BOOK OF MORMON

 

Critique of Alma Chapter 43

 

Setting: Alma's preaching causes a war with Moroni's small army encircling the Lamanites.

 

Verses 1-2: AND now it came to pass that the sons of Alma did go forth among the people, to declare the word unto them. And Alma, also, himself, could not rest, and he also went forth. Now we shall say no more concerning their preaching, except that they preached the word, and the truth, according to the spirit of prophecy and revelation; and they preached after the holy order of God by which they were called.

Note: The BOM author leaves bad theology for bad geography narrative.

When one considers Sidney Rigdon's life, he emerges as a complex and mysterious character, a brooding yet visionary individual who appears to have been so dedicated to his own dreams that he thought nothing of appropriating Solomon Spalding's novel, reworking it to reflect his personal beliefs, then using it as a tool to achieve his ultimate goal of leading an errant and factious Christendom to the glorious restoration of its "ancient order of things." Rigdon felt it was his personal mission to bring back the good old days when real, living apostles walked the land, spreading the Word of God and working miracles. Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon, page 169.

 

Verses 3-4: And now I return to an account of the wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites, in the eighteenth year of the reign of the judges. For behold, it came to pass that the Zoramites became Lamanites; therefore, in the commencement of the eighteenth year the people of the Nephites saw that the Lamanites were coming upon them; therefore they made preparations for war; yea, they gathered together their armies in the land of Jershon.

Note: Venezuela which is in the tropics had two Indian groups.

Many Indian tribes lived in what is now Venezuela before European settlers arrived. The chief tribes belonged to two groups-the Carib and the Arawak. The Carib Indians lived in the eastern part of Venezuela, and the Arawak Indians lived in the west. Both groups lived by farming, hunting, fishing, and gathering wild plants.

 

Verse 5: And it came to pass that the Lamanites came with their thousands; and they came into the land of Antionum, which is the land of the Zoramites; and a man by the name of Zerahemnah was their leader.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American geography.

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. About two-thirds of the rain forest lies in Brazil. The forest also occupies parts of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. The Amazon rain forest receives an average annual rainfall of 50 to 175 inches. Temperatures average about 80 F. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 6-8: And now, as the Amalekites were of a more wicked and murderous disposition than the Lamanites were, in and of themselves, therefore, Zerahemnah appointed chief captains over the Lamanites, and they were all Amalekites and Zoramites. Now this he did that he might preserve their hatred towards the Nephites, that he might bring them into subjection to the accomplishment of his designs. For behold, his designs were to stir up the Lamanites to anger against the Nephites; this he did that he might usurp great power over them, and also that he might gain power over the Nephites by bringing them into bondage.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American Indian history.

Indians lived in what is now Brazil long before the first Europeans arrived. Major Indian groups in the country included the Guarani and Tupinamba. The Indians hunted and fished for much of their food. They also gathered fruits from the forests and grew crops. Cassava was their most important crop. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 9: And now the design of the Nephites was to support their lands, and their houses, and their wives, and their children, that they might preserve them from the hands of their enemies; and also that they might preserve their rights and their privileges, yea, and also their liberty, that they might worship God according to their desires.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American Indian history.

The Brazilian Indians believed in many gods and celebrated numerous religious festivals. They made baskets, pottery, and other handicraft items. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 10: For they knew that if they should fall into the hands of the Lamanites, that whosoever should worship God in spirit and in truth, the true and the living God, the Lamanites would destroy.

Note: The BOM author plagiarized the New Testament.

John 4:23-24 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

 

Verses 11-12: Yea, and they also knew the extreme hatred of the Lamanites towards their brethren, who were the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, who were called the people of Ammon--and they would not take up arms, yea, they had entered into a covenant and they would not break it--therefore, if they should fall into the hands of the Lamanites they would be destroyed. And the Nephites would not suffer that they should be destroyed; therefore they gave them lands for their inheritance.

Note: Private ownership of land did not exist among American Indians.

Throughout most of the New World, marriage was a family affair and not a religious ceremony. The boy's family usually gave presents to the bride's family. Many newly married couples lived with the girl's family-and the husband worked for her family-until the birth of a child. Then the couple might establish their own home. But they generally did not move to a new home in a new area. Many other newly married couples joined an existing family group or lived close to one. Some of the couples moved in with other relatives of the woman or with the relatives of the man. This extended family shared with the daily work of the household, including the raising of children. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 13: And the people of Ammon did give unto the Nephites a large portion of their substance to support their armies; and thus the Nephites were compelled, alone, to withstand against the Lamanites, who were a compound of Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael, and all those who had dissented from the Nephites, who were Amalekites and Zoramites, and the descendants of the priests of Noah.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American Indian history.

Agriculture provided most of the food, but much came from the sea and rivers. Both men and women helped raise avocados, beans, cassava, corn, peanuts, peppers, pineapples, and sweet potatoes. Most of the tribes of the Caribbean area brewed a type of beer from corn. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 14-15: Now those descendants were as numerous, nearly, as were the Nephites; and thus the Nephites were obliged to contend with their brethren, even unto bloodshed. And it came to pass as the armies of the Lamanites had gathered together in the land of Antionum, behold, the armies of the Nephites were prepared to meet them in the land of Jershon.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American Indian history.

Hunters in the jungles used spears, bows and arrows, and blowguns. They fished with nets, hooks, and drugs that stunned fish. Warfare occurred frequently between tribes. The Witoto and Tupinamba were cannibals, and the Jivaro shrunk the heads of captives as trophies. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 16-17: Now, the leader of the Nephites, or the man who had been appointed to be the chief captain over the Nephites--now the chief captain took the command of all the armies of the Nephites--and his name was Moroni; And Moroni took all the command, and the government of their wars. And he was only twenty and five years old when he was appointed chief captain over the armies of the Nephites.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American Indian history.

Warfare played an important part in Caribbean life. Success in battle led to higher rank for men, and the chief and other leaders had special privileges. The chief, for example, was expected to have several wives, and other members of the tribe cultivated his land. Warfare also enabled tribes to take captives and make them slaves. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 18: And it came to pass that he met the Lamanites in the borders of Jershon, and his people were armed with swords, and with cimeters, and all manner of weapons of war.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American Indian history.

The bow and arrow was probably the most common Indian weapon throughout North and South America. Some South American tribes put poison on their arrowheads. Many Indians fought with spears and war clubs. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 19: And when the armies of the Lamanites saw that the people of Nephi, or that Moroni, had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing--

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American Indian history.

The Tropical Forest people wore only breechcloths and short, apronlike skirts. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 20: Now the army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing; they had only their swords and their cimeters, their bows and their arrows, their stones and their slings; and they were naked, save it were a skin which was girded about their loins; yea, all were naked, save it were the Zoramites and the Amalekites;

Note: Cimeter or scimitar was a Middle Eastern weapon or war.

Webster's Dictionary: Scimitar: sword used by Turks, Persians, Arabs, etc.

 

Verse 21: But they were not armed with breastplates, nor shields--therefore, they were exceedingly afraid of the armies of the Nephites because of their armor, notwithstanding their number being so much greater than the Nephites.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American Indian history.

The Arawak made their clothing of netting. The Caribbean Indians created excellent pottery and shaped gold and copper into a variety of ornaments and tools. Their weapons included spears and spear throwers, slings, clubs, and blowguns. Some tribes also used the bow and arrow. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 22: Behold, now it came to pass that they durst not come against the Nephites in the borders of Jershon; therefore they departed out of the land of Antionum into the wilderness, and took their journey round about in the wilderness, away by the head of the river Sidon, that they might come into the land of Manti and take possession of the land; for they did not suppose that the armies of Moroni would know whither they had gone.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American geography.

The Orinoco River flows in a broad arc through Venezuela to the Atlantic. For part of its length, the Orinoco forms the border between Colombia and Venezuela. The lower Orinoco crosses the Llanos, a productive ranching area in central Venezuela. Oceangoing ships travel up the Orinoco to load iron ore at the Venezuelan river port of Ciudad Guayana. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 23-24: But it came to pass, as soon as they had departed into the wilderness Moroni sent spies into the wilderness to watch their camp; and Moroni, also, knowing of the prophecies of Alma, sent certain men unto him, desiring him that he should inquire of the Lord whither the armies of the Nephites should go to defend themselves against the Lamanites. And it came to pass that the word of the Lord came unto Alma, and Alma informed the messengers of Moroni, that the armies of the Lamanites were marching round about in the wilderness, that they might come over into the land of Manti, that they might commence an attack upon the weaker part of the people. And those messengers went and delivered the message unto Moroni.

Note: Indian prophets did not appear until after the arrival of Europeans.

A new type of religious leader appeared among the Indians after the Europeans arrived. Most of the new leaders urged their followers to give up European goods-especially liquor-and return to the old ways of the Indians. Because these leaders predicted future events, the Europeans called them prophets. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 25: Now Moroni, leaving a part of his army in the land of Jershon, lest by any means a part of the Lamanites should come into that land and take possession of the city, took the remaining part of his army and marched over into the land of Manti.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American Indian history.

Before the arrival of the Europeans, the Indians lacked horses, oxen, and most other beasts of burden used in other parts of the world. As a result, the Indians never developed the wheel, though they had discovered its principle. The Inca and Maya built excellent roads, but most other tribes used narrow trails. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 26: And he caused that all the people in that quarter of the land should gather themselves together to battle against the Lamanites, to defend their lands and their country, their rights and their liberties; therefore they were prepared against the time of the coming of the Lamanites.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American Indian history.

For the most part, the Indians of the Americas lived in small groups and shared in making important decisions. Some Indians, including the Aztec in Mexico and the Inca in Peru, developed complicated systems of government. But most tribes did not because they had no need for such systems. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 27-28: And it came to pass that Moroni caused that his army should be secreted in the valley which was near the bank of the river Sidon, which was on the west of the river Sidon in the wilderness. And Moroni placed spies round about, that he might know when the camp of the Lamanites should come.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American geography.

The Eastern Plains spread over nearly 60 percent of Colombia. Only about 2 percent of the people live in this hot, flat region. It is an important area because of its oil reserves. Tropical forests cover much of the south. In the north, farmers graze cattle on prairielike grassland called llanos. Several rivers cross the plains. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 29-30: And now, as Moroni knew the intention of the Lamanites, that it was their intention to destroy their brethren, or to subject them and bring them into bondage that they might establish a kingdom unto themselves over all the land; And he also knowing that it was the only desire of the Nephites to preserve their lands, and their liberty, and their church, therefore he thought it no sin that he should defend them by stratagem; therefore, he found by his spies which course the Lamanites were to take.

Note: The world "church" is strictly New Testament.

Webster's Dictionary: Church, from the Middle English chirche, from the Anglo Saxon circe.

 

Verses 31-35: Therefore, he divided his army and brought a part over into the valley, and concealed them on the east, and on the south of the hill Riplah; And the remainder he concealed in the west valley, on the west of the river Sidon, and so down into the borders of the land Manti. And thus having placed his army according to his desire, he was prepared to meet them. And it came to pass that the Lamanites came up on the north of the hill, where a part of the army of Moroni was concealed. And as the Lamanites had passed the hill Riplah, and came into the valley, and began to cross the river Sidon, the army which was concealed on the south of the hill, which was led by a man whose name was Lehi, and he led his army forth and encircled the Lamanites about on the east in their rear.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American geography.

The Eastern Plains spread over nearly 60 percent of Colombia. Only about 2 percent of the people live in this hot, flat region. It is an important area because of its oil reserves. Tropical forests cover much of the south. In the north, farmers graze cattle on prairielike grassland called llanos. Several rivers cross the plains. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 36-38: And it came to pass that the Lamanites, when they saw the Nephites coming upon them in their rear, turned them about and began to contend with the army of Lehi. And the work of death commenced on both sides, but it was more dreadful on the part of the Lamanites, for their nakedness was exposed to the heavy blows of the Nephites with their swords and their cimeters, which brought death almost at every stroke. While on the other hand, there was now and then a man fell among the Nephites, by their swords and the loss of blood, they being shielded from the more vital parts of the body, or the more vital parts of the body being shielded from the strokes of the Lamanites, by their breastplates, and their armshields, and their head-plates; and thus the Nephites did carry on the work of death among the Lamanites.

Note: Tropical South American Indians had no idea about body armor.

In early times, primitive people wore layers of animal hides to soften blows from clubs and axes. The Assyrians and people of other early civilizations carried shields and wore helmets and body armor made chiefly of leather strengthened with bronze. The Greeks and later the Romans wore helmets, cuirasses (short body armor), and greaves (leg armor), and they carried large shields. Greek and Roman armor was constructed mainly of bronze or steel, and it served as protection against arrows, spears, and swords. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 39-41: And it came to pass that the Lamanites became frightened, because of the great destruction among them, even until they began to flee towards the river Sidon. And they were pursued by Lehi and his men; and they were driven by Lehi into the waters of Sidon, and they crossed the waters of Sidon. And Lehi retained his armies upon the bank of the river Sidon that they should not cross. And it came to pass that Moroni and his army met the Lamanites in the valley, on the other side of the river Sidon, and began to fall upon them and to slay them.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American geography.

Llanos, meaning level lands, is most often used to mean a great savanna (grassland with scattered trees) region in Venezuela and Colombia. This plain is known as the Orinoco Basin. The region covers about 300,000 square miles. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 42-44: And the Lamanites did flee again before them, towards the land of Manti; and they were met again by the armies of Moroni. Now in this case the Lamanites did fight exceedingly; yea, never had the Lamanites been known to fight with such exceedingly great strength and courage, no, not even from the beginning. And they were inspired by the Zoramites and the Amalekites, who were their chief captains and leaders, and by Zerahemnah, who was their chief captain, or their chief leader and commander; yea, they did fight like dragons, and many of the Nephites were slain by their hands, yea, for they did smite in two many of their head-plates, and they did pierce many of their breastplates, and they did smite off many of their arms; and thus the Lamanites did smite in their fierce anger.

Note: This is another case of Solomon Spalding not knowing about Indian culture.

In early times, primitive people wore layers of animal hides to soften blows from clubs and axes. The Assyrians and people of other early civilizations carried shields and wore helmets and body armor made chiefly of leather strengthened with bronze. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 45: Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church.

Note: The world "church" is strictly New Testament.

Webster's Dictionary: Church, from the Middle English chirche, from the Anglo Saxon circe.

 

Verses 46-50: And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their God; for the Lord had said unto them, and also unto their fathers, that: Inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies. And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed. Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion. And it came to pass that when the men of Moroni saw the fierceness and the anger of the Lamanites, they were about to shrink and flee from them. And Moroni, perceiving their intent, sent forth and inspired their hearts with these thoughts--yea, the thoughts of their lands, their liberty, yea, their freedom from bondage. And it came to pass that they turned upon the Lamanites, and they cried with one voice unto the Lord their God, for their liberty and their freedom from bondage. And they began to stand against the Lamanites with power; and in that selfsame hour that they cried unto the Lord for their freedom, the Lamanites began to flee before them; and they fled even to the waters of Sidon.

Note: This is another case of Solomon Spalding not knowing about Indian culture.

The Caribbean Indians had elaborate religious beliefs and practices. Many worshiped tribal gods in the form of idols called zemis. The idols were made of such materials as bone, wood, or gold. The people had zemis in their homes, but the chief kept his in a temple. The people often made offerings to the chief's zemis, which they believed to be particularly powerful. Tobacco-either smoked or inhaled as snuff-was used in religious ceremonies. World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 51-54: Now, the Lamanites were more numerous, yea, by more than double the number of the Nephites; nevertheless, they were driven insomuch that they were gathered together in one body in the valley, upon the bank by the river Sidon. Therefore the armies of Moroni encircled them about, yea, even on both sides of the river, for behold, on the east were the men of Lehi. Therefore when Zerahemnah saw the men of Lehi on the east of the river Sidon, and the armies of Moroni on the west of the river Sidon, that they were encircled about by the Nephites, they were struck with terror. Now Moroni, when he saw their terror, commanded his men that they should stop shedding their blood.

Note: Solomon Spalding did not know much about South American geography.

The Llanos lie between the Andean Highlands and the Guiana Highlands. The Orinoco River, which begins in the Guiana Highlands, flows from west to east along the southern border of the Llanos. The river and its tributaries drain most of Venezuela. The Orinoco extends 1,284 miles and is the longest river in the country. World Book Encyclopedia.

MAIN INDEX

BIBLE INDEX

HINDU INDEX

MUSLIM INDEX

MORMON INDEX

BUDDHISM INDEX

WORD FAITH INDEX

WATCHTOWER INDEX

MISCELLANEOUS INDEX

CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX