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 33. I will always invite you to first read the assignment (Alma 33) 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 the Younger, Zenos & Zenoch to Zoramites
1 Now after Alma had spoken these words, they sent forth unto him desiring to know whether they should believe in one God [this is part of developing sufficient hope—trying to understand the divine nature of God (see also Faith, Hope & Why Charity Never Faileth)], that they might obtain this fruit of which he had spoken, or how they should plant the seed, or the word of which he had spoken, which he said must be planted in their hearts; or in what manner they should begin to exercise their faith. [i.e. “Help us understand who our relationship should be with so we can start our own journey with faith.”]
2 And Alma said unto them: Behold, ye have said that ye could not worship your God because ye are cast out of your synagogues. But behold, I say unto you, if ye suppose that ye cannot worship God, ye do greatly err, and ye ought to search the scriptures; if ye suppose that they have taught you this, ye do not understand them. [The scriptures are the fundamental source for revealed truth of the gospel (doctrine of Christ). The Book of Mormon was restored for three primary reasons with one being to witness of the true doctrine of Christ. Some suppose or have been taught that the words of current prophets supersede historical ones. The truth is that each hearer of Christ’s doctrine must evaluate whether a prospective prophet’s words align exactly with the Book of Mormon. The Lord has warned against teaching any different doctrine than what the Lord Himself has taught as His doctrine. Nephi also warns against this (2 Nephi 31:21). There are other warning in the Book of Mormon. In the latter days, the Lord again offered a warning to Joseph Smith, “62 Yea, and I will also bring to light my gospel which was ministered unto them, and, behold, they shall not deny that which you have received, but they shall build it up, and shall bring to light the true points of my doctrine, yea, and the only doctrine which is in me. 63 And this I do that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention; yea, Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures and do not understand them” (D&C 10). To Alma’s point, it is given for all to learn the divine nature of God in scripture and exercising your personal relationship with Him. The Book of Mormon is the standard where each may learn the true doctrine of Christ. You can evaluate each person as to whether they are speaking by the gift of prophecy (acting as a prophet) if they are teaching Christ’s only doctrine as taught in the Book of Mormon. The true doctrine of Christ and related warnings are outlined in the following “Proclamation to the World.”]
The Doctrine of Christ
A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD
3 Do ye remember to have read what Zenos, the prophet of old, has said concerning prayer or worship? [Zenos is now going to give us some insights into the type of personal relationship he had with the Lord.]
4 For he said: Thou art merciful, O God, for thou hast heard my prayer [He is always there in your relationship even when you don’t think so.], even when I was in the wilderness; yea, thou wast merciful when I prayed concerning those who were mine enemies [A sign of humility but even more so charity. Charity might not be what you think it is. (See also Faith, Hope & Why Charity Never Faileth; See also Lectures on Charity)], and thou didst turn them to me.
5 Yea, O God, and thou wast merciful unto me when I did cry unto thee in my field; when I did cry unto thee in my prayer, and thou didst hear me. [Is there any thing that is off limits to pray for in your relationship?]
6 And again, O God, when I did turn to my house thou didst hear me in my prayer.
7 And when I did turn unto my closet, O Lord, and prayed unto thee, thou didst hear me. [Is there any place that is off limits for conversation with the Lord?]
8 Yea, thou art merciful unto thy children when they cry unto thee, to be heard of thee and not of men, and thou wilt hear them. [Zenos’ personal witness for you to hold on to.]
9 Yea, O God, thou hast been merciful unto me, and heard my cries in the midst of thy congregations.
10 Yea, and thou hast also heard me when I have been cast out and have been despised by mine enemies; yea, thou didst hear my cries, and wast angry with mine enemies, and thou didst visit them in thine anger with speedy destruction.
11 And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son. [Is there any circumstance where the Lord will not hear you?]
[The end of Alma quoting Zenos]
12 And now Alma said unto them: Do ye believe those scriptures which have been written by them of old? [This is a question I pose to anyone. Do you really believe the scriptures. Some will say, “Of course I believe the Book of Mormon is true or is the word of God.” Or, “Of course I believe the Book of Mormon teaches Christ’s true doctrine.” Further, one might even claim, “Of course I believe the Book of Mormon is ‘the most correct book on the face of this earth’ as taught by Joseph Smith” (Introduction, Book of Mormon). However, when they compare Christ’s true and only doctrine as taught in the Book of Mormon to the doctrine they follow or the doctrine that has been taught to them or the doctrine that is preached over pulpits great and small, they may not be able to reconcile the two. This forces a person to ask themself whether they really believe the Book of Mormon or not? Maybe they prefer contemporary words of arm-of-flesh instead? Maybe, instead of believing “the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on the face of the earth” a person instead believes there is a more correct book, like a General Handbook of instruction (e.g. Section 18.1 of General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). In any case, each person is accountable to the Lord only for truth.]
13 Behold, if ye do, ye must believe what Zenos said [Likewise if you believe the Book of Mormon, then you must believe the doctrine taught by the Lord]; for, behold he said: Thou hast turned away thy judgments because of thy Son.
14 Now behold, my brethren, I would ask if ye have read the scriptures? If ye have, how can ye disbelieve on the Son of God? [“How can ye disbelieve on the (doctrine taught by the) Son of God? Isn’t it His doctrine?”]
15 For it is not written that Zenos alone spake of these things, but Zenock also spake of these things—[yet another witness from scripture]
16 For behold, he said: Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they will not understand thy mercies which thou hast bestowed upon them because of thy Son. [Some yet still do not understand what is available to them (mercies) if they will only start their journey/relationship with the Lord.]
17 And now, my brethren, ye see that a second prophet of old has testified of the Son of God, and because the people would not understand his words they stoned him to death. [What will you do with the doctrine of the Lord and His prophets as taught in the Book of Mormon? Will you receive them and act in faith? Or will you metaphorically stone them in favor of the philosophies of man—even mingled with scripture?]
18 But behold, this is not all; these are not the only ones who have spoken concerning the Son of God. [If you understand the doctrine of Christ (The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide) and have even followed this particular blog series demonstrating the doctrine of Christ in the Book of Mormon, then you will see that all the words selected by Mormon teach the true doctrine of Christ.]
19 Behold, he was spoken of by Moses; yea, and behold a type was raised up in the wilderness, that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live. [The Book of Mormon is a witness of many that have received personal salvation/redemption and even been lifted up to the heavenly realms to witness of the Lord.]
20 But few understood the meaning of those things [few still understand the true purpose and meaning of the Book of Mormon], and [why?] this because of the hardness of their hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished [Many that will not even be open to learning the true doctrine of Christ and therefore they will not receive personal salvation/redemption from the Lord]. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them. [Some people will not seek to learn this true doctrine of Christ in the Book of Mormon because they “do not believe that it would heal them” because “they need no more.” To this attitude, the Lord says, “Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more! 28 And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall. 29 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!”]
21 O my brethren, if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly, or would ye rather harden your hearts in unbelief, and be slothful, that ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish? [Alma presents a stark choice to consider.]
22 If so, wo [condemnation; See also All is Not Well in Zion (2 Nephi 28)] shall come upon you; but if not so, then cast about your eyes and begin to believe in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to atone for their sins; and that he shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection [your personal spiritual resurrection in addition to the Savior’s resurrection.], that all men shall stand before him, to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works [your personal works accomplished within your own journey/relationship with the Lord, or not.].
23 And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts [start your journey; See also chapters 31 & 32], and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life [See Alma 32]. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son [the state of being claimed by Jesus Christ as His son or daughter]. And even all this can ye do if ye will [You just have to choose to start. If you do, it is all possible.]. Amen.
Each person needs to evaluate what is keeping them from either starting their journey/relationship “in and through” the Lord or continuing. It can vary by person. Take great comfort in the scriptures as they are the standard of truth—particularly the Book of Mormon. The doctrine of Christ is what the Lord teaches and other Book of Mormon prophets validate over and over again. Choose to come unto Christ and receive all from Him.
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.