Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, September 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


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2008, May 19

Book of Mormon: Abinadi, King Noah, and King Noah’s Priests

“Book of Mormon: Abinadi, King Noah, and King Noah’s Priests”

grego
(c) 2008

Ok, a few comments. I guess this could also turn into a big article… nah, let’s keep it shorter.

Note that as with comments from other prophets (such as with Jacob), Abinadi was commanded by the Lord to preach. He didn’t just see what was going on and feel like, “Hey, I’ll preach” and do it.

He prophesies; as with other prophecies in the Book of Mormon (like to the people of Ammonihah), some of the fulfillment of the prophecy is recorded, some isn’t.

Who Is God? Who Is His Prophet?

King Noah asks, as do a few others (such as the people in Ammonihah),
“Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?” (Mosiah 11:27).

So Abinadi says:
“And it shall come to pass that the life of king Noah shall be valued even as a garment in a hot furnace; for he shall know that I am the Lord” (Mosiah 12:3).

God makes himself known to man in two ways: nicely (to the repentant), or not nicely (to the proud and unrepentant).

WHO’s Pretending?!?

King Noah’s priests say:
“And he pretendeth the Lord hath spoken it. And he saith all this shall come upon thee except thou repent, and this because of thine iniquities” (Mosiah 12:12).

When King Noah’s priests question him, Abinadi replies:
“And now Abinadi said unto them: Are you priests, and pretend to teach this people, and to understand the spirit of prophesying, and yet desire to know of me what these things mean?” (Mosiah 12:25).

The pretending has now been thrust to the other side… Along with the questioning.

We Are Strong!!
King Noah’s priests say:

And now, O king, what great evil hast thou done, or what great sins have thy people committed, that we should be condemned of God or judged of this man? (Mosiah 12:13).
And now, O king, behold, we are guiltless, and thou, O king, hast not sinned; therefore, this man has lied concerning you, and he has prophesied in vain” (Mosiah 12:14).
And behold, we are strong, we shall not come into bondage, or be taken captive by our enemies; yea, and thou hast prospered in the land, and thou shalt also prosper” (Mosiah 12:15).

Mosiah 12:16
Behold, here is the man, we deliver him into thy hands; thou mayest do with him as seemeth thee good.

Well, ok, whatever. Abinadi shows that they have plenty of sin. That should help them understand that his prophesying was not in vain, that he wasn’t lying, that they would be overcome by the Lamanites.
Nope.
Ok, let’s go a little further.

They were proud of kicking Lamanite tail, and it went to their head. Yet, here’s the incredible irony: when it’s all them and the guards and the king against one man (Abinadi), they can’t even kill, much less capture, one man!!:

Mosiah 13:2 And they stood forth and attempted to lay their hands on him; but he withstood them, and said unto them:
Mosiah 13:3 Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver; neither have I told you that which ye requested that I should tell; therefore, God will not suffer that I shall be destroyed at this time.
Mosiah 13:4 But I must fulfil the commandments wherewith God has commanded me; and because I have told you the truth ye are angry with me. And again, because I have spoken the word of God ye have judged me that I am mad.
Mosiah 13:5 Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord.
Mosiah 13:6 And he spake with power and authority from God; and he continued his words, saying:
Mosiah 13:7 Ye see that ye have not power to slay me, therefore I finish my message.

God’s Word–Nice or Not Nice?

No matter how dumb people are, when they are wicked and think they are powerful they just can’t pass up the chance to try to whip up on the little man. No exception here:

And it came to pass that they said unto the king: Bring him hither that we may question him; and the king commanded that he should be brought before them (Mosiah 12:15).
And they began to question him, that they might cross him, that thereby they might have wherewith to accuse him; but he answered them boldly, and withstood all their questions, yea, to their astonishment; for he did withstand them in all their questions, and did confound them in all their words(Mosiah 12:19).

Ok, they’re getting a little ticked off here. This was supposed to be easy! So,
Mosiah 12:20 …one of them said unto him: What meaneth the words which are written, and which have been taught by our fathers, saying:
Mosiah 12:21 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth…

That is in response to Abinadi’s prophesying evil concerning the people and the king (Mosiah 12:9, 10).
Mosiah 12:9 “…Behold, we have brought a man before thee who has prophesied evil concerning thy people, and saith that God will destroy them” (Mosiah 12:9); “And he also prophesieth evil concerning thy life” (Mosiah 12:10).

In other words, if you claim to be a prophet, why are your words not like the words the prophets are supposed to speak–you know, words like beautiful, good, peaceful, salvation? Well, as Abinadi explains, the words of God are nice–to the repentant (Mosiah 15:10-25; 28-31; 16:1, 11); but they aren’t nice to the unrepentant (Mosiah 15:26-27; 16:2-5, 11-13).

Moses and his Law and Another Sign

King Noah’s priests were supposed to be up on the law of Moses:
Mosiah 12:28 And they said: We teach the law of Moses.

Just that while they might have kept the outward ordinances, they missed the “commandments” part:
Mosiah 12:29 And again he said unto them: If ye teach the law of Moses why do ye not keep it? Why do ye set your hearts upon riches? Why do ye commit whoredoms and spend your strength with harlots, yea, and cause this people to commit sin, that the Lord has cause to send me to prophesy against this people, yea, even a great evil against this people?

They want to kill him. So, to help King Noah’s priests even more, God gives them yet another sign to show that Abinadi is his prophet:

Mosiah 12:33 But now Abinadi said unto them: I know if ye keep the commandments of God ye shall be saved; yea, if ye keep the commandments which the Lord delivered unto Moses in the mount of Sinai, saying:

Mosiah 13:5 Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord.

Did they catch that connection? Well, did or didn’t, it still wasn’t enough…

Hey, King Noah’s Priests, Is This You, Too?

Hey guys, do you make these same mistakes? If so, it might be for the same reason! You know, hardheartedness and all that. See, ALL the *real* prophets (not the pretend ones like you all)–understand and prophecy of Christ, not the law of Moses.
Such a nice way for Abinadi to tell them…
Mosiah 13:32 And now, did they understand the law? I say unto you, Nay, they did not all understand the law; and this because of the hardness of their hearts; for they understood not that there could not any man be saved except it were through the redemption of God.
Mosiah 13:33 For behold, did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began–have they not spoken more or less concerning these things?

Sins vs. Sins and Hypocrisy and Priestcraft and Lying

God does not just punish for our sins, but for hypocrisy and lying about our sins:

Mosiah 12:31 And it shall come to pass that ye shall be smitten for your iniquities, for ye have said that ye teach the law of Moses.

Abinadi is a Type of Christ

He is called by God to preach to a lost people.
He is brought before the king.
King Noah’s priests revile him and question him.
King Noah’s priests claim the law of Moses saves; they know nothing of Christ.
King Noah’s priests get mad when he confounds them.
He proves God himself is the saving force, not the law of Moses.
Signs are given to persuade the people and stand as witnesses against them.
They don’t have power to take his life.
His face shines.
Even though it’s all them against him, they are scared (in the Garden of Gethsemane).
He quotes Isaiah. Messianically, even.
He explains who the Son is, and why.
The king wants to release him, but King Noah’s priests do all they can to cause his death.
In the end, the king consents.
They plan to kill him; he tells them they will shed “innocent blood”.
Through all this, he is alone.
They kill him anyway.
He says: “O God, receive my soul” and dies.

A Mistake in the Book of Mormon?

Mosiah 13:12 And now, *ye remember that I said unto you*: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of things which are *in heaven above*, or which are *in the earth beneath*, or which are IN THE WATER UNDER THE EARTH.

Yet, earlier, it is recorded that Abinadi said only this:
Mosiah 12:36 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing *in heaven above*, or things which are *in the earth beneath*.

“Read”

Mosiah 13:11 And now I read unto you the remainder of the commandments of God, for I perceive that they are not written in your hearts; I perceive that ye have studied and taught iniquity the most part of your lives.

Such would be incredible irony and even humor, to scold them for not having the commandments written in their hearts, then have to read to them from the scriptures. Of course, I don’t have hardly any scripture completely memorized, much less a chapter or two (sorry, sorry, don’t pass it around). I wonder if he actually reads from scripture, or if “read” is used maybe as it’s sometimes used in Chinese, which means more of “to recite” than to literally “read” while looking at what was written. It was already somewhat outdated at that time, but… I guess it’s possible.

On the other hand, it’s likely his comment and method are brutally obvious that the priests were never schooled in their subject, and as such, he would like to play teacher and “open the books” in their presence and perhaps give them their first real lesson!

2008, May 13

Book of Mormon: “A Tower Near the Temple” (King Zeniff vs. King Noah)

Filed under: Uncategorized — grego @ 7:47 am
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I noticed the following for the first time last Sunday in the Book of Mormon. I’m going to try to keep it short and simple, though I might not do so well this time.

In Mosiah 11:12, it reads, “And it came to pass that he built a tower near the temple; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon, which was possessed by the Lamanites; and he could even look over all the land round about.” The first part of that sentence: “a tower near the temple”–is the key to this whole section of the Book of Mormon.

The temple symbolizes the way that King Zeniff (and King Limhi) deal with life, and the tower is the symbol of the way that King Noah deals with life. That they stand next to each other is a perfect literary foil for the lessons in the story.

King Zeniff relies on righteousness for safety of his country and people.
*Zeniff, seeing good in the Lamanites, desires peace. He obtains the land through covenant. (Mosiah
*His people are industrious. They build buildings and repair the city walls (Mosiah 9:8). They raise flocks and crops (Mosiah 9:14). The men “raise all manner of grain and all manner of fruit of every kind” (Mosiah 10:4); the women make cloth (Mosiah 10:5); they prosper (Mosiah 10:5). *His people are attacked, and he arms them for battle (Mosiah 9:15; Mosiah 10:1).
*Twice he personally leads his people into battle against Lamanite aggression (Mosiah 9:16, 10:9, 10). *They go to battle “in the strength of the the Lord” (Mosiah 9:17) and “in his might” (Mosiah 9:18), “putting their trust in the Lord” (Mosiah 10:19, 20). They not only win, the first battle is almost an 1:11 kill ratio, and the second battle is much more, it’s not counted (Mosiah 10:20).
*He places guards that are successful (Mosiah 10:2); he places spies that are successful (Mosiah 10:7).
*He even helps bury the dead after battle (Mosiah 9:19).
It seems evident that their power is in righteousness and in the Lord.

King Noah, on the other hand, relies on the arm of flesh for the safety of his country and people. It reads, “He did not walk in the ways of his father” (Mosiah 11:1); “for behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart” (Mosiah 11:2).
But he didn’t stop there; “he did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord. Yea, and they did commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness” (Mosiah 11:2).
He sets the bad example and encourages his people to follow.
Part of his method included taxing “one fifth part of all they possessed” (Mosiah 11:3). With that money, he supports his wicked lifestyle (Mosiah 11:4) and builds, as his major contribution, “a tower near the temple; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon, which was possessed by the Lamanites” (Mosiah 11:12). He built a second “great tower” (Mosiah 11:13).
Ironically, he “also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass” (Mosiah 11:10). The temple became a symobl of his wickedness, not righteousness. In the temple, his high priests did “speak lying and vain words to his people” (Mosiah 11:11).
He and his people raise grapes (right?), for their wine.
Lamanites attack, people die, guards are sent, they die, an army is sent, it wins, and “now, because of this great victory they were lifted up in the pride of their hearts; they did boast in their own strength, saying that their fifty could stand against thousands of the Lamanites; and thus they did boast, and did delight in blood, and the shedding of the blood of their brethren, and this because of the wickedness of their king and priests” (Mosiah 11:19).
Abinadi is slain, things go bad; the tower still has one part left to play. King Noah flees there when Gideon chases him to kill him (Mosiah 19:6); from there he sees the Lamanites coming; he begs for his life, gets it, and instead of leading the people against their enemies, he leads them in running away! That included, at the end, leaving behind the women and children.

So, how about our nations? Better yet and more applicably to our situations, what about our lives, and our families? Is the temple proper our symbol, or is it there only as a facade? Are we concentrating more on building temples and righteousness, or towers and wickedness? Where will we most rely on, in necessary times–in the Lord, or ourselves?

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