Episode 45: Alma 34-37

October 19, 2014


Click to Listen: Episode 45: Alma 34-37

Oh Alma, you are torturing us! We finally get evidence that Alma must be drinking during his long speeches, because he just gets weirder and weirder the longer he talks. And we get all the buildup for an epic battle, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until later before we find out what happens.

“Drink” Count – 67

A little over 11 Beers!!


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7 Comments on “Episode 45: Alma 34-37”

  1. Fel Says:

    Is this the highest beer count we’ve had? Even I think this is a bit much.


  2. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Just a quick point of clarification. Alma wasn’t instructing Helaman to take and “keep” the secret oaths found on the 24 plates (which are the gold plates of the Jaredites, by the way, the ones discovered all the way back in the book of Mosiah.) He was telling Helaman to make sure the Nephites knew about the wickedness of the Jaredites, but to “retain” or hold back on the particular details of what they were doing. To use a modern analogy, make sure everyone knows that Heisenberg was cooking meth, but don’t give them the recipe.

    And as fun as it is to refer to Alma as a child killer, I’m pretty sure he was just using a metaphor concerning the spiritual destruction he brought upon the children of God through his persuasive, apostate ways, back in the day. Sorry to be a kill joy.

    But hang in there, David! Sure, you’ve run headlong into what is possibly the most preachy and boring stretch of plot obstruction in the book, outside of 2 Nephi, of course. But as Chapter 35 promised, there is to be hereafter an account of war. Oh my, but there is to be an account of war!

    Even so, in the midst of all this repetition of things we already knew, we still find the occasional, unexpected, nutty gem. Like Gazelem. What is it? It might be the name of a past or future servant of the Lord, or it might be the name of the seer stone said servant of the Lord will utilize to make secret things known. Who knows? The book doesn’t really say.

    What we do know is that Joseph Smith, at times, used “Gazelem” as a code name for himself when dictating some of the revelations that make up Doctrine and Covenants. This was one among several other faux-ancient code names he used for himself and his contemporaries in Mormon church leadership in the 1830s. Apparently, it was inadvisable at the time that the general public be aware of which church leaders had “stewardship” (or possession and control, if you will) over which properties during the church’s abortive early attempts at communal living. I have a 1960s copy of the D&C in which the code names are still published (with real names in brackets), but more recent editions have eliminated them altogether.

    Sorry, this is interesting to me, and maybe to no one else. I just find it ironic that Joseph would use “Gazelem” for obfuscation, instead of for it’s intended purpose of bringing to light secret works of darkness.


    • Scott Gines Says:

      Duke, that is very interesting! I didn’t know that about JS. Thanks for sharing.

      Also, it always bothered me when I was a TBM how insistent the religion was about the evils of secret combinations, yet, the most holy temple was rife with secret combinations.


    • Fel Says:

      Red Mage, what would we ever do without you?


    • J. Reuben Clerk Says:

      Duke got it. Alma “the child killer” is hilarious, but not the correct reading. Alma 36:14 says “I had murdered many of his children, **or rather** led them away unto destruction.” Alma clarified that, by murdered, he meant leading them astray to their spiritual destruction, see Mosiah 27:10 (“he was going about … to lead astray the people of the Lord”). That said, David still made me laugh with his theory that Alma refused to save the kids being burned because Alma was cool with killing kids. Great stuff.


  3. Tina Says:

    First off, Duke of Earl Grey rocks. I can’t help but wonder if he has worked for CES (Church Educational System). 🙂

    Quick definition of “dross”… “foreign matter, dregs, or mineral waste, in particular scum formed on the surface of molten metal; something regarded as worthless; rubbish.”

    It’s basically the dregs. The analogy is akin to separating the “wheat from the chaff.” It’s one more metaphor showing that God is the refiner who will sift out the faithful and toss aside those who disregard Him. In Alma, the “dross” are the uncharitable and selfish. (That idea is a bit more tolerable than just tossing out anyone who steps out of line.)


  4. Paul Avery Says:

    Jot and Tittle
    Jot is the Hebrew letter Yodh, the first letter in Yaweh. A tittle is a mark separating Hebrew letters that indicates a vowel sound. (There were no written letter for vowels in Hebrew.)
    Of course the semi-literate Joseph Smith wouldn’t have known this, and was probably quoting the Gospel in which Jesus is using the phrase, because he thought it sounded cool.


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