“They Were Steadfast and Immovable in Keeping the Commandments of God”

Brant Gardner

Redaction: Mormon’s description of the Nephite church includes the controversies and “persecution,” but the sympathetic Mormon uses these negative circumstances to praise the steadfastness and patience of most of the church-men. His point is to contrast them with the few church-men who came to blows with their opponents.

Modern Perspective: The position of the Nephite church in their culture creates a dramatic parallel to the modern church, which also finds itself as a culture within a culture. While the modern church may share many traits with the rest of the culture in which it resides, it nevertheless represents a different set of beliefs and practices. These differences have always set the church apart, and will (and should) continue to do so. The differences may no longer lead to direct persecutions. They may now lead to opportunities.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4