Alma’s Words to his Son Helaman

Transfer of Records

Alma 37:1–2

Alma passes the record–keeping responsibility to Helaman.

And now, my son Helaman, I command you that ye take the records which have been entrusted with me; And I also command you that ye keep a record of this people, according as I have done, upon the plates of Nephi, and keep all these things sacred which I have kept, even as I have kept them; for it is for a wise purpose that they are kept.

Alma 37:3–5

Alma reiterates the importance of the brass plates.

And these plates of brass, which contain these engravings, which have the records of the holy scriptures upon them, which have the genealogy of our forefathers, even from the beginning—

Behold, it has been prophesied by our fathers, that they should be kept and handed down from one generation to another, and be kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord until they should go forth unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, that they shall know of the mysteries contained thereon.

And now behold, if they are kept they must retain their brightness; yea, and they will retain their brightness; yea, and also shall all the plates which do contain that which is holy writ.

Alma 37:6–7

By small and simple means, God brings about great ends.

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

Alma 37:8–10

The records serve as invaluable reminders to the people, and are responsible for preserving prior knowledge concerning Jesus Christ.

And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things should be preserved; for behold, they have enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many of the error of their ways, and brought them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls.

Yea, I say unto you, were it not for these things that these records do contain, which are on these plates, Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many thousands of the Lamanites of the incorrect tradition of their fathers; yea, these records and their words brought them unto repentance; that is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer.

And who knoweth but what they will be the means of bringing many thousands of them, yea, and also many thousands of our stiffnecked brethren, the Nephites, who are now hardening their hearts in sin and iniquities, to the knowledge of their Redeemer?

Alma 37:11–12

Alma does not fully understand the value of the records his is keeping, but knows they are important.

Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear.

And it may suffice if I only say they are preserved for a wise purpose, which purpose is known unto God; for he doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.

Alma 37:13

Alma reminds Helaman that prosperity in the promised land in contingent upon keeping the commandments.

O remember, remember, my son Helaman, how strict are the commandments of God. And he said:

“If ye will keep my commandments
ye shall prosper in the land—
but if ye keep not his commandments
ye shall be cut off from his presence.”

Alma 37:14–17

Failure to keep the commandments will also result in losing access to the records.

And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted you with these things, which are sacred, which he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep and preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may show forth his power unto future generations.

And now behold, I tell you by the spirit of prophecy, that if ye transgress the commandments of God, behold, these things which are sacred shall be taken away from you by the power of God, and ye shall be delivered up unto Satan, that he may sift you as chaff before the wind.

But if ye keep the commandments of God, and do with these things which are sacred according to that which the Lord doth command you, (for you must appeal unto the Lord for all things whatsoever ye must do with them) behold, no power of earth or hell can take them from you, for God is powerful to the fulfilling of all his words.

For he will fulfill all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers.

Alma 37:18–20

The records will be preserved and will serve as a tremendous resource for bringing people to a knowledge of God.

For he promised unto them that he would preserve these things for a wise purpose in him, that he might show forth his power unto future generations.

And now behold, one purpose hath he fulfilled, even to the restoration of many thousands of the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth; and he hath shown forth his power in them, and he will also still show forth his power in them unto future generations; therefore they shall be preserved.

Therefore I command you, my son Helaman, that ye be diligent in fulfilling all my words, and that ye be diligent in keeping the commandments of God as they are written.