01 December 2014

Alma 33: The Wisdom of Zenos (and 1000th blog post!)

Today is a special day, ladies and gentlemen! This is Dwindling in Unbelief's 1000th blog post. Thanks for sticking with us through the boring sections of the Book of Mormon, and the more tedious "Every Jot and Tittle" posts. Best, Phil and Steve

After Alma was done talking to the Zoramites about the fruit of the faith-tree (Alma 32), they were pretty excited to start worshiping the right God. They asked Alma where they should start in their new faith. 
Now after Alma had spoken these words, they sent forth unto him desiring to know whether they should believe in one God, that they might obtain this fruit of which he had spoken, or how they should plant the seed, or the word of which he had spoken, which he said must be planted in their hearts; or in what manner they should begin to exercise their faith. Alma 33.1
 Alma started with the basics. He quoted the prophet Zenos's teachings on prayer and worship (verses 4-11). It's a pretty boring speech by Zenos. It pretty much just says that God listened to him, destroyed his enemies, and was merciful to him.
Do ye remember to have read what Zenos, the prophet of old, has said concerning prayer or worship? 33.3 
For he said: Thou art merciful, O God, for thou hast heard my prayer, even when I wasin the wilderness; yea, thou wast merciful when I prayed concerning those who were mineenemies, and thou didst turn them to me. 33.4 
Yea, O God, and thou wast merciful unto me when I did cry unto thee in my field; when I did cry unto thee in my prayer, and thou didst hear me. 33.5 
And again, O God, when I did turn to my house thou didst hear me in my prayer. 33.6 
And when I did turn unto my closet, O Lord, and prayed unto thee, thou didst hear me. 33.7 
Yea, thou art merciful unto thy children when they cry unto thee, to be heard of thee and not of men, and thou wilt hear them. 33.8 
Yea, O God, thou hast been merciful unto me, and heard my cries in the midst of thy congregations. 33.9 
Yea, and thou hast also heard me when I have been cast out and have been despised by mine enemies; yea, thou didst hear my cries, and wast angry with mine enemies, and thou didst visit them in thine anger with speedy destruction. 33.10 
And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me,because of thy Son. 33.11
After quoting Zenos, Alma asked the Zoramites if they believed the scriptures. Then he asked them if they had read the scriptures. (Then did he ask them if they knew how to read?)

Alma then asks them how they could possibly not believe in Jesus if they had read the scriptures. Of course, Jesus didn't even exist yet, so this is possibly most ridiculous train of thought ever to be chiseled onto plates.
And now Alma said unto them: Do ye believe those scriptures which have been written by them of old? 33.12 
Behold, if ye do, ye must believe what Zenos said; for, behold he said: Thou hast turned away thy judgments because of thy Son. 33.13 
Now behold, my brethren, I would ask if ye have read the scriptures? If ye have, how can ye disbelieve on the Son of God? 33.14
Alma tries to bolster his claim by claiming that it wasn't just him and Zenos making these claims, it was also Zenock and Moses.
For it is not written that Zenos alone spake of these things, but Zenock also spake of these things 33.15 
But behold, this is not all; these are not the only ones who have spoken concerning the Son of God. 33.18 
Behold, he was spoken of by Moses; yea, and behold a type was raised up in the wilderness, that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live. 33.19
Alma finished up his preaching with his favorite reference: The seed.  Plant the seed of your faith, and watch it grow into a tree.
And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree,springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that yourburdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen. 33.23
I don't think the Zoramites got the specifics they were looking for, but maybe they will in Chapter 34, when Alma lets Amulek preach for a little while.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the 1000 posts! But I do question your assertion that there are boring sections to the BOM -- it's all boring!

Stephen said...

Congratulations on the Millennium!
I do wish there were an easier way to navigate around in these posts, other than brute-force serial scrolling. But the content is impressive, useful and often amusing.
Here's to the next 1,000 posts!
Steve Weeks

Corbie said...

After using (and loving) the SAB for years, I finally found Mr. Wels' book "Drunk with Blood" and ordered it as a Solstice/holidays/whatever gift for myself.

Now...1000 posts, eh? If you'll excuse me, I have a lot of reading to do. ;)

Congratulations on the milepost!