26 February 2014

Alma 10: The Evil Lawyers of Ammonihah

Amulek then hops on the soapbox. He tells his story, beginning with his fascinating genealogy. Then he explains how until a few days ago, he was just like them.
Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart, even until the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges. 10.6
But then he was visited by an angel. The angel told him to go home and keep his eyes peeled for a prophet. It was his duty to take the prophet into his house for a few days and to feed him.
As I was journeying to see a very near kindred, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto me and said: Amulek, return to thine own house, for thou shalt feed a prophet of the Lord; yea, a holy man, who is a chosen man of God; for he has fasted many days because of the sins of this people, and he is an hungered, and thou shalt receive him into thy house and feed him, and he shall bless thee and thy house; and the blessing of the Lord shall rest upon thee and thy house. 10.7
Amulek listened to the angel. As he was journeying home he saw the prophet (which was Alma, of course) and invited him inside.
And it came to pass that I obeyed the voice of the angel, and returned towards my house. And as I was going thither I found the man whom the angel said unto me: Thou shalt receive into thy house -- and behold it was this same man who has been speaking unto you concerning the things of God. 10.8
The people were pretty impressed with Amulek's story. When one person tells a story, they might be lying... but if their friend corroborates their story, it's probably true.
And now, when Amulek had spoken these words the people began to be astonished, seeing there was more than one witness who testified of the things whereof they were accused, and also of the things which were to come, according to the spirit of prophecy which was in them. 10.12
But everyone wasn't convinced. There were these crafty people called "lawyers" who started asking Amulek and Alma all kinds of questions to see if their story held up to scrutiny.
Nevertheless, there were some among them who thought to question them, that by their cunning devices they might catch them in their words, that they might find witness against them, that they might deliver them to their judges that they might be judged according to the law, and that they might be slain or cast into prison, according to the crime which they could make appear or witness against them. 10.13 
Now it was those men who sought to destroy them, who were lawyers, who were hired or appointed by the people to administer the law at their times of trials, or at the trials of the crimes of the people before the judges. 10.14 
Now these lawyers were learned in all the arts and cunning of the people; and this was to enable them that they might be skilful in their profession. 10.15  
And it came to pass that they began to question Amulek, that thereby they might make him cross his words, or contradict the words which he should speak. 10.16
Alma deflected the questions by threatening the people in the city, and with ad hominem attacks against the lawyers.
Now they knew not that Amulek could know of their designs. But it came to pass as they began to question him, he perceived their thoughts, and he said unto them: O ye wicked and perverse generation, ye lawyers and hypocrites, for ye are laying the foundation of the devil; for ye are laying traps and snares to catch the holy ones of God. 10.17 
Ye are laying plans to pervert the ways of the righteous, and to bring down the wrath of God upon your heads, even to the utter destruction of this people. 10.18
The people take the bait, and get angry with Amulek for insulting their just laws and their wise lawyers.
And now it came to pass that the people were more angry with Amulek, and they cried out, saying: This man doth revile against our laws which are just, and our wise lawyers whom we have selected. 10.24
Amulek fires back with more of the same arguments
But Amulek stretched forth his hand, and cried the mightier unto them, saying: O ye wicked and perverse generation, why hath Satan got such great hold upon your hearts? Why will ye yield yourselves unto him that he may have power over you, to blind your eyes, that ye will not understand the words which are spoken, according to their truth? 10.25 
And now behold, I say unto you, that the foundation of the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges. 10.27
Then right before the chapter ends we are introduced to Zeezrom, one of the Ammonihahite lawyers. He is the cleverest of the bunch, and I'm guessing he's going to be a major character in the next few chapters of Alma.
And there was one among them whose name was Zeezrom. Now he was the foremost to accuse Amulek and Alma, he being one of the most expert among them, having much business to do among the people.10.31
PS, in case you hadn't realized yet, dear reader, lawyers are greedy, greedy people. What a funny way to end the chapter!
Now the object of these lawyers was to get gain; and they got gain according to their employ. 10.32

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