Anti-Nephi-Lehi

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According to the Book of Mormon, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies (/ˈæn.t ˈn.f ˈl.hz/[1]) were a group of people who, after a significant religious conversion, made a covenant that they would not participate in war, and buried their weapons.[2][3]

The plural form of the name, Anti-Nephi-Lehies, was taken on by Lamanite Christian converts. Later, they were called Ammonites to honor the primary missionary of their conversion. Anti-Nephi-Lehies differed from other Book of Mormon people in that they were pacifists as a reaction to their previous extreme warlike behavior. Anti-Nephi-Lehies preferred death over killing in self-defense. Anti-Nephi-Lehi, who succeeded his father as king of all the Lamanite lands except the land of Ishmael, was also one of the converted Lamanites, and a brother to Lamoni.

The term "anti" has perplexed readers as the Lamanites made a covenant to serve the Lord and thus align themselves with the Nephites. These readers assume the Latin/Greek meaning of the prefix "anti", which means "opposing" or "against". However, the Book of Mormon record states that it was written in reformed Egyptian,[4][5] so a Greek or Latin meaning is unlikely. "Anti" may be a reflex of the Egyptian "nty:", he of, the one of. Thus, rather than having the sense "against", it may have the meaning "the one of Nephi and Lehi".[6]

An obvious explanation of "anti" is meaning "not". Their challenge of distinguishing themselves as a body of Lamanite converts without using the term "Laman", hence "The Lehies not of Nephi" or "The not-Nephite Lehies." Another possibility is in Alma 21:11 where a village is named "Ani-Anti", as perhaps the name Anti was derived from this village and it is merely a name.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ LDS.org: "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA-ified from «ăn´tī—nē´fī—lē´hī»
  2. ^ Alma 24
  3. ^ Alma 26:32
  4. ^ Mormon 9:32
  5. ^ 1 Nephi 1:2
  6. ^ Hugh Nibley, Quoted in Eldin Ricks, Book of Mormon Study Guide, p. 63. as cited in Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, 209-210