Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2008, July 17

Book of Mormon: No Joy in the Bad Happening to the Wicked

Book of Mormon: No Joy in the Bad Happening to the Wicked

It is always true that the prophet finds no pleasure in the pain and suffering of the guilty, unless it is necessary to help them repent.

Here’s Alma’s thought:
Alma 30:46 And now it came to pass that Alma said unto him: Behold, I am grieved because of the hardness of your heart, yea, that ye will still resist the spirit of the truth, that thy soul may be destroyed.

Ok, critics, here’s your chance–find one time in the Book of Mormon when anyone righteous delights in something bad happening to someone bad, for vengeance/ just because it makes them feel good. If you can’t find one, please don’t assume that any righteous person would wish bad on Korihor, especially Alma.

Korihor committed crimes; he got three trials (and got let off once very easily), three denials (which were lies), four signs, and a final sign; and had he repented even then, no doubt he likely would have had the curse removed; but he didn’t repent. Was all that Alma’s and God’s faults? Are Alma and God really the bad guys here??

2008, July 12

Book of Mormon: Korihor, Parents, and Children

Book of Mormon: Korihor, Parents, and Children
.
.
Korihor first claims that:
Alma 30:25 Ye say that this people is a guilty and a fallen people, because of the transgression of a parent. Behold, I say that a child is not guilty because of its parents.

He reasons, A child is not guilty because of its parents (referring to Adam and Eve).

Korihor then claims that these false doctrines that everyone was believing in came from the fathers:

Alma 30:14 Behold, these things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers.

Alma 30:16 Ye look forward and say that ye see a remission of your sins. But behold, it is the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement of your minds comes because of the traditions of your fathers, which lead you away into a belief of things which are not so.

Alma 30:23 Now the high priest’s name was Giddonah. And Korihor said unto him: Because I do not teach the foolish traditions of your fathers, and because I do not teach this people to bind themselves down under the foolish ordinances and performances which are laid down by ancient priests, to usurp power and authority over them, to keep them in ignorance, that they may not lift up their heads, but be brought down according to thy words.

Alma 30:24 Ye say that this people is a free people. Behold, I say they are in bondage. Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true. Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true.

Alma 30:27 And thus ye lead away this people after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye keep them down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands, that they durst not look up with boldness, and that they durst not enjoy their rights and privileges.

Alma 30:28 Yea, they durst not make use of that which is their own lest they should offend their priests, who do yoke them according to their desires, and have brought them to believe, by their traditions and their dreams and their whims and their visions and their pretended mysteries, that they should, if they did not do according to their words, offend some unknown being, who they say is God–a being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be.

Alma 30:31 And he did rise up in great swelling words before Alma, and did revile against the priests and teachers, accusing them of leading away the people after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of glutting on the labors of the people.
.
.
Now, it gets even more interesting. Who taught Korihor his doctrine? None other than Satan–the Father of lies, “foolish traditions”, “false traditions that lead away into a belief of things which are not so”, and all the other sorts of things that Korihor accused the priests of teaching.

And, it’s Korihor himself that admits to that:
Alma 30:52 And Korihor put forth his hand and wrote, saying: I know that I am dumb, for I cannot speak; and I know that nothing save it were the power of God could bring this upon me; yea, and I always knew that there was a God.

Alma 30:53 But behold, the devil hath deceived me; for he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me.

So are the people guilty and fallen because of their parents/ fathers?
.
.
Then, what did the traditions of Satan do for his child Korihor? Did they allow Korihor to “lift us [his] head”, become “free”, “look up with boldness”, and “enjoy [his] rights and privileges”?

Let’s see:
Alma 30:59 And it came to pass that as he [Korihor] went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram–and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead.

Alma 30:60 And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that *the devil will not support* *his children* at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell.


Bookmark and Share

2008, July 11

Book of Mormon: Korihor: Literary Devices 6: Irony

Book of Mormon: Korihor: Literary Devices 6: Irony

Korihor ironically got the same treatment that he accused the priests/ teachers of giving to the people:

Alma 30:23 Now the high priest’s name was Giddonah. And Korihor said unto him: Because I do not teach the foolish traditions of your fathers, and because I do not teach this people to *bind themselves down* under the foolish ordinances and performances which are laid down by ancient priests, to *usurp power and authority over them*, to keep them in ignorance, that they may *not lift up their heads*, but *be brought down according to thy words*.

Alma 30:24 Ye say that this people is a free people. Behold, I say *they are in bondage*. Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true. Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true.

Like this:
Alma 30:20 But behold they were more wise than many of the Nephites; for they took him, and *bound him*, and *carried him* before Ammon, who was a high priest over that people.

Alma 30:21 And it came to pass that he caused that he should be *carried out* of the land. And he came over into the land of Gideon, and began to preach unto them also; and here he did not have much success, for he was taken and *bound and carried* before the high priest, and also the chief judge over the land.

Alma 30:29 Now when the high priest and the chief judge saw the hardness of his heart, yea, when they saw that he would revile even against God, they would not make any reply to his words; but they caused that he should be *bound*; and they delivered him up into the hands of the officers, and *sent* him to the land of Zarahemla, that he might be *brought before Alma (the high priest)*, and the chief judge who was governor over all the land.

Alma 30:59 And it came to pass that as he went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram–and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and *trodden down*, even until he was dead.

Alma 30:60 And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily *drag them down* to hell.


Bookmark and Share

Book of Mormon: Korihor: Literary Devices 5: Imagery

Book of Mormon: Korihor: Literary Devices 5: Imagery

There’s also a lot of “up” vs. “down” imagery in the story of Korihor. It’s used “in bono” and “in malo”.

Korihor was really big on people lifting up their heads:
Alma 30:18 And thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to *lift up their heads* in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms–telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof.

Alma 30:23 Now the high priest’s name was Giddonah. And Korihor said unto him: Because I do not teach the foolish traditions of your fathers, and because I do not teach this people to *bind themselves down* under the foolish ordinances and performances which are *laid down* by ancient priests, to usurp power and authority over them, to keep them in ignorance, that they may not *lift up their heads*, but be *brought down* according to thy words.

Alma 30:27 And thus ye lead away this people after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye *keep them down*, *even as it were in bondage*, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands, that they *durst not look up with boldness*, and that they *durst not enjoy their rights and privileges*.

Alma 30:28 Yea, they *durst not make use of that which is their own* lest they should offend their priests, who do yoke them according to their desires, and have brought them to believe, by their traditions and their dreams and their whims and their visions and their pretended mysteries, that they should, if they did not do according to their words, offend some unknown being, who they say is God–a being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be.

Alma 30:31 And he did *rise up* in great swelling words before Alma, and did revile against the priests and teachers, accusing them of leading away the people after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of glutting on the labors of the people.

Interestingly, Alma adds an additional sign to one so intent and focused on lifting up his head: the solar system.
Alma 30:44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even *the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator*.

Then, it’s Alma’s and God’s turn to use *down* in a negative way:
Alma 30:47 But behold, it is better that thy soul should be lost than that thou shouldst be the means of bringing many souls *down to destruction*, by thy lying and by thy flattering words…

And Korihor’s turn to ironically be incapable of looking up to the heavens:
Alma 30:54 Now when he had said this, he besought that Alma should pray unto God, that the curse might be taken from him.

So much for “looking up with boldness”…

The commentary finishes:
Alma 30:59 And it came to pass that as he went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram–and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and *trodden down*, even until he was dead.

Alma 30:60 And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily *drag them down* to hell.


Bookmark and Share

2008, July 10

Book of Mormon: Korihor: Literary Devices 4: Imagery and Irony

Book of Mormon: Korihor: Literary Devices 4: Imagery and Irony

-=-=-=

Korihor accused the priests of glutting themselves on the work of the people, etc. Alma says that Korihor knew that Alma and the others in the church hadn’t. So how, whence would this accusation arise? Why would Korihor accuse the priests of that? I think it was with the law of Moses and the offerings that the priests ate according to the law. (I wonder if these priests were different than the priests that functioned as teachers in the church, and that is why Alma separated the accusation.)

Interestingly, seemingly out of place in the same chapter, just a little before the Korihor part, we find this:
Alma 30:3 Yea, and the people did observe to keep the commandments of the Lord; and they were strict in observing the ordinances of God, according to the law of Moses; for they were taught to keep the law of Moses until it should be fulfilled.

-=-=-=

Interestingly, Korihor uses wonderful animal imagery in his preaching, and it also shows up in the commentary and in the manner of Korihor’s death. He uses it to connect the similarity between the animals that the priests are sacrificing and glutting off the labors of the people with, and the people who believe.

Korihor spoke to the people about their being yoked and led, looking down and being submissive, being foolish, being worked to support the priests/ teachers:

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.

Alma 30:16 Ye look forward and say that ye see a remission of your sins. But behold, it is the effect of a *frenzied mind*; and this *derangement of your minds* comes because of the traditions of your fathers, which *lead* you away into a belief of things which are not so.

Alma 30:27 And thus ye *lead away this people* after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye *keep them down*, even as it were *in bondage*, that ye may *glut yourselves with the labors of their hands*, that they *durst not look up with boldness*, and that they *durst not enjoy their rights and privileges*.

Alma 30:28 Yea, they *durst not make use of that which is their own* lest they should offend their priests, who do *yoke them* according to their desires, and have *brought them* to believe, by their traditions and their dreams and their whims and their visions and their pretended mysteries, that they should, if they did not do according to their words, offend some unknown being, who they say is God–a being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be.

Alma 30:31 And he did rise up in great swelling words before Alma, and did revile against the priests and teachers, accusing them of *leading away the people* after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of *glutting on the labors of the people*.

In other words, he accused the people of being like the dumb (double entendre intended) animals they were sacrificing (according to the law of Moses), and the priests were like the owners, yoking them, leading them, keeping them domesticated and docile, and using them to perform labors they didn’t want/ couldn’t do themselves. Was Korihor preaching “be your own animal”–wild, free, etc.?

The commentary in Alma 30 says:

Alma 30:18 And thus he did preach unto them, *leading away the hearts of many*, *causing them to lift up their heads* in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms–telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof.

Alma use the same imagery with Korihor, but now it’s either Korihor is the false shepherd leading the people to spiritual slaughter, or it’s Korihor the animal led by his master, Satan.

Alma 30:42 Behold, I know that thou believest, but thou art possessed with a lying spirit, and ye have put off the Spirit of God that it may have no place in you; but *the devil has power over you*, and *he doth carry you about*, working devices that he may destroy the children of God.

Alma 30:45 And yet do ye go about, *leading away the hearts of this people*, testifying unto them there is no God? …

And Korihor even continues the imagery (having an eery familiarity with Isaiah and his sheep):
Alma 30:53 But behold, the devil hath deceived me; for he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: *Go and reclaim this people*, for *they have all gone astray* after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I *withstood* the truth, even until I have *brought* this great curse *upon* me.

And there at the end, Korihor admits that he, like an ornery mule, disobeyed his master.

But Korihor is like an old dog that won’t learn new tricks:

Alma 30:54 Now when he had said this, he besought that Alma should pray unto God, that the curse might be taken from him.

Alma 30:55 But Alma said unto him: If this curse should be taken from thee thou wouldst again *lead away the hearts of this people*; therefore, it shall be unto thee even as the Lord will.

It is now Korihor who suffers his accusatory preaching, like a domesticated animal that refuses his master, bites the hand the feeds him, and goes wild:

Alma 30:56
And it came to pass that the curse was not taken off of Korihor; but he was *cast out*, and went about from house to house *begging for his food*.

And is it perhaps dumb animals that trod him down, and kill him? Docile, easily yoked ones like the people he preached against; or the type that he was?

Alma 30:59
And it came to pass that as he went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram–and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was *run upon* and *trodden down*, even until he was dead.

Alma 30:60
And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will *not support* his children at the last day, but doth speedily *drag them down to hell*.

Ahhh, no pasture for Korihor–looks like it’s straight to the slaughterhouse…


Bookmark and Share

Book of Mormon: Korihor: Literary Devices: Irony 2

Book of Mormon: Korihor: Literary Devices: Irony 2

-=-=-=

Ironically, some might say Alma the priest and Nephite society *do*, in a certain way, glut off the labors of others–Korihor, that is–not the people in general:

Alma 30:57 Now the knowledge of what had happened unto Korihor was immediately published throughout all the land; yea, the proclamation was sent forth by the chief judge to all the people in the land, declaring unto those who had believed in the words of Korihor that they must speedily repent, lest the same judgments would come unto them.

Alma 30:58 And it came to pass that they were all convinced of the wickedness of Korihor; therefore they were all converted again unto the Lord; and this put an end to the iniquity after the manner of Korihor. And Korihor did go about from house to house, begging food for his support.

-=-=-=

Even more ironically, Korihor the hypocrite, who glutted himself off the labors of the people from his preaching and yet accused the priests of God of doing it, now gluts himself off the labors of the people–*with his begging*…

Alma 30:58 And it came to pass that they were all convinced of the wickedness of Korihor; therefore they were all converted again unto the Lord; and this put an end to the iniquity after the manner of Korihor. And Korihor did go about from house to house, begging food for his support.


Bookmark and Share

2008, July 8

Book of Mormon: Alma vs. Korihor, Experience-wise

Book of Mormon: Alma vs. Korihor, Experience-wise

grego
(c) 2008

Alma and Korihor have quite a bit in common, and quite a bit that makes them opposites. I would, for practical purposes, say that Korihor is a foil.

A literary “foil” is a character that is used to compare but especially contrast another character who is more central to the story, making the central character’s characteristics easier to see, deeper and more colorful.

Alma and Korihor being foils (Alma 29-30) is inside the story of the Lamanites who convert and their foil, the Zoramites, who leave.

There seemed to me to be a somewhat jerky transition between the last part of Alma 28 and Alma 29, to Alma 30 and 31.

Alma 29 is about Alma and his desires to save souls, and the joy and the wonder of it all; both his personal experience of being saved (I believe), of his church labors and missionary labors, and of those of the sons of Mosiah and their friends. It is similar to Alma 26, with Ammon.

Alma 30, however, is about Korihor and his desires and joy to destroy souls.

It goes from a personal testimony of laboring for God in love, to laboring for sin in no love.

Here are some other parts of this Alma vs. Korihor foil (in no certain order):

-=-=-=

Korihor says:
Alma 30:53 But behold, the devil hath deceived me; for he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me.

Interestingly, Alma says:
Alma 29:9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
Alma 29:10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
Alma 29:13 Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full.
Alma 29:14 But I do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi.
Alma 29:15 Behold, they have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit; and how great shall be their reward!
Alma 29:16 Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy.

On one hand, Korihor has success and therefore believes; likes it because it pleases the carnal mind; and fights against truth because of it. On the other hand, Alma and the sons of Mosiah believe and therefore have success; find joy that others are spiritual, not carnal; and fight against “negative” things (doubt, sorrow, opposition, etc.) because of it.

-=-=-=

I found it interesting to hear what seems to be a foreshadowing in Alma 29. Alma starts out wishing he could be an angel. He has just been preaching for years all over the land, and in Alma 31 he will go to preach again, to the Zoramites. So why the “angel” part and other things, now?
Alma 29:1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
Alma 29:2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

Alma himself had been a true atheist, a sinner, who went about delighting in trying to get others to sin and destroy the church of God—which is what Korihor will be trying to do, also. Then an angel, a representative of God, appeared in power and told Alma that there was a God, and was instrumental in Alma’s changing his ways/ repenting. That is what Alma hopes he can do—help others repent. However, the twist in the Korihor story is, that a believer (Korihor) was visited by an angel (the devil), told there was not a God, and Korihor had changed his ways/ sinned. Yet, when Alma, a representative of God, displays God’s power by cursing him dumb, Korihor doesn’t repent.

-=-=-=

Here is something else about an angel. Alma tells Korihor:
Alma 30:47 But behold, it is *better that thy soul should be lost* than that *thou shouldst be the means of bringing many souls down to destruction*, by thy lying and by thy flattering words; therefore if thou shalt deny again, behold God shall smite thee, that *thou shalt become dumb*, that thou shalt never open thy mouth any more, that thou shalt not deceive this people any more.

Interestingly, this is similar to what the angel told wicked Alma, and what happened:
Alma 36:9 And he said unto me: If *thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God*.
Alma 36:10 And it came to pass that I fell to the earth; and it was for the space of three days and three nights that *I could not open my mouth*, neither had I the use of my limbs.
Alma 36:11 And the angel spake more things unto me, which were heard by my brethren, but I did not hear them; for when I heard the words–If *thou wilt be destroyed of thyself, seek no more to destroy the church of God*–I was struck with such great fear and amazement lest perhaps I should be destroyed, that I fell to the earth and I did hear no more.
Alma 36:14 Yea, and *I 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 says:
Alma 29:6 Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?
Alma 29:9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

Korihor says this:
Alma 30:53 But behold, the devil hath deceived me; for he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me.

Alma was content with his calling; Korihor was not. Alma was humble; Korihor was not. Alma gloried in the Lord and what he taught because it was from the Lord; Korihor gloried in what he taught because it pleased him and others’ carnal minds.

-=-=-=

While Alma thanks God for saving him in mercy:
Alma 29:10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.

Korihor only blames the Devil:
Alma 30:52 And Korihor put forth his hand and wrote, saying: I know that I am dumb, for I cannot speak; and I know that nothing save it were the power of God could bring this upon me; yea, and I always knew that there was a God.
Alma 30:53 But behold, the devil hath deceived me;

-=-=-=

Alma says this:
Alma 29:3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.
Alma 29:4 I ought not to harrow up in my desires, the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.
Alma 29:5 Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience.
And we see that he is content, he chooses good, life, joy, and salvation.

What about Korihor? Frankly, I doubt the devil just “showed up” randomly to Korihor. I believe Korihor’s desires were lined up for it to happen. Korihor knew good from evil; he chose “evil”, “death”, and while I don’t know how much “remorse of conscience” there was before his death, I doubt there was “joy”. Also, as to what Alma had just said, God’s decree of dumbness was unalterable; according to Korihor’s will; and unto his destruction. However, look at all the desires of the sons of Mosiah in the preceding chapters, and Alma and his fellow laborers in Alma 31, and what the fruits of those desires were.

-=-=-=

While Alma says this:
Alma 29:11 Yea, and I also remember the captivity of my fathers; for I surely do know that the Lord did deliver them out of bondage, and by this did establish his church; yea, the Lord God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, did deliver them out of bondage.
Alma 29:12 Yea, I have always remembered the captivity of my fathers; and that same God who delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians did deliver them out of bondage.

Korihor says this:
Alma 30:14 Behold, these things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers.
Alma 30:16 Ye look forward and say that ye see a remission of your sins. But behold, it is the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement of your minds comes because of the traditions of your fathers, which lead you away into a belief of things which are not so.
Alma 30:27 And thus ye lead away this people after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye keep them down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands, that they durst not look up with boldness, and that they durst not enjoy their rights and privileges.

-=-=-=

Alma says this:
Alma 29:14 But I do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi.
Alma 29:15 Behold, they have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit; and how great shall be their reward!
Alma 29:16 Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy.

I wonder if Korihor also felt that way from having lots of competition from other alpha-males? No, eh? Wait, Korihor’s accusations against the priests (false ones, at that) are the same things that he was doing. I guess maybe I was right…

-=-=-=

Another interesting part is that Korihor and Alma both required proof of the power of God; after their experiences, they both acknowledged the power of God; yet the difference was Alma didn’t know, then he did, and he repented; Korihor knew, but he denied, and after being given the chance, he didn’t repent:

Korihor:
Alma 30:43 And now Korihor said unto Alma: If thou wilt [b]show me a sign, that I may be convinced that there is a God, yea, show unto me that he hath power[/b], and then will I be convinced of the truth of thy words.
Alma 30:45 And yet do ye go about, leading away the hearts of this people, testifying unto them there is no God? And yet will ye deny against all these witnesses? And he said: *Yea, I will deny, except ye shall show me a sign*.
Alma 30:48 Now Korihor said unto him: I do not deny the existence of a God, but I do not believe that there is a God; and I say also, that ye do not know that there is a God; and *except ye show me a sign, I will not believe*.
Alma 30:51 And now when the chief judge saw this, he put forth his hand and wrote unto Korihor, saying: *Art thou convinced of the power of God?* In whom did ye desire that Alma should show forth his sign? Would ye that he should afflict others, to show unto thee a sign? Behold, he has showed unto you a sign; and *now will ye dispute more?*
Alma 30:52 And Korihor put forth his hand and wrote, saying: *I know that I am dumb, for I cannot speak; and I know that nothing save it were the power of God could bring this upon me*; yea, and I always knew that there was a God.

Alma:
Mosiah 27:14 And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose *have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God*, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.
Mosiah 27:15 And now behold, *can ye dispute the power of God? For behold, doth not my voice shake the earth? And can ye not also behold me before you? And I am sent from God*.
Mosiah 27:18 And now Alma and those that were with him *fell again to the earth, for great was their astonishment; for with their own eyes they had beheld an angel of the Lord; and his voice was as thunder, which shook the earth; and they knew that there was nothing save the power of God that could shake the earth and cause it to tremble as though it would part asunder*.

-=-=-=

Alma, during his wicked days, had the same “gift”/ curse that Korihor had: the power of his words; and Alma’s punishment for not believing and for using his words to destroy and lead people astray was the same as Korihor’s—not being able to speak; and perhaps, as did Alma, Korihor had a weak body:
Mosiah 27:8 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.
Mosiah 27:19 And now the astonishment of Alma was so great that *he became dumb*, that *he could not open his mouth*; yea, and he became weak, even that he could not move his hands; therefore he was taken by those that were with him, and carried helpless, even until he was laid before his father.
Mosiah 27:22 And he caused that the priests should assemble themselves together; and *they began to fast, and to pray to the Lord their God that he would open the mouth of Alma, that he might speak*, and also that his limbs might receive their strength–that the eyes of the people might be opened to see and know of the goodness and glory of God.
Mosiah 27:23 And it came to pass after they had fasted and prayed for the space of two days and two nights, the limbs of Alma received their strength, and *he stood up and began to speak unto them, bidding them to be of good comfort*:
Alma 36:10 And it came to pass that I fell to the earth; and it was for the space of three days and three nights that *I could not open my mouth*, neither had I the use of my limbs.

-=-=-=

When Alma sees the angel, he cannot talk:
Mosiah 27:19 And now the astonishment of Alma was so great that he became dumb, that he could not open his mouth; yea, and he became weak, even that he could not move his hands; therefore he was taken by those that were with him, and carried helpless, even until he was laid before his father.

When Korihor sees the angel (devil), he gains power to talk. Yet when he meets with God’s representative, he loses it, just like Alma did.

Alma’s remorse is for his sins:
Alma 36:12 But I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.
Alma 36:13 Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments.
Alma 36:14 Yea, and I 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 36:15 Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds.
Alma 36:16 And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.
Alma 36:17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

But when Alma finally does speak, he says this:
Alma 36:18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

And when he gets up, he relates:
Mosiah 27:24 For, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit.

Korihor, on the other hand, writes this:
Alma 30:54 Now when he had said this, he besought that Alma should pray unto God, that the curse might be taken from him.

He admits he greatly sinned, but his remorse is not for his sins, but for the loss of his tool that worked the sin.

And so:
Alma 30:55 But Alma said unto him: If this curse should be taken from thee thou wouldst again lead away the hearts of this people; therefore, it shall be unto thee even as the Lord will.
Alma 30:56 And it came to pass that the curse was not taken off of Korihor; but he was cast out, and went about from house to house begging for his food.

I imagine that had Korihor repented, he likely would have been healed.

-=-=-=

Not only is Korihor a foil to Alma, but the irony in these comparisons is plentiful.


Bookmark and Share

2008, July 3

Book of Mormon: Korihor in Zarahemla

Book of Mormon: Korihor in Zarahemla

(for more articles on Korihor, type “Korihor” in the search function–there are many!)

After Gideon, Korihor is sent to Zarahemla:
Alma 30:29 Now when the high priest and the chief judge saw the hardness of his heart, yea, when they saw that he would revile even against God, they would not make any reply to his words; but they caused that he should be bound; and they delivered him up into the hands of the officers, and sent him to the land of Zarahemla, that he might be brought before Alma, and the chief judge who was governor over all the land.

All according to the law, it seems, right? Except some critics cry foul: what is Alma doing there?! See, it’s the priests and the Church meddling in civic affairs! And he’s the one–not the judge–that’s even questioning and arguing with Korihor! Ok, everyone, remember: Alma is the defendant in this case–the chief high priest under whom all priests that Korihor has been speaking against operate. Not only is it his right to be there to defend his side and answer the charges, it might even be required for him to be there. Also, in at least one country’s court where I have been before, the defendant actually has the right to interview/ question the accuser in the presence of the judge without a lot of dilly-dally lawyer and judge stuff–which is very possibly what happens next.

Alma 30:30 And it came to pass that when he was brought before Alma and the chief judge, he did go on in the same manner as he did in the land of Gideon; yea, he went on to blaspheme.
Alma 30:31 And he did rise up in great swelling words before Alma, and did revile against the priests and teachers, accusing them of leading away the people after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of glutting on the labors of the people.

Once more, he makes accusations. But Alma proves the charge of glutting on the labors of the people to be false, and therefore a lie:
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, what doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren?
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?

Alma continues:
Alma 30:35 And now, believest thou that we deceive this people, that causes such joy in their hearts?
Alma 30:36 And Korihor answered him, Yea.

At this point, Alma understands clearly–if he hadn’t already–that Korihor is a wicked liar, not just an innocent atheist or unbeliever, and I believe that Alma has a few revelations about Korihor, which lead to the next part:
Alma 30:37 And then Alma said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God?
Alma 30:38 And he answered, Nay.
Alma 30:39 Now Alma said unto him: Will ye deny again that there is a God, and also deny the Christ? For behold, I say unto you, I know there is a God, and also that Christ shall come.
Alma 30:40 And now what evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only.
Alma 30:41 But, behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true; and will ye deny them? Believest thou that these things are true?
Alma 30:42 Behold, I know that thou believest, but thou art possessed with a lying spirit, and ye have put off the Spirit of God that it may have no place in you; but the devil has power over you, and he doth carry you about, working devices that he may destroy the children of God.
Alma 30:43 And now Korihor said unto Alma: If thou wilt show me a sign, that I may be convinced that there is a God, yea, show unto me that he hath power, and then will I be convinced of the truth of thy words.
Alma 30:44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

Alma goes to the other part of Korihor’s lying–that the priests don’t and can’t know, yet Korihor can. It doesn’t seem to be about Korihor not being able to believe the religion he wants to; it’s about his imposing on others, that they can’t know, and therefore they are liars by saying they can; yet he’s not a liar by saying he can know that they don’t know, or that there *won’t* be a Christ, etc.

Most critics completely miss the point of Alma’s arguments here. Alma could have presented strong evidence of God that the Nephites and Anti-Nephi-Lehies/ people of Ammon were familiar with (I did that in the “Korihor in Jershon and Gideon” section). I believe the evidence would have held in court, and Alma could have won by doing so. But he doesn’t.

Korihor had no evidence or proof to back up his accusations about the priests, and Alma showed it. Korihor doesn’t have any evidence or proof to back up his other accusations, either, and Alma knows it; he will create a parallel to let that point sink in.

Alma just shows that the other side of the coin of not seeing God in anything, which is seeing God in so many things; and that the other side of not having proof that God exists, is not having proof that God doesn’t exist. Korihor preaches that the doctrine of Christ is foolish traditions; that’s not the first time that accusation had been made (see 2 Nephi 25:26, Jacob 7:7, 9, 11-13; Alma 8:11, Alma 28:7-8). Alma says, you say they are foolish; but I say, where is evidence or proof that yours aren’t? As Elder McConkie says: “All false doctrines are fables. That is, they are stories which have been imagined, fabricated, and invented as opposed to the gospel which is real and true. Apostasy consists in turning from true doctrine to fables” (McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3: 114).

Alma’s arguments have nothing to do with proving God’s existence and aren’t meant to be taken that way! In fact, Alma has no intention whatsoever of proving God, to anyone–especially to Korihor. Alma is just showing: if neither side has proof that anyone and everyone can see, how then can Korihor claim knowing there is no God? And how then can Korihor claim to be certain that others can’t know there is a God? Alma just proves that Korihor’s arguments are baseless; no proof or even evidence is needed. Korihor’s universe is one of anarchy and disorder, where the strongest wins and anyone can do anything they want; yet the universe apparent–in the sky and everywhere, that anyone and everyone can see–is one of order and function. So, in essence, Alma shows that, based on what can be known through the senses and the physical world around–nature–his argument is just as strong–well, even stronger–than Korihor’s argument of survival of the fittest, found in nature.

There is no need for Alma to “show a sign” or “convince” in court; it is good enough to show that Korihor’s charges are false and he is guilty of them. Alma knows that when a wicked, adulterous, and lying [person] seeks a sign and gets one, it remains as having no significant meaning or a cause to repent (see Helaman 9, 10; Helaman 16:6, 23; 3 Nephi 2:1-3, 3 Nephi 1:4, 5). So why bother? The faithful receive signs to their favor, and the faithless receive signs to their condemnation (Alma said that in Alma 29)–and we’re going to see this in a minute. Alma has also let Korihor off somewhat easily–look, you want proof for God, I’m not going to give you any; you don’t have proof God doesn’t exist; you lied; it’s over with your preaching. Korihor knows that even without Alma presenting evidence, he has lost. However, I imagine that Korihor doesn’t like how it just ended, and is angry. So now he backpedals on some previous statements of belief, and changes the argument from one of belief, to one of proof. Very importantly note here that Korihor, not Alma, changes it from a legal questioning/ trial about belief, to a religious confrontation based on proof.

Alma 30:45 And yet do ye go about, leading away the hearts of this people, testifying unto them there is no God? And yet will ye deny against all these witnesses? And he said: Yea, I will deny, except ye shall show me a sign.
Alma 30:46 And now it came to pass that Alma said unto him: Behold, I am grieved because of the hardness of your heart, yea, that ye will still resist the spirit of the truth, that thy soul may be destroyed.
Alma 30:47 But behold, it is better that thy soul should be lost than that thou shouldst be the means of bringing many souls down to destruction, by thy lying and by thy flattering words; therefore if thou shalt deny again, behold God shall smite thee, that thou shalt become dumb, that thou shalt never open thy mouth any more, that thou shalt not deceive this people any more.
Alma 30:48 Now Korihor said unto him: I do not deny the existence of a God, but I do not believe that there is a God; and I say also, that ye do not know that there is a God; and except ye show me a sign, I will not believe.
Alma 30:49 Now Alma said unto him: This will I give unto thee for a sign, that thou shalt be struck dumb, according to my words; and I say, that in the name of God, ye shall be struck dumb, that ye shall no more have utterance.

Alma gives Korihor four chances to admit he is lying. Korihor doesn’t take them.

Alma 30:50 Now when Alma had said these words, Korihor was struck dumb, that he could not
have utterance, according to the words of Alma.
Alma 30:51 And now when the chief judge saw this, he put forth his hand and wrote unto Korihor, saying: Art thou convinced of the power of God? In whom did ye desire that Alma should show forth his sign? Would ye that he should afflict others, to show unto thee a sign? Behold, he has showed unto you a sign; and now will ye dispute more?
Alma 30:52 And Korihor put forth his hand and wrote, saying: I know that I am dumb, for I cannot speak; and I know that nothing save it were the power of God could bring this upon me; yea, and I always knew that there was a God.

Well, what do you know!! Korihor really *was* a liar from the start.

Alma 30:53 But behold, the devil hath deceived me; for he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me.
Alma 30:54 Now when he had said this, he besought that Alma should pray unto God, that the curse might be taken from him.
Alma 30:55 But Alma said unto him: If this curse should be taken from thee thou wouldst again lead away the hearts of this people; therefore, it shall be unto thee even as the Lord will.
Alma 30:56 And it came to pass that the curse was not taken off of Korihor…

Here’s where the critics cry and whine: “I’m an atheist, but I’m not a liar! Really!” First of all, Korihor is not an atheist, and he never was. Remember, he just said that. He preached atheism, but he was never an atheist. Are there atheists? If someone says they are atheist, I believe them–after conversation. I say that not through bigotry but because of experience. I’ve met many proclaimed atheists; most were scared agnostics who had been hurt before by religion. That’s ok. That’s cool. I can understand, just like I understand people who don’t want to get married because they were hurt in past relationships. And that doesn’t mean there really aren’t atheists, and if someone doesn’t want to believe, or won’t allow themselves to believe, well, that’s where they are, too. “See, all Mormons believe all unbelievers and atheists are liars!” Does this story show that? Does this story say that all atheists are liars? No. Or all unbelievers? No. Does it mean that liars might have no problems blaspheming? Yes. Does it mean that someone *might* be lying when they say things to build themselves up, even if it means destroying God’s work in the process? Sure. And notwithstanding the plethora of ex-believers who say they aren’t liars, many ex-believers I’ve met have admitted that they really did know when they said they didn’t know and said all sorts of lies. Not only that, but baptsimal requirements mean that if someone is baptized, they have had a spiritual witness of the truth, a testimony from the Spirit. So either they didn’t have one and lied during the baptism; the interview wasn’t conducted properly or the interviewer allowed them to be baptized unproperly; or they had one and now say they don’t and didn’t (lying), to some extent. (What does often happen to unrepentant sinners is that one forgets or avoids (consciously or subconsciously) knowledge and the Spirit/ witnesses received.) Does that mean all ex-believers are liars like Korihor? Of course not. In fact, no true atheists and very few ex-believers could be like Korihor–Korihor had a testimony that God existed, he was personally visited by Satan, he listened to Satan and his doctrine and chose to preach and follow it, and he chose to follow Satan to the end, due to continual choosing of wrong rewards over right.

So Korihor admits he knows his words never were true at the start–he only started to believe them later (this also happens to many ex-believers); and notwithstanding all his excuses, he does recognize that he brought the curse on himself (something most ex-believers don’t do, which is why the story of Korihor gets many of them really riled up). This is also evident when Korihor doesn’t ask Alma to take the curse from him, but he asks Alma to ask God to take the curse from him.

Does Korihor repent? No! Contrary to what many critics say, he doesn’t repent. Alma makes it clear he hasn’t, and won’t–that’s why the curse isn’t taken off him. Korihor just wants his voice back so he can keep going. Making an admission of being wrong and asking for a blessing is not repentance. I’ve seen it myself many times–people asking for mercy from others just so they can continue to do their own evil things. (You know, like “Get off of me and let me up–so I can try to hit you again…”) If Korihor had really repented, maybe instead of asking for his voice back, he might have said he’s done with preacing and withstanding the truth; he might have asked for repentance and baptism; he might have asked about restitution. He could have done many of the things that other repentant people in the Book of Mormon do (like Alma himself and the sons of Mosiah, Amulek, Zeezrom, etc.). Korihor does nothing of those things–look, I just confessed, so you should give me my voice back. And what was his confession? Mostly one excuse after another, blaming others for his problems.

In the end, it says that Korihor is cast out, and went about from house to house begging for his food (Alma 30:56). Is that “cast out” from the presence of the chief judge, or from the Nephites? Either way, his judgment seems to be according to the law. It says, in Alma 11:2: Now if a man owed another, and he would not pay that which he did owe, he was complained of to the judge; and the judge executed authority, and sent forth officers that the man should be brought before him; and he judged the man according to the law and the evidences which were brought against him, and thus the man was compelled to pay that which he owed, or be stripped, or *be cast out from among the people* as a thief and a robber.

One of the penalties for owing another is being “cast out from among the people”. What is the penalty for accusing others of being complete liars to control, exert dominion over, and monetarily gain from others, and all his other crimes? I don’t know, but casting out doesn’t seem a far stretch…

In the Book of Mormon, when some are questioned–even by judges–they retain what seems to be their right to remain silent or to answer as they please. Korihor clearly gave away this right, in order to be able to speak against the church leaders. So, to say that he was forced to respond, is too strong.

Some might say that the charges were still too weak to arrest and question Korihor in the first place. Maybe, just maybe, it *was* somewhat uncertain about whether his crimes were enough to be punished for, at first. Ask most police officers if most arrests don’t start out with a small matter of a few questions and maybe something that sounds fishy, or a small “mistake”/ crime. After arrest and more questioning, or at the trial, if the defendant chooses to speak, more comes out… busted! But from what Korihor was telling the judge of Gideon, it appears he just might have been saying more than what was just recorded. Still, even if that came out only later to the judge of Gideon, that would be more than enough to send him to the chief judge and the main defendant of his accusations, Alma. No doubt he was a public nuisance to the people of Ammon, but I imagine that when he was taken before Ammon he might have said much of the same things that he said to the priest of Gideon (Korihor seemed to have not been able to pass up a chance to rail on those priests!).

So, what crimes might Korihor have been charged with and condemned for, based on some current criminal concepts? How about: continued public nuisance, lying, inciting others to commit crime, sedition, insurrection, slander/ defamation/ malicious falsehood (with intent to monetarily gain from it), (fraudulent) misrepresentation (lying to get others to follow his teachings), etc.


Bookmark and Share

Next: Korihor vs. the Nephite Social Contract; The Law of War

2008, June 17

“The Greatest Irony in the Book of Mormon: Nehorites Massacre Nehorites instead of Uniting to Overthrow the Nephite Government!” by grego

I recently found what I consider to be the greatest irony in the Book of Mormon (not in the Gospel, which would be another). As with most other irony in the Book of Mormon, nowhere in the text is the irony mentioned–it’s not readily apparent (at least not to me until the 100th time or so? of reading/ listening to the pertinent parts). Of course, now it’s really clear. Funny how that is…

So, in the Alma 20’s chapters, the Amalekites and Amulonites warriors on the Lamanite side, most of who were of the order of Nehor, wanted revenge on the Nephites because of their loss of power over the Lamanites and the Nephites. They no doubt wanted to overthrow the Nephite kingdom. So, in their anger and vengeance, they attacked the city of Ammonihah and wiped out the residents completely.

The peope in the city of Ammonihah–the ones that were left after the righteous had departed or been killed–were… of the order of Nehor! And the main purpose of those living there? To overthrow the Nephite government!!

So instead of the perfect team of two great, wicked groups, of the same religious order, with the same standards, with the same evil purpose, they became enemies and killed each other and set each other up to be killed. The Lord once more used the unrepentant wicked to get rid of the unrepentant wicked in that land.

UPDATE: Someone else already discovered this; from 2005:
http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/jbms/?vol=14&num=1&id=364
Alma’s Enemies: The Case of the Lamanites, Amlicites, and Mysterious Amalekites
J. Christopher Conkling
Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: Volume – 14, Issue – 1, Pages: 108-17
Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 2005
“In short, for reasons not quite clear, the Ammonihah incident features, ironically, the destruction of Nephite Nehorites by a large number of Nephite Nehorites.”


Bookmark and Share

2008, June 2

Book of Mormon: King Mosiah and Kings to Judges

I think that the study on kings by King Mosiah is brilliant. As recorded in Mosiah 29, it is short, concise, and dense. I’ll write later about that.

But what I want to talk about is the situation that king Mosiah had and how he dealt with it.

King Mosiah wanted to pass the kingdom on down to his sons. That was his plan; that had been his plan. I don’t think he had ever considered that they wouldn’t want it. But they didn’t want to be king; none would accept.

This caused King Mosiah to be blocked; stuck; up the creek without a paddle. It seemed like a really bad thing. This is *not* what King Mosiah wanted. But, he got to it. Instead of plowing ahead with an easy answer that wasn’t good, or just taking a step back, he really pulled back and took a look at the course of things. Fortunately, God had prepared his mind for this situation, through many experiences. I imagine these are some of the things King Mosiah considered:

*He had the history of the Nephites, kings and priests on the plates of Nephi.
*He knew about Lamanites and kings and wars.
*His grandfather, King Mosiah1, had melded his people with the Mulekites/ people of Zarahemla, and become the king (Omni 1:19). While it doesn’t explicitly say it, I assume that Zarahemla was king at the time (Omni 1:18, 19). Perhaps King Mosiah2 saw where they were and what they had been through, and maybe potential future problems about ruling/ kings.
*He had two Jaredite records–the smaller one from his grandfather interpreted (Omni 1:20-22), and the 24 plates found by the people of King Limhi (Mosiah 8:9, 28:11). I assume King Mosiah had the words of the brother of Jared about not having kings (Ether 6:23), and most likely two accounts of king after king all the way down to King Coriantumr and the Jaredite destruction.
*He had the story of King Noah and the problems he and his priests had caused, brought by King Limhi and his people.
*He had the words of Alma refusing to be king and a reason or two why (Mosiah 23:6-14); yet Alma was just the Church, not a “nation” including nonbelievers; and at that time there was a big problem with the nonbelievers who remained Nephites (Mosiah 26, 27). In fact, four of his sons were nonbelievers for quite a while, and I think he saw how easy it was for one generation to turn.
So these groups–Mulekites, Limhites, Almaites–with kings (real or basically), united with the Nephites at Zarahemla…

Any answers anywhere?
*King Mosiah had the brass plates, and so I imagine, the records of judges and kings/ Samuel/ Saul.
*He had the prophecies about the land, the land being a land of liberty, people serving God or being destroyed when they were ripe, what that meant, a history of this promise being fulfilled by God.

So, he put it all together and presented their problem and potential future problems, his solution, the reasons for changing, and more about his solution, etc. By commands, I believe it to be clear that this was inspiration/ revelation.

So, what do we do when things don’t go as planned, especially with something major? How do we make our decisions? Where do we look for answers? Do we consider that maybe God has, through time and our experiences, prepared us for new things? Do we remember that we can and are supposed to turn to the scriptures, His word, and Him for direction, help, and confirmation? Do we consider the possibility that Plan B, which we never wanted because we were very happy and content with Plan A, might be 10x better than Plan A ever thought of being? Can we stop, step back, and ponder? Can we look for better ways–maybe not just on the surface, but deeper? Do we have the ability to “let go” of Plan A so that we are free for Plan B? Are we courageous enough to follow the path we see we’re supposed to take? Are we courageous enough to be dependent on the Lord and ourselves, and independent of others’ contrary opinions and harpings? Do we think it out, explain ourselves well, and burn our bridges when they need to be burned? Are we willing to give up something like our descendants being king, in order for something better for everyone? Do we see our solutions through to an end?

King Mosiah’s sons refuse, he remains king until death, and then the system of judges–already in place and judges elected (at least some)–and the laws–already in place–take effect. A smooth transition from kings to judges.

And Alma, the first chief judge and the high priest of the church, had such a great opportunity to be king; yet he set a wonderful example for the people and the following rulers. Perhaps the people saw a need for a great leader who was not only a good man, but had been the son of a man who had already spoken against having kings and displayed passing up the opportunity when he had been asked earlier to be king.


Bookmark and Share

2008, April 21

Book of Mormon: Alma Matches His Sons’ Learning and Communication Styles

Ok, a little deep here, folks. Not in bad stuff, but in good stuff.

I’ve only given this a day of quick thought, so I’m going to go out on a limb here; but, it seems pretty firm.

Alma has three sons: Helaman, Shiblon, and Corianton. They are different: one didn’t go on a mission, one went and served honorably, one went and didn’t serve honorably; they all have different situations and need different counsel. He speaks to them directly. He wants to make sure his message gets across to them, so he personalizes the message and communicates it according to their communication style.

You’ve heard of NLP (neuro-lingustic programming)? Or perhaps you’re a teacher, and you’ve heard of “AVK” learning styles? Auditory, visual, kinesthetic (feeling)?

Well, guess what, folks? Basically…

Helaman is a visual learner. Alma speaks of records, images, directions, stories. He also is a somewhat “low-key” person who learns by “repetition”; he needs to hear something a few times for it to mean something to him (count how many times “keep the commandments” is in his counsel…).

Shiblon is a kinesthetic learner, and a “high-intensity” person. He needs to hear it hard and fast, strong and powerful. Once is enough, though. Alma speaks of bodily feelings. (See how many you can pick out… ;) )

Corianton is an auditory learner. He is a “hesitator”. Alma speaks of things auditory: words, sounds, hearing, speaking, saying, etc. (Note how many times Alma says, “I say…” to Corianton and compare it to the others.)

No, it’s not blatant and perfect. But I guess we need to credit Alma or Joseph Smith with the different learning styles and communication styles. ;)

(There’s more. Look for the two motivation types–does Alma persuade his sons to move away from something, or to go towards something…?)

What learning and communication styles do the people you care most about use? Have you learned, as Alma, to tailor your messages for them?

2008, January 26

Book of Mormon: Alma–Full of Joy, But Forever Lost In Their Minds

Filed under: Uncategorized — grego @ 2:55 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Book of Mormon: Alma–Full of Joy, But Forever Lost In Their Minds

Here’s the account that we receive from Alma, after the fact:

Alma 36:18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

Alma 36:19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

Alma 36:20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

Alma 36:21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

Alma 36:22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.

Alma 36:23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.

That’s his conversion experience after the appearance of the angel that he presents to his son.

Ok, what if Alma the younger had died at Alma 36:22? No doubt most everyone–minus maybe his father–figured he had surely gone to hell to suffer a long time. He had been an atheist and quite a sinner. Yet, in reality, it wouldn’t have been that–but who would have known?

His father:
Mosiah 27:20 And they rehearsed unto his father all that had happened unto them; and his father rejoiced, for he knew that it was the power of God.
Mosiah 27:21 And he caused that a multitude should be gathered together that they might witness what the Lord had done for his son, and also for those that were with him.

They would have thought him eternally lost; yet, it was the opposite! Alma the younger had received forgiveness, and actually longed to die so he could be with the angels singing and praising God! This is not a sinner’s desire… Yet because Alma lived, everyone knew that he was saved. There was further purpose in his living, due in part to his father’s and the people’s prayers:
Mosiah 27:22 And he caused that the priests should assemble themselves together; and they began to fast, and to pray to the Lord their God that he would open the mouth of Alma, that he might speak, and also that his limbs might receive their strength–that the eyes of the people might be opened to see and know of the goodness and glory of God.


Bookmark and Share

%d bloggers like this: