Alma Chapter 54 Critique
Setting: Ammoron and Moroni
negotiate for the exchange of prisoners—Moroni demands that the
Lamanites withdraw and cease their murderous attacks—Ammoron demands
that the Nephites lay down their arms and become subject to the
Lamanites. About 63 B.C.
Verses 1-3: And now it came to
pass in the commencement of the twenty and ninth year of the judges,
that Ammoron sent unto Moroni desiring that he would exchange
prisoners. And it came to pass that Moroni felt to rejoice exceedingly
at this request, for he desired the provisions which were imparted for
the support of the Lamanite prisoners for the support of his own
people; and he also desired his own people for the strengthening of his
army. Now the Lamanites had taken many women and children, and there
was not a woman nor a child among all the prisoners of Moroni, or the
prisoners whom Moroni had taken; therefore Moroni resolved upon a
stratagem to obtain as many prisoners of the Nephites from the
Lamanites as it were possible.
Note: Solomon Spalding didn’t know about Pre-Columbian human sacrifice.
Some of the most famous forms of ancient human sacrifice were performed
by various Pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas that included
the sacrifice of prisoners as well as voluntary sacrifice. Wikipedia
Verses 4-5: Therefore he wrote
an epistle, and sent it by the servant of Ammoron, the same who had
brought an epistle to Moroni. Now these are the words which he wrote
unto Ammoron, saying: Behold, Ammoron, I have written unto you somewhat
concerning this war which ye have waged against my people, or rather
which thy brother hath waged against them, and which ye are still
determined to carry on after his death.
Note: Pre-Columbian South American cultures did not have writing systems.
The pre-Columbian writing systems of the Americas, including Olmec and
Mayan, are also generally believed to have had independent origins.
Verse 6: Behold, I would tell
you somewhat concerning the justice of God, and the sword of his
almighty wrath, which doth hang over you except ye repent and withdraw
your armies into your own lands, or the land of your possessions, which
is the land of Nephi.
Note: Sidney Rigdon inserts his false justice based on material possessions.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of
mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of
the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done,
without leaving the others undone.” Matthew 23:23.
Verse 7: Yea, I would tell you
these things if ye were capable of hearkening unto them; yea, I would
tell you concerning that awful hell that awaits to receive such
murderers as thou and thy brother have been, except ye repent and
withdraw your murderous purposes, and return with your armies to your
Note: Hell came upon 19th century Mormons for their murderous purposes for Missourians.
And thus, even as I have said, if ye are faithful ye shall assemble
yourselves together to rejoice upon the land of Missouri, which is the
land of your inheritance, which is now the land of your enemies.
DOCTRINES AND COVENANTS – Section 52:42
Verses 8-10: But as ye have
once rejected these things, and have fought against the people of the
Lord, even so I may expect you will do it again. And now behold, we are
prepared to receive you; yea, and except you withdraw your purposes,
behold, ye will pull down the wrath of that God whom you have rejected
upon you, even to your utter destruction. But, as the Lord liveth, our
armies shall come upon you except ye withdraw, and ye shall soon be
visited with death, for we will retain our cities and our lands; yea,
and we will maintain our religion and the cause of our God.
Note: Sidney Rigdon didn’t know that Pre-Columbian Indians were polytheists.
Many ancient Andean peoples traced their origins to ancestral deities.
Multiple clans could share similar ancestral origins. The Inca claimed
descent from the Sun and the Moon, their Father and Mother. Many clans
claimed descent from early proto-humans that they emerged from local
sites in nature called pacarinas. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 11-14: But behold, it
supposeth me that I talk to you concerning these things in vain; or it
supposeth me that thou art a child of hell; therefore I will close my
epistle by telling you that I will not exchange prisoners, save it be
on conditions that ye will deliver up a man and his wife and his
children, for one prisoner; if this be the case that ye will do it, I
will exchange. And behold, if ye do not this, I will come against you
with my armies; yea, even I will arm my women and my children, and I
will come against you, and I will follow you even into your own land,
which is the land of our first inheritance; yea, and it shall be blood
for blood, yea, life for life; and I will give you battle even until
you are destroyed from off the face of the earth. Behold, I am in my
anger, and also my people; ye have sought to murder us, and we have
only sought to defend ourselves. But behold, if ye seek to destroy us
more we will seek to destroy you; yea, and we will seek our land, the
land of our first inheritance. Now I close my epistle. I am Moroni; I
am a leader of the people of the Nephites.
Note: Sidney Rigdon did not understand basic Christianity.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor
and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those
who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who
spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your
Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the
good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-45.
Verses 15-19: Now it came to
pass that Ammoron, when he had received this epistle, was angry; and he
wrote another epistle unto Moroni, and these are the words which he
wrote, saying: I am Ammoron, the king of the Lamanites; I am the
brother of Amalickiah whom ye have murdered. Behold, I will avenge his
blood upon you, yea, and I will come upon you with my armies for I fear
not your threatenings. For behold, your fathers did wrong their
brethren, insomuch that they did rob them of their right to the
government when it rightly belonged unto them. And now behold, if ye
will lay down your arms, and subject yourselves to be governed by those
to whom the government doth rightly belong, then will I cause that my
people shall lay down their weapons and shall be at war no more.
Behold, ye have breathed out many threatenings against me and my
people; but behold, we fear not your threatenings.
Note: Pre-Columbian cultures did not have writing systems.
Since the Inca Empire lacked a written language, the empire's main form
of communication and recording came from quipus, ceramics and spoken
Quechua, the language the Incas imposed upon the peoples within the
empire. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verse 20: Nevertheless, I will
grant to exchange prisoners according to your request, gladly, that I
may preserve my food for my men of war; and we will wage a war which
shall be eternal, either to the subjecting the Nephites to our
authority or to their eternal extinction.
Note: Solomon Spalding didn’t know about Pre-Columbian human sacrifice.
Archaeologists have also uncovered physical evidence of child sacrifice
at several other pre-Columbian cultures. For example, the Moche of
Northern Peru sacrificed teenagers en masse, as archaeologist Steve
Bourget found when he uncovered the bones of 42 male adolescents in
1995. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 21-23: And as concerning
that God whom ye say we have rejected, behold, we know not such a
being; neither do ye; but if it so be that there is such a being, we
know not but that he hath made us as well as you. And if it so be that
there is a devil and a hell, behold will he not send you there to dwell
with my brother whom ye have murdered, whom ye have hinted that he hath
gone to such a place? But behold these things matter not. I am Ammoron,
and a descendant of Zoram, whom your fathers pressed and brought out of
Note: No one escaped to America when Judah went into captivity.
And the plunderer shall come against every city; No one shall escape.
The valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the
Lord has spoken. Jeremiah 48:8
Verse 24: And behold now, I am
a bold Lamanite; behold, this war hath been waged to avenge their
wrongs, and to maintain and to obtain their rights to the government;
and I close my epistle to Moroni.
Note: Solomon Spalding knew nothing about Pre-Columbian cultures.
By 1500 BCE the Ilama culture, the first Agricultural-Pottery society,
appeared along the Calima River, near the present day towns of Restrepo
and Darien. Its society had a social structure of Cacicazgos
(chiefdoms) that prevailed until the arrival of the Spaniards.
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