Children of a King
Rebellious youth! Common the world over in all cultures are rebellious youth. Something about the development of the human mind around adolescence pushes young people to assert independent thought by finding some way to stand aside from the views of their parents, even society at large. Finding themselves is what popular culture labels it.
Each person must find his or herself. Not that anyone is lost or missing. It is an emotional need to matter in the world, having a higher purpose and impact. Much of the world finds purpose in religion. The acquisition of tangible items of great worth or intangible recognition of prowess in education or industry decorate the media and history of a world of people needing to matter based on their niches, their pieces of self.
Narcissism? Yes. This behavior is a mild form, though not a disorder. Self-importance, amour-propre is not a crime when put in the proper context. As long as everyone understands that all people have important roles to play in life. Some will play minor roles. Some will change the world. In this article, the sons of an ancient king receive attention who went out seeking for themselves. What they found changed the course of life for thousands of people for generations.
Out of the Shadow
Mosiah, an ancient American prophet-king had a problem. His sons and the son of the high priest Alma were wayward sons. Common are the exploits of youth, the dangers they welcome. These youth, these sons did not find pleasure in the hunt or a fight as many of the youth of the ancient days would have. No, these youth found pleasure in destroying everything good that their fathers built.
Profiles of righteousness and valor hung like halos above the heads of Mosiah and Alma, the high priest. Their people extolled the men near to diety in importance and reverence. Offspring have different perspectives from which to view their parents, skewed even. Mosiah's sons Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni went about with the son of Alma, also called Alma, seeking to pull down the faith of the people away from the religion of their parents. What better way to stand apart from the shadow of the most powerful men in the kingdom than to create an opposing philosophy?
a sense of one's own worth; self-respect.
Path to Self
Mosiah ruled a kingdom of diversity in faith. Alma received a commission from King Mosiah to form a church so that all the believers who wished could unite in faith under Jehovah awaiting the advent of a promised Messiah. Faith already existed among Mosiah's people. This new thing, a church, was not a welcomed change and persecution of those who entered the organization became so severe that Alma went to the king to sue for protection. After consulting with his priests, Mosiah issued a decree "that there should not any unbeliever persecute any of those who belonged to the church of God." Mosiah 27:2
The king, a prophet and high priest himself, allowed Alma to form a church. There was no church when he ascended the throne and taught the people the law of Moses. There was no separate organization set apart for the specific function of organizing people to worship God. Mosiah decreed, binding his subjects to honor that rule to not demonize the members of this new cultural shift to an official church.
For their obedience to their divinely appointed king, the people of Mosiah enjoyed a profound "peace again in the land; and the people began to be very numerous, and began to scatter abroad upon the face of the earth... building large cities and villages in all quarters." Mosiah 27:6
Those who did not belong to the church did not sit by idly. Usurpers of the law of Mosiah nestled closely to the throne in the form of the sons of the king who "were numbered among the unbelievers" (Mosiah 27:8) in addition to Alma, the very son of the high priest!
Alma, Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni became wicked idolatrous men leading their countrymen to rebel spiritually away from the God of the king and of the church. They did so in secret.
No different than the modern youth who sneak out at night to break the rules, who steal, fight, fornicate, and post on social media under different names to subvert the truth reaching parents--not unlike the youth who seek out harmful drugs and alcohol to find what they seek in self-awareness snubbing their parents as over-protective.
The youth may be right. If the children of the king went far enough back in their father's history, would they find him rebellious? Alma, their friend, could he find that the high priest was a man of the world? Did they rebel in some fashion in their search for amour-propre?
What better way to stand apart from the shadow of the most powerful men in the kingdom than to create an opposing philosophy?
Legend of Self-Love
Proverbial lessons from Greek mythology in relation to self-love find true north in the legend of Narcissus. Loving himself, his beauty, and his aesthetics, so much that he had no room to love others. Anyone who sought after him he required to prove their love by giving their lives, which they did.
Legend has it that the goddess Nemesis, the god of retribution, lured Narcissus to a clear pool of water where he could see a reflection of himself with which he quickly fell in love. The twist was that the image could not reciprocate this love. Narcissus was like his image toward other people. The only act of karma that could suit this man was to love an image that could not return it. Suicide, just like those he caused, followed when Narcissus could no longer stand not receiving the love from his image. In the crumble of his flesh, came a transformation. Greek folklore claims a flower bloomed pictured above as an iteration of the beautifully tragic life and death of Narcissus.
In their quest to stand apart, the children of the king recruited many souls to follow them and their friend to paths away from the teachings of their youth.
Sons of Mosiah
Children of a King
In their quest to stand apart, the children of the king recruited many souls to follow them and their friends toward paths away from the teachings of their youth. So successful were their efforts, like Narcissus, they saw the proverbial image of their work in the clear pond by winning friends and influencing people to the religion of the unbelievers. They loved their power over their followers. With the status gifted by their relation to their fathers, these young men ruled a subverted kingdom collectively in contrast to the peace the majority of the people of Mosiah enjoyed. With the exuberance of youth, the children went unabated in secret living out what they thought life was meant to be. Thousands followed. As with Narcissus, divine intervention would need to assuage the flood of amour-propre found in "Children of a King - Mighty Change."
© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson