Alma Chapter 48 Critique
Amalickiah incites the Lamanites against the Nephites—Moroni prepares
his people to defend the cause of the Christians—He rejoices in liberty
and freedom and is a mighty man of God. About 72 B.C.
Verse 1: And now it came to
pass that, as soon as Amalickiah had obtained the kingdom he began to
inspire the hearts of the Lamanites against the people of Nephi; yea,
he did appoint men to speak unto the Lamanites from their towers,
against the Nephites.
Note: Pre-Columbian pyramids were used for ceremonial human sacrifice to their pagan gods.
During the Preclassic Era, or Formative Period, large-scale ceremonial
architecture, writing, cities, and states developed. Many of the
distinctive elements of Mesoamerican civilization can be traced back to
this period, including the dominance of corn, the building of pyramids,
human sacrifice, jaguar-worship, the complex calendar, and many of the
gods. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verse 2: And thus he did
inspire their hearts against the Nephites, insomuch that in the latter
end of the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges, he having
accomplished his designs thus far, yea, having been made king over the
Lamanites, he sought also to reign over all the land, yea, and all the
people who were in the land, the Nephites as well as the Lamanites.
Note: The rule of judges ended with Samuel the prophet.
“After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.” Acts 13:20.
Verses 3-6: Therefore he had
accomplished his design, for he had hardened the hearts of the
Lamanites and blinded their minds, and stirred them up to anger,
insomuch that he had gathered together a numerous host to go to battle
against the Nephites. For he was determined, because of the greatness
of the number of his people, to overpower the Nephites and to bring
them into bondage. And thus he did appoint chief captains of the
Zoramites, they being the most acquainted with the strength of the
Nephites, and their places of resort, and the weakest parts of their
cities; therefore he appointed them to be chief captains over his
armies. And it came to pass that they took their camp, and moved forth
toward the land of Zarahemla in the wilderness.
Note: Pre-Columbian Indians did not conquer for bondage but for human sacrifices.
While the archaeological evidence of captive sacrifice by the Moche is
now unequivocal, debate continues over the context in which captives
were taken (warfare or ritual combat), the source of captives (locals
or outsiders), and the ritual and political significance of prisoner
capture and sacrifice in Moche society. 2011 Paper by John Verano,
Verse 7: Now it came to pass
that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and
deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the
people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.
Note: Pre-Columbian Indians were pagan polytheists.
The ancient Americans, like most primitive societies, worshipped and
feared a huge pantheon of powerful beings who controlled every aspect
of their lives. If a thing was worth bothering about there was a god
for it, including Huix-tocihuatl, goddess of salt and Tlatolteotl,
goddess of licentious-ness! There was even a special goddess of the
Verses 8-9: Yea, he had been
strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or
places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his
armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round
about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about
the land. And in their weakest fortifications he did place the greater
number of men; and thus he did fortify and strengthen the land which
was possessed by the Nephites.
Note: No major fortifications were built outside of the Andes.
By 100 CE the Ilamas developed into the Yotoco Culture, which expanded
their territory further into the Cauca River and the Pacific Ocean and
to the south to the region of what is now the city of Cali. The Yotocos
prevailed in the region until 1200 CE and were a highly stratified
society headed by caciques, which managed several settlements. The
population had increased, forcing them to develop effective
agricultural techniques to feed its population which also improved the
techniques on pottery and metal works. They created polychrome ceramics
and introduction of hammered goldware. The agriculture of the Yotocos
was more varied than that of the Ilamas and was based on maize, yuca,
beans, arracacha, achiote among others. The Yotoco started declining in
the 6th century CE. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 10-13: And thus he was
preparing to support their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their
children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their
God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their
enemies the cause of Christians. And Moroni was a strong and a mighty
man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not
delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the
freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery; Yea,
a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many
privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who
did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people. Yea,
and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn
with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his
religion, even to the loss of his blood.
Note: The fictional Captain Moroni was not a Christian.
“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who
hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully
use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also.
And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic
either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away
your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you,
you also do to them likewise.” Luke 6:27-31.
Verses 14-16: Now the Nephites
were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the
shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught
never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it
were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives. And this
was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land,
or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of
God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or
to prepare for war, according to their danger; And also, that God would
make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves
against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them;
and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in
the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea,
in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.
Note: The fictional Nephites were not Christians.
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of
all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably
with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place
to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says
the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is
thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire
on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Verse 17: Yea, verily, verily I
say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like
unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken
forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the
children of men.
Note: Satan will flee from anyone who is focused on Jesus Christ.
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you
sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn
and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to
gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you
up. James 4:7-10.
Verses 18-19: Behold, he was a
man like unto Ammon, the son of Mosiah, yea, and even the other sons of
Mosiah, yea, and also Alma and his sons, for they were all men of God.
Now behold, Helaman and his brethren were no less serviceable unto the
people than was Moroni; for they did preach the word of God, and they
did baptize unto repentance all men whosoever would hearken unto their
Note: Baptism is not the Christian Gospel or Good News.
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not
with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no
effect. 1 Corinthians 1:17.
Verses 20-23: And thus they
went forth, and the people did humble themselves because of their
words, insomuch that they were highly favored of the Lord, and thus
they were free from wars and contentions among themselves, yea, even
for the space of four years. But, as I have said, in the latter end of
the nineteenth year, yea, notwithstanding their peace amongst
themselves, they were compelled reluctantly to contend with their
brethren, the Lamanites. Yea, and in fine, their wars never did cease
for the space of many years with the Lamanites, notwithstanding their
much reluctance. Now, they were sorry to take up arms against the
Lamanites, because they did not delight in the shedding of blood; yea,
and this was not all—they were sorry to be the means of sending so many
of their brethren out of this world into an eternal world, unprepared
to meet their God.
Note: Religious and wicked people will never be prepared to meet God.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of
mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of
the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done,
without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a
gnat and swallow a camel!” Matthew 23:23-24.
Verses 24-25: Nevertheless,
they could not suffer to lay down their lives, that their wives and
their children should be massacred by the barbarous cruelty of those
who were once their brethren, yea, and had dissented from their church,
and had left them and had gone to destroy them by joining the
Lamanites. Yea, they could not bear that their brethren should rejoice
over the blood of the Nephites, so long as there were any who should
keep the commandments of God, for the promise of the Lord was, if they
should keep his commandments they should prosper in the land.
Note: Christian commandments are for spiritual not material benefits.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12.
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