Alma 13:19-20

Now, there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater; therefore, of him they have more particularly made mention. Now I need not rehearse the matter; what I have said may suffice. Behold, the scriptures are before you; if ye will wrest them it shall be to your own destruction. 
The “many before him, and also … many afterwards” in this sermon is not just a reference to believers, but to those who held this “holy order after the Son of God.”  It it a reference to those who were made clean and pure by their repentance. It is those who, having been called by the Lord, chosen to this holy order, having their calling and election secure, hold power as a result of this relationship with God.
But none of these, before or since, (at the time of the writing by Alma) who held authority were greater than Melchizedek.  As a result, he merited particular mention to identify those who held the holy priesthood after the order of the Son of God. It was merited because his example and his ministry illustrated perfectly what the “holy order” was intended to accomplish. It is designed to save others.
It was not to exalt the man.
It was not to bring attention to the man.  It was not to amass praise or a following.
It was not to make the man a ruler over others. It was not to gain control or domination.
It was not to subjugate or force compulsive obedience upon the souls of men.
It was to serve and exalt those to whom he ministered.  His greatness was derived by the fruit of saved, exalted souls whom he saved.  There is no record of a single sermon preached by Melchizedek.  We have evidence of the following things he did with his authority and power: 
-He received tithes from Abraham. (Alma 13: 15.)
-He ordained Abraham.  (D&C 84: 14.)
-He saved an entire population from iniquity and
abominations, and converted them to the truth.  (Alma 13: 18.)
-He made those he converted qualified to behold the Lord’s presence.  (Alma 13: 11.)
-He performed a form of ceremony with Abraham involving breaking bread and wine.  (Gen. 14: 18-19.)
He served. He blessed. He produced exalted souls.  He was not great by what he received, but by what he did with what he received to bless and exalt others.
We would see this if we understood the scriptures. We would not be following a false tradition wherein men are famous, celebrity-like, fawned over, held up to acclaim and given the authority to exercise control over men. This is a false model that the Gentiles follow, and not the way in which true priesthood holders operate. (Matt. 20: 25-28.)  No-one possessing power from heaven will do this.  (D&C 121: 36-37.)
Now, if you make this mistake and follow in this false tradition, it will be to your own destruction.  Alma has warned you.  
What a marvelously relevant book this Book of Mormon is for our own day!  It is almost as if they saw our time, knew what we would struggle with, and had teachings designed to let us see the error and repent. I truly believe that we can get closer to God by abiding the precepts of the Book of Mormon than we can from any other book!  Joseph Smith was right.

9 thoughts on “Alma 13:19-20


    JST Genesis 14:

    27 And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch,

    What is the “covenant which God made with Enoch?”

    …. those who are ordained after this order have power to be translated and stand in the presence of God?

  2. Denver,
    As I have read your books (and several others), prayed, fasted, went to the temple, and pondered upon the messages the Spirit is guiding me to, it seems like I am returning to a Home I have been missing from, and that I never really wanted to leave. I know I came because I wanted further LIght and Knowledge from this experience, and there were/are people I am here to serve. My family, my friends, and my family in Christ. Without doing my part their lives would be much hard if I falied in my mission.
    Growing up I have never felt “right” in this world. We are strangers and Foreigners here, in a alien environment. I have never really enjoyed the Enmity that is just a part of life here. I did not like all of the Competition that is encouraged here. My coach in B-ball wanted me to be “meaner”. I liked playing, but I really did not want to BEAT someone else. I just wanted to improve myself and make sure everyone was included and having fun. Its SO much nicer to let go of worrying about Whats In It for Me Mentality.
    When I read this blog, and read your books and the Scriptures my Spirit sours. I love LIght, and I love remembering who I am and why we are all here. Its enjoyable to see my family growing up in the Light. They have such a different life than I did growing up. I had the church, but the Spirit has been more consistent for them. It has not always been easy, but its so worth it when I see them growing and responding to the Spirit.

    In summary, Thank you Denver AND all those on this site who are striving to know him. The more I see the Corn Popping around me, the better. Or to use another analogy, we are all rising on a wonderful tide of righteouness.

    Onward to Zion!

  3. The covenant God made with Enoch dealt with preserving the righteous, rather than destroying them in the flood, marking the covenant with the sign of the rainbow in the sky, and a promise that truth would remain on the earth to preserve mankind thereafter; including a return in the last days.

    Enoch’s City was translated because it is contrary to the order of heaven for God to slay the righteous. The wicked can slay them, but God cannot. Since Enoch had faith sufficient to hold at bay the armies of the wicked, and God could not slay them because it would be wrong for Him to do so, the solution was to give them an assignment which would allow them to be translated. Translation only happens when it involves a calling. Enoch’s City was called to minister, and ultimately accompany the Lord at the time of His return. They were likely also the choir which announced His birth, just as they are the “angels” who will accompany the Lord at His return.

    Without a calling requiring it, men are not translated. If the Lord offers, and a man asks for it, the result will be an assignment which will require translation to be fulfilled. It is not a generally occurring event, commonly available. It is not available at all without an accompanying calling necessitating the translation.

  4. This post was just what I needed. I focus to much on myself. I think often of what I want to be. There is to much “I” going on. I need to think a lot less about what’s in it for me and focus more on others, because I love them and the Lord.

  5. Denver,
    You said that Translation only comes with a calling, which is my understanding until I read some of James Custer material. I may be misspeaking, but Consider this, James Custer states that after the Baptism of fire comes translation. TO make it through the Tribulations that are coming (and bring ones own family through)he states translation will be necessary. Though he also states some will make it through without translation, but will suffer much, then join ZION. It sounded right when I read it, At least that a High Priest of the Holy Order of the Son would receive this to fulfill the calling of bringing his family through.
    I think I may have answered some of my own questions writing this, as I feel that any translation would have a mission as you stated associated with it.
    Thanks again for sharing,and if I am off please let me know. I am so hungry for Christ and his Light. I feel that without Him I will perish in this harsh wilderness. I know I must go on or I will sink.

  6. Joseph Smith said that “Translated bodies are designed for future missions.” DHC 4: 425.

    To conflate translation to another circumstance (i.e., Second Coming) is to mistake the notion that translation is an often available transition. It is confined to those who need a body to minister, deliver keys, function in some call, provide some necessary service assigned to the minister. It is not merely some portion of normal progression of a mortal which would be available to all without regard to the Fall, which brings the promise that “ye shall surely die” as a consequence of this current state.

    Translation is not done without a calling requiring it. It seems undesirable to me; based upon the totality of the plan of salvation.

  7. Denver,

    Thank you for your comments.

    Here is why I have been interested in Translation. I understand that the 144000 that get o go out and reap for the last time will be translated to endure the struggles out in the world.

    They would need it for their mission. I was given a blessing a few years ago about serving a mission with my wife, and that of course would be a great mission. The reason I would want that is to be able to go and bring others to Christ. I know how the buffetings of Satan feel, and I would not want anyone to endure that if they still wanted to believe in Christ.

    The words and feelings of Alma and the Sons of Mosiah are my words and feelings. After having sinned nigh unto to eternal Death (not what some would think, but spiritual) I have such a desire to give others hope and to point others to the Answer, to Christ.

    I am still coming unto to Him, but I know that part of the process is to serve others.

    I know it sounds “Weird”, but after serving my Mission, I really would love to be a part of the last mission, and to be able to physically do what I need to be there for Christ and others.

    Thanks for letting me explain my weirdness.

    Keep up the good work.

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