The People of Ammoniah…..A Type for our Day

We’ve all read this story before. Alma the Younger, after surrendering the judgment seat in order to devote himself full time to the duties of High Priest, finds success in establishing churches among the people of Zarahemla, Gideon, and Melek. His teaching is seriously challenged, though, by the people of Ammoniah, who reject his ministry and send him packing. On the road to the next city, the City of Aaron, he is met by an Angel of the Lord, who tells him to return to Ammoniah….”For behold, they do study at this time that they may destroy the liberty of thy people, (for thus saith the Lord) which is contrary to the statutes, the judgments and commandments which he has given unto his people.” Upon his return, Alma meets Amulek, who has likewise had a visit from an Angel, and after some time they set out together to preach the gospel again to the Ammoniahites.
Chapter 9 details Alma’s initial sermon before he hands off to Amulek in Chapter 10. It is during Amulek’s sermon that we come across the following in verses 22 and 23:
Yeah, and I say unto you that if it were not for the prayers of the righteous, who are now in the land, that ye would even now be visited with utter destruction; yet it would not be by flood, as were the people in the days of Noah, but it would be by famine, and by pestilence, and the sword.
But it is by the prayers of the righteous that ye are spared; now therefore, if ye will cast out the righteous from among you then will not the Lord stay his hand; but in his fierce anger he will come out against you; then ye shall be smitten by famine, and by pestilence, and by the sword; and the time is soon at hand except ye repent.
Only a few verses later, in verse 27, Amulek further declares:
And now behold, I say unto you, that the foundation of the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges.
Although I’ve read this story many times before, typically focusing upon its horrible conclusion, what stood out to me this time was how clearly this applies to the current state of our society. The news today is full of stories of how those who espouse what are commonly called “Christian Values” are being marginalized and ostracized. A 15-year-old student in Wisconsin was recently called out by his school’s administration for his part in a “point-counter point” feature in the school newspaper on same sex marriage. His “anti” contribution was criticized as bigoted and he was threatened with suspension, but allegedly nothing was said to the “pro” contributor. Accounts of economic boycotts against advocates of traditional marriage are plentiful as demonstrated by a recent well-publicized incident involving the Governor of New Mexico. Such boycotts are typically applauded by their advocates although they would not be tolerated if applied the other way. I even read recently of death threats against a 12-year-old girl who testified, at their invitation, before the Maryland Legislature. These are just a few instances of the type that we are becoming all too familiar with.
We might ask ourselves, who are “the righteous”? It would certainly be unfair to limit this group only to those who profess Christian morals and values. I choose instead to define “the righteous” as those who would preserve the liberty of the people, honor and uphold the constitution, and generally live lives of integrity. So I ask…..are “the righteous” being cast out from among us?
The warped application and manipulation of justice manifested by such organizations as the Shawano, Wisconsin school board, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, LGBT groups and same sex marriage advocates threaten, in the name of “tolerance”, to seditiously undermine the first amendment rights of the whole population by applying them selectively only to those who agree with their agenda. Economic boycotts, when applied against any group whatsoever – left or right, conservative or liberal, gay or straight – are patently unrighteous and threaten the liberty of their targets. Death threats against a 12-year-old girl attack the very right to life of even the most innocent among us. Regardless of one’s position on some of the more controversial moral issues of the day, no code of justice would ever condone such actions as “righteous”. These individuals and groups have actually become the enemies of the very liberty and tolerance that they advocate as they seek to “cast out the righteous” among us.
And what of the “….unrighteousness of your lawyers and judges” laying….”the foundations of the destruction of this people”? It would be far too easy to raise as an example the Ninth Circuit Court for overturning the majority vote of the people of California on Proposition 8. There are numerous other examples of legal rulings that undermine the very foundations of our country. In Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court put into the hands of the individual a right that should be reserved exclusively to God – deciding when life “begins”. As a result, millions of innocent lives have been sacrificed to the gods of lust, power, and pleasure. Rulings declaring that laws against pornography violate the first amendment have led to an explosion of pernicious poison that daily destroys families and individual lives, feeding an addiction that is all but undetectable in this electronic age. Judgments in support of laws against the second amendment right to bear arms truly threaten the liberty of every individual in this nation, paving the way for increasingly totalitarian rule in this land of liberty. And, of course, edicts enforcing the separation of church and state by removing prayer from schools and other public venues are effectively removing God from our daily public life, forcing Christians more and more into the closet while encouraging people with minority beliefs to come out of the closet. In an ironic twist, rights of the majority are actively being subverted in the interest of protecting those same rights for the minority.
It has been said that morality cannot or should not be legislated, and there is some wisdom in that. Still, without some moral code, we would have no laws at all. Such a moral code is essentially what defines a society. Attempts to protect the rights of minorities, or the rights of any individual within the society, if misapplied or carried too far, actually result in the dilution of that society’s moral standard to the point that it is no longer the foundation of the legal code. Walking this very tenuous line between individual rights and the need for a strong, binding moral code is difficult at best. Failing to navigate it with wisdom and integrity could definitely bring about the destruction of the society itself. In trying to please everyone, we please no one. Even worse, laws that are not built on the foundation of a commonly held moral code must be forced upon the people. Morality then must be legislated, and people are no longer free to choose their own standards. The very essence of liberty is destroyed while the society crumbles.
Any system of laws and justice is a living, evolving thing. It changes daily as laws and precedents are applied in light of current events, individual and group agendas, and cultural and political influences. The theory of entropy suggests that it will tend toward chaos unless its evolution is directed by a clear, guiding beacon. The ideal guide would be the Lord Himself, or His priesthood, but in lieu of that He, in His wisdom, inspired the men who wrote the United States Constitution. But even this document is designed to work only for a moral and righteous people; only in a society bound together by a consistent and well-defined moral code.
In conclusion, the story of the People of Ammoniah represents a clear type for our nation today. There are increasing numbers of those in this country who would, knowingly or not, destroy the liberty of this people. Their actions serve daily to further marginalize or “cast out” the righteous from among them. This process is being facilitated by the decisions and rulings of lawyers and judges who, in a misguided attempt to accommodate the rights of minorities, instead compromise those same rights and God-given liberties of the majority. Attempts to manage the evolution of a system of laws and justice while accommodating an increasingly vast range of moral beliefs are likely to result in robbing the entire population of their sacred liberties. The Book of Mormon is truly an oracle risen from the dust, and its message in this case seems very clear. Without a significant change of course, this nation will soon experience unprecedented decay from inside and destruction from the outside as the Lord stays His protective hand from this blessed land.

5 comments on “The People of Ammoniah…..A Type for our Day

  1. Thank you for including us in your blog. You are absolutely, unequivocally on target!
    Linda K.
    Fred K.

  2. Great analogy to our situation now. Although I would like to point out in your article where you state; “Any system of laws and justice is a living, evolving thing.” to me is too broad and insinuates that it should always be changing. Our Founding Fathers created a Constitution that needs very little tampering with if any at all. The reason for this is found in the Declaration of Independence (God’s law) where it states; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” This is God’s law, and to me is very clear, that unless I infringe upon one of my brother or sisters rights to Life, Liberty, or pursuit of Happiness where the accused can be confronted face to face by the accuser (common law decided by a jury of peers) I have committed no offense, end of statement! All of the laws, regulations, codes etc. under color of law (pretending to be lawful) are for controlling “We the People” and through fraud created a CORPORATION (legal fiction under civil law decided and controlled by a judge, not a jury) with power and wealth to abuse their sacred oath to defend the Rights of the people instead of the people controlling government.

    The Constitution (mans law) is not for “We the People”, it is the Supreme Law of the land put upon our representatives to bind their activities to numerated and defined authority we temporarily share with them while in our service. This document has to be looked upon and considered in the language of when it was written. Example; The commerce clause so often used to justify regulating our lives from cradle to grave, in the language of the time “regulate” meant to “make regular” or in other words to keep commerce moving though the nation without delay or interference from individual states for the purpose of collecting at tax or other reasons. NOT to control the people in every instance of life.

    The Declaration of Independence contains eternal laws that are immovable and no matter how we as men might want to abuse them, remain true now and forever. “Truth can stand by itself, only lies need the support of government”! No matter how much we argue with eternal truth, it will always remain truth! The notion that the Constitution is a living document that needs to change with the times to me is fooey! The restraints it imposes on our elected officials is clear to anyone who reads, studies and ponders it as instructed by every Prophet in this dispensation. A minimum of 95% of what our federal government does is unconstitutional and is rightly left to the states and to the people to decide for themselves as instructed by the 10th Amendment. The Constitution (mans law for men) inspired by God in my estimation needs very little attention when it comes to changing it, and deserves untold attention by “We the People” to keep our representatives bound by the restrictions placed upon them as our representatives.

    It only took God about 300 words to give us the 10 Commandments and government 26,000+ words to regulate the price of cabbage. Ridiculous!!!!!

    • I understand what you are saying, Greg. My remark referred to the current system of laws which is complex and constantly subject to interpretation, precedent, and added complexity. Your point, as I understand it, is that an elegantly simple system of laws such as the constitution or the 10 commandments, or the laws of the Nephites under the Judges, is not subject to such forces precisely because of its simplicity.

  3. By the way, Greg, I remain ever grateful for that night that you valiantly tried to convince an blissfully ignorant new convert that we were slaves to the government simply because we paid income tax. You planted the seed. It grows slowly, but it grows, nevertheless.

  4. My feelings exactly

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