Alma 9


 



MDC Contents

 

 

The words of Alma, and also the words of Amulek, which were declared unto the people who were in the land of Ammonihah.  And also they are cast into prison, and delivered by the miraculous power of God which was in them, according to the record of Alma.  [Comprising chapters 9 to 14 inclusive.]

Alma 9:1

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:

Textual: The introductory phrase which is at the head of this chapter is original to the 1830 edition (save the bracketed text marking the chapters covered). Even though the first verse is not properly discourse, it nevertheless is a shift between abridged and cited material. We have the introductory “I, Alma,” that is a clear marker of cited text rather than Mormon’s synopsis. The source text that Mormon is citing for these chapters is at least presented as the holographic writing of Alma, whether or not that was actually the case. We cannot be absolutely certain that Alma wrote is own sermons. Certainly this introductory paragraph and the nature of the text as a dialog indicates that the original redaction of the sermon is ex post facto. One way or another, this sermon was written down after it was delivered with Alma being the stated and presumed author (though it is not inconceivable that a scribe wrote it for him, such things are known for historical accounts). This tells us that we are probably dealing with a somewhat idealized account of the events rather than a “recording” of the actual discourse. This makes little difference to the import that the discourse has for the modern audience, but it is an important historical consideration.

Alma 9:2

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?

Alma 9:3

3  Now they understood not the words which they spake; for they knew not that the earth should pass away.

Alma 9:4

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

5  Now they knew not that God could do such marvelous works, for they were a hard-hearted and a stiffnecked people.

Textual: The structural format of this inserted citation is one that allows Alma to record not only the events of the discourse, but his reaction to them. Because this is an account being written by the protagonist, we are certain to have his viewpoint emphasized. Thus verses 2 and 3 are a paired set, with verse 2 being the contending statement, and verse 3 being Alma’s inserted commentary on the nature of that argument. Verses 4 and 5 form a similar set of point and counterpoint, even though Alma’s insertions interrupt the logical flow of the Ammonihahite contention.

The counterpoints between the Ammonihahite contentions and Alma’s responses can be read to tell us not only about Nephite gospel, which is Mormon’s intent, but also about the order of Nehor “gospel.” While this second is certainly not the true gospel, it is nevertheless very significant for our understanding of the dynamics of Nephite historical development. These are the arguments, in one flavor or another, that have  and will plague the true believers throughout the Book of Mormon. We first began to see the outlines of this competing religion in the confrontation between Abinadi and the priests of Noah (significantly including Alma the Elder). This contention between the Ammonihahites and Alma the Younger can continue to increase our understanding of this competing religion that was so significant it was considered a threat to the peace of the Nephites.

To this point there is little that we can glean, depending upon how we understand Alma’s comments about the end of the world. It is possible that he is noting that they do not believe in the apocalyptic destruction of the earth at the end of time. This might be a logical result of their denial of the Messiah, though we most frequently see the denial of the Atoning Messiah, not necessarily the Triumphant Messiah.

Rhetorical: The first argument presented by the Ammonihahites is one of authority. While modern LDS readers assume the authority of Alma, the Ammonihahites did not. Their first question to him is “who are thou?” This was not a question of “what is your name and your position,” but one that questioned the essential right of Alma to predict. The note that they would not believe just one man if he were to come and tell them that the world were ending. It is clear from Alma’s inserted comment that they intended this comment sarcastically, because he notes that they did not understand that this truly would happen.

We do not have the context that lets us know why we have these two particular pieces of the exchange, but we may speculate somewhat. First, it is reasonable that Alma had already been doing his job, that is, declaring the destruction of Ammonihah if they did not repent. Certainly they would not believe Alma’s message, since they had no faith in the messenger.

Alma 9:6

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?

The Ammonihahites opened their comments with this objection, and repeat it here. They appear to be of the opinion that they are sufficiently important that the Lord should send them more than one messenger. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that the Lord had Amulek prepared to work with Alma, so that there would be a testimony of two people against these people, meeting some unstated assumption that they had. The Lord certainly knows the circumstances that we might require to believe, and will provide them. The Ammonihahites are given the full opportunity to repent before the destruction befalls them. When Alma is finished, Amulek will stand forth among them to provide the second witness against them.

Textual: The original Printer’s manuscript fairly consistently had the name Ammonidah. In all cases, this was corrected to Ammonihah before submitting the manuscript to the printer (see Book of Mormon Critical Text. FARMS 1987 Vol. 2, critical apparatus for chapter 9).

This is yet more indication that the text was dictated, and that mistakes in hearing the unfamiliar words made it into the manuscript. That these errors made it from the original to the Printer’s copy prior to correction suggests that Joseph Smith was not performing critical readings of the text until prior to submission.

Alma 9:7

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:

It is not hard to imagine this group scene. We have Alma standing alone among a number of people who are derisive and becoming increasingly sure of themselves. At this point they begin to approach Alma, somehow making gestures that Alma could surmise meant that they wanted to grab hold of him. Nevertheless, Alma holds his ground and “stood with boldness.” It is quite likely that it was this very standing with boldness that deterred the crowd. No doubt they expected that their actions would frighten Alma and that he would attempt to escape. The fact that he did not, and that he did exactly the opposite of their expectations apparently gave them pause, and gave Alma enough space to begin preaching anew to them.

Alma 9:8

8  Behold, O ye wicked and perverse generation, how have ye forgotten the tradition of your fathers; yea, how soon ye have forgotten the commandments of God.

Rhetorical: Alma begins his discourse with an interesting ploy. He does two things, he includes them in a particular tradition, and then tells them that they have forgotten that tradition. In particular, he is equating the “traditions of your fathers” with the commandments of God.

What Alma is going to do is begin with the authority of Nephi back to Lehi the progenitor. After he declares this particular lineage-as-authority, he will link the commandments of God to that tradition. This is an important technique that we should understand in is social context.

We must remember that the lineage of Lehi underwent a fission very early in the history of the Nephites. After that fission, the Nephites established a completely new colony in the Land of Nephi. As interpreted in this commentary, that community included peoples who were not related to Lehi, and the development of the community brought them into contact with yet others who were not descendants of Lehi. This complex development led to a politico-religious schism which has Mosiah fleeing with those who remained loyal to the religion of Nephi. These remaining religious Nephites find their way to Zarahemla.

In Zarahemla they enter an established city whose inhabitants outnumber them. However, they are able to exercise some type of right of rulership, and become the ruling lineage of Zarahemla, instituting their form of worship among the Zarahemlaites. These Zarahemlaites had been Hebrews a couple of hundred years earlier, but in the meantime had lost their language, culture, and their God. They had become Mesoamericanized, and their acceptance of the Nephites must have caused some religious difficulties even as they apparently willingly submitted to them.

These tensions between old and new religion erupted into internal contentions, the results of which we see in the sermon of Benjamin as he tries to heal the rift in his community. In spite of Benjamin’s efforts, however, some type of external pressure continues to influence the development of politico-religious ideas in Zarahemla and the surrounding lands. One of those competing philosophies is the order of Nehor, which we find rampant in Ammonihah.

With this background we can appreciate some of Alma’s rhetorical tactics. By appealing to Lehi, Alma is appealing to what has become to be seen as the legitimate line of rulers – at least for the period prior to the reign of the judges if not thereafter. Thus Alma begins by an appeal to authority – the authority that allowed Mosiah to rule over a people he had almost literally stumbled into.

This appeal to authority is done in a powerful way, for Alma indicates that these are their fathers. Thus Alma is including the Ammonihahites in the tradition, and places them in a position where the should be “Nephites” – politically and religiously. It is only after he begins with this tactic of including them in a tradition of the fathers that ought to define them that he declares that they have left that tradition. Thus, even though they have not recognized Alma’s authority, Alma invokes an authority and a tradition that they must recognize, since they are a people that is under the political hegemony that is termed Nephite.

Alma 9:9

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?

Alma 9:10

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?

Alma begins his discourse by asking if they remember the times their fathers have been delivered by the hand of God. Of course this flows from his appeal to the fathers, but the theme is more important to Alma than that. This is precisely the way he began his discourse to the congregation in Zarahemla as he began this “revival tour” (see Alma 5:3-6). He will repeat this same theme in Alma 29:12, Alma 36:28-29, and Alma 60:20. Why is this theme so important to Alma’s attempts at creating a communal repentance?

The answer probably lies in the most dramatic personal experience of Alma’s life, his experience with the angel that turned his own life around. Notice the language of the angel on that occasion:

Mosiah 27:16-17

16 Now I say unto thee: Go, and remember the captivity of thy fathers in the land of Helam, and in the land of Nephi; and remember how great things he has done for them; for they were in bondage, and he has delivered them. And now I say unto thee, Alma, go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more, that their prayers may be answered, and this even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off.

17 And now it came to pass that these were the last words which the angel spake unto Alma, and he departed.

One of the ways that the angel impressed upon Alma the need for his repentance and return to full commitment to the Nephite religion was to remind him of the captivity and divine salvation of his fathers by the hand of God. In the context of the rest of that angelic visitation, this must have seemed like a capstone argument, surely it convinced Alma (along with the rest of the experience). For Alma, it would appear that his own conversion was so intimately linked with his understanding of the hand of God in the history of his fathers, that he assumed that the logic of that argument would have a similar conversion power among other peoples to whom he preached. Alma is not using an idle example here, but one that was of tremendous personal importance to him. Alma is using his best efforts to cause the repentance of these people.

Alma 9:11

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.

Rhetorical: Alma does not separate temporal and spiritual worlds. He has invoked the very temporal difficulties of the flight from Jerusalem, the journeys in the wilderness, and the conflicts in the New World where the “fathers” were in mortal danger. Immediately after invoking this mortal danger, Alma adds that it might also have included immortal danger.

This combination of factors allows Alma to both invoke the very real histories of conflicts, and emphasize their spiritual meanings. The fear of spiritual destruction is not simply a rhetorical device, however. Had the people of Nephi been conquered by their surrounding world, their understanding of God would have been destroyed (as was that of the Zarahemlaites prior to the arrival of the Nephites). It is this real danger that is Alma’s greatest interest, because it is precisely the danger that the Ammonihahites pose to the greater land of Nephi, as he has noted before.

Alma 9:12

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.

Alma inverts the temporal/spiritual declaration with this one that has the spiritual first, and the temporal second. The people of Ammonihah are admonished to repent, with the first consequence of not repenting being spiritual, and the second being the imminent destruction of their city.

Alma 9:13

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.

Rhetorical: Alma reinforces the temporal aspect by another appear to the ultimate “father.” Alma reminds them of the declaration of Lehi that his descendents would prosper in the land if they kept the commandments. Mormon is citing 2 Nephi 1:20. Obviously there was no referential system on the plates so that he could tell the people of Ammonihah that he was making the citation. Alma clearly expects them to know the reference from the simple recitation and attribution to Lehi.

Textual: The reference is to Lehi’s blessing of his sons:

2 Ne. 1:19-20

19 O my sons, that these things might not come upon you, but that ye might be a choice and a favored people of the Lord. But behold, his will be done; for his ways are righteousness forever.

20 And he hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.

Alma 9:14

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.

Rhetorical: Alma’s next device is to argue from the other side of the descendants of Lehi. Where the Nephites enjoy the privileged side, the Lamanites are obviously available as the bad example. This tells us that while the Ammonihahites did not consider themselves as necessarily wholly Nephite (witnessed by their rejection of Alma as the religious representative of Nephite culture, while maintaining some king of political position vis a vis Zarahemla), they do not consider themselves Lamanite.

Wherever the influences came from that lead to the florescence of the order of Nehor, it is not considered a Lamanite source, else Alma’s argument here will have little impact. Alma is counting on the cultural dislike of the Lamanites by those who are culturally Nephite.

Alma begins the argument by simply introducing the Lamanites, and presumably an accepted understanding of them, that they are cut off from the presence of God. For Alma’s argument to have weight, the Ammonihahites must accept this assertion implicitly. Once again this suggests that the Ammonihahites do consider themselves Nephite in some sense of the word (certainly more political than religious, but the cultural definitions of the people would be difficult to segment into neatly separate pieces).

Alma 9:15

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.

Rhetorical: Alma now uses this antipathy to the Lamanites against the Ammonihahites. He declares that God will look more favorably upon the Lamanites that the Ammonihahites should they not repent. This has to be a tremendous shock. It is difficult to find an appropriate modern contrast to indicate what the likely impact of this statement would have been upon the Ammonihahites. Perhaps the best modern parallel would be a modern Alma declaring to a Jewish congregation that the Lord was going to look more favorably upon the Nazi’s than upon them (note that this example is given for the extreme of the contrast rather than an implication of a particular call to the Jews to repent). It must have hit those people as similarly inconceivable.

Alma 9:16

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.

Alma 9:17

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.

Alma explains how this shocking reversal of expectation might take place. God the merciful would understand that much of what the Lamanites believe that has caused them to be cut off from God has come through the traditions of their fathers, and therefore is perhaps not completely the personal choice of the individuals of the current or future generation. Thus these Lamanites will be able to repent in the future, and the prophecies are that they will be saved.

Alma 9:18

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.

The eventual redemption of the Lamanites will come through their repentance. The destruction of the Ammonihahites will come because of their refusal to repent. Alma very clearly sets up the condition of repentance as the key. It is not favoritism by God, but an equal condition upon Lamanite and Nephite. Indeed, the whole world must repent of their sins and come unto God with a broken heart.

In the admonition to the Ammonihahites there is an added subtext, however, and that is the idea that the Lord has higher expectations of those to whom he has revealed his gospel (in this  case the Nephite religion which Ammonihah is rejecting). The scriptures synopsize this theme as “where much is given, much is required.”

Luke 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Alma 9:19

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;

Perhaps Alma understands that his words will stand as a condemnation for his entire nation, or perhaps he is too focused on the current situation to see in his words the ultimate destruction of the Nephites at the end of the Book of Mormon. For the current picture, Alma uses the concept of reciprocity with God (much given/much required) to reverse the effect of that chosen status. When the “much given/much required” is removed because of sin, it reverses (in this case) to “nothing accepted/nothing permitted.” By rejecting the covenant with the Lord, the Lord will reject them, and consign them to destruction both physical and spiritual.

Alma 9:20

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;

Alma 9:21

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;

Alma 9:22

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; and they have been prospered until they are rich in all manner of things—

Rhetorical: Alma is giving a historical recitation. This is not a specific history of Ammonihah, but of the “fathers” to whom they look as a spiritual foundation. Alma has attempted to connect Ammonihah to these fathers, and now uses the faith of the fathers to contrast with the lack of faith of these particular sons.

Alma returns to the fathers and lists blessings that Ammonihahites should accept without question as part of the myth of the founders (using the anthropological sense of the word myth). This catalog of the blessings now stands as a condemnation of Ammonihah where the Ammonihahites would most likely have looked to those legends as part of their own personal justification. Alma is continuing to turn their own traditions upon them, to create unexpected contrasts that will jog them out of their current state of apostasy.

Alma 9:23

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.

Rhetorical: Alma recapitulates the precise argument he has been making. Just as one of the literary devices he has used is the repetition of terms with similar meanings to triangulate on the concept, so here he uses thematic repetition to make sure that the argument is covered. Even though the argument advances nothing new, it is repeated in a slightly different way.

We must remember that Alma is recording an oral presentation, and such repetitions are frequently effective in an oral discourse to make sure that the point is heard and understood by an audience that will not be able to read it in the morning paper as part of their collective memory.

Alma 9:24

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?

Alma now recapitulates the theme that contrasts these Nephites with the Lamanites. Once again, Alma is using these categories as clear opposites, as culturally black and white. Alma restates the previous contrast with a slight shift. He now focuses on promises. He declares that promises that the Nephites have will be extended to the Lamanites when they repent, but also that promises will be taken from the Ammonihahites if they do not repent.

Alma 9:25

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;

The appearance of an angel brought Alma back to Ammonihah after he originally left in failure (see Alma 8:14-18). Alma references this angelic command and himself as the conduit for that message. We have Alma here speaking for the angel, speaking the angel’s words as though Alma were the angel.

Alma 9:26

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.

Textual: Spiritually, the immediacy of the need to repent lies in the coming of the Atoning Messiah. Alma is referring to the birth of the Savior, and does so in terms we are familiar with from the New Testament. This language echoes John’s similar declaration:

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Of course Alma 9:26 is not an exact copy of John 1:14. The original text was amplified, but when the meaning was clearly similar to the familiar phraseology of John 1:14, the form of the translation borrowed from the King James Version translation of John 1:14 for that particular portion.

Alma 9:27

27  And behold, he cometh to redeem those who will be baptized unto repentance, through faith on his name.

As has been previously noted in this commentary, the ordinance of baptism is not explicitly an important aspect of Nephite religion until Alma the Elder. By the time his son is speaking, the ordinance has become definitive, such that the Atoning Messiah has his mission only to the baptized. What this means is that the ordinance of baptism has completely supplanted the Jewish sacrificial atonement. In the development of the gospel in the New World, there is clearly a movement away from the sacrificial cult of Israel and toward a more spiritualized worship that is much more reminiscent of Christianity and even Israel after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by the Romans.

It is even quite probable that the physical separation from both the physical temple in Jerusalem and the particular lineage of priests that were to officiate in that temple led to the similar response in both the Old World Christians and the pre-Christian Nephites in the New World.

In any case, by this point in time, Alma firmly states that the Atoning Messiah is coming to “redeem those who will be baptized unto repentance.” There is absolutely no indication that there is any other sacrifice required. The religion has been transformed into the same spiritual relationship to God instead of a sacrificial one that occurred in Israel in the aftermath of the temple’s destruction.

Alma 9:28

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.

In purely technical terms, Alma is conflating the coming of the Atoning Messiah with the coming of the Triumphant Messiah. The final judgment of mankind does not occur until that final closing scene. Alma is correct, however, that even prior to that ultimate scene of judgment, the consequences of our life choices will be upon us. The mission of the Atoning Messiah is to provide the means of repentance whereby any life that sees the vision of the message of God may turn to him and turn away from the “power and captivation of the devil.”

Alma 9:29

29  Now behold, this is the voice of the angel, crying unto the people.

Rhetorical: This verse is a closing statement, not a continuing one. Alma declared that an angel had given a message for the people of Ammonihah in verse 25. Here Alma closes that message with the punctuation of the authority by which it is delivered. In the next sentence, he gives his own elaboration of that message.

Alma 9:30

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.

Alma contrasts the “ought” with the “is.” The people “ought” to be his brothers. Instead, they “are” a “lost and fallen people.” In the middle of these declarations of potential and reality Alma reminds them of the way that the two poles can be mediated, they can repent.

Alma 9:31

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.

Alma 9:32

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.

Alma 9:33

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.

It is not at all surprising that the people of Ammonihah did not like Alma’s depiction of them. It was not at all flattering, and they were probably a people more used to public flattery than public calls to repentance. As a result, they were angry, and attempted to take Alma to prison. Alma does not tell us precisely how they were prevented from doing so, only that it was the Lord who prevented that occurrence. The Lord certainly prevented it because he wanted Amulek to speak.

Alma 9:34

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.

Textual: This is the end of Alma’s inserted speech. The next chapter will have the inserted speech given by Amulek. Once again we have a terminal verse that in more modern texts would be the introduction to the next chapter. Mormon ends with this rather than begin the new one. Mormon’s concept of how he uses material apparently has the actual inserted text as the major category, and the linking texts he uses to move from one to another are simply connecting tissue. As the information of greater importance, the actual text receives pride of place at the opening of the chapter. This is the end of a chapter in the 1830 edition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Brant Gardner. Copyright 2001