Heed the Words – Alma 10:1-32

1 Now these are the words which Amulek preached unto the people who were in the land of Ammonihah, saying:

2 I am Amulek; I am the son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of Aminadi; and it was that same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God. [I need to ask about this.]

This is a journal entry describing what I was shown related to the above verse:

“The Lord showed me the temple that existed in the Land of Nephi. It was made of large stones on the foundation up to perhaps 4 feet and then the rest of the temple was made of wood. There was an outer barrier of wood poles, which was at times covered with white cloth. Two pillars stood in the front of the temple, which was similar to the Temple of Solomon, but much smaller and simple.

Aminadi was a priest in the temple, a descendant of Nephi, and a prophet amongst the people during the time of Jarom. In fact, the Lord had me go to Jarom 1:10, which is a reference to this event, not specifically described. During this time of Nephite history, the people had become very wicked and had forgotten the Lord, setting their hearts upon riches and their own strength. Aminadi would stand at times facing the laver on the south side of the temple. The sun would shine upon the wall and he saw the same thing all the time. When I saw him he had a dark, almost black beard and hair. He wore clothing that was white with colors and a hat.

One day he noticed some writing on the wall, each character about the size of a man’s palm. It was in an unknown glyph, which reminded me of Jaredite writing I have seen before. The words were translated by Aminadi to read “If my people do not remember the commandments of their God, they will be removed from the land of their inheritance.” Aminadi showed this to the high priest and the people were made aware of it, but most felt it was a hoax and dismissed it as such. In the days of Amaleki, Mosiah led a people out of the land of Nephi to avoid its destruction.”

3 And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren. [Here we are told directly for the first time that Lehi was a descendant of Manasseh. There are essentially three tribes of Israel represented in America: Judah (Mulekites), Ephraim (Ishmaelites), and Manasseh (Nephites).]

4 And behold, I am also a man of no small reputation among all those who know me; yea, and behold, I have many kindreds and friends, and I have also acquired much riches by the hand of my industry. [A merchant of woven cloth, and other related products.]

5 Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power; yea, even in the preservation of the lives of this people. [Having said this, Amulek was a great seeker of God, he just didn’t know where to look. Many of us are like Amulek with great desires to know the Lord, but not understanding how to exercise the faith to open that door.]

6 Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear [He dismissed the thoughts as his imagination.]; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know [the effects of unbelief]; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart [sinning without knowing], even until the fourth day of this seventh month [around September], which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges. [How the Nephites counted the years.]

All of us are guilty of dismissing the promptings of the Holy Spirit at times. Some may even have daylight visions to get their attention, yet see them as fancies of the imagination. The Lord will often speak to the less faithful in a dream, and those are usually brushed aside by those of a carnal mind. What should you do? If your heart is filled with virtue and a desire to know the Lord, you must pay close attention to every thought and image that crosses your mind. You must know that the Lord will speak to you. As you follow through with these revelations, your spiritual senses will be strengthened until the time comes that the gifts of the Spirit will manifest themselves to you in their fullness.

7 As I was journeying to see a very near kindred, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto me and said: Amulek, return to thine own house, for thou shalt feed a prophet of the Lord; yea, a holy man, who is a chosen man of God; for he has fasted many days because of the sins of this people, and he is an hungered, and thou shalt receive him into thy house and feed him, and he shall bless thee and thy house; and the blessing of the Lord shall rest upon thee and thy house.

8 And it came to pass that I obeyed the voice of the angel, and returned towards my house. And as I was going thither I found the man whom the angel said unto me: Thou shalt receive into thy house—and behold it was this same man who has been speaking unto you concerning the things of God.

9 And the angel said unto me he is a holy man; wherefore I know he is a holy man because it was said by an angel of God.

10 And again, I know that the things whereof he hath testified are true; for behold I say unto you, that as the Lord liveth, even so has he sent his angel to make these things manifest unto me; and this he has done while this Alma hath dwelt at my house. [That is a direct and powerful witness!]

11 For behold, he hath blessed mine house, he hath blessed me, and my women, and my children, and my father and my kinsfolk; yea, even all my kindred hath he blessed, and the blessing of the Lord hath rested upon us according to the words which he spake. [Amulek cared for his parents and extended family.]

12 And now, when Amulek had spoken these words the people began to be astonished, seeing there was more than one witness who testified of the things whereof they were accused, and also of the things which were to come, according to the spirit of prophecy which was in them.

13 Nevertheless, there were some among them who thought to question them, that by their cunning devices they might catch them in their words, that they might find witness against them, that they might deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law, and that they might be slain or cast into prison, according to the crime which they could make appear or witness against them. [If it could be proven that their words were a lie, that their beliefs were to cause fear in others, they could be sent to prison according to their laws.]

14 Now it was those men who sought to destroy them, who were lawyers, who were hired or appointed by the people to administer the law at their times of trials, or at the trials of the crimes of the people before the judges.

15 Now these lawyers were learned in all the arts and cunning of the people; and this was to enable them that they might be skilful in their profession.

16 And it came to pass that they began to question Amulek, that thereby they might make him cross his words, or contradict the words which he should speak.

17 Now they knew not that Amulek could know of their designs. But it came to pass as they began to question him, he perceived their thoughts [gift of discernment], and he said unto them: O ye wicked and perverse generation, ye lawyers and hypocrites, for ye are laying the foundations of the devil; for ye are laying traps and snares to catch the holy ones of God.

18 Ye are laying plans to pervert the ways of the righteous, and to bring down the wrath of God upon your heads, even to the utter destruction of this people.

19 Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to deliver up the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this people should be governed by their own voices—yea, well did he say that if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction. [A good reference because the people knew well the laws that had been implemented since the time of King Mosiah.]

20 And now I say unto you that well doth the Lord judge of your iniquities; well doth he cry unto this people, by the voice of his angels: Repent ye, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

21 Yea, well doth he cry, by the voice of his angels that: I will come down among my people, with equity and justice in my hands.

22 Yea, and I say unto you that if it were not for the prayers of the righteous, who are now in the land, that ye would even now be visited with utter destruction; yet it would not be by flood, as were the people in the days of Noah, but it would be by famine, and by pestilence, and the sword. [Again, this verse has application to our time today. America is hanging by a thread, and if it were not for the prayer of the righteous it would be destroyed already.]

23 But it is by the prayers of the righteous that ye are spared; now therefore, if ye will cast out the righteous from among you then will not the Lord stay his hand; but in his fierce anger he will come out against you; then ye shall be smitten by famine, and by pestilence, and by the sword; and the time is soon at hand except ye repent. [And this shall be the end result of our country, as the wicked and the righteous divide until their is no grey line. Can you see this happening? At that point the judgments of God will be unleashed.]

24 And now it came to pass that the people were more angry with Amulek, and they cried out, saying: This man doth revile against our laws which are just, and our wise lawyers whom we have selected.

25 But Amulek stretched forth his hand [the sign of a servant], and cried the mightier unto them, saying: O ye wicked and perverse generation [people], why hath Satan got such great hold upon your hearts? Why will ye yield yourselves unto him that he may have power over you, to blind your eyes, that ye will not understand the words which are spoken, according to their truth?

26 For behold, have I testified against your law? Ye do not understand; ye say that I have spoken against your law; but I have not, but I have spoken in favor of your law, to your condemnation. [To seek to overthrow the law was a crime, but to condemn according to the law was not.]

27 And now behold, I say unto you, that the foundation of the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges.

28 And now it came to pass that when Amulek had spoken these words the people cried out against him, saying: Now we know that this man is a child of the devil, for he hath lied unto us; for he hath spoken against our law. And now he says that he has not spoken against it. [The equivalent of treason in our day. Freedom of speech was not a Nephite’ right.]

29 And again, he has reviled against our lawyers, and our judges.

30 And it came to pass that the lawyers put it into their hearts that they should remember these things against him.

31 And there was one among them whose name was Zeezrom. Now he was the foremost to accuse Amulek and Alma, he being one of the most expert among them, having much business to do among the people.

32 Now the object of these lawyers was to get gain; and they got gain according to their employ.

This chapter demonstrates the complexity of maneuvering the Nephite judicial laws of their day. What Alma and Amulek were doing was a risky venture and this was well understood by them. Alma, being the former chief judge knew how such things worked and with the Holy Spirit was able to plan accordingly. 

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Preaching to Ammonihah – Alma 9:1-34

1 And again, I, Alma, having been commanded of God that I should take Amulek and go forth and preach again unto this people, or the people who were in the city of Ammonihah, it came to pass as I began to preach unto them, they began to contend with me, saying:

2 Who art thou? Suppose ye that we shall believe the testimony of one man, although he should preach unto us that the earth should pass away? [This was part of the reason the Lord had prepared a companion for Alma, knowing the hearts of the people of Ammonihah.]

3 Now they understood not the words which they spake; for they knew not that the earth should pass away. [Alma is clarifying that they did not understand, and he was not teaching that.]

4 And they said also: We will not believe thy words if thou shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in one day.

5 Now they knew not that God could do such marvelous works, for they were a hard-hearted and a stiffnecked people. [It is the nature of people to think their world will not change, that they are secure in their comfort and beliefs.]

6 And they said: Who is God, that sendeth no more authority than one man among this people, to declare unto them the truth of such great and marvelous things?

7 And they stood forth to lay their hands on me; but behold, they did not. And I stood with boldness to declare unto them, yea, I did boldly testify unto them, saying:

8 Behold, O ye wicked and perverse generation [people of this time and place], how have ye forgotten the tradition of your fathers; yea, how soon ye have forgotten the commandments of God.

9 Do ye not remember that our father, Lehi, was brought out of Jerusalem by the hand of God? Do ye not remember that they were all led by him through the wilderness?

10 And have ye forgotten so soon how many times he delivered our fathers out of the hands of their enemies, and preserved them from being destroyed, even by the hands of their own brethren?

11 Yea, and if it had not been for his matchless power, and his mercy, and his long-suffering towards us, we should unavoidably have been cut off from the face of the earth long before this period of time, and perhaps been consigned to a state of endless misery and woe.

As I read this it reminds me of our generation, which does not remember the sacrifices and divine providence of the original American colonists, the Founding Fathers, and those who brought forth this country. They came seeking a new land where they could worship Jesus Christ without oppression. The Lord blessed this country and it has become wealthy and proud. Today, many of our generation have forgotten this heritage.

12 Behold, now I say unto you that he commandeth you to repent; and except ye repent, ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. But behold, this is not all—he has commanded you to repent, or he will utterly destroy you from off the face of the earth; yea, he will visit you in his anger, and in his fierce anger he will not turn away. [This occurs in Alma 25:2]

Again, this is the same message for our day. Unless the American people repent (and all nations for that matter) they will be wiped off the face of the earth. There is a cleansing coming and you must be found standing in a holy place or you will not survive the storm.

13 Behold, do ye not remember the words which he spake unto Lehi, saying that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land? And again it is said that: Inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. [This scripture has both a temporal and spiritual meaning.]

14 Now I would that ye should remember, that inasmuch as the Lamanites have not kept the commandments of God, they have been cut off from the presence of the Lord. Now we see that the word of the Lord has been verified in this thing, and the Lamanites have been cut off from his presence, from the beginning of their transgressions in the land.

15 Nevertheless I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for them in the day of judgment than for you, if ye remain in your sins, yea, and even more tolerable for them in this life than for you, except ye repent.

16 For there are many promises which are extended to the Lamanites; for it is because of the traditions of their fathers that caused them to remain in their state of ignorance; therefore the Lord will be merciful unto them and prolong their existence in the land. [This demonstrates the Lord’s mercy in how those who are born under circumstances where they do not know the truth because of their false traditions are often extended the mercy of God.]

17 And at some period of time they will be brought to believe in his word, and to know of the incorrectness of the traditions of their fathers; and many of them will be saved, for the Lord will be merciful unto all who call on his name. [Moroni 8:22]

18 But behold, I say unto you that if ye persist in your wickedness that your days shall not be prolonged in the land, for the Lamanites shall be sent upon you; and if ye repent not they shall come in a time when you know not, and ye shall be visited with utter destruction; and it shall be according to the fierce anger of the Lord. [When America falls it will come like the sudden storm without warning.]

19 For he will not suffer you that ye shall live in your iniquities, to destroy his people. I say unto you, Nay; he would rather suffer that the Lamanites might destroy all his people who are called the people of Nephi, if it were possible that they could fall into sins and transgressions, after having had so much light and so much knowledge given unto them of the Lord their God;

20 Yea, after having been such a highly favored people of the Lord; yea, after having been favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people; after having had all things made known unto them, according to their desires, and their faith, and prayers, of that which has been, and which is, and which is to come; [At this point the Nephites were more blessed that the Jews living in Jerusalem, having received more revelations and prophecies than them.]

21 Having been visited by the Spirit of God; having conversed with angels, and having been spoken unto by the voice of the Lord; and having the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and also many gifts, the gift of speaking with tongues, and the gift of preaching, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of translation; [This is a good synopsis of some of the most basic gifts of the Spirit, which stand as signs of God’s favor amongst a people when they are manifest. Refer to the book A Witness of the Gifts of the Spirit to learn more.]

22 Yea, and after having been delivered of God out of the land of Jerusalem, by the hand of the Lord; having been saved from famine, and from sickness, and all manner of diseases of every kind; and they having waxed strong in battle, that they might not be destroyed; having been brought out of bondage time after time, and having been kept and preserved until now [They knew that when they overcame in battle it was miraculous having been greatly outnumbered.]; and they have been prospered until they are rich in all manner of things—

23 And now behold I say unto you, that if this people, who have received so many blessings from the hand of the Lord, should transgress contrary to the light and knowledge which they do have, I say unto you that if this be the case, that if they should fall into transgression, it would be far more tolerable for the Lamanites than for them.

24 For behold, the promises of the Lord are extended to the Lamanites, but they are not unto you if ye transgress; for has not the Lord expressly promised and firmly decreed, that if ye will rebel against him that ye shall utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth? [Transgression has a slightly different meaning than the word sin. To transgress is to deviate from the course the Lord has given you. To sin is more to act or be in disharmony to God’s laws. To Transgress is sin, but to sin is not necessarily to transgress, as a sinner may not know that they are transgressing.]

25 And now for this cause, that ye may not be destroyed, the Lord has sent his angel to visit many of his people, declaring unto them that they must go forth and cry mightily unto this people, saying: Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is nigh at hand; [There are always multiple witnesses and prophets sent to cry repentance to the people, to the nations of the world, in boldness, without concern for their feelings or how it might effect their status.]

26 And not many days hence the Son of God shall come in his glory; and his glory shall be the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, equity, and truth, full of patience, mercy, and long-suffering, quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers. [Christ came in His glory, but the world did not see it. When He comes in the future it will be cataclysmic.]

27 And behold, he cometh to redeem [by fire] those who will be baptized [by water] unto repentance, through faith on his name. [Doctrine of Christ]

28 Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord [get ready], for the time is at hand [right before you] that all men shall reap a reward of their works, according to that which they have been—if they have been righteous they shall reap the salvation of their souls, according to the power and deliverance of Jesus Christ; and if they have been evil they shall reap the damnation of their souls, according to the power and captivation of the devil. [the day of judgment]

29 Now behold, this is the voice of the angel, crying unto the people. [These are the words I have been commanded to give unto you!]

30 And now, my beloved brethren, for ye are my brethren, and ye ought to be beloved, and ye ought to bring forth works which are meet for repentance, seeing that your hearts have been grossly hardened against the word of God, and seeing that ye are a lost and a fallen people. [A final plea from Alma.]

31 Now it came to pass that when I, Alma, had spoken these words, behold, the people were wroth with me because I said unto them that they were a hard-hearted and a stiffnecked people. [So often people become angry when the truth is spoken.]

32 And also because I said unto them that they were a lost and a fallen people they were angry with me, and sought to lay their hands upon me, that they might cast me into prison.

33 But it came to pass that the Lord did not suffer them that they should take me at that time and cast me into prison.

34 And it came to pass that Amulek went and stood forth, and began to preach unto them also. And now the words of Amulek are not all written, nevertheless a part of his words are written in this book. [When Amulek stepped forth the people paused, surprised that another witness was among them.]

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Alma and Amulek – Alma 8:1-32

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

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

3 And it came to pass in the commencement of the tenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, that Alma departed from thence and took his journey over into the land of Melek, on the west of the river Sidon, on the west by the borders of the wilderness. [The angel that I was first introduced to before I had my personal Second Comforter, his name was Melek. I later learned that he lived during the Nephite times. I wonder if this city is named after him or it is a coincidence.]

From my journal: “I asked about the city of Melek. It is the same name is my friend in the room above the earth. The angel that I first met the day I had my Second Comforter. Is the city of Melek in the Book of Mormon related to him? The Lord said, “Yes.” That the city was founded by Melek in the days of King Bejamin. That Melek was the founder and governor of that land which at the time of Alma had about 35,000 inhabitants, which is not many. The city is north of Zarahemla in the Iowa area near the borders of the west wilderness called Hermounts.  When Alma the younger visited them, he was glad to see that the people had remained good.”

4 And he began to teach the people in the land of Melek according to the holy order of God, by which he had been called; and he began to teach the people throughout all the land of Melek. [When it reads “according to the holy order of God” it is referring to the commandments of God given to Alma. Priesthood is more than simply to join an organization. It is to actively be about the Lord’s errand.]

5 And it came to pass that the people came to him throughout all the borders of the land which was by the wilderness side. And they were baptized throughout all the land;

6 So that when he had finished his work at Melek he departed thence, and traveled three days’ journey on the north of the land of Melek; and he came to a city which was called Ammonihah.

7 Now it was the custom of the people of Nephi to call their lands, and their cities, and their villages, yea, even all their small villages, after the name of him who first possessed them; and thus it was with the land of Ammonihah.

8 And it came to pass that when Alma had come to the city of Ammonihah he began to preach the word of God unto them.

9 Now Satan had gotten great hold upon the hearts of the people of the city of Ammonihah; therefore they would not hearken unto the words of Alma. [They had their own false traditions which were contrary to the words spoken by Alma.]

10 Nevertheless Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer, that he would pour out his Spirit upon the people who were in the city; that he would also grant that he might baptize them unto repentance.

11 Nevertheless, they hardened their hearts, saying unto him: Behold, we know that thou art Alma; and we know that thou art high priest over the church which thou hast established in many parts of the land, according to your tradition; and we are not of thy church, and we do not believe in such foolish traditions.

12 And now we know that because we are not of thy church we know that thou hast no power over us; and thou hast delivered up the judgment-seat unto Nephihah; therefore thou art not the chief judge over us.

13 Now when the people had said this, and withstood all his words [argued against], and reviled him [spoke disrespectfully], and spit upon him, and caused that he should be cast out of their city, he departed thence and took his journey towards the city which was called Aaron.

14 And it came to pass that while he was journeying thither, being weighed down with sorrow, wading through much tribulationand anguish of soul, because of the wickedness of the people who were in the city of Ammonihah, it came to pass while Alma was thus weighed down with sorrow, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto him, saying:

15 Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou receivedst thy first message from him. Behold, I am he that delivered it unto you. [You would think that Alma would recognize the angel after receiving the Lord’s word from him before. Often, when angels come we hear and see light, yet do not see their face. It is a curious experience. At times we may hear and see, and other times only hear. The flesh of our bodies is the veil that separates the carnal mind from the spirtual realm. Unless the angel is a translated or resurrected being unto the flesh, we will only see them with our spiritual eyes.]

16 And behold, I am sent to command thee that thou return to the city of Ammonihah, and preach again unto the people of the city; yea, preach unto them. Yea, say unto them, except they repent the Lord God will destroy them.

17 For behold, they do study at this time that they may destroy the liberty of thy people, (for thus saith the Lord) which is contrary to the statutes, and judgments, and commandments which he has given unto his people. [This must have been alarming to Alma, and yet not surprising considering the hostility he experienced in that city. Now, he would be entering a dangerous situation and he knew it, but his trust was in the Lord. Alma was a brave man, having faced death during the great battle with the Amlicites, having slain Amlici himself. But, this was different.]

18 Now it came to pass that after Alma had received his message from the angel of the Lord he returned speedily to the land of Ammonihah. And he entered the city by another way, yea, by the way which is on the south of the city of Ammonihah.

19 And as he entered the city he was an hungered, and he said to a man: Will ye give to an humble servant of God something to eat? [He was given these thoughts to ask by revelation. Reminds me of Elijah and the widow.]

20 And the man said unto him: I am a Nephite, and I know that thou art a holy prophet of God, for thou art the man whom an angel said in a vision: Thou shalt receive. Therefore, go with me into my house and I will impart unto thee of my food; and I know that thou wilt be a blessing unto me and my house. [Amulek saw the angel in vision, meaning with his spiritual eyes. When such a thing occurs it is like a detailed dream that can be so acute and random that to reject it would be to deny the power of God.]

21 And it came to pass that the man received him into his house; and the man was called Amulek; and he brought forth bread and meat and set before Alma.

22 And it came to pass that Alma ate bread and was filled; and he blessed Amulek and his house, and he gave thanks unto God. [Did he eat the meat? Eating after a long fast is dangerous to the body. Alma must have eaten very carefully.]

It is interesting that all of these seemingly insignificant details regarding Alma’s meal with Amulek are included in the record. It helps to establish the faith of Amulek and Alma, and their relationship.

23 And after he had eaten and was filled he said unto Amulek: I am Alma, and am the high priest over the church of God throughout the land.

24 And behold, I have been called to preach the word of God among all this people, according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy; and I was in this land and they would not receive me, but they cast me out and I was about to set my back towards this land forever.

25 But behold, I have been commanded that I should turn again and prophesy unto this people, yea, and to testify against them concerning their iniquities.

26 And now, Amulek, because thou hast fed me and taken me in, thou art blessed; for I was an hungered, for I had fasted many days. [To walk long distances while fasting from food is terribly difficult. When I did a two week water fast I could hardly stand for more than fifteen minutes before feeling faint. But fasting has incredible benefits of clarity that can hardly be accomplished any other way.]

27 And Alma tarried many days with Amulek before he began to preach unto the people. [Alma was teaching Amulek and preparing him to be his companion according to the revelation he had received.]

I have added this portion from my journal, a vision the Lord showed me similar to the kind I have written in A Witness of the Temporal Dispensations.

I then asked the Lord to show me what occurred with Alma the younger when he was in Ammonihah. What happened between him and Amulek? I have been studying this in the Book of Alma and there seems to be more involved. The Lord took me to a place in time. I saw Alma walking south along a dirt road with trees to his right. He was walking slow. He took a right turn toward the trees and was drinking from a brook. Alma saw a bright light like a cloud of light in his mind and an angel appeared. This was a special meeting for the angel was the first one that had come to Alma when he was on the road with the sons of Mosiah.

I asked the Lord who the angel was and was told I could not record his name, but that he was of the 4th estate, a Nephite prophet, and that he had also appeared to many. He was acting in the role of a Seraphim, a messenger from the Throne. It was a joyful thing to witness as the angel smiled and Alma in his weak condition was visually overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

Alma was given instruction to return to Ammonihah and that he would be shown what to do next to preach to the people. In the meantime, the angel had also made an appearance to Amulek.

Let me describe Alma in detail from what I witnessed. I had seen him as a young man and as the leader in battle, but not yet in this circumstance. He looked to be close to forty, I think. His hair was very dark brown with some white in his beard which was mid length, a little longer than I had seen before. His hair was combed straight back and was down his neck. There seemed to be something added to his hair to keep it in place, not greasy, but prevented it from flying around. He smelled like fragrant herbs. Not lavender or perfume-like, but pleasant. He wore brown clothing that seemed part like a mix of middle-eastern and Native American. I say that because there was something like leggings with a girdle around his waste. Not as much leather as cloth, no feathers, but the clothing cut reminded me of something Indian. He had a small pack over his shoulder. Alma had dark eyebrows and kind eyes, deep set, with a slightly wider face.

Amulek was told by the angel to help the man who would ask him for food. Alma responded to the spirit of revelation when he was compelled to ask Amulek. They knew nothing about each other, although Amulek knew of Alma and greatly admired him without knowing his identity until after the meal.

Amulek had brown hair, not as dark as Alma, was thin, and looked younger. He had a small family, I saw several children. He was merchant that helped sell other’s tapestries, bags, and other things. His home was small, made of a kind of cement and wood. Looked like middle eastern homes from Christ’s time.

Alma was served a broth from a cooked animal and some small cakes made from maze corn and other herbs. He ate slow and very little. The cake was almost green in color. Both men were overjoyed to learn of each other and especially Amulek to learn he had offered food to Alma. Amulek shared his experience with the angel and they spent the next few weeks discussing the Gospel and Alma shared much to help Amulek prepare. It was interesting to see these two men coming together to do the Lord’s work.

28 And it came to pass that the people did wax more gross in their iniquities.

29 And the word came to Alma, saying: Go; and also say unto my servant Amulek, go forth and prophesy unto this people, saying—Repent ye, for thus saith the Lord, except ye repent I will visit this people in mine anger; yea, and I will not turn my fierce anger away. [Both Alma and Amulek received their own separate revelation from the Lord as a witness that it was time.]

30 And Alma went forth, and also Amulek, among the people, to declare the words of God unto them; and they were filled with the Holy Ghost.

31 And they had power given unto them, insomuch that they could not be confined in dungeons; neither was it possible that any man could slay them; nevertheless they did not exercise their power until they were bound in bands and cast into prison. Now, this was done that the Lord might show forth his power in them. [They were not translated, yet were protected by the power of God, much like Paul in the New Testament.]

32 And it came to pass that they went forth and began to preach and to prophesy unto the people, according to the spirit and power which the Lord had given them.

When the Lord desires to call a people to repentance much is coordinated from the other side of the veil. People are brought together and the ministering of angels becomes very busy. Even today, the Lord is organizing and preparing his servants as was Alma and Amulek to call the people to repentance. Until the collapse, much of this will take place on the internet, and with small groups, and will only increase as we grow closer to the gathering. 

We have the example of Alma, a highly esteemed servant of God and former judge of the land meeting Amulek, a regular man without status, yet chosen of God. The servants of the Lord are chosen according to their faith.

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Teachings of the Atonement – Alma 7:1-27

1 Behold my beloved brethren, seeing that I have been permitted to come unto you, therefore I attempt to address you in my language [way of speaking]; yea, by my own mouth, seeing that it is the first time that I have spoken unto you by the words of my mouth, I having been wholly confined to the judgment-seat, having had much business that I could not come unto you. [Speaking to the people of Gideon on the other side of the River Sidon.]

2 And even I could not have come now at this time were it not that the judgment-seat hath been given to another, to reign in my stead; and the Lord in much mercy hath granted that I should come unto you. [A short explanation of why and how this came to be.]

3 And behold, I have come having great hopes and much desire that I should find that ye had humbled yourselves before God, and that ye had continued in the supplicating of his grace [light and salvation], that I should find that ye were blameless before him, that I should find that ye were not in the awful dilemma that our brethren were in at Zarahemla.

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

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

6 But behold, I trust that ye are not in a state of so much unbelief [false belief and lack of faith] as were your brethren; I trust that ye are not lifted up in the pride of your hearts; yea, I trust that ye have not set your hearts upon riches and the vain things of the world; yea, I trust that you do not worship idols [seek things and not God], but that ye do worship the true and the living God, and that ye look forward for the remission of your sins [baptism of fire], with an everlasting faith, which is to come.

7 For behold, I say unto you there be many things to come; and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all—for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people. [The Lord would be born in about 85 years. The words “time not far distant” doesn’t imply within ten years, but more than a generation. We need to keep this in mind when we hear prophets say such things. The Lord has told me to be careful to not set a time, but to watch for the prophesied events and signs in the heavens.]

8 Behold, I do not say that he will come among us at the time of his dwelling in his mortal tabernacle; for behold, the Spirit hath not said unto me that this should be the case. [Some had conjectured that Christ would walk amongst them in the flesh.] Now as to this thing I do not know; but this much I do know, that the Lord God hath power to do all things which are according to his word. [A foreshadowing of the day when He would show Himself to them.]

9 But behold, the Spirit hath said this much unto me, saying: Cry unto this people, saying—Repent ye, and prepare the way of the Lord, and walk in his paths, which are straight; for behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand [is close to you], and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth.

10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God. [A very specific prophecy, not included in the Bible.]

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

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. [The Atonement looses the bands of a telestial being that they may ascend, because Christ has claimed them as their Father and they are one with Him.]

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

It is hard for many to understand the need for an atonement. Whey can’t Jesus just save everyone because He can? There is a law in the universe which is the Law of Attraction. To bind something to itself requires a familiarity. In order to raise up something of a lower glory it requires the higher to condescend and then to overcome while bringing those with Him that will choose to ascend because of the One who has suffered to know them. There is a link which transcends time and space. A link between the Father/Mother and their Sons and Daughters, established by great sacrifice, which is called “grace.”

14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven [To inherit the blessing of this Atonement it requires one to be born again in spirit. This is why the baptism of water points to that end result, which is accomplished by a baptism of glory/fire that creates a literal change within our spirit, making us holy to the Lord.]; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance [to witness to the Father that you accept His Son], that ye may be washed from your sins [baptism of fire], that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God [The Great Sacrifice which you have witnessed all these years at the temple when the priest lays the lamb upon the altar and sacrifices it.], who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.

15 Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction [broken heart], yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism. [contrite spirit]

16 And whosoever doeth this, and keepeth the commandments of God from thenceforth, the same will remember that I say unto him, yea, he will remember that I have said unto him, he shall have eternal life [Dwell with God], according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit [Holy Spirit of Promise], which testifieth in me [Christ].

17 And now my beloved brethren, do you believe these things? Behold, I say unto you, yea, I know that ye believe them; and the way that I know that ye believe them is by the manifestation of the Spirit which is in me. [gift of discernment] And now because your faith is strong concerning that, yea, concerning the things which I have spoken, great is my joy.

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

19 For I perceive that ye are in the paths of righteousness; I perceive that ye are in the path which leads to the kingdom of God; yea, I perceive that ye are making his paths straight. [They are on the path. Now they must grab hold of the iron rod which is the Gift of the Holy Ghost and pure revelation.]

20 I perceive that it has been made known unto you, by the testimony of his [God’s] word, that he cannot walk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, his course is one eternal round.

This scripture is insightful in light of how much society today is conforming to social trends. What was once sinful is accepted and even taught as godly. God doesn’t change His commandments or revelations, they remain steady. There is not a single doctrine taught by Joseph Smith that does not apply to our time. A prophet cannot change a doctrine, but he can preach repentance and offer warnings according to the spirit of prophesy which is in them. If they are a revelator, they will reveal what has not been revealed before; but not change the doctrine. If they are a seer, they will see the past, present, and future, and the Lord will have them reveal according to His will. This pattern is unchanging – one eternal round.

21 And he doth not dwell in unholy temples [our spirits]; neither can filthiness or anything which is unclean be received into the kingdom of God; therefore I say unto you the time shall come, yea, and it shall be at the last day, that he who is filthy shall remain in his filthiness. [Relating to the final judgment when the telestial earth is no more.]

22 And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received. [This is a reference to the covenant made before birth. The House of Israel has a duty to come unto Christ according to the Everlasting Covenant of the Father.]

23 And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated [persuaded]; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate [disciplined] in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God [following through on the revelations you receive] at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive. [the Law of Asking, and the Virtue of Gratitude]

24 And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, [repent, be baptized, Holy Ghost (the Doctrine of Christ] and then ye will always abound in good works.

Faith is a step beyond believing, where we turn our hearts over to God, seeking His will for us by revelation, and then doing all in our power to act upon it. We are baptized with a hope that our witness to the Father will bring about a remission of sins. We continue toward a realization of this hope, following the Holy Ghost/Spirit until the day that we are bathed in fire/God’s glory, made clean to enter the presence of the Lord and receive the gift, which is the change of our spirit, made holy in the blood of the Lamb (the gift of the Holy Ghost). This is faith, hope, and charity; which brings about all righteousness.

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

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

27 And now, may the peace of God rest upon you, and upon your houses and lands, and upon your flocks and herds, and all that you possess, your women and your children, according to your faith and good works, from this time forth and forever. And thus I have spoken. Amen.

What is the “peace of God?” Does it mean things will always go our way and life will be smooth and blissful? It simply means that God will watch over us and have a relationship with us that brings peace through His Spirit. We should ask the Lord for all that we need both physically and spiritually, and then be at peace knowing that the Lord is in control – to trust in Him.

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Alma Passes the Keys – Alma 6:1-8

1 And now it came to pass that after Alma had made an end of speaking unto the people of the church, which was established in the city of Zarahemla, he ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watchover the church. [Because of the growth of the church it was necessary to ordain additional priests and elders to watch over the church. Alma’s father had originally established the church toward the end of Mosiah’s reign. (Mosiah 25:19-24)]

2 And it came to pass that whosoever did not belong to the church who repented of their sins were baptized unto repentance, and were received into the church. [The only qualification for baptism was repentance, meaning that they turned their hearts to God.]

3 And it also came to pass that whosoever did belong to the church that did not repent of their wickedness and humble themselves before God—I mean those who were lifted up in the pride of their hearts—the same were rejected, and their names were blotted out, that their names were not numbered among those of the righteous. [The only qualification for rejection from the church was not repenting of wickedness, which was usually manifest by pride in their hearts. Alma had made it clear in the previous chapters this was according to class distinction often manifest by their wearing of fine apparel and persecution of their brethren.]

4 And thus they began to establish the order of the church in the city of Zarahemla. [A more regulated (vs. 7) approach to those receiving baptism and those who were excommunicated.]

5 Now I would that ye should understand that the word of God was liberal unto all, that none were deprived of the privilege of assembling themselves together to hear the word of God. [All were invited to come, even those whose names were blotted out.]

6 Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God. [Often on days other than the Sabbath.]

When we meet together in homes or chapels to worship God how often do we join in fasting and mighty prayer for the benefit of those who don’t know the Lord? What kind of prayers do we usually offer? It is common to pray for those with whom we associate, but what about those we do not?

7 And now it came to pass that when Alma had made these regulations he departed from them, yea, from the church which was in the city of Zarahemla, and went over upon the east of the river Sidon, into the valley of Gideon [west Illinois], there having been a city built, which was called the city of Gideon, which was in the valley that was called Gideon, being called after the man who was slain by the hand of Nehor with the sword.

8 And Alma went and began to declare the word of God unto the church which was established in the valley of Gideon, according to the revelation of the truth of the word which had been spoken by his fathers, and according to the spirit of prophecy which was in him, according to the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who should come to redeem his people from their sins, and the holy order by which he was called. And thus it is written. Amen.

Having a large church with many branches requires people to be ordained to administer over the needs of its members. This is a priesthood responsibility because it is expected that these ordained people are righteous and have the Lord’s approval. The laying on of hands for ordination does not guarantee that the Lord will uphold them if they are not faithful. There are many examples from scripture where this has occurred: the sons of Eli, or the priests of Noah. Often when we use the word “keys” in priesthood we are referring to keys of authority to administer in the church. We must not conflate the meaning to also encompass the power of God, which can only be maintained upon principles of righteousness. D&C 121:36 

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