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 Alma the Younger in Alma 28-29. I will always invite you to first read the assignment (Alma 28-29) 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 Alma
1 And now it came to pass that after the people of Ammon were established in the land of Jershon, and a church also established in the land of Jershon, and the armies of the Nephites were set round about the land of Jershon, yea, in all the borders round about the land of Zarahemla; behold the armies of the Lamanites had followed their brethren into the wilderness.
2 And thus there was a tremendous battle; yea, even such an one as never had been known among all the people in the land from the time Lehi left Jerusalem; yea, and tens of thousands of the Lamanites were slain and scattered abroad.
3 Yea, and also there was a tremendous slaughter among the people of Nephi; nevertheless, the Lamanites were driven and scattered, and the people of Nephi returned again to their land.
4 And now this was a time that there was a great mourning and lamentation heard throughout all the land, among all the people of Nephi—
5 Yea, the cry of widows mourning for their husbands, and also of fathers mourning for their sons, and the daughter for the brother, yea, the brother for the father; and thus the cry of mourning was heard among all of them, mourning for their kindred who had been slain.
6 And now surely this was a sorrowful day; yea, a time of solemnity, and a time of much fasting and prayer.
7 And thus endeth the fifteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi;
8 And this is the account of Ammon and his brethren, their journeyings in the land of Nephi, their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy, and the reception and safety of the brethren in the land of Jershon. And now may the Lord, the Redeemer of all men, bless their souls forever.
9 And this is the account of the wars and contentions among the Nephites, and also the wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites; and the fifteenth year of the reign of the judges is ended.
10 And from the first year to the fifteenth has brought to pass the destruction of many thousand lives; yea, it has brought to pass an awful scene of bloodshed.
11 And the bodies of many thousands are laid low in the earth, while the bodies of many thousands are moldering in heaps upon the face of the earth; yea, and many thousands are mourning for the loss of their kindred, because they have reason to fear, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are consigned to a state of endless wo.
[Based on what they had been taught, this was a very palpable fear over the uncertainty of whether those that died were redeemed of the Lord. Think about it—they knew the individual “last mortal day” of these people had occurred (being dead) and they were concerned about their spiritual state. They remembered what they had been taught that this life was a probationary state, a time to repent and prepare to meet God through personal redemption (Alma 12:24; 42:10-13). Notice, this is what Ammon and Aaron taught to king Lamoni and his father. As a matter of fact, king Lamoni Sr. asked Aaron to teach him the meaning of Ammon’s words to him saying, “What is this that Ammon said—If ye will repent ye shall be saved, and if ye will not repent, ye shall be cast off at the last day?” (Alma 22:5-6)]
12 While many thousands of others truly mourn for the loss of their kindred, [Now notice the contrast coming] yet they rejoice and exult in the hope, and even know, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are raised to dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never-ending happiness. [Why do they yet rejoice? Because they had certain knowledge of their conversion to the Lord. They had received personal redemption.]
13 And thus we see how great the [spiritual] inequality of man is because of sin and transgression, and the power of the devil, which comes by the cunning plans which he hath devised to ensnare the hearts of men. [The inequality is not a socio-economic inequality. Mormon is witnessing of the unfortunate circumstance where people do not receive personal redemption for many different reasons, including the influence and “the power of the devil.”]
14 And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing—sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life [personal redemption/salvation].
[I hope you see by now that the prophet Mormon has been so consistent and so diligent in teaching the doctrine of Christ throughout the Book of Mormon. He is consistent in illustrating how people have to use their agency to choose whether to receive personal redemption from the Lord, or not. You cannot be compelled. The enticements of the adversary are manifested in so many different ways making it even harder. A person must be believing.]
1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God [loud, broadly, boldly], with a voice to shake the earth [boldly], and cry repentance unto every people! [For what purpose would he want to cry repentance? Repentance is the first major step in the doctrine of Christ. It is the first step that leads to fulfilling the Everlasting Covenant. He wants to boldly (“with a trump of God) plead with people to receive personal salvation/redemption. Remember his words about the contrast among the people in terms of their spiritual state. He wants all to have the spirit of Zion which is possible only through personal redemption.]
2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
[There is a corrupt philosophy among some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (of which I am a member). This philosophy holds that the doctrine of Christ (a.k.a “personal ascension”, “the path”, “the road to the second comforter”, etc.) is a “cryptic message” from church leaders—that it is reserved only for those that are spiritual enough to see the cryptic message in the scriptures or even in the words of church leaders. Equally challenging is a belief that only certain members (typically those of high church leadership status and their wives) can receive these blessings by invitation after years of faithful leadership in the church and are only administered in temples. These are lies. Nowhere in the scriptures does it say this. In fact, the truth is that this message is for all—from Adam/Eve to today. It was even the original message restored by Joseph Smith—the primary message of the restoration (see also False Traditions: What Joseph Really Restored). This is therefore one qualification (among others) of a true servant of the Lord. If a person claims that a church leader is speaking cryptic messages about seeking for personal salvation/redemption from the Lord (and then onto their second comforter), or that it is only a message for an elite few, then that person is not declaring the plan of salvation (Moses 6:59-62) in its plainness to all people, and therefore he/she (church leader) is not a true servant of the Lord. Alma is plain. Alma is bold. Alma is encouraging all to go and receive personal redemption/salvation from the Lord. Alma is NOT saying to receive personal redemption “from him” or even through membership in “the assembly of common believers/seekers (church)” they had. Alma actually was a true servant of the Lord.]
3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me. [Just a reminder that after a person receives personal redemption through a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost (BOFHG), that person is still subject to the voice and desires of their own spirit—it just happens that their desires were changed at the time their event BOFHG occurred.]
4 I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation [personal redemption] or unto destruction [no personal redemption in mortality].
5 Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience.
[v4-5: All of these comments are evidence that Alma knew the divine nature of the Lord.]
6 Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?
7 Why should I desire that I were an angel, that I could speak unto all the ends of the earth?
8 For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true. [Alma’s words are not exclusionary here. He is talking about those that are part of the House of Israel that have a role in awakening at certain times in their lives to fulfill certain missions.]
9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. [This is the attitude of a true servant. A true servant does not think it is about themself. They know that the Lord will work with each person to help them through the doctrine of Christ and fulfill the Everlasting Covenant. Alma knows he is not an intermediary, but only an instrument in teaching the doctrine. Alma knows he does not “administrate” any person’s relationship with the Lord. He knows that each person is free to work out their own relationship and that each is unique.]
10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God [committed to fulfilling the doctrine of Christ], then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me. [Alma remembers how much the Lord has worked with him in his own life and brought him to that point. Alma recognizes how unique his own journey really was, and that the Lord was captain of His soul throughout.]
11 Yea, and I also remember the captivity of my fathers; for I surely do know that the Lord did deliver them out of bondage [physical and spiritual redemption], and by this did establish his church [an assembly of common believers and seekers teaching and learning]; yea, the Lord God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, did deliver them out of bondage [physical and spiritual redemption].
12 Yea, I have always remembered the captivity of my fathers; and that same God who delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians did deliver them out of bondage. [Alma, as if saying, “If the Lord can and would do it for them, He most certainly can and would for me.”]
13 Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them [an assembly of common believers and seekers teaching and learning]; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people [the simple role of a servant—not an intermediary or an administrator of a person’s journey/relationship “in and through” the Lord.], and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full.
14 But I do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi.
15 Behold, they have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit [This is a phrase directly associated with “bringing forth fruit meet for the Kingdom of God. (D&C 84:58)” The phrase means that a person has been spiritually redeemed (saved) through a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost. In this case, Alma is describing how their efforts to teach the word of God (doctrine of Christ) has produced fruit meet for the Kingdom of God. Notice that “fruit for the Kingdom” is not numbers of members, it is not to increase the storehouses and the ability of the people to help those in need, it is not to project an image, it is not to promote an institution, or any other reason.]; and how great shall be their reward! [These true servants were called to this work before they came into mortality. The Lord awakened them to serve these specific missions. It is glory of the Lord added to their eternal spirit and part of their eternal progression.]
16 Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy.
17 And now may God grant unto these, my brethren, that they may sit down in the kingdom of God; yea, and also all those who are the fruit of their labors that they may go no more out [a mystery and teaching of the church of the Firstborn], but that they may praise him forever. And may God grant that it may be done according to my words, even as I have spoken. Amen.
I hope that by now, you are seeing that the Kingdom of God bears no resemblance to the kinds of kingdoms we see in this fallen world. The Lord’s kingdom is one of repentance, of looking to the Savior for guidance and redemption, of patience, of humility, of charity, of seeing all people the way that God sees them, and of a laser-beam-like singleness to the glory of the One we owe our all.
There have been many servants of the Lord over the course of the history of this earth. The common denominator is that “the way” of the Lord is not an easy one. If it is, then maybe we have not truly become the kind of servant He requires. I have been praying recently to be that kind of servant who can hear His voice and follow, even in times of mocking, derision, imprisonment, sickness, war, famine, destruction, or whatever might come my way in the future. The Lord needs you, and He gives you according to your desires. He is in control, and He is the lawgiver to all those who want Him to be their King.
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.