: What great blessings did the Nephites enjoy?
  • Alma 9:20: How were "all things made known" unto the Nephites. Does this have anything to do with seership (cf. Mosiah 8)?
  • Alma 9:20: What is the relationship between desire, faith, and prayer, and how do they lead to knowledge?
  • Alma 9:21-25: How do these prophecies and Alma's teaching reflect the promise given to Lehi in 2 Ne 1:9-12?
  • Alma 9:21: What does it mean to have been "visited by the Spirit of God"?
  • Alma 9:21: How widespread was the visitation of angels in Nephite society?
  • Alma 9:21: How were the people "spoken unto by the voice of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people delivered "by the hand of the Lord"? Is this just another way of saying that the Lord did it, or is there something else referred to here?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people "saved from famine, and from sickness, and from all manner of diseases of every kind"? Is this referred to elsewhere in the Nephite record?
  • Alma 9:22: How does Alma refer to both spiritual and temporal blessings? What is the relationship between spiritual and temporal blessings? Is there a difference?
  • Alma 9:23: What does it mean to "transgress contrary to the light and knowledge" that you have? Don't we all do this sometimes?
  • Alma 9:24: What does it mean to "utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth"?
  • Alma 9:25: Alma says that the Lord sent an angel to many people to tell them to come to this people and cry repentance. Does this "many" refer to more than Alma and Amulek? Does this have anything to do with the criticism the people make in verse 6 that God only sent one person?
  • Alma 9:26: What is the glory of God? Is that the same as the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father"? What does it mean for the Son of God to come in the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father?
  • Alma 9:26: What does it mean to be "full of" grace, equity, truth, patience, mercy, and long-suffering?
  • Alma 9:26: In what ways is the Lord "quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers"? Who are "his people", members of the Church? In modern terms there a difference between how quickly he answers prayers of members of the Church ("his people") and others?
  • Alma 9:27: How does Alma's teachings here about who the Lord will redeem compare with the teachings of Nehor (which the people of Ammonihah follow) found in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:27: What does it mean to have "faith on [the Lord's] name"?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the way of the Lord? How are the people supposed to prepare the way?
  • Alma 9:28: How does this teaching about rewards for works compare with the teachings of Nehor in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "power and captivation of the devil? How is that contrasted with the "power and deliverance" of Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "damnation of...souls"?
  • Alma 9:29: Alma claims that these teachings come from "the voice of the angel". Why is it important for Alma to declare that? In our modern preaching and teaching, how important is it for us to say where our message comes from?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does Alma call these people his "brethren"?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does he call them "beloved brethren" and then call them a "lost and a fallen people"?
  • Alma 9:30: What does it mean for the people to have hearts that are "grossly hardened against the word of God"?
  • Alma 9:31: If the people were going to be "wroth" with Alma for doing so, why did he call them hard-hearted and stiffnecked? When is it appropriate to hammer people with such unflattering portraits of their behavior? When is it inappropriate?
  • Alma 9:32: Alma has really ticked these people off. Why did he have to say such harsh things against the people? Is there any sense in which this might have been counter-productive?
  • Alma 9:33: How did Alma avoid being taken into captivity if everyone was trying to "lay their hands upon [him]"?
  • Alma 9:34: Why weren't more of the words of Amulek written? To what degree should we take the teachings of Amulek, a recently converted missionary, as scripture for our day? What does taking his words as scripture imply about our own teachings in similar situations?

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. →

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.



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Alma 9:21-25

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 9
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Summary[edit]

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

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 9: Superscription. Before this point in the Book of Alma, Mormon is the dominant author of the text. He sometimes clearly copies over without much or any editing whole swaths of his source text (in, for example, Alma 5 and Alma 7), but he is always the narrator of the story. Suddenly, with 9:1 ("I, Alma"), Mormon is replaced by Alma. Introducing this change—as well as its somewhat odd lapse—is the superscription to chapter 9.
Like the superscription to whole Book of Alma, this superscription describes what follows as being "according to the record of Alma." But whereas this phrase in the earlier superscription seems just to indicate a source, here—at least once one reads "I, Alma" in verse 1—it seems to name the actual record being included in Mormon's text. At first, then, there seems to be a difference between Mormon's two uses of "according to the record of Alma."
When examined a bit closer, however, the problem seems to disappear. The phrase "according to the record of Alma" in the superscription to chapter 9 is attached less to what is now chapter 9 than to what is now chapter 14: "And also they [Alma and Amulek] are cast into prison, and delivered by the miraculous power of God which was in them, according to the record of Alma." Though one might quibble about punctuation, which (more or less) did not appear in the original dictated manuscript, there seems to be an indication here that it is specifically the narrative of Alma 14 that is "according to the record of Alma." And in Alma 14, Mormon seems to be following the same editorial practices employed in the larger Book of Alma: not borrowed narrative voice, but authorial abridgement.
In the first part of the superscription, Mormon describes what are now chapters 9-13: "The words of Alma, and also the words of Amulek, which were declared unto the people who were in the land of Ammonihah." Here no actual source is identified, and in those chapters Mormon not only draws on his sources in order to record parts of the sermons delivered by Alma and Amulek, but he also copies over, as already mentioned, parts of Alma's own narrative telling of the event.
It is thus important to note that there is some difficulty in determining where Alma's original narrativization ends and Mormon's abridging editorial work begins. The first unmistakable indication that Mormon is the narrator is to be found in Alma 10:12, where Alma and Amulek are referred to as "them." (Mormon's role as narrator is thereafter confirmed a number of times: the obviously non-contemporary explanation of weights and measures in 11:1-20, the emphasis on "all that I have written" in 11:46 and 13:31, the "Now Alma" of Alma 12:1, etc.) The question, though, is at what point between 9:33 (the last clear instance of Alma speaking in the first person: "the Lord did not suffer them that they should take me at that time") and 10:12 (the first clear instance of Alma being mentioned in the third person: "the spirit of prophecy which was in them [Alma and Amulek]"). Does the third person reference in 10:12 suggest that Mormon is the narrator from the beginning of chapter 10? Does Mormon's "takeover" begin as early as the last verse of chapter 9? Or does Mormon perhaps simply copy over Alma's words concerning Amulek for at least a few verses into chapter 10? These are questions that deserve attention in the respective commentaries on the relevant passages.
  • Alma 9:2. The although in verse 2 has confused some readers. To make sense of although here read it as even though (see the Oxford English Dictionary). Today we might say even if in place of even though. Under this interpretation the people are saying something like "do you expect us to believe something only one person tells us no matter how crazy it is?" See Mark 14:29 for another reference in the scriptures to where although is used to mean "even though" or "even if."
  • Alma 9:2: Who art thou? Some have considered Alma as returning somewhat in disguise, pointing to the moment when he tells Amulek who he is in Alma 8:23. However, this is likely mostly a carryover from the story of Abinadi, who was rejected and returned after 2 years in disguise (Mosiah 12:1). In Alma's story, the people are more likely to be saying "Who art thou?" not in sincerely asking who he is, but in asking Who are you to tell us such things? Interestingly, King Noah says something similar about Abinadi, even using his name: "Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?" (Mosiah 11:27) The people knew who he was when he first arrived, and mocked him in his lack of judgmental authority: "And now we know that because we are not of thy church we know that thou hast no power over us; and thou hast delivered up the judgment-seat" (Alma 8:12).
  • Alma 9:11: Woe. According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, wo [sp] is a noun that means 1. grief; sorrow; misery; a heavy calamity, 2. a curse, and 3. is used in denunciation, and in exclamations of sorrow.
  • Alma 9:13: Prosperity and the Kingdom of God. In these verses, Alma seems to link the concepts of prosperity, inheriting the kingdom of God, and being in the presence of God. It is possible to read these verses as providing the following oppositions:
A) Inherit the Kingdom, B) In the presence of God, C) Prosper in the land

versus

D) Destroyed from off the face of the earth, E) Cut off from the presence of the Lord
By this reading, prosperity should be seen as more than the accumulation of material success, but a quality related to living in the presence of God here on earth.
  • Alma 9:18-19: Not suffer the wicked to destroy the righteous. Here Alma warns the peoplee of Ammonihah that, if they persist in attempting to destroy the Lord's people, then the people of Ammonihah will instead be destroyed. For more on the subject of when the Lord destroys the wicked, see the discussion of Hel 13:14 and also Alma 10:22-23.
  • Alma 9:21. This appears to be an early formulation of gifts of the Spirit.
  • Alma 9:21: Light and knowledge. There are only four uses of the phrase "light and knowledge" in all the scriptures. (Wouldn't you have thought it was a more common phrase?) See also Alma 39:6; Alma 45:12; D&C 77:4.
  • Alma 9:26-28: Countering the doctrine of Nehor. We know that the leaders of the people in Ammonihah were followers of Nehor, and in vs. 26-28, Alma counters point by point the teachings of Nehor as recorded in Alma 1:3-4.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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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. →

  • Alma 9:1: How did Alma view Amulek's role as his companion? Why does he speak of "tak[ing] Amulek?" Is this the language of God, or Alma's interpretation of it?
  • Alma 9:2: What does although mean here?
  • Alma 9:2: What are the people talking about here? Why are they talking about the earth passing away? Are they responding to something that Alma has said, or where does this come from?
  • Alma 9:2: Are the people suggesting that real prophets only come to prophesy of big and disastrous events? But even if Alma were to do that they would not believe it unless several prophets came to say the same thing?
  • Alma 9:3: What does Alma mean when he says that the earth should pass away? Why would he even record this little exchange with the people of Ammonihah?
  • Alma 9:4: Why wouldn't the people of Ammonihah believe Alma?
  • Alma 9:4: Why do the people say they won't believe Alma if he "shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in one day"? Was this a response to something Alma had said?
  • Alma 9:4: What if we read the "if" to mean: "if you are foolish enough to prophesy that this great city could be destroyed in one day, then you are an idiot and we won't believe anything else you say?" Is this a productive reading?
  • Alma 9:5: What does Alma mean by "hard-hearted" and "stiffnecked"? What scriptural precedences provide insight into these terms?
  • Alma 9:6-10: Prophets in the Book of Mormon often begin their calls to repentance by reminding the people of what the Lord has done for their ancestors. (For example, Alma the Younger did this in his sermon in Alma 5.) Why? Were a modern prophet delivering a sermon like this, to what might he refer to remind us of what the Lord has done?
  • Alma 9:6: What are the people saying here? What do they mean by "Who is God"? Are they belittling Alma's teachings about God? Do they seem to be mocking a god that would only send one messenger?
  • Alma 9:7: How did Alma avoid being grabbed by the people?
  • Alma 9:7: What does it mean for Alma to have "stood with boldness"
  • Alma 9:8: What does Alma mean by calling the people a "wicked and perverse generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: How is Alma using the word "generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: What about this generation was so wicked and perverse?
  • Alma 9:8: Did the people forget the tradition of their fathers, or did the actively reject it?
  • Alma 9:8: What is the connection between the traditions of the fathers and the commandments? How might that connection be broken? In modern terms, how is it that this generation didn't get their own testimonies of the gospel? How were the traditions passed down? Were there weaknesses in how it was transmitted from one generation to the next?
  • Alma 9:9: What does it mean to be brought "by the hand of God"? Is this just metaphorical, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:9: Why does Alma switch from "our father" in the first question, to "they...all" in the second question?
  • Alma 9:10: What does Alma mean when he says the people have "forgotten so soon"? It has been decades since the earlier generations, their "fathers", were brought out of bondage?
  • Alma 9:10: What incidents is Alma referring to here, where the fathers were "delivered" and "preserved...from being destroyed by...their own brethren"?
  • Alma 9:10: Who are the "our fathers" referred to here? Does this include Mulekite ancestors, or just literal descendants of Nephi?
  • Alma 9:11: Why does Alma refer to God's power as "matchless"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the link between being "cut off from the face of the earth" and being "consigned to a state of endless misery and woe"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the state of endless misery and woe that Alma refers to? Can we translate that into our modern understanding of the spirit world, or does it refer to something else?
  • Alma 9:11: What is woe? Does it mean the same as misery, or does it imply something more?
  • Alma 9:11: Are misery and woe a common couplet, or is there something beyond just a literary style here in their use?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the difference between being told to repent to "inherit the kingdom of God" or to avoid being utterly destroyed? Is Alma or the Lord trying to provide two different motivations to try and get the people to repent, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the place for such hellfire and damnation preaching in the modern church?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the "fierce anger" of God mentioned here? How does this fierce anger jibe with our view of God as a patient and loving Heavenly Father?
  • Alma 9:12: What does it mean for God to visit "in his anger" and "not turn away"? Is there a point at which it is too late to repent and God cannot turn back consequences for our actions?
  • Alma 9:13: What is the nature of the promise to Lehi? Is this a covenant? How does this promise or covenant relate to land covenants in the Old Testament?
  • Alma 9:13: Why is the reward for obedience a tangible prosperity, while the penalty for not keeping the commandments to be "cut off from the presence of the Lord"? Does this imply something about prosperity that we don't normally consider (cf. Mosiah 2:22)? Might there be a connection between "inheriting the kingdom of God (vs. 13) and prospering in the land here? If so, does that imply that the kingdom of God is here, and consists of the opposite of being "cut off from the presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:14: What does it mean that the Lamanites "have been cut off from the presence of the Lord"? What does that mean? Does this have anything to do with the literal presence of the Lord in the temple?
  • Alma 9:14: What does Alma mean by the "presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:15: Why is the wording here so similar to this verse in the New Testament: "But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee" (Matt 11:24)?
  • Alma 9:16: Why are promises extended to the Lamanites? What are these promises?
  • Alma 9:16: Why does ignorance provoke mercy?
  • Alma 9:16: What does prolonging existence in the land have to do with the mercy or favor of God?
  • Alma 9:17: Alma says that someday the Lamanites will learn the truth and, therefore, of the falsity of their fathers’ traditions. To what traditions is he referring? Does this mean that Native Americans will give up their cultural traditions when they are converted?
  • Alma 9:17: What does Alma mean here by being saved?
  • Alma 9:17: What does it mean to "call on" the name of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:18: How does this statement by Alma about impending destruction manifest his preaching by the spirit of prophecy and revelation?
  • Alma 9:18: Alma says the people will be destroyed by both the Lamanites and the "fierce anger of the Lord". How do the actions of the Lamanites represent the anger of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:19: Why would the Lord prefer to have all the Nephites destroyed rather than allow them to continue in sin after he has blessed them? To unbelievers the Lord may sound petulant, like a “martyr-parent,” who says, “Since you are ungrateful after all I’ve done for you, I’ll show you.” How would you explain this to someone who saw these verses that way?
  • Alma 9:19: What is the "light and knowledge" given unto the Nephites? Does this have anything to do with the further light and knowledge found in modern temple ceremonies?
  • Alma 9:20: What does it mean to have been "highly favored people of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:20: In what way were the Nephites "favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people"?
  • Alma 9:20: What great blessings did the Nephites enjoy?
  • Alma 9:20: How were "all things made known" unto the Nephites. Does this have anything to do with seership (cf. Mosiah 8)?
  • Alma 9:20: What is the relationship between desire, faith, and prayer, and how do they lead to knowledge?
  • Alma 9:21-25: How do these prophecies and Alma's teaching reflect the promise given to Lehi in 2 Ne 1:9-12?
  • Alma 9:21: What does it mean to have been "visited by the Spirit of God"?
  • Alma 9:21: How widespread was the visitation of angels in Nephite society?
  • Alma 9:21: How were the people "spoken unto by the voice of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people delivered "by the hand of the Lord"? Is this just another way of saying that the Lord did it, or is there something else referred to here?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people "saved from famine, and from sickness, and from all manner of diseases of every kind"? Is this referred to elsewhere in the Nephite record?
  • Alma 9:22: How does Alma refer to both spiritual and temporal blessings? What is the relationship between spiritual and temporal blessings? Is there a difference?
  • Alma 9:23: What does it mean to "transgress contrary to the light and knowledge" that you have? Don't we all do this sometimes?
  • Alma 9:24: What does it mean to "utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth"?
  • Alma 9:25: Alma says that the Lord sent an angel to many people to tell them to come to this people and cry repentance. Does this "many" refer to more than Alma and Amulek? Does this have anything to do with the criticism the people make in verse 6 that God only sent one person?
  • Alma 9:26: What is the glory of God? Is that the same as the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father"? What does it mean for the Son of God to come in the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father?
  • Alma 9:26: What does it mean to be "full of" grace, equity, truth, patience, mercy, and long-suffering?
  • Alma 9:26: In what ways is the Lord "quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers"? Who are "his people", members of the Church? In modern terms there a difference between how quickly he answers prayers of members of the Church ("his people") and others?
  • Alma 9:27: How does Alma's teachings here about who the Lord will redeem compare with the teachings of Nehor (which the people of Ammonihah follow) found in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:27: What does it mean to have "faith on [the Lord's] name"?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the way of the Lord? How are the people supposed to prepare the way?
  • Alma 9:28: How does this teaching about rewards for works compare with the teachings of Nehor in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "power and captivation of the devil? How is that contrasted with the "power and deliverance" of Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "damnation of...souls"?
  • Alma 9:29: Alma claims that these teachings come from "the voice of the angel". Why is it important for Alma to declare that? In our modern preaching and teaching, how important is it for us to say where our message comes from?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does Alma call these people his "brethren"?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does he call them "beloved brethren" and then call them a "lost and a fallen people"?
  • Alma 9:30: What does it mean for the people to have hearts that are "grossly hardened against the word of God"?
  • Alma 9:31: If the people were going to be "wroth" with Alma for doing so, why did he call them hard-hearted and stiffnecked? When is it appropriate to hammer people with such unflattering portraits of their behavior? When is it inappropriate?
  • Alma 9:32: Alma has really ticked these people off. Why did he have to say such harsh things against the people? Is there any sense in which this might have been counter-productive?
  • Alma 9:33: How did Alma avoid being taken into captivity if everyone was trying to "lay their hands upon [him]"?
  • Alma 9:34: Why weren't more of the words of Amulek written? To what degree should we take the teachings of Amulek, a recently converted missionary, as scripture for our day? What does taking his words as scripture imply about our own teachings in similar situations?

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. →

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.



Previous page: Chapter 8                      Next page: Chapters 10-11

Alma 9:26-30

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 9
Previous page: Chapter 8                      Next page: Chapters 10-11


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 9: Superscription. Before this point in the Book of Alma, Mormon is the dominant author of the text. He sometimes clearly copies over without much or any editing whole swaths of his source text (in, for example, Alma 5 and Alma 7), but he is always the narrator of the story. Suddenly, with 9:1 ("I, Alma"), Mormon is replaced by Alma. Introducing this change—as well as its somewhat odd lapse—is the superscription to chapter 9.
Like the superscription to whole Book of Alma, this superscription describes what follows as being "according to the record of Alma." But whereas this phrase in the earlier superscription seems just to indicate a source, here—at least once one reads "I, Alma" in verse 1—it seems to name the actual record being included in Mormon's text. At first, then, there seems to be a difference between Mormon's two uses of "according to the record of Alma."
When examined a bit closer, however, the problem seems to disappear. The phrase "according to the record of Alma" in the superscription to chapter 9 is attached less to what is now chapter 9 than to what is now chapter 14: "And also they [Alma and Amulek] are cast into prison, and delivered by the miraculous power of God which was in them, according to the record of Alma." Though one might quibble about punctuation, which (more or less) did not appear in the original dictated manuscript, there seems to be an indication here that it is specifically the narrative of Alma 14 that is "according to the record of Alma." And in Alma 14, Mormon seems to be following the same editorial practices employed in the larger Book of Alma: not borrowed narrative voice, but authorial abridgement.
In the first part of the superscription, Mormon describes what are now chapters 9-13: "The words of Alma, and also the words of Amulek, which were declared unto the people who were in the land of Ammonihah." Here no actual source is identified, and in those chapters Mormon not only draws on his sources in order to record parts of the sermons delivered by Alma and Amulek, but he also copies over, as already mentioned, parts of Alma's own narrative telling of the event.
It is thus important to note that there is some difficulty in determining where Alma's original narrativization ends and Mormon's abridging editorial work begins. The first unmistakable indication that Mormon is the narrator is to be found in Alma 10:12, where Alma and Amulek are referred to as "them." (Mormon's role as narrator is thereafter confirmed a number of times: the obviously non-contemporary explanation of weights and measures in 11:1-20, the emphasis on "all that I have written" in 11:46 and 13:31, the "Now Alma" of Alma 12:1, etc.) The question, though, is at what point between 9:33 (the last clear instance of Alma speaking in the first person: "the Lord did not suffer them that they should take me at that time") and 10:12 (the first clear instance of Alma being mentioned in the third person: "the spirit of prophecy which was in them [Alma and Amulek]"). Does the third person reference in 10:12 suggest that Mormon is the narrator from the beginning of chapter 10? Does Mormon's "takeover" begin as early as the last verse of chapter 9? Or does Mormon perhaps simply copy over Alma's words concerning Amulek for at least a few verses into chapter 10? These are questions that deserve attention in the respective commentaries on the relevant passages.
  • Alma 9:2. The although in verse 2 has confused some readers. To make sense of although here read it as even though (see the Oxford English Dictionary). Today we might say even if in place of even though. Under this interpretation the people are saying something like "do you expect us to believe something only one person tells us no matter how crazy it is?" See Mark 14:29 for another reference in the scriptures to where although is used to mean "even though" or "even if."
  • Alma 9:2: Who art thou? Some have considered Alma as returning somewhat in disguise, pointing to the moment when he tells Amulek who he is in Alma 8:23. However, this is likely mostly a carryover from the story of Abinadi, who was rejected and returned after 2 years in disguise (Mosiah 12:1). In Alma's story, the people are more likely to be saying "Who art thou?" not in sincerely asking who he is, but in asking Who are you to tell us such things? Interestingly, King Noah says something similar about Abinadi, even using his name: "Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?" (Mosiah 11:27) The people knew who he was when he first arrived, and mocked him in his lack of judgmental authority: "And now we know that because we are not of thy church we know that thou hast no power over us; and thou hast delivered up the judgment-seat" (Alma 8:12).
  • Alma 9:11: Woe. According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, wo [sp] is a noun that means 1. grief; sorrow; misery; a heavy calamity, 2. a curse, and 3. is used in denunciation, and in exclamations of sorrow.
  • Alma 9:13: Prosperity and the Kingdom of God. In these verses, Alma seems to link the concepts of prosperity, inheriting the kingdom of God, and being in the presence of God. It is possible to read these verses as providing the following oppositions:
A) Inherit the Kingdom, B) In the presence of God, C) Prosper in the land

versus

D) Destroyed from off the face of the earth, E) Cut off from the presence of the Lord
By this reading, prosperity should be seen as more than the accumulation of material success, but a quality related to living in the presence of God here on earth.
  • Alma 9:18-19: Not suffer the wicked to destroy the righteous. Here Alma warns the peoplee of Ammonihah that, if they persist in attempting to destroy the Lord's people, then the people of Ammonihah will instead be destroyed. For more on the subject of when the Lord destroys the wicked, see the discussion of Hel 13:14 and also Alma 10:22-23.
  • Alma 9:21. This appears to be an early formulation of gifts of the Spirit.
  • Alma 9:21: Light and knowledge. There are only four uses of the phrase "light and knowledge" in all the scriptures. (Wouldn't you have thought it was a more common phrase?) See also Alma 39:6; Alma 45:12; D&C 77:4.
  • Alma 9:26-28: Countering the doctrine of Nehor. We know that the leaders of the people in Ammonihah were followers of Nehor, and in vs. 26-28, Alma counters point by point the teachings of Nehor as recorded in Alma 1:3-4.

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. →

  • Alma 9:1: How did Alma view Amulek's role as his companion? Why does he speak of "tak[ing] Amulek?" Is this the language of God, or Alma's interpretation of it?
  • Alma 9:2: What does although mean here?
  • Alma 9:2: What are the people talking about here? Why are they talking about the earth passing away? Are they responding to something that Alma has said, or where does this come from?
  • Alma 9:2: Are the people suggesting that real prophets only come to prophesy of big and disastrous events? But even if Alma were to do that they would not believe it unless several prophets came to say the same thing?
  • Alma 9:3: What does Alma mean when he says that the earth should pass away? Why would he even record this little exchange with the people of Ammonihah?
  • Alma 9:4: Why wouldn't the people of Ammonihah believe Alma?
  • Alma 9:4: Why do the people say they won't believe Alma if he "shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in one day"? Was this a response to something Alma had said?
  • Alma 9:4: What if we read the "if" to mean: "if you are foolish enough to prophesy that this great city could be destroyed in one day, then you are an idiot and we won't believe anything else you say?" Is this a productive reading?
  • Alma 9:5: What does Alma mean by "hard-hearted" and "stiffnecked"? What scriptural precedences provide insight into these terms?
  • Alma 9:6-10: Prophets in the Book of Mormon often begin their calls to repentance by reminding the people of what the Lord has done for their ancestors. (For example, Alma the Younger did this in his sermon in Alma 5.) Why? Were a modern prophet delivering a sermon like this, to what might he refer to remind us of what the Lord has done?
  • Alma 9:6: What are the people saying here? What do they mean by "Who is God"? Are they belittling Alma's teachings about God? Do they seem to be mocking a god that would only send one messenger?
  • Alma 9:7: How did Alma avoid being grabbed by the people?
  • Alma 9:7: What does it mean for Alma to have "stood with boldness"
  • Alma 9:8: What does Alma mean by calling the people a "wicked and perverse generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: How is Alma using the word "generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: What about this generation was so wicked and perverse?
  • Alma 9:8: Did the people forget the tradition of their fathers, or did the actively reject it?
  • Alma 9:8: What is the connection between the traditions of the fathers and the commandments? How might that connection be broken? In modern terms, how is it that this generation didn't get their own testimonies of the gospel? How were the traditions passed down? Were there weaknesses in how it was transmitted from one generation to the next?
  • Alma 9:9: What does it mean to be brought "by the hand of God"? Is this just metaphorical, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:9: Why does Alma switch from "our father" in the first question, to "they...all" in the second question?
  • Alma 9:10: What does Alma mean when he says the people have "forgotten so soon"? It has been decades since the earlier generations, their "fathers", were brought out of bondage?
  • Alma 9:10: What incidents is Alma referring to here, where the fathers were "delivered" and "preserved...from being destroyed by...their own brethren"?
  • Alma 9:10: Who are the "our fathers" referred to here? Does this include Mulekite ancestors, or just literal descendants of Nephi?
  • Alma 9:11: Why does Alma refer to God's power as "matchless"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the link between being "cut off from the face of the earth" and being "consigned to a state of endless misery and woe"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the state of endless misery and woe that Alma refers to? Can we translate that into our modern understanding of the spirit world, or does it refer to something else?
  • Alma 9:11: What is woe? Does it mean the same as misery, or does it imply something more?
  • Alma 9:11: Are misery and woe a common couplet, or is there something beyond just a literary style here in their use?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the difference between being told to repent to "inherit the kingdom of God" or to avoid being utterly destroyed? Is Alma or the Lord trying to provide two different motivations to try and get the people to repent, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the place for such hellfire and damnation preaching in the modern church?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the "fierce anger" of God mentioned here? How does this fierce anger jibe with our view of God as a patient and loving Heavenly Father?
  • Alma 9:12: What does it mean for God to visit "in his anger" and "not turn away"? Is there a point at which it is too late to repent and God cannot turn back consequences for our actions?
  • Alma 9:13: What is the nature of the promise to Lehi? Is this a covenant? How does this promise or covenant relate to land covenants in the Old Testament?
  • Alma 9:13: Why is the reward for obedience a tangible prosperity, while the penalty for not keeping the commandments to be "cut off from the presence of the Lord"? Does this imply something about prosperity that we don't normally consider (cf. Mosiah 2:22)? Might there be a connection between "inheriting the kingdom of God (vs. 13) and prospering in the land here? If so, does that imply that the kingdom of God is here, and consists of the opposite of being "cut off from the presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:14: What does it mean that the Lamanites "have been cut off from the presence of the Lord"? What does that mean? Does this have anything to do with the literal presence of the Lord in the temple?
  • Alma 9:14: What does Alma mean by the "presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:15: Why is the wording here so similar to this verse in the New Testament: "But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee" (Matt 11:24)?
  • Alma 9:16: Why are promises extended to the Lamanites? What are these promises?
  • Alma 9:16: Why does ignorance provoke mercy?
  • Alma 9:16: What does prolonging existence in the land have to do with the mercy or favor of God?
  • Alma 9:17: Alma says that someday the Lamanites will learn the truth and, therefore, of the falsity of their fathers’ traditions. To what traditions is he referring? Does this mean that Native Americans will give up their cultural traditions when they are converted?
  • Alma 9:17: What does Alma mean here by being saved?
  • Alma 9:17: What does it mean to "call on" the name of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:18: How does this statement by Alma about impending destruction manifest his preaching by the spirit of prophecy and revelation?
  • Alma 9:18: Alma says the people will be destroyed by both the Lamanites and the "fierce anger of the Lord". How do the actions of the Lamanites represent the anger of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:19: Why would the Lord prefer to have all the Nephites destroyed rather than allow them to continue in sin after he has blessed them? To unbelievers the Lord may sound petulant, like a “martyr-parent,” who says, “Since you are ungrateful after all I’ve done for you, I’ll show you.” How would you explain this to someone who saw these verses that way?
  • Alma 9:19: What is the "light and knowledge" given unto the Nephites? Does this have anything to do with the further light and knowledge found in modern temple ceremonies?
  • Alma 9:20: What does it mean to have been "highly favored people of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:20: In what way were the Nephites "favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people"?
  • Alma 9:20: What great blessings did the Nephites enjoy?
  • Alma 9:20: How were "all things made known" unto the Nephites. Does this have anything to do with seership (cf. Mosiah 8)?
  • Alma 9:20: What is the relationship between desire, faith, and prayer, and how do they lead to knowledge?
  • Alma 9:21-25: How do these prophecies and Alma's teaching reflect the promise given to Lehi in 2 Ne 1:9-12?
  • Alma 9:21: What does it mean to have been "visited by the Spirit of God"?
  • Alma 9:21: How widespread was the visitation of angels in Nephite society?
  • Alma 9:21: How were the people "spoken unto by the voice of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people delivered "by the hand of the Lord"? Is this just another way of saying that the Lord did it, or is there something else referred to here?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people "saved from famine, and from sickness, and from all manner of diseases of every kind"? Is this referred to elsewhere in the Nephite record?
  • Alma 9:22: How does Alma refer to both spiritual and temporal blessings? What is the relationship between spiritual and temporal blessings? Is there a difference?
  • Alma 9:23: What does it mean to "transgress contrary to the light and knowledge" that you have? Don't we all do this sometimes?
  • Alma 9:24: What does it mean to "utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth"?
  • Alma 9:25: Alma says that the Lord sent an angel to many people to tell them to come to this people and cry repentance. Does this "many" refer to more than Alma and Amulek? Does this have anything to do with the criticism the people make in verse 6 that God only sent one person?
  • Alma 9:26: What is the glory of God? Is that the same as the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father"? What does it mean for the Son of God to come in the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father?
  • Alma 9:26: What does it mean to be "full of" grace, equity, truth, patience, mercy, and long-suffering?
  • Alma 9:26: In what ways is the Lord "quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers"? Who are "his people", members of the Church? In modern terms there a difference between how quickly he answers prayers of members of the Church ("his people") and others?
  • Alma 9:27: How does Alma's teachings here about who the Lord will redeem compare with the teachings of Nehor (which the people of Ammonihah follow) found in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:27: What does it mean to have "faith on [the Lord's] name"?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the way of the Lord? How are the people supposed to prepare the way?
  • Alma 9:28: How does this teaching about rewards for works compare with the teachings of Nehor in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "power and captivation of the devil? How is that contrasted with the "power and deliverance" of Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "damnation of...souls"?
  • Alma 9:29: Alma claims that these teachings come from "the voice of the angel". Why is it important for Alma to declare that? In our modern preaching and teaching, how important is it for us to say where our message comes from?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does Alma call these people his "brethren"?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does he call them "beloved brethren" and then call them a "lost and a fallen people"?
  • Alma 9:30: What does it mean for the people to have hearts that are "grossly hardened against the word of God"?
  • Alma 9:31: If the people were going to be "wroth" with Alma for doing so, why did he call them hard-hearted and stiffnecked? When is it appropriate to hammer people with such unflattering portraits of their behavior? When is it inappropriate?
  • Alma 9:32: Alma has really ticked these people off. Why did he have to say such harsh things against the people? Is there any sense in which this might have been counter-productive?
  • Alma 9:33: How did Alma avoid being taken into captivity if everyone was trying to "lay their hands upon [him]"?
  • Alma 9:34: Why weren't more of the words of Amulek written? To what degree should we take the teachings of Amulek, a recently converted missionary, as scripture for our day? What does taking his words as scripture imply about our own teachings in similar situations?

Resources[edit]

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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.



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Alma 9:31-34

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Summary[edit]

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

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 9: Superscription. Before this point in the Book of Alma, Mormon is the dominant author of the text. He sometimes clearly copies over without much or any editing whole swaths of his source text (in, for example, Alma 5 and Alma 7), but he is always the narrator of the story. Suddenly, with 9:1 ("I, Alma"), Mormon is replaced by Alma. Introducing this change—as well as its somewhat odd lapse—is the superscription to chapter 9.
Like the superscription to whole Book of Alma, this superscription describes what follows as being "according to the record of Alma." But whereas this phrase in the earlier superscription seems just to indicate a source, here—at least once one reads "I, Alma" in verse 1—it seems to name the actual record being included in Mormon's text. At first, then, there seems to be a difference between Mormon's two uses of "according to the record of Alma."
When examined a bit closer, however, the problem seems to disappear. The phrase "according to the record of Alma" in the superscription to chapter 9 is attached less to what is now chapter 9 than to what is now chapter 14: "And also they [Alma and Amulek] are cast into prison, and delivered by the miraculous power of God which was in them, according to the record of Alma." Though one might quibble about punctuation, which (more or less) did not appear in the original dictated manuscript, there seems to be an indication here that it is specifically the narrative of Alma 14 that is "according to the record of Alma." And in Alma 14, Mormon seems to be following the same editorial practices employed in the larger Book of Alma: not borrowed narrative voice, but authorial abridgement.
In the first part of the superscription, Mormon describes what are now chapters 9-13: "The words of Alma, and also the words of Amulek, which were declared unto the people who were in the land of Ammonihah." Here no actual source is identified, and in those chapters Mormon not only draws on his sources in order to record parts of the sermons delivered by Alma and Amulek, but he also copies over, as already mentioned, parts of Alma's own narrative telling of the event.
It is thus important to note that there is some difficulty in determining where Alma's original narrativization ends and Mormon's abridging editorial work begins. The first unmistakable indication that Mormon is the narrator is to be found in Alma 10:12, where Alma and Amulek are referred to as "them." (Mormon's role as narrator is thereafter confirmed a number of times: the obviously non-contemporary explanation of weights and measures in 11:1-20, the emphasis on "all that I have written" in 11:46 and 13:31, the "Now Alma" of Alma 12:1, etc.) The question, though, is at what point between 9:33 (the last clear instance of Alma speaking in the first person: "the Lord did not suffer them that they should take me at that time") and 10:12 (the first clear instance of Alma being mentioned in the third person: "the spirit of prophecy which was in them [Alma and Amulek]"). Does the third person reference in 10:12 suggest that Mormon is the narrator from the beginning of chapter 10? Does Mormon's "takeover" begin as early as the last verse of chapter 9? Or does Mormon perhaps simply copy over Alma's words concerning Amulek for at least a few verses into chapter 10? These are questions that deserve attention in the respective commentaries on the relevant passages.
  • Alma 9:2. The although in verse 2 has confused some readers. To make sense of although here read it as even though (see the Oxford English Dictionary). Today we might say even if in place of even though. Under this interpretation the people are saying something like "do you expect us to believe something only one person tells us no matter how crazy it is?" See Mark 14:29 for another reference in the scriptures to where although is used to mean "even though" or "even if."
  • Alma 9:2: Who art thou? Some have considered Alma as returning somewhat in disguise, pointing to the moment when he tells Amulek who he is in Alma 8:23. However, this is likely mostly a carryover from the story of Abinadi, who was rejected and returned after 2 years in disguise (Mosiah 12:1). In Alma's story, the people are more likely to be saying "Who art thou?" not in sincerely asking who he is, but in asking Who are you to tell us such things? Interestingly, King Noah says something similar about Abinadi, even using his name: "Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?" (Mosiah 11:27) The people knew who he was when he first arrived, and mocked him in his lack of judgmental authority: "And now we know that because we are not of thy church we know that thou hast no power over us; and thou hast delivered up the judgment-seat" (Alma 8:12).
  • Alma 9:11: Woe. According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, wo [sp] is a noun that means 1. grief; sorrow; misery; a heavy calamity, 2. a curse, and 3. is used in denunciation, and in exclamations of sorrow.
  • Alma 9:13: Prosperity and the Kingdom of God. In these verses, Alma seems to link the concepts of prosperity, inheriting the kingdom of God, and being in the presence of God. It is possible to read these verses as providing the following oppositions:
A) Inherit the Kingdom, B) In the presence of God, C) Prosper in the land

versus

D) Destroyed from off the face of the earth, E) Cut off from the presence of the Lord
By this reading, prosperity should be seen as more than the accumulation of material success, but a quality related to living in the presence of God here on earth.
  • Alma 9:18-19: Not suffer the wicked to destroy the righteous. Here Alma warns the peoplee of Ammonihah that, if they persist in attempting to destroy the Lord's people, then the people of Ammonihah will instead be destroyed. For more on the subject of when the Lord destroys the wicked, see the discussion of Hel 13:14 and also Alma 10:22-23.
  • Alma 9:21. This appears to be an early formulation of gifts of the Spirit.
  • Alma 9:21: Light and knowledge. There are only four uses of the phrase "light and knowledge" in all the scriptures. (Wouldn't you have thought it was a more common phrase?) See also Alma 39:6; Alma 45:12; D&C 77:4.
  • Alma 9:26-28: Countering the doctrine of Nehor. We know that the leaders of the people in Ammonihah were followers of Nehor, and in vs. 26-28, Alma counters point by point the teachings of Nehor as recorded in Alma 1:3-4.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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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. →

  • Alma 9:1: How did Alma view Amulek's role as his companion? Why does he speak of "tak[ing] Amulek?" Is this the language of God, or Alma's interpretation of it?
  • Alma 9:2: What does although mean here?
  • Alma 9:2: What are the people talking about here? Why are they talking about the earth passing away? Are they responding to something that Alma has said, or where does this come from?
  • Alma 9:2: Are the people suggesting that real prophets only come to prophesy of big and disastrous events? But even if Alma were to do that they would not believe it unless several prophets came to say the same thing?
  • Alma 9:3: What does Alma mean when he says that the earth should pass away? Why would he even record this little exchange with the people of Ammonihah?
  • Alma 9:4: Why wouldn't the people of Ammonihah believe Alma?
  • Alma 9:4: Why do the people say they won't believe Alma if he "shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in one day"? Was this a response to something Alma had said?
  • Alma 9:4: What if we read the "if" to mean: "if you are foolish enough to prophesy that this great city could be destroyed in one day, then you are an idiot and we won't believe anything else you say?" Is this a productive reading?
  • Alma 9:5: What does Alma mean by "hard-hearted" and "stiffnecked"? What scriptural precedences provide insight into these terms?
  • Alma 9:6-10: Prophets in the Book of Mormon often begin their calls to repentance by reminding the people of what the Lord has done for their ancestors. (For example, Alma the Younger did this in his sermon in Alma 5.) Why? Were a modern prophet delivering a sermon like this, to what might he refer to remind us of what the Lord has done?
  • Alma 9:6: What are the people saying here? What do they mean by "Who is God"? Are they belittling Alma's teachings about God? Do they seem to be mocking a god that would only send one messenger?
  • Alma 9:7: How did Alma avoid being grabbed by the people?
  • Alma 9:7: What does it mean for Alma to have "stood with boldness"
  • Alma 9:8: What does Alma mean by calling the people a "wicked and perverse generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: How is Alma using the word "generation"?
  • Alma 9:8: What about this generation was so wicked and perverse?
  • Alma 9:8: Did the people forget the tradition of their fathers, or did the actively reject it?
  • Alma 9:8: What is the connection between the traditions of the fathers and the commandments? How might that connection be broken? In modern terms, how is it that this generation didn't get their own testimonies of the gospel? How were the traditions passed down? Were there weaknesses in how it was transmitted from one generation to the next?
  • Alma 9:9: What does it mean to be brought "by the hand of God"? Is this just metaphorical, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:9: Why does Alma switch from "our father" in the first question, to "they...all" in the second question?
  • Alma 9:10: What does Alma mean when he says the people have "forgotten so soon"? It has been decades since the earlier generations, their "fathers", were brought out of bondage?
  • Alma 9:10: What incidents is Alma referring to here, where the fathers were "delivered" and "preserved...from being destroyed by...their own brethren"?
  • Alma 9:10: Who are the "our fathers" referred to here? Does this include Mulekite ancestors, or just literal descendants of Nephi?
  • Alma 9:11: Why does Alma refer to God's power as "matchless"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the link between being "cut off from the face of the earth" and being "consigned to a state of endless misery and woe"?
  • Alma 9:11: What is the state of endless misery and woe that Alma refers to? Can we translate that into our modern understanding of the spirit world, or does it refer to something else?
  • Alma 9:11: What is woe? Does it mean the same as misery, or does it imply something more?
  • Alma 9:11: Are misery and woe a common couplet, or is there something beyond just a literary style here in their use?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the difference between being told to repent to "inherit the kingdom of God" or to avoid being utterly destroyed? Is Alma or the Lord trying to provide two different motivations to try and get the people to repent, or is there something else going on here?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the place for such hellfire and damnation preaching in the modern church?
  • Alma 9:12: What is the "fierce anger" of God mentioned here? How does this fierce anger jibe with our view of God as a patient and loving Heavenly Father?
  • Alma 9:12: What does it mean for God to visit "in his anger" and "not turn away"? Is there a point at which it is too late to repent and God cannot turn back consequences for our actions?
  • Alma 9:13: What is the nature of the promise to Lehi? Is this a covenant? How does this promise or covenant relate to land covenants in the Old Testament?
  • Alma 9:13: Why is the reward for obedience a tangible prosperity, while the penalty for not keeping the commandments to be "cut off from the presence of the Lord"? Does this imply something about prosperity that we don't normally consider (cf. Mosiah 2:22)? Might there be a connection between "inheriting the kingdom of God (vs. 13) and prospering in the land here? If so, does that imply that the kingdom of God is here, and consists of the opposite of being "cut off from the presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:14: What does it mean that the Lamanites "have been cut off from the presence of the Lord"? What does that mean? Does this have anything to do with the literal presence of the Lord in the temple?
  • Alma 9:14: What does Alma mean by the "presence of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:15: Why is the wording here so similar to this verse in the New Testament: "But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee" (Matt 11:24)?
  • Alma 9:16: Why are promises extended to the Lamanites? What are these promises?
  • Alma 9:16: Why does ignorance provoke mercy?
  • Alma 9:16: What does prolonging existence in the land have to do with the mercy or favor of God?
  • Alma 9:17: Alma says that someday the Lamanites will learn the truth and, therefore, of the falsity of their fathers’ traditions. To what traditions is he referring? Does this mean that Native Americans will give up their cultural traditions when they are converted?
  • Alma 9:17: What does Alma mean here by being saved?
  • Alma 9:17: What does it mean to "call on" the name of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:18: How does this statement by Alma about impending destruction manifest his preaching by the spirit of prophecy and revelation?
  • Alma 9:18: Alma says the people will be destroyed by both the Lamanites and the "fierce anger of the Lord". How do the actions of the Lamanites represent the anger of the Lord?
  • Alma 9:19: Why would the Lord prefer to have all the Nephites destroyed rather than allow them to continue in sin after he has blessed them? To unbelievers the Lord may sound petulant, like a “martyr-parent,” who says, “Since you are ungrateful after all I’ve done for you, I’ll show you.” How would you explain this to someone who saw these verses that way?
  • Alma 9:19: What is the "light and knowledge" given unto the Nephites? Does this have anything to do with the further light and knowledge found in modern temple ceremonies?
  • Alma 9:20: What does it mean to have been "highly favored people of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:20: In what way were the Nephites "favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people"?
  • Alma 9:20: What great blessings did the Nephites enjoy?
  • Alma 9:20: How were "all things made known" unto the Nephites. Does this have anything to do with seership (cf. Mosiah 8)?
  • Alma 9:20: What is the relationship between desire, faith, and prayer, and how do they lead to knowledge?
  • Alma 9:21-25: How do these prophecies and Alma's teaching reflect the promise given to Lehi in 2 Ne 1:9-12?
  • Alma 9:21: What does it mean to have been "visited by the Spirit of God"?
  • Alma 9:21: How widespread was the visitation of angels in Nephite society?
  • Alma 9:21: How were the people "spoken unto by the voice of the Lord"?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people delivered "by the hand of the Lord"? Is this just another way of saying that the Lord did it, or is there something else referred to here?
  • Alma 9:22: How were the people "saved from famine, and from sickness, and from all manner of diseases of every kind"? Is this referred to elsewhere in the Nephite record?
  • Alma 9:22: How does Alma refer to both spiritual and temporal blessings? What is the relationship between spiritual and temporal blessings? Is there a difference?
  • Alma 9:23: What does it mean to "transgress contrary to the light and knowledge" that you have? Don't we all do this sometimes?
  • Alma 9:24: What does it mean to "utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth"?
  • Alma 9:25: Alma says that the Lord sent an angel to many people to tell them to come to this people and cry repentance. Does this "many" refer to more than Alma and Amulek? Does this have anything to do with the criticism the people make in verse 6 that God only sent one person?
  • Alma 9:26: What is the glory of God? Is that the same as the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father"? What does it mean for the Son of God to come in the "glory of the Only Begotten of the Father?
  • Alma 9:26: What does it mean to be "full of" grace, equity, truth, patience, mercy, and long-suffering?
  • Alma 9:26: In what ways is the Lord "quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers"? Who are "his people", members of the Church? In modern terms there a difference between how quickly he answers prayers of members of the Church ("his people") and others?
  • Alma 9:27: How does Alma's teachings here about who the Lord will redeem compare with the teachings of Nehor (which the people of Ammonihah follow) found in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:27: What does it mean to have "faith on [the Lord's] name"?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the way of the Lord? How are the people supposed to prepare the way?
  • Alma 9:28: How does this teaching about rewards for works compare with the teachings of Nehor in Alma 1:3-4?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "power and captivation of the devil? How is that contrasted with the "power and deliverance" of Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 9:28: What is the "damnation of...souls"?
  • Alma 9:29: Alma claims that these teachings come from "the voice of the angel". Why is it important for Alma to declare that? In our modern preaching and teaching, how important is it for us to say where our message comes from?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does Alma call these people his "brethren"?
  • Alma 9:30: Why does he call them "beloved brethren" and then call them a "lost and a fallen people"?
  • Alma 9:30: What does it mean for the people to have hearts that are "grossly hardened against the word of God"?
  • Alma 9:31: If the people were going to be "wroth" with Alma for doing so, why did he call them hard-hearted and stiffnecked? When is it appropriate to hammer people with such unflattering portraits of their behavior? When is it inappropriate?
  • Alma 9:32: Alma has really ticked these people off. Why did he have to say such harsh things against the people? Is there any sense in which this might have been counter-productive?
  • Alma 9:33: How did Alma avoid being taken into captivity if everyone was trying to "lay their hands upon [him]"?
  • Alma 9:34: Why weren't more of the words of Amulek written? To what degree should we take the teachings of Amulek, a recently converted missionary, as scripture for our day? What does taking his words as scripture imply about our own teachings in similar situations?

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. →

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.



Previous page: Chapter 8                      Next page: Chapters 10-11

Alma 10:1-5

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 10:6-10

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 10:11-15

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 10:16-20

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 10:21-25

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 10:26-32

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 11:1-5

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 11:6-10

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 11:11-15

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 11:16-20

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 11:21-25

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 11:26-30

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 11:31-35

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 11:36-40

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 11:41-46

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapters 10-11
Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 8 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 10:5: Marvelous. Webster's 1828 dictionary gives three definitions, including: 1. Wonderful; strange; exciting wonder or some degree of surprise (eg. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Ps.118), 2. Surpassing credit; incredible, 3. The marvelous, in writings, is that which exceeds natural power, or is preternatural; opposed to probable. The term translated marvelous in Ps 118:23 is the Hebrew Pala', which occurs 69 times in the Old Testament, and seems to refer to something being hard, difficult, extraordinary, beyond one's power.
  • Alma 10:10. Amulek tells us in verse 10 that while Alma was at his house an angel came to visit him. The verse tells us that the reason the angel was sent was "to make these things manifest unto me." Since Alma was already in Amulek's house and Alma knew the things, it doesn't seem like the angelic visit was necessary just to tell these things to Amulek. Neverthless, the Lord did choose to deliver his message in this miraculous means. And, like Paul and Alma the Younger, it doesn't seem from the scriptures that Amulek received this angelic witness due to his personal faith or righteousness. It may be that the Lord choose this miraculous means to give the people a second witness whose testimony was independent from the first's.
Alternatively, "while this Alma hath dwelt at my house" may be read more broadly to encompass the time immediately prior to Amulek's first encounter with Alma, in which case this visitation may refer to the visit in 10: 7. If so, the Angel let Amulek know that Alma was a prophet, and Alma then taught things that had been pre-verified by the first angelic visit.
  • Alma 10:11-15. That the people intend to "deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law" (v. 13, emphasis added) could be seen as symptomatic of an emphasis on the political in this society. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:24, and Alma 10:19-20.
  • Alma 10:19-20. It is interesting that Amulek addresses the political realm to which the people are bound (see Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:24). He makes particular mention of Mosiah--a profoundly political figure in the Book of Mormon--and places the Lord in the role of judge. Amulek's attempt to interweave the call to repentance with their favored political language fails, however, and is only finally distracted by teachings of the resurrection in the following chapters.
  • Alma 10:22-23: Cast out the righteous. Here Alma warns the people of Ammonihah that they will be destroyed if they cast out the righteous. For a discussion of the principle behind that statement, see the discussion at Hel 13:14 and also Alma 9:19.
  • Alma 10:24. It's clear that the people are particularly incensed at Amulek's attack on the realm of law and its officers, betraying a focus on the political. (See also Alma 8:12, Alma 10:13, and Alma 10:19-20.)
It is interesting to see that they feel their laws and lawyers are beyond criticism, and the reasons they give for it, namely, their laws are just and their lawyers are selected by the people. Quite a contrast with today's world. Laws and lawyers are readily criticized, and we don't put as high a value on the justice of our laws.
  • Alma 11:34. Helaman comments directly on this verse, interpreting Amulek to mean that God wouldn't save his people in their sins because it is their very sins they are to be saved from. Zeezrom's question and Amulek's answer show that they don't initially have this kind of salvation in mind. It seems clear from v37 that for Amulek salvation amounts to inheriting the kingdom of heaven, but there's a hint of Helaman's interpretation in v40 when he says Christ shall take upon him the transgressions of believers.
Also, any discussion of salvation while they are in Ammonihah needs to be looked at through the lens of the Nehor doctrine. Remember the Nehors believe God created all, so saves all. This sort of distinction made by Helaman is helpful for the church, but would make no difference to a Nehorite.
  • Alma 11:35. Verse 35, as well as this entire encounter with Zeezrom, needs to be read in light of the Nehors (see Alma 1:4). The main doctrinal point in Alma 1:4 is that they believe in universal salvation - all will inherit eternal life. Thus, any person coming to preach repentance seems pointless to a Nehor. Also, it seems the Zeezrom is also arguing about the existence of a Christ (Son of God) but Alma 1 does not bring up the question of a Christ. Sherem and Korihor both teach there is no Christ, but nowhere do have it recorded that the Nehors do not accept a Christ. However, it is certainly interesting to see Zeezrom so picky about whether there is one God or two. And their belief in universal salvation might also exclude the need for a Savior (might, because they could believe that a Savoir saves all, or, they might believe that a Savior is unnecessary because we are all already guaranteed eternal life.)
As mentioned in a question for Alma 1:4, we do have some other hints of Nehor doctrine. See Alma 15:15 ("did not believe in the repentance of their sins") and 21:6-8 ("Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.")
  • Alma 11:41-46: Narrator. It is not clear when Alma's direct narration, taken over by Mormon into his own abridgment beginning with chapter 9, comes to an end. Since Alma is never mentioned in the third person before the first verse of the next chapter, it is possible that Alma is the actual author/narrator of all material up through the end of chapter 11. At the same time, the "or this is all that I have written" with which verse 46 ends, if that phrase is Mormon's rather than Alma's, may indicate that Mormon himself had carefully abridged Amulek's words. (It would certainly seem likely that the summary of Nephite monetary systems inserted earlier in chapter 11 would have been Mormon's, rather than Alma's, work.) At any rate, it is clear that Alma has fully given way to Mormon when the turn is made from chapter 11 to chapter 12, since Alma becomes at that point a character in, rather than the teller of, the story.

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. →

  • Does this fit with the pattern of preaching we have seen Alma use? (See the questions for Alma 8:9-11.)
  • Alma 10:2: Why don't we have more written about Aminadi and this incident of the writing on the wall of the temple? Which temple did this happen at?
  • Alma 10:2: Why does Amulek give his genealogy here?
  • Alma 10:3: Why was it important for Amulek to establish his descent from Nephi, and to give the lineage of Lehi and Nephi?
  • Alma 10:3: What do we know about the blessing promised to the tribe of Manasseh?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to say he is "a man of no small reputation"?
  • Alma 10:4: Why does Amulek reference his family, friends, and riches?
  • Alma 10:4: What does it mean for Amulek to have "acquired much riches by the hand of my industry"? Whereas most people would have been subsistence farmers, does this indicate that Amulek is perhaps of a more noble class or perhaps some kind of craft specialist, rather than a farmer?
  • Alma 10:4: What does Amulek mean by "industry"?
  • Alma 10:4: What constitutes "riches" in Nephite or Ammonihah society?
  • Alma 10:5: Why does Amulek say that he has not "known much of the ways of the Lord"?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does the "preservation of the lives of this people" have to do with the "mysteries and marvelous power" of the Lord?
  • Alma 10:5: What does Amulek mean by "marvelous" power? Is this just a flowery adjective, or does it have a greater significance?
  • Alma 10:10: Why would an angel visit Amulek in his house (v. 10) if Alma was already there to preach the gospel to him? Is there a chance that he is referring to Alma as an angel as mortal missionaries are sometimes lovingly called by their converts?
  • Alma 10:11: My women. Is it possible that Amulek had more than one wife? Or possibly, these are his sisters?
  • Alma 10:12: In what sense has more than one person testified of the things the people of Ammonihah are accused of? Why does Alma accuse them and mention things to come, but Amulek doesn't?
  • Alma 10:22: Why does Amulek feel the need to distinguish the threatened destruction from the method of Noah's day?
  • Alma 11:2: What does "stripped" mean in verse 2? It sounds like this is a punishment for not paying someone when you owe them money.
  • Alma 11:4-19: Why do you think the Book of Mormon includes these monetary units? Why are they put here in the middle of the story of Alma and Amulek’s preaching? Why do you think the compilers of the Book of Mormon chose to include them? What purpose might this account of money serve us in the latter-days?
  • Alma 11:21: What does “devices of the devil” mean?
  • Alma 11:22: Why might Zeezrom begin with such an obvious and insulting temptation? Why not begin with something more subtle?
  • Alma 11:25: For what sin does Amulek say Zeezrom will be destroyed? For tempting him?
  • Alma 11:28-29: More than one God? How can one reconcile and what can we learn from Amulek's emphatic "no" in response to Zeezrom, and the uncertainty Joseph Smith expresses in D&C 121:28 (see also verse 32) about "whether there be one God or many gods"?
  • Alma 11:34: What does Zeezrom have in mind with this question? Does he perhaps have Alma 9:27 in mind, where Alma says only those that are baptized unto repentance (through faith in Christ) will be redeemed?
  • Alma 11:37: This verse speaks of something that God cannot do. How does it explain that limitation on his power?
  • Alma 11:38-39: Why doesn't Amulek do a more careful job of explaining the relationship between God the Father and his son Jesus Christ?
  • Alma 11:38ff: Notice how Zeezrom’s one question brings a long, detailed response from Amulek? Why does Amulek answer as he does? Why not give Zeezrom a shorter, more simple answer?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What does it mean to say that Christ is the Eternal Father? What does it mean to say that he is the beginning and the end? What does it mean to say that he is the first and the last? Given our understanding of the eternal nature of spirits, how do you make sense of these statements about God?
  • Alma 11:38-39: What is significant about the phrase "very Eternal Father"? How is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Is Zeezrom asking this question because he was aware of Abinadi's teachings on the subject (cf. Mos. 15:4, 16:15). How does this relate and compare to Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni's understanding of God the Father as the Eternal Father (cf. 1 Nep. 11:21, 13:40, Mormon 6:22, Moroni 4:3, 5:2, 10:4, 10:31)?
  • Alma 11:39: Why does the exact same phrase, "the beginning and the end, the first and the last" show up here and in Rev 22:13?
  • Alma 11:42-45: Why does Alma tell them of the redemption of the body? How does this function in his call to repentance?
  • Alma 11:44: There are five lists of opposites like this one in the Book of Mormon that include "female" in the list. In each case, "female" is on the "positive" side - it is here paired with "young," "free," "righteous." With specific references to females being so limited in the Book of Mormon, what do we learn from this interesting pairing?

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. →

  • Alma 10:17. Anthony D. Perkins, "‘The Great and Wonderful Love’," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 76–78. Elder Perkins suggests three snares used by the adversary: the snare of false inadequacy, the snare of exaggerated imperfection, and the snare of needless guilt.
  • Alma 11:41-46. Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 28–30. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "the Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless."

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.



Previous page: Chapter 9                      Next page: Chapter 12

Alma 12:1-5

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 12
Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 12 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. While we don't know exactly what word is being translated here as "mysteries", in the New Testament the English word "mystery" is a translation of the Greek noun musterion, which originally meant the secret teachings and religious rites of ancient religious orders—such as the Orphic mysteries. The equivalent Hebrew word of mystery means ordinance or hand.
  • Alma 12:9-12. At first blush it may not be obvious how this verse is the beginning of the answer to the question that Zeezrom has just put to Alma "What does this mean ... that all shall rise from the dead, both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according to their works?"
How this is the beginning of an answer to Zeezrom's question only becomes clear as we read the subsequent verses. Alma is answering the question by explaining how it is that some people will receive the mysteries of God in full while others shall be condemned at the judgement. And the reason that some receive the mysteries of God in full while others are condemned is because some do not harden their hearts and for this reason are given more of it until they know the mysteries in full (v 10); while others harden their hearts and receive the lesser portion until thye know nothing concerning God's mysteries (v 11).
The question remains though of how the following clause fits into that explanation: "nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart [the mysteries of God] only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligince which they give unto him." To explain this it is helpful to split this into two parts and explain each separately. 1st) those who receive the mysteries of God are laid under a strict command not to share them. 2nd) the exception as to when sharing is allowed. In this reading the point of the first part is to emphasize the point that hardening your heart vs knowing God's mysteries is an individual choice. Those who know the mysteries are strictly commanded not to share them. Or in other words, someone who has hardened their heart and received the lesser portion won't be able to simply get them from someone else who has not hardened their heart. The 2nd part exlains when in fact others are allowed to share the mysteries of God. Unsurprisingly we find out here that it is only when God allows it ("according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men"). Finally we are told when God does allow it. Again, nothing new here, God allows the mysteries to be shared depending on whether people listen to him, which is just another way of saying that they do not harden their hearts ("according to the heed and diligence which [those who would receive] give unto [God]"). The rule then is the same whether God reveals mysteries directly or through other people--either way it is only when we do not harden are hearts, and instead give heed to God's words and diligently follow them that more is given unto us.
Others read this verse differently though. In that view the phrase "only according to the portion of [God's] word which he doth grant unto the children of men" means that people who receive personal revelation, i.e. God's mysteries, should only share that portion of what they receive with others which God has already given unto the children of men.
  • Alma 12:18: Cannot be redeemed. God cannot save everyone, because to do so would make him a liar and he would cease to be God (see Alma 42:13). God's justice is based on just (true, correct) principles; he has clearly set forth the rules and the punishment for breaking those rules. All we can do is to choose to obey them or not (see Mosiah 15:26-27). Ultimately, our downfall will be our own doing.
  • Alma 12:21. Antionah's question is decisive because he draws explicitly on Gen 3:24, that is, on the conclusion of the Fall story as it is recorded in Gen 2-3. But it must be clear at the same time that Antionah seems to draw on something more than just what is recorded in Genesis: the Genesis text is hardly as specific as Antionah is. The Genesis text reads: "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." The precision with which most of Antionah's quotation and the Genesis text match up is remarkable, and this very precision highlights the few differences between them: though the Genesis text implies that Adam and Eve are to be kept from the tree of life, there is no specific mention of entering or partaking, and certainly not of living forever! (It is perhaps also worth mentioning that the Genesis text mentions only the man here, while Antionah has reference to "our first parents," perhaps an echo of Lehi's discourse to his son Jacob—especially 2 Ne 2:15. It is probably worth exploring the filiation that seems to obtain between Antionah's reading and the remarkably theological discourse of Lehi.) What is to be made of this difference? More importantly, perhaps: how does this difference alter the direction in which Alma takes his discourse?
As it turns out, the difference is hardly a minor one: it is the business of living forever that is the most important element of "the scripture" for Antionah. His conclusion draws on that phrasing only: "And thus we see that there was no possible chance that they should live forever." Although it seems that Antionah is familiar with some scripture, it seems he is not familiar with Jacob's teachings in 2 Ne 9:13, 15.
  • Alma 12:25. One way to read this verse is to consider the possibility of Adam and Eve partaking of the fruit of the tree of life before having time to prepare to meet God. If this were the case, Adam and Eve would not have died before becoming immortal, and would therefore not be resurrected (emphasis on the re- prefix, that is, without dying, it does not make sense to be raised from the dead as the term resurrection implies).
  • Alma 12:31. Alma here brings to bear on each other two sets of commandments: the "first commandments" and a second set of commandments imposed because the first set was "transgressed." This doubling of the commandments is of some significance, especially given the flavor of the following verse: God's words had at once to be transgressed and yet never violated, never brought to naught. This doubling of the word through which it is at once annulled and yet maintained deserves careful attention.
Also of interest is the peculiar phrasing in the beginning of this verse. The verse starts with a use of the term "commandments" without any indication as to whether these commandments given were what will later be referred to as the first commandments or the second commandments. If we consider the similar phrasing in the beginning of verse 32, it seems the commandments being referred to are the second commandments—that is, commandments given after the transgression of the first commandments.
Another issue in this verse that deserves careful attention is the way in which the transgression of the first commandments allows "men" to "act according to their wills and pleasures." How could the first commandments have been transgressed if men were not in a "state to act" before the first commandments were given? This question, which seems a rather natural, albeit implicit, question arising from this verse, may help us understand the why "the commandments" described at the beginning of both this verse and verse 32, is not more explicit. That is, perhaps Alma is trying to describe something that does not lend itself to analytic description. If the separation between the first commandments and later/second commandments is not meaningful until after the first commandments have been transgressed, then it would only make sense to refer to such a distinction in retrospect. In this sense, then, the transgression of the first commandments may be something very different from the kind of acting according to one's will that is later described. That is, we might take the transgression of the first commandments as being juxtaposed, even contrasted, to the acting according to one's will that seems to accompany the second commandments.
  • Alma 12:32: Commandments. What are the commandments which God gave unto them? We aren't told in this verse or in the section. It likely doesn't matter to Alma's point. When God gave Adam and Eve the commandments, they had taken the fruit and therefore already knew good from evil. From that, one might conclude that God would not need to give them further commands, or maybe that God would only say "don't do evil." In fact, and consistent with our own experiences in life, He did more than that because, we assume, Adam and Eve, like us, need specific commandments so that they would not do evil.
Alternatively, the first provocation in this context may be referring to the cherubim that God sent to ensure Adam and Eve would experience physical death as a consequence of partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In this case, the second provocation would seem to refer to spiritual death. On this reading, the last part of the verse about "the last death, as well as the first" offers a parallel description of the same events described by the first and second provocation.
  • Alma 12:37: Second commandments. If the first commandments were to multiply and replenish the earth and not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then the second commandments are those referred to in verse 32.
  • Alma 12:36-37: "Rest of the Lord" and "rest of God." In these verses, the phrases "rest of the Lord" (v. 36) and "rest of God" (v. 37) seem to be used in parallel. They could also signify the following chiastic arrangement of thoughts:
A. if ye harden your hearts ye will not enter into the rest of the Lord (v. 36)
B. your iniquity provoketh God (v. 36)
C. let us repent (v. 37)
B'. that we provoke not the Lord our God (v. 37)
A'. let us enter into the rest of God (v. 37)

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. →

  • Alma 12:1: How had Zeezrom been caught in lying?
  • Alma 12:1: Zeezrom has become conscious of his guilt. What in particular might have brought about that consciousness? In what sense is Alma “unfolding the scriptures"?
  • Alma 12:3-6: Satan laid a trap for Zeezrom by getting Zeezrom to lay a trap for Alma. How is Satan’s trap similar to Zeezrom’s?
  • Alma 12:8: Zeezrom's change. How has Zeezrom changed? (How can you tell?)
  • Alma 12:8: First question. Why are these questions the first ones that Zeezrom asks?
  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. What is a mystery of God? “Mystery” and “mysteries” are used 70 times in the English scriptures (see link below). Its most common synonym is “secret.” If many know the mysteries of God, how are they a secret? Notice that these words occur much more often in Restoration scriptures than in the Bible. Why do you think that is?
  • Alma 12:9: Impart only. What does “they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him” mean in contemporary, ordinary English?
  • Alma 12:9-15: Resurrection and mysteries. Here Alma indirectly explains why he told Zeezrom about temporal death and the resurrection. What is his explanation—what does it have to do with the mysteries of God?
  • Alma 12:13: Hardened our hearts against the word. Why does Alma modify or clarify his statement "if our hearts have been hardened" with "against the word" (cf. verse 10)?
  • Alma 12:16: What does it mean to die in sin? Does the word “in” carry any particular weight?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Why is it a punishment to continue to live in our sins? How does this square with the discussion of everlasting punishment in D&C 19? Do you think Alma knew of the explanation we see in the D&C?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Cannot be redeemed. Why would God create a plan in which he knew that some of us would not be able to return to him?
  • Alma 12:20-21: Do you think that Antionah’s questions are sincere? Why or why not?
  • Alma 12:22: It appears that Alma's main concern about Adam and Eve partaking the fruit was the truthfulness of God. Why does the veracity of God's word hold such weight for Alma?
  • Alma 12:24: Probationary. What does it mean to say that life is probationary? Is the word being used as it is when we speak of criminals on probation? If so, is the implication that we have already been convicted? Alma teaches here that life is the time given us to repent. How do we avoid a belief in original sin given these teachings?
  • Alma 12:26-27: These verses seem to answer the question in v. 24 about why life is probationary. How?
  • Alma 12:31: Gods. Why is “Gods” capitalized in this verse? Usually it is capitalized only when it is used as the name of Deity, not when it is used to refer to an office or position. In what ways are we like Gods? Why is that significant?
  • Alma 12:31: Placing themselves versus being placed. What is the difference? Is Alma correcting himself by using the second phrase?
  • Alma 12:31-32: Wherefore. Both verses 31 and 32 begin in the same way, “wherefore” in one case and “therefore” in the other, but the two mean the same. That suggests that they logically follow from verse 30. How so? What things has the Lord done to make it possible for us to return to him?
  • Alma 12:33: What does it mean to say that God called on men "in the name of his Son?"
  • Alma 12:36: Provocation. What is the first provocation? What is the last provocation?
  • Alma 12:37: Rest of God. What does “the rest of God” mean? How do we enter into it? How does chapter 13 relate to "the rest of God"?
  • Alma 12:37: Ye versus us. Why does Alma switches from second person plural in verse 36 to first person plural in verse 37.

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. →

  • Alma 12:14: In what sense do thoughts condemn us? Ben S. at the Times and Seasons blog suggests that it is not the having of evil thoughts but the cultivation of evil thoughts that condemns us (that is, the adversary can put the thoughts in our mind, but it is only a sin if we entertain such thoughts).
  • Alma 12:15. Marcus B. Nash, "The Great Plan of Happiness," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 49–50. Elder Nash said: "Each of us needs to repent to some degree or another. To repent means to make the real changes in your life the Savior desires you to make for your happiness... As you seek to change, remember that our loving Savior, as Alma states, has 'all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.' This is powerful, liberating, hope-filled doctrine!"

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.



Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a

Alma 12:6-10

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 12
Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 12 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. While we don't know exactly what word is being translated here as "mysteries", in the New Testament the English word "mystery" is a translation of the Greek noun musterion, which originally meant the secret teachings and religious rites of ancient religious orders—such as the Orphic mysteries. The equivalent Hebrew word of mystery means ordinance or hand.
  • Alma 12:9-12. At first blush it may not be obvious how this verse is the beginning of the answer to the question that Zeezrom has just put to Alma "What does this mean ... that all shall rise from the dead, both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according to their works?"
How this is the beginning of an answer to Zeezrom's question only becomes clear as we read the subsequent verses. Alma is answering the question by explaining how it is that some people will receive the mysteries of God in full while others shall be condemned at the judgement. And the reason that some receive the mysteries of God in full while others are condemned is because some do not harden their hearts and for this reason are given more of it until they know the mysteries in full (v 10); while others harden their hearts and receive the lesser portion until thye know nothing concerning God's mysteries (v 11).
The question remains though of how the following clause fits into that explanation: "nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart [the mysteries of God] only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligince which they give unto him." To explain this it is helpful to split this into two parts and explain each separately. 1st) those who receive the mysteries of God are laid under a strict command not to share them. 2nd) the exception as to when sharing is allowed. In this reading the point of the first part is to emphasize the point that hardening your heart vs knowing God's mysteries is an individual choice. Those who know the mysteries are strictly commanded not to share them. Or in other words, someone who has hardened their heart and received the lesser portion won't be able to simply get them from someone else who has not hardened their heart. The 2nd part exlains when in fact others are allowed to share the mysteries of God. Unsurprisingly we find out here that it is only when God allows it ("according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men"). Finally we are told when God does allow it. Again, nothing new here, God allows the mysteries to be shared depending on whether people listen to him, which is just another way of saying that they do not harden their hearts ("according to the heed and diligence which [those who would receive] give unto [God]"). The rule then is the same whether God reveals mysteries directly or through other people--either way it is only when we do not harden are hearts, and instead give heed to God's words and diligently follow them that more is given unto us.
Others read this verse differently though. In that view the phrase "only according to the portion of [God's] word which he doth grant unto the children of men" means that people who receive personal revelation, i.e. God's mysteries, should only share that portion of what they receive with others which God has already given unto the children of men.
  • Alma 12:18: Cannot be redeemed. God cannot save everyone, because to do so would make him a liar and he would cease to be God (see Alma 42:13). God's justice is based on just (true, correct) principles; he has clearly set forth the rules and the punishment for breaking those rules. All we can do is to choose to obey them or not (see Mosiah 15:26-27). Ultimately, our downfall will be our own doing.
  • Alma 12:21. Antionah's question is decisive because he draws explicitly on Gen 3:24, that is, on the conclusion of the Fall story as it is recorded in Gen 2-3. But it must be clear at the same time that Antionah seems to draw on something more than just what is recorded in Genesis: the Genesis text is hardly as specific as Antionah is. The Genesis text reads: "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." The precision with which most of Antionah's quotation and the Genesis text match up is remarkable, and this very precision highlights the few differences between them: though the Genesis text implies that Adam and Eve are to be kept from the tree of life, there is no specific mention of entering or partaking, and certainly not of living forever! (It is perhaps also worth mentioning that the Genesis text mentions only the man here, while Antionah has reference to "our first parents," perhaps an echo of Lehi's discourse to his son Jacob—especially 2 Ne 2:15. It is probably worth exploring the filiation that seems to obtain between Antionah's reading and the remarkably theological discourse of Lehi.) What is to be made of this difference? More importantly, perhaps: how does this difference alter the direction in which Alma takes his discourse?
As it turns out, the difference is hardly a minor one: it is the business of living forever that is the most important element of "the scripture" for Antionah. His conclusion draws on that phrasing only: "And thus we see that there was no possible chance that they should live forever." Although it seems that Antionah is familiar with some scripture, it seems he is not familiar with Jacob's teachings in 2 Ne 9:13, 15.
  • Alma 12:25. One way to read this verse is to consider the possibility of Adam and Eve partaking of the fruit of the tree of life before having time to prepare to meet God. If this were the case, Adam and Eve would not have died before becoming immortal, and would therefore not be resurrected (emphasis on the re- prefix, that is, without dying, it does not make sense to be raised from the dead as the term resurrection implies).
  • Alma 12:31. Alma here brings to bear on each other two sets of commandments: the "first commandments" and a second set of commandments imposed because the first set was "transgressed." This doubling of the commandments is of some significance, especially given the flavor of the following verse: God's words had at once to be transgressed and yet never violated, never brought to naught. This doubling of the word through which it is at once annulled and yet maintained deserves careful attention.
Also of interest is the peculiar phrasing in the beginning of this verse. The verse starts with a use of the term "commandments" without any indication as to whether these commandments given were what will later be referred to as the first commandments or the second commandments. If we consider the similar phrasing in the beginning of verse 32, it seems the commandments being referred to are the second commandments—that is, commandments given after the transgression of the first commandments.
Another issue in this verse that deserves careful attention is the way in which the transgression of the first commandments allows "men" to "act according to their wills and pleasures." How could the first commandments have been transgressed if men were not in a "state to act" before the first commandments were given? This question, which seems a rather natural, albeit implicit, question arising from this verse, may help us understand the why "the commandments" described at the beginning of both this verse and verse 32, is not more explicit. That is, perhaps Alma is trying to describe something that does not lend itself to analytic description. If the separation between the first commandments and later/second commandments is not meaningful until after the first commandments have been transgressed, then it would only make sense to refer to such a distinction in retrospect. In this sense, then, the transgression of the first commandments may be something very different from the kind of acting according to one's will that is later described. That is, we might take the transgression of the first commandments as being juxtaposed, even contrasted, to the acting according to one's will that seems to accompany the second commandments.
  • Alma 12:32: Commandments. What are the commandments which God gave unto them? We aren't told in this verse or in the section. It likely doesn't matter to Alma's point. When God gave Adam and Eve the commandments, they had taken the fruit and therefore already knew good from evil. From that, one might conclude that God would not need to give them further commands, or maybe that God would only say "don't do evil." In fact, and consistent with our own experiences in life, He did more than that because, we assume, Adam and Eve, like us, need specific commandments so that they would not do evil.
Alternatively, the first provocation in this context may be referring to the cherubim that God sent to ensure Adam and Eve would experience physical death as a consequence of partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In this case, the second provocation would seem to refer to spiritual death. On this reading, the last part of the verse about "the last death, as well as the first" offers a parallel description of the same events described by the first and second provocation.
  • Alma 12:37: Second commandments. If the first commandments were to multiply and replenish the earth and not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then the second commandments are those referred to in verse 32.
  • Alma 12:36-37: "Rest of the Lord" and "rest of God." In these verses, the phrases "rest of the Lord" (v. 36) and "rest of God" (v. 37) seem to be used in parallel. They could also signify the following chiastic arrangement of thoughts:
A. if ye harden your hearts ye will not enter into the rest of the Lord (v. 36)
B. your iniquity provoketh God (v. 36)
C. let us repent (v. 37)
B'. that we provoke not the Lord our God (v. 37)
A'. let us enter into the rest of God (v. 37)

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. →

  • Alma 12:1: How had Zeezrom been caught in lying?
  • Alma 12:1: Zeezrom has become conscious of his guilt. What in particular might have brought about that consciousness? In what sense is Alma “unfolding the scriptures"?
  • Alma 12:3-6: Satan laid a trap for Zeezrom by getting Zeezrom to lay a trap for Alma. How is Satan’s trap similar to Zeezrom’s?
  • Alma 12:8: Zeezrom's change. How has Zeezrom changed? (How can you tell?)
  • Alma 12:8: First question. Why are these questions the first ones that Zeezrom asks?
  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. What is a mystery of God? “Mystery” and “mysteries” are used 70 times in the English scriptures (see link below). Its most common synonym is “secret.” If many know the mysteries of God, how are they a secret? Notice that these words occur much more often in Restoration scriptures than in the Bible. Why do you think that is?
  • Alma 12:9: Impart only. What does “they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him” mean in contemporary, ordinary English?
  • Alma 12:9-15: Resurrection and mysteries. Here Alma indirectly explains why he told Zeezrom about temporal death and the resurrection. What is his explanation—what does it have to do with the mysteries of God?
  • Alma 12:13: Hardened our hearts against the word. Why does Alma modify or clarify his statement "if our hearts have been hardened" with "against the word" (cf. verse 10)?
  • Alma 12:16: What does it mean to die in sin? Does the word “in” carry any particular weight?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Why is it a punishment to continue to live in our sins? How does this square with the discussion of everlasting punishment in D&C 19? Do you think Alma knew of the explanation we see in the D&C?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Cannot be redeemed. Why would God create a plan in which he knew that some of us would not be able to return to him?
  • Alma 12:20-21: Do you think that Antionah’s questions are sincere? Why or why not?
  • Alma 12:22: It appears that Alma's main concern about Adam and Eve partaking the fruit was the truthfulness of God. Why does the veracity of God's word hold such weight for Alma?
  • Alma 12:24: Probationary. What does it mean to say that life is probationary? Is the word being used as it is when we speak of criminals on probation? If so, is the implication that we have already been convicted? Alma teaches here that life is the time given us to repent. How do we avoid a belief in original sin given these teachings?
  • Alma 12:26-27: These verses seem to answer the question in v. 24 about why life is probationary. How?
  • Alma 12:31: Gods. Why is “Gods” capitalized in this verse? Usually it is capitalized only when it is used as the name of Deity, not when it is used to refer to an office or position. In what ways are we like Gods? Why is that significant?
  • Alma 12:31: Placing themselves versus being placed. What is the difference? Is Alma correcting himself by using the second phrase?
  • Alma 12:31-32: Wherefore. Both verses 31 and 32 begin in the same way, “wherefore” in one case and “therefore” in the other, but the two mean the same. That suggests that they logically follow from verse 30. How so? What things has the Lord done to make it possible for us to return to him?
  • Alma 12:33: What does it mean to say that God called on men "in the name of his Son?"
  • Alma 12:36: Provocation. What is the first provocation? What is the last provocation?
  • Alma 12:37: Rest of God. What does “the rest of God” mean? How do we enter into it? How does chapter 13 relate to "the rest of God"?
  • Alma 12:37: Ye versus us. Why does Alma switches from second person plural in verse 36 to first person plural in verse 37.

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. →

  • Alma 12:14: In what sense do thoughts condemn us? Ben S. at the Times and Seasons blog suggests that it is not the having of evil thoughts but the cultivation of evil thoughts that condemns us (that is, the adversary can put the thoughts in our mind, but it is only a sin if we entertain such thoughts).
  • Alma 12:15. Marcus B. Nash, "The Great Plan of Happiness," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 49–50. Elder Nash said: "Each of us needs to repent to some degree or another. To repent means to make the real changes in your life the Savior desires you to make for your happiness... As you seek to change, remember that our loving Savior, as Alma states, has 'all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.' This is powerful, liberating, hope-filled doctrine!"

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.



Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a

Alma 12:11-15

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 12
Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 12 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. While we don't know exactly what word is being translated here as "mysteries", in the New Testament the English word "mystery" is a translation of the Greek noun musterion, which originally meant the secret teachings and religious rites of ancient religious orders—such as the Orphic mysteries. The equivalent Hebrew word of mystery means ordinance or hand.
  • Alma 12:9-12. At first blush it may not be obvious how this verse is the beginning of the answer to the question that Zeezrom has just put to Alma "What does this mean ... that all shall rise from the dead, both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according to their works?"
How this is the beginning of an answer to Zeezrom's question only becomes clear as we read the subsequent verses. Alma is answering the question by explaining how it is that some people will receive the mysteries of God in full while others shall be condemned at the judgement. And the reason that some receive the mysteries of God in full while others are condemned is because some do not harden their hearts and for this reason are given more of it until they know the mysteries in full (v 10); while others harden their hearts and receive the lesser portion until thye know nothing concerning God's mysteries (v 11).
The question remains though of how the following clause fits into that explanation: "nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart [the mysteries of God] only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligince which they give unto him." To explain this it is helpful to split this into two parts and explain each separately. 1st) those who receive the mysteries of God are laid under a strict command not to share them. 2nd) the exception as to when sharing is allowed. In this reading the point of the first part is to emphasize the point that hardening your heart vs knowing God's mysteries is an individual choice. Those who know the mysteries are strictly commanded not to share them. Or in other words, someone who has hardened their heart and received the lesser portion won't be able to simply get them from someone else who has not hardened their heart. The 2nd part exlains when in fact others are allowed to share the mysteries of God. Unsurprisingly we find out here that it is only when God allows it ("according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men"). Finally we are told when God does allow it. Again, nothing new here, God allows the mysteries to be shared depending on whether people listen to him, which is just another way of saying that they do not harden their hearts ("according to the heed and diligence which [those who would receive] give unto [God]"). The rule then is the same whether God reveals mysteries directly or through other people--either way it is only when we do not harden are hearts, and instead give heed to God's words and diligently follow them that more is given unto us.
Others read this verse differently though. In that view the phrase "only according to the portion of [God's] word which he doth grant unto the children of men" means that people who receive personal revelation, i.e. God's mysteries, should only share that portion of what they receive with others which God has already given unto the children of men.
  • Alma 12:18: Cannot be redeemed. God cannot save everyone, because to do so would make him a liar and he would cease to be God (see Alma 42:13). God's justice is based on just (true, correct) principles; he has clearly set forth the rules and the punishment for breaking those rules. All we can do is to choose to obey them or not (see Mosiah 15:26-27). Ultimately, our downfall will be our own doing.
  • Alma 12:21. Antionah's question is decisive because he draws explicitly on Gen 3:24, that is, on the conclusion of the Fall story as it is recorded in Gen 2-3. But it must be clear at the same time that Antionah seems to draw on something more than just what is recorded in Genesis: the Genesis text is hardly as specific as Antionah is. The Genesis text reads: "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." The precision with which most of Antionah's quotation and the Genesis text match up is remarkable, and this very precision highlights the few differences between them: though the Genesis text implies that Adam and Eve are to be kept from the tree of life, there is no specific mention of entering or partaking, and certainly not of living forever! (It is perhaps also worth mentioning that the Genesis text mentions only the man here, while Antionah has reference to "our first parents," perhaps an echo of Lehi's discourse to his son Jacob—especially 2 Ne 2:15. It is probably worth exploring the filiation that seems to obtain between Antionah's reading and the remarkably theological discourse of Lehi.) What is to be made of this difference? More importantly, perhaps: how does this difference alter the direction in which Alma takes his discourse?
As it turns out, the difference is hardly a minor one: it is the business of living forever that is the most important element of "the scripture" for Antionah. His conclusion draws on that phrasing only: "And thus we see that there was no possible chance that they should live forever." Although it seems that Antionah is familiar with some scripture, it seems he is not familiar with Jacob's teachings in 2 Ne 9:13, 15.
  • Alma 12:25. One way to read this verse is to consider the possibility of Adam and Eve partaking of the fruit of the tree of life before having time to prepare to meet God. If this were the case, Adam and Eve would not have died before becoming immortal, and would therefore not be resurrected (emphasis on the re- prefix, that is, without dying, it does not make sense to be raised from the dead as the term resurrection implies).
  • Alma 12:31. Alma here brings to bear on each other two sets of commandments: the "first commandments" and a second set of commandments imposed because the first set was "transgressed." This doubling of the commandments is of some significance, especially given the flavor of the following verse: God's words had at once to be transgressed and yet never violated, never brought to naught. This doubling of the word through which it is at once annulled and yet maintained deserves careful attention.
Also of interest is the peculiar phrasing in the beginning of this verse. The verse starts with a use of the term "commandments" without any indication as to whether these commandments given were what will later be referred to as the first commandments or the second commandments. If we consider the similar phrasing in the beginning of verse 32, it seems the commandments being referred to are the second commandments—that is, commandments given after the transgression of the first commandments.
Another issue in this verse that deserves careful attention is the way in which the transgression of the first commandments allows "men" to "act according to their wills and pleasures." How could the first commandments have been transgressed if men were not in a "state to act" before the first commandments were given? This question, which seems a rather natural, albeit implicit, question arising from this verse, may help us understand the why "the commandments" described at the beginning of both this verse and verse 32, is not more explicit. That is, perhaps Alma is trying to describe something that does not lend itself to analytic description. If the separation between the first commandments and later/second commandments is not meaningful until after the first commandments have been transgressed, then it would only make sense to refer to such a distinction in retrospect. In this sense, then, the transgression of the first commandments may be something very different from the kind of acting according to one's will that is later described. That is, we might take the transgression of the first commandments as being juxtaposed, even contrasted, to the acting according to one's will that seems to accompany the second commandments.
  • Alma 12:32: Commandments. What are the commandments which God gave unto them? We aren't told in this verse or in the section. It likely doesn't matter to Alma's point. When God gave Adam and Eve the commandments, they had taken the fruit and therefore already knew good from evil. From that, one might conclude that God would not need to give them further commands, or maybe that God would only say "don't do evil." In fact, and consistent with our own experiences in life, He did more than that because, we assume, Adam and Eve, like us, need specific commandments so that they would not do evil.
Alternatively, the first provocation in this context may be referring to the cherubim that God sent to ensure Adam and Eve would experience physical death as a consequence of partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In this case, the second provocation would seem to refer to spiritual death. On this reading, the last part of the verse about "the last death, as well as the first" offers a parallel description of the same events described by the first and second provocation.
  • Alma 12:37: Second commandments. If the first commandments were to multiply and replenish the earth and not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then the second commandments are those referred to in verse 32.
  • Alma 12:36-37: "Rest of the Lord" and "rest of God." In these verses, the phrases "rest of the Lord" (v. 36) and "rest of God" (v. 37) seem to be used in parallel. They could also signify the following chiastic arrangement of thoughts:
A. if ye harden your hearts ye will not enter into the rest of the Lord (v. 36)
B. your iniquity provoketh God (v. 36)
C. let us repent (v. 37)
B'. that we provoke not the Lord our God (v. 37)
A'. let us enter into the rest of God (v. 37)

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. →

  • Alma 12:1: How had Zeezrom been caught in lying?
  • Alma 12:1: Zeezrom has become conscious of his guilt. What in particular might have brought about that consciousness? In what sense is Alma “unfolding the scriptures"?
  • Alma 12:3-6: Satan laid a trap for Zeezrom by getting Zeezrom to lay a trap for Alma. How is Satan’s trap similar to Zeezrom’s?
  • Alma 12:8: Zeezrom's change. How has Zeezrom changed? (How can you tell?)
  • Alma 12:8: First question. Why are these questions the first ones that Zeezrom asks?
  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. What is a mystery of God? “Mystery” and “mysteries” are used 70 times in the English scriptures (see link below). Its most common synonym is “secret.” If many know the mysteries of God, how are they a secret? Notice that these words occur much more often in Restoration scriptures than in the Bible. Why do you think that is?
  • Alma 12:9: Impart only. What does “they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him” mean in contemporary, ordinary English?
  • Alma 12:9-15: Resurrection and mysteries. Here Alma indirectly explains why he told Zeezrom about temporal death and the resurrection. What is his explanation—what does it have to do with the mysteries of God?
  • Alma 12:13: Hardened our hearts against the word. Why does Alma modify or clarify his statement "if our hearts have been hardened" with "against the word" (cf. verse 10)?
  • Alma 12:16: What does it mean to die in sin? Does the word “in” carry any particular weight?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Why is it a punishment to continue to live in our sins? How does this square with the discussion of everlasting punishment in D&C 19? Do you think Alma knew of the explanation we see in the D&C?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Cannot be redeemed. Why would God create a plan in which he knew that some of us would not be able to return to him?
  • Alma 12:20-21: Do you think that Antionah’s questions are sincere? Why or why not?
  • Alma 12:22: It appears that Alma's main concern about Adam and Eve partaking the fruit was the truthfulness of God. Why does the veracity of God's word hold such weight for Alma?
  • Alma 12:24: Probationary. What does it mean to say that life is probationary? Is the word being used as it is when we speak of criminals on probation? If so, is the implication that we have already been convicted? Alma teaches here that life is the time given us to repent. How do we avoid a belief in original sin given these teachings?
  • Alma 12:26-27: These verses seem to answer the question in v. 24 about why life is probationary. How?
  • Alma 12:31: Gods. Why is “Gods” capitalized in this verse? Usually it is capitalized only when it is used as the name of Deity, not when it is used to refer to an office or position. In what ways are we like Gods? Why is that significant?
  • Alma 12:31: Placing themselves versus being placed. What is the difference? Is Alma correcting himself by using the second phrase?
  • Alma 12:31-32: Wherefore. Both verses 31 and 32 begin in the same way, “wherefore” in one case and “therefore” in the other, but the two mean the same. That suggests that they logically follow from verse 30. How so? What things has the Lord done to make it possible for us to return to him?
  • Alma 12:33: What does it mean to say that God called on men "in the name of his Son?"
  • Alma 12:36: Provocation. What is the first provocation? What is the last provocation?
  • Alma 12:37: Rest of God. What does “the rest of God” mean? How do we enter into it? How does chapter 13 relate to "the rest of God"?
  • Alma 12:37: Ye versus us. Why does Alma switches from second person plural in verse 36 to first person plural in verse 37.

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. →

  • Alma 12:14: In what sense do thoughts condemn us? Ben S. at the Times and Seasons blog suggests that it is not the having of evil thoughts but the cultivation of evil thoughts that condemns us (that is, the adversary can put the thoughts in our mind, but it is only a sin if we entertain such thoughts).
  • Alma 12:15. Marcus B. Nash, "The Great Plan of Happiness," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 49–50. Elder Nash said: "Each of us needs to repent to some degree or another. To repent means to make the real changes in your life the Savior desires you to make for your happiness... As you seek to change, remember that our loving Savior, as Alma states, has 'all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.' This is powerful, liberating, hope-filled doctrine!"

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.



Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a

Alma 12:16-20

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 12
Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 12 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. While we don't know exactly what word is being translated here as "mysteries", in the New Testament the English word "mystery" is a translation of the Greek noun musterion, which originally meant the secret teachings and religious rites of ancient religious orders—such as the Orphic mysteries. The equivalent Hebrew word of mystery means ordinance or hand.
  • Alma 12:9-12. At first blush it may not be obvious how this verse is the beginning of the answer to the question that Zeezrom has just put to Alma "What does this mean ... that all shall rise from the dead, both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according to their works?"
How this is the beginning of an answer to Zeezrom's question only becomes clear as we read the subsequent verses. Alma is answering the question by explaining how it is that some people will receive the mysteries of God in full while others shall be condemned at the judgement. And the reason that some receive the mysteries of God in full while others are condemned is because some do not harden their hearts and for this reason are given more of it until they know the mysteries in full (v 10); while others harden their hearts and receive the lesser portion until thye know nothing concerning God's mysteries (v 11).
The question remains though of how the following clause fits into that explanation: "nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart [the mysteries of God] only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligince which they give unto him." To explain this it is helpful to split this into two parts and explain each separately. 1st) those who receive the mysteries of God are laid under a strict command not to share them. 2nd) the exception as to when sharing is allowed. In this reading the point of the first part is to emphasize the point that hardening your heart vs knowing God's mysteries is an individual choice. Those who know the mysteries are strictly commanded not to share them. Or in other words, someone who has hardened their heart and received the lesser portion won't be able to simply get them from someone else who has not hardened their heart. The 2nd part exlains when in fact others are allowed to share the mysteries of God. Unsurprisingly we find out here that it is only when God allows it ("according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men"). Finally we are told when God does allow it. Again, nothing new here, God allows the mysteries to be shared depending on whether people listen to him, which is just another way of saying that they do not harden their hearts ("according to the heed and diligence which [those who would receive] give unto [God]"). The rule then is the same whether God reveals mysteries directly or through other people--either way it is only when we do not harden are hearts, and instead give heed to God's words and diligently follow them that more is given unto us.
Others read this verse differently though. In that view the phrase "only according to the portion of [God's] word which he doth grant unto the children of men" means that people who receive personal revelation, i.e. God's mysteries, should only share that portion of what they receive with others which God has already given unto the children of men.
  • Alma 12:18: Cannot be redeemed. God cannot save everyone, because to do so would make him a liar and he would cease to be God (see Alma 42:13). God's justice is based on just (true, correct) principles; he has clearly set forth the rules and the punishment for breaking those rules. All we can do is to choose to obey them or not (see Mosiah 15:26-27). Ultimately, our downfall will be our own doing.
  • Alma 12:21. Antionah's question is decisive because he draws explicitly on Gen 3:24, that is, on the conclusion of the Fall story as it is recorded in Gen 2-3. But it must be clear at the same time that Antionah seems to draw on something more than just what is recorded in Genesis: the Genesis text is hardly as specific as Antionah is. The Genesis text reads: "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." The precision with which most of Antionah's quotation and the Genesis text match up is remarkable, and this very precision highlights the few differences between them: though the Genesis text implies that Adam and Eve are to be kept from the tree of life, there is no specific mention of entering or partaking, and certainly not of living forever! (It is perhaps also worth mentioning that the Genesis text mentions only the man here, while Antionah has reference to "our first parents," perhaps an echo of Lehi's discourse to his son Jacob—especially 2 Ne 2:15. It is probably worth exploring the filiation that seems to obtain between Antionah's reading and the remarkably theological discourse of Lehi.) What is to be made of this difference? More importantly, perhaps: how does this difference alter the direction in which Alma takes his discourse?
As it turns out, the difference is hardly a minor one: it is the business of living forever that is the most important element of "the scripture" for Antionah. His conclusion draws on that phrasing only: "And thus we see that there was no possible chance that they should live forever." Although it seems that Antionah is familiar with some scripture, it seems he is not familiar with Jacob's teachings in 2 Ne 9:13, 15.
  • Alma 12:25. One way to read this verse is to consider the possibility of Adam and Eve partaking of the fruit of the tree of life before having time to prepare to meet God. If this were the case, Adam and Eve would not have died before becoming immortal, and would therefore not be resurrected (emphasis on the re- prefix, that is, without dying, it does not make sense to be raised from the dead as the term resurrection implies).
  • Alma 12:31. Alma here brings to bear on each other two sets of commandments: the "first commandments" and a second set of commandments imposed because the first set was "transgressed." This doubling of the commandments is of some significance, especially given the flavor of the following verse: God's words had at once to be transgressed and yet never violated, never brought to naught. This doubling of the word through which it is at once annulled and yet maintained deserves careful attention.
Also of interest is the peculiar phrasing in the beginning of this verse. The verse starts with a use of the term "commandments" without any indication as to whether these commandments given were what will later be referred to as the first commandments or the second commandments. If we consider the similar phrasing in the beginning of verse 32, it seems the commandments being referred to are the second commandments—that is, commandments given after the transgression of the first commandments.
Another issue in this verse that deserves careful attention is the way in which the transgression of the first commandments allows "men" to "act according to their wills and pleasures." How could the first commandments have been transgressed if men were not in a "state to act" before the first commandments were given? This question, which seems a rather natural, albeit implicit, question arising from this verse, may help us understand the why "the commandments" described at the beginning of both this verse and verse 32, is not more explicit. That is, perhaps Alma is trying to describe something that does not lend itself to analytic description. If the separation between the first commandments and later/second commandments is not meaningful until after the first commandments have been transgressed, then it would only make sense to refer to such a distinction in retrospect. In this sense, then, the transgression of the first commandments may be something very different from the kind of acting according to one's will that is later described. That is, we might take the transgression of the first commandments as being juxtaposed, even contrasted, to the acting according to one's will that seems to accompany the second commandments.
  • Alma 12:32: Commandments. What are the commandments which God gave unto them? We aren't told in this verse or in the section. It likely doesn't matter to Alma's point. When God gave Adam and Eve the commandments, they had taken the fruit and therefore already knew good from evil. From that, one might conclude that God would not need to give them further commands, or maybe that God would only say "don't do evil." In fact, and consistent with our own experiences in life, He did more than that because, we assume, Adam and Eve, like us, need specific commandments so that they would not do evil.
Alternatively, the first provocation in this context may be referring to the cherubim that God sent to ensure Adam and Eve would experience physical death as a consequence of partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In this case, the second provocation would seem to refer to spiritual death. On this reading, the last part of the verse about "the last death, as well as the first" offers a parallel description of the same events described by the first and second provocation.
  • Alma 12:37: Second commandments. If the first commandments were to multiply and replenish the earth and not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then the second commandments are those referred to in verse 32.
  • Alma 12:36-37: "Rest of the Lord" and "rest of God." In these verses, the phrases "rest of the Lord" (v. 36) and "rest of God" (v. 37) seem to be used in parallel. They could also signify the following chiastic arrangement of thoughts:
A. if ye harden your hearts ye will not enter into the rest of the Lord (v. 36)
B. your iniquity provoketh God (v. 36)
C. let us repent (v. 37)
B'. that we provoke not the Lord our God (v. 37)
A'. let us enter into the rest of God (v. 37)

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. →

  • Alma 12:1: How had Zeezrom been caught in lying?
  • Alma 12:1: Zeezrom has become conscious of his guilt. What in particular might have brought about that consciousness? In what sense is Alma “unfolding the scriptures"?
  • Alma 12:3-6: Satan laid a trap for Zeezrom by getting Zeezrom to lay a trap for Alma. How is Satan’s trap similar to Zeezrom’s?
  • Alma 12:8: Zeezrom's change. How has Zeezrom changed? (How can you tell?)
  • Alma 12:8: First question. Why are these questions the first ones that Zeezrom asks?
  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. What is a mystery of God? “Mystery” and “mysteries” are used 70 times in the English scriptures (see link below). Its most common synonym is “secret.” If many know the mysteries of God, how are they a secret? Notice that these words occur much more often in Restoration scriptures than in the Bible. Why do you think that is?
  • Alma 12:9: Impart only. What does “they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him” mean in contemporary, ordinary English?
  • Alma 12:9-15: Resurrection and mysteries. Here Alma indirectly explains why he told Zeezrom about temporal death and the resurrection. What is his explanation—what does it have to do with the mysteries of God?
  • Alma 12:13: Hardened our hearts against the word. Why does Alma modify or clarify his statement "if our hearts have been hardened" with "against the word" (cf. verse 10)?
  • Alma 12:16: What does it mean to die in sin? Does the word “in” carry any particular weight?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Why is it a punishment to continue to live in our sins? How does this square with the discussion of everlasting punishment in D&C 19? Do you think Alma knew of the explanation we see in the D&C?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Cannot be redeemed. Why would God create a plan in which he knew that some of us would not be able to return to him?
  • Alma 12:20-21: Do you think that Antionah’s questions are sincere? Why or why not?
  • Alma 12:22: It appears that Alma's main concern about Adam and Eve partaking the fruit was the truthfulness of God. Why does the veracity of God's word hold such weight for Alma?
  • Alma 12:24: Probationary. What does it mean to say that life is probationary? Is the word being used as it is when we speak of criminals on probation? If so, is the implication that we have already been convicted? Alma teaches here that life is the time given us to repent. How do we avoid a belief in original sin given these teachings?
  • Alma 12:26-27: These verses seem to answer the question in v. 24 about why life is probationary. How?
  • Alma 12:31: Gods. Why is “Gods” capitalized in this verse? Usually it is capitalized only when it is used as the name of Deity, not when it is used to refer to an office or position. In what ways are we like Gods? Why is that significant?
  • Alma 12:31: Placing themselves versus being placed. What is the difference? Is Alma correcting himself by using the second phrase?
  • Alma 12:31-32: Wherefore. Both verses 31 and 32 begin in the same way, “wherefore” in one case and “therefore” in the other, but the two mean the same. That suggests that they logically follow from verse 30. How so? What things has the Lord done to make it possible for us to return to him?
  • Alma 12:33: What does it mean to say that God called on men "in the name of his Son?"
  • Alma 12:36: Provocation. What is the first provocation? What is the last provocation?
  • Alma 12:37: Rest of God. What does “the rest of God” mean? How do we enter into it? How does chapter 13 relate to "the rest of God"?
  • Alma 12:37: Ye versus us. Why does Alma switches from second person plural in verse 36 to first person plural in verse 37.

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. →

  • Alma 12:14: In what sense do thoughts condemn us? Ben S. at the Times and Seasons blog suggests that it is not the having of evil thoughts but the cultivation of evil thoughts that condemns us (that is, the adversary can put the thoughts in our mind, but it is only a sin if we entertain such thoughts).
  • Alma 12:15. Marcus B. Nash, "The Great Plan of Happiness," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 49–50. Elder Nash said: "Each of us needs to repent to some degree or another. To repent means to make the real changes in your life the Savior desires you to make for your happiness... As you seek to change, remember that our loving Savior, as Alma states, has 'all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.' This is powerful, liberating, hope-filled doctrine!"

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.



Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a

Alma 12:21-25

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 12
Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 12 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. While we don't know exactly what word is being translated here as "mysteries", in the New Testament the English word "mystery" is a translation of the Greek noun musterion, which originally meant the secret teachings and religious rites of ancient religious orders—such as the Orphic mysteries. The equivalent Hebrew word of mystery means ordinance or hand.
  • Alma 12:9-12. At first blush it may not be obvious how this verse is the beginning of the answer to the question that Zeezrom has just put to Alma "What does this mean ... that all shall rise from the dead, both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according to their works?"
How this is the beginning of an answer to Zeezrom's question only becomes clear as we read the subsequent verses. Alma is answering the question by explaining how it is that some people will receive the mysteries of God in full while others shall be condemned at the judgement. And the reason that some receive the mysteries of God in full while others are condemned is because some do not harden their hearts and for this reason are given more of it until they know the mysteries in full (v 10); while others harden their hearts and receive the lesser portion until thye know nothing concerning God's mysteries (v 11).
The question remains though of how the following clause fits into that explanation: "nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart [the mysteries of God] only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligince which they give unto him." To explain this it is helpful to split this into two parts and explain each separately. 1st) those who receive the mysteries of God are laid under a strict command not to share them. 2nd) the exception as to when sharing is allowed. In this reading the point of the first part is to emphasize the point that hardening your heart vs knowing God's mysteries is an individual choice. Those who know the mysteries are strictly commanded not to share them. Or in other words, someone who has hardened their heart and received the lesser portion won't be able to simply get them from someone else who has not hardened their heart. The 2nd part exlains when in fact others are allowed to share the mysteries of God. Unsurprisingly we find out here that it is only when God allows it ("according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men"). Finally we are told when God does allow it. Again, nothing new here, God allows the mysteries to be shared depending on whether people listen to him, which is just another way of saying that they do not harden their hearts ("according to the heed and diligence which [those who would receive] give unto [God]"). The rule then is the same whether God reveals mysteries directly or through other people--either way it is only when we do not harden are hearts, and instead give heed to God's words and diligently follow them that more is given unto us.
Others read this verse differently though. In that view the phrase "only according to the portion of [God's] word which he doth grant unto the children of men" means that people who receive personal revelation, i.e. God's mysteries, should only share that portion of what they receive with others which God has already given unto the children of men.
  • Alma 12:18: Cannot be redeemed. God cannot save everyone, because to do so would make him a liar and he would cease to be God (see Alma 42:13). God's justice is based on just (true, correct) principles; he has clearly set forth the rules and the punishment for breaking those rules. All we can do is to choose to obey them or not (see Mosiah 15:26-27). Ultimately, our downfall will be our own doing.
  • Alma 12:21. Antionah's question is decisive because he draws explicitly on Gen 3:24, that is, on the conclusion of the Fall story as it is recorded in Gen 2-3. But it must be clear at the same time that Antionah seems to draw on something more than just what is recorded in Genesis: the Genesis text is hardly as specific as Antionah is. The Genesis text reads: "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." The precision with which most of Antionah's quotation and the Genesis text match up is remarkable, and this very precision highlights the few differences between them: though the Genesis text implies that Adam and Eve are to be kept from the tree of life, there is no specific mention of entering or partaking, and certainly not of living forever! (It is perhaps also worth mentioning that the Genesis text mentions only the man here, while Antionah has reference to "our first parents," perhaps an echo of Lehi's discourse to his son Jacob—especially 2 Ne 2:15. It is probably worth exploring the filiation that seems to obtain between Antionah's reading and the remarkably theological discourse of Lehi.) What is to be made of this difference? More importantly, perhaps: how does this difference alter the direction in which Alma takes his discourse?
As it turns out, the difference is hardly a minor one: it is the business of living forever that is the most important element of "the scripture" for Antionah. His conclusion draws on that phrasing only: "And thus we see that there was no possible chance that they should live forever." Although it seems that Antionah is familiar with some scripture, it seems he is not familiar with Jacob's teachings in 2 Ne 9:13, 15.
  • Alma 12:25. One way to read this verse is to consider the possibility of Adam and Eve partaking of the fruit of the tree of life before having time to prepare to meet God. If this were the case, Adam and Eve would not have died before becoming immortal, and would therefore not be resurrected (emphasis on the re- prefix, that is, without dying, it does not make sense to be raised from the dead as the term resurrection implies).
  • Alma 12:31. Alma here brings to bear on each other two sets of commandments: the "first commandments" and a second set of commandments imposed because the first set was "transgressed." This doubling of the commandments is of some significance, especially given the flavor of the following verse: God's words had at once to be transgressed and yet never violated, never brought to naught. This doubling of the word through which it is at once annulled and yet maintained deserves careful attention.
Also of interest is the peculiar phrasing in the beginning of this verse. The verse starts with a use of the term "commandments" without any indication as to whether these commandments given were what will later be referred to as the first commandments or the second commandments. If we consider the similar phrasing in the beginning of verse 32, it seems the commandments being referred to are the second commandments—that is, commandments given after the transgression of the first commandments.
Another issue in this verse that deserves careful attention is the way in which the transgression of the first commandments allows "men" to "act according to their wills and pleasures." How could the first commandments have been transgressed if men were not in a "state to act" before the first commandments were given? This question, which seems a rather natural, albeit implicit, question arising from this verse, may help us understand the why "the commandments" described at the beginning of both this verse and verse 32, is not more explicit. That is, perhaps Alma is trying to describe something that does not lend itself to analytic description. If the separation between the first commandments and later/second commandments is not meaningful until after the first commandments have been transgressed, then it would only make sense to refer to such a distinction in retrospect. In this sense, then, the transgression of the first commandments may be something very different from the kind of acting according to one's will that is later described. That is, we might take the transgression of the first commandments as being juxtaposed, even contrasted, to the acting according to one's will that seems to accompany the second commandments.
  • Alma 12:32: Commandments. What are the commandments which God gave unto them? We aren't told in this verse or in the section. It likely doesn't matter to Alma's point. When God gave Adam and Eve the commandments, they had taken the fruit and therefore already knew good from evil. From that, one might conclude that God would not need to give them further commands, or maybe that God would only say "don't do evil." In fact, and consistent with our own experiences in life, He did more than that because, we assume, Adam and Eve, like us, need specific commandments so that they would not do evil.
Alternatively, the first provocation in this context may be referring to the cherubim that God sent to ensure Adam and Eve would experience physical death as a consequence of partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In this case, the second provocation would seem to refer to spiritual death. On this reading, the last part of the verse about "the last death, as well as the first" offers a parallel description of the same events described by the first and second provocation.
  • Alma 12:37: Second commandments. If the first commandments were to multiply and replenish the earth and not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then the second commandments are those referred to in verse 32.
  • Alma 12:36-37: "Rest of the Lord" and "rest of God." In these verses, the phrases "rest of the Lord" (v. 36) and "rest of God" (v. 37) seem to be used in parallel. They could also signify the following chiastic arrangement of thoughts:
A. if ye harden your hearts ye will not enter into the rest of the Lord (v. 36)
B. your iniquity provoketh God (v. 36)
C. let us repent (v. 37)
B'. that we provoke not the Lord our God (v. 37)
A'. let us enter into the rest of God (v. 37)

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. →

  • Alma 12:1: How had Zeezrom been caught in lying?
  • Alma 12:1: Zeezrom has become conscious of his guilt. What in particular might have brought about that consciousness? In what sense is Alma “unfolding the scriptures"?
  • Alma 12:3-6: Satan laid a trap for Zeezrom by getting Zeezrom to lay a trap for Alma. How is Satan’s trap similar to Zeezrom’s?
  • Alma 12:8: Zeezrom's change. How has Zeezrom changed? (How can you tell?)
  • Alma 12:8: First question. Why are these questions the first ones that Zeezrom asks?
  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. What is a mystery of God? “Mystery” and “mysteries” are used 70 times in the English scriptures (see link below). Its most common synonym is “secret.” If many know the mysteries of God, how are they a secret? Notice that these words occur much more often in Restoration scriptures than in the Bible. Why do you think that is?
  • Alma 12:9: Impart only. What does “they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him” mean in contemporary, ordinary English?
  • Alma 12:9-15: Resurrection and mysteries. Here Alma indirectly explains why he told Zeezrom about temporal death and the resurrection. What is his explanation—what does it have to do with the mysteries of God?
  • Alma 12:13: Hardened our hearts against the word. Why does Alma modify or clarify his statement "if our hearts have been hardened" with "against the word" (cf. verse 10)?
  • Alma 12:16: What does it mean to die in sin? Does the word “in” carry any particular weight?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Why is it a punishment to continue to live in our sins? How does this square with the discussion of everlasting punishment in D&C 19? Do you think Alma knew of the explanation we see in the D&C?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Cannot be redeemed. Why would God create a plan in which he knew that some of us would not be able to return to him?
  • Alma 12:20-21: Do you think that Antionah’s questions are sincere? Why or why not?
  • Alma 12:22: It appears that Alma's main concern about Adam and Eve partaking the fruit was the truthfulness of God. Why does the veracity of God's word hold such weight for Alma?
  • Alma 12:24: Probationary. What does it mean to say that life is probationary? Is the word being used as it is when we speak of criminals on probation? If so, is the implication that we have already been convicted? Alma teaches here that life is the time given us to repent. How do we avoid a belief in original sin given these teachings?
  • Alma 12:26-27: These verses seem to answer the question in v. 24 about why life is probationary. How?
  • Alma 12:31: Gods. Why is “Gods” capitalized in this verse? Usually it is capitalized only when it is used as the name of Deity, not when it is used to refer to an office or position. In what ways are we like Gods? Why is that significant?
  • Alma 12:31: Placing themselves versus being placed. What is the difference? Is Alma correcting himself by using the second phrase?
  • Alma 12:31-32: Wherefore. Both verses 31 and 32 begin in the same way, “wherefore” in one case and “therefore” in the other, but the two mean the same. That suggests that they logically follow from verse 30. How so? What things has the Lord done to make it possible for us to return to him?
  • Alma 12:33: What does it mean to say that God called on men "in the name of his Son?"
  • Alma 12:36: Provocation. What is the first provocation? What is the last provocation?
  • Alma 12:37: Rest of God. What does “the rest of God” mean? How do we enter into it? How does chapter 13 relate to "the rest of God"?
  • Alma 12:37: Ye versus us. Why does Alma switches from second person plural in verse 36 to first person plural in verse 37.

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. →

  • Alma 12:14: In what sense do thoughts condemn us? Ben S. at the Times and Seasons blog suggests that it is not the having of evil thoughts but the cultivation of evil thoughts that condemns us (that is, the adversary can put the thoughts in our mind, but it is only a sin if we entertain such thoughts).
  • Alma 12:15. Marcus B. Nash, "The Great Plan of Happiness," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 49–50. Elder Nash said: "Each of us needs to repent to some degree or another. To repent means to make the real changes in your life the Savior desires you to make for your happiness... As you seek to change, remember that our loving Savior, as Alma states, has 'all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.' This is powerful, liberating, hope-filled doctrine!"

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.



Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a

Alma 12:26-30

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 12
Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 12 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. While we don't know exactly what word is being translated here as "mysteries", in the New Testament the English word "mystery" is a translation of the Greek noun musterion, which originally meant the secret teachings and religious rites of ancient religious orders—such as the Orphic mysteries. The equivalent Hebrew word of mystery means ordinance or hand.
  • Alma 12:9-12. At first blush it may not be obvious how this verse is the beginning of the answer to the question that Zeezrom has just put to Alma "What does this mean ... that all shall rise from the dead, both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according to their works?"
How this is the beginning of an answer to Zeezrom's question only becomes clear as we read the subsequent verses. Alma is answering the question by explaining how it is that some people will receive the mysteries of God in full while others shall be condemned at the judgement. And the reason that some receive the mysteries of God in full while others are condemned is because some do not harden their hearts and for this reason are given more of it until they know the mysteries in full (v 10); while others harden their hearts and receive the lesser portion until thye know nothing concerning God's mysteries (v 11).
The question remains though of how the following clause fits into that explanation: "nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart [the mysteries of God] only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligince which they give unto him." To explain this it is helpful to split this into two parts and explain each separately. 1st) those who receive the mysteries of God are laid under a strict command not to share them. 2nd) the exception as to when sharing is allowed. In this reading the point of the first part is to emphasize the point that hardening your heart vs knowing God's mysteries is an individual choice. Those who know the mysteries are strictly commanded not to share them. Or in other words, someone who has hardened their heart and received the lesser portion won't be able to simply get them from someone else who has not hardened their heart. The 2nd part exlains when in fact others are allowed to share the mysteries of God. Unsurprisingly we find out here that it is only when God allows it ("according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men"). Finally we are told when God does allow it. Again, nothing new here, God allows the mysteries to be shared depending on whether people listen to him, which is just another way of saying that they do not harden their hearts ("according to the heed and diligence which [those who would receive] give unto [God]"). The rule then is the same whether God reveals mysteries directly or through other people--either way it is only when we do not harden are hearts, and instead give heed to God's words and diligently follow them that more is given unto us.
Others read this verse differently though. In that view the phrase "only according to the portion of [God's] word which he doth grant unto the children of men" means that people who receive personal revelation, i.e. God's mysteries, should only share that portion of what they receive with others which God has already given unto the children of men.
  • Alma 12:18: Cannot be redeemed. God cannot save everyone, because to do so would make him a liar and he would cease to be God (see Alma 42:13). God's justice is based on just (true, correct) principles; he has clearly set forth the rules and the punishment for breaking those rules. All we can do is to choose to obey them or not (see Mosiah 15:26-27). Ultimately, our downfall will be our own doing.
  • Alma 12:21. Antionah's question is decisive because he draws explicitly on Gen 3:24, that is, on the conclusion of the Fall story as it is recorded in Gen 2-3. But it must be clear at the same time that Antionah seems to draw on something more than just what is recorded in Genesis: the Genesis text is hardly as specific as Antionah is. The Genesis text reads: "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." The precision with which most of Antionah's quotation and the Genesis text match up is remarkable, and this very precision highlights the few differences between them: though the Genesis text implies that Adam and Eve are to be kept from the tree of life, there is no specific mention of entering or partaking, and certainly not of living forever! (It is perhaps also worth mentioning that the Genesis text mentions only the man here, while Antionah has reference to "our first parents," perhaps an echo of Lehi's discourse to his son Jacob—especially 2 Ne 2:15. It is probably worth exploring the filiation that seems to obtain between Antionah's reading and the remarkably theological discourse of Lehi.) What is to be made of this difference? More importantly, perhaps: how does this difference alter the direction in which Alma takes his discourse?
As it turns out, the difference is hardly a minor one: it is the business of living forever that is the most important element of "the scripture" for Antionah. His conclusion draws on that phrasing only: "And thus we see that there was no possible chance that they should live forever." Although it seems that Antionah is familiar with some scripture, it seems he is not familiar with Jacob's teachings in 2 Ne 9:13, 15.
  • Alma 12:25. One way to read this verse is to consider the possibility of Adam and Eve partaking of the fruit of the tree of life before having time to prepare to meet God. If this were the case, Adam and Eve would not have died before becoming immortal, and would therefore not be resurrected (emphasis on the re- prefix, that is, without dying, it does not make sense to be raised from the dead as the term resurrection implies).
  • Alma 12:31. Alma here brings to bear on each other two sets of commandments: the "first commandments" and a second set of commandments imposed because the first set was "transgressed." This doubling of the commandments is of some significance, especially given the flavor of the following verse: God's words had at once to be transgressed and yet never violated, never brought to naught. This doubling of the word through which it is at once annulled and yet maintained deserves careful attention.
Also of interest is the peculiar phrasing in the beginning of this verse. The verse starts with a use of the term "commandments" without any indication as to whether these commandments given were what will later be referred to as the first commandments or the second commandments. If we consider the similar phrasing in the beginning of verse 32, it seems the commandments being referred to are the second commandments—that is, commandments given after the transgression of the first commandments.
Another issue in this verse that deserves careful attention is the way in which the transgression of the first commandments allows "men" to "act according to their wills and pleasures." How could the first commandments have been transgressed if men were not in a "state to act" before the first commandments were given? This question, which seems a rather natural, albeit implicit, question arising from this verse, may help us understand the why "the commandments" described at the beginning of both this verse and verse 32, is not more explicit. That is, perhaps Alma is trying to describe something that does not lend itself to analytic description. If the separation between the first commandments and later/second commandments is not meaningful until after the first commandments have been transgressed, then it would only make sense to refer to such a distinction in retrospect. In this sense, then, the transgression of the first commandments may be something very different from the kind of acting according to one's will that is later described. That is, we might take the transgression of the first commandments as being juxtaposed, even contrasted, to the acting according to one's will that seems to accompany the second commandments.
  • Alma 12:32: Commandments. What are the commandments which God gave unto them? We aren't told in this verse or in the section. It likely doesn't matter to Alma's point. When God gave Adam and Eve the commandments, they had taken the fruit and therefore already knew good from evil. From that, one might conclude that God would not need to give them further commands, or maybe that God would only say "don't do evil." In fact, and consistent with our own experiences in life, He did more than that because, we assume, Adam and Eve, like us, need specific commandments so that they would not do evil.
Alternatively, the first provocation in this context may be referring to the cherubim that God sent to ensure Adam and Eve would experience physical death as a consequence of partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In this case, the second provocation would seem to refer to spiritual death. On this reading, the last part of the verse about "the last death, as well as the first" offers a parallel description of the same events described by the first and second provocation.
  • Alma 12:37: Second commandments. If the first commandments were to multiply and replenish the earth and not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then the second commandments are those referred to in verse 32.
  • Alma 12:36-37: "Rest of the Lord" and "rest of God." In these verses, the phrases "rest of the Lord" (v. 36) and "rest of God" (v. 37) seem to be used in parallel. They could also signify the following chiastic arrangement of thoughts:
A. if ye harden your hearts ye will not enter into the rest of the Lord (v. 36)
B. your iniquity provoketh God (v. 36)
C. let us repent (v. 37)
B'. that we provoke not the Lord our God (v. 37)
A'. let us enter into the rest of God (v. 37)

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. →

  • Alma 12:1: How had Zeezrom been caught in lying?
  • Alma 12:1: Zeezrom has become conscious of his guilt. What in particular might have brought about that consciousness? In what sense is Alma “unfolding the scriptures"?
  • Alma 12:3-6: Satan laid a trap for Zeezrom by getting Zeezrom to lay a trap for Alma. How is Satan’s trap similar to Zeezrom’s?
  • Alma 12:8: Zeezrom's change. How has Zeezrom changed? (How can you tell?)
  • Alma 12:8: First question. Why are these questions the first ones that Zeezrom asks?
  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. What is a mystery of God? “Mystery” and “mysteries” are used 70 times in the English scriptures (see link below). Its most common synonym is “secret.” If many know the mysteries of God, how are they a secret? Notice that these words occur much more often in Restoration scriptures than in the Bible. Why do you think that is?
  • Alma 12:9: Impart only. What does “they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him” mean in contemporary, ordinary English?
  • Alma 12:9-15: Resurrection and mysteries. Here Alma indirectly explains why he told Zeezrom about temporal death and the resurrection. What is his explanation—what does it have to do with the mysteries of God?
  • Alma 12:13: Hardened our hearts against the word. Why does Alma modify or clarify his statement "if our hearts have been hardened" with "against the word" (cf. verse 10)?
  • Alma 12:16: What does it mean to die in sin? Does the word “in” carry any particular weight?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Why is it a punishment to continue to live in our sins? How does this square with the discussion of everlasting punishment in D&C 19? Do you think Alma knew of the explanation we see in the D&C?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Cannot be redeemed. Why would God create a plan in which he knew that some of us would not be able to return to him?
  • Alma 12:20-21: Do you think that Antionah’s questions are sincere? Why or why not?
  • Alma 12:22: It appears that Alma's main concern about Adam and Eve partaking the fruit was the truthfulness of God. Why does the veracity of God's word hold such weight for Alma?
  • Alma 12:24: Probationary. What does it mean to say that life is probationary? Is the word being used as it is when we speak of criminals on probation? If so, is the implication that we have already been convicted? Alma teaches here that life is the time given us to repent. How do we avoid a belief in original sin given these teachings?
  • Alma 12:26-27: These verses seem to answer the question in v. 24 about why life is probationary. How?
  • Alma 12:31: Gods. Why is “Gods” capitalized in this verse? Usually it is capitalized only when it is used as the name of Deity, not when it is used to refer to an office or position. In what ways are we like Gods? Why is that significant?
  • Alma 12:31: Placing themselves versus being placed. What is the difference? Is Alma correcting himself by using the second phrase?
  • Alma 12:31-32: Wherefore. Both verses 31 and 32 begin in the same way, “wherefore” in one case and “therefore” in the other, but the two mean the same. That suggests that they logically follow from verse 30. How so? What things has the Lord done to make it possible for us to return to him?
  • Alma 12:33: What does it mean to say that God called on men "in the name of his Son?"
  • Alma 12:36: Provocation. What is the first provocation? What is the last provocation?
  • Alma 12:37: Rest of God. What does “the rest of God” mean? How do we enter into it? How does chapter 13 relate to "the rest of God"?
  • Alma 12:37: Ye versus us. Why does Alma switches from second person plural in verse 36 to first person plural in verse 37.

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. →

  • Alma 12:14: In what sense do thoughts condemn us? Ben S. at the Times and Seasons blog suggests that it is not the having of evil thoughts but the cultivation of evil thoughts that condemns us (that is, the adversary can put the thoughts in our mind, but it is only a sin if we entertain such thoughts).
  • Alma 12:15. Marcus B. Nash, "The Great Plan of Happiness," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 49–50. Elder Nash said: "Each of us needs to repent to some degree or another. To repent means to make the real changes in your life the Savior desires you to make for your happiness... As you seek to change, remember that our loving Savior, as Alma states, has 'all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.' This is powerful, liberating, hope-filled doctrine!"

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.



Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a

Alma 12:31-37

Home > The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapters 8-16 > Chapter 12
Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a


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. →

The relationship of Chapter 12 to the rest of Chapters 8-16 the book is discussed at Chapters 8-16.

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. →

  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. While we don't know exactly what word is being translated here as "mysteries", in the New Testament the English word "mystery" is a translation of the Greek noun musterion, which originally meant the secret teachings and religious rites of ancient religious orders—such as the Orphic mysteries. The equivalent Hebrew word of mystery means ordinance or hand.
  • Alma 12:9-12. At first blush it may not be obvious how this verse is the beginning of the answer to the question that Zeezrom has just put to Alma "What does this mean ... that all shall rise from the dead, both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according to their works?"
How this is the beginning of an answer to Zeezrom's question only becomes clear as we read the subsequent verses. Alma is answering the question by explaining how it is that some people will receive the mysteries of God in full while others shall be condemned at the judgement. And the reason that some receive the mysteries of God in full while others are condemned is because some do not harden their hearts and for this reason are given more of it until they know the mysteries in full (v 10); while others harden their hearts and receive the lesser portion until thye know nothing concerning God's mysteries (v 11).
The question remains though of how the following clause fits into that explanation: "nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart [the mysteries of God] only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligince which they give unto him." To explain this it is helpful to split this into two parts and explain each separately. 1st) those who receive the mysteries of God are laid under a strict command not to share them. 2nd) the exception as to when sharing is allowed. In this reading the point of the first part is to emphasize the point that hardening your heart vs knowing God's mysteries is an individual choice. Those who know the mysteries are strictly commanded not to share them. Or in other words, someone who has hardened their heart and received the lesser portion won't be able to simply get them from someone else who has not hardened their heart. The 2nd part exlains when in fact others are allowed to share the mysteries of God. Unsurprisingly we find out here that it is only when God allows it ("according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men"). Finally we are told when God does allow it. Again, nothing new here, God allows the mysteries to be shared depending on whether people listen to him, which is just another way of saying that they do not harden their hearts ("according to the heed and diligence which [those who would receive] give unto [God]"). The rule then is the same whether God reveals mysteries directly or through other people--either way it is only when we do not harden are hearts, and instead give heed to God's words and diligently follow them that more is given unto us.
Others read this verse differently though. In that view the phrase "only according to the portion of [God's] word which he doth grant unto the children of men" means that people who receive personal revelation, i.e. God's mysteries, should only share that portion of what they receive with others which God has already given unto the children of men.
  • Alma 12:18: Cannot be redeemed. God cannot save everyone, because to do so would make him a liar and he would cease to be God (see Alma 42:13). God's justice is based on just (true, correct) principles; he has clearly set forth the rules and the punishment for breaking those rules. All we can do is to choose to obey them or not (see Mosiah 15:26-27). Ultimately, our downfall will be our own doing.
  • Alma 12:21. Antionah's question is decisive because he draws explicitly on Gen 3:24, that is, on the conclusion of the Fall story as it is recorded in Gen 2-3. But it must be clear at the same time that Antionah seems to draw on something more than just what is recorded in Genesis: the Genesis text is hardly as specific as Antionah is. The Genesis text reads: "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." The precision with which most of Antionah's quotation and the Genesis text match up is remarkable, and this very precision highlights the few differences between them: though the Genesis text implies that Adam and Eve are to be kept from the tree of life, there is no specific mention of entering or partaking, and certainly not of living forever! (It is perhaps also worth mentioning that the Genesis text mentions only the man here, while Antionah has reference to "our first parents," perhaps an echo of Lehi's discourse to his son Jacob—especially 2 Ne 2:15. It is probably worth exploring the filiation that seems to obtain between Antionah's reading and the remarkably theological discourse of Lehi.) What is to be made of this difference? More importantly, perhaps: how does this difference alter the direction in which Alma takes his discourse?
As it turns out, the difference is hardly a minor one: it is the business of living forever that is the most important element of "the scripture" for Antionah. His conclusion draws on that phrasing only: "And thus we see that there was no possible chance that they should live forever." Although it seems that Antionah is familiar with some scripture, it seems he is not familiar with Jacob's teachings in 2 Ne 9:13, 15.
  • Alma 12:25. One way to read this verse is to consider the possibility of Adam and Eve partaking of the fruit of the tree of life before having time to prepare to meet God. If this were the case, Adam and Eve would not have died before becoming immortal, and would therefore not be resurrected (emphasis on the re- prefix, that is, without dying, it does not make sense to be raised from the dead as the term resurrection implies).
  • Alma 12:31. Alma here brings to bear on each other two sets of commandments: the "first commandments" and a second set of commandments imposed because the first set was "transgressed." This doubling of the commandments is of some significance, especially given the flavor of the following verse: God's words had at once to be transgressed and yet never violated, never brought to naught. This doubling of the word through which it is at once annulled and yet maintained deserves careful attention.
Also of interest is the peculiar phrasing in the beginning of this verse. The verse starts with a use of the term "commandments" without any indication as to whether these commandments given were what will later be referred to as the first commandments or the second commandments. If we consider the similar phrasing in the beginning of verse 32, it seems the commandments being referred to are the second commandments—that is, commandments given after the transgression of the first commandments.
Another issue in this verse that deserves careful attention is the way in which the transgression of the first commandments allows "men" to "act according to their wills and pleasures." How could the first commandments have been transgressed if men were not in a "state to act" before the first commandments were given? This question, which seems a rather natural, albeit implicit, question arising from this verse, may help us understand the why "the commandments" described at the beginning of both this verse and verse 32, is not more explicit. That is, perhaps Alma is trying to describe something that does not lend itself to analytic description. If the separation between the first commandments and later/second commandments is not meaningful until after the first commandments have been transgressed, then it would only make sense to refer to such a distinction in retrospect. In this sense, then, the transgression of the first commandments may be something very different from the kind of acting according to one's will that is later described. That is, we might take the transgression of the first commandments as being juxtaposed, even contrasted, to the acting according to one's will that seems to accompany the second commandments.
  • Alma 12:32: Commandments. What are the commandments which God gave unto them? We aren't told in this verse or in the section. It likely doesn't matter to Alma's point. When God gave Adam and Eve the commandments, they had taken the fruit and therefore already knew good from evil. From that, one might conclude that God would not need to give them further commands, or maybe that God would only say "don't do evil." In fact, and consistent with our own experiences in life, He did more than that because, we assume, Adam and Eve, like us, need specific commandments so that they would not do evil.
Alternatively, the first provocation in this context may be referring to the cherubim that God sent to ensure Adam and Eve would experience physical death as a consequence of partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In this case, the second provocation would seem to refer to spiritual death. On this reading, the last part of the verse about "the last death, as well as the first" offers a parallel description of the same events described by the first and second provocation.
  • Alma 12:37: Second commandments. If the first commandments were to multiply and replenish the earth and not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then the second commandments are those referred to in verse 32.
  • Alma 12:36-37: "Rest of the Lord" and "rest of God." In these verses, the phrases "rest of the Lord" (v. 36) and "rest of God" (v. 37) seem to be used in parallel. They could also signify the following chiastic arrangement of thoughts:
A. if ye harden your hearts ye will not enter into the rest of the Lord (v. 36)
B. your iniquity provoketh God (v. 36)
C. let us repent (v. 37)
B'. that we provoke not the Lord our God (v. 37)
A'. let us enter into the rest of God (v. 37)

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. →

  • Alma 12:1: How had Zeezrom been caught in lying?
  • Alma 12:1: Zeezrom has become conscious of his guilt. What in particular might have brought about that consciousness? In what sense is Alma “unfolding the scriptures"?
  • Alma 12:3-6: Satan laid a trap for Zeezrom by getting Zeezrom to lay a trap for Alma. How is Satan’s trap similar to Zeezrom’s?
  • Alma 12:8: Zeezrom's change. How has Zeezrom changed? (How can you tell?)
  • Alma 12:8: First question. Why are these questions the first ones that Zeezrom asks?
  • Alma 12:9: Mysteries. What is a mystery of God? “Mystery” and “mysteries” are used 70 times in the English scriptures (see link below). Its most common synonym is “secret.” If many know the mysteries of God, how are they a secret? Notice that these words occur much more often in Restoration scriptures than in the Bible. Why do you think that is?
  • Alma 12:9: Impart only. What does “they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him” mean in contemporary, ordinary English?
  • Alma 12:9-15: Resurrection and mysteries. Here Alma indirectly explains why he told Zeezrom about temporal death and the resurrection. What is his explanation—what does it have to do with the mysteries of God?
  • Alma 12:13: Hardened our hearts against the word. Why does Alma modify or clarify his statement "if our hearts have been hardened" with "against the word" (cf. verse 10)?
  • Alma 12:16: What does it mean to die in sin? Does the word “in” carry any particular weight?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Why is it a punishment to continue to live in our sins? How does this square with the discussion of everlasting punishment in D&C 19? Do you think Alma knew of the explanation we see in the D&C?
  • Alma 12:17-18: Cannot be redeemed. Why would God create a plan in which he knew that some of us would not be able to return to him?
  • Alma 12:20-21: Do you think that Antionah’s questions are sincere? Why or why not?
  • Alma 12:22: It appears that Alma's main concern about Adam and Eve partaking the fruit was the truthfulness of God. Why does the veracity of God's word hold such weight for Alma?
  • Alma 12:24: Probationary. What does it mean to say that life is probationary? Is the word being used as it is when we speak of criminals on probation? If so, is the implication that we have already been convicted? Alma teaches here that life is the time given us to repent. How do we avoid a belief in original sin given these teachings?
  • Alma 12:26-27: These verses seem to answer the question in v. 24 about why life is probationary. How?
  • Alma 12:31: Gods. Why is “Gods” capitalized in this verse? Usually it is capitalized only when it is used as the name of Deity, not when it is used to refer to an office or position. In what ways are we like Gods? Why is that significant?
  • Alma 12:31: Placing themselves versus being placed. What is the difference? Is Alma correcting himself by using the second phrase?
  • Alma 12:31-32: Wherefore. Both verses 31 and 32 begin in the same way, “wherefore” in one case and “therefore” in the other, but the two mean the same. That suggests that they logically follow from verse 30. How so? What things has the Lord done to make it possible for us to return to him?
  • Alma 12:33: What does it mean to say that God called on men "in the name of his Son?"
  • Alma 12:36: Provocation. What is the first provocation? What is the last provocation?
  • Alma 12:37: Rest of God. What does “the rest of God” mean? How do we enter into it? How does chapter 13 relate to "the rest of God"?
  • Alma 12:37: Ye versus us. Why does Alma switches from second person plural in verse 36 to first person plural in verse 37.

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. →

  • Alma 12:14: In what sense do thoughts condemn us? Ben S. at the Times and Seasons blog suggests that it is not the having of evil thoughts but the cultivation of evil thoughts that condemns us (that is, the adversary can put the thoughts in our mind, but it is only a sin if we entertain such thoughts).
  • Alma 12:15. Marcus B. Nash, "The Great Plan of Happiness," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 49–50. Elder Nash said: "Each of us needs to repent to some degree or another. To repent means to make the real changes in your life the Savior desires you to make for your happiness... As you seek to change, remember that our loving Savior, as Alma states, has 'all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.' This is powerful, liberating, hope-filled doctrine!"

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.



Previous page: Chapters 10-11                      Next page: Chapter 13a

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