Archive for the ‘It Is Not Expedient That Ye Should Have A King’ Category

"It Is Not Expedient That Ye Should Have A King…"   1 comment

     There came a time in Nephite history where many a war had been fought, and a great deal of people led astray and into iniquity due to the actions of the Kings they upheld. This is an actuality that realistically transcends nearly all of our scriptural cannon. Its a fierce set of wars that come and go, especially for those we have a biblical account of.
     But when it comes to the Book of Mormon times, we see a lot of what happened under the reigns of Kings, was nothing but bloodshed, transgression, and Satan ruining the great plan of happiness for many, simply by working upon the hearts of few. Its a concept and reality I scarce care to consider, and yet I am sure my desire to not want to think of what it all looked like, could not even hold a lamp to the way the prophet Ether must have felt in watching the literal destruction of all the Jaredites.
     In the 28th Chapter of the Book of Mosiah, the time had come, upon the return of Aaron, Ammon, Omner and Himni, when King Mosiah had to entertain the very same things that King Benjamin did, not only in knowing he was about to die soon, but knowing that he needed to set the mantle of righteous leadership up for succession sooner than any slipping away of his current righteous reign over the people. Mosiah was not in danger of misleading his people, nor were they in danger of being led astray by him, but due to the wonderful lesson of history as taught in the Holy Scriptures he wished to ensure a smooth transition.
     So what was the problem? A few items of concern quickly were tossed on the plate of the King. His sons had no sooner returned from teaching many of the Nephites the correct things of the gospel, in an attempt, like Alma the younger, to undo some of the damage that they may have caused spiritually to many of their brethren. So, they went all throughout the land of Zarahemla in teaching their brethren the Nephites with great success, but still with some losses. Nevertheless they petitioned their father, King Mosiah, to allow them to go to the land of Nephi to preach to the Lamanites.
     A reluctant Mosiah approached the Lord in prayer, and was told, “Let them go up, for many shall believe on their words, and they shall have eternal life; and I will deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites.” (Mosiah 28:7)
     So he let them go and do as they desired, and great things did come of their Missionary work, including, but not limited to, the conversion of Lamoni.
     But my account in this blog is not to cover the great and marvelous deeds of which by many scriptures we have come to know the fruits of their labors, no, in this account- I wish to display just what King Mosiah may have been prophetically hinting at when he counseled his people (As is the title of my blog today) “It is not expedient that ye should have a king…” (Mosiah 29:16)
     What did he mean by that? What I eluded to earlier was “It is not expedient that ye should have a wicked King over you…” (Mosiah 29:16-17 Some Emphasis Added) This he meant because people were always led astray. We need not look very far at all, for the Prophetic warning of Mosiah to show why we don’t need one.
     No doubt, with careful consideration and much prayer by both Alma the Elder (Then Acting High Priest Over The Church) and King Mosiah, the laws of the land were changed and formulated into a somewhat Democratic in nature…including, but not limited to common consent. What is so amazing, is the near perfect transition from a Monarchal / Patriarchal government, to a Democratically styled one- In peace! Shortly thereafter, both Alma the Elder, and King Mosiah die. All that happened in the year 92 B.C.
     Surly there were Spiritual Juggernauts in the church at that time, not to mention Alma the younger being called as the first chief judge, but Satan as we know him, never waits to pounce.
     Not but two verses into the first chapter of the Book Of Alma- we hear something disturbing. Priestcrafts are horrendously present in the land, and are introduced to the Nephites by one named Nehor. His delusions led many away from the truth, and in doing so, his character became all the more obstinate. To quote the record, it says, “…He did teach these things so much that many did believe on his words, even so many that they began to support him and give him money.” (Alma 1:5)
     After he got this far, his parasitic nature became inflamed and it says, “And he began to be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and to wear very costly apparel, yea, and even began to establish a church after the manner of his preaching.” (Alma 1:6)
     The story goes on with him confronting a man of God, named Gideon (Who was instrumental in delivering the people of Limhi from bondage – See Verse 8) and he tries to convert Gideon to lies, but Gideon withstood him and confounded him- costing him his life by the hand of Nehor. Later, Nehor is punished by Alma, forced to admit his wrongs, “and there suffered an ignominious death.” (Alma 1:15)
     Had Nehor not of been stopped, a distressful situation could have arisen very quickly amongst the Nephites, but because Satan is who he is, we need not wait to see when he strikes again, in the same “order.”
     Nehor indeed was stopped, but he was only put to death (I believe) because of what Alma says to him, “Behold, this is the first time that priestcraft has been introduced among this people. And behold, thou art not only guilty of priestcraft, but hast endeavored to enforce it by the sword; and were priestcraft to be enforced among this people, it would prove their entire destruction.” (Alma 1:12) Righteously, he paid for his crime, but as the record indicates, “Nevertheless, this did not put an end to the spreading of priestcraft through the land;” (Alma 1:16)
     So, like I mentioned before, Satan was poised to strike at the foundation of faith many had- probably nearly all of which was righteously instilled by the good King Mosiah. Satan wanted to test their resolve. Fast forward to the year 87 B.C. (Now being the fifth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi)
     Out of that secretive order of Nehor, comes a man named Amlici, and guess what? He wants to be “King” over the people. Of course, he was a wicked man, and yes- he had his own agenda. He drew many followers after him, and it caused a huge uproar in all the land of Zarahemla. The thing that makes this story so neat, in the beginning anyway, is that the people took it upon themselves and “…they did assemble themselves together to cast their voices [Vote] concerning the matter…” (Alma 2:6) After doing this, the results were given to the chief judges. So what did the ballots say?
     “And it came to pass that the voice [Votes] of the people came against Amlici, that he was not made king over the people.” (Alma 2:7) Thus in doing this, affirmed the testimony of King Mosiah when he said, “Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right;” (Mosiah 29:26) Nevertheless, this did not stop the problem- it only served to fuel the fire of anger within those who followed him. The record states, “…but Amlici did stir up those who were in his favor to anger against those who were not in his favor.” (Alma 2:8)
     Amlici then has “his people” consecrate him to be a King over them, and they separate themselves from the mass of Nephites and take upon themselves the name of Amlicites. What was his first act as a “King over the Amlicites”? He ordered his people to arm themselves and fight them, “…and this he did that he might subject them unto him.” (Alma 2:10)
     The culmination of events that followed are horrible by all accounts, and when one considers it, they might be inclined to ask, “Why? Why did this all happen?”
     In verse 15 of Alma chapter 2 is the beginning of the account of the war that is waged between the Nephites and the Amlicites, and later the Lamanites join in. Many lives were lost here… far too many. The Lamanite bodies were not counted, but there were enough of them everywhere for the record to say, “And thus he [Alma] cleared the ground, or rather the bank, which was on the west of the river Sidon, throwing the bodies of the Lamanites who had been slain into the waters of Sidon, that thereby his people might have room to cross…” (Alma 2:34)
     But in verse 19, we get the numbers from the other two major parties involved in the battle. It reads, “…there were slain of the Amlicites, twelve thousand five hundred thirty and two souls; and there were slain of the Nephites, six thousand five hundred sixty and two souls.” (Alma 2:19)
     This awful wickedness was the eventual end of Nineteen Thousand and Ninety Four people. (19,904) All this because one man and a selfish desire to rule over people in unrighteousness.

     I think the moral of the story could include the basic lesson we have heard repeated many times by scriptures, prophets and apostles – Keep the commandments. May we all do this, and have joy therein is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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