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|Title||KnoWhy #112 - Why Did Alma Ask Church Members Fifty Probing Questions? (Alma 5:14-15)|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Corporate Authors||Book of Mormon Central Staff|
|Publisher||Book of Mormon Central|
|Place Published||Springville, UT|
|Keywords||Alma the Younger; Covenant; King Benjamin; Law of Moses; Prophet; Renewal; Zarahemla (Polity)|
Alma the Younger posed fifty questions to the members of the Church in Zarahemla (Alma 5). The ancient Israelites were directed to renew the covenant every seven years (sabbatical year), when they would re-commit to observe the law faithfully. Alma’s powerful address may have been given in in this context, with his series of introspective questions as part of a covenant renewal ceremony. Alma’s speech came 42 years after Benjamin’s covenant renewal address, or in the sixth sabbatical year since. That would have been the final sabbatical year before the Nephite celebration of the jubilee year, the fiftieth year after Benjamin’s speech. This is conceivably why Alma was keen to quote Benjamin, and this may also explain why there were exactly fifty questions—as a means of spiritual preparation for the jubilee.
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