What should we do with the unbelievers?
Many of the Nephites stop believing--The unbelievers are brought before Alma--Alma doesn't know what to do with them so he brings them to
King Mosiah--Mosiah does't know what to do with them either so he brings them back to Alma--Alma asks God what to do with them--The voice of God
tells Alma to not number unbelievers among God's people--Nephi blots out the names of the unbelievers--The church prospers exceedingly.
|26:1 Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of
king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of
their fathers. ||
(26:1-2) They did not believe.|
Just as things are starting to go really well for the new church, it is threatened by the "rising generation" of unbelievers.
Sound familiar? Maybe the Book of Mormon was prophesying about today.
|26:2 They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they
believe concerning the coming of Christ.
|26:3 And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the
word of God; and their hearts were hardened. ||
(26:3-4) Because of their unbelief|
Because of their unbelief they couldn't understand the word of God, their hearts were hardened, they refused to be baptized, wouldn't join the church, and
lived carnal and sinful lives.
|26:4 And they would not be baptized; neither would they join the church. And they were a separate people
as to their faith, and remained so ever after, even in their carnal and sinful state; for they would not call upon the
Lord their God.
|26:5 And now in the reign of Mosiah they were not half so numerous as the people of God; but because of the
dissensions among the brethren they became more numerous. ||
(26:5-6) They became more numerous.|
And although less then half of the Nephites were unbelievers, they were becoming more numerous all the time. They flattered and deceived the church
members, so the church had to do something about them.
|26:6 For it came to pass that they did deceive many with their flattering words, who were in the church,
and did cause them to commit many sins; therefore it became expedient that those who committed sin, that were in the
church, should be admonished by the church.
|26:7 And it came to pass that they were brought before the priests, and delivered
up unto the priests by the teachers; and the priests brought them before Alma, who was the high priest. ||
(26:7) The priests brought them before Alma.|
The unbelievers were gathered up and brought before Alma.
|26:8 Now king Mosiah had given Alma the authority over the church. ||
|26:9 And it came to pass that
Alma did not know concerning them; but there were many witnesses against them; yea, the
people stood and testified of their iniquity in abundance. ||
(26:9-11) Alma did not know concerning them.|
Because nothing like this had happened before in the church, Alma didn't know what to do with them. So he brought them to King Mosiah.
|26:10 Now there had not any such thing happened before in the church; therefore Alma was troubled in his
spirit, and he caused that they should be brought before the king.
|26:11 And he said unto the king: Behold, here are many whom we have brought before thee, who are accused of
their brethren; yea, and they have been taken in divers iniquities. And they do not repent of their iniquities;
therefore we have brought them before thee, that thou mayest judge them according to their crimes. ||
|26:12 But king Mosiah said unto Alma: Behold, I judge them not; therefore
I deliver them into thy hands to be judged. ||
(26:12) I deliver them into thy hands to be judged.|
King Mosiah didn't know what to do with them either, so he gave them back to Alma
|26:13 And now the spirit of Alma was again troubled; and
he went and inquired of the Lord what he should
do concerning this matter, for he feared that he should do wrong in the sight of God. ||
(26:13) He went and inquired of the Lord.|
Alma still didn't know what to do with them, so he asked God.
|26:14 And it came to pass that after he had poured out his whole soul to God, the
voice of the Lord came to him, saying: ||
The voice of the Lord came to him, saying . . . .
When Alma asked God what to do with unbelievers, the voice of the Lord came to Alma and delivered a long, rambling speech. Here is a summary:
God's voice blessed Alma and those who were baptized in the waters of Mormon.
The voice said that Alma was blessed because of his exceeding faith in Abinadi. And the baptized people are blessed because of their exceeding faith in
the words of Alma. Alma is also blessed because he established a church, and the people in the church are blessed because they are willing to be called
by God's name. Another reason Alma is blessed is that he asked God what to do with the unbelievers. Alma is God's servant, and because he is, he will
have eternal life and God will covenant with him. Alma will go forth in God's name and will gather God's sheep. Whoever hears God's voice will be one
of God's sheep, will join Alma's church, and will be received by God. Because, by golly, this is God's church and whoever is baptized into it
is baptized into repentance. Whoever Alma receives will believe in God's name and be freely forgiven by God. God takes upon himself the sins of the world
because he created them, and he grants to whoever believes unto the end a place at his right hand. Because they are called in his name,
and if they know God they will come forth and will have a place eternally at God's right hand. And when the second trump sounds then they that don't
know God will stand before him and they'll know that he is God and is their redeemer, but they didn't want to be redeemed. Then God will tell them he
never knew them and tell them to go to the everlasting fire that he prepared for the devil and his angels. Whoever refuses to hear God's voice won't get
into God's church or be received by God on the last day. Whoever offends God shall be judged by Alma. If he confesses his sins
before Alma and God, and sincerely repents, will be forgiven by Alma, and I'll also forgive him. Heck, as long as people repent I'll forgive them. And you
guys should forgive each other. Whoever doesn't forgive his neighbor will be condemned. So (to answer your question) whoever won't repent of
shall not be numbered among my people.
|26:15 Blessed art thou, Alma, and blessed are they who were baptized in the waters of Mormon. Thou art
blessed because of thy exceeding faith in the words alone of my servant Abinadi.
|26:16 And blessed are they because of their exceeding faith in the words alone which thou hast spoken unto
|26:17 And blessed art thou because thou hast established a church among this people; and they shall be
established, and they shall be my people.
|26:18 Yea, blessed is this people who are willing to bear my name; for in my name shall they be called; and
they are mine.
|26:19 And because thou hast inquired of me concerning the transgressor, thou art
|26:20 Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life; and thou shalt serve
me and go forth in my name, and shalt gather together my sheep.
|26:21 And he that will hear my voice shall be my sheep; and him shall ye receive into the church, and him
will I also receive.
|26:22 For behold, this is my church; whosoever is baptized shall be baptized unto repentance. And
whomsoever ye receive shall believe in my name; and him will I freely forgive.
|26:23 For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it
is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand.
|26:24 For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me they shall come forth, and shall have a
place eternally at my right hand.
|26:25 And it shall come to pass that when the second trump shall sound then shall they that never knew
me come forth and shall stand before me. ||
|26:26 And then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, that I am their Redeemer; but they would not
be redeemed. ||
|26:27 And then I will confess unto them that I never knew them;
and they shall depart into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. ||
|26:28 Therefore I say unto you, that he that will not hear my voice, the same shall ye not receive into
my church, for him I will not receive at the last day. ||
|26:29 Therefore I say unto you, Go; and whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye judge according
to the sins which he has committed; and if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of
his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also. ||
|26:30 Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me. ||
|26:31 And ye shall also forgive one another> your trespasses; for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth
not his neighbor's trespasses when he says that he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation. ||
|26:32 Now I say unto you, Go; and whosoever will not repent of his sins the same shall not be numbered
among my people; and this shall be observed from this time forward. ||
|26:33 And it came to pass when Alma had heard these words he wrote them down that
he might have them, and that he might judge the people of that church according to the commandments of God. ||
|26:34 And it came to pass that Alma went and judged those that had been taken in
iniquity, according to the word of the Lord. ||
|26:35 And whosoever repented of their sins and did confess them, them he did number among the people
of the church; ||
|26:36 And those that would not confess their sins and repent of their iniquity, the same were not numbered
among the people of the church, and their names were blotted out. ||
(26:33-36) Their names were blotted out.|
So Alma "blotted out" the names of those who did not repent, as instructed by the voice of God.
|26:37 And it came to pass that Alma did regulate all the affairs of the church;
and they began again to have peace and to prosper exceedingly in the affairs of the church,
walking circumspectly before God, receiving many, and baptizing many. ||
(26:37) They began again to have peace and to prosper exceedingly.|
Alma regulated all the affairs of the church, and the church prospers exceedingly.
|26:38 And now all these things did Alma and his fellow laborers do who were over the church, walking in all
diligence, teaching the word of God in all things, suffering all manner of afflictions, being persecuted by all those
who did not belong to the church of God. ||
|26:39 And they did admonish their brethren; and they were also admonished, every one by the word of God,
according to his sins, or to the sins which he had committed, being commanded of God to
pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things. ||
And it came to pass (26:1, 6, 7, 9, 14, 25, 33, 34, 37)
Exceedingly (26:15, 16, 37)
Behold (26:11, 12, 22, 24)
(26:27a) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you. -- Matthew 7:23
(26:27b) Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. -- Matthew 25:41
(26:37) See then that ye walk circumspectly. -- Ephesians 5:15
(26:39) Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks. -- 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18