And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people.
The first thing we have to deal with in this chapter is “the Lord God gave these commandments.” “These” refers to things discussed in previous chapters, which were covered in a separate lesson last week, so we’re going to have to recap to figure out why Alma starts giving a lesson on Priesthood.
Looking at the previous chapter, Alma 12:21-37 seems to be the relevant verses. As is the case with many prophets, Alma is teaching the people by expounding on Adam and Eve and the fall. The Lord gave a first commandment to Adam and Eve in the garden, which they transgressed. As a result, the Lord then gives them his “second” commandment, referred to in 12:31-33.
This second commandment includes: * do no evil (12:32) * repent (:33) * don’t harden hearts (:33)
As a result, we can obtain mercy through the only begotten, according to the plan of redemption prepared before the foundation of the world. Ok, this is all well and fine, but what does this have to do with Alma 13? Well, we have to look just a bit further back into chapter 12,
28 And after God had appointed that these things should come unto man, behold, then he saw that it was expedient that man should know concerning the things whereof he had appointed unto them;
29 Therefore he sent angels to converse with them, who caused men to behold of his glory.
30 And they began from that time forth to call on his name; therefore God conversed with men, and made known unto them the plan of redemption, which had been prepared from the foundation of the world; and this he made known unto them according to their faith and repentance and their holy works.
God sends angels, he ordains High Priests and sends them as prophets to his people. This was Melchizedek’s great work. This is the goal of the all the prophets, call upon people to repent, put their faith in God to a sufficient degree that they enter into his rest.
In short, to goal is to establish Zion.