Skip to main content

"The Curse of God Did No More Follow Them," Alma 23:7-18

Alma 23:7-18

We read in verse 7:
For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren.

Symbols of conversion to Christ included a name change and they become a "very industrious people."



It is a few mornings after the first day that I have read this group of verses. I am now sufficiently humbled to hear the word of the Lord.

(How many times has this pattern been repeated? I come to a seemingly clerical set of verses - a set of verses that appear to only be there for housekeeping reasons, or to connect the story lines from one point to another. But time and time again, nothing is in this Book of Mormon without deliberate purpose. Such is this passage.)

So we have here a list of the seven lands that were converted to the Lord. The list may seem like just a list of names at first. But do we ever regard converts to the Lord with such superficial, trivial attention? Heaven forbid! So here is the list:
  • The Land of Ishmael - This is King Lamoni's land, where Ammon first ministered, by its name though, we can deduct that these are probably the descendants of Ishmael who came over with Lehi's family. This is significant in the fulfillment of promises and covenants that were probably made to Ishmael, though we don't readily have a record of that. But here it is: the conversion of Ishmael's posterity. 
  • The Land of Middoni - We don't really have much of account of what happened here, but it is significant to note that this was were Aaron and his brethren were imprisoned.  Prior to their imprisonment, there were only a few converts. But now (much different than what happened in Ammonihah were Alma and Amulek were imprisoned), this land has been converted to the Lord. 
  • The City of Nephi - The heart of the Lamanite civilization! This is the oldest city on the American continent that was inhabited by the Nephites and Lamanites. This is the city that was overtaken by the Lamanites, when the Nephites fled for Zarahemla. Here we see the promises bring fulfilled that were made to Lehi about his posterity being converted to the Lord. 
  • The Land of Shilom - This is the land from whence king Limhi (son of King Noah) escaped from the oppression of the Lamanites, by circumventing the land one generation before. 
  • The Land of Shemlon - This land was also near the same settlement estalished by Zeniff (King Noah's father). There are many references to it in the book of Mosiah. Most notable is perhaps the passage that explains that the wicked priests of Noah, lead by Amulon,  had taught (falsely) in this same land a generation before (see Mosiah 24:1).
  • The City of Lemuel - Nothing is known about this city except that it is named after one of the sons of Lehi. Probably much like the city of Nephi, this city probably had been in existence from early on. This city also represents the same promises and covenants being fulfilled.
  • The City of Shimnilom - Nothing is recorded elsewhere in the scriptures about this final city. 
Verse 15 states, "Therefore, we have named all the cities of the Lamanites in which they did repent and come to the knowledge of the truth, and were converted." I am tempted to pass over lightly this verse, but this is the reason why these seven lands were recorded in holy writ: they did repent, come to the knowledge of the truth, and were "converted unto the Lord." (vs. 13)



A name change is recorded for the purpose of distinguishing themselves from the Lamanites. Verse 18 record them becoming an industrious people, thus the curse that had fallen upon the Lamanites since the days of Laman and Lemuel had been taken from them.

It is  a curious side note that the curse that was upon the Lamanites probably wasn't a literal change of skin color, rather it was a curse of powerlessness, idleness, sin, and abomination, -- all of which caused a separation between the Lamanites and the Nephites. This would support the Lamanite king's need and desire for a name change in verses 16 & 17.  Verse 18 also points to their industriousness and the opening of a correspondence with the Nephites as evidences of the curse being taken from them.

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 …