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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Antichrists in The Book of Mormon: Part 2: Nehor, the Man



If you are unfamiliar with the story of Nehor, please view the video above and read Alma 1:2-15.

First off, Nehor was "a man who was large, and was noted for his much strength."

Strength and stature have always appealed to people. If you examine any culture across the world and throughout time, you will see that no culture values wimps. But, we know that God judges differently. From 1 Samuel 16: 7.
But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
How much of Nehor's appeal was due to his physical appearance is hard to say. Nonetheless, it had an impact, or you can bet that the phrases would never have made it into the Book of Mormon.

Our modern culture celebrates physical appearance. Book of Mormon prophets are suggesting to us that we should not put undue value on it. Nehor slew Gideon who was an old man. Vanquishing a foe who is not your physical equal hardly evokes admiration, more likely contempt.

Besides, Gideon used words to contend with Nehor. Nehor resorted to physical attack instead of words. Nehor probably coud not have won a war of words with Gideon or anyone else. That is undoubtedly why he used other means. He did not fare well against Alma in a war of words.

There is a right and wrong way to respond to persecution. In Alma 1:22 we read
Nevertheless, there were many among them who began to be proud, and began to contend warmly with their adversaries, even unto blows; yea, they would smite one another with their fists.
No one should react to persecution, especially religious persecution, with physical force. If you do, then you are following Nehor's example.

Nehor's physical appearance should not have made his words appealing. His words should have been evaluated on their merit.

Ask yourself if you may judge others at church based on physical appearance.

Would you listen to an ugly Bishop as much as you would an attractive one? Do you tend to discount church guidance from individuals you find physically unappealing? If you do, unfortunately, you are not alone, however much you should be.

Remember Nehor's example the next time you dismiss someone because they are physically repugnant to you. Remember Nehor's example the next time you are swayed by physical strength or stature.


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