Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, November 28

“Adam And Eve: Immortal Yet Childless: Lacked Microbe?” by grego

Adam And Eve: Immortal Yet Childless: Lacked Microbe?

grego
(c) 2009

In the article “Bacteria, Cancer & the Origin of Life, Part Two”, Alan Cantwell, Jr., M.D., writes that “Virginia Wuerthele-Caspe Livingston (a physician),… believed everyone carried cancer microbes in their blood and tissues. And the microbe was essential for life. In 1974, she discovered some cancer-associated *bacteria produced an HCG-like hormone* – the human choriogonadotropin hormone, which is an *essential hormone needed to start life in the womb*. But she also thought *the microbe was the germ that did most people in as they aged*. The microbe was Mother Nature’s built-in terminator to force old people off the planet and to make room for new life on the planet.”

Interesting that in LDS/ Mormon theology, Adam and Eve were immortal yet childless. Lehi says:
2 Nephi 2:22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they *must have remained forever, and had no end*.
23 And *they would have had no children*; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

Most explanations in Sunday School/ classes is that Adam and Eve, being innocent like children/ etc., didn’t know what sex was/ weren’t ashamed/ etc., therefore didn’t have any children. Makes sense.

In the above verse 2 Nephi 2:23, , it says they would have remained innocent because they didn’t have children, not the other way around. (This is a simple observation on one verse, not a theory.)

Could there be more to it? Could it be that Adam and Eve lacked this microbe/ bacteria? Could it be that eating the fruit brought about this change?

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2009, November 26

“‘Together Forever’ When You Hate Your Family?!?” by grego

“‘Together Forever’ When You Hate Your Family?!?”

grego
(c) 2009

Why would anyone–LDS/ Mormon or otherwise–want to (get sealed in the temple to) be able to spend an eternity with a family they hate, spouses they argue with and have little feelings for, and parents-in-law that bug the heck out of you?

If your family life now is hell, how can hell be heaven?

1. Get with it. Change NOW. You can’t stop your wife from nagging, but chances are good you can stop or at least lessen yourself from responding, even if it means running out.

Start by choosing to be responsible for you and your sphere of choices–decide now not to rely on blaming anyone anymore, decide not to play the victim, decide not to hold others responsible for you.

Likewise, you are not responsible for others in the same way.

Yes, both ways there was influence and responsibility; you can say something bad and you are to blame, in a part, when your wife retorts; but you are not your wife, and you did not retort; she did. This distinction is easier to see when two people have the same things happen to them, but they offer very different levels of control and response. (Note Alma 62:41: But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility–same war; some people got further from God, and some people got closer to God.)

When you start to separate what you are responsible for, and what others are responsible for, life is clearer and easier. Why? Because you stop blaming others for every “bad” thing you do, and you stop feeling guilty for every “bad” thing that someone else does. You are taking stewardship of yourself and yours.

2. I used to despise the saying that the same reasons you hate someone (like, your family) are the same reasons you hate yourself. I’ve come to find out, it’s usually true, though it’s often hidden and changed so that it’s not obvious to you (or often to others, either).

Clear *your* bad/ negativity in a relationship, and people often magically have theirs clear up.

And when that saying is not true–because sometimes it’s not, it’s that easy–it’s all them, so to say; when that’s the situation and you do your part, still, you will suddenly see things in a very, very different light.

(Many healed by/ involved in meridian energy work–such as EFT/ Emotional Freedom Technique–can attest to both of these.)

3. There will be no “bad family stuff” or otherwise in the celestial kingdom. If you go in, you won’t be doing it, either. Change will occur between now and then–either changed by or allowed by the Atonement.

Be assured, it will happen. The question is, when they become wonderful people, will you still be holding on them being “bad” people; can you forgive them? Or do you have a purpose of making them get stuck on being bad?

4. Very few people ever begin to understand the influence of the physical body on a person, even if someone gets a “perfect” on their medical checkup, though the church seems to be understanding this more and more, great! For example, in more recent years, there has been change in LDS/ Mormon church policy and guidelines and an emphasis on not judging people who commit suicide. No doubt this will also occur with other situations, too, whether it be in this life or in the next. I have been on basic allergy drugs that have made me violent and (completely?) without a conscience.

But, there’s no need to wait possibly years and years for those good changes to occur at the resurrection; just death–getting rid of our mortal bodies–will do a whole lot for most of us.

Imagine…
no toxins,
no chemicals,
no chemical problems (like in the brain, affecting many emotional problems),
no allergies (which are involved in many more “bad behavior” situations than most could even imagine),
no malfunctioning organs,
no out-of-whack (or even functioning) hormones,
no improper lack or imbalances of minerals,
no stress? (at least from certain sources),
no sensory malfunctioning,
no dehydration,
no lack of sleep,
etc.

(Not sure about electro-magnetic problems, but I imagine they won’t affect us much, either.)

That is a whole lot, and will take care of a whole bunch of problems–be it the original problem or the results that followed some problem people didn’t have control over. (Many people go for years and years before some observant/ attentive/ insightful person says, “Hey, I think you have (some syndrome/ disease/ disorder/…)” and after help, they’re very different, in a positive way. It will be better than that!

Then we’d just be left with perception and personality problems–at least, the ones that aren’t based on “mortalness”.

And I’ll bet many of those problems will fall fast in the Spirit World, too…

Then, imagine the inherited problems you got before you were eight years old—including negative reactions, abuse, etc.—going away.

In the end, anyone truly bad/ who won’t change/ isn’t covered by the Atonement/ etc. won’t be there with you in a bad relationship, so don’t worry about being sealed to the imperfect them now!!

(Interestingly, it is certain that at least some negative memories are related to physically encapsulated “storage” crystals in the body (in crystal form, near acupuncture points–see “Body Electronics”). When the body is resurrected, everyone will have a perfect memory; and it’s possible that faith in Jesus Christ and repentance will determine, to a degree, the amount of remaining “negativity” in our bodies that keeps light and energy out and slower. Sorry, just speculating a little right here… ;) )

2009, November 20

“Book of Mormon and Intellectualism: Friends or Foes?”

“Book of Mormon and Intellectualism: Friends or Foes?”

grego
(c) 2009

I write intellectual articles on the Book of Mormon. (How intellectual, is up to me, the article, the reader, and the connection…)

So do some others.

I have read some very deep and interesting websites that talk about the Book of Mormon; actually, fascinating.

I loved (and still do) going to the FARMS site and reading about more discoveries in the Book of Mormon, even though lately, there has been a lot of trash talk by some that taints it all.

Most Book of Mormon are about everything but the intellectual side of it. I believe they are valuable… also.

Much better than my Book of Mormon class for returned missionaries at BYU, from which I think I learned two or three things the entire semester, taught by a non-intellectual Book of Mormon teacher. Attending a UVSC institute class, I was surprised when a student asked a simple intellectual question and the many-years teacher didn’t have a clue as to the answer. Still, that same thing happened in a Humanities Western Civilization class… So, sometimes there’s so much, you (or a religion professor) can’t know it all–even perhaps the simpler things. And when there is only so much time in a class period or a semester, I agree that it’s more important to stress testimony, etc.

Still…

You can’t really understand it without the intellectual. There are some incredible things in the Book of Mormon most of us will never find in this life. It’s a very “ontologically-deep” book (from a BYU English professor, though maybe not in reference to the BoM).

I am often in the top 10 in Google search for some pretty LDS/ Mormon basic phrases and keywords.

Very few visitors.

Very, very few.

Sure, it could be…

Or it could be, no one is searching, because no one really cares.

I know there is hazard in “intellectual” things, be it apostasy or contention. For example, my previous bishop believes in the Adam-God theory, teaches it to his family, and tried convincing my dad of it. Um, anti-scriptural… (See my post on that.)

Which is interesting–sometimes the more intellectual “it” is tried to be made out as, the more problems there are with it, intellectually.

There are also levels to intellectualism that are difficult.

The first level tells one thing–the really basic things “we all get”.

One level up from that, the second level, teaches more of something, goes deeper, required more reading and meditation…

But the level beyond that, the third level, teaches something very different, that sometimes even makes the previous level obsolete.

And in fact, it is often because of a very simplistic reading of the text–a first level action–coupled with lots and lots of rereading and meditation–that the third level comes forth.

It seems there is usually a plateau between each level, too, that requires an “upgrade” to surmount–light, desire, a thirst, reading and meditation, doing, mentoring by the Holy Ghost and probably even other humans.

You can’t skip a level in understanding.

And, you can’t go from primer level to second level, or from first level to third level.

And all that is part of the problem.

Here’s a short quiz: Most LDS/ Mormons are at the _(?) level in their Book of Mormon intellectual understanding.

Most people had a hard time getting up to the second level; and now they are supposed to leave that behind and go to the third level??

Says the LDS/ Mormon: “Intellectualism changes. ‘Truth’ doesn’t. Therefore, t>i. Period.” Right?

Part of the problem is that the third level often clashes with the second, which was seen as much deeper and more spiritual than the first level. And frankly, the third level doesn’t seem very spiritual sometimes.

A few of my articles have caused extreme emotional reactions in people who were past the first level, but unwilling to get past the second. Most of it goes back to psychology–”I’ve learned something, and now you’re saying it’s all wrong? And all those comments I made in Sunday School, showing my wisdom and learning?? and in my posts?? and my favorite general authority was wrong?? and the prophet was wrong??!!”

So, I think intellectual studies about the Book of Mormon are often not only seen as unnecessary or “getting in the way of” the real meaning and purpose of the BoM–the spiritual part–they are often seen as divisive instead of uniting, and the command to “be one” is a higher command…

2009, November 12

“Read the Book of Mormon by the Power of the Holy Ghost to Get Its True Value” by grego

“Read the Book of Mormon by the Power of the Holy Ghost to Get Its True Value”

grego
(c) 2009

I was reminded the other day about how special the Book of Mormon is.

I’ve been listening to the same 9 chapters over the course of a few months, and recently it’s seeming boring and unmoving.

The other day I prayed to find more in it.

What I felt and how it touched me that day, was very different than in all the recent days before. It was still the same section, once more; but the difference, as the difference between the light at 6am and the light at noon, was in the Spirit.

The Book of Mormon *must* be read by the Spirit to get anywhere near its true value out of it.

2009, November 10

“Examples of Irony, Parallelism, and Imagery in the Book of Mormon; Part 3” by grego

“Examples of Irony, Parallelism, and Imagery in the Book of Mormon; Part 3”

grego
(c) 2006

Start at Part 1

Part 2

Amalickiah and Ammoron

**Lehonti is the man appointed by the rebellious Lamanites to be their king and leader. These Lamanites were:
Alma 47:6
“…fixed in their minds with a determined resolution that they would not be subjected to go against the Nephites.”

They didn’t want to fight the Nephites anymore; they were tired of fighting. Hopefully, they could scare off the king’s army or defeat them, then set up their own kingdom that didn’t fight the Lamanites. What a great plan! They had gathered together to fight for their beliefs.

However, Amalickiah didn’t want to fight them; he had other plans. So:
Alma 47:10
“…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 47:11
“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 47:12
“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 47:13
“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.”

Lehonti finally gives in. According to Amalickiah’s plan, he becomes king over all the armies. However, it doesn’t last long:
Alma 47:17
“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 47:18
“And it came to pass that Amalickiah caused that one of his servants should administer poison by degrees to Lehonti, that he died.”

Thus, Amalickiah kills Lehonti physically the same way he kills him morally/ spiritually–by degrees!

And, shortly after that, the Lamanites become involved in the biggest military campaign up to that time. Double irony!!

**The Lamanite king wants to compel his peaceful men to fight against and kill the Nephites:
Alma 47:1
“…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 47:2
“And it came to pass that when the proclamation had gone forth among them they were exceedingly afraid; …and it came to pass that they would not, or the more part of them would not, obey the commandments of the king.”
Alma 47:3
“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.”

Later, this happens:
Alma 47:23
“…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 47:24
“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.”

The Lamanite king that wanted to compel his peaceful subjects to kill the Nephites, is killed by his allies as he shows a Nephite token of peace to the Nephite rebels.

**Continuing the war that his brother started, Ammoron, in a letter to Moroni, states that the reason for his fighting this war against the Nephites is
Alma 54:24
“…to avenge their wrongs, and to maintain and to obtain their rights to the government…”

He explains:
Alma 54:17
“…your fathers (Nephi, Sam, etc.) did wrong their brethren, insomuch that they did rob them of their right to the government when it rightly belonged unto them.”
Alma 54:18
“And now behold, if ye will lay down your arms, and subject yourselves to be governed by those to whom the government doth rightly belong, then will I cause that my people shall lay down their weapons and shall be at war no more.”

So, which Lamanite is at the head of the government? Why, it’s Ammoron–except he’s no Lamanite! His father was Zoram (Alma 54:23)–some might say he has the least claim to the throne of all! Before him, it was his brother Amalickiah, another Nephite who became a “Lamanite”.

Later, we see an even stranger situation: Ammoron’s son is king!
Helaman 1:16
“Therefore, the king of the Lamanites, whose name was Tubaloth, who was the son of Ammoron…”

Yeah, Amalickiah, Ammoron–it’s all for the Lamanites and THEIR right to the government, right?

**In Ammoron’s letter, he also says:
Alma 54:21
“And as concerning that God whom ye say we have rejected, behold, we know not such a being; neither do ye; but if it so be that there is such a being, we know not but that he hath made us as well as you.”
Alma 54:22
“And if it so be that there is a devil and a hell, behold will he not send you there to dwell with my brother whom ye have murdered, whom ye have hinted that he hath gone to such a place? But behold these things matter not.”

Actually, they were the things that mattered–Amalickiah and Ammoron rejected the gospel and its teachings and started a war, all for the opportunity of becoming kings.

The Big War

The war starts in Moroni, ends in Moroni, and is finished by Moroni:
Alma 51:22-23:
“…the Lamanites had come into the land of Moroni, which was in the borders by the seashore.”
“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 62:34, 38
“And it came to pass that Moroni and Lehi and Teancum did encamp with their armies round about in the borders of the land of Moroni, insomuch that the Lamanites were encircled about in the borders by the wilderness on the south, and in the borders by the wilderness on the east.”

“Now it came to pass that Moroni marched forth on the morrow, and came upon the Lamanites, insomuch that they did slay them with a great slaughter; and they did drive them out of the land; and they did flee, even that they did not return at that time against the Nephites.”
Moroni (Alma 48-62)

Helaman and the Stripling Warriors

**In a letter to Moroni, Helaman writes about the miraculous stripling warriors. Their faith in Christ makes them invincible, which is proved in at least two main battles:
Alma 56:46
“[Helaman], behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall…”
Alma 56:47
“…yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.”
Alma 56:48
“And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.”
Alma 56:55
“(After a battle)… I numbered those young men who had fought with me, fearing lest there were many of them slain.”
Alma 56:56
“But behold, to my great joy, there had not one soul of them fallen to the earth; yea, and they had fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength; and with such mighty power did they fall upon the Lamanites, that they did frighten them; and for this cause did the Lamanites deliver themselves up as prisoners of war.”

Then, later again:
Alma 57:24
“And it came to pass that after the Lamanites had fled, I immediately gave orders that my men who had been wounded should be taken from among the dead, and caused that their wounds should be dressed.”
Alma 57:25
“And it came to pass that there were two hundred, out of my two thousand and sixty, who had fainted because of the loss of blood; nevertheless, according to the goodness of God, and to our great astonishment, and also the joy of our whole army, there was not one soul of them who did perish…”
Alma 57:26
“And now, their preservation was astonishing to our whole army, yea, that they should be spared while there was a thousand of our brethren who were slain. And we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God, because of their exceeding faith in that which they had been taught to believe–that there was a just God, and whosoever did not doubt, that they should be preserved by his marvelous power.”
Alma 58:39
“And those sons of the people of Ammon…and the Lord has supported them, yea, and kept them from falling by the sword, insomuch that even one soul has not been slain.”

And yet, even though this letter is being written after everything has happened, it seems as if Helaman still doesn’t believe it, as he says:
Alma 56:18
“… they (the Lamanites) were compelled…to not come against …us, to battle.”
Alma 56:19
“And thus were we favored of the Lord; for had they come upon us in this our weakness they might have perhaps destroyed our little army; but thus were we preserved.”
Alma 56:39
“… the Lamanites were pursuing us. Now we were not sufficiently strong to contend with them; yea, I would not suffer that my little sons should fall into their hands; therefore we did continue our march, and we took our march into the wilderness.”
Alma 56:40
“… neither would I turn to the right nor to the left lest they should overtake me, and we could not stand against them, but be slain, and they would make their escape; and thus we did flee all that day into the wilderness, even until it was dark.”
Alma 57:17
“But it came to pass that on the morrow they did return. And now behold, we did not inquire of them concerning the prisoners; for behold, the Lamanites were upon us, and they returned in season to save us from falling into their hands. For behold, Ammoron had sent to their support a new supply of provisions and also a numerous army of men.”
Alma 57:18
“And it came to pass that those men whom we sent with the prisoners did arrive in season to check them, as they were about to overpower us.”
Alma 57:22
“And now behold, it was these my sons, and those men who had been selected to convey the prisoners, to whom we owe this great victory; for it was they who did beat the Lamanites; therefore they were driven back to the city of Manti.”

**It is also ironic that, of all people they could choose to lead them, the stripling warriors choose Helaman. Why? Describing them to Moroni, Helaman says that the stripling warriors, who he calls his young sons, are courageous, fight with exceeding vigor, are firm and undaunted against the strongest opposition, diligent in obeying with exactness; trust in God continually; are steadfast, strict, ultra-obedient; and faithful (see Alma 56:52, Alma 57:19-21, Alma 57:27, Alma 58:40).

In contrast, Alma, when talking to (and about) his young son Helaman, mentions very different things (listed in the order they appear): remember God, trust God, listen to me, obey, obey, obey, trust me and God that we are not foolish; remember that the commandments are strict, and if you don’t obey them you will not prosper, but die; uphold God’s trust in you; obey or be rejected and turned over to Satan; ask God for help and direction; God will fulfill his promises; be diligent in doing what I say; be diligent in keeping the commandments as they are written; learn to keep the commandments in they youth; cry unto God for help; counsel with the Lord; don’t be slothful; don’t forget to exercise faith and diligence; heed the words of Christ; take care of the sacred artifacts; and look to God and live (Alma 36:2, 3, Alma 37:1, 2, 6-20, 35-37, 41-47).

Right after this talk, Alma gives kudos to his other son Shiblon for steadiness and faithfulness to God, for trusting in God, and for being diligent (Alma 38:2, Alma 38:3, Alma 39:1); and, he holds up Shiblon, but not Helaman, as an example of these things to Corianton. (Alma 39:1, 2).

Also, we read that the reason Alma gave Helaman the plates is because someone else first refused them:
Alma 50:37
“And it came to pass that in the same year that the people of Nephi had peace restored unto them, that Nephihah, the second chief judge, died, having filled the judgment-seat with perfect uprightness before God.”
Alma 50:38
“Nevertheless, he had refused Alma to take possession of those records and those things which were esteemed by Alma and his fathers to be most sacred; therefore Alma had conferred them upon his son, Helaman.”

Quite a contrast in character between the young sons of converted Lamanites and the young lifetime son of a prophet!

Conversion of Lamanites

**When the Lamanites are in the prison and are about to kill Nephi and Lehi, they are overshadowed with a cloud of darkness. Great fear comes upon them, and they fall to the earth, stuck. Then,
Helaman 5:40
“…the Lamanites said unto him: What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?”

They just want to darkness to go away–that’s all. They are given the solution, and apply it. But wait, there’s more! It’s not just that the cloud of darkness is removed; they are then baptized with fire and the Holy Ghost, hear the voice of God, and see angels!
Helaman 5:41
“And Aminadab said unto them: You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you.”
Helaman 5:42
“And it came to pass that they all did begin to cry unto the voice of him who had shaken the earth; yea, they did cry even until the cloud of darkness was dispersed.”
Helaman 5:43
“And it came to pass that when they cast their eyes about, and saw that the cloud of darkness was dispersed from overshadowing them, behold, they saw that they were encircled about, yea every soul, by a pillar of fire.”
Helaman 5:44
“And Nephi and Lehi were in the midst of them; yea, they were encircled about; yea, they were as if in the midst of a flaming fire, yet it did harm them not, neither did it take hold upon the walls of the prison; and they were filled with that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory.”
Helaman 5:45
“And behold, the Holy Spirit of God did come down from heaven, and did enter into their hearts, and they were filled as if with fire, and they could speak forth marvelous words.”
Helaman 5:46
“And it came to pass that there came a voice unto them, yea, a pleasant voice, as if it were a whisper, saying:”
Helaman 5:47
“Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my Well Beloved, who was from the foundation of the world.”
Helaman 5:48
“And now, when they heard this they cast up their eyes as if to behold from whence the voice came; and behold, they saw the heavens open; and angels came down out of heaven and ministered unto them.”

Samuel the Lamanite

**Samuel says that the Nephites in Zarahemla:
Helaman 13:26
“…are worse than they; for as the Lord liveth, if a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of ways to destroy him; yea, you will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that your deeds are evil.”
We see much of this fulfilled in a great example: Samuel!
Helaman 13:2
“…Samuel, a Lamanite, came into the land of Zarahemla, and began to preach unto the people. And it came to pass that he did preach, many days, repentance unto the people, and they did CAST HIM OUT, and he was about to return to his own land.”
Helaman 16:2
“But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of Samuel were ANGRY with him; and they CAST STONES at him upon the wall, and also many SHOT ARROWS at him as he stood upon the wall…”
Helaman 16:6
“…when they saw that they could not hit him with their stones and their arrows, they cried unto their captains, saying: TAKE THIS FELLOW and bind him, for behold he HATH A DEVIL; and BECAUSE OF THE POWER OF THE DEVIL which is in him we cannot hit him with our stones and our arrows; therefore take him and bind him, and away with him.

Gandianton Robbers

**Nephi says,
Helaman 11:10
“O Lord, behold this people repenteth; and they have swept away the band of Gadianton from amongst them insomuch that they have become extinct, and they have concealed their secret plans in the earth.”

Then, later, talking about the Gandianton Robbers themselves, the Book of Mormon says:
Helaman 11:25
“And they did commit murder and plunder; and then they would retreat back into the mountains, and into the wilderness and secret places, hiding themselves that they could not be discovered, receiving daily an addition to their numbers, inasmuch as there were dissenters that went forth unto them.”

Having earlier repented and concealed their secret plans in the earth, they later become wicked and take this same stratagem to rise in power–hiding themselves in the mountains, wilderness, and secret places, so they could not be discovered.

**Giddianhi, the leader of the Gandianton Robbers, writes a letter to Lachoneus, the leader of the Nephites. He says:
3 Nephi 3:4
“And I, knowing of their unconquerable spirit, having proved them in the field of battle, and knowing of their everlasting hatred towards you because of the many wrongs which ye have done unto them, therefore if they should come down against you they would visit you with utter destruction.”

Then, later, he suggests the master plan–if the Nephites unite with the Gandianton Robbers, no one will have to die, and everyone will be happy!:
3 Nephi 3:7
“Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us–not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance.”

So, how will the Gandianton Robbers change their feelings of “everlasting hatred” towards the Nephites to feelings of “brethren and partners of all our substance?”

Then, there is another question to resolve with this issue: what will they, as a group, subsist on after joining them? Giddianhi writes:
3 Nephi 3:6
“Therefore I write unto you, desiring that ye would yield up unto this my people, your cities, your lands, and your possessions…”
3 Nephi 3:7
“Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us–not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance.”

In other words, everyone will survive on what the Nephites yield up, and what the Gandianton Robbers have already stolen from them!

And then what? As we see here:
3 Nephi 4:19
“…for behold, they had nothing save it were meat for their subsistence, which meat they did obtain in the wilderness;”
3 Nephi 4:20
“And it came to pass that the wild game became scarce in the wilderness insomuch that the robbers were about to perish with hunger.”
3 Nephi 4:5
“…Giddianhi found that it was expedient that he should go up to battle against the Nephites, for there was no way that they could subsist save it were to plunder and rob and murder.”
3 Nephi 4:6
“And they durst not spread themselves upon the face of the land insomuch that they could raise grain, lest the Nephites should come upon them and slay them; therefore Giddianhi gave commandment unto his armies that in this year they should go up to battle against the Nephites.”

The Gandianton Robbers live by hunting–and stealing from others; and farming, if absolutely necessary. So, here’s the question: If all the Nephites and Lamanites and Gandianton Robbers are Gandianton Robbers, who will they, the Gandianton Robbers, steal from?

**What type of warfare did the Gandianton Robbers use? In Helaman 11:25, it says:
“And they did commit murder and plunder; and then they would retreat back into the mountains, and into the wilderness and secret places, hiding themselves that they could not be discovered, receiving daily an addition to their numbers, inasmuch as there were dissenters that went forth unto them.”
3 Nephi 1:27
“And it came to pass that the ninety and third year did also pass away in peace, save it were for the Gadianton robbers, who dwelt upon the mountains, who did infest the land; for so strong were their holds and their secret places that the people could not overpower them; therefore they did commit many murders, and did do much slaughter among the people.”

The Gandianton Robbers attack, then retreat to a stronghold.

To resist the Gandianton Robbers, the rest of the people in the land gather together and make a single strong fortification:
3 Nephi 3:13
“Yea, he (Lachoneus) sent a proclamation among all the people, that they should gather together their women, and their children, their flocks and their herds, and all their substance, save it were their land, unto one place.”
3 Nephi 3:14
“And he (Lachoneus) caused that fortifications should be built round about them, and the strength thereof should be exceedingly great. And he caused that armies, both of the Nephites and of the Lamanites, or of all them who were numbered among the Nephites, should be placed as guards round about to watch them, and to guard them from the robbers day and night.”
3 Nephi 3:22
“…the proclamation of Lachoneus had gone forth throughout all the face of the land, and they had taken their horses, and their chariots, and their cattle, and all their flocks, and their herds, and their grain, and all their substance, and did march forth by thousands and by tens of thousands, until they had all gone forth to the place which had been appointed that they should gather themselves together, to defend themselves against their enemies.”

Then,
3 Nephi 4:1
“…those armies of robbers had prepared for battle, and began to come down and to sally forth from the hills, and out of the mountains, and the wilderness, and their strongholds, and their secret places, and began to take possession of the lands, both which were in the land south and which were in the land north, and began to take possession of all the lands which had been deserted by the Nephites, and the cities which had been left desolate.”

Because the lands are desolate, the Gandianton Robbers must attack the Nephites to survive. So, they attack, there’s a battle, and the Gandianton Robbers run away, then later come again to lay siege; they don’t have food, and are very hungry, and in these circumstances,
3 Nephi 4:21
“…the Nephites were continually marching out by day and by night, and falling upon their armies, and cutting them off by thousands and by tens of thousands.”
3 Nephi 4:22
“And thus it became the desire of the people of Zemnarihah to withdraw from their design, because of the great destruction which came upon them by night and by day.”
3 Nephi 4:23
“…Zemnarihah did give command unto his people that they should withdraw themselves from the siege, and march into the furthermost parts of the land northward.”
3 Nephi 4:24
“And now, Gidgiddoni being aware of their design, and knowing of their weakness because of the want of food, and the great slaughter which had been made among them, therefore he did send out his armies in the night-time, and did cut off the way of their retreat, and did place his armies in the way of their retreat.”
3 Nephi 4:25
“And this did they do in the night-time, and got on their march beyond the robbers, so that on the morrow, when the robbers began their march, they were met by the armies of the Nephites both in their front and in their rear.”
3 Nephi 4:26
“And the robbers who were on the south were also cut off in their places of retreat…”
3 Nephi 4:27
“And there were many thousands who did yield themselves up prisoners unto the Nephites, and the remainder of them were slain.”

After all is said and done, the Nephites and Gandianton Robbers switch roles, and the Gandianton Robbers are finally defeated by the same style they used to perfection–guerilla warfare directed from strong fortification!

**The following occurs after this last battle:
3 Nephi 4:28
“And their leader, Zemnarihah, was taken and hanged upon a tree, yea, even upon the top thereof until he was dead. And when they had hanged him until he was dead they did fell the tree to the earth, and did cry with a loud voice, saying” (a few things), and then
3 Nephi 4:32
“…they did cry: Hosanna to the Most High God. And they did cry: Blessed be the name of the Lord God Almighty, the Most High God.”

After they hang Zemnarihah upon the top of a tree, and he crMichael R. Ashes to the earth, they cry hosanna to the Most High God…” and “Blessed be the name of the Lord God Almighty, the Most High God.”

What a great scene of Zemnarihah’s being high a fake emulation of God, and a beautiful final contrast where God remains high, but Zemnarihah is brought low to the earth.

The Land Where Christ Would Appear

**First, when the people are righteous, they are told that:
Alma 16:20
“And many of the people did inquire concerning the place where the Son of God should come; and they were taught that he would appear unto them after his resurrection; and this the people did hear with great joy and gladness.”

By implication, he would not appear to them during his mortal life, but afterwards. Their reaction to this news?: great joy and gladness.

Then, when they are mostly evil, they are told that:
Helaman 16:18
“That it is not reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come; if so… why will he not show himself unto us as well as unto them who shall be at Jerusalem?”
Helaman 16:19
“Yea, why will he not show himself in this land as well as in the land of Jerusalem?”
Helaman 16:20

But behold, we know that this is a wicked tradition, which has been handed down unto us by our fathers, to cause us that we should believe in some great and marvelous thing which should come to pass, but not among us, but in a land which is far distant, a land which we know not; therefore they can keep us in ignorance, for we cannot witness with our own eyes that they are true.

Their reaction to this news?: what a rotten deal!

Moroni and Faith

**Moroni describes all the great things that happened through faith:
Ether 12:4
Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

Ether 12:7
For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.

Ether 12:10
Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God.

Ether 12:11
Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.
….
Ether 12:13
Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth.
Ether 12:14
Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
Ether 12:15
Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites.
Ether 12:16
Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after.
Ether 12:17
And it was by faith that the three disciples obtained a promise that they should not taste of death; and they obtained not the promise until after their faith.
Ether 12:21
And after the brother of Jared had beheld the finger of the Lord, because of the promise which the brother of Jared had obtained by faith, the Lord could not withhold anything from his sight; wherefore he showed him all things, for he could no longer be kept without the veil.
Ether 12:22
And it is by faith that my fathers have obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles; therefore the Lord hath commanded me, yea, even Jesus Christ.

This is not great preaching from an unlearned student–we see in the short record we have on Moroni that he himself has obtained, through his faith, almost all the things that he mentions in the lives of these other people (many with specific scriptures are shown below):

he hopes for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God:
“And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen” (Moroni 10:34).
see also Ether 12:38.

he has an anchor for his soul, is sure and steadfast, abounds in good works, and glorifies God:
Moroni 9:6, 22, 25.

he has been delivered from his enemies:
“And it came to pass that my men were hewn down, yea, even my ten thousand who were with me, and I fell wounded in the midst; and they passed by me that they did not put an end to my life.”
“And when they had gone through and hewn down all my people save it were twenty and four of us, (among whom was my son Moroni)…” (Mormon 6:10-11).
See also Moroni 9:22, 1:1, 3.

he has seen Christ, after He had risen from the dead;
“And then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face, and that he told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things…” (Ether 12:39).

he was called after the holy order of God;
“An epistle of my father Mormon, written to me, Moroni; and it was written unto me soon after my calling to the ministry…”
“My beloved son, Moroni, I rejoice exceedingly that your Lord Jesus Christ hath been mindful of you, and hath called you to his ministry, and to his holy work” (Moroni 8:1, 2).
See also Moroni 9:6, Alma 45:14.

he has seen the three disciples:
“And there are none that do know the true God save it be the disciples of Jesus, who did tarry in the land until the wickedness of the people was so great that the Lord would not suffer them to remain with the people; and whether they be upon the face of the land no man knoweth.”
“But behold, my father and I have seen them, and they have ministered unto us” (Mormon 8:10-11).

he first wonders about his future, but then he knows that he will die:
“Now the last words which are written by Ether are these: Whether the Lord will that I be translated, or that I suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh, it mattereth not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God. Amen” (Ether 15:34).
“Now I, Moroni, after having made an end of abridging the account of the people of Jared, I had supposed not to have written more, but I have not as yet perished…” (Moroni 1:1).
“…I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite…” (Moroni 10:34)

whether he saw what the brother of Jared saw, or not, at least by writing the things that the brother of Jared saw, he knows them, too:
“Behold, I have written upon these plates the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared” (Ether 4:4).
See also Ether 12:24.

and he knows the plates will make it to the people:
“And behold, their prayers were also in behalf of him that the Lord should suffer to bring these things forth.”
“And no one need say they shall not come, for they surely shall, for the Lord hath spoken it; for out of the earth shall they come, by the hand of the Lord, and none can stay it; and it shall come in a day when it shall be said that miracles are done away; and it shall come even as if one should speak from the dead” (Mormon 8:25, 26).
See also: Mormon 8:14-16, Moroni 10:27-28.

From Rees’ article:
Irony in the Bible
An example of dramatic and verbal irony in the New Testament is the story of Peter’s denial of Jesus. Just before they go to Gethsemane, Christ tells Peter, “This night before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” Peter swears to Christ, “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended… . Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee” (Matthew 26:33-35). The ironic ending of the drama is established first by Christ’s predicting that before this very night is over, Peter will deny him not once but three times, and second by Peter’s avowing that even though everyone in the world should deny Christ, he would never deny the Savior, even if it costs him his life.
A few short hours later, on three successive occasions, the last spoken with curses and swearing, Peter denies any knowledge of Christ and disavows any association with him (“I know not the man,” Matthew 26:74). Immediately thereafter Peter hears the crowing of the cock (a symbol of vigilance, illumination, and resurrection) and is stunned by the dramatic discrepancy between his boasting of complete fidelity to Christ and his betrayal of him. It is ironic that this same inconstant, impetuous fisherman, who in this moment of danger chooses self-preservation over loyalty to his Lord, becomes Christ’s chief apostle, stands in Christ’s stead as the head of the church, and, according to Christian tradition, is crucified upside down in Rome when things fall apart and anarchy is unloosed upon the kingdom. Ironically, Peter’s last act is indeed a fulfillment of his promise not to deny Christ, though it cost him his life.”

grego says:
Another irony is when Christ asks Peter, “Lovest thou me?” three times, and Peter says yes–thus creating a foil to his denying Christ three times. This time, instead of saying, an animal will do something to show that denial (the cock will crow), Jesus says that Peter will do something to an animal to show that acceptance and love (feed the sheep).

THE END

2009, November 9

“Examples of Irony, Parallelism, and Imagery in the Book of Mormon; Part 2” by grego

“Examples of Irony, Parallelism, and Imagery in the Book of Mormon; Part 2”

(Version 2)

grego
(c) 2006

Start at Part 1

Ammon

**We read that Ammon, along with others, wants to go on a mission to the Lamanites.
Mosiah 28:1
“…the sons of Mosiah… took a small number with them and returned to their father, the king, and desired of him that he would grant unto them that they might, with these whom they had selected, go up to the land of Nephi that they might preach the things which they had heard, and that they might impart the word of God to their brethren, the Lamanites…”
What is Ammon’s reason for wanting to do this?
Mosiah 28:2
“That perhaps they might bring them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and convince them of the iniquity of their fathers; and that perhaps they might cure them of their hatred towards the Nephites, that they might also be brought to rejoice in the Lord their God, that they might become friendly to one another, and that there should be no more contentions in all the land which the Lord their God had given them.”
Mosiah 28:3
“Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.”

So, Ammon wants to rid the Lamanites of hate, make them become friendly to one another, and avoid contentions in all the land; also, to keep souls from perishing.

In fact, he says:
Alma 26:26
“But behold, my beloved brethren, we came into the wilderness not with the intent to destroy our brethren, but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls.”
Ammon took weapons, but only for eating:
Alma 17:7
Nevertheless they departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and took their swords, and their spears, and their bows, and their arrows, and their slings; and this they did that they might provide food for themselves while in the wilderness.

The Lord tells him to:
Alma 17:11
“…be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.”

On the other hand, the Lamanites:
Alma 17:14
“…delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing and plundering them; and their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold and silver, and precious stones; yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering, that they might not labor for them with their own hands.”

After being captured, Ammon says that
Alma 17:23
“…I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die.”
Unfortunately for him, the day he dies is almost just a few days after service with the king!

Perhaps trying to fulfill his request and make his word good, after refusing the the hand of a princess, the king makes him a servant set to watch over the flocks.

And what is one of the very first things that Ammon does while serving?
Alma 17:36
“But Ammon stood forth and began to cast stones at them with his sling…”
Alma 17:37
“…every man that lifted his club to smite Ammon, he smote off their arms with his sword; for he did withstand their blows by smiting their arms with the edge of his sword… yea, and they were not few in number; and he caused them to flee by the strength of his arm.”
Alma 17:38
“Now six of them had fallen by the sling, but he slew none save it were their leader with his sword; and he smote off as many of their arms as were lifted against him, and they were not a few.”

He kills and seriously maims Lamanites–lots of them!!

Yet, this one act leads to the conversion of many Lamanites that he had hoped for; and what is so special about these converts? They covenant to never
Alma 24:15
“[stain] our swords in the blood of our brethren since he imparted his word unto us and has made us clean thereby”; and also, “that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives…” (Alma 24:18); and “they would not take up arms, yea, they had entered into a covenant and they would not break it” (Alma 43:11).

**Later,
Alma 20:1
“…king Lamoni desired that Ammon should go with him to the land of Nephi, that he might show him unto his father.”
Alma 20:2
“And the voice of the Lord came to Ammon, saying: Thou shalt not go up to the land of Nephi, for behold, the king will seek thy life; but thou shalt go to the land of Middoni; for behold, thy brother Aaron, and also Muloki and Ammah are in prison.”

Ammon refuses to go, and instead goes to free his brethren. But on the way there, who do Ammon and Lamoni meet? Lamoni’s father!
Alma 20:8
“…as Ammon and Lamoni were journeying thither, they met the father of Lamoni, who was king over all the land.”

Once more, a violent confrontation between Ammon and the king leads to the conversion of many people, who are also a part of the non-killing covenant.

**When Ammon preaches to king Lamoni, the king is very curious about Ammon’s powers. He says,
Alma 18:20
“And the king said: How knowest thou the thoughts of my heart? Thou mayest speak boldly, and tell me concerning these things; and also tell me by what power ye slew and smote off the arms of my brethren that scattered my flocks–”
Alma 18:21
“And now, if thou wilt tell me concerning these things, whatsoever thou desirest I will give unto thee; and if it were needed, I would guard thee with my armies; but I know that thou art more powerful than all they; nevertheless, whatsoever thou desirest of me I will grant it unto thee.”

That’s a nice offer, but Ammon didn’t ask for anything–just that Lamoni would “hearken unto [his] words…”
Alma 18:22
“Now Ammon being wise, yet harmless, he said unto Lamoni: Wilt thou hearken unto my words, if I tell thee by what power I do these things? And this is the thing that I desire of thee.”
Alma 18:23
“And the king answered him, and said: Yea, I will believe all thy words. And thus he was caught with guile.”

The king doesn’t say, “Ok, I’ll listen”; he says, “I will believe all thy words.” It seems he is not caught by Ammon’s guile, as the text first seems to read; in fact, he catches himself with guile!

Nehorites and Aaron
**We read about Nehor and his doctrine:
Alma 1:4
“…[Nehor] also testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life.”
Alma 1:6
“And he …even began to establish a church after the manner of his preaching.”

Those that believed in his doctrine and attended his church carried on his doctrine after Nehor’s death. Later, we read an episode involving Nehorites:
Alma 21:4
“…Aaron came to the city of Jerusalem, and first began to preach to the Amalekites. And he began to preach to them in their synagogues, for they had built synagogues after the order of the Nehors; for many of the Amalekites and the Amulonites were after the order of the Nehors.”
Alma 21:5
“Therefore, as Aaron entered into one of their synagogues to preach unto the people, and as he was speaking unto them, behold there arose an Amalekite and began to contend with him, saying: What is that thou hast testified? Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us? Behold are not this people as good as thy people?”
Alma 21:6
“…We do believe that God will save all men.”

When asked by Aaron,
Alma 21:7
“…Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins?”

The Nehorite(s) answers,
Alma 21:8
“And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing. We do not believe in these foolish traditions. We do not believe that thou knowest of things to come, neither do we believe that thy fathers and also that our fathers did know concerning the things which they spake, of that which is to come.”

So, you don’t know, and others can’t know, especially the future; however, there’s no problem with knowing that “the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life”, and “We do believe that God will save all men.”? Why the big difference? If it it was impossible to know the future, then how could the Nehorites know the future?

The other funny thing is, Aaron HAD seen an angel; and angels WERE appearing unto the Lamanites–just, well, not to the Nehorites:
Mosiah 27:10
“…while he (Alma) was going about to destroy the church of God, for he did go about secretly with the sons of Mosiah (including Aaron) seeking to destroy the church…”
Mosiah 27:11
“…behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto [Aaron and others]…”
Lamoni says:
Alma 19:13
“For as sure as thou livest, behold, I have seen my Redeemer…”
Many having the experience of being overcome by the Spirit at that time said:
Alma 19:34
“…that they had seen angels and had conversed with them…”

King Lamoni’s Father

**King Lamoni’s father, faced with death from Ammon, offers up to half his kingdom as a ransom:
Alma 20:23
“Now the king, fearing he should lose his life, said: If thou wilt spare me I will grant unto thee whatsoever thou wilt ask, even to half of the kingdom.”

Later, he says that he is willing to give up everything for eternal life:
Alma 22:15
“…the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.”

And the interesting thing is, he and his posterity do:
Alma 24:2
“And their (the nonbelievers) hatred became exceedingly sore against them (the believers), even insomuch that they began to rebel against their king, insomuch that they would not that he should be their king; therefore, they took up arms against the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi (and killed them, and they gathered their things and left).

The Missionaries and their “Friends”

**When the sons of Mosiah and the others in their missionary group:
Alma 26:23
“…said unto our brethren in the land of Zarahemla, we go up to the land of Nephi, to preach unto our brethren, the Lamanites, …they laughed [them] to scorn…”
They didn’t believe that the Lamanites could be converted:
Alma 26:24
“For they said unto us: Do ye suppose that ye can bring the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth? Do ye suppose that ye can convince the Lamanites of the incorrectness of the traditions of their fathers, as stiffnecked a people as they are; whose hearts delight in the shedding of blood; whose days have been spent in the grossest iniquity; whose ways have been the ways of a transgressor from the beginning?…”

Instead, they have a different plan:
Alma 26:25
“…Let us take up arms against them, that we destroy them and their iniquity out of the land, lest they overrun us and destroy us.”

These “righteous friends” had somehow forgotten many of the words of the Lord, regarding the “grossest”, “transgressor”, “stiffnecked”, “murdering” wicked Lamanites, especially these:
1 Nephi 2:23
“For behold, in that day that they shall rebel against me, I will curse them even with a sore curse, and they shall have no power over thy seed except they shall rebel against me also.”
1 Nephi 2:24
“And if it so be that they rebel against me, they shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in the ways of remembrance.”

So, who were the real wicked?

Then, to compound the irony of the situation, we have the parallel to the sons of Mosiah. Ammon says this:
Alma 26:23
Now do ye remember, my brethren, that we said unto our brethren in the land of Zarahemla, we go up to the land of Nephi, to preach unto our brethren, the Lamanites, and they laughed us to scorn?
Alma 26:24
For they said unto us: Do ye suppose that ye can bring the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth? Do ye suppose that ye can convince the Lamanites of the incorrectness of the traditions of their fathers, as stiffnecked a people as they are; whose hearts delight in the shedding of blood; whose days have been spent in the grossest iniquity; whose ways have been the ways of a transgressor from the beginning? Now my brethren, ye remember that this was their language.

“Brethren” indicates church friends, to me.

Interesting, that Ammon and his brothers, as companions to Alma the younger–before their miraculous conversion–fit every particular of this description of the Lamanites!:
“NOW it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers.
“They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ.
“And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened.
“And they would not be baptized; neither would they join the church. And they were a separate people as to their faith, and remained so ever after, even in their carnal and sinful state; for they would not call upon the Lord their God. (Mosiah 26:1-4)

“For it came to pass that they did deceive many with their flattering words, who were in the church, and did cause them to commit many sins; therefore it became expedient that those who committed sin, that were in the church, should be admonished by the church”
(Mosiah 26:6).

“Now the sons of Mosiah were numbered among the unbelievers; and also one of the sons of Alma was numbered among them, he being called Alma, after his father; nevertheless, he became a very wicked and an idolatrous man. And he was a man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people; therefore he led many of the people to do after the manner of his iniquities.
“And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God; stealing away the hearts of the people; causing much dissension among the people; giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them.
“And now it came to pass that while he was going about to destroy the church of God, for he did go about secretly with the sons of Mosiah seeking to destroy the church, and to lead astray the people of the Lord, contrary to the commandments of God, or even the king– (Mosiah 27:8-10).

Yea, and I (Alma) had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction; yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror. (Alma 36:14)

As the previous scriptures show, Ammon and his brothers: were also nonbelievers from the beginning; stiffnecked; delighted in destroying the things of God, and in spiritually murdering others; spent their days in wickedness, iniquity, and idolatry; etc.

Yet their brethren in Zarahemla, while looking straight at them and accepting them as friends and brothers in the Church, thought it would be impossible for this type of person to be converted, and instead should be killed!

Korihor
(There are a few other parts of this story that are not mentioned in the article by Rees.)

**Korihor preached a “survival of the fittest” type of gospel; he could use words powerfully, and was probably pretty fit; no doubt he “benefitted” from his preaching.
Alma 30:47
Alma says that Korihor speaks “…lying and …flattering words…”
Alma 30:17
“And many more such things did he (Korihor) say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.”

This is similar to what Nehor preached, and the result of his and his followers’ preaching was:
Alma 1:16
“…and this they did (preaching false doctrines) for the sake of riches and honor.”

And, similar to Korihor,
Alma 1:17
“…they durst not lie, if it were known, for fear of the law, for liars were punished; therefore they pretended to preach according to their belief; and now the law could have no power on any man for his belief.”

One example of how he gained might include:
Alma 30:18
“And thus he did preach unto them…leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms–telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof.”

Thus, the joke is on him when he loses the greatest part of his “fitness” when he is stricken dumb, and receives a death that is purely just in his own words: “that whatsoever a man did was no crime,” and “every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature”–including if you are the one who manages your condition so that you are killed by one who has managed his creature(s) to trample you to death:
Alma 30:59
“…and as he (Korihor) went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead.”

**Korihor also preaches that:
Alma 30:27
“…ye keep them down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands…”
Alma 30:31
“…accusing them (priests and teachers of the church) of leading away the people after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of glutting on the labors of the people.”

Alma rebukes him, saying:
Alma 30:32
“Now Alma said unto him: Thou knowest that we do not glut ourselves upon the labors of this people; for behold I have labored even from the commencement of the reign of the judges until now, with mine own hands for my support, notwithstanding my many travels round about the land to declare the word of God unto my people.”
Alma 30:33
“And notwithstanding the many labors which I have performed in the church, I have never received so much as even one senine for my labor; neither has any of my brethren, save it were in the judgment-seat; and then we have received only according to law for our time.”
Alma 30:34
“And now, if we do not receive anything for our labors in the church…”
Alma 30:35
“Then why sayest thou that we preach unto this people to get gain, when thou, of thyself, knowest that we receive no gain?”

While the priests and church leaders had never done this, I find it hard to imagine that Korihor hadn’t!

**Korihor, the master of words, finds it impossible to pray even the simplest prayer to God, and wants Alma to do it for him:
Alma 30:54
“Now when he (Korihor) had said this, he besought that Alma should pray unto God, that the curse might be taken from him.”

**Korihor preached that:
Alma 30:12
“…there should be no Christ. And after this manner did he preach, saying:”
Alma 30:13
“O ye that are bound down under a foolish and a vain hope, why do ye yoke yourselves with such foolish things? Why do ye look for a Christ? For no man can know of anything which is to come.”

If no one could know the future, how did Korihor know that there would be no Christ?

Alma’s Preaching to Moroni’s Fighting

There is an abrupt change from Alma’s spiritual treatise of the the justice and mercy of God towards sinners in Alma 42, to the episode of Zerahemnah’s attack and Moroni’s defense in Alma 43 and 44. However, the parallels are many.

In Alma 42 we read of God’s plan of salvation; he is a just God that allows sinners to suffer the consequence of breaking the law, which is death; but he is also a merciful God in that sinners may be redeemed, but only by choosing to obey a covenant that God puts forth.

Moroni treats the enemies of freedom the same way, according to their circumstances. When Zerahemnah and the Lamanites sin in attacking the Nephites, Moroni gives them two choices–die, which is your natural consequence of being an enemy; or take an oath to never come back and fight. Interestingly, Zerahemnah tries another trade-off–one in which mercy robs justice; Moroni therefore necessarily refuses (see Alma 42:25).

Later, in Alma 46, 51, and 62, Moroni does the same thing with the king men–choose to die, which is your natural consequence of rebellion and sedition, or choose to obey an oath to actively support freedom.

Teancum uses this same method to deal with the people of Morianton in Alma 50:35-36, and the Nephites later use it to deal with the Gadianton robbers in 3 Nephi 5:4.

Just like God, Moroni, after the law is offended, gives men liberty to choose death or life (for example, see 2 Nephi 10:23, Helaman 14:30-31, 2 Nephi 2:27, ). (King Benjamin mentioned that the natural man is an enemy of God.)

For Mormon, Moroni is the epitome of mortal man attaining godliness; the best representative of lion and lamb, of justice and mercy; the closest and clearest that a man has become Man (see 3 Nephi 11:8), other than Jesus Christ himself.

Part 3 of 3

2009, November 4

“Examples of Irony, Parallelism, and Imagery in the Book of Mormon; Part 1” (Version 2) by grego

“Examples of Irony, Parallelism, and Imagery in the Book of Mormon; Part 1”
(Version 2)

grego
©2006

The Book of Mormon is full of irony, parallels, and imagery. Robert A. Rees wrote an article titled “Irony in the Book of Mormon” that was published by FARMS in 2003, which included a few examples of irony. It seems that like him, I believe that irony is one of the strongest elements of writing, which to be done well requires a high level of planning, intelligence, and wit. While some of the examples seem easy, others are quite deep and hard to find; and, therefore, the Book of Mormon ranks high among intellectual books. If Joseph Smith were its author or inventor (with the circumstances of the coming forth of the book proven as they were), he would have accomplished a most astounding feat which can only be explained or described as either pure genius or helped tremendously by non-worldly means. This is moreso when many things seem to be strange or contradictory at first. “A-ha, I caught him!”, one shouts. But then, when seen and understood on a higher intellectual plane, it becomes clear that the reader has been caught, not Joseph Smith or the book.

I provide in this article many more examples of irony, and some parallels that are in a similar order, which common lay readers might be able to see more clearly than the examples shown in the forementioned article. Many of these examples also use wonderful imagery. I have ordered them as they appear in the Book of Mormon.

Since they are somewhat self-explanatory once seen, I don’t explain many of them much. In my opinion, the greatest beauty of irony is its discovery.

Nephi, Moses, and a Ship

**Nephi wants to build a ship. His brothers refuse, as they don’t believe he can, and don’t believe that the Lord could show him. They say:
1 Nephi 17:17 “…Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship; yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters.”
1 Nephi 17:18 “And thus my brethren did complain against me, and were desirous that they might not labor, for they did not believe that I could build a ship; neither would they believe that I was instructed of the Lord.”

Then they explain that this exodus to a promised land was a really bad idea, because of all the problems they had to suffer; they sound just like the Israelites complaining to Moses:
1 Nephi 17:20 “…we have wandered in the wilderness for these many years; and our women have toiled, being big with child; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things, save it were death; and it would have been better that they had died before they came out of Jerusalem than to have suffered these afflictions.”
1 Nephi 17:21 “Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we might have been happy.”

So, Nephi talks about a previous exodus–that led by Moses:
1 Nephi 17:23 “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, spake unto them, saying: Do ye believe that our fathers, who were the children of Israel, would have been led away out of the hands of the Egyptians if they had not hearkened unto the words of the Lord?”
1 Nephi 17:24 “Yea, do ye suppose that they would have been led out of bondage, if the Lord had not commanded Moses that he should lead them out of bondage?”

And how did the Israelites escape? They walked all the way to the promised land, suffering hunger, thirst, darkness, etc., for 40 years; yet, the Lord solved all their problems:
1 Nephi 17:26 “Now ye know that Moses was commanded of the Lord to do that great work; and ye know that by his word the waters of the Red Sea were divided hither and thither, and they passed through on dry ground.”
1 Nephi 17:30 “And notwithstanding they being led, the Lord their God, their Redeemer, going before them, leading them by day and giving light unto them by night, and doing all things for them which were expedient for man to receive, they hardened their hearts and blinded their minds, and reviled against Moses and against the true and living God.”

There was a sea, but the Lord made it dry ground, and they walked across it.

Nephi’s brothers try to kill him, but then realize it’s not a good idea. Nephi requests that:
1 Nephi 17:49 “…neither should they withhold their labor from me, for God had commanded me that I should build a ship.”
1 Nephi 17:51 “And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?”

However, inbetween, Nephi says something that might help Laman and Lemuel the most to realize it would be in their best interests to help build the ship:
1 Nephi 17:50 “…If God … should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.”

So, if what Nephi said was all true, would Laman and Lemuel prefer to:
a. build a ship and sail to the promised land–letting the wind do most of the work; or,
b. rather have Nephi make the water earth, similar to Moses parting the Red Sea, and then walk all the way to the promised land, continuing their journey of hardships, for maybe, uh, 32 more years, all the while having to have faith that the Lord would provide their needs daily?
Easy choice for lazy people!

Then, convinced by a shock that all that Nephi had said was true:
1 Nephi 17:55 “And now, they said: We know of a surety that the Lord is with thee, for we know that it is the power of the Lord that has shaken us…”,

they decide to help Nephi:
1 Nephi 18:1 “…they did go forth with me; and we did work timbers of curious workmanship.”

Voila! Problem, solution.

Sherem

Sherem is the first of many anti-Christs in the Book of Mormon; like those that follow him, he has a slight problem with his logic when talking about prophecy. He says to Jacob:
Jacob 7:7 “…ye have led away much of this people that they pervert the right way of God, and keep not the law of Moses which is the right way; and convert the law of Moses into the worship of a being which ye say shall come many hundred years hence. And now behold, I, Sherem, declare unto you that this is blasphemy; for NO MAN KNOWETH OF SUCH THINGS; FOR HE CANNOT TELL OF THINGS TO COME…”

But then:
Jacob 7:9 “…I (Jacob) said unto him: Deniest thou the Christ who shall come? And he said: If there should be a Christ, I would not deny him; but I KNOW THAT THERE IS NO CHRIST, neither has been, NOR EVER WILL BE.”

Well, there it is: “no man knoweth of such things; for he cannot tell of things to come”; yet, Sherem somehow knows “that there is no Christ, neither has been, nor ever will be” and “[keeping the law of Moses is the right way].” Um, yeah, Sherem.

Alma, King Mosiah, and Refusals

**Alma had a problem:
Mosiah 26:6 “…it became expedient that those who committed sin, that were in the church, should be admonished by the church.”
Mosiah 26:9 “And it came to pass that Alma did not know concerning them; but there were many witnesses against them; yea, the people stood and testified of their iniquity in abundance.”

So, Alma’s solution is to have king Mosiah take care of the problem through the law:
Mosiah 26:10 “Now there had not any such thing happened before in the church; therefore Alma was troubled in his spirit, and he caused that they should be brought before the king.”
Mosiah 26:11 “And he said unto the king: Behold, here are many whom we have brought before thee, who are accused of their brethren; yea, and they have been taken in divers iniquities. And they do not repent of their iniquities; therefore we have brought them before thee, that thou mayest judge them according to their crimes.”

However, king Mosiah refuses:
Mosiah 26:12 “But king Mosiah said unto Alma: Behold, I judge them not; therefore I deliver them into thy hands to be judged.”
Mosiah 26:13 “And now the spirit of Alma was again troubled; and he went and inquired of the Lord what he should do concerning this matter, for he feared that he should do wrong in the sight of God.”

Alma then gets an answer, a great revelation, much better than his first plan.

Ironically, then King Mosiah has his own problem: he wants to confer the kingdom on his sons; but they all refuse:
Alma 17:6 “…Having taken leave of their father, Mosiah, in the first year of the judges; having refused the kingdom which their father was desirous to confer upon them, and also this was the minds of the people;”
Mosiah 29:3 “Now Aaron had gone up to the land of Nephi, therefore the king could not confer the kingdom upon him; neither would Aaron take upon him the kingdom; neither were any of the sons of Mosiah willing to take upon them the kingdom.”

So, now Mosiah has to come up with another solution, other than his first; probably after consideration of the Nephite, Mulekite, Zeniffite, Almaite, Jaredite and Brass Plates records, comes up with a much better solution: judges, a law, and the voice of the people.

Alma & Ammonihah

**The first time Alma enters the city of Ammonihah, the people say:
Alma 8:11 “…we know that thou art Alma; and we know that thou art high priest over the church which thou hast established in many parts of the land…”
Alma 8:12 “…and thou hast delivered up the judgment-seat unto Nephihah; therefore thou art not the chief judge over us.”

So, they know he was the chief judge, and the high priest of the church.

However, the second time that Alma starts to preach, even after he has been there for a while with Amulek, the people of the city say:
Alma 9:2 “Who art thou?”

What? Had they forgetten already? Did Alma grow his hair really long, or what?

But then Amulek, the local boy, introduces himself, and everyone is astonished:
Alma 10:4 “And behold, I am also a man of no small reputation among all those who know me; yea, and behold, I have many kindreds and friends, and I have also acquired much riches by the hand of my industry.”
Alma 10:12 “And now, when Amulek had spoken these words the people began to be astonished, seeing there was more than one witness who testified of the things whereof they were accused, and also of the things which were to come, according to the spirit of prophecy which was in them.”

**When Alma goes to the city of Ammonihah the second time, he meets Amulek. It seems that the main reason that Amulek receives him is because of the Alma’s blessing his family. Amulek says:
Alma 8:20 “…go with me into my house and I will impart unto thee of my food; and I know that thou wilt be a blessing unto me and my house.”

And it says that Alma really did bless Amulek and his family:
Alma 8:21 “And it came to pass that the man received him into his house; and the man was called Amulek; and he brought forth bread and meat and set before Alma.”
Alma 8:22 “And it came to pass that Alma ate bread and was filled; and he blessed Amulek and his house, and he gave thanks unto God.”

In fact, the main thing that Amulek first bears testimony about to the people in Ammonihah is this:
Alma 10:7 “As I was journeying to see a very near kindred, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto me and said: Amulek, return to thine own house, for thou shalt feed a prophet of the Lord…thou shalt receive him into thy house and feed him, and he shall bless thee and thy house; and the blessing of the Lord shall rest upon thee and thy house.”
Alma 10:11 “For behold, he hath blessed mine house, he hath blessed me, and my women, and my children, and my father and my kinsfolk; yea, even all my kindred hath he blessed, and the blessing of the Lord hath rested upon us according to the words which he spake.”

Amulek was certain that he and everyone of his family, near and extended, was blessed by Alma.
Yet, ironically, later:
Alma 15:16 “And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek, Amulek having forsaken all his gold, and silver, and his precious things, which were in the land of Ammonihah, for the word of God, he being rejected by those who were once his friends and also by his father and his kindred;”
Alma 15:18 “…he (Alma) took Amulek and came over to the land of Zarahemla, and took him to his own house, and did administer unto him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord.”

The main concern that Amulek had, and the greatest reason for receiving Alma, was his family; yet, in the end, his family reject him, Alma, and the word of God.

**The people in the city of Ammonihah say,
Alma 9:2 “…Suppose ye that we shall believe the testimony of one man, although he should preach unto us that the earth should pass away?”
Alma 9:3 Now they understood not the words which they spake; for they knew not that the earth should pass away.
Alma 9:4 And they said also: We will not believe thy words if thou shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in one day.
Alma 9:5 Now they knew not that God could do such marvelous works, for they were a hard-hearted and a stiffnecked people.

Here, the peole say that they will not believe Alma’s words, as he is the only one testifying of them; and also, they deny a basic prophecy, and unknowingly foreshadow their own destiny.
The reason they will not believe is that they are a very unbelieving people. Also, they do not understand God. Which fits in beautifully with the next verse:
Alma 9:6 “…Who is God, that sendeth no more authority than one man among this people, to declare unto them the truth of such great and marvelous things?”

When Amulek also testifies, they are astonished, but ironically, it does little to change many of their hearts.

**Alma preaches to them that faith in the Lord delivers:
Alma 9:9 Do ye not remember that our father, Lehi, was brought out of Jerusalem by the hand of God? Do ye not remember that they were all led by him through the wilderness?
Alma 9:10 And have ye forgotten so soon how many times he delivered our fathers out of the hands of their enemies, and preserved them from being destroyed, even by the hands of their own brethren?
Alma 9:11 Yea, and if it had not been for his matchless power, and his mercy, and his long-suffering towards us, we should unavoidably have been cut off from the face of the earth long before this period of time, and perhaps been consigned to a state of endless misery and woe.
Then, Alma tells them what will happen to them if they do not repent:
Alma 9:12 Behold, now I say unto you that he commandeth you to repent; and except ye repent, ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. But behold, this is not all–he has commanded you to repent, or he will utterly destroy you from off the face of the earth; yea, he will visit you in his anger, and in his fierce anger he will not turn away.

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

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

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

They now knew that God could do it, and he did it; but still, no one could testify to others, as they were all killed.

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

Before that, he preaches that God delivers:
Alma 9:10 And have ye forgotten so soon how many times he delivered our fathers out of the hands of their enemies, and preserved them from being destroyed, even by the hands of their own brethren?
Alma 9:11 Yea, and if it had not been for his matchless power, and his mercy, and his long-suffering towards us, we should unavoidably have been cut off from the face of the earth long before this period of time, and perhaps been consigned to a state of endless misery and woe.

So, as just retribution, the leaders of the people take the believers and their records and burn them in a huge fire. Amulek says that it was an “awful scene” (Alma 14:10). Then the
Alma 14:14 “…chief judge of the land came and stood before Alma and Amulek, as they were bound; …and said unto them: After what ye have seen, will ye preach again unto this people, that they shall be cast into a lake of fire and brimstone?”
Paralleling the part of God delivering, the chief judge continues:
Alma 14:15 “Behold, ye see that ye had not power to save those who had been cast into the fire; neither has God saved them because they were of thy faith. And the judge smote them again upon their cheeks, and asked: What say ye for yourselves?”

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

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

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

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

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

**The leaders of the people of the city of Ammonihah ask Alma and Amulek,
Alma 14:21 “How shall we look when we are damned?”

Well, shortly thereafter, it was hard to tell, because those same leaders were buried in the rubble when the prison collapsed, making them a physical “lost and fallen people” as Alma had preached they were spiritually:
Alma 9:30 “…ye are a lost and a fallen people.”

However, for their fellow city-citizens, the answer is somewhat clearer:
Alma 16:10 “…the carcases were mangled by dogs and wild beasts of the wilderness.”
Alma 16:11 “…after many days their dead bodies were heaped up upon the face of the earth, and they were covered with a shallow covering. And now so great was the scent thereof that the people did not go in to possess the land of Ammonihah for many years…”

Pretty much how I would expect a damned person to look…

**Zeezrom
Somewhat as a foil of the rest of the evil people of Ammonihah, Zeezrom stands up for Alma and Amulek, as he understands clearly that they are righteous men, and that the words they have spoken are true. However, due to his previous conduct and the effect it had and the effect he thought it had had, he:
Alma 15:3 “…lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever…and this great sin, and his many other sins, did harrow up his mind until it did become exceedingly sore, having no deliverance; therefore he began to be scorched with a burning heat.

Suffering as Alma had preached:
Alma 12:17 Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting destruction, according to the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will.

However, when Zeezrom finds out that Alma and Amulek are still alive, he sends for them, and they come:
Alma 15:5 “And it came to pass that they went immediately, obeying the message which he had sent unto them; and they went in unto the house unto Zeezrom; and they found him upon his bed, sick, being very low with a burning fever; and his mind also was exceedingly sore because of his iniquities; and when he saw them he stretched forth his hand, and besought them that they would heal him.”
Alma 15:6 “And it came to pass that Alma said unto him, taking him by the hand: Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation?”
Alma 15:7 “And he answered and said: Yea, I believe all the words that thou hast taught.”
Alma 15:8 “And Alma said: If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed.”
Alma 15:9 “And he said: Yea, I believe according to thy words.”
Alma 15:10 “And then Alma cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, have mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ.”
Alma 15:11 “And when Alma had said these words, Zeezrom leaped upon his feet, and began to walk; and this was done to the great astonishment of all the people; and the knowledge of this went forth throughout all the land of Sidom.”

Thus, faith in Christ delivers Zeezrom, as Alma had taught Zeezrom earlier:
Alma 12:33 But God did call on men, in the name of his Son, (this being the plan of redemption which was laid) saying: If ye will repent and harden not your hearts, then will I have mercy upon you, through mine Only Begotten Son;
Alma 12:34 Therefore, whosoever repenteth, and hardeneth not his heart, he shall have claim on mercy through mine Only Begotten Son, unto a remission of his sins; and these shall enter into my rest.

Zeezrom was thus able to leave his previous state of “fire and brimstone”, being “chained down” to his bed by it, and enter into God’s rest.

Part 2

Book of Mormon Lesson: How Much for Your God?

Book of Mormon:  Lesson from Zeezrom and Amulek:  How Much for Your God?

grego
(c) 2006

Alma 11:22 …Zeezrom said unto him: Behold, here are six onties of silver, and all these will I give thee if thou wilt deny the existence of a Supreme Being.

Alma 11:24 Believest thou that there is no God? I say unto you, Nay, thou knowest that there is a God, but thou lovest that lucre more than him.

How much for your God?

Amulek tells Zeezrom, you know there is a God, but you love “THAT filthy lucre” more than God–in other words, you love *those six onties of silver you’re holding in your hand*–which, by the way, you almost certainly earned dishonestly–more than you love God.

He put a price on God for Zeezrom.

What price do you put on God? How much would you sell God for? What would the price tag say? If that were you instead of Zeezrom, what would you be “holding in your hand”?

Hypothecially speaking: If the house were on fire, and God and your ___ (car, computer, CD selection, retirment funds, stock investments, awards and plaques, children, spouse) were inside and in trouble, who would you save? Would you save God first, and then whatever else? How long would it take you to decide, and act?

While it might seem ludicrous, we can do that through our choices of worship and priority.

“Book of Mormon Answers for Our Day: Solution to Orem-Provo Problem” by grego

“Book of Mormon Answers for Our Day: Solution to Orem-Provo Problem”

grego
(c) 2006

Having spent at least a short time in both Orem and Provo, I can’t help but think of them each time I read Alma 50, about the cities of Lehi and Morianton, which bordered each other and “warmly contended” over who owned what land (though it’s quite possible that there was more). The answer comes in Alma 50:36–

Alma 50:36
And thus were the people of Morianton brought back. And upon their covenanting to keep the peace they were restored to the land of Morianton, and a union took place between them and the people of Lehi; and they were also restored to their lands.

Look at that–years of fighting, and the answer’s been staring them in the face since the beginning of the fighting. Wow, the Book of Mormon’s amazing. :)

Book of Mormon: “Nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” by grego

Book of Mormon: “Nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book”

grego
(c) 2006

The other night, I understood (for myself) the last part of this quote from Joseph Smith about the Book of Mormon:

“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

–especially in light of the Bible.

In some ways the Book of Mormon doesn’t do as well as the Bible, such as in the life of Christ and his actions and words.

But then I thought about this:
How many instances in the Bible do you see one seeking revelation? And an answer from God, clearly connected to it? And the need for the Spirit?

I have found very few, relatively speaking. I see lots of one or the other, but very few connected, together. Yet, from Lehi’s first vision to Moroni’s questions and answers, the Book of Mormon is full of instances where a person seeks God, and finds Him; seeks His answers, and gets them; has a problem, and God helps with the solution–and the processes and connections are shown, and connected.

If we were to have personal revelation, through seeking God by prayer and having the Spirit, and reading and understanding the scriptures, wouldn’t we be “nearer to God”? And which book, even of all holy books, teaches, supports, and urges this more than any other? The Book of Mormon.

1 Comment:
Anonymous said…
Very good comment, thanks. Titch

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