“The Design of the Nephites”

Monte S. Nyman

The opposite of bondage is freedom, the desire of the Nephites (v. 9). It is also the contrast of Christ and Satan. Christ is the advocate of agency and Satan seeks to destroy agency (see Moses 4:1–4; Abraham 3:24–28). The Lamanites were following Satan’s plan in being determined to destroy the Nephite’s agency (Alma 43:10). A basic belief of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is: “We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” (Article of Faith 11). The Nephites had the same belief (Alma 43:9).

The people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, or the people of Ammon (v. 11), were the Lamanite converts during the mission of the sons of Mosiah (see Alma 23:16–18). The desire of the Nephites was to also maintain freedom for their beloved Lamanite converts. These brethren had covenanted not to take up arms (Alma 43:11; Alma 26:6–19). However, they did support the cause of freedom in other ways (Alma 43:13). Their covenant should remind us of the pledge of allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Book of Mormon Commentary: The Record of Alma