Alma the Younger

by Heather B. Moore

Alma the Younger

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As night falls, a scarlet-robed man emerges from the temple and a hush falls over the\r\rwaiting crowd. Studying the hooded figure with enmity, Alma recognizes that this is the\r\rman who incites rebellion among the people of Zarahemla. This is the man who dares\r\rpreach from the very place where King Benjamin uttered his final blessings upon the\r\rpeople of the church. Defiling the tower with his very presence, the man who embodies\r\revil raises a hand to silence the drums, then calls to his followers through the eerie quiet.\r\rAnd that_ã_s when Alma realizes the terrible truth: this man is his son.

Alma the Younger, son of the aging high priest, once was taught by the wisdom of prophets.\r\rNow the young man is a thief — ensnared by the wiles of strong drink and harlots; a\r\rbitter dissenter determined to overthrow the church, to lead the people into new “freedoms.“\r\rHe has gathered a strong army to create a revolution, which only begins with the\r\rdesecration of the temple and will escalate to calamity once he captures King Mosiah_ã_s\r\rdaughter. But en route to his malicious mission with his royal henchmen, Alma is halted\r\rby an unexpected opponent: an angel of the Lord, a messenger of the very God he has\r\rsought to defame. And what unfolds is a story of miraculous redemption, a story building\r\ron the poignant Book of Mormon account to show how even the vilest of sinners can\r\rbe transformed by the Savior_ã_s amazing grace.

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based upon 9 reviews
Brilliant Tale of An Antagonist who is a Protagonist
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Review: Alma the Younger
By H.B. Moore

I simply cannot praise this book enough. H.B. Moore has done the nearly impossible: she has created a protagonist who is also the antagonist, and made us love and care about him. She has demonstrated with consummate skill how a man, raised in righteousness, can be drawn into wickedness by the belief that he knows a better way of doing things than his leaders. In my mind, this book is what the Victorians called "An Awful Warning" to anyone who thinks they have a better way of doing things than the way that is ordained of God.

She shows the "domino effect" about how one seemingly small sin can bring about our ruin. In the scriptures, this method of destruction by Satan is called "the flaxen cord" tha becomes the chain that leads us down to hell.

This is the method described by Wormwood in the Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, told with one of the most well-known characters in the Book of Mormon.

I must confess that Alma the Younger has always been my favorite character. I identified with him when reading the Book of Mormon the first time, for I rejoiced that God could take such a sinner and make a mighty prophet of him. When my 60's lifestyle boyfriend, David Vandagriff was investigating the church, I had him start reading the Book of Mormon with the dramatic appearance of an angel to Alma and the Sons of Mosiah. When another member of our family was casting about in darkness, this scripture passage was recreated in his own life, causing an experience that changed his life.

I expected this book to deal mostly with Alma's years as a judge and preacher, however it doesn't. It faces square on the problem of Alma's fall from grace. Heather explained to me how fast she was able to write it, and I have a theory that her hero was sitting on her shoulder whispering his story into her ear. It is that good and that believable.

The characters are real and richly developed. I can't do better than to say this book is an exquisite read.

Alma The Younger
Covenant Communications
ISBN 978 1 60861 020 4

Book of Mormon Fiction Gets Better and Better
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

It's not often that I get hooked by LDS fiction to the point that I end up reading as I'm walking down the hall from one room to another, but I came across one of those books this past week.

H.B. Moore is rapidly doing for Book of Mormon-based fiction what Gerald N. Lund did for Church History with his Work and the Glory series. Her Out of Jerusalem quartet followed by this new series of prophet-protagonists including Abinadi, Alma, and now Alma the Younger may not be selling as well as Lund's books did, but they should be, and the people who enjoyed Lund's epics will find Moore's characters and narratives equally engaging.

There are many challenges involved in basing a fictional world around Book of Mormon stories, and Moore rises to them with solid fiction-writing skills and adequate research. The chapter notes indicate reliance on the Sorenson worldview for BOM settings and firmly establish the reign of Mosiah in the pre-classical Mayan era. References to food, clothing and cultural expectations all add to the "this is how it could have been" realism.

The fact that this 300-page novel is based almost entirely on a single chapter (Mosiah 27) of the Book of Mormon speaks not only to that book's vast wealth of story possibilities, but also to Moore's ample imaginitive powers. Alma is presented as a natural leader chaffing under his High Priest father's restrictions and the boring (though sacred) job he's been given as a records-keeper at the temple in Zarahemla. Alma makes plenty of bad decisions on his way to becoming "a wicked and an idolatrous man". Moore builds the tension by keeping Alma's status as leader of the rebellion against the Church a secret from King Mosiah and Alma the Elder until a shocking assault on the temple itself. Since women are unfortunately almost non-existent in the BOM, (though Moore herself has written an entire book on this subject!), Moore has crafted a couple of strong fictional characters in Maia, Alma's mother, and Cassia, a daughter of Mosiah who provides a very natural romantic interest. Mosiah's son Ammon is introduced as the crown prince and his future arm-chopping prowess is hinted at (Moore's current work in progress is Ammon).

Moore's genius is her handling of Alma the Younger himself. As this young man turns from truth and discovers how his natural charisma and talents can be employed in what feels to him like a righteous cause, I was dismayed to find myself actually sympathizing with him. I've ready Mosiah 27 dozens of times but only while reading Alma the Younger did I actually understand how someone can arrive at that dark place called anti-christ. The scary thing is that the rationalizing that leads to it sometimes makes all too much sense. Even without the gripping story and strong characters, that insight alone is worth this book's price.

Continues the fabulous line of stories from Moore
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

This book was NOT a disappointment in the fabulous of wonderful books from HB Moore. The characters are brought to life in a way reading the scriptural account sometimes is hard to do. The beginning draws you into a world where a broken-hearted father realizes that his son has completely rebelled and rejected the truths that he has been taught from birth. The story then takes you back to the gradual process that trapped Alma the Younger into his wicked behavior. The contrasting views of the faithful and justifying behavior of the rebellious make you wondering which side are you on? They both are so well developed you can't help but sympathize with both parties. From the first page I couldn't put this book down and I know you won't be able to either! A great book released just in time for the summer! I am eagerly awaiting Ammon (who has his fair share of problems in this story) and while I am waiting, I think I will read Alma the Younger again.

About the Author

Heather B. Moore

HEATHER B. MOORE is the two-time Best of State and two-time Whitney Award winner for her historical fiction, the most recent being Esther the Queen. She is also the author of the nonfiction inspirational book Women of the Book of Mormon and the coauthor of Christ's Gifts to Women with Angela Eschler. Heather is a columnist for Meridian Magazine on LDS topics.

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