Presentation on theme: "The Book of Alma Mormon views Alma as a prototype for preaching the Word of God. One of the best indications of this emphasis is Mormon’s use of leitmotif."— Presentation transcript:
The Book of Alma Mormon views Alma as a prototype for preaching the Word of God. One of the best indications of this emphasis is Mormon’s use of leitmotif (dominant or recurring theme). He uses that phrase 47 times in the first 42 chapters and also uses “the word,” “his (God’s) word,” or “the word of the Lord,” all meaning the word of God, at least another 50 times.
A Review of the Book of Alma Alma 1-16 Alma sought to reform the Church by preaching the Word of God! Alma 17-29 Sons of Mosiah convert the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Alma 30 Alma and the Word of God silence Korihor and the word of the devil! It is at the half-way point of the Book of Alma and the Book of Mormon. It is a scripture foil. Conclusion: the Word of God trumps the word of the devil!
Alma 31-35 Alma and Amulek taught the Zoramite poor the process of conversion through planting the Word of God in their hearts. Alma 36-42 Alma taught his sons, so they in turn could teach others. Alma 43-63 The wars dramatized the power of the Word of God! They were righteous enough to win the wars, but not righteous enough to avoid them.
Alma 17-29 “Good missionaries” Alma 30 “An Evil missionary” First Sherem (Jacob 7:1-23), then Nehor (Alma 1:2-16) and now Korihor!
Alma identifies people and ideas that oppose Jesus Christ. President Ezra Taft Benson said: “The Book of Mormon brings men to Christ through two basic means:” 1. It tells in a plain manner of Christ and his gospel. 2.It exposes the enemies of Christ.
The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time” (C.R., Apr. 1975, 94-95).
“Korihor’s teachings are old doctrine, and yet they are ideas as modern as today’s high-speed printing presses and satellite dishes” (“Countering Korihor’s Philosophy,” Ensign, July 1992, 20). Alma 30:6Anti-Christ’s The Bible Dictionary states that an anti-Christ is “anyone or anything that counterfeits the true gospel or plan of salvation and that openly or secretly is set up in opposition to Christ. The great antichrist is Lucifer, but he has many assistants both as spirit beings and as mortals (“Antichrist,” 609).
Alma 30:7 “There is no law against a man’s belief” Brigham Young taught that even in the Millennium, when all shall bow before Christ and accept him as King, people will still be allowed to have agency and choose how they wish to worship: “They will ask, ‘If I bow the knee and confess that he is that Savior, the Christ, to the glory of the Father, will you let me go home and be a Presbyterian?” ‘Yes,’ ‘And not persecute me?’ ‘Never.’ ‘Won’t you let me go home and belong to the Greek Church?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Will you allow me to be a Friend Quaker, or a Shaking Quaker?’ ‘O yes, anything you wish to be, but remember that you must not persecute your neighbors….
“….but must mind your own business, and let your neighbors alone, and let them worship the sun, moon, a white dog, or anything else they please, being mindful that every knee has got to bow and every tongue confess. When you have paid this tribute to the Most High, who created you and preserved you, you may then go and worship what you please, or do what you please, if you do not infringe upon your neighbors” (JD, 2:317).
Alma 30:12-18 How do Korihor’s teachings fit the arguments used to attack our faith in these days?
Alma 30:17 Korihor taught that “whatsoever a man did” was not a sin. Selfishness leads to terrible perceptual and behavioral blunders. For instance, Cain, corrupted by his seeking of power, said after slaying Abel, I am free. “Selfishness magnifies a mess of pottage into a banquet and makes 30 pieces of silver look like a treasure trove (something that is found that is valuable)” (Neal A. Maxwell, C.R., Apr. 1999, 29).
Alma 30:20 “Don’t mess with converts!” Alma 30:21 Korihor is tenacious! Alma 30:25 Anti-Christ often use half truths.
The “straw man” argument A common tactic used by those who are trying to destroy faith is called a “straw man” argument. This is done by setting up a false image --- a straw man --- of the truth and then attacking the false image in order to convince others the true image is false. Example: A child accusing parents who won’t let him play until he gets his work done of not wanting to have any fun. Faulty reasoning, but used to deceive others.
Alma 30:28 Atheist do not go to God for the same reason thieves do not go to policemen (Marion D. Hanks). Alma 30:29Avoid arguments and contention Avoid contentions and vain disputes with men of corrupt minds, who do not desire to know the truth. Alma 30:43 Sign seekers (D&C 63:7-12, Elder Bradley’s story!)
The prophet Joseph Smith taught the following about seeking signs: “I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That a man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives. The principle is as correct as the one that Jesus put forth in saying that he who seeketh a sign is an adulterous person…
“…and that principle is eternal, undeviating, and firm as the pillars of heaven; for whenever you see a man seeking after you a sign, you may set it down that he is an adulterous man” (Teachings, 156-57). Was Korihor an adulterer? Alma 30:18 “Leading them to commit whoredoms”
Joseph Smith while preaching in Philadelphia, heard a Quaker who called out for a sign. I told him to be still. After the sermon, he again asked for a sign. I told the congregation the man was an adulterer; that a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and that the Lord had said to me in a revelation, that any man who wanted a sign was an adulterous person. “It is true,” cried one, “for I caught him in the very act,” which the man afterwards confessed when he was baptized (Teachings, 278).
Three Keys in dealing with non-believers: 1. Share your testimony (v. 39). 2. Shift the burden of proof to the unbeliever, where it belongs (v. 40). 3. Explain that all things testify that there is a God (v.44). Elder Boyd K. Packer’s story of the missionary (actually a young Elder Packer) who was challenged by a young attorney saying that he couldn’t know God lives.
“All knowledge is not conveyed in words alone,’ he said. And then he asked the attorney, ‘Do you know what salt tastes like?’ “Of course I do,” was the reply. “When did you taste salt last?” “Why, just as we had dinner on the plane.” “You just think you know what salt tastes like,” said the Elder. “I know what salt tastes like as well as I know anything,” said the attorney. “If I gave you a cup of salt and a cup of sugar and let you taste them both, could you tell the salt from the sugar?” “Now you are getting juvenile,” was his reply. “Of course I could tell the difference. I know what salt tastes like. It is an every day experience; I know it as well as I know anything...”
“…Assuming that I had never tasted salt, could you explain to me in words, just what it tastes like?” After some thought the attorney ventured, “Well…I…it is not sweet, and it is not sour.” “You have told me what it isn’t,” was the answer, “not what it is.” “After several attempts he admitted failure in the little exercise of conveying in words knowledge so commonplace as that. He found himself quite helpless as the elder had been to answer his question.
“As they parted in the terminal the Elder bore testimony once again, saying, ‘I claim to know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know I would be able to tell you exactly how I know.’ “My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. But I say to you again, there is a God. He does live. And just because you don’t know, don’t try to tell me that I don’t know, for I do.’ “Young people, do not apologize or be ashamed because you cannot frame into words that which you know in your heart to be true” (C.R., Oct. 1964, 128-29).
“All things denote that there is a God” (Alma 30:44) A believing British scientist has observed the following of our especially situated planet: Just a bit nearer to the sun, and Planet Earth’s seas would soon be boiling; just a little farther out, and the whole world would become a frozen wilderness. …If our orbit happened to be the wrong shape…then we would alternately freeze like Mars and fry like Venus once a year. Fortunately for us, our planet’s orbit is very nearly a circle.
The 21% of oxygen is another critical figure. Animals would have difficulty breathing if the oxygen content fell very far below that value. But an oxygen level much higher than this would also be disastrous, since the extra oxygen would act as a fire raising material. Forests and grasslands would flare up every time lightning struck during a dry spell, and life on earth would become extremely hazardous (Alan Hayword, God is, 1980, 62-63, 68). “All of beauty in the earth bears the fingerprint of the Master Creator” (Gordon B. Hinckley, C.R., Apr. 1978, 90).
Alma 30:47 “God Shall Smite Thee!” Clearly, Alma had once faced the possibility that his own life might have been taken to preserve others, and his own experience of coming face to face with this reality seems to underlie his appeal to Korihor not to resist the spirit of truth!
Alma 30:59 “Korihor dies” The Zoramites represent the end of Korihor’s philosophy. This was where his doctrine lead people. What an irony that Korihor should come to his end by the hands of the very people that practiced what he preached.
Korihor was a political agitator who was seized by the people of Ammon. Kherihor (also written Khurhor, etc.) was a great high priest of Ammon who seized the throne of Egypt at Thebes, cir. 1085 B.C. “[Nibley: Lehi in the Desert] The twenty-first [Egyptian] dynasty was founded by a person called Korihor whose son was Piankhi. Hugh Nibley wrote, “That’s a very funny name; you don’t invent a thing like that. It wasn’t discovered until the 1870’s that Piankhi is a name that we have in the Book of Mormon. Korihor was a priest of Amon who usurped the power of the state. His son Pianki became king” (Hugh Nibley, Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, edited by Robert Smith and Robert Smythe (n.p., n.d.), 11.).