Alma 42


The Lord Redeems His Covenant Children

      Alma 1 -- Alma 44



Alma 42:2 He [Drove] Out the Man:


     According to Shirley Heater, the Printer's Manuscript of the Book of Mormon differs somewhat from the Original Manuscript. . . . At present in the 1981 LDS edition, Alma 42:2 reads, " yea, he [the Lord] drew out the man, and he placed at the east end of the garden of Eden, cherubim, and a flaming sword . . ." The Original Manuscript says that he "drove out the man"--a much stronger and more accurate wording which parallels the statement that God "sent our first parents forth" (see also Genesis 3:29-31 [23-24]. The weaker word "drew" conveys enticement or persuasion; the essence of this word is most associated throughout the scriptures with God "drawing all men toward him" (cf. 2 Nephi 26:24; 3 Nephi 27:14-15; John 12:32). [Shirley R. Heater, "Variances Between the Original and Printer's Manuscripts," in Recent Book of Mormon Developments, Vol. 2, pp. 80, 85]


Alma 42:22-23 (Climax):


     According to Donald Parry, climax is the idea of an ascension of expression, from a beginning point to a climatic situation. A good example is found in Alma 42:22-23:

           But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would

     cease to be God. But God

     ceaseth not to be God, and

     mercy claimeth the penitent, and

     mercy cometh because of the

     atonement; 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 words.

[Donald W. Parry, The Book of Mormon Text Reformatted according to Parallelistic Patterns, pp. xx, 294]


Alma 42:23 To Be Judged according to Their Works:


     In Alma 39-42, we find Alma's words on the resurrection to his son Corianton. At one point, he expresses the idea that "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" (Alma 42:23). This scripture focuses on different degrees of resurrected glory ("according to their works, according to the law and justice"), and coincides very nicely with 1 Corinthians 15:41-42:

           There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:


     According to Tom Cryer, different levels of glory are depicted in an ancient Mesopotamian boundary stone. The glories of the sun, moon, and stars are shown above a turtle, which represents the earth, below which are animalistic symbols representing the underworld. (see illustration) [Tom Cryer, Visual Sermons, p. 171, unpublished]

     Note* Perhaps neither Alma or Paul was speaking newly revealed truths, but those which had been preached many years previous. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Alma 42:31 My Son, Go Thy Way, Declare the Word with Truth and Soberness:


     Despite a severe reproof, Alma reminds Corianton that he is "called of God to preach the word unto this people: "And now, my son, go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness. . . " (Alma 42:32). In Alma 43:1 we find that "the sons of Alma did go forth among the people, to declare the word unto them." The text gives the blessings for the sons of Alma as "ABOUT 73 B.C." (the eighteenth year). One would assume that the sons of Alma went forth very early in that same year (see Alma 43:3-4). With this chronology in mind, the reader might ponder upon the gravity of Corianton's sin relative to the time period of his repentance.

     It is interesting to note that in Alma 45:2 we find the chronological reference to "the nineteenth year [72 B.C.] of the reign of the judges." In that same year it says concerning the Nephites: "Thus they were led away by Amalickiah to dissensions, notwithstanding the preaching of Helaman and his brethren, yea, . . . they were high priests over the church (Alma 46:6). If the term "Helaman and his brethren" includes Corianton, then he apparently had completely repented of his sins by this time because he was a "high priest." [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [See the commentary on Alma 43:1]