Alma 60

 

The Lord Confirms the Covenant Way

      Alma 45 -- 3 Nephi 10


 

 

Alma 60:1 Moroni wrote again to the governor of the land, who was Pahoran (Illustration): Captain Moroni wrote to Pahoran that if the leaders in Zarahemla did not give greater support to the armies in the field he would come up to battle against them. [W. Cleon Skousen, Treasures from the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3, p. 3187]

 

Alma 60:7 Can You Think to Sit upon Your Thrones in a State of Thoughtless Stupor:

 

     In an epistle to Pahoran complaining of the government's neglect for his armies, Moroni states:

           Can you think to sit upon your thrones in a state of thoughtless stupor, while your enemies are spreading the work of death around you? Yea, while they are murdering thousands of your brethren--

 

     Hugh Nibley notes that here in Alma 60 we find a reminder of a similar situation recorded in the Bar Kochba Letters, a very interesting thing. In 1961 they found the Bar Kochba Letters [in the Cave of Letters]. Bar Kochba was the great hero who was going to deliver the Jews from the Romans in A.D. 130. . . . This is what he tells us. This is the situation. They weren't getting any help from the Jews at headquarters up north at En-gedi. Why weren't they getting any help? Bar Kochba's war, like Moroni's, was a holy war. A "Messianic war" it is called, with fanatical concern for the temple. In the struggle for liberation the hero found his hands full, dealing with all kinds of people and problems. For one thing he found that "some of the wealthier citizens" of the city were "evaders of national duties" [we're right back in Moroni's position] in his day, as their ancestors had been in the days of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 3;5). Specifically, they were disregarding the mobilization orders of Bar Kochba" [they weren't joining up at all], who became exceedingly angry and issued dire threats against them, including the death penalty." (Compare this with Moroni in a like situation. Bar Kochba had to deal with just such characters, and he did it in the same way Moroni did). To the "brothers" (he calls them his brethren just as Moroni does all to whom he writes) in the city of En-gedi (he personally wrote a letter in Hebrew that survives to this day): "To Masabala and to Yehonathan; bar Be ayan, peace. In comfort you sit eating and drinking [doesn't that have a familiar ring?] from the property of the House of Israel and care nothing for your brothers." . . . If this had been discovered before Joseph Smith's day, you would say, "What obvious plagiarism." [Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 3, pp. 186-187]

 

Alma 60:15 The Wickedness Which First Commenced at Our Head:

 

     According to Hugh Nibley, civilization always dies at the top. You can't say it dies at the bottom. You can't say the great unwashed, the rabble, are responsible for the overthrowing of anything. They are always there. The Lord said, the poor you have always with you. If you want to practice your charity, you are free to do it, as he said to Judas. But if there is failing at the top then a civilization will decline. The bottom is dead level. You don't have to worry about them; they are always there. You always have the riff-raff, inner cities, and things like that. But when the people at the top lose their integrity [there's trouble]--"the wickedness which first commenced at our head" (Alma 60:15). That's where it begins. [Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 3, p. 183]

 

Alma 60:19 The Heart of Our Country:

 

     In Alma 60:19 Moroni refers to the local land of Zarahemla as "the heart of our country" and "surrounded by security." According to John Sorenson, perhaps there was a heart and four peripheral quarters which made up the general land of Zarahemla. [John L. Sorenson, The Geography of Book of Mormon Events: A Source Book, p. 281]