Korihor the Anti–Christ

Arrest in Gideon

Alma 30:21

Korihor moves to Gideon, and begins preaching to them also; he is tied up and brought to the high priest.

And he came over into the land of Gideon, and began to preach unto them also; and here he did not have much success, for he was taken and bound and carried before the high priest, and also the chief judge over the land.

Alma 30:22–23

The high priest, named Giddonah, asks Korihor why he is destroying the faith of others.

And it came to pass that the high priest said unto him:

“Why do ye go about perverting the ways of the Lord?
why do ye teach this people that there shall be no Christ,
to interrupt their rejoicings?
why do ye speak against all the prophecies of the holy prophets?”

Now the high priest’s name was Giddonah.

Alma 30:23

Korihor explains that he does not teach foolish tradition that makes people subject to their religious leaders.

And Korihor said unto him:

“Because I do not teach the foolish traditions of your fathers, and because I do not teach this people to bind themselves down under the foolish ordinances and performances which are laid down by ancient priests, to usurp power and authority over them, to keep them in ignorance, that they may not lift up their heads, but be brought down according to thy words.”

Alma 30:24–27

Korihor criticizes the church for teaching the people that they fallen—he sees it as a way for church leaders to dominate over them.

“Ye say that this people is a free people. Behold, I say they are in bondage. Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true.

“Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true. Ye say that this people is a guilty and a fallen people, because of the transgression of a parent. Behold, I say that a child is not guilty because of its parents. And ye also say that Christ shall come. But behold, I say that ye do not know that there shall be a Christ. And ye say also that he shall be slain for the sins of the world—

“And thus ye lead away this people after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye keep them down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands, that they durst not look up with boldness, and that they durst not enjoy their rights and privileges.”

Alma 30:28

Korihor explains how the people are oppressed by their priests, and are robbed of the freedom to think for themselves.

“Yea, they durst not make use of that which is their own lest they should offend their priests, who do yoke them according to their desires, and have brought them to believe, by their traditions and their dreams and their whims and their visions and their pretended mysteries, that they should, if they did not do according to their words, offend some unknown being, who they say is God—a being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be.”

Alma 30:29

Giddonah does not attempt a rebuttal, and simply refers Korihor to Alma in Zarahemla.

Now when the high priest and the chief judge saw the hardness of his heart, yea, when they saw that he would revile even against God, they would not make any reply to his words; but they caused that he should be bound; and they delivered him up into the hands of the officers, and sent him to the land of Zarahemla, that he might be brought before Alma, and the chief judge who was governor over all the land.