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“According to the Spirit of Revelation and Prophecy”: Alma2’s Prophetic Warning of Christ’s Coming to the Lehites (and Others)
|“According to the Spirit of Revelation and Prophecy”: Alma2’s Prophetic Warning of Christ’s Coming to the Lehites (and Others)
|Year of Publication
|Stenson, Matthew Scott
|Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship
|Alma the Younger; Jesus Christ, Prophecies about; Nephi (Son of Lehi)
Some students of the Book of Mormon have felt that while the coming of the Lord to the Lehites was clearly revealed to and taught by Nephi1, those prophecies having to do with the subject may not have been widely circulated or continuously preserved among the Nephites, while others have argued for continuity of knowledge about Nephi1’s prophecies among writers and their contemporary audiences. Reexamination of the Book of Mormon in light of these issues reveals that the teaching that Christ would appear among the Lehites was actually taught with some consistency by Alma2 and was, it would seem, common knowledge among the Nephites. It appears that the predicted coming was well established, even if the nature of it was not. Specifically, I argue that Alma2 often taught of the coming of Christ to the Lehites but in context with other events such as Jesus’s coming to the Jews and to others not of the known fold. To make this case, I concentrate on Alma2’s writings, especially those in Alma 5 (borrowing liberally also from Alma 7, 13, 16, 39, Helaman 16:4–5, 13–14, and 3 Nephi 8–10). Alma 5 houses many prophetic statements that urgently point to the coming of the Lord to the Nephite church. The value of this approach is to attempt to demonstrate that Alma 5 contains more than has been supposed and, in effect, challenges claims for discontinuity in the middle portion of the Nephite record. This approach should tend to renew our interest in the other nuanced teachings of the prophet Alma2 and others.
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