“I Command You My Son, in the Fear of God, that Ye Refrain from Your Iniquities”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

Alma being the Presiding High Priest of God's Church in Zarahemla, his children were looked upon to lead others in serving the Lord and keeping His commandments. The infidelity of which Corianton was guilty brought some of the Nephites to a place where they excused themselves in doing much wrong, and where they offered many pretexts in so doing.

In speaking to Corianton of this unjustified departure from Church discipline Alma warned his son that by committing whoredoms and other grievous sins, he had caused the Zoramites to reject his message. To quote Alma exactly:

For when they saw your conduct they would not believe my words.

The sorrow in Alma's heart caused by Corianton's wilful behavior in its turn brought him comfort from above. How to meet this painful and perplexing problem had been a matter of prayer, and in answer to them the answer came to Alma: Command thy children to do good lest they lead away the hearts of many people to destruction. In obedience to God's command Alma ordered Corianton thusly: Therefore I command you, my son, in the fear of God, that ye refrain from your iniquities; That ye turn to the Lord with all your mind, might, and strength; that ye lead away the hearts of no more to do wickedly; but rather return unto them, and acknowledge your faults and that wrong which ye have done. Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you.

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4