“The Enemy of God to Exercise His Power Over Them”

Brant Gardner

Alma2 hinders the church’s growth, a real possibility because the church and the kingdom of Zarahemla are no longer coterminous. Thus, it is possible that the church might not grow when the city does. Alma2’s actions give “a chance for the enemy of God.… ” Who is this enemy? Benjamin had used the same language:

I say unto you, that the man that doeth this, the same cometh out in open rebellion against God; therefore he listeth to obey the evil spirit, and becometh an enemy to all righteousness; therefore, the Lord has no place in him, for he dwelleth not in unholy temples.
Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever. (Mosiah 2:37–38)

The “evil spirit” causes one to become an enemy to Yahweh. Thus, Alma2 is opening doors for the evil spirit by preaching “another” religion, one which denies the Atoning Messiah. No wonder Benjamin could say that, as a result of such actions, “the Lord has no place in him.”

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3