Alma 15:18 , LeGrand Baker, the integrity of Amulek

Alma 15:18 , LeGrand Baker, the integrity of Amulek

Alma 15 is the winding up scene of the story that began in chapter 8 when Alma first went into the city of Ammonihah. Its surface text is the powerful story of Zeezrom’s repentance, and with that story comes the assurance that repentance is not only possible, but necessary for happiness and salvation.

There is another story that can be followed through the text, but to which Mormon only alludes. It concludes,

18   Now as I said, Alma having seen all these things, therefore he took Amulek and came over to the land of Zarahemla, and took him to his own house, and did administer unto him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord. (Alma 15:18)

With the words that Alma took Amulek “to his own house, and did administer unto him,” we are brought back, with a jar, to a remembrance of who Amulek was, and what he had suffered in this very short time.

Amulek’s story is a contrast to Zeezrom’s. It is not about a man who had to repent, but about a man of unbending integrity.

We first met him when Alma was alone and hungry. We know that Amulek was a man of wealth and influence because later he would introduced himself by saying,

4  And behold, I am also a man of no small reputation among all those who know me; yea, and behold, I have many kindreds and friends, and I have also acquired much riches by the hand of my industry. (Alma 10:4)

An angel had told Amulek to find Alma and to nurture him. After the men met they forged a bond on friendship. The record tells us almost nothing about the development of their friendship, Mormon simply reports,

And Alma tarried many days with Amulek before he began to preach unto the people. (Alma 8:27)

During those days, with Alma’s tutelage, Amulek became completely conversant with the mysteries of godliness. His testimony to his belligerent neighbors, and his later explanation of the atonement teach us that he had a brilliant mind and profound understanding of the meaning of the Saviour’s sacrifice.

As we read the story, we discover several things that happened to those who believed, and we can understand that they also happened to Amulek personally. Even though the details of his story are different from theirs, many of the events were the same.

For example, the leaders of the mob (judges, lawyers, and professional religionists) were “angry with Alma and Amulek; and because they had testified so plainly against their wickedness, they sought to put them away privily” (Alma 14:3). That would have been a convenient way to get rid of them. It didn’t work, so they turned on the men who believed the words of the prophets. “They cast them out, and sent men to cast stones at them” (Alma 14:7-8).

We learn later that “cast them out” does not mean that they drove the believers from the town square, for we next hear of them as refugees in land of Sidom”(Alma 15:1).

Then the mob and their leaders did the unpardonable.

8  And they [the mob] brought their wives and children together, and whosoever believed or had been taught to believe in the word of God they caused that they should be cast into the fire; and they also brought forth their records which contained the holy scriptures, and cast them into the fire also, that they might be burned and destroyed by fire. (Alma 14:8)

The apostates had driven away the men and killed their families. This was clearly not only a violation of their persons, but it was also a confiscation of their property. That fact throws a vivid light on the motives of the apostates, but it also teaches us about what happened to Amulek.

He had described himself as a man of some wealth. Now he lost it all because he bore testimony of the divinity of Alma’s call. Furthermore, nothing suggests that his wife and children did not suffer the same fate as the others. Therefore, we may know that he not only watched as other innocent women and children were burned, but he watched as his own family was consumed by the fire.

10  And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames. (Alma 14:10)

After that, he was thrown into prison where he was humiliated, from which he was never intended to leave alive.

Amulek had born testimony with his mouth, with his property, with everything he loved, and with his own life. Surely one can find few more sterling examples of absolute integrity.

Mormon lets us know that, but does not dwell on its importance, for he has other purposes. Yet, at his conclusion he invites us to recognize Amulek’s integrity and the depth of his pain, but also the depth of Amulek’s newfound friendship with Alma. Mormon tells us all of that with the tender words,

18  Now as I said, Alma having seen all these things, therefore he took Amulek and came over to the land of Zarahemla, and took him to his own house, and did administer unto him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord. (Alma 15:18)

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