My favorite character in the Book of Mormon has long been Amulek. I love his conversion and his willingness to speak out against those he had grown up with. I love his lasting and enduring faith. I cheer with him as he overcomes his struggles and bad habits. I mourn with him at his tragic loss.
Of all the characters in the Book of Mormon Amulek seems the most fully realized to me and the one I relate to the most. He was a descendant of Nephi and part of a long and illustrious lineage. He was wealthy and highly respected in his community.
Amulek was neither an antagonist of the Church like Alma the Younger in his days of rebellion or Zeezrom, nor a stalwart believer. He believed in God, but also admits he did not know God closely. He was a family man and a man of great renown. He likely believed that everything in his life was in order. But God had other plans.
When he says that he was called by God many times but did not listen, he is telling my story. Like Amulek, I am so grateful that God never stops calling out to us. He does not give up on us even when we have wandered far from him.
Amulek remained teachable and open to God. He recognized an angel and listened to the message. He likely knew that Alma had been rejected by his countrymen. This was not an easy or mundane request. But he took Alma in, eager to learn from a Prophet. And his faith was such that he knew that Alma would bless him even before he met him.
Amulek was a quick learned. He let Alma into his house and was converted. And after several days, he was told by Alma that the Lord wanted him to go out to preach. Again, Amulek must have summoned up great courage to take this step. He likely knew of the antipathy or even outright hostility that people in his community had for Alma. Yet he bravely ventured out.
I think we gain a new appreciation for Amulek’s poignant sermon when we recognize that he was a new convert. What an incredible message and what deep faith.
Before his conversion, Amulek likely had his heart set on riches. Yet his newly found faith was deep enough that he was able to reject Zeezrom’s offer of great sums of money. And eventually we learn that Amulek was required to sacrifice all of his wealth and prestige on the altar of the Gospel.
Amulek declared that he and his house had been blessed by God. But his trials and troubles were only beginning. Those who believed were either expelled or gathered up and burned. Amulek stood powerless watching as they suffered. They were likely his friends or even his family. And he had to live with the knowledge that they were killed because of his testimony.
But that did not break his faith
Amulek was next imprisoned and beaten. He was daily threatened with death and told to renounce Christ.
But that did not break his faith.
And as the prison walls came down, Amulek emerged purified by the refiners fire. He went with Alma and comforted those who had been kicked out of town because of their faith. And what he did next was even more remarkable. He went with Alma and taught and healed the man who had been instrumental in causing the death of his loved ones. His willingness to forgive marked him as a true disciple of Christ.
And after all of this, Amulek had to endure another tragedy as he received word that his whole town had been destroyed in a day. In his grief and agony he accompanies Alma to his home and is administered to by Alma. He had endured great afflictions for his faith. And in his moment of need his friend was there to comfort him.
Yet, Amulek’s faith did not falter. Even though the gospel had brought unexpected trials as well as blessings, he remained strong. He never waivered from his conviction that the Gospel had blessed him and his family. And he continued to serve as a missionary and accompany Alma on further missions. He never abandoned his faith even though he faced so many unanticipated obstacles.
I love this wonderful man for his compassion, courage, and conviction. He is one of the supernal examples in the Book of Mormon.
I also recently wrote a poem paying tribute to Amulek
What are your favorite characters and stories from the Book of Mormon? Why are they meaningful to you?