The Iron Rod Podcast
The Iron Rod Podcast
Iron Rod 084 - Alma 43-46

The wars begin, Moroni checks in, and Alma checks out.

Ephesian 6:11-18

D&C 98:23-38

Alma 48:14

3 Nephi 3:

D&C 10:67-68

Deuteronomy 32:48

Deuteronomy 34:5-6

2 Nephi 10:11-16

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8 comments on “Iron Rod 084 – Alma 43-46

  1. It really is amazing how much is in the “war chapters”. Especially that is relevant to our days. First on the oversimplification we have of the “dark skinned Lamanites” are bad, and the “white skinned Nephites” are good. They really were mixed populations, besides the fact that God judges by the heart not the outward appearance. I have been listening to Michael Heiser’s exodus series and he pointed out that the high priesthood line of Aaron passed through Aaron’s grandson Phineas. His name appears to mean “Nubian guy” or “black guy” literally in Egyptian. Which is interesting to consider.

    Next on the topic of War itself just in case you wanted more proof of how uninspired the current “leadership” of the church is, I think it’s worth reading Hinckley’s address from October 2001:
    Wherein he justifies the US war in Afghanistan because the “terrorists are modern day gadianton robbers”. Too bad he apparently didn’t catch the verse you guys cited about not attacking them in their own lands. Or the verses you quoted in section 98 that say the same thing.

    Costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

    American bases worldwide:

    And US military operations in over 40% of the countries in the world:

    So, yea we seem to be the aggressor not the victim for a long time now, if we ever really were the victim to begin with. Also I was thinking about the contrast between the pledge of allegiance and the title of liberty. They pledged their loyalty to God, but who do Americans pledge their allegiance to? To the flag itself and the nation which is symbolized by the flag. And then finally there’s a statement about oh year by the way it’s a nation under God. But is it really? Doesn’t seem like it based on our actions that I listed above. Ironically Utah requires all schools to say the pledge of allegiance, and the Utah legislature is like 92% mormon last time I checked. So apparently the false idol of the flag/nation is required to be worshiped in schools.

    Finally a note on Moses. You forgot the most interesting verse from Jude verse 9:
    Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

    So something weird did happen with Moses. He definitely died but something weird happened as well.

    • Great points, all of them. Jude completely slipped my mind – thanks for calling that out. Jude and Daniel 10 both point to a spiritual realm that cannot be accounted for in SLC theology.

      Daniel 10 – an angel appears to Daniel and says:
      12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
      13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

      Michael fights with the devil when Moses died and he comes to help another angel fight against the Prince of Persia during the life of Daniel. There’s a lot more going on than what we were taught in Primary!

      • Yea, I’ve always wondered about that whole Prince of Persia episode. Jude also seems to confirm the story of the fallen angels aka watchers a few verses prior to the Moses’s body verse. It’s a bizarre and overlooked book.

  2. Ranae Jul 12, 2020

    In light of the discussion about just wars, I wanted to share a letter I once received from a sitting Senator regarding the authorization to use force in Iraq. This came in response to a letter I wrote expressing my concerns that justification that was so clearly outlined in the Book of Mormon had not been met. While my letter did not change the outcome of the decision, or the vote of my Senator, I do believe it was important to bring my views to his attention, because God will hold each of us accountable for the power we do have, great or small. (Feel free to skip reading the rest of the comment. The content won’t surprise anyone, but it does illustrate the thinking of an LDS Senator in determining when to send our troops to battle in modern times.)

    October 28, 2002
    Dear [name redacted].

    Thank you for your thoughtful letter outlining Book of Mormon principles regarding the appropriate use of force. Authorizing the use of force is one of the most important issues the Congress ever faces, and as I weighed this decision I was very mindful of the warnings provided in the scriptures.

    I certainly believe the recent vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq falls within the principles outlined in the scriptures you provided. As you quoted, “They were taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.” The scriptures strongly condemn wars of aggression but sustain obligations of citizens to defend their families and their freedoms.

    The lesson of September 11 – a lesson all Americans learned – is that we do not deny the existence of a threat until it strikes us first. To properly defend our families and our freedoms, I believe we must use every means available to remove the serious threat Saddam’s Iraq poses to our national security and international stability. Saddam’s Iraqq is a threat to each and every one of us – a threat that must be eliminated.

    Contrary to the fears expressed by many, the resolution does not commit us to a war, nor does it shut off or efforts to work within the international community to disarm Iraq. Rather, the resolution serves as an authorization to the President to use force, if necessary, as his administration grapples with the serious threat that Iraq poses to our country. In other words, the resolution provides a sign of congressional support to the Presiden as he works with our friends and allies in an effort to pressure Iraq to disarm.

    Let me hasten to assure you that this was not a vote I cast lightly. Indeed, it was one of the most important I have cast in my years in the Senate. As I studied and prayed over this decision, I reviewed numerous reports, hearing transcripts, briefings and had in-depth discussions with experienced analysts from within the government, and outside of it. I spent hours studying the history of the weapons inspection regimes mandated by the U.N. since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.

    What I found was this: Saddam Hussein has violated all United Nations Security Council resolutions requiring the inspections necessary to expose and disarm his regime of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. These resolutions, which are formal expressions of the international community, established the conditions for the conclusion of the 1991 Gulf War. Yet since 1998, the Iraqi regime has refused to allow any inspectors, and there are many credible reports that Saddam has sought to resume his construction of facilities to develop nuclear weapons. In addition, as publicly available inspection reports, as well as reports from high-level defectors have shown: Iraq has considerable amounts of biological and chemical weapons that have never been accounted for.

    Saddam Hussein has a record of usin these weapons, on the citizens of Iraq as well as in his war against Iran. Iin recent years, particularly since the regime has banned access to all international arms inspections, many analysts have grown increasingly concerned about the threat of Saddam Hussein, whose arsenal of weapons of mass destruction remains frighteningly large and unmonitored, whose hatred for his neighbors (many of them American friends and allies) as well as for the United States, remains unmitigated. I have come to the conclusion that Saddam Hussein today has the capability to wreak great mayhem over the reion, destabilizing the Middle East, as well as deliver horrific destruction to the U.S., particularly if he takes advantage of established links with global terrorist organizations, like al-Qaeda, which are dedicated to our doom.

    Many have written to express concern that before the U.S. commits itself to war, it should try to forge an international coalition that forces compliance to disarmament, as specified in numerous Security Council resolutions. Indeed, I think the record is clear that the Administration has demonstrated its willingness to work with allies and the United Nations to accomplish disarmament of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction in a manner that does not require military action. Istrongly support the administration in these efforts: I certainly believe that this international support is required if we are to succeed, through diplomatic or military means, in disarming Iraq.

    If there are no future inspections to disarm the regime of its weapons of mass destruction, and Saddam cannot be removed from power with means other than international intervention, then I believe we must lead an international coalition to eliminate the threat he poses before he delivers that threat to us. The use of military force should not be our first choice of policy, an I think the patient and indefatigable efforts of the Bush administration and its diplomats demonstrate the great reluctance to exercise the military option.

    While I voted in favor of the resolution, I continue to hope that we can avoid going to war. I do not cherish the idea of war, and the possibility that members of our armed services would have to be put in harm’s way. I very much wish that saddam Hussein will avail himself of the opportunity to allow for thorough, comprehensive and unfettered inspections that would effectively disarm his regime.

    In modern times, America has been a reluctant world power, never anxious to seek military engagements. I think this essential conservatism is an admirable virtue of the American people and their government. Yet, since the Cold War, we have had to face the reality that certain threats – particularly of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of implacable foes – simply cannot be ignored. Imprudence in assessing the vulnerabililties of our national security is not an acceptable approach; inaction in the face of growing threats is not an option.

    While we have many options short of the use of war – and I pray that the judicious application of those options resolves the conflict with Iraq – I believe that another lesson of modern times is that preparation for war, as shown by congressional support demonstrated in this resolution, contributes better to solutions short of war than refusal to prepare prevents against terrible threats. Thank you again for your views.

    Orrin G. Hatch
    United States Senator

    • I know it’s unchristian of me to say, but I hope there’s a special place in hell for hatch and all the other pieces of you know what in congress that have resulted in the deaths of at least hundreds of thousands in the middle east and elsewhere. I’m a teacher and all of the current high school students were born after 9/11 and most are now born after our Iraqi invasion. That’s pretty sad that we have been at war longer than high school students have been alive. And then is it any wonder that these kids don’t believe in God, when they can search the internet and see religious leaders like Hinkley or Mormon Political leaders like Hatch justifying unjust wars?

      • Ranae Jul 12, 2020

        Maybe that’s one of the reasons only to fight wars on your home turf…the costs are apparent and the victims are known. I think if members of Congress were sending their own family members to the front lines, they would not be so easily led by sad stories and threats of impending catastrophe if they don’t authorize war. Both George Washington and Moroni led their troops and they were trusted. Whatever your thoughts are on the current President, at least he takes seriously his job as Commander in Chief to call the families of fallen soldiers personally, and meet with them at the airport when the remains of their loved ones are all that returns from their service in foreign lands.

        • I always sadly joke that if Trump makes it to the end of his term simply without starting a new war, he’ll be the best president in my life sadly. That’s pretty depressing that the bar is that low. Literally he can do almost anything else just don’t start a war. That’s a good point about good leaders personally leading the troops though.

  3. Ranae Jul 14, 2020

    One possible reason why Helaman continues the book of Alma might have to do with how the records were compiled. Alma was the chief judge at the beginning of the book of Alma, and the wars that occur are directly related to the events that kicked off the book (the Amlicites don’t accept the election results, the sons of Mosiah convert Lamanites and the dissenters start wars over it, etc.) Helaman, the son of Helaman became the chief judge after a series of political assassinations. As the chief judge, he would probably have had his own record.

    When Mormon was compiling records, he was probably familiar with the events he wanted to cover and looked for the details in the records he had. I imagine he kept the names of the records he pulled the info from.