18 April 2014

Alma 13: Melchizedek--None were greater

In this chapter, Alma continues his speech to Zeezrom and people of Ammonihah who have gathered. He told them all about the holy priests that were ordained directly from God, and how some people listened to the priests and some didn't. The priests were holy, dedicated, and wise...

He goes on for quite a while about this, without saying much of substance. The only real interesting thing he says about the priests in the first 10 verses is this: "Their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb". That must have been some special blood. 

And this is the manner after which they were ordained -- being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such. Alma 13.3 
And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren. 13.4 
Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb. 13.11
Then we get to a more interesting part. Alma brings up Melchizedek, who apparently was in the same order of priests that he had been speaking so highly of before. (Remember Melchizedek from Genesis 14.20? He was the lucky priest that got 1/10 of Abraham's booty in exchange for one little prayer.)
Yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of Melchizedek, who was also a high priest after this same order which I have spoken, who also took upon him the high priesthood forever. 13.14  
And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed. 13.15
Luckily, we are going to get to learn more about him than we did in Genesis. According to Alma, Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem. His people had become wicked, but he saved them because of his "mighty faith". He established peace in the land, and even became known as the "prince of peace".

Also, note that he reigned under his father (who, according to Hebrews 7:3, he didn't have.)
Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness; 13.17 
But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father. 13.18
He must have been some priest/king, because apparently he was the best there ever was (or will be).
Now, there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater; therefore, of him they have more particularly made mention. 13.19
 Something similar is mentioned about Melchizedek in Hebrews:
Melchizedek...Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God. Hebrews 7.1-3
But enough about Melchizedek. It's time to repent! Alma gets back to his core message, and even urges them not to procrastinate.
And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance13.27 
But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering; 13.28
And that's it. Except everything else he said, which I guess wasn't important enough to chisel into the plates.
And Alma spake many more words unto the people, which are not written in this book. 13.31

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