Alma 30a – Korihor’s Misbeliefs

This chapter and the next demonstrate the power of words—for evil or for good. Korihor and Zoram do much evil with words. Alma does much good, striving to bring the Zoramites back to the truth. These examples are valuable today, when great swelling words and convincing errors have powerful effect on the minds of people.

We can find truth by trusting in the virtue of the word of God. Alma shows us how.

The Nephites have just defeated the Lamanite armies and have peace in the sixteenth year of the reign of the judges. They are keeping covenants with God with exactness and building up His church.

But at the end of the seventeenth year, Korihor comes onto the stage.

He is an anti-Christ, who openly preaches against the prophecies of Christ and the prophets. Anyone or anything that counterfeits the true gospel or plan of salvation and that openly or secretly sets themselves up in opposition to Christ is an anti-Christ.

The Nephites have religious freedom, so they can’t stop him from preaching his beliefs, even if they are wrong ones.

For there was a law that men should be judged according to their crimes. Nevertheless, there was no law against a man’s belief; therefore, a man was punished only for the crimes which he had done; therefore all men were on equal grounds.” (11)

Falsehoods

Korihor starts preaching against Christ, who the people believe in. I’m going to list some of his teachings here. They may sound familiar to what is taught in the world today. A past prophet, President Benson, said:

The Book of Mormon reveals and can fortify us against “the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time.”

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, 2014, p 132

False doctrine 1 – There is no Christ

Korihor used charming and flattering words and drew away a lot of the believers after him.

O ye that are bound down under a foolish and a vain hope, why do ye yoke yourselves with such foolish things? Why do ye look for a Christ? For no man can know of anything which is to come.”

Alma 30:13

This is about 74 years before Christ was born in Bethlehem. Many prophets had prophesied that the Savior would come to earth and take on a tabernacle of flesh, so He would know our sorrows and sufferings and be able to overcome death and sin to save us.

Today, we have had many prophets—ancient and modern (within the last 200 years)–that have prophesied that Christ will come a second time to the Earth, in glory.

Do we allow ourselves to be convinced by modern-day Korihors that we don’t need to look for our Savior and Redeemer, because we can’t know of things to come?

Or do we hold fast to the word of God with fervent hope and faith, knowing He will come, and we must do all we can to serve Him and prepare the way for His Coming?

Consequence of believing this falsehood:

No hope for the eternities. No hope in being able to change through repentance. Many in the world show no mercy to others—especially in this time of trouble and strife. Someone says something idiotic and biased 30 years ago, and are judged as the same person today, with no leeway given that they could’ve learned or grown or changed their minds for the better today. If you don’t believe in Christ, you don’t believe in spiritual transformations that can only come through repentance and faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It sounds like a miserable and dark place to be.

No thank you. I will choose the Light which comes by believing in Christ.

False Doctrine 2 – Foolish traditions/Frenzied minds

Another way Korihor uses his words against the people is to try to convince them that the prophesies of prophets are foolish traditions they have clung to.

How do ye know of their surety? Behold, ye cannot know of things which ye do not see; therefore ye cannot know that there shall be a Christ.

Ye look forward and say that ye see a remission of your sins. But behold, it is the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement of your minds comes because of the traditions of your fathers, which lead you away into a belief of things which are not so.”

Alma 30:15-16

Consequence of believing this falsehood:

You look down on others for not believing as you do. You are unwilling to listen to others with differing opinions or beliefs. You bully, you ridicule, you taunt others and believe yourself to be better than everyone else because you falsely believe you are enlightened, and everyone else is not. We’ll see the Zoramites in the next chapter bring the consequences of this false belief into vivid imagery for all to visualize.

False Doctrine 3 – Man is powerful alone

Korihor teaches that there cannot be any atonement made for man, “but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; (17)

Many of these philosophies are based on small truths, and then twisted by the devil. Man has the potential to be very powerful and do great things. He can do ALL things, with God by his side. But this doctrine leaves God out of the equation, saying He isn’t needed. Man can do everything alone.

The argument is false because it misrepresents reality. When we reject the counsel which comes from God, we do not choose to be independent of outside influence. We choose another influence. We reject the protection of a perfectly loving, all-powerful, all-knowing Father in Heaven, whose whole purpose, as that of His Beloved Son, is to give us eternal life, to give us all that He has, and to bring us home again in families to the arms of His love.”

Henry B. Eyring, apostle, 1997

Consequence of believing this falsehood:

Men and women become very prideful, which is the gateway sin, opening up their lives to a myriad of other vices and addictions that will bring them down into bondage, in the end. You believe you are better than others, based on what you can do, not how you serve. You believe that any means can be used to climb up the ladder of success, even if it means destroying others in the process.  

False Doctrine 4 – Anything goes

…and whatsoever a man did was no crime.”

Alma 30:17

Many in the world embrace this doctrine, that whatever they do is right, because they’ve decided it is right for them. They don’t want a higher Being making rules for morality. Many mess with gender, which is part of our eternal identity, given to us by God, but decided that because they can change it medically, they should. That’s just one example, but there are myriads of ways people embrace this doctrine of anything goes. And they happily walk the path down to hell, to be bound by the evil one who WILL make them miserable forever. And it will be their choice.

Consequence of believing this falsehood:

Chaos, anarchy, looting, rioting and using violent means to get what you want. This false belief breeds selfishness and pleasure-seeking. It does not care for others or believe in sacrificing to make society better for the whole. Only your own rights, privileges, and desires matter.

An example today could be someone who refuses to wear a mask during a pandemic because they have “rights” and can do whatever the hell they want. I’m NOT talking about people who may legitimately have a medical or mental reason for not wearing a mask. These people are in the minority. I’m talking about the majority of non-mask wearers who just feel they don’t have to do what most of the leaders (religious, political, and medical) are encouraging them to do. I’m talking about those who taunt and purposefully cough on those that do choose to wear masks to stores (I’ve heard stories of these types, and I believe it stems from this selfish doctrine that basically says: “I get to choose what I want to do, to hell with the safety or well-being of anyone else.”)

When your own “rights” (and I use that term loosely) become more important than the rights of others, beware. You could be stepping into this camp, which is growing rapidly in today’s world.

Jesus taught that we need to love Him first. Then we need to love others as we love ourselves. He never said we need to love ourselves before others.  

False Doctrine 5 – Death is the end

Korihor led away many good people in his day. That’s why we need to be careful. Even good people can be swept away in these overwhelming and confusing teachings. He did cause “them to lift up their heads in their wickedness…” (18) He pushed them to revel in sin, something they hadn’t done before he came along. The way he got them to do this is by making them believe that this life was the end. Might as well do whatever you want and have “fun” before it’s over.

Consequence of this false belief:

You have no hope for a future. No reckoning. So, this feeds into the Anything Goes philosophy. You concentrate on yourself and what you want or desire. And no one else matters to you. You don’t live for a future you can’t see, or care about your posterity. You are once again, selfish, devilish by nature. There is no right or wrong to you, because this life is it!

False Doctrine 6 – Commandments bind

Korihor bashes “foolish ordinances and performances which are laid down by ancient priests, to usurp power and authority over them, to keep them in ignorance, that they may not lift up their heads, but be brought down according to thy words.” (23)

 What I find ironic in Korihor is how he was going about trying to build up his own power and influence over the people. He wanted them “free” from religion so that he could have power over them. He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, trying to tear God’s flock apart and destroy them.

Consequence of believing this false belief:

You don’t have a moral compass, but make up your own code, which usually has you on top and leads to the Anything Goes mentality that destroys communities and nations.

~~~

Those are the major six falsehoods I picked out of Korihor’s teachings. Maybe you found more. The Book of Mormon is a precious gift from God to help us discern between these false doctrines in the world today and know how to keep from being deceived and influenced by Satan. Thanks be to God for His marvelous work and a wonder in this book.

~~~

Resources:

Come Follow Me manual – Book of Mormon 2020

If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these comments.

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