This week in the Book of Mormon we’ll review Alma 5 to 9. Our focus will be on chapter five. When we look at chapter 5, Alma appears to be linking a deep sleep he mentions in v7 to both physical and spiritual bondage. Further, the key reason for this physical and spiritual bondage is a lack of God’s word that has power – v5. In the Bible, the remedy for physical and spiritual bondage is temporal and spiritual salvation, which is obtained through God’s word. So we’ll consider how this deep sleep is associated with physical and spiritual bondage and how God’s Word is the remedy through temporal and spiritual salvation.
The Flow of Concepts
We see here in chapter five that God delivered those in a deep sleep from bondage by the power of His word. So those in bondage were in a deep sleep not living according to the word of God. The flow of concepts here in the first few verses of chapter five looks like this.
We can see that the reason the people of Zarahemla were in bondage is because they were in a deep sleep by ignoring the Word of God.
Temporal Salvation and the Word of God
The primary theme that this website continually promotes is that freedom, an aspect of temporal salvation, is one of the blessings that God lists in his promises to Israel if they would live His law. While it is true that Israel initially was freed from bondage through the words that God gave to Moses performing miracles, the Torah is clear that freedom, one aspect of temporal salvation, is maintain through God’s law-word. Those blessings of temporal salvation by living the Law are listed at Deu 28.
Some of those laws and principles of temporal salvation/freedom that we see in the Torah include:
Freedom can only be maintained by a religious and moral people.
Freedom under self-government is constitutional, where God provides a set of commandments so that the rule of law governs.
Freedom is a republic under self-government, where God implemented a system of judges/representatives.
Freedom under self-government includes a separation of powers, where there is a hierarchy of judges.
Spiritual Salvation and the Word of God
When we look at being freed from spiritual bondage, the remedy is spiritual salvation and spiritual salvation means to be in the presence of God. To receive God’s Spirit, the scriptures set out a two-step process of Redemption and Sanctification, which is grounded in God’s law-word. The culmination of which is to be Born of God – v14 - and to be sealed up with God through the Spirit. Here is that process with verse references from chapter 5.
The Gentiles and a Deep Sleep
Here we see again that the Book of Mormon is emphasizing bondage/captivity, which we saw God repeatedly warn the Gentiles if they don’t repent. Now this repentance appears to be associated with a deep sleep. So there is a relationship with being in a deep sleep and repentance. In chapter five, the people of Zarahemla are unable to repent because they are in a deep sleep. So now our flow of concepts looks like this.
Another concept that we see in the Book of Mormon is that the Great and Abominable Church has corrupted the Gospel. The primary corruption that we see this Church engage in is to turn believers from God’s law-word in the Torah, which is the source for temporal and spiritual salvation. This rejection of God’s law-word in the Torah is the reason for this deep sleep.