I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from The Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity - the pure love of Christ - will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.
- President Marion G. Romney

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Alma 14

I am not yet prepared to do a post with specific questions. But I do want us all to get started on chapter 14, so here we go --

*Here's your chance to send the discussion in the direction you'd like! Share your thoughts and insights from this chapter.


Mother of the Wild Boys said...

you mean chapter 14, right?

Julie said...

Oh, Brother, People! Sorry -- I meant chapter 14! I'll fix that in the post title.

Janelle said...

Ok so Alma 14 might be my least favorite chapter in the BOM.

It's a good thing that life on earth is not the end because I can't even take that the women and children were burned just so the judgements of God against these people at the last day would be just. Sometimes it takes greater perspective than mine to see this. And how Alma ever perceived the will of the Lord on this while watching the people die, knowing he had the power to stop it, echoes loudly of how in tune he was.

I think that this chapter as well as many scriptoral accounts show the need for the gift of discernment. There will be wolves in sheeps clothing that will try to lead us astray with false doctrine,like Nehor.

Nehor's ability to influence a nation for evil is astonishing. His teacings caused a civil war when one of his followers, Amlici, decided he needed to be king. Countless Nephites died. Also, Nehor taught that there was no need for repentance and the people in Ammonihah jumped on the wicked bandwagon so fast that they were willing to kill innocent women and children just 9 years after hearing that damning doctrine!

I don't think I'll be envious of Nehor in the next life.....

But stepping back the only difference between Nehor and the civil unrest he caused in Zarahemla and Alma and the martyrs and prison break in Ammonihah was that Alma was the prophet and was preaching the truth. Well, that and the fact that the people of the church didn't burn the followers of Nehor at the stake...

I wonder how hard it is for the general population to choose evil from good, a Nehor from a Prophet. Because its choices like these that make all the difference in our eternal outcomes. I'm so glad for the restored gospel where there is order and guidance and a living Prophet to follow.

Julie said...

I find verse 3 interesting...the people were so cut by the truth in Alma & Amulek's words that they couldn't just ignore them, they actively sought to harm and destroy these men of God. It reminds me of the early apostates in this dispensation (and even recent ones) who couldn't just quietly leave the Church, they actively reviled against it.

verse 6 - this must have been very difficult, indeed, for Zeezrom. I need to remember that my actions affect more than just me.

verses 8-15 - this is probably the most harrowing account of wickedness at work in all the scriptures. It sickens me to think of the state of evil these people were in that would cause them to brutally kill these innocent women and children. I have a hard time even comprehending the sort of faith and gift of discernment (as you mentioned, Janelle) Alma possessed that he could do the will of God in witnessing that event without intervening.

And also, it's so telling that they punished these innocents in a way similar to what Alma prophesied as their eternal fate: a lake of fire and brimstone. Yes, the "judgements which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath" WILL be just, indeed.

verse 21 - "how shall we look when we are damned?" I'd have to say "Sorry." Can't you just feel the venom spew from their mouths in these verses? Almost as though they are possessed by Satan. They had allowed him to take such a firm hold of their hearts that they were indeed possessed by his hatred and lies.
It would be so hard to just stay quiet, as Alma and Amulek did. But it sealed the fate of these wicked people even further.

Interesting to compare verses 6 & 26 -- Zeezrom was experiencing true repentance. The sort that is prompted by inward searching. The wicked lawyers and judges were completely consumed by fear of punishment. This account offers further proof that "signs" are an ineffective tool of conversion.

verses 27 & 28 - about the meet that wrath they themselves had justified of God...

Janelle said...

vs 6. You can't take it back. I need to remember this. I need to watch my words! It didn't matter that Nehor admitted to lying about his new church or that Zeezrom testified that Alma and Amulek were guiltless. Sure you can repent but what you say can affect so many people, how can you repair all that? Words, works, and thoughts oh my!

TaLaisa said...

I was very impressed by the way Zeezrom responded to the realization that he had made decisions that affected many many people. What a difficult realization.

Does this mean that even though we may repent and be forgiven, we cannot take away the impressions left with others affected by our mistakes?

Julie said...

Good question, TaLaisa. I'm not sure the answer to that, but I do think that's probably why Zeezrom in the next chapter spends his time preaching to the people. I guess we can't completely erase the impressions our actions leave on others, but if we are repentant, we will want to do everything we can to convince them of the truth.

I love that quote "If men speak ill of thee, live so no one will believe them." (I think it's one of Cheryl's favorites, too). I wonder if we could change it to "If men speak ill of Jesus, live so no one will believe them."