Alma 32

 

The Lord Redeems His Covenant Children

      Alma 1 -- Alma 44


 

 

Alma 32:8 I Beheld That Ye Are Lowly in Heart:

 

     Professor Sami Hanna, a Semitic language expert, has pointed out that there are some basic characteristics of the Semitic family of languages. Taken in context, these characteristics reveal Joseph Smith to be as he purported--a translator, not an author, of the Book of Mormon. . . . One of these characteristics concerns idioms. An idiom is an expression of thought that is peculiar to a given culture. Several Indo-European idioms are : "Kick the bucket," "Hit the hay," "Get the show on the road." Perhaps the most recognizable Semitic characteristic in the translated Book of Mormon is the popular use of Semitic idioms. In Alma 32:8, the phrase "lowly in heart" is a Semitic idiom. Joseph could have simply written "humble." [Brenton G. Yorgason, Little Known Evidences of the Book of Mormon, pp. 35-36]

 

Alma 32:21 If Ye Have Faith Ye Hope for Things Which Are Not Seen, Which Are True:

 

     According to John Tvedtnes, one of the clearest and most precise definitions of faith is the one given in the Book of Mormon by Alma: "If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true" (Alma 32:21). To gain a full appreciation of this definition, we must understand that the Hebrew words for faith and truth are related, both coming from the root *MN. Hebrew emunah means "belief" or "faith," while emet means "truth." Both are related to yamin, "right hand," and to amen, "established," the word with which prayers are ended.

     Joseph Smith is said to have indicated that the name Ahman was the title of God the Father (see 2 Nephi 4:35), while Jesus is called "Son Ahman." Old Testament prayers end simply with the word Amen (= confirmed, true), and hence in the name (title) of Jesus Christ.

     In Mosiah 27:36, the knowledge of the truth is equated with the knowledge of Christ. Mormon writes concerning the missionary efforts of Alma the Younger and the four sons of Mosiah: "And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer." [John Tvedtnes, "Faith and Truth," in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2, Fall 1994 Fall, pp. 114-115] [See the commentary on 2 Nephi 33:6; Alma 30:15; Ether 12:6]

 

Alma 32:42 White above All That Is White:

 

     According to Brant Gardner, the imagery which Alma uses-- "ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white" (Alma 32:42)--is a clear reference to the Tree of Life in Lehi's (and Nephi's) dream (1 Nephi 8:11 for the description of the fruit including its whiteness). We must suppose that even though we do not see much of that story in the Book of Mormon, it was nevertheless well known such that Alma could make this reference assuming that his audience would understand the reference to the white fruit. Even though the Zoramites were apostates from the Nephite gospel, they must have been participants in the general cultural worldview, and somewhere in that culture or the religion they abandoned, the Tree of life as understood by Lehi must have been taught. Alma doesn't explain it, he absolutely expects that the imagery will be understood. [Brant Gardner, Book of Mormon Commentary, http://www.highfiber.com/~nahualli/LDStopics/Alma/Alma32.htm, p. 26]