Alma 61


The Lord Confirms the Covenant Way

      Alma 45 -- 3 Nephi 10



Alma 61:5 Fled to the Land of Gideon:


     In Alma 61:5 Pahoran notes that "I have fled to the land of Gideon, with as many men as it were possible that I could get." One might wonder just what qualities the people of Gideon and the land of Gideon possessed that would make the location suitable as a refuge and gathering place for Pahoran.


Alma 61:6 Throughout This Part of the Land:


     Once again, with the phrase "throughout this part of the land" (Alma 61:6) one gets the feeling that the general land of Zarahemla was divided up into quarters or parts. It appears that the local land of Gideon and the local land of Zarahemla belonged to "this part." The local land of Zarahemla was apparently "in the center of the land," (Helaman 1:24) and "in the heart of the country" (Alma 60:19) and was the location for the seat of government where Pahoran ruled from. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Alma 61:8 The Land, or the City, of Zarahemla:


     In Alma 61:8 Pahoran states concerning the rebellion that "they have got possession of the land, or the city, of Zarahemla." In the parallel use of the terms "land" and "city," perhaps Pahoran reveals to the reader that the words were almost interchangeable.


Alma 61:19 I Was Somewhat Worried Concerning What We Should Do:


     According to Spencer Condie, an important element of the Lord's counsel on exercising power and authority involves "reproving betimes with sharpness" (D&C 121:43). Many English-speaking people assume that the meaning of this archaic word, betimes, means "frequently" or "sometimes," but this is not the case. Betimes means literally "before it is too late." It is significant in this context that Pahoran responds to Moroni's letter by saying, "I do joy in receiving your epistle, for I was somewhat worried concerning what we should do, whether it should be just in us to go against our brethren. (Alma 61:19; emphasis added.)

     One gathers the impression that Pahoran, perhaps like the great high priest Eli of old, knew full well that remedial actions should be taken but lacked the motivation to follow through until the message was sent in an unmistakable fashion that could not be misunderstood. Not until he received Moroni's sharp message did Pahoran make firm resolve to clean house on the home front in order to be unified against the Lamanite armies. [Spencer J. Condie, "Righteous Oaths, Reproof, and Reconciliation," in Studies in Scripture: Book of Mormon, Part 2, pp. 88-89]