Skip to main content

"It Was the Power of God," Mosiah 27:18-31

Mosiah 27:18-31

An interesting exercise in these verses is take the phrase "power of God" and substitute it with the word "priesthood." Not so much to change the meaning of the passage, but to give further understanding to the nature of the priesthood. I keep doing it, almost compulsively. Presently, I am left to consider how "nothing save the power of God that could... cause it to tremble." (verse 18) That thought that keeps impressing me is that the priesthood has the power to do this.

Then there is the question of signs and how it is an "adulterous generation" (Matt. 12:39) that seeks after signs. If we are not to seek after signs and miracles, then what part do these things play in the work of the Lord? That the priesthood has power over earthly elements has been illustrated time and time again in the scriptures, especially in the Old Testament. Their purpose is not to give signs to the wicked but rather to facilitate the work of the righteous.

In the case of Alma and his brethren, they were not seeking signs but rather were in complete rebellion against such things. The account of Alma and Paul are frequently compared with one another on this point and the miraculous intervention that turned them both about. Paul was different though, in that he thought he was doing God a service by destroying the Saints. Alma and his fellows were different in that they were intentionally rebelling against God and his servants.

These miracles were more the result of the prayers and the faith of the members of the Church than for the conversion of the individuals. In fact going back a few verses to verse 14, the angel even says as much:
Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.
Almost ironically though, the very thing that Alma was praying for was for the conversion of his son.

I find in these verses the other reason why this account is of worth to me as a reader. It is one account of the repentance process in action. Because of the dramatic and clear cut nature of Alma's repentance process here, it is easier to understand in concept certain key doctrines, such as being spiritually born of God. It is in his own words that there is a great amount of insight and testimony shared regarding the change that Alma had undergone (see verses 24-31).

There is much more to be extracted out of these verses, but I leave it as is for the time being. I will have opportunity to delve further into these verses in Spanish in the next couple of days. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Astonished Beyond All Measure," Alma 31:12-20

Alma 31:12-20

I'm starting this reading with the following assumptions:
The Book of Mormon is an ancient text written for a modern audience. This was written for my personal benefit in the period of world history where I presently reside. Satan takes truth and alters it for his destructive or deceptive purposes. The account of the Zoramites as found here is depicted according to the light of Christ and inspiration of the Holy Ghost that the author had at the time of making this account. That will bring particular insights that would not be otherwise available. It is a typical practice that when reading from the Book of Mormon, that if I find no personal application, I ask myself "Where is Christ in these verses?" Perhaps here, as a false worship practice is being depicted, the correct question to ask would be "Where isn't Christ in these verses?" Let's start our discovery.

In a sense, they had crafted a prayer that said: "God, we thank thee that tho…

"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…

"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 asked 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 …