Noah's Priests

Wicked priests appointed by Noah³

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Noah's Priests

A group of men who attended king Noah3 in ­Lehi-­Nephi after Zeniff, in his old age, conferred the Nephite kingdom upon his son Noah3. The wicked Noah had dismissed his father’s priests and replaced them with men who would support him in his sinful ­lifestyle. Described as being “lifted up in the pride of their hearts,” these priests were lazy, idolatrous whoremongers who used “vain and flattering words”. Moreover, they lived off the high taxation of Noah’s people, set a bad example for the citizenry, and proved to be a plague to the Nephites long after the death of king ­Noah.

When the Lord sent the prophet Abinadi to call Noah’s people to repentance, Noah called him up before his priests. The record of that encounter is one of the most powerful moments in the Book of Mormon. Noah ’s wicked priests sought to “cross [Abinadi], that thereby they might have wherewith to accuse him; but he answered them boldly, and withstood all their questions, yea, to their astonishment; for he did withstand them in all their questions, and did confound them in all their words”.

After one of the priests asked Abinadi a question from the scriptures, he chided them for their lack of knowledge and pretentiousness. “What teach ye this people?” Abinadi inquired of the priests. Their response, “We teach the law of Moses,” brought Abinadi’s stinging rebuke, “If ye teach the law of Moses why do ye not keep it?”. Frightened by Abinadi’s preaching, Noah was ready to release him, but his priests.

The one priest who believed Abinadi, Alma1, spoke up in his defense but then had to flee for his own life. As Abinadi’s sentence was being carried out, he prophesied that destruction would come upon the king and all of the evil priests. When king Noah was later put to death by fire, his priests escaped into the wilderness, where they endangered their former countrymen by kidnapping ­twenty-­four Lamanite daughters and making them their wives.

Discovered by Lamanite armies, the priests were spared through the pleas of their wives in their behalf. The priests then joined with the Lamanites. Their leader Amulon and the other priests were appointed to teach the Lamanites the Nephite language. Relishing his newfound clout, Amulon “began to exercise authority over Alma and his brethren,” abusing and persecuting them, even refusing to let them pray. There were no converts among the seed of Noah’s priests.

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