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Mosiah 25 – 28

Weekly Deep Dive
Weekly Deep Dive
Mosiah 25 - 28

In this episode of the weekly Deep Dive podcast on the Add On Education network, hosts Jason Lloyd and Nate Pyfer navigate the challenges of remote recording as Jason adjusts to his new home in Spain.

The main discussion delves into Mosiah chapters 25 through 28 from the “Come Follow Me” curriculum. Jason and Nate explore the roles of Amulon and Ammon in the conversion of the Lamanites, examining how Amulon’s influence inadvertently set the stage for future missionary success. They also discuss the parallels between Old Testament patterns and the governance structures in the Book of Mormon, highlighting the balance between religious and political leadership.

The conversation transitions into a deep dive into Alma the Younger’s conversion story, comparing it to Saul’s transformation in the New Testament. They reflect on the importance of recognizing and sharing personal testimonies of redemption and the power of the Atonement, especially during fast and testimony meetings.

Throughout the episode, Jason and Nate emphasize the relevance of understanding historical and scriptural patterns to better grasp the messages in the Book of Mormon and how these insights can inspire modern-day faith and testimony. Join them as they provide thoughtful perspectives and spiritual insights in their quest to deepen the understanding of the scriptures.


[00:00:15] Speaker A: Welcome to the weekly Deep Dive podcast on the add on Education network. The 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, let’s see, battalion of Spain remotely with Nate the great Pyfer, our show’s producer and our friend, Nate. How you doing?

[00:00:37] Speaker B: Living the dream, baby.

[00:00:40] Speaker A: Living the dream. This is our first experiment recording together.

We’ll see how this goes.

[00:00:46] Speaker B: It’s gonna work.

We’re gonna definitely need to kind of tighten up some of the audio things. Some of you might notice a little bit of like, kind of like room noise, kind of just echo and stuff where Jason is, but that’s because you just barely moved into your new spot. So you don’t have furniture or anything up?

[00:01:06] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve got some furniture, but honestly, mostly empty. I don’t have my couches yet. And this house is built to echo, which is not ideal when you have six kids running around the house.

[00:01:20] Speaker B: How’s it been so far, though? You adjusting all right? How’s the family doing?

[00:01:25] Speaker A: It’s been. It’s been good. The family’s been taking it really well.

It’s been amazing, honestly.

Lots of ups, a couple downs, but it’s been. It’s been good.

[00:01:38] Speaker B: Awesome. Do you want to maybe update a little bit on. I know we missed last week. Maybe you can give them just a quick word on that.

[00:01:47] Speaker A: Yeah. So, boy, I’ll tell you guys, anyone, anyone considering moving to Spain, just. Just know there’s going to be a lot of heartache involved with getting Internet in the house.

We still do not have Internet. We’re trying to find some workaround solutions so that we can get this podcast out to you guys.

You can get the electricity in your name on your house, you can rent a house, you can get the water, the utilities, and you can pay for all of that. But you can’t get Internet until it’s. I don’t know, it’s been a process.

You have to get a. It’s like the Social Security number, but for foreigners. And they call it the NIE number here in Spain.

And trying to get that is just a runaround and a half. In fact, we met with some attorneys on Friday who were working in that process with us, and they scanned all of our documents, got everything ready to go, and I said, fantastic. Do you want me to set the appointment now so that we can get this NIE number going and I can sign up for Internet?

And they really just almost laughed at me and they said, you can try to set that up, but it’s going to be nearly impossible. We’ll take care of that for you and we’ll let you know when we have the appointment because otherwise it’s not going to go well. I could tell you guys story after story about how this last week went and trying to chase it down, but I know we’ve got a lot to cover, so that’s just kind of the, the short of it is getting Internet and a phone service not as easy as you would expect. And even trying to sign up for a local cell phone plan, you have to have a local cell phone number in order to sign up for a local cell phone number. So think about the circular logic on that.

[00:03:32] Speaker B: Yeah, that doesn’t, that sounds weird to me.

[00:03:35] Speaker A: It’s, it’s been maddeningly frustrating. I mean, just to give you maybe one last little insight, when we went, I was in Barcelona in the city, and I popped into one of their cell phone provider stores and got a ticket, waited in line, sat down with somebody, and they told me just outright, you will not get this until you have your Nie number.

And I said, well, how in the world do I get that? And they said, there’s a police station two blocks down. That’s where you got to go. And I’m like, I’m going to go grab it right now. So I walked out of the store, went two blocks down to the police station, and they had a sign on the door that very clearly expressed, we will not meet with you unless you have an appointment.

And they posted the website where you go to get the appointment. So I went to the website on my phone, pulled it up. I said, I’m going to get an appointment right now. We’re going to get this taken care of.

And in order to schedule an appointment, you had to have your Nie number to be able to schedule the appointment. And I about lost it.

[00:04:36] Speaker B: So are you just going to be illegal the whole time? I guess is the question, are we never, are we never getting the Internet over there?

[00:04:44] Speaker A: We’re getting the Internet. We’re getting the Internet this week. So this is a, this is a good first step, but we’re going to have even better on the next one.

[00:04:52] Speaker B: Yep.

What are we talking about tonight?

[00:04:56] Speaker A: Tonight we’re covering Mosiah, chapters 25 through 28. I’m actually stoked. We have a lot to cover. Sorry. Sorry. This is a week late, but, you know, this is spanish bureaucracy. We’ll get there.

[00:05:11] Speaker B: Sweet.

[00:05:14] Speaker A: Cool. All right, let’s kick us let’s kick us off. Let’s talk about.

Really, I want to start with the critical role that Amulon plays in some of this. So, Amulon, just to give you guys a little bit of context and reminder, he’s one of Noah’s priests, but different from Alma. He’s not a super righteous priest. And I want to kind of go back and read the description of Amulon and the priest in Mosiah, chapter 24. So I’m going to borrow from the previous weeks to just set the stage on this in verse one. And it came to pass that Amulon did gain favor in the eyes of the king of the Lamanites. Therefore, the king of the Lamanites granted unto him and his brethren. That they should be appointed teachers over his people. Yea, even over the people who were in the land of Shemlon and the land of Shimlon and the land of Amulon.

Now, think about this for a second. Amulon is a priest, and he’s a priest that’s used to, in Noah’s regime, having these big brass. Brass, I’m sorry, gold breastplates that he could just lay out on and teach the people from. Teaching is his thing.

And the king of the Lamanites has granted him a unique opportunity to teach the Lamanite people.

And we can look at what he teaches them. We fast forward in verse four. And he appointed teachers of the brethren of Amulon. In every land which was possessed by his people. Thus the language of Nephi began to be taught among all the people of the Lamanites. And they were a people friendly one with another. Nevertheless, they knew not God. Neither did the brethren of Amulon teach them anything concerning the Lord their God, neither the law of Moses, nor did they teach them the words of Abinadi.

But they taught them that they should keep their records. And that they might write one to another. And thus the Lamanites began to increase in riches. And began to trade one with another and wax great. And began to be a cunning and a wise people. As to the wisdom of the world, yea, a very cunning people, delighting in all manner of wickedness and plunder.

And so, looking at this, here you have a priest whose principal responsibility is to teach the people about God. He’s given a golden opportunity where he set responsible over all the teaching of the people of the Lamanites.

And he does not teach them a thing about God.

Nothing at all. And that’s kind of a disconnect, a weird thing that you put a priest in charge, and he doesn’t teach them about God. But Amulon even takes this one step further, because Amulon is the one that is put to rule over the people of Alma, who was a fellow priest of his. And he enacts a rule that if anyone is caught praying, they can be killed. So not only is he not teaching about God, but he is actively persecuting and looking to kill anyone that does believe in God or teach by example or pray, if that makes sense.

Not a great dude.

And yet I think that he has a critical role to play in the conversion of the Lamanites. And so I wanted to kind of start this episode by asking the question, and it’s similar to the question that we talked in our last episode, Nate, when we were looking at why was it that Alma was successful when Abinadi couldn’t find anybody to listen to him? Now, let’s take a look at this. Why was Ammon so successful as a missionary when he goes to the land of Nephi and teaches the people, when for hundreds of years, the Nephites have been sending missionaries to the land of the Lamanites and not having any success?

[00:08:53] Speaker B: That’s a good question.

[00:08:56] Speaker A: Yeah, I think a key part of it is Amulon sets the stage.

He’s not teaching them religion per se. I think he’s almost kind of a bridge between the Lamanites and the Nephites by teaching them the language.

Imagine being a missionary and going there and trying to teach people that are not on par with the language that you’re teaching. If you guys are speaking two different languages, or if you have scriptures and you want them to read the scriptures, but they don’t understand the scriptures. So go back again. I think this is critical.

It says that he taught them the language of the Nephites.

And we’ve mentioned that before when he says, I having been taught in all the language of my fathers, and it was the record of the language of record keeping.

And they make a big deal out of this when they says verse six, and they taught them that they should keep their records.

And so now if you have a missionary coming in there with records, how successful would they have been before Amulon when they can’t read those records and those records mean nothing to them, versus post Amulon, where now they can look at the records and they can see them and read them and get something out of them, or believe them for their own eyes that they wouldn’t have been able to have gotten before.

And I think they also, economically, the country is benefiting quite a bit from Amulon teaching them how to keep records because it allows their trade and their economy to grow and to prosper. To where they look favorably on the Nephites because of what they gained from this experience with Amulon. Rather than trying to teach them something that they weren’t willing to receive, they taught them something that could improve or move the dial on where they were that day economically.

And I think it’s almost a baby step that made them more receptive to listening to the Nephites messages later on. Like, look what we were able to gain from listening to the Nephites before. Maybe they have some wisdom that can help us improve in other ways as well. So as wicked as Amulon was, I think he’s critical in moving the dialogue and building the bridge that’s going to make ammon successful later on, if that makes any sense. Nate?

[00:11:27] Speaker B: Yeah, totally. I think it’s a great point.

It’s one of those things where we talk in our church a lot about not being able to frustrate the Lord’s work, even when it might seem like things are failing on that front. And it’s like even in something like this, even though he’s probably trying to do the opposite because he’s gnarly, he is still setting the stage for future conversion.

[00:11:55] Speaker A: Yeah, you said it perfectly. And I think that’s what we get from the story of Adam and Eve. As much as the serpent was trying to frustrate things, didn’t he just bring about what needed to happen? Or you look at Gethsemane, as much as the devil tried to destroy Christ, isn’t that Christ’s greatest accomplishment in the atonement?

Every time Satan tries to frustrate things, it usually ends up magnifying what the lord is doing.

[00:12:30] Speaker B: Yeah, great point.

[00:12:34] Speaker A: And I think that’s going to feed into the conversion story of Alma the Younger, which we’re going to get to here in a minute. So let me shelf that for now, and let’s go to another thought, which kind of feeds off this in a sense, too, as successful as Mosiah and Benjamin and Mosiah were as kings, because we’re going to get into a discussion in these chapters. Mosiah is trying to turn over the reign of his kingdom later on, and he wants to find somebody to rule because his sons don’t want to do it, and the people want his sons to do it, and they come up with the rule of the judges, and he mentions how good Benjamin was as a king. And he even says to the point, if you had a perfect king, it would be better that you had kings all the time. But because you don’t have kings that are always doing the right thing or always looking out for the needs of the people, we might need to balance this with these judges, right?

But in that he recalls how good of a king Benjamin was. And we can read about these kings and say, okay, in contrast to Noah Limhi zenith, you’ve got Mosiah, Benjamin, Mosiah. It’s these two great extremes. And as good as these three kings are on the positive side. Yet Benjamin loses in warfare and they lose the land of Zarahem. Like he has to go and reconquer it. And in Mosiah’s time, you have this apostasy with his own sons and the sons of Alma going about destroying the people.

And my point with this is, it doesn’t matter how good we are, we’re still going to have difficulty.

And I think that’s a common misconception that a lot of people run into with the gospel, or this idea that I did everything right, how come I’m struggling, or how come things aren’t as good as I thought. Like God.

Why isn’t it? I mean, there was a conference talk about this, where we treat God almost like this cosmic vending machine, where I said my prayers and I read my scriptures. I put in seventy five cents and I expect this drink to be popping out of the bottom. Or I expect these blessings, or God’s going to bless me with this perfect wife, or this perfect family, or this whatever, whatever, right? X, y, z.

I think we get this impression that being righteous is going to lead to a perfect life with no trials. And I think that’s a failed perception on our part. And I think this highlights that, seeing as good as these kings were, yet they still had to overcome apostasy and defeat in battle with you in the book. Yeah, the book of Revelations. If we go back and read it, I’m not going to take the time to read it now. But as you recall, it says over and over and over again, to he that overcometh, you’ll get this blessing. To he that overcometh, you get this blessing. And so the question I would want to leave with that is, how in the world can you overcome if you’re never behind, if you’re never being defeated? And so the promise, the blessings aren’t that you’ll be perfect. In fact, maybe there’s some consolation in that. The promise go back to Adam and Eve is you will fall, you will die, you will mess up. But the promise is, that’s why we have a savior before the foundation of the world. God chose a savior so that we could overcome those blessings. And the success isn’t that we don’t falter. The success isn’t that we don’t fall.

It’s because we fall.

There’s a savior, and we still can find that salvation.

Love it.

All right, let’s go into some patterns in the Book of Mormon.

When we look at Mosiah, Benjamin and Mosiah, and then we’re shifting into this rule of the judges, this fracturing, I see a similarity or a parallel in the Old Testament with the patriarchs. You have Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and then after Jacob, you shift into the twelve tribes, this fracturing, if you will, where each tribe, they become a confederacy.

And this pattern also becomes the pattern for the gospel that Christ sets up in the New Testament when he has his first presidency. Think of the first presidency as the patriarchs. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. You got your three, followed by your twelve apostles, your cormorant, your twelve, if you will.

Another, I guess, tip to Joseph Smith, if he did indeed create this book, for him to be observant enough to notice some of these patterns and subtly include them without even talking about them or trying to point this out.

I don’t know. To me, it’s just one more of these little subtle things that fit in the scriptures that give it a little bit more depth and volume. To me, as I’m reading Messiah, to see that same type of pattern in the Book of Mormon, and building on that pattern, even in the Old Testament, you can see a repeat of it with their transition, in a sense, from the reign of judges, two kings, and the very first king is Saul, followed by David. And then you have Solomon. And so again, you have these three patriarchs, if you will, over a unified Israel. And then what happens after Solomon’s death is there’s a fracturing in the kingdom, and you have all of these different kings. And so it’s kind of this similar pattern that just plays itself out a couple of different times.

And with that, I think the Book of Mormon plays a role very complementary to that of the Bible.

When we’re reading about the exodus and moses goes to JEthRo, he’s presiding over the people. He has the Melchizedek priesthood. He goes up into the mountain of God, and his role is to prepare the people to enter into the presence of God, which is the role of the MelchizEDEk priesthood. But when he comes back down from the mountain and the people with Aaron have built this golden calf, and they’ve been worshiping it, God takes the aaronic priesthood, or, excuse me, the MelchizEDEk priesthood out of the midst of the people, and he leaves them with the aaronic priesthood, a preparatory priesthood. And so you have this journey from MelchizedEk priesthood to AAronic priesthood. And in the BOok of Mormon, you’re almost reversing that story. You’re starting with an aaronic priesthood. You have the Levites and the priests in the land of Jerusalem at Lehi’s time. But because of disobedience, because of what’s going on, Lehi receives el Melchizedek priesthood, and he now prepares his family to enter into the presence of God. He has this vision of the tree of life that he shares with his children, and he invites them to come and partake of the fruit. And Nephi takes that invitation and has the same dream and enters into the presence of the Lord. And Jacob enters into the presence of the Lord. And you see this transition from aaronic priesthood to Melchizedek priesthood to where all priesthood in the book of Mormon is Melchizedek going forward, which is the reverse of what you saw in the Old Testament, where all priesthood was aaronic going forward from that moment with Moses.

So I’m starting to see patterns in the book of Mormon that take what happened in the Old Testament, and it’s reversing it almost like the second half of a chiasmus.

And building on that pattern, not only do you see that with the priesthood, but in the Old Testament, you went from the reign of judges to a reign of kings. Now, in the Book of Mosiah, you’re going to go from, in the Book of Mormon, a reign of kings for hundreds of years to transition into a reign of judges. And just bringing that back down and maybe one last little part of that pattern. In the Old Testament, you had an ark of the covenant, which was built out of gold. It was lined on the inside with gold, and on the outside with gold. And inside the Ark of the Covenant, you kept the writings of God. Scripture that was engraven on stone tablets.

In the Book of Mormon, when Moroni buries the plates and Joseph Smith later discovers it, he takes the lid of this stone box off. And this stone box is as if it were an ark of the covenant. And there’s a lot of temple imagery in this with what is being kept in the stone box with the breastplate that the priests used to officiate in with the tokens of authority. The sword of Laban with the Urim and Thummim, just like the priests have in the temple. But what you have is an ark of the covenant. And the Ark of the Covenant is made out of stone, and inside of it is the scriptures, which are engraven on gold. So you’ve kind of reversed these roles again, where the ark is now stone and the scriptures are now gold, where the Book of Mormon complements the Bible in so many subtle ways. It’s a.

[00:22:07] Speaker B: Continuation.

[00:22:10] Speaker A: Yeah, I’m just struggling with my, with my expression on that, but, yeah, it’s a continuity with the Bible or a continuation of the Bible story in a way that almost reverses it or reflects it like a mirror. Like, you see a mirror image rather than the exact image.

[00:22:27] Speaker B: It’s awesome. Great insight.

[00:22:32] Speaker A: And, you know, how would a boy in early american history, as always, right.

Find that complexity in creating a story like he did?

Hats off to him if that’s how it happened.

[00:22:52] Speaker B: Yeah. You know how I feel about that.

[00:22:54] Speaker A: All right.

I do. I do.

And I’m just going to apologize right now.

There’s obviously a difference when we’re in the studio and we’re sitting across the room and I can. I mean, we can read each other’s faces and kind of see how things are going. So if I. If I’m ever getting caught where I just keep talking, Nate, and no, man, I would normally pick up on a visual cue when you have something to say.

[00:23:21] Speaker B: Nah, dude, I’m seeing. I’m just listening. I’m just listening. It’s all good.

[00:23:26] Speaker A: Feel free to jump in and stop me and make up for anything I’m not seeing.

[00:23:31] Speaker B: I will, man. Don’t. Don’t worry. Everybody’s. Everything’s going to work out great, man.

[00:23:37] Speaker A: All right, all right.

Well, speaking of patterns and things that we’re seeing in the Book of Mormon, there’s another pattern that I wanted to point out, and this advances in the story when they all come back, maybe just a few small details, and then I’ll hit on this pattern.

When the people of Zenith, not Zanf, but Limhi, Limhi’s people and Alma’s people, and they’re all reunified and Mosiah into the land of Zarahemla. Mosiah gathers all the people to tell them all of the story. It is kind of interesting. He has them all gathered together in two separate groups, and the people of Zarahemla are in one group, and the Nephites are in a second group. So even though Mosiah is reigning over this somewhat unified kingdom, there’s details in here subtle enough that this unification might be more of an alliance than an actual Mosiah might not be directly reigning over the people of Zarahemla. They might have their own king, and he is the king. That kind of pulls them together. Even in ancient Israel, when you had a king that ruled over him, you still had a prince from each tribe. And the people of Zarahemla seem like they have still their own separate leadership underneath reign. It kind of rolls up in there. It’s interesting. They don’t have, they’re not completely gelled into one single people, from what I gather as I’m reading this text.

But they read the records, they recount what’s going on, and everything’s going good. But then it rises up to this point where the younger generation doesn’t remember the words of King Benjamin. They don’t have this firsthand experience with what happened with Limhi and Alma’s people. And they’re starting to drift further from God, and they’re starting to tear apart the church, and they bring these people to Alma. And I think it’s important also, this is in Mosiah, chapter 26, verse eight. It says, now, King Mosiah had given Alma the authority over the church.

Alma had authority.

And when they reunify with Mosiah’s people, Mosiah gives Alma the authority within that people. And you see again the separation, the role of the priest and the king.

And I think that Mosiah is going to give Alma the authority again. Makes me wonder about, did Alma come from the line of Jacob? Because the line of Jacob did go in with zenith, and it had died down in Mosiah’s rain. And now Mosiah is tipping his hat and giving him the authority over the church when he comes. But you have these two separate powers, the king and the priesthood, the church. Mosiah gives the authority to Alma. So even though Mosiah is not presiding over it, the authority still does come from Mosiah. Mosiah is this prophet, the seer, this great leader of the people. And he has the authority to. To delegate or to give that responsibility to Alma, to preside over the church, while he himself maintains the political entity or the affairs of the kingdom. Kind of under his responsibility. His role, anyhow, when they bring the people that are trying to tear the church apart to Alma, because he is the one that’s been designated by Mosiah to. To preside over the church and the land.

Alma takes that to Mosiah, and they have this interesting exchange over whose responsibility is it. Are they breaking any of the laws in the land? No. So it’s not necessarily going to fall under Mosiah, because his is the laws and the political, the legal aspect of the country, while Mosiah is, or Alma is more the spiritual or the church. So this is going to fall under, under Alma. But as we start reading the story and this interchange between the two, what it reminds me of, Mosiah and Alma remind me of Caiaphas and Pilate, because Caiaphas was the spiritual leader in Jerusalem. And you have this person going about destroying the church. In a sense, is that not what Christ is doing?

And arguably it is because it’s going to take the established religion and create a new religion in Christianity. And some might argue and say, well, Christ didn’t try to destroy Judaism. In fact, he enforced the law of Moses. He continually said, even to the lepers, go to the priest and present yourself. He continued to teach obedience to the laws of the Jews, but he did push back against the political structure, the rulers at the time. He did teach a different way, and he did teach that the Jews had gone away from what they were doing. I think there’s parallels in what Christ did in his time and what you see the sons of Mosiah and the son of Alma doing in their time. Only Christ was doing it to try to correct something that had gone astray and bring it back to the truth, where these guys are trying to take something that was right and true and in their minds, correct it and fix it by introducing apostasy into the church. But there are some interesting similarities between the two. And just as Christ is brought to Caiaphas, these are brought to Alma. Alma being the spiritual head, and he goes to the political head, just as Caiaphas goes to Pilate. And Pilate looks at this in Christ’s case and says, this is not anything legally for my jurisdiction in roman rule. I don’t have any cause to be killing this man, and turns it back over to them. And that’s what happens here with Mosiah. I have no legal jurisdiction in this. There’s no problem as far as the laws of the land go. I am turning this back over to you, Alma, to make a call as the spiritual leader, because these are spiritual issues.

The difference between Caiaphas and Alma become quite evident here in Caiaphas case.

Rather than turn to God and ask him what to do. Or at least we don’t get that impression in the account. Right? He forces the issue back to Pilate. He makes Pilate make the decision wherein Alma takes this, and he’s deeply troubled. He takes it to the Lord and inquiring of him, fasting, praying, and asking what to do until the voice of the Lord comes. And I think that becomes the clear difference between Alma and Caiaphas is in chapter 26 of Mosiah, verse 14. And it came to pass that after he had poured out his whole soul unto God, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying, blessed art thou, Alma. And blessed are those who are baptized in the waters of Mormon. It’s the voice of the Lord.

And the difference in the leadership of the church or the spiritual leadership is when you have somebody who thinks they know best and is too proudful to go to the Lord and ask him what to do, versus someone who knows they don’t know best and continues to rely on the Lord until he hears the voice of the Lord. And in that case, it is the Lord himself that’s guiding the church as opposed to a church of. Of any man.

Any thoughts on that, Nate?

[00:31:18] Speaker B: No.

Again, I love you. Tying together the insights of the religious and political kind of partnerships that I feel like are a pattern theme throughout the Old Testament and obviously throughout the Book of Mormon. It’s interesting. How many.

When did it change to where the religious leaders became? I mean, I don’t know how to phrase the question right, because like you said, there’s. There’s always kind of. The religious leaders aren’t always necessarily over.

I don’t know, not the church, but you know what I mean? It’s like King David was like the king, but was being corrected by the prophets outside of himself. But we look at King David as he was also obviously heavily influenced by God. Moses is probably your closest to, was the leader of the church and the leader of the people. But all throughout the Book of Mormon, we’ve been kind of hitting on that theme where you have very much like a strong religious prophet, but then a king or ruler who also, it seems like, was very much guided or was expected to be guided by God.

King Noah had apparently enough authority to be appointing priests where you would think that that should be the job of a religious leader. Do you see what I’m saying? Like, there’s just kind of some weird. There’s some weird relationship things there that I’m still totally trying to understand.

[00:32:54] Speaker A: Yeah, there’s.

I’m trying to think the name of the king. In the, in the ancient near east, there’s a stella or a carving in the rock. And you actually see this quite, quite often when it talks about the king list. And they’ll say, this guy is a king because he was the son of this one, who was the son of this one, who is the son of this one. They go through their authority based on the bloodlines. And inevitably, when they get up to the top, they say, who received his authority from God.

And that’s why they have the right to rule, is because God said, this person is going to be king. He established him, he made him, he created him as king. And because God did that, now this line has their authority. It always ties back. It’s very similar. I think you even made this comment before, Nate, to our priesthood lines today when we try to say, okay, well, I received my priesthood from my father, who received it from his father, who received it from all the way, who received it from Joseph Smith, who received it under the hands of Peter, James and John, who received it from Jesus Christ. Now we can trace that lineage, that authority. And in the ancient world, not unique to Israel, but in all throughout the ancient world, their kings had to have driven that power or authority to rule over the people from God himself.

And so the king almost was a priest in a lot of cultures, they had divine authority to choose the priesthood, to choose their priests, to choose their counselors.

And in fact, maybe this is a good place to interject this. Mosiah, chapter 27, verse one.

There’s a subtle detail here that, again, I don’t think Joseph Smith ever would have invented you. Look at this in verse one. And now it came to pass. Then the persecutions which were inflicted on the church by the unbelievers became so great that the church began to murmur and complain to their leaders concerning the matter. And they did complain to Alma. And Alma laid the case before their king, Mosiah. And Mosiah consulted with his priests. Look at that last line on that, Nate. Mosiah consulted with his priest. Wait a second. Wasn’t Alma his priest?

Didn’t he put Alma in charge of the entire church? Alma had his priests and his teachers that he appointed. He did preside over the church. But even aside from that, Mosiah had his own priests as well. And you’re like, well, isn’t that confusing? If you have Mosiah and his priests and the church with their priests, what are these priests? And so to kind of take this back, to answer your question, maybe a little better. Nate, the hebrew word for priest is Cohen, but the word cohen in Hebrew means officiator, ruler, or like a magistrate. It’s someone who presides.

And so priests, yes, do preside in their office in the priesthood. But the priests of Mosiah in this case would have been like his cabinet, his counselors, his wise men that he consulted with. So even the name priest Cohen and how it was used interchangeably, could be used to represent the elders, in a sense of the one, the wise, the older people that you had in the gates that would judge the people didn’t necessarily have to be in a priesthood sense, as in the Levites or the aaronical priesthood that served in the temple. You had priests that weren’t necessarily associated with the priesthood in a spiritual sense, but were actually counselors, advisors, rulers in the kingdom. So there was a political structure that really priesthood was just authority, and the king had all the authority in the land. So it is a very interesting interplay. And for Joseph Smith to still use that word and say that Mosiah had his priests aside as separate from Alma, and those priests had a different role to us, that would be very confusing without understanding what that hebrew word meant and the context of ancient structure, the ancient hierarchy and governance, if that makes sense.

[00:37:08] Speaker B: Yeah, no, it’s.

Yeah, I’m glad we’re talking about that.

I’m sure we’ll be talking about that a lot more, too. So I don’t necessarily want to get hung up on it, but it is something I’m trying to understand better, is kind of some of those relationships where we are, you know, with the. Our church, we don’t see that necessarily at all. Right. Like, our spiritual leaders are the leaders of the church, and they have their own callings and things like that. And we very much, in our articles of faith, even state, you know, we’re subject to kings and rulers and whatnot. From a political side, we manage our own when it comes to the spiritual side of things.

So I guess I’m just trying to maybe understand the best. Like, when that changed? Was it when Christ set up his church, when he was here? You know, like, when did. When did that. When did this pattern kind of stop becoming that same pattern?

[00:38:07] Speaker A: Yeah, that’s a good question.

[00:38:10] Speaker B: We don’t, you know.

[00:38:13] Speaker A: Right, right. But I’m just, you know, just reflecting. I mean, even. Even Moses, first off the bat, consecrates Aaron as a priest. Right. And uses him and almost hands over a lot of the religious responsibility to Aaron while he still maintains that political leadership, governance, which is similar to what Nephi does when he has Jacob.

[00:38:37] Speaker B: Yes. Yep.

Was it when Christ set up his church after he left? Because, again, like, you don’t have really.

I mean, at that point, you know, with Peter, with Paul, with the rest of the disciples, is really kind of when you start seeing it the way that we. A lot closer to how we see it now.

[00:39:02] Speaker A: Yeah.

And we live in a different time where the church. I mean, it is the kingdom of God that we talk about, but it’s not like it has a lot of political governance, does it? Right. We turn to the church for our spiritual governance, and then that second authority becomes our local rulers.

Based on the land that we live in and go. Like you quoted that article of faith, we almost have those two heads. And the church kind of tries to stay in its lane as far as spiritual guidance, but still defers to political guidance on an outside source from itself, which is kind of interesting.

[00:39:44] Speaker B: Yeah. Cool. Let’s keep going.

[00:39:48] Speaker A: All right. Mosiah 20 716. And so this takes us to this vision that Alma the younger has. When an angel comes, stands before him, the earth shakes.

And this, I think we see parallels clearly with Paul when. When he’s out and the Lord asks him, why kickest thou against the pricks? And even in Paul’s case, right, he’s not the only one that experiences this vision. There’s other people with him, even though he’s the one that maybe experiences it to a greater extreme or a deeper level.

And Moses. Or Moses. Alma. And so in Mosiah, chapter 13, chapter 27, verse 13. Nevertheless, he cried again, saying, alma, arise and stand forth. For why persecutest thou, the church of God? For the Lord had said, this is my church, and I will establish it, and nothing shall overthrow it, save it. Be the transgressions of my people.

And I think that’s an interesting promise.

And I think that promises that the church isn’t going anywhere unless the church itself chooses to go anywhere. And this goes back to Isaiah when he says, where is the bill of thy divorce? Right where.

I didn’t put you off. You put me off. I didn’t turn away from you. You turned away from me. And I’ve paid a price. And I will redeem you. You’re mine. You’re my people. And the church will be the Lord’s. Unless we ourselves choose to leave the Lord. But the Lord’s not going anywhere.

And in this, when he says, if you yourself want to be destroyed. And so I want to read verse 16. Now I say unto you, go and remember the captivity of thy fathers in the land of Helam and in the land of Nephi. And remember how great things he has done for them, for as they were in bondage, and he has delivered them. And now I say unto thee, alma, go thy way and seek to destroy the church no more. For their prayers may be that their prayers may be answered. And this, even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off.

And they’re powerful words.

But what the angel has done to Alma at this point is recalled. And it sounds like two, but there’s actually three witnesses of this. When he says, remember the land of Helam, thy people, and their captivity in the land of Nephi.

And you think of the case of Alma and the problems that he had, and then also the problems of the people of Limhi and how they were also delivered. But with that, there’s a third witness, and that is the people of Zarahemla and how they were also delivered. And I think that’s powerful, because in the instance of all three Zarahemla, they lost the land to the Lamanites. They were defeated.

They fell as a people. They had fallen until Benjamin was able to reclaim the lands of their inheritance. And we saw that at the end of. Of Omni before we got into the next book.

In the case of Limhi’s people, under. Under Noah, they fell.

Their king was killed. The people were destroyed. And now under Limhi, four times, three, four times, he sent his armies to battle against the Nephites. And they lost, and they lost, and they lost.

And Alma’s people, again, they fell. And so when you look at these examples that the angel is reminding Alma of, it’s examples of people that were destroyed, people that had fallen, people that were conquered, people that were in bondage.

And I think having those three examples, in one sense, you could look at it as maybe harsh, like, you don’t think I can destroy you. Look at what happened to these people. They’re destroyed. And remember those examples. I don’t think that’s the case. I think here is actually the charity of the Lord. Alma is going to be coming from this.

It’s going to be a life changing event for him, where he is going to dwell on his sins, and he’s going to think that he’s lost, and this is going to have a profound impact on him and on the sons of Mosiah, by the way, to where they’re worried that their souls are gone.

They need, as a life preserver, not just one, but three examples of people who were lost, destroyed, and had no hope, and yet they were able to come back from that.

So that’s what I see the angels doing here to Alma, is throwing him a life preserver, as bad as this is. And I know where you’re gonna go. And your mind is going to be reflecting on all the things that you have said and done to destroy my church, thinking you were doing things for the right reason, thinking you were saving the people, or maybe turning them around or whatever the case may be, right. You get caught up in your own cause, trying to liberate everyone. And when you realize that you were wrong and the harm that you were causing, how much you beat yourself up over this, you’re going to need examples of kingdoms that were also lost, destroyed, that had no hope. And yet I was able to save them and deliver them, too. And that’s the strand of hope that Alma needed when he went through that experience to say, you know what?

These people were destroyed. These people lost everything. These people were gone, and yet God was able to save them. Why not me, too? How can the Lord save me and pull me out of the depths of despair, just like he did the people of Zarahemla, just like he did the people in the land of Mormon, or the lands thereby with Alma or the people of Limhi, how he saved them. Can he not also save this wretched soul that is me?

And you? Think of the differences between these people, right? What wrongs did they do under Benjamin? They were conquered by the Lamanites. They didn’t have any fault of their own.

What about the people of Alma, who left their sin and was trying to do the right thing, and yet they still found themselves conquered and subjected under sin? Or how about the people under Limhi, who were told multiple times from Noah, not from Noah, from Abinadi, and from Alma to repent, and yet didn’t listen. They willfully rebelled, found themselves in there, and they thought there’s no hope from them, and yet there was hope from them as well. So I think these three witnesses become powerful because you look at these witnesses, and they have varying degrees of culpability, whether you have no fault of your own, and you fall and you’re struggling, and you’re going through death or defeat, and the Lord’s going to help you because it wasn’t your fault, or whether you have all the fault in the world, and you had every chance to repent, every chance to make things right, and you refuse to listen, and you’re still stuck in the mire on this. And now you see, you need help. The Lord was still willing to dig you out and help.

That’s where I think these examples become kind of a lifeline to Alma. Knowing the angel, knowing what Alma’s going to experience and how he’s going to beat himself up, that this is going to be that lifeline that delivers him from the guilt and the gall. Like, even he’s just describes it in verse 29. My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and the bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss, but now I behold the marvelous light of God. And is this not the gospel?

I wish.

I mean, yesterday for me, anyways, today for you, or whenever it was. We come up on a fast Sunday where we go up and we share our testimonies.

I would love to hear testimonies about these experiences. Maybe I didn’t have any right being saved, but the Lord saved me. There is hope. And if he can save me, can he not also save you? Like, how do we extend that testimony? Like, these three witnesses were extended to Alma? How do we help others to see that there is salvation through Jesus Christ? How do we not also extend that hope for people who are going to be beating themselves up when they realize the truth and find out that there is a place for them and there is a plan for them and that that’s the whole purpose of things.

[00:48:17] Speaker B: Great stuff, man.

Do you feel.

Yeah, I think I was gonna kind of. I was hoping that you were gonna kind of maybe talk a little bit about a little bit of your experience so far, kind of in that fast and testimony thing. Again, I don’t want to, like, lead you or if that’s not where you wanted to go with it too much. But even per our conversation a little bit earlier today, even if it’s a slight detour, it kind of feels like it might be worth mentioning a little bit.

[00:48:49] Speaker A: Good call.

So, coming out here has been kind of an interesting experience for me.

Janessa, my wife, and I, we came out here in December of last year.

We felt like this is what we needed to do. We felt like this is where we needed to be. And so we kind of came to scope things out in December. And when we came to the ward, it was a struggling ward. There was not a lot of.

Not a lot of members, not a lot of youth. And we thought, boy, this is going to be hard for our kids, but there’s a reason for this.

And so we kind of came home and we told our kids, like, you might be the only youth in the ward. There might not be much that we’re coming to.

And we were blindsided when we got out here last week. Still hard to believe it’s only been a week.

We went to church on Sunday and they had a different building that they were meeting at, a building in their own city now.

And I was blown away because the entire sacrament room was full to the point where we’d filled it all with chairs that was almost standing room only at this point. And I was thinking, this cannot be the same ward that we were, that we were attending in December.

And so I asked the bishop what happened afterwards? And I mean, even last week before we get to fast and testimony meeting. And I promise I’ll bring this right back around to where you’re talking, Nate, with a fast and testimony meeting the week before. The first talk was a sister who had come back to the church, and she’s explaining her story about how she came back to the church and, and the Lord calling and saying it’s time to return.

And then the second talk was another sister talking about her experience coming back to church.

And then the second hour was priesthood. And the second hour of priesthood. At the end of priesthood, we ordained a man to the office of a priest and gave him the aaronic priesthood so that he in turn could give the priesthood to his son and ordain him to the office of a priest. Both of them were baptized three weeks ago.

And so the whole feel of that meeting when I came away with. What I came away with is this room is filled up with people coming back to the church and being baptized to the church. And when I asked the bishop, what’s going on, he said that they even had three baptisms the Saturday before that. So I know of at least two the Saturday before that. Then he had this three.

And then this Saturday before fast and testimony, meaning our family were able to attend the baptism of somebody else. And we were able to go to missionary discussions and hear all of these people being taught that are just interested and excited to hear more about the church.

It’s been an incredible experience to see all of these people turning to the Lord and hungry and wanting to learn more and coming to this church and seeing this, this ward just expand an incredible growth rate.

And so to take this back to what you’re alluding to, Nate fast and testimony meeting yesterday for me, we were sitting there and I was looking, we’ve got three sets of missionaries in our ward. I’ve never seen that before. Six missionaries just in our ward alone. And they all have investigators there.

And some of these two of these people, I had sat in discussions with them the last week with the missionaries were there, excited to be there. We were able to say hi to them, plus other investigators that I hadn’t even met yet. I don’t know about you, Nate. In my mission, it was almost impossible to get investigators to come into church. It happened, obviously, and we had baptisms, but it wasn’t super easy.

[00:52:37] Speaker B: But it was not easy.

[00:52:39] Speaker A: No.

But as I looked out there and I saw just handfuls of investigators coming to hear the church, and I’m listening to the testimonies that are being shared to me there almost felt like there was a little disconnect. And I don’t want to be too hard on this, but a lot of the testimonies, I think we kind of get caught in this culture, and we talk about the church, and we talk about how important the Book of Mormon is. And I agree 100%.

The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and the power is in the Book of Mormon, and you see it and you feel it.

But when we’re starting to talk, we almost.

I don’t know the best way to say this. As I’m listening to the testimonies that are being shared, they almost become what we expect culturally, but not super spiritually nourishing, if that makes sense.

I would have appreciated hearing the testimonies about the atonement of Jesus Christ, about how that light, that spirit, has helped change someone’s life, and they’ve come to know the savior better because of the restored gospel, how the scriptures take us to, they are the words of Christ. They testify of Christ, and they lead us to Christ.

I think as a new person coming to hear, listen to church and feel the spirit and see how that can help me and how that can change me. When I hear testimony of things that are completely foreign to me, that don’t tie necessarily back to Christ, there’s a little bit of a disconnect.

I don’t know. There’s times as a missionary, you worry a little bit, sometimes bringing investigators to the church, and sometimes you think, okay, what’s happening this Sunday? Maybe we should come the following Sunday. I don’t know.

[00:54:47] Speaker B: Do you ever say no? I mean, definitely. I have stories. But for another time.

[00:54:57] Speaker A: I guess the best way to put a positive spin on this and.

And this kind of sunk deep for me. It got me thinking about my own testimony, and what do I share in testimony meeting and how can that edify others? How has it edified me.

And how does my experience, my relationship with the Lord, help others to find hope, to be grounded in the Lord? And it’s not to say we don’t testify the prophet Joseph Smith, we don’t testify the book of Mormon 100%. I think we do.

The fact that Joseph Smith saw the heavens open and he saw God, and that God cares about us today enough to continue to send prophets, that gives me hope that the Lord speaks to people, to individuals that seek him out, and that he will answer prayers and that he has answered not only his prayer, but he answers my prayer.

I feel like I can relate to that.

And there’s a lot of light and a lot of hope in that. And so, I guess more than anything, just to give us the perspective of does the message and the light that we share provide others with that same sense of warmth or light that they can turn to to find comfort, to find hope, to find that line that will guide them to the Lord?

Or are we regurgitating things that we think sound important or something that we think should be expected, or something that’s going to make us sound good in the eyes of others, but not necessarily edify those who are coming to be fed.

[00:56:37] Speaker B: Killer.

Awesome. Well, we always appreciate you listening. Sorry that we missed last week. We’ve been kind of trying to deal with connection issues, but we are committed to getting it back up and running. We’ve got to definitely at least see it through to the end of this year so that we will have done all four seasons, dude, all. All four years of the. Of the church discussions. So hopefully by this time next week, we’ll actually have a much more solid Internet connection and we’ll be able to see each other while we’re kind of doing this, which I think is going to help us both feel a little bit more confident in kind of keeping the conversation normal.

Anyways, if there’s nothing else, Jason, then I guess we’ll sign it off until next week.

[00:57:30] Speaker A: See ya.

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