Mosiah, Chapter 23

(100th Post – Now on to 200)

Is it good to have a king?

Here is the point in Mosiah where we change from learning about Limhi and his people to Alma and his people.  Where we left off, Alma and his people were being hunted by King Noah, so they escaped into the wilderness.

Alma and his people found a place to settle, which was beautiful (v. 4), and became a very industrious people (v. 5).  “And the people were desirous that Alma should be their king, for he was beloved by his people (v. 6).  But he said unto them: Behold, it is not expedient that we should have a king; for thus saith the Lord: Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another, or one man shall not think himself above another; therefore I say unto you it is not expedient that ye should have a king (v. 7).”  His people wanted him to be their king, but he told them that they should not have a king.

The positive reason that was given for having a king, was only if a king could be just, but Alma knew that it was unlikely (v. 8 ). The negative reasons that were given for having a king were that he might think himself greater than the rest (v. 7) and he may cause them oppression and bring people into spiritual bondage with their sins (v. 12).  With a king the people would loose their liberty (v. 13).  The only men who should lead and direct are righteous men.  “And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments (v. 14).”  King Benjamin was a good king because he was a righteous man, but King Noah was not a good king, because he was a wicked man.

When Christ comes again, He will be our King.  In Alma 5;50 we read, “… Behold the glory of the King of all the earth; and also the King of heaven shall very soon shine forth among all the children of men.”  Then in D&C 38:21-22 we read, “But, verily I say unto you that in time ye shall have no king nor ruler, for I will be your king and watch over you (v. 21).  Wherefore, hear my voice and follow me, and you shall be a free people, and ye shall have no laws but my laws when I come, for I am your lawgiver, and what can stay my hand (v. 22)?”  When He returns, we will all follow the laws that can be found in the gospel, because they will be the only laws.

Why did Alma’s people end up in bondage?

Alma’s people were then led righteously by priests and teachers.  “And it came to pass that they did multiply and prosper exceedingly in the land of Helam; and they built a city, which they called the city of Helam (v. 20).”

“Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith (v. 21).  Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people (v. 22).  For behold, I will show unto you that they were brought into bondage, and none could deliver them but the Lord their God, yea, even the God of Abraham and Isaac and of Jacob (v. 23).  And it came to pass that he did deliver them, and he did show forth his mighty power unto them, and great were their rejoicings (v. 24).”  If we are not tested in this life, we learn nothing.  We will be tested.  The people of Alma would be brought into bondage and delivered by the power of God.

In Mosiah 11:23 we read, “And it shall come to pass that except this people repent and turn unto the Lord their God, they shall be brought into bondage; and none shall deliver them, except it be the Lord the Almighty God.”  This was the prophecy of Abinadi to the people of King Noah, and they were put into bondage by the lamanites.  Also in Mosiah 12:1-2 we read, “… Thus has the Lord commanded me, saying—Abinadi, go and prophesy unto this my people, for they have hardened their hearts against my words; they have repented not of their evil doings; therefore, I will visit them in my anger, yea, in my fierce anger will I visit them in their iniquities and abominations (v. 1).  Yea, wo be unto this generation! And the Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thy hand and prophesy, saying: Thus saith the Lord, it shall come to pass that this generation, because of their iniquities, shall be brought into bondage, and shall be smitten on the cheek; yea, and shall be driven by men, and shall be slain; and the vultures of the air, and the dogs, yea, and the wild beasts, shall devour their flesh (v. 2).”  Abinadi was prophesying to the people who would later become the people of Alma.  The prophecy remained true, that when they fall into iniquity the Lord allows them to be brought into bondage because they would not repent when Abinadi was among them.  This teaches us that the Lord’s promises will remain true no matter how long it takes for them to happen.

The people of Alma were in the land of Helam, when the Lamanites surrounded the land (v. 25).  Alma told his people that if they remembered the Lord, they would be fine and have no reason to fear the Lamanites (v. 27).  They prayed to the Lord (v. 28 ), and the Lamanites hearts were softened (v. 29).  The Lamanites did not kill the people of Alma, but their city was taken and they gave themselves up to them (v. 30).  Meanwhile, the Lamanite army had found the wicked priests of King Noah and had taken over their land also (v. 31).  Amulon was their leader (v. 32) and he begged the Lamanites not to kill them and had the wives of his men, who happen to be the Lamanite daughters that were taken, plead for their lives (v. 33).  Because of the wives, the Lamanites did not kill them (v. 34).  The people of Amulon were with the Lamanites when they took the land of Helam (v. 35).  The Lamanites promised the people of Alma liberty, if they showed them where the land of Nephi was (v. 36).  Even after they were honest and showed them the way, the Lamanites did not give them their liberty.  Instead they put guards around their city to keep them in bondage (v. 37).  Then, Amulon was left as the ruler of the people of Helam, who were the people of Alma, and they were all in bondage to the Lamanites (v. 39).

The people of Alma were trying to live righteously, but the Lord tries us even in righteousness, so that we learn to truly depend on Him and follow His ways.  I think this is why the righteous in our land today, America, are being made to loose our freedoms as well.  We are being tested and we can either give in to iniquity to deal or we can stand up for what is right.  The Lord will eventually free us from bondage (v. 22) and bless us for our righteous choices, but we must all pass through trials of our faith, so that we can learn.

And the people were desirous that Alma should be their aking, for he was beloved by his people.
7 But he said unto them: Behold, it is not expedient that we should have a king; for thus saith the Lord: Ye shall anot esteem one flesh above another, or one man shall not think himself above another; therefore I say unto you it is not expedient that ye should have a king.
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