Book of Alma V (7)
Book of Alma V (7)
The words of Alma which he delivered to the people in Gideon, according to his own record.1
7:1 Behold my beloved brethren, seeing that I have been permitted to come unto you, therefore I attempt to address you in my language; yea, by my own mouth, seeing that it is the first time that I have spoken unto you by the words of my mouth, I having been wholly confined to the judgment seat, having had much business that I could not come unto you; 7:2 and even I could not have come now at this time, were it not that the judgment seat hath been given to another, to reign in my stead; and the Lord in much mercy hath granted that I should come unto you. 7:3 And behold, I have come, having great hopes and much desire that I should find that ye had humbled yourselves before God, and that ye had continued in the supplicating of his grace, that I should find that ye were blameless before him; that I should find that ye were not in the awful dilemma that our brethren were in at Zarahemla; 7:4 but blessed be the name of God that he hath given unto2 me to know, yea, hath given unto me the exceeding great joy of knowing that they are established again in the way of his righteousness. 7:5 And I trust, according to the spirit of God which is in me, that I shall also have joy over you; nevertheless I do not desire that my joy over you, should come by the cause of so much afflictions and sorrow which I have had for the brethren at Zarahemla: for behold, my joy cometh over them after wading through much afflictions and sorrow. 7:6 But behold, I trust that ye are not in a state of so much unbelief as were your brethren; I trust that ye are not lifted up in the pride of your hearts; yea, I trust that ye have not set your hearts upon riches, and the vain things of the world; yea, I trust that you do not worship idols, but that ye do worship the true and the living God; and that ye look forward for the remission of your sins with an everlasting faith which is to come. 7:7 For behold, I say unto you, there be many things to come; and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all: for behold, the time is not far distant, that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people. 7:8 Behold, I do not say that he will come among us at the time of his dwelling in his mortal tabernacle; for behold, the spirit hath not said unto me that this should be the case. Now as to this thing I do not know; but this much I do know, that the Lord God hath power to do all things which is according to his word. 7:9 But behold, the spirit hath said this much unto me, saying: Cry unto this people, saying, Repent ye, repent ye,3 and prepare the way of the Lord, and walk in his paths, which are strait:4 for behold, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth. 7:10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem, which is the land of our forefathers, she being a Virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed, and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God; 7:11 and he shall go forth, suffering pains, and afflictions, and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith, He will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people; 7:12 and he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which binds his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succour5 his people according to their infirmities. 7:13 Now the spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh, that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions, according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me. Now I say unto you, 7:14 that ye must repent, and be born again: for the spirit saith, If ye are not born again, ye cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world, which is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness; 7:15 yea, I say unto you, Come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction; yea, come and go forth, and shew unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins, and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day, by going into the waters of baptism; 7:16 and whosoever doeth this, and keepeth the commandments of God from thenceforth, the same will remember that I say unto him, yea, he will remember that I have said unto him, he shall have eternal life, according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which testifieth in me. 7:17 And now my beloved brethren, do you believe these things? Behold, I say unto you, yea, I know that you believe them; and the way that I know that ye believe them, is by the manifestations6 of the spirit which is in me. And now because your faith is strong concerning that, yea, concerning the things which I have spoken, great is my joy. 7:18 For as I said unto you from the beginning, that I had much desire that ye was not in the state of dilemma like your brethren, even so I have found that my desires have been gratified. 7:19 For I perceive that ye are in the paths of righteousness; I perceive that ye are in the path which leads to the kingdom of God; yea, I perceive that ye are making his paths straight;7 7:20 I perceive that it hath been made known unto you by the testimony of his word, that he cannot walk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, his course is one eternal round. 7:21 And he doth not dwell in unholy temples; neither can filthiness, or any thing which is unclean be received into the kingdom of God; therefore I say unto you, the time shall come, yea, and it shall be at the last day, that he which is filthy, shall remain in his filthiness.
7:22 And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto8 you, that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him; that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received. 7:23 And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive, and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive, 7:24 and see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works; 7:25 and may the Lord bless you, and keep your garments spotless, that ye may at last be brought to sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the Holy Prophets, which have been ever since the world began, having your garments spotless, even as their garments are spotless in the kingdom of Heaven, to go no more out.
7:26 And now my beloved brethren, I have spoken these words unto you, according to the spirit which testifieth in me; and my soul doth exceedingly rejoice, because of the exceeding diligence and heed which ye have given unto my word. 7:27 And now, may the peace of God rest upon you, and upon your houses and lands, and upon your flocks and herds, and all that you possess; your women and your children, according to your faith and good works, from this time forth and forever. And thus I have spoken. Amen.
1. This heading applies to Alma V (Alma 7).
2. In Alma 7:4 here, the word unto in P is omitted in the 1830 edition.
3. In Alma 7:9, the words repent ye occur twice in P but only once in the 1830 edition.
4. In Alma 7:9, the word strait (meaning narrow) appears in P and is changed to straight in the 1830 edition. Although we would normally follow the wording in P, in this instance the clear allusion of Alma 7:9 (“prepare the way of the Lord, and walk in his paths, which are strait/straight”) to Isaiah 40:3 as quoted in the KJV of the Gospels (“Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,” Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4) strongly supports straight as the intended word. This conclusion is further confirmed in Alma 7:19 (see the note on that verse).
5. Here at Alma 7:12, both P and the 1830 edition have the word suffer where succor (which means help or deliver) appears to have been the intended word. The Book of Mormon does use succor several other times, including twice earlier in Alma 4:13. The word also appears six times in the KJV, where it is consistently spelled succour(ed). It is possible that the scribe made a hearing mistake, mistakenly hearing suffer instead of succor. For these reasons we are accepting succor as the most likely intended word here.
6. In Alma 7:18, P has the plural manifestations whereas the 1830 has the singular form.
7. In Alma 7:19, P has the word strait whereas the 1830 edition has straight. Two considerations make it highly probable that straight was the intended word. First, this part of the sentence (“making his paths strait/straight”) clearly alludes to Isaiah 40:3 as quoted in the Gospels, where the word straight occurs in the KJV (“make his paths straight,” Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4). Secondly, in the next breath Alma is quoted as saying that God “cannot walk in crooked paths” (Alma 7:20), confirming that the “paths” in 7:19 are being described as “straight” as contrasted with “crooked.”
8. The 1830 edition appears to have a misprint here at Alma 7:22, saying anto instead of unto.