Friday, April 9, 2010

Amalickiah Was Not a Zoramite

Michael M. Hobby, in claiming that the Zoramites had become a royal line of the Lamanites, wrote on page 50 of his book, "The Mulekite Connection":

“It is significant that Amalickiah, Ammoran, and Tubaloth were a now generations-old Zoramite dynasty ruling over the Lamanites.“

However, Amalickiah was not a Zoramite, but a Nephite, as the scriptures so clearly state:

“And it came to pass that they returned to the land of Nephi, to inform their king, Amalickiah, who was a Nephite by birth, concerning their great loss” (Alma 49:25).

And so it goes with Mesoamerican Theorists who claim something that is clearly incorrect, yet go on to build a theory about it. In this case, it was true there were Zoramite defectors among the Lamanites, but Amalikiah was not one of them. He was a Nephite defector with a goal to become a king (Alma 46:4) and was supported by lower Nephite judges who were seeking for power. Amalickiah flattered the peole, telling them that if he were king, he would make them rulers over the people (Alma 46:5). Many in the church were led away (Alma 46:7) despite their recent victory over the Lamanites. At this point, Alma or Mormon insert a parenthetical note: "Thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their God, yea, how quick to do iniquity, and to be led away by the evil one." (Alma 46:8)
Denied being named king of the Nephites, Amalickiah, who was a cunning man (Alma 46:10) sought to destroy the foundation of liberty among them. This caused Moroni to be angry with him (Alma 46:11) and raise an army to preserve their liberty (Alma 46:28). Amalickiah and his followers, called Amalickiahites, fled before Moroni toward the land of Nephi to join up with the Lamanites (Alma 46:29). Moroni cut him off and many Amalickiahites were captured (Alma 46:33). Those who would not covenant to "support the cause of freedom, that they might maintain a free government" Moroni executed (Alma 46:35). But Amalickiah escaped and joined the Lamanites, stirring them up to war (Alma 47:1).

Through his cunning, Amalickiah gained control over the Lamanite army (Alma 47:35) with an ultimate goal of bringing the Nephites into bondage (Alma 48:4). Amalickiah eventually was named king over the Lamanites (Alma 48:2), and appointed Zoramites as chief captains over the Lamanite army because they were "the most acquainted with the strength of the Nephites, their places of resort, and the weakest parts of their cities" (Alma 48:5). But Amalickiah was killed by Tancum (Alma 51:34) and his brother, Ammoron, was appointed king (Alma 52:3). Ammoron's son, Tubaloth, eventually succeeded him to the Lamanite throne (Helaman 1:16).

As a Nephite, by birth, Amalikiah’s brother, Ammoron, would have been a Nephite, and his son, Tubaloth, would also have been a Nephite, Thus there was no Zoramite dynasty among the Lamanites for these men were not Zoramites as Hobby claims.


  1. It is amazing to what lengths these Mesoamerican people will go to try and prove their points. Your article on Hobby is well put. In fact, I've read his little 74-page book which is full of errors and misstatements like the one abut the Zoramites. His statement on page 8, as an example, talks about the Mulekites being a transition culture between the Jaredites and the Nephites, but the scriptures show a completely different story. He also claims the Mulekites were a dissenting people and behind almost all the Nephites' troubles as though without the Mulekites, the Nephites would have been without their continual dissentions--however, Enos and the other prophets through Amaleki tell a far different story (before the Mulekites were introduced) and Mosiah was told to flee the Land of Nephi because of the evil Nephites (again, before the Mulekites were introduced). It would seem the Nephihtes had plenty of problems from other Nephites and the entire blame, as Hobby tries to do, cannot be laid at the Mulekite doorstep. In fact, there is aboslutely no way to claim any of these groups were Mulekites, including the King Men as Hobby so describe them.

  2. Curly: It is also interesting that Hobby claims the reason the Lamanites could overpower the Nephites during the early chapters of Helaman was because of the “decline of Nephite power” and that “The Nephites had become reduced in numbers” that they “had insufficient strength even to maintain their borders” (pg 47). However, Helaman tells us the reason was not because of the Nephites, but because the Lamanites had become so numerous: “And it came to pass, because of the greatenss of the number of the Lamanites, the Nephites were in great fear, lest they should be overpowered, and trodden down, and slain, and destroyed” (Helaman 4:20).

    It is ever the rule of thumb for Mesoamerican Theorists that if the scriptures disagree with them, to ignore the scripture in favor of their own pet idea.

    It should also be noted that in this same sequence above, Helaman writes that that these Nephites “had altered and trampled under their feet the laws of Mosiah” (Helaman 4:22), which Hobby on pg 48 calls them Zoramites because the first man in the judgment seat after Nephi was voted out was a man named Cezoram. The sad truth is, we do not know any particular political leanings or heritage of those who were evil among the Nephites—-but that never stops those who write about the Nephhites from making it up, and separating them into groups though there is no indication or suggestion to support it.

  3. Wow, this is really exciting. I just found your site today and registered as a follower after spending the entire day reading all your past posts. I feel like I just crammed for a final. This is the best site I have ever seen with such awesome information. Do you really post a new subject article every day? I hope so. I can learn a lot with a daily 5-minute stop here. Are you a professor, or a teacher????

  4. I wonder if anyone besides me saw a parallel between the scripture quoted above "Amalickiah flattered the people, telling them that if he were king, he would make them rulers over the people (Alma 46:5). Many in the church were led away (Alma 46:7) despite their recent victory over the Lamanites." Do you see any parallel in the recent election of our President and more importantly, in the recent deals made by him, Nancy Pelosi and their ilk regarding promising much for votes to get the Health Care passed? Are we not repeating history here?

  5. Sharon--welcome to the group. This is one of the fastest moving blogs around on this subject--something new each day and something worthwhile to read each day. What more could a gal ask for?

  6. Sharon: Yes, I try to post every day. And no, I am not a professor or teacher, though I have lectured and taught in the business world for many years all across America. As a friend of mine is wont to say, "I'm just a guy in blue jeans." One, I might add, with a devout love for the scriptures and a great dislike for those who use them for their own purposes.

  7. Hey dad. This is your son, Michael. Im using a freinds Id to post this comment. Why did you give me the middle name Helaman? Is there a significant meaning either biblical or moral? Does it have to do with what you wanted us to become? please respond to these questions through a message on facebook when you get a chance to ensure my receiving of said message.

  8. Ammoron himself claims to be a descendant of Zoram:

    Alma 54:23-24 I am Ammoron, and a descendant of Zoram, whom your fathers pressed and brought out of Jerusalem. And behold now, I am a bold Lamanite; behold, this war hath been waged to avenge their wrongs, and to maintain and to obtain their rights to the government; and I close my epistle to Moroni.

  9. Responding to the 12/26/13 comment, I copy here what I also wrote on a similar question on this site from 2011/12: In Alma 54:23, Ammoron says he is a descendant of Zoram. However, he does NOT say that he or his brother belonged to the Zoramite sect, which caused so much trouble. Yes, his brother Amalickiah caused a lot of trouble, but nowhere do we read that Amalickiah held to the Z sect tenets, such as denying the Christ who should come and proclaiming that he was among the elect to be saved, or even any devotion whatsoever to the Z sect's god. Chapters 45 and 46 DO say that after Helaman and his brethren reestablished the church, there was a dissension by those who were proud and lifted up because of their riches, and that their leader was Amalickiah. Yes, the Z sect did focus on pride due to riches, but the Z sect had joined with the Lamanites, and Amalickiah was living among the Nephites. He also clearly had become angry at Helaman only after he started preaching, for Alma 45:24 indicates this group "grew" rich and "would not" give heed, indicating that this was a developing thing, not something this group, including Amalickiah, had had ingrained in them from having lived among the Z sect at the time Alma and company first preached to them. Yes, Amalickiah wanted power more than anything else, and the record makes it clear that the Z sect wanted this as well, due to their insatiable focus on beating down the poor Zoramites even after they left. But nothing in any of these chapters definitively proves that either Amalickiah or Ammoron were devotees of the Z sect, even if they were Zoramites by birth. And Alma 48:5 simply indicates that Amalickiah used the Z sect as his captains because they knew the military inclinations of the Nephite population - not because he himself belonged to their sect. In the sense of this article, then, which deals with the issue of whether Amalickiah was a Zoramite in the sense of belonging to the Z sect - not as to whether he was a descendant of Zoram, which are two entirely different things - the scriptures are silent...