BOOK OF MORMON

 

Alma - Chapter 22 Critique

 

Setting: Aaron teaches Lamoni's father about creation, the fall of Adam, and redemption through Christ. The king is converted and the people pacified. Description of the division of land between the Nephites and the Lamanites between 90 and 77 BCE America.

 

Verse 1: Now, as Ammon was thus teaching the people of Lamoni continually, we will return to the account of Aaron and his brethren; for after he departed from the land of Middoni he was led by the Spirit to the land of Nephi, even to the house of the king which was over all the land save it were the land of Ishmael; and he was the father of Lamoni.

Note: Sidney Rigdon forgot to mention that the fictional Middoni was in the Andes.

The central Andes form the broadest part of the mountain system. Two ranges running northwest and southeast make up this section. Between these ranges lie the wide, high plains, or plateaus, of Peru and western Bolivia. The plateaus themselves lie about 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) above sea level. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 2-3: And it came to pass that he went in unto him into the king's palace, with his brethren, and bowed himself before the king, and said unto him: Behold, O king, we are the brethren of Ammon, whom thou hast delivered out of prison. And now, O king, if thou wilt spare our lives, we will be thy servants. And the king said unto them: Arise, for I will grant unto you your lives, and I will not suffer that ye shall be my servants; but I will insist that ye shall administer unto me; for I have been somewhat troubled in mind because of the generosity and the greatness of the words of thy brother Ammon; and I desire to know the cause why he has not come up out of Middoni with thee.

Note: The land of Nephi would have been downhill from the Andes.

Amazon rain forest is the world's largest tropical rain forest. It covers approximately 2 million square miles in the Amazon River Basin of South America. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 4: And Aaron said unto the king: Behold, the Spirit of the Lord has called him another way; he has gone to the land of Ishmael, to teach the people of Lamoni.

Note: Maybe the Spirit of the Lord gave Ammon oxygen for his trip into the Andes.

The Andean Highlands cover much of western Bolivia. A high plateau called the Altiplano lies between two craggy ranges of the Andes Mountains. The western range forms part of Bolivia's western border. The eastern range divides the Altiplano from the rest of the country. About 40 percent of Bolivia's people live on the Altiplano, many of them in La Paz. 2004 World Book.

 

Verses 5-6: Now the king said unto them: What is this that ye have said concerning the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, this is the thing which doth trouble me. And also, what is this that Ammon said—If ye will repent ye shall be saved, and if ye will not repent, ye shall be cast off at the last day?

Note: Have you repented of your sins? Bad BOM geography can't save you.

Luke 13:3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.

 

Verse 7: And Aaron answered him and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God? And the king said: I know that the Amalekites say that there is a God, and I have granted unto them that they should build sanctuaries, that they may assemble themselves together to worship him. And if now thou sayest there is a God, behold I will believe.

Note: Troubled people will be more concerned about life after this life.

Mark 10:17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"

 

Verses 8-9: And now when Aaron heard this, his heart began to rejoice, and he said: Behold, assuredly as thou livest, O king, there is a God. And the king said: Is God that Great Spirit that brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem?

Note: Belief that there is one God does not guarantee eternal life.

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

 

Verse 10: And Aaron said unto him: Yea, he is that Great Spirit, and he created all things both in heaven and in earth. Believest thou this?

Note: Have you put your sincere trust in Jesus Christ for eternal life?

John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

Note: Jesus Christ is not a church based in Utah.

 

Verse 11: And he said: Yea, I believe that the Great Spirit created all things, and I desire that ye should tell me concerning all these things, and I will believe thy words.

Note: Have you made a sincere confession of Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?

John 11:27 She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

Note: Jesus Christ is not a church based in Utah.

 

Verse 12: And it came to pass that when Aaron saw that the king would believe his words, he began from the creation of Adam, reading the scriptures unto the king—how God created man after his own image, and that God gave him commandments, and that because of transgression, man had fallen.

Note: Christianity never glorifies Adam.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

 

Verse 13: And Aaron did expound unto him the scriptures from the creation of Adam, laying the fall of man before him, and their carnal state and also the plan of redemption, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, through Christ, for all whosoever would believe on his name.

Note: Have you put your sincere trust in Jesus Christ for eternal life?

Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

 

Verse 14: And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king.

Note: Have you put your sincere trust in Jesus Christ or your works?

Romans 3:27-28 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was bored with salvation based on his "and so forth" comment.

 

Verses 15-16: And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy. But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.

Note: Have you put your sincere trust in Jesus Christ or your works?

Galatians 2:15-16 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Note: Jesus Christ is not a church based in Utah.

 

Verses 17-18: And it came to pass that when Aaron had said these words, the king did bow down before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, even he did prostrate himself upon the earth, and cried mightily, saying: O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day. And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was influenced by charismatic revival meetings that caused chaos.

Palmyra was the center of what the circuit riders later called the "burnt over" district. One revival after another was sweeping through the area, leaving behind a people scattered and peeled, for religious enthusiasm was literally being burnt out of them. There are no detailed descriptions of the revivals in Palmyra and Manchester between 1824 and 1827, when they were at their wildest; and we cannot be certain that they matched in pathological intensity the famous revivals that had shaken Kentucky at the turn of the century. No Man Knows My History, page 14.

Note: A charismatic swoon to the ground is not evidence of salvation.

 

Verse 19: And it came to pass that his servants ran and told the queen all that had happened unto the king. And she came in unto the king; and when she saw him lay as if he were dead, and also Aaron and his brethren standing as though they had been the cause of his fall, she was angry with them, and commanded that her servants, or the servants of the king, should take them and slay them.

Note: Ancient queens were not allowed an automatic audience with the king.

Esther 4:10-12 Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a command for Mordecai: "All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days." So they told Mordecai Esther's words.

 

Verses 20-21: Now the servants had seen the cause of the king's fall, therefore they durst not lay their hands on Aaron and his brethren; and they pled with the queen saying: Why commandest thou that we should slay these men, when behold one of them is mightier than us all? Therefore we shall fall before them. Now when the queen saw the fear of the servants she also began to fear exceedingly, lest there should some evil come upon her. And she commanded her servants that they should go and call the people, that they might slay Aaron and his brethren.

Note: Never fear demanding LDS church leaders giving you orders.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

 

Verse 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.

Note: Never fear demanding LDS church leaders giving you orders.

Psalm 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

 

Verse 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.

Note: Ancient kings were never servants to the people.

2 Samuel 9:2 And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, "Are you Ziba?" He said, "At your service!"

 

Verses 24-25: Now there was a multitude gathered together because of the commandment of the queen, and there began to be great murmurings among them because of Aaron and his brethren. But the king stood forth among them and administered unto them. And they were pacified towards Aaron and those who were with him.

Note: Ancient kings were never servants to the people.

2 Chronicles 35:16 So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD, according to the command of King Josiah.

 

Verse 26: And it came to pass that when the king saw that the people were pacified, he caused that Aaron and his brethren should stand forth in the midst of the multitude, and that they should preach the word unto them.

Note: Are you preaching Jesus Christ or about a church based in Utah?

Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.

 

Verse 27: And it came to pass that the king sent a proclamation throughout all the land, amongst all his people who were in all his land, who were in all the regions round about, which was bordering even to the sea, on the east and on the west, and which was divided from the land of Zarahemla by a narrow strip of wilderness, which ran from the sea east even to the sea west, and round about on the borders of the seashore, and the borders of the wilderness which was on the north by the land of Zarahemla, through the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon, running from the east towards the west—and thus were the Lamanites and the Nephites divided.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was ignorate of the geography of South America.

The Amazon River Basin covers about 2,700,000 square miles (7,000,000 square kilometers) and includes the world's largest tropical rain forest. The temperature averages about 80 F (27 C) and varies little throughout the year. Rainfall in the Amazon region ranges from 50 inches (130 centimeters) in the low-lying areas to 120 inches (300 centimeters) near the Andes Mountains in Peru. The air is very humid in most of the river basin. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.

Note: The Amazon River runs from west to east.

 

Verse 28: Now, the more idle part of the Lamanites lived in the wilderness, and dwelt in tents; and they were spread through the wilderness on the west, in the land of Nephi; yea, and also on the west of the land of Zarahemla, in the borders by the seashore, and on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers' first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was ignorate of the geography of South America.

Only the Himalaya of northern India and Tibet are higher than the Andes range. Many Andean peaks rise over 20,000 feet (6,100 meters) high. The chain is about 400 miles (645 kilometers) wide across its widest part. In Spanish, the Andes are called Cordillera de los Andes, which means Andes Mountain Range. 2004 World Book Encylopedia.

Note: Indians of the Andes do not dwell in tents.

 

Verse 29: And also there were many Lamanites on the east by the seashore, whither the Nephites had driven them. And thus the Nephites were nearly surrounded by the Lamanites; nevertheless the Nephites had taken possession of all the northern parts of the land bordering on the wilderness, at the head of the river Sidon, from the east to the west, round about on the wilderness side; on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was ignorate of the geography of South America.

The temperature in a tropical rain forest varies little. It rarely rises above 95 F (35 C) or drops below 64 F (18 C). In many regions, the average temperature in the hottest month is only 2 to 5 Fahrenheit degrees (1 to 3 Celsius degrees) higher than the average temperature in the coldest month. Most rain forests receive more than 80 inches (203 centimeters) of rain annually. Some areas may receive more than 250 inches (635 centimeters) of rain each year. Thundershowers can occur more than 200 days a year. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.

Note: The Nephites controlled the jungles of South America!

 

Verse 30: And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place of their first landing.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was ignorate of the history of Central America.

Thousands of years ago, the ancestors of today's Central American Indians migrated to Central America from Asia. About 400 B.C., the Maya Indians emerged as the dominant culture of Central America. Their culture especially flourished from about A.D. 250 to 900. The Maya were accomplished engineers and architects, building many magnificent cities. 2004 World Book.

Note: The "land of Desolation" was so desolate.

 

Verse 31: And they came from there up into the south wilderness. Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful, it being the wilderness which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part of which had come from the land northward for food.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was ignorant of the animals that lived in tropical rain forests.

Most wild bears live north of the equator. They are found in Asia, Europe, and North America, and in the Arctic near the North Pole. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.

Note: Many animals do not live in the tropics.

 

Verse 32: And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half's journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was ignorate of tropical rain forests.

They regard jungles as thick tangles of plants growing where sunlight reaches the floor of the rain forest. Such jungles grow in the rain forest along riverbanks and in clearings, where no trees block the sunlight. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.

Note: Travel in the tropics is difficult.

 

Verse 33: And it came to pass that the Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from the east unto the west sea, and thus the Nephites in their wisdom, with their guards and their armies, had hemmed in the Lamanites on the south, that thereby they should have no more possession on the north, that they might not overrun the land northward.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was ignorant of Indian civilizations of South America.

The Chibcha were once classified as a highly advanced civilization, as great as those of the Aztec, Inca, and Maya. They worked gold, drilled emeralds, made pottery and basketry, and wove textiles. But their craftwork was not as highly developed as that of other Indian cultures in Colombia. They did some farming in lowlands and on terraced hillsides. Research shows they had only small villages. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.

Note: The Chibcha have never been referred to as Nephites or Lamanites.

 

Verses 34-35: Therefore the Lamanites could have no more possessions only in the land of Nephi, and the wilderness round about. Now this was wisdom in the Nephites—as the Lamanites were an enemy to them, they would not suffer their afflictions on every hand, and also that they might have a country whither they might flee, according to their desires. And now I, after having said this, return again to the account of Ammon and Aaron, Omner and Himni, and their brethren.

Note: The Book of Mormon is neither a scriptural or historical book.

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