“The First Time That Priestcraft Has Been Introduced Among This People”

D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner

There are historical examples of endeavoring to enforce religious beliefs on others by the sword—among Muslims, Christians, and others. In matters of religious belief and practice, the use of force is eternally proscribed. Significantly, a war was fought over this very issue in our premortal estate, and the battle then transferred to earth.

Nehor sought to perpetuate the plan of the adversary through priestcraft, but that was not his only sin. He slew a once-mighty man of God and was punished by the voice of the people—a principle now well established as a result of Mosiah’s call to be forward-looking, refute kingship, choose judges, and do the business of government by the voice of the people (Mosiah 29:10–27). Verses 16–19 provide a description of how priestcraft operates.

Verse by Verse: The Book of Mormon: Vol. 1