Alma 5:6 - 5:10
Alma 5:6 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, you that belong to this church, have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell?
In this sermon, Alma first mentions the story surrounding the delivering of his father and his followers from out of the land of Nephi and from the Lamanites. He asks the members if they have kept this in their memories. Has it impressed them with the knowledge that it was the Lord that delivered their parents and grandparents from this oppressive situation. Not only the physical deliverance, but the deliverance from hell that their then life styles were leading them towards. Alma wants to know if the members ever think about this and give thanks for it?
We are asked, on occasion, if we do the same as we are reminded of the pioneers who came to the Salt Lake valley those many years ago to escape the persecution in the east. None of them were my ancestors, but I am thankful for them as they established the church and made it strong enough to survive and that at a later time came to me through the descendants of these pioneers.
Alma 5:7 Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them.
It was the Lord that woke up these people through the efforts of the prophet Abinadi to their decadent state. It was the Lord through Abinadi that they were made aware that if they did not change they would be captive of the devil and not be able to escape his influence. They would end up being like satan in time.
Alma 5:8 And now I ask of you, my brethren, were they destroyed? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, they were not.
Alma asks his listeners, did the Lord just allow them to be destroyed and fall completely to the influence of satan. No the Lord did not give up on them.
Alma 5:9 And again I ask, were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed? I say unto you, Yea, they were loosed, and their souls did expand, and they did sing redeeming love. And I say unto you that they are saved.
He asks too, what was the effect on the people of Abinadi’s efforts? Those who would listen to him and repent of their sins were freed from satan’s hold. They were now feeling the freedom of not being led by wickedness which does not bring happiness to anyone who lives in sin.
Alma 5:10 And now I ask of you on what conditions are they saved? Yea, what grounds had they to hope for salvation? What is the cause of their being loosed from the bands of death, yea, and also the chains of hell?
Alma asks on what conditions were the people freed from satan’s grasp and how was it possible for the people to enjoy this freedom and relief from their guilty consciences.