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A Library Tour of Alma 38-39
1 My son, give ear to my words, for I say unto you, even as I said unto Helaman,
that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land;
and inasmuch as ye will not keep the commandments of God ye shall be cut off from
2 And now, my son, I trust that I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadiness
and your faithfulness unto God; for as you have commenced in your youth to look to
the Lord your God, even so I hope that you will continue in keeping his commandments;
for blessed is he that endureth to the end.
3 I say unto you, my son, that I have had great joy in thee already, because of thy
faithfulness and thy diligence, and thy patience and thy long-suffering among the
people of the Zoramites.
4 For I know that thou wast in bonds; yea, and I also know that thou wast stoned
for the word's sake; and thou didst bear all these things with patience because the
Lord was with thee; and now thou knowest that the Lord did deliver thee.
5 And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall
put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and
your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
6 Now, my son, I would not that ye should think that I know these things of myself,
but it is the Spirit of God which is in me which maketh these things known unto me;
for if I had not been born of God I should not have known these things.
7 But behold, the Lord in his great mercy sent his angel to declare unto me that
I must stop the work of destruction among his people; yea, and I have seen an angel
face to face, and he spake with me, and his voice was as thunder, and it shook the
8 And it came to pass that I was three days and three nights in the most bitter pain
and anguish of soul; and never, until I did cry out unto the Lord Jesus Christ for
mercy, did I receive a remission of my sins. But behold, I did cry unto him and I
did find peace to my soul.
9 And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn
of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through
Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word
of truth and righteousness.
10 And now, as ye have begun to teach the word even so I would that ye should continue
to teach; and I would that ye would be diligent and temperate in all things.
11 See that ye are not lifted up unto pride; yea, see that ye do not boast in your
own wisdom, nor of your much strength.
12 Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions,
that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness.
13 Do not pray as the Zoramites do, for ye have seen that they pray to be heard of
men, and to be praised for their wisdom.
14 Do not say: O God, I thank thee that we are better than our brethren; but rather
say: O Lord, forgive my unworthiness, and remember my brethren in mercy -- yea, acknowledge
your unworthiness before God at all times.
15 And may the Lord bless your soul, and receive you at the last day into his kingdom,
to sit down in peace. Now go, my son, and teach the word unto this people. Be sober.
My son, farewell.
1 And now, my son, I have somewhat more to say unto thee than what I said unto thy
brother; for behold, have ye not observed the steadiness of thy brother, his faithfulness,
and his diligence in keeping the commandments of God? Behold, has he not set a good
example for thee?
2 For thou didst not give so much heed unto my words as did thy brother, among the
people of the Zoramites. Now this is what I have against thee; thou didst go on unto
boasting in thy strength and thy wisdom.
3 And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for
thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron, among the
borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel.
4 Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my
son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted.
5 Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord;
yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or
denying the Holy Ghost?
6 For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye
know that ye deny it, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; yea, and whosoever
murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain
forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a
7 And now, my son, I would to God that ye had not been guilty of so great a crime.
I would not dwell upon your crimes, to harrow up your soul, if it were not for your
8 But behold, ye cannot hide your crimes from God; and except ye repent they will
stand as a testimony against you at the last day.
9 Now my son, I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins, and go no more
after the lusts of your eyes, but cross yourself in all these things; for except
ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Oh, remember, and take it
upon you, and cross yourself in these things.
10 And I command you to take it upon you to counsel with your elder brothers in your
undertakings; for behold, thou art in thy youth, and ye stand in need to be nourished
by your brothers. And give heed to their counsel.
11 Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing; suffer not the
devil to lead away your heart again after those wicked harlots. Behold, O my son,
how great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct
they would not believe in my words.
12 And now the Spirit of the Lord doth say unto me: Command thy children to do good,
lest they lead away the hearts of many people to destruction; therefore I command
you, my son, in the fear of God, that ye refrain from your iniquities;
13 That ye turn to the Lord with all your mind, might, and strength; that ye lead
away the hearts of no more to do wickedly; but rather return unto them, and acknowledge
your faults and that wrong which ye have done.
The editor has discovered that the original text for this verse read, “. . . acknowledge
your faults and repair that wrong that ye have done.”
“A stray ink blot in the original manuscript yielded “retain that wrong,”
a reading so improbable that later editors dropped the word ‘retain.’”
This book is the result of many years of scholarly research, culminating
in the closest version of what actually fell from Joseph Smith’s lips as he translated
the Book of Mormon from the gold plates.
“There are about five hundred readings that offer substantial improvements
in the accuracy and clarity of the text (though they never make a fundamental change
in the message or doctrine of the book).”
14 Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot
carry them with you.
15 And now, my son, I would say somewhat unto you concerning the coming of Christ.
Behold, I say unto you, that it is he that surely shall come to take away the sins
of the world; yea, he cometh to declare glad tidings of salvation unto his people.
16 And now, my son, this was the ministry unto which ye were called, to declare these
glad tidings unto this people to prepare their minds; or rather that salvation might
come unto them, that they may prepare the minds of their children to hear the word
at the time of his coming.
17 And now I will ease your mind somewhat on this subject. Behold, you marvel why
these things should be known so long beforehand. Behold, I say unto you, is not a
soul at this time as precious unto God as a soul will be at the time of his coming?
18 Is it not as necessary that the plan of redemption should be made known unto this
people as well as unto their children?
19 Is it not as easy at this time for the Lord to send his angel to declare these
glad tidings unto us as unto our children, or as after the time of his coming?