The Zoramites and I (or Should It Be Me?)

In a recent article in the Ensign (Sep 2014), Elder L. Whitney Clayton–of the LDS Presidency of the Seventy–likens me, a “less-active member,” to the “iniquitous” Zoramites.  So who were the Zoramites?  They were a sect mentioned in the Book of Mormon that separated themselves from the more-valiant Nephites:

For it was the cause of great sorrow to Alma [a BofM prophet] to know of the iniquity among his people; there his heart was exceedingly sorrowful because of the separation of the Zoramites from the Nephites (Alma 31:1-2).

The Zoramites are most famous for constructing a tower called the Rameumptom (Alma 31:21).  According to wikipedia:

A Rameumpton is a high tower or stand from which the apostate Zoramites gave a pre-determined vain prayer.  The practice of preaching from a Rameumptom was viewed by several BofM characters as sinful.  Based on a passsage in the BofM the term “Rameumptom” has come to have a metaphoric meaning in Mormon culture, signifying self aggrandizement or hubris.

In a tongue-in-cheek letter to the editor of Dialogue, Robert Nelson Jr. compares the Rameumpton ceremonies to some modern Mormon practices.  But that is neither here nor there.  Although one could argue that the Zoramite comparison might better represent today’s institutional Church services than us “less-active members.”

At Least We Zoramites Are Snappy Dressers

At Least We Zoramites Are Snappy Dressers, Although Faceless

Using Alma’s reactivation work on the Zoramites as an example, Clayton promotes a similar effort toward myself and other Mormons who are “less-active members.”  The intent is to bring us back into the fold.  Although Clayton doesn’t call it by name, the LDS program is referred to as “Hastening the Work.”

The problem is, I don’t want to be brought back into the fold and I don’t want to be “hastened.”  I’m very comfortable being a “less-active member.”  I’m not a “less-active member” because of a spat with the bishop, or a snub from a member or members, or some other superficial reason.  I’m inactive because my personal belief structure doesn’t always line up with institutional Mormonism.  Luckily, so far, my Ward has agreed to leave me out of “hastening.”  But I do appreciate the monthly visit from the home teachers.  They are always very careful to limit their visit to 30 minutes and their message is never heavy handed.

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4 Responses to The Zoramites and I (or Should It Be Me?)

  1. Parker says:

    Would the preaching have been less sinful if it had been done behind a pulpit, rather than from a tower?

    • shematwater says:

      This blog does not give a full description of the Zoramites or the Rameumton. There was no preaching, and their entire service was the giving of a memorized prayer. It was taught that nothing more was needed because they had already been chosen for salvation, and so no matter what they did it was okay. They also denied Christ in their prayer. This was the wickedness of the Zoramites.

      However, that doesn’t really matter as the only similarity Elder Whitney was making between the Zoramites and modern members is that fact that they had left the church. Nowhere does he compare the Zoramites beliefs or practices to anyone in the modern day. The Zoramites, like many today, have the church; and, just as Alma sought to bring the Zoramites back, we should seek to bring those back who have left in our day. Any other comparison is put their by the reader, and not by Elder Whitney.

  2. rogerdhansen says:

    That is Nelson’s point in his letter to Dialogue. If you haven’t read it please do. There is a link in the post above.

  3. Pingback: Sunday in Outer Blogness: Stay or go edition!! » Main Street Plaza

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