Mormon disobeys Ammaron

In the book of Mormon – by this I mean the book by that name within the overall Book of Mormon – the record keeper Ammaron chooses Mormon to be the next keper of the plates of Nephi and the other sacred records of his people. Ammaron has hidden these records in a hill called Shim. Ammaron tells Mormon:

And behold, ye shall take the plates of Nephi unto yourself, and the remainder shall ye leave in the place where they are; and ye shall engrave on the plates of Nephi all the things that ye have observed concerning this people.

Ammaron’s command to take the plates of Nephi is obeyed by Mormon, however, Mormon disobeys his command to leave the rest of the records in the place where they are in Mormon 4.23. Instead, he removes ALL of the records during his second visit to the hill. His justification is that the Lamanites were going to overthrow the land, but the same thing happens later when Moroni hides the records and God preserves them until Joseph Smith recovers them in the 19th century. All we know is that Ammaron commanded him to leave the remainder of the the records and Mormon disobeyed that command.

2 thoughts on “Mormon disobeys Ammaron”

  1. Joel,

    I think you may have missed one element of Mormon’s account. In chapter 6, verse 6 he explains that the Lord commanded him not to allow the records to fall into the hands of the Lamanites and as a consequence of that commandment, he moved the rest of the plates. Ammaron gave good advice for Mormon’s first visit; but surely God has the right to countermand earlier instructions when Mormon became a prophet in his own right. It seems to me similar to Moses telling the people to write up a bill of divorcement and then Christ countermands that provision by saying, “But I say unto you…”

  2. Alma, the command you refer to in 6.6 comes after the second visit, and is related to his hiding the plates in Cumorah and giving other plates to Nephi. It does not refer to his earlier visits to Shim. It also means that he cannot have the plates moving around with him, but needs to hide them – they were already hidden in Shim and one assumes that God could have just as easily protected them from the Lamanites in Shim as he did in Cumorah. After all, the Lamanites would have the run of the land once Moroni dies, just as they had the run of the land around Shim.

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