This week in the Book of Mormon we’ll look at Alma 1 to 4. What we see in Alma 1 is that Nehor is accused of priestcraft or obtaining money and praise by setting himself up as a light – 2 Nephi 26:29. What is important here is how Nehor is manipulating the people with false teachings to get them to follow him. Alma the younger is linking the previous discussion on eternal life with Nehor's false teaching that eternal life is obtained through the Messiah/Christ’s redemption. Nehor’s teaching amounts to dumbing down God’s Word so that God doesn’t have any requirements to become like Him and to live with Him forever – eternal life . First, we’ll review the process of transformation to see how Nehor's teaching is false and then we’ll consider replacement theology and other factors that contribute to dumbing down the Gospel.
This week in the Book of Mormon, we’ll look at Mosiah 23 to 29. One of the important concepts that we see in this week’s reading is eternal life. In chapter 26, the Lord speaks to Alma and promises Alma eternal life at v26. Furthermore, the Book of Mormon establishes the connection with Alma being a high priest v7 with him receiving the promise of eternal life. So this week we’ll define eternal life and then integrate it in with our theme of threes. For those unfamiliar with the theme of threes, the Bible sets out a thematic pattern of placing related concepts in a sequence of threes. This pattern of threes establishes the type of relationship that one can have with God.
This week in the Book of Mormon, we’ll look at Mosiah 18 to 22. Beginning in chapter 18, we see one of King Noah priests, Alma, believe the words of Abinadi and he repents. Alma then teaches Abinadi’s words to others who also repent. Those who repent, Alma offers to baptize in the name of Messiah as a witness of their commitment to keep God’s commandments – v10. Some have taken v10 and built a covenant around it. Baptism is not a covenant; it is a ceremonial washing witnessing a change from an old life to a new one. The covenant that they are entering is the Sinai Covenant with the Sabbath as the Covenant Sign - v23, Ex 31:12-17. The Book of Mormon presumes an understanding of Old Testament covenant theology! But the important topic that we see here is priesthood authority. Since Alma is not a descendant of Levi, we can only assume that he had the Melchizedek Priesthood. So this week, we’ll look at how priesthood is set out in the Bible and then compare it to how it is presented in the Book of Mormon.
In this week review of the Book of Mormon, we’ll look at Mosiah chapter 12 to 17. The Book of Mosiah continues with its theme on leadership and this week we see an example of a true prophet – Abinadi. Abinadi warns King Noah and his people that unless they repent they will be brought down into bondage and destroyed. Now that’s an Endtime theme! But Abinadi extends his discourse beyond mortality and expands it to include physical salvation in eternity. So this week, we’ll first look at an overview of salvation and then see how Abinadi presents it here.