Okay, be honest with yourself…. who loves a great “I told you so!” I know that it isn’t righteous, but sometimes it feels good. This chapter is a great big I TOLD YOU SO by Heavenly Father to the people of Ammonihah. Read it, it is fantastic. Here is my summary of Alma 14 for you:
Alma finished his preaching of repentance to the people at the end of Alma 13 and at this time, many of those that were listening hearkened unto his word and “began to repent, and to search the scriptures.” (verse 1) However, most of the people just wanted to make sure that Alma and Amulek were killed. They wanted to do this because they believed that Amulek lied to them and they really didn’t like the fact that they were called out on their iniquities. Alma and Amulek were then bound and taken before the chief judge of the land and many people testified against them. Zeezrom (remember him?) had a really big change of heart and began to testify on behalf of Alma and Amulek and he felt as if many of the people thought wrongly of these holy men because of his wrong doings. Zeezrom was then accused of being possessed by a devil and was cast out and men were sent after him to cast stones at him and others who stood for Alma and Amulek. We learn in verse 8 that every one, man, woman and child that believed on the words that were prophesied by Alma and Amulek were then brought forth and burned at the stake for their beliefs and their scriptures were also tossed onto the fire as well. Alma and Amulek were then forced to watch this martyrdom occur. I can’t imagine the horrific scene with the terrible odor of burning flesh. The thought of this hurts my heart. Amulek was so taken by the atrocious scene that he asked Alma to bring forth the power of God to save these people that were being slaughtered. Alma, however, told Amulek that his power was being restrained by the Holy Ghost and that Heavenly Father was waiting for these people to be brought to him in their righteousness and that the wrath of God will be upon those who caused this scene.
Amulek then tells Alma that perhaps the people of Ammonihah will burn them as well and Alma reassures him in two ways. First, he tells Amulek that if it is the will of God, then so be it. Secondly, he tells him that they are not yet done with their work here on earth, so it will not be at this time.
When the burning at the stake comes to an end, the chief judge who is running the show comes and assaults Alma and Amulek and confronts them. He asks since you were unable to save these people and God didn’t save them, what do you have to say for yourselves? We are then told that this particular judge is “after the order and faith of Nehor.” (verse 16) Remember Nehor was an Anti-Christ who killed Gideon because Gideon stood for what was right. Alma and Amulek did not say a word back to this horrid man and they were cast into prison.
For the next three days, many men came into the prison to question Alma and Amulek and they didn’t say a peep back to them. The chief judge threatened them again with death by fire and they were silent still. On the fourth day, the chief judge came yet again and assaulted them some more and he and his followers were just pretty snotty and full of themselves, clearly puffed up with pride and haughtiness. For many days did the people of Ammonihah mock Alma and Amulek and spit on them and made them go hungry, thirsty and forced them to be naked within the prison while they were bound. And again, the chief judge came into the prison and hit them and said “if ye have the power of God deliver yourselves from these bands, and then we will believe that the Lord will destroy this people according to your words.” (verse 24) Many others came and smote Alma and Amulek and repeated the words of the chief judge verbatim. Once all of them had their “turn” being persecutors Alma and Amulek stood and Alma cried a mighty prayer unto Heavenly Father asking for strength and deliverance. They broke free of their bands and the people began to scatter…. afraid for their lives.
The people were so afraid that they fell to the ground and were unable to get out of the prison. “And the earth shook mightily, and the walls of the prison were rent twain, so that they fell to the earth; and the chief judge, and the lawyers, and priests, and teachers, who smote Alma and Amulek, were slain by the fall thereof And Alma and Amulek came forth out of the prison, and they were not hurt; for the Lord had granted unto them power, according to their faith which was in Christ. And they straightway came forth out of the prison; and they were loosed from their bands; and the prison had fallen to the earth, with every soul within the walls thereof, save Alma and Amulek, was slain; and they straightway came forth into the city.” (verses 27-28) A good portion of the people of Ammonihah clearly heard the walls of the prison tumbling down and all of the commotion that must come with and came running, as they saw the prophets of God emerge from the rubble, they were scared and fled from them.
See, I told you it was a good “I told you so” story. I love this one!
I leave it with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.