“Alma Desired His Brethren to Walk After the Holy Order of God”

Monte S. Nyman

These instructions from Alma (vv. 22–23) were to help the people of Gideon remain on the path to eternal life, to keep the Spirit in their temples, and to follow the holy order of God (the priesthood). Jacob, brother of Nephi, gave a similar testimony:

16 And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end.
17 O the greatness and the justice of our God! For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled.
18 But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever. [2 Nephi 9:16–18]

The formula of faith, hope, and charity may be an Old Testament formula that was lost along with other “plain and precious things” (1 Nephi 13:29). This opinion comes from the probability that Paul is quoting from an earlier source when he writes to the 1 Corinthians 13 along with its use by Alma here (Alma 7:24). On the other hand, Paul may have been quoting the Savior, since Moroni refers to the formula as he abridges the record of the Jaredites (Ether 12:28). Mormon also bases his great sermon to the “peaceable followers of Christ” on this three step formula of faith, hope, and charity (Moroni 7). Whatever the source, Alma is familiar with the formula and uses it before the time of Christ’s ministry on earth.

To sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Alma 7:25) is to attain the celestial kingdom of God. Abraham has “entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne” (D&C 132:19). Isaac and Jacob “have entered into their exaltation according to their promises, and sit upon their thrones, and are not angels but are Gods” (D&C 132:37). The holy prophets have attained the same promises as Alma here recognizes.

Book of Mormon Commentary: The Record of Alma