The Impossible Gospel
Is there a clear distinction between salvation by works and salvation by grace?
Did God create both good and evil?
Through our study so far, I have been citing parallel phrases and words from both the Old and New Testaments that are in the Book of Mormon text. For the Old Testament references, I was fortunate to rely on the comprehensive works of Dan Wees in his book “The Bible to Book of Mormon Comparative”, which was the first of, an exhaustive three-volume set. Volumes two and three are in the process of being written and published. So, from now on, I will be citing parallel phrases and words from the New Testament, only. While it can be argued that some of the parallels are only 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.
Remember, Mormon in 385 AD compiled and abridged records from the large plates of Nephi to create the book of Alma for the gold plates. As we begin the 5th chapter, you will notice a sentence in italics above the chapter heading. It states “The words which Alma, the high Priest according to the holy order of God, delivered to the people in their cities and villages throughout the land. Comprising chapter 5.” So, Alma 5 is a direct quote from Alma’s own record. As president of the Church, he delivers a major address to both faithful members as well as, members of the Church who are starting to fall away. The date is about 83 BC. This is the second longest chapter in the Book of Mormon.
Alma 5:1-5 Alma briefly rehearses the history of the Nephites being brought into the land of Zarahemla, and the establishment of the church of God. Using approximately fifty rhetorical questions, Alma encourages his hearers to remember a variety of things related to their salvation and the deliverance of their fathers in order to repent to be saved.
Alma 5:3 The words “power and authority” are also in Luke 9:1.
Alma 5:5 The words “yea, I say unto you” are the same in Matthew 11:9.
Alma 5:6 Alma asks the members of the church if they have a “remembrance” and appreciation for God’s “mercy and long-suffering” towards their forefathers? The words “in remembrance that” are also in 2 Timothy 1:6.
Alma 5:7 “Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting words; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them.” They were in a spiritual sleep, being held captive by Satan. The 1830 edition read, “he awaked them” which was changed in the 1964 edition to read “he awakened them.” The words “were illuminated” are the same in Hebrews 10:32 and “everlasting destruction” are in 2 Thessalonians 1:9.
Alma 5:9 “And again I ask, were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed? I say unto you, Yea, they were loosed, and their souls did expand, and they did sing redeeming love. And I say unto you that they are saved.” The phrase “And I say unto you that” is the same in Matthew 8:11.
Alma 5:10 “And now I ask of you on what conditions are they saved? Yea, what grounds had they to hope for salvation? What is the cause of their being loosed from the bands of death, yea, and also the chains of hell?”
Alma 5:11-12 Alma explains that his father – Alma the Elder – believed on the words of Abinadi the prophet and there was a “mighty change” in his heart.
Alma 5:13 And, then Alma the Elder preached the word to others and there was a “mighty change” in their hearts. The phrase “he preached the word unto” is in Mark 2:2.
Alma 5:14 This verse is one of the most famous in the Book of Mormon. Alma asks the question to his people, who he is presently speaking, “And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?” The phrase “born of God” is in 1 John 3:9.
Alma 5:15 “Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?” The words “raised in incorruption” are in 1 Corinthians 15:42 and, “stand before God” are in Revelation 20:12 and, “be judged according to” are in 1 Peter 4:6 and, “mortal body” are also in Romans 6:12.
Alma 5:16 “I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day; Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?” The phrase “works of righteousness” is in Titus 3:5.
Alma 5:17 Alma now warns against some behaviors and attitudes that will not result in works of righteousness. “Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say – Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth – and that he will save you?”
Alma 5:18 “Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God?”
Alma 5:19 “I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenance?” David posed a similar question in Psalm 24:3-5. The words “with a pure heart” are also in 1 Peter 1:22.
Alma 5:20 “I say unto you, can ye think of being saved when you have yielded yourselves to become subjects to the devil?” The words “to the devil” are also in Ephesians 4:27.
Alma 5:21 “I say unto you, ye will know at that day that ye cannot be saved; for there can no man be saved except his garments are washed white; yea, his garments must be purified until they are cleansed from all stain, through the blood of him of whom it has been spoken by our fathers, who should come to redeem his people from their sins.” Cleansed by the Atonement. The phrase “ye cannot be saved” is also in Acts 27:31 and, “his people from their sins” is in Mathew 1:21.
Alma 5:22 “And now I ask of you, my brethren, how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness? Behold, what will these things testify against you?” Because your sins have not been washed away by the Savior’s Atonement, you will not be clean and pure on Judgment Day.
Alma 5:23 The words “guilty of all” are in James 2:10.
Alma 5:24 The words “pure and white” are in Revelation 15:6.
Alma 5:25 These people “shall be cast out for they are the children of the kingdom of the devil.” The phrase “he is a liar” is in John 8:44 and, “in the kingdom of heaven” is in Matthew 18:4, “the children of the kingdom” is also in Matthew 8:12.
Alma 5:26 “And now, behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” The words “sing the song of” are in Revelation 15:3.
Alma 5:27 “Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? In other words, are you constantly improving, repenting as needed, and keeping yourself clean? It takes humility to accomplish that. The phrase “through the blood of” is in Colossians 1:20 and, “his people from their sins” is in Matthew 1:21.
Alma 5:28-29 Alma says, if you have not been stripped of pride and envy, you will not have eternal life.
Alma 5:29 The words “one among you” are also in John 1:26 and, “for the hour is” are in John 5:28 and, “the time shall come” are the same in John 16:4.
Alma 5:30-31 If you mock or persecute others you cannot be saved.
Alma 5:27-31 are passages that along with other Mormon scriptures teach the “Impossible Gospel” (see 1 Nephi 3:7; 2 Nephi 25:23; Alma 1:37; Alma 45:16; Ether 2:25; Moroni 10:32; D&C 1:31-32; D&C 25:15; D&C 58:43; D&C 82:7). These Mormon scriptures teach that people are saved by a mix of grace and works. But Paul taught that we cannot have both to gain eternal life. Romans 11:6 “And if by grace, then is it no more the works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” There is a clear distinction between salvation by works and salvation by grace. Either we are trusting our works, or we are trusting in grace alone to save us. We cannot have it both ways. We either obey the law perfectly or, we see our sinfulness and rely solely on the grace of God for eternal life (see Ephesians 2:8-9). Once we do, then Jesus uses us to perform good works (see Ephesians 2:10).
Alma 5:30 The phrase “And again I say unto you” is in Matthew 19:24.
Alma 5:32-33 Repent, and God will receive you.
Alma 5:33 The words “works of righteousness” are in Titus 3:5 and, “hewn down and cast into the fire” are also in Matthew 3:10.
Alma 5:34-36 Partake of the tree of life and bring forth works of righteousness and you won’t be burned.
Alma 5:37 God is still calling to those, who professed to the right way, but have gone astray. The words “are puffed up” are in 1 Corinthians 5:2 and, “things of the world” are the same in 1 Corinthians 1:27 and, “as sheep having no shepherd” are also in Matthew 9:36.
Alma 5:38 “Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.” The phrase “the good shepherd” is in John 10:11 and, “in his own name” is the same in John 5:43 and, “the name of Christ” is in 1 Peter 4:14.
Alma 5:39 “And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a child of the devil.” Anyone who would teach you something contrary to what Alma has taught concerning this is a follower of the devil. The words “whosoever denieth” are in 1 John 2:23 and, “child of the devil” are also in Acts 13:10.
Alma 5:40 Then Alma makes a simple statement of truth using antithetical parallelism – which is a comparison between two terms “For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil.” The words “cometh from God” are in John 5:44. The Bible does not agree with Alma when he says that whatever is evil comes from the devil. The Jewish teaching that God creates good and evil is clearly stated in the Old Testament. Jehovah, himself, declares in Isaiah 45:7 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” To the Jews, who wrote the Old Testament, God is truly monotheistic – there is NO competition. He creates everything, good and evil. However, evil is usually manifested in man rather than in what God does. If God allows bad to happen it does not make Him evil. Man is quite capable of that on his own (see Amos 3:6 and Jeremiah 18:11-13).
Alma 5:41 The words “bringeth forth good” and, “bringeth forth evil” are also in Matthew 12:35.
Alma 5:42 Whoever continues in sin will receive his wages of spiritual death, being dead unto all good works. The phrase “unto all good works” is in 2 Timothy 3:17.
Alma 5:43 “And now, my brethren, I would that ye should hear me, for I speak in the energy of my soul; for behold, I have spoken unto you plainly that ye cannot err, or have spoken according to the commandments of God.”
Alma 5:44 “For I am called to speak after this manner, according to the holy order of God, which is in Christ Jesus; yea, I am commanded to stand and testify unto this people the things which have been spoken by our fathers concerning the things which are to come.” In reference to the “holy order of God” he is talking about the Melchizedek priesthood (see Alma 13:6-7, 14). The phrase “of God, which is in Christ Jesus” is also in Romans 8:39.
Alma 5:45 Alma can testify of these things. The words “testify unto you” are in Revelation 22:16.
Alma 5:46 Because they were made known to him by the “Holy Spirit of God” after many days of fasting and prayer. He says, “This is the spirit of revelation.” The words “the Holy Spirit of God” are in Ephesians 4:30. The term “revelation” comes from the Latin “revelatio”. It is not found in the Hebrew Old Testament, but it found 31 times in the Book of Mormon, as early as 588 BC and 83 BC here in Verse 46. This is an example of a linguistic anachronism.
Alma 5:47 “And moreover, I say unto you that it has thus been revealed unto me, that the words which have been spoken by our fathers are true, even so according to the spirit of prophesy which is in me, which is also by the manifestation of the Spirit of God.” The phrase “the manifestation of the Spirit” is in 1 Corinthians 12:7.
Alma 5:48 “I say unto you, that I know of myself that whatsoever I shall say unto you, concerning that which is to come, is true; and I say unto you, that I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth. And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name.” The words “that which is to come” are in Ephesians 1:21 and, “the sins of the world” are similar, to John 1:29. Verse 48 has undergone a significant change. In the 1830 edition page 236, it read “yea, the Son of the only begotten of the Father”. Because it stated the “only begotten” -meaning Jesus – had a son, it was changed in the 1964 edition by replacing the word “of” with a “comma”. The same problem occurs in Alma 13:9.
Latter-day Saints believe that all of us are “begotten” as spirit sons and daughters of Heavenly Parents. In other words, we are literally the spirit offspring of God. Yet, this verse teaches that Christ is the “Only” Begotten of the Father. So, which is correct? Latter-day Saints want to have it both ways. They believe that all of us, including Jesus, are spirit offspring of God, in other words, begotten of God. However, Jesus is the only child of the Father who was also “begotten” of the Father in the flesh. Not in a supernatural way, but in a literal way.
Alma 5:49 Alma has been called to tell everyone to repent and be born again. The words “be born again” are in John 3:7.
Alma 5:50 “Yea, thus saith the Spirit: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand; yea, the Son of God cometh in his glory, in his might, majesty, power, and dominion. Yea, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, that the Spirit saith: Behold the glory of the King of all the earth; and also the King of heaven shall very soon shine forth among all the children of men.” The phrase “my beloved brethren” is in 1 Corinthians 15:58 and, “the Spirit saith” is in Revelation 3:22.
Alma 5:51 The words “except ye repent” are in Luke 13:3.
Alma 5:52 This verse confirms that Joseph Smith believed in monotheism. He starts out by saying “the Spirit saith” meaning the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost – and ends with “the Holy One hath spoken it” meaning the Son of God or Jesus. The words “the ax is laid” and, “hewn down and cast into the fire” are also in Matthew 3:10 and, “unquenchable fire” are in Matthew 3:12. If we compare Alma 5:52 to Matthew 3:10 we find the Book of Mormon plagiarizes the entire words of John the Baptist, 80 years before John was even born. However, the word “trees” in Matthew’s account was changed to a single “tree” in Alma’s account.
Alma 5:53 Alma challenges his people by asking them if they will be puffed up in pride and wear costly apparel? He seems to really have a thing against fancy clothing.
Alma 5:54 “Yea, will ye persist in supposing that ye are better one than another; yea, will ye persist in the persecution of your brethren, who humble themselves and do walk after the holy order of God, wherewith they have been brought into this church, having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and they do bring forth works which are meet for repentance – “ The words “meet for repentance” are in Acts 26:20. The definition here of “sanctified” to the Latter-day Saint means being made fit through the Atonement to live with God in celestial glory.
Alma 5:55-56 Those who persist in turning their backs upon the poor and needy will be cut down and burned.
Alma 5:57 Alma tells those who want to follow the good shepherd to separate themselves from the wicked. The names of the wicked will be blotted out.
Alma 5:58 “For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life, and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand. And now, my brethren, what have ye to say against this? I say unto you, if ye speak against it, it matters not for the word of God must be fulfilled.” The phrase “written in the book of life” is in Revelation 13:8 and, “will I grant” is in Revelation 3:21 and, “for the word of God” is also in Hebrews 4:12. Latter-day Saints believe that records are kept in heaven and those who have successfully made and kept their covenants will have an inheritance with God.
Alma 5:59 Like a shepherd watching over his flock, who drives the wolves out and destroys them – God will ultimately destroy the wicked.
Alma 5:60 Remember, Alma is telling the church members all of this in, light of the false teachings stemming from Nehor. “And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep; and he commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed.” Avoid these ravenous wolves and nasty apostates.
Alma 5:61 “And now I, Alma, do command you in the language of him who hath commanded me, that ye observe to do the words which I have spoken unto you.” The words “of him who hath” are also in Romans 8:20.
Alma 5:62 Alma has been firm and direct with members of the Church, who know better. He uses a softer approach to non-members, inviting them to be baptized, etc. “I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life.”
Mormon who is writing this takes a break from Alma’s address to those in Zarahemla – which was recorded in Chapter 5 – and Alma’s speech which he will yet deliver in the valley of Gideon – recorded in Chapter 7.
Alma 6:1 “And now it came to pass that after Alma had made an end of speaking unto the people of the church, which was established in the city of Zarahemla, he ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watch over the church.” So, Alma did a little bit of reorganizing the Church. The words “the church which was” are also in Acts 8:1.
Alma 6:2 “And it came to pass that whosoever did not belong to the church who repented of their sins were baptized unto repentance, and were received into the church.”
Alma 6:3 On the other hand, those members who did not repent of their sins “the same were rejected, and their names were blotted out, that their names were not numbered among those of the righteous.” If they cannot be “righteous” like the Mormons – I mean the members – they were excommunicated. They took the repenters in, and they threw the non-repenters out.
Alma 6:4 “And thus they began to establish the order of the church in the city of Zarahemla.”
Alma 6:5 “Now I would that ye should understand that the word of God was liberal unto all, that none were deprived of the privilege of assembling themselves together to hear the word of God.” The words “to hear the word of God” are in Acts 13:44.
Alma 6:6 “Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God.” The words “the children of God” are in 1 John 5:2 and, “knew not God” are in Galatians 4:8.
Alma 6:7 “And now it came to pass that when Alma had made these regulations he departed from them, yea, from the church which was in the city of Zarahemla, and went over upon the east of the river Sidon, into the valley of Gideon, there having been a city built, which was called the city of Gideon, which was in the valley that was called Gideon, being called after the man who was slain by the hand of Nehor with the sword.”
Alma 6:8 “And Alma went and began to declare the word of God unto the church which was established in the valley of Gideon, according to the revelation of the truth of the word which had been spoken by his fathers, and according to the spirit of prophesy which was in him, according to the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who should come to redeem his people from their sins, and the holy order by which he was called. And thus it is written. Amen.” The phrase “the testimony of Jesus Christ” is in Revelation 1:2. In the 1830 edition page 239 it read “the Son of God, which should come for to redeem his people”. In later editions the word “for” has been deleted.
Alma 7 Unlike Alma’s sermon to those in Zarahemla, this sermon is filled with hope, optimism, and joy with, regard to this church’s spiritual situation. Again, as was the case with Chapter 5, Mormon is giving us a direct quote from Alma’s own record of his speech.
Alma 7:1 “Behold my beloved brethren, seeing that I have permitted to come unto you, therefore I attempt to address you in my language; yea, by my own mouth, seeing that it is the first time that I have spoken unto you by the words of my mouth, I having been wholly confined to the judgment-seat, having had much business that I could not come unto you.” What language do you suppose he was speaking in? Was it Hebrew? Was it Yiddish? Was it Egyptian? Was it Reformed Egyptian? If, they were writing in Reformed Egyptian, it does make you wonder what language they were speaking in.
Alma 7:3 He says, he came to the city of Gideon hoping that he would find them faithful church members, which he did – rather than having many unfaithful members as was the case in Zarahemla.
Alma 7:4-5 He is thrilled that they are staying righteous, just as the those in Zarahemla are now being.
Alma 7:5 The words “according to the Spirit of” are also in Romans 1:4.
Alma 7:6 He lists several things that could lead members astray, like unbelief, pride, materialism, vain things, and worshipping idols. They should be worshipping the true and living God.
Alma 7:7 In the next verses, Alma prophesies about Christ, who will be born in about 83 years. He is also going to tell us about Christ’s ministry and death. Alma put the Old Testament prophecies to shame. “For behold I say unto you there be many things to come; and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all – for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth, and cometh among his people.”
Alma 7:9 He starts by saying what the Spirit is telling him – which sounds very, familiar to John the Baptist. “But behold, the Spirit hath said this much unto me, saying: Cry unto this people, saying – Repent ye, and prepare the way of the Lord, and walk in his paths, which are straight; for behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth.” The time is close for the birth of the Son of God. The phrase “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” is also in Matthew 3:2.
Alma 7:10 Here it is! “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.” This prophecy would make the Bible wrong about Jesus being born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2 and Luke 2:4-7). According to this verse, Jesus was born in Jerusalem. In order to avoid the criticism, that the Book of Mormon commits a foolish error by predicting Jesus would be born in Jerusalem, LDS scholars say that it is referring to the “land” or “region” or “country” of Jerusalem, not the city of Jerusalem as it actually reads here in the Book of Mormon. Either Alma got his prophesy wrong and he was a false prophet; or, Smith got it wrong and he was a false prophet; or, Micah in the Old Testament got it wrong and was a false prophet. Regardless, Luke in the New Testament recorded correctly, and Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Alma should have been consistent with them, but he wasn’t.
The only other mention of Mary in the Book of Mormon is in Mosiah 3:8. The words “the power of the Holy Ghost” are in Romans 15:13 and, “and bring forth a son” are also in Luke 1:31. LDS leaders of the past have taught that Jesus was conceived by Heavenly Father. Brigham Young taught in Journal of Discourses vol. 1, pp. 5-51 “When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten Him in His own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the first of the human family…Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven. Now remember from this time forth and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost.” That idea is still perpetuated in correlated church manuals. They teach that Jesus was not conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, but rather an immortal Father and a mortal Mary conceived Jesus like every other human is conceived by their father and mother – through physical intimacy. If Mary was a spirit child and daughter of Heavenly Father and they had a sexual relationship – wouldn’t that be called incest? That would change Mary’s status as a virgin. I believe Alma 7:10 got it right, by stating and agreeing with New Testament passages in Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:34-35 that Mary was overshadowed by the power of the Holy Ghost and that’s how the conception took place. (Episode 27 Virgin Birth)
Alma 7:11 “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.” The phrase “that the word might be fulfilled” is also in John 15:25.
Alma 7:12 “And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” The words “according to the flesh” are in Acts 2:30. The 1830 edition page 240 had the word “suffer” which was changed in later editions to “succor.”
Alma 7:13 “Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.” The words “now the Spirit” are in 1 Timothy 4:1. In LDS theology, Christ not only took upon himself the sins of the world, for some reason he also suffered all of the pain, sickness and suffering of every human being who ever lived, or whoever would live on this planet, as well as, all the other worlds without numbers that God has populated. He suffered all, of their afflictions and infirmities, as well as, their temptations and sins. Apparently, we are the only planet on which there were beings who would have crucified Jesus. It seems that we are the worst of all of God’s created beings. That is not much of a reputation when you come to think about it.
We read back in Mosiah 3:7 “And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood come from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.” This is speaking of the Atonement. This verse also goes along with Doctrine and Covenants 19:18 “Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and suffer both body and spirit – and would that I might not drink the bitter cup and shrink.” It is important to realize that both passages were revealed, translated or written by Joseph Smith in 1828 to 1830. During that time, he was still a monotheist. That is why it is God himself, who is suffering in those verses. But neither reference mentions where the Atonement took place. We know from reading the Scripture as, a whole that it occurred NOT in a Garden, but ON the Cross. (We have two episodes dedicated to this topic. Ep 68 Atonement – Part 3 & Ep 69 Atonement – Part 4)
Alma 7:14 “Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.” The words “the Spirit saith” are in Revelation 3:22.
Alma 7:15 “Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism.” For the Latter-day Saints, baptism is a requirement for salvation and eternal life – which to them means exaltation. The phrase “Yea, I say unto you” is also in Matthew 11:9.
Alma 7:16 “And whosoever doeth this, and keepeth the commandments of God from thenceforth, the same will remember that I say unto him, yea, he will remember that I have said unto him, he shall have eternal life, according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which testifieth in me.” The phrase “the commandments of God” is in 1 Corinthians 7:19 and, “have eternal life” is in Matthew 19:16.
Alma 7:17 The Spirit is telling Alma that the Gideonites have great faith. The words “that ye believe” are in John 6:29 and, “the manifestation of the Spirit” are the same in 1 Corinthians 12:7 and, “faith is” is in Romans 1:8.
Alma 7:18 They are doing much better than the Zarahemlites in that regard. The phrase “I said unto you from the beginning” is also in John 8:25. In the 1830 edition page 241 it read “I had much desire that ye was” It was changed to read in later editions “I had much desire that ye were”.
Alma 7:19 He perceives they are following God with exactness. The words “for I perceive that” are also in Luke 8:46.
Alma 7:20 “I perceive that it has been made known unto you, by the testimony of his word, that he cannot walk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, his course is one eternal round.” In other words, God is absolutely, dependable. It says, God walks straight and goes in a big circle. That does not make, sense? Unless it is describing the LDS plan of salvation: Going from pre-mortality, to earth, then back to God again, full circle in “one eternal round.” The words “a shadow of” are also in Colossians 2:17.
Alma 7:21 “And he doth not dwell in unholy temples; neither can filthiness or anything which is unclean be received into the kingdom of God; therefore I say unto you the time shall come, yea, and it shall be at the last day, that he who is filthy shall remain in his filthiness.” These are the unholy people at Judgment Day. The phrase “into the kingdom of God” is also in Matthew 19:24.
Alma 7:22 “And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received.” He encourages them to live according to the covenants they made at baptism in becoming members of the Church. The words “that ye may walk” are also in 1 Thessalonians 4:12.
Alma 7:23 Next, Alma tells them how to continue to grow as faithful members. Be humble, submissive, gentle, easily entreated, patient, long-suffering, temperate, keep the commandments at all times asking and thanking God for every spiritual and temporal thing. The phrase “temperate in all things” is in 1 Corinthians 9:25.
Alma 7:24 “And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.” The words “in good works” are also in 1 Timothy 6:18.
Alma 7:25 He tells them to keep their garments spotless, like the prophets have done. The phrase “since the world began” is also in John 9:32.
Alma 7:26 He compliments them for heeding the words which he has spoken.
Alma 7:27 He wraps up his speech by leaving a special blessing upon them all. “And now, may the peace of God rest upon you, and upon your houses and lands, and upon your flocks and herds, and all that you possess, your women and your children, according to your faith and good works, from this time forth and forever. And thus I have spoken. Amen.” The phrase “the peace of God” is in Colossians 3:15 and, “according to your faith” is in Matthew 9:29.
And, this concludes our study for today. For More you can find this podcast on demand were ever you listen to podcasts and on YouTube. You can also find us on Facebook. And share this with your friends. Or, you can go to our website at Talking to Mormons.com where you can download this script and learn much more. Links are in the description.