I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from The Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity - the pure love of Christ - will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.
- President Marion G. Romney

Thursday, June 19, 2008

In this chapter, Amulek contends with Zeezrom, one of the most successful lawyers in the land of Ammonihah. They have a very memorable exchange. Zeezrom offers Amulek six onties of silver to deny the existence of a Supreme Being. I wondered what exactly that amount was and in my research found this:
At this juncture, a reader naturally asks, what are "six onties of silver" and how large was the offered bribe? It seems that the Nephite record keepers anticipated these sorts of questions from readers and therefore listed the relative values of the weights and measures used by the Nephites at that time to calculate wealth. Zeezrom's bribe was an impressive sum. A judge earned one onti of silver for seven days of work. Hence, six onties of silver would equal a judge's salary for 42 days of work; or if seven judges were involved in a case, enough to pay them all for a six-day trial. Zeezrom's six onties probably looked quite sizable, physically. If one has spent time in a village marketplace where merchants sell goods measured out by using old metal weights, one notices how bulky the weights themselves are. Because an onti of silver would purchase seven measures of barley in the marketplace (see Alma 11:6–7), it is safe to conclude that an onti represented a significant amount of silver in raw weight.
Weighing and Measuring in the Worlds of the Book of Mormon John W. WelchProvo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 1999. Pp. 36–46
I found that very interesting and even helpful as I listened to their exchange throughout the chapter.

*What can we learn from Amulek's response to Zeezrom in vs. 26-27. How should we answer questions presented to us about the Gospel?
*Zeezrom's words really are cunning, aren't they? Amulek's response reminds me of Christ's temptation in the wilderness -- they both use scripture to rebuke their tempter. What can we learn from this?
*Verses 39-46 are some of the best about the ressurrection and judgement, don't you think? One thing I noticed this time is how Amulek's message was tailored specifically to his audience. Verse 44 must have shaken Zeezrom and the wicked judges right to the core. What can we learn about teaching by the Spirit from this chapter?


Julie said...

So, I shared most of my thoughts about the chapter in my post, but I just wanted to comment here that after reading Amulek's words and testimony here, I was completely inspired to become a better teacher -- one who follows the Spirit at every turn so it can tailor the message directly to the hearts and minds of the people in the classroom (or the friend or child or whoever the listener is...)
Amulek is a great example of treasuring up in your mind and heart the words of life continually. Then the Spirit can bring scripture to mind that will allow the message to be taught in a way that will be most effective. But it makes me wonder, was Amulek doing this all along? Or was he so inspired by Alma that he just knew? How did Amulek gain this great knowledge of the scriptures and the doctrine? Do you think it came quickly or was it a process of learning that came to a culmination with Alma's visit to him? Am I making sense?

Janelle said...

Yes, I haven't read yet but it certainly seems Amulek was a quick study or everyone in the society knows the scriptures but are not converted. Similar to the Jews in Christ's day, and the people of Zarahemla. Which is why Alma asked them if they have been born again and received His image in their countenance. Conversion is different than membership. It is possible that Amulek was taught the scriptures but "would not hear" as he said.

Janelle said...

Ok so: "and we shall be brought to stand before God knowing evn as we know now and have a bright recollection of all our guilt." vs.43

I'd much prefer a dim recollection, kind of like the one I have of my childhood. Its there, but distant and painless.

Julie said...

I do agree with this, but I think that from Alma's sermons and Amulek's also, we can be confident, if we are repentant, that there will be no guilt to recall, because we will have been washed clean of our sins. I am hoping for this. And realizing what a real blessing repentance is.

TaLaisa said...

I really loved this chapter! I couldn't help but think that there may be a quiz on the values on the post. If Julie has 3 seons, Janelle has 2 times the number of seons that TaLaisa has how many seons does Amanda have if she has 2 fewer seons than TaLaisa.

That extra information on the value of the money offered makes it more interesting rather than some abstract amount. Thanks for researching that Julie.

I love that both Amulek and Christ referred to scripture to rebuke their tempters. I've had many experiences when in an instant I've been able to recall a scripture I memorized and often a hymn that I've memorized that gives an answer to a prayer, comfort in difficult situations, teaches, brings the spirit and brings peace.

Teaching by the spirit brings so much more to the lesson. I've been on both giving and receiving ends of a lesson taught with the spirit. And I can say for certain on the teaching end, I never would have thought to add what was added. IT blessed me to know how deeply Heavenly Father knows us all to know that someone needed to hear those words that day.

I think that the only things we will remember with guilt will be those unrepented sins. I remember sins that I've repented of and I don't feel guilt towards them, only sorrow that it happened and deeper gratitude for the opportunity to repent. The atonement is beyond words amazing.

Dad Rose said...

I had the exact same thought this morning as I read that verse. If we have repented, we will have no guilt. It made me want to be sure I am self-examining and repenting every single day - slowly becoming that new person - more like Christ and our Father in Heaven. I am so thankful for the atonement and the principle of repentence. I was so touched by verse 43.
Julie's Mom (and loving it!)

Janelle said...

I seem to be plagued with the bright recollections. As I read the scriptures or prepare lessons I am reminded about small things here and there from my past that need to be repented for. I have the most guilt for any time I may have hurt another's feelings. I can repent, but I still feel embarassed for how I behaved. I think that the more work you do with repentance, the more you realise how much more there is to do. I can relate to Nephi and others who will start out a scripture set with "O wretched man that I am.." One part of the atonement is coming to the very uncomfortable realization of how far we fall short and the amount of grace it will take to become whole. I didn't understand the words grace, glory and worship until I realized what an unprofitable servant I really am.

Repentence: It keeps you humble!