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Alma is an idolatrous man—until an angel’s rebuke leads to repentance and two decades of righteous service in realms both political and religious. But Alma’s past haunts him. He abdicates political power in order to focus more fully on his ministry. When war against Nephite dissenters shatters the community, he laments.
In this brief theological introduction to the first twenty-nine chapters of the book of Alma, literary scholar Kylie Nielson Turley considers how Alma’s profound transformation from anti-Christ to high priest of the church of God can deepen our understanding of Christ’s mercy. What if God forgives and forgets but humans do not? Does following God ensure a less painful life? Is it faithless to mourn, question, or cry out when beset by sin, violence, or death?
Turley foregrounds Alma as a man who sinned grievously and who was grievously sinned against, a man who found hope and healing in the darkest abyss, a man whose words offer hope and healing to a burdened world.
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More series details and answers to frequently asked questions are available at mi.byu.edu/brief.