“Morianton Was Angry with One of His Maid Servants”

Brant Gardner

Redaction: It is extremely rare in the Book of Mormon to explain how news from one location reached another location. I suspect that Mormon added this detail because it reveals Morianton’s bad character, and Mormon wants to paint him in a bad light. As we have already seen, Mormon tends to deal in dichotomies. Earlier, he had portrayed King Noah as an unalloyed villain, ignoring Noah’s genuine achievements in building his kingdom. (See commentary accompanying Mosiah 11:1–2.) This incident not only establishes Morianton’s character, but it also clearly communicates that violence toward women was not accepted in Nephite culture and that women are justified in taking steps to protect/remove themselves from abusive behavior.

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