06 February 2014

Alma 3: God Set a Mark Upon Them

The war was over. The Nephites buried their dead quickly, where they died, without even counting them. There were too many to count.
And it came to pass that the Nephites who were not slain by the weapons of war, after having buried those who had been slain -- now the number of the slain were not numbered, because of the greatness of their number -- after they had finished burying their dead they all returned to their lands, and to their houses, and their wives, and their children. 3.1
When the soldiers returned home, things had changed. Many of their wives and children were dead, the crops were trampled, and even some of their flocks were killed.
Now many women and children had been slain with the sword, and also many of their flocks and their herds; and also many of their fields of grain were destroyed, for they were trodden down by the hosts of men. 3.2
But that's enough about the Nephites for now. Let's talk about the Amlicites and Lamanites a bit more. How do you know one when you see one? That's easy: the Amlicites put a mark on their heads, and they don't shave their heads. Lamanites shave their heads, and don't wear any clothes besides leather loincloths and armor.
And the Amlicites were distinguished from the Nephites, for they had marked themselves with red in their foreheads after the manner of the Lamanites; nevertheless they had not shorn their heads like unto the Lamanites. 3.4
Now the heads of the Lamanites were shorn; and they were naked, save it were skin which was girded about their loins, and also their armor, which was girded about them, and their bows, and their arrows, and their stones, and their slings, and so forth. 3.5
Lamanites also have dark skin. God cursed them and turned them dark because their ancestors (Laman and Lemuel) rebelled against their brothers: Nephi, Jacob, Joseph and Sam.
And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men. 3.6
And their brethren sought to destroy them, therefore they were cursed; and the Lord God set a mark upon them, yea, upon Laman and Lemuel, and also the sons of Ishmael, and Ishmaelitish women. 3.7
The mark is also intended to keep the Nephites from "mixing" with the Lamanites.
And this was done that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that thereby the Lord God might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction. 3.8
God will mark any children resulting from Nephite/Lamanite sex. He will also mark anyone who is otherwise "Led away" by the Lamanites.
 And it came to pass that whosoever did mingle his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his seed. 3.9 
Therefore, whosoever suffered himself to be led away by the Lamanites was called under that head, and there was a mark set upon him. 3.10 
All of these things are reiterated many times. I'm guessing this will be on the test.
Now we will return again to the Amlicites, for they also had a mark set upon them; yea, they set the mark upon themselves, yea, even a mark of red upon their foreheads. 3.13
Thus the word of God is fulfilled, for these are the words which he said to Nephi: Behold, the Lamanites have I cursed, and I will set a mark on them that they and their seed may be separated from thee and thy seed, from this time henceforth and forever, except they repent of their wickedness and turn to me that I may have mercy upon them. 3.14
 And again: I will set a mark upon him that mingleth his seed with thy brethren, that they may be cursed also. 3.15
 And again, I say he that departeth from thee shall no more be called thy seed; and I will bless thee, and whomsoever shall be called thy seed, henceforth and forever; and these were the promises of the Lord unto Nephi and to his seed. 3.17
Are there any questions? Good. Okay, back to the story.

A few days after their big defeat, the Lamanites decide they want to try again. They send another army to the same battlefield that the Amlicites first fought in, and are quickly defeated again. Shucks!
Now it came to pass that not many days after the battle which was fought in the land of Zarahemla, by the Lamanites and the Amlicites, that there was another army of the Lamanites came in upon the people of Nephi, in the same place where the first army met the Amlicites. 3.20 
But he sent up a numerous army against them; and they went up and slew many of the Lamanites, and drove the remainder of them out of the borders of their land. 3.23
So there was peace in the land again. For "a time".
And then they returned again and began to establish peace in the land, being troubled no more for a time with their enemies. 3.24
Probably until the next chapter.

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