Skip to main content

"That He Might Preach the Word of God," Alma 4

Alma 4

(It is curious how that even in making a chronological study of the scriptures, the Lord is able to line up my life experiences with where I am at in the Book of Mormon.)

The wars, of which were made mention of in the previous chapter, led to a considerably dearth of resources among the Nephites in the following year, for they had lost men (brethren), flocks and herds, and fields of grain. But this caused the people to be humble, so much so that they were made to be aware of their duty. This attending to their duty meant that "they began to establish the Church more fully," and consequently, thousands had joined themselves to the Church of God.

So in the seventh year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, there were some 3,500 persons baptized into the Church and the people of Nephi enjoyed peace in their land. The very next year, the people, because of this freedom (blessing) given them of the Lord, began to be prideful. The cause of their pride was their material possessions. (see vs. 6) The result of their pride was their focus was on their possessions and they treated one another with contempt.

It is interesting to note that at the same time there was a part of the church that got caught up in pride and selfishness, while on the other hand there was another part of the church that picked up the slack by living the true religion, and making even greater sacrifices to attend to the needs of those around them:
"...succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ’s sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy." (vs. 13)
Verse 14 explains why and how this part of the people were able to maintain their faith. It was that they had a testimony, or a personal witness of the doctrines of the truth. They looked forward to the day of Christ's coming, knowing that in Christ was the promise of a remission of their sins and the reality of the resurrection of the dead. 

Alma is thus in a unique position being both in charge of the judgment seat and  also being high priest for the Church. Alma knew that he could do more good through preaching of the word, instead of sitting in judgment against the people, and so he chose to put off the judgment seat and confine himself solely to the preaching of the word of God. Alma chose the expose his people to mercy, rather than justice, hoping that they would be reminded of their duties and forsake their sins. (see verses 16-20)

Comments

  1. Your statement on how the wars in Alma led to a dearth of resources, reminded me of some archaeological evidence that points to widespread warfare in Mesoamerica, although the time period appears to be later, approximately from 200-400AD (which corresponds with the book of Mormon).

    Here's the link: http://www.maxwellinstituteblog.org/final-preview-from-sorensons-mormons-codex-on-the-flight-of-the-nephites/

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"The Light of Christ unto Life," Alma 28

Alma 28

Not all missionary experiences end with happy endings.

Earlier I had mentioned how Alma 26 was the unspoken homecoming address that seemed to mark the end of the missionary labors. However chapters 27 and 28 are the "rest of the story" that frequently gets overlooked. In fact, I have read this story many times and had completely disassociated the connection between the large-scale conversion of so many Lamanites and the war that resulted from this major social shift.

The impact that this has had upon me this time has been jarring. So much good had been accomplished. So many Lamanites had been brought to the knowledge of the truth! Why was there such a large scale ramification?

This causes me also to consider the Lord's preferred method of gathering in the last days: "one of a city, and two of a family," (Jeremiah 3:14). Drop by precious drop, little by little Isreal is gathered. Oh how I ought to be more invested, more concerned with the gathering of Zi…

"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…

"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…