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Why Alma Ministered in Jerusalem of Old

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There are two parts to this study.  The first is a testimony of a word of knowledge I received about how Alma (the younger) was one of the many saints who were resurrected after Jesus Christ’s resurrection.  It’s now my understanding that Jesus Christ commissioned Alma to minister in Jerusalem and elsewhere abroad to comfort church members and to minister to them out of the plates of brass prior to and during the writing of the New Testament.

In the second part of this study, a review of the priesthood of Jesus Christ and His apostles is presented.  This section is an excerpt from a letter I sent on January 17, 2023, to a Jewish Christian.  The main reason for including this review in this study is to place the testimony I received about Alma and his ministry in Jerusalem in a biblical context.  It is also meant to affirm my confidence in the biblical record about Jesus and His priesthood.

The review presented in the second part of this study relies on the book of Hebrews included in the New Testament because much of what we learn about our Lord’s priesthood in the Bible is found in Hebrews.  It is my understanding that Alma and other resurrected souls influenced the writing of Hebrews so it would include this in-depth discussion on the order of the Melchizedek (or Melchisedec) priesthood, which is the holy order of the Son of God.

Many Saints Did Arise

Matthew tells us many saints were raised from the dead after Jesus Christ was resurrected and that they went unto Jerusalem where they appeared to many.

Matthew 27: 56,57And the graves were opened; and the bodies of the saints which slept, arose, who were manyAnd came out of the graves after his resurrection, went unto the holy city, and appeared unto many.

The same occurred in Joseph’s land, where the families of Lehi and Ishmael settled after being led away from Jerusalem prior to its destruction by the Babylonians.  From their sacred records, we read of many saints also being resurrected after Jesus’ resurrection.

III Nephi 10:36-41Verily I say unto you, I commanded My servant Samuel the Lamanite that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify His name in Me, that there were many saints which should arise from the dead and should appear unto many and should minister unto them.  And He saith unto them, Were it not so?  And His disciples answered Him and said: Yea, Lord, Samuel did prophesy according to Thy words, and they were all fulfilled.  And Jesus saith unto them: Howbeit that ye have not written this thing—that many saints did arise and appear unto many and did minister unto them?  And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written.  And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written, therefore, it was written according as He commanded.

While Matthew tells us where the many resurrected saints appeared to many—in the city of Jerusalem—Nephi does not tell us where the many resurrected saints in Joseph’s land appeared and ministered.

For many years now, I have been assured that Alma, the son of Alma,[1] ministered in Jerusalem.  Then, late in the evening of Friday, December 30, 2022, I received a word of knowledge that John the Baptist was one of the many saints who had been resurrected following Jesus Christ’s resurrection.  When this word of knowledge was given to me, I asked (according to Matthew 7:13,14) if Abinadi and Alma had also been among the many saints who had been raised at that time.  The answer was yes and that not only were they raised but I was also assured that many others were indeed raised as is written in the scriptures.

When I was given the word of knowledge about John on December 30, 2022, I also received an understanding of why John is now a resurrected soul.  In the closing verses of Malachi at the end of the Old Testament,[2] we read of how Elijah the prophet would be sent before the great and dreadful day of the Lord to turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers.

John the Baptist’s first work was to prepare the way for Jesus Christ to come as the Lamb of God to atone for the sins of the world.  John’s second work is, as a resurrected being, to now prepare the way for the coming of the resurrected Jesus Christ, who is coming again, this time to reward each person for their deeds done in the body.

Revelation 22:11-14He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me to give every man according as his work shall be.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

II Corinthians 5:10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive a reward of the deeds done in the body; things according to what he hath done, whether good or bad.

What about Alma?  Why, I wondered, had he ministered to many in Jerusalem after being raised from the dead?  One of the reasons I have been assured of for many years is so the book of Hebrews would be written and included in the Bible.  It was never exactly clear to me why Alma’s ministry was needed for this work.

Then, in April of 2024, I was given another word of knowledge regarding the souls resurrected just after Jesus’ resurrection.  This word was specifically about Alma and his ministry in Jerusalem.   I was assured that Alma had been commissioned by the Lord to bring the people at Jerusalem knowledge of the Messiah’s priesthood as revealed in the plates of brass.

When Lehi was called out of Jerusalem in 600 BC, the Lord commanded him to take the plates of brass with him on his journey to the land promised to Joseph.[3]  The absence of this set of records among the people in Jerusalem left them without many of the records it contained.  This was made known to Nephi when he was shown how the Bible would contain fewer writings than the plates of brass when it was brought to this continent by the Gentiles (many years after his family came to Joseph’s land).

“… it [the Bible] is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many, nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord which He hath made unto the house of Israel …” [4]

Shortly after Lehi’s departure, the invasion of Jerusalem by the Babylonians led to the destruction of Solomon’s temple and many of the records it contained.  This event also deprived the people of Jerusalem of many of their sacred writings.

Then, in 70 AD, Jerusalem was again laid in ruins by the Romans, and the second temple was destroyed as Daniel prophesied and as Jesus foretold.[5]  Again, this led to a loss of sacred records.   However, a sufficient number of sacred writings were preserved in the collection of books we now call the Bible.  Where does Alma fit into these events?

Alma was one of the keepers of the sacred records preserved by the Nephites.  As such, he was familiar with the plates of brass, which is evidenced in his writings found in the book of Alma.[6]  One theme he preached on was the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek, which is the holy order of the Son of God.[7]  Those who are of this order are ministers of righteousness according to the righteousness of Jesus Christ—as was Melchizedek, the great high priest to whom Abraham paid tithes.[8]  Alma was also called to minister after this holy order of high priests as explained in the following passages.

Alma 2:28And thus in the commencement of the ninth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, Alma delivered up the judgment seat to Nephihah and confined himself wholly to the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to the testimony of the word according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy.

Alma 3:73For I am called to speak after this manner, according to the holy order of God which is in Christ Jesus.

Alma 4:9,10And Alma went and began to declare the word of God unto the church which was established in the Valley of Gideon, according to the revelation of the truth of the word which had been spoken by his fathers, and according to the spirit of prophecy which was in him, according to the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, which should come for to redeem His people from their sins, and the holy order by which he was called. And thus it is written. Amen.

Alma’s knowledge of the scriptures contained in the plates of brass made him an ideal minister to preach and teach the history and prophecies included in these special plates.

Now consider where in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible we learn about the priesthood of Christ.[9]  Is there another book that provides more information about our Lord’s priesthood than what is recorded in the book of Hebrews?  Besides the book of Hebrews, the only other reference in the KJV to the Melchizedek order of priesthood, i.e. the holy order of Jesus Christ’s priesthood, is in this short passage in the book of Psalms:

Psalms 110:4The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

While not mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament of the Bible, this Messianic passage is referenced multiple times in the book of Hebrews.  So why did the authors of the book of Hebrews draw so heavily on this special passage?  And how were they able to bring so much clarity to the priesthood of Jesus Christ by it?  I have been assured that Alma’s ministry to its main author is why in part this wonderful book is in existence and has remained to this day.

When I received the word of knowledge earlier this year about Alma’s ministry in Jerusalem, I had been asking the Lord[10] questions about the following passage recorded by Alma.

Alma 17:32-34And 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; And behold, it hath 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 shall 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.

The main question I had been asking the Lord was this:  How exactly have the plates of brass kept their brightness over the many generations and years since the demise of the Nephite nation?  If they have been hidden in a cave or buried in the earth, how have they been passed down through the generations so their mysteries might be made known?

The answer I received was that Alma and others have been ministering out of the plates of brass as saints who had been resurrected shortly after Jesus was resurrected.  Just as he ministered out of the plates of brass before his death, Alma has been ministering like the angels (God’s messengers) to bring the knowledge of Jesus Christ through the scriptures when and where he is commissioned to do so by the Lord.

Remember that Jesus is the resurrection and the life[11] and all power has been given to Him in heaven and earth by the Father.[12]  Also remember that those who die in Christ are as His angels who minister according to His will and command.[13]  Therefore, our Lord is not only able to raise the dead.  As the Lord of Hosts, He is also able to send His messengers to whomsoever He will that they may know God’s plan of salvation.

So, again, what does all of this have to do with the book of Hebrews in the Bible?  As I have been given to understand, Alma ministered to the authors of this unique book as well as to those who compiled the Bible so it would be preserved in the Bible to clearly manifest the knowledge of Jesus Christ’s priesthood to all who read the Bible.  But why suggest more than one person wrote the book of Hebrews?

It is my understanding, based on the words of knowledge the Lord has graciously given me, that Timothy wrote the book of Hebrews based on Paul’s writings and on his own knowledge of the scriptures.[14]  Recall how, near the end of his life, Paul asked Timothy to bring him his writings.[15]  Thus we learn from Paul’s letters to Timothy that Timothy had Paul’s writings, at least at that point.  It is my understanding that he had them after the death of Paul as well.

Recall also how Paul charged Timothy to do the work of an evangelist.[16]  Before his passing, Paul charged Timothy directly, through two of the letters we have in the Bible, to carry on the work in which Paul had been engaged.  Timothy did carry on by using Paul’s writings and the Old Testament of the Bible.  With these resources in hand, Timothy preached and taught words that reflected Paul’s writings.  That is, Timothy drew upon them in his ministry.

Why did Timothy not make it known that he drew upon the writings of Paul in his own ministry after Paul’s death?  I have been assured that Timothy revered Paul and chose not to draw attention to himself.  This is not to say Timothy plagiarized Paul’s writings or that he embellished them.  It is to say that the book of Hebrews is a composite work of Paul and his protégé Timothy.  In a similar manner, Moroni completed his father’s record in the Book of Mormon following his father’s death, which he did according to his father’s command.[17]  Moroni also included the writings of his father Mormon in his own record.[18]

The Lord has assured me Alma ministered to Timothy in his loneliness after Paul was taken from this life.  In doing so, Alma encouraged the young evangelist to encourage others to keep the faith through adversity unto the end.  In the process, Alma taught Timothy, based on the plates of brass, about the priesthood of Christ and the importance of bringing the knowledge of the Melchizedek order of priesthood to light so others might have a more complete understanding of our Lord’s priesthood and ministry according to the new covenant.

Yes, the letter to the Hebrews sounds like the work of Paul, and it should because it was based on Paul’s preaching and writings.  It also covers a topic that Paul did not cover in any of his other letters like the Hebrew letter does, that of the order of the Melchizedek priesthood.  This emphasis, I understand, came from the plates of brass by way of Alma.

Alma’s familiarity with the priesthood of Christ is displayed clearly in his ministry with Amulek to Zeezrom and a ruler named Antionah.[19]  In his discourse on this topic, found in the latter half of Alma 9 and the first part of Alma 10 in Mormon’s abridgement, Alma explains the purpose of the Melchizedek order of priesthood and how certain men are ordained to this ministry by and for Christ.

In summary, we have the book of Hebrews today because Jesus Christ raised many saints from the dead, including Alma, and had them minister to many of the house of Israel in Jerusalem and elsewhere.  One of those people who received ministry from these risen saints was Timothy after the death of Paul.  Based on the ministry Jesus provided him, Timothy was able to bring to light many profound insights into the priesthood of Christ so they would be included in the Bible, called the book of the Lamb in the Book of Mormon.[20]

Be encouraged in the joy of the Lord.  Jesus has given us a great cloud of witnesses to encourage us as we journey through this short life and prepare to meet our Lord when He returns.  The Lord of Hosts has many messengers available to minister to those who are of a sound mind and are willing to keep His commands.[21]

On The Priesthood of Jesus Christ

This section on the priesthood of Jesus Christ is an excerpt from a letter I wrote early last year to a Jewish Christian.  I originally referenced the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible (a well-known version) in my letter because this man is not associated with any of the churches stemming from the church restored by our Lord on April 6, 1830.

To incorporate this excerpt in the present study, I have updated scripture references from the KJV to those of the Holy Scriptures, also known as the Inspired Version (IV).  Since the scriptures referenced in this review read similarly in both versions of the Bible, reading from either version is expected to convey the same message.

The review, which follows, is meant to highlight the contribution of the book of Hebrews to the scriptural account of our Lord’s priesthood office and ministry.  It is also meant to affirm my belief in the biblical account of our Lord’s priesthood.

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From the letter to the Hebrews, we are reminded that, being of the tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ was not ordained or appointed to be a high priest after the order of Aaron, i.e. one that is of the Levitical priesthood.  Rather, our Lord and Savior is forever a priest after the order of Melchizedek.[22]

By officiating over His own atonement for sins,[23] Jesus demonstrated that the order of the priesthood by which He has ministered is sufficiently worthy to serve in the place of the High Priest that is after the order of Aaron.  This is consistent with the teaching by the author of the letter to the Hebrews when showing that the priesthood order of Melchizedek was better than that of Levi—by reminding us that Levi was still in his father Abraham’s loins when Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek.[24]

As the author of the letter to the Hebrews also explains, the priesthood of Jesus Christ has and will forever have an infinitely better effect in the lives of God’s covenant people as compared to the effect that the order of Aaron has had upon them.[25]  Thus, we see that while the law of the old covenant was administered by the Levitical priesthood,[26] the new covenant is administered by the Spirit of Christ through His priesthood, which is after the order of Melchizedek.[27]

To which order of priesthood, then, was Jesus referring when speaking of having chosen and ordained His apostles?

John 15:16-19Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit; and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.  These things I command you, that ye love one another.  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.[28]

Would Jesus, a priest after the order of Melchizedek, have ordained His apostles to the Levitical priesthood, which is altogether less effective than His priesthood in terms of salvation?  Or would Jesus have ordained them to be branches of His priesthood—of Him as the True Vine—so they might bear His Father fruit of the same order of priesthood by which He ministered?[29]

Upon examining the ministry of His disciples, it is clear that Jesus ordained them to that same order of priesthood by which He ministers.  Otherwise, how could they be one with Him in their ministry? [30] How could they go into all the world and minister in His stead after that specific manner and power by which and for which Jesus sent them to minister?[31]

In pondering these questions, I have found it helpful to remember that Jesus Christ’s disciples were called to perform the same ordinances He administered.[32]  This agrees with Paul’s writings in the New Testament,[33] including this passage from his letter to the church at Ephesus:

Ephesians 4:11,12And he [Jesus Christ] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints,[34] for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.

According to God’s wisdom and grace, every member of the body of Christ is given a gift or gifts by the Holy Spirit.[35]  Although not everyone receives the same ministry or priesthood, all the members of the body are nonetheless important to the whole body.[36]

I Corinthians 12:28-31And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  I say unto you, Nay; for I have shown unto you a more excellent way, therefore covet earnestly the best gifts.

All these gifts are governed and administered under the headship of Jesus Christ through His Spirit of truth.[37]  Consequently, they reflect and are extensions of His own order of priesthood, that of the order of the Melchizedek priesthood.[38]  Paul, for example, was called and appointed to be an apostle of Jesus Christ and to be a preacher and teacher of His gospel to the Gentiles.[39]

I Timothy 1:12And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.

II Timothy 1:11Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

In ministering after this manner, Paul followed in the footsteps of His Lord:

Matthew 11:1And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.

Similarly, all the holy brethren of this priesthood are instructed to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ[40] by looking to Him as the Apostle and High Priest of our profession.[41]

Hebrews 3:1,2Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession,[42] Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

This instruction shows us that in their ministry, those who are called and ordained to the priesthood of Jesus are to follow His lead in ministering to the members of His church.[43]  Because Jesus Christ, as the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, ordained others to this same priesthood, it is evident that He is not the only apostle and high priest in His church.  To draw such a conclusion or adopt such a belief is to deny our Lord’s ministry by those He has ordained to minister for Him and with Him to the end of the world in this office and calling of their profession.[44]  For they minister by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost which He has given them.[45]

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In summary, the letter to the Hebrews in the Bible is an invaluable inspired work of the Holy Spirit, one that both clarifies and honors Jesus Christ and His priesthood and ministry.  While there are many passages that are of great worth, here are a few words of wisdom and admonition that I would commend for your consideration at the close of this study.

Hebrews 3:12-15Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

Hebrews 12:18,22-24For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, … But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Hebrews 13:20,21Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.


[1] https://scripturetoolbox.com/html/rcebom/Alma/1.html#Intro

[2] Malachi 4:5,6

[3] “Why Look to ‘the Stick of Joseph’ as a Standard.” | Ch 1 | Ch 2 | Ch 3 | Ch 4 | Ch 5 | Ch 6 | Ch 7 | Ch 8 |

[4] I Nephi 3:161-164

[5] Daniel 9:26 & Matthew 24:12

[6] e.g. Alma 17:31-34

[7] Alma 9:60-73, continuing in Alma 10:1-17

[8] Genesis 14:17-20 with Hebrews 7:1-17

[9] Note:  More details are provided in Genesis 14 IV compared with Genesis 14 KJV.

[10] According to Matthew 7:12,13

[11] John 11:25

[12] Matthew 28:17-19 (18-20 KJV)

[13] Matthew 22:28,29, Mark 12:28,29, & Luke 20:34-36 with Psalm 103:20

[14] Hebrews 13:25 with II Timothy 3:14-17

[15] II Timothy 4:13

[16] II Timothy 4:5

[17] Mormon 4:1

[18] Moroni 7:1 with Moroni 8:1 (see also Moroni 9)

[19] Alma 9:60-73, continuing in Alma 10:1-17

[20] I Nephi 3:190

[21] Moroni 7:31,32 with Alma 9:62-73 & Omni 1:43-47

[22] Hebrews 7:11-17 with Hebrews 5:1-6; cf. Psalm 110:1-4 with Matthew 3:13-15 & Matthew 17:1-4 (1-5 KJV)

[23] John 10:17,18 & John 12:31-33 with Hebrews 10:5-17

[24] Hebrews 7:1-11 with Hebrews 8, Hebrews 9, and Hebrews 10

[25] Hebrews 9:11-26 & Hebrews 10:1-14

[26] Hebrews 7:11

[27] Hebrews 7:12-27 (12-28 KJV) with Galatians 3:17

[28] John 20:21-23 & I Peter 2:4,5 with Matthew 28:17-19 (18-20 KJV)

[29] cf. John 14:10-14 & John 15:1-27 with John 17:1-26

[30] John 17:11-18, especially verse 18

[31] Matthew 28:17-19 (18-20 KJV), Mark 16:14-21 (15-20 KJV), Luke 24:44-52 (45-53 KJV), & John 20:19-23, Romans 10:15 with John 17:11-18

[32] cf. John 14:12-14 & John 17:1-26 with Acts 10:34-38, John 20:23, Matthew 28:18 (19 KJV), Mark 16:21, etc.

[33] See, for example, Acts 16:4, I Timothy 2:7, I Timothy 4:14, Titus 1:5, I Peter 2:4,5, etc. with Luke 14:23

[34] cf. Matthew 5:50 (48 KJV) with Hebrews 10:14; cf. II Timothy 3:14-17 with Hebrews 6:1-3 & Hebrews 7:19; cf. Hebrews 5:9 with Luke 24:23-25 (24-26 KJV)

[35] Matthew 25:14,15, Ephesians 4:11-16, Acts 1:15-26, 13:1, 14:1-12, 21:8, II Timothy 4:5, Titus 1:5-9, etc.

[36] I Corinthians 12:1-31 with Ephesians 4:11-16

[37] Colossians 1:9-20 & Hebrews 1:1-4 with John 14:15-27 & John 16:7-15

[38] Hebrews 5:10 and Hebrews 6:20

[39] I Timothy 2:7 with Galatians 2:8

[40] cf. II Timothy 4:1,2 with Romans 10:8-14

[41] John 15:26,27 & Acts 1:8 with Matthew 10:28 IV (32 KJV), John 17:19-21 & I John 4:2,3

[42] cf. Matthew 16:25-31 (24-28 KJV) with Hebrews 10:23-25 & Hebrews 12:1-3

[43] cf. I Peter 2:5,6 & I Peter 2:21,22 with Ephesians 2:19-22 & Hebrews 12:1-3

[44] cf. Matthew 28:17-19 (18-20 KJV), Mark 16:14-21 (15-20 KJV), Luke 24:44-52 (45-53 KJV) with Acts 1:1-9

[45] cf. Luke 12:13,14 (11,12 KJV) with Acts 4:8-14 & Acts 13:9