BOOK OF MORMON
Critique of Alma Chapter 31
Setting: Alma leads a mission to reclaim the apostate Zoramites in 74 BCE America.
Verses 1-2: NOW it came to pass that after the end of Korihor, Alma having received tidings that the Zoramites were perverting the ways of the Lord, and that Zoram, who was their leader, was leading the hearts of the people to bow down to dumb idols, his heart again began to sicken because of the iniquity of the people. For it was the cause of great sorrow to Alma to know of iniquity among his people; therefore his heart was exceedingly sorrowful because of the separation of the Zoramites from the Nephites.
Note: The Zoramites were the people of Zoram not Alma.
Alma 30:59 And it came to pass that as he went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram--and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead.
Verse 3: Now the Zoramites had gathered themselves together in a land which they called Antionum, which was east of the land of Zarahemla, which lay nearly bordering upon the seashore, which was south of the land of Jershon, which also bordered upon the wilderness south, which wilderness was full of the Lamanites.
Note: The interior of Brazil has never had great civilizations or many people.
The forests, rivers, and mountains of Brazil have long hindered travel inland, and the country's vast interior remains little developed. About 80 percent of all Brazilians live within 200 miles (320 kilometers) of the Atlantic coast. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.
Verses 4-5: Now the Nephites greatly feared that the Zoramites would enter into a correspondence with the Lamanites, and that it would be the means of great loss on the part of the Nephites. And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just--yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them--therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.
Note: The true word of God will penetrate to the heart of believers.
Romans 10:8-9 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Verses 6-7: Therefore he took Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner; and Himni he did leave in the church in Zarahemla; but the former three he took with him, and also Amulek and Zeezrom, who were at Melek; and he also took two of his sons. Now the eldest of his sons he took not with him, and his name was Helaman; but the names of those whom he took with him were Shiblon and Corianton; and these are the names of those who went with him among the Zoramites, to preach unto them the word.
Note: "Church" is strictly New Testament and was established at Pentecost.
Webster’s Dictionary: Church, from the Greek word kyriake.
Verses 8-9: Now the Zoramites were dissenters from the Nephites; therefore they had had the word of God preached unto them. But they had fallen into great errors, for they would not observe to keep the commandments of God, and his statutes, according to the law of Moses.
Note: A central feature of the law of Moses was animal sacrifice.
Leviticus 1:1-2 Now the Lord called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock."
Verses 10-11: Neither would they observe the performances of the church, to continue in prayer and supplication to God daily, that they might not enter into temptation. Yea, in fine, they did pervert the ways of the Lord in very many instances; therefore, for this cause, Alma and his brethren went into the land to preach the word unto them.
Note: Simple praise to God should not be construed as a performance.
Acts 2:46-47 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Verses 12-13: Now, when they had come into the land, behold, to their astonishment they found that the Zoramites had built synagogues, and that they did gather themselves together on one day of the week, which day they did call the day of the Lord; and they did worship after a manner which Alma and his brethren had never beheld; For they had a place built up in the center of their synagogue, a place for standing, which was high above the head; and the top thereof would only admit one person.
Note: American Indians never worshipped in Jewish synagogues in ancient America.
Jews began to gather for formal prayer in Biblical times at the Temple in Jerusalem when it was the center of Jewish life. The Temple was destroyed in 587 or 586 B.C. Later, buildings called synagogues were built. They served as places of prayer and study, and as centers of Jewish life worldwide. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.
Verse 14: Therefore, whosoever desired to worship must go forth and stand upon the top thereof, and stretch forth his hands towards heaven, and cry with a loud voice, saying:
Note: The BOM author was unfamiliar with Jewish synagogue construction.
Most synagogues are constructed so that the worshipers face toward the holy city of Jerusalem during the service. At the front of the sanctuary stands the ark, a chest in which the scrolls of the Torah are kept. In front of the ark hangs the eternal light, an oil lamp whose constant flame symbolizes God's eternal presence. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.
Verses 15-18: Holy, holy God; we believe that thou art God, and we believe that thou art holy, and that thou wast a spirit, and that thou art a spirit, and that thou wilt be a spirit forever. Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren; and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers; but we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children; and also thou hast made it known unto us that there shall be no Christ. But thou art the same yesterday, today, and forever; and thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell; for the which holiness, O God, we thank thee; and we also thank thee that thou hast elected us, that we may not be led away after the foolish traditions of our brethren, which doth bind them down to a belief of Christ, which doth lead their hearts to wander far from thee, our God. And again we thank thee, O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people. Amen.
Note: The BOM author was unfamiliar with Jewish synagogue worship.
Synagogue worship consists mainly of readings from the Torah and the chanting of prayers from a prayer book called the siddur. A different portion of the Torah is read each week, so the entire Torah is completed in a year. In Orthodox synagogues, men and women sit separately and chant almost all the prayers in Hebrew. In Conservative and Reform congregations, men and women sit together, and much of the service is in the language of the country. Most Sabbath and holiday services include a sermon. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.
Verses 19-22: Now it came to pass that after Alma and his brethren and his sons had heard these prayers, they were astonished beyond all measure. For behold, every man did go forth and offer up these same prayers. Now the place was called by them Rameumptom, which, being interpreted, is the holy stand. Now, from this stand they did offer up, every man, the selfsame prayer unto God, thanking their God that they were chosen of him, and that he did not lead them away after the tradition of their brethren, and that their hearts were not stolen away to believe in things to come, which they knew nothing about.
Note: True Believers have been chosen by God with spiritual praise as evidence.
1 Peter 2:4-5 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Note: Arminianism was a characteristic of Sidney Rigdon's theology.
Verse 23: Now, after the people had all offered up thanks after this manner, they returned to their homes, never speaking of their God again until they had assembled themselves together again to the holy stand, to offer up thanks after their manner.
Note: Advanced ancient American cultures were polytheistic with many gods.
The peoples of Middle America and the Andes had whole families of gods. The Aztec, for example, worshiped hundreds of gods. The Inca believed that their ruler was also a god-a god-king-and they worshiped him along with their other gods. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.
Verses 24-25: Now when Alma saw this his heart was grieved; for he saw that they were a wicked and a perverse people; yea, he saw that their hearts were set upon gold, and upon silver, and upon all manner of fine goods. Yea, and he also saw that their hearts were lifted up unto great boasting, in their pride.
Note: Joseph Smith had his heart set on fine living at the expense of his dupes.
D&C 124:56-59 And now I say unto you, as pertaining to my boarding house which I have commanded you to build for the boarding of strangers, let it be built unto my name, and let my name be named upon it, and let my servant Joseph and his house have place therein, from generation to generation. For this anointing have I put upon his head, that his blessing shall also be put upon the head of his posterity after him. And as I said unto Abraham concerning the kindreds of the earth, even so I say unto my servant Joseph: In thee and in thy seed shall the kindred of the earth be blessed. Therefore, let my servant Joseph and his seed after him have place in that house, from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord.
Verses 26-28: And he lifted up his voice to heaven, and cried, saying: O, how long, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that thy servants shall dwell here below in the flesh, to behold such gross wickedness among the children of men? Behold, O God, they cry unto thee, and yet their hearts are swallowed up in their pride. Behold, O God, they cry unto thee with their mouths, while they are puffed up, even to greatness, with the vain things of the world. Behold, O my God, their costly apparel, and their ringlets, and their bracelets, and their ornaments of gold, and all their precious things which they are ornamented with; and behold, their hearts are set upon them, and yet they cry unto thee and say--We thank thee, O God, for we are a chosen people unto thee, while others shall perish.
Note: The Mormon Church has become big business with numerous earthly assets.
Based upon audits performed, the Church Auditing Department is of the opinion that, in all material respects, contributions received, expenditures made, and assets of the Church for the year 2007 have been recorded and administered in accordance with appropriate accounting practices, approved budgets, and Church policies and procedures. Robert W. Cantwell, Church Auditing Department Report, 2007 , CR April 2008
Verses 29-35: Yea, and they say that thou hast made it known unto them that there shall be no Christ. O Lord God, how long wilt thou suffer that such wickedness and infidelity shall be among this people? O Lord, wilt thou give me strength, that I may bear with mine infirmities. For I am infirm, and such wickedness among this people doth pain my soul. O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me, because of the iniquity of this people. O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me--yea, Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and also Amulek and Zeezrom and also my two sons--yea, even all these wilt thou comfort, O Lord. Yea, wilt thou comfort their souls in Christ. Wilt thou grant unto them that they may have strength, that they may bear their afflictions which shall come upon them because of the iniquities of this people. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ. Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee.
Note: The Christian Gospel should not be wasted upon determined unbelievers.
Luke 9:5 "And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them."
Verse 36: Now it came to pass that when Alma had said these words, that he clapped his hands upon all them who were with him. And behold, as he clapped his hands upon them, they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Note: Hand clapping has never been a characteristic of being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Verse 37: And after that they did separate themselves one from another, taking no thought for themselves what they should eat, or what they should drink, or what they should put on.
Note: The BOM author plagiarized the New Testament.
Matthew 6:31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’"
Verse 38: And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.
Note: The Mormon Church lacks faith and doesn't trust God to provide anymore.
When the modern welfare program was put in motion, it was designed to take care of the needs of our own people. In the years that have followed, thousands upon thousands have been served. Bishops and Relief Society presidents have had available to them food and clothing and other supplies for those in need. Numberless members of the Church have worked in volunteer capacities in producing that which was required. We now operate 113 storehouses, 63 farms, 105 canneries and home storage centers, 18 food processing and distribution plants, as well as many other facilities. President Gordon B. Hinckley, "I Was an Hungred, and Ye Gave Me Meat", Ensign (CR), May 2004, p.58
WORD FAITH INDEX
CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX