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A Library Tour through Alma 12
1. Now Alma, seeing that the words of Amulek had silenced Zeezrom, for he beheld
that Amulek had caught him in his lying and deceiving to destroy him, and seeing
that he began to tremble under a consciousness of his guilt, he opened his mouth
and began to speak unto him, and to establish the words of Amulek, and to explain
things beyond, or to unfold the scriptures beyond that which Amulek had done.
2. Now the words that Alma spake unto Zeezrom were heard by the people round about;
for the multitude was great, and he spake on this wise:
3. Now Zeezrom, seeing that thou hast been taken in thy lying and craftiness, for
thou hast not lied unto men only but thou hast lied unto God; for behold, he knows
all thy thoughts, and thou seest that thy thoughts are made known unto us by his
4. And thou seest that we know that thy plan was a very subtle plan, as to the subtlety
of the devil, for to lie and to deceive this people that thou mightest set them against
us, to revile us and to cast us out --
5. Now this was a plan of thine adversary, and he hath exercised his power in thee.
Now I would that ye should remember that what I say unto thee I say unto all.
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 captivity.
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.
8. And Zeezrom began to inquire of them diligently, that he might know more concerning
the kingdom of God. And he said unto Alma: What does this mean which Amulek hath
spoken concerning the resurrection of the dead, that all shall rise from the dead,
both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according
to their works?
9. And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto
many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command
that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth
grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give
10. And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion
of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion
of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know
them in full.
11. And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of
the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken
captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is
meant by the chains of hell.
12. And Amulek hath spoken plainly concerning death, and being raised from this mortality
to a state of immortality, and being brought before the bar of God, to be judged
according to our works.
13. Then if our hearts have been hardened, yea, if we have hardened our hearts against
the word, insomuch that it has not been found in us, then will our state be awful,
for then we shall be condemned.
14. For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not
be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state
we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command
the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence.
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.
16. And now behold, I say unto you then cometh a death, even a second death, which
is a spiritual death; then is a time that whosoever dieth in his sins, as to a temporal
death, shall also die a spiritual death; yea, he shall die as to things pertaining
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.
18. Then, I say unto you, they shall be as though there had been no redemption made;
for they cannot be redeemed according to God's justice; and they cannot die, seeing
there is no more corruption.
19. Now it came to pass that when Alma had made an end of speaking these words, the
people began to be more astonished;
20. But there was one Antionah, who was a chief ruler among them, came forth and
said unto him: What is this that thou hast said, that man should rise from the dead
and be changed from this mortal to an immortal state that the soul can never die?
21. What does the scripture mean, which saith that God placed cherubim and a flaming
sword on the east of the garden of Eden, lest our first parents should enter and
partake of the fruit of the tree of life, and live forever? And thus we see that
there was no possible chance that they should live forever.
22. Now Alma said unto him: This is the thing which I was about to explain, now we
see that Adam did fall by the partaking of the forbidden fruit, according to the
word of God; and thus we see, that by his fall, all mankind became a lost and fallen
23. And now behold, I say unto you that if it had been possible for Adam to have
partaken of the fruit of the tree of life at that time, there would have been no
death, and the word would have been void, making God a liar, for he said: If thou
eat thou shalt surely die.
24. And we see that death comes upon mankind, yea, the death which has been spoken
of by Amulek, which is the temporal death; nevertheless there was a space granted
unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state;
a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state which has
been spoken of by us, which is after the resurrection of the dead.
25. Now, if it had not been for the plan of redemption, which was laid from the foundation
of the world, there could have been no resurrection of the dead; but there was a
plan of redemption laid, which shall bring to pass the resurrection of the dead,
of which has been spoken.
Chapter 23 – Unique Book of Mormon Words and Phrases
Marilynne Todd Linford lists words used more than once in the Book of Mormon, but
are not found in the Old Testament, New Testament, Pearl of Great Price, or Doctrine
& Covenants. The extensive list also includes how many times the word occurs.
“Plan” is one of the words that first caught the author’s attention. Although it
does occur five times in other Latter-day scripture, it is not found in the Bible.
The Book of Mormon uses the word “plan” 42 times, 33 of them in the Book of Alma.
Alma’s discussion here, through verse 33, of the plan of God contrasts with his
earlier description of the plan of the enemy, in verses 4 and 5.
26. And now behold, if it were possible that our first parents could have gone forth
and partaken of the tree of life they would have been forever miserable, having no
preparatory state; and thus the plan of redemption would have been frustrated, and
the word of God would have been void, taking none effect.
27. But behold, it was not so; but it was appointed unto men that they must die;
and after death, they must come to judgment, even that same judgment of which we
have spoken, which is the end.
28. And after God had appointed that these things should come unto man, behold, then
he saw that it was expedient that man should know concerning the things whereof he
had appointed unto them;
29. Therefore he sent angels to converse with them, who caused men to behold of his
30. And they began from that time forth to call on his name; therefore God conversed
with men, and made known unto them the plan of redemption, which had been prepared
from the foundation of the world; and this he made known unto them according to their
faith and repentance and their holy works.
31. Wherefore, he gave commandments unto men, they having first transgressed the
first commandments as to things which were temporal, and becoming as Gods, knowing
good from evil, placing themselves in a state to act, or being placed in a state
to act according to their wills and pleasures, whether to do evil or to do good --
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.
33. But God did call on men, in the name of his Son, (this being the plan of redemption
which was laid) saying: If ye will repent and harden not your hearts, then will I
have mercy upon you, through mine Only Begotten Son;
34. Therefore, whosoever repenteth, and hardeneth not his heart, he shall have claim
on mercy through mine Only Begotten Son, unto a remission of his sins; and these
shall enter into my rest.
35. And whosoever will harden his heart and will do iniquity, behold, I swear in
my wrath that he shall not enter into my rest.
36. And now, my brethren, behold I say unto you, that if ye will harden your hearts
ye shall not enter into the rest of the Lord; therefore your iniquity provoketh him
that he sendeth down his wrath upon you as in the first provocation, yea, according
to his word in the last provocation as well as the first, to the everlasting destruction
of your souls; therefore, according to his word, unto the last death, as well as
37. And now, my brethren, seeing we know these things, and they are true, let us
repent, and harden not our hearts, that we provoke not the Lord our God to pull down
his wrath upon us in these his second commandments which he has given unto us; but
let us enter into the rest of God, which is prepared according to his word.