Saturday, May 28, 2011

Words of Mormon 1:10

Words of Mormon 1:10 Wherefore, it came to pass that after Amaleki had delivered up these plates into the hands of king Benjamin, he took them and put them with the other plates, which contained records which had been handed down by the kings, from generation to generation until the days of king Benjamin.

So why did Amaleki deliver up these plates to King Benjamin? He said in a previous verse that he didn't have any seed upon whom to pass the records.  We don't know why that was.  The method of passing the records typically stayed in the family.  But not in this verse.  We know from the shorter books of Jarom and Omni not everyone kept the truth like there parents did.  Passing down of sacred knowledge had a lot to do with the recipients and how they did or did not continue in righteousness.  The record isn't totally clear in the case of Alaleki.  I'll give him the benefit of any doubt.  

What we do know is our role is critical in determining how much of a recipient we are of God's words. Some family lines we read about in Jerom and Omni lost truth, and later lost the privilege of keeping, or contributing to the records.  Losing truth, and loosing stewardship of the records are obviously connected.  A few verses before Words of Mormon picks up we read this from Amalaki's father Abinadom, Omni 1:11. "And behold, the record of this people is engraven upon plates which is had by the kings, according to the generations; and I know of no revelation save that which has been written, neither prophecy; wherefore, that which is sufficient is written. And I make an end."

Abinadom sounds like he didn't have much revelation to teach his son.

Regarding the above passage here is a fascinating excerpt from the book Eighteen Verses. (Snuffer, 2007). "From an inspired and prophetic parentage have come decedents who neither seek for nor receive any revelation or prophesy. This does not mean, of course, these people did not believe. Quite the contrary, they seem to have believed very much in the importance of the revelations given their ancestors. There is nothing to indicate they are faithless. They continue to be "religious" and honor traditions handed to them. They just lack vitality in their faith which would result in having the heavens open tot hem. The writer confirms "that which is sufficient is written" and sincerely believed this to be true. This thought illustrates what he ancestor, Nephi, condemned when he warned against any who should say: "We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!" (2Ne 28:29). This is an illustration of the kind of religion, which endlessly repeats old inspirational stories while failing to add any new ones. Having faith in what others did long ago, when events in their lives caused their faith to be tested, is no substitute for having faith to see the miraculous in your own life. Joseph Smith had this to say: "Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience through the ordinances of God set forth for that purpose. Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would be reading all that ever was written on the subject." (TPJS)

Not knowing of any revelation, or prophecy other than what your ancestors had sounds a lot like what is happening to us in our day. It was clear that the previous writers in the Book of Mormon were not confined to the prophecy and revelation of others, although they used them, studied them, and valued them with their life (like the plates of brass). Instead they had such a relationship with the Lord that they got revelation, and had the spirit of prophecy and then were commanded to write a portion of it.  And thus we see how a family line or any body of people can loose the truth, develop spiritual atrophy, loose what records they had entrusted to them and then be forced to rely on deteriorating records which are more and more neglected. Which causes them to loose them in every sense of the word. I see that as a call to not loose spiritual strength in a family line, but be one who repents, changes course, and has the heavens opened to them. To not just say a person believes or has faith, and says they believe in revelation and prophecy, but aligns with God's will in order to qualify personally to receive those things.  

Amalaki specifically says a few verses later that he exhorts people to believe in prophecy, and revelation, but he doesn't share any or say that he had any.  He may have, we don't know.  He shares a beautiful teaching in Omni 1:25-26. We read of his exhortation to come to Christ and believe in angels, prophecy, revelation and all things good and to offer ones whole soul as an offering to God and "as the Lord liveth" ye will be saved.
He like his father, doesn't add much revelation to the record.

Amalaki recognizes King Benjamin was a "Just man before God". He recognized there was something about King Benjamin that made him more than "just" before men, but also just before God.  That is an interesting phrase. "Just before God". Does that mean he was justified?  

Amalaki, not having seed did pass the sacred records onto someone he recognized as just before God.  Someone who would treat them as sacred, and use them in a way which will allow the Lords previous covenant with not only Enos but many other "fathers" to eventually come to pass.  

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