CLICK HERE to read Alma 14.
Alma and Amulek have been on their mission of delivering General Conference addresses. Amulek has preached to them, Zeezrom-the-bully had a rebuttal, Amulek confronted him, and Alma confirmed Amulek’s words by preaching and testifying.
Many people “did believe on his words, and began to repent, and to search the scriptures” (verse 1).
But more people wanted to destroy these prophets instead of believe them (verse 2). They were angry (verse 3), and tied them up (verse 4). The people took the prophets to the judge, and “witnessed against them” (verse 5).
Zeezrom the bully, however, now one of those converting, recognized what was happening because he had been like them. He “was astonished at the words which had been spoken; and he also knew concerning the blindness of the minds, which he had caused among the people by his lying words; and his soul began to be harrowed up under a consciousness of his own guilt; ye, he began to be encircled about by the pains of hell” (verse 6).
This so stirred him up to repentance that he now also offered restitution through his own testimony: “Behold, I am guilty, and these men are spotless before God” (verse 7). But the people would not listen to him, and spit on him, and kicked him out. The people were so worked up now that they kicked out all of the believers, “and sent men to cast stones at them” (verse 7).
The non-believing people were so determined to kill the new believers that they rounded up the wives and children of the new believers, “and whosoever believed or had been taught to believe in the word of God”, and burned them alive (verse 8). They also burned all their records and scriptures.
They did not, however, burn Alma and Amulek. Instead, they forced them to watch (verse 9).
Alma and Amulek were deeply pained by the sight, and Amulek wanted to use their priesthood power to save the people from the flames (verse 10). But Alma instructed him not to, based on the Sprit’s instruction not to do so because the people were already returning to God’s presence (verse 11). The “blood of the innocent” (these believers and new converts being burned), he said, “shall stand as a witness against them” (non-believers) at the time of judgment (verse 11)
Amulek then was prepared to also die by being burned (verse 12), but Alma told him that it would be “according to the will of the Lord. But, behold, our work is not finished; therefore they burn us not” (verse 13).
When the believers had all been burned, and their scriptures, the chief judge came up to Alma and Amulek (who were still tied up while watching the others burn), and he beat them. He said, “After what ye have seen, will ye preach again unto this people?” (verse 14).
He accused them, saying that they did not have power to rescue the people from the flames, “neither has God saved them because they were of thy faith” (verse 15). He beat them again.
What cruel behavior from a chief judge! It turns out this chief judge is from the same false priesthood as Nehor, the one who slew Gideon (Alma 1) (verse 16). This false priesthood is known for “evangelizing” in such a way that is confrontational instead of inviting, and leads to violence instead of peace.
Alma and Amulek knew this is a false priesthood, and they do not respond. He beat them again, and then threw them into prison (verse 17).
After three days in prison, many of Nehor’s people (lawyers, judged, priests, and teachers), came to question the prophets. But the prophets recognize the false priesthood, and do not respond (verse 18). This irritates the chief judge, who asks them why they will not respond, and even commands them to speak, “but they answered nothing” (verse 19).
The next day the judge comes again, and beats them again, and many others also came to beat them They mocked the prophets, saying, “If ye have such great power, why do ye not deliver yourselves?” (verse 20). They bit at them, and spit on them, and mocked them more, saying, “How shall we look when we are damned?” (verse 21).
This went on for days, while they also withheld food and water from the prophets, and took their clothes away, and left them not only in prison but still tied up (verse 22).
They suffered like this for twelve days (verse 23) when the chief judge came to beat them again, nad 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). All the people came to beat them and say the same kinds of things, “and when the last had spoken unto them, the power of God was upon Alma and Amulek, and they rose and stood upon their feet” (verse 25).
And Alma cried, saying: How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O Lord? O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance. And they broke the cords with which they were bound…
“… and when the people saw this, they began to flee, for the fear of destruction had come upon them” (verse 26).
Their fear was so much that they could not even get out of the prison, and an earthquake caused the prison to collapse, and all the people were killed (verse 27).
All the people, except Alma and Amulek.
“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” (verse 28).