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Early in the history of the Nephites, Jacob noted that there were still “Nephites; nevertheless, they were called Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, Lamanites, Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites” (Jacob 1:13). In spite of the availability of tribal/lineage designations, Jacob used only two major categories, Nephite and Lamanite. Now, some five hundred years later, we see two major groups in Zarahemla, which we must assume are descendants of Nephite and Zarahemla/ Mulek. Surely smaller kin organizations existed within each of these larger designations, but the general division between Nephite and Zarahemlaite survived Benjamin’s efforts to mold his society into a unified whole. The two groups initially had different religions, cultures, and languages. Those are tremendous obstacles to overcome.

Brant Gardner -

Brant Gardner

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3