Alma Chapter 53 Critique
The Lamanite prisoners are used to fortify the city
Bountiful—Dissensions among the Nephites give rise to Lamanite
victories—Helaman takes command of the two thousand stripling sons of
the people of Ammon. About 64–63 B.C.
And it came to pass that they did set guards over the prisoners of the
Lamanites, and did compel them to go forth and bury their dead, yea,
and also the dead of the Nephites who were slain; and Moroni placed men
over them to guard them while they should perform their labors. And
Moroni went to the city of Mulek with Lehi, and took command of the
city and gave it unto Lehi. Now behold, this Lehi was a man who had
been with Moroni in the more part of all his battles; and he was a man
like unto Moroni, and they rejoiced in each other’s safety; yea, they
were beloved by each other, and also beloved by all the people of
Nephi. And it came to pass that after the Lamanites had finished
burying their dead and also the dead of the Nephites, they were marched
back into the land Bountiful; and Teancum, by the orders of Moroni,
caused that they should commence laboring in digging a ditch round
about the land, or the city, Bountiful. And he caused that they should
build a breastwork of timbers upon the inner bank of the ditch; and
they cast up dirt out of the ditch against the breastwork of timbers;
and thus they did cause the Lamanites to labor until they had encircled
the city of Bountiful round about with a strong wall of timbers and
earth, to an exceeding height. And this city became an exceeding
stronghold ever after; and in this city they did guard the prisoners of
the Lamanites; yea, even within a wall which they had caused them to
build with their own hands. Now Moroni was compelled to cause the
Lamanites to labor, because it was easy to guard them while at their
labor; and he desired all his forces when he should make an attack upon
the Lamanites. And it came to pass that Moroni had thus gained a
victory over one of the greatest of the armies of the Lamanites, and
had obtained possession of the city of Mulek, which was one of the
strongest holds of the Lamanites in the land of Nephi; and thus he had
also built a stronghold to retain his prisoners.
Note: No city exists and travel is difficult in the Darien Gap.
the early 1980s and mid-1990s a British adventure travel company,
Encounter Overland, organized 2–3 week trekking trips through the
Darién Gap from Panama to Colombia or vice versa. These trips used a
combination of whatever transport was available: jeeps, bus, boats, and
of course plenty of walking, with travellers carrying their own
supplies. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 7-8: And
it came to pass that he did no more attempt a battle with the Lamanites
in that year, but he did employ his men in preparing for war, yea, and
in making fortifications to guard against the Lamanites, yea, and also
delivering their women and their children from famine and affliction,
and providing food for their armies. And now it came to pass that the
armies of the Lamanites, on the west sea, south, while in the absence
of Moroni on account of some intrigue amongst the Nephites, which
caused dissensions amongst them, had gained some ground over the
Nephites, yea, insomuch that they had obtained possession of a number
of their cities in that part of the land.
Note: Solomon Spalding didn’t know anything about Pre-Columbian cultures.
the arrival of the Incas, the area was settled by various peoples. Some
likely sailed to Ecuador by rafts from Central America, others came to
Ecuador via the Amazon tributaries, others descended from northern
South America, and others ascended from the southern part of South
America through the Andes or by sailing on rafts. They developed
different languages while emerging as unique ethnic groups. Even
though their languages were unrelated, these groups developed similar
cultures because they lived in the same environment. The people of the
coast developed a fishing, hunting, and gathering culture; the people
of the highland Andes developed a sedentary agricultural way of life;
and the people of the Amazon basin developed a nomadic hunting and
gathering way of life. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
And thus because of iniquity amongst themselves, yea, because of
dissensions and intrigue among themselves they were placed in the most
dangerous circumstances. And now behold, I have somewhat to say
concerning the people of Ammon, who, in the beginning, were Lamanites;
but by Ammon and his brethren, or rather by the power and word of God,
they had been converted unto the Lord; and they had been brought down
into the land of Zarahemla, and had ever since been protected by the
Nephites. And because of their oath they had been kept from taking up
arms against their brethren; for they had taken an oath that they never
would shed blood more; and according to their oath they would have
perished; yea, they would have suffered themselves to have fallen into
the hands of their brethren, had it not been for the pity and the
exceeding love which Ammon and his brethren had had for them. And for
this cause they were brought down into the land of Zarahemla; and they
ever had been protected by the Nephites. But it came to pass that when
they saw the danger, and the many afflictions and tribulations which
the Nephites bore for them, they were moved with compassion and were
desirous to take up arms in the defence of their country.
Note: Solomon Spalding didn’t know about the Amazon Basin.
growth is dense and its variety of animal inhabitants is comparatively
high due to the heavy rainfall and the dense and extensive evergreen
and coniferous forests. The sunlight can not reach the ground because
of the dense roof created by plants. The ground remains dark and damp
and only shade tolerant trees and vegetation will grow here. Wikipedia
But behold, as they were about to take their weapons of war, they were
overpowered by the persuasions of Helaman and his brethren, for they
were about to break the oath which they had made. And Helaman feared
lest by so doing they should lose their souls; therefore all those who
had entered into this covenant were compelled to behold their brethren
wade through their afflictions, in their dangerous circumstances at
Note: People should not keep false religious oaths.
“Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a
false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the Lord.” Zechariah 8:17.
Verses 16-18: But
behold, it came to pass they had many sons, who had not entered into a
covenant that they would not take their weapons of war to defend
themselves against their enemies; therefore they did assemble
themselves together at this time, as many as were able to take up arms,
and they called themselves Nephites. And they entered into a covenant
to fight for the liberty of the Nephites, yea, to protect the land unto
the laying down of their lives; yea, even they covenanted that they
never would give up their liberty, but they would fight in all cases to
protect the Nephites and themselves from bondage. Now behold, there
were two thousand of those young men, who entered into this covenant
and took their weapons of war to defend their country.
Note: Defending the Amazon Basin has never been an issue.
is sparsely populated. There are scattered settlements inland, but most
of the population lives in a few larger cities on the banks of the
Amazon and other major rivers, such as in Iquitos, Peru, and Manaus and
Belém (Brazil). Wikipedia Encylopedia.
And now behold, as they never had hitherto been a disadvantage to the
Nephites, they became now at this period of time also a great support;
for they took their weapons of war, and they would that Helaman should
be their leader. And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly
valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold,
this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever
thing they were entrusted. Yea, they were men of truth and soberness,
for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk
uprightly before him. And now it came to pass that Helaman did march at
the head of his two thousand stripling soldiers, to the support of the
people in the borders of the land on the south by the west sea. And
thus ended the twenty and eighth year of the reign of the judges over
the people of Nephi.
Note: Solomon Spalding didn’t know about the Andes Mountains.
Andes is the world's highest mountain range outside of Asia. The
highest peak, Mount Aconcagua, rises to an elevation of about 6,962 m
(22,841 ft) above sea level. The peak of Chimborazo in the Ecuadorean
Andes is farther from the Earth's center than any other location on the
Earth's surface, due to the equatorial bulge resulting from the Earth's
rotation. The world's highest volcanoes are in the Andes, including
Ojos del Salado on the Chile-Argentina border which rises to 6,893 m
(22,615 ft). Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
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