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”

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”

Come Follow Me: Mosiah 29, Alma 1-4

Today we move into the Book of Alma.

The stories of Alma Sr. and Alma Jr. are a major focus of the Book of Mormon; If we start in Mosiah 17, where Alma first appears, and count through the end of the Book of Alma, it’s roughly 40% of the entire Book of Mormon, by wordcount. (I generated this using Bibleworks 10, though it is off by a bit, because my electronic text doesn’t include original chapter or book headings. Total Book of Mormon count is roughly 267,000 and Mosiah 17-Alma is roughly 99,400.)
Why did Mormon choose to spend so much time on the period of the Almas, and so little on, say, 4th Nephi? Is it source dependant? (Mormon can’t write what he doesn’t have sources for.) Is it something about the material that Mormon found particularly useful or relevant?

Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Mosiah 29, Alma 1-4”