23 February 2014

Alma 9: Alma Speaks Again to the People of Ammonihah

In the last chapter, Alma was visited by an angel who told him to return no Ammonihah and preach to them again. He returned to the city, met a friend (Amulek), and worked his nerve up to preach to the people again.

When Alma started to preach the second time to the people of Ammonihah, he wasn't very successful. The people didn't listen to him. They kept saying things like: "God is going to destroy this whole city in a single day, and all he sends as warning is YOU?" They just didn't believe that Alma was a prophet. I guess they wanted proof or something. 
And again, I, Alma, having been commanded of God that I should take Amulek and go forth and preach again unto this people, or the people who were in the city of Ammonihah, it came to pass as I began to preach unto them, they began to contend with me, saying: 9.1 
Who art thou? Suppose ye that we shall believe the testimony of one man, although he should preach unto us that the earth should pass away? 9.2 
And they said also: We will not believe thy words if thou shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in one day. 9.4 
And they said: Who is God, that sendeth no more authority than one man among this people, to declare unto them the truth of such great and marvelous things? 9.6
Alma responds by reminding them how many times God has helped them in the past, especially how many times God helped them in battle. And he reminds them again how God will destroy them if they don't straighten up and fly right.
Behold, O ye wicked and perverse generation, how have ye forgotten the tradition of your fathers; yea, how soon ye have forgotten the commandments of God. 9.8 
Do ye not remember that our father, Lehi, was brought out of Jerusalem by the hand of God? Do ye not remember that they were all led by him through the wilderness? 9.9  
And have ye forgotten so soon how many times he delivered our fathers out of the hands of their enemies, and preserved them from being destroyed, even by the hands of their own brethren? 9.10 
Behold, now I say unto you that he commandeth you to repent; and except ye repent, ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. But behold, this is not all -- he has commanded you to repent, or he will utterly destroy you from off the face of the earth; yea, he will visit you in his anger, and in his fierce anger he will not turn away. 9.12
In  fact, it will be even worse for the Ammonihahites than for the Lamanites, unless they repent of their sins and stop living wicked lives.
Now I would that ye should remember, that inasmuch as the Lamanites have not kept the commandments of God, they have been cut off from the presence of the Lord. Now we see that the word of the Lord has been verified in this thing, and the Lamanites have been cut off from his presence, from the beginning of their transgressions in the land. 9.14 
Nevertheless I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for them in the day of judgment than for you, if ye remain in your sins, yea, and even more tolerable for them in this life than for you, except ye repent. 9.15
God will also send the Lamanites after them if they don't repent.
But behold, I say unto you that if ye persist in your wickedness that your days shall not be prolonged in the land, for the Lamanites shall be sent upon you; and if ye repent not they shall come in a time when you know not, and ye shall be visited with utter destruction; and it shall be according to the fierce anger of the Lord. 9.18
You see, Jesus is coming soon. And he's a really nice guy.. he's full of grace, and truth; he's patient, merciful and kind. But if you don't repent before he gets here, then he'll throw you all in hell.
And now for this cause, that ye may not be destroyed the Lord has sent his angel to visit many of his people, declaring unto them that they must go forth and cry mightily unto this people, saying: Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is nigh at hand; 9.25 
And not many days hence the Son of God shall come in his glory; and his glory shall be the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, equity, and truth, full of patience, mercy, and long-suffering, quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers. 9.26 
Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord, for the time is at hand that all men shall reap a reward of their works, according to that which they have been -- if they have been righteous they shall reap the salvation of their souls, according to the power and deliverance of Jesus Christ; and if they have been evil they shall reap the damnation of their souls, according to the power and captivation of the devil. 9.28
Then Alma called the Ammonihahites a "lost and fallen people". That really made them mad, because they were hard-hearted and stiffnecked. They tried to throw Alma in prison, but God wouldn't let them.
And now, my beloved brethren, for ye are my brethren, and ye ought to be beloved, and ye ought to bring forth works which are meet for repentance, seeing that your hearts have been grossly hardened against the word of God, and seeing that ye are a lost and a fallen people. 9.30 
Now it came to pass that when I, Alma, had spoken these words, behold, the people were wroth with me because I said unto them that they were a hard-hearted and a stiffnecked people9.31 
And also because I said unto them that they were a lost and a fallen people they were angry with me, and sought to lay their hands upon me, that they might cast me into prison. 9.32 
But it came to pass that the Lord did not suffer them that they should take me at that time and cast me into prison. 9.33
After that, Alma stopped speaking and let his friend Amulek give it a try. Maybe he would have better luck.
And it came to pass that Amulek went and stood forth, and began to preach unto them also. And now the words of Amulek are not all written, nevertheless a part of his words are written in this book. 9.34
In the next chapter we get to hear the abridged version of Amulek's speech.


Daryl Cobranchi said...

Wow! That is some really bad writing. J. Smith sorely needed a good editor.

Stephen said...

"But it came to pass that the Lord did not suffer them that they should take me at that time and cast me into prison." 9.33

Holy shit! It would take a PhD in English to diagram that sentence.

Steve Weeks