Alma 39:1 - 39:5
Alma 39: 1 And now, my son, I have somewhat more to say unto thee than what I said unto thy brother; for behold, have ye not observed the steadiness of thy brother, his faithfulness, and his diligence in keeping the commandments of God? Behold, has he not set a good example for thee?
Now Alma addresses his son Corianton. Alma starts by pointing out that Corianton has not been very faithful in carrying the mission he was set apart to do among the Zoramites. Corianton has had the example of his brother Shiblon, but for some reason his example did not have the effect it should have on Corianton. Shiblon did show Corianton a good example.
We do not know what kind of church member Corianton was before he went with his father and brother on this mission to the Zoramites. Was he reluctant to go but because he did not want to disappoint his father he went anyway. I met a couple of Elders when I was in England like that. They went because of either family or social pressure. You can’t make it as a missionary if you don’t go because you want too. You will be tempted far more easily to go against mission rules than someone who is personally committed to fulfil the calling they were set apart for. I wonder if Alma took him along hoping this experience would help him to see the light?
Alma 39: 2 For thou didst not give so much heed unto my words as did thy brother, among the people of the Zoramites. Now this is what I have against thee; thou didst go on unto boasting in thy strength and thy wisdom.
Corianton did not obey mission rules as did his brother Shiblon. In fact, Corianton took to bragging about how smart he was and just how much better he was than the Zoramites because of his upbringing. This bothered Alma greatly.
Alma 39: 3 And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel.
However, this was not the worsted of it. At one point, he abandoned the mission and went after the harlot Isabel who lived in the land of Siron which was close to the borders of the Lamanites.
Some scholars have speculated that this Isabel was the head of a cult and not necessarily a single person. He was perhaps had some sex addiction and was tempted by either her or her followers.
Alma 39: 4 Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted.
He was not the only one that fell to her charms. But that is no excuse for Corianton to fall victim to her seductions. If he would have stuck to the mission, he would have withstood the temptation to follow her.
Alma 39: 5 Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?
Alma reminds Corianton, that sexual transgression is a sin second only murder in seriousness or denying the Holy Ghost.