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The Lawyer's Question: Faith of the People

Updated on February 18, 2020
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Sometimes writers distance themselves from religious subjects. Religion is still taboo to speak about. Read about it instead.

The ancient American Lawyer Zeezrom's interrogation of a preacher, Amulek, trying to find an occasion to entangle him in his words so that charges can allow the prosecutor to earn his living before judges. The lawyer's only reason for questioning the man is for a profit.

Opening

"Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father?"

Zeezrom is the ambulance chasing lawyer from the year 82 B.C. Of course, he did not have ambulances to chase, but his sentiment was the same. Lawyers in the ancient City of Ammonihah had developed a culture with the Judges where they subverted the laws of their last king by stirring up controversy with the people. Since these civil servants only received a wage by cases, the Judges and lawyers urged the people to sue each other constantly for steady employ.

The question at the beginning of the article was Zeezrom's last attempt to gain support for a case against Amulek, a preacher of God. The charges would be disturbing the peace, defamation of civil servants, and public perjury. Before Zeezrom could get a case he had to convince public opinion in the city to support the position; otherwise it could cause a case to go against him.

Source

The Profession of Nehors

"Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father?"

This question was supposed to be a derailing question. In the city of Ammonihah, the majority of the people followed a competing religious faith than what was preached in the rest of the Nation of the Nephites. In the record, the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Profession of Nehors was the phrase Mormon used to describe this ancient faith. The faith did not support a coming Messiah or teach a need for one.

When Amulek and his companion, faced the public gathering in Ammonihah, the lawyers aimed to use the faith of its citizens to silence these preaching detractors of their lifestyles. Offended enough, the people would support the officers of the law to take the men before a judge.

Amulek, a native of the city and prominent man of wealth, told the people to repent or be destroyed. The Profession of Nehors did not teach that there existed a need for repentance or for the Son of God. Amulek attempted to explain his position when asked the question. Zeezrom wanted to know if God the Eternal Father was this Messiah. Since in his faith, God would save every living person regardless of what they did, he wanted the people to know how foolish and implausible the teaching of God coming, being His own Son, and saving people from sin. Salvation was free for all.

Faith of Amulek and the majority of the Nephite nation

 
Info
Messianic Judaism
Monotheistic ancient system of belief traditionally defined by the Law of Moses and its relationship to Jehovah as God who would send a messiah to fulfill the Law.
Founder
Adam is the founder under the direction of God in Nephite culture
Major Tenet
Universal salvation comes to humankind through an atonement by the Messiah so those who repent can live in eternal felicity in heaven or eternal damnation in hell.
Source

Devil's Advocate

Any rational and reasonable person could agree with the lawyer above the preacher. Modern society has thousands of religions and hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of beliefs. The Profession of Nehors and the followers of the Law of Moses came from the same background religiously just as many of the major faiths of the world.

Muslims, Christians, and Jews dominate the religious world representing about 40% of the 8 billion people on the planet. None of the other world faiths changed humanity with the same forceful impact as these three in modern times. Each major religion has the same source, Judaism being the first. All claim Abraham as their father. Their religious practices and dogmas though similar, are different enough to cause wars over words. Catholics and Protestants, Christians still fight each other over dogmas though from the same group.

Amulek and his companion, to juxtaposed this ancient religious situation with modern religion, tried to unite Judaism and Christianity! Their purpose in the city of Ammonihah amounted equivalently to that design when preaching to the Profession of Nehors, the new faith. Amulek was a follower of Judaism sent to bring back the followers of Nehor. Both groups shared similar scripture, but the Nehors rejected anything that supported a messiah.

The Law of Moses, Ancient Judaism in America as taught by Amulek and his companion was meant to prepare its adherents for the coming of Jesus Christ. Modern Judaism does not focus on the promised Messiah, though it is still within Jewish canon. Nehors took the preaching of Judaism to them as would modern Jews take the preaching of Christianity to them. The sentiment behind the similarities is the purpose of this comparison to appreciate Zeezrom's cultural position, at least. The lawyer's question was about trying to make money, but social opinion in the city would support him rather than Amulek who wanted them to change their lifestyles.

These ancient Judaist and Nehorist shared the same laws and culture, but the prevalence of the new faith changed the meaning of the laws in the city making the answers Amulek gave to Zeezrom all the more suspect and polarizing to the growing crowd of people.

Faith of the Zeezrom and the people of Ammonihah

 
Info
Profession of Nehors
Judaic-based faith teaching no need for the advent of a Messiah.
Founder
Nehor, a preacher who taught among the Nephites that ministers should have celebrity and earn pay for service.
Major Tenet
Universal salvation for all regardless of lifestyle or belief system.
Source

What Matters Most

The followers of Nehor did not have two thousand years of religious separation as does Christianity and Judaism. Many of the adherents of Nehor converted away from Judaism fully aware of the Law of Moses and the teaching among the Nephites that Christ would fulfill that law in their future. God commanded Amulek and Alma to teach the apostate group of people to return to their original faith, and not follow after the false teachings of Nehor. People in the city would respond to the message if the judicial system had not become corrupted by local leadership.

Amulek, as stated previously, was a native of Ammonihah with an in-depth understanding of the cultural and religious practices of the city. Converting to Judaism for him answered questions that the Profession of Nehor did not. With that new knowledge, Amulek wanted to bring his city back to the faith of their heritage. When he spoke to his people, he did so with sincerity and frankness, the familiarity of family. Both he and his companion Alma saw an angel who instructed them on what to teach the people.

Zeezrom wanted money for his employ, and Amulek wanted to enlighten his people. Who would win the day? The history is already written. Zeezrom learned after questioning the authenticity of a Messiah knowledge that made him reconsider what was important in his life. Winning an argument does not mean the truth prevailed.

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

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