The Covenant Path Unveiled in the Book of Mormon: The Witness of Alma (Mosiah 18-25)

In a previous 5-part series entitled, “The Covenant Path Unveiled”, we uncovered the Savior’s personal teaching of what His true saving doctrine is (3 Nephi 11-26).  Though the term “covenant path” is not found in scripture, His saving doctrine is referred to by other names in scripture including “my doctrine,” “the doctrine of Christ,” “the gospel” and others.  He teaches some important characteristics of His doctrine.  He also includes the very few, yet essential steps or milestones that you personally have to fulfill or receive.  If you have not yet studied through that 5-part series, I encourage you to do that first before studying this additional witness.

The purpose of that 5-part series was to clarify what the covenant path really is, to unveil the simplicity and beauty of the true covenant path so that it does not lose its meaning, and that you might know the true way to personal redemption.  As I stated about the Savior’s own teachings (3 Nephi 11-26), my witness is that any other teaching of what the covenant path is other than what is taught by the Savior is rooted in darkness and will frustrate your personal journey “in and through Jesus Christ.”

More Witnesses of the True Covenant Path

In addition to the Savior’s own witness there are other Book of Mormon prophets that add their own personal witness of the true covenant path. We have recently unveiled the:

In this post we will unveil the witness of Alma (Sr.) from when he was at the Waters of Mormon, had experiences in the wilderness, and his own teachings when they returned to Zarahemla. Happily, I will not stop sharing these witnesses and in future posts you will continue to see the witness of many more Book of Mormon prophets.

By now you should be reading the Book of Mormon with new eyes. If you have yet to see that the Book of Mormon was restored as an additional witness of the Everlasting Covenant and the doctrine of Christ, I invite you to study The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide. A person that reads the Book of Mormon without this critical understanding may miss the mark all together.

The following is an index from Mosiah chapters 18, 23-25. I will always invite you to first read it on your own and use the spirit of the Lord to help you see the doctrine of Christ with new eyes. Then feel free to supplement your own reading with mine. Use the spirit to discern any of my personal messages. The index that I compiled is only there to help clarify the simplicity and beauty of Christ’s saving doctrine.  The outline will follow the exact format from the 5-part series.  Brothers and sisters, this is the doctrine (path) of personal salvation and complete redemption.

There are some who still might respond to previous posts of this same collection (“Unveiling the Covenant Path”) saying, “This is not how a person receives salvation or exaltation and yet, they claim to believe the Book of Mormon, the purpose of its restoration, and its promises.” Also, ironically, they also claim to believe God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Awaken! How can you not see what the Book of Mormon really is? Urgently, I plead with you to cease your unbelief!

IMPORTANT:  Sometimes in order to understand what somethings is, it can be helpful to also identify what something is not.  With that in mind, just as you did with the teaching of the Savior (3 Nephi 11-30), as you study Alma’s witness here, identify what the covenant path is not or at least what it is not compared to what you thought it was or what you have been previously taught that it is. In other words, salvation and exaltation do not come through any institution or person other than personally in and through Jesus Christ.

“… behold, I will show unto you that they were brought into bondage, and none could deliver them but the Lord their God, yea, even the God of Abraham and Isaac and of Jacob.”

Mosiah 23:23

Synonymous Terms:  Names or Terms Used for the Covenant Path By This Witness

First, note the synonymous names or terms used by Alma to teach or describe the doctrine of Christ.  These are important because when you are reading the scriptures it will provide more context and understanding.

“Ressurection of the Dead”
Mosiah 18:2
Yea, concerning that which was to come, and also concerning the resurrection of the dead [This is the spiritual resurrection unto personal redemption], and the redemption of the people, which was to be brought to pass through the power, and sufferings, and death of Christ, and his resurrection and ascension into heaven.

“Redemption”
Mosiah 18:2
Yea, concerning that which was to come, and also concerning the resurrection of the dead, and the redemption of the people, which was to be brought to pass through the power, and sufferings, and death of Christ, and his resurrection and ascension into heaven. 7 And it came to pass after many days there were a goodly number gathered together at the place of Mormon, to hear the words of Alma. Yea, all were gathered together that believed on his word, to hear him. And he did teach them, and did preach unto them repentance, and redemption, and faith on the Lord. 9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God [notice who does the redeeming], and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life— 20 Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.

“Deliverance by God”
13 And now as ye have been delivered by the power of God out of these bonds; yea, even out of the hands of king Noah and his people, and also from the bonds of iniquity, even so I desire that ye should stand fast in this liberty wherewith ye have been made free, and that ye trust no man to be a king over you. 23 For behold, I will show unto you that they were brought into bondage, and none could deliver them but the Lord their God, yea, even the God of Abraham and Isaac and of Jacob. 24 And it came to pass that he did deliver them, and he did show forth his mighty power unto them, and great were their rejoicings. 27 But Alma went forth and stood among them, and exhorted them that they should not be frightened, but that they should remember the Lord their God and he would deliver them. 29 And it came to pass that the Lord did soften the hearts of the Lamanites.


Step 1 in His Path (Doctrine):  Hope & Faith

Sufficient hope (belief, trust) exercising faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (seeking for revelation from God and acting on it) which is only possible with a broken heart and contrite spirit.

Mosiah 18:3 And as many as would hear his word he did teach. And he taught them privately, that it might not come to the knowledge of the king. And many did believe his words. 6 And it came to pass that as many as believed him went thither to hear his words [A gift of the spirit to believe on the words of another’s witness]. 7 And it came to pass after many days there were a goodly number gathered together at the place of Mormon, to hear the words of Alma. Yea, all were gathered together that believed on his word, to hear him [A gift of the spirit to believe on the words of another’s witness]. And he did teach them, and did preach unto them repentance, and redemption, and faith on the Lord. 8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; 9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death (this is saying that even if mortal death is on the line], that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life. 20 Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.

Mosiah 23:21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith. 22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people. 27 But Alma went forth and stood among them [great faith in the Lord], and exhorted them that they should not be frightened, but that they should remember the Lord their God and he would deliver them [great hope]. 28 Therefore they hushed their fears [now they were exercising great hope], and began to cry unto the Lord [now they are exercising great faith in the Lord] that he would soften the hearts of the Lamanites [very specific prayer which is great hope and faith], that they would spare them, and their wives, and their children.

Mosiah 24:8 And now it came to pass that Amulon began to exercise authority over Alma and his brethren, and began to persecute him, and cause that his children should persecute their children. 9 For Amulon knew Alma, that he had been one of the king’s priests, and that it was he that believed the words of Abinadi and was driven out before the king, and therefore he was wroth with him; for he was subject to king Laman, yet he exercised authority over them, and put tasks upon them, and put task-masters over them. [In chapter 24, notice how Amulon is seeking for “organizational authority” to prop himself up not only over the Lamanite people, but the Lamanite King (Laman) and even Alma. Contrast this with Alma’s authority that is divine and comes directly in and through the Lord in the Lord’s perfect timing.] 10 And it came to pass that so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God [exercising hope and faith]. 11 And Amulon commanded them that they should stop their cries; and he put guards over them to watch them, that whosoever should be found calling upon God should be put to death. 12 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts. 16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience [patience is a manifestation of great hope in the nature of God] that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage. 18 Now it came to pass that Alma and his people in the night-time gathered their flocks together, and also of their grain; yea, even all the night-time were they gathering their flocks together [all examples of great hope and faith in the deliverance of the Lord from bondage].

Mosiah 25:15 And Alma did speak unto them, when they were assembled together in large bodies, and he went from one body to another, preaching unto the people repentance and faith on the Lord. 17 And it came to pass that after Alma had taught the people many things, and had made an end of speaking to them, that king Limhi was desirous that he might be baptized; and all his people were desirous that they might be baptized also. 18 Therefore, Alma did go forth into the water and did baptize them; yea, he did baptize them after the manner he did his brethren in the waters of Mormon; yea, and as many as he did baptize did belong to the church of God; and this because of their belief on the words of Alma [a gift of the spirit to believe on the witness of another.].


Step 2 in His Path (doctrine): Repentance

Mosiah 18:7 And it came to pass after many days there were a goodly number gathered together at the place of Mormon, to hear the words of Alma. Yea, all were gathered together that believed on his word, to hear him. And he did teach them, and did preach unto them repentance, and redemption, and faith on the Lord. 20 Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.

Mosiah 25:15 And Alma did speak unto them, when they were assembled together in large bodies, and he went from one body to another, preaching unto the people repentance and faith on the Lord.


Step 3 in His path (doctrine): “Baptism in the name of the Son”

Together, a “baptism of repentance (water)” and a “baptism of fire (blood) and Holy Ghost (Spirit)” are a complete baptism and is known in the scriptures as “a baptism in the name of the Son.”  When “baptism” is used by itself in the scriptures related to salvation, often it is referring to a “baptism in the name of the Son.”

Mosiah 18:10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you? 11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.

[This covenant is the Everlasting Covenant. If you understand the Doctrine of Christ (free study guide available) you will know that it is initiated with a sign. The sign is baptism of repentance (water). The Lord personally fulfills the Everlasting Covenant by fulfilling the atonement. Because of this, the Lord is the only one authorized to then bestow salvation which is a remission of sins or personal redemption through a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost. Also part of the covenant is to receive eternal life in and through the Lord.]

Mosiah 24:13 [In response to their silent prayers and personal and collective pleadings with the Lord.] And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage. 14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

Step 3a in His path (doctrine): Baptism in the name of the Son part one—Baptism of Repentance (Water)—Witnessing your repentance and willingness to follow the Savior; Entering into the Everlasting Covenant

Mosiah 18:10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments [since Alma is talking about acting on their faith and therefor entering into the covenant with the Lord, he is referencing the entire baptism in the name of the Son/Lord but also talking about the first part (baptism of repentance/water) which is what initiates the covenant. These are the commitments that one makes when they formally enter into the covenant. But the purpose entering into the covenant is to eventually receive personal redemption from the Lord (baptism of fire and Holy Ghost)], that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you? 12 And now it came to pass that Alma took Helam, he being one of the first, and went and stood forth in the water, and cried, saying: O Lord, pour out thy Spirit upon thy servant, that he may do this work with holiness of heart. 13 And when he had said these words, the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he said: Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world. 14 And after Alma had said these words, both Alma and Helam were buried in the water; and they arose and came forth out of the water rejoicing, being filled with the Spirit. 15 And again, Alma took another, and went forth a second time into the water, and baptized him according to the first, only he did not bury himself again in the water. 16 And after this manner he did baptize every one that went forth to the place of Mormon; and they were in number about two hundred and four souls; yea, and they were baptized in the waters of Mormon, and were filled with the grace of God. 17 And they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward. And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God was added to his church.

Mosiah 25:17 And it came to pass that after Alma had taught the people many things, and had made an end of speaking to them, that king Limhi was desirous that he might be baptized; and all his people were desirous that they might be baptized also. 18 Therefore, Alma did go forth into the water and did baptize them; yea, he did baptize them after the manner he did his brethren in the waters of Mormon; yea, and as many as he did baptize did belong to the church of God [this is less about membership in a specific religious institution but this is primarily about just being assembled and gathered together among like-minded persons to support one another in their own unique relationship (journey) with the Lord.]; and this because of their belief on the words of Alma.

Step 3b in His path (doctrine): Baptism in the name of the Son part two—Baptism of Fire & Holy Ghost (Spirit)–Personal redemption/Remission of sins

There are many misunderstandings about this part of the baptism in the name of the Son.  Please study and ponder this very carefully.  Here are a few things to note as you study the Lord’s words about this part of baptism in the name of the Son.  First, there is a determined period of time between a person receiving their baptism of water and their baptism of fire and Holy Ghost.  That period of time is different for each person and is determined by the Lord.  The means of receiving the second part is only possibly through receiving and following personal revelation.  Also, the baptism of fire and Holy Ghost is not the same as being confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It is also not received when a person lays hands on your head and says “receive the Holy Ghost.”  The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide explains all of this and more.  Also, in the scriptures that follow, identify who performs this part of the baptism in the name of the Son (baptism of fire and Holy Ghost):

Mosiah 18:1 And now, it came to pass that Alma, who had fled from the servants of king Noah, repented of his sins and iniquities, and went about privately among the people, and began to teach the words of Abinadi—2 Yea, concerning that which was to come, and also concerning the resurrection of the dead [spiritual resurrection], and the redemption of the people [salvation; remission of sins], which was to be brought to pass through the power, and sufferings, and death of Christ, and his resurrection and ascension into heaven.

[The Lord uses many temporal means to teach mankind to come unto Him and Him only. In addition to Alma refusing to be their king, Alma agreed to be the High Priest where he could implement a structure that would focus on teaching each person to come unto Christ and depend on the Lord for all things. The Lord was using temporal bondage as a means of helping each person to develop a personal relationship with the Lord so they could receive all things directly from Him–where they could be “delivered” and be spiritually “redeemed.” All things temporal or a shadow or even a foreshadowing of things spiritual. The Lord’s teachings are played out in chapters 23-24.

God being the same yesterday, today and forever, there are parallels to other events in the scriptures. It is no accident that Mormon references “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” being the only one to be able to deliver them. Their history is very similar to the children of Israel. Alma is a type and shadow of Moses–even to the point where the people asked him to be their king and mediate their relationship with the Lord.
]

Mosiah 23:13 And now as ye have been delivered by the power of God out of these bonds; yea, even out of the hands of king Noah and his people, and also from the bonds of iniquity, even so I desire that ye should stand fast in this liberty wherewith ye have been made free, and that ye trust no man to be a king over you. 23 For behold, I will show unto you that they were brought into bondage, and none could deliver them but the Lord their God, yea, even the God of Abraham and Isaac and of Jacob. 24 And it came to pass that he did deliver them, and he did show forth his mighty power unto them, and great were their rejoicings. 27 But Alma went forth and stood among them, and exhorted them that they should not be frightened, but that they should remember the Lord their God and he would deliver them. 29 And it came to pass that the Lord did soften the hearts of the Lamanites. And Alma and his brethren went forth and delivered themselves up into their hands; and the Lamanites took possession of the land of Helam. [In response to the great hope and faith exercised by Alma and his people, the Lord does answer their very specific prayers and spared their physical lives for the Lord’s wise purposes as you will see in the remainder of the record.]

Mosiah 24:13 [In response to their silent prayers and personal and collective pleadings with the Lord.] And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage. 14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. 19 And in the morning the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon the Lamanites, yea, and all their task-masters were in a profound sleep.

[One of the primary messages that Mormon intentionally shared, if not the primary message, was to truly see who has power to deliver any person from bondage (physical and spiritual. Who was it? Was it Alma who did it? Did the people do it with their own might, their own strength, their own will? Was it in their religious institution that they organized? No. Whose power then?]

21 Yea, and in the valley of Alma they poured out their thanks to God because he had been merciful unto them, and eased their burdens, and had delivered them out of bondage; for they were in bondage, and none could deliver them except it were the Lord their God. 22 And they gave thanks to God, yea, all their men and all their women and all their children that could speak lifted their voices in the praises of their God.

Mosiah 25:10 And again, when they thought of the immediate goodness of God, and his power in delivering Alma and his brethren out of the hands of the Lamanites and of bondage, they did raise their voices and give thanks to God. 16 And he did exhort the people of Limhi and his brethren, all those that had been delivered out of bondage, that they should remember that it was the Lord that did deliver them.


Step 4 in His path (doctrine): Starting a new personal relationship with the Savior by receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, learn to be a servant by using the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the gifts of the spirit–Which is to “Endure to the End”; Keep His commandments continually

In this particular record there was not a specific reference to receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. However, the gift of the Holy Ghost occurs at the time a person receives their baptism of fire and Holy Ghost. See the Doctrine of Christ Study Guide for more about this.


Step 5 in His path (doctrine): Receive the promise of eternal life, even to be received into the presence of the Lord

Mosiah 18:9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life— 13 And when he had said these words, the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he said: Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ [he is forecasting the promise of eternal life once a person has been personally redeemed in and through Christ], whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world.

The True Path & The Covenant

Exactly as the Savior taught, we have just been taught the “path” milestones by Alma as:

1. Sufficient hope and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

2. Repentance

3. “Baptism in the name of the Son”

3a. Baptism of repentance (water)

3b. Baptism of fire (blood) and Holy Ghost (Spirit) for the remission of sins

4. Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost that dwells in you and allows you to start a new relationship with the Lord (Mentor-Apprentice-type relationship)

5. Receive the presence of the Lord and the promise of eternal life


“… he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism.”

Mosiah 18:21

I invite you to ponder on the simplicity of Christ’s doctrine.  Notice how personal and individual it really is.  Ponder on what the Lord includes and does not include that you may have been previously taught.  Ponder on the wisdom of its progression.

What Did Alma Say was His Purpose in Teaching the True Covenant Path?

Inspired by Abinadi to Teach Truth
Mosiah 18:1
And now, it came to pass that Alma, who had fled from the servants of king Noah, repented of his sins and iniquities, and went about privately among the people, and began to teach the words of Abinadi—

Who or What Does Alma Say Is the Central Figure of This Covenant Path?  In Whom Should We Put Faith?  In Whom Are We Actually Saved?  In Whom or What Are We Not Saved?

There are so many references to Jesus Christ as the primary figure in all of Alma’s teachings. Instead of listing them all, I thought I would use just a few key ones:

Mosiah 18:18 And it came to pass that Alma, having authority from God, ordained priests; even one priest to every fifty of their number did he ordain to preach unto them, and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

Mosiah 25:16 And he did exhort the people of Limhi and his brethren, all those that had been delivered out of bondage, that they should remember that it was the Lord that did deliver them.

IMPORTANT: Just as you did with the teaching of the Savior (3Nephi 11-30), as you study Alma’s witness here of the central figure and who is the means by which personal redemption is received.  Again, notice what the covenant path is and is not or at least what it is not compared to what you thought it was or what you may have been previously taught that it is. In other words, salvation and exaltation do not come through any institution or person other than personally in and through Jesus Christ. In Alma’s witness he leaves some important declarations related to the doctrine of Christ just like the Lord, Nephi and other prophets we have previously highlighted in the Book of Mormon:

Mosiah 18:18 And it came to pass that Alma, having authority from God, ordained priests; even one priest to every fifty of their number did he ordain to preach unto them, and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God [the doctrine of Christ]. 19 And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught [the doctrine of Christ], and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets. 20 Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people. 21 And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism [one baptism is the baptism in the name of the Son], having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.

Mosiah 23:22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people. 23 For behold, I will show unto you that they were brought into bondage, and none could deliver them but the Lord their God, yea, even the God of Abraham and Isaac and of Jacob.

Mosiah 25:16 And he did exhort the people of Limhi and his brethren, all those that had been delivered out of bondage, that they should remember that it was the Lord that did deliver them.

The Church

At this point in the Book of Mormon the idea of a formal organization known as the Church of God is being discussed more. Going forward, I think it is important to highlight the role of the church as it relates to the people and their journey in and through the doctrine of Christ.

Mosiah 18:17 And they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward. And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God was added to his church.

18 And it came to pass that Alma, having authority from God, ordained priests; even one priest to every fifty of their number did he ordain to preach unto them, and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God [The things pertaining to the kingdom of God are the doctrines of Christ].

19 And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets.

20 Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.

21 And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another [this is similar message as taught by the Lord in 3 Nephi 11], but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism [baptism in the name of the Son is the “one baptism”], having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.

22 And thus he commanded them to preach. And thus they became the children of God.

23 And he commanded them that they should observe the sabbath day [make one day a week dedicated to seeking the Lord’s attention completely], and keep it holy [make it sacred between you and the Lord], and also every day they should give thanks to the Lord their God [remember the good things provided by the Lord God in all things which is also a promise that a person makes at baptism and sacrament].

24 And he also commanded them that the priests whom he had ordained should labor with their own hands for their support [no compensation or financial support for priests, teachers or even for the highest level of “high priest” was to be provided by the church or the members. They had day-jobs and considered themselves equals with every other.]

25 And there was one day in every week that was set apart that they should gather themselves together to teach the people, and to worship the Lord their God, and also, as often as it was in their power, to assemble themselves together. [This was the opportunity to gather among like-minded people and support one another’s unique and personal relationship (journey) in and through Jesus Christ.]

26 And the priests were not to depend upon the people for their support; but for their labor they were to receive the grace of God, that they might wax strong in the Spirit, having the knowledge of God, that they might teach with power and authority from God. [This is so critical to understand. This is clarifying that they were not to receive financial support for them or their families so that priest or teacher would be dependent upon God for divine power, authority and gifts of the spirit. Otherwise there would be a tendency to depend upon their title, calling or “organizational authority” for what they might have thought was a “God-given right.” Receiving God’s gifts of the spirit was never a right based on title or calling but is always dependent upon a person’s relationship with the Lord.]

27 And again Alma commanded that the people of the church should impart of their substance, every one according to that which he had; if he have more abundantly he should impart more abundantly; and of him that had but little, but little should be required; and to him that had not should be given. [An effort to be zion-esque—of one heart and one mind.]

28 And thus they should impart of their substance of their own free will and good desires towards God, and to those priests that stood in need, yea, and to every needy, naked soul.

29 And this he said unto them, having been commanded of God; and they did walk uprightly before God, imparting to one another both temporally and spiritually according to their needs and their wants.

30 And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever…

35 And they were in number about four hundred and fifty souls.

Mosiah Chapter 23

16 And now, Alma was their high priest, he being the founder of their church.

17 And it came to pass that none received authority to preach or to teach except it were by him from God. Therefore he consecrated all their priests and all their teachers; and none were consecrated except they were just men [I invite you to learn what this means].

18 Therefore they did watch over their people, and did nourish them with things pertaining to righteousness. [Righteousness = Christ’s doctrine. “Watch over” says a lot about the role they played. They did not own the people. They were God’s people—the Lord owned the relationship with each one. For more on this see The Witness of Abinadi Part One]

In Mosiah chapter 25 we can start to see the simple nature of the church or churches (congregations) that were organized. Notice the simple requirements to become a member. Even then, the important point to be made here is that it was not about one’s membership in the church that made them “righteous” or “good.” The only person that is righteous or good is the Lord. All things are granted in and through Him directly and personally. The church served a purpose. The church or even one’s membership in the church was a means to an end–not the end. If their association in the church did not bring them to a personal relationship with the Lord then the church served no purpose at all to that person. This is also true for temples. Temples were just another means to an end. The temples were places of personal worship (including the law of Moses) and “houses of learning.” The only reason for having priests and teachers was to teach the word of the Lord (doctrine of Christ) so people knew how to have a relationship with the Lord. The church was simply a means of gathering like-minded souls together to help support one another in their individual and personal relationships with the Lord. The institution, buildings or even rituals performed within them did not offer salvation or eternal life. This was the primary message of Alma throughout these chapters being emphasized over and over and over again. The personal pursuit of Christ or to personally receive all from Christ was the common bond that unified the people one to another.

19 And it came to pass that king Mosiah granted unto Alma that he might establish churches throughout all the land of Zarahemla; and gave him power to ordain priests and teachers over every church.

20 Now this was done because there were so many people that they could not all be governed [assigned] by one teacher; neither could they all hear the word of God (the doctrine of Christ) in one assembly;

21 Therefore they did assemble themselves together in different bodies, being called churches; every church having their priests and their teachers, and every priest preaching the word according as it was delivered to him by the mouth of Alma.

22 And thus, notwithstanding there being many churches they were all one church, yea, even the church of God; for there was nothing preached in all the churches except it were repentance and faith in God (These principles are necessary throughout the entire doctrine of Christ. The role of the teachers and priests was simple—teach the Christ’s doctrine so people could progress in their individual relationships with the Lord. The teachers and priests did not own the relationships—they knew they belonged to the Lord. For more on this see The Witness of Abinadi Part One.).

23 And now there were seven churches in the land of Zarahemla. And it came to pass that whosoever were desirous to take upon them the name of Christ, or of God, they did join the churches of God;

24 And they were called the people of God (because God was the commonality among them all and unified them into a singular purpose–to receive all things from the Lord especially a personal redemption and remission of sins). And the Lord did pour out his Spirit upon them, and they were blessed, and prospered in the land.

Conclusion

Alma’s witness validates the Savior’s own teaching and yet it comes hundreds of years before the birth of the Savior.  Yet he was taught of the coming of the Savior that would fulfill the Everlasting Covenant.  Mormon knew these records would be revealed to Jew, Gentile and the seed of his brethren.  Therefore, Mormon captured Alma’s personal witness of the true covenant path–the Everlasting Covenant.

For more understanding of this covenant path and its milestones taught throughout the scriptures, you are welcome to begin your personal study and your own journey in and through the doctrine of Christ through The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide. Also, to help you increase your confidence in personal revelation and develop your own gift of discernment, I invite you to study The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide.

– – –


JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org is based on free, online study guides to help you learnbelievelive and teach the Doctrine of Christ. The Study Guides invite any and all to see and know this truth for themselves that the Savior, Jesus Christ, has, in fact, introduced His doctrine and He personally invites all to receive personal redemption and literally receive Him while in the flesh (mortality).

Blog posts are only intended to supplement the Study Guides.  Per all blog posts, seek the understanding and confirmations from the Lord in your own personal revelation.  Study guides are intended to point you to both the Lord’s written word and His voice (personal revelation). These study guides will help you uncover what the Doctrine of Christ is and other essential topics that will help you in your journey to literally “come unto Christ” while in mortality. All study guides are available at JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org.

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