21 April 2014

Alma 14: Alma and Amulek in Prison

After Alma and Amulek had finished speaking, the response of the crowd was mixed. Some of them believed the speech and began to repent, but the majority of them were angry and wanted to kill them.
And it came to pass after he had made an end of speaking unto the people many of them did believe on his words, and began to repent, and to search the scriptures. 14.1 
But the more part of them were desirous that they might destroy Alma and Amulek; for they were angry with Alma, because of the plainness of his words unto Zeezrom; and they also said that Amulek had lied unto them, and had reviled against their law and also against their lawyers and judges. 14.2
Instead, the crowd tied them up and brought them before the Chief Judge.
But it came to pass that they did not; but they took them and bound them with strong cords, and took them before the chief judge of the land. 14.4
The people testified against Alma and Amulek, saying that they had made fun of their lawyers, judges, laws and of everyone who lived in their land. The also testified that Alma and Amulek had claimed that there was only one God, and God would send his son among the people, but that his son wouldn't save them.
And the people went forth and witnessed against them -- testifying that they had reviled against the law, and their lawyers and judges of the land, and also of all the people that were in the land; and also testified that there was but one God, and that he should send his Son among the people, but he should not save them; and many such things did the people testify against Alma and Amulek. Now this was done before the chief judge of the land. 14.5 
Every man, woman and child who believed Alma and Amulek's words were rounded up and burned. Alma and Amulek were brought to the "place of martyrdom" and made to watch everyone burn to death.
And they brought their wives and children together, and whosoever believed or had been taught to believe in the word of God they caused that they should be cast into the fire, and they also brought forth their records which contained the holy scriptures, and cast them into the fire also, that they might be burned and destroyed by fire. 14.8 
And it came to pass that they took Alma and Amulek, and carried them forth to the place of martyrdom, that they might witness the destruction of those who were consumed by fire. 14.9
Then Amulek and Alma had this nice little exchange:

How can we watch this? Let's use the power of God to save them from the flames.

No, we shouldn't. God needs solid proof to punish these people, and if we stop it then they can't be punished properly. It's a shame that all of these innocent people have to burn to death, but punishing evil people is more important to God than saving innocent ones.

Yeah, I guess that makes sense. But they might burn us, too, and I don't want to burn to death. 
Naah, God won't let us burn. We still have stuff to do for him. 

But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day. 14.11 
Now Amulek said unto Alma: Behold, perhaps they will burn us also. 14.12 
And Alma said: Be it according to the will of the Lord. But, behold, our work is not finished; therefore they burn us not. 14.13

After everyone else is burned, the Chief Judge came to talk to Alma and Amulek. After slapping them around a few times, he asked them "Are you still going to keep preaching? Even after your god couldn't save those people? What do you have to say for yourselves?"
Now it came to pass that when the bodies of those who had been cast into the fire were consumed, and also the records which were cast in with them, the chief judge of the land came and stood before Alma and Amulek, as they were bound; and he smote them with his hand upon their cheeks, and said unto them: After what ye have seen, will ye preach again unto this people, that they shall be cast into a lake of fire and brimstone? 14.14 
Behold, ye see that ye had not power to save those who had been cast into the fire; neither has God saved them because they were of thy faith. And the judge smote them again upon their cheeks, and asked: What say ye for yourselves? 14.15
They kept their mouths shut. (I usually say "thou sayest" in theses situations). The Chief Judge hit them again, and then threw them in prison.
And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek answered him nothing; and he smote them again, and delivered them to the officers to be cast into prison. 14.17

Alma and Amulek weren't treated very well in prison. The Ammonihahites denied them  food and water, and even made them strip naked. Meanwhile they sent all kinds of lawyers, judges, priests and teachers to question them. They didn't answer any of their questions though.
And when they had been cast into prison three days, there came many lawyers, and judges, and priests, and teachers, who were of the profession of Nehor; and they came in unto the prison to see them, and they questioned them about many words; but they answered them nothing. 14.18 
And it came to pass that the judge stood before them, and said: 0Why do ye not answer the words of this people? Know ye not that I have power to deliver you up unto the flames? And he commanded them to speak; but they answered nothing. 14.19 
And it came to pass that they departed and went their ways, but came again on the morrow; and the judge also smote them again on their cheeks. And many came forth also, and smote them, saying: Will ye stand again and judge this people, and condemn our law? If ye have such great power why do ye not deliver yourselves? 14.20 
And many such things did they say unto them, gnashing their teeth upon them, and spitting upon them, and saying: How shall we look when we are damned? 14.21 
And many such things, yea, all manner of such things did they say unto them; and thus they did mock them for many days. And they did withhold food from them that they might hunger, and water that they might thirst; and they also did take from them their clothes that they were naked; and thus they were bound with strong cords, and confined in prison. 14.22 
And it came to pass after they had thus suffered for many days, (and it was on the twelfth day, in the tenth month, in the tenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi) that the chief judge over the land of Ammonihah and many of their teachers and their lawyers went in unto the prison where Alma and Amulek were bound with cords. 14.23
One day, Alma just couldn't take it anymore. The Chief Judge said to him and Amulek (after hitting them again), that if they can use God's power to break the cords on their hands, then he'll believe them. Then everyone else in the Chief Judge's entourage hits them and says the exact same thing.
And the chief judge stood before them, and smote them again, and said unto them: If ye have the power of God deliver yourselves from these bands, and then we will believe that the Lord will destroy this people according to your words. 14.24 
And it came to pass that they all went forth and smote them, saying the same words, even until the last; and when the last had spoken unto them the power of God was upon Alma and Amulek, and they rose and stood upon their feet. 14.25

Alma cries out to God, asking him how much longer he has to put up with being smacked in the face all the time. God answers by giving him divine power to break the cords. This really scared everyone there, and they start running out of the prison.
And Alma cried, saying: How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O Lord? O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance. And they broke the cords with which they were bound; and when the people saw this, they began to flee, for the fear of destruction had come upon them. 14.26 
But they were too scared to run properly, and they fell to the ground.
And it came to pass that so great was their fear that they fell to the earth, and did not obtain the outer door of the prison. 14.27a

Then the ground shook, and the prison was split it two, and everyone who had just slapped Alma and Amulek were crushed by a falling wall.

And the earth shook mightily, and the walls of the prison were rent in twain, so that they fell to the earth; and the chief judge, and the lawyers, and priests, and teachers, who smote upon Alma and Amulek, were slain by the fall thereof. 14.27b

Alma and Amulek left the prison without a scratch. No one in town gave them any trouble, because they were afraid of them.

And Alma and Amulek came forth out of the prison, and they were not hurt; for the Lord had granted unto them power, according to their faith which was in Christ. And they straightway came forth out of the prison; and they were loosed from their bands; and the prison had fallen to the earth, and every soul within the walls thereof, save it were Alma and Amulek, was slain; and they straightway came forth into the city. 14.28 
Now the people having heard a great noise came running together by multitudes to know the cause of it; and when they saw Alma and Amulek coming forth out of the prison, and the walls thereof had fallen to the earth, they were struck with great fear, and fled from the presence of Alma and Amulek even as a goat fleeth with her young from two lions; and thus they did flee from the presence of Alma and Amulek. 14.29

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