Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, February 4

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God; Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 7” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God; Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 7”
by grego

Part 7

**The leaders of the people of the city of Ammonihah ask Alma and Amulek,
Alma 14:21 How shall we look when we are damned?

Well, shortly thereafter, it was hard to tell, because those same leaders were buried in the rubble when they fell down and the prison collapsed on top of them (Alma 14:27), making them a physical “lost and fallen people” as Alma had preached they were spiritually:
Alma 9:30 …ye are a lost and a fallen people.

However, for their fellow city-citizens, the answer is somewhat clearer:
Alma 16:10 …the carcases were mangled by dogs and wild beasts of the wilderness.
Alma 16:11 …after many days their dead bodies were heaped up upon the face of the earth, and they were covered with a shallow covering. And now so great was the scent thereof that the people did not go in to possess the land of Ammonihah for many years…

Pretty much how I would expect a damned person to look…

There are many parallels and many examples of irony:

**The people in the city of Ammonihah say,
Alma 9:2 …Suppose ye that we shall believe the testimony of one man, although he should preach unto us that the earth should pass away?
Alma 9:3 Now they understood not the words which they spake; for they knew not that the earth should pass away.
Alma 9:4 And they said also: We will not believe thy words if thou shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in one day.
Alma 9:5 Now they knew not that God could do such marvelous works, for they were a hard-hearted and a stiffnecked people.

Here, the people say that they will not believe Alma’s words, as he is the only one testifying of them; in other words, they refuse to accept his authority. Also, they deny a basic prophecy, and unknowingly foreshadow their own destiny.
The reason they will not believe is that they are a very unbelieving people. Also, they do not understand God. Which fits in beautifully with the next verse:
Alma 9:6 …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?

When Amulek also testifies, they are astonished, but it does little to change many of their hearts.


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2009, January 12

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God; Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 4” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God; Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 4”
by grego

Part 4

Alma and Amulek testify to the righteous:
Alma 15:2 And they related unto them all that had happened unto their wives and children, and also concerning themselves, and of their POWER of deliverance.

In fact, though this was really all about authority, for the wicked people of Ammonihah it had only been a question of *power* from the beginning:
Alma 8:12 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.
Alma 8:13 Now when the people had said this, and withstood all his words, and reviled him, 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.

And Mormon makes the connection:
Alma 8:31 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.
Alma 8:32 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.

Why the emphasis on power? I believe because the Lord knew that the people of Ammonihah needed a witness of his power to help them repent or to justly condemn themselves if they did not repent.

Alma and Amulek strive to show that throughout Nephite history, the Lord has not been just authoritative, but powerful also, especially unto deliverance:
Alma 9:11 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.

Also make it clear that the devil is powerful, too. So, Alma and Amulek preach a subtle power-struggle beween the Lord and the devil, and between the representatives of the Lord’s order, and the order of Nehor. While the Lord has power to deliver the repentant righteous, the devil has power to destroy and captivate the unrepentant wicked.

Alma 9:28 Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord, for the time is at hand 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.
Alma 10:5 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.
Alma 10:25 But Amulek stretched forth his hand, and cried the mightier unto them, saying: O ye wicked and perverse generation, 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?
Alma 12:5 Now this was a plan of thine adversary, and he hath exercised his POWER in thee (Zeezrom). Now I would that ye should remember that what I say unto thee I say unto all.
Alma 12:6 And behold I say unto you all that this was a snare of the adversary, which he has laid to catch this people, that he might bring you into subjection unto him, that he might encircle you about with his chains, that he might chain you down to everlasting DESTRUCTION, according to the POWER of his CAPITIVITY.
Alma 12:7 Now when Alma had spoken these words, Zeezrom began to tremble more exceedingly, for he was convinced more and more of the POWER of God; and he was also convinced that Alma and Amulek had a knowledge of him, for he was convinced that they knew the thoughts and intents of his heart; for POWER was given unto them that they might know of these things according to the spirit of prophecy.
Alma 12:15 But this cannot be; we must come forth and stand before him in his glory, and in his POWER, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just; that he is just in all his works, and that he is merciful unto the children of men, and that he has all POWER to SAVE every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.
Alma 12:17 Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting DESTRUCTION, according to the POWER and CAPTIVITY of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will.
Alma 12:32 Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second death, which was an everlasting death as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for on such the plan of REDEMPTION could have no POWER, for the works of justice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme goodness of God.


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2009, January 7

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God, Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 2” by grego

Book of Mormon | Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God, Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 2
by grego

The order of Nehor believed that all men were saved, but the devil was bad; the order of God believes that all are lost without Christ.

After teaching many of the mysteries of God and the truths of the true order of God, Alma preaches what a true priest is, what order he belongs to, why he is chosen, and where his authority and power stem from. Jesus Christ is the great high priest. All of these teachings contrast greatly with the reality of the order of Nehor in Ammonihah. Alma teaches that Melchizedek was a high priest and king/ ruler, who used his temporal position to preach righteousness to his wicked people; they all repented, and were known for peace, because of following their God. Well, Melchizedek isn’t there, so Alma will have to do as the example of what a true high priest does; and does he! This also works because the Ammonihahites are aware that Alma was the chief judge, and that he is still the high priest of the Church. As Melchizedek, Alma has one desire–to cry repentance, to bring everyone to God, even suffering at the hands of the Ammonihahites for it (of which they were witnesses). Like Jesus and Melchizedek, Alma was under his father. Does Alma go one step beyond Melchizedek, by having given up the position of chief judge/ ruler in order to preach and bring peace to his people?

Note the emphasis in Alma’s preaching on the following words: order, the order of his Son, ordained (“to have holy orders conferred upon”, “to be called to the ministry”), called, calling, high priesthood, high priest., holy, faith, enter, rest, prepared, etc. These come in an incredible verbal onslaught that has no equal elsewhere in the Book of Mormon, and perhaps any other literature.

Alma 13:1 And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ORDAINED PRIESTS, after his HOLY ORDER, which was after THE ORDER OF HIS SON, to teach these things unto the people.

Alma 13:2 And those PRIESTS were ORDAINED after THE ORDER OF HIS SON, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption.

Alma 13:3 And this is the manner after which THEY were ORDAINED–being CALLED and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of THEIR EXCEEDING FAITH and GOOD WORKS; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore THEY having CHOSEN GOOD, and exercising EXCEEDINGLY GREAT FAITH, are CALLED with a HOLY CALLING, yea, with that HOLY CALLING which was PREPARED with, and according to, a PREPARATORY redemption for such.

Alma 13:4 And thus THEY have been CALLED to this HOLY CALLING on account of THEIR FAITH, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren.

Alma 13:5 Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this HOLY CALLING being PREPARED from the foundation of the world FOR SUCH AS WOULD NOT HARDEN THEIR HEARTS, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared–

Alma 13:6 And thus being CALLED by this HOLY CALLING, and ORDAINED unto the HIGH PRIESTHOOD the HOLY ORDER OF GOD, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might ENTER INTO HIS REST–

Alma 13:7 This HIGH PRIESTHOOD being after THE ORDER OF HIS SON, which ORDER was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being PREPARED from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things–

Alma 13:8 Now THEY were ORDAINED after this manner–being CALLED with a HOLY CALLING, and ORDAINED with a HOLY ORDINANCE, and taking upon THEM the HIGH PRIESTHOOD of the HOLY ORDER, which CALLING, and ORDINANCE, and HIGH PRIESTHOOD, is without beginning or end–

Alma 13:9 Thus THEY become HIGH PRIESTS forever, after the ORDER OF THE SON, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen.

Alma 13:10 Now, as I said concerning the HOLY ORDER, or this HIGH PRIESTHOOD, there were MANY who were ORDAINED and became HIGH PRIESTS OF GOD; and it was on account of THEIR EXCEEDING FAITH and REPENTANCE, and THEIR righteousness before God, THEY choosing to REPENT and WORK RIGHTEOUSNESS rather than to perish;

Alma 13:11 Therefore THEY were CALLED after this HOLY ORDER, and were sanctified, and THEIR garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.

Alma 13:12 Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having THEIR garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were MANY, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and ENTERED INTO THE REST of the Lord THEIR God.

Then Alma recounts the story of Melchizedek, the great high priest, who shows what Alma just preached–thus, it is basically a recounting. And Alma closes both stories with similar invitations:

Alma 13:13 And now, my brethren, I would that ye should HUMBLE YOURSELVES BEFORE GOD, and bring forth fruit meet for REPENTANCE, that ye may also ENTER INTO THAT REST.

Alma 13:28 But that ye would HUMBLE YOURSELVES BEFORE THE LORD, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming HUMBLE, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;
Alma 13:29 Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and ENTER INTO HIS REST.
Alma 13:30 And may the Lord grant unto you REPENTANCE…

The Big Question that most influences the lives of the people, and that the two orders clash on is: is repentance necessary or not? (This is also clearly seen when Aaron preaches in Jerusalem: Alma 21.) And there, Alma just explained in a powerful way that it is. After explaining that, he relates the story of Melchizedek; Melchizedek’s city repented and literally was lifted up and entered into the rest of the Lord (it was translated); Alma preaches that Ammonihah, the great city of the order of Nehors, and the unrepentant will be destroyed, and God will do it.


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