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I sometimes marvel at the stumbling-blocks which others purposely put in the way of the believers. Not so long ago, the name Alma, was one of those stumbling blocks as per the arguments of various detractors. Now, the name is not only vindicated, but apparently in harmony with internal literary evidences as shown herein.
What causes some of my marveling, also, is to wonder at how many believers there might be who have bounced into these stumbling-blocks and lost testimony, –those who with a few more years might have been protected from faltering by later research and expanded knowledge that wasn’t available earlier. It is perhaps for this reason alone that research and apologetics should work hand-in-hand in order to help protect those who otherwise might be swayed. It is sad to think of someone losing their testimony over such trivial arguments, but sadder too, to realize that with time, research and education, the counter-proofs preventing that loss of testimony can be made available, –if only we don’t fall down or shirk our responsibility to continue the in-depth analysis providing these proofs.
I think what I am trying to say here, is that it seems apparent to me that if we are just willing to produce the effort, the Lord is willing to provide the answers. And of course, nothing provides better answers than the Spirit of the Lord by means of the Holy Ghost.
That being said, I think we need to keep going with valiant efforts (such as is made evident in this article) to find those answers He is willing to provide!
Thank you for an interesting article. It is becoming clearer to me that Mormon was more than just a prophet and more than just a general. He was a master historian, steeped in language, who carefully, thoughtfully, and with precision prepared his work for us in these latter days to marvel and appreciate.
Another remarkable contribution on subtleties that add much to the text. How ironic that the name Alma was viewed as a horrific blunder by critics for so long, but now in light of ancient Jewish documents and Hebrew scholarship, not only is the name Alma now thoroughly plausible, but its literary use and the Hebraic wordplays involved show roots far beyond anything in Joseph’s skill set or environment.
Thank you, Jeff! 🙂 The doctrinal richness of the Book of Mormon will always have first claim on our attention, and rightly so. However, the sheer beauty of its text emerges in its subtle details. These demand our attention.