Studying the Book of Mormon 6a
The Confusion of Alma
Alma 46:39; “And it came to pass that there were many who died, firmly believing that their souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ; thus they went out of the world rejoicing.”
The verse above supposedly took place in 72 BC. We’re using this verse as an example of what you’ll find throughout the book of Alma. This time we’re dividing our study up into three parts because the book of Alma is rather large.
My heart is heavy each time I read that verse. People like my mother believe this stuff. People like my nieces have been taught that it’s perfectly acceptable to believe in someone that wasn’t in existence in 72 BC.
How could these people be redeemed when no sacrifice had been made for their sin? It’s one thing to have a hope that God will deliver on His promises. As Christians we take part in believing He will redeem us when we die and we look to the time when Jesus will return. Neither of which have taken place yet.
Keep in mind our sin has been taken care of because Jesus was crucified at Calvary. At the time of the Alma passage, it was 72 BC; one hundred years before Jesus was crucified. All of Israel at that time looked forward to the time God would provide for them. The Israelites had mistakenly convinced themselves they would be given a political ruler who would give them an earthly freedom. While looking over, around, past and through Jesus, they never stopped to look at or to Him.
If the story in the Book of Mormon is true, their leader Alma did them a great disservice, much like what the modern day LDS Church is doing to its people today. They practice a pseudo Law of Moses while believing in “Christ”. In chapter one, we’re told that an overweight Nehor introduced apostasy into the church and died a humiliating death at Manti for murdering righteous Gideon (1:15). At this time it is 91 BC.
As the first chapter labors along we find that many in the church continue the false teachings while making fun of the others in the church. Apparently there were many good people in the church who just took the abuse of the bad guys in the church. Somehow the church grows through their afflictions and acquires an “abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need…”
There are several things to take note of in this first chapter. The use of Greek and Latin words used which Joseph Smith said were not in the Book of Mormon is obviously there. The fact that churches were in existence in Mesoamerica in 91 BC is a problem. We have to wonder why Smith would’ve used these words to begin with if they were speaking Reformed Egyptian. Moreover, the horrible grammar issue is still plaguing the author of this book.
We also have the problem of silk. Silk was not in use in Mesoamerica in 91 BC, yet in 1:29 the people seemed to have an abundance of this as well. See our article in full for more information – http://www.lifeafter.org/artifacts2.asp
Five years later we’re in chapter two and Amlici comes onto the scene causing as much trouble as Nehor did. According to Alma 2:4 it was Amlici’s intention to destroy the church of God. In the very next verse it says that people were either for or against Amlici’s idea of instating a king over the land and the people would gather “having much dispute and wonderful contentions with each other”.
I have to ask – honestly – how can anyone believe this is an inspired work of God????
What in the world is a “wonderful contention”?
If Amlici is an evil man how can the arguments for him be wonderful? Wouldn’t they be evil in the eyes of God? Because of their divisions, the people who favored Amlici became known as the Amlicites and all others were called the people of God. The Nephites and Amlicites begin warring against each other in the valley of Gideon and the Amlicites had grown in number so they were almost as numerous as the “sands of the sea”.
With the strength of God behind him, we see that Alma killed Amlici in 2:31 and out of nowhere Alma begins fighting with the king of the Lamanites in the very next verse. No explanation of where the king came from or how far away he must have lived from the constant battles, but there he was.
Just a few verses later we read that Alma and his guards killed so many Lamanites the Nephites were throwing their corpses into the river and using them as a means to cross the Sidon River.
The beginning of chapter three tells us the numbers of the dead were so numerous they weren’t counted and miraculously not one single Nephite lost his life. Amazing.
Alma 3:3 says the bodies of the Lamanites and Amlicites who had been killed were “cast into the waters of Sidon and their bones are in the depths of the sea…”
Was it a river or a sea?
In Alma 3:6 we encounter a Yankee name of Sam and told of the curse the Lamanites had incurred from God being marked with a dark skin. Apparently God wanted the Nephites to be able to distinguish who the rebels were. (As a side note, I’m wondering why their behavior wouldn’t have given it away…) The rule of not inter-mixing the races is instituted in 3:9 and the Amlicites decide to mark themselves with red paint on their foreheads, not knowing they were fulfilling the words of God.
Alma was “afflicted” and didn’t fight in the next battle, but the Nephites fought both groups and pushed them out of their land. In verse twenty six it says that thousands and tens of thousands were killed in one year and they went to meet their maker.
In chapter four the Nephites were greatly “afflicted” because of the loss of the Lamanites and because their land was trodden down by the Lamanites. Yet even with the great losses, their church grew and within two years they saw about 3,500 people who were baptized. This puts us at 84 BC.
Apparently believing in Christ and having God’s blessing upon the church didn’t stop the people of God from sinning. The church went south in a hurry while Alma continued to look forward to the day of “retaining a remission of their sins, being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death” (4:15).
Again, I have to ask – what is going on here? Out of nowhere this verse pops up out of context. In verse seventeen Alma appointed Nephihah as chief judge of the people. He did this so he could go out and preach to the people about their sinful lifestyles while maintaining the office of the “high priesthood of the holy order of God”.
Since Alma wasn’t from the tribe of Levi, we have to wonder why he named himself a priest. In chapter five Alma preached enough to bring people to their senses and in 5:14 he asked them if they had been “born of God” and uses the term “saved” repeatedly. In verse thirty-three there is an invitation to accept the Lord and further on just a few verses later we read about the “good shepherd” calling for them to take upon the “name of Christ”. In 5:48 he tells the people that “Jesus is the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth”. It is he, says Alma, that “cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name”. It was 83 BC.
Chapter six is more preaching and exhortation from Alma and the beginning of chapter seven sees much of the same in the land of Gideon. Verse ten is one of the many infamous proofs that Joseph Smith is a false prophet.
Alma 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.”
Alma 7:14 preaches a gospel that is foreign to Mormonism and remember, it’s 83 BC. In chapter eight Alma travels into the land of Ammonihah to preach the gospel, but these people had become hardened in heart, all but Amulek that is.
Chapter nine gives us another glimpse into the mind of the false prophet Joseph Smith when Alma is found plagiarizing Jesus in 9:15. Alma tells the people that it would be more tolerable for the Lamanites than it will be for them at the Day of Judgment if they don’t repent and return to God. (See Luke 10:14 about Tyre and Sidon)
In chapter ten it looks like Amulek might be a polygamist when he said; “For behold, he hath blessed mine house, he hath blessed me, and my women, and my children, and my father and my kinsfolk…” And if that wasn’t enough bad news, a few verses later we’re told that he could also read the minds of people while using vocabulary from the bible regarding evil people. Compare Alma 10:17 with Luke 9:47 and Matthew 17:17.
The eleventh chapter of Alma says that a half measure of barley was equal to a “shiblon” (whatever that was), but the important fact here is that barley wasn’t a staple in Mesoamerica during this time (See Alma 11:15). Columbus was the one that introduced barley to the North American continent in 1494, some 1,000+ years after the extinction of the Nephites in 421 AD. http://www.lifeafter.org/artifacts.asp Later in the chapter we’re introduced to the evil lawyer Zeezrom who tries to tear apart the church of God and Amulek testified there is only one God.
I thought that was rather interesting because according to Mormon theology this is not true. The LDS Church teaches there are many gods, but they only worship the god of this earth. (I like to refer the Mormons to 2 Cor. 4:4 which says the god of this earth is Satan.)
Chapter twelve tells us the story of Zeezrom shaking in his boots from the message of salvation given by Amulek and Alma. In 12:26 we see one of the biggest lies in all of Mormonism. In essence the false prophet Alma teaches that God needed Adam and Eve to sin so the plan of salvation could be accomplished. To introduce such a teaching is akin to not believing in God. To further confuse the Mormons, a few verses later it is taught that God sent angels to converse with man and after that God spoke with them. This in turn caused man to call on his name and God taught them to call on the name of his son (the plan of redemption).
In chapter thirteen Alma wants the Nephites to “cite their minds forward to the time when the Lord gave these commandments…” He goes on to say the Lord ordained priests “after the manner of his Son and the priests were sanctified and their garments were washed white though the blood of the Lamb”.
If they have to “cite their minds forward” why is the rest of the sentence written in the past tense? In 13:18 we see an outright lie about Melchizedek. Claiming that he had a father is in direct opposition to what God tells us in Hebrews 7:2-3;
“To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”
Chapter thirteen continues its barrage of lies by telling the people they can be led by the Holy Spirit in verse twenty eight and the next chapter doesn’t get much better. In 14:2 there is another grammatical error when it says; “But the more part of them were desirous that they might destroy Alma and Amulek…”
In Alma 14:8-11 we see children being thrown into the fires and the “holy men” of the Book of Mormon standing by to watch so others would go to hell.
How is this righteous behavior? To see more examples of this see our article on Interesting Facts about the 3-in-1 here http://www.lifeafter.org/3in1_ptIV.asp
In 14:21 we read that people were gnashing their teeth upon Alma and Amulek, so my question is how does someone go about gnashing their teeth upon someone else? The miracle of their escape from prison (Alma 14:27) mimics Paul and Silas’ escape in Acts 16:25-26, but of course the story in the Book of Mormon is more grandiose than the Bible. Everyone in the prison died except for Alma and Amulek. One other noteworthy item in the passage is how the prison was “rent in twain”. Wasn’t the veil of the temple “rent in twain”? See Matt. 27:51.
Of course the story of people believing in Christ before He’s even born is ever prevalent in Alma chapter fifteen. By this time it’s 81 BC. Alma and Amulek travel to the valley of Sidom to establish a church and heal Zeezrom through the power of belief in Christ. Wouldn’t it be Christ that healed them?
And to end Alma chapter fifteen, there is a question that needs to be asked. Alma 15:16-18 is one sentence. How can this be? It’s so long that it makes it hard to follow and doesn’t make sense.
“And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek, Amulek having forsaken all his gold, and silver, and his precious things, which were in the land of Ammonihah, for the word of God, he being rejected by those who were once his friends and also by his father and his kindred; 17 Therefore, after Alma having established the church at Sidom, seeing a great check, yea, seeing that the people were checked as to the pride of their hearts, and began to humble themselves before God, and began to assemble themselves together at their sanctuaries to worship God before the altar, watching and praying continually, that they might be delivered from Satan, and from death, and from destruction— 18 Now as I said, Alma having seen all these things, therefore he took Amulek and came over to the land of Zarahemla, and took him to his own house, and did administer unto him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord.”
In Alma chapter sixteen there is peace then war, then peace again and then we come upon these confusing verses in Alma 16:16 and 16:21;
“And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming—”
“And now after the church had been established throughout all the land—having got the victory over the devil, and the word of God being preached in its purity in all the land, and the Lord pouring out his blessings upon the people—thus ended the fourteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.”
First of all, God has never poured his Spirit on all the face of the earth in this manner. This isn’t how God operates. When God did send his Spirit, He came to dwell in the hearts of man when they accepted Him as their God and King. However, Jesus said this could only happen after He goes back to the Father. Secondly, if there was purity in all the land then why was Jesus crucified and why did people start misbehaving again? If you have the Holy Spirit within you, you shy away from evil. God’s Spirit does that work, not mankind. One more thing about this passage. If they preached from the word of God in its purity, why has the Book of Mormon had to go through 4,000 grammatical changes since it was first printed?
As we move along to the next chapter, we see that the Nepites are using swords again (vs. 7). Swords were not being used in Mesoamerica at this time. Arrows and clubs, yes. Swords, no. See our article about steel in North America here http://www.lifeafter.org/artifacts2.asp
In chapter eighteen we’re seeing the term “Great Spirit” being used which is a Native American name for one of their gods. It’s interesting Smith threw this in from out of nowhere and in 18:9 the use of horses makes an appearance. See our article on Book of Mormon artifacts (link above) for the truth about horses not being here until the Spaniards brought them to the Americas.
I can’t find any reference in the Bible of anyone referring to God as the “Great Spirit” as Ammon did in 18:28 which leads me to be suspicious of this passage. And just when I think it can’t get worse with this particular passage, I find that I’m wrong…
The king of the Lamanites dies. For two days he lays in his bed and finally the queen calls for Ammon to come in and bring him back because by now he “stinketh” as Alma 19:5 tells us. (See John 11:39) And then we find that Alma 19:9 is very similar to John 11:26;
“And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
Just one verse later (19:10) Ammon is plagiarizing Jesus again some 120 years before Jesus even spoke the words as recorded in Luke 7:9;
“When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”
Remarkably, we’ve gone backwards in time again. It’s supposedly 90 BC. Sadly, the Mormon people will believe the stories in the book of Alma and the people proclaiming they were being saved by the blood of Christ long before He was even born, let alone crucified.
In Alma 20:6 we see the use of horses and chariots again and in 20:23 we see the king of the Lamanites promising up to half his kingdom if Ammon would spare his life. This reminds me a lot of what took place with Herodias and the promise he made to his step-daughter in Mark 6:23…hmmm…
Alma 20:23; “Now the king, fearing he should lose his life, said: If thou wilt spare me I will grant unto thee whatsoever thou wilt ask, even to half of the kingdom.”
Mark 6:23; “And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.”
So that’s it for this week. The more I know about Mormonism, the more thankful I am for my salvation. It is unbelievable just how warped these stories are and how deceived my people have become. Please, pray won’t you?
With Love in Christ; Michelle
1 Cor. 1:18