“Church Became General Throughout the Land”

Brant Gardner

This description of the church as “general throughout the land” is evidence of its success. We might read it as resulting in universal conversions, but subsequent events will show that it was surely not universal. “General” communicates widespread success but without claiming that all unbelievers were converted. At this point, Mormon’s purpose is not to describe accurately the social conditions, but to continue the contrast between the Ammonihahite Nehors and the victorious Nephite gospel.

Mormon also continues his theme of victory over the Nehorites by pointing out that “there was no inequality among them,” again, a contrast to the Nehorite espousal of social and economic disparity. The egalitarian ideal is uniquely Nephite.

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