Sunday, May 1, 2016

Alma 54:21 - 54:24

Alma 54: 21 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.

Ammoron states that the God he is accused of rejecting is something he know nothing about and accuses Moroni of not knowing either for that matter. In addition, if such a God existed then the Lamanites were made by this God as well.

Alma 54: 22 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.

And if hell exists as Moroni has said, then Moroni will go there as a murder of Amalickiah which Moroni has said murders will go. But these are points of no concern to Ammoron. They don’t matter to him.

Alma 54: 23 I am Ammoron, and a descendant of Zoram, whom your fathers pressed and brought out of Jerusalem.

What is important is that Ammoron is a descendent of Zoram, whom he accuses Nephi of forcing him to go with the family to the promised land against his will.

Alma 54: 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.

Ammoron calls himself a bold Lamanite which means it is his desire to gain their rightful place as the leaders of both Lamanite and Nephite peoples. Ammoron closes his letter to Moroni.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Alma 54:16 - 54:20

Alma 54: 16 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.

In response to Moroni’s letter, Ammoron writes that he is the king of the Lamanites and the brother of Amalickiah who was “murdered” by the Teacum and he will avenge his brothers murder. Moroni’s threats do not scare Ammoron.

Alma 54: 17 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.

Ammoron says that their cause is to right the wrongs committed 500 hundred years previous when the right of government was taken from Laman by Nephi.

Alma 54: 18 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.

Ammoron offer is to quit the war if Moroni will lay down his arms and the Nephites become subject to him.

Alma 54: 19 Behold, ye have breathed out many threatenings against me and my people; but behold, we fear not your threatenings.

Ammoron says he dismisses Moroni threats and feels confident he can beat him in battle.

Alma 54: 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.

But in spite of Moroni’s threats, Ammoron will exchange prisons as offered by Moroni. Ammoron would then be able to use his supplies to feed his own forces rather than his prisoners and thereby give him more men to fight the Nephites.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Alma 54:11 - 54:15

Alma 54: 11 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.

Moroni feels it would be a waste of time to talk about the gross evil that Ammoron and his army is trying to inflict on the Nephites seeing that Ammoron is a follower of satan. However, Moroni will exchange prisoners under the condition of one Lamanite POW to a Nephite POW and his wife and children.

It is interesting that the Nephite fighters had their families with them as “camp followers” while the Lamanites seem to be single men.

Alma 54: 12 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.

If Ammoron refuses to exchange with these terms, then Moroni will arm all the Nephites, women and children, and he will come against Ammoron with all his fury. Not only will they kill as many of Ammoron’s men as possible but will even pursue them if they try to escape back to the land of Nephi where they came from. Moroni means to completely wipe out the whole Lamanite population if Ammoron will not exchange but will try to continue the fight.

Alma 54: 13 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.

Moroni is mad as are the Nephites as a whole. They are tired of being invaded and being killing by people who only what to kill and steal from them their possessions. The Lamanites were the ones who invaded Nephite territory not Nephites invading Lamanite lands.

Alma 54: 14 Now I close my epistle. I am Moroni; I am a leader of the people of the Nephites.

Moroni ends his letter and signs his name to it.

Alma 54: 15 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:

Moroni’s letter infuriates Ammoron and he fires back a response.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Alma 54:6 - 54:10

Alma 54: 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.

Moroni wants Ammoron to know that God is watching what he and the Lamanite army are up too. And unless he returns to their own country the land of Nephi, the wrath of God will come upon them.

Alma 54: 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 own lands.

He would want to remind them of the hell he, his brother (Amalickiah) and others of a similar nature are to experience in the future if he does not withdraw from Nephite territory.

Alma 54: 8 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.

Even if they did withdraw they would probably be back, just cannot help themselves.

Alma 54: 9 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.

Moroni tells Ammoron that the Nephites are ready for them to come at them again. And if they do, God will pour out his wrath on them with the power of the well trained and equipped Nephite armies under his command.

Alma 54: 10 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.

In the not too distant future, if the Lamanites do not withdraw, Moroni will attack and destroy them, in order to retain their country, religion and their rights.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Alma 54:1 - 54:5

Alma 54: 1 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.

At the beginning of the 29th year, Ammoron, the Lamanite king wanted to exchange prisoners with Moroni.

Alma 54: 2 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.

This was playing into Moroni’s hands. Moroni was concerned for the supplies he was expending to maintain the Lamanite POWs. He would rather use the supplies to keep his own people alive instead.

Alma 54: 3 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.

Many of the prisoners taken by the Lamanites were women and children. However, all Moroni’s prisoners were fighting men. Since Ammoron was open for a prisoner exchange, Moroni devised a plan.

Alma 54: 4 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:

Moroni wrote a message to be sent back to Ammoron by the same messenger that was sent by Ammoron.

Alma 54: 5 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.

Moroni start by telling Ammoron that he has been the cause for all the warfare since the death of his brother Amalickiah.

Alma 53:16 - 53:23

Alma 53: 16 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.

Now even though the people of Ammon had made this covenant not to ever take up arms again against anyone for any reason, their sons had not. And the sons seeing the grave danger of the Nephites and of their own parents, said they would take up arms to defend the Nephites and their own parents. And as many were of sufficient age gather themselves together and now called themselves Nephites to unite themselves with them.

Alma 53: 17 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.

They now entered the same covenant that Moroni was demanding of all Nephites, that they be willing to give up their lives to protect their freedoms, their country and to fight the Lamanites who wanted to enslave them.

Alma 53: 18 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.

There were 2000 young Ammonites who had entered into this covenant and were ready to fight.

Alma 53: 19 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.

This increase in the Nephite army with these 2000 young fighters came at an opportune time for the Nephites as they were low in numbers of available fighting men. As to their leader and commander they asked for Helaman.

Alma 53: 20 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.

These young Lamanite men were wonderful examples to the rest of us. They were valiant in doing just what they were asked to do. They were in great physical condition and were motivated to fight because they were wise enough to see the danger if they did not.

Alma 53: 21 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.

These were men that were living the gospel to its fullest extent even though they were very young likely were just like any teenager. However, when it came to living as they should, they had little equal and they certainly did not want disappoint their parents and the Nephites as a whole. These were men that could be counted on when the need might be the greatest.

Alma 53: 22 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.

So with Helaman at their head these young boys now called men and will be referred to as “Stripling Warriors” set off for the border of the land in the south by the west sea.

Alma 53: 23 And thus ended the twenty and eighth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.

And that's the way it was at the end of the 28th year.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Alma 53:11 - 53:15

Alma 53: 11 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.

These Lamanites had sworn an oath never to take up arms again. They were now pacifists and would rather die at the hands of their enemies than to raise a sword in their defense. If it had not been for the grave concern by Ammon for their lives, they would have been slaughtered at the hands of their own people. But Ammon brought them out of the land of Nephi and they were taken in by the Nephites. They were given land so they could live in peace without the threat of death by the Lamanites.

Alma 53: 12 And for this cause they were brought down into the land of Zarahemla; and they ever had been protected by the Nephites.

Because of all these things, these pacifist Lamanites were brought settled near Zarahemla so they could be protected.

Alma 53: 13 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.

However, these people could see the great sacrifice the Nephites were making not only to protect themselves but sheltering these people as well. They could not help but be willing to give up their oath and join with the Nephites in their own defense.

Alma 53: 14 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.

As a result, these folks were going to take up arms again, but Helaman pleaded with them not to do so. They had made a sacred oath with the Lord and they needed to stick with it.

Alma 53: 15 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 this time.

And just like a person who had given up drinking and if they should take another drink they might return to drinking again, Helaman was afraid that if they got a taste of fighting and killing they might return to their previous ways and become a blood thirsty people once again. So these Lamanites living under the protection of the Nephites had to stand by and witness the sacrifice of men and material for their defense.