“Thus Ended the Reign of the Kings Over the People of Nephi”

Brant Gardner

The position of judge thus had resurfaced among the Aztecs, if indeed it had ever been gone. Here, however, the judges are arbiters of law and disputes, not leaders of the community.

An example of judges who lead their people occurred in Chichén Itzá (also post-Book of Mormon) which “witnessed the birth of a social and political order based upon a new principle of governance, mul tepal ‘joint rule.’” Scholars agree that Mesoamerica has had a relatively stable cultural base over time, with much of their culture remaining viable today despite the adaptations required by the post-conquest world. While not contemporaneous with Mosiah, these examples nevertheless indicate that Mosiah was not out of place in a Mesoamerican context. The sub-strata institutions that allowed Mosiah to make the change from king to judge enabled those similar changes that we know about in later cultures primarily because we simply have more data for the later peoples. (See also commentary accompanying Mosiah 29:11.)

Text: This is the end of a chapter and of the book of Mosiah.

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