05 April 2015

Alma 46: A Clothes-ripping Party!

Amalickiah, big, strong man of cunning devices, desired to be king. He lead many away from the church, by promising them positions of high power, and by his charisma. He flattered a lot of the people of Nephi, and he got a great deal of power in a relatively small amount of time.
Now the leader of those who were wroth against their brethren was a large and a strong man; and his name was Amalickiah. Alma 46:3 
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. 46:4 
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. 46:5 
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. 46:6 
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.--- 46:7

Moroni wasn't too happy with this Amalickiah fellow. When he heard about him, he ripped up his coat, took a piece of it, and wrote the following words on it:

In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children"

Then he fastened it on to a pole, and called the whole assembly the "Title of Liberty".

Moroni then put on all of his armor and began to pray. He prayed for his brethren, the "Christians". The next few verses are spent explaining this unfamiliar word. (How do you even pronounce it?)
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. 46:11 
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. 46:12 
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— 46:13
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. 46:14 
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. 46:15 
And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored. 46:16
After praying, Moroni went out among the people and waved his coat-pole thing so that everyone had a chance to see it, and he yelled out the following speech:

"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 bless them."
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: 46:19 
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 bless them. 46:20
After Moroni said this, all of the people up to him. They ripped up their clothes and threw them at his feet as an oath to God. If they broke their oath, then God could rip them up just like they ripped up their clothes. 

Then Moroni gave a nice little speech about Joseph's coat of many colors that his brothers ripped up, and how that was related to the oath that his people just made. You see, part of Joseph's coat survived, so that means that part of Moroni's seed will survive, since he made a ripping oath. 

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. 46:21 
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. 46:22 
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. 46:23 
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. 46:24   

After Moroni was done speaking, he sent out messengers and he toured around the land trying to gather up people who were on his side, and who would stand up and fight Amalickiah with him. 

He did pretty well. Once everyone had gathered up, Amalichiah saw that he was clearly outnumbered. He didn't want to fight, so he ran into the wilderness with his army. 
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. 46:28
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. 46:29 
 Which was good. But you know what would be better? Killing Amalickiah, and breaking up his army. You see, the Amalichiahites would probably soon join the Lamanites, and the last thing that Moroni needed was a stronger Lamanite army. It seemed like a good idea to take care of them now, while he had a strong army gathered together. 

He sent his army after Amalichkiah and his men. Amalichkiah managed to get away with a small group of soldiers, but Moroni rounded up the rest of his army and brought them back to the land of Zarahemla. 
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. 46:30
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. 46:31 
And it came to pass that he did according to his desires, and marched forth into the wilderness, and headed the armies of Amalickiah. 46:32 
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. 46:33
Moroni was appointed by the judges, so that meant he could do pretty much whatever he wanted. He made the POW Amalichiahites enter a "covenant to support the cause of freedom", or else he killed them. Most of them agreed to enter the covenant. What a shock! 

He also hoisted up his "Title of Liberty" on to every tower in the land. I guess this was to solidify the covenant that was made. Or just because he thought it looked cool. 
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. 46:34 
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. 46:35 
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. 46:36
There was peace in the land for 4 solid years. That's a pretty good streak by Book of Mormon standards.

In that time, there were some who died of fevers, but not too many. Well, that's good. (I think this is the first talk of fevers in the Book of Mormon, and you have to wonder why it's mentioned!) A lot of people died of old age, too, but that can't really be helped. But those who died in the faith of Christ died happy -- we suppose. 
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. 46:38 
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— 46:40 
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. 46:41

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