Come Follow Me: Alma 40-42, Three Generations of Rebels and Repentance

These chapters (beginning in 39) are all focused on Corianton, who gets quite the paternal talk. Assuming that these chapters aren’t using Corianton merely as a framework to talk doctrine (i.e. why would this all be recorded, or is Mormon expanding it?), we can guess that Corianton hadn’t understood some things, such as the resurrection, justice, mercy, atonement. And granted, it’s not as if these are basic arithmetic, easily graspable.

What do we know about Corianton? Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Alma 40-42, Three Generations of Rebels and Repentance”

Come Follow Me: Alma 36-39 Notes and Suggestions

The Book of Mormon has a variable pace. Occasionally, we skip through decades or even hundreds of years on a single page. Other times, like today, Mormon’s editing moves us into super slow motion, relatively speaking. What is probably only a few hours in real time for Alma to speak to his sons occupies six full chapters, which we slow down further by breaking it up into two weeks of study. (This will be significant for understanding Alma 43 onwards, and I’ll comment further there.)

Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Alma 36-39 Notes and Suggestions”

“We don’t know how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden”: Genre and the Temple, Part 3

See here and here for parts 1 and 2

Some Latter-day Saints, including some General Authorities like Joseph Fielding Smith, have tried to resolve apparent discrepancies between scripture and science on the age of the earth by asserting that “we don’t know how long Adam and Eve were in the garden.” The implication is that the while the earth went on existing, potentially for millions or billions of years, Adam and Eve remained effectively in stasis in the garden planted eastward in Eden.

I see three arguments against this view.

Continue reading ““We don’t know how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden”: Genre and the Temple, Part 3″

Come Follow Me: Alma 32-34

I open today with the structure of the text we’re covering. Alma 30-34 are really one unit, which we break up. In the 1830 Book of Mormon, they constitute one chapter, Alma XVI. Presumably, we’re breaking these up because of their doctrinal nature; we want to slow down and spend time on them.

Today we cover Alma 32-34, which looks like thisin the rough big-picture outline.

32– Alma continues preaching at Antionum; “faith sermon” on the hill Onidah.

33– Crowd’s negative response; Alma continues his sermon.

34– Amulek takes over, and preaches to the crowd on the hill.

Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Alma 32-34”

Come Follow Me: Alma 8-12

My picture, from the Kidron Valley.

My picture, from the Kidron Valley.

Once again, the lesson and chapter divisions cut across the 1830/original chapter divisions, breaking up logical units. In particular, today’s chapter 12 extended into chapter 13:9, where it terminates appropriately with an “amen.” Then a new section began in 13:10-15:19. It is after 13:10 that Alma transitions into speaking about Melchizedek and high priests, which I shall take up next week. (Teaser: I think Alma’s invocation of high priests is a direct response to the objection that the tree of life is blocked by cherubim and a flaming sword.) Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Alma 8-12”