6 Ontis = 42 Measures of Grain, Infinite Measures of Wisdom

Our family reads each day from the Book of Mormon.  Yesterday we read Alma 11.

In light of the Federal Reserve’s recent decision to proceed with Quantitative Easing 3, I thought the timing of reading this chapter was appropriate, because this chapter explains that the Nephite monetary system was based on precious metal (gold and silver) and commodities (grain).  As it should be.

I’ve always skimmed over the explanation of the currency as “nice to know, but I’ll look at it more closely later.”  We decided to make a chart with the family to understand the value of the coinage.  Here it is:

Gold coinage Measure of grain Silver coinage
Leah  1/8
Shiblum  1/4
Shiblon  1/2
Senine 1 Senum
Antion 1 1/2
Seon 2 Amnor
Shum 4 Ezrom
Limnah 7 Onti

In this chapter, a man named Amulek is teaching gospel truths to a group of people.  One of the group is a lawyer named Zeezrom.  Like many lawyers of the time, Zeezrom was proficient in stirring up trouble and seeking to destroy liberty in order to get gain.

Zeezrom offers Amulek 6 ontis of gold, equivalent to 42 measures of grain or 42 days of labor, if he will deny the existence of God.

We discussed as a family the reasons that Zeezrom would want to discredit Amulek.  The most simple answer is that Zeezrom makes money off of contention, and true conversion to Christianity eliminates most contention.

We then talked about modern-day application of the lessons from this chapter.  We wrote a list of groups that benefit financially from immorality, strife, fear, and contention.

Here’s a few:

Insurance companies (We listed this because Ashlee hurt her shoulder when we were boating with my dad.  The insurance company sent letters asking me to please sue my father so they wouldn’t have to pay her medical bills.)


Military-Industrial Complex

Various government agencies like the TSA, Homeland Security, intelligence agencies, etc.

The war on drugs – I recently learned about the huge amount of lobbying done by the prison guard unions to maintain and/or accelerate the war on drugs.

It was a great study session.  I love that the kids comprehend so well and bring their own ideas to the table.  (The last list excepted… that one is obviously flavored by my studies.)


About Jonathan

I am a man whose life has been profoundly changed by a beautiful woman, 5 amazing kids, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Leadership Education.
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