Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, October 14

“Are There ‘Others’ in the Book of Mormon?: A Critique and Partial Rebuttal of the Book of Mormon article ‘When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There?’ by John L. Sorenson and other similar Book of Mormon articles by Brant Gardner, Matthew Roper, Michael Ash, etc.” PART 10: CRITIQUE OF THE ARGUMENT THAT THE AMLICITES WERE MULEKITE “OTHERS” by grego

“Are There ‘Others’ in the Book of Mormon?: A Critique and Partial Rebuttal of the Book of Mormon article ‘When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There?’ by John L. Sorenson and other similar Book of Mormon articles by Brant Gardner, Matthew Roper, Michael Ash, etc.”
PART 10: CRITIQUE OF THE ARGUMENT THAT THE AMLICITES WERE MULEKITE “OTHERS”

by grego
(c) 2004-2009

PART 10: CRITIQUE OF THE ARGUMENT THAT THE AMLICITES WERE MULEKITE “OTHERS”

John L. Sorenson:
Further reason to see variety among the “Mulekites” is provided by the Amlicites (see Alma 2). In their rebellion against being ruled by the Nephites, they mustered a large rebel force, about the same size as the loyal Nephite army. They “came” from some distinct settlement locality of their own (surely from downriver) to challenge Alma’s army.

****Whoah, pardner! A man wants to be king. (I can’t find “surely from downriver” in my Book of Mormon; would Sorenson like to provide a reference?)
Let’s look at the story:
Alma 2:1: “And it came to pass in the commencement of the fifth year of their reign there began to be a contention AMONG THE PEOPLE; for a certain man, being called Amlici, he being a very cunning man, yea, a wise man as to the wisdom of the world, HE BEING AFTER THE ORDER OF THE MAN THAT SLEW GIDEON BY THE SWORD, who was executed according to the law–
Alma 2:2: Now this Amlici had, by his cunning, DRAWN AWAY MUCH PEOPLE AFTER HIM; even so much that they began to be very powerful; and THEY began to endeavor to establish Amlici to be a king over the people.
Alma 2:3: Now THIS WAS ALARMING TO THE PEOPLE OF THE CHURCH, and also to all those who HAD NOT BEEN DRAWN AWAY AFTER THE PERSUASIONS OF AMLICI; for they knew that according to their law that such things must be established by the voice of the people.
Alma 2:5: And it came to pass that THE PEOPLE ASSEMBLED THEMSELVES TOGETHER THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND, EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS MIND, whether it were FOR OR AGAINST AMLICI, in separate bodies, HAVING MUCH DISPUTE AND WONDERFUL CONTENTIONS ONE WITH ANOTHER.
(If they were physically/ geographically separated by a long distance, how could they have “much dispute and wonderful contentions one with another”?)
Alma 2:8: …but Amlici did stir up those who were in his favor to anger against those who were not in his favor.
Alma 2:9: And it came to pass that THEY GATHERED THEMSELVES TOGETHER (now, at this time–not before, not already a group from “up the river” or wherever), and did consecrate Amlici to be their king.
Alma 2:10: Now when Amlici was made king over them he commanded them that they should take up arms AGAINST THEIR BRETHREN; and this he did that he might subject them to him.
Alma 2:11: Now the people of Amlici were distinguished by the name of Amlici, being called Amlicites; and the remainder were called Nephites, OR THE PEOPLE OF GOD. (Here the distinction is people of “God vs. rebels”, not ethnic groups, etc.)
ONCE MORE, John L. Soreson has manipulated or misread or misunderstood the scriptures to support his thinking; he says something, the scriptures say otherwise.

-=-=-=
John L. Soreson:
There can be little question, it seems to me, that they constituted a numerous population with their own history and cultural features whom the intruding Nephite elite ruled only with difficulty. These Amlicites may have been broadly categorized together with “the people of Zarahemla,” although residing at a distance from the city of Zarahemla and so never headed by the chief whom Mosiah encountered and coopted. The Amlicites, like Ammon and the Zeniffites, seem not to have traced any connection with Mulek but set themselves apart only under their current leader’s name, Amlici. Perhaps they were a local group or set of groups derived in part from Jaredite ancestry or perhaps from ancestors other than Mulek who arrived with his party.
The “king-men” of later days may have been composed of the same societal elements but without a leader equivalent to Amlici to confer on them a (his) distinctive name. The king-men, too, inhabited a distinct region, for when Moroni “commanded that his army should go against those king-men,” they were “hewn down” and compelled to fly the “title of liberty” standard “in their cities” (Alma 51:17-20). This language confirms that they, like the Amlicites, had a base territory of their own and that it was a significant distance from the city of Zarahemla. Again, quite surely, it lay downriver.

****Again, I can’t find any of this in the Book of Mormon: most all of these statements here are plain speculation.
When you rebel like this, you usually gather to fight. Did they start out all in the same spot, or gather? It seems clear that they had to gather when they rebelled.

-=-=-=
John L. Soreson:
Mulek’s party likely settled first at “the city of Mulek,” which was on the east coast very near the city Bountiful. During some period between the first landing of the Mulek party and Zarahemla’s day, the descendants of the immigrants became “exceedingly numerous”–enough to engage in “many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time” (Omni 1:17). The departure of Zarahemla’s faction upriver was plausibly a consequence of those wars. From the thumbnail sketch of their history in Omni we cannot tell much, but their becoming “exceedingly numerous” under such difficult pioneer circumstances sounds as unlikely on the grounds of natural increase alone as when the same expression was applied to the early Lamanites (see below). It is likely that they too incorporated “others” into their structure, probably seizing control, or trying to seize control, over relatively disorganized Jaredite remnants they encountered. Perhaps the wars in which they became involved stemmed initially from the militarized chaos they may have found reverberating among those remnants following the “final” battle between the armies of Shiz and Coriantumr.

****”City of Mulek”… hmm, can’t find that in my Book of Mormon, can anyone? There is no connection or need to first become “exceedingly numerous” in order to be “enough to engage in wars and contentions and die. And that isn’t what the Book of Mormon sets up as a connection, either.
There is no “departure of Zarahemla’s faction” in my Book of Mormon, either.
Once more, John L. Sorenson ignores the Book of Mormon text on the population situation.
“It is likely that they too incorporated “others” into their structure, probably seizing control, or trying to seize control, over relatively disorganized Jaredite remnants they encountered.” Wow, this is really getting out there in nowhere land… Also completely missing, and unsupported by the Book of Mormon text.

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