Snatched from Hell

Mar 31
Snatched from hell

Snatched from hell

On this Easter morning, I’m very grateful to have discovered a word in the Book of Mormon that perfectly describes this day. The word is “snatched” and it’s use in the Book of Mormon is perfectly suited for God’s mercy in sending his Son to save us.

Alma the younger is an interesting story. His father was part of wicked king Noah’s court, but believing on the words of Abinadi the prophet, Alma Sr. had to flee for his life from Noah and his officers.

Hiding himself but secretly preaching the word to the people, Alma convinced many of the truth of God’s redeeming message and baptized them at the waters of Mormon.

When the king discovered the people, he tried to kill them so they fled for their lives. They started a small peaceful community. Perhaps Alma Jr. was born here. We don’t know for sure, but what happened next may have been an influence on him turning to wickedness.

Back in their old land, Noah and his people had lost God’s protections for their wickedness and the Lamanites invaded. In short, the king told the people to flee and then men should abandon their wives and children and run faster. Wow. When he tried to tell them not to return, the people put him to death by fire just like he killed Abinadi. His 24 advisors then fled for their lives as they were next.

Back at town, Limhi, the son of Noah, submits to Lamanite rule and they are put in bondage with a heavy taxation.

Those 24 escaped advisors can’t return, so they capture 24 Lamanite women out frolicking in the woods and make them their wives. That ticks off the Lamanites who thinks Limhi’s people did it so they attack. Limhi’s people repel them and then tell the Lamanites about the 24 escaped “congressmen” who were likely the culprits.

The Lamanites went out looking for them, found them, and would have killed them but for the women who pled not to destroy their husbands. No telling how long they were gone, but long enough for the women to have a change of heart we suppose.

While the Lamanites were traveling back, they got lost and discovered Alma and his people. The men were probably forced by the women to ask directions back to their own land, but after Alma pointed the way, the Lamanites put them in bondage and appointed Amulon, one of the wicked priest advisors to Noah to rule over Alma and his people. Amulon hated Alma as they were both on that council together.

He put heavy tasks on Alma’s people, and perhaps Alma Jr. was running around at this time confused why they were so burdened when they were trying to do what was right.

In truth, the Lord let the Lamanites find Alma’s people so they would be put in bondage and have their faith tested. They were relatively new converts and it was time for a test.

Mosiah 23:21. Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.

Alma’s people put their faith in God and submitted to their task masters while calling upon God for deliverance. They were patient, and their faith paid off.

Mosiah 24:13. And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

They escaped and made their way to Zarahemla where king Mosiah reigned.

Alma the Younger grew up and we don’t know what influences happened to take him down a dark road with the king’s 4 sons, but the 5 of them went about trying to destroy the church. Perhaps the bondage to Amulon brought particular punishments upon Alma’s family and his son adopted some bitterness toward God for letting them go through that. We don’t know. Maybe it was something of a rebellious streak that came out when he was a teenager. Regardless, he became a thorn in his father’s work to build the church up.

So what did Alma Sr. do? The best thing he could under the circumstances. He prayed with great faith. It’s left for us to ponder the depth of prayer and faith he had, but the effect should be a lesson to every parent.

An angel appeared to Alma the younger and the 4 sons of Mosiah, chastening them and said these words:

Mosiah 27:14. And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; thereforefor this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.

Alma Jr. was struck dumb and practically lifeless. He was carried back to his father, who then had other priests join him in a fast to open his son’s mouth again. The Lord granted that petition and when Alma spoke, he expressed that while he was comatose for 2 days, suffering in a hell of recognition of his sins, repenting and calling upon God:

Mosiah 27:28. …the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God.
29. My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more.

Later, these repentant souls go on missions. Alma the younger tries to repair damage he has caused at home and around Nephite cities, while the 4 sons of Mosiah go on a 14 year mission to the Lamanites to bring the gospel message to their enemies.

Upon their return from this successful mission, Ammon glories in the Lord and reiterates God’s mercy in these words.

Alma 26:17. Who could have supposed that our God would have been so merciful as to have snatched us from our awful, sinful, and polluted state?

What does it mean to be “snatched”? One definition is to seize and transport away.

Oh that we could all be snatched by God in his mercy. How important it is to recognize on this day of all days, the mercy of God in providing an escape from bondage and sin so that we too can be snatched from hell and it’s awful torment. I praise God for his grace and mercy and great sacrifice.


About the Author

Oak Norton - Just trying to share a love of the scriptures with others.