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Healing Rifts among the Nephites (Alma 16)

A Video Supplement for
Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon Lesson 24
“Enter into the Rest of the Lord” (Alma 13-16)




In Alma 16 verses 15 through 19, there is a description of the efforts of Alma and Amulek and others to prepare the people for the ministry of Christ.

15 And thus did Alma and Amulek go forth, and also many more who had been chosen for the work, to preach the word throughout all the land. And the establishment of the church became general throughout the land, in all the region round about, among all the people of the Nephites.
16 And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming—

So they’re preaching, they’ve established the Church of Jesus Christ throughout the land and the Nephites have solved some of their serious problems. The Nephite have previously faced civil wars and continue to face similar conflicts along class and racial lines (e.g., Words of Mormon 1:12, 16-18 and later the incident with the king-men in Alma 51) but, through some mixture of ministry, faith, and repentance on their part accompanied by the work of the Holy Spirit upon them, they seem to have overcome these fault lines at this particular time in preparation to receive the ministry of Christ, as we learn in verse 17,

17 That’s they might not be hardened against the word, that they might not be unbelieving, and go on to destruction, but that they might receive the word with joy, and as a branch be grafted into the true vine, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord their God.

The problem with their divisions and, to state the obvious, ours, and those of every nation, kindred, tongue and people is that by turning people one against another they prevent us from achieving the oneness of heart and mind that are essential for Zion. If the adversary can decoy is away into thinking we are better than one another through any mechanism then we have violated the commandment cited in Mosiah 23:7, “Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another, or one man shall not think himself above another;” and he is enabled to prevent us from fully writing the second great commandment in our hearts because loving our neighbor as ourselves involves first seeing our neighbors as ourselves. If instead we see them as competitors in the rat race, or instead of seeing brothers and sisters in the common quest for redemption and Zion see them as alien from us, then we are hardening our hearts against the truth as it exists in God that we are all children of our Heavenly Father, each with a divine nature and destiny. Now this required them to address a whole basket of challenges, as we learn in verse 18,

18 Now those priests who did go forth among the people did preach against all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and malice, and revilings, and stealing, robbing, plundering, murdering, committing adultery, and all manner of lasciviousness, crying that these things ought not so to be—
19 Holding forth things which must shortly come; yea, holding forth the coming of the Son of God, his sufferings and death, and also the resurrection of the dead.

They had their problems and so do we, but if we like they will turn to the Lord in faith and repentance, we can overcome all of the variety of challenges that we face and be prepared to receive the Lord at his second coming as many of them were when he came to them.

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