In the ancient americas around 87 B.C., there was a great nation.  These people originally came from Jerusalem around 600 B.C. to escape its prophesied destruction, and eventually many of them were destroyed (around A.D. 400).  We can learn much from their very important story.  Up until this point, they were governed mostly by kings–good and bad.  However, around 92 B.C. something changed.  King Mosiah, the current king, had four sons, but none of them wanted the kingdom.  

This sparked an idea in the mind of King Mosiah.  He proposed that after his death, they set up a new system of government by the voice of the people, known as the reign of the judges, because he desired that “this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike”.  This new government would consist of higher judges and lower judges.  If the lower judges did not judge according to the law which had been given, the lower judges would be judged by the higher judges and vice versa. 

The people were very pleased with this proposal.  They appointed just men to be judges and there was peace in the land for a time.  As I was reading their account, the next part really stood out to me.

And it came to pass in the commencement of the fifth year of their reign there began to be a contention among the people; for a certain man, being called Amlici, he being a very cunning man, yea, a wise man as to the wisdom of the world, he being after the order of the man that slew Gideon by the sword, who was executed according to the law—

Now this Amlici had, by his cunning, drawn away much people after him; even so much that they began to be very powerful; and they began to endeavor to establish Amlici to be a king over the people.

Now this was alarming to the people of the church, and also to all those who had not been drawn away after the persuasions of Amlici; for they knew that according to their law that such things must be established by the voice of the people.

Therefore, if it were possible that Amlici should gain the voice of the people, he, being a wicked man, would deprive them of their rights and privileges of the church; for it was his intent to destroy the church of God.

The part that really stood out to me is the fact that they were alarmed and informed.  This Amlici ended up causing a lot of problems–12,532 of his followers and 6,562 of the good people were killed in battle before Amlici was killed–and the war continued.  The only reasons that Amlici didn’t become king are (1) the people recognized danger immediately–before the war started, (2) the people were informed about their law and system of government, and (3) they had God’s help (“Nevertheless the Lord did strengthen the hand of the Nephites, that they slew the Amlicites with great slaughter, that they began to flee before them.”)

I’d say we have some Amlici’s in our day.  Advocates against religious freedom, people promoting socialism, overtaxing and inflating our money supply, etc.  Are we alarmed?  Are we informed?  Are we living in a way that we can receive God’s help?  If we want to be successful in preserving our nation, we absolutely need these three things.

Note: The record of this people can be found in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ 

(Book of Mormon | Web Version)

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Photo Credit: Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty, by Arnold Friberg, © 1951 IRI