Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2008, July 2

Book of Mormon: Korihor in Jershon and Gideon

Book of Mormon:  Korihor in Jershon and Gideon

It could be for these reasons that Korihor is thrown out of Jershon:
Alma 30:18 And thus he [Korihor] 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 30:19 Now this man went over to the land of Jershon also, to preach these things among the people of Ammon, who were once the people of the Lamanites.
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.

What else had he been preaching? Anything? Is this the *whole* story? Do the following verses offer more clues as to what he might have been preaching? Could Ammon have *also* been the (legal) judge over the people of Ammon, as was such with the land of Gideon? Could Ammon have given him the option of taking him to court or being escorted out of the land? Or perhaps, was the land of Jershon a special political zone?

I don’t know if he was preaching to the people of Ammon the same things he told the judge in Gideon, but if so, he would also be clearly lying to the people of Ammon. Here’s what he said in Gideon:
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 30:22 And it came to pass that the high priest said unto him: Why do ye go about perverting the ways of the Lord? Why do ye teach this people that there shall be no Christ, to interrupt their rejoicings? Why do ye speak against all the prophecies of the holy prophets?
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.

Here are more grounds: he lays charges against the priests and calls other people liars. Especially since lying is a punishable crime in Nephite law, this seems quite serious. For those who might think lying is nothing big, note that defamation, malicious falsehood, slander, and libel are usually all forms of lying. (Interestingly, Korihor accuses the priests of doing what the order of Nehor priests had been doing for a while, too–but he never accuses the priests of the order of Nehor of any wrongdoing.)

Korihor continues:
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.
Alma 30:26 And ye also say that Christ shall come. But behold, I say that ye do not know that there shall be a Christ. And ye say also that he shall be slain for the sins of the world–
Actually, Korihor lies here also because the doctrine is not “a child is guilty because of its parents”. Here’s the doctrine, found in Moses 6:54:
“Son of God hath atoned for original guilt”; “sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children”.
The Fall does not make man guilty and fallen, but places man in a state where he may become so; it is our sins that make us guilty and fallen.

It’s important to remember that even though he believes that others can’t know of things to come, he–somehow–can. In other words, by calling others liars for knowing what can’t be known and doing the same thing he does, at this point he clearly accuses himself of being/ admits to being a liar.

Korihor continues:
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*.

Ouch. Ok, Korihor is clearly over the line now. He is accusing others of lying in order to control, exert dominion over, and monetarily gain from others (hypocrite!), and priestcraft. 

Now, what if he had never said any of that to the people of Ammon, but had only preached previous beliefs? Korihor had been preaching that the priests were liars and that there was no proof of prophecy or of God, who was completely unknown and had never made himself known to man. Clearly a lie to the people of Ammon, for these reasons:

1. King Lamoni saw Jesus in vision (Alma 19:13).

1. King Lamoni and his servants were fully aware that some great power helped Ammon when he slew the robbers (Alma 18).

2. It was a tradition that “the Great Spirit … had always attended the Nephites, who had ever delivered them out of their hands (Alma 19:27).

3. Everyone knew the story of king Lamoni and his wife’s conversion (Alma 18:41-19:33).

4. There was the prophecy to king Lamoni’s wife of king Lamoni arising at an appointed time, which came true (Alma 19:11-12).

5. All the servants of king Lamoni said:
Alma 19:34 And behold, many did declare unto the people that they had seen angels and had conversed with them; and thus they had told them things of God, and of his righteousness.

6. The people of Ammon, I imagine, were fully aware of prophecy that had been fulfilled by Ammon and his brethren. No doubt they knew the story of how Ammon and his brethren had almost not come, but had been told by the Lord to go, and he would cause them to bring many unto him (Alma 26:23-27), even in the face of a continual history spanning hundreds of years of failed missionary work with the Lamanites, and current belief that among some in Zarahemla that their mission would come to naught–it was an impossible task.

7. There was the miracle of Ammon’s preservation that many had witnessed:
Alma 19:22 Now, one of them, whose brother had been slain with the sword of Ammon, being exceedingly angry with Ammon, drew his sword and went forth that he might let it fall upon Ammon, to slay him; and as he lifted the sword to smite him, behold, he fell dead.

8. There was the prophecy that Lamoni’s father would seek Ammon’s life and that Ammon’s brethren were in prison, both of which were later witnessed and proven to be true:
Alma 20:2 And the voice of the Lord came to Ammon, saying: Thou shalt not go up to the land of Nephi, for behold, the king will seek thy life; but thou shalt go to the land of Middoni; for behold, thy brother Aaron, and also Muloki and Ammah are in prison.

9. There was the conversion of the Lamanite king and the way Aaron raised him up:
Alma 22:22 Now when Aaron saw the determination of the queen, he, also knowing the hardness of the hearts of the people, feared lest that a multitude should assemble themselves together, and there should be a great contention and a disturbance among them; therefore he put forth his hand and raised the king from the earth, and said unto him: Stand. And he stood upon his feet, receiving his strength.
Alma 22:23 Now this was done in the presence of the queen and many of the servants. And when they saw it they greatly marveled, and began to fear. And the king stood forth, and began to minister unto them. And he did minister unto them, insomuch that his whole household were converted unto the Lord.

10. Another time would be when the Lamanites feared that the Nephites would slay them in cold blood or at least require something great of them if they tried to flee to them (Alma 27:5-8). However, Ammon prays, and the Lord says:
Alma 27:12 Get this people out of this land, that they perish not; for Satan has great hold on the hearts of the Amalekites, who do stir up the Lamanites to anger against their brethren to slay them; therefore get thee out of this land; and blessed are this people in this generation, for I will preserve them.
So they obey, against reason:
Alma 27:13 And now it came to pass that Ammon went and told the king all the words which the Lord had said unto him.
Alma 27:14 And they gathered together all their people, yea, all the people of the Lord, and did gather together all their flocks and herds, and departed out of the land, and came into the wilderness which divided the land of Nephi from the land of Zarahemla, and came over near the borders of the land.
Alma 27:15 And it came to pass that Ammon said unto them: Behold, I and my brethren will go forth into the land of Zarahemla, and ye shall remain here until we return; and we will try the hearts of our brethren, whether they will that ye shall come into their land.
And instead of desiring to destroy them, the Nephites say they’ll give them land and even defend them, if they just give them some food to help sustain the armies (Alma 27:22-24):
Ammon goes back, and they are surprised yet happy:
Alma 27:26 And it came to pass that it did cause great joy among them. And they went down into the land of Jershon, and took possession of the land of Jershon…

11. In addition, there *had* been a prophecy which had been fulfilled not long before, and that the people were aware of and which had multiple current witnesses. In the city of Ammonihah, Amulek had prophesied that if they cast out the righteous, they would shortly be utterly destroyed (Alma 10:22-23). This had happened, and there were witnesses other than just Alma and Amulek:

12. How about the prophecy of the delivery of Alma and his people (Mosiah 24:16-20)? His people knew about it, because they had gathered and prepared first, then, after, they had escaped when the guards were in deep sleep, *in the morning/ daytime*.

13. Then there was also the prophecy of Jerusalem being destroyed, which fulfillment was evident from king Mosiah on (because of the Mulekites).

14. Also, there is the incident of the Lord writing on the wall of the temple (as mentioned by Amulek), which seemed to have been accepted history, maybe even to the Ammonihahites:
Alma 10:2 I am Amulek; I am the son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of Aminadi; and it was the same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God.

15. Alma the younger and the four sons of Mosiah had seen an angel–that’s at least five witnesses.

Most people would admit that the fact that almost all of these people being unbelieving when the events occurred adds to their testimony of the truthfulness of what happened (people of Ammon, Amulek, Zeezrom et. al., Alma and sons of Mosiah).

So, Korihor was preaching a clear proven lie that many of the people he was preaching to had personally experienced/ had knowledge about when he said that it was impossible to know of things to come, and that God had never revealed himself:
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.

And liars were punished under Nephite law.

 As to the possibility of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies illegally arresting and kicking Korihor out for believing and preaching differently, and likely causing him violence in the process, as some critics might assume:

This is what this people were like:
Alma 24:18 And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.
Alma 27:27 And they were among the people of Nephi, and also numbered among the people who were of the church of God. And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.
Alma 27:28 And they did look upon shedding the blood of their brethren with the greatest abhorrence; and they never could be prevailed upon to take up arms against their brethren; and they never did look upon death with any degree of terror, for their hope and views of Christ and the resurrection; therefore,
death was swallowed up to them by the victory of Christ over it.
Alma 27:29 Therefore, they would suffer death in the most aggravating and distressing manner which could be inflicted by their brethren, before they would take the sword or cimeter to smite them.
Alma 27:30 And thus they were a zealous and beloved people, a highly favored people of the Lord.
Alma 21:22 And he [king Lamoni] also declared unto them that they might have the liberty of worshiping the Lord their God according to their desires, in whatsoever place they were in, if it were in the land which was under the reign of king Lamoni.
Alma 23:3 And thus they might go forth and preach the word according to their desires, for the king had been converted unto the Lord, and all his household; therefore he sent his proclamation throughout the land unto his people, that the word of God might have no obstruction, but that it might go forth throughout all the land, that his people might be convinced concerning the wicked traditions of their fathers, and that they might be convinced that they were all brethren, and that they ought not to murder, nor to plunder, nor to steal, nor to commit adultery, nor to commit any manner of wickedness.
Alma 24:6 Now there was not one soul among all the people who had been converted unto the Lord that would take up arms against their brethren; nay, they would not even make any preparations for war; yea, and also their king commanded them that they should not.

After all that, and more, is it likely that this people would do something illegal, just because they didn’t condone or like it?


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Next: Korihor in Zarahemla

2008, May 4

Book of Mormon | “ALL”, “ONE”, “NONE” Examples in the Anti-Nephi-Lehi Story

Book of Mormon: “ALL”, “ONE”, “NONE”, Examples in the Anti-Nephi-Lehi Story
by grego

I decided to add a little more that somewhat relates to the recent “Stripling Warrior” post.

There is apt mention of “one”, “all”, and “none”/ “not one” in the Book of Mormon, and especially in this story. It might be fun to pay attention as you read, or even search how many times these terms come up and where.

Since it’s hard to tell where one starts and ones stops, I’ll mention a few (no, this is not a complete list) in the sons of Mosiah Lamanite conversion story:

*Ammon cuts off all their arms, except for the one leader, who he kills.
*All the servants fall except Abish, just one, who goes and gets the people.
*Out of all the people gathered, one of the robbers tries to kill Ammon.
*The king desires to know “all these things”.
*The king gives up “all his sins”.
*One of them is mightier than all: “Why commandest thou that we should slay these men, when behold one of them is mightier than us all?”
*The king orders no obstruction to the word; they are all brethren.
*None of the people who convert are ex-Nephites, except one.
*All of the Lamanites in seven cities are converted.
*Not one soul among all the converted is willing to fight.
*They bury all their weapons.
*All of the 1,005 people who are killed are righteous; not one unrighteous among them.
*None of those that killed the 1,005 are ex-Nephites; all were descendants of Laman and Lemuel.
*The Lamanites kill all the people of Ammonihah; not one soul is spared.
*God verified his word to them in every particular.
*The missionaries suffered every privation, all manner of afflictions.
*Ammon tells the king all the words of the Lord.
*They gather all the converts and leave.
*They report all the things that happened in the land of the Lamanites.
*The converted Lamanites are “perfectly upright and honest in all things”.

What else do YOU find?


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