From Feast upon the Word (http://feastupontheword.org). Copyright, Feast upon the Word.
From Alma 13:1-5.
- Verses 1-4: One summary of these verses might be, “The Lord God ordained priests who have become what we are blessed to become.” Is that a reasonable summary. (Certainly, it leaves things out, but does it capture an important theme in the verses?) If it is not a reasonable summary, why not?
- Why does Alma say "cite your minds forward" when he is referring back to the time when the Lord God gave commandments to the children of men?
- Alma has just concluded a sermon on repentance and the plan of salvation. Why does Alma think it necessary to conclude his sermon about repentance and redemption with a lesson on priesthood?
- Some have argued that the “holy order” referred to here is neither the Aaronic priesthood nor the Melchizedek priesthood, but temple priesthood. Do you think that is possible? Why or why not?
- In verse 2 Alma tells us that the Lord God ordained priests in a way that the people would know how to look forward to his Son for redemption. Verse 3 begins "this is the manner after which they were ordained" and then proceeds to tell us the manner. How would that manner have helped the people know how to look forward to Jesus Christ for redemption? Could this ordination include signs that would help people understand how Jesus Christ might be nailed to the cross? A way for them to identify Christ and his wounds when he appeared after the resurrection (3 Ne 11:14-15)?
- Could the ordination of high priests be the "mark" that the Jews rejected (see Jacob 4:14)?
- Verse 3 tells us that those called have "chosen good." Is this a reference to good choices in pre-mortality or is this good choices in mortality known to God through his foreknowledge? If the former, what kind of acts were we capable of and what kind of choices might we have made before this mortal life? (Abr 3:26) What would this indicate about the nature of our life before coming to this earth?
- This verse consists of one sentence, but its grammar is fairly complex. Can you decide what the sentence says? For example, does it say those ordained were called and prepared in the pre-existence because of their faith and good works? Or, does it say that they were prepared in the pre-existence and then called in this life because of their faith and good works? Are there other possible interpretations?
- What does it mean that the holy calling was prepared with and according to a preparatory redemption? What is a preparatory redemption?
- What does it mean to be hard-hearted? To be blind of mind?
- If those called to be high priests were originally on the same standing as their brethren, does that mean that all were “called [to be priests] and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God” (verse 3)? If not, what does it mean?
Applying the scriptures to our day
- Verse 1 states that the Lord ordained priests "after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son." What does this teach us about how high priests ought to behave?
- Verse 2 tells us that the Lord God ordained priests after a "manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption." Is the manner of ordination today still a mirror or symbol of the Savior and the redemption we can receive through Him?
- In verse 3 Alma states that men are called as high priests because of their "exceeding faith and good works." Are the criteria for calling high priests the same today?