Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, September 24

“Are There ‘Others’ in the Book of Mormon?: A Critique and Partial Rebuttal of the article “When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land… Did They Find Others There?” by John L. Sorenson and other similar “‘Others’ Were in the Book of Mormon Lands” articles by Brant Gardner; Matthew Roper; Michael Ash; etc.” Part 2: Arguments Concerning Jacob

“Are There ‘Others’ in the Book of Mormon?: A Critique and Partial Rebuttal of the article “When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land[…] Did They Find Others There?” by John L. Sorenson and other similar “‘Others’ Were in the Book of Mormon Lands” articles by Brant Gardner; Matthew Roper; Michael Ash; etc.”

Part 2: Arguments Concerning JACOB (except Sherem)

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Brant Gardner:
The plausible presence of these “others” among the Nephites at this early point in Nephite history provides a context for a strange choice Nephi makes when recording on his personal plates. In 2 Nephi 6, Nephi records a sermon that Jacob gave. This is an odd discourse in the absence of any explanatory background. Jacob addresses a population that has recently established a city, and may still be in the throes of establishing that city and their way of life, and he preaches to them about a text from Isaiah that deals with the long distant future salvation of Israel through the Gentiles. Of all of the possible concerns for a people recently established in a new world, let alone a new city, why discourse on an event thousands of years away, and dealing with Gentiles in the Old World? To top off this mystery, we have Jacob’s statement that it was Nephi, the king, who suggested this topic.7
When we look at the sermon again with our understanding of the likely presence of a goodly number of non-lineal Israelites in the early city of Nephi, that sermon becomes precisely the type of sermon that a king might request. We can easily imagine tensions between the two cultures arising, and a wise king noting the importance of “Gentiles,” or non-lineal Israelites, as the salvation of Israel, or the literal descendants of Lehi. Nephi would be “likening” this future situation to that of his own community. The not-so-subtle message would be that these “others” in their midst would be essential to the salvation of the Old World lineages. Rather than a discourse on a theological future, it is a strong commentary on an important social present.

****They had established a city? Note that in the Book of Mormon, city/ land is used most of the time, never “town” until Mormon 4:22 and Mormon 5:5:
Mormon 4:22 And it came to pass that the Nephites did again flee from before them, taking all the inhabitants with them, both in towns and villages.
Mormon 5:5 And it came to pass that whatsoever lands we had passed by, and the inhabitants thereof were not gathered in, were destroyed by the Lamanites, and their towns, and villages, and cities were burned with fire; and thus three hundred and seventy and nine years passed away.
The word “village” occurs in the Book of Mormon here:
Mosiah 27:6 And there began to be much peace again in the land; and the people began to be very numerous, and began to scatter abroad upon the face of the earth, yea, on the north and on the south, on the east and on the west, building large cities and villages in all quarters of the land.
Alma 8:7 Now it was the custom of the people of Nephi to call their lands, and their cities, and their villages, yea, even all their small villages, after the name of him who first possessed them; and thus it was with the land of Ammonihah.
Alma 21:11 refers to a Lamanite village.
Alma 23:14 And the Amalekites were not converted, save only one; neither were any of the Amulonites; but they did harden their hearts, and also the hearts of the Lamanites in that part of the land wheresoever they dwelt, yea, and all their villages and all their cities.
How one could build a city but not have a village and then town, is a little difficult to explain. No one has gotten the numbers to work. Thus, to cite “city” as writer’s evidence of a very large town, is false.

Jacob says, “. . .the words which I shall read are they which Isaiah spake concerning all the house of Israel; wherefore, they may be likened unto you, for YE ARE OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL. And there are many things which have been spoken by Isaiah which may be likened unto you, because YE ARE OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL” (2 Nephi 6:5)–twice, he clearly says that they are of the house of Israel.
Why would he give a talk to a combined audience of Israelites and “others” and say that they were all of the house of Israel? Unless they were another group of covenant people that had been led out before, right? And if that were the case, then why weren’t they be given as the example when Lehi was talking about all that in 2 Nephi 1? In other words, please explain “non-lineal Israelites”.

There are other reasons this topic may be considered appropriate at this time:
–it is similar to a baby’s blessing, with the “baby” being the Nephites; like one, it prophesies their full life; were it given at the time of a special feast/ celebration/ ceremony, it is especially fitting.
another announcement of fulfillment of the prophecy of the fall of Jerusalem (after 2 Nephi 1:4), which prophecy was given before and plays an important part in Lehite matters, and which announcement was also promised before.
–it’s a majestic prophecy for a small group of wanderers, much like the prophecy of Joseph Smith that the church would grow to fill the earth–why did that talk take place, when those listening couldn’t even fathom it?
–the Nephites were already oppressed by the Lamanites and had probably already had wars with them. They were smaller in number and no doubt less inclined to violence. Ask any members living in dangerous places if those words are fitting, uplifting, and bring comfort to them, and I think you’ll have a positive answer.
–the scriptures speak of Christ, his omnipotence, and his saving mission.
–it could be to show the Nephites that some prophecies, like Lehi’s about future nations, are sometimes in the far future; however far, though, they were not forgotten.
–being likened to them, that the Nephites will be sorely smitten before Christ comes, that Christ will come among them, and that afterwards they will be smitten again; but not to destruction, a lot because of the prayers of the faithful; “the Lord will be merciful unto them, that when they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer, they shall be gathered together again to the lands of their inheritance” (2 Nephi 6:11). Sounds just like the history of Lehi’s seed.
–as a reminder that Lehi’s seed (and other Israelites there, and elsewhere) are not forgotten to the Lord, and are his, and the posterity will one day be gathered (see Jacob 7:41), and the promises fulfilled.

Actually, there’s no need to speculate too much, because Jacob himself even gives reasons for this particular sermon:
–“that ye might know concerning the covenants of the Lord that he has covenanted with all the house of Israel” (2 Nephi 9:1).
–“[that ye might know] “[that] he has spoken unto the Jews, by the mouth of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down, from generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be restored to the true church and fold of God; when they shall be gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise” (2 Nephi 9:2).
–“that ye may rejoice, and lift up your heads forever, because of the blessings which the Lord God shall bestow upon your children” (2 Nephi 9:3).
–to answer many of the listeners’ questions: “For I know that ye have searched much, many of you, to know of things to come; wherefore I know that ye know that our flesh must waste away and die; nevertheless, in our bodies we shall see God” (2 Nephi 9:4).
–as an introduction to his discourse on the Savior and the atonement (most of 2 Nephi 9).
–so that those listening might “. . .behold how great the covenants of the Lord, and how great his condescensions unto the children of men; and because of his greatness, and his grace and mercy, he has promised unto us that our seed shall not utterly be destroyed, according to the flesh, but that he would preserve them; and in future generations they shall become a righteous branch unto the house of Israel” (2 Nephi 9:53).
–to show the Nephites how they fit into God’s plan in the world (2 Nephi 10).
–to explain that cut off from Jerusalem =\= “cast off” from the Lord (2 Nephi 10:20).
–to stress that the land they were now in possession of was “a better land” and they were led there by the Lord (2 Nephi 10:20).
–to remind them that “the promises of the Lord unto [us]” are “great” (2 Nephi 10:21).
–to show them that they are not the only Israelites in this situation; God has led others away, too. (2 Nephi 10:21-22).
–to show them that ” the Lord remembereth all them who have been broken off, wherefore he remembereth us also” (2 Nephi 10:22).
–to let them know that they can “cheer up” and not be controlled by their situation and negative feelings (2 Nephi 10:20, 23);
–and, to let them know that now is the most important time for them, and that they need to worry more about repenting now continually feel anxiety regarding their and their seed’s future. (2 Nephi 10:20, 23-24).
(How someone could claim to carefully read the text, and miss all fourteen (and maybe more) of those reasons, is a question worth pondering…)

Now, it is true that God says:
“Wherefore, I will consecrate this land unto THY SEED, and THEM WHO SHALL BE NUMBERED AMONG THY SEED, forever, for the land of their inheritance. . .” (2 Nephi 10:19). Well, we already have Zoram and Sam’s blessings from Lehi where this happens. No other interpretation be needed, though it’s possible. Here God is already saying that there will definitely, at some time, be others who will join the seed of the Nephites (Mulekites?).

However, then Jacob says:
“And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for WE ARE NOT CAST OFF; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea” (2 Nephi 10:20).
“But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea; wherefore as it says isles, THERE MUST NEEDS BE MORE THAN THIS, and THEY ARE INHABITED ALSO BY OUR BRETHREN” (2 Nephi 10:22).
“For behold, THE LORD GOD HAS LED AWAY FROM TIME TO TIME FROM THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, ACCORDING TO HIS WILL AND PLEASURE. And now behold, the LORD REMEMBERETH ALL THEM WHO HAVE BEEN BROKEN OFF, wherefore he remembereth US also” (2 Nephi 10:22).
Jacob seems to go to great lengths to comfort the Nephites about their own particular situation, and how it was not completely unique, explaining that there were many other Israelites in their same situation; were there already other Israelites there, the Nephites would hardly need to be reminded/ taught this.

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Brant Gardner:
So far we have examined points of correspondence that only require contact with another people. Now we turn to events that require the particular cultural content of Mesoamerica at the very time period of the Book of Mormon event. The first example is another of Jacob’s sermons. In this case, we have Jacob’s first recorded sermon in his own book, encompassing Jacob chapters 2 and 3. This sermon is much more problematic than Jacob’s discourse on the future salvation by Gentiles. The first problem is his choice of topics. Jacob has two major problems with his people. He will decry their use of riches, and he will preach against their adoption of polygyny.
On the surface of the discourse we have the structural problem of the relationship between these two topics. Even given the presence of both problems in society, what is the linkage between the two that suggests that they be treated in the same sermon?

****What is the “linkage between the two topics”? Brant Gardner himself has just explained why they are in the same talk: “Jacob has two major problems with his people.” Not to mention what Jacob says in Jacob 1:17–“Wherefore I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the temple, HAVING FIRST OBTAINED MINE ERRAND FROM THE LORD.” And, in Jacob 2:11–“Wherefore, I must tell you the truth according to the plainness of the word of God. For behold, as I inquired of the Lord, thus came the word unto me, saying: Jacob, get thou up into the temple on the morrow, and DECLARE THE WORD WHICH I SHALL GIVE THEE UNTO THIS PEOPLE.” There it is–the Lord told him what to talk about. And why would these two topics “be treated in the same sermon”? For the same reason. I have spoken myself like this in church, as have many others–nothing surprising to anyone, I think, to hear more than one topic in a sermon, especially one given by a leader. And besides–well, they’re NOT “treated in the same sermon”. Jacob finishes one, then starts the next, as we see: “And now I MAKE AN END of speaking unto you concerning this pride. And were it not that I MUST SPEAK UNTO YOU CONCERNING A GROSSER CRIME, my heart would rejoice exceedingly because of you” (Jacob 2:22). “But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. . .” (Jacob 2:23). That’s two sermons, not one.

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Brant Gardner:
After the Nephites had existed as an entity for about forty years (see Jacob 1:1), their men began “desiring many wives and concubines” (Jacob 1:15).
How many descendants of the original party would there have been by that time? We can safely suppose that adaptation to foods, climate, disease, and natural hazards would have posed some problems, although we cannot quantify those effects.

Let us at least start to bracket the possible growth in numbers by setting an upper limit that is at the edge of absurdity. Assume a birth rate twice as high as in today’s “less developed countries,” a rate perhaps not even attainable by any population. Let us also suppose no deaths at all! Under those conditions, if the initial Nephite group was comprised of twenty-four persons, as I calculate generously, by the time of Jacob 2, they would have reached a population of 330, of whom perhaps seventy would be adult males and the same number adult females. Of course the unreality of that number means we must work downward. Using a more reasonable figure for the birth rate and factoring in deaths, we see that the actual number of adults would be unlikely to exceed half of what we first calculated–say, thirty-five males and thirty-five females. Even that is far too large to satisfy experts on the history of population growth.3 With such limited numbers as these, the group’s cultural preference for “many wives and concubines” would be puzzling. The fact that the plural marriage preference for the early Nephites is reported as a cultural fact seems to call for a larger population of females. If so, it could only have come about by incorporating “other” people.

****First, population growth:
Quote: “Assume a birth rate twice as high as in today’s “less developed countries,” a rate perhaps not even attainable by any population.”

The promised land was hardly that. There promised land seemed to provide plenty of everything that was needed, including space/ land, crops, flocks, adequate housing, moderate climate, etc. The Book of Mormon describes very few of these above-mentioned problems; beside, wild beasts are only mentioned in other parts of the land; and, compared to surviving on raw meat in the desert (which they did for 8 years), and then surviving on a ship (which they did for a while), to these rugged desert dwellers, the promised land would have been like heaven in this regard. Especially when considering that during their whole trip to the new land, only one death is mentioned–that of Ishmael.

Nephi says animals were plentiful (see below about animals), and they brought lots of seeds (see below also); besides, lack of adaptation to foods rarely results in death. It sounds like a safe paradise, and only war would inhibit reproduction and multiplying.

If they were in Central America, they probably didn’t have droughts or lack of water, freezing cold winters with snow, etc. It seems that there was plenty of tillable land to support the population with food.

Being primarily farmers and herders, lots of children might have been a blessing to help with work.
Fevers and sickness are mentioned later in Alma 46:40, but then goes on to say not really, because of the great medicine–but when they learned that, who knows, unless they learned it from others already there from the beginning, which would mean sicknesses weren’t much of a problem for their population growth. Of course, this is almost 550 years later, or so. It then says that “many died of old age” in Alma 46:41, which doesn’t seem to support an argument for lots of young deaths.

Also, remember–they were Mormons! This is a people who remembers that children are a blessing of the Lord, and they desire to have as many children as possible; on the other hand, the Lamanites might have figured that the more children they had, the easier it would be to accomplish what many might have seen as their “purpose in life”–to have victory over the Nephites. It seems that land was not a problem for the Nephites, as we see in the few available instances that everyone had enough land to sustain themselves (as in Alma, 3 Nephi ). Not only that, but by obeying the Lord, they were prospered in the land by Him, which means that they were definitely not in the same category as a modern “less developed country.”

My grandparents each had about 14 siblings, most all of whom grew up and had quite a few, too. Look at many Utah/ Idaho families. It is still not unheard of for Mormons to have 10-14 children now. Lots of very poor families in Mexico, Latin America, and Guatemala (hmmm…) currently have lots of children. Now imagine that they are all church members, and that they know that all needs are supplied.

Nor did Lehi and Ishmael seem to have any problems with having lots of children. Most children from large families have many children, too. By being isolated, most of their children would have thought it the norm and expected to have that many children. Ten children would not be anything extraordinary.

And let’s take it a little further: if Sariah and Ishmael’s wife had borne twins or multiple children, which are more likely to bear twins, then perhaps some of their children had twins, and on down.
What if Nephi’s married sisters were all older than the sons? If Lehi’s siblings were all two years apart; and there were two-four older daughters, then they would have been possibly eight years older than Laman, and fourteen years older than Nephi. Had they married young, as females, they could have been married when Nephi was born. It wouldn’t be impossible if the oldest had had 8 children by the time Nephi got married! These children would also have been much, much older than Jacob and Joseph.

Also, remember the possible servants and journey-joiners others.

It is extremely hard for me to come to any other conclusion than this: that to propose and use a population growth model that is based on modern “experts” is ludicrous.

So, let’s go to the higher end of the scale, and make it somewhat extreme, yet possible: were each person in the group to have 10 children who reached maturity– married and started bearing at the age of 20 (though I don’t doubt most married younger than that), and finished when they were 46–and each succeeding generation the same, then you have a whole lot of people in a very short time, and it especially seems that way if everyone is spread out farming and herding instead of living in high-rise apartment buildings downtown. After 120 years–that’s six generations of 20 years each, with no deaths (of course they died, so figure to count that in later)–the Nephites could–let’s say five couples at start, each 10 children each bearing 10 children…–that’s 10 people… then 50… then 250… then 1,250… then 6,250… then 31,250 in the sixth generation, and 156,250 in the seventh. Um, that’s a heck of a lot of people… Right, that’s not including deaths, but it’s also no including anyone from the previous generation being counted in for a total count, either. Do you know 156,000 people? (That’s 780 wards of 200 people each.) Yeah, neither do I. No need for others!

**** Likewise, “many wives and concubines” need not mean 1,000 women per man; wouldn’t a few women satisfy that definition, especially for a very strict, upright man like Jacob?
Also, one striking major problem with polygyny for a smaller group would have been not only the sin, but the small, limited number of sexually-reproductive women if all the men wanted them all. Who would the other growing-up young men marry and establish a family with and reproduce with? And with the lack of female choices, how young were the young women when they were being chosen–16? 14? 12? 10? Thus, polygamy was not just the sin of not delighting in the chastity of women, it also meant the lack of marriage for other men, and a greater negative effect of Nephite society being out of balance.

It is also probable that some men died in those wars and contentions, leaving more women and also widows, possibly with children. So, it’s easy to see that the women could outnumber the men, yet the group remain very small. Who wants to bear another man’s burden, without reaping his reward? The remaining living men could easily think, why would I want to support a woman (and her children) if I weren’t married to her? Especially if the group was limited to a few families, it would make sense that if a married men died in battle, his brother would marry his wife (law of Moses).
This could easily lead from the limited/ special case polygamy of the law of Moses, to generalized polygyny. We see a similar situation of bearing the burden of widows with Limhi’s people, another small group, though as king he commanded the men to support other widows.

With a large number, you wouldn’t think as much about having many wives and concubines as you would if you were in a smaller group–the closeness between the people and the disproportion is greater, clearer, and stays with you more.

Here’s the introduction to the polygamy part:
“Now the people which were not Lamanites were Nephites; nevertheless, they were called Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, Lamanites, Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites” (Jacob 1:13).
“But I, Jacob, shall not hereafter distinguish them by these names, but I shall call them Lamanites that seek to destroy the people of Nephi, and those who are friendly to Nephi I shall call Nephites, or the people of Nephi, according to the reigns of the kings” (Jacob 1:14).
“And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son” (Jacob 1:15).
Jacob transitions directly from naming everyone (minus “others”) to polygny. No mention of others, no mention of trade, very problematic situation to explain for believers in “others”.
Jacob 1:13-14 is probably the most perverted verse in the argument of others. “See, ‘Lamanites’ “seek to destroy the people of Nephi”, so that means EVERYONE who tries to do that! And ‘Nephite’ just means ANYONE “friendly to Nephi”! This is a classic example of taking something out of context to fit a viewpoint. Note that before this explanation, Jacob clearly distinguishes the tribes, then immediately says he will summarize them all into two groups; there is no mention any other group or people. No one else, no mention of “others”. The definition of “seek to destroy the people of Nephi” and “those who are friendly to Nephi” are not given to include “others” that Jacob DOESN’T mention, but to separate the already clearly-mentioned tribes into two peoples for clear reference; in other words, Jacob is saying that the main leader of each group of tribes, represents the entirety of the tribes that shared the same beliefs. Reading 1 Nephi and especially 2 Nephi really puts that in perspective. And in fact, this is what Lehi had prophesied to Zoram and Sam (2 Nephi 1).
Then, this is just how Jacob defined “Nephite” and “Lamanite”.
Later, the use of terms like “Gadianton robbers”, “Amlicites”, “Amalickiahites” in the Book of Mormon also shows that “Lamanite” does not include everyone who seeks to destroy the people of Nephi.

And how is it possible that any other hamlet/ hamlets of previous people(s) would so easily melt into Nephite culture, when the Nephites were the outnumbered outsiders? This would be most likely if there were a king or small group of leaders who could decide for everyone; but with members of the same race spread out in hamlets, how could that happen? Arguing that outsiders are already in the Nephite group from soon after the landing seems to be a circumlocution argument.

If the Nephites were marrying outsiders as wives and concubines, one might expect Jacob to talk about the dangers of doing so, in addition to it not being right. But Jacob only mentions polygamy and how some probably excused themselves through the Bible. He doesn’t mention anything about outside influences leading to this situation of polygamy, but he relates this happening to David and Solomon in the Bible, which to me seems to mean that the Nephites were excusing themselves because of it (, perhaps while the Lamanites, not having the Bible, wouldn’t, or didn’t. Jacob says that the Lamanites remember the commandment given to Lehi, but the Nephites don’t.) He does not use the abundant examples in the Old Testament about marrying outside religioners. In fact, he doesn’t mention anything about marrying non-believing wives or its dangers. Jacob does not talk about Solomon and how his non-believing wives led him astray, nor does Jacob say anything about the tribes marrying other people with other beliefs and how that affected the covenant, nor does he talk about how marrying outside the covenant affects the children. So it is much safer to assume that the extra wives, and concubines, were already in the group, and “believers”.
The only other scenario I can see is that (1) this part was excluded from the records or (2) the outsiders were also the covenant people of the Lord. In Jacob 3:10, Jacob says “Wherefore, ye shall remember your children, how that ye have grieved their hearts because of the example that ye have set before them; and also, remember that ye may, because of your filthiness, bring your children unto destruction, and their sins be heaped upon your heads at the last day.” Jacob mentions that the fathers’ examples and filthiness affect the children, but he says nothing about outside mothers’ false beliefs, customs, etc.

Which brings up another point. When the Lord curses the Lamanites, he gives the reason for it:
“And this was done that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that thereby the Lord God might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction” (Alma 3:8).
Notice that this curse is only on those in Lehi’s and Ishmael’s families:
“And their brethren sought to destroy them, therefore they were cursed; and the Lord God set a mark upon them, yea, upon Laman and Lemuel, and also the sons of Ishmael, and Ishmaelitish women” (Alma 3:7).
It seems that the Lord doesn’t worry about them mixing with “others”; why? Why didn’t the Lord o worry about them mixing with “others”–such as in Jacob 2?

Something I do find interesting is that Jacob writes: “Now Nephi began to be old, and he saw that he must soon die; wherefore, he anointed A MAN to be a king and a ruler over his people now, according to the reigns of the kings” (Jacob 1:9). This seems strange. It wasn’t Jacob, the next in line; nor seemingly Nephi’s oldest son. Written this way, I infer a man who would be a stranger to us, and not of their family, possibly even a person somewhat remote to their group. Yet then, a few verses later Jacob writes this:
“Now the people which were not Lamanites were Nephites; nevertheless, they were called Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, Lamanites, Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites.”
“But I, Jacob, shall not hereafter distinguish them by these names, but I shall call them Lamanites that seek to destroy the people of Nephi, and those who are friendly to Nephi I shall call Nephites, or the people of Nephi, according to the reigns of the kings” (Jacob 1:13-14).

-=-=-=
Brant Gardner:
An analogous case that John L. Sorenson fails to mention is the problem of wealth among the early Nephites. Jacob informs us:
And now behold, my brethren, this is the word which I declare unto you, that many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to your seed, doth abound most plentifully. And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they. (Jacob 2:12-13)
These verses give the appearance of a direct relationship between gold and silver and the wealth that they have obtained. This makes sense to a culture raised on the Western notions of intrinsic value in the metals, but in the context of an early Nephite culture both of these verses are nonsense unless others are in the land.

Brant Gardner:
Our first problem with Jacob’s sermon is that he is presenting what would be an impossible situation if we assume the city of Nephi is isolated in the land. He suggests that they have become wealthy because of the gold and silver that they have found, elements that he calls abundant. This should be impossible. First of all, in a Mesoamerican economy, gold and silver had no intrinsic value. They continued to lack intrinsic value for Mesoamerican populations up to the time of the Conquest when the Spaniards rather forcibly imposed their own values for gold and silver. Secondly, it is hard to get rich from gold and silver ore.

****First, let’s see the whole picture as Brant Gardner sees it: “this surely takes place in Mesoamerica… and, the text in the Book of Mormon doesn’t match what I think we think we know about Mesoamerica at that time period… so, I have to change the Book of Mormon to match what I think we know about Mesoamerica!” That is incorrect.

Why all the mention of “brethren” by Jacob if there are so many others among them? Is this being used only in the church manner?

Why is this “nonsense”? Didn’t the “early Nephite culture” come from, relate to, and remember the old world? Didn’t the wealth that Lehi had at Jerusalem consist of “his gold, and his silver, and his precious things” (1 Nephi 2:4, 3:22)? Would it be so hard to believe that Nephites and Lamanites (see Alma 17:13-14), familiar with gold, silver, and precious things (including “precious ores”), would use it as a measure of wealth? Or, that a monetary system could grow from it? In fact, doesn’t the Book of Mormon say that “Now these are the names of the different pieces of their gold, and of their silver, according to their value. And the names are given by the Nephites, for they did not reckon after the manner of the Jews who were at Jerusalem; neither did they measure after the manner of the Jews; but they altered their reckoning and their measure, according to the minds and the circumstances of the people, in every generation, until the reign of the judges, they having been established by king Mosiah” (Alma 11:4)? The Nephites “altered” the system–“in every generation, until the reign of the judges”–sounds like every generation would include from the beginning. Didn’t Nephi teach his people to work metals? Why wouldn’t that have had any implications? So in fact, the fact that they used gold and silver makes very clear evidence that they were isolated–*especially* if they were in Mesoamerica. If there were others already there that had joined with them from the beginning, don’t you think that there would have already been a system of barter or such among them? And if others had joined them at the beginning as John L. Sorenson and Brant Gardner assume, wouldn’t this have been a speech for Nephi’s time, not now?

What about King Noah? If Brant Gardner’s reasoning were all true, it seems that one must assume that this group of Nephites, which is in Lamanite bondage, is not really cut off from other groups–because king Noah taxed his subjects’ precious metals and food for the support of himself and the other leaders (see Mosiah 11:3-4). If they were not really cut off, how come “outsiders” play no part in any of the lonely Nephite situations? How do all these “outsiders” mingle so freely and wander among, and trade with, both the Lamanites and the Nephites, especially when the Lamanites like to take these things by force? Or perhaps he traded with the Lamanites? Oh, I forgot, he also used the metals for his temple! Why would he do that if they didn’t have any value? He could have just as well polished tapir dung and strung it up! Perhaps it is to provide consistency of not mentioned “others”–even in those records? Ummm… I wouldn’t say so.

Later, we see that both the Lamanites and the Nephites have lots of gold, silver, etc., and it seems that it is because of the trading ONE WITH ANOTHER, not with “others”:
“And it came to pass that the Lamanites did also go whithersoever they would, whether it were among the Lamanites or among the Nephites; and thus they did have free intercourse ONE WITH ANOTHER, to buy and to sell, and to get gain, according to their desire.”
“And it came to pass that they became exceedingly rich, both the Lamanites and the Nephites; and they did have an exceeding plenty of gold, and of silver, and of all manner of precious metals, both in the land south and in the land north” (Helaman 6:8-9)

And once more, there is plenty of precious metals in all the land.

Why is it hard to get rich from gold and silver ore? As long as there are commodities, that’s fine.

-=-=-=
Brant Gardner:
Third, it is difficult to get rich on anything that anyone can find in abundance. Verse 12 discloses that gold and silver (and “all manner of precious ores”) are plentiful in the land. The very fact that they are plentiful is a direct dismissal of their economic value.
Value is a relative term, and nothing that is plentiful-no matter what it is-makes one wealthy if one’s neighbor has an equal amount of it.

****”Plentiful” does not dismiss their economic value–it just possibly changes the system a little. For example, land and crops are plentiful for all in an agrarian society, and land and flocks for all in a shepherding society; yet, there are certainly differences in wealth.
The last sentence is key here, and it’s interesting that Brant Gardner assumes that every Nephite has “an equal amount of [gold, silver, and precious things]”. Just because they are plentiful does not lead that everyone will attain as much as they want without any effort or expenditure of resources, and that all will obtain alike. What does Jacob say about this assumption? Here it is: Jacob says that the reason some are richer than others is because “the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have OBTAINED MORE ABUNDANTLY THAN THAT OF YOUR BRETHREN…” Well, there it is–it is very abundant; maybe everyone CAN get it–but some get it more than others, and maybe only due to “the hand of providence”–“luck”, or something where there is not a strong correlation between effort and reward. One might strike a vein, while another might pan a few ounces a week, etc.
Notice that Jacob gives no relationship between “obtaining precious metals = trade = greater wealth”; only “obtaining precious metals = greater wealth”. Trade is mysteriously left out (even more than “others” is mysteriously left out of the Book of Mormon…).

Also, if gold and silver are plentiful all over the land, and plentiful to everyone in the land–not just Nephites and Lamanites–why would it be of value to the Nephites and Lamanites, only in the case of trade? In other words, if the people they were trading with already had gold, silver, and precious ores–plentiful in the land–what worth would they have, according to this, unless they were trading with “others” that were way out of the land? Remember, there was “an exceeding plenty of gold, and of silver, and of all manner of precious metals, both in the land south and in the land north” (Helaman 6:9) Interestingly enough, in the verse previous to that, Helaman 6:8, we read that “And it came to pass that the Lamanites did also go whithersoever they would, whether it were among the Lamanites or among the Nephites; and thus they did have free intercourse one with another, to buy and to sell, and to get gain, according to their desire”. Lamanites and Nephites, “one with another”–not with any outside group(s). And if precious metals were so plentiful, and led to great trade, why didn’t Nephites and Lamanites have constant wars defending it from “outsiders”? True, they could also have been left out of the text.

If two people have a billion dollars and can live a comfortable life, they aren’t rich? If half a group has a billion dollars each, and the other half has a million each, is there a difference?

Even manna sent from heaven, which required no work to produce nor diligence to grow, was not eaten in the same amounts by all–if you didn’t gather, you didn’t eat! I’m sure precious ores are a little more complicated than that.

-=-=-=
Brant Gardner:
In the case of gold and silver, we assume that the metals are valuable because they can purchase things. If we think of an early Nephite population isolated from all other populations, what could gold or silver “buy”? In a barter world, where the necessities of food and shelter are paramount, piling up gold and silver rocks in the back of one’s home doesn’t lead to wealth but to time taken from more productive and important chores. You cannot trade gold for food if everyone has gold. It has no exchange value.

****I guess this is the explanation for why American farmers are so poor? ;)

Everywhere, food and shelter are paramount. But if you already have them, then what?

This is saying that even a righteous people can easily distinguish between needs and wants–is this something one sees with, let’s say, modern Utah LDS? Anything can buy anything, depending on people’s wants and values.

Everyone has money, but I can still buy stuff with it–in other words, it still has “exchange value”. Just that some have more than others.

“It has no exchange value.” Hearing this from an American is very interesting, because the paper money the USA uses now has no intrinsic value other than the paper, nor even representative value–and hasn’t for quite a while. Though there’s plenty of it created every day from thin air, the economy has kept on for over half a century.
Though you can’t burn precious metals to keep warm…

And like we don’t buy expensive “wants” for ourselves, even when we don’t have our needs.

A barter system is used/ can be used only for “necessities”? Hardly! I’ll trade you my painting for your gold.

All throughout the Book of Mormon, precious metals have value and/ or are used as a system. Even when it seems to be only the Nephites (and Lamanites) versus the Gadianton robbers (Lamanites and Nephites), the Nephites still keep their gold, silver, and precious things:
“And it came to pass that they had not eaten up all their provisions; therefore they did take with them all that they had not devoured, of all their grain of every kind, and their GOLD, AND THEIR SILVER, AND ALL THEIR PRECIOUS THINGS, and they did return to their own lands and their possessions, both on the north and on the south, both on the land northward and on the land southward” (3 Nephi 6:2).

-=-=-=
Brant Gardner:
Jacob 2:13 indicates even more clearly that others must have been present and that the Nephites had active commerce with them. A result of the “wealth” of the Nephites is that they begin to wear costly apparel. Again our modern sensibilities trick us into an assumption that this would be logical. However, if no others are present and the Nephites are isolated as a small group, how does one obtain costly apparel? In a society without stores, in which everyone must make his or her own clothing from the locally available fibers and dyes, where would “costly apparel” come from? If all members of the society have access to the same materials and dyes, they simply copy the style-they do not have anything that anyone else does not have, and they certainly do not “purchase” it to render it costly. They make it. These two verses describing the economic conditions of this early Nephite society make sense only if the Nephites are a larger population and are trading goods with other communities.

Brant Gardner:
Finally, we have the manifestation of this wealth in “costly apparel.”9 This is another situation that should not exist. In an isolated community with no department stores, clothing is made by the community. The same materials are available to all; the same dyes are available to all. Even stylistic changes tend to be widely copied. It is quite common for villages to have an almost uniform dress rather than a segregation created by dress. Under the assumptions that are commonly brought to the Book of Mormon text, that of a group of people alone in the land, it should be virtually impossible to have “costly apparel.”

****I wonder if this section is the most opinionated in the entire paper… At the least it is truly full of assumptions due to a Mesoamerica culture.
“Clothing is made by the community”–where is that in the text?
“The same materials are available to all”–unless I have more gold or commodities, and then some might not be.
“The same dyes are available to all”–unless I have more gold or commodities, and then some might not be.
Perhaps Brant Gardner has never heard of “monopoly”? Don’t you think the most-skilled artisan could be hired? (Hey, is that what happened in “The Testaments”?!)

Surely the rich could have integrated gold and silver into their clothing. I shag my dress with gold ornaments, I put gold plating on my chest, etc. How does this relate to “trading goods with other communities”?

The author assumes that any two people in the same community can do the same thing; but in separate communities, no two people can do the same thing, or copy. Don’t most Americans have access to the same clothes? Let’s face it–most all of us have the same materials available. But, we still don’t wear the same clothes. Why? Price is probably the biggest reason. Then there’s appeal. Some wear costly apparel nowadays that is high-priced brand names, for example–where the price is high, but for an “unworthy” reason, many would say. Is that an America-only, present-day only thing?

Also, it’s a matter of allocation of resources–including time, interpretation of value, and values.
This whole argument of “others” based on economics like this is useless.

-=-=-=-
Brant Gardner:
There is a condition, however, that explains all of Jacob’s economic problems. That condition is trade. As will be noted, not just any trade, but trade in Mesoamerica at this particular point in time. As noted for the coastal region of Guatemala, there were others in the land when the Lehites arrived, and archaeology tells us that there are other populations and cities in the general land when the Nephites arrive at the location of their city, presumed to have been in the Guatemalan highlands. If we assume that the gold and silver were being worked, using metalworking skills Nephi could have taught them, then these worked goods would have exchange value with other cities, and the resulting importation of goods creates a situation where those engaged in the trade accumulate more unique prestige goods than those who do not trade outside of their own city. Thus trade provides precisely the conditions Jacob is combating.
The process of trade would have brought not only esoteric goods, but also a mechanism for the very social differentiation that Jacob excoriates. This is the cultural problem behind the “costly apparel” that will become one of the hallmark themes of the competing religious ideas throughout the rest of the Book of Mormon. In Mesoamerica, the time period of the early Nephites saw developing social stratification, and an increasing pressure towards kingship in the cities of the Maya lands. This social differentiation was supported by the accumulation of esoteric goods, often displayed on the clothing of the elite. As Schele and Mathews put it, “People throughout Mesoamerica wore these currencies as jewelry and clothing to display the wealth and enterprise of their families.”10 Bringing in clothing and adornments from other locations is a way to create a differentiation in dress. When the clothing itself becomes the display mode for elite consumption goods, then the costly apparel in and of itself becomes the marker of the increasing economic and social distance between developing classes. It is important to remember that Jacob’s issue is never wealth, but rather the social stratification that was based on wealth. The costly apparel was a unique Mesoamerican mode of creating and displaying that social separation. The pressures for creating social stratification that we see beginning in the city of Nephi mirror the greater trend in the entire Mesoamerican cultural area at just this point in time.
The presence of trade relations with other Mesoamerican communities therefore provides a context in which we may understand Jacob’s sermon denouncing social stratification through wealth, particularly wealth manifest through costly apparel.

****Hold on, I’m quite confused–I thought we just read, from Brant Gardner, that: “First of all, in a Mesoamerican economy, gold and silver had no intrinsic value. They continued to lack intrinsic value for Mesoamerican populations up to the time of the Conquest when the Spaniards rather forcibly imposed their own values for gold and silver.” So, do they have value in Mesoamerica or not? Which one is it: “[no value in Mesoamerica]”, or “[high value right next door, and all over Mesoamerica]”? If precious ores are all over the land, how come gold and silver are not in the mountains (maybe a few miles away?), but down in the valleys and by the seashore? Is this where they are usually found?
If you want to go the trade route, a very outside “other”, such as by shipping or long journey trade, seems much more plausible.

All throughout the Book of Mormon, precious metals are used as a system. Here’s the strongest point for trade: even when it seems to be only the Nephites (and Lamanites) versus the Gadianton robbers, the Nephites still keep their gold, silver, and precious things: “And it came to pass that they had not eaten up all their provisions; therefore they did take with them all that they had not devoured, of all their grain of every kind, and their GOLD, AND THEIR SILVER, AND ALL THEIR PRECIOUS THINGS, and they did return to their own lands and their possessions, both on the north and on the south, both on the land northward and on the land southward” (3 Nephi 6:2).
Why would the Gadianton robbers want that stuff, if they couldn’t eat it? If the robbers were all brothers and shared together, what good would it be to have? Unless, they could trade it with other groups of peoples. But, who would be willing to trade with Gadianton robbers? Maybe someone was…
Were the Lamanites involved in this war? It doesn’t say that they were. But, wouldn’t the Gadianton robbers have attacked them, the easy prey, first, and taken their things? When food was scarce, wouldn’t the Gadianton robbers have killed the Lamanites to avoid fighting with them over eating wild animals? The only other reason I can think of is that the Nephites believed that they would triumph and society would continue pretty much as they knew it.

On the other hand:
How could any group possibly survive outside of the Nephites and Gadianton Robbers, especially at the time in the book of 3 Nephi, especially when the Gadianton Robbers inhabited and infested the mountains (which is usually the last place of refuge)?

-=-=-=-
Brant Gardner:
. . . we again must note that Jacob’s denunciation of polygyny is problematic for multiple reasons, none of which have to do with the obvious difference between Jacob’s denunciation and historical LDS polygamy.
First, Jacob consistently equates having more than one wife with whoredoms and unchastity. This is as impossible as valuable gold that is easily found. Note that Jacob clearly speaks of wives, not of harlots. All societies that accept multiple wives have legal regulations that legitimize the union. A plural wife is a wife, and relations with a wife do not fall under the rubric of whoredoms in any society. Thus, Jacob is somehow in the position of having a type of union that someone recognizes as a wife, but which he (and the Lord) do not.

****I agree that riches, multiple wives, and trade with others COULD be related–it’s a possibility, but definitely not a necessity–just like BMW’s, stock market, and California blondes could be related.

It’s not hard to imagine that some men, reading about David and Solomon, married more than one woman and called them both wives, and were committed to them and supporting them. It doesn’t have to mean that society accepted it or not, or whether it was legal or not–and Jacob never says anything about that.
It’s not the easiest to prove that a woman is married to a man, or even that they are committing whoredoms. To these men, and to a few others, the woman is a wife. To their first wife, and to society in general, the woman might or might not be. Look at Taiwan. Some men, especially the older wealthy ones, have illegal second (or more) wives, maybe even concubines. It is usually not a huge secret, though they usually don’t go around telling everyone (especially their first wife!). They can’t excuse it on scripture, either, unlike the Nephites. And no, they didn’t learn it from or because of trade–it’s their own history, just like with the Nephites.

David and Solomon had wives and concubines, but never does it mention that they slept with harlots. Do you see the reasoning, the excusing behind what the Nephites were doing, and why Jacob used only David and Solomon as examples–out of the many stories they must have had about harlotry, fornication, adultery? “The scriptures are clear: no whoredoms. But… it was ok for David and Solomon to have many wives and concubines. Let’s do the same! We aren’t breaking the commandments of fornication, adultery, or coveting in this way.” (Kind of like the BYU Las Vegas shotgun weddings type of thing…)

Once more, Brant Gardner assumes many things that aren’t supported by the text, but only by a forced interpretation of missing text made to fit purported Mesoamerica history.

-=-=-=-
Brant Gardner:
. . .Jacob also describes the fate of the wives and children in ways that make no sense. He speaks of the daughters of Jerusalem being led away captive11 and their children being brought into destruction.12 It is hard to see how the very fact of multiple wives can be equated to captivity, and cause the destruction of their children. Many factors in a marriage might be considered to yield such an end, but not the very fact of a marriage.
Once again, the cultural context of Mesoamerica gives us a way of seeing this text and removing those difficulties. The same context of trade provides the answer. The development of social segregation in Mesoamerica has been the subject of multiple theories and studies, but one study uses the archaeological information to support the hypothesis that the development of “institutionalized social inequality and political privilege”13 was due to the internal social pressures of personal advancement. In terms of this theory, such seekers of advantage are termed “aggrandizers.”
“Aggrandizers simply strive to become more influential. It is the successful deployment of resources and labor that ultimately ensure the social and political longevity of an aggrandizer.”14 Building renown commences in the nuclear unit of production. An aggrandizer first accumulates deployable resources by the sweat of his brow, and through the efforts of his wife (wives) and children. The more wives and children the better.”15
The linkage between economics and multiple wives is absolutely parallel between Mesoamerica and the situation we see in the city of Nephi. The communities with which trade would have been established would certainly have had men with multiple wives among the most influential, and those would also be the ones with the most excess production to trade. Along with the trade goods, the mechanisms of achieving the excess production for trade would be carried back to the Nephites. The Nephite men who were taking wives were precisely the same as those who were seeking to exalt themselves over their neighbors, using the trade-acquired “costly apparel.” These particular Nephites fit the description of the aggrandizers, and it would not be surprising that they would attempt to adopt the accumulation methods of those they saw as successful role models for trade. Their adoption of plural wives would be modeled after foreign law, not Nephite law, and therefore subject to Jacob’s denunciation as a non-sanctioned union, even though it could be seen as a legitimate wife in the greater cultural context of the region.

****Nowhere do I see in the Book of Mormon text this “linkage between economics and multiple wives” that “is absolutely parallel between Mesoamerica and the situation we see in the city of Nephi”. It might be absolutely parallel in Mesoamerica, but the Book of Mormon fails to mention any relationship.

Nor do I see in the Book of Mormon where it says that “the Nephite men who were taking wives were precisely the same as those who were seeking to exalt themselves over their neighbors, using the trade-acquired ‘costly apparel'”. In fact, of all the things one might expect to hear relating these two sermons and interwoven among them, would be Jacob saying so. He doesn’t. He shows no relationship, nor hints to one, at all.

However, I do see support that the Nephites might have had lots of children, and in a desire to get even more, had more wives–thus, big numbers for population that don’t require “others”.

-=-=-=
Brant Gardner:
The last piece of information that finishes elucidating the problematic aspects of Jacob’s denunciation of polygyny is the probable exchange of wives with another community. The practice of the social exchange of wives to establish close bonds is well understood in human history. We may easily imagine that a daughter who was brought out of Jerusalem, as noted in Jacob 2:32-33, who was sent to another village might consider her marriage as a form of captivity because of the separation from her known community and background. The children are under threat of destruction because of the foreign ideas being brought into the community. Certainly children born of Nephite women in other communities would have little opportunity to grow up with the Nephite god, and therefore be subject to spiritual destruction. If the Book of Mormon events of the early city of Nephi took place in highland Guatemala as John L. Sorenson’s correlation suggests, this scenario is more probable than any other, and fits the text of the Book of Mormon better than any other explanation.

****Captivity and destruction could also result from the promise made to Lehi: obeying the commandments would bring prosperity, but disobeying them would bring destruction. This is what we read in Jacob 3:5: “. . .the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father–that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.” It seems that Lehi received a commandment that they were to have only one wife; the will of God had been precisely given, and the matter was clear to all; yet, the Nephites broke this commandment–wouldn’t captivity and destruction be the result, according to the promise of the Lord?

Wouldn’t a daughter maybe also feel like a captive if she were being bought as a third wife to an older man instead of the young man of her choice? Or if she were leaving her village to go to another village (what you think after all this time there is still just one little village?)?

If Brant Gardner’s assumptions are correct, where is the denunciation of the Nephites selling/ giving their daughters away, or the reference to trading wives? Why doesn’t Jacob talk about this? Why does Jacob just talk against men having more than one wife, and concubines?

What Brant Gardner fails to mention, is that David and Solomon both had wives that were from “conquered” or foreign peoples, and that displacing a believing wife with a non-believing wife, who then teaches the Nephite children to not believe, also fits this description.

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2009, September 18

“Are There ‘Others’ in the Book of Mormon?: A Critique and Partial Rebuttal of the article “When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land… Did They Find Others There?” by John L. Sorenson and other similar “‘Others’ Were in the Book of Mormon Lands” articles by Brant Gardner; Matthew Roper; Michael Ash; etc.” Part 1 by grego

“Are There ‘Others’ in the Book of Mormon?: A Critique and Partial Rebuttal of the article “When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land… Did They Find Others There?” by John L. Sorenson and other similar “‘Others’ Were in the Book of Mormon Lands” articles by Brant Gardner; Matthew Roper; Michael Ash; etc.” Part 1

grego
(c) 2004-2009

Part 1

Over the past few years, a line of thinking and persuasions for it have become prevalent in LDS writings–that there were “others” in the Book of Mormon lands, and even though the Book of Mormon might not come out directly and clearly say so, there are lots of places that prove it, backed up with other areas that provide evidence.

This article is a response to the article “When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There?” by John L. Sorenson, of FARMS, in which the claim is made that the Book of Mormon is full of proof that there were others there before, during, and immediately after the Lehites, and that there was plentiful interaction between them and the Lehites. I aim to show that the Book of Mormon evidence does not prove outside groups, and that most all of the instances that are used that try to show that it does, are actually based on wrested interpretation and speculation–kind of like Cinderella’s sisters trying to scrunch their large feet into that small shoe.

Since others since have picked up many lines of his reasoning (Brant Gardner, Matthew Roper, Michael R. Ash, James E. Smith, Richard D. Grant), and even repeat the same in many articles, I also respond to some of these, especially where they follow the same line of reasoning, but add on to or differ somewhat from John L. Sorenson’s.

Here is a list of the articles:
When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There? John L. Sorenson
(FARMS) When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There? – FARMS JBMS

“Multiply Exceedingly: Book of Mormon Population Sizes.” John C. Kunich, Pp. 231-67. Nephi’s Descendants? Historical Demography and the Book of Mormon Reviewed by James E. Smith

“A Social History of the Early Nephites” by Brant Gardner (maybe one or two others by him, too)

“Nephi’s Neighbors: Book of Mormon Peoples and Pre-Columbian Populations”
Review of Nephi’s Neighbors: Book of Mormon Peoples and Pre-Columbian Populations
Reviewed By: Matthew Roper
Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2003. Pp. 91—128

“Were the Lehites Alone in the Americas?”
Written by Michael R. Ash for the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR), Copyright ©2004. http://www.fairlds.org

Proving whether there were others there or not, whether in the Book of Mormon or otherwise, is not my purpose, though I sometimes note other thoughts regarding this issue (from the Book of Mormon)–in either direction (there were or there weren’t).

My purpose is to provoke much greater and intense thought and assessment about the subject. If there are evidences and proofs of “others” in the Book of Mormon, let there be; if there are not, let’s not try to untextually and illogically force them!!

Author’s Note:
About my writing: writing articles on the Book of Mormon, etc. is a hobby of mine, not my profession (unlike many of the authors’ articles to which I am responding). I have not responded to every argument in every article–not enough time, not enough thought put into it, not enough expertise, not enough…
Also, I am not paid to write in any certain style. Therefore, a few explanations might be helpful. A line of alternating dash/double dash (-=-=-=) separate each section of the original article(s) and my response; three dashes (—) and with ****, denote my response to the original article. I changed the way I quote the authors, so they should all be given by name, but there might be an attribution mistake or two. Sometimes CAPS are used to show stress, clarity, or to single out an important part of a larger section. But aren’t CAPS yelling, and very rude? Only if you want it to be. So why not italics, or bold, instead? Italics are an absolute pain to work with in some computer writing programs, and it costs too much to print bold type. Besides, my email contains caps, but not italics or bold. I started using caps here a long time ago for this, and have continued. Unless noted, all CAPS are mine.
There might be mistakes–all sorts of mistakes, of different types. The length of the articles, the redundancy sometimes within them, the redundancy between them, the way I have tried to break them up, my redundancy in answering, interrupted work over periods of time, etc., didn’t help. If you see something, please let me know. This ain’t set in stone. ;)

-=-=-=—

When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There? John L. Sorenson
(FARMS)
When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There? – FARMS JBMS
Abstract: A number of statements in the Book of Mormon text are examined, which indicate the presence in Lehi’s “promised land” of peoples other than those descended from Lehi’s party. Reasons are considered why the topic is not addressed more explicitly in the record. It is concluded that there is clear evidence for the presence of “others.” Several puzzles about the history of the Nephites and Lamanites are linked to the question of whether they found others already living in their promised land. It seems important enough to call for serious examination of the text of the Book of Mormon for all possible evidence. Let us first look at what the Nephite writers say about their own group. Then we will see what we can learn about other groups described or mentioned in the record. In each case we will not only look for direct data on population size, ethnicity, language, and culture but also will draw plausible inferences about those matters.

Arguments from LEHI to NEPHI

John L. Sorenson:
Population Growth among the Nephites
Two questions about Nephite population size are of major concern. First, how fast did the Nephite group grow as a result of the natural fertility and mortality of the original party? We need to examine whether the numbers attributed to them at various points in their history can be accounted for in terms of natural increase by the Nephite portion of Lehi’s group. If the numbers cannot be explained by that means, then recourse to “others” is required to account for the apparent excess.
-=-=-=-
****Whoa, pardner! Already from the start we have a big problem… Let’s slow down a second, such a fast start. John L. Sorenson assumes a huge thing that I can’t: the number and membership of the original party. Who was in the original party? We don’t really know, do we? Is it possible that some might not be mentioned, such as possibly Lehi’s servants? I imagine that he had many–he was a man with a large family, and great wealth–enough that Laban, who had many servants and a high position, became so envious that he would kill for it. Though not necessary, it wouldn’t not make sense that the servants went with him on the journey–otherwise, the reason Zoram went wouldn’t make good sense. (I imagine Lehi could have sent his servants away, or had a wicked family member take over his matters and kept the servants working–saying he and his family were going somewhere to do something, and would be back after a lengthy period oftime, etc.) The record doesn’t say so, but it would seem such an understood and small matter–unlike joining other groups of people, which would warrant much more mention in the Book of Mormon. For example, Lehi’s daughters are mentioned only one time. Did they go? How many were there? Who did they marry? We don’t know how many daughters he had, nor how many sons of Ishmael, nor his daughters, nor how many servants Ishmael might have had that went with them also, nor how many children the married ones might have already had. It is probably safe to assume that nobody among the two households was left behind in Jerusalem, as Mormon says in 3 Nephi 5:20 that “. . .he [God] brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem, (and no one knew it save it were HIMSELF AND THOSE WHOM HE BROUGHT OUT OF THAT LAND)” (3 Nephi 5:20).

Matthew Roper:
After telling us that “Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael were angry with me because of the admonitions of the Lord” (2 Nephi 4:13) and were planning to kill him (2 Nephi 5:3), Nephi then relates:
And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me. Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also Zoram and his family, and Sam, mine elder brother and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, my younger brethren, and also my sisters, and all those who would go with me. And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words. (2 Nephi 5:5-6)
At the time the Nephites and the Lamanites separated, then, Nephi was accompanied by his own family, Zoram and Sam and their respective families, his younger brothers Jacob and Joseph, and his sisters, in addition to “all those who would go with me.” Who were these others who “believed in the warnings and the revelations of God”? The most likely answer seems to be other people living in the land, not of Lehi’s family.

Brant Gardner:
The best hypothesis, then, to explain Nephi’s mention of “all those who would go” is that he referred to those of the hamlet or hamlets who had joined with the Lehites and who, in recognition of the greater social and technological sophistication of the newcomers, had permitted them to occupy roles of leadership over their hamlet in exchange for the new knowledge or goods they brought with them (in addition to the gathering power of religious conversion; see 2 Nephi 5:6).
Lehi’s company had every reason to accept aid from, and a merger with, local populations. Lehi’s group planted seeds from the Old World, but a rapid acquisition of information about survival skills particular to the New World would have been extremely important. They would have needed to know about the local food sources that were successful, the local sources of materials for clothing, the locations and types of clay for pottery, and any number of location-specific cultural items.

Brant Gardner:
“Does the text lend any credence to the idea that “others” had come into the Lehite colony this early? Nothing points definitively to that conclusion, but on at least one occasion (in 2 Nephi 5:6) the most plausible explanation rests squarely on the presence of “others.” Nephi describes the flight of his family and of those who would follow him from the machinations of Laman and Lemuel:
And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me. Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also Zoram and his family, and Sam, mine elder brother and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, my younger brethren, and also my sisters, and all those who would go with me. And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words. And we did take our tents and whatsoever things were possible for us, and did journey in the wilderness for the space of many days. (2 Nephi 5:5-7)
The identity of “all those who would go” with Nephi rests on those who are specifically named and the probable division of Lehi’s clan. Not specified among Nephi’s followers are the children of Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael, thereby leading us to assume that they remained behind. A comparison of Lehi’s final counsel to the sons and daughters of Laman and Lemuel (see 2 Nephi 4:3-9) with his words to the seed of Sam (see v. 11) makes the loyalties of the children of Laman and Lemuel to their fathers appear obvious. Previous alliances of the sons of Ishmael to Laman and Lemuel (see 1 Nephi 16:37; 2 Nephi 1:28), as well as their behavior immediately following Lehi’s death (see 2 Nephi 4:13), suggest that they were not inclined to follow Nephi. It is rather unlikely that any of the wives chose to split into a clan separate from their husbands, and indeed the Book of Mormon indicates the early preferences of the wives of Laman and Lemuel (see 1 Nephi 7:6; 18:9) and Nephi (see v. 19), although their individual alliances at this time of division are not specifically mentioned. When we account for the named or mentioned persons and those likely to remain behind, very little room remains for “others” from the original Lehites. In fact, using individuals mentioned in the text and their logical progeny, we can account for everyone. Regardless of how the group split up, however, if “all those who would go” were only one or two people we would expect that Nephi might make mention of them, at least by their head of household, as he does for the families of Zoram, Sam, Jacob, and Joseph.

****Well, this surely isn’t the necessary case. We cannot expect Nephi, Mormon, or any of the other writers to act like this. We don’t see where they act as we would expect them to act, or write as we would expect them to write. To say this, is hoping for nothing substantial. And, not everyone is mentioned. For example, what is said about Sariah, or Ishmael’s wife? There is no mention of them by name as to their death or their choosing to go or remain. If they were so important, and Sariah had even been mentioned many times previously, why is she not mentioned by name at this point? So, we conclude it isn’t the case. Once more, without actually knowing the original party members (and ones that might have been added over the course of travels!), it’s impossible to draw these types of conclusions.
And what, then, did the Nephites give the hamlets, in exchange for all that the hamlets gave them, such as corn, costly apparel, the location of pottery clay and metals, local food sources, etc.? Or, were these free to the Nephites? Or, did they unfairly steal this knowledge, or such? Did they buy the leadership with religion? Unlikely, right? But why would the hamlets tell them where the money was? Isn’t that like the banker teaching someone how to rob a bank? And besides, if the other people that were already there had all that precious ore that was so plentiful, what good would it do the Nephites to go after it, too, unless it profited them?

-=-=-=
Brant Gardner:
Indeed, Nephi’s descriptions of “his people” begin very early to have the appearance of referring to more than the named individuals, if only in the characterizations of the activities mentioned, activities that, from John L. Sorenson’s internal perspective, would indicate a larger population.

Michael R. Ash:
Who were these others who, in addition to those already mentioned, followed Nephi? It is at this point that we get the terms “people of Nephi” and “the people who were now called Lamanites” (2 Nephi 5:9, 14). It’s possible that at this point such terms took on a cultural perspective and referred to all peoples who aligned themselves with Nephi or his contentious brother.

Matthew Roper:
Significantly, at this point in the text Nephi introduces the term people of Nephi for the first time in reference to his followers (2 Nephi 5:9), a term that may be suggestive of a larger society including more than his immediate family.

****Quote: “Indeed, Nephi’s descriptions of ‘his people’ begin very early to have the appearance of referring to more than the named individuals.”
And how does one infer that? What of his description lends to that interpretation? I am unaware of any.
What is being proposed here, is that a very small group of foreigners completely overtook the political and cultural systems from a huge group of related people, all in the space of just a very few years. Possible? Yes–but highly unlikely, in my opinion. Can anyone provide examples from history where this has happened, and especially had similar outcomes?

In 2 Nephi 5:6, it says: “Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also Zoram and his family, and Sam, mine elder brother and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, my younger brethren, and also my sisters, AND ALL THOSE WHO WOULD GO WITH ME. And ALL THOSE WHO WOULD GO WITH ME WERE THOSE WHO BELIEVED IN THE WARNINGS AND THE REVELATIONS OF GOD; wherefore, they did HEARKEN UNTO MY WORDS.” This seems to be people who were not of Nephi’s immediate family group. Did Ishmael have any other daughters? Did any of Laman et. al.’s grandchildren follow? If Nephi’s sisters were all married to Ishmael’s sons, which ones left, and how many? What about the children? Servants may have later intermarried with both Nephites and Lamanites, especially after the split between the two groups. Lehi’s servants, and especially anyone serving Laman and Lemuel, might have also valued this opportunity to escape from men like Laman and Lemuel, making up part of the others who saw Nephi as the true inheritor of Lehi, and/ or respected, believed Nephi, and left with him. Did the Lehites meet up with anyone in the desert, or along their travels, who joined their group?

When it talks about other groups very early in the Book of Mormon, we have the problem of language. How would a stranger “other” understand and believe the “warnings and the revelations of God”, and be able to “HEARKEN unto [Nephi’s] WORDS”? (The split between the Nephites and Lamanites came very early.) Unless, of course, there were people in the land who already spoke the same language. Which meant that they probably had the same, or at least similar religion, and maybe culture, too. But how probable is this?

Yes, it seems likely that the “others” included some not of Nephi’s immediate family.
Once again, refer to my first remark for more info.

-=-=-=
Richard D. Grant:
Have you noticed in your study of the Book of Mormon, the Lamanites and Nephites appear to be totally different cultures. While the Nephites continue many of the Hebrew traditions and practices, the descriptions of the Lamanites give no hint of Hebrew background. In a very short time they developed a totally new, or at least different, life style. To me, it seems probable that Laman and Lemuel, together with the sons of Ishmael, joined with a people who they found inhabiting the land upon their arrival. While Lehi’s descendants adopted the life style of this established population, Laman and Lemuel, together with their descendants became leaders of this new society which Nephi and his descendants identify by the name of Nephi’s eldest brother.

****Yes, they are different cultures. Remember that with Lehi, most of their lives were oriented according to the law of Moses and religion. After Lehi and the big split, the Lamanites didn’t have revelation, religion, and hard work as “restrictions” anymore. When you have two groups of people with very different values, differences result quickly. The result? You very quickly have two nations. Outside cultural or religious influences are not necessary. Look at a family where two children have very different values–family reunions already show the results. Just after a few years of leaving home and getting married, the children’s lives can be VERY different. Stick on another generation, and the differences could be so far apart you would never recognize them as being related. Anyone other than me ever felt that at a family reunion?

-=-=-=
Brant Gardner:
We necessarily begin with the origin of Lehi’s people in the New World. It is indisputable that Lehi and his company landed on a coast, and the coast of Guatemala is our plausible location, according to John L. Sorenson’s reconstruction. If a ship carrying Lehi’s party were to have arrived on the coast of Guatemala approximately 590 years before Christ, what might they have found? Would they have been alone or were other people already there?
The archaeological survey of the Middle Formative sites for the coast of Guatemala deals with sites dated some two hundred years earlier than Lehi’s landing, so we need to make some inferences. Two hundred years prior to Lehi’s arrival there were seven settlements ranging from one household to twelve households.1 After this time, the coastal areas saw a peak of population density not seen until the Late Classic period, over a thousand years later. It is important to understand that the settlement areas were not necessarily larger, but simply more numerous.2

****Seven whole small settlements, of maybe four people in a settlement? Spanning a whole coast, in a POSSIBLE place/ country? And of those settlements that were later discovered, could they possibly have been Lamanite settlements, instead of those of “others” already there? Isn’t it just as likely that the Lamanites wiped the “others” out and those settlements were theirs?
While Guatemala might be A/ ONE “plausible location”, it is far from the only possibility, and need not be accepted as one, much less THE one.

-=-=-=
John L. Sorenson:
The second question concerns the relative size of the Lamanites and other groups compared with the Nephites. An analysis has already been published of the age and gender of the personnel in Lehi’s party.1 Nephite demographic history obviously begins with that information. My reading of the text puts about eleven adults and thirteen children in Nephi’s group when they split with the faction of Laman and Lemuel. However, the adults included only three couples. None of the unmarried persons, including Nephi’s brothers Jacob and Joseph and, probably, their sisters, would have had marriage partners available until nieces or nephews came of age, so for some interval the group’s reproduction rate would have been even lower than those numbers seem to suggest. The Lamanite faction I estimate to have included four couples with the likelihood that the oldest grandchildren of Ishmael were just coming into the age of reproduction.2 Within a few years the Lamanites should have had on the order of half again as many persons as the Nephites, and that size advantage should have continued thereafter. Within a few years Nephi reports that his people “began to prosper exceedingly, and to multiply in the land” (2 Nephi 5:13).

****Nephi says, “began to prosper exceedingly, and to multiply in the land”, not “began to prosper, and to multiply exceedingly in the land”–a big difference. Nevertheless, let’s continue.

Here, I won’t include many others who might have been included (see previous response above).
Nephi’s sisters, especially the older ones already married to the sons of Ishmael, and Laman and Lemuel had had children in the desert (1 Nephi 17:20), and Nephi, Sam, and Zoram probably had a few, also (1 Nephi 18:19). Nephi’s sisters could have already had a few children each before they even started out from Jerusalem, especially if they had married young, and if they were much older. Some of the desert children could have been older (by maybe four years) than Jacob. And what if some of Lehi’s children were from another mother?

When you start out with a small group, it looks big fast. Comparatives and superlatives are relative, and sometimes figures of speech. Have you ever been to a large group of people seated outside, say like for a concert? Looks huge, yet, it’s only a few thousand.

(Hey, how about a family reunion of my great-grandparents’ posterity? Mine was so huge that it took up more than a whole huge church, and that wasn’t even everyone; I hardly knew any of my relatives, and I was pretty involved with genealogy. Yes, most married outside of the family; but even if they had married in the family, it would have been big.)

About 2 Nephi 5:13–note that the reason Nephi gives for this, is “And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly”–NOT, “and others were with us; and we did prosper exceedingly” or “and because others helped us, we did prosper exceedingly”, etc.

-=-=-=
John L. Sorenson:
When about fifteen years had passed, he says that Jacob and Joseph had been made priests and teachers “over the land of my people” (2 Nephi 5:26, 28). After another ten years, they “had already had wars and contentions” with the Lamanites (2 Nephi 5:34).

****Yes, only two priests and teachers over the entire people? That right there shows a much smaller number initially than what Sorenson et. al. allude to.
“Wars” do not need large groups of people. I believe most of us don’t find anything wrong with the term “war” to signify something smaller. Many gangs with small groups have “wars”, such as in the term “gang wars”. Look at the ways many native tribes (such as in Africa, Southeast Asia) fought/ fight battles and wars with small groups of men.

-=-=-=
Brant Gardner:
With the addition of “others” into Nephi’s party we have a larger core of people than we could possibly have with the segregation of only those who arrived with Lehi. Three events described for the early city of Nephi would appear to confirm the presence of more people than those who had come from the Old World. About thirty years after the departure from Jerusalem, Nephi describes some of the events of the establishment of the city of Nephi. First, Nephi describes having not only built dwellings, but also a temple.4 Public building projects require excess labor. Even on a modest scale, a public building takes time and resources away from daily life. The very existence of a public building suggests a larger population than the pure Old World immigrants and their natural increase.

**** Since when does “dwellings” (um, where is that in the Book of Mormon text?) mean “large, difficult-to-build, separate houses for everyone”?
And why does one all of a sudden take “temple” in the text to mean “large and extensive public building projects”, which one temple hardly justifies. This “public building” is not really what seems to be implied. It is not a government building, for example. It is a temple. It isn’t required to hold a great many people inside its walls. To us, it might be comparable to building a house–labor-intensive, takes time and work, but not that difficult for someone who sees the necessity of having one.
How big was Solomon’s temple? In 2 Nephi 5:16, Nephi says he “did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things… but the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon”. “After the manner”: does that mean it’s the same size? It could, but it doesn’t. If it were a large temple, that might be a great undertaking for so few people.
Possibly, notice that Nephi mentions nothing of rock or cement at this point. (In fact, nothing is mentioned of cement until Helaman 3:7.) What was the temple constructed of, huge blocks of granite? Possibly wood, or clay temple? Would that seem such a difficult task, if so?

-=-=-=
Brant Gardner:
The second event that indicates the presence of a larger population is the declaration of Nephi as king.5 Small hamlets do not have kings. To name one of a dozen men “king” is an insult, not a compliment. Finally, we have the designation of Jacob and Joseph as priests and teachers “over the land of my people.”6 Were we to assume only Old World peoples at this point, we have a king and two priests servicing perhaps ten households. The early Nephite political/religious structure is too top heavy for so few people. The only situation that sufficiently explains our text is the presence of non-Old World peoples at this early date.

****Kings do not need lots of people under them to be called kings. I don’t find any “insult” in this, in the Book of Mormon or otherwise–perhaps there are many historical references I could be pointed to? Do any annals of history show that to be called a king over a few people is an insult? And when does it stop being an insult and becomes a compliment? 200 men? 400 men? 700 men? Wouldn’t that be convenient to know! Then we could figure out how many men there were. Gardner often protests using “presentism”, and I would like to point out that here he does not just use “presentism”, he uses “‘personalism'”–he asks that all give substance to his pure opinion. Sorry!

Remember, King Noah had many priests–at least 24, if not more–yet his subjects were a small group, which had grown from a very small group, which had had… a king: Zeniff. (The history and growth of king Zeniff’s people, which could/ should serve as a subset to the Nephite growth, hasn’t, unfortunately, been treated by any of these researchers, as far as I can tell.) Hey, how about that Alma guy–another small group of about 200 people (children included, if any over the age of eight?).

I see this differently–I see that one ruler and two religious teachers shows that there probably weren’t many people at that time. These religious leaders were possibly responsible for both Melchizedek priesthood ordinances and Law of Moses rites, not to mention other duties. Also, unlike the priests in Jerusalem, it is likely that Jacob and Joseph also worked for a living. Wait… how many men are in a branch presidency? I’ve been in branches that had less than 10 families in them. So how is this “top heavy”, especially if you throw in Jacob and Joseph doing home teaching ;) ?

John L. Sorenson:
The reports of intergroup fighting in these early generations also seem to refer to larger forces than growth by births alone would have allowed. At the twenty-five-year mark of their history, Nephi already reported that they had had “wars” with the Lamanites (see 2 Nephi 5:34), yet the male descendants of the original Nephites could not reasonably have numbered more than a score by the time these “wars” are mentioned. Later, in Jacob’s old age, the “wars” mentioned in Jacob 7:26 would have been fought with a maximum of fifty on his side and not dramatically more for the attackers. Either the expression “war” was being used loosely at this point in the account or else the population springing from the original Lehites had already been augmented by “others,” it appears to me.

****See response to small numbers of fighting men for “war” at the beginning of page 4.
Later (Jacob 7:24, 25), Jacob writes: “And it came to pass that many means were devised to reclaim and restore the LAMANITES. . .and they had an eternal hatred against US, THEIR BRETHREN. And they sought by the power of their arms to DESTROY US CONTINUALLY (this sounds like war). Wherefore, the people of Nephi. . .became as yet, conquerors of THEIR ENEMIES (“the Lamanites”, in the plural–not the Lamanites AND (lots of) others).
Also, in Words Of Mormon 1:13: “And it came to pass also that the ARMIES OF THE LAMANITES came down out of the land of Nephi, to battle against his people. But behold, king Benjamin gathered together his armies, and he did stand against them. . .
Words Of Mormon 1:14: And in the strength of the Lord they did contend against their ENEMIES, UNTIL THEY HAD SLAIN MANY THOUSANDS OF THE LAMANITES. And it came to pass that they did contend against the Lamanites until they had driven them out of all the lands of their inheritance.”
Thus, here it seems that only Lamanites are their enemies.
Then, in Jacob 7:26: . . .and HATED OF OUR BRETHREN, WHICH CAUSED WARS and contentions. . .
In Helaman 12:2, it says that the Lord helps the Nephites by making sure their “enemies don’t declare war on them”; at this time, it is the Lamanites and Gadianton robbers (Helaman 11:1, 2) that make the plural.
The end of the great Jaredite war goes through the process of dwindling numbers, though most of the Lamanite/ Nephite wars seem to have hardly been to the death of everyone.
Also, it seems probable that especially at the beginning the weapons, especially on the attacking Lamanite side, would not have been as advanced or of as high quality; and, the Nephites would hardly want to actively and pursuingly kill the Lamanites, as the verses above and elsewhere show.

2009, September 12

Book of Mormon: “Conspiracy Theory and Gadianton Robbers–What about Now?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Conspiracy Theory and Gadianton Robbers–What about Now?

grego
(c) 2006-2009

“The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”
–Benjamin Disraeli, first Prime Minister of England, 1844 novel “Coningsby, the New Generation”

“It is also important for the State to inculcate in its subjects an aversion to any ‘conspiracy theory of history;’ for a search for ‘conspiracies’ means a search for motives and an attribution of responsibility for historical misdeeds.”
–Murray N. Rothbard, “The Anatomy of the State”, 1965

(WARNING: Maybe you have already read most of the ideas and the majority of these quotes on the internet. Nevertheless, I *guarantee* this article will shock the great majority of the LDS who read it. If you don’t want to get mad or are not ready to have/ don’t want your current world beliefs and views challenged, especially political-wise, DON’T READ ON! P.S. For a reminder about comments, please read near the bottom at “About Me and this Blog”.)

No, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m a conspiracy realist.

I got that way partly through studying the Book of Mormon. (No wonder many Mormons don’t like reading and especially studying it… Other people might call you cRaZy for believing something other than what “they” want you to believe…) Other things helped, like friends and enemies I had when I was young.

The Book of Mormon (and a little of other scriptures, including the Old Testament and the Pearl of Great Price) is quite clear that secret combinations started with Cain, were among the Jaredites, the Nephites, the Lamanites, that they exist now, and that they will exist in the future; and that if especially the USA has any desire of and hope for liberty, they must be stopped—and that the Church might not have much to do with that; or that if it does, it might be the means of “the great split”. In addition, there is one main secret combination, the “Gadianton robbers”.

So if the Book of Mormon is for our day, and it contains serious warnings about secret combinations and conspiracies, space was small and the most important things were written for us, and it includes mentions and warnings of secret combinations and Gadianton robbers—is this all for nothing, or for something?

I’ll take a look at what the Book of Mormon says:
1. Secret combination and secret combinations
2. What they are and what they look like

This will lead to some surprising answers of who “It” *can’t* be.

Then I’ll give some political leaders quotes (JFK, FDR, etc.), some LDS leaders’ quotes (not just President Benson), and a strong dose of reality as we look into an organization that best fits the ONE major secret combination—one you have likely never heard of and don’t even know exists, yet all the top men of the world… (Whoops, getting ahead of myself there…)

Many LDS don’t even really believe that there is a “big bad wolf” Gadianton robbers secret combination/ group in these modern times or latter days like the one the Book of Mormon prophets witness and warn against. But: will what happened to the three little piggies that believed and prepared at different levels, also happen to Mormons/ LDS?

Here are some actual quotes on views held by believing LDS on this “big, bad wolf”:

—“Any theory that stipulates that one group is responsible for basically all the evil in the world is called “conspiracy theory”, and I don’t believe in conspiracy theories…”

—“The problem is that it’s much more comforting to believe that powerful forces are at work that cause problems such as these. It’s much scarier to understand that a confluence of myriads of factors can cause disaster. Conspiracy theories help people feel in control.”

—“Like the “great and abominable Church” of Book of Mormon prophecy, the secret combinations of the last days are archetypal. Any number of entities, groups, categories could fit the definition in a number of respects; to the extent that they do, they fulfill prophecy.”

—“The terrorist organizations of today fit the definition as if it were custom-made for them.”

—“I’m actually kind of sad that people are wasting time on conspiracy theories with wild, wild, wild speculation… meanwhile ignoring the very real and very obvious threats and secret combinations in their very presence (Pornography rings, gangs, organized crime, Saints who swindle Saints…) sad”

As you can see, ideas and beliefs are all over the board, and mostly in the “disbelief” section.

Obviously there are many evil conspiracies, on different levels—from “don’t tell daddy and mommy” to “don’t tell the children” on up—and they all need to be dealt with for a happy life, so to say.

But is there really *a* big, bad wolf?

In evaluating this, we need to remember to avoid the “blind men and the elephant” trap of holding on to one part of the whole, with one sense, and coming to a conclusion based just on that, while ignoring all the other parts and experiences. Yes, it’s easier and simpler, but it’s not as truthful.

Here are a few key characteristics the Book of Mormon says about *the* secret combination—the modern Gadianton robbers organization—and how to recognize it:
1. There are many smaller minor ones, all over the world (“secret combinationS”).
2. There is one main one in particular (*the* “secret combination”):
1. founded and led by Satan himself (this actually rules out most of them, right? evil men =\= led by Satan himself);
2. world-wide (rules out anything “just local”);
3. desire the “overthrow the of freedom of all lands, nations, and countries” (rules out most every secret combination known to typically-informed man…);
4. secret oaths, signs, etc. (rules out most—gangs flashing street signs isn’t quite secret, nor do I think pharmaceutical companies or Amway require this for membership);
5. purpose is to promote and enjoy the fruits of power, murder, acquisition, lies, adultery/ sex, etc. (sure, most all secret combinations have some type of evil as their methods and purpose/ desired result, but this will be a big part of its membership and means);
6. slay the saints (and the blood of innocent people) (This could include some secret combinations, but I wonder if this is a real intent of purpose for the real Gadianton robbers. Why the saints? Maybe they would most oppose them and their wicked ways? Maybe they would want to reveal them?);
7. bringeth to pass the destruction of all people (not just a town, a city, a rival group or company, a race, etc.—so that also rules out most);
8. “by their secret plans”, “obtain kingdoms and great glory” (think, when’s the last time you know of that kingdoms have been obtained? We’re talking control/ overthrow of governments and leaders, replacing the leaders, making big money off of getting in positions of power and authority, getting in the history books and brainwashing/ controlling others’ beliefs, etc.);
9. seduce the righteous by getting them to partake of their spoils (when’s the last time a gang or organized crime offered you a cut of their profits if you didn’t tell they killed someone? ;) –not really their thing, huh?);
10. usurp power and authority of countries, even by “legal” means;
11. one sticking point for many: infighting, etc. does not in any way rule an organization or individuals out—look at Seezoram and Seantum, both blood brothers and oath brothers (this is an example that contradicts a main objection that some people have to the big, bad wolf—“but they would destroy each other!”–yes, they sometimes do, over time).

Let’s make a distinction between secret combinations and *the* secret combination. President Benson said:
“Secret *combinationS* lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. *A* secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of *all lands, nations, and countries* is increasing in its evil influence and control over America and the entire world.” –Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1988 (Conference Report), p. 87

First, there are many secret combinations that conspire due to “lusting for power, gain, and glory”. They include:
friends doing secret things together;
street gangs;
the Mafia and other “organized crime”;
drug cartels;
(political/ religious/ ideological) terrorist organizations (but are these all lusting for “power, gain, and glory”, or trying to protect their countries/ people/ liberties from foreign interests?; remember, the only difference between a terrorist organization and a freedom/ resistance organization is who labels it; a rose is not a rose is not a rose…);
international companies and corporations (especially fruit companies, pharmaceuticals, oil, etc.);
the “Military Industrial Complex” (corporations who mostly make money off of war);
possibly a few of the more “radical” branches of religions/ cults (but we must ask, is that really what it is, or is it a front for another someone/ some organization?);
etc.

Though some of these seem huge, they are all minor (and/ or subset) combinations, and are tools used by, often encouraged by, and sometimes supported by *the* secret combination. None of them—**NONE OF THEM**—including terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda—fit the definition of “the secret combination” warned against in the Book of Mormon, not even with a lot of pushing, squishing, and forcing (like Cinderella’s sisters…). (Go back to the list, look at the quote by President Benson to double check this for yourself.) For example, not one of them “seeks to overthrow the freedom of *all lands, nations, and countries*”.

Now, I’m going to add a few more examples of secret combinations to the list above. You might recognize a few of these names and institutions. (And yes, there is plenty of evidence that they are tools of the secret combination. In fact, I encourage everyone to go search yourself.) Here:
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Ford Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Lucis Trust
American political parties, leaders, and government leaders from all over the world
…and others.

But grego!!… Hold on, hold on. Just like in a family or club or society, not everyone in these groups are wicked or do bad things, nor is everyone responsible for what the others do (my bishop’s wife works for Carnegie!). Not everyone joins or works out of a desire to do evil; in fact, the great majority join in order to do good; most *do* do good, and are completely in the dark about anything else or the true purpose of the organization; some are born into it; some join out of fear or loneliness; some have friends who persuade them; etc. Like with many other things, it only takes a few people—or perhaps even one—in a key part of the organization to take them secretly down the wrong road (as the forthcoming quotes show). Most all the people “at the bottom” have no clue as to what’s going on, and I’m sure many or at least some “at the top” don’t, either. And in fact, many at the bottom are doing good things (or think they are) and contributing positively to society. However, there are enough–and usually only enough—at the very top who are quite clear that their doing wrong things brings power and money, which is what they desire, and that is the real purpose of the organizations.

While all of these could, in a way, be considered secret and combinations, once more, NONE of these, by definition, are *the* secret combination. Once more, at most they are only tools/ subsets of it.

Well, what about communism/ socialism/ fascism/ etc.? That was what President MacKay and Benson and many others spoke about all the time, right? Yes, but there was more.

Note that when President Benson gave his talk on secret combinations in October 1988, USSR communism was already in deep trouble and drastic changes of reform towards making the USSR a less communistic state had already been planned and some of the reforms already instated.

Why fear this secret combination if it is “USSR communism”? What about communism in other countries? What about other “ism”s? So, communism doesn’t make sense as being *the* secret combination.

If one were to also include other forms of dictatorial governments, then yes, that would kind of fit the definition—but not quite. While these are definitely the big guns of the secret combination, they are not the secret combination itself. We’re not looking for something that at the very top is split up, but whole—and as such, these can only play a part—though a big one at that. I mean, if you were Satan/ his cohorts, would you rather take over the world politically 1 billion at one fell swoop and then do as you please with freedoms, or ideologically a few hundred a day over a period of years and years and years and…?

-=-=

Now, I’m going to provide a few quotes from world leaders that lend hints to *the* secret combination:

“I think the Communist conspiracy is merely a branch of a much bigger conspiracy.”
— Dr. Bella V. Dodd (former U.S. Communist Party leader), The Naked Capitalist, 1970
(Note that even she—the top communist leader in America—was in the dark as to what was really going on. She also said that she was told that if there were any serious complications/ problems, to call a certain number—which surprised her, because the number was a local Manhattan number, not a number in Russia or even Washington, D.C.)

“Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government.”
— Henry Kissinger speaking at Evian, France, May 21, 1992 Bilderberg meeting

“Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”
–Woodrow Wilson, US President, from his book The New Freedom (1913) (Note that this is *before* World War I, communism, socialism, etc.)

“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”
–Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a bit longer.”
–Henry Kissinger

“In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.”
— Strobe Talbot, Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, as quoted in Time, July 20th, l992.

“The most powerful clique in these (CFR–Council on Foreign Relations) groups have one objective in common: they want to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty and the national independence of the U.S. They want to end national boundaries and racial and ethnic loyalties supposedly to increase business and ensure world peace. What they strive for would inevitably lead to dictatorship and loss of freedoms by the people. The CFR was founded for “the purpose of promoting disarmament and submergence of U.S. sovereignty and national independence into an all-powerful one-world government.”
— Harpers, July 1958

“… when the struggle seems to be drifting definitely towards a world social democracy, there may still be very great delays and disappointments before it becomes an efficient and beneficent world system. Countless people … will hate the new world order … and will die protesting against it. When we attempt to evaluate its promise, we have to bear in mind the distress of a generation or so of malcontents, many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking people.”
— H. G. Wells, in his book entitled The New World Order (1939)

“The age of nations must end. The governments of nations have decided to order their separate sovereignties into one government to which they will surrender their arms.”
— The U.N. World Constitution

“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
— David Rockefeller

The New World Order cannot happen without U.S. participation, as we are the most significant single component. Yes, there will be a New World Order, and it will force the United States to change its perceptions.”
— Henry Kissinger World Affairs Council Press Conference, Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, April 19th 1994

“By the end of this decade we will live under the first one world government that has ever existed in the society of nations…a government with absolute authority to decide the basic issues of human survival. One world government is inevitable.”
–Pope John Paul II

“Our task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.”
— Sara Brady Chairman, Handgun Control, to Sen. Howard Metzanbaum, “The National Educator,” January 1994, Page 3.

“It is the sacred principles enshrined in the United Nations charter to which the American people will henceforth pledge their allegiance.”
— President George Bush, Sr. Addressing the General Assembly of the U.N., February 1, 1992

“The Persian Gulf crisis is a rare opportunity to forge new bonds with old enemies (the Soviet Union)… Out of these troubled times a New World Order can emerge under a United Nations that performs as envisioned by its founders.
–President George Bush Sr. September 11, 1990

“The world can therefore seize the opportunity (the Persian Gulf crisis) to fulfill the long held promise of a New World Order where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind.”
— President George Bush, Sr. State of the Union Address, January 29, 1991

“From the days of Sparticus [note: before communism], Weishaupt, Karl Marx, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemberg, and Emma Goldman, this world conspiracy has been steadily growing. This conspiracy played a definite recognizable role in the tragedy of the French revolution [note: before communism]. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the 19th century [note: before communism]. And now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their head and have become the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.”
— Winston Churchill, stated to the London Press, in 1922

“The great and good ends proposed by the Illuminati as the ultimate objects of their union, are the overthrow of religion, government, and human society civil and domestic.” (Yale Professor Timothy Dwight IV, 1798, quoted in “The American Mind: Selections from the Literature of the United States”, p. 220.)

“We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. … It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”
–David Rockefeller, Bilderberg Meeting, June 1991 Baden, Germany

-=-=-=

So, who really is at the head of this secret combination? Who are the “intellectual elite” and the “world bankers” that David Rockefeller was referring to? Here’s where it gets much more secretive and very dark, yet there’s enough light to make some of them out.

The temple-endowed LDS would do very, very, very well to remember the words of cursed Lucifer and his plan of opposition.

This quote from Carter in Rush Hour gives great insight: “follow the [money] trail to the rich white guy”.

Maybe these quotes–and especially some of the names of the people quoted–will help:

“The secret to success is to own nothing, but control everything.”
— Nelson Rockefeller

“I want to own nothing and control everything.”
— JD Rockefeller I

“The hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency: their sole object is gain.”
— Napoleon Bonaparte

“It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
–Henry Ford

“The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debts.”
–Henry Ford

“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”
–Letter from FDR to Colonel House, November 21st, 1933

“The real menace of our republic is this invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation. Like the octopus of real life, it operates under cover of a self created screen….At the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both political parties.”
— John F. Hylan, 1922, then mayor of New York City

“[T]he Rockefellers and their allies have, for at least fifty years, been carefully following a plan to use their economic power to gain political control of first America, and then the rest of the world. Do I mean conspiracy? Yes, I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent. ”
–Larry P. McDonald, US Congressman, November 1975 in “The Rockefeller Files” (http://www.sianews.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2253) and
http://www.sheilacasey.com/2009/03/congressman-larry-p-mcdonald-died-four-months-after-exposing-the-nwo-on-crossfire.html (around 3:30)

“The real rulers in Washington are invisible, and exercise power from behind the scenes.”
— Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, 1952

“The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”
— Benjamin Disraeli, first Prime Minister of England, 1844 novel “Coningsby, the New Generation”

“…we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks… Some people think the Federal Reserve banks are United States Government institutions. They are not Government institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders.”
— Congressman Louis T. McFadden in 1932 (Rep. Pa)
Read speech at http://home.hiwaay.net/~becraft/mcfadden.html or http://www.modernhistoryproject.org/mhp/ArticleDisplay.php?Article=McFadden1932&Entity=FedResBoard

“The governments of the present day have to deal not merely with other governments, with emperors, kings and ministers, but also with the secret societies which have everywhere their unscrupulous agents, and can at the last moment upset all the governments’ plans.”
— Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister, 1876

“I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the Empire… The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire. And I control the money supply.”
— Baron Nathan Mayer de Rothschild (1777-1836)

“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world – no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”
— President Woodrow Wilson (The president whose administration passed the Federal Reserve Act)

“Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high morale and community of purpose. The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history.”
— David Rockefeller

“For more than a century, ideological extremists, at either end of the political spectrum, have seized upon well-publicized incidents, such as my encounter with Castro, to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe *we are part of a secret cabal, working against the best interests of the United States*, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists,’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
— David Rockefeller, Memoirs, 2002, p. 405

“A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
–Ted Turner, CNN McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, June ’96

“Gentlemen, comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about Glasnost and Perestroika and democracy in the coming years. These are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no significant internal changes in the Soviet Union, other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm the Americans and let them fall asleep.”
— Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet Politburo November 1987

For more understanding, watch Alex Jones’ “Endgame” and Bilderbergers information. (Note: Alex Jones is not without his own problems of involvement in the scheme of things… However, that is a quite informative movie.)

-=-=-=

Ok, on to a few quotes from LDS church leaders:

“Is there any one so naive as to think that things will right themselves without a fight? There has been no more fight in us than there is a bunch of sheep, and we have been much like sheep. Freedom was never brought to people on a silver platter, nor maintained with whisk brooms and lavender sprays. And do not think that these usurpations, intimidations, and impositions are being done to us through inadvertence or mistake; the whole course is deliberately planned and carried out; its purpose is to destroy the Constitution and our constitutional government; then to bring chaos, out of which the new Statism with its slavery is to arise, with a cruel, relentless, selfish, ambitious crew in the saddle, riding hard with whip and spur, a red-shrouded band of night riders for despotism. If we do not vigorously fight for our liberties, we shall go clear through to the end of the road and become another Russia, or worse.”
— Pres. J. Reuben Clark – Church News PPNS pg. 327

“There are still those in our land to whom freedom means nothing. There are influences and movements and groups and organizations within the borders of the U.S. which today, if they could, would rob us all of our free agency.”
— Elder Mark E. Petersen – April 1946 (Conference Report)

“I heard the prophet Joseph Smith say the time would come when this nation would so far depart from its original purity, its glory, and its love for freedom and its protection of civil rights and religious rights, that the Constitution of our country would hang as it were by a thread. He said, also, that this people, the sons of Zion, would rise up and save the Constitution and bear it off triumphantly.”
— Eliza R. Snow

“…because if it (communism) comes here it will probably come in its full vigor and there will be a lot of vacant places among those who guide and direct, not only this government, but also this Church of ours.”
— J. Reuben Clark

“I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world.
I testify that the church and kingdom of God is increasing in strength. Its numbers are growing, as is the faithfulness of its faithful members. It has never been better organized or equipped to perform its divine mission.
I testify that as the forces of evil increase under Lucifer’s leadership and as the forces of good increase under the leadership of Jesus Christ, there will be growing battles between the two until the final confrontation. As the issues become clearer and more obvious, all mankind will eventually be required to align themselves either for the kingdom of God or for the kingdom of the devil. As these conflicts rage, either secretly or openly, the righteous will be tested. God’s wrath will soon shake the nations of the earth and will be poured out on the wicked without measure. But God will provide strength for the righteous and the means of escape; and eventually and finally truth will triumph.”
— Ezra Taft Benson, “I Testify,” Ensign, Nov. 1988, 86

“The devil knows that if the elders of Israel should ever wake up, they could step forth and help preserve freedom and extend the gospel. Therefore the devil has concentrated, and to a large extent successfully, in neutralizing much of the priesthood. He has reduced them to sleeping giants.”
“And now as to the last neutralizer that the devil uses most effectively-it is simply this: “Don’t do anything in the fight for freedom until the Church sets up its own specific program to save the Constitution.” This brings us right back to the scripture I opened with today-to those slothful servants who will not do anything until they are “compelled in all things.” Maybe the Lord will never set up a specific church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution. Perhaps if he set one up at this time it might split the Church asunder, and perhaps he does not want that to happen yet for not all the wheat and tares are fully ripe.”
“Brethren, if we had done our homework and were faithful, we could step forward at this time and help save this country. The fact that most of us are unprepared to do it is an indictment we will have to bear. The longer we wait, the heavier the chains, the deeper the blood, the more the persecution and the less we can carry out our God-given mandate and world-wide mission. The war in heaven is raging on earth today. Are you being neutralized in the battle?”
— Ezra Taft Benson, “Actively Engaged”

There is more, but I will finish with this last one. After 9/11 and at the beginning of Gulf War II, President Gordon B. Hinckley was supportive of the actions of the American government; saying, for example:
“You are acutely aware of the events of September 11, less than a month ago. Out of that vicious and ugly attack we are plunged into a state of war. It is the first war of the 21st century. The last century has been described as the most war-torn in human history. Now we are off on another dangerous undertaking, the unfolding of which and the end thereof we do not know. For the first time since we became a nation, the United States has been seriously attacked on its mainland soil. But this was not an attack on the United States alone. It was an attack on men and nations of goodwill everywhere. It was well planned, boldly executed, and the results were disastrous. It is estimated that more than 5,000 innocent people died…
Recently, in company with a few national religious leaders, I was invited to the White House to meet with the president. In talking to us he was frank and straightforward.
That same evening he spoke to the Congress and the nation in unmistakable language concerning the resolve of America and its friends to hunt down *the terrorists* who were responsible for the planning of this terrible thing and any who harbored such…
*Those of us who are American citizens stand solidly* with the president of our nation. The terrible forces of evil must be confronted and held accountable for their actions. This is not a matter of Christian against Muslim [implying that the terrorists are Muslim]. I am pleased that food is being dropped to the hungry people of a targeted nation. We value our Muslim neighbors across the world and hope that those who live by the tenets of their faith will not suffer. I ask particularly that our own people do not become a party in any way to the persecution of the innocent. Rather, let us be friendly and helpful, protective and supportive. *It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down*.
We of this Church know something of such groups. The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton robbers, a vicious, oath-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation…
On the Larry King television broadcast the other night, I was asked what I think of those who, in the name of their religion, carry out such infamous activities. I replied, “Religion offers no shield for wickedness, for evil, for those kinds of things. The God in whom I believe does not foster this kind of action. He is a God of mercy. He is a God of love.”
–President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Times in Which We Live,” Ensign, Nov 2001, 72
(http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=9caa8c6a47e0c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD)

Later, in 2004, he similarly said:
“HINCKLEY: Oh, I don’t see it in that light. I see the war, the terrorism factor, as the work of a group of misguided, evil men. Their interpretation of their religion may be a factor in what they do. But that is not representative of the great body of the Muslim people across the world.”
CNN (December 26, 2004; http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0412/26/lkl.01.html)

In other words, President Hinckley firmly believed the official 9/11 story about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and believed they were terrorists similar to the Gadianton robbers.

Eight years later—after what I imagine must have been a rereading of the Book of Mormon, at least during the previous year, and further study and pondering—President Hinckley republished a speech where, for the first time as prophet and second since talks have been recorded on http://www.lds.org (1973, I believe), the topic of his writing was one of President Ezra Taft Benson’s most-given topics—the Book of Mormon and freedom. This article was basically a repeat of an article President Hinckley wrote in 1988, as First Counselor in the First Presidency. Interestingly, he also encouraged all LDS to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year…

In the article President Hinckley wrote:
“Its narrative is a chronicle of nations long since gone. But in its descriptions of the problems of today’s society, it is as current as the morning newspaper and much more definitive, inspired, and inspiring concerning the solutions to those problems.
I know of no other writing that sets forth with such clarity the tragic consequences to societies that follow courses contrary to the commandments of God. Its pages trace the stories of two distinct civilizations that flourished on the Western Hemisphere. Each began as a small nation, its people walking in the fear of the Lord. Each prospered, but with prosperity came growing evils. The people succumbed to the wiles of ambitious and scheming leaders who oppressed them with burdensome taxes, who lulled them with hollow promises, who countenanced and even encouraged loose and lascivious living, who led them into terrible wars that resulted in the death of millions and the final extinction of two great civilizations in two different eras.
No other written testament so clearly illustrates the fact that when men and nations walk in the fear of God and in obedience to his commandments, they prosper and grow, but when they disregard him and his word, there comes a decay which, unless arrested by righteousness, leads to impotence and death.”
— Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Power of the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, Jun 1988, 2
(This is also the almost same speech that appeared in The First Presidency Message,
“A Testimony Vibrant and True,” Ensign, Aug 2005, 2–6.)
The Power of the Book of Mormon
A Testimony Vibrant and True

I will leave the reader to ponder what appears to be a change in thought as to whom the true Gandianton robbers are and imagine the key role the Book of Mormon played in this change of understanding and belief in President Hinckley.

Now, if you think that communism is dead and therefore none of those quotes by church leaders such as President McKay and President Benson apply anymore, remember the quote by Gorbachev! Also, remember that the Communist Agenda for America is coming along very well. Here are some lists to ponder:
http://www.communistgoals.com/goals/goals.htm (slightly outdated–more checks and exclamation points)
http://www.uhuh.com/nwo/communism/10planks.htm
http://www.firesociety.com/forum/thread/22913/California-s-School-Agenda-To-Teach–Communism-/

(By the way, did you really think that we were really in a cold war with Russia back in the Reagan years? Here are three quotes, given in chronological order:

“In the last ten years alone, the United States and other Western nations have sold to the Soviet Union and its satellites more than fifty billion dollars worth of technical equipment the communists could not produce themselves. In addition, the Soviets have been able to purchase entire factories, designed and built by Western engineers and financed in large part by American and European banks.”
— Senator William Armstrong, 1982

“This campaign against the American people – against traditional American culture and values – is systematic psychological warfare. It is orchestrated by a vast array of interest comprising not only the Eastern establishment but also the radical left. Among this group we find the Department of State, the Department of Commerce, the money center banks and multinational corporations, the media, the educational establishment, the entertainment industry, and the large tax-exempt foundations.
Mr. President, a careful examination of what is happening behind the scenes reveals that all of these interests are working in concert with the masters of the Kremlin in order to create what some refer to as a new world order.”
— Senator Jesse Helms, December 1987, Senate speech

“Billions of dollars in loans at terms that American borrowers can only dream of are being provided to the Soviet government and, in turn, are being used to help finance Soviet aggression and adventurism around the world.”
— Congressman Toby Roth, “Look Who’s Funding Moscow,” The Constitution, May/June, 1988, p. 6.)

-=-=-=

Based on the above and numerous other reasons brings us to one conclusion:

The international bankers are at the head of the secret combination (though they are likely not the only ones). You may have heard of the “Illuminati”. They are real. Alex Jones has videos on the Bilderbergers that makes this apparent (“End Game”, which can sometimes be found on youtube.com and other places on the internet—it used to be a “make a copy for everyone” movie, don’t know if it still is.

Now for a little speculation…

The Church of Satan

Do you really think that Satan—after 7,000 years or so—is stupid and unorganized (wait… has he *ever* been that way?)? Do you really think the “bad stuff” you see in the news, is the best that he can do, using all his abilities?

As to the magnitude and importance, just imagine that Country A has all the problems of warring gangs, county conspiracies, bribing of some officials, etc. Imagine lots of people working really hard, and getting all of those problems taken care of. Now, imagine that a freedom-depriving form of government (communists/ socialists/ fascists/ dictators/ direction of current America) took over Country A. Was all that work—wiping out the minor evils—worth it, or would it have been much better to keep the country safe from takeover? When the secret combination takes over, all those things exist in one fell swoop, and much more.

It’s much easier to take control over a few people (government leaders) and deprive a billion people of freedom, than to take control of and take away freedom from over a billion people, individual by individual, sin by sin. Satan is not stupid, never has been, and won’t be (in his ways of tempting and leading men to misery and evil). Fortunately, his way and his ways don’t lend to strong unity and fervent life-long loyalty among all his followers.

Understand that many of the followers of Satan, even when involved in wickedness and churches named after him, are often like many followers of Christ: they are deep in misunderstanding, lack loyalty and dedication, don’t really believe, aren’t really his, etc.

Especially in light of that, here’s my heaviest speculation of it all:

Imagine, if you would, an organization whose head and God is Satan, who promises and gives to his followers/ worshipers the blessings—or at least the promises of blessings—not of eternal life, but of power, money, glory, and almost anything else they want, in this life. This organization is diligently zealous in its worship of that god, who is diligently zealous in his overthrow of freedom and in promoting the oppression and the misery of its inhabitants. Nothing—laws of God, laws of man, peace, war, Republican, Democrat, America, third world countries—stands in their way or means much to them; everything that can be “bought” or even used as a tool for their purposes, is; what can’t be bought, is made powerless, brought down, or destroyed in one way or another. Loyalty through wicked action and promotion of the organization, and what someone brings to the table, allows for promotion inside the church. (For an article on a similar topic, see here.)

Imagine one president in at least occasional personal contact with Satan, counselors, and a top council of maybe twelve, thirteen? members. Imagine a lower tier of leaders, responsible for areas of the world. Imagine local/ centralized leaders. Imagine members rising in rank, depending on their faithfulness and loyalty, their usefulness and skills. Imagine them working with and among many other organizations, as wolves in sheep’s clothing among the sheep.

If you have imagined up an organization very similar to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormon Church, but one that worships and serves Satan instead of God—you are correct. This “mirror image”—so similar, but backwards—is the true Church of Satan that opposes the true Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints), and wars with the saints.

On top of that, this true church of Satan uses war, murder, threats, lies, “fronts”, corruption, and anything and everything else useful to attain its purposes, be it with its members, friends, or enemies.

Remember, one of Satan’s greatest weapons and esteemed titles is “Imitator” or “Counterfeiter”.

Welcome to the TRUE church of Satan.

This organization, with certain rich and powerful men at the top, controls and coordinates all lower organizations for its purposes. Alex Jones’ video report, Endgame, makes that especially apparent. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmawyAAV3ck&feature=related

Welcome to the real world.

YOUR world.

(For more information on the Illuminati, New World Order, one world government, etc., I suggest the following, which is like a “broker” site: http://www.rense.com. This will give you many more links to follow and study. Yes, you will find many articles and websites that might seem outrageous. Some of it is outrageous, and completely false. Other parts have parts of truth in it. Overall, though, you will also find more truth about the world and how it works than you have ever known and will ever know from the standard media outlets.)

2009, September 8

Book of Mormon | “King Noah (Then) vs. the USA (Now)” by grego

Book of Mormon | “King Noah (Then) vs. the USA (Now)”
grego
(c) 2006-2009

Let’s take a look at what King Noah did, and see if we can draw any connections to life in America.

Mosiah 11:2 For behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. And he did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord. Yea, and they did commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness.

Mosiah 11:3 And he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed, a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also a fifth part of all their grain.

Mosiah 11:4 And all this did he take to support himself, and his wives and his concubines; and also his priests, and their wives and their concubines; thus he had changed the affairs of the kingdom.

Mosiah 11:5 For he put down all the priests that had been consecrated by his father, and consecrated new ones in their stead, such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts.

Mosiah 11:6 Yea, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity.

Mosiah 11:7 Yea, and they also became idolatrous, because they were deceived by the vain and flattering words of the king and priests; for they did speak flattering things unto them.

Mosiah 11:8 And it came to pass that king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and of all manner of precious things, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and of copper;

Mosiah 11:9 And he also built him a spacious palace, and a throne in the midst thereof, all of which was of fine wood and was ornamented with gold and silver and with precious things.

Mosiah 11:10 And he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass.

Mosiah 11:11 And the seats which were set apart for the high priests, which were above all the other seats, he did ornament with pure gold; and he caused a breastwork to be built before them, that they might rest their bodies and their arms upon while they should speak lying and vain words to his people.

Mosiah 11:12 And it came to pass that he built a tower near the temple; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon, which was possessed by the Lamanites; and he could even look over all the land round about.

Mosiah 11:13 And it came to pass that he caused many buildings to be built in the land Shilom; and he caused a great tower to be built on the hill north of the land Shilom, which had been a resort for the children of Nephi at the time they fled out of the land; and thus he did do with the riches which he obtained by the taxation of his people.

Mosiah 11:14 And it came to pass that he placed his heart upon his riches, and he spent his time in riotous living with his wives and his concubines; and so did also his priests spend their time with harlots.

Mosiah 11:15 And it came to pass that he planted vineyards round about in the land; and he built wine-presses, and made wine in abundance; and therefore he became a wine-bibber, and also his people.

Mosiah 11:16 And it came to pass that the Lamanites began to come in upon his people, upon small numbers, and to slay them in their fields, and while they were tending their flocks.

Mosiah 11:17 And king Noah sent guards round about the land to keep them off; but he did not send a sufficient number, and the Lamanites came upon them and killed them, and drove many of their flocks out of the land; thus the Lamanites began to destroy them, and to exercise their hatred upon them.

Mosiah 11:18 And it came to pass that king Noah sent his armies against them, and they were driven back, or they drove them back for a time; therefore, they returned rejoicing in their spoil.

Mosiah 11:19 And now, because of this great victory they were lifted up in the pride of their hearts; they did boast in their own strength, saying that their fifty could stand against thousands of the Lamanites; and thus they did boast, and did delight in blood, and the shedding of the blood of their brethren, and this because of the wickedness of their king and priests.

Do you feel our elected leaders are in it “for us”, or for their bank accounts?

Are they remembering the history and the lessons of our forefathers, and the fathers of this nation? No, they have basically put them away.

King Noah put a 20% tax on the people to support his and his priests’ living. What percentage did you pay last time? Do you feel that you “labor exceedingly” to support waste in Congress or the Presidency, for example? Have you heard any stories of elected officials and prostitutes? (And I promise you there are many, many more you haven’t heard of because it never makes the mainstream media.) Extravagant spending on public projects (websites dedicated to that…), or military spending, or unbid-upon contracts, like in Iraq?

King Noah is smart, though; he keeps his people drunk with wine to keep them happy and complacent. Too busy working to pay the taxes, too busy drinking and being taught sin to wash away their troubles and have an outlet for their misery, and too busy “relaxing” (i.e., watching sports and TV), all with one result: too busy to cause any trouble for him. And by taking away so much in taxes, yet giving them so much back in alcohol (cough, cough), they love him. Seen that anywhere recently?

About Abinadi’s prophesying, King Noah says, “he has said these things (against me especially) that he might stir up my people to anger one with another, and to raise contentions among my people”. Sounds just like Bush/ Obama (do you really think they are that different??) talking about not questioning the official story of 9/11, huh? Well, actually, there was a reason Abinadi said something, and while that was the end result, that’s not why he said it—he said it because it was the truth, and the people were ripening for destruction.

Then it says that the people’s eyes were blinded, and they sought against Abinadi—why would they do that? They had been lulled into a state of comfort and pride, and propaganda. They win a small victory, and feel invincible. Besides, they had that *tower* that king Noah built that was going to save them (Star Wars, Shock and Awe, you name it…).

Fortunately, we have the inside scoop—Abinadi the madman really was the good guy—yet all the Noahites believed Abinadi was the bad guy, the liar, the troublemaker. They just couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to get drunk and have a good time along with them…

After all, why would their priests or their king lie to them? Then along comes Alma; then Gideon wises up. (Luckily he didn’t work for BYU. But it wouldn’t have mattered much, because things changed quickly and there probably wouldn’t have been a BYU for very long afterwards anyway. By the way, I hope that BYU has noted ex-Professor Jones’ latest research on super-thermite in the WTC dust.)

At the end of the story, by the time the people realize that they have been lied to and tricked; that their king can’t protect them—his assigned duty—puff! They are in a bloodbath and bondage situation.

Let’s avoid that, eh? But we’ll have to do better than King Noah’s people if we expect better results, and hopefully this article has opened our eyes a little more to the situation we are in. What does it mean, the Book of Mormon is for our day?

2009, September 3

“LDS Missionary Work Ideas” by grego

Filed under: Book of Mormon — grego @ 4:54 am
Tags: , , ,

LDS Missionary Work Ideas
grego
(c) 2009

Here they are:

1. The ward and the missionaries *must* work together.

2. Investigators must be given enough time to:
*understand, make, and keep all the commitments,
*change some basic habits,
*make friends in their ward,
*know the leaders,
*know what’s expected of them after baptism,
*be assigned home and visiting teachers,
*be prepared to receive a calling/ assignment, and
*truly repent.
Note that both sides need time, it’s not just dependent on the investigators!!

3. Reports/ forms (both with ward and missionaries) must be used, continually updated, and reviewed/ evaluated.

4. Member Responsibilities Chart (MRC). This is a list of all the things an LDS should be doing, and a reference for goal setting and gospel living evaluation. (It is a work in progress, but there are about 36 items on it so far. It will soon be up at a google docs site for download.) Converts can use this to realize the life changes they will need to make sometime down the road, and understand what they are “getting into”. Missionaries should work with investigators before baptism to work on goals like daily prayer, daily scripture reading, etc.

5. The MRC might also be part of a New Member Handbook/ Orientation Guide. This might include a simple ward organization diagram, a list of the phone numbers of the church building and leaders, pictures and names of the leaders, a list of book names and when they are used (“Gospel Principles” for Sunday School, “Prophets” for Relief Society, etc.), meeting information, etc.

6. For callings, use the callings list/ ward organization list. Encourage each auxiliary leader to call or assign and train new (or at least newer) members. A responsibility could be simple, one time or every time, etc.
Here are a few:
*pass out/ collect hymnbooks (the oldie but goodie, yet I still see that most wards don’t have people assigned to do this!) (for Sacrament, Sunday School, P/RS);
*music conductors for meetings other than sacrament;
*someone to help with talks/ testimony preparation;
*ushers;
*someone to move tables/ whiteboards, if needed;
*assistant advisors for YM/ YW (additional three each—see the Church Handbook of Instruction (CHI));
*parking lot attendant(s);
*church meetinghouse cleaning;
*ward missionaries;
*ward specialists;
*genealogy workers.

7. Regardless of calling, all new members should be doing genealogy and attending a genealogy learning program, which means one needs to be set up if not already done.

8. Cottage meetings/ teaching discussions/ FHE at members’ homes. This can be done on a rotating basis with a few members (ward missionaries and others) so that no one is overburdened/ overscheduled. It can be done as often as circumstances allowed, otherwise. It’s a “win” for everyone involved.

9. Use the “How Great Shall Be Your Joy” program. This was a member referral program that I think was started in the 1980’s, and it worked very well for me on my mission. (I’ll give more information on this later, and it will also be up on a google docs site for download.)

10. Call an assistant ward mission leader (check the CHI), or two if it would be helpful, or a WM Secretary and even Assistant Secretary (make up the extra callings—bishops can do that). The ward mission leader (WML) can delegate to/ divide responsibilities with the AWML. Possible ways: before/ after baptism, which missionaries, parts/ steps in the missionary program, paperwork/ everything else, etc.

11. Which members to call, which members to work with? Easy, really—those that have a greater desire to do/ help missionary work. Each should be involved according to their desire, qualities, and abilities. No one should get ever get “burned out”.

Good luck!

2009, September 2

“Book of Mormon: Amalickiah and His Conspiracy Offer Insights into and Answer Objections about the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Amalickiah and His Conspiracy Offer Insights into and Answer Objections about the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks”
grego

(c) 2006
(Originally published Wednesday, February 15, 2006)

Version 2.2

“What?!? “9/11” (the September 11 “terrorist” attacks in the USA) is in the Book of Mormon? You’re mad! crazy! looney! unpatriotic! unholy!”

When I first saw 911, I felt something wasn’t right. The more I listened to what the US government and the mainstream press said about it, the more I felt it wasn’t right. Getting on the internet and reading more about it confirmed my feelings and thoughts to me. Yet, every American LDS I talked to about it—especially soon afterward—was very adamant that not only was I absolutely wrong that 9/11 was anything but the official version (whichever of the many it was at the time), but that I was a “__” (fill in the blank with your choice of a raucous, blood-thinning insult or cussword) for believing so. I got messages from loved ones and others like, “We really worry about you and are praying for you”; “If it were a lie or different than the official version, the prophets would tell us”; “Everyone knows the Muslims did it because we are followers of Christ”.

So I wondered, hey, what about the Book of Mormon? Does it offer any specific insight, with all its commentary on politics, dissensions, wars (all those war chapters!), etc.?

Boy, does it ever! All over, in fact. However, reading about Amalickiah was of particular interest, because of the detail and the understanding it gave me as to how one man pulls off a complete coup d’etat that is never discovered, and that results in the deaths of thousands of people.

Accepting the Book of Mormon to be true not only in the principles it teaches but in its historicity, after reading this article members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are bound to admit that, at least, the unofficial story of 9/11 is not just plausible, but very possible.

So what are the official and unofficial versions of 9/11? The official version says that Muslim terrorists, under a plan by Osama bin Laden, hijacked four planes with boxcutters and flew two of them into the twin World Trade Center towers and one into the Pentagon, and blew up another plane while it was in the air.

The basic unofficial version (there are many possibilities as to exactly how it happened, but the important part is who was involved and why) is that a conspiracy of people, with at least some of them in the US government, committed the act or hired others to do so, cast the blame on Muslims and Osama bin Laden, covered up the conspiracy in every way possible, got Americans all whipped up against “terrorists” and “al Qaeda” and the Muslims, and sent forces to the Middle East on the pretext of numerous lies.

Notwithstanding the official version is so full of holes it can’t hold an inch of water, many people still have numerous objections about accepting any unofficial version in its stead. I will answer the objections through the story of Amalickiah, and we will see how invalid this is.

What, then, are some of the objections to the unofficial version of 9/11, and what insight might Amalickiah provide?

-=
*Objection:
It’s just impossible that any Americans, growing up in a Christian country, could be so evil to plan to kill their own people—it had to be the Muslims.

Answer:
“And now it came to pass that after Helaman and his brethren had appointed priests and teachers over the churches that there arose a dissension among them, and they would not give heed to the words of Helaman and his brethren;” (Alma 45:23)
“But they grew proud, being lifted up in their hearts, because of their exceedingly great riches; therefore they grew rich in their own eyes…” (Alma 45:24)
“AND it came to pass that as many as would not hearken to the words of Helaman and his brethren were gathered together against their brethren.” (Alma 46:1)
“And now behold, they were exceedingly wroth, insomuch that they were determined to slay them.” (Alma 46:2)
“Now the leader of those who were wroth against their brethren was a large and a strong man; and his name was Amalickiah.” (Alma 46:3)
“And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king…” (Alma 46:4)
“And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people.” (Alma 46:5)
“Thus they were led away by Amalickiah to dissensions, notwithstanding the preaching of Helaman and his brethren, yea, notwithstanding their exceedingly great care over the church, for they were high priests over the church.” (Alma 46:6)
“And there were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah, therefore they dissented even from the church…” (Alma 46:7)
“Yea, and we also see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place among the children of men.” (Alma 46:8)
“Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous’ sake.” (Alma 46:9)

“And it came to pass that Amalickiah fled with a small number of his men, and the remainder were delivered up into the hands of Moroni and were taken back into the land of Zarahemla.” (Alma 46:33)

Amalickiah:
–is a Nephite.
–is a member of the true church of Jesus Christ!
–leaves the church because of pride.
–is lifted up in his heart because of his riches.
–is mad and wanted to kill the true Christians.
–wants to be king, but not in the “right way”.
–is a very evil man who also taught others to do evil.
–is a very able man: big and strong, ability to flatter, convincing in his lies, etc.
–is willing to sacrifice anyone—Nephite or Lamanite, follower or enemy—to fulfill his goal of being king.
–has the ability to plan far in advance.
–has the ability to carry out his plan with extreme boldness and cover it up.
–is able to keep key information from men that are very high up.
–is aided by key followers for key parts of the plan.

Now, what if there were not just one Amalickiah, but a few Amalickiahs, or even a group?

Think of Pearl Harbor—it’s now clear that American intelliegence and others knew that the Japanese were coming, but wanted the massacre to occur in order to pressure the USA to enter WW2 with the support of the American people.

-=
*Objection:
The official version of 9/11 already took intelligent and immense planning of the perpetrators; the unofficial version takes even more, so it’s harder to believe.

Answer:
Here’s what the Book of Mormon says:
“Now behold, this was the desire of Amalickiah; for he being a very subtle man to do evil therefore he laid the plan in his heart to dethrone the king of the Lamanites” (Alma 47:4). Remember, this is at the beginning of the account—we see that Amalickiah laid out the whole plan ahead of time.
I find it much easier to believe that high-placed men on the inside with plenty of access and some accomplices would have much more capability and ability to plan and carry out 9/11 than an outcast living with other outcasts in a cave half the world away, thwarting intelligence, the NSA (Echelon), the CIA, the FBI, the police, and everyone else for months. Especially if, say, these high-placed people could enlist the help of a country that had a lot to do with 9/11 and that had motive and would gain from doing so.
Believe me, many large birds were killed with one stone (whoops, four airplanes) in the unofficial versions, making the “extra work” well, well, well worth it.

-=
*Objection:
How is it possible that no one big involved in the 9/11 plan or conspiracy blew the whistle?

Answer:
First, many people (government at all levels, eyewitnesses, demolition, etc.) have blown the whistle (search “9/11 whistleblower” to start, or search on http://www.rense.com)—just that you haven’t ever heard about it, huh? And you likely never will hear anything about any whistleblower through the TV news or a major printed newspaper.
But in direct response to the objection, there are many possible reasons no one did, such as these:

1. Persuading someone to personally gain from retracting/ being quiet/ etc., even to the point of corrupting their previous high values.
Lehonti is a great example of this. First, he was the leader and king of Lamanites who did not want to fight, and his people were “fixed in their minds with a determined resolution that they would not be subjected to go against the Nephites” (Alma 47:6). Then, by the persuasions of Amalickiah, he meets with him, and agrees to become part of Amalickiah’s plan. What does he gain from it? Well, he becomes king over all the Lamanite forces.

Explosives expert Van Romero, vice president for research at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and former director of the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center at Tech, said on the day of the attacks: “My opinion is, based on the videotapes, that after the airplanes hit the World Trade Center there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse.” “Televised images of the attacks on the World Trade Center suggest that explosive devices caused the collapse of both towers. The collapse of the buildings appears “too methodical” to be a chance result of airplanes colliding with the structures. My opinion is, based on the videotapes, that after the airplanes hit the World Trade Center there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse.” Tend days later Romero subsequently retracted these statements, saying, “Certainly the fire is what caused the building to fail.”
The EMRTC was recently featured in the National Geographic Channel program 9/11: Science and Conspiracy, in which it created a series of three dubious experiments designed to support the official story.

Why the change? Let’s see what happened to Van Romero and his school after the change…
In October 2001, the Wall Street Journal named New Mexico Tech to its list of “This Fall’s Hot Schools.”
In January 2002, Van Romero just happened to be appointed national Chairman of Domestic Preparedness Consortium.
In September 2002, nearly $15 million was awarded to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) to “provide two terrorism-preparedness courses for First Responders”.
In December 2003, “Romero is credited in the article with being instrumental in procuring about $56 million worth of appropriations for New Mexico Tech for the current fiscal year. This notable achievement also recently caught the eye of editors at The Chronicle of Higher Education as they ranked the university first in the nation among institutions of higher education that receive federal earmarks.”
Get the picture?

2. Not everyone need know.
In fact, even though Lehonti became a top accomplice to Amalickiah’s plan, he didn’t know what the real plan was. He was misled by Amalickiah, and completely clueless. The Lamanite king who had sent Amalickiah to do his bidding didn’t know Amalickiah’s plan, either. And there’s no mention of anyone in the army, other than Amalikciah’s men, knowing or suspecting anything. They were misled with information about who killed the king, then joined in the cause by chasing the king’s guards. The few that needed to know, knew—everyone else was in the dark, misled, etc.

3. Kill them off when they’re no longer useful, or as part of the plan.
“and that [Amalickiah] would deliver [his army] up into Lehonti’s hands, if [Lehonti] would make him a second leader over the whole army” (Alma 47:13).

“Now it was the custom among the Lamanites, if their chief leader was killed, to appoint the second leader to be their chief leader” (Alma 47:17).
“And it came to pass that Amalickiah caused that one of his servants should administer poison by degrees to Lehonti, that he died” (Alma 47:18).
“Now, when Lehonti was dead, the Lamanites appointed Amalickiah to be their leader and their chief commander” (Alma 47:19).

And with the Lamanite king:
“And the king came out to meet him with his guards, for he supposed that Amalickiah had fulfilled his commands, and that Amalickiah had gathered together so great an army to go against the Nephites to battle.
“But behold, as the king came out to meet him Amalickiah caused that his servants should go forth to meet the king. And they went and bowed themselves before the king, as if to reverence him because of his greatness.
“And it came to pass that the king put forth his hand to raise them, as was the custom with the Lamanites, as a token of peace, which custom they had taken from the Nephites.
“And it came to pass that when he had raised the first from the ground, behold he stabbed the king to the heart; and he fell to the earth.” (Alma 47:21-24)

5. Scapegoat/ frame them, betray them, threaten them with death; run them out; etc.
“Now the servants of the king fled; and the servants of Amalickiah raised a cry, saying:” (Alma 47:25)
“Behold, the servants of the king have stabbed him to the heart, and he has fallen and they have fled; behold, come and see.” (Alma 47:26)
“And it came to pass that Amalickiah commanded that his armies should march forth and see what had happened to the king; and when they had come to the spot, and found the king lying in his gore, Amalickiah pretended to be wroth, and said: Whosoever loved the king, let him go forth, and pursue his servants that they may be slain.” (Alma 47:27)
“And it came to pass that all they who loved the king, when they heard these words, came forth and pursued after the servants of the king.” (Alma 47:28)
“Now when the servants of the king saw an army pursuing after them, they were frightened again, and fled into the wilderness, and came over into the land of Zarahemla and joined the people of Ammon.” (Alma 47:29)

For a real 911 example, see this interview with Kurt Sonnefeld, a whistleblower framed for his wife’s suicide and more that the USA federal government is trying to extradite with false documents—charges they would drop if he shut up and returned his evidence of a cover-up: http://www.voltairenet.org/article160636.html.
As another example, see this:
“A 9/11 toxic dust whistleblower, a ground zero hero and one of the individuals influential in the release of documents proving a government cover-up that deliberately put police, firemen and rescue personel at risk, has been raided by a New York SWAT team – who ransacked his home for three hours after he was arrested.
“Three minutes later as I’m walking out of my office with one of the detectives, I have a federal SWAT team that comes in….men in black and all of a sudden they have 9 millimeter handguns and MP5 machine guns aimed at my head,” McCormack told the Alex Jones Show.
McCormack was ordered to leave the building as the 15-strong Darth Vader like SWAT team members verbally abused him and commenced ransacking his house for up to three hours ‘like a cyclone.’
McCormack said that around 75% of police, firemen and rescue personnel that he had personally spoke with now believe there is a cover-up pertaining to 9/11 and that many had been threatened that “if they ever open their mouth their pensions are at risk.”
“I said shame on all of them….yesterday I was recognized as a national hero….they chose to humiliate me….they basically flushed my life down the toilet for no reason whatsoever,” said McCormack – who is now shunned by his neighbors and treated as a dangerous criminal, with the local authorities going to the lengths of moving the location of an elementary school bus stop which was outside of his house.”
www.prisonplanet.com/articles/september2006/150906whistleblowerraided.htm

6. Provide hostile and/ or counter-witnesses to contradict the truth:
“And now it came to pass that the queen, when she had heard that the king was slain—for Amalickiah had sent an embassy to the queen informing her that the king had been slain by his servants, that he had pursued them with his army, but it was in vain, and they had made their escape—Alma 47:32)
“Therefore, when the queen had received this message she sent unto Amalickiah, … she also desired him that he should come in unto her; and she also desired him that he should bring witnesses with him to testify concerning the death of the king.” (Alma 47:33)
“And it came to pass that Amalickiah took the same servant that slew the king, and all them who were with him, and went in unto the queen, unto the place where she sat; and they all testified unto her that the king was slain by his own servants; and they said also: They have fled; does not this testify against them? And thus they satisfied the queen concerning the death of the king.” (Alma 47:34)

Many announcers, commentators, and interviewees later retracted statements.

-=
*Objection:
It’s impossible for anyone near the top to not know what was happening.

Answer:
Maybe it’s true, and maybe the truthfulness of that comment should rest on us longer and deeper. But in some cases, it’s not true—see again the above examples of Lehonti and the Lamanite king.

Alma 47:21
And the king came out to meet him with his guards, for he supposed that Amalickiah had fulfilled his commands, and that Amalickiah had gathered together so great an army to go against the Nephites to battle.
Wrong!! He’s the king, but he’s completely clueless.

*Objection:
If the official version of 9/11 were wrong, or the unofficial version were true, we’d hear about it in the news—besides, our government would never lie to us to get us to hate and fight others.

Answer:
Oh, that that were true!
But alas, look at this mass propaganda campaign and its results:
“AND now it came to pass that, as soon as Amalickiah had obtained the kingdom he began to inspire the hearts of the Lamanites against the people of Nephi; yea, he did appoint men to speak unto the Lamanites from their towers, against the Nephites.” (Alma 48:1)
“And thus he did inspire their hearts against the Nephites…” (Alma 48:2)
“Therefore he had accomplished his design, for he had hardened the hearts of the Lamanites and blinded their minds, and stirred them up to anger, insomuch that he had gathered together a numerous host to go to battle against the Nephites.” (Alma 48:3)

*Objection:
But the official story of 9/11 makes sense.

Answer:
And the official story made sense to the Lamanites, too.
There are many things that shouldn’t have made sense to them, if you think about it. I mean…
1. Didn’t anyone know that Amalickiah was openly disobeying the king by joining forces with Lehonti and thereby committing treason (and a Nephite immigrant at that!)?
2. Didn’t anyone wonder how Amalickiah’s army got surrounded? Amalickiah, a great and smart warrior, should have posted guards who should have seen Lehonti’s men were coming down a mountain, right before the break of day—it wasn’t 2AM. Where were the guards?
3. Didn’t anyone notice Amalickiah going up to the mountain that night? Didn’t they wonder what he was doing there, especially after he got surrounded the next day?
4. Didn’t anyone see the relationship between Amalickiah going up the hill, Amalickiah’s army getting encircled, his surrendering, being placed second in command, having the first in command poisoned, and then becoming first in command?
5. Didn’t anyone wonder why the king’s guards would kill the king right by Amalickiah and the army, who would have been ready to execute them if they had? Wouldn’t it have been easier for the guards to kill the king while the army was away? Or any other time? Didn’t anyone see how too perfect a “coincidence” it was, for Amalickiah, for it to happen at that time?
6. Ok, so, the servants killed the king… But then they fled?? What were the benefits of that? Why would they do that?
7. And, where did they flee to? To the Nephites, where murderers are punished by death? And not to just the Nephites, but of all people, to the people of Ammon—pacifists who were extremely intolerant of murderers?
8. Why would all the Lamanites believe Amalickiah instead of the king’s guards? Had Amalickiah proved himself a loyal, wonderful servant over the king’s guards?
9. Didn’t anyone wonder why Amalickiah wanted the king’s servants slain on the spot instead of given a trial or anything like that?
10. Didn’t anyone listen to the king’s guards, or their reports, or even rumors, that must have come to them after the incident and that were certainly contrary to Amalickiah’s report?
11. Didn’t anyone see how the end was finally realized, and see that it was the end from the beginning?
12. Didn’t anyone know about Amalickiah wanting to be king of the Nephites, and getting ready to use force to follow through with it, and how much this matched his becoming king of the Lamanites? This was major news even Lamanites could easily have known about.
13. Didn’t anyone find it strange that Amalickiah started a propaganda campaign right after becoming king—a campaign that no doubt aided his point of view?
I’m sure that if someone asked (if they dared—remember, this is neither republic nor democracy, but a king ruled), there was a great answer.

On the other hand, what about those Americans! I mean…
1. How did the hijackers get on the planes? Where are the videos of them getting on or even heading towards the planes? Why have the only shown videos (that never really showed the hijackers) been shot down clearly as fake (due to shadows and sun positions and the time of day the videos were shot)? How did the hijackers all make it through the detectors and x-rays, etc. with boxcutters? Three or four men, dressed in red bandanas (an inappropriate color for dedicated Muslims), used boxcutters to “stab” people and keep lots of tough grown men at bay, including military personnel and karate experts on board?
2. How were cell phone calls made from planes? (When’s the last time you made a cell phone call to someone from a plane? Never? You’re in good company–before 9/11, no one ever had, the technology *did not exist*.) Why did someone in a life-threatening situation talk to a complete stranger for a while instead of calling another loved one/ relative, close friend, etc.? Why did someone identify himself to his mom using his full name (when’s the last time YOU or anyone you know did that?)
3. How did the hijacked planes fly around for so long without military planes? (Believe me, anyone familiar with the US military knows this is just impossible.)
4. Didn’t anyone notice how perfectly and quickly the buildings fell? And there were witnesses who heard bombs, and all the evidence showed there was more?
5. The floated-to-the-sidewalk passport! A huge exploding fireball, and of all things that survived, a hijacker’s passport!
6. DNA of a hijacker (of which at least 1/3 are still alive!) was supposedly found at the WTC crash (which was supposedly so hot it incinerated everything and everyone else–except for the passport that was just mentioned, of course).

And the list goes on and on–in fact, at least one person (Nico Haupt) has written a list (incomplete, I might add) of 500 questions of things that are impossible about 911, or don’t make sense about it, or that are interesting coincidences, or pressing questions.

Now, I want to go to a quick summary and possible interpolations from the record of Alma 46-48.

46:2, 3, 4, 5, 7 Amalickiah, though he was a very wicked man, used such great speech that he flattered many church members so much that they believed him and supported him (even in opposition to the church and its leaders). He used that good old trade: “you help me, and I’ll help you”. And it worked for those who wanted power–who are often dangerous men. If he could get people this way, and even church members, couldn’t our government find accomplices and followers for 9/11 the same way?

47:4 Amalickiah already has a plan!! Long before any of the big events happened, especially the murder of the king, and even before the first step was taken, he had a plan to overthrow the king and take the kingship for himself.

47:15 By purposefully setting up a bad situation, the people desire exactly what Amalickiah wants them to, and sets himself up as a small hero who listens to the people. Match this up to this quote of Henry Kissinger:
“Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will pledge with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government.”

47:16 This was in complete disobedience to the king’s order. But, the king wasn’t there to know it!

46:33, 47:18, 22, 24-26, 34, 35 Amalickiah has a few key accomplices–his “cunning servants”—who are willing to support him in everything, even to the point of open, cold-blooded assassination of the king of the Lamanites, then lying by testifying against the king’s servants.

47:16 Amalickiah sets himself up to become leader through assassination. However, he doesn’t actually kill anyone himself—he gets someone else to do it. Is this one of those things that only happens long ago, far away, in the Book of Mormon?

47:26 Yes, obviously the king was murdered, which is hardly the point; but, as they say in marketing, credibility goes to the first one to state the obvious. Was Amalickiah smooth or what? He obviously understood people.
Also, once more, he was safe from blame because he didn’t do it, wasn’t there, and could deny any involvement. Had his servant been caught, that servant would be blamed (and then probably be let off, let escape, or betrayed to a quick death before he could say anything), the king would still be dead, and Amalickiah would still be leader of the army—and his plan would still go on. This is the way most people in high places do their dirty work.

47:27 Even though no one knew it, Amalickiah COULDN’T have been wroth—hey, this was his great plan! But he pretended to be, and by inviting those who “loved the king” to chase after the servants, he:
· allowed and encouraged (FALSE) patriotism;
· provoked a feeling of catharsis, by allowing the people to feel like they were doing something worthwhile for a good and just cause;
· found out who really loved the king and who he needed to work harder on to win over or kill off;
· created a link between himself and the king in the minds of the Lamanites—a “passing of the mantle” experience (similar to Jesse Jackson’s “Malcomlm X died in my arms” thing);
· let everyone know his way of dealing with betrayal, etc., giving everyone an incentive to not betray him;
· made sure the king’s servants had no other option than to run to the Nephites for asylum, which served a few purposes: no one could find out the truth about the assassination, and it fit in with his plans of stirring the Lamanites up to anger (see 47:29).

47:27 Kill the servants!! This is not even with a pretense of justice like with Osama bin Laden’s “Reward–Dead or Alive” (so nothing can be told and the US official story challenged), but “Kill on the spot!” What other choice did the servants have but to flee? And what w-ould have happened to Osama bin Laden if he had come out to challenge the story, or turned himself in?—killed on the spot?

47:29 Too perfect! The Nephites, scum to begin with, are now harboring terrorists/ assassins/ murderers! *Of course* now we have to invade and destroy them.

47:33 The queen wants witnesses! Anyone who wants witnesses should get them from both sides, not just one side. Did she question why the servants, whom she knew much better than Amalickiah and his men, killed the king and fled? Did she bother to check with the servants, at least hear their side? Was she scared to confront Amalickiah? but then, she wouldn’t marry him, right? Or, did she really not care? Maybe the king paled compared to this new strange man standing before her. Hey, what’s done is done, right?
After 9/11, when many people called for an investigation, look at what was set up. The 9/11 Commission was almost exactly like the embassy that went to the queen—accomplices, followers, and maybe more, of those that did it. It was not to tell the truth, but to cover it up. We also got our witnesses, but like with Amalickiah, we only got one side—the official one—and the reasoning was similar—see, Osama is gone into hiding, and we found a video, so we know he did it. And like the queen, we accepted the report as confirmation of the truth.

47:36 Amalickiah now takes advantage of the mourners and moves in to complete the conquest of the Lamanites.

48:1, 2 The first thing Amalickiah does is start a propaganda campaign against the Nephites. In addition to the old stories and traditions, do you think that Amalickiah might, perhaps, mention anything about the Nephites harboring international murderers (the king’s servants)? Or suggesting that the Nephites corrupted and turned the servants against the king, and had the assassination planned from a while before? Or…? Whatever he does, it works—now they’ll go to war.

49:26 The purpose of war—to free the Lamanites? To bring back the king’s servants for trial? To find the Nephites responsible for the plan to assassinate the Lamanite king? Etc., etc.? No! It’s to make the Nephites slaves; to earn from their labors and lands; to glut themselves on others’ labors.

Frankly, the similarities of the principles and actual techniques used by the unofficial conspirators of 9/11 seem to have been lifted from the episode of Amalickiah in the Book of Mormon. The records we have on Amalickiah show that more study should be made into the unofficial story(ies) of 9/11. I conclude that it’s impossible to believe in the Book of Mormon and at the same time deny the possibility that the story of Amalickiah was acted out, only in a modern time and setting among us.

THE END

Dedicated to those true patriots of 911, and the victims of the secret combination

In memory of Joe Vialls

-=-=-=
The pertinent scriptures for those who might not have them:

“And now it came to pass that after Helaman and his brethren had appointed priests and teachers over the churches that there arose a dissension among them, and they would not give heed to the words of Helaman and his brethren;” (Alma 45:23)
“But they grew proud, being lifted up in their hearts, because of their exceedingly great riches; therefore they grew rich in their own eyes, and would not give heed to their words, to walk uprightly before God.” (Alma 45:24)
“AND it came to pass that as many as would not hearken to the words of Helaman and his brethren were gathered together against their brethren.” (Alma 46:1)
“And now behold, they were exceedingly wroth, insomuch that they were determined to slay them.” (Alma 46:2)
“Now the leader of those who were wroth against their brethren was a large and a strong man; and his name was Amalickiah.” (Alma 46:3)
“And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power.” (Alma 46:4)
“And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people.” (Alma 46:5)
“Thus they were led away by Amalickiah to dissensions, notwithstanding the preaching of Helaman and his brethren, yea, notwithstanding their exceedingly great care over the church, for they were high priests over the church.” (Alma 46:6)
“And there were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah, therefore they dissented even from the church; and thus were the affairs of the people of Nephi exceedingly precarious and dangerous, notwithstanding their great victory which they had had over the Lamanites, and their great rejoicings which they had had because of their deliverance by the hand of the Lord.” (Alma 46:7)

“Yea, and we also see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place among the children of men.” (Alma 46:8)
“Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous’ sake.” (Alma 46:9)

“And now it came to pass that when Moroni had said these words he went forth, and also sent forth in all the parts of the land where there were dissensions, and gathered together all the people who were desirous to maintain their liberty, to stand against Amalickiah and those who had dissented, who were called Amalickiahites.” (Alma 46:28)
“And it came to pass that when Amalickiah saw that the people of Moroni were more numerous than the Amalickiahites–and he also saw that his people were doubtful concerning the justice of the cause in which they had undertaken–therefore, fearing that he should not gain the point, he took those of his people who would and departed into the land of Nephi.” (Alma 46:29)
“Now Moroni thought it was not expedient that the Lamanites should have any more strength; therefore he thought to cut off the people of Amalickiah, or to take them and bring them back, and put Amalickiah to death; yea, for he knew that he would stir up the Lamanites to anger against them, and cause them to come to battle against them; and this he knew that Amalickiah would do that he might obtain his purposes.” (Alma 46:30)
“Therefore Moroni thought it was expedient that he should take his armies, who had gathered themselves together, and armed themselves, and entered into a covenant to keep the peace–and it came to pass that he took his army and marched out with his tents into the wilderness, to cut off the course of Amalickiah in the wilderness.” (Alma 46:31)
“And it came to pass that he did according to his desires, and marched forth into the wilderness, and headed the armies of Amalickiah.” (Alma 46:32)
“And it came to pass that Amalickiah fled with a small number of his men, and the remainder were delivered up into the hands of Moroni and were taken back into the land of Zarahemla.” (Alma 46:33)

“NOW we will return in our record to Amalickiah and those who had fled with him into the wilderness; for, behold, he had taken those who went with him, and went up in the land of Nephi among the Lamanites, and did stir up the Lamanites to anger against the people of Nephi, insomuch that the king of the Lamanites sent a proclamation throughout all his land, among all his people, that they should gather themselves together again to go to battle against the Nephites.” (Alma 47:1)
“And it came to pass that when the proclamation had gone forth among them they were exceedingly afraid; yea, they feared to displease the king, and they also feared to go to battle against the Nephites lest they should lose their lives. And it came to pass that they would not, or the more part of them would not, obey the commandments of the king.” (Alma 47:2)
“And now it came to pass that the king was wroth because of their disobedience; therefore he gave Amalickiah the command of that part of his army which was obedient unto his commands, and commanded him that he should go forth and compel them to arms.” (Alma 47:3)
“Now behold, this was the desire of Amalickiah; for he being a very subtle man to do evil therefore he laid the plan in his heart to dethrone the king of the Lamanites.” (Alma 47:4)
“And now he had got the command of those parts of the Lamanites who were in favor of the king; and he sought to gain favor of those who were not obedient; therefore he went forward to the place which was called Onidah, for thither had all the Lamanites fled; for they discovered the army coming, and, supposing that they were coming to destroy them, therefore they fled to Onidah, to the place of arms.” (Alma 47:5)
“And they had appointed a man to be a king and a leader over them, being fixed in their minds with a determined resolution that they would not be subjected to go against the Nephites.” (Alma 47:6)
“And it came to pass that they had gathered themselves together upon the top of the mount which was called Antipas, in preparation to battle.” (Alma 47:7)
“Now it was not Amalickiah’s intention to give them battle according to the commandments of the king; but behold, it was his intention to gain favor with the armies of the Lamanites, that he might place himself at their head and dethrone the king and take possession of the kingdom.” (Alma 47:8)
“And behold, it came to pass that he caused his army to pitch their tents in the valley which was near the mount Antipas.” (Alma 47:9)
“And it came to pass that when it was night he sent a secret embassy into the mount Antipas, desiring that the leader of those who were upon the mount, whose name was Lehonti, that he should come down to the foot of the mount, for he desired to speak with him.” (Alma 47:10)
“And it came to pass that when Lehonti received the message he durst not go down to the foot of the mount. And it came to pass that Amalickiah sent again the second time, desiring him to come down. And it came to pass that Lehonti would not; and he sent again the third time.” (Alma 47:11)
“And it came to pass that when Amalickiah found that he could not get Lehonti to come down off from the mount, he went up into the mount, nearly to Lehonti’s camp; and he sent again the fourth time his message unto Lehonti, desiring that he would come down, and that he would bring his guards with him.” (Alma 47:12)
“And it came to pass that when Lehonti had come down with his guards to Amalickiah, that Amalickiah desired him to come down with his army in the night-time, and surround those men in their camps over whom the king had given him command, and that he would deliver them up into Lehonti’s hands, if he would make him (Amalickiah) a second leader over the whole army.” (Alma 47:13)
“And it came to pass that Lehonti came down with his men and surrounded the men of Amalickiah, so that before they awoke at the dawn of day they were surrounded by the armies of Lehonti.” (Alma 47:14)
“And it came to pass that when they saw that they were surrounded, they plead with Amalickiah that he would suffer them to fall in with their brethren, that they might not be destroyed. Now this was the very thing which Amalickiah desired.” (Alma 47:15)
“And it came to pass that he delivered his men, contrary to the commands of the king. Now this was the thing that Amalickiah desired, that he might accomplish his designs in dethroning the king.” (Alma 47:16)
“Now it was the custom among the Lamanites, if their chief leader was killed, to appoint the second leader to be their chief leader.” (Alma 47:17)
“And it came to pass that Amalickiah caused that one of his servants should administer poison by degrees to Lehonti, that he died.” (Alma 47:18)
“Now, when Lehonti was dead, the Lamanites appointed Amalickiah to be their leader and their chief commander.” (Alma 47:19)
“And it came to pass that Amalickiah marched with his armies (for he had gained his desires) to the land of Nephi, to the city of Nephi, which was the chief city.” (Alma 47:20)
“And the king came out to meet him with his guards, for he supposed that Amalickiah had fulfilled his commands, and that Amalickiah had gathered together so great an army to go against the Nephites to battle.” (Alma 47:21)
“But behold, as the king came out to meet him Amalickiah caused that his servants should go forth to meet the king. And they went and bowed themselves before the king, as if to reverence him because of his greatness.” (Alma 47:22)
“And it came to pass that the king put forth his hand to raise them, as was the custom with the Lamanites, as a token of peace, which custom they had taken from the Nephites.” (Alma 47:23)
“And it came to pass that when he had raised the first from the ground, behold he stabbed the king to the heart; and he fell to the earth.” (Alma 47:24)
“Now the servants of the king fled; and the servants of Amalickiah raised a cry, saying:Alma 47:25
“Behold, the servants of the king have stabbed him to the heart, and he has fallen and they have fled; behold, come and see.” (Alma 47:26
“And it came to pass that Amalickiah commanded that his armies should march forth and see what had happened to the king; and when they had come to the spot, and found the king lying in his gore, Amalickiah pretended to be wroth, and said: Whosoever loved the king, let him go forth, and pursue his servants that they may be slain.” (Alma 47:27
“And it came to pass that all they who loved the king, when they heard these words, came forth and pursued after the servants of the king.” (Alma 47:28)
“Now when the servants of the king saw an army pursuing after them, they were frightened again, and fled into the wilderness, and came over into the land of Zarahemla and joined the people of Ammon.” (Alma 47:29)
“And the army which pursued after them returned, having pursued after them in vain; and thus Amalickiah, by his fraud, gained the hearts of the people.” (Alma 47:30)
“And it came to pass on the morrow he entered the city Nephi with his armies, and took possession of the city.” (Alma 47:31)
“And now it came to pass that the queen, when she had heard that the king was slain–for Amalickiah had sent an embassy to the queen informing her that the king had been slain by his servants, that he had pursued them with his army, but it was in vain, and they had made their escape–Alma 47:32)
“Therefore, when the queen had received this message she sent unto Amalickiah, desiring him that he would spare the people of the city; and she also desired him that he should come in unto her; and she also desired him that he should bring witnesses with him to testify concerning the death of the king.” (Alma 47:33)
“And it came to pass that Amalickiah took the same servant that slew the king, and all them who were with him, and went in unto the queen, unto the place where she sat; and they all testified unto her that the king was slain by his own servants; and they said also: They have fled; does not this testify against them? And thus they satisfied the queen concerning the death of the king.” (Alma 47:34)
“And it came to pass that Amalickiah sought the favor of the queen, and took her unto him to wife; and thus by his fraud, and by the assistance of his cunning servants, he obtained the kingdom; yea, he was acknowledged king throughout all the land, among all the people of the Lamanites, who were composed of the Lamanites and the Lemuelites and the Ishmaelites, and all the dissenters of the Nephites, from the reign of Nephi down to the present time.

“AND now it came to pass that, as soon as Amalickiah had obtained the kingdom he began to inspire the hearts of the Lamanites against the people of Nephi; yea, he did appoint men to speak unto the Lamanites from their towers, against the Nephites.” (Alma 48:1)
“And thus he did inspire their hearts against the Nephites, insomuch that in the latter end of the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges, he having accomplished his designs thus far, yea, having been made king over the Lamanites, he sought also to reign over all the land, yea, and all the people who were in the land, the Nephites as well as the Lamanites.” (Alma 48:2)
“Therefore he had accomplished his design, for he had hardened the hearts of the Lamanites and blinded their minds, and stirred them up to anger, insomuch that he had gathered together a numerous host to go to battle against the Nephites.” (Alma 48:3)
“For he was determined, because of the greatness of the number of his people, to overpower the Nephites and to bring them into bondage.” (Alma 48:4)
“And thus he did appoint chief captains of the Zoramites, they being the most acquainted with the strength of the Nephites, and their places of resort, and the weakest parts of their cities; therefore he appointed them to be chief captains over his armies.” (Alma 48:5)
“And it came to pass that they took their camp, and moved forth toward the land of Zarahemla in the wilderness.” (Alma 48:6)
“Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.” (Alma 48:7)

“Nevertheless, they could not suffer to lay down their lives, that their wives and their children should be massacred by the barbarous cruelty of those who were once their brethren, yea, and had dissented from their church, and had left them and had gone to destroy them by joining the Lamanites.” (Alma 48:24)
“Yea, they could not bear that their brethren should rejoice over the blood of the Nephites, so long as there were any who should keep the commandments of God, for the promise of the Lord was, if they should keep his commandments they should prosper in the land.” (Alma 48:25)
“AND now it came to pass in the eleventh month of the nineteenth year, on the tenth day of the month, the armies of the Lamanites were seen approaching towards the land of Ammonihah.” (Alma 49:1)

“Now, if king Amalickiah had come down out of the land of Nephi, at the head of his army, perhaps he would have caused the Lamanites to have attacked the Nephites at the city of Ammonihah; for behold, he did care not for the blood of his people.” (Alma 49:10)
“But behold, Amalickiah did not come down himself to battle. And behold, his chief captains durst not attack the Nephites at the city of Ammonihah, for Moroni had altered the management of affairs among the Nephites, insomuch that the Lamanites were disappointed in their places of retreat and they could not come upon them.” (Alma 49:11)

“And it came to pass, that when the Lamanites saw that their chief captains were all slain they fled into the wilderness. And it came to pass that they returned to the land of Nephi, to inform their king, Amalickiah, who was a Nephite by birth, concerning their great loss.” (Alma 49:25)
“And it came to pass that he was exceedingly angry with his people, because he had not obtained his desire over the Nephites; he had not subjected them to the yoke of bondage.” (Alma 49:26)
“Yea, he was exceedingly wroth, and he did curse God, and also Moroni, swearing with an oath that he would drink his blood; and this because Moroni had kept the commandments of God in preparing for the safety of his people.” (Alma 49:27)

“But behold, this was a critical time for such contentions to be among the people of Nephi; for behold, Amalickiah had again stirred up the hearts of the people of the Lamanites against the people of the Nephites, and he was gathering together soldiers from all parts of his land, and arming them, and preparing for war with all diligence; for he had sworn to drink the blood of Moroni.” (Alma 51:9)
“But behold, we shall see that his promise which he made was rash; nevertheless, he did prepare himself and his armies to come to battle against the Nephites.” (Alma 51:10)
“Now his armies were not so great as they had hitherto been, because of the many thousands who had been slain by the hand of the Nephites; but notwithstanding their great loss, Amalickiah had gathered together a wonderfully great army, insomuch that he feared not to come down to the land of Zarahemla.” (Alma 51:11)
“Yea, even Amalickiah did himself come down, at the head of the Lamanites. And it was in the twenty and fifth year of the reign of the judges; and it was at the same time that they had begun to settle the affairs of their contentions concerning the chief judge, Pahoran.” (Alma 51:12)

“Behold, it came to pass that while Moroni was thus breaking down the wars and contentions among his own people, and subjecting them to peace and civilization, and making regulations to prepare for war against the Lamanites, behold, the Lamanites had come into the land of Moroni, which was in the borders by the seashore.” (Alma 51:22)
“And it came to pass that the Nephites were not sufficiently strong in the city of Moroni; therefore Amalickiah did drive them, slaying many. And it came to pass that Amalickiah took possession of the city, yea, possession of all their fortifications.” (Alma 51:23)
“And those who fled out of the city of Moroni came to the city of Nephihah; and also the people of the city of Lehi gathered themselves together, and made preparations and were ready to receive the Lamanites to battle.” (Alma 51:24)
“But it came to pass that Amalickiah would not suffer the Lamanites to go against the city of Nephihah to battle, but kept them down by the seashore, leaving men in every city to maintain and defend it.” (Alma 51:25)
“And thus he went on, taking possession of many cities, the city of Nephihah, and the city of Lehi, and the city of Morianton, and the city of Omner, and the city of Gid, and the city of Mulek, all of which were on the east borders by the seashore.” (Alma 51:26)
And thus had the Lamanites obtained, by the cunning of Amalickiah, so many cities, by their numberless hosts, all of which were strongly fortified after the manner of the fortifications of Moroni; all of which afforded strongholds for the Lamanites.” (Alma 51:27)
“And it came to pass that they marched to the borders of the land Bountiful, driving the Nephites before them and slaying many.” (Alma 51:28)
“But it came to pass that they were met by Teancum, who had slain Morianton and had headed his people in his flight.” (Alma 51:29)
“And it came to pass that he headed Amalickiah also, as he was marching forth with his numerous army that he might take possession of the land Bountiful, and also the land northward.” (Alma 51:30)
“But behold he met with a disappointment by being repulsed by Teancum and his men, for they were great warriors; for every man of Teancum did exceed the Lamanites in their strength and in their skill of war, insomuch that they did gain advantage over the Lamanites.” (Alma 51:31)
“And it came to pass that they did harass them, insomuch that they did slay them even until it was dark. And it came to pass that Teancum and his men did pitch their tents in the borders of the land Bountiful; and Amalickiah did pitch his tents in the borders on the beach by the seashore, and after this manner were they driven.” (Alma 51:32)
“And it came to pass that when the night had come, Teancum and his servant stole forth and went out by night, and went into the camp of Amalickiah; and behold, sleep had overpowered them because of their much fatigue, which was caused by the labors and heat of the day.” (Alma 51:33)
“And it came to pass that Teancum stole privily into the tent of the king, and put a javelin to his heart; and he did cause the death of the king immediately that he did not awake his servants.

“And thus endeth the twenty and fifth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi; and thus endeth the days of Amalickiah.” (Alma 51:37)
“AND now, it came to pass in the twenty and sixth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, behold, when the Lamanites awoke on the first morning of the first month, behold, they found Amalickiah was dead in his own tent; and they also saw that Teancum was ready to give them battle on that day.” (Alma 52:1)

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