May 29, 2020

New Book Answers Deep Questions about Alma 5

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Scripture Central

John W. Welch has teamed up with Ed J. Pinegar for the first time to bring together an inspiring book on the dozens of questions Alma asks in Alma 5. Experiencing a Mighty Change of Heart: Alma’s Guide to a Deep, Lasting Conversion is sure to increase your appreciation and awe at Alma’s eloquence and prophetic guidance.

Alma 5 contains Alma the Younger’s speech to the people in Zarahemla, who were struggling to keep their covenants and follow the teachings of the gospel. Alma had just abdicated the judgment seat so that he could devote all his time to preaching repentance and establishing the churches throughout the land.

This first missionary speech is perhaps the greatest of all Alma’s speeches and is one of the best in the Book of Mormon. What makes this speech so remarkable? Did you know that Alma asks 50 questions in this speech? Why is his speech composed of so many questions? What was the historical setting for this speech? This book explores these questions in detail:

What, then, makes the discourse recorded in Alma 5 the greatest of his ministry? In this inaugural speech, given right after Alma had turned his sole attention to his duties as the high priest in the land of Zarahemla, Alma addressed everyone. He spoke with the energy of his whole soul to pose fifty life-changing questions—asking his covenant people gathered in Zarahemla, as well as us who read his words in our day—to examine the very way we live. It is here that Alma speaks directly to the soul of every listener. On the occasion of Alma 5, he boldly details the weightier matters of God’s laws of salvation and eternal life. Because the Book of Mormon tells us the original setting and purpose of this speech, we can confidently understand and interpret its words in context. It is not a philosophical discourse. It is not an esoteric or abstract treatise. It was delivered as ecclesiastic instruction from the highest priesthood leader of the Church. It was aimed at unifying and regulating the whole body of the Church by inspiring and enabling the righteousness and worthiness of each individual member. It is through that lens that Alma 5 can most authentically and effectively be read and applied today.1

This beautiful book is split into nine chapters, which break down into the core principles taught in this speech such as: becoming converted, experiencing a mighty change of heart, being delivered, becoming clean through repentance, receiving personal revelation, and preparing to stand before God. John W. Welch and Ed J. Pinegar teach:

Becoming “a new creature” is the sum and substance of much of Alma’s masterful discourse—the repentance that precedes it, the conversion process that enables it, and the faith that sustains it. Echoing throughout the entire discourse is the role of the Holy Ghost in facilitating every part of it. The rhetorical questions delivered by Alma required deep introspection and pondering, for the people in his Zarahemla audience were struggling. Regardless of our individual condition, these questions require the same introspection and pondering of us.2

Hopefully, as you read and ponder this important contribution to your Book of Mormon library, you will be inspired to pursue the mighty change of heart of which Alma preaches.

When paired together, this book and the free John W. Welch Notes commentary can enrich your Come, Follow Me study of Alma 5–7. John W. Welch Notes is a serially published commentary on the Book of Mormon that users can study for free in the ScripturePlus app.

To buy your copy of Experiencing a Mighty Change of Heart, visit one of the following locations:

  • 1. Ed J. Pinegar and John W. Welch, Experiencing a Mighty Change of Heart: Alma’s Guide to a Deep, Lasting Conversion (American Fork, UT: Covenant Communications, 2020), 3.
  • 2. Pinegar and Welch, Experiencing a Mighty Change of Heart, 4.
Alma the Younger
Book of Mormon

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