The book of Alma covers about 40 years of history, starting from the reign of the judges to the death of Helaman and Moroni. It shows the transition from kings to judges. There was lots of troubles during this time of change—some people wanting to revert to the old way, the rule of kings. They fought against these new freedoms for the common people.
Usually, these king-men were of high birth. They had lots of power or money or privilege. The reign of the judges didn’t threaten them with the loss of these things, it just provided opportunities for more people to get a say in government, more economic prosperity, and a better way of life. The king-men didn’t want those changes, because they made it possible for others to step up the ladder and be like them. They king-men wanted to have only their “elite” on top, lording their bounty and influence over those below them.
Do we ever get stuck in ruts today, where we are so against change—even positive change—that we dig in our heels and refuse to consider differing views than ours?
Just because our life might be good, do we become complacent about lifting others, thinking that threatens “our way’ of life?
Alma gave the records to his son, Helaman, who gave them to Shiblon. Moroni dies in the 36th year. The next year, about 5,400 men and their families depart out of Zarahemla and go northward.
Hagoth is one of these men, “he being exceedingly curious…therefore he went forth and built him an exceedingly large ship, on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it forth into the west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward.” (5)
I loved how Hagoth’s curiosity pushed him to explore new things, new ways to live, new places to establish. Curiosity can lead to good or bad, depending on what we are curious about. Hagoth had good curiosity.
Am I curious about the workings of God? Do I explore new paths or ways of thinking that might help me become more like Him?
These Nephites cast off into the Pacific Ocean, and most likely populated many of those islands. After a year, they return and gather more people and depart again with much provisions.
And it came to pass that they were never heard of more.”Alma 63:8
The people left behind suppose they have drowned. One other ship sails forth, and they never hear from it again either.
I find it interesting how the people who didn’t go exploring with Hagoth’s curious crews, jump to the worst conclusion about their fate. They’ve drowned. It’s kind of like the movie Moana, where her father, the king, forbids the people from exploring because he thinks it’s too dangerous. And their growth as a people is stunted.
Fear is used today all the time by friends, family, political leaders to keep us in our place. Fear makes us huddle into what we’re comfortable with and not be willing to branch out to explore and be curious about things.
Shun fear. Any time fear is used to motivate or change opinions, be wary of those behind those tactics. God never uses fear to motivate us to come unto Him.
We should be careful not to use fear to motivate our children or others around us to believe a certain way, act a certain way, or vote a certain way.
Shiblon and Corianton were Helaman’s brothers. Shiblon had the records. Corianton went forth with the people in the boats, so now Shiblon needs to pass the records along. He gives them to Helaman’s son, Helaman (11).
In the 39th year, there are some dissenters who stir up the Lamanites, but Moronihah’s armies defeat them and drive them out of the land.