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:
- Witness of Nephi
- Witness of Jacob
- Witness of Enos
- Witness of Jarom, Omni & their posterity
- Witness of King Benjamin
- Witness of Abinadi part one & part two
- Witness of Alma
In this post we will unveil the witness of Alma the Younger as he left his post and went to various regions to “stir up the church to a remembrance of their duty to God” starting in Zarahemla. Boldly, I will continue sharing these witnesses and in future posts you will 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 comes from Alma chapters 4-6. 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. My comments are only there to help clarify the simplicity and beauty of Christ’s saving doctrine. 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 need for 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 the Younger’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.
Their Duty to God
Before we dig in, you need to make sure you you have a proper understanding of the context. Alma chapter four is the explanation of why Alma the Younger left is formal position (leaving Nephihah in charge as chief judge) to go and teach to peoples in various cities and villages.
There is an important theme that Alma the Younger speaks of and will use going forward in his ministering. The theme is referred to as “their duty to God.”
4:3 And so great were their afflictions that every soul had cause to mourn; and they believed that it was the judgments of God sent upon them because of their wickedness and their abominations; therefore they were awakened to a remembrance of their duty… 19 And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them.
If you have studied the Doctrine of Christ through the study guide and other blog posts of this collection to this point (bulleted above), you will be able to understand that one’s duty to God is a personal obligation or even personal commitment to fulfill the Doctrine of Christ. One creates this obligation/commitment by formally entering into the Everlasting Covenant at one’s baptism of water which signifies the beginning of a formal relationship with the Lord—to make the Lord your Prophet, Priest, and King—with the express purpose of seeking for the other baptism that only the Lord can offer (2 Nephi 9:41)—the baptism of fire and Holy Ghost. As you should know by now, together these baptisms comprise a “baptism in the name of the Son.”
Thus, one’s duty to God is to initiate their formal relationship with the Lord through a baptism of water and to “endure to the end” which “end” is when a person receives personal salvation and remission of sins “in and through” a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost (Mosiah 16:13; 2 Nephi 10:24; 2:6; Alma 38:9). Thus for a person to fulfill their “duty to God” is to learn, believe and live the Doctrine of Christ.
Alma the Younger didn’t originate the phrase. Rather, he was familiar with the phrase “duty to God” from previous records and personal teachings through King Benjamin, and Abinadi. It was further supplemented by his father, Alma, that knew it through the same records and personal witnesses.
Therefore, as they were unfaithful they did not prosper nor progress in their journey, but were driven back, and incurred the displeasure of God upon them; and therefore they were smitten with famine and sore afflictions, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty.King Benjamin, Mosiah 1:17
Therefore there was a law given them, yea, a law of performances and of ordinances, a law which they were to observe strictly from day to day, to keep them in remembrance of God and their duty towards him.Abinadi, Mosiah 13:30
Abinadi’s witness reminds us that the law of Moses existed in parallel to this personal duty. The purpose of the law of Moses was to symbolize the Lord’s salvation. It was to point people to the Lord for a personal relationship where they could personally be liberated from the condemnation directed at the children of Israel as a whole people (when they rejected the invitation to be sanctified and come to Mount Sinai and personally commune with the Lord; D&C 84:17-27). By engaging in this formal relationship through the Everlasting Covenant each person could receive all things directly from the Lord. This has been the intent of the Lord since Adam and Eve—that each person would choose to receive the Everlasting Covenant and learn to receive all things from the Lord in order to be His “servant” (revelation, truth, guidance, love, comfort, direction, mercy, forgiveness, grace, ordinances of salvation and exaltation, power, and tons more).
The Doctrine of Christ Taught to the Church in Zarahemla
Alma 5:1 Now it came to pass that Alma began to deliver the word of God unto the people, first in the land of Zarahemla, and from thence throughout all the land.
2 And these are the words which he spake to the people in the church which was established in the city of Zarahemla, according to his own record, saying:
3 I, Alma, having been consecrated by my father, Alma, to be a high priest over the church of God, he having power and authority from God to do these things, behold, I say unto you that he began to establish a church in the land which was in the borders of Nephi; yea, the land which was called the land of Mormon; yea, and he did baptize his brethren in the waters of Mormon. [The people of Zarahemla were part of those baptized in the waters of Mormon or their posterity. In either case these were people who formally entered into the Everlasting Covenant through a baptism of water—they had already covenanted/committed to start their spiritual journey “in and through” the Lord. After all, repentance and baptism of repentance (water) was the minimum requirement to join with or associate with the church members. To understand more on Alma’s authority and the simplicity of this church, review The Witness of Alma.]
4 And behold, I say unto you, they were delivered out of the hands of the people of king Noah, by the mercy and power of God. [He is reminding them of “who” actually delivers people out of bondage]
5 And behold, after that, they were brought into bondage by the hands of the Lamanites in the wilderness; yea, I say unto you, they were in captivity, and again the Lord did deliver them out of bondage by the power of his word [Again, he is reminding them of “who” actually delivers people out of bondage]; and we were brought into this land, and here we began to establish the church of God throughout this land also. [Notice the Lord enabled them to come “out of” bondage so that they could be “personally liberated” or “free” to be able to personally work through the doctrine of Christ. The role of the church of God was only to support (where needed) each person’s journey “in and through” Christ. The role of the church of God was not to mediate, control or administrate the personal relationship that exists between each person and the Lord. Each person’s relationship (journey) with the Lord is 100% unique—not even 99.9%.]
6 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, you that belong to this church [you that have entered into the covenant], have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell? [This a big part of the covenant that a person makes at their baptism of repentance (water)—”to always remember Him.” The commitment to do this is renewed when a person partakes the sacrament (Moroni 4:3; 5:2; 3 Nephi 18:7,11).]
7 Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them. [Notice who does the changing. This personal relationship (journey) is not about striving for personal perfection and constant focus on being better in terms of your own works. It is the Lord’s power and glory that comes upon a person as a result of the Lord sharing His glory with that person at the right times. It is the Lord, through His spirit, that awakens a person and illuminates their soul. It is the Lord that changes hearts. It is not you. As has been said before, your only “good works” are to seek for personal revelation and obey which is to “keep His commandments.”]
8 And now I ask of you, my brethren, were they destroyed? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, they were not.
9 And again I ask, were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed? I say unto you, Yea, they were loosed, and their souls did expand, and they did sing redeeming love. And I say unto you that they are saved. [Each person is bound in the “chains of hell” until they are “loosed” through a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost which is “salvation” or “to be saved.” Alma is reminding them that this was the purpose for entering into the Everlasting Covenant through a baptism of repentance—to eventually receive salvation. Notice it was done in mortality. ]
10 And now I ask of you on what conditions are they saved? Yea, what grounds had they to hope for salvation? [are you seeing it yet?] What is the cause of their being loosed from the bands of death, yea, and also the chains of hell?
11 Behold, I can tell you—did not my father Alma believe in the words which were delivered by the mouth of Abinadi? And was he not a holy prophet? Did he not speak the words of God, and my father Alma believe them? [exercising the gift of the spirit—to believe on the words/witness of another through the confirmation of the Holy Spirit.]
12 And according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart. Behold I say unto you that this is all true. [Faith = action/to do/to obey. The Lord cannot make the change happen (bestow a portion of His glory) until one exercises the gifts of the spirit and specifically the gift of faith. The precursor to the gift of faith is the gift of hope. This is what it means when in the New Testament and Book of Mormon it says that a person is “saved through faith” (Moroni 7, 10:21)]
13 And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end [baptism of fire and Holy Ghost]; therefore they were saved [salvation; remission of sins; personal redemption; “loosed from the chains of hell”].
14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church [those that have entered into the covenant to seek redemption], have ye spiritually been born of God? [have you received it yet?] Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? [the fruits of personal redemption; baptism of fire and Holy Ghost]
15 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality [spiritual resurrection], and this corruption raised in incorruption [spiritual redemption], to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?
16 I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth? [do you have the gift of the Holy Ghost whereby you can receive specific instructions from the Lord to go and do and have you obeyed them making those works “good?” Again, the only “good works” are seeking for revelation and obeying which is to keep His commandments.]
17 Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say—Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth—and that he will save you? [Your own works and deeds (even if you think they are “good” or positive) will not save you because they were not commanded of the Lord. True servants desire to do the Lord’s will, not their own. This is the purpose of needing the gift of the Holy Ghost—to learn to be a servant which is doing the Lord’s will at all times. This is also why a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost is necessary prior to receiving the gift.]
18 Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness [your own desires], yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God? [believing your own will is good enough or equal to the will of the Lord]
19 I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances? [Do you belong to the Lord? Are you His? Are you the Lord’s son/daughter?]
20 I say unto you, can ye think of being saved [received salvation; personal redemption; baptism of fire and Holy Ghost] when you have yielded yourselves to become subjects to the devil?
21 I say unto you, ye will know at that day that ye cannot be saved [salvation]; for there can no man be saved [salvation] except his garments are washed white [baptism of fire (blood) and Holy Ghost (Spirit); Moses 6;59-60]; yea, his garments must be purified until they are cleansed from all stain, through the blood of him of whom it has been spoken by our fathers, who should come to redeem his people from their sins.
22 And now I ask of you, my brethren, how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness? [no salvation or personal redemption through a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost] Behold, what will these things testify against you? [There will be no deception. Your spirit will have the light and glory upon it or not. You cannot receive the kingdom of God without having received your baptism of fire and Holy Ghost which is the event whereby the Lord bestows this sanctification and justification (Moses 6:60). This is the purpose of this mortality—”a time to prepare to meet God” (Alma 34:32).]
23 Behold will they not testify that ye are murderers, yea, and also that ye are guilty of all manner of wickedness?
24 Behold, my brethren, do ye suppose that such an one can have a place to sit down in the kingdom of God, with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, and also all the holy prophets, whose garments are cleansed and are spotless, pure and white? [They are just a few examples of those that have received this salvation. Alma the younger uses these specific names because of their historical credibility and relationship with the Lord among the people of God.]
25 I say unto you, Nay; except ye make our Creator a liar from the beginning, or suppose that he is a liar from the beginning, ye cannot suppose that such can have place in the kingdom of heaven; but they shall be cast out for they are the children of the kingdom of the devil.
26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?
27 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? [Important point to reiterate here that salvation is 100% personal. There is no group salvation which is salvation that occurs because of your association or membership with any particular group.]
28 Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.
29 Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared; and I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand, and he knoweth not when the time shall come; for such an one is not found guiltless.
30 And again I say unto you, is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions? [These previous verses are examples of why they have not received this from the Lord.]
31 Wo unto such an one, for he is not prepared, and the time is at hand [life is short] that he must repent or he cannot be saved! [Repentance is literally to turn away from the world and seek Jesus Christ which is to choose to “come unto Christ.” It is one of the first steps on the path to salvation—preceded by sufficient hope (belief, trust in the divine nature of God) and faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.
32 Yea, even wo unto all ye workers of iniquity; repent, repent, for the Lord God hath spoken it! [One of the signs/fruits of a true prophet is to teach repentance and direct them to a personal relationship where they can work out their own salvation with the Lord (Alma 34:37; Mormon 9:27).]
33 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you. [reiterating the promise of hope that eventually a person can receive salvation “in and through” the Lord.]
34 Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life [even eternal life; exaltation]; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely; [literal future experience that is part of receiving the Lord]
35 Yea, come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire— [seek for your baptism of fire and Holy Ghost which offers you the gift of the Holy Ghost which enables you to further do “works of righteousness” because they are the Lord’s commands]
36 For behold, the time is at hand that whosoever bringeth forth not good fruit, or whosoever doeth not the works of righteousness, the same have cause to wail and mourn. [mortality is short]
37 O ye workers of iniquity; ye that are puffed up in the vain things of the world, ye that have professed to have known the ways of righteousness nevertheless have gone astray, as sheep having no shepherd, notwithstanding a shepherd hath called after you and is still calling after you, but ye will not hearken unto his voice! [The Lord is merciful in His call to each person to try and awaken your soul. Are you listening and hearkening?]
38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd. [justice]
39 And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a child of the devil. [justice]
[WAKE UP! I plead with you to awaken! Put off the natural man and your dependence upon the arm of flesh (2 Nephi 4) before it is too late.]
40 For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil. [You can do no “good” unless it comes from God. see next verse.]
41 Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd, and he doth follow him; but whosoever bringeth forth evil works, the same becometh a child of the devil, for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth follow him.
42 And whosoever doeth this must receive his wages of him; therefore, for his wages he receiveth death, as to things pertaining unto righteousness, being dead unto all good works. [this is why a person cannot earn salvation through what they believe are good deeds]
[By now you should absolutely know how personal the Lord’s relationship is with each person. Each is 100% unique. What is a personal commandment to one is not necessarily a personal commandment to another. This will kick as a prick against the conventional wisdom of group religion. The only way to fully understand this is “in and through” the Lord.]
43 And now, my brethren, I would that ye should hear me, for I speak in the energy of my soul; for behold, I have spoken unto you plainly that ye cannot err, or have spoken according to the commandments of God. [by way of the gift of prophecy]
44 For I am called to speak after this manner, according to the holy order of God, which is in Christ Jesus [the calling/work of a true servant]; yea, I am commanded [gift of prophecy] to stand and testify unto this people the things which have been spoken by our fathers concerning the things which are to come.
45 And this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. [This is the purpose in sending a true servant—because they have personally received the things which they are testifying of. This is the power in this witness—that he is a first-hand witness. It is glorious!] And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?
[This is also the reason that Joseph Smith, by gift of prophecy, commanded all the early missionaries to first seek for and receive their “endowment of power” which is their baptism of fire and Holy Ghost—so they could bear witness with power as first-hand witnesses of the Lord’s personal redemption, remission of sins. How great is our God that Alma’s witness was preserved for more than two millennia!]
46 Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. [The “Holy Spirit of God” is the means by which all gifts of the spirit are made available to a person. This includes the gift of visions (to use your spiritual eyes) to behold visually the things of God and the heavenly realm.] Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. [fasting and prayer are the fruits of faith of a seeker.] And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest [revealed them] unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me. [possible only through the gift of the Holy Ghost which was placed within him.]
47 And moreover, I say unto you that it has thus been revealed unto me, that the words which have been spoken by our fathers are true, even so according to the spirit of prophecy which is in me [gift of prophecy], which is also by the manifestation of the Spirit of God.
48 I say unto you, that I know of myself that whatsoever I shall say unto you, concerning that which is to come, is true; and I say unto you, that I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth. [he saw it through the gift of the spirit] And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name.
49 And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called [the Holy Order after the Son of God], yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again. [“Must” is intentionally used—”There is no other way” (Helaman 5:9; Alma 38:9). “Born again” is salvation, to be saved, to receive personal redemption, to receive remission of sins, to receive the baptism of fire and Holy Ghost.
50 Yea, thus saith the Spirit [spirit/gift of prophecy which is in him at that moment]: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand; yea, the Son of God cometh in his glory, in his might, majesty, power, and dominion. Yea, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, that the Spirit saith: Behold the glory of the King of all the earth; and also the King of heaven shall very soon shine forth among all the children of men. [Hallelujah!]
51 And also the Spirit saith unto me, yea, crieth unto me with a mighty voice, saying: Go forth and say unto this people—Repent, for except ye repent ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of heaven. [Without taking one of the first steps (repentance) you will never make it to the end. So simple. Turn away from the world (repent).]
52 And again I say unto you, the Spirit saith: Behold, the ax is laid at the root of the tree; therefore every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire, yea, a fire which cannot be consumed, even an unquenchable fire. Behold, and remember, the Holy One hath spoken it. [The Lord’s great warning through Alma the Younger through the gift of prophecy. A tree that does not bring forth “good fruit” is a soul that never received salvation in mortality. Justice requires that it be cut off (“hewn down”) from the Lord.]
53 And now my beloved brethren, I say unto you, can ye withstand these sayings; yea, can ye lay aside these things, and trample the Holy One under your feet; yea, can ye be puffed up in the pride of your hearts; yea, will ye still persist in the wearing of costly apparel and setting your hearts upon the vain things of the world, upon your riches?
54 Yea, will ye persist in supposing that ye are better one than another; yea, will ye persist in the persecution of your brethren, who humble themselves and do walk after the holy order of God, wherewith they have been brought into this church, having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and they do bring forth works which are meet for repentance—
55 Yea, and will you persist in turning your backs upon the poor, and the needy, and in withholding your substance from them?
56 And finally, all ye that will persist in your wickedness, I say unto you that these are they who shall be hewn down and cast into the fire except they speedily repent. [v53-56: Will you persist in pride and convincing yourself that you have received what in fact you have not? Will you persist in pride and convincing yourself that your own deeds/works are the Lord’s good works?]
57 And now I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good shepherd, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things; and behold, their names shall be blotted out, that the names of the wicked shall not be numbered among the names of the righteous, that the word of God may be fulfilled, which saith: The names of the wicked shall not be mingled with the names of my people; [This is not just a list retained by any mortal religious institution. The Lord knows His sheep and He feeds His sheep with the word of God continually whereby His good works can be made manifest through any soul for the benefit of mankind and preparation of Zion.]
58 For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life [those that have received salvation will be known to the Lord], and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand [mystery—ask the Lord]. And now, my brethren, what have ye to say against this? I say unto you, if ye speak against it, it matters not, for the word of God must be fulfilled.
59 For what shepherd is there among you having many sheep doth not watch over them, that the wolves enter not and devour his flock? And behold, if a wolf enter his flock doth he not drive him out? Yea, and at the last, if he can, he will destroy him.
60 And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep; and he commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed. [Notice what will bring any soul to Him. It is not any program from any religious institution. It is His voice—specifically only when you “hearken unto His voice.” This may kick against the pricks of your own paradigm, but Alma the Younger, by way of gift of prophecy, is giving responsibility to each of the members of the church to not allow the pure doctrine of Christ to be polluted by anyone (“ravenous wolf”). If the doctrine of Christ is polluted or even watered-down it will keep people from the knowledge of how to come to the Lord to receive salvation. They will become prideful, idolatrous, comfortable and passive to the voice of the “good shepherd” that “doth call after you.” There is much to study about ravenous wolves. Quotes from President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. (in 1949) and Ezra Taft Benson (in 1969) about ravenous wolves should remind us all that they can even come from within the church. Also, study and ponder Zephaniah 2-3, Ezekial 22, Matthew 7, Acts 20 and as usual take questions to the Lord.]
61 And now I, Alma, do command you in the language of him who hath commanded me, that ye observe to do [not just to ponder but to do which is to exercise faith] the words which I have spoken unto you.
5:62 I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church [speaking to the those that have already initiated their journey in and through the Lord by baptism of repentance (water); and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance [water], that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life [receive the other baptism—baptism of fire and Holy Ghost; receive personal redemption; receive remission of sins; salvation; to be saved; to be born again].
6:1 And now it came to pass that after Alma had made an end of speaking unto the people of the church, which was established in the city of Zarahemla, he ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watch over the church [to ensure the pure doctrine of Christ was not lost going forward].
2 And it came to pass that whosoever did not belong to the church who repented of their sins were baptized unto repentance [water; the first of two baptisms that make up the “baptism in the name of the Son”], and were received into the church.
3 And it also came to pass that whosoever did belong to the church that did not repent of their wickedness and humble themselves before God—I mean those who were lifted up in the pride of their hearts—the same were rejected, and their names were blotted out, that their names were not numbered among those of the righteous.
4 And thus they began to establish the order of the church in the city of Zarahemla.
5 Now I would that ye should understand that the word of God was liberal unto all, that none were deprived of the privilege of assembling themselves together to hear the word of God. [heard the word of God as it was taught amongst the membership and also witnessed through the gift of prophecy and other gifts of the spirit amongst all the members]
6 Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God. [No elitism but rather it was each person supported and encouraging one another in their own respective journeys (relationship) with the Lord. This requires immense hope (trust, belief) in the nature of God and faith in the Lord to allow each person to have their own unique relationship with the Lord—with the Lord being omniscient and omnibenevolent—knowing exactly what is best for each person and yet potentially unique to each person.]
The True Path & The Covenant
Alma the Younger is an additional witness to the Lord’s teachings of the true covenant path (doctrine of Christ) as:
1. Sufficient hope and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
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
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.
IMPORTANT: Just as you did with the teaching of the Savior (3Nephi 11-30), as you study Alma the Younger’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 the Younger’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:
“… And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again.”Alma 5:49
“… Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.
And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a child of the devil.”Alma 5:38-39
Alma the Younger’s witness validates the Savior’s own teaching and yet it comes generations before the birth of the Savior. Yet he was taught and then knew first-hand that the Savior would come and fulfill the Everlasting Covenant. Mormon knew these records would be revealed to Jew, Gentile and the seed of his brethren. Therefore, Mormon captured his personal witness of the true covenant path (the Doctrine of Christ)—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 learn, believe, live 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 to even 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.