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Lesson 15 - Qumran and the Waters of Mormon

TitleLesson 15 - Qumran and the Waters of Mormon
Publication TypeManual Lesson
Year of Publication1957
AuthorsNibley, Hugh W.
Manual TitleAn Approach to the Book of Mormon
PublisherThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Place PublishedSalt Lake City
KeywordsAlma the Elder; Church of Anticipation; Dead Sea Scrolls; Waters of Mormon; Wilderness

Alma’s church in the wilderness was a typical “church of anticipation”. In many things it presents striking parallels to the “church of anticipation” described in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Both had gone forth into the wilderness in order to live the Law in its fullness, being dissatisfied with the official religion of the time, which both regarded as being little better than apostasy. Both were persecuted by the authorities of the state and the official religion. Both were strictly organized along the same lines and engaged in the same type of religious activities. In both the Old World and the New these churches in the wilderness were but isolated expressions of a common tradition of great antiquity. In the Book of Mormon Alma’s church is clearly traced back to this ancient tradition and practice, yet until the recent discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls no one was aware of its existence. We can now read the Book of Mormon in a totally new context, and in that new context much that has hitherto been strange and perplexing becomes perfectly clear.