Understanding the Scriptures
|Reviled (vv. 2, 5, 7)||Criticized, insulted|
|Privily (v. 3)||Secretly, privately|
|Harrowed up (v. 6)||Tormented, pained|
|Martyrdom (v. 9)||Suffering and dying because of one’s faith or beliefs|
|Consumed, consuming (vv. 9–10, 14)||Destroyed, burned to death|
|Constraineth (v. 11)||Forced, commanded|
|Smote (vv. 14–15, 17, 20, 24–25)||Hit|
|Brimstone (v. 14)||Burning sulfur; symbolic of the anguish and torment the wicked suffer|
|Rent in twain (v. 27)||Torn into two pieces|
|Straightway (v. 28)||Immediately|
Alma 14:8–11—Why Does the Lord Allow the Righteous to Suffer?
Many of us might feel like Amulek when he saw the suffering of righteous, humble people. Alma, however, helped him (and us) understand that Heavenly Father has a greater vision of what seems like tragedy to mortal men and women. Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained:
“We find many people critical when a righteous person is killed, a young father or mother is taken from a family, or when violent deaths occur. Some become bitter when oft-repeated prayers seem unanswered. Some lose faith and turn sour when solemn administrations by holy men seem to be ignored. … But if all the sick were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. …
“Should all prayers be immediately answered according to our selfish desires and our limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death; and if these were not, there would also be an absence of joy, success, resurrection, eternal life, and godhood” (“Tragedy or Destiny,” Improvement Era, Mar. 1966, 180, 210; see also Alma 60:13; D&C 98:13).
Studying the Scriptures
Do activity A or B as you study Alma 14.
Explain the Principles
Study Alma 14:8–11; 60:13; and the quotation from Elder Kimball found in the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Alma 14:8–11, and then explain why you believe Alma and Amulek did not use priesthood power to save the righteous who were being killed. Note particularly the direction Alma followed from the Spirit.
What insight does the statement from Elder Kimball provide to explain why Alma and Amulek had to wait so long before they were given the power to deliver themselves from prison? (see Alma 14:26–29).
After forcing Alma and Amulek to watch the burning of faithful believers, the wicked judges of Ammonihah asked them many questions, seven of which are recorded in Alma 14:14–21.
Find those questions and write them in your notebook, and then write the answer you think Alma and Amulek might have given had they thought it was right to answer.
Is it necessary to answer every person who mocks you for your beliefs or who criticizes the Lord’s work? Why or why not?