May 05, 2010

Mormon action figures

Someone sent me links to, a site where you can buy Mormon action figures:

The big chief

Captain Moroni

6" Captain Moroni

Captain Moroni became the commander of the Nephite army at the young age of 25. He is best known for the "Title of Liberty" which he made by tearing off a piece of his coat and writing on it: "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." The Book of Mormon tells how he used this flag to rally his people toward righteousness.The little people

6" Stripling Warrior

Stripling Warrior (blue skirt)

The 2,000 Stripling Warriors "...were exceedingly valiant for courage... Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught [in their youth by their mothers] to keep the commandments of God". The Book of Mormon tells us how after battle, Helaman fearfully counted his stripling sons. Although all were wounded, to his astonishment there was "not one soul of them who did perish...".Home away from home

Here's a Maya-style temple where you can play with your action figures. Alas, I don't think the site sells this. You have to buy it somewhere else or make it yourself.

I've written about the Indian-Mormon connection before. For instance, in Lamanites = "Filthy People" and Mormon Leaders Made a Mistake. Here's the basic story:

Genetics and the Book of MormonThe Middle Eastern Origin of Lehi

The Book of Mormon tells the story of a small group of Israelites, led by a prophet named Lehi, who fled Jerusalem around 600 BCE and traveled to the Americas. Two of Lehi's sons, Laman and Nephi, become the fathers of two separate nations, the Lamanites and the Nephites. ... For the context of the debate regarding genetics and the Book of Mormon, it is usually assumed that Lehi and his party had mostly Middle Eastern genes.

Nephites and Lamanites in the Book of Mormon

According to the Book of Mormon, the terms "Nephites" and "Lamanites" actually lose their original significance pursuant to the visitation of Jesus Christ to the American continent after His resurrection; His coming ushers in a period of peace in which the two conflicting nations merge into one, in which "There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God." (4 Nephi 1:17). But later on in the narrative, as members of the unified nation fall away from the faith, the term "Lamanite" comes to signify wickedness (rather than blood heritage), whereas "Nephite" comes to signify a follower of Christ, both terms alluding to the previous nations' predominant moral tendencies. Eventually, however, even the righteous "Nephites" grow proud and fall into wickedness comparable to that of those termed Lamanites, though they retain the now rather hypocritical distinction "Nephites." The Nephites do battle with the Lamanites perpetually, until finally around 400 AD the Nephites are said to have been annihilated by the Lamanites in epic battle involving about two hundred thousands Nephities (and possibly larger amount of Lamanites) near hill Cumorah. The nation of the Lamanites is understood to have continued on beyond the close of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon states, in an introductory paragraph added in 1981, that Lamanites are "the principal ancestors of the American Indians" (Southerton 2004, p. 156).
Getting back to the toys, we have two versions of Captain Moroni, a Nephite leader. One is dressed as a Roman soldier and another as an Aztec-style chieftain. Although the Nephites came from the Middle East, Captain Moroni is pale-skinned like, well, most paintings of Jesus.

I guess the "stripling warriors" are Nephites too. For some reason, they have darker skin--perhaps because they're lower-class stock who have been mingling with the Indians. They're dressed like Middle Easterners, Mesoamericans, or some combination thereof.

These people have metal swords and armor. Oddly, archaeologists have never found these metal artifacts. Or any other artifacts of Middle Eastern origin. It's as if the Nephites never existed...!

I'm not sure how you're supposed to play Nephites vs. Lamanites without any Lamanites. Maybe you can pretend the dark-skinned Nephite warriors are "filthy" Lamanites. Or maybe you can use the Indians from your cowboys 'n' Indians set.

Summing it up, the wicked dark-skinned Lamanites corrupted the noble light-skinned Nephites, then massacred them. The Lamanites went on to become American Indians, the degenerate descendants of a once-proud tribe. When Joseph Smith found the Book of Mormon, he found a justification for the Euro-American conquest of Indians. The Nephites once ruled the land for God and Jesus, so white men could take it back from the savage remnants of the Lamanites.

For more on the subject, see America's Cultural Roots and Manifest Destiny = America's Pathology

1 comment:

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:

Mormon Action Figures Depict Indians, er, Lamanites