A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon/Amulek
AMULEK. A Nephite prophet, son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of Aminadi, a descendant of Nephi.
Among the cities built by the Nephites in the northern part of South America was one named Ammonihah, which was situated near the land of Melek, which land lay on the west side of the river Sidon. In this city, eighty-two years before the coming of Christ, dwelt a Nephite named Amulek. He was a man of wealth and importance, and was blessed with many relatives. One day, in the latter half of the year as he was journeying to see a very near relation, an angel of the Lord appeared unto him and told him to return to his home for he had to feed a holy prophet of God who was exceeding hungry, he having fasted many days on account of the sins of the people of Ammonihah.
This man of God, of whom the angel spoke, was Alma, the younger, the presiding High Priest of the Church of Christ. For some time past he had been laboring in the midst of the dwellers in Ammonihah, but they had hardened their hearts against God's word and had cast the prophet out of their city. Sad at heart and bowed down with sorrow, Alma journeyed from that city, but on his way a holy angel met him and with words of encouragement bade him return. Alma was not a man to dally in keeping the word of the Lord. He at once retraced his steps and entered Ammonihah by its south gate. When not far from its portals he was addressed by Amulek, who recognized him as the man of whom the angel had spoken, and took him to his house and nourished him for many days. After a time. Alma, accompanied by Amulek, recommenced preaching the principles of life and holiness, but in the meantime the citizens of Ammonihah had grown even more wicked than they were before. No sooner did these brethren raise their voices in their midst than they sought their destruction, They mocked, they ridiculed, they cross-questioned them, they perverted the meaning of their words and cried out that they reviled against their laws that were just and their judges whom they had chosen. But by the spirit of the Lord, Alma and Amulek made bare their evil intentions and severely rebuked their iniquity.
Ammonihah at that time was cursed with an abundance of lawyers, who were very expert in the crooked ways of their profession. Among them was a man, whose name was Zeezrom, who, on account of his greater keenness, had a large practice, and especially made himself conspicuous in badgering and seeking to discomfort these two servants of God. But Alma and Amulek, by the power of the Lord, made his lying and perversion of their words manifest to all, to such an extent that Zeezrom himself felt the power of their words and began to tremble exceedingly. Many of the people also began to believe and to repent, but the greater portion thereof, filled with rage because their sins were laid bare with such unsparing hands, bound Alma and his companion and hurried them before the chief justice and with many falsehoods accused them of having reviled their laws, their judges and, indeed, the whole people. Zeezrom, now conscious of the evil he had done, vainly pleaded their cause, but the rabble turned upon him also, and with many indignities cast him and others in whose hearts the germ of faith was planted out of the city, and with stones strove to kill them.
Then followed a scene of horror which in after years had its counterpart in Rome and Smithfield. The infuriated mob, lost to all pity and humanity, dragged the wives and little children of those who had had the gospel preached to them, and in one great fire burned them to death. Not content with this, in savage spite they took the copies of the Scriptures and hurled them into the flames and burned them also. To add to the refinement of their cruelty they dragged Amulek and his friend from prison, and compelled them to witness the torture of the martyrs who had received the gospel through their instrumentality. Among that throng of cruelly suffering men, women and children we have no record that one flinched or denied the Savior, in whose cause they passed away to a glorious resurrection.
Amulek was exceedingly pained at the horrors of this awful scene and pleaded with Alma that they should exercise the power of God that was in them and save the innocent from their tortures. But Alma would not permit it, saying that the Spirit constrained him, for the Lord received those martyrs to himself in glory.
Now it came to pass that while Alma and Amulek were thus bound, the chief judge came and smote them on the face, and jeered at them for not having delivered the martyrs from the flames; when he had finished he again consigned the prophets to prison. These indignities were repeated day after day, not only by the chief judge but by many others; added to which they treated the prisoners with great cruelty; they kept them without food and water that they might hunger and thirst, and stripped them of their clothes and bound them naked in their prison. This continued for some time, until one day the chief judge with many others came and smote the brethren as before, with mocking and ridicule. Then the power of God came upon Alma and Amulek and they rose to their feet and broke the bands that bound them, and cried mightily to the Lord, while their persecutors were stricken with terror. These latter, frantic with fear, attempted to flee from the presence of the prophets, and in their haste fell one upon another and blocked up the way of escape. At this moment of terror an earthquake rent the prison walls, which swayed and fell in a crumbling, suffocating, crushing mass upon the unholy throng within. Not one escaped; Alma and Amulek alone were preserved in the midst of this awful manifestation of the power of the Almighty.
The citizens, hearing the noise, rushed in crowds to learn of the disaster, but when they saw the ruined heaps of the prison, with the brethren in safety and confronting them, they fled like a flock of frightened sheep before two young lions. Still they would not permit the prophets to remain in their midst, so the latter left and went over into the land of Sidom.
Such crimes as these could not go unpunished by Divine justice. Ammonihah soon felt the force of the wrath of God. It was besieged, captured and made desolate by the armies of the Lamanites, and the very same men who rejoiced in the sufferings of the martyred saints felt the same horrors fall with tenfold fury on their own heads and those of their wives and little ones, for of the horrors of the spoiling of that city we have few counterparts in history.
In the land of Sidom, Alma and Amulek found the saints who had been cast out of Ammonihah. Zeezrom, the lawyer, was also there, sorely sick of a fever, brought on by the anguish of his mind on account of his great sins. While prostrate on his bed, the prophets visited him, comforted him, and having received a confession of his faith in Christ, administered to him, when he was immediately healed. Alma then baptized him, and from that time forth he became a zealous servant of that God whom he had beforetime so often denied and blasphemed.
After Alma had established a prosperous church in the land of Sidom he took Amulek, who had given up all for the Gospel's sake, to the land of Zarahemla. There Amulek dwelt with Alma, assisting him in his labors and ministry. The Lord abundantly blessed their efforts, and the Book of Mormon informs us that they imparted the word of God, without any respect of persons, to the people continually; and there was no inequality among them, and the Lord did pour out His Spirit on all of the land that they might enter into His rest.
Amulek seemed to have henceforth devoted his entire life to the preaching of the gospel. We next hear of him (B. C. 75) being in the land of Melek with Zeezrom, whence Alma took them and other brethren to preach to the Zoramites, a body of Nephite dissenters or apostates who laid inordinate stress upon the idea of their predestination to salvation. Here Amulek preached with great zeal and faith, as did the other Elders, resulting in the repentance of many, who, by their more hardened fellow countrymen, were cruelly persecuted and driven into the land of Jershon, whose inhabitants received them with great kindness and ministered to their wants. Here Alma and his fellow laborers still further instructed them in the principles of eternal life. The wicked Zoramites were highly incensed at the kindness shown to their persecuted brethren by the noble-hearted people of Ammon, and made it a pretext for commencing a war of extermination. This war commenced about eight years after the expulsion of Amulek from Ammonihah.
Amulek has the honor of having some of his sermons handed down to us in detail in the Book of Mormon. From them we judge him to have been a man of liberal education, of great faith, of unswerving integrity and untiring zeal for the truth. He was, from the glimpses of his private life that we glean as we pass along, a man of tender and affectionate disposition, exceedingly fond of his home and family, yet these and all else he readily and joyfully gave up for the riches and happiness of the Gospel of the Son of God. Of his later ministry and death we are not informed, as the Book of Mormon changes from the history of the labors of the servants of God to an account of the terrible wars between the Nephites and Lamanites, which immediately afterwards deluged the land with blood.