This chapter addresses something that I feel that I am not very good at: ministering to the sick and the poor. The story of Zeezrom also concludes in this chapter, he (having been taken gravely ill) being the key player to whom Alma administered to. (Side note: In times past, my wife and I have also discussed this chapter as evidence of how sin and one's mental and emotional state can have a direct impact on the physical well being of an individual.)
After Alma and Amulek's miraculous deliverance from the prison at Ammonihah, they were commanded to leave that town. (vs. 1) At Sidom, many of those who believed the preaching of Alma and Amulek had resorted there, and at Alma's arrival they learned of the fate of the wives and children, and also their own miraculous deliverance.
The first case study in this chapter is Zeezrom. Zeezrom is fully convinced that Alma and Amulek were no more and that their destruction rested fully upon his own shoulders. The mental and spiritual anguish that Zeezrom was passing through caused him to be taken sick with a burning fever. "And they found him upon his bed, sick, being very low with a burning fever; and his mind also was exceedingly sore because of his iniquities;" (vs. 5)
When Zeezrom learns of Alma and Amulek's arrival at Sidom, suddenly redemption becomes an option, and he calls for them immediately. I love the conversation that follows:
And it came to pass that Alma said unto him, taking him by the hand: Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation?A healing miracle occurs in verse 11, where Zeezrom immediately is healed and he "leaped upon his feet, and began to walk." Such are the miracles of those who worthily act according to their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Alma asks Zeezrom if he believes in the power Christ unto salvation (speaking in the long term it seems to me), and then he affirms that if Zeezrom believes in the redemption of Christ he could be healed. Zeezrom acknowledges the truth of Alma's words, and then Alma heals him "according to his faith which is in Christ." Christ is the only name under heaven by which men can truly be saved and healed of their weakness and wickedness.
And he answered and said: Yea, I believe all the words that thou hast taught.And then Alma cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, have mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ. (vs. 6 -10)
Subsequently, Zeezrom is baptized and becomes a minister to the people.
The second case study of ministering and succoring the poor and needed is that of Amulek. We learn in verse 16 that Amulek had literally "forsaken all... for the word of God." We learn that Amulek had also been rejected by his own friends, his father and kindred (other family members). The scriptures here say nothing about Amulek's wife or his children, but back in Alma 10:11, he said, "For behold, [Alma] hath blessed mine house, he hath blessed me, and my women, and my children, and my father and my kinsfolk; yea, even all my kindred hath he blessed." The scriptures are quiet on the point of what happened to his wife (or wives) and children. Perhaps we can reasonably assume that they were 1) among those that were cast into the flames, or 2) among the disbelievers. I tend to think that they were among the martyrs, but it is a mute point for speculation. I only address the question here to help illustrate the reality that Amulek was literally alone in his new faith, stripped of everything familiar to him: both his personal belongings and all friend and family relations.
In this context, what Alma does with Amulek is all the more touching. "therefore [Alma] took Amulek and came over to the land of Zarahemla, and took him to his own house, and did administer unto him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord." (vs. 18, emphasis added)