#LDSConf – Alma 63

CLICK HERE to read Alma 63.

Just as the sacred records and things had been handed down to Alma, who handed them down to his son, Alma, Jr., who handed them down to Helaman, so did Helaman hand them down to Shiblon (verse 1).

And he was a just man, and he did walk uprightly before God; and he did observe to do good continually, to keep the commandments of the Lord his God (verse 2).

As time passed, so did the people change also: Moroni also passed away (verse 3), many people moved northward to explore more land (verse 4), and some began to sail away by ship (verses 5-6).  Some of the ships returned for more people (verse 7), and some did not return and no news was brought about what happened (verse 8).

When Shiblon was ready to die, he passed the sacred things on to his son Helaman (named after Shiblon’s father, Helaman) (verse 11).  Some of these sacred things, including records we consider scripture, were sent out to the people to teach them (verse 12).  But many of the sacred things were kept sacred, not shared with everyone, and passed on from prophet to prophet (verse 13).

This is the close of the book of Alma, which was the story of Alma, Jr., and his son Helaman, and his son, Shiblon (verse 17).  As the records are passed from Shiblon to his son Helaman (the second Helaman), war breaks out again between the Lamanites and the Nephites (verse 14) and Moroni’s son leads the battle (verse 15).  This is the state of the people as we continue the story in the book of Helaman (who really was the grandson of Helaman the first) (verse 16).

It took me a good two years of reading the Book of Mormon everyday just to get all those people straight, to figure out who was who and how one event was connected to another.  I am so grateful for these little pieces of understanding, as they hold the framework through which revelation comes – like the frame around a painting.  I do love the painting most, but it is held together by the frame.  These little details help us follow the story, so that we can understand the patterns of what is happening, so that we can see clearly the choices – then and now – of who is following the Savior or not, and what it means to follow the Savior, so that we can better follow His righteous example.

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.

Comments

#LDSConf – Alma 63 — 1 Comment

  1. Hi Emily,
    I really enjoy reading your insights after studying each chapter on my own. I wanted to clarify the family relationships as I can see how you came to your conclusion and I could only find one manual that clarifies it in the gospel library. (Book of Mormon seminary student manual; http://www.lds.org/manual/book-of-mormon-study-guide-for-home-study-seminary-students-2013/alma/unit-21-day-4-alma-59-63.)

    Alma the Younger is the author of the book of Alma until he passes the records to his eldest son, Helaman, in Alma 37. Helaman’s brother, Shiblon, takes possession of the records in Alma 63 after Helaman’s death. When Shiblon dies, his brother Corianton had gone northward so the records were passed down to Helaman’s son named Helaman (Alma 63:11). This is corroborated in the heading of the book of Helaman which begins: An account of the Nephites. Their wars and contentions, and their dissensions. And also the prophecies of many holy prophets, before the coming of Christ, according to the records of Helaman, who was the son of Helaman, and also according to the records of his sons, even down to the coming of Christ. The next section in the seminary student manual also confirms that Helaman is the son of Helaman and the grandson of Alma the Younger. (http://www.lds.org/manual/book-of-mormon-study-guide-for-home-study-seminary-students-2013/helaman)