Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, January 30

“Deseret News Censors Political Comment” by grego

“Deseret News Censors Political Comment” by grego

Well, I just went back to check on my post about LDS Church leaders feeling “deep emotion” at the inauguration of Pres. Obama (http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705279298,00.html), and… it wasn’t there.

Interesting, because I made sure, after reading the rules: “Any comments found to be abusive, offensive, off-topic, misrepresentative, more than 200 words or containing URLs will not be posted.”, to clean my post all up before submitting it.

There’s quite a lot of heat in the other comments on the three pages of reader comments, which made me even more sure there would be no problems with my own comment. Here’s a selection, to give you an idea of what is there:

Quote:
-=-=-=
To REST IT – We have no voice | 5:41 p.m. Jan. 21, 2009
We have no voice anymore.
The Republican party has become corrupted and polluted, and the Democrats just sit around and bicker (not to mention the long-standing pollution and corruption that has been there too!).
The government does not care about taking care of the needs of the people–they only care about doing what’s good for them and keeping themselves in power.
I’m sick of the “our voices are heard” rhetoric. That’s just political fodder calculated to make us feel better about how undemocratic our government has made us.
So stop trying to fool everyone–you’re only making a fool out of yourself.
-=-=-=
CITIZEN | 4:57 p.m. Jan. 21, 2009
To the L.D.S.first presidency;Four (4)years from now i would like to see your true opinion of obama printed in the D.N.I will be suprised if it is the same as it is now.
-=-=-=
Anonymous | 4:40 p.m. Jan. 21, 2009
After reading these silly posts day after day it is clear that religion muddles human thinking. Reality and logic are waiting for you..
-=-=-=
from Australia | 2:18 a.m. Jan. 22, 2009
We’re just laughing at the whole inaugeration/ coronation.
Was that serious?
Albert Speer would be laughing.
Same jam, different flies. There is no difference to both parties, people should not think otherwise.
The packet looks good, lets now see whats in the box. I wont judge him until then.
Still, he can’t be worse than the other joker you had.
(PS. When does he get his crown and sceptre?)
-=-=-=
Carl R. | 6:40 a.m. Jan. 22, 2009
J. Reuben Clark, an eminent statesman and Church leader wisely pointed out where our allegiance should lie (not to the man, but to the Constitution):
“Today, our duty transcends party allegiance; our duty today is allegiance to the Constitution as it was given to us by the Lord. Every federal officer takes an oath to support that Constitution so given. The difference between us and some of those to the South of us is this: down there, their fealty runs to individuals; here, our fealty and our allegiance run to the Constitution and to the principles which it embodies, and not to individuals.
“God give us wisdom and enable us in these times of trouble and strife clearly to see our way, that we may be instrumental in sustaining the Constitution, in upholding our free institutions, our civil rights, our freedom of speech, of press, of religion, and of conscience. If we shall stand together we shall save the Constitution, just as has been foreseen, and if we do not stand together, we cannot perform this great task.”
(General Conference Report October 1942, 2nd Session)
-=-=-=
Anonymous | 3:50 p.m. Jan. 24, 2009
To It’s_Chet,
Your post sounds like a convoluted way of saying “Too bad if you feel uncomfortable among Mormons. It is YOUR problem. Get over it. Only the BAD people (non-Mormons) in Utah are not nice.”
Is that about the gist of it?
Because YOU are ONE of the hyperjudmental, Mormon bigots, you obviously have to try to defend yourself and your Mormon friends against the hurtful truth that you are all a bunch of clique-ish, elitist, arrogant fascists!
-=-=-=

Ok, I guess that should suffice. (For more, go visit the site.) Those, and others similar, are on the site, but my comment was gone. Or, maybe even never made it.
So, what was my comment that the Deseret News refused to put up?

It went something like this:
“What a mess. (There were some flaming comments (a lot of name-calling), and after a second look, it is clear that mine was not the only one deleted, though I’m not sure why; many of the deleted comments weren’t all that bad, especially compared to a few that were left.)
Of course LDS Church leaders will support and pray for the American president, no matter who it is.
The USA is a republic, not a democracy. (People kept talking about the USA being a democracy.)
The people did not elect Obama, the people who control the voting machines and the electoral college did. (People kept talking about the the people electing/ choosing Obama, the people’s voice, etc.)
Do not look to the American president for hope. Bush did not save us. Obama will not save us. No American president will save us. (There were many comments about this hope.)
There is really no such thing as Democrat and Republican. They are just two sides of the same coin—thesis and antithesis—in the drive for a one-world government.”

I’m pretty sure there was more, but I can’t remember exactly what it was.

Well, I’m not the best at politics, but… I was trying to set a few simple political things straight, and open a few eyes. Oh well. I guess the Deseret News thought something else.


Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

“Book of Mormon: Have You Remembered?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Have You Remembered? by grego

Every once in a while I go back and read some of the articles, or listen/ reread the Book of Mormon, and I realize that I had, over time (sometimes years, sometimes just a few days), forgotten how rich, complex, and amazing it is.

Getting answers/ testimonies are so important to life. But when we get them, we need to remember them! This is an important thing that Alma often referred to: the need to *remember* so many good things that have come from God. Alma saw that many of the problems of sin that the people had came from forgetting the good things that God had done for them. For a nice scripture study, look up “remember” and “forget” scriptures in the Book of Mormon.

Have you, perhaps, done the same?


Bookmark and Share

2009, January 21

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God; Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 6” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God; Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 6”
by grego

Part 6

Alma also preaches what the result of no repentance is on the spirit:
Alma 12:17 Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting destruction…
Alma 12:18 Then, I say unto you, they shall be as though there had been no redemption made; for they cannot be redeemed according to God’s justice; and they cannot die, seeing there is no more corruption.

So, in parallel of a just retribution, the leaders of the people take the believers and their records and burn them in a huge fire. Amulek says that it was an “awful scene” (Alma 14:10). Then the
Alma 14:14 …chief judge of the land came and stood before Alma and Amulek, as they were bound; …and said unto them: After what ye have seen, will ye preach again unto this people, that they shall be cast into a lake of fire and brimstone?

Paralleling God having “matchless power” to “deliver and [preserve] from being destroyed” (Alma ??), the chief judge continues:
Alma 14:15 Behold, ye see that ye had not *power* to save those who had been cast into the fire; neither has God saved them because they were of thy faith. And the judge smote them again upon their cheeks, and asked: What say ye for yourselves?

Paralleling the “chained down to an everlasting destruction…” (Alma 12:17) and “then cometh a death” and judgment from which there is no escape (Alma 12:16), Alma and Amulek:
Alma 14:22 …were bound with strong cords, and confined in prison.
Alma 14:24 And the chief judge stood before them, and smote them again, and said unto them: If ye have the power of God deliver yourselves from these bands, and then we will believe that the Lord will destroy this people according to your words.
Alma 14:25 And it came to pass that they all went forth and smote them, saying the same words, even until the last…

None of the Ammonihahites expected Alma and Amulek to be able to escape; this was supposed to be “that eternal death”.

Now we start to see that faith in Christ delivers, just as they had preached:
Alma 14:25 …and when the last had spoken unto them the power of God was upon Alma and Amulek, and they rose and stood upon their feet.
Alma 14:26 And Alma cried, saying: …O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance. And they broke the cords with which they were bound.

As just retribution, and as foreshadowed by Alma–
(Alma 12:14 …and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence.),
Alma 14:27 …the earth shook mightily, and the walls of the prison were rent in twain, so that they fell to the earth; and the chief judge, and the lawyers, and priests, and teachers, who smote upon Alma and Amulek, were slain by the fall thereof.

And yes, God does deliver–but only the righteous, as Alma had preached:
Alma 14:28 And Alma and Amulek came forth out of the prison, and they were not hurt; for the Lord had granted unto them power, according to their faith which was in Christ. And they straightway came forth out of the prison; and they were loosed from their bands; and the prison had fallen to the earth, and every soul within the walls thereof, save it were Alma and Amulek, was slain; and they straightway came forth into the city.


Bookmark and Share

2009, January 20

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God; Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 5” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God; Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 5”
by grego

Part 5

Power and Poetic Justice
So the great power that God has, as preached by Alma and Amulek, is to deliver and preserve his people:
Alma 9:9 Do ye not remember that our father, Lehi, was brought out of Jerusalem by the hand of God? Do ye not remember that they were all led by him through the wilderness?
Alma 9:10 And have ye forgotten so soon how many times he delivered our fathers out of the hands of their enemies, and preserved them from being destroyed, even by the hands of their own brethren?
Alma 9:11 Yea, and if it had not been for his matchless power, and his mercy, and his long-suffering towards us, we should unavoidably have been cut off from the face of the earth long before this period of time, and perhaps been consigned to a state of endless misery and woe.

Then, Alma tells the people of Ammonihah what will happen to them temporally if they do not repent:
Alma 9:12 Behold, now I say unto you that he commandeth you to repent; and except ye repent, ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. But behold, this is not all–he has commanded you to repent, or he will utterly destroy you from off the face of the earth; yea, he will visit you in his anger, and in his fierce anger he will not turn away.

The people aren’t happy with the preaching, there’s a “trial”, and the leaders throw Alma and Amulek in prison. Then,
Alma 14:24 …the chief judge stood before them, and smote them again, and said unto them: If ye have the power of God, deliver yourselves from these bands, and then we will believe that the Lord will destroy this people according to your words.
Alma 14:25 And it came to pass that they all went forth and smote them, saying the same words, even until the last…

Well, through faith, Alma and Amulek escape, and the prison crumbles, destroying every one of those that smote them and spoke those words. So, do the leaders believe now; will they bear testimony now? Well… Unfortunately, they can’t tell anyone else about what happened, because they are all dead. Maybe the others in the city will repent anyway? No, they don’t; they believe the devil did it!

So,
Alma 16:2 …the armies of the Lamanites had come in upon the wilderness side, into the borders of the land, even into the city of Ammonihah, and began to slay the people and destroy the city.
Alma 16:3 And now it came to pass, before the Nephites could raise a sufficient army to drive them out of the land, they had destroyed the people who were in the city of Ammonihah…
Alma 16:9 …the Lamanites having been driven out of the land, and the people of Ammonihah were destroyed; yea, every living soul of the Ammonihahites was destroyed, and also their great city, which they said God could not destroy, because of its greatness.

They now knew that God could do it, and he did it; but still, no one could testify to others, as they had all been killed! Still, God had Alma preach to them first; then Alma and Amulek; then the prison crumbled and killed the leaders–three chances/ strikes, a few months of continued unrepentance, and boom! they’re out!


Bookmark and Share

2009, January 14

“Book of Mormon: Two Revelations Regarding King Mosiah’s Sons” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Two Revelations Regarding King Mosiah’s Sons”
by grego

Similar to the Lehi and Nephi post, there are two revelations regarding king Mosiah’s sons going on missions: King Mosiah has one, and his sons have one.

Interestingly, they are not the same, and it seems king Mosiah never tells his sons about his revelation.

Also, Mormon writes about each revelation twice–once when received, and another time later on, verifying the veracity of the revelation
(Alma 25:17 And now behold, Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and Himni, and their brethren did rejoice exceedingly, for the success which they had had among the Lamanites, seeing that the Lord had granted unto them according to their prayers, and that he had also verified his word unto them in every particular.).

Also interestingly, each time the revelation is explained/ summarized a little differently (similar to Joseph Smith’s recounting of his First Vsion).

Here they are:
King Mosiah’s revelation:
Mosiah 28:6 And king Mosiah went and inquired of the Lord if he should let his sons go up among the Lamanites to preach the word.
Mosiah 28:7 And the Lord said unto Mosiah: Let them go up, for many shall believe on their words, and they shall have eternal life; and I will deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites.

And later:
Alma 19:23 Now we see that Ammon could not be slain, for the Lord had said unto Mosiah, his father: I will spare him, and it shall be unto him according to thy faith–therefore, Mosiah trusted him unto the Lord.

His sons’ (Ammon, Aaron, Omner, Himni (and others)) revelation:
Alma 17:9 And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.
Alma 17:10 And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.
Alma 17:11 And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.
Alma 17:12 And it came to pass that the hearts of the sons of Mosiah, and also those who were with them, took courage to go forth unto the Lamanites to declare unto them the word of God.

And later:
Alma 26:27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.


Bookmark and Share

Two More High-Volume Words in the Book of Mormon: “Jershon” and “Mourning”

In addition to the others I found and posted on the other blog (at www.bookofmormonmusings.blogspot.com) here are two more areas where there are at least three mentions of the same word all within a short distance of each other:

Alma 27, 28 (JERSHON)

Alma 28 (MOURNING)

Alma 27:22 And it came to pass that the voice of the people came, saying: Behold, we will give up the land of JERSHON, which is on the east by the sea, which joins the land Bountiful, which is on the south of the land Bountiful; and this land JERSHON is the land which we will give unto our brethren for an inheritance.

Alma 27:23 And behold, we will set our armies between the land JERSHON and the land Nephi, that we may protect our brethren in the land JERSHON; and this we do for our brethren, on account of their fear to take up arms against their brethren lest they should commit sin; and this their great fear came because of their sore repentance which they had, on account of their many murders and their awful wickedness.

Alma 27:24 And now behold, this will we do unto our brethren, that they may inherit the land JERSHON; and we will guard them from their enemies with our armies, on condition that they will give us a portion of their substance to assist us that we may maintain our armies.

Alma 27:25 Now, it came to pass that when Ammon had heard this, he returned to the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, and also Alma with him, into the wilderness, where they had pitched their tents, and made known unto them all these things. And Alma also related unto them his conversion, with Ammon and Aaron, and his brethren.

Alma 27:26 And it came to pass that it did cause great joy among them. And they went down into the land of JERSHON, and took possession of the land of JERSHON; and they were called by the Nephites the people of Ammon; therefore they were distinguished by that name ever after.

Alma 27:27 And they were among the people of Nephi, and also numbered among the people who were of the church of God. And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.

Alma 27:28 And they did look upon shedding the blood of their brethren with the greatest abhorrence; and they never could be prevailed upon to take up arms against their brethren; and they never did look upon death with any degree of terror, for their hope and views of Christ and the resurrection; therefore, death was swallowed up to them by the victory of Christ over it.

Alma 27:29 Therefore, they would suffer death in the most aggravating and distressing manner which could be inflicted by their brethren, before they would take the sword or cimeter to smite them.

Alma 27:30 And thus they were a zealous and beloved people, a highly favored people of the Lord.

Alma 28:1 AND now it came to pass that after the people of Ammon were established in the land of JERSHON, and a church also established in the land of JERSHON, and the armies of the Nephites were set round about the land of JERSHON, yea, in all the borders round about the land of Zarahemla; behold the armies of the Lamanites had followed their brethren into the wilderness.

Alma 28:4 And now this was a time that there was a great MOURNING and lamentation heard throughout all the land, among all the people of Nephi–

Alma 28:5 Yea, the cry of widows MOURNING for their husbands, and also of fathers MOURNING for their sons, and the daughter for the brother, yea, the brother for the father; and thus the cry of MOURNING was heard among all of them, MOURNING for their kindred who had been slain.

Alma 28:6 And now surely this was a sorrowful day; yea, a time of solemnity, and a time of much fasting and prayer.

Alma 28:7 And thus endeth the fifteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi;

Alma 28:8 And this is the account of Ammon and his brethren, their journeyings in the land of Nephi, their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy, and the reception and safety of the brethren in the land of Jershon. And now may the Lord, the Redeemer of all men, bless their souls forever.

Alma 28:9 And this is the account of the wars and contentions among the Nephites, and also the wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites; and the fifteenth year of the reign of the judges is ended.

Alma 28:10 And from the first year to the fifteenth has brought to pass the destruction of many thousand lives; yea, it has brought to pass an awful scene of bloodshed.

Alma 28:11 And the bodies of many thousands are laid low in the earth, while the bodies of many thousands are moldering in heaps upon the face of the earth; yea, and many thousands are MOURNING for the loss of their kindred, because they have reason to fear, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are consigned to a state of endless wo.

Alma 28:12 While many thousands of others truly MOURN for the loss of their kindred, yet they rejoice and exult in the hope, and even know, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are raised to dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never-ending happiness.

Alma 28:13 And thus we see how great the inequality of man is because of sin and transgression, and the power of the devil, which comes by the cunning plans which he hath devised to ensnare the hearts of men.

Alma 28:14 And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing–sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life.


Bookmark and Share

2009, January 12

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God; Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 4” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God; Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 4”
by grego

Part 4

Alma and Amulek testify to the righteous:
Alma 15:2 And they related unto them all that had happened unto their wives and children, and also concerning themselves, and of their POWER of deliverance.

In fact, though this was really all about authority, for the wicked people of Ammonihah it had only been a question of *power* from the beginning:
Alma 8:12 And now we know that because we are not of thy church we know that thou hast no POWER over us; and thou hast delivered up the judgment-seat unto Nephihah; therefore thou art not the chief judge over us.
Alma 8:13 Now when the people had said this, and withstood all his words, and reviled him, and spit upon him, and caused that he should be cast out of their city, he departed thence and took his journey towards the city which was called Aaron.

And Mormon makes the connection:
Alma 8:31 And they had POWER given unto them, insomuch that they could not be confined in dungeons; neither was it possible that any man could slay them; nevertheless they did not exercise their POWER until they were bound in bands and cast into prison. Now, this was done that the Lord might show forth his POWER in them.
Alma 8:32 And it came to pass that they went forth and began to preach and to prophesy unto the people, according to the spirit and POWER which the Lord had given them.

Why the emphasis on power? I believe because the Lord knew that the people of Ammonihah needed a witness of his power to help them repent or to justly condemn themselves if they did not repent.

Alma and Amulek strive to show that throughout Nephite history, the Lord has not been just authoritative, but powerful also, especially unto deliverance:
Alma 9:11 Yea, and if it had not been for his matchless POWER, and his mercy, and his long-suffering towards us, we should unavoidably have been cut off from the face of the earth long before this period of time, and perhaps been consigned to a state of endless misery and woe.

Also make it clear that the devil is powerful, too. So, Alma and Amulek preach a subtle power-struggle beween the Lord and the devil, and between the representatives of the Lord’s order, and the order of Nehor. While the Lord has power to deliver the repentant righteous, the devil has power to destroy and captivate the unrepentant wicked.

Alma 9:28 Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord, for the time is at hand that all men shall reap a reward of their works, according to that which they have been–if they have been righteous they shall reap the salvation of their souls, according to the POWER AND DELIVERANCE of Jesus Christ; and if they have been evil they shall reap the damnation of their souls, according to the POWER AND CAPTIVATION of the devil.
Alma 10:5 Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous POWER. I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous POWER; yea, even in the preservation of the lives of this people.
Alma 10:25 But Amulek stretched forth his hand, and cried the mightier unto them, saying: O ye wicked and perverse generation, why hath Satan got such great hold upon your hearts? Why will ye yield yourselves unto him that he may have POWER over you, to blind your eyes, that ye will not understand the words which are spoken, according to their truth?
Alma 12:5 Now this was a plan of thine adversary, and he hath exercised his POWER in thee (Zeezrom). Now I would that ye should remember that what I say unto thee I say unto all.
Alma 12:6 And behold I say unto you all that this was a snare of the adversary, which he has laid to catch this people, that he might bring you into subjection unto him, that he might encircle you about with his chains, that he might chain you down to everlasting DESTRUCTION, according to the POWER of his CAPITIVITY.
Alma 12:7 Now when Alma had spoken these words, Zeezrom began to tremble more exceedingly, for he was convinced more and more of the POWER of God; and he was also convinced that Alma and Amulek had a knowledge of him, for he was convinced that they knew the thoughts and intents of his heart; for POWER was given unto them that they might know of these things according to the spirit of prophecy.
Alma 12:15 But this cannot be; we must come forth and stand before him in his glory, and in his POWER, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just; that he is just in all his works, and that he is merciful unto the children of men, and that he has all POWER to SAVE every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.
Alma 12:17 Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting DESTRUCTION, according to the POWER and CAPTIVITY of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will.
Alma 12:32 Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second death, which was an everlasting death as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for on such the plan of REDEMPTION could have no POWER, for the works of justice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme goodness of God.


Bookmark and Share

2009, January 8

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God, Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 3” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God; Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 3”
by grego

Part 3

Notice, also, that even though the argument is one about power, in all of Alma’s tour de force in Alma 13, the word “power” *never* appears.

There were a few more things that I want to mention.
Alma says:
Alma 12:15 But this cannot be; we must come forth and stand before him in his glory, and in his power, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just; that he is just in all his works, and that he is merciful unto the children of men, and that he has all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.

Alma and Amulek know they have power:
Alma 14:10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and EXERCISE THE POWER OF GOD WHICH IS IN US, and save them from the flames.
Alma 14:11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand;

But the judge doesn’t; however, the judge believes he has power:
Alma 14:15 Behold, ye see that ye had not POWER to save those who had been cast into the fire; neither has God saved them because they were of thy faith. And the judge smote them again upon their cheeks, and asked: What say ye for yourselves?…
Alma 14:19 And it came to pass that the judge stood before them, and said: Why do ye not answer the words of this people? Know ye not that I have POWER to deliver you up unto the flames? And he commanded them to speak; but they answered nothing.

“Power”: this is correct, because according to Nephite law, the judge didn’t have the *authority* to act as he was acting; but he did have *power*, and he used it. This was the problem of the people of Ammonihah and the order of Nehor: acting with power, but without authority.

And in fact, the question of authority for the hard-hearted is often answered only by a show of power, though for some it is too late when it comes for them to be saved physically or spiritually. But as with curses, the unrepentant curse themselves powerless.

Right before Alma talks about the rocks falling, he says:
Alma 12:14 For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us…

And here is what happens in fulfillment:
Alma 14:20 And it came to pass that they departed and went their ways, but came again on the morrow; and the judge also smote them again on their cheeks. And many came forth also, and smote them, saying: Will ye stand again and judge this people, and condemn our law? If ye have such great POWER why do ye not deliver yourselves?

Alma 14:23 And it came to pass after they had thus suffered for many days, (and it was on the twelfth day, in the tenth month, in the tenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi) that the chief judge over the land of Ammonihah and many of their teachers and their lawyers went in unto the prison where Alma and Amulek were bound with cords.
Alma 14:24 And the chief judge stood before them, and smote them again, and said unto them: If ye have the POWER OF GOD deliver yourselves from these bands, and then we will believe that the Lord will destroy this people according to your words.
Alma 14:25 And it came to pass that they all went forth and smote them, saying the same words, even until the last; and when the last had spoken unto them the POWER OF GOD was upon Alma and Amulek, and they rose and stood upon their feet.
Alma 14:26 And Alma cried, saying: How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O Lord? O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance. And they broke the cords with which they were bound; and when the people saw this, they began to flee, for the fear of destruction had come upon them.
Alma 14:27 And it came to pass that so great was their fear that they fell to the earth, and did not obtain the outer door of the prison; and the earth shook mightily, and the walls of the prison were rent in twain, so that they fell to the earth; and the chief judge, and the lawyers, and priests, and teachers, who smote upon Alma and Amulek, were slain by the fall thereof.
Alma 14:28 And Alma and Amulek came forth out of the prison, and they were not hurt; for the Lord had granted unto them POWER, according to their faith which was in Christ. And they straightway came forth out of the prison; and they were loosed from their bands; and the prison had fallen to the earth, and every soul within the walls thereof, save it were Alma and Amulek, was slain; and they straightway came forth into the city.

Note that even here the Lord does not come out and strike the wicked; it is the opposing order’s fear that makes them fall to the earth–or, one could say, a lack of POWER–that makes their death certain. Alma had already preached that “our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us”. And by their words (“If ye have the POWER OF GOD deliver yourselves from these bands, and then we will believe that the Lord will destroy this people according to your words”) and by their actions (striking Alma and Amulek), they are judged rightly by God. Note also that “they *all* went forth and smote them, saying the same words, *even until the last*”–thus, the judgment of God was just upon them all. Truly they each cursed themselves!
I infer a causality relationship here: “and the chief judge, and the lawyers, and priests, and teachers, who *smote upon Alma and Amulek*, were slain by the fall thereof” (Alma 14:27). So *if* the wicked men had had power, they *could* have run out of the prison; and *if* they had had power, they *could* have escaped, just like Alma and Amulek…


Bookmark and Share

2009, January 7

Book of Mormon | “Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God, Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 2” by grego

Book of Mormon | Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God, Authority, Power, and Judgment: Part 2
by grego

The order of Nehor believed that all men were saved, but the devil was bad; the order of God believes that all are lost without Christ.

After teaching many of the mysteries of God and the truths of the true order of God, Alma preaches what a true priest is, what order he belongs to, why he is chosen, and where his authority and power stem from. Jesus Christ is the great high priest. All of these teachings contrast greatly with the reality of the order of Nehor in Ammonihah. Alma teaches that Melchizedek was a high priest and king/ ruler, who used his temporal position to preach righteousness to his wicked people; they all repented, and were known for peace, because of following their God. Well, Melchizedek isn’t there, so Alma will have to do as the example of what a true high priest does; and does he! This also works because the Ammonihahites are aware that Alma was the chief judge, and that he is still the high priest of the Church. As Melchizedek, Alma has one desire–to cry repentance, to bring everyone to God, even suffering at the hands of the Ammonihahites for it (of which they were witnesses). Like Jesus and Melchizedek, Alma was under his father. Does Alma go one step beyond Melchizedek, by having given up the position of chief judge/ ruler in order to preach and bring peace to his people?

Note the emphasis in Alma’s preaching on the following words: order, the order of his Son, ordained (“to have holy orders conferred upon”, “to be called to the ministry”), called, calling, high priesthood, high priest., holy, faith, enter, rest, prepared, etc. These come in an incredible verbal onslaught that has no equal elsewhere in the Book of Mormon, and perhaps any other literature.

Alma 13:1 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.

Alma 13:2 And those PRIESTS were ORDAINED after THE ORDER OF HIS SON, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption.

Alma 13:3 And this is the manner after which THEY were ORDAINED–being CALLED and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of THEIR EXCEEDING FAITH and GOOD WORKS; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore THEY having CHOSEN GOOD, and exercising EXCEEDINGLY GREAT FAITH, are CALLED with a HOLY CALLING, yea, with that HOLY CALLING which was PREPARED with, and according to, a PREPARATORY redemption for such.

Alma 13:4 And thus THEY have been CALLED to this HOLY CALLING on account of THEIR FAITH, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren.

Alma 13:5 Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this HOLY CALLING being PREPARED from the foundation of the world FOR SUCH AS WOULD NOT HARDEN THEIR HEARTS, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared–

Alma 13:6 And thus being CALLED by this HOLY CALLING, and ORDAINED unto the HIGH PRIESTHOOD the HOLY ORDER OF GOD, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might ENTER INTO HIS REST–

Alma 13:7 This HIGH PRIESTHOOD being after THE ORDER OF HIS SON, which ORDER was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being PREPARED from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things–

Alma 13:8 Now THEY were ORDAINED after this manner–being CALLED with a HOLY CALLING, and ORDAINED with a HOLY ORDINANCE, and taking upon THEM the HIGH PRIESTHOOD of the HOLY ORDER, which CALLING, and ORDINANCE, and HIGH PRIESTHOOD, is without beginning or end–

Alma 13:9 Thus THEY become HIGH PRIESTS forever, after the ORDER OF THE SON, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen.

Alma 13:10 Now, as I said concerning the HOLY ORDER, or this HIGH PRIESTHOOD, there were MANY who were ORDAINED and became HIGH PRIESTS OF GOD; and it was on account of THEIR EXCEEDING FAITH and REPENTANCE, and THEIR righteousness before God, THEY choosing to REPENT and WORK RIGHTEOUSNESS rather than to perish;

Alma 13:11 Therefore THEY were CALLED after this HOLY ORDER, and were sanctified, and THEIR garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.

Alma 13:12 Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having THEIR garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were MANY, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and ENTERED INTO THE REST of the Lord THEIR God.

Then Alma recounts the story of Melchizedek, the great high priest, who shows what Alma just preached–thus, it is basically a recounting. And Alma closes both stories with similar invitations:

Alma 13:13 And now, my brethren, I would that ye should HUMBLE YOURSELVES BEFORE GOD, and bring forth fruit meet for REPENTANCE, that ye may also ENTER INTO THAT REST.

Alma 13:28 But that ye would HUMBLE YOURSELVES BEFORE THE LORD, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming HUMBLE, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;
Alma 13:29 Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and ENTER INTO HIS REST.
Alma 13:30 And may the Lord grant unto you REPENTANCE…

The Big Question that most influences the lives of the people, and that the two orders clash on is: is repentance necessary or not? (This is also clearly seen when Aaron preaches in Jerusalem: Alma 21.) And there, Alma just explained in a powerful way that it is. After explaining that, he relates the story of Melchizedek; Melchizedek’s city repented and literally was lifted up and entered into the rest of the Lord (it was translated); Alma preaches that Ammonihah, the great city of the order of Nehors, and the unrepentant will be destroyed, and God will do it.


Bookmark and Share

2009, January 6

Poem: “My Father” by grego

My Father

God’s my father
I’m his son
Just like Him
I want to become

In this life
I win or lose
I gain a body
and learn to choose.

If I but follow
my Lord Jesus Christ
in the next life
my reward will be nice

I will become as
My father.


Bookmark and Share

2009, January 5

“Book of Mormon | Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God, Authority, Power, and Judgment; Part 1” by grego

Book of Mormon | Ammonihah: Order of Nehors versus Order of the Son of God; Authority, Power, and Judgment; Part 1
by grego

(NOTE: Well, after lots of work, I found an article by Thomas R. Valletta entitled “Conflicting Orders: Alma and Amulek in Ammonihah” from at least December 1999 which spoke a lot about what I was writing about. He has some really good insights, and he beats me by about 8 years on some parts! Nevertheless, there are still some new things to say, so I will add a few more things, perhaps new ways of phrasing, perhaps insights. I will also stay more with the actual text and topic, treating this in more a literary fashion, and try to leave out the more apparent things, making it more succinct. I will also be relying on a previous article, “Book of Mormon: Religious Fervor Subverting Law Is Bad: A Study of the People of Ammonihah” found at https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=120 ).

Part 1

In the story of Ammonihah, the literary devices of parallels/ foils are mainly employed.

The first is the two orders involved in this section: the order of Nehors and the order of the Son of God. The first order is set up in defiance of the second in an eternal way, similarly to as how the Ammonihahites defied the Nephites in a temporal way.

First, I wondered about the phrase “profession of Nehor” in the Book of Mormon–how could that be a work/ job?–and it finally hit me that’s not what it meant. To find out more, I looked it up; here are the definitions in Webster’s Dictionary of 1828 (available as a free online resource at http://www.1828.mshaffer.com/ ):

“PROFES’SION, n. [L. professio.]
1. Open declaration; public avowal or acknowledgment of one’s sentiments or belief; as professions of friendship or sincerity; a profession of faith or religion.

2. The business which one professes to understand and to follow for subsistence; calling; vocation; employment; as the learned professions. We speak of the profession of a clergyman, of a lawyer, and of a physician or surgeon; the profession of lecturer on chimistry or mineralogy. But the word is not applied to an occupation merely mechanical.
3. The collective body of persons engaged in a calling. We speak of practices honorable or disgraceful to a profession.
4. Among the Romanists, the entering into a religious order, by which a person offers himself to God by a vow of inviolable obedience, chastity and poverty.”

I was thinking of #1, which was basically #1 in Joseph Smith’s time, at the time of the Book of Mormon translation. However, I also noted #4 (basically a sub-category of #1) in which the “profession” of entering into “a religious order” is basically an act of covenant. That’s very interesting, in light of the normal name of “the order of Nehors”, where “order” is likely a “religious fraternity” (Webster’s Dictionary, 1828) and the rest of the story of Ammonihah.

So there aren’t just two opposing belief systems; there are two opposing “religious fraternities” (which nevertheless involved the women, too), two priesthood, with questions of authority, power, and judgment.

According to Alma and Amulek, God is the great judge. He sets up laws, and men either obey and are blessed, or disobey and cursed, cut off, lose their light, and are finally destroyed.
Satan is the opposer. He tries to persuade men that God’s laws are not really laws that need to be obeyed, and tries to institute his own “laws”. His main goal is to set up an opposing god, and he does that well in Ammonihah–it’s money and power. In fact, this is clearly laid out with representatives of both sides in the big argument: Alma and Amulek on one side, and Zeezrom and Antionum (as surmised by Gordon Thomasson, two purposeful “money” names) on the other. Alma and Amulek use the Spirit and the word of God, and Zeezrom’s first main tool is money/ bribery–an invitation to “worship his God”–and then the cunning devices of persuasion, or power over people by use of speech.

The chief judge/ ruler of the Ammonihahites is after the order of Nehor (Alma 14:16). He uses his temporal position to lead his people in preparing to illegally “destroy the liberty of [Alma’s] people” (Alma 8:17), almost surely by exercising improper power as he did with the righteous he killed.
The lawyers and judges stir up the people and do bad things just to make money (Alma 11:20), because money is their god. By their actions, they worship their god. The people are mad with Alma and Amulek, and want to kill them.

%d bloggers like this: