(February 25, 2014)
The Book of Mormon has an elephant in the room – the residual animosity between the people of Zarahemla and the people of Nephi. I read in the past and thought the people of Zarahemla giving up their rulership (when they were the majority) always seemed quite odd. But they never really gave up their aspirations for leadership, and the distinctions between the two peoples persisted over some time.
The reason I say that is it is noticeable now to me when Mormon points out that someone was a Mulekite (as with Ammon). I immediately begin to pay better attention. It seems that Ammon is a Mulekite name, which likely means a couple of things. First, Benjamin (and maybe the first Mosiah) likely married a Mulekite in order to merge the kingdoms – after all, the second Mosiah named his son Ammon. Secondly, the missionary Ammon would likely have been alive at the same time as the Ammon who went to the land of Nephi to rescue Limhi’s people. Ammon the missionary planned a ‘quest’ to follow in the footsteps of Ammon the rescuer (his uncle perhaps?).
It also sheds additional light on the city of Ammonihah – and why the people of Ammonihah hated Alma the way that they did. After all, the Mulekites might have been on board with Mosiah, Benjamin, and Mosiah because Benjamin (or, at least, Mosiah) was partially of Mulekite descent. But when Alma took control of the government, that must have really been intolerable to the Mulekites. Once he gave up that control, I imagine they were only to happy to point out to him that they had no obligation to pay him any mind any more.