strtoupper('“Y')ea Even a Written Word Sent He Among the People”

This verse presents an interesting contrast to verse 1. In that verse Mosiah simply “sends out” to find the will of the people. This verse appears to emphasize that this particular message to the people was written down. While it is clear that there were literate Nephites, it is not clear the extent to which they were literate. However, even if the messengers were reading the text, the fact that it was written down ensured the accurate transmission of the message. This particular message was so important to the people that Mosiah wanted it delivered precisely.

It is also important to note that the people were not assembled, but rather that the message was read to them. Once again, we may assume that those who lived outside of the ceremonial city-center would be clustered along kinship lines. The message would be read to kin groups.

There are two important aspects of this reading to smaller groups that may have come to play in the decision to send out messengers rather than assemble the people as Benjamin had done, or even as Mosiah had done when Limhi’s and Alma’s peoples joined with them. The first is simply that size made such assemblies difficult, though the previous assemblies appear to belie that reason. The second reason is that the very nature of the message was revolutionary. Mosiah proclaims that he has fear of political unrest. Perhaps this is a conscious attempt to keep groups separated so that they might think separately and not be incited by group action that might get out of hand.

Brant Gardner -

Brant Gardner

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon