strtoupper('“A')lma Was Appointed to Be the First Chief Judge”

Even though the judges were apparently identified or nominated by popular kin-assemblies, Mosiah appointed them. Thus, the kin-leaders were installed in their new positions by formal action of the outgoing king, the strongest possible conferral of public authority that they could receive.

In the hierarchy of judges, Alma2 is designated as the chief judge. He now has two positions. As high priest, he is the head of the various churches, ordained as such by his father. He is also the chief judge, a position confirmed by Mosiah. It is curious that the de facto separation of the religious from the political with Mosiah and Alma1 should be reunited in Alma1’s son. Nevertheless, these positions are not reunited in function. The people would understand that Alma2 bore two official titles, a fact that would become most conspicuous later when Alma2 relinquishes one of them (Alma 5:15–18). Such an action would not have been possible unless the two were still considered separable.

Brant Gardner -

Brant Gardner

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