THE BOOK OF ALMA
All The Things Concerning Things Pertaining To Righteousness
Ammon's brother Aaron journeys to a land the Lamanites call Jerusalem--In Jerusalem, Aaron preaches at
Amalekite synagogues--The Amalekites believe in the doctrine of Nehor (universal salvation)--The people of
Jesusalem refuse to listen to him, so he goes to Ani-Anti--They don't listen either, so he goes to
Middoni, where he and his companions are thrown in prison--Ammon and Lamoni rescue them from prison--Ammon
and Lamoni return to the the land of Ishmael, while Aaron and his companions preach and convert many
Lamanites--Ammon teaches the people of King Lamoni all things pertaining to righteousness.
Remember back in chapter 17, when Alma ran across the four sons of Mosiah (Ammon, Aaron, Omner and Himni)? They all split up and went preaching to different groups,
and chapters 18-20 followed Ammon's progress. Chapter 21 backs up a bit and follows Aaron's preaching to the Lamanites and the Amalekites in Jerusalem.
(21:1-2) The land which was called by the Lamanites, Jerusalem, calling it after the
land of their fathers' nativity
When Ammon and his brothers decided to split up, Aaron decided to head to a place near the border of the
Land of Mormon that the Lamanites called "Jerusalem" (they named it after the other Jerusalem, apparently).
The Lamanites, the Amalekites, and the people of Ammon had built a big city there, and they really needed
some guidance, because they were starting to get really hard hearts and doing all kinds of wickedness.
Aaron had his work cut out for him.
|21:1 Now when Ammon and his brethren separated themselves in the borders of the land of the Lamanites,
behold Aaron took his journey towards the land which was called by the Lamanites, Jerusalem, calling it after the land of their
fathers' nativity; and it was away joining the borders of Mormon.
|21:2 Now the Lamanites and the Amalekites and the people of Amulon had built a great city, which was called
|21:3 Now the Lamanites of themselves were sufficiently hardened, but the Amalekites and the Amulonites
were still harder; therefore they did cause the Lamanites that they should harden their hearts, that they should wax
strong in wickedness and their abominations. ||
|21:4 And it came to pass that Aaron came to the city of Jerusalem, and first began
to preach to the Amalekites. And he began to preach to them in their synagogues, for they had built synagogues after
the order of the Nehors; for many of the Amalekites and the Amulonites were after the order of the Nehors. ||
|21:5 Therefore, as Aaron entered into one of their synagogues to preach unto the people, and as he was
speaking unto them, behold there arose an Amalekite and began to contend with him, saying: What is that thou hast
testified? Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us? Behold are not this people as good as
thy people? ||
(21:5-8) We do believe that God will save all men.|
Once Aaron got to Jerusalem, he started working on the Amalekites first. He started preaching
at their synagogues, where they followed the Nehor doctrine. (Remember Nehor, the guy who
killed Gideon in Alma 1?) The sons of Mosiah had a bit of a feud going on with the order of
the Nehors. You see, the Nehor folks believed that priests should be paid for their services,
and that they should be highly respected. They also disagreed about universal salvation, and
whether or not a person needs to repent. (See more about Nehor
|21:6 Thou also sayest, pexcept we repent we shall perish. How knowest thou the thought and intent of our
hearts? How knowest thou that we have cause to repent? How knowest thou that we are not a righteous people? Behold,
we have built sanctuaries, and we do assemble ourselves together to worship God.
We do believe that God will save all
|21:7 Now Aaron said unto him: Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their
|21:8 And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing. We do not believe in
these foolish traditions. We do not believe that thou knowest of things to come, neither do we believe that thy
fathers and also that our fathers did know concerning the things which they spake, of that which is to come.
|21:9 Now Aaron began to open the scriptures unto them concerning the coming of Christ, and also concerning
the resurrection of the dead, and that there could be no redemption for mankind save it were through the death and
sufferings of Christ, and the atonement of his blood. ||
(21:9-11) A village which was called Ani-Anti|
But, like a good Mormon, Aaron didn't. He started preaching to them, in their own church,
until some of the people got really angry with him, and the rest made fun of him. After a while,
he realized that they weren't listening, so he decided to leave. He went to the village of Ani-Anti,
and found some new people to argue with.
|21:10 And it came to pass as he began to expound these things unto them they were
angry with him, and began to mock him; and they would not hear the words which he spake.
|21:11 Therefore, when he saw that they would not hear his words, he departed out of their synagogue, and
came over to a village which was called Ani-Anti, and there he found Muloki preaching the word unto them; and also
Ammah and his brethren. And they contended with many about the word.
|21:12 And it came to pass that they saw that the people would harden their hearts,
therefore they departed and came over into the land of Middoni. And they did preach the word unto many, and
believed on the words which they taught. ||
(21:12-13) Few believed on the words which they taught.|
But the people preaching in Ani-Anti (Muloki and Ammah) had already hardened the people's hearts,
so it was useless. Aaron continued on to the land of Middoni and started preaching there. He didn't
convert many people, but he was still thrown in jail, along with some of his brethren.
|21:13 Nevertheless, Aaron and a certain number of his brethren were taken and cast into prison, and
the remainder of them fled out of the land of Middoni unto the regions round about.
|21:14 And those who were cast into prison suffered many things, and they were delivered by the hand of
Lamoni and Ammon, and they were fed and clothed. ||
(21:14-18) They went forth whithersoever they were led by the Spirit.|
At this point, the stories merge. Ammon and Lamoni rescue Aaron and his brethren from prison,
and then they split up again: Ammon and Lamoni return to the land of Ishmael, and Aaron and his
posse "went forth again to declare the word". They preached to Amalekites and Lamanites all
throughout the land, and they had better luck this time. They "brought many to the knowledge
of the truth" and "convinced many of their sins". Nice work, Aaron!
|21:15 And they went forth again to declare the word, and thus they were delivered for the first time out of
prison; and thus they had suffered.
|21:16 And they went forth whithersoever they were led by the Spirit of the Lord, preaching the word of
God in every synagogue of the Amalekites, or in every assembly of the Lamanites where they could be
|21:17 And it came to pass that the Lord began to bless them, insomuch that they
brought many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, they did convince many of their sins, and of the traditions of their
fathers, which were not correct. ||
|21:18 And it came to pass that Ammon and Lamoni returned from the land of Middoni to
the land of Ishmael, which was the land of their inheritance. ||
|21:19 And king Lamoni would not suffer that Ammon should serve him, or be his servant. ||
|21:20 But he caused that there should be synagogues built in the land of Ishmael; and he caused that his
people, or the people who were under his reign, should assemble themselves together. ||
(21:20-22) They were a free people.|
Meanwhile, Ammon and Lamoni were also making progress back in the land of Ishmael. Lamoni's
father stayed true to his word, by granting Lamoni full control of his people. Lamoni rounded
everyone up decreed that they could worship God in any way they wanted.
|21:21 And he did rejoice over them, and he did teach them many things. And he did also declare unto them
that they were a people who were under him, and that they were a free people, that they were free from the oppressions
of the king, his father; for that his father had granted unto him that he might reign over the people who were in the
land of Ishmael, and in all the land round about.
|21:22 And he also declared unto them that they might have the liberty of worshiping the Lord their God
according to their desires, in whatsoever place they were in, if it were in the land which was under the reign of
king Lamoni. ||
(21:23) He did teach them all things concerning things pertaining to righteousness.|
Ammon started preaching in the synagogues there, and he taught them "all of the things concerning things pertaining
to righteousness". (This is perhaps my favorite line in the
whole Book of Mormon. "And it came to pass that on Tuesday my boss taught me
all of the the things concerning things pertaining to customer service...")
|21:23 And Ammon did preach unto the people of king Lamoni;
And it came to pass that
he did teach them all things concerning things pertaining to righteousness. And he did exhort them daily, with all
diligence; and they gave heed unto his word, and they were zealous for keeping the commandments of God.
And it came to pass
(21:4, 10, 12, 17,
Behold [21:1, 5(2), 6]
(21:6) Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:3
(21:21-22) Lamoni declares (and the Book of Mormon seems to approve)
that the people should be free.
(21:21) They were a free people.
(21:22) The liberty of worshiping the Lord their God according to their desires