May your New Year begin better than Amalickiah’s did.


“Happy New Year!” by Minerva Teichert
(not her actual title for the painting)


My Deseret News column at New Year’s from almost precisely a year ago:



An important bipartisan statement on the nuclear negotiations with Iran
Canaries in the coal mine?
Elder Maxwell on the establishment of a state (ir)religion
Does support for gay marriage bring prosperity and improve quality of life?
  • Jason Covell

    Thanks for reposting that article. I recall vividly coming across this passage in Alma the very first time I seriously read the Book of Mormon (I’m an adult convert).

    I remember a shiver running down my spine as I read this taut, compact account with so much going on behind the surface. I had read but a little about ancient kingship year rites, and the worldview in which this things were terribly important (even in societies which retained only an echo of former practices). But upon reading Alma 51-52, I experienced a vivid sensation – the acute and sudden realisation that this really happened.

    The sneak assassination of Amalickiah was, I apprehended, a brilliant and daring piece of psychological warfare. There was nothing in the text to shout “look at me! I’m being clever here!” It was a sober account of a bloody time, written by a hand that had no wish or need to glorify or call undue attention to these acts of gritty wartime. And yet, the reality of it shone through to me at once. It had no need to pretend. It just was.

    Thank you again for bringing back this memory.

    • danpeterson

      Thank you for an excellent comment.