Painting: Tom Lovell
The Prophet Mormon, pictured above, born in about 400 A.D. was commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ to compile the record of his people on golden plates (so the writing on them could be preserved for many centuries). He was also a general in the Nephite army. You can tell by his shield and sword being within easy reach that his assignment as a record compiling prophet was not the only thing that kept him busy.
Mormon sorely detested his people having degenerated from great righteousness which had come to them because of the first-hand ministry of the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ among his ancestors about 366 years before. He was an honorable man who did all that he was called upon to do.
It was Mormon, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who provided us, through the means of the Book of Mormon (which was called that because it was he who put together the records in such a way that in our day and time we could learn from the great lessons that he and his people had learned about serving their Heavenly Father and His resurrected son, Jesus Christ.
It was an inspired Mormon who chose to include the account of good King Benjamin's Temple Sermon through which Benjamin was guided by the Lord to bring about much righteousness among his people at the time he was preparing to turn over the kingdom to his son, Mosiah.
King Benjamin Delivers His Farewell Speech to His People, - by Gary Kapp
Abinadi Addressing King Noah and His Court -by Arnold Friberg
Mormon also chose to give us the account of Alma, a priest of wicked King Noah, who repented after hearing inspired Abinadi's preaching before the king and all his priests. Alma was very likely seated somewhere in that courtroom pictured by artist, Friberg, with the other priests.
King Noah's Former Priest, Now a Prophet of God Baptizes at the Waters of Mormon -by Arnold Friberg
Mormon also saw to it, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, that we could learn of the converted priest, Alma, who meticulously wrote down all of the teachings of Abinadi for the benefit of himself and the other believing citizens of the kingdom who desired to obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ and who willingly submitted to baptism so that Jesus' Church could be formed under Alma, now a prophet of God.
The Prophet Mormon felt it important to tell us in Mosiah 26:1-24 of difficulties in the kingdom, the cause of which is specifically explained by Mormon in verses 1-3 of that chapter:
Mosiah 1 NOW it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers.
2 They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ.
3 And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened.
Alma the Younger and the Four Sons of King Mosiah are Reprimanded by an angel. -by Gary Kapp
This painting is a depiction of a remarkable answer to fervent prayer on the part of two fathers, Alma, who had been appointed the High Priest of the Ancient American land, Zarahemla, and his close associate and king, Mosiah.
Alma, the younger and the king's four sons had gone through the kingdom secretly trying to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ and were having much success.
These two fathers' prayers of faith were fully rewarded by the Lord. In our book of books, the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, we read what happened: You can read this in your Book of Mormon or if you prefer you can read and listen to it right here.
Having just read and listened to that, you will have learned that because of their experience with the angel of God, all five of these young men made a complete reversal in the direction their lives were taking them. Alma the younger became a great prophet (like his father) and also a government leader.
The sons of Mosiah, after pleading long and hard with their father for his permission to serve as missionaries to their nation's chief enemies, the Lamanites, were finally granted that opportunity. They became valiant and highly successful missionaries. They all remained faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ for the rest of their lives.
I will tell of their astounding experiences in another post before too long.
As a young teenager in my hometown of Roseville, California, I remember well first hearing that Book of Mormon account at a fireside at the home of a family in our LDS ward. I was surprised that such a great prophet as Alma, could have once been an evil sinner.
I was old enough to know what sin could do to a person, namely, me. I thought it amazing that one could make such great changes in themselves as Alma the Younger did. It actually gave me hope that I could be forgiven for my sins if that Alma had been forgiven for all the greater evil He had done.
I learned from Alma's experience that it was through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that his and my redemption became possible. What comforting assurance!
The above-mentioned Book of Mormon account gives, in Alma 27, the basic history of what happened when the prayers of the two fathers were answered. In Alma, Chapter 36 Alma the younger much later tells one of his own sons about his personal experience with the angel. That account gives you Alma's first-hand account of this astounding event. You can read that entire chapter from your own copy of the Book of Mormon or by clicking on the scriptural link below these instructions:
Alma 36: 1-30
Just in case you decided not to do that much listening/reading now, let me quote here a key thing Alma (the younger) told his own son, Helaman:
Alma 36:15. Oh thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds.
16. And now for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.
17. And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
18. Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
19. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more.
20. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!There are other very sensitive, touching words spoken by Alma at that time, but I may be keeping you too long. If you desire to read it all, go back above and click on Alma 36:1-30 and read it all.
THERE IS HOPE FOR EACH OF US NO MATTER WHAT EVIL WE MAY HAVE DONE!
I look forward to publishing Post 40k in five days from now. The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, this book of books, (along with the Holy Bible) teaches great lessons the Lord Jesus Christ wants each of us to learn.
Thank you Mormon, and thank you Lord for directing Mormon to put that book together. I hope you readers recognize as we go through these writings of Mormon, how similar in style and in culture the accounts are to those in the Old Testament. After all the Nephite -Lamanite culture originated in the culture of ancient Israel.
Special Note: Dear Readers of this blog, at the end of my Post 40d - "SAINTS" (Published April 25, 2010) in the COMMENTS section at the end of that post, I suggest that you read the three Comments there. The first Comment was made by Yeti, one of the 22 who has listed himself as a follower of this blog. I followed up with a comment of my own that I made on May 26, 2010 that I would like each of you to read because of the significance of the subject. The third comment was a delayed thank you from me to Yeti for his very excellent comment. I made this same request in my previous post, 40i, so you may not need to review these now.
For your further enlightenment and spiritual strengthening Here is the most recent Mormon Message
TO ACCESS NEIL BIRCH'S BLOG INDEX: To Either Read the Full Index Item Which refers To This Blog Post, (Or To Search The Index For Any Other Blog Post You Desire To Access): After You Have Read All Of This Paragraph, Please Scroll Back Up and Click on the following: (The Prophet) Mormon, Under Inspiration from God Chose Those Parts of Nephite History For The Book of Mormon Which Testify of Jesus Christ and Help Readers to Live Righteously. - Post 40j When The Picture of Our Savior, Jesus Christ Sitting Next To a Little Boy Comes Onto Your Screen, Please Scroll Down In The Index To Your Target Item Or Use the Alphabetical Scrolling Device (When It Has Been Installed).
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