The Ammonites Were Not Pacifists

Title

The Ammonites Were Not Pacifists

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication

2016

Authors

Boyce, Duane (Primary)

Journal

Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship

Pagination

293-313

Volume

20

Terms of use

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Bibliographic Citation

Boyce, Duane. "The Ammonites Were Not Pacifists" In Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Vol. 20. 2016:293-313.

Abstract

Although it is common to believe that the Ammonites were pacifists, the report of their story demonstrates that this is a mistake. Appreciating the Ammonites’ non-pacifism helps us think more clearly about them, and it also explains several features of the text. These are textual elements that surprise us if we assume that the Ammonites were pacifists, but that make perfect sense once we understand that they were not. Moreover, in addition to telling us that the Ammonites were not pacifists, the text also gives us the actual reason the Ammonites came to eschew all conflict — and we learn from this why significant prophetic leaders (from King Benjamin to Alma to Mormon) did not reject the sword in the same way. The text also reveals the intellectual flaw in supposing that the Ammonites’ early acts of self-sacrifice set the proper example for all disciples to follow.

Conversion
Pacifism
Missionary Work

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