Alma - Chapter 3 Critique


Setting: The Amilicites and Lamanites are distinguished by a mark on their foreheads that causes black skin and they are cursed. The Nephites defeat another Lamanite army in 87 BCE America per Mormon dating calculations.


Verse 1: 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.

Note: Sidney Rigdon contradicts himself with verses 1 and 3.


Verse 2: 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.

Note: Grain or wheat does not grow in the tropical areas of America.

Fairly dry and mild climates are the most favorable for growing wheat. Extreme heat or cold, or very wet or very dry weather will destroy both spring and winter wheat. Weather conditions, including temperatures and rainfall, influence when wheat is planted. Planting seeds too early or too late reduces the yield. Late planting of winter wheat also increases the chance of damage from cold. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.


Verse 3: And now as many of the Lamanites and the Amlicites who had been slain upon the bank of the river Sidon were cast into the waters of Sidon; and behold their bones are in the depths of the sea, and they are many.

Note: Sidney Rigdon contradicts himself with verses 1 and 3.


Verses 4-5: 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. 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.

Note: Indians of the American tropics didn't have armor.

Indians of the South American tropics often wore no clothing at all. In many tribes, a man wore only a breechcloth, a narrow band of cloth that passed between the legs and looped over the front and rear of a belt. Women wore simple aprons or skirts. Indians in colder climates wore leggings, shirts, and robes. Some wore sandals or moccasins to protect their feet. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.


Verse 6: 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.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was a racist who did not know human genetics.

Sunlight also affects skin color in another way. Our bodies need vitamin D to help us absorb calcium. The absorption of sunlight enables our bodies to make vitamin D. In climates with long winter nights, it can be difficult for our bodies to absorb the sunlight needed to make enough vitamin D. People whose ancestors have lived in these climates for generations have adapted to reduced sunlight by developing light-colored skin that will absorb the little sunlight that is available. Therefore, skin colors in humans result from adaptations to the environments in which our ancestors have lived. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.


Verse 7: 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.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was cursed for preaching a false gospel.

Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.


Verse 8: 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.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was a racist who did not know human genetics.

History includes many episodes in which the members of one group of people deemed themselves superior to another group. Such beliefs were long used to rationalize the enslavement and persecution of people viewed as inferior. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.


Verses 9-10: And it came to pass that whosoever did mingle his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his seed. Therefore, whosoever suffered himself to be led away by the Lamanites was called under that head, and there was a mark set upon him.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was a racist who did not know human genetics.

Experts have not discovered any scientific basis for such claims of superiority. But many people still view other groups in terms of stereotypes. That is, they have oversimplified, preconceived, and generalized beliefs about the members of these groups. At various times, for example, certain groups have been described as dirty, dishonest, sly, humorless, or dull. These judgments have often been confused with racial traits, though they have nothing to do with the biological concept of race. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.


Verses 11-12: And it came to pass that whosoever would not believe in the tradition of the Lamanites, but believed those records which were brought out of the land of Jerusalem, and also in the tradition of their fathers, which were correct, who believed in the commandments of God and kept them, were called the Nephites, or the people of Nephi, from that time forth— And it is they who have kept the records which are true of their people, and also of the people of the Lamanites.

Note: True believers place their belief in God instead of traditions.

2 Kings 17:14-15 Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them that they should not do like them.


Verses 13-16: 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. 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. And again: I will set a mark upon him that mingleth his seed with thy brethren, that they may be cursed also. And again: I will set a mark upon him that fighteth against thee and thy seed.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was a racist who did not know human genetics.

The genetic makeup of populations may change over time to adjust to climate. For example, dark and light skin and eye color represent adaptations to different amounts of sunlight. The color of our skin, hair, and eyes is determined by the pigment melanin. The amount of melanin in the skin, hair, and eyes can differ greatly from one person to another. Large amounts of melanin in the skin help protect it from sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Dark pigment in the eyes improves vision in bright sunlight. Therefore, dark skin and dark eyes represent adaptations of people whose ancestors have lived for many generations in sunny climates. 2004 World Book Encyclopedia.


Verse 17: 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.

Note: Sidney Rigdon did not understand the Christian faith.

Galatians 3:5-9 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.


Verses 18-19: Now the Amlicites knew not that they were fulfilling the words of God when they began to mark themselves in their foreheads; nevertheless they had come out in open rebellion against God; therefore it was expedient that the curse should fall upon them. Now I would that ye should see that they brought upon themselves the curse; and even so doth every man that is cursed bring upon himself his own condemnation.

Note: Sidney Rigdon was cursed for preaching a false gospel.

John 3:18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


Verses 20-23: 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. And it came to pass that there was an army sent to drive them out of their land. Now Alma himself being afflicted with a wound did not go up to battle at this time against the Lamanites; 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.

Note: The fictional Nephites fight their third battle of the year 87 BCE in America.


Verses 24-25: And then they returned again and began to establish peace in the land, being troubled no more for a time with their enemies. Now all these things were done, yea, all these wars and contentions were commenced and ended in the fifth year of the reign of the judges.

Note: The fictional Nephites won the battles and buried the dead in 87 BCE America.


Verse 26: And in one year were thousands and tens of thousands of souls sent to the eternal world, that they might reap their rewards according to their works, whether they were good or whether they were bad, to reap eternal happiness or eternal misery, according to the spirit which they listed to obey, whether it be a good spirit or a bad one.

Note: True believers place their belief in Jesus Christ instead of their works.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.


Verse 27: For every man receiveth wages of him whom he listeth to obey, and this according to the words of the spirit of prophecy; therefore let it be according to the truth. And thus endeth the fifth year of the reign of the judges.

Note: True believers place their belief in Jesus Christ instead of their works.

Romans 4:3-4 For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.