“The Record of Amaleki”

Monte S. Nyman

Amaleki makes the greatest contribution of any of the five writers in the book of Omni. His nineteen verses occupy almost twice as much space as the other four writers combined. These four writers gave general summaries of their time period, but Amaleki gives specific yet brief incidents. Amaleki records the departure of the righteous Nephites under the leadership of Mosiah the first, and their discovery of the people of Zarahemla. These people had left Jerusalem prior to its destruction in about 589 B.C. The people of Zarahemla had previously discovered Coriantumr, a survivor of the Jaredites. Amaleki also told of King Benjamin who had succeeded his father Mosiah as the king of the people of Zarahemla. Without the information given by Amaleki, the Book of Mormon record would have been incomplete. For those who claim that Joseph Smith made up and wrote the Book of Mormon, we ask: Would he have complicated the storyline with three separate peoples coming at three different times to the land of promise? Such detail does not seem reasonable, especially as supporting evidence about these groups has come forth.

The departure out of the land of Nephi under Mosiah was a fulfillment of a prophecy made by Jacob: “And the time speedily cometh, that except ye repent [the Lamanites] shall possess the land of your inheritance, and the Lord God will lead away the righteous out from among you” (Jacob 3:4). It was the second time since Lehi and his people had left Jerusalem for the same reason that a righteous group had been led away, exemplifying the same principle that was taught by Nephi: The Lord “leadeth away the righteous into precious lands, and the wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes” (1 Nephi 17:38). Nephi had been warned of the Lord to take “those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God” to the land they called Nephi (2 Nephi 5:5–8). Mosiah was similarly warned. Those who followed him were likewise those who would hearken to the voice of the Lord (Omni 1:12). Both the journeys of the people of Nephi and the people of Mosiah were lengthy. Amaleki mentions that Mosiah’s people were led continually by the power of God (v. 13), and Nephi’s people “did travel for the space of many days” (2 Nephi 5:7).

Book of Mormon Commentary: These Records Are True