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"According to Our Faith Which Is in Christ," Alma 14

Alma 14

This is a most painful account of discipleship and the potential cost of such. Alma's ability to discern impression of the Spirit in the midst of such opposition is notable, because it instructed him when to act and how to act. It also gave him hope for those who were taken from this life prematurely.

There is also a great deal to learn here about justice and the judgments of God. How incredibly patient is God with his children! Slow to execute judgment unto destruction, even against his wicked children who would murder the innocent.

"...He doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just," (vs. 11).

In my mind, it seems that sometimes mortal judgments are executed to prevent the wicked from sinning further. Sodom and Gomorah comes to mind when the Savior said "But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee." (Matthew 11:24)

Yet, on the other hand, for the wicked leadership of the people of Ammonihah, a double condemnation seems eminent. Verse 11 goes on to state: "...the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day."

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Woven throughout these chapters is the conversion of Zeezrom, and here in chapter 14 we learn that he "was astonished at the words which had been spoken; and he also knew concerning the blindness of the minds, which he had caused among the people by his lying words;" (vs. 6).  The reality of his situation caused him to be "harrowed up under a consciousness of his own guilt; yea, he began to be encircled about by the pains of hell."

In the next verse, we learn that this was a turning point for Zeezrom, so much so that he became a vocal defender of Alma and Amulek.

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I read yesterday elsewhere about the power that is extended to us according to our faith in Jesus Christ. The account of Alma and Amulek's miraculous deliverance at the end of this chapter is one such example of faith. As Alma and Amulek rise to their feet, after having suffered many days in prison and in verbal and physical assault from the chief rulers of the land, Alma cries out: "How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O Lord? O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance," (vs. 26, emphasis added).

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