Alma 30: Korihor, the Anti-Christ

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 119–120

President Ezra Taft Benson reminded us that “the Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. … It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time” (“The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God,” Ensign, Jan. 1988, 3). Alma 30 would seem to be one of the chapters President Benson was speaking of. In it you will read about an Anti-Christ whose arguments were very similar to the teachings and beliefs of some people today. As you read, look for the errors in the logic he used to make false and wicked teachings seem like something any intelligent person could accept. This chapter can be extremely valuable in helping us identify and reject false teachings of our day.
Ezra Taft Benson

Understanding the Scriptures

Alma 30

Contrary to (v. 7)Against, opposed
Yoke (vv. 13, 28)Connect
Frenzied (v. 16)Excited and confused
Derangement (v. 16)Insane or mixed-up condition
Fared (v. 17)Survived, succeeded
Management of the creature (v. 17)Control used over one’s actions
Lift up their heads (vv. 18, 23)Not feel guilt, be proud
Perverting, perverteth (vv. 22, 60)Changing, corrupting
Usurp (v. 23)Unjustly or violently take
Glut, glutting (vv. 27, 31–32)Get far more than is needed, live in excessive luxury
Whims (v. 28)Sudden thoughtless desires
Revile (vv. 29, 31)Insult, criticize
Blaspheme (v. 30) Speak disrespectfully about sacred things
Swelling (v. 31)Becoming louder and more intense
Devices (v. 42)Plans, schemes
Denote (v. 44)Show evidence, indicate
Dumb (vv. 47, 49, 52)Unable to speak
Utterance (vv. 49–50)Ability to speak
Carnal (v. 53)Worldly, not spiritual

Alma 30:12–50—Criticizing the Church and Sign Seeking

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives. The principle is as correct as the one that Jesus put forth in saying that he who seeketh a sign is an adulterous person; and that [principle] is eternal, undeviating, and firm as the pillars of heaven; for whenever you see a man seeking after a sign, you may set it down that he is an adulterous man” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 156–57). The truth of his last statement can be seen in Alma 30:18, 53.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B and then do activity C or D as you study Alma 30.

Activity A iconExplain the Effects

Elder Boyd K. Packer, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught, “True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 20; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 17). It might also be said that believing false doctrines will change one’s attitude and behavior. We can see this in the account of Korihor.

  1. 1.

    Make a chart with four columns, like the one below. In the first column, list at least five doctrines or teachings Korihor proclaimed as truth in Alma 30:13–18. In the second column, write what effect you think believing that doctrine would have on a person’s attitude or behavior. In the third column, write the true doctrine. Then, in the last column, write the effect this true doctrine would likely have on a person’s attitude and behavior.

Effects of True and False Doctrine

Korihor’s False Doctrine

Effects on Attitude and Behavior

True Doctrine

Effects on Attitude and Behavior

  1. 2.

    According to Alma 30:17–18, how was Korihor influencing or hoping to influence the people’s attitudes and behavior?

Activity B iconExpose the Problems in Logic

When people argue, they often try to use logic to show how reasonable their position is. A logical argument, however, begins with certain ideas that a person believes or assumes to be true. Korihor was no exception. He made two “logical” conclusions in Alma 30:12–18. They can be identified as the result of his logic and argument when he said “therefore,” or in other words, “we must logically conclude that.”

  1. 1.

    Identify Korihor’s conclusion in verse 15. Then identify what he assumed to be true in order to come to that conclusion.

  2. 2.

    Identify Korihor’s conclusion in verse 17. Then identify what he assumed to be true in order to come to that conclusion.

  3. 3.

    What is the problem with Korihor’s assumptions of what is true?

  4. 4.

    Korihor asked believers how they knew for sure what they believed was true. We might ask the same of Korihor. Notice what Alma asked him in verse 40. What evidences did Alma then give in verses 41 and 44 that what he, Alma, believed was true?

Activity C iconHow Is It Said Today?

List five statements Korihor made in Alma 30:12–18, 23–28 that people still use as arguments against the true gospel of Jesus Christ today. Next to each statement from Korihor, write how people use the same argument today.

Activity D iconGive Support to This Conclusion

In Alma 30:60, Mormon explained what he wanted us to learn from the example of Korihor. Use what you learned in Alma 30 to make a list of what would support the truth of Mormon’s statement.