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Alma 8 – 12

Weekly Deep Dive
Weekly Deep Dive
Alma 8 - 12

Christ calls us by his name. The significance of Alma returning home at the end and beginning of the next year. The episode also explores themes of faith, repentance, and taking upon oneself the name of Christ. Jason and Nate discuss the symbolic significance of being born again, the process of becoming like Christ, and the powerful message of redemption. They also touch on the historical and cultural contexts within the Book of Mormon, including the implications of the land of kings and the names of places like Melech, Ammonihah, and Aaron.


[00:00:15] Speaker A: Welcome to the weekly Deep Dive podcast on the add on Education network. A podcast where we take a look at the weekly come follow me discussions and try to add a little insight and unique perspective. I am your host, Jason Lloyd, here in my studio with our friend and this show’s producer in his studio, Nate Pyfer.

[00:00:33] Speaker B: What’s up, baby boy?

[00:00:35] Speaker A: Dude, it’s good to see you again, Nate.

[00:00:37] Speaker B: It’s good to see you every week, my friend.

[00:00:40] Speaker A: Yeah, I know we say that a lot, but. But, you know, when you’re living on the other side of the world, it really is nice to see you again.

[00:00:48] Speaker B: A friendly connection.

[00:00:50] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:00:51] Speaker B: I’m. I’m totally with you, man. How are things going over there?

[00:00:55] Speaker A: Amazing. They’re going really good.

[00:00:57] Speaker B: Good.

[00:00:58] Speaker A: How are things going over there and the world I left behind?

[00:01:02] Speaker B: Holding it down, dude. Holding it down here in Zion.

[00:01:06] Speaker A: Nice.

[00:01:07] Speaker B: In the promised land.

[00:01:10] Speaker A: It was a good ward.

I’m sad I lost it.

[00:01:15] Speaker B: Well, yeah, it’s been fun, man.

[00:01:18] Speaker A: So anyways, the word out here has been incredible, man. I mean, I guess that’s the church. That’s the wonderful thing. You get plugged in to pull you in like family. It’s just. It’s been amazing.

[00:01:26] Speaker B: So good.

[00:01:27] Speaker A: No, nothing bad to say there.

[00:01:29] Speaker B: Good. Sounds awesome.

Let’s get it. Let’s get into it.

[00:01:34] Speaker A: Let’s do. This is Alma, and we’re going to be going through chapters eight through twelve. And really, this is going to be after he’s taught in Sarahamlet, after he’s taught in the land of Gideon, he’s going to go into the land of Melech and he’s going to go into the land of Ammoniah and run into some pretty severe opposition, and things kind of get nasty and take a turn for the worse. But he meets Amulek in the process. And these are stellar chapters. And I. And I feel like there’s a lot here that we can pick up and learn from this. Before I get too far down the road, though, there is one thing I wanted to bring up. I mean, last week we covered alpha five, and, I mean, I say we covered it. We kind of put it in with. With two different lessons. Right. And we. We did as good as we could, considering what we were doing. I feel like maybe we can just make a quick mention of one thing there. I wish we had touched a tad bit more on. And Alma, chapter five. It’s interesting when it talks about the Lord calling his people.

And this is verse 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.

[00:02:40] Speaker B: I’m glad you brought that up. We talked about it today in our Sunday school class.

[00:02:45] Speaker A: Yeah.

He says, and if you will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which you are called, then you are not the sheep of the good shepherd. So if you refuse to take upon yourself the name of Christ, and I mean, just thinking about that, what that means, to not be called the name of Christ.

And as I’m reading this, as I’m seeing this, what stands out to me is I don’t want to be like. I want to be like me, or I want to be like something else. I don’t want to be called that because of what that means or take that stigma or that upon me. I value my independence. I value being somebody different, being me. And I’m going to go by a different name.

That’s, to me, what it sounds like here. If you want to be called by some other name, you don’t respond to the name of Christ, then you’re not as a shepherd. And he kind of makes this black and white a bit when he says, if you’re not the sheep of the good shepherd, by what fold are you? And I say unto you, that is, the devil is your shepherd.

And so it’s interesting to me, and here’s, I guess, one thing I wanted to put on this, Nate, and I’ll let you jump in, but we.

To me, this reminds me of, anyone who tries to hold on to their life shall lose it, but he who loses his life shall find it. And coming back to this, if we try to hang on to our individuality and thinking that we need to save that, we don’t realize what we’re losing in the process.

But when we surrender to Christ, to his will, to be like him, we gain that individuality, that freedom, that agency. We still retain who we are and that us and that individuality. But even more so, I think. I don’t think taking the name of Christ is something to smash out our individuality, our personality. I think that gets only magnified when we do this. But being willing to take upon the name of Christ and act like him, it’s kind of interesting how that works. I’m sure I’m not doing it justice, but. Nate, did you have anything you wanted to jump in on that or.

[00:05:03] Speaker B: Yeah. My only thoughts I would want to add to it are this, as you remember, is coming on the heels of. Do you see his image in your countenance at the end of the day, at judgment day, the biggest image I’m getting is this idea that Christ is going to know who’s his because he sees his image in us.

He will know who is part of his flock because we’ve emulated a life like him. We have done everything we can to take up his cross as our cross. Right? We have yoked ourselves to him. All of these things continue to point back. And when he just comes out point blank and says, if you’re going to be redeemed, it’s going to be because you have really, at the end of the day, become me.

And just the idea of taking upon ourselves his name even more so highlights a lot of the earlier commandments of don’t take the name of the Lord in vain. Okay, well, then what does that mean in context of us taking his name upon us? Does our behavior take upon or does our behavior take or make the name of the Lord in vain? Does our behavior put other gods before God? And I think that this, as I was reflecting back on this so much, I was thinking where this idea of, you’ve seen the meme, that kind of maybe you haven’t, that’s floating around where it’s somebody basically saying, well, I’m going to sin or live whatever lifestyle I want to because I was born this way.

And Jesus is like, well, then be born again. That’s the whole point, is to be born again.

And like you said, and I’m really glad you said this, is, I do completely agree with you that when we try to find our identity on our terms, I know I’ve seen this in my life, and I see it in friends and people around me. It’s like where we try to find out who we are on our own terms.

It really can be a very confusing kind of and at times, really fruitless journey where when we find ourselves through faith or through other anchors and through examples and through other processes, I agree with you, we still really discover who we are and what our gifts are and what our purpose is because we’re doing it through somebody who can show us, in my opinion, our utmost potential.

I just finished reading, I’m glad I finally did to Jonathan Livingston’s, Livingston Siegel. And I’m bummed that it’s taken me so long to read this, but such a beautiful sentiment in there of so many of these birds didn’t allow themselves to fly because they were unwilling to hear or understand what their true potential was.

And that hit me.

And again, we, so many times I feel like, as a church, kind of get accused of having these rules or these boundaries that hold us down or that don’t allow us full freedom. And my experience has just been completely different than that. And my experience is these. These standards that we live are a boundary that keep us from running off the edge of a cliff. And there’s actually so much more confidence and safety knowing that these boundaries are there to keep us from falling off the cliff. And therefore, within those boundaries, there’s so much more room for exploration and self expression and all of these things. And I, you know, you hear the term over and over when missionaries are leaving, you know, lose yourself in the work. And I’m like, yeah, I do believe that on some level. But for me, it’s like I discovered myself in the work. Like, I learned who I was in the process of, you know, turning my.

My priorities over to somebody else. And then the last thing I guess I just want to say to it is, and I’m. I believe this is completely true, which is if we’re doing everything we possibly can to truly live by the example of the person who we’re not only trying to emulate, but to truly become, than even the things that we do that feel like failures or that feel, you know, like.

I mean, yeah, even the hard times in our lives or even the times in our life where maybe we’re not doing a very good job of sticking to the path, but we’re still, at the end of the day, trying to make our way back. I just believe that those things are consecrated for our good. And that as long as at the end of the day, we are, we really are having a desire to still try to become the perfect example, that the failures that we have in this life are consecrated for our good, I guess, is basically the last thing I would want to say about that. And so I’m really glad that you brought that up. I do love that.

You also highlighted something that has been kind of on my mind, too, which is, and again, my last thought about this would be, you see, the term sheep somehow used in negative ways towards faithful, believing members of the church. And that’s. It’s crazy to me that any member of, or any Christian, not just even member of our church, but really any Christian would ever take offense to the name sheep or sheeple. That’s insane to me.

Everything that we’re doing is to try to become sheep. And for me, I hope at the end of the day, I’ve done enough that I’ll recognize the voice of the good shepherd and that I will be numbered amongst his flock. I’m doing the best job I possibly can to live up to the term sheep. And I don’t reject that. I don’t take offense at that term whatsoever.

I wish I was doing a better job of being a sheep because as Christ has said and used the analogy over and over and over, sheep go to heaven and goats go to hell. Dog.

[00:12:35] Speaker A: Well, and he says, your sheep just either way. Either way, your sheep. And that’s kind of the funny thing, right? It’s just a different shepherd because. Because a lot of these people that are, that are following who say they’re not following, ironically enough, are still following something.

[00:12:51] Speaker B: Absolutely.

[00:12:52] Speaker A: And I don’t know, there’s some irony in that.

[00:12:57] Speaker B: Here’s the question, too, because it basically says, to be numbered amongst Christ’s flock, you have to be born again. Right? Is what it talks about there in Alma, chapter five. And it says that if you’re not, then you.

The reward for being part of the devil’s flock is death.

Right? So being part of Christ’s flock is life. Being part of the alternate flock is death. It’s. It did beg an interesting question, because as we’ve talked about in Mosiah, the natural man’s an enemy to God, right? Like the fact that we’re, the fact that we are born in a body that will eventually die, it’s. It’s almost like you really, truly are almost born into a flock that is bound for death. That is by nature.

[00:13:52] Speaker A: Mortal, natural man.

[00:13:54] Speaker B: That’s what I’m saying.

[00:13:55] Speaker A: Right, right. You’re born into a flock, you’re a sheep regardless. It’s just being born again to actually liberate yourself from.

Right. That’s the, that’s the irony of it all. And to maybe apply an analogy to this, to just kind of put a bow on it, from my perspective, is it not the string of the kite that allows the kite to go as high as it is? I mean, how high is that kite going to go if you cut the string?

[00:14:19] Speaker B: That’s exactly right. I love that analogy.

[00:14:23] Speaker A: And I love that you brought up taking the Lord’s name in vain, because I think so many times we’ve interpreted that as to use it in a sense where we’re not referring to him or to say his name in an irreverent manner, but taking his name upon us in vain, to take that name and to drag it through the mud or to not fulfill the purpose or the meaning of what that means to take his name, and I don’t want to sound overly harsh on this. I think we all take his name upon us and do things that don’t represent him well.

Repentance, it’s a process. It’s our intention and what we’re trying to do with it. I don’t think that’s going to destroy his name, just as it’s hard to be looking at a kid and being overly critical for them as they’re trying to learn or overcome mistakes. But I do love that connection on what it means to take his name in vain, particularly when you see that he calls his sheep by his name. That’s us. We are his people.

[00:15:27] Speaker B: Yeah, the flip on that again, bright, where it says, have you received his image in your countenance?

And I think we always think about that as, like, us looking in the mirror and seeing him where we talked about it a lot last week, where the purification of silver is the person doing the purifying, seeing their image in the silver. And so there is really. That. There is the two way street. There is. The question is, like, well, do we see. Do we. Are we seeing his image in our countenance? And hopefully, at the end of the day, he sees his image in our countenance more so than us. Right. Like, that’s the goal, that. The goal is that he’s. He sees. Last thing about that, actually, too, it did make me think of the sealing ceremony, too. Right? Where there’s, like, the mirror on both sides. It’s like. That is kind of an interesting. That is kind of an interesting thought is who else? You know, when you’re married and you. You look at the idea of eternity with two mirrors, it did make me appreciate the symbolism and the, you know, the maybe deeper metaphors of even mirrors being the thing that people are looking into, not only when they look into eternity, but hopefully.

Hopefully when a couple gets sealed, they are also seeing God in that marriage with them as well. Right? The reflection or the image.

[00:17:01] Speaker A: Well, that’s kind of interesting because you’ve got this concept of eternity, right? Infinity. That these images go on and reflect each other forever.

[00:17:08] Speaker B: Right.

[00:17:08] Speaker A: But as many different images of you as there are, how many faces do you see?

It’s just one face, right?

[00:17:18] Speaker B: That’s right. Well, unless you’re standing there with somebody, then you got the two of them.

[00:17:24] Speaker A: But. But then it’s just their face, right? Unless it’s an angle and you can kind of.

[00:17:28] Speaker B: I’m with you. Yeah, I’m with you. All right, killer.

[00:17:32] Speaker A: All right.

Yeah. Thanks for uh, thanks for exploring that with me. Uh, let’s, uh, let’s get into this week. Let’s look at Alma, chapter eight, and then first one, actually, I think there’s some critical details here that might not be fully appreciated. So I’m gonna. I’m gonna kind of read this. And now it came to pass that Alma returning. Excuse me. Returned from the land of Gideon, and having taught the people of Gideon many things which cannot be written, having established the order of the church according to that which he had done before in the land of Zarahemla, yea, he returned to his own house as Zarahemla to rest himself from the labors which he had performed. Now, there’s two things that I want to kind of hit on this. When he talks about the order, that’s something that I don’t think we can say enough about when we go. Even from last week’s lesson, Alma five, to what we’re at here, and then Alma eight, as we go forward, there’s a lot of detail in the order of things. Alma didn’t just go out there because he wanted to do this on a whim. He says, having been called of God, therefore he goes and he does this. And when he’s out here doing it, he calls priests.

God says, mine is a house of order, not a house of confusion.

There is an order to things. There is a priesthood, and there are keys, and there are callings, and there is power associated with this. And that’s kind of laid out clear. In order to maintain the integrity of the church, he has to consecrate priests because he’s authorized to do so. And he is sharing that authorization and authorizing them to maintain this stability. And that is the order of God.

I love this because God is a God of order, not of confusion. He’s not. He’s not an armchair quarterback. That’s just calling audibles, trying to fix everything that we screwed up along the way. His plan was from before the foundation of the world. He had an order established, laid out and put here and instills confidence and trust in him. And we should expect that his church is also a church of order, a church that has priesthood, that has authority, that I can’t just go baptize my kid because it seems like the right thing to do. And fun, I have to get permission from the bishop who holds those keys, because that is the order that God has established here on the earth. So just a nod to that. And then the other thing that I really wanted to get to on this one, when it says that he goes to his own house at Jerusalem, or Jerusalem at Zarahemla, to rest right from the labors which he had performed. It’s not just a vacation, as much as it might sound like, hey, everyone has to rest and recharge, which is true. And I think we can draw that conclusion and look at that point from here. But look at the timing of this. And thus ended the 9th year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi. And it came to pass in the commencement of the 10th year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, that Alma departed again. So his rest at his house at Zarahemla is corresponding with the ending of a year, and soon after the beginning of a year. Now, remember that Alma’s role among the people is to be over the church. He is the high priest. It is the high priest responsibility to go into the holy of holies on the day of atonement.

And Zarahemla is the capital city of the people of the Nephites. Therefore, this is where the temple would be, that the high priest would have to perform his duty every year and to go into the holy of holies. So this small detail about him making sure he is back at his home, where the place of the temple at the end of the year and the beginning of the other corresponds with the jewish calendar. At the beginning of the year, you have Rosh Hashanah, the new year, and then a few days after that, you’ve got the Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, where the high priest would have to go into the holy of holies and perform that atonement for his people.

I love these details.

And yet it’s not like Joseph Smith is trying to throw this in our face, like, yeah. Oh, well, I want people to believe it. Here. Let me tell you why I’m writing this, because I don’t think that’s the case. These are just assumed because this is how the people are writing back. Then that is just another nod to the authenticity, I think, of the book of Mormon and the role that it has.

[00:21:58] Speaker B: That’s awesome.

Did you like, did you like in verse ten, how he wrestled with God?

I assume in chapter eight or chapter eight, verse ten. I assumed that you would appreciate some. Some wrestling language, some persevering, even if.

[00:22:14] Speaker A: You go back with Jacob. Right?

[00:22:15] Speaker B: That’s what I’m saying. Even if it’s not getting his hip dislocated.

[00:22:19] Speaker A: And Enos is wrestling with God. There’s a lot of wrestling happening.

[00:22:23] Speaker B: I know, but I do. But the thing is, is that I think it’s a perfect word for what is sometimes required to, you know, to get answers. And it’s not easy. And like they say, man, we used to wait. Like arcade fire says, we used to wait.

We’ve been just so bizarrely conditioned out of it that it’s. It scares me. Scares me. It scares me for me personally, even for my kids, because a testimony is not made by a quick, you know, read the scriptures, say a prayer, have everything be given to you. That’s just not the way that quality things are given to us in this world.

[00:23:07] Speaker A: And unfortunately, I think a lot of people get caught in the trap of thinking that God doesn’t love me because of these difficult things that I have to go through because my family has fallen apart or because I’ve lost my job or because, I mean, xyz, right, you could put it however you want to.

God doesn’t love me. Why do I have it so much harder than everyone else? And as you’ve pointed out, I mean, alma wrestling with the Lord. Enos wrestling with the Lord. Jacob wrestling with the Lord. You don’t think Abraham was wrestling with the decision to sacrifice his son?

I mean, who God loves.

It’s a scary thing to be in the hands of the Lord, right? That’s right.

[00:23:46] Speaker B: Who he loves. He chastens, he cleanses, he sets. He. He sets them apart. And we’ve talked a lot about what setting apart also visually refers to, so symbolically refers to good stuff. Sorry, I didn’t mean to sidetrack it. I just. I figured you’d appreciate it.

[00:24:04] Speaker A: Not a sidetrack. No, it was good. But I think also heavy on Alma’s mind, feeling the role of the high priest going into the day of atonement, performing this. This expiatory, this atonement process for the people. I think it even reflects in his teachings as he’s coming back there and pointing people to Christ and talking. You can see that. That role that he plays. And here’s the thing. The high priest is supposed to be someone without blemish. They are supposed to embody the savior. And here he is performing the act as if he is the savior himself and yet trying to turn the people to that. And now he’s coming out there and willing to sacrifice himself.

And I think you see it when he gets rejected in the land of Ammonihah and he leaves to go to the land of Aaron, and the Lord says, whoa, whoa, whoa. I need you to go back. And he doesn’t even hesitate a second, right? He turns and runs back to the land, willing to throw his life, his safety, his everything on the line. I think he embodies the savior really well that way.

[00:25:09] Speaker B: Yeah, it’s good. Good observation.

[00:25:12] Speaker A: Now, let’s, uh. Let’s take a look at the land, the names of some of these places. Uh, he. He goes to the land of Melech, and I think there’s some significance here. Melech in Hebrew means king.

And so this is the city.

So you suppose here, the city of the kings.

And then he goes to the city of Ammonihah, which is three days journey from the city of the king. And it says, interesting enough in the book of Mormon, it specifically calls out the name of Ammonihah, was called Ammonihah because it was named after the person that founded it. So who founded the city of Ammonihah? Well, Ammon.

And then he goes from Ammonihah to the city of Aaron. So who named the city of Aaron? Who founded that? Aaron. Well, Ammon and Aaron are brothers who are the sons of the king. So here we in the land of the kings, and Ammon and Aaron are two cities within the land of kings. Well, Mosiah was the king. He has two sons, Ammon and Aaron. I don’t think it’s far fetched to imagine that these cities were founded by Ammon and Aaron, and they kind of take that responsibility. And you look at these cities, they’re founded closer to where the Lamanites are. As the Lamanites come in, they’re going to come across the land of Ammonihah quicker than they are. The land is Arhamla. And so you think if you’re building on the fringes, you’re coming out of the land of the king to establish more territory. That’s your responsibility, or whatever the case may be.

And it’s closer, you would think that a city that’s newly founded closer to the land of the Lamanites might not be as arrogant as what these people are who say this great city cannot be destroyed. But realize this people, this area is founded by a lot of the family, the royal lines, right? Look at Amulek. Amulek, when he tries to relate with the people, his way of relating to them is, look how good I am.

Look at my lineage.

This is a very proud area that has a very rich heritage as far as descending from the king and the king’s line and the king’s family. Mosiah is a descendant of Nephi, the first king. And they share that. Mosiah doesn’t just have one kid. Mosiah’s father, I’m sure, didn’t just have one kid. Neither did Benjamin’s father.

They had the royal line, has family, extended family. This is what’s making up a lot of these areas. And when they talk about trying to overthrow the government, think about what that means. Here you have a family of status, a people of status, who are living in a land of kings, the king’s land, almost the very fact that you’re able to live in this area, setting you apart from everybody else, you have a sense of privilege or status in this area. Now, when all of a sudden, Mosiah pulls the rug out from under you and eliminates the monarchy and establishes judges and makes everybody equal, what’s your reaction to that?

And even Mosiah is worried, saying, what happens if an unrighteous person rules up? And then the people choose Aaron per se, to try to come and take the throne back, and he’s going to fall into that trap, and what’s going to happen?

He doesn’t want that to be what’s going to happen. These people, having lost their status overnight, are not super happy about this. And so when it looks about them conspiring to overthrow the government, that’s where it’s coming from. Not only is it coming from that, but you got to remember, what was Ammon like before he was the missionary going to the Lamanites? What was Ammon like when he founded this city? When he founded this city, he was seeking actively to overthrow the church, what kind of people are in the city that he founded with him?

And so you can almost see for Alma, who was walking with Ammon, trying to actively overthrow the church before he had his conversion experience, the desire, the need, the feeling that he had to try to reclaim this people, that he, in part, felt responsible for tilting them the wrong direction, for trying to overthrow the church of his father and the church of the king.

So having that context, I think, helps us better understand what’s going to happen as they go into the land of Ammonihah.

[00:30:01] Speaker B: Let’s get into the land of Ammoniah.

[00:30:04] Speaker A: The land of Ammonihah. Yeah, this doesn’t go super well. Right?

First off, he goes in, and he’s chased out. He goes to the land of Aaron. As we talked about, the lord says, look, they’re seeking to overthrow the government. You need to go back.

I want to point out how fast alma reacts.

It says that in haste, he speedily goes back to the land of Ammonihah, and he goes so speedily, you got to realize that the journeying between city to city he’s laying out, it’s like a three days journey to this city or three days. So when he leaves the land of Ammonihah, there’s no gas station along the way to resupply, to get fueled up, to get food, no hotels. It’s a several days journey till he gets to where he’s at. And when the lord says, go back, he doesn’t even resupply or take the time to, because he turns around, gets there instantly, if you will.

Okay. He doesn’t get there instantly, but instantly he reacts and leaves. And I would say so fast that when he shows up, he hadn’t eaten for several days. I think that indicates how fast his return was. He didn’t even take the time to resupply or make sure he had enough for his trip. That’s how urgent it was. And the reason I point out the urgency is because when he shows up and he meets Almulek and he stays at Amulek’s house, it says that he stays there for many days. And you’re like, wait a second. If he felt like it was so urgent to turn around and make haste to get back to that city as soon as possible, why then does it take him many days to actually begin to preach to the people? Why isn’t he preaching from day one when he arrives in the city? And I didn’t give you any kind of heads up on this, Nate, do you have any thoughts on this before I dive in, or do you want me to just keep.

[00:32:03] Speaker B: Go ahead. Keep going.

[00:32:07] Speaker A: I think, to me, the lesson I pull from this is we should be quick to respond to the Lord. Look how he calls Samuel and he says, here am I right? And he calls Abraham, and he says, here am I. Behold me. Hina knee. Behold me. We should be quick to respond to the Lord, but we also need to balance that with not running faster than we have strength. Just because he has to go back doesn’t mean he has to start teaching day zero without any time to prepare or to make sure he’s going to do the job right. He’s quick to stand up. He’s quick to return. He’s quick to be available and ready in the service of the Lord. But he’s going to take his time to make sure he does the job right in the timing of the Lord.

So when he gets there, he spends some time with amulek and I think there’s some lessons that we can learn from Amulek on this, too. Amulek says that he was not a very religious person.

He says he knew of the Lord. It was just never important to him. But he also says that he was very industrious. And by the labors of his hand, he had a lot of wealth and a lot of riches. He also enjoyed a lot of status.

And I think we may all know people like this in the church. That are members of the church. But maybe not super active in how they participate or help in the church. Or maybe they’re not even part of the church. They’re just good people. But they haven’t really put much thought into it. Or given much time to it or really participated.

But they have status, they have wealth. And that seems to be where they focus most of their attention to. And look at how powerful amulet becomes in the service of the Lord. With something as simple as an invitation.

And maybe there’s a lot of people out there who. Who are trying to live their best life. Or trying to do the best they can.

Who haven’t paid much attention to the Lord or to calling or to doing what they can. And maybe we pass over them because we don’t think that they have enough heart. Or that they put enough in it. Or that they’re going to do a good job. But all they’re doing is just waiting for the right invitation to engage.

And I think how the Lord invites them is. Is significant.

Because it’s not like the Lord invited Amulek to go and be in Alma. To go to this and to start teaching. He instead invites him to his capacity. Something that he is able to do.

Feed my sheep.

Which at the same time is not the same thing that he’s asking Alma to do is feed my sheep. And he’s asking Amulet to feed his sheep. But in Amulek’s case, it’s very literal. I’ve got a prophet. He’s coming. You have wealth, you have ability. You can take care of this prophet. Provide him with a place to stay and with food. And that’s something that’s easy for Amulek to do. Not only that, Amulek was on his way out of town to go and visit family. He had taken some time off work that he could go and be with some people. And so when all of a sudden Alma’s coming, he’s got that availability. And that time that he can spend with Alma. To talk with the prophet of God. To learn and to be prepared so that he can take that next step. So when the Lord’s calling him, he really kind of eases him into this calling. First, provide some food. I know this is something easy for you to do. There’s a prophet. I need you to house him, listen to him. And then he starts to grow in his engagement. Sometimes it’s just a simple commitment, a simple thing that we do. And as we start to engage with the Lord on a simple level, we become invested, we become interested, and our capacity to serve also grows. And you get these great leaders that really all it needed was somebody to work with them and help them engage in a way that was meaningful, that they could to grow that engagement to where they become powerful leaders.

And so maybe in the church, we don’t always need to look at the same five people and just rely on them for everything. Maybe there’s a lot of almilecs out there who haven’t shown a lot of interest, but with the right type of interest, the right type of engagement, we can grow into strong leaders as well. I feel like that’s one of the things that sets the Lord’s church apart from so many other approaches or churches in the world, is that the Lord says, come follow me. And he expects us all to engage, and he provides so many different levels of engagement and things for us to do to get us involved in his work.

All right, next.

Unless you had anything on that.

[00:36:55] Speaker B: No.

[00:36:58] Speaker A: I think it’s interesting that it says they had the power to not be cast into prison. And the reason why I think that’s interesting is because they get cast into prison. And I’m like, wait a second.

[00:37:07] Speaker B: That’s a good point.

[00:37:09] Speaker A: That’s not the greatest superpower if it’s not working.

[00:37:11] Speaker B: I mean, maybe they allowed themselves to be cast into prison, dude.

[00:37:16] Speaker A: Well, it says they did. And I’m like, well, yeah, but does that not seem like a cop out? How do they. So, to me, I wish there was more context to this. How did they know they had the power to not be cast into prison if, at the end of the day, they were cast into prison? And so it makes me think there’s something more to the story, right? Were they consecrated? Did they get an angel? Come set them apart and give them priest of blessing? And part of the words of that blessing is that you would have power not to be cast into prison. Is this Alma, as a prophet? Did he receive this inspiration and tell Amulek, we will not be. Where did the. Where did the idea come from that they couldn’t be cast into prison, at least from Mormon’s perspective, who’s writing this book hundreds of years later, and he’s looking at them, and they were definitely cast into prison. How does Mormon jump to that conclusion without this? Right. It just makes me feel like there’s more meat, there’s more to the story here than what we’re provided with in the quick summary that we have. And I think you see it in a sense, when Alma stands up and testifies to them, they get angry with him, and they seek to cast him into prison, but they can’t. Right. And so the power does show itself. It’s just kind of interesting. And I just feel like there’s something a little bit more to that than. Than what we’re left with.

All right. Alma really does a good job, lays out his testimony. But one thing that he says that kind of intrigued me is when he talks about being cast out of the presence of the Lord. And he says, the Lamanites were cast out of the presence of the Lord because of what they did. And we saw the fulfillment of that.

And that caught my attention, because where do we see the Lamanites being cast out of the presence of the Lord?

And when I think of cast out of the presence of the Lord, maybe just to kind of answer this question, I go back to Adam and Eve who were cast out of the presence of the Lord in the garden of Eden.

And I see being cast out of the presence of the Lord as quite literal, physically being removed from where the Lord resides.

And I see the temple as a restoration into the presence of the Lord, just as we had a journey out of the garden of Eden. The temple was meant to be a journey back into the presence of the Lord. You had cherubim and a flaming sword that were guarding the way, the tree of life. And in the ancient jewish temple, you had Jerobim sewn into the curtains that were meant to separate the people from the Interior of the temple. Inside the temple, you had the tree of life. In the menorah that was this candlestick that was made to look like a tree. Inside, you had the fruit of the tree of life in the bread and the wine that was on the showbread altar. And inside the temple, you had the presence of the Lord in the holy of Holies, the throne, the seat where God himself sat. And even today, in all of our temples on the wall, holiness to the Lord, the house of the Lord. This is the presence of the Lord.

And so when Alma says the Lamanites were cast out of the presence of the Lord. I think this is in direct reference to the loss of the temple, and not just the loss of the temple, but the loss of the priesthood.

The priest did go back to Lehi and his family when they first arrived.

NEpHI as their king consecrates Jacob as the priest, and Jacob is the high priest. And you’ve got this Moses Aaron type situation. Laman and Lemuel don’t get the priesthood. They don’t have the authority. They can’t consecrate priests. And even though Nephi departs into the land of Nephi with all those that will follow him, and he builds a temple, and the Lamanites subsequently take over that land and in turn get the temple. Yet Alma says they’re still not in the presence of God, even with a physical temple, a portal, if you will, a house of the Lord, where they could be back in the presence of the Lord without the priesthood, the authority to God, it doesn’t mean anything. So the temple is not a temple without the priesthood.

And the priesthood, I feel, is insignificant or meaningless without the temple, because what’s the purpose of the temple? Excuse me, the purpose of the priesthood. You have two priesthoods, a preparatory priesthood, the aaronic priesthood, which is to prepare you for the Melchizedek priesthood. And the whole purpose of the Melchizedek priesthood is it holds the keys to the knowledge of God or to come into the presence of God. Now, this Moses plainly understood and taught to bring the people into the presence of God, but they would not. And they had a priest that would do that for them and enter into the holy of holies. And so it was the tabernacle and the priesthood have always been connected with the presence of God, the garden of Eden and this restorative back into the presence of God. Losing those things for the Lamanites, cut them off from the presence of God. And the reason I wanted to go down that road is, I ask ourselves, do we cast ourselves out of the presence of God in not making use of the temple, of not going to the temple and returning to the presence of the Lord? Do we, in a sense, cast ourselves out?

All right, let’s see. Just try to look over my notes, make sure.

[00:43:05] Speaker B: Are you, are we into, are we into chapter nine of your notes yet? Are we still in eight?

[00:43:13] Speaker A: I think we are.

[00:43:14] Speaker B: Chapter nine, I was reading today, um, kind of generally in the verses of chapter nine, kind of eight through 25, a little bit, something I kind of wanted to throw at you that I think still ties back to what we maybe started with was, I love that to try to get the people to soften their hearts, they were very much in the, they very much hit, hit Home with, remember the miracles that YOur forefathers saw. And it’s funny because we see so many times the use of the traditions of YOur fathers in a wicked way. Right? Like the term, like the wicked traditions of YOuR fathers or the traditions of YOuR fathers. So usually when you see that term, I’m almost used to it being in a negative senSe. But it was interesting when Alma and Amulek are going like, have you forgotten the traditions of your fathers?

They’re referring to the good things, like, why have you abandoned, why have you abandoned the things that worked? And so it was kind of an interesting twist on that whole concept, but it really, and again, I’d love to throw this to you, too, not to put you on the spot, but I love that we started this podcast with the idea of whose name do we take upon ourselves and whose name are we going to be called at the last day. And then each week when we make the sacramental covenant, we talk about taking upon ourselves his name and then what, always remembering him. I feel like those two things really are tied hand in hand. And we’ve talked about this a little bit in the past, I think, towards, you know, I guess it’d probably be about 18 months ago, right, when we had our youngest child, and I told you how seriously our family takes the naming of children. It’s a big deal to us. We try to find family names. We try to name our children after people that we want them to look up to. You see, even when Lehi was naming valleys and rivers after his children, even his knucklehead children, it was with the hope that when those names are said, they do what they remember, right? They remember the metaphor, the lesson, or whatever it was supposed to be, that they were named after the name of Christ that we choose to take upon ourselves should be used in the same way. I feel like right is just a constant remembering of who it is we’re trying to act like, who we’re trying to become. And I know, you know, it may have gotten to kind of like a.

It may have lost its bite a little bit. But, you know, we used to have the, what would jesus do? Brace bracelets and things like that. And I appreciate that. But, man, our whole life is supposed to be that the actions that we do should be a living example of what Jesus would do.

And I feel like that. I feel like it’s why I noticed the push from the church to, we need to be calling ourselves the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, because within that title alone are so many things that we’re supposed to remember, including, by the way, our forefathers and a lot of the early members of this restored church. Right. And even the church itself, like so many things within that. I guess I’m just, I kind of appreciated the new perspective that I noticed as I was reading through those verses this week about how so much of it was a plea for them to remember the miracles that happened to their forefathers and the miracles that happened, the deliverance that they received and the protection they received and also the terrible things that happened to them. It’s like, remember these things so that it’ll soften your hearts so that the word of God can sit with you and sync with you. And again, this so much pointed for me back to the sacrament, but also the covenants that we make in a temple and the clothing that we wear and that all of these things are there for us to constantly be remembering the name that we’ve taken upon ourselves.

And hopefully, every time, every time we interact with people, hopefully they are seeing, you know, the way that we choose to remember the name that we have taken upon ourselves is by. To emulate that person in which we’re named after.

[00:48:17] Speaker A: You know, and it’s funny because we like to name our kids, like you said, lehi and nephi. Remember the names where I gave you. And we like to name our name, our kids after heroes to remind them of who they were. And latino culture, the name. A lot of times, one of the more common names is Jesus. You know, I met Jesus the other day, right? And it seems funny to us. We’re like, why would you ever call your kid Jesus? Like, there’s only one. It’s not us. And it’s almost presumptuous that you would think that you could be like Jesus and like, wait a second.

Isn’t that the whole purpose of why we’re here? Isn’t aren’t we supposed to be like, don’t we literally take his name apart?

Yeah. Why do we, why do we shy away from that in our culture? And it’s yet something that we embrace in so many other different ways, and yet they so embrace, so freely embrace that themselves.

[00:49:12] Speaker B: Yep.

[00:49:13] Speaker A: It’s kind of interesting.

[00:49:14] Speaker B: Yep.

All right. That’s all. That’s all I had to say about that.

A lot of this is always just coming back to taking upon ourselves his name and what that actually means to always remember him and what that actually means. And I feel like by doing those things, those are two things that we are commanded to do. But again, the sacrament prayer, I feel like, just continues to reveal itself more and more. How deep and really, like, you know, interconnected that covenant is.

Yes. With all of the other covenants that we make by nature. But how even with just in and of itself, why it’s such an incredible covenant that we get the opportunity to make and keep each week.


[00:50:10] Speaker A: Well said. And I think Alma does such a good job in these first few chapters of encapsulating that gospel. The importance of being born again, the importance of taking the name of Christ upon us, the importance of the covenants, the importance of the temple, the priesthood.

He simplifies the gospel so well, and really it just comes down to a message of repenting and pulling yourself in and trying to be more like the savior. It’s. He does, he does a phenomenal job of encapsulating that and teaching such a plain yet powerful gospel to the people.

[00:50:48] Speaker B: Anything else you want to hit on?

[00:50:54] Speaker A: You know, as I look at this, we kind of, I guess, at the end, run into Zee Ezrem and the attorneys and the weights and the measures and the system, the corruption and kind of that interesting interaction.

And as I was kind of diving through this, this last week, trying to think through this, Mormon does us a favor and tries to list out all the different money amounts and how they stack up and how they work.

And he says that a judge makes a measure of barley a day, that they’re a judge.

And I’m trying to figure out what is the value of a measure of barley?

And as specific as Mormon gets, it’s still, like, not specific enough to get there right, because what is a measure? I mean, a cup is a measure, a teaspoon is a measure, a bushel’s a measure. How much is a measure of barley? And as much as I’ve tried to kind of research this out, and here’s where it gets difficult, because measure can have different standards depending on is it a measure for how much my family needs to eat this day? Is a measure for how much is typically sold in the market? Is it a measure of how much seed is needed to plant an acre of crop? And then now we run into a different measurement. Is it an acre? Is it a hectare? Is it like, what size were they using? And we don’t have enough specifics or details in the Book of Mormon to fully understand how much barley is. Is a measure of barley. Not only that, where in the Book of Mormon is this taking place? Because I don’t typically associate barley as a mainstay crop in the rainforest with all sorts of. I mean, if it’s hard to grow barley and it takes a lot of land or it’s too wet for barley, is the value of barley a lot higher than where it would be in a more desert situation, where barley is an easier crop to grow?

What is the value on this? So it’s almost impossible to say what the measure of a barley is. But what I come back to is Mosiah’s example. Mosiah worked to support himself, and so when he set up this system of judges and rulers, and he decided to compensate a judge for their time with the measure of barley a day for their service, I would have to think, based on Mosiah’s example, that this is not an exorbitant amount of money to where they would want to get out of working, to be a judge all of the time.

But I also have to think that it would be a fair compensation. So, as I look at the measure of barley, what seems to square up is it’s more than what you would make on a manual labor for a day’s work, but it’s not more than a typical educated person would make. It would be comparative to what they would make doing something else. And so when I look at them trying to stir up cases so that they could be judging more, it’s not that they were getting rich off of it. It’s honestly that they didn’t want to do any other type of work.

It was maybe the easiness of the work, or them trying to get out of having to support themselves in another way or another fashion, I don’t know. It’s just trying to get some nature, some idea into these people and what they’re doing, the whole interaction with Zee Ezrem does get interesting, where amulet kind of reads his mind and his thoughts to where he’s going with it.

To give you an idea of how much the bribe is that Ziazrem offers amulet to deny that there is a God, you’re talking about 43 days of work for a judge. That’s about the value of this. So about a month and a bit.

So we’re talking not manual labor, but educated labor. If I were to just try to ballpark this and say that maybe $60,000 a year for something that’s average but not necessarily blue collar, it might even be a little bit higher. But just using round numbers, because 60 is divided by twelve, pretty easy. 5000 plus a little bit. $5500 to $6,000. I think that’s about what Zim?

[00:55:19] Speaker B: It’s a low ball offer, dude.

[00:55:21] Speaker A: It’s a low ball offer, but at the same time, what’s the, what’s, what’s that? What’s the amount of work that you have to do it? Nate, if I were to say, will you say that you are what would be something, comparative Lakers fan, that would pay you $6,500?

[00:55:41] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:55:42] Speaker A: To say that the jazz suck.

[00:55:43] Speaker B: Yeah. I mean, I mean, all you have to do. All you have to do is say it. Yeah. For $6,500, dude, I’d probably do it for $65.

[00:55:50] Speaker A: Exactly. Exactly. I mean, look at the trade off.

[00:55:53] Speaker B: Because of the sadness that I’m, that I’m subjected to every single year, rooting for the team that I love so deeply.

[00:56:02] Speaker A: I don’t think that the amount of money that Ezra is offering is.

I mean, it is.

[00:56:10] Speaker B: I know, but that. That’s probably not the story, but that.

[00:56:13] Speaker A: But it’s the exchange. Right? All you have to do is say this.

[00:56:17] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:56:17] Speaker A: 6000, 505,500, whatever the deal. $5,000 for saying one sentence. That’s it.

[00:56:23] Speaker B: Yeah, but I mean, yeah. Again, I think the bigger point was, is that he was, the idea is clearly trying to set up something bigger or even just to kind of needle him. Like, I mean, there’s, I, I don’t think reading the story, anybody ever thought like, oh, yeah, he’s going to take this bribe.

[00:56:44] Speaker A: Right?

[00:56:45] Speaker B: Yeah. I don’t, I mean, I just, it’s, it is, it is an interesting part. It, I think just illustrates a lot of the personalities involved in the back and forth a little bit is really what it does more than anything.

[00:56:56] Speaker A: Right. And it’s not like he’s saying, I’ll give you a million dollars to do it. Right?

[00:57:00] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:57:00] Speaker A: It’s got to be believable.

[00:57:02] Speaker B: Yes. Yeah.

[00:57:03] Speaker A: But it’s still a, but it’s still a significant amount. But anyways, I mean, it’s.

I, I don’t know, to kind of wrap this up, at least from my perspective. I think we’ve covered a lot of good things here. It’s, it’s cool to see the testimonies of Alma and amulek, and it’s cool to see them double down on their testimonies. And here, I mean, we get a lot of stories about Christ in the Bible, but here you get the. I know. Type testimony that I think our culture thrives on. We have our fast and testimony meeting, that opportunity to exchange that information of what I know and how I know, and to see these men bear their witness and bear strong testimonies, it’s powerful. It’s a simple gospel. It’s a powerful gospel. And I love to hear them state what they know with their words.

[00:57:50] Speaker B: I would like to add to that the biggest thing that I have really loved the past couple weeks is all of this still kind of coming back to something that has been on my mind and what I’ve been trying to study for as I’ve been preparing for these lessons, which is all things can be consecrated for our good if we’re following Christ as much as we can. And if you look at Alma the younger, specifically in these stories, he doesn’t get to have that same experience.

And, I mean, he doesn’t get to testify of these without having the experience that he had to have. Like, when you read Alma, chapter five, and just like the wall to wall, very, very well articulated doctrine of the atonement of redemption, it’s coming from somebody that had to go through hell. It’s coming from somebody that, like, talked about the harrowing up of his sins, right. And his soul.

When you understand from the previous story of Alma the younger’s experiences, he was even, in his most knucklehead times, being prepared, I believe, to be the person that could come and deliver these sermons and that could run as fast as he could and was willing to turn around at the moment’s notice to do what he felt was the right thing to do.

So even in his darkest times, where his parents maybe did feel like failures, at the time, when he was going around fighting against everything that Alma was trying to teach at the time, right? His sons out there fighting against him, like, how could you not look at that situation and go, am I blowing this as a parent? Am I blowing this? Whatever.

This is a complete failure. And then when you go back and read these scriptures again, listen to the way that Alma talks about the atonement, listen to the way that Alma talks about Christ and about the processes of being redeemed, and you go, oh, yeah, that’s coming from somebody that went to hell and back. And then you go, oh, my goodness. I guess it’s really amazing that he went through that experience so that he would be able to testify as powerfully as he has in all of these chapters, completely unafraid and in really, like, beautiful, simple ways that, you know, we read Isaiah and the interpretations of Isaiah all the time. And I’m still just like, oh, man. Like, that’s getting lost in the weeds for me because it’s so beautiful, but it’s complicated and it’s so symbolic and whatever. Go read Alma, chapter five. And it’s like, it’s just.

It’s the meat and potatoes from start to finish of that. And so I, for 01:00 a.m. really happy that Alma had his rebellious youth. I, for 01:00 a.m. really happy that he.

I wouldn’t change it. And I can imagine that he would have agreed that he wouldn’t go back and change it if he could, because that’s what made him into the powerful testimony that he became. And that means something to me, you know, where I’m at in life and with what I’m trying to do in life.

I agree with the idea that all of these things that we’re going through currently can be used for our benefit if we are keeping our focus on God. And it gives hope to knuckleheads like myself that I am trying to be better.

And I also believe, like, okay, cool. Well, maybe I am being prepared for something that I can’t know until down the road as well. Hopefully, I can recognize that when it shows itself and be prepared to use even the times where I’m struggling. Hopefully, I can find a way to use those times to still further the work.

[01:02:15] Speaker A: Well, it’s a beautiful message. And it’s not just Alma on a personal level, but he pulls in the stories of Limhi’s people, who, on a national level, are going through what he’s going through on a personal level. Alma’s people that go through that same type of story. Right. And the experience of the Jews being carried away, captive into Babylon, being destroyed by Assyria, going through rebellious stages, is that not also the same story?

And Christ himself.

Not to say that Christ was ever rebellious, but is it not a story of a fall in the sense of his death and a rise with the resurrection? It’s his people following him, going through our own falls and our own rises that really we become. We come like him in that sense.

[01:03:12] Speaker B: Yeah. I mean, you. Yeah. Not rebellious necessarily, but Christ had to go to hell and back, too, you know, in the garden. Like, he. He had to feel the depths of everything as well.

[01:03:25] Speaker A: Right?

[01:03:25] Speaker B: Like, he. He had to overcome that as well, too, and.

And needed the strength to even make it through that, you know, he. And so I guess I do see a lot of the parallels, even in what Alma the younger had to go through yet. Like, yes, Christ wasn’t rebelling. But it’s like, how could Christ know everything? How could Christ know how to best comfort and support and redeem us without having to go to Helen back himself?

[01:04:00] Speaker A: That’s it. And how many times did he weep or groan within himself? And having to deal with some of the hard things that he had to deal with and how many trials, how many, you know.

[01:04:15] Speaker B: It’S intense. It’s good stuff. Good stuff. I love these chapters. This is definitely, this is definitely the part of the Book of Mormon that really kind of hits a stride for me. And I know as we’re getting closer and closer to the quote unquote war chapters, I’m like, man, there’s so much good stuff to learn from those chapters as well that I’m actually really looking forward to kind of getting into.

[01:04:38] Speaker A: So, and, you know, one of the most beautiful things just kind of, this was coming in and out of my mind as we were talking about, this is the lineage of Christ, right?

[01:04:51] Speaker B: What you look at, it’s not clean.

[01:04:55] Speaker A: It’s not clean. It’s not clean. When you got your Judah and Tamar and you got your rahab and you’ve got your Ruth and your boaz and all of these stories are beautiful stories of redemption, of getting it right after it wasn’t. And isn’t that the purpose? Isn’t that why Christ was chosen before the foundation of the world? And that almost is becoming a big theme for us as we’re going through the book of Mormon, is that Christ was plan a.

That our bumps and our bruises and our exchanges and our learning to wake up and be born again is plan a.

That there was a death, there was a fall, and that’s okay. Yep.

[01:05:45] Speaker B: Good stuff.

We really appreciate everybody listening.

It’s been fun to get back on track.

Hopefully we’ve gotten some of our technical issues worked out.

We do appreciate any chance to hear from you if you have any question or feedback. We got some great feedback after last week’s episode. You can get a hold of us at the email address. Hi. Hi. By the way. H I. Hi. Hi@weeklydeepdive.com. hi. Hi@weeklydeepdive.com. send us questions, comments, feedback we love. Yeah, listening or hearing from you and reading through your perspectives as well is way, probably way more, for me at least, than listening to ourselves talk. So please, please let us know what you’re thinking and feeling.

We really do appreciate you listening and sharing this with your friends. Jason, if that’s, if you don’t got anything else, that’s all we got for me?

You good?

[01:06:48] Speaker A: Good. All right.

[01:06:49] Speaker B: Until next week.

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