Mission to the Zoramites in Antionum

The Zoramites’ Mode of Worship

Alma 31:12–13

Upon arriving in Antionum, the missionaries discover that the Zoramites have an organized religion unlike anything they had seen before.

Now, when they had come into the land, behold, to their astonishment they found that the Zoramites had built synagogues, and that they did gather themselves together on one day of the week, which day they did call the day of the Lord; and they did worship after a manner which Alma and his brethren had never beheld;

For they had a place built up in the center of their synagogue, a place for standing, which was high above the head, and the top thereof would only admit one person.

Alma 31:14–18

Their manner of worship consisted of climbing up a large tower and repeating a blasphemous prayer.

Therefore, whosoever desired to worship must go forth and stand upon the top thereof, and stretch forth his hands towards heaven, and cry with a loud voice, saying:

“Holy, holy God.

We believe that thou art God,
and we believe that thou art holy,
and that thou wast a spirit,
and that thou art a spirit,
and that thou wilt be a spirit forever.

“Holy God, we believe
that thou hast separated us from our brethren.

And we do not believe
in the tradition of our brethren,
which was handed down to them
by the childishness of their fathers.

But we believe that thou hast elected us
to be thy holy children.

And also thou hast made it known unto us
that there shall be no Christ.

“But thou art the same
yesterday, today, and forever.

And thou hast elected us
that we shall be saved,
whilst all around us are elected
to be cast by thy wrath down to hell.

For the which holiness,
O God, we thank thee.

And we also thank thee
that thou hast elected us,
that we may not be led away
after the foolish traditions of our brethren,
which doth bind them down to a belief of Christ,
which doth lead their hearts
to wander far from thee, our God.

“And again we thank thee,
O God, that we are a chosen
and a holy people.

Alma 31:19–23

Alma and the missionaries are shocked to see them worship in this repetitious and vain manner.

Now it came to pass that after Alma and his brethren and his sons had heard these prayers, they were astonished beyond all measure. For behold, every man did go forth and offer up these same prayers. Now the place was called by them Rameumptom, which, being interpreted, is the holy stand.

Now, from this stand they did offer up, every man, the selfsame prayer unto God, thanking their God that they were chosen of him, and that he did not lead them away after the tradition of their brethren, and that their hearts were not stolen away to believe in things to come, which they knew nothing about.

Now, after the people had all offered up thanks after this manner, they returned to their homes, never speaking of their God again until they had assembled themselves together again to the holy stand, to offer up thanks after their manner.