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Amalickiah: A King of Intrigue

Updated on July 24, 2019
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Leaders of integrity or infamy found in The Book of Mormon provide the fodder for spiritual growth and self-improvement. It was made for us.


In ancient America lived a man with so much ambition that he wanted to rule the known world. Like Ghangus Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, and many others, Amalickiah, with the subtlety of a snake, traitor, and usurper, was about to steal a kingdom--to rule by conquest.

Amalickiah was a Nephite citizen who deserted to the Lamanite kingdom, civilizations found in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. He took with him followers to this new political home and gained the trust of the King, trust of the military, and the trust of those in sedition against his adopted government.

King Lehonti


Hostile Takeover

At the behest of the King of the ancient American group called the Lamanites, Amalickiah obtained command of the royal armies with instructions from the king to compel dissidents (who rebelled and coronated a new King) to fight in another war against a covenant the survivors of the last war made with the victors, the Nephites.

King Lehonti and his people had made a covenant that they intended to follow through with for life. With Captain Moroni of the Nephite nation, they promised never to go to battle with them again. They formed a small kingdom with that one goal in mind.

The king of the Lamanites sent Amalickiah with the expressed purpose to force Lehonti's men into compliance with the national mandate to war with the Nephites. Instead, Amalickaih joined in sedition!

Lehonti felt such relief that he would not need to fight the army of the king that he joyously accepted Amalickiah’s feigned gracious offer to join the royal army with his through stratagem. Amalickiah was second in command of the new combined Lamanite army with one person in the way, Lehonti, described further in The Rise of Amalickiah. For his trust of Amalikiah, Lehonti was murdered by poison in degrees by one of Amalickiah’s servants.

As is the custom among the Lamanites, the second in command became the new leader. Amalickiah obtains his first kingdom at Mt. Antipus by intrigue. He possessed the entire Lamanite army united under his rule as he marched to meet the pathetic leader of the Lamanites, who Amalickiah deceived into thinking had his allegiance.

The covenant that the Lamanites made to abstain from further aggression towards the Nephites withered and died with the life of Lehonti.


All the King's Men

Celebrations probably ensued at the king’s court in the city of Nephi as his servants announced the return of his military commander with all of his army! Deceptively, this army was not what the king expected and he would never get the chance to know that in mortality.

The king went out to meet his supposed hero in congratulations for reuniting his armies so that the Lamanite kingdom could wage war against the hated Nephites. Interestingly enough, that sentiment is exactly what would happen, save the king would not be there to see it. Amalickiah did not go himself to the king but sent a contingent of his men to greet the ruler. Brazenly, as the king went to raise Amalickiah’s servants from paying homage to his supremacy, the first person he raised stabbed the king in the heart and to death.

Amalickiah’s servants accused the king’s servants of his death and sent an alarm throughout Nephi and surrounding lands that the king’s servants betrayed and killed him. Amalickiah was nowhere near the king at his death purposely so that his next actions would not arouse suspicion, and they did not.

Ordering his armies to investigate the claims of his servants that the king was indeed murdered, Amalickiah went to view the deed. Upon seeing their leader in all his ghastly dishonor, Amalickiah interjected a most passionate plea, “Whosoever loved the king, let him go forth, and pursue his servants that they may be slain,” Alma 47:27.

A Nephite, who dissented from his government where freedom of thought and practice prevailed, joined the Lamanites to be subjected to a kingdom where the only rights applied to the king. He then conspired and succeeded to have King Lehonti killed. He followed by having the unnamed king of the Lamanites killed successfully with subterfuge! Nephite dissenters are truly gangster in word and deed--both literal definition and pop culture reference!



Ascension through Intrigue

What followed was the crowning event of his ascension to the throne in Nephi. The queen of the Lamanites received by messenger that her husband had been slain as Amalickiah and his army occupied the city of Nephi. For whatever reason, the queen besought him to spare the city. Without a king to protect it, the city lay vulnerable to attack.

The queen requested an audience with Amalickiah and his servants with the desire to have proof of her husband’s death and an explanation of how it occurred. Villainously, Amalickiah used the very servant who killed her husband to inform the queen of the truth of her husband’s death. These men lied convincingly for their leader Amalickiah who then pursued the hand of the queen in marriage and acquired it!

Through scandal and intrigue, Amalickiah paved his ascension to the throne with bodies of people who trusted him as an ally. With his marriage to the Queen, he and his cohort had met the goal of obtaining a kingdom.

All "Hell" King Amalickiah!

Mormon thought it was pertinent to mention that these former Nephites who had now usurped the Lamanite kingdom, were no strangers to the law of God. Unlike the Lamanites who had little to no exposure to the Church of Christ, these people had matured within the culture of the gospel. This group of Nephites now ruled the Lamanites. They invaded their kingdom under the guise of service and took possession of a nation without war!

Amalickiah and his supporters rejected their birthright and consumed the culture of the Lamanites in epoch manner. Mormon pensively correlated the behavior of the dissenters proportionate to the knowledge they possessed about God that “it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and wilder, wicked and ferocious than the Lamanites—drinking in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all manner of lasciviousness; yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God” Alma 47:36.

An absconder like Amalickiah and his elite group of new Lamanites ejects themselves from their church and nation, but they cannot leave either alone! They become more hardened in their hearts than if they never experienced the gospel.

In conclusion, Amalickiah tops the list among Lamanite kings as the cruelest and most merciless authority-seeker to have ever possessed the throne. Having met the first part of his plan, he set his sight on his original love, Zarahemla.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Rodric Anthony


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