“The Trials and Atroubles of a Righteous King”

Brant Gardner

Literature: Verses 33–34 form a contrasting pair to verses 35–36. In 33–34 Mosiah discusses the good king who must bear all of the people’s burdens. These responsibilities should be returned to their rightful location—to the people themselves.

In contrast to the good king (who still has problems) is the bad king who creates “iniquities and abominations, and all the wars, and contentions, and bloodshed, and the stealing, and the plundering, and the committing of whoredoms, and all manner of iniquities which cannot be enumerated.” Mosiah apparently assumes that his people will immediately recognize this list. These very conditions became the norm for the Classic Maya after the close of the Book of Mormon. I hypothesize, therefore, that Mosiah is counseling against some fairly well-known trends.

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