Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Alma 13: 21-22
Now we see this startling continuation in Alma 13: 21-22:
"And now it came to pass that when Alma had said these words unto them, he stretched forth his hand unto them and cried with a mighty voice, saying: Now is the time to repent, for the day of salvation draweth nigh; Yea, and the voice of the Lord, by the mouth of angels, doth declare it unto all nations; yea, doth declare it, that they may have glad tidings of great joy; yea, and he doth sound these glad tidings among all his people, yea, even to them that are scattered abroad upon the face of the earth; wherefore they have come unto us."
Now we get to some things which the record does not fully disclose, but does allow those with eyes to see behold it. Be careful how you respond to this, because some correct answers are not going up if they cross a line. But think of the answers to these questions:
Why does he "stretch forth his hand?" What does that signify?
In what way would that become significant, even a sign that he is a true messenger?
Why does he now "cry with a mighty voice" to make the call?
What is a "mighty voice?" Is it distinguished by volume or is there something more and quite different about it? Importantly, it is not "loud" but instead "mighty." Is that significant? How? Why?
What does it mean that "the Lord, by the mouth of angels, doth declare it?" Who is really speaking? Who is He speaking through? What person is delivering the message? How is Alma identifying himself in this "mighty cry" he makes?
Who are these angels sent to all nations?
What is the difference in this statement by Alma and the others who can speak with the tongue of angels? (2 Ne. 31: 13-14 and 2 Ne. 32: 2.)
If one should possess such a right or commission, then whose words are they actually speaking?
Why do His sheep hear HIS voice? Even when spoken by another man or empowered priestly minister?
What does Alma actually say about his own authority as he delivers this warning? What can Alma lead you to inherit if you will heed his counsel and warning? How can we know he is a true messenger sent by the Lord?
If the Lord sends these messages and messengers to all His people, have they been sent to us? If so, where would we be able to find them and hear their message? How are we to know they are true ministers? Should I just trust that some institutional office and office holder is a guaranteed place in which to locate such a true minister? If it is always that convenient, why hasn't the Lord implemented that system before, instead of letting people have their free agency and permitting them to make mistakes? Why did the Lord allow Eli, Caiphus and Annas become High Priests? Why didn't He come up with this neat system before? [Clearly our system makes it so much easier. It throws God's fairness into question, since He made is so much harder for earlier Israelites to figure out where the truth was being proclaimed. I think the Lord must owe them an apology.]
Well, more can be said, but I leave it to you to reach your own conclusions about this startling comment coming from a true messenger. It makes one wonder why we've been missing it, as it has been before us for so many years.