The Iron Rod Podcast
The Iron Rod Podcast
Iron Rod 085 - Alma 47-53

Amalickiah continues to cause trouble, which then inspires the kingmen to rise up in rebellion. Moroni cleans the inner vessel and then begins to deal with the Lamanites.

Matthew 15:19-20

D&C 105:14

Ephesians 3:14-17

D&C 101:1-8

D&C 124:38

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4 comments on “Iron Rod 085 – Alma 47-53

  1. So Searcher, we may have to have a discussion about that Missouri War stuff. I read listened to your earlier podcast about it, read the entire Missouri Government witness testimony docs, and also read John Corrills entire booklet he wrote about the Mormons, as well as Sidney’s Salt sermon, and after reading all that, I came out on the other side. I will admit though that I feel like I need to go back and re-read the witness testimony summaries again so that I can NOW place them in better context. Do you have any other original documents that you think would be beneficial for me to see???? Because at this point I keep, respectfully, disagreeing.

    Also, another parallel to the Missouri war that I heard in this podcast, was when you guys said that the “dissenters” were compelled to fight in the BOM passages. John Corrills account as well as the Missouri Government testimony’s also confirm that Joseph was forcing all men to “take up arms” because he was trying to root wolves (dissenters) out of the flock. Ill see if I can find the exact quotes from John Corrills ( i also saw this claim being made in the witness testimony). You see, even Sidney’s inflammatory statements, I don’t necessarily see them As “swearing” oaths of violence….because WORDS must amount to INTENTION and the result in the ACTIONS to be an official oath. Deception (as you said in the podcast), is totally appropriate in the “ART of WAR”….especially if the enemy intends to slay you and kill your people. Verbal threats, strategies, manipulation is ALL appropriate (I recently wrote an article about this), when you know who the enemy is and they also know who you are (I’m speaking on a priesthood level/son of perdition level here too), it is perfectly appropirate to deceive them on your motives and intentions (even threaten them). Joseph, when threat of actual “war” and real bloodshed was imminent , He and others would routinely (last minute) turn themselves in to the government to prevent bloodshed. THe saints also turned over all their weapons to the Missouri Government on multiple occasions to prevent bloodshed (for which the government stole the guns (around 600), when they had promised to return them. When I read the documents, to me, I felt like the saints were surrounded on all sides with armies AND, wolves were already in their flock—it was an enemy within as well. So, the new objective, in my opinion, would be to draw the wolves out and compel them to fight the war they were causing—-because they were actually causing it, not the good hearted saints (and this would involve strategic “mental manipulation” to spare lives, while also saving them. Which is exactly what happened in those Book of Mormon passages when you said they were “compelling” the dissenters to fight (the you can’t handle the truth moment in the Book of Mormon when all the dissenters are ungrateful). and that was the takeaway I also got from the Missouri war notes.

    ALSO, on the subject of that Sacred ordinance administered to kings. These are my thoughts on these rituals. Righteousness to Judge is ONLY obtained by balancing between two opposites—-and THAT is only obtained by FIRST obedience to all the Laws, statutes etc…..FOLLOWED BY, the complete opposite event which is the Spiritual cleansing that must take place because of that obedience to those laws…..because laws and statues are administered to the individual, often imperfectly by corrupt institutions right. When those two “lenses” are paired (or overlayed together). they become the wisdom to judge righteously. The individual will only “make that calling sure” if they fulfilled the first obligation—-which would be to have been obedient to ALL the laws and statutes (to their best ability of course). There is purpose in both paths Obedience paired with repentance and grace, and the end of the law results in the purpose To “fulfill all righteousness”. And therein lies the mystery—only God and the individual would know if they had “fulfilled” both paths, and it would “reflect” in their ability to judge righteously, and wherein they judged unrighteously, that would be a potential reflection of their own lack of obedience (to understand its purpose) OR repentance to an administered statute. Hence we get the symbols of “kings anointed with oil” which of course takes me to the definition of Messiah, meaning, “the anointed ONE”. THose are my thoughts on that.

    Now, you mentioned in this podcast that those with the “kingly bloodline” were seeking for that high position of power because they felt like they deserved it because of their blood…..this stirs up a conversation for me that I could have for hours about “john the baptist” and his right the seat of “high priest” through bloodline. If you want to know more, I could dig up an article I have saved somewhere about this transition. But either way, this is where the priesthood transfers, symbolically, from a lesser priesthood (of john) to the greater (of Jesus). Because, in my opinion, the rightful king will never be king (that’s why all the kings and queens in history keep killing each other in historical context, because THEY WANT THE SEAT). The true bloodline high priest will never make it to that seat because his “OWN” family will kill him or attempt to remove him from that seat by politically jockeying, etc. ) There has to be some sort of transition that takes place because people are wicked. What is also interesting is that there is conflict in the New Testament gospels about Jesus’s “bloodline”, and it coming from his mother, and God, and of course Joseph….two of the gospels of the New Testament conflict with each other ( I wrote about that in this article HERE: ). Either way, the point is, God knows how to get the King here, and he also knows how to build the kingdom outside of the established temporal hierarchy. The work will be done without the bozo the clowns who keep going after the “highest seat in the land” so that they can be “king”….I am reminded of Disney’s Robin Hood and the lion King sucking his thumb, saying “mommy.” God can’t use them anyway…they are weak.

  2. Ranae Jul 20, 2020

    Well, you have been threatening to zoom through the war chapters since the Book of Mormon series was introduced, so I can’t say I wasn’t warned, but I think you did a disservice to the listeners. I know this episode and the next were recorded early last week, so it’s too late to plead for you to slow down, but maybe you can revisit these chapters again when you are done with whatever you are rushing to get to.

    To start with, I think you would be hard pressed to find anywhere in scriptures a more detailed profile of a “bad guy” than what Mormon told us about Amalickiah. The first clue seems to be from chapter 46, verses 1-4. Something was going on at the end of chapter 45 where Helaman and his brethren were declaring the word of God and setting up priests and teachers throughout the land. That seems rather normal and expected, but the reaction is so severe that those who opposed what Helaman was doing gathered together and “were determined to slay them.” We then find out that the reason for the opposition was that Amalickiah wanted to be king and he was collecting the lower judges of the land to support him with the promise that they could be rulers also. So the interesting question is how does the preaching of the word of God undermine his efforts to the point that murder of the “missionaries” seems like a viable solution?

    Moroni tells us that Amalickiah “was a man of cunning devices and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly, yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous’ sake.” (v.10) What might this look like today? How about promising an attorney general a future seat on the Supreme Court if they will make a federal investigation go away? Or maybe pushing nationwide to eliminate the electoral college, or short of that to pledge the Presidential electors in their states to vote for the winner of the national popular vote instead of the winner of the state? Maybe it was just seeking to undermine the liberty of the people by doing wickedly so God would remove protection from them. Whatever the specifics, the people who wanted to take over the country could not do it as long as Helaman and his priests were doing their job, and they were mad.

    At this point, Moroni rallies the “silent majority” to such an extent that Amalickiah knows his game is exposed so he takes off and Helaman is able to go about his work unmolested.

    By now Amalickiah has lost most of his army. If he can’t win by stealth, he will win by force. So, he tries to get the Lamanites on board. Unfortunately for him, the Lamanite army had recently taken a vow to never come against the Nephites again. This was at the end of the 18th year of the reign of the judges, and by the end of the 19th year Amalickiah not only has the kingship, he has used his propaganda sufficiently to overcome their commitment to their oath. That gives you some indication of how fresh the previous defeat was.

    The king of the Lamanites had not taken an oath, but his armies had suffered a massive defeat under the hands of Zerahemna, so he was probably more willing to entertain Amalickiah’s complaints to go to war than the army was. It also explains the division between the army – some had taken the oath and some had not. Lehonti was wise enough to realize Amalickiah could not be trusted, fearing that if he came off the mountain he would be killed. He was right, but Amalickiah was cunning enough not to attack him directly, but to gain his trust first, appealing to his desire to unite the army. Once he was given a position of trust, and then had united the army by subterfuge, he still needed to convince them to fight the Nephites. Probably by this point, the whole army was united in the decision to avoid war.

    We know that the king was not in the way of Amalickiah’s war, but this evil man still needed a reason to go to war that would overcome the oath his army had taken not to fight. The death of the king was just the thing to do the job. The king obviously trusted Amalickihah, and it appeared that he was returning with the army intact just as he had been commanded to do. The king had no reason to suspect that he was in the way of Amalickihah’s goal- after all, he wanted the war also! I still wonder whether the queen agreed to marry Amalickihah out of fear. After watching her husband die and the affairs of the kingdom be upended in an incredibly short amount of time, she may have been wise enough to agree to the marriage to preserve some sort of stability. We don’t know enough to say what her motives might have been, but unless she was power-hungry, I have a sense that her agreement to the marriage was due to a strong survival instinct.

    I would have thought that Amalickihah would be content to go to war by this point, but he wanted to be sure the entire Lamanite nation was on board before starting (less chance for intrigue or people complaining about being ruled by an outsider). So, he begins the nationwide propaganda campaign. This was how he obtained his “numerous host” for the war. Funny thing though, he initially doesn’t go fight himself. He stays behind. He thinks he has things situated sufficiently that he can enjoy his safety and comfort while others fight the battles. But he soon finds out that it is his plan and he has to lead it in order to get the results he has worked so hard for.

    At the point his defeated, leaderless host returns, Amalickiah sees Moroni as the sole obstacle to his goal. It was Moroni who originally rallied the Nephites against Amalickihah, and it is Moroni who defeated the armies against all odds. The statement that Amalickihah swore an oath to drink the blood of Moroni tells us that this is a personal vendetta, and also that Amalickihah might have been under the belief that a person takes on the attributes of the creature whose blood is drunk, in a kind of dark sacrament.

    So why would we be given all this detail? What can we learn? First, that there are people who will do anything to get what they want. Flattery is seductive, and where that fails, lies and murder will suffice. The only thing able to stop this kind of leader is the word of God. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is A DISCERNER OF THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART.” (Heb. 4:12) Helaman and his fellow priests fought Amalickihah with the word of God and it made his followers want to kill them. Moroni also fought with the word of God.

    I am sure that one of the persuasions used by Amalickihah to get the Lamanites to fight was telling them that their losses were due to a lack of armor, not any inherent advantage of the Nephites. We can see that in their wearing of armor. However, he needed victories to convince them that their oaths were meaningless, and they were not going to suffer for breaking them. As far as he knew, the Nephites were out of tricks. What he didn’t count on was that Moroni had the word of God on his side.

    Remember Joshua and the battle of Jericho? The cities that many of the Israelite battles took place at were walled. When Moses sent his spies to see what they would face in the land of promise, one of the reports included “The people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great.” (Num.13:28) “All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.” (Deut. 3:5) Obviously walls were not enough to ensure victory, but they were a good start when your intention is to defense.

    Once the walled cities had been captured, the strategy to lure the enemy out of their walls was also found in the word of God. Joshua 8 describes this exact plan:
    “Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour, and sent them away by night. And he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in wait against the city, even behind the city; go not very far from the city, but be ye all ready; and I, and all the people that are with me, will approach unto the city; and it shall come to pass, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them, (for they will come out after us) til we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first; therefore we will flee before them. Then ye shall rise up from the ambush, and seize upon the city ; for the Lord your God will deliver it into your hand.” (Josh, 8:3-7)

    So, yes, guys, even the Old Testament battle stories contain answers to prayer, and may provide valuable answers to current difficulties. Let’s not be so quick to dismiss something as “just the war chapters”. After all, we are in a war. Even the fact that the Lamanites keep falling for the same trick time and time again may tell us something about our own human weaknesses. Maybe that is one reason oaths can be so powerful. If we can actually hold fast to what we have promised, we have the chance of taking new ground in our spiritual battles instead of falling for the same tricks and old habits that keep us in the loser’s bracket.

    • Ranae Jul 21, 2020

      The subject of how seriously the Nephites/Lamanites took their oaths has come up several times through the chapters. It serves as an interesting contrast to how casually promises are made and broken in modern times. Out of curiosity, I went to Webster’s 1828 dictionary for more understanding on this.

      OATH, noun
      A solemn affirmation or declaration, made with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed. The appeal to God in an oath implies that the person imprecates his vengeance and renounces his favor if the declaration is false, or if the declaration is a promise, the person invokes the vengeance of God if he should fail to fulfill it. A false oath is called perjury.

      VOW, noun
      1. A solemn promise made to God, or by a pagan to his deity. The Roman generals when they went to war, sometimes made a vow that they would build a temple to some favorite deity, if he would give them victory. A vow is a promise of something to be given or done hereafter.
      A person is constituted a religious by taking three vows, of chastity, of poverty, and of obedience. Among the Isrealites, the vows of children were not binding, unless ratified by the express or tacit consent of their father. Numbers 30:2.
      2. A solemn promise; as the vows of unchangeable love and fidelity. In a moral and religious sense, vows are promises to God, as they appeal to God to witness their sincerity, and the violation of them is a most heinous offense

      SWEAR, verb transitive To utter or affirm with a solemn appeal to God for the truth of the declaration; as, to swear on oath. [This seems to have been the primitive use of swear; that is, to affirm.]
      1. To put to an oath; to cause to take an oath; as, to swear witnesses in court; to swear a jury; the witness has been sworn; the judges are sworn into office.
      2. To declare or charge upon oath; as, to swear treason against a man.
      3. To obtest by an oath.

      It seems that the commandment to swear not at all is for the sake of not bringing God’s condemnation upon us by our own weakness. “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” (James 5:12)

      Since by definition to swear an oath invokes deity into the process, what god was Amalickihah swearing to?
      Also, whether or not the Lamanites believed in the Nephite God, the fact that they were reluctant to make an oath they would break and then their reluctance to violate their word meant they also understood they would be held responsible for the consequences for their oath-breaking in some manner they took seriously.

      • Ranae Jul 23, 2020

        One other question from this week’s reading is what you all would think if the commander-in-chief of our military did the same thing Moroni did. Would you use that as an indication showing he is a tyrant, or would you see the situation reflected in the Book of Mormon as a necessity to preserve the liberty of the nation. Here is what I am talking about:

        “Now Moroni being a man who was appointed by the chief judges and the voice of the people, therefore he had power to do according to his will with the armies of the Nephites, to establish and to exercise authority over them. And it came to pass that whomsoever of the Amalickiahites that would not enter into a covenant to support the cause of freedom, that they might maintain a free government, he caused to be put to death: and there were but few who denied the covenant of freedom.” (Alma 46:35)

        I believe Searcher said he lives in the Northwest, so he is probably familiar with the situation in Seattle and Portland. What would you say if the Antifa rioters were rounded up and given a choice to give up trying to turn America into a Marxist dystopia in exchange for putting down their weapons, flying an American flag, and working with their fellow citizens to make needed changes within the bounds of the law? Or on the east coast, what would people think if they learned that the Special Counsel was actually a continuation of a plot to overthrow a duly elected President and the people behind the plan were sentenced to death for treason? Are these applicable to the scenario we read about this week?

        My point is not really to be political so much as to show how different things look when they are being lived versus when we get the narration after the events are done from the perspective of someone we consider to be a prophet (meaning we can take his word for who the good guys and bad guys are). Why were the events in these chapters included in such detail? In America today we have not yet seen the military sentence people to death for treason, but we have recently seen a continuance of the death penalty on a federal level. Are these questions relevant in understanding the limits and appropriate level of power in defending a nation from internal strife?