Book of Alma XV (27-29)
Book of Alma XV (27-29)
27:1 Now it came to pass that when those Lamanites which had gone to war against the Nephites, had found, after their many struggles for to destroy them, that it was in vain to seek their destruction, they returned again to the land of Nephi. 27:2 And it came to pass that the Amalekites,1 because of their loss, were exceeding angry. And when they saw2 they could not seek revenge from the Nephites, they began to stir up the people in anger against their brethren, the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi; therefore they began again to destroy them. 27:3 Now this people again rufused3 to take their arms, and they suffered themselves to be slain according to the desires of their enemy.4 27:4 Now when Ammon and his brethren saw this work of destruction among those who they so dearly beloved, and among those who had so dearly beloved them; for they were treated as though they were angels sent from God to save them from an5 everlasting destruction; therefore, when Ammon and his brethren saw this great work of destruction, they were moved with compassion, and they said unto the king, 27:5 Let us gather together this people of the Lord, and let us go down to the land of Zarahemla, to our brethren, the Nephites, and flee out of the hands of our enemies, that we be not destroyed. 27:6 But the king saith unto them, Behold, the Nephites will destroy us, because of the many murders and sins we have committed against them. 27:7 And Ammon saith, I will go and inquire of the Lord, and if he saith unto us, Go down unto our brethren, will ye go? 27:8 And the king saith unto him,6 Yea; if the Lord saith unto us Go, we will go down unto our brethren, and we will be their slaves until we repair unto them the many murders and sins which we have committed against them. 27:9 But Ammon saith unto him, It is against the law of our brethren, which was established by my father, that there should be any slaves among them; therefore let us go down and rely upon the mercies of our brethren. 27:10 But the king saith unto him, Inquire of the Lord, and if he saith unto us Go, we will go; otherwise we will perish in the land.
27:11 And it came to pass that Ammon went and inquired of the Lord, and the Lord said unto him, 27:12 Get this people out of this land, that they perish not, for Satan hath great hold on the hearts of the Amalekites, which do stir up the Lamanites to anger against their brethren, to slay them; therefore get thee out of this land; and blessed art this people in this generation; for I will preserve them.
27:13 And now it came to pass that Ammon went and told the king all the words which the Lord had said unto him. 27:14 And it came to pass that they gathered together all their people; yea, all the people of the Lord, and did gather together all their flocks and herds, and departed out of the land, and came into the wilderness which divided the land of Nephi from the land of Zarahemla, and came over near the borders of the land.
27:15 And it came to pass that Ammon saith unto them, Behold, I and my brethren will go forth into the land of Zarahemla, and ye shall remain here until we return; and we will try the hearts of our brethren, whether they will that ye shall come into their land.
27:16 And it came to pass that as Ammon was going forth into the land, that he and his brethren met Alma, over in the place of which has been spoken; and behold, this was a joyful meeting. 27:17 Now the joy of Ammon was so great, even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength; and he fell again to the earth. 27:18 Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness. 27:19 Now the joy of Alma in meeting his brethren was truly great, and also the joy of Aaron, of Omner, and Himni; but behold, their joy was not that to exceed their strength.
27:20 And now it came to pass that Alma conducted his brethren back to the land of Zarahemla, even to his own house. And it came to pass that they went and told the Chief Judge all the things which7 had happened unto them in the land of Nephi among their brethren, the Lamanites.
27:21 And it came to pass that the Chief Judge sent a proclamation throughout all the land, desiring the voice of the people concerning the admitting their brethren, which were the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi. 27:22 And it came to pass that the voice of the people came, saying, Behold, we will give up the land of Jershon, which is on the east by the sea, which joins the land Bountiful, which is on the south of the land Bountiful; and this land Jershon is the land which we will give unto our brethren, for an inheritance. 27:23 And behold, we will set our armies between the land Jershon and the land Nephi, that we may protect our brethren in the land of8 Jershon; and this we do for our brethren, on account of their fear to take up arms against their brethren, lest they should commit sin; and this their great fear came, because of their sore repentance which they had, on account of their9 many murders, and their awful wickedness. 27:24 And now behold, this will we do unto our brethren, that they may inherit the land Jershon; and we will guard them from their enemies by10 our armies, on conditions that they will give us a portion of their substance to assist us, that we may maintain our armies.
27:25 Now it came to pass that when Ammon had heard this, he returned to the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, and also Alma with him, into the wilderness, where they had pitched their tents, and made known unto them all these things. And Alma also related unto them his conversion with Ammon, and Aaron, and his brethren. 27:26 And it came to pass that it did cause great joy among them. And it came to pass that they went down into the land of Jershon; and took possession of the land of Jershon; and they were called by the Nephites the people of Ammon; therefore they were distinguished by that name ever after; 27:27 and they were numbered11 among the people of Nephi, and also numbered among the people which were of the Church of God. And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end. 27:28 And they did look upon shedding the blood of their brethren with the greatest abhorrence; and they never could be prevailed upon to take up arms against their brethren; and they never did look upon death with any degree of terror for their hope and views of Christ and the resurrection; therefore death was swallowed up to them by the victory of Christ over it; 27:29 therefore they would suffer death in the most aggravating and distressing manner which could be inflicted by their brethren, before they would take the sword or the cimeter to smite them. 27:30 And thus they were a zealous and beloved people, a highly favored people of the Lord.
28:1 And now it came to pass that after the people of Ammon were established in the land of Jershon, and a church also established in the land;12 and the armies of the Nephites were set round about the land of Jershon; yea, in all the borders round about the land of Zarahemla; behold the armies of the Lamanites had followed their brethren into the wilderness. 28:2 And thus a tremendous13 battle; yea, even such an one as never had been known among all the people in the land from the time Lehi left Jerusalem; yea, and tens of thousands of the Lamanites were slain and scattered abroad. 28:3 Yea, and also there was a tremendous slaughter among the people of Nephi; nevertheless, the Lamanites were driven and scattered, and the people of Nephi returned again to their lands.14 28:4 And now this was a time that there was a great mourning and lamentation heard throughout all the land, among all the people of Nephi; 28:5 yea, the cry of widows mourning for their husbands, and also of fathers a15 mourning for their sons, and the daughter for the brother; yea, the brother for the father: and thus the cry of mourning was heard among every one of them; a mourning for their kindred which had been slain. 28:6 And now surely this was a sorrowful day; yea, a time of solemnity, and a time of much fasting and prayer: 28:7 and thus ended the fifteenth year of the reign16 of the Judges over the people of Nephi; 28:8 and this is the account of Ammon and his brethren, their journeyings into17 the land of Nephi, their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy, and the reception and safety of the brethren in the land of Jershon. And now may the Lord, the Redeemer of all men, bless their souls forever. 28:9 And this is the account of the wars and contentions among the Nephites, and also the wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites; and the fifteenth year of the reign of the Judges is ended; 28:10 and from the first year to the fifteenth, has brought to pass the destruction of many thousand lives; yea, it has brought to pass an awful scene of bloodshed; 28:11 and the bodies of many thousands are laid low in the earth, while the bodies of many thousands are mouldering in heaps upon the face of the earth; yea, and many thousands are mourning for the loss of their kindred, because they have reason to fear, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are consigned to a state of endless wo; 28:12 while many thousands of others truly mourn for the loss of their kindred, yet they rejoice and exult in the hope, yea18 and even know, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are raised to dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never ending happiness: 28:13 and thus we see how great the unequality19 of man is because of sin and transgression, and the power of the Devil, which comes by the cunning plans which he hath devised to ensnare the hearts of men; 28:14 and thus we see the great call of the20 diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing: sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life.21
29:1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people; 29:2 yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, Repentance, and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might22 be no more sorrow upon all the face of the earth. 29:3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I had ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me. 29:4 I had not ought to harrow up in my desires, the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desires, whether23 it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto man,24 yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills; whether it be unto salvation or unto destruction; 29:5 yea, and I know that good and evil hath come before all men; or he that knoweth not good from evil, is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires; whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience. 29:6 Now seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called? 29:7 Why should I desire that I was an angel, that I could speak unto all the ends of the earth? 29:8 For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word; yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in his25 wisdom, according to that which is just and true. 29:9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it; I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God, to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. 29:10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me; yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me; 29:11 yea, and I also remember the captivity of my fathers; for I surely do know that the Lord did deliver them out of bondage, and by them26 did establish his church; yea, the Lord God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, did deliver them out of bondage; 29:12 yea, I have always remembered the captivity of my fathers; and that same God who delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians, did deliver them out of bondage; 29:13 yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full; 29:14 but I do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, which have been up to the land of Nephi. 29:15 Behold, they have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit; and how great shall be their reward. 29:16 Now when I think of the success of these my brethren, my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy.
29:17 And now may God grant unto these my brethren, that they may sit down in the Kingdom of God; yea, and also all those which are the fruit of their labor,27 that they may go no more out, but that they may praise him forever. And may God grant that it may be done according to my words, even as I have spoken. Amen.
1. On the term Amalekites, see the note on Alma 21:2.
2. P and the 1830 edition add the word that here at Alma 27:2.
3. The 1830 edition misprints refused here in Alma 27:3 as rufused.
4. O here at Alma 27:3 has the singular enemy, where P and the 1830 edition have the plural enemies.
5. The word an here in O at Alma 27:4 was omitted in both P and the 1830 edition.
6. The 1830 edition is missing a comma (or colon) here at Alma 27:8.
7. The 1830 edition has that here in Alma 37:20 instead of which (found in O and originally in P).
8. The 1830 edition omits the word of here in Alma 37:23.
9. Both O and P have the instead of their here at Alma 37:23, but this appears to have been a scribal mistake.
10. Both O and P have by rather than with (as in the 1830 edition) here at Alma 37:24. In this instance the word by is not plausibly explained as a scribal error.
11. Enough of O is extant here at Alma 27:27 to determine that the word numbered appeared here, though it was dropped in P and in the 1830 edition.
12. P and the 1830 edition add of Jershon here in Alma 28:1, but this is not found in O.
13. O and P here spell tremendous in Alma 28:2-3 as tremendious, but this is an alternate spelling of the same word still being used in Joseph Smith’s day.
14. O here in Alma 28:3 has the plural lands, which was changed in P and the 1830 edition to land.
15. Here in Alma 28:5, the word a here before mourning (and again in the last clause of the verse) is found in O but not in the 1830 edition.
16. The 1830 edition here at Alma 28:7 misprinted reign as regin.
17. P has the word into here at Alma 28:8, which was changed in the 1830 edition to in.
18. The word yea is found here in Alma 28:12 in both O and P but was omitted in the 1830 edition.
19. The 1830 edition changed unequality here in Alma 28:13 to inequality.
20. The word the here in Alma 28:14 is found in P but was omitted in the 1830 edition.
21. For ease of readability a paragraph break is inserted here before Alma 29:1.
22. The 1830 edition erroneously added the word not here at Alma 29:2.
23. The first occurrence of whether here in Alma 29:4 is misspelled as whither in O and P.
24. The word man appears here in O in Alma 29:4 and originally in P, but was changed to men.
25. Here at Alma 29:8, P has the word his but the 1830 edition does not.
26. Skousen (Analysis) makes a good case here at Alma 29:11 for emending the words found in the 1830 edition, by this, to by them; O originally had I then which was changed to by then, and later changed in P to by this.
27. O here at Alma 29:17 has the singular labor, which was changed in P and the 1830 edition to labors.