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A Library Tour of Alma 21-25
1 Now when Ammon and his brethren separated themselves in the borders of the land
of the Lamanites, behold Aaron took his journey towards the land which was called
by the Lamanites, Jerusalem, calling it after the land of their fathers' nativity;
and it was away joining the borders of Mormon.
2 Now the Lamanites and the Amalekites and the people of Amulon had built a great
city, which was called Jerusalem.
Marilynne Todd Linford lists and describes the various groups in the Book of Mormon
record, beginning with the Amalekites, the Amalickiahites, the Amlicites, and the
Ammonihahites, and concluding with the two distinct groups of Zoramites.
3 Now the Lamanites of themselves were sufficiently hardened, but the Amalekites
and the Amulonites were still harder; therefore they did cause the Lamanites that
they should harden their hearts, that they should wax strong in wickedness and their
4 And it came to pass that Aaron came to the city of Jerusalem, and first began to
preach to the Amalekites. And he began to preach to them in their synagogues, for
they had built synagogues after the order of the Nehors; for many of the Amalekites
and the Amulonites were after the order of the Nehors
5 Therefore, as Aaron entered into one of their synagogues to preach unto the people,
and as he was speaking unto them, behold there arose an Amalekite and began to contend
with him, saying: What is that thou hast testified? Hast thou seen an angel? Why
do not angels appear unto us? Behold are not this people as good as thy people?
6 Thou also sayest, except we repent we shall perish. How knowest thou the thought
and intent of our hearts? How knowest thou that we have cause to repent? How knowest
thou that we are not a righteous people? Behold, we have built sanctuaries, and we
do assemble ourselves together to worship God. We do believe that God will save all
7 Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem
mankind from their sins?
8 And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing.
We do not believe in these foolish traditions. We do not believe that thou knowest
of things to come, neither do we believe that thy fathers and also that our fathers
did know concerning the things which they spake, of that which is to come.
9 Now Aaron began to open the scriptures unto them concerning the coming of Christ,
and also concerning the resurrection of the dead, and that there could be no redemption
for mankind save it were through the death and sufferings of Christ, and the atonement
of his blood.
10 And it came to pass as he began to expound these things unto them they were angry
with him, and began to mock him; and they would not hear the words which he spake.
11 Therefore, when he saw that they would not hear his words, he departed out of
their synagogue, and came over to a village which was called Ani-Anti, and there
he found Muloki preaching the word unto them; and also Ammah and his brethren. And
they contended with many about the word.
12 And it came to pass that they saw that the people would harden their hearts, therefore
they departed and came over into the land of Middoni. And they did preach the word
unto many, and few believed on the words which they taught.
13 Nevertheless, Aaron and a certain number of his brethren were taken and cast into
prison, and the remainder of them fled out of the land of Middoni unto the regions
14 And those who were cast into prison suffered many things, and they were delivered
by the hand of Lamoni and Ammon, and they were fed and clothed.
15 And they went forth again to declare the word, and thus they were delivered for
the first time out of prison; and thus they had suffered.
16 And they went forth whithersoever they were led by the Spirit of the Lord, preaching
the word of God in every synagogue of the Amalekites, or in every assembly of the
Lamanites where they could be admitted.
17 And it came to pass that the Lord began to bless them, insomuch that they brought
many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, they did convince many of their sins, and
of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.
18 And it came to pass that Ammon and Lamoni returned from the land of Middoni to
the land of Ishmael, which was the land of their inheritance.
19 And king Lamoni would not suffer that Ammon should serve him, or be his servant.
20 But he caused that there should be synagogues built in the land of Ishmael; and
he caused that his people, or the people who were under his reign, should assemble
21 And he did rejoice over them, and he did teach them many things. And he did also
declare unto them that they were a people who were under him, and that they were
a free people, that they were free from the oppressions of the king, his father;
for that his father had granted unto him that he might reign over the people who
were in the land of Ishmael, and in all the land round about.
22 And he also declared unto them that they might have the liberty of worshiping
the Lord their God according to their desires, in whatsoever place they were in,
if it were in the land which was under the reign of king Lamoni.
23 And Ammon did preach unto the people of king Lamoni; and it came to pass that
he did teach them all things concerning things pertaining to righteousness. And he
did exhort them daily, with all diligence; and they gave heed unto his word, and
they were zealous for keeping the commandments of God.
1 Now, as Ammon was thus teaching the people of Lamoni continually, we will return
to the account of Aaron and his brethren; for after he departed from the land of
Middoni he was led by the Spirit to the land of Nephi, even to the house of the king
which was over all the land save it were the land of Ishmael; and he was the father
2 And it came to pass that he went in unto him into the king's palace, with his brethren,
and bowed himself before the king, and said unto him: Behold, O king, we are the
brethren of Ammon, whom thou hast delivered out of prison.
3 And now, O king, if thou wilt spare our lives, we will be thy servants. And the
king said unto them: Arise, for I will grant unto you your lives, and I will not
suffer that ye shall be my servants; but I will insist that ye shall administer unto
me; for I have been somewhat troubled in mind because of the generosity and the greatness
of the words of thy brother Ammon; and I desire to know the cause why he has not
come up out of Middoni with thee.
4 And Aaron said unto the king: Behold, the Spirit of the Lord has called him another
way; he has gone to the land of Ishmael, to teach the people of Lamoni.
5 Now the king said unto them: What is this that ye have said concerning the Spirit
of the Lord? Behold, this is the thing which doth trouble me.
6 And also, what is this that Ammon said -- If ye will repent ye shall be saved,
and if ye will not repent, ye shall be cast off at the last day?
7 And Aaron answered him and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God? And
the king said: I know that the Amalekites say that there is a God, and I have granted
unto them that they should build sanctuaries, that they may assemble themselves together
to worship him. And if now thou sayest there is a God, behold I will believe.
8 And now when Aaron heard this, his heart began to rejoice, and he said: Behold,
assuredly as thou livest, O king, there is a God.
9 And the king said: Is God that Great Spirit that brought our fathers out of the
land of Jerusalem?
10 And Aaron said unto him: Yea, he is that Great Spirit, and he created all things
both in heaven and in earth. Believest thou this?
11 And he said: Yea, I believe that the Great Spirit created all things, and I desire
that ye should tell me concerning all these things, and I will believe thy words.
12 And it came to pass that when Aaron saw that the king would believe his words,
he began from the creation of Adam, reading the scriptures unto the king -- how God
created man after his own image, and that God gave him commandments, and that because
of transgression, man had fallen.
13 And Aaron did expound unto him the scriptures from the creation of Adam, laying
the fall of man before him, and their carnal state and also the plan of redemption,
which was prepared from the foundation of the world, through Christ, for all whosoever
would believe on his name.
14 And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings
and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth;
and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and
that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did
expound all these things unto the king.
15 And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the
king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken?
Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted
out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may
not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess,
yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.
16 But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before
God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and
call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive
the hope which thou desirest.
17 And it came to pass that when Aaron had said these words, the king did bow down
before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, even he did prostrate himself upon the earth,
and cried mightily, saying:
18 O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou
art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to
know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day.
And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.
19 And it came to pass that his servants ran and told the queen all that had happened
unto the king. And she came in unto the king; and when she saw him lay as if he were
dead, and also Aaron and his brethren standing as though they had been the cause
of his fall, she was angry with them, and commanded that her servants, or the servants
of the king, should take them and slay them.
20 Now the servants had seen the cause of the king's fall, therefore they durst not
lay their hands on Aaron and his brethren; and they pled with the queen saying: Why
commandest thou that we should slay these men, when behold one of them is mightier
than us all? Therefore we shall fall before them.
21 Now when the queen saw the fear of the servants she also began to fear exceedingly,
lest there should some evil come upon her. And she commanded her servants that they
should go and call the people, that they might slay Aaron and his brethren.
22 Now when Aaron saw the determination of the queen, he, also knowing the hardness
of the hearts of the people, feared lest that a multitude should assemble themselves
together, and there should be a great contention and a disturbance among them; therefore
he put forth his hand and raised the king from the earth, and said unto him: Stand.
And he stood upon his feet, receiving his strength.
23 Now this was done in the presence of the queen and many of the servants. And when
they saw it they greatly marveled, and began to fear. And the king stood forth, and
began to minister unto them. And he did minister unto them, insomuch that his whole
household were converted unto the Lord.
24 Now there was a multitude gathered together because of the commandment of the
queen, and there began to be great murmurings among them because of Aaron and his
25 But the king stood forth among them and administered unto them. And they were
pacified towards Aaron and those who were with him.
26 And it came to pass that when the king saw that the people were pacified, he caused
that Aaron and his brethren should stand forth in the midst of the multitude, and
that they should preach the word unto them.
27 And it came to pass that the king sent a proclamation throughout all the land,
amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round
about, which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which
was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran
from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore,
and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla,
through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east
towards the west -- and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided.
28 Now, the more idle part of the Lamanites lived in the wilderness, and dwelt in
tents; and they were spread through the wilderness on the west, in the land of Nephi;
yea, and also on the west of the land of Zarahemla, in the borders by the seashore,
and on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers' first inheritance,
and thus bordering along by the seashore.
29 And also there were many Lamanites on the east by the seashore, whither the Nephites
had driven them. And thus the Nephites were nearly surrounded by the Lamanites; nevertheless
the Nephites had taken possession of all the northern parts of the land bordering
on the wilderness, at the head of the river Sidon, from the east to the west, round
about on the wilderness side; on the north, even until they came to the land which
they called Bountiful.
30 And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward
that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones
we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place
of their first landing.
31 And they came from there up into the south wilderness. Thus the land on the northward
was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful, it being
the wilderness which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part
of which had come from the land northward for food.
32 And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half's journey for a Nephite,
on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and
thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water,
there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward.
33 And it came to pass that the Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from
the east unto the west sea, and thus the Nephites in their wisdom, with their guards
and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should
have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward.
34 Therefore the Lamanites could have no more possessions only in the land of Nephi,
and the wilderness round about. Now this was wisdom in the Nephites -- as the Lamanites
were an enemy to them, they would not suffer their afflictions on every hand, and
also that they might have a country whither they might flee, according to their desires.
35 And now I, after having said this, return again to the account of Ammon and Aaron,
Omner and Himni, and their brethren.
1 Behold, now it came to pass that the king of the Lamanites sent a proclamation
among all his people, that they should not lay their hands on Ammon, or Aaron, or
Omner, or Himni, nor either of their brethren who should go forth preaching the word
of God, in whatsoever place they should be, in any part of their land.
2 Yea, he sent a decree among them, that they should not lay their hands on them
to bind them, or to cast them into prison; neither should they spit upon them, nor
smite them, nor cast them out of their synagogues, nor scourge them; neither should
they cast stones at them, but that they should have free access to their houses,
and also their temples, and their sanctuaries.
3 And thus they might go forth and preach the word according to their desires, for
the king had been converted unto the Lord, and all his household; therefore he sent
his proclamation throughout the land unto his people, that the word of God might
have no obstruction, but that it might go forth throughout all the land, that his
people might be convinced concerning the wicked traditions of their fathers, and
that they might be convinced that they were all brethren, and that they ought not
to murder, nor to plunder, nor to steal, nor to commit adultery, nor to commit any
manner of wickedness.
4 And now it came to pass that when the king had sent forth this proclamation, that
Aaron and his brethren went forth from city to city, and from one house of worship
to another, establishing churches, and consecrating priests and teachers throughout
the land among the Lamanites, to preach and to teach the word of God among them;
and thus they began to have great success.
5 And thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord, yea, thousands were brought
to believe in the traditions of the Nephites; and they were taught the records and
prophecies which were handed down even to the present time.
6 And as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were
brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren,
according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working
miracles in them -- yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites
as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall
7 For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion,
that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren.
8 Now, these are they who were converted unto the Lord:
9 The people of the Lamanites who were in the land of Ishmael;
10 And also of the people of the Lamanites who were in the land of Middoni;
11 And also of the people of the Lamanites who were in the city of Nephi;
12 And also of the people of the Lamanites who were in the land of Shilom, and who
were in the land of Shemlon, and in the city of Lemuel, and in the city of Shimnilom.
13 And these are the names of the cities of the Lamanites which were converted unto
the Lord; and these are they that laid down the weapons of their rebellion, yea,
all their weapons of war; and they were all Lamanites.
14 And the Amalekites were not converted, save only one; neither were any of the
Amulonites; but they did harden their hearts, and also the hearts of the Lamanites
in that part of the land wheresoever they dwelt, yea, and all their villages and
all their cities.
15 Therefore, we have named all the cities of the Lamanites in which they did repent
and come to the knowledge of the truth, and were converted.
16 And now it came to pass that the king and those who were converted were desirous
that they might have a name, that thereby they might be distinguished from their
brethren; therefore the king consulted with Aaron and many of their priests, concerning
the name that they should take upon them, that they might be distinguished.
17 And it came to pass that they called their names Anti-Nephi-Lehies; and they were
called by this name and were no more called Lamanites.
18 And they began to be a very industrious people; yea, and they were friendly with
the Nephites; therefore, they did open a correspondence with them, and the curse
of God did no more follow them.
1 And it came to pass that the Amalekites and the Amulonites and the Lamanites who
were in the land of Amulon, and also in the land of Helam, and who were in the land
of Jerusalem, and in fine, in all the land round about, who had not been converted
and had not taken upon them the name of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, were stirred up by the Amalekites
and by the Amulonites to anger against their brethren.
2 And their hatred became exceedingly sore against them, even insomuch that they
began to rebel against their king, insomuch that they would not that he should be
their king; therefore, they took up arms against the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi.
3 Now the king conferred the kingdom upon his son, and he called his name Anti-Nephi-Lehi.
4 And the king died in that selfsame year that the Lamanites began to make preparations
for war against the people of God.
5 Now when Ammon and his brethren and all those who had come up with him saw the
preparations of the Lamanites to destroy their brethren, they came forth to the land
of Midian, and there Ammon met all his brethren; and from thence they came to the
land of Ishmael that they might hold a council with Lamoni and also with his brother
Anti-Nephi-Lehi, what they should do to defend themselves against the Lamanites.
6 Now there was not one soul among all the people who had been converted unto the
Lord that would take up arms against their brethren; nay, they would not even make
any preparations for war; yea, and also their king commanded them that they should
7 Now, these are the words which he said unto the people concerning the matter: I
thank my God, my beloved people, that our great God has in goodness sent these our
brethren, the Nephites, unto us to preach unto us, and to convince us of the traditions
of our wicked fathers.
8 And behold, I thank my great God that he has given us a portion of his Spirit to
soften our hearts, that we have opened a correspondence with these brethren, the
9 And behold, I also thank my God, that by opening this correspondence we have been
convinced of our sins, and of the many murders which we have committed.
10 And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that
we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many
sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts,
through the merits of his Son.
11 And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do, (as we were
the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which
we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all
we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain --
12 Now, my best beloved brethren, since God hath taken away our stains, and our swords
have become bright, then let us stain our swords no more with the blood of our brethren.
13 Behold, I say unto you, Nay, let us retain our swords that they be not stained
with the blood of our brethren; for perhaps, if we should stain our swords again
they can no more be washed bright through the blood of the Son of our great God,
which shall be shed for the atonement of our sins.
14 And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us that
we might not perish; yea, and he has made these things known unto us beforehand,
because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore, in his
mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the plan of salvation might be made known
unto us as well as unto future generations.
15 Oh, how merciful is our God! And now behold, since it has been as much as we could
do to get our stains taken away from us, and our swords are made bright, let us hide
them away that they may be kept bright, as a testimony to our God at the last day,
or at the day that we shall be brought to stand before him to be judged, that we
have not stained our swords in the blood of our brethren since he imparted his word
unto us and has made us clean thereby.
16 And now, my brethren, if our brethren seek to destroy us, behold, we will hide
away our swords, yea, even we will bury them deep in the earth, that they may be
kept bright, as a testimony that we have never used them, at the last day; and if
our brethren destroy us, behold, we shall go to our God and shall be saved.
17 And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and
all the people were assembled together, they took their swords, and all the weapons
which were used for the shedding of man's blood, and they did bury them up deep in
18 And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men,
that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man's blood; and this
they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their
brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother
they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would
labor abundantly with their hands.
19 And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know
the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin;
and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons
of war, for peace.
20 And it came to pass that their brethren, the Lamanites, made preparations for
war, and came up to the land of Nephi for the purpose of destroying the king, and
to place another in his stead, and also of destroying the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi
out of the land.
21 Now when the people saw that they were coming against them they went out to meet
them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth, and began to call on the
name of the Lord; and thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to
fall upon them, and began to slay them with the sword.
22 And thus without meeting any resistance, they did slay a thousand and five of
them; and we know that they are blessed, for they have gone to dwell with their God.
23 Now when the Lamanites saw that their brethren would not flee from the sword,
neither would they turn aside to the right hand or to the left, but that they would
lie down and perish, and praised God even in the very act of perishing under the
24 Now when the Lamanites saw this they did forbear from slaying them; and there
were many whose hearts had swollen in them for those of their brethren who had fallen
under the sword, for they repented of the things which they had done.
25 And it came to pass that they threw down their weapons of war, and they would
not take them again, for they were stung for the murders which they had committed;
and they came down even as their brethren, relying upon the mercies of those whose
arms were lifted to slay them.
26 And it came to pass that the people of God were joined that day by more than the
number who had been slain; and those who had been slain were righteous people, therefore
we have no reason to doubt but what they were saved.
27 And there was not a wicked man slain among them; but there were more than a thousand
brought to the knowledge of the truth; thus we see that the Lord worketh in many
ways to the salvation of his people.
28 Now the greatest number of those of the Lamanites who slew so many of their brethren
were Amalekites and Amulonites, the greatest number of whom were after the order
of the Nehors.
29 Now, among those who joined the people of the Lord, there were none who were Amalekites
or Amulonites, or who were of the order of Nehor, but they were actual descendants
of Laman and Lemuel.
30 And thus we can plainly discern, that after a people have been once enlightened
by the Spirit of God, and have had great knowledge of things pertaining to righteousness,
and then have fallen away into sin and transgression, they become more hardened,
and thus their state becomes worse than though they had never known these things.
1 And behold, now it came to pass that those Lamanites were more angry because they
had slain their brethren; therefore they swore vengeance upon the Nephites; and they
did no more attempt to slay the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi at that time.
2 But they took their armies and went over into the borders of the land of Zarahemla,
and fell upon the people who were in the land of Ammonihah, and destroyed them.
3 And after that, they had many battles with the Nephites, in the which they were
driven and slain.
4 And among the Lamanites who were slain were almost all the seed of Amulon and his
brethren, who were the priests of Noah, and they were slain by the hands of the Nephites;
5 And the remainder, having fled into the east wilderness, and having usurped the
power and authority over the Lamanites, caused that many of the Lamanites should
perish by fire because of their belief --
6 For many of them, after having suffered much loss and so many afflictions, began
to be stirred up in remembrance of the words which Aaron and his brethren had preached
to them in their land; therefore they began to disbelieve the traditions of their
fathers, and to believe in the Lord, and that he gave great power unto the Nephites;
and thus there were many of them converted in the wilderness.
7 And it came to pass that those rulers who were the remnant of the children of Amulon
caused that they should be put to death, yea, all those that believed in these things.
8 Now this martyrdom caused that many of their brethren should be stirred up to anger;
and there began to be contention in the wilderness; and the Lamanites began to hunt
the seed of Amulon and his brethren and began to slay them; and they fled into the
9 And behold they are hunted at this day by the Lamanites. Thus the words of Abinadi
were brought to pass, which he said concerning the seed of the priests who caused
that he should suffer death by fire.
10 For he said unto them: What ye shall do unto me shall be a type of things to come.
11 And now Abinadi was the first that suffered death by fire because of his belief
in God; now this is what he meant, that many should suffer death by fire, according
as he had suffered.
12 And he said unto the priests of Noah that their seed should cause many to be put
to death, in the like manner as he was, and that they should be scattered abroad
and slain, even as a sheep having no shepherd is driven and slain by wild beasts;
and now behold, these words were verified, for they were driven by the Lamanites,
and they were hunted, and they were smitten.
13 And it came to pass that when the Lamanites saw that they could not overpower
the Nephites they returned again to their own land; and many of them came over to
dwell in the land of Ishmael and the land of Nephi, and did join themselves to the
people of God, who were the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi.
14 And they did also bury their weapons of war, according as their brethren had,
and they began to be a righteous people; and they did walk in the ways of the Lord,
and did observe to keep his commandments and his statutes.
15 Yea, and they did keep the law of Moses; for it was expedient that they should
keep the law of Moses as yet, for it was not all fulfilled. But notwithstanding the
law of Moses, they did look forward to the coming of Christ, considering that the
law of Moses was a type of his coming, and believing that they must keep those outward
performances until the time that he should be revealed unto them.
16 Now they did not suppose that salvation came by the law of Moses; but the law
of Moses did serve to strengthen their faith in Christ; and thus they did retain
a hope through faith, unto eternal salvation, relying upon the spirit of prophecy,
which spake of those things to come.
17 And now behold, Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and Himni, and their brethren did
rejoice exceedingly, for the success which they had had among the Lamanites, seeing
that the Lord had granted unto them according to their prayers, and that he had also
verified his word unto them in every particular.