Read it HERE.
Summary: Men are called as high priests because of their exceeding faith and good works—They are to teach the commandments—Through righteousness they are sanctified and enter into the rest of the Lord—Melchizedek was one of these—Angels are declaring glad tidings throughout the land—They will reveal the actual coming of Christ. About 82 B.C.
First of all I have to apologize for going MIA for the past 2 weeks. I was on vacation... and unfortunately I VACATED this important responsibility in my life. I missed it. I'm sorry. I'm back!
Now... That being said, I love how every time I read the Book of Mormon I feel God's love for ME! Even when I read about other people in another time, I feel that God loves me and is speaking to me through this account of His people in the Americas who witnessed His Son. I have recently opened a new chapter of my life... moved to Utah and am settled in our new house and ward (as of the last week) and this chapter is so fitting in our transition process.
Alma speaks many bold things in this chapter as he teaches Zeezrom and others in Ammonihah about the plan of redemption, the priesthood, and foreordination. Some great doctrinal topics. As Alma calls men as high priests he teaches them that this calling they were "ordained--being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowlede of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works..."(v.3). A great quote from the Book of Mormon Sunday School Study Guide explains further: "The Prophet Joseph Smith said, 'Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was'" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 365). How profound is that? What does that tell us about our husbands who choose good over evil and accept callings to serve and teach to the inhabitants of the earth?
And women? Well, here's another great quote from the same source: "President Spencer W. Kimball taught: 'Before we came here, faithful women were given certain assignments while faithful men were foreordained to certain priesthood tasks. While we do not now remember the particulars, this does not alter the glorious reality of what we once agreed to. You are accountable for those tings which long ago were expected of you just as are those we sustain as prophets and apostles!'" ("The Role of Righteous Women," Ensign, Nov. 1979, 102).
So... give us strength according to our faith in Christ to the things we came to earth to do. I think we are all working hard at fulfilling two major assignments called ETERNAL COMPANIONSHIP and MOTHERHOOD... among our other Church and personal callings and assignments.
Alma makes a great explanation about the holy order of the High Priesthood and how those who come into this Melchizedek Priesthood do so on account of their "exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish" (v.10). I find this an interesting perspective of how the Priesthood brethren, and those who support them, make their personal decisions to serve others.... it's out of a desire to work righteousness rather than perish.
Another highlight for me was verse 20: Now I need not rehearse the matter; what I have said may suffice. Behold, the ascriptures are before you; if ye will bwrest them it shall be to your own destruction.
Plain and simple. We have the scriptures right in front of us. If we do not read and understand them it will be to our destruction.... almost like the people of Moses' time with the golden staff who would just look and live. Makes me glad I'm part of this BUCKET FILLER blog, it helps me not to "wrest" my scriptures.
Finally, Alma speaks of the Coming of Christ and I love his emotional expression in verse 25: And now we only wait to hear the joyful news declared unto us by the mouth of angels, of his coming; for the time cometh, we aknow not how soon. Would to God that it might be in my day; but let it be sooner or later, in it I will rejoice.
AND verse 27:
And now, my brethren, I awish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great banxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not cprocrastinate the day of your repentance;
What a kind and loving teacher and leader Alma was. Amen, Alma and may I have only a part of his courage and conviction in teaching and living.