Alma 5 to 7 – “Have Ye Experienced This Mighty Change in Your Hearts?”

June 1, 2020 to June 7, 2020

Alma provided us with guidelines for gaining and preserving our own testimonies of our Savior and his power to save us.

“Alma 5: The Song of Redeeming Love,” LeGrand L. Baker and Stephen D. Ricks, Who Shall Ascend Into the Hill of the Lord? The Psalms in Israel’s Temple Worship in the Old Testament and in the Book of Mormon
Baker and Ricks explore Alma’s sermon in context of the biblical Psalms and ancient Temple ritual. Alma’s reference to the “song of redeeming love” likely refers to a particular psalm that would be sung accompanying temple rituals. The article also suggests that having the image of God engraven on one’s countenance may be a reference to being clothed in sacred vestments for temple worship.

“Questions of Alma 5, from John W. Welch and Gregory Welch, Charting the Book of Mormon.

Here is a series of four charts that list Alma’s questions about how to be converted, how to assess our own spiritual conditions, and how to imagine standing before God. These charts identify and order Alma’s themes.
“Chart 5-62: 50 Questions of Alma 5: Questions 1–17”
“Chart 5-63: 50 Questions of Alma 5: Questions 18–29”
“Chart 5-64: 50 Questions of Alma 5: Questions 30–40”
“Chart 5-65: 50 Questions of Alma 5: Questions 41–50”

“The Way of Life and Death in the Book of Mormon,” Mack C. Sterling, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 6, no. 2
Nine Book of Mormon texts are examined in detail for their teachings on the choice people have between walking with Christ or hearkening to the devil. An understanding of this paradigm is critical, both in order to assimilate the essential message of the Book of Mormon on life and death and to understand its theological relationship to the Doctrine and Covenants.

“Alma the Younger’s Seminal Sermon at Zarahemla,” Robert A. Rees, Bountiful Harvest
Alma the Younger’s sermon in Alma 5 uses a variety of literary devices to create a rich and masterful sermon, and Alma 5 draws on the whole of Book of Mormon history to create the point.

“A Mighty Change,” C. Max Caldwell, The Book of Mormon: Alma, The Testimony of the Word
This chapter shows that Alma’s hope for salvation is based on four conditions: follow the living prophet, have a mighty change of heart, trust in God, and endure to the end.

“Antithetical Parallelisms in the Book of Mormon,” Donald W. Parry, Reexploring the Book of Mormon
Alma 5:40 employs a literary device in Hebrew known as an antithetical parallelism. The device adds meaning to the message of Alma 5.

“Dealing with Opposition to the Church,” Rex C. Reeve Jr., The Book of Mormon: Alma, The Testimony of the Word
Rex Reeve explores the internal and external issues the Nephite church faced at the beginning of Alma. Between non-believers and apostasy within the church, Alma had to focus his efforts on missionary work within and without the Church.

“The Cultural Context of Nephite Apostasy,” Mark C. Wright and Brant A. Gardner, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 1
Nephite apostates turned away from true worship in consistent and predictable ways throughout the Book of Mormon. A Mesoamerican setting provides a plausible cultural background that explains why Nephite apostasy took the particular form it did.

“The Land of Jerusalem: The Place of Jesus’ Birth,” Robert F. Smith, Reexploring the Book of Mormon
“Jerusalem” in Alma 7 refers to the larger geographic region of Zion, not only the city proper.

“Notes and Communications: Cities and Lands in the Book of Mormon,”” John A. Tvedtnes, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 4, no. 2
The practice of naming lands by a chief city of the land correlates well with authentic Old World practices.