We are on chapter 6 of Mosiah, and this is why, usually in the second or third week, a good portion of the class drop out. They just don't like it, and you will see why. This is a marvelous chapter, and it is going to tell us an awful lot. We come to chapter 7 now. The Book of Mormon tells us things we don't like to be told. If it told us only what we wanted to hear, of course, we wouldn't need it. But that's the only part of the scriptures we are willing to accept. Well, here we go. Notice the last verse of chapter 6 before we get to chapter 7. What a strange economy this is. King Mosiah was king of Zarahemla, and he was a Nephite not a Zarahemlite. "And king Mosiah did cause his people that they should till the earth [I would say that was an agrarian society, wouldn't you?]. And he also, himself, did till the earth [the king goes out and plows], that thereby he might not become burdensome to his people, that he might do according to that which his father had done in all things." His father had done the same thing; he is keeping the rule his father laid down in all things. As we said last time, here you have the organic constitution of the land. The constitution of Benjamin and Mosiah remains right to the end, and the great rival to it, of course, is that of the Nehors. But here he did as his father had done in all things, including cultivating the earth. He wanted to be like him in that, too.
"And there was no contention among all his people for the space of three years." That's as long as Benjamin was alive. Benjamin lived for three years [after Mosiah became king]. So what is going on here? What a strange economy this is in which everybody lives by the sweat of his brow. This was Adam's economy, too. He didn't live in the stock market; he lived by the sweat of his brow. But should the king be doing that sort of thing? Well, why not. That was Brigham Young's ideal—everybody would spend two or three hours in the field a day. That would be plenty if we all worked. "Then we would have time to do the things for which we are here, namely improving our minds," he said. That's what we should be doing. But this was Adam's economy—both in the garden, where he was told to dress and keep the garden, and out of the garden, where he was condemned to toil and sweat all the days of his life. By the sweat of his brow he would earn his living. Are there such societies? Well, yes. Anciently, the king always cultivated with everybody else. Remember, it tells us how old King Laertes toiled in the vineyards and on the fields—old King Laertes on the hillside in the sun, etc. They used to think if the king didn't cultivate the fields things wouldn't grow. We see lots of folklore about that sort of thing. These are the normal societies that pervade throughout the earth. The other societies are expansive and acquisitive, as ours is. And they are necessarily destructive; we destroy as we go. We have Aristophanes and Thucydides describing how it happened. Aristophanes wrote a long list of plays all criticizing the transition of Athens from its old-fashioned, quaint, agrarian society to a new aggressive, expansive business society, and it's biting satire. Then if you want clinical analysis that belongs very much in our day. General George Marshall was "chairman of the board" during World II. He was a great general and a great man, but he always had them start out by reading Thucydides. He warns us when we get expansive and ambitious.
The utopian ideal was tried, but it didn't work in this country. We are talking about where everybody works in the field, etc. With the Latter-day Saints it worked, but when they tried it with the Amana Society (Brother Robert Owen) and other idealistic societies, it didn't work because the people were factory workers who had just decided to get away from it all and go back to the soil. They weren't accustomed to it; it wasn't their way of life. But this is a way of life that is extremely ancient. We find these fields in Britain now. There's a new collection of air photographs of Britain by a person called Richard Muir that just came out. They show fields of solid cultivation way up to the north, way up into Scotland around 4300 B.C. The real heavy agriculture began about 3800 B.C. That's  hundred years ago. That's older than Egypt or anything else, and the fields are still good. On my mission I was in Baden, Germany, in the Black Forest, etc. I walked by Michelsburg every morning for a while when I went out to the villages on my trusty bicycle to tract. The roads were so worn that they would go down ten or fifteen feet, and the roots of the trees would grow together over them. In winter time you just walked through a tunnel there because those roads were so ancient. The Michelsburg civilization around there has left its remnants. It so old that it goes back to the Upper Neolithic—the pots and pans and bell beakerware, and that sort of thing. But the point is that the soil was still fertile. After thousands of years they were still planting because they didn't waste anything. They didn't use chemical fertilizers either. They had the way of doing it. Across the river there in the Vosges, there was a continuation of it. They took these pots and pans and scraped off what was cooked in them. They scraped it out of the bottom and analyzed it, and it's the very same soup that the peasants make there today, after all those thousands of years they have been doing this. It is a stable civilization, you see. Are stable civilizations dull? No, they are not. They are much more interesting than the others—much more interesting than the prime-time TV.
In these next chapters (those coming today if we get to them), I refer to the Hopis because they give us a good standard to judge by. Theirs was such a society, absolutely stable. Sister Theresa Harvey's house was the first house that was measured by the tree-ring method when it first began. She lives in a house out on the point at Walpi in the first mesa there. She was the one who revived the old pottery custom because there was a pottery dump right outside her house. You go to the edge of Walpi and then it drops right off. There's this ancient pottery there. She started making pots and printing the designs of the pottery on them, and it became a big thing. She was very responsible for reviving the ancient pottery. But her house was 1100 years old, and it had been inhabited there [all those years]. This is an urban civilization. They call their villages cities—the twelve villages. The thing is just about on the same scale we find in the Book of Mormon. This is surprising. You mustn't think of these cities as something like Pittsburgh or Chicago, or something like that. They were not. This is by our standards very small stuff, but everything that is said here [in the Book of Mormon] would apply very well there. You can use them as a good yardstick. And life is not dull there. Every weekend they have a grand "blowout." They have a dance every weekend, and then in November it ends with the Hemmen dance. Then it begins again on March 15. In the meantime in the winter they cheer themselves with all sorts of things, and this is very ancient.
I'm tempted to recite Titania's speech from A Midsummer Night's Dream because this describes exactly what happens when the people fail to observe the ancient rituals and their dances, etc., and all nature is in rebellion against them because they are wrangling and fighting among themselves. Well, we will get on with the lesson, but those are wonderful lines though. She says what's happening because the people are not doing things as they should and now they are becoming mean, ambitious, over-reaching each other. The opposite end of the scale is that which we have reached today in the MBA. Here is an article from the last Business Monthly, December 1988. It's talking about the MBA program. This is the opposite extreme of that other civilization—that agrarian, stable civilization I was describing, which I will attempt to show later on, is not a dull form of life. "It is a nearly unanimous view of executives that MBA's are lacking in humility, humor, and humanity—all valued attributes for executives. A poll of 480 chief executives were asked that, and they agreed on it. One of them said, 'Those young people seem to be intent on destroying each other to get to the top.' [You are not going to have a stable or enduring civilization on that; there is no survival value in this sort of behavior.] 'I have been watching MBA's in the business for twenty years,' said a partner of Lazière Frères & Company. I have found the great majority of them immature in their judgments, inclined to make strong judgments without the background of experience, ill mannered, rude, brash, impatient, and condescending.' [This is a nice generation coming up, isn't it? I have a son-in-law who was very active in the MBA program at Harvard. He left it. He said they could think of nothing but money, and that was very jarring.] Competition is the sine qua non of the MBA program. [These people were noncompetitive. Notice it says here, 'And there was no contention among all his people for the space of three years.' It didn't last too long either; we will come to that, too. There was no competition, no rivalry, none of this sort of thing. That's the sine qua non of MBA programs.] There is fierce competition to get into the best programs. A placement director for a major MBA program asserts, 'If our students don't look out for themselves, no one else will. In fact, they can count on other people taking advantage of them if they don't get the advantage first [you see, it's "Do unto others or they will do unto you."] Cooperation is a nice ideal, but cut-throat competition is what's real.' "
This is the situation, so what do we get? Well, is this a Book of Mormon lesson? Yes, it is. We just look slightly ahead here to Alma. There's a lot of this, but this is the nearest example. In Alma 1:32 you see the type of character this develops. They "did indulge themselves in sorceries [that's a shortcut], and in idolatry or idleness, and in babblings, and in envyings and strife [highly competitive—envy, strife, babblings, spreading the gossip around; you can injure a person that way]; wearing costly apparel [you must dress for success; what are they doing?]; being lifted up in the pride of their own eyes [as it said, the MBA's are arrogant, ill-mannered, brash, impatient, and condescending; that's pride of their own hearts]; persecuting, lying, thieving, robbing, committing whoredoms [that's on the side, but it's de rigueur. It's what you always get in the TV prime—time], and murdering, and all manner of wickedness."
Well, that's the picture. That's the alternative, the other civilization. Now I have some gems from last Sunday's paper that I am going to show you. This is a treat: "Suspect in Massive Fraud Flaunts His Wealth," "Bogus Brokers Sell Worthless Utah Firms Worldwide." Well, this suspect is quite a guy. He went up to Park City. I am quoting the manager of the real estate company that sold it to him. He went up there and dropped at least a million and a half to two million bucks in the place, in a fancy house in Park City. "If you drive down that road, you are going to see one of the most beautiful estates in Utah. I bet his gate cost $20,000, and nobody knows where the money came from [isn't that remarkable?]. Well, now this is not the same economy as a king working in the field by the sweat of his brow so he wouldn't be a burden to his people—so no one would have to pay the price of his ease. But look at the people who go down the drain in these [schemes].
This is what the Book of Mormon is telling us about. Why all this emphasis on economy, etc.? It was never so in my day. We thought this was fantastic, long ago and far away. It was considered romantic. The missionaries always pushed the Book of Mormon as a romantic history and story of the Indians—that's all. We never saw any connections at all in this stuff, but you see what it is now. Therefore, wo be to the generation that understands the Book of Mormon. So this is what we reach today—the point when the fruit is ripe. Is the cup full yet? Remember, the Lord said that he would let it go on until the end, until the fruit is ripe. Then there's no point to letting it go on any longer; it will just rot after that. Or if the cup is full, it can't be diluted or cleansed because it is full. You just have to empty. Then what will happen? "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the Second Coming." They bought and sold, they married and gave in marriage, they ate and drank. Everything was normal; it was business as usual. Then in a single day, it hit them. The flood came. Not that there wasn't preparation and warning before it—the prophets were yelling their heads off. But it will be this way, and this is what the Book of Mormon has to tell us.
So now we start out our story with chapter seven. This can be [confusing] if you try to trace these people around because later on in the account of Zenos there is a flashback. The whole story of King Noah, etc., all takes place long before this takes place. So it is not put in chronological order here. The person who wrote this had to be very careful. They were juggling plates and records, and the chance of getting things mixed up and using the wrong names, dates, and places, etc., is very great here. You have to sweat to unravel it, but Joseph Smith never missed a point. It was quite a performance!
King Mosiah sent some of his Mulekite subjects looking for what? They were looking for a colony that had gone out two generations earlier, not just before. That's why they didn't know where it was. Everybody was dead from that generation, and after they were out of sight who knew the direction they took? They [Mosiah's group] got lost and couldn't find this lost colony. They thought it would be a great thing because they remembered its being sent out. This idea of lost colonies is a common thing. The story Bar-Hebraeus and Aurel Stein's lost colony. Eldad ha-Dani was a Jew who looked for the Lost Tribes of Israel. He found lost villages and settlements of Israel all over the place. You can find them in China, etc. You all know James Hilton's novel Lost Horizon. There are these lost villages and civilizations. Pennache, the old French settlement way up in the Black Forest, that I practically discovered. Of course, it had been there for years; everybody knew about it. They were refugees from France from the twelfth century who had gone up there during a persecution. But the best, of course, is the Seven Cities of Cibola, which became fabulous. They are down in the Hopi country in New Mexico, but they were lost. Everybody was hunting for them because they were supposed to have been made of gold. The Spanish Father Esteban and the others were looking for them.
Anyway, it says they couldn't find [the colony]. Let's see what it says about it. It pays to look at the text once in a while, doesn't it? Verse 2: "King Mosiah granted that sixteen of their strong men might go up to the land of Lehi-Nephi." They kept teasing him about it. This is tradition, and, of course, it's romantic and exciting. Look at the people who want to go treasure hunting. For a mile off the Florida Keys, or wherever it is, we see them. They go out in their yachts and find Spanish gold. And there is Spanish gold, so you can't blame them for getting all excited. Remember the great treasure hunting in Joseph Smith's time. He was accused of being a treasure hunter because he dug for somebody who was a treasure hunter. Well, anyway these people wanted to go "up to the land of Lehi-Nephi, to inquire concerning their brethren." That land of Lehi-Nephi wasn't the place from which Mosiah had set forth, the land that Nephi went to because that migration was 460 years earlier. That had nothing to do with this; that was something else. This is called the city of Lehi-Nephi here. Their leader was Ammon. He was a "strong and mighty man, and a descendant of Zarahemla. So this was a Mulekite crowd that went. They didn't know the course to take because it had been just about a hundred years before that this had happened. Verse 4: "And now, they knew not the course, they should travel in the wilderness to go up to the land of Lehi-Nephi; therefore, they wandered many days in the wilderness.
These wanderings [are recorded]. You know the stories of Utah Valley—Father Serra and others that went through—the Spanish who discovered Utah Valley. They wandered around and got lost. They found marvelous things here in the valley and peaceful Indians that had no intentions of fighting at all—marvelous societies. Like Athenian imperialism, Spanish imperialism came in and became very oppressive because what they wanted was the gold. I'm not thinking of just Junipero Serra, who was in California, of course, but of Escalante and Dominguez, who came down Spanish Fork Canyon. So they wander around and wonder how they will get home. It's a great country for wandering—not a very dense population. That's a thing which is understood. This is what you call the macro-criticism—low population and a lot of territory. That's still the case in a place like Nevada, etc.
Anyway, they went to look for this place, and they couldn't find it. They wandered all over the place for forty days, but they did find something. Notice the type of land they came to. Verse 5: "They came to a hill which is north of the land of Shilom, and there they pitched their tents." In Semitic language, Shilom means "the land to the east" when you are facing south. It can also mean secure, safe. They parked there, north of the land of Shilom. When it talks about pitching on a hill, you get the idea that they weren't in the midst of mountains. It was pretty flat country, if the hill was a landmark, which it was we learn later on. "And Ammon took three of his brethren [with very interesting names], and their names were Amaleki, Helem, and Hem." [Brother Nibley shows places on a map.] Jerusalem is down here, and Amman is up here. When the Israelites received their allotments, Manasseh was out here, and remember that Lehi was of the tribe of Manasseh. They were out here in the desert; they were desert people. His cousin or a relative, whoever it was that went with him, was Ishmael, and anyone called Ishmael would hardly be a Jew. These were the people of Ishmael out here. These were Arabs, Amorites, and Ammonites that were out here. They have these typical types of names. If Lehi was from here, the Mulekites would have also been most likely to escape. These were the people who were able to escape when Jerusalem fell. So we get these interesting names. I just looked them up in the big lexicon here, and it gives some references that are very interesting. First, Amaleki with a prophetic A. It's Aramaic from melekh. They all mean the same thing, the king, lord or ruler. The second one, hălam, is a very good one because it is very rich. In Hebrew it means healthy, but in Aramaic and Arabic it's much richer. In Arabic it contracts to ḥilm which means a close friend. In Aramaic it is hălam, which means strong, good humored, close to one. A derived meaning, the second form, means "gather humors, sleep well, dream." The Arabic word ḥulm is a dream. It's strong, good humored, a good name for a person, but the point is that it's an Aramaic name. It's an Ammonite name, and so is Amaleki. Finally, we come to Hem, which is interesting for two reasons. Of course, Ḥem is the first king of Egypt on the records; and it means warrior. It is always written just with two arms, one holding a club and the other holding a shield. It's not an uncommon name, meaning warrior chief. On the other hand, I think the Amaleki name is a better one. Ḥām means father-in-law in all Semitic languages. It is a popular Amorite name, so that's what it probably is.
So we have these Mulekites going out looking for their brethren and lost and unable to find them. They "parked" near a hill, and he chose three of them to go down into town and meet the king. They met the king of the people, and they meant to meet him. They wanted to fall into his hands. They didn't know it would be so unfavorably, but they had to take the risk. It shows that the king was offended here by what happened, because he said, how did you have the nerve when I was out scouting to come right up to my city? He could see them, and he took them in. They were captured on the spot. Of course, they were clever and wouldn't have been taken otherwise. But see how it goes here. Verse 7: "And behold, they met the king of the people who were in the land of Nephi, and in the land of Shilom; and they were surrounded by the king's guard, and were taken, and were bound, and were committed to prison." Were they being very tactless and careless? No, he meant to see the king. That's what he wanted to do. He had to get an introduction some way, as he tells us later on. After they were in prison two days, they were taken before the king. "They stood before the king, and were permitted, or rather commanded, that they should answer the questions which he should ask them." So here's IPW (interrogation of prisoners), a thing in which I was supposed to be very much trained but was never any good because I couldn't intimidate anyone. That's true—with Germans you have to be able to intimidate them. I couldn't do it and had to do something else. I had a friend who owns the largest importing bookstore in New York, Louis M. Miller. He was very thin and small, but he was very schoolmasterish. He could scare the daylights out of those prisoners because the schoolmaster had always been the one they feared most of all. He would just have to look them in the eye and ask them a question, and they'd "spill their guts." They would tell him anything, but I could threaten and swear and stamp back and forth, and they'd just laugh.
Verse 9: "And he said unto them: Behold, I am Limhi, the son of Noah, who was the son of Zeniff, who came up out of the land of Zarahemla." Now here is another of those tricks, one of those micro—critical points. See, he is the third generation. He is Limhi, his father was Noah, and his grandfather was Zeniff. It was Zeniff who came out of Zarahemla. Zeniff is another very interesting name; that's a very good name because this is exactly where it is [referring to the map]. You go down into the Jauf here and get over to see the ruins of Baalbek. That's where in the year 270, Odenathus decided to revolt and make himself an independent king because his great queen was in charge. The emperor Aurelian came and got rid of Odenathus and took Queen Zenobia. Zenob or Zenab is a very popular name in that part of the world. Zenobia is a feminized form of Zenafi. They took her to Rome, and she was paraded through the streets wearing chains of pure gold. That was supposed to flatter her, I suppose. But the name Zaynab is still popular among the Arabs. That's the diminutive; it means "little Zeniff." So Zeniff belongs there, too. Another interesting one is "Limhi, the son of Noah." What is Limhi? Well, this is a dialectical form of Lamech. Again, it's one of those diminutives. Who was Lamech? He was the father of Noah. We have a family tradition or something in here—that a father and son should bear the names of another father and son—Noah and his father, Lamech. It's the other way around here, "I am Limhi, the son of Noah," but there's the name Lamech among them. You notice the dialectical changes that go on here: "who came out of the land of Zarahemla to inherit this land, which was the land of their fathers [so they look back to the first Mulekites; these are all Mulekites he is talking about, not Nephites], who was made a king by the voice of the people."
Unfortunately, they had moved right smack into Lamanite territory. The Lamanites had expanded at this time. Remember, they had all been here hundreds of years. There were only eleven years between their two migrations, and this was 460 years later. He "was made a king by the voice of the people." Well, that was the Mulekite king, and that was the way the people had made Mosiah their king, even though he was a stranger. Well, kings were very often chosen, like George I and William I. He forced them to make him king, but there were others that were actually chosen. They came in and took over because people wanted them to be king. There's the story of the knight errant who was chosen. He comes in and the people choose him.
Verse 10: "And now, I desire to know the cause whereby ye were so bold as to come near the walls of the city, when I, myself, was with my guards without the gate?" We were outside the gate on patrol, and you had the nerve to come near the walls. He wanted to get picked up at the point. The king didn't see that at the time; it looked like pure insolence. They could have avoided him. Was it at night? If it wasn't night, they were even more bold because they were quickly captured. It took no skill at all in that case. Verse 12: "And now, when Ammon saw that he was permitted to speak, he went forth and bowed himself before the king [that's exactly what he wanted]. . . . For I am assured that if ye had known me ye would [you would have been glad to see me]. . . . For I am Ammon [that good old name], and am a descendant of Zarahemla [a good old Mulekite name], and have come up out of the land of Zarahemla to inquire concerning our brethren, whom Zeniff [ah,ha, the king's grandfather] brought up out of that land." That was Limhi's grandfather, you see. "And now, it came to pass that after Limhi had heard the words of Ammon, he was exceedingly glad [cousin, how are you feeling?], and said: Now, I know of a surety that my brethren who were in the land of Zarahemla are yet alive [again, if Zarahemla had been a mighty city at the time they left it, he wouldn't be worrying whether they would survive or not; it was a very small affair, hanging on probably by the skin of their teeth]. And now, I will rejoice; and on the morrow I will cause that my people shall rejoice also." As I said, every week the Hopis have their dance and celebration. They come from all the twelve cities. One village will host it one week, and another one the next week. The whole nation comes together. There's no work or anything like that. They have a high old time, and it's a very solemn affair with those costumes. There can be nothing bought, nothing artificial, nothing cheap. The colors all have to come from the berries and the minerals. The macaw feathers have to come from Guatemala (very interesting). Why are the Hopis getting their macaw feathers from Guatemala? They are forbidden because of psittacosis from crossing the border, but they go down and get them. That's another story; you'd be surprised at the connections here, showing where they came from. To make things official at the spring dance, they have to wear macaw feathers. They have to be real, and they have to be fresh all the time. This is important. As I said, they have a great time. It keeps them occupied and happy between their long hours in the field.
For their agriculture they have the poorest land in the world. If you have been to in northeastern Arizona, you know there is nothing there but sand and the mesas. What they do is take a stick and push five (a sacred number) seeds of corn down about twenty inches. They push them down and trust that the ground water will make them grow. They do grow, but never more than about a foot or eighteen inches high. And I've never seen a stalk that had more than one ear of corn on it. That ear of corn is treasured; it's precious. They are taken and piled like wood in front of the house; everybody keeps track of every ear. They say, "If one of us has corn, we all have corn." But they have been able to live and live well with hard work. They don't mind that. All these years they have lived on [practically] nothing. They were pushed to the most out of the way place in the world. They were the Moquis or the Hopis, the peaceful people, but they were once the most terrible fighters of all. They were on these high mesas. When I first went down there years ago, you still had to get to first mesa by ladder. Then they put a road up, and everybody started driving off and getting killed. But it's amazing that they could not only survive and be happy, but go on for [hundreds] of years. They came up from the south. They tell how they came from the south, but that's another thing. This is another thing about getting lost. The story of their wanderings is very important. They kept a record of their wanderings. They came up from the "great red city of the south" when it was destroyed because of wickedness. Zarahemla means "red city," as you know, Dar Aḥmar. Aḥmar is red. Feminine is ḥamrāʾ, and dār or zar is a settlement, a colony, or a community. If you say Zarahamra, it means a red city. That's a coincidence. I don't know if there's anything to it or not, but it's good clean fun to engage in these things. They say they came up from the south along the Little Colorado. They tell about their wanderings, etc. They kept the record, and thereon hangs a tale.
He [Limhi] was exceedingly glad. Verse 15: "For behold, we are in bondage to the Lamanites." See, they walked into a Lamanite trap. The Lamanite king welcomed them in with open arms and sold them the land. He settled them down in this beautiful acreage, and immediately they were paying for it through the nose all the rest of their days. It happens, you see, "for it is better that we be slaves to the Nephites than to pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites." See, they knew that these people were sent out by a King Mosiah and they represented the Nephites. Mosiah brought quite a crowd with him, too. Though Zarahemla was a Mulekite city, it had a Nephite government. They recognized the superiority of the Nephites. This is a very common thing when you have two civilizations come together. The superior one takes over, and sometimes it's just understood. There were the Norman French and the [Angles] and Saxons in England. Verse 16: "And now, king Limhi commanded his guards that they should no more bind Ammon nor his brethren, but caused that they should go to the hill and bring their brethren into the city." You see what kind of country it was because they had been there waiting and wondering what happened to the four men who disappeared. "They had suffered hunger and thirst and fatigue." They were looking around for something to eat and for water; they were thirsty. It was a lush jungle with plenty of fruits growing. It may have been pretty far north—like the territory in central Mexico or something like that. The whole scene reminds us very much of a Pueblo Indian society. They have real settlements, permanent cities. "King Limhi sent a proclamation among all his people, that thereby they might gather themselves together to the temple to hear the words which he should speak unto them." The king is the chief. They use the words interchangeably; it doesn't make any difference here. And, of course, the temple is the center of everything. That's the kiva, and it's a real temple. The temples of the Hopis are built like the temples of South America. They have stairways going up on either side. The best ones are in Hotevilla. Everything takes place there [in the temple]. It would really quite surprise you if you go sometime. There is the first spring festival on March 15 which is all at night by moonlight. It exactly follows the Egyptian rites of the same time. The Havawuhti comes out, and the men march on either side of her. They have the whips and all the rest of it. It's amazing the way these things go. They are a highly developed civilization.
So they gathered themselves together. The king gave them a speech and told them what was happening here. "O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted [our brethren are still existing]. . . . Lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God, in that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob [they are going to celebrate and dance]; and also, that God who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, and caused that they should walk through the Red Sea on dry ground." They knew these traditions if only because King Benjamin, who was a Nephite, had a long reign and taught the people. He was a great antiquarian and forced his sons to learn Egyptian. They would know that anyway as people living east of Jordan. "It is because of our iniquities and abominations that he has brought us into bondage [that's the old story]. And ye all are witnesses this day, that Zeniff, who was made king over this people, he being overzealous [he is going to tell us his story a little later on; it was his greed here] to inherit the land of his fathers, therefore being deceived by the cunning and craftiness of king Laman, who having entered into a treaty with king Zeniff [he sized it up; they made a treaty and he signed on the bottom line], and having yielded up into his hands the possessions of a part of the land." He gave him part of the land called the land of Lehi-Nephi. Notice that they were city states, the land or the city of Lehi-Nephi. Every city or village had its surroundings. That was the city state of antiquity until the time of Lehi, when they broke up and became more like empires. One overtook the other. It's exactly in the time of Lehi that we find all this expansiveness, all this colonizing and exploring. This is the tradition here. "And all this he did, for the sole purpose of bringing this people into bondage." He had a clever plan. Just like the sharecroppers, they got half of it and then were stuck for the rest of their lives—a treaty and a trick. There are good examples of this in Caesar's Gallic wars at the beginning. He made such treaties with tribal chieftains or kinglets in Gaul. He was in Switzerland, and all his people moved out because the valleys were too close for them. Before they knew it, he had taken advantage of the contracts, etc. There are some wonderful stories about Caesar and this tribal way of playing the game with each other.
So they [the people of King Limhi] had to pay him [the Lamanite king] one half of their corn and one half of all they had. Verse 24: ". . . how many of our brethren have been slain, and their blood has been spilt in vain, and all because of iniquity." They rebelled against them and tried to get free, but it didn't work. Because of their iniquity the Lord was going to keep them in bondage. "There arose contentions among them, even so much that they did shed blood among themselves." They started shedding blood among themselves, and this is the old story. This is the story of the Indians also. After it is peaceful, they all start fighting each other. They have tribal wars and contentions among themselves and shed blood. "And a prophet of the Lord have they slain . . . because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things [well, why would he do a thing like that?] and said that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood." When Jesus said that, they stoned him, too. Was that enough provocation? Oh yes, it was enough provocation. You've got to watch yourself, you see.
They have two societies, the one horn and the two horn. The Zunis have them as well as the Hopis. The two horn act as benevolent spirits; they go around and do what good they can to people and help people out of trouble, etc. But look out for the one horn; they are the dangerous ones. If you do anything that's the least bit out of line, there is just one solution, and, believe me, they take care of it. It's the end; they kill people. And this is exactly the sort of thing that the one horn society would do if a person said something that was out of line. If a prophet said that God should come down among the children of men—wham! That's it. There's quite a tale behind this, too. Because he said this, they put him to death—that was enough reason. Well, after all look at Persia [Iran] today under the Ayatollah. If a woman just raises an eyebrow and says something—bam! You're a nonperson and you're killed for just the slightest sign of disaffection or rebellion. We've seen dictatorships in which that is so in our day. It's not exaggerated. A person who shows the slightest sign of dissension or disagreement is in real trouble. Well, the prophet went around yelling about things, and they got him out of the way. These people are being punished for it [that kind of behavior]. Verse 30: "And again, he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the chaff thereof in the whirlwind; and the effect thereof is poison." That's pollution, this filthiness. It's an Old Testament expression, "and they shall reap the east wind."
The time is nearly up now. We have to move faster or we'll never finish the book this semester, will we? Then in chapter 8, "And he caused that Ammon should stand up before the multitude, and rehearse unto them all that had happened unto their brethren." He told the story of how they went up out of the land, and they both compared records and compared their stories of what had been going on since. And he told them the last words of King Benjamin, which were very important "so that they might understand all the words which he spake." So he gave them the laws that Benjamin laid down. Of course, his father, Mosiah, was a great lawgiver, too. As I said, these [laws] became the basic teachings, the "standard work" for these people. Then King Limhi dismissed the multitude that everyone should go to his home. Notice, it is by families, and they all went to their homes. That's an interesting thing, too. Although societies like the Hopis are very communal and share everything they have—so they will all [survive] they have to—they are very family conscious. They divide into the seven clans. They have clans and groups and belong to clubs which are secret and have their own signs, symbols, etc. Then you have the whole group, and there are very strong feelings among separate tribes and nations there. The time is up now, so we won't go into that. He is going to tell them how they went to find the land of Zarahemla, so we will end here and resume the next time. Can you wait? Read the next chapter and see what happens. Then it gets into the record of Zeniff which is a flashback. Zeniff takes us way back to the time of King Noah. Zeniff was his father, and he was a terrible man. Noah was one of the worst characters in the Book of Mormon, and Zeniff was a great man. So that goes to show you never know.