Thursday, January 9, 2014

Nibley on Korihor

This passage from Nibley created something of a stir for a short time when Nibley first uttered it but has since been largely forgotten:
Korihor, a contemporary of Alma, rallied the people of property to free themselves from the oppressive restraints of sacral government, "foolish performances," he said, by which "this people bind themselves . . . that they might not lift up their heads" (Alma 30:23). Thanks to the government, said he, people "durst not enjoy their rights and privileges." in particular, "they durst not make use of that which was their own lest they should offend their priests" (Alma 30:27-28); his appeal was for freedom from restraints "laid down by ancient priests" (Alma 30:23), freedom to follow the natural order in which "every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime" (Alma 30:17). The bottom line was the common-sense creed, "when a man was dead, that was the end thereof," all accounts settled, all charges dropped, all moral objections canceled. This was good news to beautiful people," causing them to lift up their heads in wickedness," enjoying unlimited criminal and sexual license, "leading away . . . women, and also men, to commit whoredoms" (Alma 30:18)--a plain but discreet way of hinting at rampant homosexuality. (CWHN 8:509-10.)