Alma 13 to 16 – Enter into the Rest of the Lord

June 15, 2020 to June 21, 2020

While the people of Ammonihah profess their interest in their professions and artful skills, Alma proclaims his prophetic authority to preach the gospel of salvation. The pride of the people of Ammonihah led to the city’s destruction.

“Answering for His Order: Alma’s Clash with the Nehors,” Matthew Scott Stenson, BYU Studies, Vol. 55, no. 2
Stenson analyzes Alma’s defense of his prophetic authority in Ammonihah. He shows how this theme consistently underlies the events and confrontations that are recounted in Alma 8–14.

“The Holy Order of God,” Robert L. Millet, The Book of Mormon: Alma, The Testimony of the Word
In Alma 13, Alma preaches about the priesthood and about Melchizedek. This article discusses the history of Melchizedek as well as the history of priesthood authority in scripture. Millet discusses the type of priesthood used in the Book of Mormon and concludes that the Nephites were exercising the Melchizedek Priesthood.

“The Melchizedek Material in Alma 13:13-19,” John W. Welch, By Study and Also By Faith: Essays in Honor of Hugh W. Nibley
Melchizedek’s role in Alma 13 is illuminated by analyzing various treatments of Melchizedek throughout history. Melchizedek is discussed not only in the Old Testament and the Joseph Smith Translation of the Genesis 14, but also in Jubilees, 2 Enoch, Qumran texts, Philo, and other ancient texts.

“‘None Were Greater’: A Restoration View of Melchizedek,” Dennis A. Wright, Ensign, February 1998
Alma 13 and other Restoration scriptures help us understand the life and role of the prophet-king Melchizedek: that he was a child of faith even though Salem was a wicked place; that he blessed and ordained Abraham; that he kept the storehouse of tithes.

“A Place of Deliverance: Altars in the Hebrew Bible and Book of Mormon,” David Bokovoy, Insights: A Window on to the Ancient World 21, no. 2
In Alma 15:17, one sees the altar as a place of deliverance for the people. Bokovoy notes that in the ancient world, altars were often considered places of deliverance and refuge.

“The Trial of Alma and Amulek,” John W. Welch, The Legal Cases in the Book of Mormon
Biblical law provides context for Alma and Amulek’s preaching in Ammonihah and its implications. As followers of Nehor, the people of Ammonihah rejected Alma and Amulek and found legal grounds to condemn their preaching under the law. However, despite the people’s accusations, Alma and Amulek likewise found ways to accuse their persecutors of not complying with the Law of Moses. Alma is aware of the need for two witnesses and gives testimony concerning his authority and accountability.

“A Steady Stream of Significant Recognitions,” John W. Welch, Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon
Alma 16:9–11 records the utter destruction of the wicked city of Ammonihah by Lamanite soldiers following Alma’s stern warning and call to repentance. Several striking but obscure affinities exist between that account and the ancient Israelite law regarding the annihilation of apostate cities. That law is found in Deuteronomy 13:12–16, which would have been well known to Alma, the keeper of the brass plates.

“‘Holy War’: The Sacral Ideology of War in the Book of Mormon and in the Ancient Near East – The Basic Pattern,” Stephen D. Ricks, Warfare in the Book of Mormon
Alma 16 reflects a sacral ideology of war similar to that found both in Israel and in the ancient Near East. Before going into the wilderness to retrieve the Nephites taken captive there, Zoram and his two sons inquired of the high priest Alma.