#LDSConf – Alma 11: Zeezrom the Bully

CLICK HERE to read Alma 11.

The bullies are lawyers-gone-bad, people who get paid by how much time they spend judging cases (verses 1-3).  They were paid in gold and silver (verse 4-19) according to their time, so they became pirates by stirring up the people into trouble so they would have more work to do (verse 20).

Alma and Amulek coming on the scene to accuse the people was the perfect opportunity for the lawyers to stir things up and make some money (verse 20).   One of these lawyers, Zeezrom, began the set-up by asking the prophets questions (verse 21).   ‘

Amulek, however, shows wisdom by reply that they will answer “if it be according to the Spirit of the Lord, which is in me; for I shall say nothing which is contrary to the Spirit of the Lord” (verse 22).

To this humble and wise response, Zeezroom offers money!  He tries to bribe him (verse 22)!

“Now Amulek said: O thou child of hell, why tempt ye me?  Knowest thou that the righteous yieldeth to no such temptations?” (verse 23).

Snap!

This is such a call to repentance to us, a reminder that if we are righteous – if we are filled with His righteousness – we will not yield to temptations, because the atonement has already been provided for us so that we need not give in to sin.

Amulek confronts the bully, saying that he (the bully) loves money more than God (verse 24).

Not only that, but he again, by the Spirit, perceives the thoughts of the man, saying also that “… thou hast lied… Thou saidst unto me – Behold these six onties, which are of great worth, I will give unto thee – when thou hadst it in thy heart to retain them from me” (verse 25).  Not only was the man trying to bribe the prophet, but he was not really going to give up the money!

Zeezrom continues with his tactics in verses 26-33:

26 And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God?

27 And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God.

28 Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God?

29 And he answered, No.

30 Now Zeezrom said unto him again: How knowest thou these things?

31 And he said: An angel hath made them known unto me.

32 And Zeezrom said again: Who is he that shall come? Is it the Son of God?

33 And he said unto him, Yea.

These are all simple and basic things, so Zeezrom tries to get sneaky by getting more specific, so that he can change Amulek’s words around and twist them into something the prophet didn’t mean.  The bully asks the prophet if the Son of God will save the people in their sins, and Amulek says no (verse 34).

The bully thinks he has trapped the prophet, and he brags to the people (verse 35).

Amulek confronts him again, saying that the bully has lied (verse 36).  The prophet then clarifies what he said, saying that according to scriptures “no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven” (verse 37).   So while men are rescued from their sins, they are not saved in their sins.  They do not remain in a sinful state is what Amulek is saying.

The bully tries again, asking if the Son of God is the Eternal Father (verse 38).

Amulek says that He is, in that the Savior is the creator of this world, and He has promised to redeem that which He has created, and so in those ways, He is the Father of all things which He has created (verse 39).  Amulek goes on to explain:

“And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life…” (verse 40).   But those who do not choose it, remain wicked, and so they are not redeemed even though redemption was offered (verse 41).

Amulek teaches the people that there is a temporal death (verse 42).  All of us will die, physically.  Christ has conquered physical death, so all people -regardless of their good works or evil deeds, and regardless of whether they believe Christ or not – will receive a resurrection from physical death.  It’s a free gift to all.

“The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form…” (verse 43).

In addition to the physical resurrection, everyone will experience a spiritual resurrection of the first spiritual death – which was being cast out of God’s presence.  All of us “shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt” (verse 43).

This physical and spiritual resurrections are different than our judgment, which will be based on our obedience to His laws and conditions.  All will receive immortality, and all will again face God. Those are free gifts given to us by the great atoning sacrifice of the Savior.  But the quality of that immortality – what kind of life we will have after the resurrection – depends on the choices we make now.  Our life now, this mortality, is designed to prepare us to meet God by giving us opportunities to demonstrate our love for Him through our ability and decisions to obey Him.

All people will be resurrected, but the quality of life after the resurrection depends on our choices now.

“… this restoration shall come to all… both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit… to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil” (verse 44).

But once we are resurrected, then “they can die no more; their spirits united with their bodies, never to be divided…” (verse 45).

This teaching made even the bully tremble in his boots (verse 46).

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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