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THE BOOK OF ALMA
"I got de Golden Plates..."
Alma gives the plates of Nephi and God's magic compass (the Liahona) to his son Helaman
Version - Chapter 30: Alma Counsels His Sons
|37:1 And now, my son Helaman, I command you that ye take the records which have been entrusted with
(37:1-2) And now, my son Helaman, I command you that ye take the records which have been entrusted with me.|
After Alma finished his speech to his son Helaman, he gave him the plates of Nephi, which were the records of their
forefathers that went all of the way back to Lehi.
|37:2 And I also command you that ye keep a record of this people, according as I have done, upon the
plates of Nephi, and keep all these things sacred which I have kept, even as I have kept them; for it is for a
wise purpose that they are kept.
|37:3 And these plates of brass, which contain these engravings, which have the records of the holy
scriptures upon them, which have the genealogy of our forefathers, even from the beginning -- ||
(37:3-4) These plates of brass|
These plates were brass. So they weren't quite as cool as the golden plate that Joseph Smith found. Still, they were pretty important, since they had
the holy scriptres and the genealogy of their forefathers engraved on them.
|37:4 Behold, it has been prophesied by our fathers, that they should be kept and handed down from one
generation to another, and be kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord until they should go forth unto every
nation, kindred, tongue, and people, that they shall know of the mysteries contained thereon.
|37:5 And now behold, if they are kept
they must retain their brightness; yea, and they will retain their
brightness; yea, and also shall all the plates which do contain that which is holy writ. ||
(37:5-7) They must retain their brightness.|
But with great power comes great responsibility. Helaman was put in charge of keeping the record going, and of keeping the plates shiny. Alma insisted
that this wasn't a silly detail. God was very particular, and sometimes he would confuse the wise with very small details. So keep them plates shiny, boy!
|37:6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small
and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
|37:7 And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very
small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls. ||
|37:8 And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things should be preserved; for behold,
they have enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many of the error of their ways, and brought
them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls. ||
|37:9 Yea, I say unto you, were it not for these things that these records do contain, which are on
these plates, Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many thousands of the Lamanites of the
incorrect tradition of their fathers; yea, these records and their words brought them unto repentance; that
is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer. ||
|37:10 And who knoweth but what they will be the means of bringing many thousands of them, yea, and
also many thousands of our stiffnecked brethren, the Nephites, who are now hardening their hearts in sin and
iniquities, to the knowledge of their Redeemer? ||
|37:11 Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear. ||
|37:12 And it may suffice if I only say they are preserved for a wise purpose, which purpose is
known unto God; for he doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight, and his course
is one eternal round. ||
|37:13 O remember, remember, my son Helaman,
how strict are the commandments of God. And he said:
If ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land -- but
if ye keep not his commandments ye shall
be cut off from his presence. ||
(37:13-35) How strict are the commandments|
After telling Helaman how to take care of the plates, Alma just can't help himself. He launches back into his speech, telling him over and over
again to keep God's commandments... even though sometimes it's hard to see the reasoning behind them.
(37:13) "If ye keep my commandments..."
(37:13) "if ye keep not his commandments..."
|37:14 And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted you with these things, which are sacred,
which he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep and preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may
show forth his power unto future generations.
|37:15 And now behold, I tell you by the spirit of prophecy, that
if ye transgress the commandments
of God, behold, these things which are sacred shall be taken away from you by the power of God, and ye shall
be delivered up unto Satan, that he may sift you as chaff before the wind. ||
(37:15) "If ye transgress the commandments ..."
|37:16 But if ye keep the commandments of God, and do with these things which are sacred according to
that which the Lord doth command you, (for you must appeal unto the Lord for all things whatsoever ye must do
with them) behold, no power of earth or hell can take them from you, for God is powerful to the fulfilling of
all his words. ||
(37:16) "If ye keep the commandments ..."
|37:17 For he will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his
promises which he has made unto our fathers. ||
|37:18 For he promised unto them that he would preserve these things for a wise purpose in him, that
he might show forth his power unto future generations. ||
|37:19 And now behold, one purpose hath he fulfilled, even to the restoration of many thousands of
the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth; and he hath shown forth his power in them, and he will also still
show forth his power in them unto future generations; therefore they shall be preserved. ||
|37:20 Therefore I command you, my son Helaman, that ye be diligent in fulfilling all my words, and
that ye be diligent in keeping the commandments of God as they are written. ||
(37:20) "Be diligent in keeping the commandments ..."
|37:21 And now, I will speak unto you concerning those twenty-four plates, that ye keep them, that the
mysteries and the works of darkness, and their secret works, or the secret works of those people who have been
destroyed, may be made manifest unto this people; yea, all their murders, and robbings, and their plunderings,
and all their wickedness and abominations, may be made manifest unto this people; yea, and that ye preserve
these interpreters. ||
|37:22 For behold, the Lord saw that his people began to work in darkness, yea, work secret murders
and abominations; therefore the Lord said, if they did not repent they should be destroyed from off the face
of the earth. ||
(37:22-26) A stone, which shall shine forth in darkness |
But then things get interesting, and confusing. Apparently God made a special stone that he gave to Gazelem, which shined light on
darkness so that the wicked secret works of these people (the Jerodites) could be seen. But, even after
their abominations were brought out into the open, they still didn't repent. So God destroyed them.
|37:23 And the Lord said: I will prepare unto my servant Gazelem,
a stone, which shall shine forth
in darkness unto light, that I may discover unto my people who serve me, that I may discover unto them the
works of their brethren, yea, their secret works, their works of darkness, and their wickedness and
|37:24 And now, my son, these interpreters were prepared that the word of God might be fulfilled,
which he spake, saying: ||
|37:25 I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all their secret works and their abominations;
and except they repent I will destroy them from off the face of the earth; and I will bring to light all their
secrets and abominations, unto every nation that shall hereafter possess the land. ||
|37:26 And now, my son, we see that they did not repent; therefore they have been destroyed, and thus
far the word of God has been fulfilled; yea, their secret abominations have been brought out of darkness and
made known unto us. ||
|37:27 And now, my son, I command you that ye retain all their oaths, and their covenants, and their
agreements in their secret abominations; yea, and all their signs and their wonders ye shall keep from this
people, that they know them not, lest peradventure they should fall into darkness also and be destroyed. ||
(37:27-30) Keep these secret plans of their oaths and their covenants from this people|
But Alma wanted Helaman to keep quiet about these wicked things that the Jerodites did, because he was concerned that the people
might be attracted to the lifestyle if they found out about it. Alma wanted Helaman to just teach them normal church doctrine,
and then everyone would be protected from iniquity.
|37:28 For behold, there is a curse upon all this land, that destruction shall come upon all those
workers of darkness, according to the power of God, when they are fully ripe; therefore I desire that this
people might not be destroyed.
|37:29 Therefore ye shall keep these secret plans of their oaths and their covenants from this people,
and only their wickedness and their murders and their abominations shall ye make known unto them; and ye shall
teach them to abhor such wickedness and abominations and murders; and ye shall also teach them that these people
were destroyed on account of their wickedness and abominations and their murders.
|37:30 For behold, they murdered all the prophets of the Lord who came among them to declare unto them
concerning their iniquities; and the blood of those whom they murdered did cry unto the Lord their God for
vengeance upon those who were their murderers; and thus the judgments of God did come upon these workers of
darkness and secret combinations. ||
|37:31 Yea, and cursed be the land forever and ever unto those workers of darkness and secret
combinations, even unto destruction, except they repent before they are fully ripe. ||
|37:32 And now, my son, remember the words which I have spoken unto you;
trust not those secret plans
unto this people, but teach them an everlasting hatred against sin and iniquity. ||
(37:32-35) Trust not those secret plans unto this people.|
Don't explain to the members of the church why the Jerodites were evil, just keep repeating it, and teach the church to hate sin. Then call the
Jerodites sinners -- the people will believe you, even without proof. And, of course, keep the commandments of God.
|37:33 Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves
and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the
Lord Jesus Christ.
|37:34 Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and
lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls. ||
|37:35 O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy
youth to keep the commandments of God. ||
(37:35) "Keep the commandments"
|37:36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and
whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea,
let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. ||
|37:37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou
liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest
in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at
the last day. ||
The thing which our fathers call a ball, or director -- or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted,
a compass; and the Lord prepared it.
Then Alma gives Helaman the magic ball of curious workmanship. It has almost as many
names as Gandalf: 1.)
A ball 2.) director 3.) Liahona 4.) Compass [interpreted]. God made the ball, and it only works if you really believe in it.
So remember that if you ever have to use it, Helaman!
The magic ball, director, Liahona, or compass. This was the gadget that God gave Nephi for
navigation. It worked "according to their faith in God."
(37:39) "Behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship.
And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness."
(37:40) "And it did work for them according to their faith in God"
|37:38 And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball,
or director -- or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord
|37:39 And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And
behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel
in the wilderness.
|37:40 And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to
believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done;
therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.
|37:41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them
marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those
marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey; ||
|37:42 Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were
afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions. ||
|37:43 And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a
shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal)
they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual. ||
|37:44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a
straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point
unto them a straight course to the promised land. ||
|37:45 And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did
bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow
their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise. ||
|37:46 O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our
fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The
way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever. ||
|37:47 And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God
and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. My son, farewell. ||
(37:47) Take care of these sacred things|
And, after warning Helaman not to lose all of his new cool stuff, Alma said goodbye to Helaman and moved on to his next son, Shiblon.
Behold [37:4, 5, 6, 8, 15(2), 16,
19, 22, 28, 30, 39(2), 40, 44]
Yea [37:5(2), 8, 9(2), 10, 21, 22,
23, 26, 31, 35, 36(4), 37, 47]
(37:4) every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people -- Revelation 14:6
(37:15) Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. -- Luke 22:31
(37:34) I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. -- Matthew 11:29
(37:34) Teach them to never be weary of good works
- The Annotated Book of Mormon
- Alma 37