Is Trump the next Amlici?

16 minute read

He’s powerful. He’s strong. He’s assertive. And he’s not afraid to undermine the rights of voters in the free democratic election process to take away peoples’ freedoms and get his way…just like Amlici of old.

Is Trump a sort of modern-day Amlici? I think he is. So this year, as a Republican, I proudly and confidently voted for Biden, and I truly hope Biden wins.

Questions I have about Trump

  1. Is Donald Trump a modern-day Amlici?
  2. Is Trump the kind of person who will undermine the free election process, claim he won before the votes are counted, claim it is voter fraud to continue counting the votes, declare himself leader of the nation even if he loses, form an army of armed followers who declare him leader even if he loses the election, and then use these people to start a new civil war?
  3. Is Trump, like Amlici of old–that kind of evil person?

These are the questions I’ve been asking myself for a few months now. I’ve had concerns about the way Trump acts and treats people and carries himself for years–long before his first presidency, but recently, I feel more alarmed, especially considering last night he claimed he won the election long before the votes had been counted–and it seems to me he’s been preparing to do this all along. Yet, mail-in voting and ballot counting has been estimated to take days to weeks for hundreds of years! Take a look at my ballot card, for instance:

It says:

A ballot that is mailed must be received by the elections office no later than 17 days after Eelction Day.

It takes time to count ballots. Every vote must be counted for a free election to truly represent the people and be an honest, good, and correct election, and that takes up to 17 days!

I don’t know for certain if Trump is a modern-day Amlici, and I certainly hope not, but it really bothers me how deceitful, dishonest, and undermining he is of the democratic (free world) election process, and I’ve been wondering for months if he is a modern day Amlici intentionally driving our nation towards, and garnering support for, literally, another civil war.

Who is Amlici?

Let’s go over the history of Amlici. In approximately 91-88 B.C (see also: Wikipedia: Amlicites). there was a group of people called the Nephites living somewhere in America (North, South, or Central America). They had just converted their form of government from a kingdom to a democratic republic with a system of lower and higher judges, elected by popular vote, to rule the land. In the 5th year of the reign of the judges, there came forth a a man named Amlici (Alma 2:1-2):

1 And it came to pass in the commencement of the fifth year of their reign there began to be a contention among the people; for a certain man, being called Amlici, he being a very cunning man, yea, a wise man as to the wisdom of the world, he being after the order of the man that slew Gideon by the sword, who was executed according to the law–

2 Now this Amlici had, by his cunning, drawn away much people after him; even so much that they began to be very powerful; and they began to endeavor to establish Amlici to be a king over the people.

Amlici belonged to a secret group, and he sought power. A popular vote was held, and Amlici lost (Alma 2:5-7). Notice that they had “much dispute and wonderful contentions one with another.” The word “wonderful” here does NOT mean “happy”–it means strong. It implies some “soft blows” or fist fights even, which are frequently described elsewhere as “warm disputes” or “warm contentions.” Look at the election process today: there have been fist fights. There have been riots. There has been civil unrest. And I’ve watched the presidential debates, and I’ve observed from afar. Trump’s legacy he’s leaving behind, in my opinion, is dissension, division, hatred, and “wonderful contentions one with another.” When asked repeatedly if he would concede the election if he lost, he refused. He also claimed then and now–long in advance to sow seeds of doubt early, that mail-in ballots would be fraudulent. This, he needed to do in advance to prepare his people to be angry if he loses the election, so he can claim it was a fraudulent election, and his followers will back him.

5 And it came to pass that the people assembled themselves together throughout all the land, every man according to his mind, whether it were for or against Amlici, in separate bodies, having much dispute and wonderful contentions one with another.

6 And thus they did assemble themselves together to cast in their voices concerning the matter; and they were laid before the judges.

7 And it came to pass that the voice of the people came against Amlici, that he was not made king over the people.

When Amlici loses the election, his opponents are happy, and he and his followers are mad. He decides to stir up his followers and have them consecrate him as a king anyway–as though he had won! He undermined the election process (Alma 2:8-11, emphasis added):

8 Now this did cause much joy in the hearts of those who were against him; but Amlici did stir up those who were in his favor to anger against those who were not in his favor.

9 And it came to pass that they gathered themselves together, and did consecrate Amlici to be their king.

10 Now when Amlici was made king over them he commanded them that they should take up arms against their brethren; and this he did that he might subject them to him.

11 Now the people of Amlici were distinguished by the name of Amlici, being called Amlicites; and the remainder were called Nephites, or the people of God.

Amlici is starting a civil war–because he lost the election. The rest of the country, the Nephites, under their rightfully-elected officials, prepares to defend themselves (Alma 2: 12-13):

12 Therefore the people of the Nephites were aware of the intent of the Amlicites, and therefore they did prepare to meet them; yea, they did arm themselves with swords, and with cimeters, and with bows, and with arrows, and with stones, and with slings, and with all manner of weapons of war, of every kind.

13 And thus they were prepared to meet the Amlicites at the time of their coming. And there were appointed captains, and higher captains, and chief captains, according to their numbers.

Amlici armed his kingmen and they attached the nation (Alma 2: 14-15):

14 And it came to pass that Amlici did arm his men with all manner of weapons of war of every kind; and he also appointed rulers and leaders over his people, to lead them to war against their brethren.

15 And it came to pass that the Amlicites came upon the hill Amnihu, which was east of the river Sidon, which ran by the bland of Zarahemla, and there they began to make war with the Nephites.

The chief judge (president of the democratic republic), Alma, led his army against Amlici (Alma 2:16-19), and won a great battle, killing 12,532 men while losing only 6532:

16 Now Alma, being the chief judge and the governor of the people of Nephi, therefore he went up with his people, yea, with his captains, and chief captains, yea, at the head of his armies, against the Amlicites to battle.

17 And they began to slay the Amlicites upon the hill east of Sidon. And the Amlicites did contend with the Nephites with great strength, insomuch that many of the Nephites did fall before the Amlicites.

18 Nevertheless the Lord did strengthen the hand of the Nephites, that they slew the Amlicites with great slaughter, that they began to flee before them.

19 And it came to pass that the Nephites did pursue the Amlicites all that day, and did slay them with much slaughter, insomuch that there were slain of the Amlicites twelve thousand five hundred thirty and two souls; and there were slain of the Nephites six thousand five hundred sixty and two souls.

Amlici then decides to unite with the nation’s enemies, the Lamanites. He believes if he can join forces with their greatest foes, together they can destroy democracy–literally–by killing those who support it (Alma 2:24-25, emphasis added):

24 Behold, we followed the camp of the Amlicites, and to our great astonishment, in the land of Minon, above the land of Zarahemla, in the course of the land of Nephi, we saw a numerous host of the Lamanites; and behold, the Amlicites have joined them;

25 And they are upon our brethren in that land; and they are fleeing before them with their flocks, and their wives, and their children, towards our city; and except we make haste they obtain possession of our city, and our fathers, and our wives, and our children be slain.

A great battle ensues, and Amlici is eventually slain–but just barely, by Alma himself (Alma 2:27-31):

27 And behold, as they were crossing the river Sidon, the Lamanites and the Amlicites, being as numerous almost, as it were, as the sands of the sea, came upon them to destroy them.

28 Nevertheless, the Nephites being strengthened by the hand of the Lord, having prayed mightily to him that he would deliver them out of the hands of their enemies, therefore the Lord did hear their cries, and did strengthen them, and the Lamanites and the Amlicites did fall before them.

29 And it came to pass that Alma fought with Amlici with the sword, face to face; and they did contend mightily, one with another.

30 And it came to pass that Alma, being a man of God, being exercised with much faith, cried, saying: O Lord, have mercy and spare my life, that I may be an instrument in thy hands to save and preserve this people.

31 Now when Alma had said these words he contended again with Amlici; and he was strengthened, insomuch that he slew Amlici with the sword.

The battle continues, and eventually the Nephites win, destroying the Amlicites, but not until much bloodshed.

How does this apply today?

So, why do I tell this story? In the ongoing presidential election, Trump hasn’t acted very presidential. Rather, he has caused dissension among the people. He has been claiming that the only way Democrats can win is through fraud:

In every exercise except the decisive Trump win, the team playing the Trump campaign and their elected GOP allies sought to do precisely what Trump is doing right now: make baseless claims about voter fraud, claim that any votes cast for Biden are somehow illegitimate, claim that Democrats are seeking to steal the election, and take both legal and extralegal action to undermine ordinary Americans’ faith in the electoral outcome.

Why does he do this? Because sowing doubt about the election process helps pave the way for his more extremist followers to act maliciously in his defense. I hypothesize that if Trump’s followers believe the Democratic party cheats to win, they will feel less bad punishing them for it or acting violently for Trump’s cause. Trump is sowing the seeds of dissension, and it is my belief that he is intentionally lying to do so.

Who is the modern-day Amlici and who is Alma in this story?

I am a registered Republican, yet I voted for Biden yesterday. I have never voted for a Democratic president prior to this year. I didn’t think the Republicans had it perfect in years past, but I thought as a political party they were generally more-closely aligned with what is morally right than the Democratic party. That is what I believed prior to Trump running for election in 2016. I didn’t vote in that election, I’m ashamed to say, because I didn’t know who to vote for, but something didn’t seem right with voting for Trump, so I didn’t vote at all.

Yesterday, I voted for Biden. I believe wholeheartedly I did the right thing. I think voting for Trump is like voting for Amlici. Trump isn’t in it for the country; he’s in it for himself. On a few issues, I think Biden has it wrong. But, when it comes to human dignity and doing the morally right thing because it’s the morally right thing to do, not because he seeks only power, I think Biden is a better candidate.

For other offices this year, I voted all over the place: some Republicans, some Democrats, some who knows what. I sought to vote for a person, not a party! I looked at each and every candidate personally and individually. I read their statements and went to their websites. I literally prayed about each and every ballot option, down to the BART (local train and subway system) official. I put serious time, effort and consideration into every candidate. I spent about 4 hrs voting. For that BART official, by the way, go Steven Dunbar, age 26! I literally felt inspired to vote for you right after I had made up my mind to vote for a different candidate with more experience. But, you ride the train, which means you experience it as we do, and you have ambition and young energy you will need to fight through bureaucracy. I hope you win!

In this story above, Biden is Alma, Trump is Amlici, and I hope Trump does not raise up his followers to rebellion and bloodshed like Amlici did. With Trump, I wonder if he will do whatever it takes to obtain power. We shall see, but let’s hope Trump is not too much like a modern-day Amlici.

One thing is certain, however, Trump undermines democracy and freedom, lies about voting and the electoral process, and seeks to do wrong. It appears to me he is cunning and manipulative and threatening. That’s not a presidential candidate I can stand by. Biden, on the other hand, I felt when he spoke directly to the people in the last debate, has a genuine desire to use a position of power, like the US presidency, for good. That’s a candidate I can stand by, so this year, he won my vote.

Additional Reading

  1. The Real Reason For Trump’s Mormon Wall - great read; this is an article written on Oct. 26, 2016, during the 2016 presidential election, talking about how Trump shares characteristics with many wicked Book of Mormon people of old, including the wicked King Noah, Amlici, the most-cunning Amalickiah in particular–and his Kingmen, and Paanchi and his followers who planned a murderous coup. For anyone who read my article here, I highly recommend you take a look at this one too.

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