Iron Rod 081 – Alma 31-35
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Alma teaches that we don’t have to go to a special building to worship God, that we worship God through prayer, and that the Lord dwells in the hearts of the righteous.

Isaiah 29:13

Luke 6:46

1 Peter 5:5

Joel 2:28-32

Matthew 17:20

1 Thessalonians 5:21

D&C 84:45

D&C 45:28

John 6:35

Moroni 6:5

D&C 6:36

James 1:27

Matthew 5:44

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2 comments on “Iron Rod 081 – Alma 31-35

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one that sees the parallels between the corporate church and the Zoramites. It’s pretty hard to miss and yet I did for the first half of my life. I think one thing we need to keep in mind when reading the BOM is that it’s an abridgement. So, Mormon and Moroni specifically chose what was most important for us to know right before the great and marvelous work. One of the things the people are under bondage to is this prosperity gospel of works. Creeds are an iron yoke and the very fetters of hell as Joseph said. And yet we impose all kinds of Pharisaical crap upon ourselves to show how righteous we are. It’s a gospel of works and appearances. No jeans allowed in church. No smoking or coffee. No Danish beer anymore. A big house and shiny cars to show how God has blessed us. Always first at church and first to the rameumpton to bear our “testimony”. Once your eyes our truly opened to our state of apostasy you like Alma will morn. I had to stop going to church and leave BYU almost a decade ago, because I just couldn’t bare the hypocrisy any longer. People starting judging my righteousness for questioning doctrines that were nowhere found in the scriptures. And rather than cause a big scandal I quietly stopped going.

    When a person is willing to investigate truth and is willing to go wherever they find it, and they ask God to lead them to it. They will find it, but they better be willing to act or they will lose it. When I left the church I was so jaded and disappointed I didn’t know if I believed anything anymore except in God. I even doubted that Christ was the savior because of two reasons: I believed in the mormon concept of Christ as the elder brother, and also that if the BOM is true then the church is true, so therefore if the church isn’t true the BOM must not be true either. So in my despair I was left with a belief in God and that was it. I threw out everything else and started from the beginning.

    It has been a long and painful process, but by seeking the truth and being willing to embrace all truth wherever I find it, and by relying on God’s grace and mercy to guide me the picture is finally coming into focus, and I can almost see over the horizon. Knowing that Zion is just about to come. Finally, I have always felt that this scripture is especially relevant to me and to all of us who are watching:

    76 Also, I give unto you a commandment that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth.

    77 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.

    78 Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

    79 Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—

    80 That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.

  2. Great podcast. I have a bit of a different interpretation of Amulek’s knowledge based on Alma’s sermon in chapter 32. I don’t think that everyone who exercises faith and gains a knowledge of the truth of the gospel necessarily stands in God’s council, in His presence. I think that event happens to a few people during this time, but not to all believers who have exercised faith.

    If Amulek had been in God’s presence, I think he would have said so to them. He would have said something like “I know there will be a Christ for I stood in God’s presence and I saw/heard this truth”. But Amulek doesn’t say that, instead he goes into the expediency of it and of how the law points to this and is what the law is all about. That’s much more of a scriptural proof than of an eye witness.

    So why does Amulek say he “knows” it? I think you are correct that it has to do with him being visited by angels and having been instructed by Alma. And it goes right back to the knowledge Alma was talking about in chapter 32:

    Alma 32:21
    “…faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things…”
    Alma 32:29
    Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.
    Alma 32:30
    “…for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow…”
    Alma 32:33
    “…ye must needs know that the seed is good…”
    Alma 32:34
    And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand.
    Alma 32:36
    ” for ye have only exercised your faith to plant the seed that ye might try the experiment to know if the seed was good.”

    Alma continues on stating that you must nourish this knowledge with further faith until you can taste of the fruit of of the tree of life. That is now perfect knowledge. I’m not sure that partaking of the fruit of the tree of life is equivalent to being taken to stand in God’s presence, though I can see that as a possibility.

    I think in Amulek’s case he was taught by angels and he exercised faith to know what Alma was teaching was true. He nourished that knowledge with further faith until he had a perfect knowledge as to what the scriptures meant, what the law was all about, and about the need for a Christ. It’s also possible Amulek was given a vision to know and see what would transpire. But I’m not convinced that gaining a perfect knowledge of the truth of the gospel means we will stand in God’s presence, in His council. I think that is reserved for a few who are given specific taskings by God.