“The Reigns of the Kings”

W. Cleon Skousen

The next task was to arrange the political affairs of the kingdom. When Nephi first established his colony and the city of Nephi he refused to let the people call him king, even though he consented to govern them. 6 It would appear, however, that with the passing of time the title of king or ruler became so common among the people that Nephi allowed it to be used in connection with himself.

Jacob says that when Nephi saw that he was going to die he anointed a man to be a king and a ruler. Thus begin the reign of the kings in the Book of Mormon, which continued down until 91 B.C. when Mosiah II abandoned that Nephite system of electing monarchs and set up the Lord's system of government by judges. In this case Jacob does not give us any indication of the procedure of selecting a king. But we later learn that this was traditionally done "by the voice of the people,"7 so we assume that Nephi's successor was presented for the approval of the people before he was anointed king.

Treasures from the Book of Mormon