“A King and a Ruler”

Church Educational System

A close examination of the Book of Mormon reveals numerous traditions and customs that have their origins in ancient Israel. There is a striking similarity between Mosiah’s ascendancy to the Nephite throne in the first chapters of Mosiah and how kings were crowned in the Old Testament (see Stephen D. Ricks, “King, Coronation, and Covenant in Mosiah 1–6,” in John L. Sorenson and Melvin J. Thorne, ed., Rediscovering the Book of Mormon [1991], 209).

Some notable similarities between Book of Mormon and Old Testament coronation ceremonies include: (1) a belief that kings were chosen by heaven (see Mosiah 1:9–10; 6:3, 5; 1 Kings 2:15; 2 Kings 15:5); (2) the sanctuary as the place of the coronation (see Mosiah 1:18; 1 Kings 1:39–45); (3) bestowal of sacred relics, artifacts, or other objects at the time of coronation (see Mosiah 1:15–16; 2 Kings 11:12); (4) anointing (see Mosiah 6:3; 1 Kings 1:33–34) (see Ricks, in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, 210, 213–14).

“In addition, the ideal was that the new king take office before the death of the old one, and this transfer of power was connected with the ceremony where the people make or renew their covenant with God” (Ricks, in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, 216). This took place a little later with King Benjamin’s people when they proclaimed, “we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments” (Mosiah 5:5).

Book of Mormon Student Manual (2009 Edition)