Alma Chapter 46 Critique
Amalickiah conspires to be king—Moroni raises the title of liberty—He
rallies the people to defend their religion—True believers are called
Christians—A remnant of Joseph will be preserved—Amalickiah and the
dissenters flee to the land of Nephi—Those who will not support the
cause of freedom are put to death. About 73–72 B.C.
Verses 1-6: And it came to pass
that as many as would not hearken to the words of Helaman and his
brethren were gathered together against their brethren. And now behold,
they were exceedingly wroth, insomuch that they were determined to slay
them. Now the leader of those who were wroth against their brethren was
a large and a strong man; and his name was Amalickiah. And Amalickiah
was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also
desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part
of them the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power.
And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they
would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make
them rulers over the people. Thus they were led away by Amalickiah to
dissensions, notwithstanding the preaching of Helaman and his brethren,
yea, notwithstanding their exceedingly great care over the church, for
they were high priests over the church.
Note: Amalickiah is a fictional person and not a Native American.
Human settlement of the New World occurred in stages from the Bering
sea coast line, with an initial 20,000-year layover on Beringia for the
founding population. The micro-satellite diversity and distributions
of the Y lineage specific to South America indicates that certain
Amerindian populations have been isolated since the initial
colonization of the region. The Na-Dené, Inuit and Indigenous Alaskan
populations exhibit haplogroup Q-M242 (Y-DNA) mutations, however are
distinct from other indigenous Amerindians with various mtDNA
mutations. This suggests that the earliest migrants into the northern
extremes of North America and Greenland derived from later populations.
Verses 7-8: And there were many
in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah,
therefore they dissented even from the church; and thus were the
affairs of the people of Nephi exceedingly precarious and dangerous,
notwithstanding their great victory which they had had over the
Lamanites, and their great rejoicings which they had had because of
their deliverance by the hand of the Lord. Thus we see how quick the
children of men do forget the Lord their God, yea, how quick to do
iniquity, and to be led away by the evil one.
Note: Amalickiah is a fictional person and not a Native American.
The terms Muisca religion and mythology refer to the pre-Columbian
beliefs of the Muisca indigenous people of the Cordillera Oriental
highlands of the Andes in the vicinity of Bogotá, Colombia. The
tradition includes a selection of received myths concerning the origin
and organization of the universe. Their belief system may be described
as a polytheistic religion containing a very strong element of
spirituality based on an epistemology of mysticism. Wikipedia
Verses 9-10: Yea, and we also
see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place
among the children of men. Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was
a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led
away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to
destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty
which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon
the face of the land for the righteous’ sake.
Note: The church and liberty did not exist in Pre-Columbian America.
Early religious phenomena can only be deduced from archaeological
remains. Numerous clay figurines found in tombs afford little evidence
of religious beliefs during the agricultural Pre-Classic periods of
Zacatenco and Ticomán (roughly 1500 to the 1st century bc). It is
possible, however, that terra-cotta statuettes of women were meant to
represent an agricultural deity, a goddess of the crops. Two-headed
figurines found at Tlatilco, a site of the late Pre-Classic, may
portray a supernatural being. Clay idols of a fire god in the form of
an old man with an incense burner on his back date from the same
period. Encyclopedia Britannica.
Verses 11-12: And now it came
to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of
the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with
Amalickiah. And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a
piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion,
and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened
it upon the end of a pole.
Note: Moroni is a fictional person and not a Native American.
Mesoamerican civilizations shared an interest in the recording and
keeping track of time through observation of celestial bodies and
religious rituals celebrating their different phases. Not surprisingly
a large portion of the Mesoamerican literature that has been delivered
down through time to us deals exactly with this kind of information.
Particularly the true precolumbian literature such as the Mayan and
Aztec codices deal with calendrical and astronomical information as
well as describing the rituals connected to the passing of time.
Verses 13-15: And he fastened
on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on
his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end
thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he
bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the
blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should
a band of Christians remain to possess the land— For thus were all the
true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by
those who did not belong to the church. And those who did belong to the
church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ
took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were
called, because of their belief in Christ who should come.
Note: Believers in Christ were first known as Christians in the Middle East not America.
Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found
him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they
assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the
disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. Acts 11:25-26.
Note: "Christian" derives from the Koine Greek word Christós (Χριστός).
Verses 16-18: And therefore, at
this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the
freedom of the land might be favored. And it came to pass that when he
had poured out his soul to God, he named all the land which was south
of the land Desolation, yea, and in fine, all the land, both on the
north and on the south—A chosen land, and the land of liberty. And he
said: Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we
take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed,
until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions.
Note: Christianity was not introduced to America until Columbus.
Classic Maya rule was centred in a royal culture that was displayed in
all areas of Classic Maya art. The king was the supreme ruler, and held
a semi-divine status that made him the mediator between the mortal
realm and that of the gods. From very early times, kings were
specifically identified with the young maize god, whose gift of maize
was the basis of Mesoamerican civilization. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 19-20: And when Moroni
had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the rent
part of his garment in the air, that all might see the writing which he
had written upon the rent part, and crying with a loud voice, saying:
Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come
forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they
will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may
Note: Moroni is a fictional person and not a Native American.
In common with the rest of Mesoamerica, the Maya believed in a
supernatural realm inhabited by an array of powerful deities. These
deities needed to be placated with ceremonial offerings and ritual
practices. At the core of Maya religious practice was the worship of
deceased ancestors, who would act as go-betweens for their living
descendants in dealings with the denizens of the supernatural realm.
Verse 21: And it came to pass
that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came
running together with their armor girded about their loins, rending
their garments in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake
the Lord their God; or, in other words, if they should transgress the
commandments of God, or fall into transgression, and be ashamed to take
upon them the name of Christ, the Lord should rend them even as they
had rent their garments.
Note: Pre-Columbian battle armor did not include the use of metal.
All warriors wore loincloths, and basic military armor called
ichcahuipilli. When they were recognized by the state for their bravery
in battle, their status increased (regardless of original class) and
they were rewarded with shell and glass beaded jewelry. If the warrior
was more honored or a higher rank, they would wear battle suits called
Tlahuiztli, these suits were distinctively decorated for prestigious
warriors and members of warrior societies. They served as a way to
identify warriors according to their achievements in battle as well as
rank, alliance, and social status like priesthood or nobility. Usually
made to work as a single piece of clothing with an opening in the back,
they covered the entire torso and most of the extremities of a warrior,
and offered added protection to the wearer. The tlahuiztli was made
with elements of animal hide, leather, and cotton. Warriors were also
allowed to wear sandals as they progressed through the ranks. Wikipedia
Verses 22-29: Now this was the
covenant which they made, and they cast their garments at the feet of
Moroni, saying: We covenant with our God, that we shall be destroyed,
even as our brethren in the land northward, if we shall fall into
transgression; yea, he may cast us at the feet of our enemies, even as
we have cast our garments at thy feet to be trodden under foot, if we
shall fall into transgression. Moroni said unto them: Behold, we are a
remnant of the seed of Jacob; yea, we are a remnant of the seed of
Joseph, whose coat was rent by his brethren into many pieces; yea, and
now behold, let us remember to keep the commandments of God, or our
garments shall be rent by our brethren, and we be cast into prison, or
be sold, or be slain. Yea, let us preserve our liberty as a remnant of
Joseph; yea, let us remember the words of Jacob, before his death, for
behold, he saw that a part of the remnant of the coat of Joseph was
preserved and had not decayed. And he said—Even as this remnant of
garment of my son hath been preserved, so shall a remnant of the seed
of my son be preserved by the hand of God, and be taken unto himself,
while the remainder of the seed of Joseph shall perish, even as the
remnant of his garment. Now behold, this giveth my soul sorrow;
nevertheless, my soul hath joy in my son, because of that part of his
seed which shall be taken unto God. Now behold, this was the language
of Jacob. And now who knoweth but what the remnant of the seed of
Joseph, which shall perish as his garment, are those who have dissented
from us? Yea, and even it shall be ourselves if we do not stand fast in
the faith of Christ. And now it came to pass that when Moroni had said
these words he went forth, and also sent forth in all the parts of the
land where there were dissensions, and gathered together all the people
who were desirous to maintain their liberty, to stand against
Amalickiah and those who had dissented, who were called Amalickiahites.
Note: Moroni and the Nephites were not a remnant of Jacob.
There is general agreement among anthropologists that the source
populations for the migration into the Americas originated from an area
somewhere east of the Yenisei River. The common occurrence of the mtDNA
Haplogroups A, B, C, and D among eastern Asian and Native American
populations has long been recognized, along with the presence of
Haplogroup X. As a whole, the greatest frequency of the four Native
American associated haplogroups occurs in the Altai-Baikal region of
southern Siberia. Some subclades of C and D closer to the Native
American subclades occur among Mongolian, Amur, Japanese, Korean, and
Ainu populations. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 29-32: And it came to
pass that when Amalickiah saw that the people of Moroni were more
numerous than the Amalickiahites—and he also saw that his people were
doubtful concerning the justice of the cause in which they had
undertaken—therefore, fearing that he should not gain the point, he
took those of his people who would and departed into the land of Nephi.
Now Moroni thought it was not expedient that the Lamanites should have
any more strength; therefore he thought to cut off the people of
Amalickiah, or to take them and bring them back, and put Amalickiah to
death; yea, for he knew that he would stir up the Lamanites to anger
against them, and cause them to come to battle against them; and this
he knew that Amalickiah would do that he might obtain his purposes.
Therefore Moroni thought it was expedient that he should take his
armies, who had gathered themselves together, and armed themselves, and
entered into a covenant to keep the peace—and it came to pass that he
took his army and marched out with his tents into the wilderness, to
cut off the course of Amalickiah in the wilderness. And it came to pass
that he did according to his desires, and marched forth into the
wilderness, and headed the armies of Amalickiah.
Note: Did Captain Moroni have a flat forehead?
The name Cambeba seems to have been applied by other neighboring tribes
and refers to the Omagua custom of flattening their children's heads by
binding a piece of wood to the forehead soon after birth. Omagua women
would jeer at the women from other tribes, saying that their heads were
"round like those of forest savages." In the 18th century, the Omaguas
would point out to travelers that their flattened foreheads were a sign
of cultural superiority over their neighbors, and for a long time they
resisted abandoning this custom, even under missionary pressure.
Verses 33-35: And it came to
pass that Amalickiah fled with a small number of his men, and the
remainder were delivered up into the hands of Moroni and were taken
back into the land of Zarahemla. Now, Moroni being a man who was
appointed by the chief judges and the voice of the people, therefore he
had power according to his will with the armies of the Nephites, to
establish and to exercise authority over them. And it came to pass that
whomsoever of the Amalickiahites that would not enter into a covenant
to support the cause of freedom, that they might maintain a free
government, he caused to be put to death; and there were but few who
denied the covenant of freedom.
Note: Did Captain Moroni practice human sacrifice?
The study of the images seen in Moche art has enabled researchers to
reconstruct the culture's most important ceremonial sequence, which
began with ritual combat and culminated in the sacrifice of those
defeated in battle. Dressed in fine clothes and adornments, armed
warriors faced each other in ritual combat. In this hand-to-hand
encounter the aim was to remove the opponent's headdress rather than
kill him. The object of the combat was the provision of victims for
sacrifice. The vanquished were stripped and bound, after which they
were led in procession to the place of sacrifice. The captives are
portrayed as strong and sexually potent. In the temple, the priests and
priestesses would prepare the victims for sacrifice. The sacrificial
methods employed varied, but at least one of the victims would be bled
to death. His blood was offered to the principal deities in order to
please and placate them. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 36-38: And it came to
pass also, that he caused the title of liberty to be hoisted upon every
tower which was in all the land, which was possessed by the Nephites;
and thus Moroni planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites. And
they began to have peace again in the land; and thus they did maintain
peace in the land until nearly the end of the nineteenth year of the
reign of the judges. And Helaman and the high priests did also maintain
order in the church; yea, even for the space of four years did they
have much peace and rejoicing in the church.
Note: Political liberty originated with Greek philosophers.
The modern concept of political liberty has its origins in the Greek
concepts of freedom and slavery. To be free, to the Greeks, was to not
have a master, to be independent from a master (to live like one
likes). That was the original Greek concept of freedom. It is closely
linked with the concept of democracy, as Aristotle put it: "This, then,
is one note of liberty which all democrats affirm to be the principle
of their state. Another is that a man should live as he likes. This,
they say, is the privilege of a freeman, since, on the other hand, not
to live as a man likes is the mark of a slave. This is the second
characteristic of democracy, whence has arisen the claim of men to be
ruled by none, if possible, or, if this is impossible, to rule and be
ruled in turns; and so it contributes to the freedom based upon
equality." Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 39-41: And it came to
pass that there were many who died, firmly believing that their souls
were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ; thus they went out of the world
rejoicing. And there were some who died with fevers, which at some
seasons of the year were very frequent in the land—but not so much so
with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and
roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which
men were subject by the nature of the climate— But there were many who
died with old age; and those who died in the faith of Christ are happy
in him, as we must needs suppose.
Note: Pre-Columbian Native Americans were pagan non-believers.
The word translated as 'faith' in the New Testament is the Greek word
'πίστις' which can also be translated 'belief' or 'trust'. Wikipedia
WORD FAITH INDEX
CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX