Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Alma 27 & 28

The Anti-Nephi-Lehies Attacked Again

The Amalekites finally return from their wars against the Nephites. They have lost battle after battle and now they are "exceedingly angry" and want to battle again. They know they will not lose to a people who do not defend themselves, so they begin to attack the peaceful Anti-Nephi-Lehies again.

As before, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies refuse to take up arms and are consequently slaughtered.

The sons of Mosiah see this and are grieved. They convince the king to flee the land. The king agrees after Ammon receives a response from the Lord. (Alma 27:12)

The people leave the Land of Nephi and make their journey toward the Land of Zarahemla.

A Joyful Meeting

While the sons of Mosiah were journeying with the Anti-Nephi-Lehies to the Land of Zarahemla, they meet their lifetime friend Alma. Ammon was so happy to see Alma that he fell down.

Mormon comments, "Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness." (Alma 27:18)

I remember the time I arrived home from my mission … it was almost ten years ago to the date. The plane landed in LA first where I would have a several-hour layover. My oldest brother, who was the last family I saw before I left, was the first family I met coming home. It was a joyful reunion. I didn't fall down like Ammon, but I was very happy to see my family again. After the layover, I flew into Las Vegas where I met my parents. It was surreal. It all felt like a dream and I was so happy to be home.

The Ammonites

Once the Anti-Nephi-Lehies arrive in their new land of Jershon, the Nephites began to call them the people of Ammon. (Alma 27:26) From then on, they were numbered among the Nephites.

Listen to how the Nephites described this righteous people.

"They were distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end."

"And they did look upon shedding the blood of their brethren with the greatest abhorrence; and they never could be prevailed upon to take up arms against their brethren; and they never did look upon death with any degree of terror, for their hope and views of Christ and the resurrection; therefore, death was swallowed up to them by the victory of Christ over it."

"Therefore, they would suffer death in the most aggravating and distressing manner which could be inflicted by their brethren, before they would take the sword or imeter to smite them."

"And thus they were a zealous and beloved people, a highly favored people of the Lord." (Alma 27:27-30)

How interesting to note that this people who suffered so much death by the hands of their brethren would raise over two thousands sons who would go on to fight the Lamanites and not suffer one death among them. Such great sacrifice brought about this great miracle.

The Relentless Lamanites

The Lamanites, spurred by the Amalekites, did not leave the Ammonites in peace. "The armies of the Lamanites had followed their brethren into the wilderness." (Alma 28:1)

A great battle ensued in which tens of thousands of Lamanites and Nephites will killed.

”And thus we see how great the inequality of man is because of sin and transgression, and the power of the devil, which comes by the cunning plans which he hath devised to ensnare the hearts of men." (Alma 28:13)

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