It is about 74 BC in Zarahemla, and Alma the Younger grieves for the sins of his people. He lovingly encourages his sons to live righteously. Based on actual events as recorded in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Father. Helaman, come in.
Are your brothers with you? Yes. Good. First, I want to speak with just you. Come in. Sit down.
I'm grieved for the iniquity of my people. Their hearts begin to wax hard.
I've asked that you all gather that I might give each of you your charge separately concerning the things pertaining to righteousness. My son, give ear to my words; I swear to you, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land. His holy angel made these things known unto me. Alma, why persecutest thou the church of God? Go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more, even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off. (VOICEOVER) Three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul. Alma. (VOICEOVER) But I remembered hearing my father prophesy concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. When my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, Thou Son of God, have mercy on me. When I thought this, I could remember my pains no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
From that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that they also might be born of God, and filled with the Holy Ghost. And the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors. Because of the word which He has imparted unto me, many have been born of God. Therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know.
Now, I command you that ye take the records which have been entrusted with me.
I also command you that you keep a record of this people upon the plates of Nephi, for it is for a wise purpose that they are kept.
And these plates of brass have the records of the holy scriptures upon them, which have the genealogy of our forefathers.
It has been prophesied by our fathers, they should be kept and handed down from one generation to another, and preserved by the hand of the Lord until they shall go forth unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, that they shall know the mysteries contained thereon. Now, if they are kept they must retain their brightness. I understand. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. These records and their words brought this people unto repentance. They brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer.
And who knoweth but what they will be the means of bringing many thousands to the knowledge of their Redeemer? Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear. Remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth, to keep the commandments of God. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and He will direct thee for good. And if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
Now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers called the Liahona, or compass.
It was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness. And it did work for them according to their faith in God.
If they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the direction they should go, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day. Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means, they forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey.
Just as surely as this director did bring our fathers to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow to a far better land of promise.
See that ye take care of these sacred things. See that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober.
I will, Father.
Send for Shiblon.
Son, I trust I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God; for as you have commenced in your youth to look to the Lord your God, even so I hope that you will continue in keeping His commandments. Blessed is he that endureth to the end. I know, Father, and I will. Sit.
I know that you were in bonds. I know that you were stoned for the word's sake. You could bear all these things with patience because the Lord was with you. Remember that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day. There is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. And now, as ye have begun to teach the word even so I would that ye should continue to teach; and I would that ye would be diligent and temperate in all things. Use boldness, but not overbearance; see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness. I will do my best. May the Lord bless your soul and receive you at the last day into His kingdom, to sit down in peace.
Now go, my son, and teach the word unto this people.
Please send in your brother.
I have somewhat more to say unto thee than what I said unto thy brother; for thou didst not give so much heed unto my words as did thy brother, among the people of the Zoramites. Thou didst go on unto boasting in thy strength and thy wisdom. Father-- This is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou did forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron, after the harlot Isabel.
And we hid as it were our faces from him. She did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Know ye not that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost? I would to God that ye had not been guilty of so great a crime.
I would not dwell upon your crimes, to harrow up your soul, if it were not for your good. But ye cannot hide your crimes from God; and except ye repent they will stand as a testimony against you at the last day.
My son, repent and forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross yourself in all these things; for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
Counsel with your brothers; for thou art in thy youth, and ye stand in need to be nourished by your brothers. For when the Zoramites saw your conduct they would not believe in my words.
Turn to the Lord with all your mind, might, and strength; that ye lead away the hearts of no more to do wickedly; but rather return unto them, and acknowledge your faults and that wrong which ye have done.
I am so sorry.
I would say somewhat unto you concerning the coming of Christ.
It is He that surely shall come to take away the sins of the world. He cometh to declare glad tidings of salvation unto His people.
I perceive that thy mind is worried concerning the resurrection of the dead. Yes. How can it be?
Behold, there is no resurrection until after the coming of Christ. There is a time appointed that all shall come forth from the dead. There is a space between death and the resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or in misery until that time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works. The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; even a hair of the head shall not be lost. And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God. But an awful death cometh upon the wicked; for no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God. It is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works. If their works were good in this life, they shall be restored unto that which is good. If their works were evil, it shall be restored unto them for evil. But if they have repented of their sins, and desired righteousness until the end of their days, even so they shall be rewarded unto righteousness. And thus they stand or fall; for behold, they are their own judges, whether to do good or do evil. Corianton, do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.
Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren. If ye do all of these things then ye shall have mercy. Ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you. But is it not injustice that the sinner should stay in a state of misery? The great plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God Himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also. And the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into His presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice. Justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved. Do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? Nay; not one whit.
Now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance. O my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and His mercy, and His long-suffering have full sway in your heart, to bring you down into the dust in humility. Now, my son, ye are called of God to preach the word unto this people. And now go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them.
May God grant unto you even according to my words. [MUSIC PLAYING]