Monday, February 10, 2014

Alma 9: Alma the Insult Comic

Alma and Amulek now begin the difficult task of attempting to convince an entire city of skeptics that they should repent.

Alma Boldly Rebukes the Masses
In verses 8 and 9, Alma cries:
Behold, O ye wicked and perverse generation, how have ye forgotten the tradition of your fathers; yea, how soon ye have forgotten the commandments of God.
Do ye not remember that our father, Lehi, was brought out of Jerusalem by the hand of God?  Do ye not remember that they were all led by him through the wilderness? 
He's off to a good start here, pretty much using "you're all bad people and also you're idiots" as his lead-in material.  Then he takes it upon himself to criticize the entire city of Ammonihah for—let your eyes slide up to the chapter heading for a second—forgetting about events that took place more than five hundred years ago.  That's fair, right?

Ours is Not a Logical God
Later on, Alma explains why the wicked Nephites in Ammonihah are in danger of the wrath of God but the wicked Lamanites everywhere else are not:
For there are many promises which are extended to the Lamanites; for it is because of the traditions of their fathers that caused them to remain in their state of ignorance; therefore the Lord will be merciful unto them and prolong their existence in the land.
And at some period of time they will be brought to believe in his word, and to know of the incorrectness of the traditions of their fathers; and many of them will be saved, for the Lord will be merciful unto all who call on his name. 
So the only reason the Lamanites get away with all their barbarism and iniquity is because it's not their fault--their ancestors were evil, and so the Lamanites have simply remained that way.  By the same reasoning, once the current generation of Ammonihah dies out, shouldn't their descendants receive the same deal?

Not only that, but God is so petty and so unloving that he would rather have the wicked Lamanites slaughter all of his chosen people than let the Nephites persist in their sinfulness.  Why?  Because after all the times God claims to have bailed the Nephites out of tough spots, they still have forgotten about him.  Apparently God hasn't taken into consideration that those tough spots happened more than a generation ago.  And he also doesn't seem bothered by the fact that it's his own fault that the people seem to forget about him, considering he sent them all through the veil at birth so that they're all born without any knowledge that he exists in the first place.

The Public Reaction
Take a look at the facepalm-worthy comment in verse 31:
Now it came to pass that when I, Alma, had spoken these words, behold, the people were wroth with me because I said unto them that they were a hard-hearted and a stiffnecked people.
Alma insults his audience and then explains that they were offended by it?  I think it's about time to bring this one back:


  1. Congratulations Brodie 2013 winner! It is well-deserved for this excellent series.

    It would be logical to assume that when the wicked Nephites stopped believing they stopped teaching their kids about their father's traditions as well as the commandments. How can they forget a tradition they've never been taught? Of course, the Book of Mormon isn't logical.

    1. Wow, I actually won? That's awesome!

      And perhaps Alma was expecting the Nephites' collective memory to be greater than the sum of its parts...

    2. All of nothing won't add up to much. Thanks for pointing out the absurdity.

      Congrats on the award. Now you can put the little Brodie winner logo up.