1. Now having little success amongst them, this man went over to the land of Jershon also, to preach among my people, the people of Ammon, who are the people which came out from among the Lamanites.
2. But behold my people were more dogmatic than many of the Nephites; for they took him, and bound him, and carried him before Ammon, who was a high priest over that people.
3. And it came to pass that Ammon would not bring him to trial within the courts. For Ammon understood that a man must not be convicted for his beliefs. It was righteousness to allow a man to think and speak according to the persuasions of his own conscience.
4. Therefore, Ammon released him, saying: Friend, though I shall never agree with your teachings, nevertheless it is by allowing ye the freedom to speak as ye please that I receive the authority to speak as I please. Should I censor another, then would it not be justice that some greater power shall burden me with censorship as well? I expect that ye shall have no success amongst my people, nevertheless ye are free to go and speak as ye will.
5. And it came to pass that Ammon’s words were verified, and he found no success among our people, wherefore their silent response did carry him out of the land. And he came over into the land of Gideon, and began to speak 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.
6. And it came to pass that the high priest said unto him: Why do ye go about perverting the ways of the Church? Why do ye teach this people that the prophets shall lead them astray, to interrupt their comfort and rejoicings? Why do ye speak against the prophecies of the holy prophets?
7. Now the high priest’s name was Giddonah. And Korihor said unto him: I did not say the prophets shall lead the people astray. Rather, I said that the prophets might lead the people astray. And I said this because I recognize the fallacy of placing trust exclusively upon any leader; especially one who has been established at the head based solely on tradition and not on merit.
8. And I said it because I mourn for the people who bind themselves down under the ordinances and performances which are laid down by a long hierarchy of priests who demand perfect obedience to their authority as if they have the power of God. Yet these priests offer no greater knowledge nor power of any kind, save that which is had among all people of every persuasion. Wherefore these priests usurp power and authority over them, to keep them in ignorance, fearful that they shall lose their families and their eternities, if they do not do according to their words.
9. Ye say that this people is a free people. Behold, I say ye have placed them in bondage. Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true. Behold, I say that ye have written the prophecies of specific events after the events occurred.
10. It is obvious in the record for those who can read the scripts of ancient writ that thou hast taken the former writings and rewritten into the record that which supports thy cause. And from the record, thine opponents’ voices hath been censored. Thy prophecies forecast future events so vague and so ambiguous that any situation may be made to support thine claim.
11. Behold, has there not been earthquakes, tempests, floods and fires from the beginning of earth’s creation? To say that these will happen again is no prophecy. Behold, has there not been wars and bloodshed from the beginning of man? To say that these will happen again is no prophecy. And behold,
has there not been many unions of peace and moments of freedom among the nations? To say that this will happen again is easy for even a child to foresee.
12. If there is a war, ye say it was prophesied. If there is peace, ye say it was foretold. Methinks it is most convenient indeed. A new star in the heavens, a new wonder in the skies, disease, famine, plagues, healing, bounties, abundance, a nation falls, another rises; these come and go as they always have and you speak as if ye have the wisdom of omniscience because you have talked about that which has always been. There is no true prophet among you; though ye boast openly of the title.
13. You 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 I say that a soul is not guilty because of the nature by which God hath created it. These people are earnest and sincere and though they stumble here and fall there, their errors are not worthy of the eternal beatings and never-ending lashings that ye deliver upon them. Their fear of a yet to come life beyond the grave is not given unto them by the source of their creation, rather it springs forth from the inflammation of your sermons, which sermons are designed to manipulate their greatest hopes and worst fears.
14. And ye also say that a Savior shall come. But behold, ye do not say that such a Savior hath made Himself known unto you by tangible introduction. Nay, rather ye say that this being speaks within your heart. Ye demand the honor of Moses but ye lead by the spirit of Eli.
15. Behold, what offer you more than any other man who doth walk by his own conscience and is guided by the moral compass from within? Ye say ye offer Eternity, nevertheless thy claims cannot withstand the scrutiny. Thou hast ignored the questions of reason and instead hath spewed words of anger and poured out insults upon we who seek to question thine authority.
16. 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.
17. 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 capricious being, who they say is God—a being whom they, the priests, have never seen or hath never made itself known unto them; yea, by their own words they never acknowledge the actual visitation of any such being. Yet they say whatsoever they may speak is a representation of the words of that being.
18. Now when the high priest and the chief judge saw the solidity of his argument, yea, when they saw that he would expose even their most cherished traditions under the light of reason and persuasion, they would not make any reply to his words; for their method was to persuade fully by emotion and to convince by appeal unto their authority.19. Yet they would give no answer to any question that did challenge their authority. He would offer no obeisance unto them and therefore 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.