“The Word Is in Christ unto Salvation”
Taught By Jeff Stone
August 3, 2008
This week we continue on in the converged time line as we continue on and watch the missionary efforts of Alma and Amulek. Remember that Amulek is the man from Ammonihah who was visited by the same angel who visited Alma and the Sons of Mosiah. This angel prepared Amulek to receive Alma. They then spend the next several years of their lives serving as missionaries. This week is just another of their efforts, this time with the Zoramites.
Last week in lesson 27, we met the Zoramites and their strange method of worship as they stood high above the ground in the Rameumptom to announce to God how grateful they were to be better than everyone else. There were, however, many poor among them who were despised because of their appearance. These “poor” people were not allowed in the synagogues and therefore believed that they could not worship God.
This one event led them to Alma where we learn an incredibly valuable lesson about the how and when of worshiping God. In the first few verses of Alma chapter 32, we see Alma preaching to a congregation when the “poor” Zoramites approach him. As they approach, Alma smiles and recognizes the huge teaching moment that is coming.
The Zoramites were compelled to humility, and Alma knew that this prepared them to receive the gospel. Alma also points out that rather than believing his words, Awaken our own faculties and experiment upon the word. In other words, try it out.
Probably one of the most “famous” passages in the Book of Mormon is Alma’s dissertation on faith. In verses 28 through 43, we find his comparison of faith to the grain of a mustard seed. This passage is definitely one that is best when read by you. Make sure you take the time to read it.
Alma talks about planting a tiny seed in your heart and giving it a place to grow. Then try out the principles of righteousness. If you do, the seed will grow, and you’ll feel it. You see the results of your actions, and it adds to your faith. It’s a step-by-step process that takes time, but certainly worth the wait.
Again, you must prayerfully read this passage yourself to really get the full impact. One other thing that is definitely worth mentioning is a quote from Elder Holland.
Referring to Alma 32, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught, “In this brilliant discourse, Alma moves the reader from a general commentary on faith in the seedlike word of God to a focused discourse on faith in Christ as the Word of God” (Christ and the New Covenant , 169).
Reread the above quote a couple of times, then reread verses 28 through 43 a couple of times. This a wonderful dissertation by Alma and an excellent observation by Elder Holland.
Prophets of Old:
In Alma 33, we see a reoccurring “technique” as Alma quotes from the Brass Plates, in other words, The Old Testament. The concept of quoting from prophets of old, the scriptures, and modern prophets is one we can all learn from. Use this when teaching at church, sharing the gospel, etc.
Alma quotes Zenos, Zenock and Moses. He recounts Zenos’s who was grateful to God for hearing him in the wilderness and in his fields and in his home. This drives home, of course, the point that we do not need any special place to truly worship. We can do it in our homes or anywhere that we might be.
Alma then spoke of Zenock who preached that the Lord was angry because the people would not understand “His Mercies.” Alma then talks of Moses.
A Type of Things To Come:
Alma recounts the story of the Israelites (found in Numbers 21) who were bitten by the Fiery Serpants. To be healed, they merely had to look up at the replica of a fiery serpant that Moses had made and held up on staff. Many looked, but many did not. Alma compares this to the Atonement in verses 19 – 22.
We will see in next week’s lesson (Lesson 29), a comparison of the Liahona to the Atonement.
Amulek Takes Over:
After some time preaching, Alma sits down on the ground, and Amulek takes over. Amulek testifies of the Atonement and commands the Zoramites to exercise faith and repent. This account is recorded in Alma 34.
Amulek through the power of discernment senses that the question still on everyone’s mind is whether there really is a Son of God who will atone for our sins or not. He then answers this question in verses 8 and 9. The short answer is that without the Atonement, “all are fallen and are lost, and must perish.” So to further explain Alma’s commentary, we can turn to Elder McConkie.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “Man cannot resurrect himself; man cannot save himself; human power cannot save another; human power cannot atone for the sins of another. The work of redemption must be infinite and eternal; it must be done by an infinite being; God himself must atone for the sins of the world” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith , 111–12).
More Trouble From The Lamanites:
Once many of the Zoramites were converted, they headed back to Zarahemla and were given a place with the Ammonites in Jershon. The infuriated many of the Zoramites, so they decided to go find the Lamanites and join forces with them to battle the Zoramites. In Alma 35: 13, Mormon states that he will come back, later, to the account of the war between the Zoramites and Lamanites against the Ammonites and newly converted Zoramites. This will be covered in Lesson 31on August 31, 2008. The account begins in Alma 43.
One more point worthy of mention is the fact that the Ammonites immediately received the converted Zoramites as their own. This is just more of a sign that the Ammonites truly were converted to Christ. They lived it… examples for us all!