This post is part of a series and personal assignment titled, “Unveiling the Covenant Path in the Book of Mormon.” Through this we have revealed the Book of Mormon for what it really is. It started with featuring the Savior’s own witness of the doctrine of Christ in the Book of Mormon. Then starting from the beginning, we have demonstrated how other Book of Mormon prophets have taught and shared their own personal witness of the true covenant path (“the Doctrine of Christ”).
Today, I will share yet another witness of the Doctrine of Christ from the Sons of Mosiah in Alma 24-25. I will always invite you to first read the assignment (Alma 24-25) on your own first 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 if you would like. There is so much to comment on in each chapter, but I will try to limit my comments to only those things that are relevant to the doctrine of Christ and this specific project. I invite you to seek the spirit to teach you their meaning. If you have the proper context of the doctrine of Christ, it should be easier. 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 true saving doctrine.
The Witness of the Sons of Mosiah
1 And it came to pass that the Amalekites and the Amulonites and the Lamanites who were in the land of Amulon, and also in the land of Helam, and who were in the land of Jerusalem, and in fine, in all the land round about, who had not been converted and had not taken upon them the name of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, were stirred up by the Amalekites and by the Amulonites to anger against their brethren. [Those who are tied to wealth, power, and control do not see others the same way God does. They get lost, angry, contentious, competitive, and prideful—and then even worse, others become expendable. This is the way of Satan.]
2 And their hatred became exceedingly sore against them, even insomuch that they began to rebel against their king, insomuch that they would not that he should be their king; therefore, they took up arms against the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi.
3 Now the king conferred the kingdom upon his son, and he called his name Anti-Nephi-Lehi.
4 And the king died in that selfsame year that the Lamanites began to make preparations for war against the people of God.
5 Now when Ammon and his brethren and all those who had come up with him saw the preparations of the Lamanites to destroy their brethren, they came forth to the land of Midian, and there Ammon met all his brethren; and from thence they came to the land of Ishmael that they might hold a council with Lamoni and also with his brother Anti-Nephi-Lehi, what they should do to defend themselves against the Lamanites.
6 Now there was not one soul among all the people who had been converted unto the Lord that would take up arms against their brethren; nay, they would not even make any preparations for war; yea, and also their king commanded them that they should not.
7 Now, these are the words which he said unto the people concerning the matter: I thank my God, my beloved people, that our great God has in goodness sent these our brethren, the Nephites, unto us to preach unto us, and to convince us of the traditions of our wicked fathers.
8 And behold, I thank my great God that he has given us a portion of his Spirit to soften our hearts, that we have opened a correspondence with these brethren, the Nephites.
9 And behold, I also thank my God, that by opening this correspondence we have been convinced of our sins, and of the many murders which we have committed.
10 And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son. [One of the beautiful gifts from the Lord and signs of true repentance and of being born again is that your guilt is taken away. I can testify of this gift. It is like no other, and the Lord is so merciful.]
11 And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do (as we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain—
12 Now, my best beloved brethren, since God hath taken away our stains, and our swords have become bright, then let us stain our swords no more with the blood of our brethren.
13 Behold, I say unto you, Nay, let us retain our swords that they be not stained with the blood of our brethren; for perhaps, if we should stain our swords again they can no more be washed bright through the blood of the Son of our great God, which shall be shed for the atonement of our sins.
14 And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us that we might not perish; yea, and he has made these things known unto us beforehand, because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore, in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels [a gift of the spirit], that the plan of salvation [doctrine of Christ/salvation] might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations.
15 Oh, how merciful is our God! And now behold, since it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us, and our swords are made bright, let us hide them away that they may be kept bright, as a testimony to our God at the last day, or at the day that we shall be brought to stand before him to be judged, that we have not stained our swords in the blood of our brethren since he imparted his word unto us and has made us clean thereby. [Notice to Whom the king gives all the credit.]
16 And now, my brethren, if our brethren seek to destroy us, behold, we will hide away our swords, yea, even we will bury them deep in the earth, that they may be kept bright, as a testimony that we have never used them, at the last day; and if our brethren destroy us, behold, we shall go to our God and shall be saved.
17 And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their swords, and all the weapons which were used for the shedding of man’s blood, and they did bury them up deep in the earth.
18 And this they did, it being in their view a [very personal] testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.
[For each person, this was their own personal covenant. It was their own unique choice and expression of their own will. This is both the individual and collective power of true conversion.]
19 And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons of war, for peace.
[Notice the confidence in the relationship they had with the Lord even to the willingness to give up their mortal lives. Why? Why would they feel that way? Because they were converted unto “the Lord.” Their confidence was in what the Lord knew was best, not only for them individually, but even the powerful witness they could pass onto future generations. Ok, but why the willingness to give up their life? Because the Lord had already given them spiritual life. They knew they had already received personal redemption. Have you received this personal redemption? Have you the confidence in your spiritual redemption to offer up yourself in such a way if you had to? Have you been truly converted to the Lord in an undeniable and powerful way? One even similar to these witnesses? It is not uncommon as some unbelieving have suggested. If not, you can receive it. Be believing. Choose to be a “seeker of the Lord” which is to “come unto the Him.”]
20 And it came to pass that their brethren, the Lamanites, made preparations for war, and came up to the land of Nephi for the purpose of destroying the king, and to place another in his stead, and also of destroying the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi out of the land.
21 Now when the people saw that they were coming against them they went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth, and began to call on the name of the Lord; and thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them, and began to slay them with the sword.
22 And thus without meeting any resistance, they did slay a thousand and five of them; and we know that they are blessed [“Blessed” has a different meaning than what tradition uses it for. It is about a state of eternal ascension/progression.], for they have gone to dwell with their God [“Dwell with their God” is also the expression of that same state of eternal ascension/progression.].
23 Now when the Lamanites saw that their brethren would not flee from the sword, neither would they turn aside to the right hand or to the left, but that they would lie down and perish, and praised God even in the very act of perishing under the sword—
24 Now when the Lamanites saw this they did forbear from slaying them; and there were many whose hearts had swollen in them [the spirit of the Lord was working within them] for those of their brethren who had fallen under the sword, for they repented of the things which they had done.
25 And it came to pass that they threw down their weapons of war, and they would not take them again, for they were stung for the murders which they had committed; and they came down even as their brethren, relying upon the mercies of those whose arms were lifted to slay them. [Can you picture this scene? A hardened group of warring, vicious, and bloodthirsty people were stopped dead in their tracks and had a total turn around of mind and heart! Is there anything that the Lord can’t do in anyone’s journey?]
26 And it came to pass that the people of God were joined that day by more than the number who had been slain; and those who had been slain were righteous people [“Righteous people” also has a different meaning than what tradition uses it for. It is also about a state of eternal ascension/progression.], therefore we have no reason to doubt but what they were saved [This is Mormon’s own conclusion and witness. One that you can ponder and ask the Lord about. The point being that “saved” is that each individual present (or many) did receive personal salvation/redemption from the Lord.]
[These are the fruits of true personal conversion. Twice as many people were eventually converted to the Lord as the Anti-Nephi-Lehis. But it was the power of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s conversion to the Lord that triggered the entire experience. To some reading this account, it may seem as though the mortal lives of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s were so disposable. This actually has so many deep spiritual layers to it and even mysteries associated with it; however, I will explain this in as much simplicity as possible. “It is His work and His glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Mortality is that “space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state (eternal life and progression) which has been spoken of by us, which is after the resurrection of the dead (personal, spiritual salvation/redemption)” (Alma 5:28; 12:24; 34:32). When these Anti-Nephi-Lehis were personally redeemed (“saved”), they had fulfilled much of their mortal state short of experiencing the Lord Himself. In their death, their spirits were received into the presence of the Lord for a more intimate experience which was also part of their eternal progression/ascension. This is the doctrine of Christ.]
27 And there was not a wicked man slain among them; but there were more than a thousand brought to the knowledge of the truth; thus we see that the Lord worketh in many ways to the salvation of his people. [Per the above paragraph, yes it really is that simple and focused for the Lord. What a great witness by Mormon. Mormon is so consistent in illustrating, witnessing and teaching the doctrine of Christ.]
28 Now the greatest number of those of the Lamanites who slew so many of their brethren were Amalekites and Amulonites, the greatest number of whom were after the order of the Nehors. [This dark order will persist throughout the entire Book of Mormon even to the destruction of the righteous.]
29 Now, among those who joined the people of the Lord, there were none who were Amalekites or Amulonites, or who were of the order of Nehor, but they were actual descendants of Laman and Lemuel.
30 And thus we can plainly discern, that after a people have been once enlightened by the Spirit of God, and have had great knowledge of things pertaining to righteousness, and then have fallen away into sin and transgression, they become more hardened, and thus their state becomes worse than though they had never known these things.
1 And behold, now it came to pass that those Lamanites were more angry because they had slain their brethren; therefore they swore vengeance upon the Nephites; and they did no more attempt to slay the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi at that time.
2 But they took their armies and went over into the borders of the land of Zarahemla, and fell upon the people who were in the land of Ammonihah and destroyed them.
3 And after that, they had many battles with the Nephites, in the which they were driven and slain.
4 And among the Lamanites who were slain were almost all the seed of Amulon and his brethren, who were the priests of Noah [remember the priestcrafts, abominations, and wickedness of these men from previous posts?], and they were slain by the hands of the Nephites;
5 And the remainder, having fled into the east wilderness, and having usurped the power and authority over the Lamanites, caused that many of the Lamanites should perish by fire because of their belief—
6 For many of them, after having suffered much loss and so many afflictions, began to be stirred up in remembrance of the words which Aaron and his brethren had preached to them in their land; therefore they began to disbelieve the traditions of their fathers, and to believe in the Lord, and that he gave great power unto the Nephites; and thus there were many of them converted [to the Lord] in the wilderness.
[This is an important milestone with some important points that Mormon shares. This is “the fruit” of true servants (Aaron and his brethren). Yes, their teachings were paying off, but the true fruit of their teachings was that they taught people to go to the Lord and seek for personal redemption, not from themselves. Mormon is consistent in making an important distinction that the people did “believe in the Lord.” Why? Because it was the Lord that “gave great power unto the Nephites.” The Lord is the source of everything. Mormon wanted everyone to not be fooled into thinking that they should be converted to a person or an institution—which are “false traditions.” Think about it—these Lamanites for generations were taught to place their trust and belief in mortal leaders, despite a basic knowledge of “a great spirit” (a God). This is why the Lamanites thought that Ammon was the great spirit, and why Ammon says in essence, “No, this is not about me. Let me teach you a doctrine of how to know this great spirit (the Lord God).” Having such deep loyalty and trust in mortal leaders, despite a knowledge of God, is why they marveled and even why some did not believe even king Lamoni’s account—because it was uncomfortable for them to move away from their false traditions of faith in mankind and instead learn to have sufficient hope and faith in the Lord. (See also The Witness of the Sons of Mosiah, Part 1)]
7 And it came to pass that those rulers who were the remnant of the children of Amulon caused that they should be put to death, yea, all those that believed in these things.
8 Now this martyrdom caused that many of their brethren should be stirred up to anger; and there began to be contention in the wilderness; and the Lamanites began to hunt the seed of Amulon and his brethren and began to slay them; and they fled into the east wilderness.
9 And behold they are hunted at this day by the Lamanites. Thus the words of Abinadi were brought to pass [See also The Witness of Abinadi Part 1 & Part 2], which he said concerning the seed of the priests who caused that he should suffer death by fire.
10 For he said unto them: What ye shall do unto me shall be a type of things to come.
11 And now Abinadi was the first that suffered death by fire because of his belief in God; now this is what he meant, that many should suffer death by fire, according as he had suffered.
12 And he said unto the priests of Noah that their seed should cause many to be put to death, in the like manner as he was, and that they should be scattered abroad and slain, even as a sheep having no shepherd is driven and slain by wild beasts; and now behold, these words were verified, for they were driven by the Lamanites, and they were hunted, and they were smitten.
13 And it came to pass that when the Lamanites saw that they could not overpower the Nephites they returned again to their own land; and many of them came over to dwell in the land of Ishmael and the land of Nephi, and did join themselves to the people of God, who were the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi. [An association among common believers.]
14 And they did also bury their weapons of war, according as their brethren had, and they began to be a righteous people; and they did walk in the ways of the Lord, and did observe to keep his commandments and his statutes. [This is “the way” or “the path” also known as the doctrine of Christ. “To walk in the ways of the Lord” is to remember the Lord continually and seek to be guided by the Lord in all things. Whose commandments did they keep? “The Lord’s” commandments. What are “the Lord’s commandments?” Personal revelation. “Statutes” are the formal written commandments (the law). This is the covenant that a person makes when they are baptized of repentance (water). It is a commitment to live each day for the Lord and seek for spiritual progression/ascension. Similar wording is used in the sacrament prayers which are pointing a person to fulfill Christ’s doctrine. (See The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide)]
15 Yea, and they did keep the law of Moses; for it was expedient that they should keep the law of Moses as yet, for it was not all fulfilled. But notwithstanding the law of Moses, they did look forward to the coming of Christ, considering that the law of Moses was a type of his coming, and believing that they must keep those outward performances until the time that he should be revealed unto them. [The law of Moses was simply a means of pointing a person’s mind, heart and soul to the Lord. The doctrine of Christ has existed on this earth since Adam and Eve and it worked in parallel to the law of Moses. The participating in the law of Moses itself did not offer personal redemption; rather, the Lord Himself did through the doctrine of Christ. This is what Abinadi testified of. (See also The Witness of Abinadi Part 1 & Part 2) The Lord offers “ritual” to those who want it and desire it, but the Lord also offers something “living and breathing” to those that desire it. The Lord’s commandments (personal revelation) are part of the living and breathing things. It is through that, He will teach your soul what you need to do in all things. Today, even within the church culture, there are many that love the law (ritual), but they have yet to discover the “living and breathing” things that will bring them literally to Christ and to “know” Him.]
16 Now they did not suppose that salvation came by the law of Moses; but the law of Moses did serve to strengthen their faith in Christ; and thus they did retain a hope through faith, unto eternal salvation, relying upon the spirit of prophecy, which spake of those things to come.
17 And now behold, Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and Himni, and their brethren did rejoice exceedingly, for the success which they had had among the Lamanites, seeing that the Lord had granted unto them according to their prayers, and that he had also verified his word (His doctrine and His promises) unto them in every particular [every detail].
The Lord is in all the details of each person’s life. When we recognize the Lord’s constant efforts in our own life and then allow Him to guide us, the possibilities are unlimited. I offer my personal witness that these possibilities include receiving a personal redemption from the Lord with great power manifested.
Just like Alma, the sons of Mosiah, Lamoni and his wife, Abish and her father, Lamoni’s father, and so many of the Lamanites, the beauty of such a personal witness allows each of us to be a powerful part of helping others see, experience, and know for themselves the joy of true repentance and giving oneself over to the Lord as his servant and friend. There is no substitute for experience. It allows for the possibility of witnessing miracles—of seeing those once hardened souls being completely changed. The Lord knows all. He loves all. He waits as long as it takes for us all to come to know Him, but there is no need to procrastinate the day of your repentance. Be believing.
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.