16 January 2014

Mosiah 26: What to do with the unbelievers?

Just as things are starting to go really well for the new church, it starts to be threatened by the "rising generation" of unbelievers. Sound familiar? Maybe the Book of Mormon was prophesying about today.
Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers. 26.1 
They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ. 26.2
The unbelievers started to flatter and deceive the church members, so it became clear that the church had to do something about them. The unbelievers were gathered up and brought before Alma.
For it came to pass that they did deceive many with their flattering words, who were in the church, and did cause them to commit many sins; therefore it became expedient that those who committed sin, that were in the church, should be admonished by the church. 26.6 
And it came to pass that they were brought before the priests, and delivered up unto the priests by the teachers; and the priests brought them before Alma, who was the high priest. 26.7

Alma didn't know what to do with them, so he brought them before king Mosiah.
Now there had not any such thing happened before in the church; therefore Alma was troubled in his spirit, and he caused that they should be brought before the king. 26.10 
And he said unto the king: Behold, here are many whom we have brought before thee, who are accused of their brethren; yea, and they have been taken in divers iniquities. And they do not repent of their iniquities; therefore we have brought them before thee, that thou mayest judge them according to their crimes. 26.11

King Mosiah didn't know what to do with them, so he gave them back to Alma
But king Mosiah said unto Alma: Behold, I judge them not; therefore I deliver them into thy hands to be judged. 26.12
Alma still didn't know what to do with them, so he asks God.
And now the spirit of Alma was again troubled; and he went and inquired of the Lord what he should do concerning this matter, for he feared that he should do wrong in the sight of God. 26.13
After he pours out his whole soul, God answers: If the unbelievers repent, let them back in the church. If not, Let 'em burn.
And it came to pass that after he had poured out his whole soul to God, the voice of the Lord came to him, saying:
Blessed art thou, Alma, and blessed are they who were baptized in the waters of Mormon. Thou art blessed because of thy exceeding faith in the words alone of my servant Abinadi.
Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life; and thou shalt serve me and go forth in my name, and shalt gather together my sheep. 26.20 
For behold, this is my church; whosoever is baptized shall be baptized unto repentance. And whomsoever ye receive shall believe in my name; and him will I freely forgive. 26.22 
And it shall come to pass that when the second trump shall sound then shall they that never knew me come forth and shall stand before me. 26.25 
And then I will confess unto them that I never knew them; and they shall depart into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 26.27
Alma "blotted out" the names of those who did not repent, and the church lived happily every after.
And those that would not confess their sins and repent of their iniquity, the same were not numbered among the people of the church, and their names were blotted out. 26.36
And it came to pass that Alma did regulate all the affairs of the church; and they began again to have peace and to prosper exceedingly in the affairs of the church, walking circumspectly before God, receiving many, and baptizing many. 26.37 
And now all these things did Alma and his fellow laborers do who were over the church, walking in all diligence, teaching the word of God in all things, suffering all manner of afflictions, being persecuted by all those who did not belong to the church of God. 26.38


Andrew Hall said...

So, they cast out into the wilderness?

Unknown said...

It's unclear to me, Andrew. God gives a long speech to Alma, but never really tells him what to do with the unbelievers. I don't think they are cast out into the wilderness, because in the next chapter they (the unbelievers) are still causing trouble.