Does the Book of Mormon teach the Christian concept that God is Spirit, or does it teach the LDS concept that God has a physical body?
Why couldn’t Ammon marry King Lamoni’s daughter?
Hello, Max here. Welcome to the Come Follow Me podcast. This review covers the lesson plan for Alma chapters 17 – 22.
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For the sake of time, I will not be citing all the parallel phrases and words from the New Testament that are in the Book of Mormon text. While it can be argued that some of the parallels are coincidental, most are so strong that it is impossible to not conclude that their, true source is from the King James Bible. For a complete transcript of this lesson, please click on the link in the description below.
Perhaps you remember that when Alma the Younger and the four sons of King Mosiah were converted, the sons of Mosiah requested to go on a mission to the Lamanites. That permission was granted back in Mosiah 28:5-9. During all that time, Alma has been serving as president of the Nephite church; fighting the attempted overthrow of the Nephite democracy and the ensuing wars with the rebels and the Lamanites; preaching to the people in Zarahemla and Gideon; preaching and spending time in prison with Amulek in Ammonihah; traveling to Sidom and healing Zeezrom; and then returning to his home in Zarahemla with Amulek. Alma was a busy man!
During all this time, the sons of Mosiah have been preaching the gospel to the Lamanites in the land of Nephi. Imagine Alma’s surprise and joy one day, after all these years, as he ran into the sons of Mosiah, returning from their missions. The heading note states: “An account of the sons of Mosiah, who rejected their rights to the kingdom for the word of God, and went up to the land of Nephi to preach to the Lamanites; their sufferings and deliverance – according to the record of Alma. Comprising chapters 17 to 26 inclusive. These 14 years that Ammon, Aaron, Omner and Himni spent among the Lamanites covered the years 91 to 77 BC. It is taken from Mormon’s abridgement of the plates.
Alma 17:1 “And now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon southwards, away to the land of Manti, behold to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah journeying towards the land of Zarahemla.”
Alma 17:2 Alma was filled with joy to see that his friends had grown strong in knowledge and searched the scriptures diligently. The words “brethren in the Lord” are also in Philippians 1:14 and, “searched the scriptures” are in Acts 17:11.
Alma 17:3 “But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.” The words “prayer and fasting” are in Mark 9:29.
Alma 17:4 “And they had been teaching the world of God for the space of fourteen years among the Lamanites, having had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, by the power of their words many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name and confess their sins before him.” An altar call was common in the early 1800’s. After preaching to a congregation, the Pastor would invite people to come forward, confess that they were sinners and call on the name of Jesus. The phrase “teaching the word of God” is also in Acts 18:11.
Alma 17:5 The words “both in body and in” are the same in 1 Corinthians 7:34.
Alma 17:6 The words “was desirous to” are in Luke 23:8.
Alma 17:7-8 When the sons of Mosiah had left Zarahemla on their missions they took their weapons and a select group of others into the wilderness to go up to the land of Nephi.
Alma 17:7 In the 1830 edition page 269 it read “this they done that they might provide food” which was changed in later editions from “done” to “did.”
Alma 17:9-12 After fasting and praying, the Lord sent his Spirit to comfort and encourage them. He told them to be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, and to be godly examples to the Lamanites.
Alma 17:9 The phrase “if it were possible” is in Acts 27:39 and, “to the knowledge of the truth” is in 2 Timothy 3:7.
Alma 17:11 The words “and afflictions” are in Acts 20:23.
Alma 17:13 When they arrived at the borders of the Lamanites, they decided they could cover more ground if they split up and each preached to a different area of Lamanites. The verse reads in part, “when they arrived in the borders” In the 1830 edition page 270 it read “when they arriven in the borders” In the 1964 edition, the word “arriven” was changed to “arrived.”
Alma 17:14 This was a very, dangerous mission because the Lamanites were a wild and hardened and a ferocious people, who enjoyed murdering Nephites for their money.
Alma 17:15 “Thus they were a very indolent people, many of them did worship idols, and the curse of God had fallen upon them because of the traditions of their fathers; notwithstanding the promises of the Lord were extended unto them on the conditions of repentance.” Remember, the “curse” was the withdrawal of the Spirit of God (see 2 Nephi 1:18 and 1 Nephi 12:23). The mark was the dark skin. The promise was that if the Lamanites would repent and live righteously, they would become white like the Nephites (see 3 Nephi 2:14-16).
Alma 17:16 The words “unto repentance” are in Matthew 3:11.
Alma 17:18 Ammon seems to be the eldest of his brothers, so he gives the others a blessing before they took their separate travels throughout the land of the Lamanites. The words “being the chief” are in Ephesians 2:20.
Alma 17:19 Mormon who is abridging this record will now focus on Ammon’s mission and will tell us about his brother’s missions later. “And Ammon went to the land of Ishmael, the land being called after the sons of Ishmael, who also became Lamanites.”
Alma 17:20 As soon as, Ammon entered the land of Ishmael, the Lamanites bound him and took him to the king.
Alma 17:21 The king’s name was Lamoni – who was a descendant of Ishmael.
Alma 17:22-23 Lamoni asks Ammon if he came to their land in order to live there. Ammon says yes, perhaps even until he dies.
Alma 17:24 “And it came to pass that king Lamoni was much pleased with Ammon, and caused that his bands should be loosed; and he would that Ammon should take one of his daughters to wife.” Wow, things are moving pretty, fast here. I mean, Ammon is being offered the king’s daughter to marry! That was a no, no, for a Nephite to marry a Lamanite and mingle their seed, which would bring the curse upon their children (see Alma 3:6-19). So, Ammon had to respectfully decline the king’s offer. Besides, Ammon was a missionary and did not have time for family life right now. Ammon’s social status among the Nephites, was one of a Prince since he was the son of King Mosiah. This would actually make him properly eligible to marry the king’s daughter.
Alma 17:25 Ammon did not take Lamoni up on his offer, but he did become his trusted servant. Next, thing he knew, he was managing the royal flocks. The phrase “according to the custom of the” is from Luke 1:9.
Alma 17:26-28 Three days later, when Ammon was watching the flocks near a popular watering hole called the “water of Sebus,” a group of Lamanite troublemakers started scattering the flocks. The king’s shepherds started panicking, because the last time this happened the servants were executed by the king.
Alma 17:29-32 Ammon saw this as a golden opportunity to show his godly powers. And maybe he can make some converts in the process. He flattered them with his words to convince the other shepherds to round up the scattered flocks and bring them back to the watering hole, which they successfully did.
Alma 17:29 The phrase “that I may win” is from Philippians 3:8.
Alma 17:31 In the 1830 edition page 272 it read in part, “we will reserve the flock” which was changed in the 1964 edition to read “we will preserve the flock.” The phrase “be of good cheer” is from Matthew 9:2.
Alma 17:33-34 After a while, the Lamanite troublemakers showed up again. But, before they could scatter the flocks, Ammon orders the other shepherds to circle the flocks so they would not scatter. Then he went to deal with the troublemakers himself, even though there were many of them.
Alma 17:34 In the 1830 edition page 272 it read, “those which stood by the waters of Sebus; and they were not in number a very few” In the 1964 edition it was changed to read, “those who stood by the waters of Sebus; and they were in number not a few.”
Alma 17:35 “Therefore they did not fear Ammon, for they supposed that one of their men could slay him according to their pleasure, for they knew not that the Lord had promised Mosiah that he would deliver his sons out of their hands; neither did they know anything concerning the Lord; therefore they delighted in the destruction of their brethren; and for this cause they stood to scatter the flocks of the king.”
Alma 17:36-38 But Ammon dealt with them pretty, easily. He killed six of them with his sling and stones. When the troublemakers failed to hit Ammon with their slings, they came at him with clubs. But when they raised their clubs against him, Ammon chopped off their arms with his sword. He only killed their leader with the sword and the others ran off. Ammon was like a super-hero.
Alma 17:36 The words “and began to cast” are in Mark 11:15.
Alma 17:38 In the 1830 edition page 272 it read “but he slew none save it were their leader” and the words “with his sword” were omitted. That phrase “with his sword” was added in later editions. The words “none save” are in Galatians 1:19.
Alma 17:39 “And when he had driven them afar off, he returned and they watered their flocks and returned them to the pasture of the king, and then went in unto the king, bearing the arms which had been smitten off by the sword of Ammon, of those who sought to slay him; and they were carried in unto the king for a testimony of the things which they had done.” So, these severed appendages were subsequently carried to the king, which must have been quite a sight! The phrase “sought to slay him” is in John 5:16 and, “for a testimony of things which” is similar, to Hebrews 3:5.
Alma 18:1 The shepherds or servants of Lamoni all testified of the things they saw. The phrase “things which they had seen” is in Luke 9:36.
Alma 18:2 When Lamoni learned of all these heroic events, he said “Surely, this is more than a man. Behold, is not this the Great Spirit who doth send such great punishments upon this people, because of their murders?” The words “he was astonished” are in Luke 5:9.
Alma 18:3 The servants were not so sure, but they did admit Ammon was strong and invincible, and a friend to the king. The phrase “and said: Whether he be the Great Spirit or a man, we know not, but this much we do know” is similar, to John 9:25.
Alma 18:4 But the king was convinced that Ammon was the Great Spirit of whom their ancestor fathers spoke about. Wouldn’t you know it, the Lamanites (Native Americans) refer to God as “the Great Spirit.”
Alma 18:5-7 Lamoni began to fear that he had done wrong in the past by killing his servants who were watching over his flocks and allowing them to be scattered by the Lamanite troublemakers.
Alma 18:7 In the 1830 edition page 273 it read “Now it was the practice of the Lamanites” which was changed in the later editions to read “Now it was the practice of these Lamanites.”
Alma 18:5 The words “they supposed that” are in Matthew 20:10.’
Alma 18:8 King Lamoni wanted to meet this man of great power. Where was he?
Alma 18:9 They told the king that Ammon was busy feeding the king’s horses and getting the chariot ready for the king’s upcoming trip to the Land of Nephi. The words “conduct him forth” are in 1 Corinthians 16:11. Archeologists have been unable to find the remains of any chariots in the Western Hemisphere. No beasts of burden, like horses nor wheeled transportation, have ever been discovered dating before pre-Columbian times. North American horses became extinct around the same time as the wooly mammoths during the Ice Age and were reintroduced in the Americas in the 1500’s by the Spanish. In the absence of any animals that could be domesticated and capable of pulling vehicles, the wheel was not of economic importance and was not used by real life pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Americas.
Alma 18:10 When Lamoni heard this, he was astonished at Ammon’s faithfulness. No servant of his has ever been so obedient and trustworthy.
Alma 18:11 “Now I surely know that this is the Great Spirit, and I would desire him that he come in unto me, but I durst not.” He dared not face Ammon if he was the Great Spirit.
Alma 18:12 When Ammon entered the room, he saw that the countenance or look on the face of the king had changed, and he immediately turned around to leave.
Alma 18:13 “And one of the king’s servants said unto him, Rabbanha, which is being interpreted, powerful or great king, considering their kings to be powerful; and thus he said unto him: Rabbanah, the king desireth thee to stay.” The phrase “which is, being interpreted” is in John 1:41.
Alma 18:14 Ammon turned to the king and asked him what he could do for him? But the king was tongue-tied for an hour and did not know what to say to Ammon. The phrase “What wilt thou that I should do for thee” is similar, to Mark 10:51.
Alma 18:16 “And it came to pass that Ammon, being filled with the Spirit of God, therefore he perceived the thoughts of the king.” Ammon then brags a bit about killing people with his sling and chopping off their arms.
Alma 18:17 But, Ammon reminds the King that he is just a man – here to serve the king in whatever is right.
Alma 18:18 Lamoni was impressed that Ammon could read his thoughts. The king asked him: “Who art thou? Art thou that Great Spirit, who knows all things? The phrase “when the king had heard these words, he marveled” is similar, to Matthew 22:22.
Alma 18:19 Ammon said he was not.
Alma 18:20 “And the king said: How knowest thou the thoughts of my heart? Thou mayest speak boldly, and tell me concerning these things; and also tell me by what power ye slew and smote of the arms of my brethren that scattered my flocks –“ The words “speak boldly” are in Acts 18:26 and, “by what power” are the same in Acts 4:7 and, “ye slew and” are in Acts 5:30.
Alma 18:21 The king makes an offer to Ammon – that if Ammon would share with him the secret to his powers – the king would give Ammon anything he desired.
Alma 18:22 What a golden opportunity for Ammon to now do what he came there to do. “Now Ammon being wise, yet harmless, he said unto Lamoni: Wilt thou hearken unto my words, if I tell thee by what power I do these things? And this is the thing that I desire of thee.” The phrase “wise, yet harmless” is similar, to Matthew 10:16 and, “I tell thee by what power I do these things” is similar, to Mark 11:33.
Alma 18:23 “And the king answered him, and said: Yea, I will believe all thy words. And thus he was caught with guile.” In other words, Ammon had Lamoni right where he wanted him. The words “believe all” are in Luke 24:25 and, “caught with guile” are in 2 Corinthians 12:16.
Alma 18:24 “And Ammon began to speak unto him with boldness, and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God?” The words “with boldness” are in Acts 4:31 and, “Believest thou” are in John 11:26.
Alma 18:25 “And he answered, and said unto him: I do not know what that meaneth.” The phrase “I do not know” is in Matthew 26:72 and, “what that meaneth” is in Matthew 9:13.
Alma 18:26 Ammon will simplify, “And then Ammon said: Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit?”
Alma 18:27 “And he said, Yea.”
Alma 18:28 “And Ammon said: This is God. And Ammon said unto him again: Believest thou that this Great Spirit, who is God, created all things which are in heaven and in the earth?” The words “created all things” are in Ephesians 3:9. If this “Great Spirit” is the pre-incarnate Jesus who created all things in heaven and earth – did He create Satan? Did He create Father in Heaven? Ammon just said the Great Spirit which Mormons believe to be Jesus before He was born, created ALL THINGS! Does, all things mean all things? That would also mean, the Great Spirit Himself, was uncreated. He is uncaused and self-existing.
This “Great Spirit” in the Book of Mormon appears to have been a Joseph Smith idea, possibly derived from the notion that some Native North Americans in his day, believed in such a thing. Did Ammon take the occasion here to clarify the LDS concept that God is actually not just a spirit but, that in fact He has a tangible body? No, he does not. And, why? Because the entire Book of Mormon is mainly monotheistic throughout, which is in line with Smith’s theological concepts at the time the Book of Mormon was written around 1828-29. There are no teachings in the Book of Mormon confirming that God has a body. There, are however, many like these verses that confirm He does not.
Alma 18:29 “And he said: Yea, I believe that he created all things which are in the earth; but I do not know the heavens.” Lamoni was being honest.
Alma 18:30 “And Ammon said unto him: The heavens is a place where God dwells and all his holy angels.”
Alma 18:31 Now, the king starts asking questions, which is always a good sign of an investigator. “And king Lamoni said: Is it above the earth?”
Alma 18:32 “And Ammon said: Yea, and he looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they all created from the beginning.” The phrase “the thoughts and intents of the heart” is from Hebrews 4:12.
Alma 18:33 “And king Lamoni said: I believe all these things which thou hast spoken. Art thou sent from God?” The words “these things which thou hast” are in Acts 26:16 and, “sent from God” are from John 1:6.
Alma 18:34 “Ammon said unto him: I am a man; and man in the beginning was created after the image of God, and I am called by his Holy Spirit to teach these things unto this people, that they may be brought to a knowledge of that which is just and true;” The words “after the image of” are in Colossians 3:10 and, “that which is just and” are in Colossians 4:1. Ammon confirms here that man was created after the “spirit” image of God – not bodily image of God, which is in line with mainstream Christianity at the time of Joseph Smith. The Christian concept of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost was not developed until after Jesus’ mortal ministry. In Judaism the Holy Spirit alluded only to God’s energy in the Old Testament. For Ammon to state that he was called by the “Holy Spirit” is just another anachronism.
Alma 18:35 “And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God.” The words “dwelleth in me” are in John 6:56.
Alma 18:36-39 Ammon taught king Lamoni everything from the creation, to Adam and fall of man, Lehi’s journey from Jerusalem, the rebellions of Laman, Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael, the plan of redemption, and the coming of Christ.
Alma 18:36 The phrase “the creation of the world” is from Romans 1:20 and, “the holy scriptures” is in Romans 1:2.
Alma 18:37 In the 1830 edition page 276 it read “and all their sufferings with hunger and thirst, and their travel, &c.” This was changed in later editions to read “and their travail.” This same error showed up in 2 Nephi 29:4 and Mosiah 14:11.
In this verse and no less than five more times in the 1830 edition is the abbreviation “&c” meaning “and so forth”, used. It is hardly believable that such a symbol as “&c” was a translation from ancient writings. This kind of mistake is clear evidence of a recent origin of the book.
Alma 18:39 The phrase “he expounded unto them” is from Luke 24:27. Ammon explained the plan of redemption “and he also made known unto them concerning the coming of Christ.” Ammon is supposedly teaching this in 90 BC. But there was no word for the title “Christ” at that time. And it is not one that Ammon could have known or used in any language. The concept of a “Messiah” is one thing, but the title of “Christ” entirely another. The concept of Jesus as the Christ is a concept that did not exist in Judaism or the Old Testament.
Alma 18:40 The king believed all that Ammon taught him.
Alma 18:41 “And he began to cry unto the Lord saying: O Lord, have mercy; according to the thy abundant mercy which thou hast had upon the people of Nephi, have upon me, and my people.” The words “abundant mercy” are in 1 Peter 1:3.
Alma 18:42 “And, when he had said this, he fell unto the earth, as if he were dead.” The phrase “when he said this, he fell” is from Acts 7:60.
Alma 18:43 “And it came to pass that his servants took him unto his wife, and laid him upon a bed; and he lay as if he were dead for the space of two days and two nights; and his wife, and his sons, and his daughters mourned over him, after the manner of the Lamanites, greatly lamenting his loss.” Everyone thought the king was dead, except Ammon, of course. The words “he were dead” are in John 11:25.
Alma 19 I want to point out the similarities between this story about Lamoni and the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead: First, in both stories a man seems to die, and a period of, time passes. Second, Both Martha and the queen use the words “he stinketh.” Third, Both Ammon and Jesus use the word “sleepeth.” Fourth, Both Ammon and Jesus say that the man “shall rise again.” Fifth, The conversation between Ammon and the queen contains phrases strangely similar, to those used by Jesus and Martha. Sixth, In both cases the man “arose” or “came forth.” The parallels are so striking that one has, to conclude that sometime after the King James Bible was published in A.D. 1611, someone copied from it to create this Book of Mormon story.
Alma 19:1-3 By now people were convinced that King Lamoni was dead. He had been laying, motionless on his bed for two days, so the Lamoni’s wife – the queen without a name – called for Ammon to ask him what to do.
Alma 19:1 The phrase “and lay it in a sepulchre” is similar, to Mark 15:46.
Alma 19:4 “And she said unto him: The servants of my husband have made it known unto me that thou art a prophet of a holy God, and that thou hast power to do many mighty works in his name;” The words “many might works” are in Matthew 13:58.
Alma 19:5 Nobody was quite sure whether or, not the king was dead. This issue seemed to hinge on whether or, not the king “stunk.” You see, a person is only truly dead when they start stinking. Some people said that he stunk (the king will not appreciate those remarks), but to the queen he did not stink. The words “is not dead” are in Matthew 9:24 and, “he stinketh” are in John 11:39.
Alma 19:6 Ammon was smart enough not to comment about the king stinking. “Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness – yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God.” The words “marvelous light” are in 1 Peter 2:9 and, “of everlasting life” in Acts 13:46. In the 1830 edition page 277 it read “and the light of everlasting light” with the word “that” left out and the second “light” changed to “life” in the 1964 edition which now reads “and that the light of everlasting life.”
Alma 19:7-8 Ammon informed the queen that her husband was not dead – “He sleepeth in God.” He will rise, up tomorrow. Obviously, this story is symbolic of the death and resurrection of the Savior.
Alma 19:8 The phrase “he shall rise again” is in Matthew 20:19.
Alma 19:9-11 Ammon asked her if she believed him? She said sure, why not! Ammon said, there is not a single Nephite with stronger faith than hers. Then she waited by the king’s bed, until the next day to see what would happen.
Alma 19:9 The words “Believest thou this” are in John 11:26.
Alma 19:10 The phrase “I say unto thee, woman, there has not been such great faith among all the people of the Nephites” is similar, to Luke 9:7.
Alma 19:12 “And it came to pass that he arose, according to the words of Ammon; and as he rose, he stretched forth his hand unto the woman, and said: Blessed be the name of God, and blessed art thou.”
Alma 19:13 “For as sure as thou livest, behold, I have seen my Redeemer; and he shall come forth, and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name. Now, when he had said these words, his heart was swollen within him, and he sunk again with joy; and the queen also sunk down, being overpowered by the Spirit.” The phrase “believe on his name” is in John 1:12 and, “again with joy” is in Luke 10:12.
Alma 19:14 “Now Ammon seeing the Spirit of the Lord poured out according to his prayers upon the Lamanites, his brethren, who had been the cause of so much mourning among the Nephites, or among all the people of God because of their iniquities and their traditions, he fell upon his knees, and began to pour out his soul in prayer and thanksgiving to God for what he had done for his brethren; and he was also overpowered with joy; and thus they all three had sunk to the earth.” The words “thanksgiving to God” are from 2 Corinthians 9:11.
Alma 19:15 This was starting to have a domino effect. Even the servants who started to pray fell down to the earth. The words “the great power of” are in Acts 8:10.
Alma 19:16 Everyone fell down except a Lamanite woman named Abish, who was a mistress to the queen. Abish had been a convert to the Lord for many years on an account of her father seeing a vision. But she had kept it a secret from everyone.
We notice that women play such an unimportant role in the Book of Mormon. Whereas the Bible lists the names of scores and scores of women; in the Book of Mormon, which comprises a span of 1021 years of Nephite and Lamanite history, plus another 2000 years of Jaredite history, only three original women are named. There was Sariah – Nephi’s mother and the only Nephite woman (1 Nephi 2:5); Abish – this Lamanite convert (Alma 19:16), and Isabel – the Lamanite harlot (Alma 39:3). The only other women mentioned by name are taken directly from the Bible: Sarah, Eve, and Mary. A grand total of six names! (We have 2 episodes on this.
The 1830 edition contained dozens of misspelled words. In this verse, it originally read “yars” which was changed in later editions to “years.”
Alma 19:17 Abish thought this would be a great opportunity to let everyone know what was happening through the power of God. So, she ran from house to house spreading the news. The phrase “from house to house” is from Luke 10:7.
Alma 19:18 A multitude of people gathered at the king’s house. When they saw everyone laying on the ground as if they were dead, they noticed Ammon among them.
Alma 19:19 The town folk complained that a great evil had come upon the king’s household because a Nephite was, allowed to remain in their land.
Alma 19:20-21 Others said it was because Ammon had killed some of the troublemakers at the waters of Sebus.
Alma 19:22 One of them, whose brother was killed by Ammon drew his sword and was going to slay Ammon, when suddenly that man fell dead. This story reminds me of that one-hit-wonder, “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor.” They were starting to stack up everywhere. Slain in the Spirit, I suppose. The phrase “being exceedingly angry” is in Acts 26:11.
Alma 19:23 Because of the promise the Lord made to Mosiah, Ammon could not be slain.
Alma 19:24 Everyone in the room who was witnessing these events wondered, what was the cause of this great power and what did it all mean. In the 1830 edition page 278 it read “the multitude beheld that the man had fell dead” which was changed in the 1964 edition to read “the multitude beheld that the man had fallen dead.” The words “among themselves what” are in John 16:17.
Alma 19:25-27 Many thought Ammon was the Great Spirit. Others thought he was sent by the Great Spirit. And others said he was a monster, who was sent by the Nephites to torment them. Yet, others said Ammon was sent by the Great Spirit to afflict them because of their iniquities.
Alma 19:26 The words “rebuked them” are in Matthew 19:13 and, “to torment” in Matthew 8:29.
Alma 19:28 “And thus the contention began to be exceedingly sharp among them. And while they were thus contending, the woman servant who had caused the multitude to be gathered together came, and when she saw the contention which was among the multitude she was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto tears.” The phrase “And thus the contention began to be exceedingly sharp among them” is similar, to Acts 15:39.
Alma 19:29 “And it came to pass that she went and took the queen by the hand, that perhaps she might raise her from the ground; and as soon as she touched her hand she arose and stood upon her feet, and cried with a loud voice, saying: O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell! O blessed God, have mercy on this people!” The phrase “went and took the queen by the hand, that perhaps she might raise her” is similar, to Matthew 9:25. In the Bible, the name “Jesus” was announced first by an angel to Mary in Luke 1:31 – in 1 BC. However, Alma 19:26 dated 90 BC. has Lamoni’s wife speaking to the Lord and calling him “Jesus.” Do you see the anachronistic problem with this? Every time we see the name “Jesus” in the Book of Mormon record BC. we have a glaring problem.
Alma 19:30 Speaking in tongues, “And when she had said this, she clasped her hands, being filled with joy, speaking words which were not understood; and when she had done this, she took the king, Lamoni, by the hand, and behold he arose and stood upon his feet.”
Alma 19:31 “And he, immediately, seeing the contention among his people, went forth and began to rebuke them, and to teach them the words which he had heard from the mouth of Ammon; and as many as heard his words believed, and were converted unto the Lord.” That seems like a quick conversion of everyone. Was it sincere, or were they just wanting to please the king.
Alma 19:32 Many among them refused to listen and believe.
Alma 19:33 “And it came to pass that when Ammon arose he also administered unto them, and also did all the servants of Lamoni; and they did all declare unto the people the selfsame thing – that their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil.” The words “the self-same thing” are in 2 Corinthians 5:5 and, “that their hearts” in Colossians 2:2.
Alma 19:34 Many said they conversed with angels while they were in the trance. The words “things of God” are in 1 Corinthians 2:10.
Alma 19:35 Those who believed in their words were baptized. And, they established a church among them.
Alma 19:36 “And thus the work of the Lord did commence among the Lamanites; thus the Lord did begin to pour out his Spirit upon them; and we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name.”
Alma 20 Remember, Lamoni’s father, who was king over all the land, and who had allowed his sons to serve as local kings under his authority – he had invited Lamoni to come to a feast which he had prepared for his sons. Lamoni had not showed up because he was busy establishing the Church in his land. Lamoni’s father was furious, and without Lamoni’s knowledge, decided to travel from his headquarters in the land of Nephi to see what happened to his son and why he had not come to the feast.
Alma 20:1 At the same time, Lamoni wanted to take Ammon to the land of Nephi and introduce him to his father.
Alma 20:2 “And the voice of the Lord came to Ammon, saying: Thou shalt not go up to the land of Nephi, for behold, the king will seek thy life; but thou shalt go to the land of Middoni; for behold, thy brother Aaron, and also Muloki and Ammah are in prison.” The phrase “the voice of the Lord came” is in Acts 7:31.
Alma 20:3 Ammon told Lamoni there was a change of plans. The words “go that I may” are also in John 11:11.
Alma 20:4 Lamoni said, I will go with you because the king of Middoni is a friend of mine, and I will talk him into releasing your brothers from prison. The words “do all things” are in Philippians 4:13. In the 1830 edition page 280 it read “Who told thee that thy brethren were in prison?” The word “thy” was changed in later editions to “my.”
Alma 20:8-9 As they were traveling in their chariots (which did not exist in the new world at that time), they unexpectedly met up with Lamoni’s father, who wanted to know why the no-show at the feast.
Alma 20:8 In the 1830 edition page 280 it read “as Ammon and Lamoni was a journeying thither” but in later editions the word “a” has been deleted.
Alma 20:9 The words “not come to the feast” are in John 11:56 and, “that great day when I made a feast” are similar, to John 7:37.
Alma 20:10 Lamoni’s father was shocked to see his son in the company of a white guy. He wanted to know where he was going with this, pale-faced Nephite?
Alma 20:11-12 Lamoni told his father why he had not come to the party and where he and Ammon were headed to now.
Alma 20:13 “And now when Lamoni had rehearsed unto him all these things, behold, to his astonishment, his father was angry with him, and said: Lamoni, thou art going to deliver these Nephites, who are sons of a liar. Behold, he robbed our fathers; and now his children are also come amongst us that they may, by their cunning and their lyings, deceive us, that they again may rob us of our property.” The tradition of the Lamanites was that Nephi and others had lied, cheated, and wronged Laman and Lemuel out of leadership positions as well as the brass plates and other treasures (see Mosiah 10:12-13). So, the resentment has been passed down to their descendants. The phrase “unto him all these things” is in Matthew 4:9.
Alma 20:14 Lamoni’s father commanded him to kill Ammon and then turn his chariot around and head back to the land of Ishmael. The words “him that he should not” are in Luke 4:42. In the 1830 edition page 286 it read “through faith and repentance, &c” In later editions “&c” is changed to read “and so forth.”
Alma 20:15-16 When Lamoni refused to obey his father, the king was angry enough that he drew his own sword that he might kill his own son.
Alma 20:16 The phrase “had heard these words” is in Matthew 22:22.
Alma 20:17 “But Ammon stood forth and said unto him: Behold, thou shalt not slay thy son; nevertheless, it were better that he should fall than thee, for behold, he has repented of his sins; but if thou shouldst fall at this time, in thine anger, thy soul could not be saved.”
Alma 20:18 “And again, it is expedient that thou shouldst forbear; for if thou shouldst slay thy son, he being an innocent man, his blood would cry from the ground to the Lord his God, for vengeance to come upon thee; and perhaps thou wouldst lose they soul.”
Alma 20:19-20 The king decides to kill Ammon instead. When he attempted to slay him with his sword, Ammon “smote his arm that he could not use it.” Ammon is really, good at dis-arming people.
Alma 20:19 The phrase “sought to destroy him” is from Luke 19:47.
Alma 20:21 When the king saw that Ammon could kill him, he plead for his life.
Alma 20:22 Ammon raised his sword and promised to kill the king, unless he was granted that his brothers be released from prison. If Ammon had killed the king, would not he be guilty of murder? Of course, if Nephi could cut of the head off a defenseless, inebriated Laban and be called a righteous prophet (see 1 Nephi 4:18), then anything is possible in the Book of Mormon.
Alma 20:23 “Now the king, fearing he should lose his life, said: If thou wilt spare me I will grant unto thee whatsoever thou wilt ask, even to half of the kingdom.” I am wondering how realistic this situation could be. Would the head king of the land travel without bodyguards for protection? What is Lamoni doing this whole time, while his father and Ammon are struggling to kill each other? The whole story sounds a little unrealistic. The words “whatsoever thou wilt” are from John 11:22.
Alma 20:24 Ammon bargained with the old king, to spare his life, if he would free his brothers from prison and let Lamoni retain his kingdom. The words “said unto him: If thou wilt” are in Matthew 19:21.
Alma 20:25-26 The old king was forced to agree to the Ammon’s terms.
Alma 20:25 The phrase “began to rejoice” is in Luke 19:37.
Alma 20:26 The words “great love” are in Ephesians 2:4.
Alma 20:27 Lamoni’s father desired that once his brothers were set free, that they and Ammon come to his kingdom to teach him. Crazy, they were one minute about to kill each other – now they are BFFs. The phrase “greatly desire to see thee” is similar, to 2 Timothy 1:4 and, “he was desirous to” is in Luke 23:8.
Alma 20:28 Ammon and Lamoni preceded to Middoni where they got the men released from prison.
Alma 20:29 Ammon’s brothers were in pretty, bad shape. They were naked, they had rope burns, and they were thirsty and hungry. They had experienced a completely different reception as missionaries in Middoni than Ammon got in Ishmael.
Alma 20:30 Ammon’s brothers told him the short version of how they ended up in prison: how people did not believe their preaching, they were cast out of each town they came to, and then eventually ended up in prison for many days, before being delivered now by Lamoni and Ammon. The words “in prison for” are in Matthew 14:3.
Alma 21 As a note, Chapters 21 to 26 contain an account of the experiences of Ammon’s brother Aaron and others, as they preached to the Lamanites.
Alma 21:1 “Now when Ammon and his brethren separated themselves in the borders of the land of the Lamanites, behold Aaron took his journey towards the land which was called by the Lamanites, Jerusalem, calling it after the land of their father’s nativity; and it was away joining the borders of Mormon.” Apparently, the land of Mormon was where Alma the Elder and his people had lived for 24 years before they escaped to Zarahemla (see Mosiah 18:4).
Alma 21:2 “Now the Lamanites and the Amalekites and the people of Amulon had built a great city, which was called Jerusalem.” The Amalekites were apostate Nephites, and the people of Amulon were descendants of the wicked priest of King Noah (see Mosiah 23:31-32).
Alma 21:3 These people were very hardened in their hearts and were growing more wicked. Aaron definitely had his work cut out for him.
Alma 21:4 “And it came to pass that Aaron came to the city of Jerusalem, and first began to preach to the Amalekites. And he began to preach to them in their synagogues, for they had built synagogues after the order of the Nehors; for many of the Amalekites and the Amulonites were after the order of the Nehors.” The Nehors practiced priestcraft, which was preaching for popularity and wealth. The words “in their synagogues” are in Matthew 4:23.
How could the Amalekites know how the Jews built synagogues, when the Jews were not building them before Lehi left for the new world in 600 BC? They could not have known that the Jews even built synagogues at all. But, a writer in the early 19th century who was able to read all, of the Bible would indeed know.
The term “synagogues” (including the plural) occurs 25 times in the Book of Mormon. Beginning in 2 Nephi 26:26, about 550 BC. Most Bible scholars believe that synagogues did not come into existence until the Babylonian captivity, which was after Lehi had left Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple had been destroyed.
Alma 21:5-6 The Amalekites began to contend with Aaron, saying that Aaron thinks he is better than they are, and his message is an insult to them. Asking why don’t angels appear to us, and how do you know if we need to repent, and how do you know that we are not a righteous people?
Alma 21:5 The phrase “behold there arose” is in Matthew 8:24 and, “What is that thou hast” is from Acts 23:19.
Alma 21:7 “Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins?” The words “from their sins” are in Matthew 1:21.
Alma 21:8 They replied that no one knows such things. It’s just foolish traditions to believe all that stuff. The phrase “believe that thou” is in John 11:27 and, “do not believe in” is in Romans 15:31 and, “of that which is to come” in 1 Timothy 4:8.
Alma 21:9 “Now Aaron began to open the scriptures unto them concerning the coming of Christ, and also concerning the resurrection of the dead, and that there could be no redemption for mankind save it were through the death and sufferings of Christ, and the atonement of his blood.” I am curious, what does Aaron have for scriptures? Are they copies of metal plates he is carrying around with him? The phrase “the resurrection of the dead” is in Matthew 22:31 and, “sufferings of Christ” is in 2 Corinthians 1:5.
Alma 21:10-12 As Aaron preached, the people got angry with him and the rest made fun of him. He realized they were not listening, so he went to the village of Ani-Anti where Aaron met up with Muloki and Ammah preaching the word. Being rejected, they entered the land of Middoni and taught there.
Alma 21:10 The phrase “the words which he spake” is from Acts 20:38.
Alma 21:11 In the 1830 edition page 284 it read “there he found Muloki a preaching the word” In later editions the word “a” was deleted.
Alma 21:13 They did not convert many people and were eventually thrown into prison, where they suffered.
Alma 21:14 At this point, the stories merge. Ammon and Lamoni rescue Aaron and his brethren from jail. The words “suffered many things” are in Matthew 27:19.
Alma 21:15 They were not willing to give up preaching.
Alma 21:16 “And they went forth withersoever they were led by the Spirit of the Lord, preaching the word of God in every synagogue of the Amalekites, or in every assembly of the Lamanites where they could be admitted.” The phrase “led by the Spirit” is from Romans 8:14 and, “in every synagogue” is from Acts 22:19.
Alma 21:17 “And it came to pass that the Lord began to bless them, insomuch that they brought many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, they did convince many of their sins, and of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.” The words “insomuch that they brought” is in Acts 5:15.
Alma 21:18-22 Mormon will take a moment to tell us what Lamoni and Ammon did, after freeing Aaron from prison. Then, he will return to the account of Aaron teaching Lamoni’s father.
Alma 21:19 The words “would not suffer that” is also in Mark 11:16.
Alma 21:21 The phrase “teach them many things” is from Mark 6:34. Ammon and Lamoni returned to the land of Ishmael – Lamoni’s home. The king prohibited Ammon from being his servant. He built synagogues for his people. He declared his people a free people and no more oppressed under his father’s rule. They had the liberty of worshipping God according to their own desires.
Alma 21:23 “And Ammon did preach unto the people of king Lamoni; and it came to pass that he did teach them all things concerning things pertaining to righteousness. And he did exhort them daily, with all diligence; and they gave heed unto his word, and they were zealous for keeping the commandments of God.” The words “things pertaining to” are in 1 Corinthians 6:4.
Alma 22:1 We now leave Ammon and return to the account of Aaron and his brethren, who after being released from prison decided to pay a thank-you visit to Lamoni’s father, who was the king of all the land. The words “was led by the Spirit” are in Luke 4:1.
Alma 22:2 They traveled to the land of Nephi and entered the king’s palace to introduce themselves.
Alma 22:3 Since he spared their lives from prison, they volunteered to be his servants. But Lamoni’s father had other plans for them “I will insist that ye shall administer unto me; for I have been somewhat troubled in mind because of the generosity and the greatness of the words of thy brother Ammon; and I desire to know the cause why he has not come up out of Middoni with thee.”
Alma 22:4 Aaron told him that Ammon was in the land of Ishmael, preaching, and was too busy to make the trip.
Alma 22:5-6 The king had a few questions for Aaron. What was the whole “Spirit of the Lord” thing again? And do I have to repent or not? It was very confusing to him.
Alma 22:6 The words “at the last day” are in John 6:39.
Alma 22:7 “And Aaron answered him and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God? And the king said: I know that the Amalekites say that there is a God, and I have granted unto them that they should build sanctuaries, that they may assemble themselves together to worship him. And if now thou sayest there is a God, behold I will believe.” Seems the king did not believe the Amalekites, but he was willing to trust what Aaron had to say about God.
Alma 22:8 Aaron told him that God did indeed exist. The words “began to rejoice, and” are in Luke 19:37.
Alma 22:9 “And the kind said: Is God that Great Spirit that brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem?”
Alma 22:10 “And Aaron said unto him: Yea, he is that Great Spirit, and he created all things both in heaven and in earth. Believest thou this?”
Alma 22:11 “And he said: Yea, I believe that the Great Spirit created all things, and I desire that ye should tell me concerning all these things, and I will believe thy words.” The phrase “I desire that ye” is in Ephesians 3:13. In Alma 31:15, we will read that God is “a spirit forever.” Even though that verse is in the midst of false doctrines believed by the Zoramites, it is not condemned or corrected by Alma in its context. And it completely supports the teaching here in Alma chapters 18 and 22 that God is the “Great Spirit.” Also, in Joseph Smith’s Lectures of Faith Section 5, 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants pages 52-53 it states, “The Father being personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fulness.” But once Joseph Smith changed his theology and began to teach in Doctrine and Covenants 130:22 that “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.” the LDS Church decided in 1921 to remove these Lectures of Faith sections from the Doctrine and Covenants. (We have 2 episodes on this topic called – God, Spirit or Body part 1 &
Alma 22:12-13 Aaron began to explain from the creation of Adam, The Fall, and the plan of redemption through Christ.
Alma 22:12 The words “that God gave” are in 1 John 5:10.
Alma 22:13 The phrase “from the creation of” is in Romans 1:20 and, “through Christ” is in Philippians 4:13 and, “believe on his name” is from John 1:12.
Alma 22:14 “And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king.” The author of the Book of Mormon not only loved to duplicate Paul’s travels but also Paul’s speech as evidenced in this verse. The phrase “through faith and” is in Hebrews 6:12 and, “grave shall have no victory” is from 1 Corinthians 15:55 and, “the sting of death” is from 1 Corinthians 15:56, and “swallowed up in” is from 1 Corinthians 15:54.
Here, and elsewhere in the Book of Mormon is taught the false idea that Adam and the prophets who followed him were all taught that Christ would atone for their sins. The fact is, that was an absolute impossibility, because the Hebrews would have recorded it and lived by that idea. No Old Testament prophet recorded any such teaching.
Alma 22:15 How the king now responds, would be music to the ear of any Mormon missionary “And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou has spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.” The words “born of God” are from 1 John 3:9 and, “I may be filled with joy” are in 2 Timothy 1:4.
Alma 22:16 Aaron gave him the good news that all he had to do is bow down before God and repent and call on God’s name in faith. The words “the hope which” are in Colossians 1:5.
Alma 22:17 So, king Lamoni knelt, down and prostrated himself as he offered up a prayer.
Alma 22:18 “O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known to me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day. And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.” Slain in the Spirit! The phrase “from the dead” is in Matthew 14:2 and, “and be saved” is in Luke 8:12 and, “he were dead” is also in John 11:25.
Alma 22:19-21 Now this event will seem familiar in some ways, to what we read about when Ammon shared the gospel with Lamoni, Junior.
Alma 22:20 The king’s servants ran to the queen and told her what happened to her husband. When she saw him lying there as if dead, she ordered the servants to kill Aaron and his brethren. But the servants were afraid to lay their hands on them. So, the queen commanded her servants to go get others that they might kill the missionaries. The words “they durst not” are from Luke 20:40 and “lay their hands on” are in Luke 21:12.
Alma 22:22 Fearing what was about to happen to him and his brethren, Aaron “therefore he put forth his hand and raised the king from the earth, and said unto him: Stand. And, he stood upon his feet, receiving his strength.”
Alma 22:23 “And the king stood forth, and began to minister unto them. And he did minister unto them, insomuch that this whole household were converted unto the Lord.” The phrase “And when they saw it they” is in Luke 19:7.
Alma 22:27 Then, the king made a proclamation throughout all the land and regions about. We will learn what that proclamation said in our next Book of Mormon episode. The words “and round about” are in Romans 15:19.
Alma 22:28-34 This chapter pretty much ends with Mormon giving us a long geography lesson.
Alma 22:32 In the 1830 edition page 288 it read “the land of Nephi, and the land of Zarahemla was nearly surrounded” In later editions “was” is changed to “were.”
Alma 22:35 Mormon concludes “And now I, after having said this, return again to the account of Ammon and Aaron, Omner and Himni, and their brethren.”
As a closing comment: The monotheistic theology of Joseph Smith at the time the Book of Mormon was written comes through in Alma chapters 18 and 22 as much as anywhere. The Great Spirit is God in Smith’s mind. God does not have a body, and this is confirmed over and, over again in the Book of Mormon. Had he already developed his later concept that God had a physical body, the Book of Mormon would be replete with such references, yet all of them confirm just the opposite. The Book of Mormon is actually a powerful witness against Smith in every way imaginable. Joseph was entirely monotheistic until at least 1835, and the book is compelling evidence that he did not have a first vision in 1820 and that his whole “plurality of Gods” concept was a mid to late 1830s idea which he backdated to 1820 for dramatic effect.
This concludes our study for today. Please subscribe, so you will not miss any of the future episodes. You can catch us on YouTube, Apple podcast, Spotify and Google podcast. Or, you can go to our website at Talking to Mormons.com –and learn much more.