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TitleAlma 30
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGardner, Brant A.
Book TitleBook of Mormon Minute
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT
KeywordsAlma (Book)

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Alma 30

Alma 30:1–5

1 Behold, now it came to pass that after the people of Ammon were established in the land of Jershon, yea, and also after the Lamanites were driven out of the land, and their dead were buried by the people of the land—

2 Now their dead were not numbered because of the greatness of their numbers; neither were the dead of the Nephites numbered—but it came to pass after they had buried their dead, and also after the days of fasting, and mourning, and prayer, (and it was in the sixteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi) there began to be continual peace throughout all the land.

3 Yea, and the people did observe to keep the commandments of the Lord; and they were strict in observing the ordinances of God, according to the law of Moses; for they were taught to keep the law of Moses until it should be fulfilled.

4 And thus the people did have no disturbance in all the sixteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.

5 And it came to pass that in the commencement of the seventeenth year of the reign of the judges, there was continual peace.

Comments

As with many other cases where a testificatory Amen occasioned the close of a chapter, the beginning verses of this next chapter finish the story of the previous chapter. That chapter centered on the story of the Ammonites, and Mormon needs to conclude those events.

Even though the immediate story of the Ammonites has ended, this will not be the end of their importance to the overall Nephite story. They are established in Jershon and protected, but this original 1830 chapter (which covers the modern chapters 30–25) will set up conditions that will directly threaten Jershon. In keeping with the message of Alma’s soliloquy in Alma 29, even though there will be temporal causes and reasons for the threat to Jershon, it will ultimately be a spiritual threat.

The original 1830 chapter deals with Nephite apostasy. We will get two stories: the first of Korihor and the second of the Zoramites. In both cases, Mormon will continue to underline his theme that the most dangerous enemies are those who were once Nephites.

Alma 30:6–8

6 But it came to pass in the latter end of the seventeenth year, there came a man into the land of Zarahemla, and he was Anti-Christ, for he began to preach unto the people against the prophecies which had been spoken by the prophets, concerning the coming of Christ.

7 Now there was no law against a man’s belief; for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds.

8 For thus saith the scripture: Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve.

Comments

Mormon is clearly the narrator here. Verse 6 introduces the story of Korihor, but verses 7 and 8 are an aside discussing the nature of Nephite law. Nephite law comes into play in the story, but would not have been a topic on the plates. Only Mormon’s understanding that his future audience would not know Nephite law explains why verses 7 and 8 are included.

The introduction to Korihor is that “there came a man into the land of Zarahemla, and he was Anti-Christ.” Due to modern perceptions of the term “anti-Christ”, it is too easy to erroneously read this as saying that he was an anti-Christ. That isn’t the meaning here. The meaning is that he is “against the prophecies which had been spoken by the prophets, concerning the coming of Christ.” His teachings were, therefore, very similar to the teachings of previous apostate Nephites, including Sherem and Nehor, the priests of Noah; they taught that one did not need to look forward to a coming Messiah.

Mormon adds verses 7 and 8 so that his readers will understand why Korihor was allowed to preach at all. There was no law against what a person might believe. It is interesting that Mormon should note that the law was supported by scripture. It was an interpretation of scripture, to be sure, but it was scripture, nevertheless. The reference is to Joshua 24:15: “choose you this day whom ye will serve.” The reference is to a choice between serving Jehovah or the gods of Egypt, but it was used to bolster any choice of religious belief that a Nephite might understand.

Alma 30:9–11

9 Now if a man desired to serve God, it was his privilege; or rather, if he believed in God it was his privilege to serve him; but if he did not believe in him there was no law to punish him.

10 But if he murdered he was punished unto death; and if he robbed he was also punished; and if he stole he was also punished; and if he committed adultery he was also punished; yea, for all this wickedness they were punished.

11 For there was a law that men should be judged according to their crimes. Nevertheless, there was no law against a man’s belief; therefore, a man was punished only for the crimes which he had done; therefore all men were on equal grounds.

Comments

Verses 9–11 continue the legal explanation of Korihor’s story. While verses 7 and 8 clarified that Korihor could believe as he wished, verses 10-11 make certain that Mormon’s readers understand that the laws were not overly permissive. Not prosecuting for one’s belief was different from not prosecuting for specific crimes. “There was a law that men should be judged according to their crimes.” Crimes were defined, but what a person believed was not defined by law.

In the ancient world, it was typical that the entire community had a single belief. Nephite society had been that type of community prior to merging with the people of Zarahemla. It was after that point, where there had been a merger between two peoples who had different religions (see Omni 1:17), when social conditions required that the law be defined to allow the different religions. In the situation where people came from different backgrounds and believes, this allowed “all men [to be] on equal grounds.”

Alma 30:12–16

12 And this Anti-Christ, whose name was Korihor, (and the law could have no hold upon him) began to preach unto the people that there should be no Christ. And after this manner did he preach, saying:

13 O ye that are bound down under a foolish and a vain hope, why do ye yoke yourselves with such foolish things? Why do ye look for a Christ? For no man can know of anything which is to come.

14 Behold, these things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers.

15 How do ye know of their surety? Behold, ye cannot know of things which ye do not see; therefore ye cannot know that there shall be a Christ.

16 Ye look forward and say that ye see a remission of your sins. But behold, it is the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement of your minds comes because of the traditions of your fathers, which lead you away into a belief of things which are not so.

Comments

Mormon repeats that Korihor is anti-Christ, and that there was nothing illegal about that. Having reiterated those points, Mormon provides an example of his teachings. The arguments are not significantly different than any other anti-Christ. Korihor isn’t anti-Jehovah (as God), but rather anti-Messiah. The phrase “which is to come” becomes associated with the coming Messiah in the Book of Mormon. King Benjamin told his people “I have things to tell you concerning that which is to come” (Mosiah 3:1). Benjamin then taught about the Messiah and the atonement. Alma 5:44 sees Alma teaching: “I am commanded to stand and testify unto this people the things which have been spoken by our fathers concerning the things which are to come.” It should, therefore, be very clear that, when Korihor states that one cannot know of that which is to come, it is not a condemnation of all prophecy, but is very particularly about the coming atoning mission of the Messiah.

What becomes the issue is seen in verse 16. Korihor objects to the idea that one must “look forward” to a remission of sins. His implication is that such a future atonement would do them no good as they are living now, not in that future time. Korihor is preaching a religion focused on the present, rather than some future event.

Alma 30:17–18

17 And many more such things did he say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.

18 And thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms—telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof.

Comments

The problem of the Nephite teaching of a future atonement is that it would seem to require that humankind had to wait upon the ability to repent. If the Messiah was so far in the future, it did no good for those living in that present time. Therefore, humankind lived according to the laws that they knew.

One place where Korihor appears to differ in his preaching is that he was not only anti-Christ, but also anti-Law of Moses. Korihor does not preach a return to what others had taught, which was that the Law of Moses was sufficient, but rather that “whatsoever a man did was no crime.” This took the concept of the lack of a current atonement (and only one that was expected in the future) to a rather extreme end. If atonement only happened in the future, then it really was not needed, and it was not needed because, without an atonement, it didn’t matter what one did.

Where the typical anti-Christ at least taught that an understanding of Jehovah’s laws was important, Korihor appears to preach that religion itself was not required. He taught that there was no future atonement, and no existence after death that one had to take into account in guiding one’s mortal life.

Alma 30:19–21

19 Now this man went over to the land of Jershon also, to preach these things among the people of Ammon, who were once the people of the Lamanites.

20 But behold they were more wise than many of the Nephites; for they took him, and bound him, and carried him before Ammon, who was a high priest over that people.

21 And it came to pass that he caused that he should be carried out of the land. And he came over into the land of Gideon, and began to preach unto them also; and here he did not have much success, for he was taken and bound and carried before the high priest, and also the chief judge over the land.

Comments

At the beginning of this chapter, Mormon noted that the Ammonites were in the land of Jershon. Korihor goes to Jerson to preach among the people of Ammon. Mormon has already recounted their great faith, and now reiterates it: “they were more wise than many of the Nephites.” It may not have been a crime to believe what one wanted to believe, and even perhaps to preach it. It does not appear that there was any requirement that one must listen, and Mormon underscores the righteousness of these recently converted Lamanites. Once again, they are even more righteous than many Nephites. That is an important aspect to their conversion, and an important message Mormon wanted to demonstrate to his future Lamanite audience.

The Ammonites expel Korihor, who then travels to Gideon. As Mormon included Alma’s sermon to the people of Gideon, he made it clear to his readers that they, the people of Gideon, were righteous people. Significantly, although they were of Nephite heritage, they were most recently from Lamanite lands. It appears possible that Korihor thought that his message would be better received by those who had been most influenced by Lamanites. He was wrong.

Korihor is brought before the chief judge over the land of Gideon.

Alma 30:22–23

22 And it came to pass that the high priest said unto him: Why do ye go about perverting the ways of the Lord? Why do ye teach this people that there shall be no Christ, to interrupt their rejoicings? Why do ye speak against all the prophecies of the holy prophets?

23 Now the high priest’s name was Giddonah. And Korihor said unto him: Because I do not teach the foolish traditions of your fathers, and because I do not teach this people to bind themselves down under the foolish ordinances and performances which are laid down by ancient priests, to usurp power and authority over them, to keep them in ignorance, that they may not lift up their heads, but be brought down according to thy words.

Comments

By being presented before the land’s chief judge, Korihor is put on trial. With the law stating that one might believe as they wished, on what charge could he be brought to trial? John W. Welch suggests that it is for violating the prohibition against lying. In Alma 1:17 it was noted: “Nevertheless, they durst not lie, if it were known, for fear of the law, for liars were punished; therefore they pretended to preach according to their belief; and now the law could have no power on any man for his belief.” Thus, Korihor is not on trial for what he believes, but for what he preaches.

In that context Giddonah asks “why do ye speak against all the prophecies of the holy prophets?” For Giddonah, the scriptures declare truth, and if Korihor speaks against the scriptures, he is therefore lying.

In his defense, Korihor sidesteps the entire issue by declaring that he doesn’t teach those scriptures, because the scriptures are lying. He states that they were “laid down by the ancient priests”, rather than prophets, and that the scriptures keep people in ignorance, rather than teaching them truths.

This conflict is no longer about Korihor, but it is about the source and nature of truth. That point makes Korihor’s case important. Mormon wants his readers to know from the beginning what the outcome will be, and so he makes certain that Korihor has a Jaredite name (see the reference to the name Corihor, in Ether 7:3–4). Most people with Jaredite names in Mormon’s writings are dangerous to the Nephite way of life.

Alma 30:24–28

24 Ye say that this people is a free people. Behold, I say they are in bondage. Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true. Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true.

25 Ye say that this people is a guilty and a fallen people, because of the transgression of a parent. Behold, I say that a child is not guilty because of its parents.

26 And ye also say that Christ shall come. But behold, I say that ye do not know that there shall be a Christ. And ye say also that he shall be slain for the sins of the world—

27 And thus ye lead away this people after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye keep them down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands, that they durst not look up with boldness, and that they durst not enjoy their rights and privileges.

28 Yea, they durst not make use of that which is their own lest they should offend their priests, who do yoke them according to their desires, and have brought them to believe, by their traditions and their dreams and their whims and their visions and their pretended mysteries, that they should, if they did not do according to their words, offend some unknown being, who they say is God—a being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be.

Comments

As Korihor builds his defense, he continues with the theme that it is the Nephite religious tradition that is lying, rather than what he preaches. In verse 24, he lays it out clearly: “Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true. Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true.” Korihor is putting the definition of truth on trial, and at the heart of the Nephite definition of truth is the scriptures. To put the important Nephite perspective on this accusation, Korihor is declaring that there is no inherent value in the brass plates, which not only formed an essential part of the Nephite origin story, but are included among the sacred relics that defined and declared the Nephite right to rule. Beyond religion, Korihor is declaring the Nephite right to rule as illegitimate. No wonder he was considered dangerous.

Verse 25 shows how a smart argument can make a position questionable. Modern readers will read Korihor’s declaration that “a child is not guilty because of its parents” and have a hard time disagreeing. However, Korihor uses that argument to suggest that there is no guilt. By attaching it to the argument about “a guilty and a fallen people,” Korihor is attempting to erase the meaning of the Fall from the Garden of Eden.

There is no need for Christ’s atonement if there were no Fall. If we are to be judged according to our own works and not our parents, or their parents, then the Fall would have no meaning and there would be nothing for the atonement to fulfill. Many arguments can sound logical, appearing to support God’s truths, while ultimately contradicting them.

Alma 30:29–31

29 Now when the high priest and the chief judge saw the hardness of his heart, yea, when they saw that he would revile even against God, they would not make any reply to his words; but they caused that he should be bound; and they delivered him up into the hands of the officers, and sent him to the land of Zarahemla, that he might be brought before Alma, and the chief judge who was governor over all the land.

30 And it came to pass that when he was brought before Alma and the chief judge, he did go on in the same manner as he did in the land of Gideon; yea, he went on to blaspheme.

31 And he did rise up in great swelling words before Alma, and did revile against the priests and teachers, accusing them of leading away the people after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of glutting on the labors of the people.

Comments

Giddonah does not pass judgement, but sends Korihor to Alma, the chief priest, as well as to the chief judge (this is clarified in verse 51). Korihor is not simply a man who might be guilty of lying, but a man who was subversive to the entire Nephite way of life.

When Korihor comes before Alma, he continues the same arguments that he had used in Gideon. There are two aspects to Korihor’s accusations against the Nephite religion. The first is that they do not teach truth, but rather “the silly traditions of their fathers.” This repeats the argument that it is the scriptures that lie, not Korihor. The second accusation is that the reason for Nephite religion is so that the priests can “[glut themselves] on the labors of the people.”

Since Korihor is a man who came into the land of Zarahemla (see Alma 30:6), it is possible that he was from some non-Nephite land and was not aware of the fact that it was an important Nephite teaching that the priests labor with their own hands for their support. Alma will make certain to bring that up as part of the revelation of Korihor’s lies.

Alma 30:32–36

32 Now Alma said unto him: Thou knowest that we do not glut ourselves upon the labors of this people; for behold I have labored even from the commencement of the reign of the judges until now, with mine own hands for my support, notwithstanding my many travels round about the land to declare the word of God unto my people.

33 And notwithstanding the many labors which I have performed in the church, I have never received so much as even one senine for my labor; neither has any of my brethren, save it were in the judgment-seat; and then we have received only according to law for our time.

34 And now, if we do not receive anything for our labors in the church, what doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren?

35 Then why sayest thou that we preach unto this people to get gain, when thou, of thyself, knowest that we receive no gain? And now, believest thou that we deceive this people, that causes such joy in their hearts?

36 And Korihor answered him, Yea.

Comments

The easiest lie to disprove is Korihor’s accusation that Nephite priests glut themselves on the labor of others. Alma puts it to him directly and clearly declares that Korihor is lying: “thou knowest that we do not glut ourselves upon the labors of this people.” Alma presents himself as the most important case in point. If there were any priest who should have been supported by the people, it was he. However, Alma declares that he has never received wages as the chief priest, even though he had received wages as the chief judge (verse 33).

To make certain that this point is clear, Alma asks Korihor if he believes that the priests deceive the people to get gain, even though he knows they do not? Korihor answers that he does, thus declaring himself a liar. He is preaching something he knows to be false. While that declaration makes him guilty, it is the lesser of the dangers in his preaching. Korihor has also preached that the scriptures are false and, therefore, Korihor threatens the very foundations of Nephite society. Therefore, even though Korihor has already declared himself guilty, the trial continues.

Alma 30:37–43

37 And then Alma said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God?

38 And he answered, Nay.

39 Now Alma said unto him: Will ye deny again that there is a God, and also deny the Christ? For behold, I say unto you, I know there is a God, and also that Christ shall come.

40 And now what evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only.

41 But, behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true; and will ye deny them? Believest thou that these things are true?

42 Behold, I know that thou believest, but thou art possessed with a lying spirit, and ye have put off the Spirit of God that it may have no place in you; but the devil has power over you, and he doth carry you about, working devices that he may destroy the children of God.

43 And now Korihor said unto Alma: If thou wilt show me a sign, that I may be convinced that there is a God, yea, show unto me that he hath power, and then will I be convinced of the truth of thy words.

Comments

Alma begins by asking Korihor if he believes that there is a God. He says no. He will later clarify this to indicate that he believes in a god, but not in the Nephite God (see verse 48). Korihor may have responded similarly to how King Lamoni and Lamoni’s father responded to a similar question asked by the sons of Mosiah. They were not atheists, but did not recognize Jehovah as God.

The case now revolves around proof. Alma declares that Alma knows that there is a God, just as Korihor declares that Korihor does not believe there is one. Only one of the two can be correct. Alma testifies that he knows that “these things are true,” that “there is a God, and also that Christ shall come.” The problem is that we still have only Alma’s word against Korihor’s word. Although the scriptures should have been the standard upon which truth was judged, Korihor has declared that the scriptures themselves are not true and that, therefore, it is simply a matter of what two different people believe, with no way of proof.

Korihor suggests that there is a way to prove truth. He suggests that Alma create a sign that will cause belief. That is a wonderful way to end the argument because it suggests that truth is dependent upon Alma’s ability to invoke God to a specific action. Most understand that such things do not happen often. Korihor certainly appears to be in a strong position.

Alma 30:44–47

44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

45 And yet do ye go about, leading away the hearts of this people, testifying unto them there is no God? And yet will ye deny against all these witnesses? And he said: Yea, I will deny, except ye shall show me a sign.

46 And now it came to pass that Alma said unto him: Behold, I am grieved because of the hardness of your heart, yea, that ye will still resist the spirit of the truth, that thy soul may be destroyed.

47 But behold, it is better that thy soul should be lost than that thou shouldst be the means of bringing many souls down to destruction, by thy lying and by thy flattering words; therefore if thou shalt deny again, behold God shall smite thee, that thou shalt become dumb, that thou shalt never open thy mouth any more, that thou shalt not deceive this people any more.

Comments

Alma attempts to use the scriptures as the foundation for truth, but, ultimately, he understands that Korihor has undermined the ability of the scriptures to be used as the standard of truth. Therefore, Korihor is particularly dangerous. When he is “leading away the hearts of this people,” he isn’t simply preaching a different religion, but he is undermining the entire Nephite way of life.

Alma sees that there is such danger in Korihor’s words that he declares: “I am grieved because of the hardness of your heart, yea, that ye will still resist the spirit of the truth, that thy soul may be destroyed. But behold, it is better that thy soul should be lost than that thou shouldst be the means of bringing many souls down to destruction.” Alma believes that he must choose between the destruction of the Nephites or the destruction of Korihor. Alma chooses the Nephite people.

Alma gives Korihor one last chance. Alma specifically says that “if thou shalt deny again, behold God shall smite thee, that thou shalt become dumb.” Korihor will respond with, in essence, “go ahead.”

Alma 30:48–50

48 Now Korihor said unto him: I do not deny the existence of a God, but I do not believe that there is a God; and I say also, that ye do not know that there is a God; and except ye show me a sign, I will not believe.

49 Now Alma said unto him: This will I give unto thee for a sign, that thou shalt be struck dumb, according to my words; and I say, that in the name of God, ye shall be struck dumb, that ye shall no more have utterance.

50 Now when Alma had said these words, Korihor was struck dumb, that he could not have utterance, according to the words of Alma.

Comments

Korihor clarifies that he believes in a god, but not in Alma’s God, Jehovah. He continues to declare that he will not believe without a sign. The importance of this case is such that Jehovah does provide the sign that Alma had vowed would happen. Korihor was struck dumb.

Korihor’s sin was lying, and by striking him dumb, he was made unable to continue preaching his lies, which were dangerous to not only the Nephite religion, but also to their entire political and social structure.

Alma 30:51–53

51 And now when the chief judge saw this, he put forth his hand and wrote unto Korihor, saying: Art thou convinced of the power of God? In whom did ye desire that Alma should show forth his sign? Would ye that he should afflict others, to show unto thee a sign? Behold, he has showed unto you a sign; and now will ye dispute more?

52 And Korihor put forth his hand and wrote, saying: I know that I am dumb, for I cannot speak; and I know that nothing save it were the power of God could bring this upon me; yea, and I always knew that there was a God.

53 But behold, the devil hath deceived me; for he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me.

Comments

Alma has been in charge of this trial up to this point. Now the chief judge enters the picture to pronounce the obvious final judgement. The chief judge asks if Korihor now believes that he received the sign that he requested. Korihor clearly must declare that he has, and that, therefore, there must be a God, i.e, Jehovah.

What follows is a confession. Korihor declares that he did indeed lie, and that he did so because he believed that the devil had come to him in the form of an angel. Therefore, he was not really lying so much as he was lied to. Perhaps by deflecting the cause of his lies to another entity, he believed that he might escape punishment. Nevertheless, his confession has to declare that the punishment is just, for “I have brought this great curse upon me.”

Alma 30:54–55

54 Now when he had said this, he besought that Alma should pray unto God, that the curse might be taken from him.

55 But Alma said unto him: If this curse should be taken from thee thou wouldst again lead away the hearts of this people; therefore, it shall be unto thee even as the Lord will.

Comments

Perhaps because Korihor defended his actions as the result of the devil being in the form of an angel who lied to him, he hoped that Alma would lift the curse. Alma declines. Korihor had admitted to being a liar, and not only a liar in small things, but also with respect to essential elements of Nephite politics and religion. He had been influential, and, therefore, dangerous.

As a liar, Alma could not trust him to cease lying. It is also likely that the very obvious punishment of being struck dumb would stand as a permanent declaration that he had indeed lied, and that that would begin to heal any of the damage that he might have caused. Korihor had been clearly given ample opportunity, even the opportunity to reverse his lies, knowing what the sign would be. He didn’t, and Alma saw no reason to reverse the curse.

Alma 30:56–58

56 And it came to pass that the curse was not taken off of Korihor; but he was cast out, and went about from house to house begging for his food.

57 Now the knowledge of what had happened unto Korihor was immediately published throughout all the land; yea, the proclamation was sent forth by the chief judge to all the people in the land, declaring unto those who had believed in the words of Korihor that they must speedily repent, lest the same judgments would come unto them.

58 And it came to pass that they were all convinced of the wickedness of Korihor; therefore they were all converted again unto the Lord; and this put an end to the iniquity after the manner of Korihor. And Korihor did go about from house to house, begging food for his support.

Comments

Verse 57 provides the most important result of Korihor’s trial. He had had some success, and the news of his dramatic conviction at God’s hands demonstrated that he had lied. Thus, the chief judge sends a proclamation out to the people to let them know of the results of the trial, and that if they had believed Korihor, they must swiftly repent, “lest the same judgments would come unto them.” Once again, this demonstrates that Korihor’s teachings were deemed extremely dangerous. It was not simply a question of what he might have believed, but that what he was teaching was essentially sedition. The result is that the people are convinced and “converted again unto the Lord.”

Korihor does not die. While it would have been understandable to put a traitor to death, the obvious result of God’s curse made him more valuable as a living symbol, rather than a possible martyr. However, not being able to speak, and the ignominy of his judgment, reduced him to begging. Mormon will use that part of Korihor’s story to move to the next story that he wants to tell about apostate Nephites.

Alma 30:59–60

59 And it came to pass that as he went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram—and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead.

60 And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell.

Comments

Verse 59 is the transition between the story of Korihor and the next story about the Zoramites. Korihor ends up among a people where he might have had some influence had he preached there, but he now shows up as a beggar. Those who follow Zoram have their own issues, and treating the poor kindly was not one of their defining traits. Therefore, Korihor was “run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead.”

Mormon ends Korihor’s story with a short moralizing statement about the faithfulness of Jehovah contrasted with the unfaithfulness of the devil. While this ends a chapter in our modern text, the 1830 chapter continues without a break.

Scripture Reference

Alma 30:1-60