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 to his son, Helaman, in Alma 36-37. I will always invite you to first read the assignment (Alma 36-37) 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 to Helaman
I am not going to spend a lot of time on this chapter but I did want you to note a very important point before we get into chapters 36-37. Because Alma, Amulek and their brethren taught this new doctrine of hope and faith in Jesus Christ they were willing to leave their community and go to a new land. The Zoramites were angry because the people they had status over were leaving. Therefore, because a these Zoramites then collaborated with the Lamanites to go to war against them. Look for why this angered them so much to be willing to go to war.
1 Now it came to pass that after Amulek had made an end of these words, they withdrew themselves from the multitude and came over into the land of Jershon.
2 Yea, and the rest of the brethren, after they had preached the word unto the Zoramites, also came over into the land of Jershon.
3 And it came to pass that after the more popular part of the Zoramites had consulted together concerning the words which had been preached unto them, they were angry because of the word, for it did destroy their craft; therefore they would not hearken unto the words.
[Mormon tells us that it was the loss of “their craft” (priestcraft) that angered them so much. They enjoyed their status, influence and their control over them. When it was gone they threw a tantrum—even to the point of going to war. Nephi warned against those that love “their craft.” (See also The Witness of the Sons of Mosiah Part 5, 2 Nephi 26-27). Ponder for whom the Book of Mormon was restored for and why this is important today.]
4 And they sent and gathered together throughout all the land all the people, and consulted with them concerning the words which had been spoken.
5 Now their rulers and their priests and their teachers did not let the people know concerning their desires; therefore they found out privily the minds of all the people.
6 And it came to pass that after they had found out the minds of all the people, those who were in favor of the words which had been spoken by Alma and his brethren were cast out of the land; and they were many; and they came over also into the land of Jershon.
7 And it came to pass that Alma and his brethren did minister unto them.
8 Now the people of the Zoramites were angry with the people of Ammon who were in Jershon, and the chief ruler of the Zoramites, being a very wicked man, sent over unto the people of Ammon desiring them that they should cast out of their land all those who came over from them into their land.
9 And he breathed out many threatenings against them. And now the people of Ammon did not fear their words; therefore they did not cast them out, but they did receive all the poor of the Zoramites that came over unto them; and they did nourish them, and did clothe them, and did give unto them lands for their inheritance; and they did administer unto them according to their wants.
10 Now this did stir up the Zoramites to anger against the people of Ammon, and they began to mix with the Lamanites and to stir them up also to anger against them.
11 And thus the Zoramites and the Lamanites began to make preparations for war against the people of Ammon, and also against the Nephites.
12 And thus ended the seventeenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.
13 And the people of Ammon departed out of the land of Jershon, and came over into the land of Melek, and gave place in the land of Jershon for the armies of the Nephites, that they might contend with the armies of the Lamanites and the armies of the Zoramites; and thus commenced a war betwixt the Lamanites and the Nephites, in the eighteenth year of the reign of the judges; and an account shall be given of their wars hereafter.
14 And Alma, and Ammon, and their brethren, and also the two sons of Alma returned to the land of Zarahemla, after having been instruments in the hands of God of bringing many of the Zoramites to repentance; and as many as were brought to repentance were driven out of their land; but they have lands for their inheritance in the land of Jershon, and they have taken up arms to defend themselves, and their wives, and children, and their lands.
15 Now Alma, being grieved for the iniquity of his people, yea for the wars, and the bloodsheds, and the contentions which were among them; and having been to declare the word, or sent to declare the word, among all the people in every city; and seeing that the hearts of the people began to wax hard, and that they began to be offended because of the strictness of the word, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.
16 Therefore, he caused that his sons should be gathered together, that he might give unto them every one his charge, separately, concerning the things pertaining unto righteousness. And we have an account of his commandments, which he gave unto them according to his own record.
1 My son, give ear to my words; for I swear unto you, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God [personal revelation/commands from the Lord] ye shall prosper in the land.
2 I would that ye should do as I have done, in remembering the captivity of our fathers; for they were in bondage, and none could deliver them except it was the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he surely did deliver them in their afflictions. [This is a testament to the great power of God. No mortal could have done what the Lord did. This is helpful in developing sufficient hope in the divine nature of God.]
3 And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions [in their personal journey], and shall be lifted up at the last day [To be “lifted up at the last day” is a phrase used to describe a person that has been spiritually redeemed (salvation). Here, “lifted up” is literal as it describes the transformational power of being lifted from one spiritual estate to another. It is in reference to the last day of your mortal life. See also chapter 34 to be reminded that it is our mortal probation where we are supposed to seek for and find personal salvation.]
4 And I would not that ye think that I know of myself—not of the temporal but of the spiritual, not of the carnal mind but of God. [Reaffirming that he is talking about being spiritually lifted from one estate to another, not temporally.]
5 Now, behold, I say unto you, if I had not been born of God I should not have known these things [Alma the Younger’s direct witness that he, himself, has been spiritually redeemed (salvation) while in mortality. His own first-hand experience is why he is able to witness of it.]; but God has, by the mouth of his holy angel, made these things known unto me [How it happened to him], not of any worthiness of myself [It was the Lord’s doing and power that made this happen at the right time in Alma’s life. It was also nothing that Alma earned through any particular works of His own. Rather it was the Lord leading him to the point in which it was time. It happened at that time because it was time for Alma to start his personal mission.];
[Alma is now going to share some of his own baptism of fire and Holy Ghost experience in verses 6-22]
6 For I went about with the sons of Mosiah, seeking to destroy the church of God; but behold, God sent his holy angel to stop us by the way [The Lord intervened, by sending an angel, in this particular case].
7 And behold, he spake unto us, as it were the voice of thunder, and the whole earth did tremble beneath our feet; and we all fell to the earth, for the fear of the Lord came upon us. [They experienced “the glory of the Lord.”]
8 But behold, the voice said unto me: Arise. And I arose and stood up, and beheld the angel.
9 And he said unto me: If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God.
10 And it came to pass that I fell to the earth; and it was for the space of three days and three nights that I could not open my mouth, neither had I the use of my limbs.
11 And the angel spake more things unto me, which were heard by my brethren, but I did not hear them; for when I heard the words—If thou wilt be destroyed of thyself, seek no more to destroy the church of God—I was struck with such great fear and amazement lest perhaps I should be destroyed, that I fell to the earth and I did hear no more.
12 But I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins. [In the presence of this glory, even among sent angels, you feel unworthy.]
13 Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments [He had not adhered to the personal revelation given to him all along. He had not discerned the voice of the Lord and therefore dismissed it.].
14 Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction; yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities [personal sins; Alma was not perfect obviously but this is similar to many that worry about their own worthiness related to the glory of God.], that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror. [The natural man’s shame in comparison to the glory of the Lord. It might seem obvious or over simplified but this is why we need to petition the Lord to “lift us up” and make us holy.]
15 Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds [These are his own works and his own desires of His natural man state. Remember that the only “good works” are the one’s where we have been given personal revelation and guided to do. They are “good” or “righteous” because they come from the Lord (because of His divine nature).]
16 And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul [A “damned soul” is the telestial state or natural man/woman. It is the state we are when we are born into this world and it is that which binds/chains/ties us to this telestial world. It can only be overcome through a personal salvation/redemption transformational experience. This transformational experience occurs through a baptism of fire and Holy Ghost. See also The Witness of Amulek (Alma 34).]
17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered [through the power of God’s Holy Spirit] also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. [There is an important point here I need to make. Remember Alma’s situation. His father was a significant spiritual figure among the people. The status of his family would not save him (personal salvation). His status as a so-called member of that church would not save him. Among all the things he was surrounded with (including his personal sins), nothing would or could “save him spiritually.” Now Alma is seeing the means by which all things are possible. This is important because now Alma knows who to go “in and through” for redemption. He now knows with certainty who (or what) to have both hope and faith in. See also The Witness of Amulek (Alma 34).]
18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. [This is a voluntary act of faith. Knowledge through God’s Holy Spirit helped him to see the contrast of his own spiritual estate and that of the glory of the Lord. The only thing left was for Alma to petition the Lord and literally cry out to Him asking for redemption. It is this act of faith that triggers the mercy of the Lord. After all, the Lord is absolutely aware of everything about you already.]
19 And now, behold, when I thought this [Notice the simple manner of how His voice is heard by the Lord. It is through conversations in His mind.], I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. [This is a feeling that takes over our entire soul.]
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there. [Alma is also revealing that part of this Baptism of Fire and Holy Ghost experience that he also had a vision. The vision is not a second comforter experience which came later for him.]
[I need to stop here and point something out. Each person’s baptism of fire and Holy Ghost experience is unique. For example, you are not necessarily going to be unconscious to the world for three days and nights. That was not my personal experience and not the experience of anyone that I know personally. Not that it couldn’t be that way for me or others, it just wasn’t. And, honestly, Alma’s sins may not be any greater or less than mine. But, guess what. It was the perfect experience for him. Each of the sons of Mosiah had their own experience and each was was the perfect experience for them. Each one is exactly perfect (tailored) for that person. But, it is not uncommon for visions and other gifts of the spirit (e.g. speaking in tongues) to be part of one’s experience. See also The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide for more understanding on this personal salvation/redemption experience.]
23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God [Alma just finished sharing some details of his own baptism of fire experience. This is important because now Alma’s confirms this experience as something that has enabled him to be “born of God” or “born again.” If you have not studied Alma’s previous details of the doctrine of Christ I invite you to do so. In many of those previous experiences he also uses the same phrases—”born again.” You should especially study The Witness of Alma the Younger to the church in Zarahemla (Alma 4-6) & The Witness of Alma the Younger to the church in Gideon & Melek (Alma 6-8).]
24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. [Alma wants all to receive their own experience equal his “born again” experience. Notice the use of the word “joy”—something previously discussed in a false tradition and Witness of Lehi—That Man Might Have Joy (2 Nephi 1-2)]
25 Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors;
26 For because of the word which he has imparted unto me [Directions, guidance, and revelation by way of the gifts of the spirit that came after his BOFHG experience], behold, many have been born of God [Others have experienced personal redemption/salvation in mortality], and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen [and yet others who have even had their second comforter experience already also]; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God [This is important to note because there are still some that, because of culture and tradition in the church, are unbelieving that such spiritually “born again” type experiences are possible, are necessary or even just “of God” as Alma clarifies. Necessary to personal ascension is growing and developing your personal relationship with the Lord. To do this you will have to overcome unbelief which means moving on from false traditions or even cultural traditions that hold you back.]
27 And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me. [Alma’s witnesses that, after having been born again, if he simply puts his trust in the Lord in all things then there is nothing that is impossible for the Lord to accomplish. After all, if He can bring (lift) a person that far with His power and glory, is He unable to do anything going forward? Is anything not possible “in and through” the Lord? No. This is a great witness to each person in their own journey.]
28 And I know that he will raise me up at the last day, to dwell with him in glory [Why? Because the Lord has spiritually lifted him up from a telestial state to a terrestrial state through a personal redemption experience (BOFHG, Born Again; etc.). See also The Witness of Amulek (Alma 34).] yea, and I will praise him forever, for he has brought our fathers out of Egypt, and he has swallowed up the Egyptians in the Red Sea; and he led them by his power into the promised land; yea, and he has delivered them out of bondage and captivity from time to time. [If the Lord can do all of these things for these people including offering Alma personal redemption, then He can do the same for you. The Lord God is truly no respecter of persons.]
29 Yea, and he has also brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem; and he has also, by his everlasting power, delivered them out of bondage and captivity, from time to time even down to the present day; and I have always retained in remembrance their captivity; yea, and ye also ought to retain in remembrance, as I have done, their captivity.
30 But behold, my son, this is not all; for ye ought to know as I do know, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God [Personal revelation; Listen and adhere to the voice of the Lord in all things.] ye shall prosper in the land; and ye ought to know also, that inasmuch as ye will not keep the commandments of God ye shall be cut off from his presence [Literally, not hearing and obeying personal revelation will stunt your journey. This obedience is faith. Faith is what enables you to progress in your journey to the point of personal redemption and even to come into “His presence” in the heavenly realms.]. Now this is according to his word.
1 And now, my son Helaman, I command you that ye take the records which have been entrusted with me;
2 And I also command you that ye keep a record of this people, according as I have done, upon the plates of Nephi, and keep all these things sacred which I have kept, even as I have kept them; for it is for a wise purpose that they are kept. [Through the wisdom of the Lord these records will be passed on and kept and then restored in the latter days through Joseph Smith as the Book of Mormon. There are three “wise purposes” for the restoration of the Book of Mormon which include making plain the doctrine of Christ. (See Do You Really Believe? The Right and Wrong of the Book of Mormon)]
3 And these plates of brass, which contain these engravings, which have the records of the holy scriptures upon them, which have the genealogy of our forefathers, even from the beginning—
4 Behold, it has been prophesied by our fathers, that they should be kept and handed down from one generation to another, and be kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord until they should go forth unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, that they shall know of the mysteries contained thereon. [Ponder this very carefully.]
5 And now behold, if they are kept they must retain their brightness; yea, and they will retain their brightness; yea, and also shall all the plates which do contain that which is holy writ [See also 1 Nephi 6 where Nephi explains his purpose in keeping not just historical records but spiritual records].
6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. [This is especially true in your personal journey. What is seemingly small or insignificant direction or revelation is the same means that He can bring about your powerful personal redemption experience. The key is to be believing. It “doth confound the wise” in many cases because the wise are looking for that huge, obvious, or overwhelming direction. This is a form of unbelief when we do not see the power in the “small and simple things” that “great things” are possible to come to pass. This also demonstrates how the Book of Mormon came to pass as well.]
7 And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes [Very important point that what the Lord does is absolutely focused on helping each person to receive their very own personal redemption. See also Moses 1:39.]; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls [See also comments in verse 6].
8 And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things [doctrine of Christ, truths, principles, etc.] should be preserved; for behold, they have enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many of the error of their ways [False doctrines, false traditions], and brought them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls [the true doctrine of Christ].
9 Yea, I say unto you, were it not for these things that these records do contain, which are on these plates, Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many thousands of the Lamanites of the incorrect tradition of their fathers; yea, these records and their words brought them unto repentance; that is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God [This is an example of the power of the doctrine of Christ and its truths.], and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer [Not rejoicing in their church, not rejoicing in how great their membership is in a church… just simply rejoicing in the Lord. Why? Because of the type of personal relationship they had with the Lord. They knew He was the source of all things good—nothing else, and they knew nothing else could “save” them.]
10 And who knoweth but what they will be the means of bringing many thousands of them, yea, and also many thousands of our stiffnecked brethren, the Nephites, who are now hardening their hearts in sin and iniquities [I would encourage you that when you see or hear “hardening heart” that you think of telestial natural man/woman.], to the knowledge of their Redeemer? [See also 36:17 where Alma explains how the spirit pointed him to the Savior for personal redemption.]
11 Now these mysteries [Why the records need to be kept] are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear.
12 And it may suffice if I only say they are preserved for a wise purpose, which purpose is known unto God; for he doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round. [See Do You Really Believe? The Right and Wrong of the Book of Mormon]
13 O remember, remember, my son Helaman, how strict are the commandments of God [Written commandments and personal revelation that is always given with a purpose, never random]. And he said: If ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land—but if ye keep not his commandments ye shall be cut off from his presence. [See the comments from 36:30 above]
14 And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted you with these things, which are sacred, which he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep and preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may show forth his power [His redemptive power—after all, His work and His glory is to enable the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39).] unto future generations.
15 And now behold, I tell you by the spirit of prophecy [It is a sign of true servant to delineate between their own words and when they are speaking on behalf of the Lord which can only happen through the gifts of the spirit. In this case, Alma declares that he is exercising the gift of prophecy.], that if ye transgress the commandments of God, behold, these things which are sacred shall be taken away from you by the power of God, and ye shall be delivered up unto Satan, that he may sift you as chaff before the wind.
16 But if ye keep the commandments of God, and do with these things which are sacred according to that which the Lord doth command you, (for you must appeal unto the Lord for all things whatsoever ye must do with them) behold, no power of earth or hell can take them from you, for God is powerful to the fulfilling of all his words.
17 For he will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers.
18 For he promised unto them that he would preserve these things for a wise purpose in him, that he might show forth his power unto future generations.
19 And now behold, one purpose hath he fulfilled, even to the restoration of many thousands of the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth; and he hath shown forth his power in them, and he will also still show forth his power in them unto future generations; therefore they shall be preserved.
20 Therefore I command you, my son Helaman, that ye be diligent in fulfilling all my words, and that ye be diligent in keeping the commandments of God as they are written.
[v15-20: A firm warning and great promises from the Lord through Alma that has declared that he is using the gift of prophecy.]
21 And now, I will speak unto you concerning those twenty-four plates, that ye keep them, that the mysteries and the works of darkness, and their secret works, or the secret works of those people who have been destroyed, may be made manifest unto this people; yea, all their murders, and robbings, and their plunderings, and all their wickedness and abominations, may be made manifest unto this people; yea, and that ye preserve these interpreters.
22 For behold, the Lord saw that his people began to work in darkness, yea, work secret murders and abominations; therefore the Lord said, if they did not repent they should be destroyed from off the face of the earth.
23 And the Lord said: I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem, a stone, which shall shine forth in darkness unto light, that I may discover unto my people who serve me, that I may discover unto them the works of their brethren, yea, their secret works, their works of darkness, and their wickedness and abominations.
24 And now, my son, these interpreters were prepared that the word of God might be fulfilled, which he spake, saying:
25 I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all their secret works and their abominations; and except they repent I will destroy them from off the face of the earth; and I will bring to light all their secrets and abominations, unto every nation that shall hereafter possess the land.
26 And now, my son, we see that they did not repent; therefore they have been destroyed, and thus far the word of God has been fulfilled; yea, their secret abominations have been brought out of darkness and made known unto us.
27 And now, my son, I command you that ye retain all their oaths, and their covenants, and their agreements in their secret abominations; yea, and all their signs and their wonders ye shall keep from this people, that they know them not, lest peradventure they should fall into darkness also and be destroyed. [I try to keep my comments limited to the doctrine of Christ. But in this case, I will say that these “secret abominations” and even secret combinations will be partly responsible for the lack of clarity and awareness of the true doctrine of Christ in the latter days. I only comment on that because you need to know the effort that is given to destroy the true doctrine of Christ and instead to promote false doctrines (anything other than the true one). It is a very real battle and the fruits of this battle are apparent in the relatively small awareness and understanding of the true doctrine of Christ as it is plainly taught in the Book of Mormon. Ponder this.]
28 For behold, there is a curse upon all this land, that destruction shall come upon all those workers of darkness, according to the power of God, when they are fully ripe; therefore I desire that this people might not be destroyed. [So much to comment on here, but I will refrain and keep my comments to the doctrine of Christ. Please ponder on this further.]
29 Therefore ye shall keep these secret plans of their oaths and their covenants from this people, and only their wickedness and their murders and their abominations shall ye make known unto them; and ye shall teach them to abhor such wickedness and abominations and murders; and ye shall also teach them that these people were destroyed on account of their wickedness and abominations and their murders.
30 For behold, they murdered all the prophets of the Lord who came among them to declare unto them concerning their iniquities; and the blood of those whom they murdered did cry unto the Lord their God for vengeance upon those who were their murderers; and thus the judgments of God did come upon these workers of darkness and secret combinations.
31 Yea, and cursed be the land forever and ever unto those workers of darkness and secret combinations, even unto destruction, except they repent before they are fully ripe.
32 And now, my son, remember the words which I have spoken unto you; trust not those secret plans unto this people, but teach them an everlasting hatred against sin and iniquity.
33 Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. [The plainness of the primary principles of the true doctrine of Christ]
34 Teach them to never be weary of good works [Those works that are directed, guided and commanded of the Lord through personal revelation are the only “good works.”], but to be meek and lowly in heart [broken heart and contrite spirit]; for such shall find rest to their souls [shall find personal redemption. (See also The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide for more on “rest” for the soul.].
35 O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God. [Equally as important is to learn to discern the voice of the Lord and to trust in that voice. (See also The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide)]
36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
[v36-37: This is characteristic of the type of personal relationship that Alma is encouraging you to have with the Lord. The Lord should become your guide, your director, your counselor, your most trusted friend, your mentor and more.]
38 And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director—or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it.
39 And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness. [The Liahona is a symbol of the voice of the Lord. “The wilderness” is the symbol of your personal journey/relationship with the Lord.]
40 And it [The voice of the Lord in your relationship/journey] did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day. [In many ways the voice of the Lord to you within your personal relationship/journey is a miracle. It most certainly is the mercy of the Lord.]
41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey; [This is how it will work in your journey/relationship.]
42 Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions. [Setbacks for not seeking for the Lord’s words and not adhering to it.]
43 And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow [Previously explained in 39-42.]; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual.
44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ [Yes, the Lord’s personal words of revelation in your mind.], which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss [Personal redemption/salvation and even Eternal Life], as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land. [“Promised land” is a spiritual symbol for “the promise of salvation and even eternal life.”]
45 And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise. [How plain and beautiful are these words of Alma?!?]
46 O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever. [Again, how plain and beautiful is this?]
47 And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye [you] look to God and live [Seek for and receive redemption]. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. My son, farewell.
What a powerful first-hand witness of Alma the Younger to his son about his own experience with personal salvation/redemption. To his son, Helaman, he describes a personal relationship that Helaman should have with the Lord. It’s one of dependence upon the Lord for all things. It is one where you know the voice of the Lord and trust it. It is one where you realize that through the Lord’s small and simple guidance in our journey, great things will come to pass.
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.