Skip to main content


"Would Ye Not Behold Quickly?" Alma 33:18-23

Alma 33:18-23

This is the second time that this theme is repeated in the Book of Mormon. Nephi was the first to mention it back in 1 Nephi 17:40-41.

The idea of over-complicating truth is one of the main ideas that I get from this. Many would not believe that looking on the brazen serpent that Moses lifted up because it was too simple a thing to believe in. (The account in Numbers 21 does not point out that there were those who did not believe, and consequently died because of their disbelief.)

Alma points out that the reason that some of the Israelites perished was because they would not believe. Then he ask the Zoramites if they would choose to be healed by just looking, would they not do so quickly. But as he continues to inquire of them, I come to realize that Alma isn't saying: it worked for them, wouldn't that be neat if that were available to us? NO! What Alma is saying is: this type was available to them to help them understand how easy it was to be healed. The same is…
Recent posts

"Because of Thy Son," Alma 33:15-17

 Alma 33:15-17

Now as a second witness of the Son of God, Alma turns to the words of Zenock in quoting this simple verse:
For behold, he said: Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they will not understand thy mercies which thou hast bestowed upon them because of thy Son. (vs. 16) There is a footnote on the word "will". The people will not understand the mercies of the Lord bestowed upon them because of the Son. That footnote leads to a very interesting discussion in 2 Peter 3 on the long-suffering of the Lord.

"How can ye disbelieve on the Son of God?" Alma 33:3-14

Alma 33:3-14

Now upon exhorting the people to search the scriptures, Alma then turns to an unknown prophet by all modern accounts by the name of Zenos to answer the group's question: how were they to have faith?

Not only does Alma use these verses to teach faith in the Son of God, he does it by also teaching the people how to pray, which was also an answer to an earlier question found at the beginning of chapter 32.

Considering verse 11:
And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son.(emphasis added) Why would it be required of us to have afflictions in order that the Lord would hear us? Or why does the prophet Zenos say that Lord did hear him because of his afflictions? This seems like a strange statement, almost suggesting that the Lord hears …

" .. Ye ought to search the scriptures," Alma 33:1-2

Alma 33:1-2

I appreciate this chapter in the Book of Mormon. Alma is a master teacher and the way that he sets the stage in chapter 32 for what happens here in chapter 33 impresses me. This chapter is also fun (to me) because Alma pulls two prophetic references of which there is no record found anywhere else in our modern verse of the scriptures which so perfectly address their present circumstances. (This reminds me of missionaries I knew when I served many years ago who could do the same thing.)

The question is put to Alma at the beginning of this chapter of whether they should believe in one God or how the people should begin to exercise their faith. Alma then sets the stage in verse 2 to use the scriptures to support his teaching.

...Behold, ye have said that ye could not worship your God because ye are cast out of your synagogues. But behold, I say unto you, if ye suppose that ye cannot worship God, ye do greatly err, and ye ought to search the scriptures; if ye suppose that they …

"Your Ground is Barren," Alma 32:30-43

Alma 32:30-43

I am reading through the process of how to nurture the seed of faith. This morning, I am particularly interested in how I can continue to cultivate the principle of gratitude which I have recently made a dedicated study of. As I have studied gratitude and humility, I've found the application over this past week to be proof of the principles and their soundness. I'm past this first step of testing the seed.

Now I want the fruit, but I feel that the seedling is faltering a little. Verse 37 reads:
And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit. I'm grateful that Alma didn't stop there though, and also addressed what happens if we neglect the seed. Verse 38 is a warning that if we neglect the seed, when the heat of the sun comes, which it w…

"..To an Experiment Upon My Words," Alma 32:22-29

Alma 32:22-29

As I read these next few verses, I'm contemplating the relationship between the seen and the unseen, God's commands given to prophets  to write the word of God, and how that becomes something that can be seen, so that we can believe in those things which are not seen. And then light, the light of God, the light that Joseph saw in the grove after he exercised his faith!

Alma had to teach these poor and impoverished people how to believe. He had to give them instructions on how to have faith.
The first step is humility. The next is a desire to believe. The final step is to plant the seed of faith in the word of God.  There is a parallel here in the Savior's teaching about the sower and the seeds found in Matthew 13:3-23.

It's also noteworthy that one of the first things Alma says is this:
...remember, that God is merciful unto all who believe on his name; therefore he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word. (vs. 22, empha…

"Faith... Hope for Things Which Are Not Seen, Which Are True," Alma 32:21

Alma 32:21
...therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true. In other words: Faith is a hope of things which are true, which are not seen. ( At first I had written "cannot be seen," but that's not correct. )

Why do we need to hope for things that are true? If it's true, then isn't that just a fact of reality. How can faith make of absolute truth (that which is unchangeable), how can it change truth into a variable which requires action? Actually, it's not the truth that is the variable, it is the faith that becomes the variable. The phrase "according to your faith" seems to echo this sentiment. (see Matthew 9:28-29, D & C 8:10-11). Faith is the variable, and Truth is the constant against which we are given to act.

God is the most invariable truth in the universe. Jesus Christ and the reality of His atonement -- these are truths that are unchangeable. In fact, they will not change. The love of God is constant, …