Sunday, June 16, 2013

Why Mosiah Was Named King – Part II

This is a continuation of the last post discussing about why Mosiah was made king over the Mulekites. However, the fact that the Nephites were only half as many as the Mulekites, many have misunderstood the reasoning involved—and this includes John L. Sorenson, who wrote of this event: “The local residents quickly agreed that Mosiah, a total stranger who had dropped in on them, should become their king (Omni 1:14,19).  How could this man and his intruding party find such a hearty welcome and then fit so neatly into a dominant political niche in the society?  One piece of the answer must lie in the superior qualifications of Mosiah to be king.”
However, it had little, if anything to do with Mosiah’s qualifications, but with the promise to Lehi and Nephi. But first, to get a better grasp of the situation, and the cause and effect of this action, we need to be reminded of the circumstances in Zarahemla when Mosiah arrived.
1.  The Mulekites had lost sight of their heritage, though they knew they came from Jerusalem;
2.  They were obviously not as advanced and cultured as their ancestors in Jerusalem had been;
3.  They had no records to keep their heritage and religion alive, yet must have known something about both through tradition, i.e., that is, from whence they came, and who Mulek had been”;
4.  Mosiah's arrival was heralded by the single event of his having the brass plates, which contained a record of the Jews: “Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews and the knowledge of both the Nephite and the Mulekite ancestors—about which the Mulekites were extremely joyous to learn of who they were;
5.  The Nephites, under Mosiah's direction, taught the Mulekites the Nephite language—that is, the Hebrew language of Mulek's ancestry;
6.  Mosiah, no doubt, read to the Mulekites from the brass plates, giving them a clear picture and understanding of who they were and from whence they came;
7.  This knowledge would have shown the Mulekites that they and the Nephites were brothers both in heritage and birthright;
8.   While Mulek came through a king line, Mosiah came through a prophet line, which to Hebrew and Jewish heritage, was equally important;
9.  The Mulekites, once understanding their common origin, would have welcomed the Nephites like long lost brothers, as people in like circumstances are prone to do;
10.  Mosiah would have told the Mulekites about their problems with the Lamanites, about the Lehi colony, and about the Nephite prophets who had ruled in the land;
11.  The Mulekites came quickly to understand that the land upon which they lived had been dedicated to the Nephites by the Lord, and given as an inheritance to them forever—Thus, “all the people of Zarahemla were numbered with the Nephites, and this because the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendants of Nephi”;
12.  Mosiah undoubtedly told the Mulekites about the Hebrew/Jewish custom of inclusion into the chosen or inheritance lineage through adoption;
13.  The Mulekites realized that for them to share in the inheritance of the land and the political structure of the people, they would have to become Nephites, which they did;
14.  Since the Nephite lineage through Nephi had held the ruling reins for nearly 400 years, it would not be surprising for it to continue and for the Mulekites to recognize this fact;
15.  And, lastly, Mosiah was a prophet of God.  He would have had such a demeanor as to attract people to him and for him to be held in high esteem.  Obviously, the Nephites would have done this, and that fact would not have been lost on the Mulekites.  Who better to lead the combined group than a prophet leader?  And Mosiah was obviously seen as both.  Could Zarahemla have qualified?  No.  And he might well have declined even a consideration in favor of a far more worthy and appropriate choice as Mosiah.
There seems to be little cause to go off half-cocked over this point.  Such attitudes have existed in the Chosen Lineage since recorded history began.  God deals with his people in a certain way.  They either get in line with that way, or are left behind.  We share in this same adoption through baptism into the Church.  There is no mystery about the subject.
Mosiah put it this way:  “And now all the people of Zarahemla were numbered with the Nephites, and this because the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendants of Nephi” (Mosiah 25:13) 
Therefore, Sorenson’s question, “How could this man and his intruding party find such a hearty welcome and then fit so neatly into a dominant political niche in the society?” should be easily answered and present no mystery. After all, not all things ancient were political, but were based upon religious understanding of the Kingdom of God. It was not a question that Mosiah represented the qualities to be a king, but that the Nephites held the rights to the land under God. To the Hebrews of the period, that was all that mattered. The Mulekites might have looked among then Nephites for the most worthy man to be king, but they would have seen only the Nephite leader, Mosiah, who had brought the Nephites from the Land of Nephi down to the Land of Zarahemla—who else would they have chosen? Certainly the logical choice would have been such a man as Mosiah over anyone else.

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