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Book of Mormon – Lesson 23

“More Than One Witness”

Taught By Jeff Stone

June 29, 2008

Alma 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Lesson Introduction:

This week’s lesson focuses on the testimony of two great missionaries, Alma the Younger and Amulek. For those of you who attended the lesson, you’ll remember that I started out by showing a wooden box, claiming that it contained the following items:

  • 5 Large Ear plugs
  • 2 Fake Hotdogs
  • 3 Fake Thumbs
  • Rubber Chicken

When making this claim, most people did not believe me. It wasn’t until a second witness acknowledged the accuracy of my outrageous claim that people began to believe. As silly as the analogy is, the principle is true that by the voice of 2 or more witnesses the truth shall be established (see D&C 6:28). We see throughout this lesson that by the voice of both Amulek and Alma some people began to believe.

Meeting Amulek:

Alma had been preaching, as discussed in lesson 22 last week, to the people of Zarahemla, the people of Gideon, and this week, the people of Melek. He had great success in all of these places. However, following, Melek, he went to Ammonihah, and did not have near as much success. In fact, Satan had a great hold in the hearts of the people of Ammonihah.

As read in Alma 8:6–13, he was spit upon and hated and driven out of the city. He left and headed of for the city of Aaron. However, on the way there, he was stopped by the same angel he saw when he was converted. The angel told him to go back and preach to the people of Ammonihah.

He quickly obeyed, and it was then that he met Amulek who had received a visitation from an angel informing him that a prophet of God was on his way to the city and the Amulek was to feed him and shelter him. In Alma 8:18–32 is the account of this meeting.

Two Witnesses:

In Alma 9, Alma again preaches to the people, but they respond with an attitude similar to his previous attempts. As Alma prophesied of things to come and the fate of the people of Ammonihah if they do not repent, they begin questioning Alma’s “legitimacy.” If all of these great and amazing things are truly coming to us from God, then why has he sent just you, Alma, one man to tell us about it? This was one of their arguments.

In Alma 10, however, Amulek begins to speak. He reminds them of who he is and establishes his credibility as a well known man in the city. He then backs up Alma and testifies to the truthfulness of what Alma had taught. At this point, people began to be astonished and some began to believe. As we see, when there are more than one witness, there is a better chance that the people of the Lord will be open to receiving the spirit.

While the people in Ammonihah needed a second witness, we do as well. Thanks to Mormon, we have both Amulek and Alma’s witness recorded in the Book of Mormon, specifically in chapters 11 and 12 of The Book of Alma. Below is a chart of some of the main points of doctrine taught by these two faithful missionaries with reference to each of their own witnesses:

Doctrine Amulek’s Witness Alma’s Witness
The Atonement: Alma 11:40 Alma 12:33–34
Repentance: Alma 11:40 Alma 12:24
Judgement: Alma 11:41 Alma 12:14
Resurrection: Alma 11:41–42 Alma 12:24–25
Crafty Judges and Lawyers:

Judges and lawyers were paid based on their involvement in the courtrooms, so it was in their best interest, financially, to have trials and law suits, etc. Because of this, it was common for the judges and lawyers to stir up contention among the people in an effort to land them in a courtroom where the judge or lawyer could make some cash.

So it was with Amulek and Alma. They were verbally assaulted and questioned by the lawyers and in particular a judge named Zeezrom. Amulek was asked in Alma 11 if he would answer some questions. Amulek’s answer was that he would as long as the spirit directed him. This is a brilliant answer and one we could all learn from. If we find ourselves in a position where we need to defend our beliefs, remember that only do so to the extent that The Spirit directs.

Amulek was offered an extremely large sum of money to deny everything that He and Alma had said. However, not only did he refuse the money and refuse to deny the truth, he took it a step further and told Zeezrom that he (Amulek) knew Zeezrom’s heart and that he (Zeezrom) had no intentions of giving the money even if Amulek would have denied the truth.

It was at this point, the people again began to be astonished and Zeezrom began to tremble.

Continuing to Preach:

Now that Zeezrom was a bit shaken and the people were astonished, Alma stepped in to further add his testimony to the words of Amulek. This is recorded in Alma 12. Throughout the 5 chapters in this lesson, we are taught via the teachings of Amulek and Alma to the people of Ammonihah. Below are a few highlights of various lessons and how they might apply to us.

  • In Alma 9:2–11, we learn that the people of Ammonihah had forgotten the sacrifices their forefathers made. More particularly they had forgotten the hand of The Lord in these events and in their own lives. This is an important lesson to us to remember the hand of The Lord in our own lives, lest we head down the same path of the people of Ammonihah who let Satan into their hearts.
  • In Alma 12:13–14, we learn that we are judged by what is in our Hearts, Thoughts and Actions. Not just merely our actions. This is a very valuable checklist for each of us. Are actions may be fine, but what’s in our thoughts and hearts?
  • In Alma 12:22–37, we receive yet another testimony of the Plan of Salvation as Alma explains to Antionah the meaning of the fall of Adam and its role in the Plan. Again this is another excellent place for us to gain further testimony of the Atonement, and best of all, if our thoughts, hearts and actions aren’t where they should be, then we have a way to repair that through the Atonement.
Final Thoughts:

This lesson is packed full of ideas, principles and doctrines that are just as legitimate today as they were 2100 years ago when Alma and Amulek spoke of them. We should take the time to analysis ourselves and make the appropriate course corrections. A great place to start is to review the questions that Zeezrom asked Amulek in Alma 11:26–39.

Read the questions, then pause and think of how you would answer them before going on to read Amulek’s answer. Just remember, that no matter how far off your answers are, you can get back through the Atonement, and the first principles of the gospel, namely Faith in The Lord Jesus Christ and Repentance. This is my believe and testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.