Read it HERE.
Summary: Lehi descended from Manasseh—Amulek recounts the angelic command that he care for Alma—The prayers of the righteous cause the people to be spared—Unrighteous lawyers and judges lay the foundation of the destruction of the people. About 82 B.C.
This is a good chapter. Alma and Amulek are just starting to preach together, and we learn a little about Amulek's personal history. This is what we know:
~He is of noble lineage, even descended all the way down from Joseph of Egypt (vs. 3).
~He is wealthy, well-respected, and has many friends and associates (vs. 4).
~He has a large household (vs. 11)
~He admits that he has seen many instances of the Lord's power but has not given them the thought and attention he should have in order to really come to know of the Lord's power (vs. 5).
~He says he was "in rebellion" against God, had become wicked, and had hardened his heart (vs. 6).
Why is this so important to know? Why does Amulek tell the people this about himself? We know that he was preaching to people who were just like he was--their hearts were hardened. He tells the people of how the Lord blessed him when he became faithful again.
We know Amulek is talking to many of his friends in this group. I think he is desperately trying to help them understand that no matter how prosperous they may feel, their lives are incomplete without following the Lord. He is frank about their need for repentance:
"20 And now I say unto you that well doth the Lord judge of your iniquities; well doth he cry unto this people, by the voice of his angels: Repent ye, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
21 Yea, well doth he cry, by the voice of his angels that: I will come down among my people, with equity and justice in my hands.
22 Yea, and I say unto you that if it were not for the prayers of the righteous, who are now in the land, that ye would even now be visited with utter destruction; yet it would not be by flood, as were the people in the days of Noah, but it would be by famine, and by pestilence, and the sword."
Of course, the people did not take this message well. Many of these people were his friends! Yet they still called him a "child of the devil" and reviled against him (vs. 28).
I have one final thought. We learn about Amulek's noble heritage but we also learn of his many, many imperfections.
6 Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was acalled many times and I would not bhear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling cagainst God, in the wickedness of my heart, even until the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges.
Notice that he calls himself wicked, hard-hearted, and rebellious. Yet Heavenly Father still calls him to do a great work. Heavenly Father provides him with an opportunity to have a change of heart, and Amulek takes it. We are also called to do a great work--we are members of God's church and have a responsibility to live up to our covenants and help others come to the knowledge of the gospel.
But we are also mothers, and this can be taxing and discouraging at times. I think many of us have days or years in our lives when we feel we are not living up to our potential. I think it is easy to get caught up in all of the things we are doing wrong, and none of the things we can do right. We need to remember that on the days we don't feel as close to the Lord, and on the days we've been neglectful or irritable toward our children and spouses, that Heavenly Father knows our full potential and still needs us in His kingdom. But more importantly, we need to be a part of this great work. We don't need to be perfect. We just need to be willing to try.