Alma Chapter 62 Critique
Setting: Moroni marches to the
aid of Pahoran in the land of Gideon—The king-men who refuse to defend
their country are put to death—Pahoran and Moroni retake Nephihah—Many
Lamanites join the people of Ammon—Teancum slays Ammoron and is in turn
slain—The Lamanites are driven from the land, and peace is
established—Helaman returns to the ministry and builds up the Church.
About 62–57 B.C.
Verses 1-2: And now it came to
pass that when Moroni had received this epistle his heart did take
courage, and was filled with exceedingly great joy because of the
faithfulness of Pahoran, that he was not also a traitor to the freedom
and cause of his country. But he did also mourn exceedingly because of
the iniquity of those who had driven Pahoran from the judgment-seat,
yea, in fine because of those who had rebelled against their country
and also their God.
Note: Sidney Rigdon did not know that Pre-Columbian Indians were polytheistic pagans.
Pre-Columbian Native spirituality in the Americas spanned the forms of
animism, polytheism, the use of plants to enter higher mental or
spiritual states, special dances or rituals, and a high regard for the
overall well-being of the tribe. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 3-10: And it came to
pass that Moroni took a small number of men, according to the desire of
Pahoran, and gave Lehi and Teancum command over the remainder of his
army, and took his march towards the land of Gideon. And he did raise
the standard of liberty in whatsoever place he did enter, and gained
whatsoever force he could in all his march towards the land of Gideon.
And it came to pass that thousands did flock unto his standard, and did
take up their swords in the defence of their freedom, that they might
not come into bondage. And thus, when Moroni had gathered together
whatsoever men he could in all his march, he came to the land of
Gideon; and uniting his forces with those of Pahoran they became
exceedingly strong, even stronger than the men of Pachus, who was the
king of those dissenters who had driven the freemen out of the land of
Zarahemla and had taken possession of the land. And it came to pass
that Moroni and Pahoran went down with their armies into the land of
Zarahemla, and went forth against the city, and did meet the men of
Pachus, insomuch that they did come to battle. And behold, Pachus was
slain and his men were taken prisoners, and Pahoran was restored to his
judgment-seat. And the men of Pachus received their trial, according to
the law, and also those king-men who had been taken and cast into
prison; and they were executed according to the law; yea, those men of
Pachus and those king-men, whosoever would not take up arms in the
defence of their country, but would fight against it, were put to
death. And thus it became expedient that this law should be strictly
observed for the safety of their country; yea, and whosoever was found
denying their freedom was speedily executed according to the law.
Note: The people of the Amazon River basin were only hunters-gatherers.
Brazilian native peoples, unlike those in Mesoamerica and the western
Andes, did not keep written records or erect stone monuments, and the
humid climate and acidic soil have destroyed almost all traces of their
material culture, including wood and bones. Therefore, what is known
about the region's history before 1500 has been inferred and
reconstructed from small-scale archaeological evidence, such as
ceramics and stone arrowheads. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 11-18: And thus ended
the thirtieth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi;
Moroni and Pahoran having restored peace to the land of Zarahemla,
among their own people, having inflicted death upon all those who were
not true to the cause of freedom. And it came to pass in the
commencement of the thirty and first year of the reign of the judges
over the people of Nephi, Moroni immediately caused that provisions
should be sent, and also an army of six thousand men should be sent
unto Helaman, to assist him in preserving that part of the land. And he
also caused that an army of six thousand men, with a sufficient
quantity of food, should be sent to the armies of Lehi and Teancum. And
it came to pass that this was done to fortify the land against the
Lamanites. And it came to pass that Moroni and Pahoran, leaving a large
body of men in the land of Zarahemla, took their march with a large
body of men towards the land of Nephihah, being determined to overthrow
the Lamanites in that city. And it came to pass that as they were
marching towards the land, they took a large body of men of the
Lamanites, and slew many of them, and took their provisions and their
weapons of war. And it came to pass after they had taken them, they
caused them to enter into a covenant that they would no more take up
their weapons of war against the Nephites. And when they had entered
into this covenant they sent them to dwell with the people of Ammon,
and they were in number about four thousand who had not been slain. And
it came to pass that when they had sent them away they pursued their
march towards the land of Nephihah. And it came to pass that when they
had come to the city of Nephihah, they did pitch their tents in the
plains of Nephihah, which is near the city of Nephihah.
Note: There are no plains in the Brazilian Highlands.
A massive escarpment marks the eastern edge of the Brazilian Highlands,
extending along the coast for some 1,600 miles (2,600 km) and forming
mountain ranges that average approximately 2,600 feet (800 metres) in
elevation, with many individual peaks rising above 7,000 feet (about
2,100 metres). Encyclopedia Britannica.
Verses 19-20: Now Moroni was
desirous that the Lamanites should come out to battle against them,
upon the plains; but the Lamanites, knowing of their exceedingly great
courage, and beholding the greatness of their numbers, therefore they
durst not come out against them; therefore they did not come to battle
in that day. And when the night came, Moroni went forth in the darkness
of the night, and came upon the top of the wall to spy out in what part
of the city the Lamanites did camp with their army.
Note: Solomon Spalding was not Army savy about night watchmen.
An early reference to a watch can be found in the Bible where the
Prophet Ezekiel states that it was the duty of the watch to blow the
horn and sound the alarm. (Ezekiel 33:1-6) Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 21-29: And it came to
pass that they were on the east, by the entrance; and they were all
asleep. And now Moroni returned to his army, and caused that they
should prepare in haste strong cords and ladders, to be let down from
the top of the wall into the inner part of the wall. And it came to
pass that Moroni caused that his men should march forth and come upon
the top of the wall, and let themselves down into that part of the
city, yea, even on the west, where the Lamanites did not camp with
their armies. And it came to pass that they were all let down into the
city by night, by the means of their strong cords and their ladders;
thus when the morning came they were all within the walls of the city.
And now, when the Lamanites awoke and saw that the armies of Moroni
were within the walls, they were affrighted exceedingly, insomuch that
they did flee out by the pass. And now when Moroni saw that they were
fleeing before him, he did cause that his men should march forth
against them, and slew many, and surrounded many others, and took them
prisoners; and the remainder of them fled into the land of Moroni,
which was in the borders by the seashore. Thus had Moroni and Pahoran
obtained the possession of the city of Nephihah without the loss of one
soul; and there were many of the Lamanites who were slain. Now it came
to pass that many of the Lamanites that were prisoners were desirous to
join the people of Ammon and become a free people. And it came to pass
that as many as were desirous, unto them it was granted according to
their desires. Therefore, all the prisoners of the Lamanites did join
the people of Ammon, and did begin to labor exceedingly, tilling the
ground, raising all manner of grain, and flocks and herds of every
kind; and thus were the Nephites relieved from a great burden; yea,
insomuch that they were relieved from all the prisoners of the
Note: Pre-Columbian Indians of Brazil were nomads.
At the time of European contact, some of the indigenous peoples were
traditionally mostly semi-nomadic tribes who subsisted on hunting,
fishing, gathering, and migrant agriculture. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 30-36: Now it came to
pass that Moroni, after he had obtained possession of the city of
Nephihah, having taken many prisoners, which did reduce the armies of
the Lamanites exceedingly, and having regained many of the Nephites who
had been taken prisoners, which did strengthen the army of Moroni
exceedingly; therefore Moroni went forth from the land of Nephihah to
the land of Lehi. And it came to pass that when the Lamanites saw that
Moroni was coming against them, they were again frightened and fled
before the army of Moroni. And it came to pass that Moroni and his army
did pursue them from city to city, until they were met by Lehi and
Teancum; and the Lamanites fled from Lehi and Teancum, even down upon
the borders by the seashore, until they came to the land of Moroni. And
the armies of the Lamanites were all gathered together, insomuch that
they were all in one body in the land of Moroni. Now Ammoron, the king
of the Lamanites, was also with them. And it came to pass that Moroni
and Lehi and Teancum did encamp with their armies round about in the
borders of the land of Moroni, insomuch that the Lamanites were
encircled about in the borders by the wilderness on the south, and in
the borders by the wilderness on the east. And thus they did encamp for
the night. For behold, the Nephites and the Lamanites also were weary
because of the greatness of the march; therefore they did not resolve
upon any stratagem in the night-time, save it were Teancum; for he was
exceedingly angry with Ammoron, insomuch that he considered that
Ammoron, and Amalickiah his brother, had been the cause of this great
and lasting war between them and the Lamanites, which had been the
cause of so much war and bloodshed, yea, and so much famine. And it
came to pass that Teancum in his anger did go forth into the camp of
the Lamanites, and did let himself down over the walls of the city. And
he went forth with a cord, from place to place, insomuch that he did
find the king; and he did cast a javelin at him, which did pierce him
near the heart. But behold, the king did awaken his servants before he
died, insomuch that they did pursue Teancum, and slew him.
Note: Walled cities did not exist in Pre-Columbia Brazil.
The most conspicuous remains of these societies are very large mounds
of discarded shellfish (sambaquis) found in some coastal sites which
were continuously inhabited for over 5,000 years; and the substantial
"black earth" (terra preta) deposits in several places along the
Amazon, which are believed to be ancient garbage dumps (middens).
Verses 37-41: Now it came to
pass that when Lehi and Moroni knew that Teancum was dead they were
exceedingly sorrowful; for behold, he had been a man who had fought
valiantly for his country, yea, a true friend to liberty; and he had
suffered very many exceedingly sore afflictions. But behold, he was
dead, and had gone the way of all the earth. Now it came to pass that
Moroni marched forth on the morrow, and came upon the Lamanites,
insomuch that they did slay them with a great slaughter; and they did
drive them out of the land; and they did flee, even that they did not
return at that time against the Nephites. And thus ended the thirty and
first year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi; and
thus they had had wars, and bloodsheds, and famine, and affliction, for
the space of many years. And there had been murders, and contentions,
and dissensions, and all manner of iniquity among the people of Nephi;
nevertheless for the righteous’ sake, yea, because of the prayers of
the righteous, they were spared. But behold, because of the exceedingly
great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had
become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war;
and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they
did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility.
Note: Pre-Columbian Indian pagans practiced cannibalism.
In August 2006, Reuters reported that an analysis of the skeletons of
550 victims killed after the conquest and found near Calpulalpan,
Tlaxcala, indicate that some of the victims were dismembered, and that
many bones showed knife-, teeth-marks and evidence of boiling.
Verses 42-44: And it came to
pass that after Moroni had fortified those parts of the land which were
most exposed to the Lamanites, until they were sufficiently strong, he
returned to the city of Zarahemla; and also Helaman returned to the
place of his inheritance; and there was once more peace established
among the people of Nephi. And Moroni yielded up the command of his
armies into the hands of his son, whose name was Moronihah; and he
retired to his own house that he might spend the remainder of his days
in peace. And Pahoran did return to his judgment-seat; and Helaman did
take upon him again to preach unto the people the word of God; for
because of so many wars and contentions it had become expedient that a
regulation should be made again in the church.
Note: The church did not exist in Pre-Columbian America.
Europeans brought their Christian religion to the Americas. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 45-46: Therefore,
Helaman and his brethren went forth, and did declare the word of God
with much power unto the convincing of many people of their wickedness,
which did cause them to repent of their sins and to be baptized unto
the Lord their God. And it came to pass that they did establish again
the church of God, throughout all the land.
Note: Baptism did not exist in Pre-Columbian America.
Baptism (from the Greek noun βάπτισμα baptisma; see below) is a
Christian sacrament of admission and adoption, almost invariably
with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also
a particular church. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 47-52: Yea, and
regulations were made concerning the law. And their judges, and their
chief judges were chosen. And the people of Nephi began to prosper
again in the land, and began to multiply and to wax exceedingly strong
again in the land. And they began to grow exceedingly rich. But
notwithstanding their riches, or their strength, or their prosperity,
they were not lifted up in the pride of their eyes; neither were they
slow to remember the Lord their God; but they did humble themselves
exceedingly before him. Yea, they did remember how great things the
Lord had done for them, that he had delivered them from death, and from
bonds, and from prisons, and from all manner of afflictions, and he had
delivered them out of the hands of their enemies. And they did pray
unto the Lord their God continually, insomuch that the Lord did bless
them, according to his word, so that they did wax strong and prosper in
the land. And it came to pass that all these things were done. And
Helaman died, in the thirty and fifth year of the reign of the judges
over the people of Nephi.
Note: Sidney Rigdon believed in the health and wealth heresy.
not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where
thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21.
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