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A Library Tour through Alma 10-11
1. Now these are the words which Amulek preached unto the people who were in the
land of Ammonihah, saying:
2. I am Amulek; I am the son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant
of Aminadi; and it was the same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon
the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God.
3. And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of
the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph
who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren.
4. And behold, I am also a man of no small reputation among all those who know me;
yea, and behold, I have many kindreds and friends, and I have also acquired much
riches by the hand of my industry.
5. Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord,
and his mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things;
but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power;
yea, even in the preservation of the lives of this people.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. And the angel said unto me he is a holy man; wherefore I know he is a holy man
because it was said by an angel of God.
10. And again, I know that the things whereof he hath testified are true; for behold
I say unto you, that as the Lord liveth, even so has he sent his angel to make these
things manifest unto me; and this he has done while this Alma hath dwelt at my house.
11. For behold, he hath blessed mine house, he hath blessed me, and my women, and
my children, and my father and my kinsfolk; yea, even all my kindred hath he blessed,
and the blessing of the Lord hath rested upon us according to the words which he
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to deliver
up the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this people should
be governed by their own voices -- yea, well did he say that if the time should come
that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should
come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction.
20. And now I say unto you that well doth the Lord judge of your iniquities; well
doth he cry unto this people, by the voice of his angels: Repent ye, repent, for
the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
21. Yea, well doth he cry, by the voice of his angels that: I will come down among
my people, with equity and justice in my hands.
22. Yea, and I say unto you that if it were not for the prayers of the righteous,
who are now in the land, that ye would even now be visited with utter destruction;
yet it would not be by flood, as were the people in the days of Noah, but it would
be by famine, and by pestilence, and the sword.
23. But it is by the prayers of the righteous that ye are spared; now therefore,
if ye will cast out the righteous from among you then will not the Lord stay his
hand; but in his fierce anger he will come out against you; then ye shall be smitten
by famine, and by pestilence, and by the sword; and the time is soon at hand except
24. 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.
25. 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?
26. For behold, have I testified against your law? Ye do not understand; ye say that
I have spoken against your law; but I have not, but I have spoken in favor of your
law, to your condemnation.
27. 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.
28. And now it came to pass that when Amulek had spoken these words the people cried
out against him, saying: Now we know that this man is a child of the devil, for he
hath lied unto us; for he hath spoken against our law. And now he says that he has
not spoken against it.
29. And again, he has reviled against our lawyers, and our judges.
30. And it came to pass that the lawyers put it into their hearts that they should
remember these things against him.
31. 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.
32. Now the object of these lawyers was to get gain; and they got gain according
to their employ.
1. Now it was in the law of Mosiah that every man who was a judge of the law, or
those who were appointed to be judges, should receive wages according to the time
which they labored to judge those who were brought before them to be judged.
2. Now if a man owed another, and he would not pay that which he did owe, he was
complained of to the judge; and the judge executed authority, and sent forth officers
that the man should be brought before him; and he judged the man according to the
law and the evidences which were brought against him, and thus the man was compelled
to pay that which he owed, or be stripped, or be cast out from among the people as
a thief and a robber.
3. And the judge received for his wages according to his time -- a senine of gold
for a day, or a senum of silver, which is equal to a senine of gold; and this is
according to the law which was given.
4. Now these are the names of the different pieces of their gold, and of their silver,
according to their value. And the names are given by the Nephites, for they did not
reckon after the manner of the Jews who were at Jerusalem; neither did they measure
after the manner of the Jews; but they altered their reckoning and their measure,
according to the minds and the circumstances of the people, in every generation,
until the reign of the judges, they having been established by king Mosiah.
5. Now the reckoning is thus -- a senine of gold, a seon of gold, a shum of gold,
and a limnah of gold.
6. A senum of silver, an amnor of silver, an ezrom of silver, and an onti of silver.
7. A senum of silver was equal to a senine of gold, and either for a measure of barley,
and also for a measure of every kind of grain.
Chapter 35 – “The Laws of Eshnunna and Nephite Economics.” Research by John W. Welch,
originally published as a FARMS Update in Insights (December 1998): 2.
“In order for ancient economies to work effectively, kings spelled out the value
of various commodities and established exchange ratios, especially between consumable
goods and precious metals.”
Welch examines five parallels between the “Laws of Eshnunna, promulgated in Babylonia
probably during the early eighteenth century B.C.” and “King Mosiah’s economic system
found in Alma 11:3-19.”
“In enacting his law, King Mosiah ‘did not reckon after the manner of the Jews who
were at Jerusalem’ (Alma 11:4), but he still utilized a system that drew on elements
known in the ancient Near East. Such similarities between the Laws of Eshnunna (discovered
and translated in the mid-twentieth century) and Mosiah’s economic system show yet
another way in which the Book of Mormon presents a truly complex civilization with
roots in ancient society.”
8. Now the amount of a seon of gold was twice the value of a senine.
9. And a shum of gold was twice the value of a seon.
10. And a limnah of gold was the value of them all.
11. And an amnor of silver was as great as two senums.
12. And an ezrom of silver was as great as four senums.
13. And an onti was as great as them all.
14. Now this is the value of the lesser numbers of their reckoning --
15. A shiblon is half of a senum; therefore, a shiblon for half a measure of barley.
16. And a shiblum is a half of a shiblon.
17. And a leah is the half of a shiblum.
18. Now this is their number, according to their reckoning.
19. Now an antion of gold is equal to three shiblons.
20. Now, it was for the sole purpose to get gain, because they received their wages
according to their employ, therefore, they did stir up the people to riotings, and
all manner of disturbances and wickedness, that they might have more employ, that
they might get money according to the suits which were brought before them; therefore
they did stir up the people against Alma and Amulek.
21. And this Zeezrom began to question Amulek, saying: Will ye answer me a few questions
which I shall ask you? Now Zeezrom was a man who was expert in the devices of the
devil, that he might destroy that which was good; therefore, he said unto Amulek:
Will ye answer the questions which I shall put unto you?
22. And Amulek said unto him: Yea, if it be according to the Spirit of the Lord,
which is in me; for I shall say nothing which is contrary to the Spirit of the Lord.
And Zeezrom said unto him: Behold, here are six onties of silver, and all these will
I give thee if thou wilt deny the existence of a Supreme Being.
23. Now Amulek said: O thou child of hell, why tempt ye me? Knowest thou that the
righteous yieldeth to no such temptations?
24. Believest thou that there is no God? I say unto you, Nay, thou knowest that there
is a God, but thou lovest that lucre more than him.
25. And now thou hast lied before God unto me. Thou saidst unto me -- Behold these
six onties, which are of great worth, I will give unto thee -- when thou hadst it
in thy heart to retain them from me; and it was only thy desire that I should deny
the true and living God, that thou mightest have cause to destroy me. And now behold,
for this great evil thou shalt have thy reward.
26. And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God?
27. And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God.
28. Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God?
29. And he answered, No.
30. Now Zeezrom said unto him again: How knowest thou these things?
31. And he said: An angel hath made them known unto me.
32. And Zeezrom said again: Who is he that shall come? Is it the Son of God?
33. And he said unto him, Yea.
34. And Zeezrom said again: Shall he save his people in their sins? And Amulek answered
and said unto him: I say unto you he shall not, for it is impossible for him to deny
35. Now Zeezrom said unto the people: See that ye remember these things; for he said
there is but one God; yet he saith that the Son of God shall come, but he shall not
save his people -- as though he had authority to command God.
36. Now Amulek saith again unto him: Behold thou hast lied, for thou sayest that
I spake as though I had authority to command God because I said he shall not save
his people in their sins.
37. And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot
deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of
heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven?
Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.
38. Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father?
39. And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of
earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first
and the last;
40. And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon
him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that
shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else.
41. Therefore the wicked remain as though there had been no redemption made, except
it be the loosing of the bands of death; for behold, the day cometh that all shall
rise from the dead and stand before God, and be judged according to their works.
42. Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ
shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this
43. The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb
and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time;
and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have
a bright recollection of all our guilt.
44. Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free,
both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not
so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its
perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned
before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which
is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or
whether they be evil.
45. Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body,
and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this
mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first
death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies,
never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can
no more see corruption.
46. Now, when Amulek had finished these words the people began again to be astonished,
and also Zeezrom began to tremble. And thus ended the words of Amulek, or this is
all that I have written.