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Alma: Celebrity Preacher

Updated on July 8, 2022
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Sometimes writers distance away from religious subjects because it is taboo to speak about. Read about it. Hard to argue with an article.

Would you listen to a celebrity if he or she asked you to make a life change?

Seeing a celebrity in person can have a soul-changing experience for a person—for good or bad. That person could be larger than life or a disappointment if he or she does not measure up to the fan’s expectations.

The King of Pop


What if the celebrity, instead of being an athlete or entertainer, was a prophet like Daniel or Moses? Meeting a prophet can change a person. In a time when people entertain every whim that comes into their minds, is it special to have the title of a prophet?

In this, the first of three articles, the life of Amulek, a man who turned away from normal life to meet a prophet, reveals how change comes at a price.

Would you listen to a celebrity if he or she asked you to make a life change?

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Society of Ammonihah

Hundreds of years ago lived Amulek in the city of Ammonihah, one of many cities of an ancient people called Nephites recorded in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The city government had become corrupt. Not unlike many people’s estimation of modern governments, the people turned a blind eye to the corruption as the lawyers and the judges of the city worked together to extort money out of the unfortunates needing legal services.

The lawyers and judges received their wages performing their civic duties; so, these men kept controversy going so that they would always have ample employment.

Modern lawyers and Judges receive a wage in a similar manner. Ambulance chasers and backhanded deals to judges—plea deals—are perfectly legal in many societies. Court cases are less about the law and more about what types of deals plaintiffs can make. Also, lawyers and judges support popular opinion in the form of a jury instead of evidence-based—meaning ambiguities regarding evidence declared unsubstantial by how authorities obtained it.

Jurors are not at fault, nor the jury system. The lawyers and Judges interpret the legal system to pervert the law or twist those laws in jurisprudent proceduralism against those in need of legal assistance.

Besides the lawyers and judges, the people had become corrupt. All the people espoused a similar belief system, but as time went on, that system changed. Ammonihah was a den of iniquity besides perverting the proper execution of the law. The former governor of the Nephite nation, Alma (the celebrity), had obligated himself to the ministry as leader of the Church among the Nephites. When Alma visited the city to build up and repair the Church and teach the people, they rejected him because he no longer was Chief Judge of the land or governor.

Alma renounced the position of Chief Judge or governor so that he could focus on his position as High Priest to heal the souls of the Nephites. The people of Ammonihah generally refused to listen to the word of God Alma offered. They did not hold high regard for the civil service of the former high official they abused before forcefully expelling him from the city. The city was set for destruction by divine decree. The people of that city expelled the one person God sent to help them avoid it. If Michael Jackson, came knocking on your door, would his celebrity get him into your door to teach about God? Alma's celebrity created no such luck for him, not in Ammonihah.

The city was set for destruction by divine decree.

Keeping controversy so that an economy could exist is questionable ethics.

Character of a Normal Man

In this environment lived Amulek where grew the seeds of folly as a growing number of the people threw off the proverbial "shackles" of moral living.

Amulek was a man of the world, affluent and astute. He thought nothing of this atmosphere since it was socially acceptable to take advantage of people. Ammonihah, specifically officials of the city, supported subverting the system of law set up by their last king (King Mosiah)—cloaking their questionable ethical behavior as performing their duty in upholding the law. Keeping controversy so that an economy could exist is questionable ethics.

Amulek, despite what went on in his society, was a good person. Not only was he good, but he also had influence in the city—friends in high places. A businessman, he had wealth and prestige to go along with his gracious heart. He did not mince words and had a simple worldview. He was also a man of faith and family.

The time to act had come because the wickedness of Ammonihah rapidly lulled the citizens into decay.

Angel of Faith

An extraordinary experience occurred to Amulek as he went to visit a relative. He saw an angel. That is not so common. Why was it important for him to see an angel? Like many of the other people of the city of Ammonihah, Amulek was familiar with the teachings of God. He was aware of the church organized throughout his country. Like most people of his time, he disregarded it. If ever an interesting or sacred experience occurred, he dismissed it and continued with life’s affairs. Amulek ignored the small impressions from the Lord. For God to reach him, there had to be something Amulek could not ignore happen.

The angel.

Seeing an angel had the psychological effect of diverting Amulek’s attention to finding out what the Lord wanted from him—an interest in doing work for God. Sometimes people are past feeling the influence of the Spirit alone and need a more vivid experience to knock the cobwebs of apathy away from obscuring the truth. These otherwise good people take heed, as did Amulek when something so drastic as seeing an angel appear. Angels do not appear to all people because it is not necessary for all people to see an angel to act.

Amulek needed an angel to appear to him and inform him to go home quickly to play host to a prophet of God—the one-time celebrity who was ruler over all the land. The time to act had come because the wickedness of Ammonihah rapidly lulled the citizens into decay.

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.

© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson


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