THE BOOK OF ALMA
The Wisdom of Zenos
The Zoramites ask Alma what they should believe--Alma tells them to believe whatever he says.
Version - Chapter 28: The Zoramites and the Rameumptom
Alma Teaches about Faith and the Word of God
My Book of Mormon Podcast - Episode 44: Alma 31-33
|33:1 Now after Alma had spoken these words, they sent forth unto him
know whether they should believe in one God, that they might obtain this fruit of which he had spoken, or how they
should plant the seed, or the word of which he had spoken, which he said must be planted in their hearts; or in what
manner they should begin to exercise their faith. ||
(33:1) Desiring to know whether they should believe in one God|
After Alma was done talking to the Zoramites about the fruit of the faith tree (Alma 32), they were pretty excited to
start worshiping correctly. They asked Alma whether they should believe in one god or many, where they could find the fruit that he talked so much
about, how they should plant seeds, etc.
|33:2 And Alma said unto them: Behold, ye have said that ye could not worship your God because ye are cast
out of your synagogues. But Behold, I say unto you, if ye suppose that ye cannot worship God, ye do greatly err,
and ye ought to exceeding search the scriptures; if ye suppose that they have taught you this, ye do not understand them.
|33:3 Do ye remember to have read what Zenos, the prophet of old, has said
concerning prayer or worship?
(33:3-11) Do ye remember to have read what Zenos, the prophet of old, has said?|
Alma started with the basics. He quoted the prophet Zenos's teachings on prayer and worship. (According to the Book of Mormon,
Zenos is an Old Testament prophet whose writings were removed from the Bible by the evil Catholic church. Alma's supposed quote here from Zenos is found nowhere in
the Book of Mormon or Bible.) It's a pretty boring speech by Zenos. It pretty much just says that God listened to him,
destroyed his enemies, and was merciful to him.
|33:4 For he said: Thou art merciful, O God, for thou hast heard my prayer, even when I was in the
wilderness; exceeding yea, thou wast merciful when I prayed concerning those who were mine enemies, and thou didst turn them
|33:5 exceeding Yea, O God, and thou wast merciful unto me when I did cry unto thee in my field; when I did cry
unto thee in my prayer, and thou didst hear me.
|33:6 And again, O God, when I did turn to my house thou didst hear me in my prayer. ||
|33:7 And when I did turn unto my closet, O Lord, and prayed unto thee, thou didst hear me. ||
|33:8 exceeding Yea, thou art merciful unto thy children when they cry unto thee, to be heard of thee and not
of men, and thou wilt hear them. ||
|33:9 exceeding Yea, O God, thou hast been merciful unto me, and heard my cries in the midst of thy
|33:10 exceeding Yea, and thou hast also heard me when I have been cast out and have been despised by mine
enemies; exceeding yea, thou didst hear my cries, and wast angry with mine enemies, and thou didst visit them in
thine anger with speedy destruction. ||
|33:11 And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy
Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in
thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son. ||
|33:12 And now Alma said unto them: Do ye believe those scriptures which have been written by them
of old? ||
(33:12-14) Ye must believe what Zenos said.|
After quoting Zenos, Alma asked the Zoramites if they believed the scriptures. Then he asked them if they had read the scriptures.
(Then did he ask them if they knew how to read?) Alma then asks them how they could possibly not believe in Jesus if they had read
the scriptures. (Even though Alma's Zenos quote is not in the Mormon scriptures.) Of course, Jesus didn't even exist yet
(The LDS footnote for this chapter says "About 74 B.C."), so this is possibly most ridiculous train of thought ever to be chiseled onto plates.
|33:13 Behold, if ye do,
ye must believe what Zenos said; for, Behold he said: Thou hast turned
away thy judgments because of thy Son.
|33:14 Now Behold, my brethren, I would ask if ye have read the scriptures? If ye have, how can
ye disbelieve on the Son of God?
|33:15 For it is not written that Zenos alone spake of these things, but
Zenock also spake of these
things -- ||
(33:15-19) Zenock also spake of these things.|
Alma tries to bolster his claim by claiming that it wasn't just him and Zenos making these claims, it was also Zenock and Moses. (Zenock was another
Old Testament prophet who is never mentioned in the Old Testament. See 1 Nephi 19:10)
|33:16 For Behold, he said: Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they will not
understand thy mercies which thou hast bestowed upon them because of thy Son.
|33:17 And now, my brethren, ye see that a second prophet of old has testified of the Son of God, and
because the people would not understand his words they stoned him to death. ||
|33:18 But Behold, this is not all; these are not the only ones who have spoken concerning the Son
of God. ||
|33:19 Behold, he was spoken of by Moses; exceeding yea, and Behold
a type was raised up in the wilderness,
that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live.
(33:19) Whosoever would look upon it might live.|
Alma repeats the absurd story about the God's fiery serpents and the graven image snakebite cure
|33:20 But few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their
hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now
the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them. ||
|33:21 O my brethren, if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be
healed, would ye not Behold quickly, or would ye rather harden your hearts in unbelief, and be slothful, that
ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish? ||
|33:22 If so, wo shall come upon you; but if not so, then cast about your eyes and begin to believe
in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to atone for their
sins; and that he shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall
stand before him, to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works. ||
|33:23 And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and
as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith.
And Behold, it will become a tree,
exceeding springing up in
you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the
joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen. ||
(33:23) As it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. |
Alma finished up his preaching with his favorite reference: The seed. Plant the seed of your faith, and watch it grow into a tree.
Behold [33:2(2), 13(2), 14, 16, 18,
19(2), 21, 23]
Yea [33:4, 5, 8, 9, 10(2), 17,
22, 23, 27, 28(2), 29, 30, 31,
34, 35, 41, 42]
(33:2) Search the scriptures John 5:39
(33:23) A well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:14