“Nehor Began to Be Lifted Up in the Pride of His Heart”

Alan C. Miner

In Alma 1:6 it says that as a result of his popular gospel message, Nehor "began to be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and to wear very costly apparel, yea, and even began to establish a church after the manner of his preaching." According to Hugh Nibley we have some very interesting Old World [and New World] documents about this sort of thing. The Chilam Balam, the oldest record from Central America, talks about this sort of thing--how the priests would be lifted up on people's shoulders dressed in elaborate apparel and carried about town. It talks about this later on when Samuel the Lamanite chastises the people saying, "And if a man shall come among you and say this [what you want to hear], ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet; yea, ye will lift him up, and ye will give unto him of your substance; ye will give unto him of your gold and of your silver, and ye will clothe him with costly apparel" (Helaman 13:27-28). We have pictures of these overdressed priests being carried in on poles [see illustration--Helaman 13:28]. . . . Notice also that they never call it "beautiful apparel." It's just costly. . . . As you know if you've seen the vase paintings and the murals from Central America, Mexico, etc. They are all horribly overdressed; they look like walking Christmas trees--these grandees being carried around. [Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 2, pp. 217-218, 259] [See the commentary on Helaman 13:27-28]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary