THE BOOK OF ALMA
Amalickiah and his men flee into wilderness among the Lamanites--Amalickiah encourages the Lamanites
to fight the Nephites--The Lamanite king puts Amalikiah in charge of his army--Amalickiah allows his
army to be captured by the Lamanites--Amalikiah poisons the Lamanite king, marries his wife, and takes over his army--The
people ruled by Amalickiah were dissenters who were even more wicked than the Lamanites.
|47:1 Now we will return in our record to Amalickiah and those who had fled with him into the wilderness;
for, behold, he had taken those who went with him, and went up in the land of Nephi among the Lamanites, and did
stir up the Lamanites to anger against the people of Nephi, insomuch that the king of the Lamanites sent a proclamation
throughout all his land, among all his people, that they should gather themselves together again to go to battle
against the Nephites. ||
(47:1-5) "Now we will return in our record to Amalickiah"|
Remember Amalickiah from the last chapter? He was the evil, large man who desired to be king. Well, he was
no match for Moroni and his title of liberty, so he ran into the woods with some of his followers. Moroni
chased after them, and took most of his followers captive, and forced them to convert or else he killed them.
Well, Moroni never managed to capture Amalickiah or his entourage -- they were already too far into the woods,
I guess. This chapter follows Amalickiah's shenanigans in the woods, and among the Lamanites.
Amalickiah's first order of business was to dethrone the king of the Lamanites, so he could get the
power for himself.
The current king of the Lamanites was having trouble controlling his people. He wanted to send
his army to attack the Nephites, but only part of them would obey. He decided to give put Amalickiah
in charge of the army. Little did he know, this was JUST what Amalickiah was after -- and it would
ultimately be the undoing of the king.
|47:2 And it came to pass that when the proclamation had gone forth among them
they were exceedingly afraid; yea, they feared to displease the king, and they also feared
to go to battle against the Nephites lest they should lose their lives. And it came to pass
that they would not, or the more part of them would not, obey the commandments of the king.
|47:3 And now it came to pass that the king was wroth because of their disobedience; therefore he gave
Amalickiah the command of that part of his army which was obedient unto his commands, and commanded him that he
should go forth and compel them to arms.
|47:4 Now behold, this was the desire of Amalickiah; for he being a very subtle man to do evil
therefore he laid the plan in his heart to dethrone the king of the Lamanites.
|47:5 And now he had got the command of those parts of the Lamanites who were in favor of the king;
and he sought to gain favor of those who were not obedient; therefore he went forward to the place which was
called Onidah, for thither had all the Lamanites fled; for they discovered the army coming, and, supposing that
they were coming to destroy them, therefore they fled to Onidah, to the place of arms.
(47:5-9) "The mount which was called Antipas"|
After Amalickiah got command of some of the army, he went to where the others were hanging out:
a place called Onidah. They had appointed their own king at Onidah, and they had all gathered at
the top of a hill called Antipas. We're not sure what the name of the king was, but the hill was
Amalickiah didn't want to fight them, he wanted to gain control of them. So he made camp at the
bottom of the "mount Antipas."
|47:6 And they had appointed a man to be a king and a leader over them, being fixed in their minds
with a determined resolution that they would not be subjected to go against the Nephites.
|47:7 And it came to pass that they had gathered themselves together upon the
top of the mount which was called Antipas, in preparation to battle.
|47:8 Now it was not Amalickiah's intention to give them battle according to the commandments of the
king; but behold, it was his intention to gain favor with the armies of the Lamanites, that he might place
himself at their head and dethrone the king and take possession of the kingdom. ||
|47:9 And behold, it came to pass that he caused his army to pitch their tents in the valley which was
near the mount Antipas. ||
|47:10 And it came to pass that when it was night he sent a secret embassy
into the mount Antipas, desiring that the leader of those who were upon the mount, whose name was Lehonti,
that he should come down to the foot of the mount, for he desired to speak with him.
(47:10-12) "When Lehonti received the message he durst not go down."|
Amalickiah sent up messengers to the king, asking for him to come down so he could speak to him. The
king declined, three times, and then finally Amalickiah decided to walk up the damn mountain himself.
Maybe if the king didn't have to travel so far he would talk to him.
He told the king to come down and speak with him, and to bring his guards if he had to.
|47:11 And it came to pass that
when Lehonti received the message he durst not
go down to the foot of the mount. And it came to pass that Amalickiah sent again the
second time, desiring him to come down. And it came to pass that Lehonti would not; and
he sent again the third time.
|47:12 And it came to pass that when Amalickiah found that he could not get
Lehonti to come down off from the mount, he went up into the mount, nearly to Lehonti's camp; and he sent again
the fourth time his message unto Lehonti, desiring that he would come down, and that he would bring his guards
|47:13 And it came to pass that when Lehonti had come down with his guards
to Amalickiah, that Amalickiah desired him to come down with his army in the night-time, and surround those
men in their camps over whom the king had given him command, and that he would deliver them up into Lehonti's
hands, if he would make him (Amalickiah) a second leader over the whole army. ||
(47:13-14) "Amalickiah desired him to come down with his army in the night-time."|
When Amalickiah finally got his audience with Lehonti, he told the king that he wanted his
army to be captured in the night. He told the Lehonti to send his army down there at night and capture
them, and that he would make it easy for them. So that's what he did. Before the army even woke up,
they were surrounded.
|47:14 And it came to pass that Lehonti came down with his men and surrounded
the men of Amalickiah, so that before they awoke at the dawn of day they were surrounded by the armies of
|47:15 And it came to pass that when they saw that they were surrounded,
they plead with Amalickiah that he would suffer them to fall in with their brethren, that they might not be
destroyed. Now this was the very thing which Amalickiah desired. ||
(47:15-16) "They pled with Amalickiah that he would suffer them to fall in with their brethren."|
Then the army did a curious thing. They didn't get angry at Amalickiah for selling them out, and instead
they pleaded with him to let them become a part of the larger army that had just captured them. This
seems doubly strange, because it doesn't seem like he would have the power in the situation anymore,
without an army and everything. But this was all part of his crafty plan, as you'll soon see.
|47:16 And it came to pass that he delivered his men, contrary to the commands
of the king. Now this was the thing that Amalickiah desired, that he might accomplish his designs in dethroning
|47:17 Now it was the custom among the Lamanites, if their chief leader was killed, to appoint
the second leader to be their chief leader. ||
(47:17-19) "Amalickiah caused that one of his servants should administer poison by degrees to Lehonti."|
So, as it turns out, the Lamanites had a strange custom of appointing their second-in-command as
chief leader if their chief ended up dying. And Amalickiah had the chief poisoned, so then he was
quickly appointed chief. Well, that was easy! (Macbeth sure would have been a lot shorter if Joseph
Smith had written it...)
|47:18 And it came to pass that
Amalickiah caused that one of his servants
should administer poison by degrees to Lehonti, that he died.
|47:19 Now, when Lehonti was dead, the Lamanites appointed Amalickiah to be their leader and their chief
|47:20 And it came to pass that
Amalickiah marched with his armies (for he had
gained his desires) to the land of Nephi, to the city of Nephi, which was the chief city.
(47:20-23) "Amalickiah marched with his armies ... to the land of Nephi, to the city of Nephi."|
So now that Amalickiah had control of the army, he marched back to the city of Nephi, and to the
Lamanite king. When he got there, the king greeted him, pleased that he had rounded up such a large
army to fight the Nephites. They all bowed to the king, and he reached down to raise them up, in a
formal gesture that they had picked up from the Nephites.
|47:21 And the king came out to meet him with his guards, for he supposed that Amalickiah had
fulfilled his commands, and that Amalickiah had gathered together so great an army to go against the Nephites
|47:22 But behold, as the king came out to meet him Amalickiah caused that his servants should go
forth to meet the king. And they went and bowed themselves before the king, as if to reverence him because of
|47:23 And it came to pass that the king put forth his hand to raise them,
as was the custom with the Lamanites, as a token of peace, which custom they had taken from the Nephites. ||
|47:24 And it came to pass that when he had raised the first from the ground,
behold he stabbed the king to the heart; and he fell to the earth.
(47:24-29) "Behold he stabbed the king to the heart."|
But just then, BAM! One of Amalickiah's party stabbed the king in the heart, and then all of
Amlickiah's servants started shouting that the kings own servants had stabbed him. They gathered
an angry mob to chase down the poor innocent servants and ran them out of town into the wilderness.
|47:25 Now the servants of the king fled; and the servants of
Amalickiah raised a cry, saying:
|47:26 Behold, the servants of the king have stabbed him to the heart, and he has fallen and they have
fled; behold, come and see.
|47:27 And it came to pass that Amalickiah commanded that his armies should
march forth and see what had happened to the king; and when they had come to the spot, and found the king lying
in his gore, Amalickiah pretended to be wroth, and said: Whosoever loved the king, let him go forth, and pursue
his servants that they may be slain. ||
|47:28 And it came to pass that all they who loved the king, when they heard
these words, came forth and pursued after the servants of the king. ||
|47:29 Now when the servants of the king saw an army pursuing after them, they were frightened again,
and fled into the wilderness, and came over into the land of Zarahemla and joined the people of Ammon. ||
|47:30 And the army which pursued after them returned, having pursued after them in vain; and thus
Amalickiah, by his fraud, gained the hearts of the people. ||
|47:31 And it came to pass on the morrow he entered the city Nephi with his
armies, and took possession of the city. ||
|47:32 And now it came to pass that the queen, when she had heard that the king was slain -- for
Amalickiah had sent an embassy to the queen informing her that the king had been slain by his servants, that he
had pursued them with his army, but it was in vain, and they had made their escape --
(47:32-35) "The queen ... desired him that he should come in unto her."|
So Amalickiah took control of the city, and then the entire kingdom. But he still had one thing to
conquer: the king's wife. She asked him for three things: to spare the residents of the city, to come
in unto her, and to bring some witnesses to back up his story. After doing all three, they were happily
married, and Amalickiah's position as king of all the land was secure. He ruled over a pretty diverse
kingdom. He was king of the Lamanites, the Lemuelites, the Ishmaelites, and all of the dissenters
of the Nephites.
|47:33 Therefore, when the queen had received this message she sent unto Amalickiah, desiring him that
he would spare the people of the city; and she also desired him that he should come in unto her; and she also
desired him that he should bring witnesses with him to testify concerning the death of the king.
|47:34 And it came to pass that Amalickiah took the same servant that slew
the king, and all them who were with him, and went in unto the queen, unto the place where she sat; and they
all testified unto her that the king was slain by his own servants; and they said also: They have fled; does
not this testify against them? And thus they satisfied the queen concerning the death of the king.
|47:35 And it came to pass that Amalickiah sought the favor of the queen,
and took her unto him to wife; and thus by his fraud, and by the assistance of his cunning servants, he
obtained the kingdom; yea, he was acknowledged king throughout all the land, among all the people of the
Lamanites, who were composed of the Lamanites and the Lemuelites and the
Ishmaelites, and all the dissenters of the Nephites, from the reign of Nephi down to the present time. ||
|47:36 Now these dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information of the Nephites,
yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless, it is strange to relate, not
long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and
more wild, wicked and ferocious
than the Lamanites -- drinking in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all
manner of lasciviousness; yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God. ||
(47:36) "These dissenters ... became ... more wild, wicked and ferocious
than the Lamanites."|
The worst of these people, though, were the Nephite dissenters. You see, once you have knowledge of the
Lord but don't follow him, you become even crazier than the regular wicked people: more hardened,
impenitent, wild, wicked and ferocious -- drinking, indolence, lasciviousness...
And it came to pass [47:2(2), 7, 10,
11(3), 12, 13, 14,
15, 16, 18, 20,
23, 24, 27, 28,
31, 34, 35]
Yea [47:2, 35, 36(2)]
Behold [47:1, 4, 8,
9, 22(2), 24, 26(2)]