BOOK OF MORMON
Setting: The account of Alma, who was the son of Alma, the first and chief judge over the people of Nephi, and also the high priest over the Church. An account of the reign of the judges, and the wars and contentions among the people. And also an account of a war between the Nephites and the Lamanites, according to the record of Alma, the first and chief judge in 91 to 90 B.C. America per Mormon dating calculations.
Verse 1: Now it came to pass that in the first year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, from this time forward, king Mosiah having gone the way of all the earth, having warred a good warfare, walking uprightly before God, leaving none to reign in his stead; nevertheless he had established laws, and they were acknowledged by the people; therefore they were obliged to abide by the laws which he had made.
Note: The Christian fight is spritual not physical.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Verses 2-3: And it came to pass that in the first year of the reign of Alma in the judgment-seat, there was a man brought before him to be judged, a man who was large, and was noted for his much strength. And he had gone about among the people, preaching to them that which he termed to be the word of God, bearing down against the church; declaring unto the people that every priest and teacher ought to become popular; and they ought not to labor with their hands, but that they ought to be supported by the people.
Note: Joseph Smith prophesied that the saints were to build him a mansion.
(Doctrine and Covenants 124:56) And now I say unto you, as pertaining to my boarding house which I have commanded you to build for the boarding of strangers, let it be built unto my name, and let my name be named upon it, and let my servant Joseph and his house have place therein, from generation to generation.
Verse 4: And he also testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life.
Note: Modern Mormons do not believe in eternal damnation.
The false doctrine that the punishment to be visited upon erring souls is endless, that every sentence for sin is of interminable duration, must be regarded as one of the most pernicious results of misapprehension of scripture. It is but a dogma of unauthorized and erring sectaries, at once unscriptural, unreasonable, and revolting to one who loves mercy and honors justice. True, the scriptures speak of everlasting burnings, eternal damnation, and the vengeance of eternal fire, fn as characteristics of the judgment provided for the wicked; yet in no instance is there justification for the inference that the individual sinner will have to suffer the wrath of offended justice forever and ever. The punishment in any case is sufficiently severe without the added and supreme horror of unending continuation. Justice must have her due; but when "the uttermost farthing" is paid, the prison doors shall open and the captive be free. But the prison remains, and the law prescribing punishment for offenses is not to be repealed. (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 55.)
Verses 5-6: And it came to pass that he did teach these things so much that many did believe on his words, even so many that they began to support him and give him money. And he began to be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and to wear very costly apparel, yea, and even began to establish a church after the manner of his preaching.
Note: Joseph Smith established a church that he ruled in Nauvoo luxury.
(Doctrine and Covenants 124:70-71.) And again, verily I say unto you, if my servant George Miller, and my servant Lyman Wight, and my servant John Snider, and my servant Peter Haws, receive any stock into their hands, in moneys, or in properties wherein they receive the real value of moneys, they shall not appropriate any portion of that stock to any other purpose, only in that house. And if they do appropriate any portion of that stock anywhere else, only in that house, without the consent of the stockholder, and do not repay fourfold for the stock which they appropriate anywhere else, only in that house, they shall be accursed, and shall be moved out of their place, saith the Lord God; for I, the Lord, am God, and cannot be mocked in any of these things.
Verses 7-9: And it came to pass as he was going, to preach to those who believed on his word, he met a man who belonged to the church of God, yea, even one of their teachers; and he began to contend with him sharply, that he might lead away the people of the church; but the man withstood him, admonishing him with the words of God. Now the name of the man was Gideon; and it was he who was an instrument in the hands of God in delivering the people of Limhi out of bondage. Now, because Gideon withstood him with the words of God he was wroth with Gideon, and drew his sword and began to smite him. Now Gideon being stricken with many years, therefore he was not able to withstand his blows, therefore he was slain by the sword.
Note: Joseph Smith prophesied for the saints to redeem Zion (Missouri) by the sword.
(Doctrine and Covenants 105:16.) Behold, I have commanded my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., to say unto the strength of my house, even my warriors, my young men, and middle-aged, to gather together for the redemption of my people, and throw down the towers of mine enemies, and scatter their watchmen;
Verses 10-11: And the man who slew him was taken by the people of the church, and was brought before Alma, to be judged according to the crimes which he had committed. And it came to pass that he stood before Alma and pleaded for himself with much boldness.
Note: Joseph Smith boldly defended himself in a Missouri court.
The judge, who by the by was a Methodist, asked much concerning our views of the prophecy of Daniel: "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall break in pieces all other kingdoms, and stand forever," * * * * "and the kingdom and the greatness of the kingdom, under the whole heaven, shall be given to the Saints of the Most High." As if it were treason to believe the Bible. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts, 3: 212.)
Note: Joseph Smith taught that the Mormons were fulfilling the prophecies of Daniel.
Verse 12: But Alma said unto him: Behold, this is the first time that priestcraft has been introduced among this people. And behold, thou art not only guilty of priestcraft, but hast endeavored to enforce it by the sword; and were priestcraft to be enforced among this people it would prove their entire destruction.
Note: Joseph Smith escaped before he could be hanged for treason in Missouri.
This evening our guard got intoxicated. We thought it a favorable opportunity to make our escape; knowing that the only object of our enemies was our destruction; and likewise knowing that a number of our brethren had been massacred by them on Shoal Creek, amongst whom were two children; and that they sought every opportunity to abuse others who were left in that state; and that they were never brought to an account for their barbarous proceedings, which were winked at and encouraged by those in authority. We thought that it was necessary for us, inasmuch as we loved our lives, and did not wish to die by the hand of murderers and assassins; and inasmuch as we loved our families and friends, to deliver ourselves from our enemies, and from that land of tyranny and oppression, and again take our stand among a people in whose bosoms dwell those feelings of republicanism and liberty which gave rise to our nation: feelings which the inhabitants of the State of Missouri were strangers to. Accordingly, we took advantage of the situation of our guard and departed, and that night we traveled a considerable distance. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts, 3: 320 - 321.)
Verses 13-15: And thou hast shed the blood of a righteous man, yea, a man who has done much good among this people; and were we to spare thee his blood would come upon us for vengeance. Therefore thou art condemned to die, according to the law which has been given us by Mosiah, our last king; and it has been acknowledged by this people; therefore this people must abide by the law. And it came to pass that they took him; and his name was Nehor; and they carried him upon the top of the hill Manti, and there he was caused, or rather did acknowledge, between the heavens and the earth, that what he had taught to the people was contrary to the word of God; and there he suffered an ignominious death.
Note: Joseph Smith should have died according to the Law.
Deuteronomy 18:20 "But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die."
Verses 16-18: Nevertheless, this did not put an end to the spreading of priestcraft through the land; for there were many who loved the vain things of the world, and they went forth preaching false doctrines; and this they did for the sake of riches and honor. Nevertheless, they durst not lie, if it were known, for fear of the law, for liars were punished; therefore they pretended to preach according to their belief; and now the law could have no power on any man for his belief. And they durst not steal, for fear of the law, for such were punished; neither durst they rob, nor murder, for he that murdered was punished unto death.
Note: After Smith was murdered, Brigham Young continued to teach intolerance.
As this kingdom of God grows, spreads, increases, and prospers in its course, it will cleanse, thoroughly purge, and purify the world from wickedness. He who supposes his house to be built upon a rock, and well calculated to withstand any test that may be applied to it, finds, when it is tried by the Gospel of the kingdom, that its foundation proves to be sand, and the whole fabric appears nothing in which a man may securely trust for salvation. One of the weakest of our Elders, I mean one of our boys, who is conversant with the Bible, is well qualified to instruct the learned priest, confound in Bible doctrine the greatest theologians upon the earth, and throw into confusion, and interrupt, and fill with contradictions and inconsistencies, their choicest theories. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 1: 190.)
Verses 19-20: But it came to pass that whosoever did not belong to the church of God began to persecute those that did belong to the church of God, and had taken upon them the name of Christ. Yea, they did persecute them, and afflict them with all manner of words, and this because of their humility; because they were not proud in their own eyes, and because they did impart the word of God, one with another, without money and without price.
Note: Sidney Rigdon used New Testament Greek based words "church" and "Christ".
Church from Old English cirice; from Late Greek kyriakon; from Greek kyriakos. Webster's.
Christ from from Old English Christus; from Greek Christos. Webster's.
Verses 21-22: Now there was a strict law among the people of the church, that there should not any man, belonging to the church, arise and persecute those that did not belong to the church, and that there should be no persecution among themselves. Nevertheless, there were many among them who began to be proud, and began to contend warmly with their adversaries, even unto blows; yea, they would smite one another with their fists.
Note: Christians are to convince, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering.
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
Verses 23-25: Now this was in the second year of the reign of Alma, and it was a cause of much affliction to the church; yea, it was the cause of much trial with the church. For the hearts of many were hardened, and their names were blotted out, that they were remembered no more among the people of God. And also many withdrew themselves from among them. Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them.
Note: Christians will be persecuted in this lifetime.
1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
Verse 26: And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left their labors to hear the word of God. And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned again diligently unto their labors; and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength.
Note: Ministers of Christendom are allowed to earn their living from preaching the gospel.
1 Corinthians 9:11-12 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?
Verses 27-28: And they did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.And thus they did establish the affairs of the church; and thus they began to have continual peace again, notwithstanding all their persecutions.
Note: Do you give to the poor, visit the sick, and help those suffering for being a Christian?
Matthew 25:37-40 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'"
Verse 29: And now, because of the steadiness of the church they began to be exceedingly rich, having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need—an abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth.
Note: Silk was made in the Americas until 1810 not 90 BCE.
During the next few hundred years, various peoples learned how to raise silkworms and take silk from the cocoons. The Muslims brought silkworms to Spain and Sicily in the 800's and 900's. By the 1200's, Italy had become the silk center of the West. Silk weaving began in France in the 1500's. The French soon rivaled the Italians as silk manufacturers. Silk weaving became an important industry in England after a large number of skilled Flemish weavers entered the country in the late 1500's. The first silk factory in the United States was built in Mansfield, Connecticut, in 1810. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.
Verses 30-31: And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need. And thus they did prosper and become far more wealthy than those who did not belong to their church.
Note: Riches should never be confused as a sign of Christian spirituality.
James 5:1-2 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.
Verses 32-33: For those who did not belong to their church did indulge themselves in sorceries, and in idolatry or idleness, and in babblings, and in envyings and strife; wearing costly apparel; being lifted up in the pride of their own eyes; persecuting, lying, thieving, robbing, committing whoredoms, and murdering, and all manner of wickedness; nevertheless, the law was put in force upon all those who did transgress it, inasmuch as it was possible. And it came to pass that by thus exercising the law upon them, every man suffering according to that which he had done, they became more still, and durst not commit any wickedness if it were known; therefore, there was much peace among the people of Nephi until the fifth year of the reign of the judges.
Note: The Old Testament law existed due to sin until the arrival of Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3:19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
Note: Have you been liberated from the law through sincere faith in Jesus Christ?
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