1 And now it came to pass that after Alma had spoken these words unto them he sat
down upon the ground, and Amulek arose and began to teach them, saying:
2 My brethren, I think that it is impossible that ye should be ignorant of the things
which have been spoken concerning the coming of Christ, who is taught by us to be
the Son of God; yea, I know that these things were taught unto you bountifully before
your dissension from among us.
3 And as ye have desired of my beloved brother that he should make known unto you
what ye should do, because of your afflictions; and he hath spoken somewhat unto
you to prepare your minds; yea, and he hath exhorted you unto faith and to patience
4 Yea, even that ye would have so much faith as even to plant the word in your hearts,
that ye may try the experiment of its goodness.
5 And we have beheld that the great question which is in your minds is whether the
word be in the Son of God, or whether there shall be no Christ.
6 And ye also beheld that my brother has proved unto you, in many instances, that
the word is in Christ unto salvation.
7 My brother has called upon the words of Zenos, that redemption cometh through the
Son of God, and also upon the words of Zenock; and also he has appealed unto Moses,
to prove that these things are true.
8 And now, behold, I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true.
Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children
of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone
for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
9 For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great
plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must
unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and
must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made.
10 For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not
a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall
not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice.
11 Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for
the sins of another. Now, if a man murdereth, behold will our law, which is just,
take the life of his brother? I say unto you, Nay.
12 But the law requireth the life of him who hath murdered; therefore there can be
nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of
13 Therefore, it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; and
then shall there be, or it is expedient there should be, a stop to the shedding of
blood; then shall the law of Moses be fulfilled; yea, it shall be all fulfilled,
every jot and tittle, and none shall have passed away.
14 And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that
great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God,
yea, infinite and eternal.
15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name;
this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy,
which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have
faith unto repentance.
16 And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms
of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole
law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance
is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.
17 Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your
faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have
mercy upon you;
18 Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save.
19 Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him.
20 Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.
21 Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day,
22 Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.
23 Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.
24 Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
25 Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.
26 But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret
places, and in your wilderness.
27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out
in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those
who are around you.
28 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this
is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the
naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye
have, to those who stand in need -- I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things,
behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who
do deny the faith.
29 Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the
refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men.
30 And now, my brethren, I would that, after ye have received so many witnesses,
seeing that the holy scriptures testify of these things, ye come forth and bring
fruit unto repentance.
31 Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for
behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will
repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption
be brought about unto you.
32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold
the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore,
I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the
end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold,
if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness
wherein there can be no labor performed.
34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that
I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth
possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will
have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death,
behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you
his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place
in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the
36 And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples,
but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell; yea, and he has also said that
the righteous shall sit down in his kingdom, to go no more out; but their garments
should be made white through the blood of the Lamb.
37 And now, my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and
that ye should work out your salvation with fear before God, and that ye should no
more deny the coming of Christ;
38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take
upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship
God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in
thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon
39 Yea, and I also exhort you, my brethren, that ye be watchful unto prayer continually,
that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower
you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; for behold, he rewardeth
you no good thing.
40 And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye
bear with all manner of afflictions; that ye do not revile against those who do cast
you out because of your exceeding poverty, lest ye become sinners like unto them;
41 But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that
ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.
1 Now it came to pass that after Amulek had made an end of these words, they withdrew
themselves from the multitude and came over into the land of Jershon.
2 Yea, and the rest of the brethren, after they had preached the word unto the Zoramites,
also came over into the land of Jershon.
3 And it came to pass that after the more popular part of the Zoramites had consulted
together concerning the words which had been preached unto them, they were angry
because of the word, for it did destroy their craft; therefore they would not hearken
unto the words.
4 And they sent and gathered together throughout all the land all the people, and
consulted with them concerning the words which had been spoken.
5 Now their rulers and their priests and their teachers did not let the people know
concerning their desires; therefore they found out privily the minds of all the people.
6 And it came to pass that after they had found out the minds of all the people,
those who were in favor of the words which had been spoken by Alma and his brethren
were cast out of the land; and they were many; and they came over also into the land
7 And it came to pass that Alma and his brethren did minister unto them.
8 Now the people of the Zoramites were angry with the people of Ammon who were in
Jershon, and the chief ruler of the Zoramites, being a very wicked man, sent over
unto the people of Ammon desiring them that they should cast out of their land all
those who came over from them into their land.
9 And he breathed out many threatenings against them. And now the people of Ammon
did not fear their words; therefore they did not cast them out, but they did receive
all the poor of the Zoramites that came over unto them; and they did nourish them,
and did clothe them, and did give unto them lands for their inheritance; and they
did administer unto them according to their wants.
10 Now this did stir up the Zoramites to anger against the people of Ammon, and they
began to mix with the Lamanites and to stir them up also to anger against them.
11 And thus the Zoramites and the Lamanites began to make preparations for war against
the people of Ammon, and also against the Nephites.
12 And thus ended the seventeenth year of the reign of the judges over the people
13 And the people of Ammon departed out of the land of Jershon, and came over into
the land of Melek, and gave place in the land of Jershon for the armies of the Nephites,
that they might contend with the armies of the Lamanites and the armies of the Zoramites;
and thus commenced a war betwixt the Lamanites and the Nephites, in the eighteenth
year of the reign of the judges; and an account shall be given of their wars hereafter.
14 And Alma, and Ammon, and their brethren, and also the two sons of Alma returned
to the land of Zarahemla, after having been instruments in the hands of God of bringing
many of the Zoramites to repentance; and as many as were brought to repentance were
driven out of their land; but they have lands for their inheritance in the land of
Jershon, and they have taken up arms to defend themselves, and their wives, and children,
and their lands.
15 Now Alma, being grieved for the iniquity of his people, yea for the wars, and
the bloodsheds, and the contentions which were among them; and having been to declare
the word, or sent to declare the word, among all the people in every city; and seeing
that the hearts of the people began to wax hard, and that they began to be offended
because of the strictness of the word, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.
16 Therefore, he caused that his sons should be gathered together, that he might
give unto them every one his charge, separately, concerning the things pertaining
unto righteousness. And we have an account of his commandments, which he gave unto
them according to his own record.
1 My son, give ear to my words; for I swear unto you, that inasmuch as ye shall keep
the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land.
2 I would that ye should do as I have done, in remembering the captivity of our fathers;
for they were in bondage, and none could deliver them except it was the God of Abraham,
and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he surely did deliver them in their
3 And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech
of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever
shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles,
and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.
4 And I would not that ye think that I know of myself -- not of the temporal but
of the spiritual, not of the carnal mind but of God.
5 Now, behold, I say unto you, if I had not been born of God I should not have known
these things; but God has, by the mouth of his holy angel, made these things known
unto me, not of any worthiness of myself.
6 For I went about with the sons of Mosiah, seeking to destroy the church of God;
but behold, God sent his holy angel to stop us by the way.
7 And behold, he spake unto us, as it were the voice of thunder, and the whole earth
did tremble beneath our feet; and we all fell to the earth, for the fear of the Lord
came upon us.
8 But behold, the voice said unto me: Arise. And I arose and stood up, and beheld
9 And he said unto me: If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy
the church of God.
10 And it came to pass that I fell to the earth; and it was for the space of three
days and three nights that I could not open my mouth, neither had I the use of my
11 And the angel spake more things unto me, which were heard by my brethren, but
I did not hear them; for when I heard the words -- If thou wilt be destroyed of thyself,
seek no more to destroy the church of God -- I was struck with such great fear and
amazement lest perhaps I should be destroyed, that I fell to the earth and I did
hear no more.
12 But I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest
degree and racked with all my sins.
13 Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with
the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had
not kept his holy commandments.
14 Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction;
yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming
into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.
15 Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body,
that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my
16 And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains
of a damned soul.
17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed
up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father
prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God,
to atone for the sins of the world.
18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus,
thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled
about by the everlasting chains of death.
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea,
I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled
with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter
as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand,
there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne,
surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising
their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.
23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet,
and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.
24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I
might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding
joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with
the Holy Ghost.
25 Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in
the fruit of my labors;
26 For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been
born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have
seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know;
and the knowledge which I have is of God.
27 And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in
all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds,
and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me.
28 And I know that he will raise me up at the last day, to dwell with him in glory;
yea, and I will praise him forever, for he has brought our fathers out of Egypt,
and he has swallowed up the Egyptians in the Red Sea; and he led them by his power
into the promised land; yea, and he has delivered them out of bondage and captivity
from time to time.
29 Yea, and he has also brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem; and he
has also, by his everlasting power, delivered them out of bondage and captivity,
from time to time even down to the present day; and I have always retained in remembrance
their captivity; yea, and ye also ought to retain in remembrance, as I have done,
My Father’s Captivity
Al R. Young
Alma’s words in Alma 36:27-29 are high-lighted as a frontispiece in the moving and
lyrical book about a World War 2 veteran’s prisoner-of-war experience, written by
his son. The soldier wasn’t a Latter-day Saint when these things happened; he made
that commitment years later. But the book describes his introduction to the Book
“In addition to hunger for food, Blackie was starved for something to read. He
had read and re-read his copy of the New Testament. He had also gotten hold of a
copy of Robin Hood and had read it time and again, but enchanting though it was,
it was neither profound enough in its depth nor sufficiently beautiful in its telling
to sustain even one more reading. . .
“Blackie told Jim how much he wished for something new to read, and Jim said he
had a book, but he didn’t know whether Blackie would be interested; it was a religious
book. Blackie declared that he was desperate enough to read anything, so Jim gave
Blackie a copy of the Book of Mormon. Excited to have something entirely new to
explore, Blackie took the book back to his bunk and eagerly started to read.
“Much to his delight, it was not a book about religion, it was a story. In fact,
it was a story about a family. There were a father and a mother and a bunch of boys
whose rough and rowdy behavior reminded Blackie of his own growing-up. Right at
the outset of the story the father had a dream, and before the story was three pages
old, his friends and neighbors had tried to kill him, and he and his family had fled
for their lives – leaving their home and wealth and comforts to embark on a journey
into a wilderness. Two of the brothers were so disgruntled with their father that
they, too, were trying to kill him. Then, before the story was ten pages old, the
father had sent his sons back to Jerusalem in quest that resulted in theft of the
family fortune, assault and battery on the youngest brother, the beheading of a military
commander, and the smuggling of a priceless treasure out of the city in the dead
of night. Whether or not the book had religious significance, it was one walloping
This book is a work of art. The carefully worded descriptions suggest the various
pains of captivity without fully describing the horror. Copies of correspondence
and photographs punctuate each chapter, which also includes a note like this one:
365 days in this chapter
754 days since the war started
754 days in a combat zone
601 days in captivity
1689 days since leaving home
The author memorializes his father’s captivity for us all, so that we may remember
the captivity of our fathers and our brothers in wars such as World War II, and the
sacrifices our military are willing to make every day. It is a book that engenders
appreciation for the men in uniform.
Blackie himself took away from his experiences a different message: “If what I
went through was the only way I could receive the Book of Mormon, I would do it all
again – even knowing beforehand what I would have to endure – just to have that book.”
30 But behold, my son, this is not all; for ye ought to know as I do know, that inasmuch
as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land; and ye ought
to know also, that inasmuch as ye will not keep the commandments of God ye shall
be cut off from his presence. Now this is according to his word.