The Covenant Path Unveiled in the Book of Mormon: The Witness of Alma the Younger to The Church in Gideon & Melek (Alma 6-8)

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 the Younger from when he was at the Waters of Mormon, had experiences in the wilderness, and his own teachings when they returned to 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 6:7-8:5. If you have not read the previous post of the witness of Alma the Younger to the church in Zarahemla, I recommend doing that first. I will always invite you to first read the scriptures 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.

The Doctrine of Christ Taught to the Church in Gideon & Melek

Behold my beloved brethren, seeing that I have been permitted to come unto you, therefore I attempt to address you in my language; yea, by my own mouth, seeing that it is the first time that I have spoken unto you by the words of my mouth, I having been wholly confined to the judgment-seat, having had much business that I could not come unto you.

And even I could not have come now at this time were it not that the judgment-seat hath been given to another, to reign in my stead; and the Lord in much mercy hath granted that I should come unto you.

And behold, I have come having great hopes and much desire that I should find that ye had humbled yourselves before God, and that ye had continued in the supplicating of his grace, that I should find that ye were blameless before him [Alma the Younger was hopeful that he would find that the people had would have progressed to the point which they had received salvation], that I should find that ye were not in the awful dilemma that our brethren were in at Zarahemla.

But blessed be the name of God, that he hath given me to know, yea, hath given unto me the exceedingly great joy of knowing that they are established again in the way of his righteousness.

And I trust, according to the Spirit of God which is in me [Gift of the spirit; Gift of Charity], that I shall also have joy over you; nevertheless I do not desire that my joy over you should come by the cause of so much afflictions and sorrow which I have had for the brethren at Zarahemla, for behold, my joy cometh over them after wading through much affliction and sorrow.

But behold, I trust that ye are not in a state of so much unbelief as were your brethren; I trust that ye are not lifted up in the pride of your hearts; yea, I trust that ye have not set your hearts upon riches and the vain things of the world; yea, I trust that you do not worship idols [people and things], but that ye do worship the true and the living God [the ultimate contrast to worshipping idols], and that ye look forward for the remission of your sins, with an everlasting faith, which is to come. [looking forward from their baptism of repentance (water) to the ultimate baptism (fire and Holy Ghost) which offers remission of sins (salvation, personal redemption)]

[Reminder, this was the general state of the church. “Unbelief” is a theme throughout the Book of Mormon. If you have not studied it yet, you should. It is such a big barrier that there is an entire section dedicated to it in The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide. Regardless of what you have or have not been taught in the past, now is the time to remove your unbelief, repent and “look forward for the remission of sins” from Jesus Christ. Also of really important note here—notice who Alma the Younger is asking the people to place their loyalty in—in “the true and living God.” There is no request for loyalty or even a covenant to the church and certainly not to himself or any other person. This was intentional. Alma the Younger knew the role of the church was limited to supporting and encouraging a very personal relationship with the Lord. Alma the Younger knew that each person was accountable to the Lord and that salvation was not available through any other means—not any other person, group, association, membership, religious institution, sacred buildings or even symbolic rituals performed in those sacred buildings. Alma the Younger, among many others in the Book of Mormon, was a living testament to this. He did not receive his salvation through these temporal/telestial means. To rationalize this away or believe otherwise is not only unfounded and unscriptural but it is a fruit of “unbelief” that Alma the Younger has already mentioned. Herein lies one of the biggest challenges for those that entertain the idea of receiving personal salvation—that they have to give up their idols and seek to receive everything through a unique, personal relationship with the Lord. To you, is the Lord true? To you, is the Lord living?—or to you, is He dead and have you replaced Him with someone else? Do you “denieth the power of God” to craft this great miracle of salvation for each person? (2 Nephi 28) Do you deny that His intent is to do this great work Himself? (2 Nephi 9:41; Moses 1:39)]

For behold, I say unto you there be many things to come; and behold, there is one thing [and one thing only] which is of more importance than they all—for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people.

Behold, I do not say that he will come among us at the time of his dwelling in his mortal tabernacle; for behold, the Spirit hath not said unto me that this should be the case. Now as to this thing I do not know; but this much I do know, that the Lord God hath power to do all things which are according to his word. [Alma the Younger was a first-hand witness to the power of the Lord God. That is a powerful witness of a true servant.]

But behold, the Spirit hath said this much unto me, saying: Cry unto this people, saying—Repent ye, and prepare the way of the Lord, and walk in his paths, which are straight; for behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth. [Again, as in previous chapters, this is a sign of a true servant—to preach repentance which is to turn to the Lord to receive all.]

10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

[v10-13: These verses are the justification for how Jesus Christ is able to offer personal redemption (salvation; remission of sins). It is also the justification for why a person has to receive this same personal redemption in and through Jesus Christ and no other means.]

14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent [turn to the Lord for all things], and be born again [receive salvation]; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven [can’t be more bold and plain than that?]; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance [the first ordinance and sign of your commitment], that ye may be washed from your sins [baptism of repentance (water) is the precursor step to remission of sins], that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God [it is unscriptural to have faith in any other being or institution], who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness [the only One able and authorized].

15 Yea, I say unto you come and fear not [do not fear the personal relationship], and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism. [this is why it is called the baptism of repentance (water) because it is a sign that one has repented (turned away from the world with “an eye single to the glory of God”) and focused on a personal relationship with the Lord where you will try to live by personal revelation (“keep his commandments”).

16 And whosoever doeth this, and keepeth the commandments of God from thenceforth, the same will remember that I say unto him, yea, he will remember that I have said unto him, he shall have eternal life, according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which testifieth in me. [At some point in the future on the path when a person does receive eternal life they will see at that time that Alma the Younger was right—that if you just keep his personal commandments the Lord will personally guide and lead you to salvation and even to eternal life.]

[v14-16: Can the doctrine of Christ (how-to-process) be more plain? I mean, this is Nephi-plain! Repentance prefaced by sufficient hope (belief & trust in God) and faith; Baptism of repentance (water); “Keep his commandments”; “Born again” (Salvation; Baptism of fire and Holy Ghost); Gift of the Holy Ghost; Eternal life.]

17 And now my beloved brethren, do you believe these things? [Do you believe that the Lord is omniscient? He knows your heart? He knows the identity of your eternal soul? He is omnipotent and able to guide you in all things? That He is perfectly just and merciful? That He is omnibenevolent? That He is full of glory? Anything less is unbelief.] Behold, I say unto you, yea, I know that ye believe them; and the way that I know that ye believe them is by the manifestation of the Spirit which is in me. [gift of the spirit] And now because your faith is strong concerning that, yea, concerning the things which I have spoken, great is my joy.

18 For as I said unto you from the beginning, that I had much desire that ye were not in the state of dilemma like your brethren, even so I have found that my desires have been gratified.

19 For I perceive that ye are in the paths of righteousness [covenant path; doctrine of Christ]; I perceive that ye are in the path which leads to the kingdom of God; yea, I perceive that ye are making his paths straight [focused on not deviating].

20 I perceive that it has been made known unto you, by the testimony of his word, that he cannot walk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, his course is one eternal round. [The Lord God is the “same yesterday, today, and forever.” There are still some that are trying to retrofit some of their gospel learning into a certain narrative. The Lord’s doctrine does not change. A loving, merciful, omniscient God would never change the requirements for salvation (doctrine of Christ) for one group of people to another or from one generation to another or from one dispensation to another. The path is straight. Narrow is the way. Our God is an unchanging God:

“For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing? And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles(Moroni, Mormon 9:9-10).

“And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen” (Nephi, 2 Nephi 31:21).

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them” (The Lord Jesus Christ, 3 Nephi 11:39-40).

Do you have any unbelief?]

21 And he doth not dwell in unholy temples; neither can filthiness or anything which is unclean be received into the kingdom of God [This is why a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost is necessary—so that the gift of the Holy Ghost can “dwell in a holy temple” and so that your spirit can ascend into the presence of the Lord even to the Lord’s throne (while in mortality)]; therefore I say unto you the time shall come, yea, and it shall be at the last day, that he who is filthy shall remain in his filthiness.

22 And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God [This was the original reason Alma the Younger set out to various regions (see chapter 4 and previous post of Alma witnessing in Zarahemla)], that ye may walk blameless before him [receive salvation], that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received [this is a mystery].

23 And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.

24 And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.

[v24-25: Alma the Younger is describing the nature of the personal relationship you need to have with the Lord. These principles are not random. There is eternal meaning in them.]

25 And may the Lord bless you, and keep your garments spotless [redeemed], that ye may at last be brought to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the holy prophets who have been ever since the world began, having your garments spotless even as their garments are spotless [redeemed], in the kingdom of heaven to go no more out [another mystery].

26 And now my beloved brethren, I have spoken these words unto you according to the Spirit which testifieth in me; and my soul doth exceedingly rejoice, because of the exceeding diligence and heed which ye have given unto my word.

27 And now, may the peace of God rest upon you, and upon your houses and lands, and upon your flocks and herds, and all that you possess, your women and your children, according to your faith and good works [the Lord’s direction is the only “good works”], from this time forth and forever. And thus I have spoken. Amen.

8:1 And now it came to pass that Alma returned from the land of Gideon, after having taught the people of Gideon many things which cannot be written, having established the order of the church, according as he had before done in the land of Zarahemla, yea, he returned to his own house at Zarahemla to rest himself from the labors which he had performed.

And thus ended the ninth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.

And it came to pass in the commencement of the tenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, that Alma departed from thence and took his journey over into the land of Melek, on the west of the river Sidon, on the west by the borders of the wilderness.

And he began to teach the people in the land of Melek according to the holy order of God, by which he had been called; and he began to teach the people throughout all the land of Melek.

And it came to pass that the people came to him throughout all the borders of the land which was by the wilderness side. And they were baptized [rebaptisms and firsts] throughout all the land; [Evidence that they had been taught, repented and entered into the covenant through the baptism of repentance (water).]

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

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

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 and warnings related to the doctrine of Christ just like the Lord, Nephi and other prophets we have previously highlighted from the Book of Mormon:

“… Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.”

Alma 7:14

Conclusion

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 this 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 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 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.

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