“All Manner of Precious Clothing”

Brant Gardner

These verses do not point to a hierarchy in love with finery (though there have been many such throughout history) but to a general characteristic of the church of the devil—that is, that the love of finery constitutes “the desires of this great and abominable church” (v. 8). Yielding to such worldly desires places us under the powerful sway of the church of the devil. These verses come, not as identifiers, but as warnings.

Nevertheless, preoccupation with “fine clothing” is a motif throughout the Book of Mormon that identifies the most proximate form of the “great and abominable church” against which the Nephites must contend. Within their own culture and time, desires for finery become intricately intertwined with the social and religious world opposing true Nephite religion. (See the commentary accompanying Jacob 2:13.)

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1