Why Did Ye Not Come to the Feast on That Great Day when I Made a Feast Unto My Sons and Unto My People

Alan C. Miner

According to Brant Gardner, the nature of Mesoamerican inter-site visits by kings gives a cultural explanation to Lamoni's father's visit to Lamoni. We are told that he comes because Lamoni did not attend a designated feast in the over-king's city (see Alma 20:9). Without a cultural context in which to see this event, we simply have an irritated father coming to chastise a son. In the context of the important political balance associated with Mesoamerican inter-site visits, we have the over-king investigating a possible defection from his coalition. [Brant Gardner, "A Social History of the Early Nephites," delivered at the FAIR Conference, August 17, 2001, p. 11]

Gardner notes that in later Classic Maya sites, there is glyphic evidence of a tradition of intersite visits of royalty, and particularly of the subordinate rulers to their overlords. [Brant Gardner, Book of Mormon Commentary, [http://www.highfiber.com/~nahualli/LDStopics/Alma/Alma19.htm], pp. 4-5]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary