Amulek Vs. Zeezrom: An Analysis of Debate Styles

Enter Zeezrom. He is a lawyer. It says he is an expert in the devices of the devil. He was out to destroy that which was good.

That is all we know of Zeezrom for the time being. There are no dates when he died or ages so it’s impossible to say if he was aged or still young. He begins to have a debate with Amulek. I’ll copy it down in script form, that may make it easier to keep up with. Plus, I’ll be able to write comments on what is said. But before I do that, I want to review what happens in Zeezrom’s life as recorded in the Book of Mormon. He actually has a really cool story. As you already know, he is a wicked lawyer in Ammonihah. After Alma and Amulek teach and testify, he is converted but it’s too late because he and all the other believers are cast out of the city, and Alma and Amulek are put in prison. Zeezrom and all the other believers make their way to Sidom. Zeezrom contracts a burning fever because he feels so guilty and probably feels like he is to blame for what happened with Alma and Amulek.

Alma and Amulek make it out of Ammonihah alive and end up in Sidom. Zeezrom calls for them to visit him. They heal him and a church is established in Sidom. Later on, we hear of him going with Alma on a mission to the Zoramites. Helaman is the last mention of him. It says that the people remembered the teachings of Zeezrom and all that he taught about Christ. What turned out as a really rough start, made a fantastic finish! That’s just an overview, though. We’ll get down to the nitty-gritty once we get to his sections in the Book of Mormon.

Amulek Vs. Zeezrom

Ok, I’m just going to copy down in script form the debate they have for the rest of chapter 11.

Zeezrom: Will ye answer me a few questions which I shall ask you?

Amulek: Yea, if it be according to the Spirit of the Lord, which is in me; for I shall say nothing which is contrary to the Spirit of the Lord.

Zeezrom: Behold, here are 6 onties of silver (Note: that’s lots of money) and all these will I give thee if thou wilt deny the existence of a supreme being.

Amulek: O thou child of hell, why tempt ye me? Knowest thou that the righteous yieldeth to no such temptations? Believest thou that there is a God, but thou lovest that lucre more than him. And now thou hast lied before God unto me. Thou saidst unto me-behold these six onties, which are of great worth, I will give unto thee-when thou hadst it in thy heart to retain them from me; and it was only thy desire that I should deny the true and living God, that thou mightest have cause to destroy me. And now behold, for this great evil thou shalt have thy reward.

Zeezrom: Thou sayest there is a true and living God?

Amulek: Yea, there is a true and living God.

Zeezrom: Is there more than one God?

Amulek: No.

Zeezrom: How knowest thou these things?

Amulek: An angel hath made them known unto me.

Zeezrom: Who is he that shall come? Is it the Son of God?

Amulek: Yea.

Zeezrom: Shall he save his people in their sins?

Amulek: I say unto you, he shall not for it is impossible for him to deny his word.

Zeezrom (to the people): See that ye remember these things; for he said there is but one God; yet he hath said that the son of God shall come, but he shall not save his people-as though he had authority to command God.

Amulek: Behold, thou hast lied, for thou sayest that I spoke as though I had authority to command God because I said he shall not save his people in their sins. I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.

Zeezrom: Is the son of God the very eternal father?

Amulek: (Note: Zeezrom’s question is answered here) Yea, he is the very eternal father of heaven and the earth and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last. And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life and salvation cometh to none else. Therefore the wicked remain as though there had been no redemption made, except it be the loosing of the bands of death; (note: The rest of this paragraph talks about the Resurrection.) for behold the day cometh that all shall rise from the dead and stand before God, and be judged according to their works.

Now there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death. The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt.

Now this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous, and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but everything shall be restored to its perfect frame as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ, the son, and God the father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one eternal God, to be judge according to their works whether they be good or whether they be evil.

(Note: This is a summary of speech.) Now behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption.

Amulek’s Style of Debate

Before I got to this part, I had written that perhaps Amulek didn’t debate because he was still new. But I was wrong! He can debate very well! I think debate is a strong word to use, though. I feel like debating is more a for show kind of thing rather than getting somewhere. Alma and Amulek were preaching and answering questions the people had. I suppose, a higher form of “debating.”

Amulek gets in a lot of things. I know he was being led by the spirit on what to say. Zeezrom didn’t say much after Amulek spoke because Amulek had answered the questions before they had been asked. At least, that is my guess. There was a time, early on in my mission when I was teaching an investigator that illustrates this. As I was explaining to her about the Plan of Salvation, I was bringing up things about it I hadn’t done in other lessons. I remember thinking it was odd but the thought came that I was answering questions she had in her mind. I don’t know how true that is because she never asked the question but it’s just the thought I had. Maybe this is how it was with Amulek and Zeezrom.

Zeezrom’s Style of Debate

Zeezrom’s debating style is very tricky. If you don’t pay attention to every part, you’ll get lost. What he does is ask seemingly singular and non-threatening questions. But then later uses those questions and answers to tie into something bigger. It’s hard to debate it too because at the time you answered the question, you couldn’t see the far-reaching consequences of how you answer. But the fact that you said it play well into the opponent’s argument.

The example from Zeezrom is that he asks if there is one true and living God. Then, later on, he asks if the Son of God will save people in their sins. Two questions, individually ok, but when combined with evil intentions, equals bad news. Zeezrom was trying to catch Amulek by getting him to admit there were multiple Gods when he said there was one. And then say that even though were more, this son of God wasn’t going to save anyone. Sorry, that’s a hard explanation. Oh, I have another real life example. this is from one of my companions. During the restoration lesson, at the part of Jesus Christ’s ministry, he would ask the investigators to imagine if Jesus were to set up his church nowadays like he did in the New Testament times. If he was leading it himself with all the miracles and everything. Would they want to follow? Everyone agreed to. He continued with the apostasy and on to the restoration. After teaching these things he tells them that earlier they told him they would follow Jesus Christ’s church if it were on the earth again with Jesus leading it. He tells them that it’s back and it has been restored. The investigators were normally taken back because they realize they did say that. When asked if they will continue to learn and follow Christ’s church, they have to dig deep within and ask themselves if this is something they really want to do. I think that is a better example what Zeezrom was attempting to do with Amulek. Since Amulek had the gift of discernment, he was able to address things before they happened.

Since the holidays are here, we’ll be taking a break from blogging next week. But once the new year comes, we’ll hit it up again. Happy holidays!

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One thought on “Amulek Vs. Zeezrom: An Analysis of Debate Styles

  1. Pingback: Alma’s Final Words to the People of Ammonihah | Towards a Greater Light

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