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KnoWhy #274 - Why were the People of Ammon Exempted from Military Duty? (Alma 27:24)

TitleKnoWhy #274 - Why were the People of Ammon Exempted from Military Duty? (Alma 27:24)
Publication TypeKnoWhy
Year of Publication2017
Corporate AuthorsBook of Mormon Central Staff
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
Place PublishedSalt Lake City
KeywordsAmmonites (Lamanite Converts); Anti-Nephi-Lehi; Children of Ammon; Covenant; Military; People of Ammon; Transgression; Warfare

Because the Ammonite fathers had entered into a covenant to never again shed blood, the Nephites granted them a notable exemption from military combat. Legal scholar, John Welch, has noted that ancient Israelite law and its traditional interpretation support the following points: (1) Absolute military duty only applied to fighting enemies. (2) Serious transgressions could render soldiers unfit for battle. (3) Exemptions were sometimes removed in dire circumstances. (4) Exempted soldiers still had to supply provisions for the active troops. Interestingly, each of these points are meaningfully present in the story of the Ammonite fathers as well, suggesting that their military exemption may have been informed by ancient Israelite law. Studying about the Ammonites in light of this research can provide new and profound insights into their story of faith and obedience.

Citation Key3162

Scripture Reference

Alma 24:18
Alma 27:24
Deuteronomy 20:1-2