“Who Should Fill the Judgment–seat”

Brant Gardner

Social: The important information of this verse is the empty judgment-seat. Not only is the seat empty, there is no clear successor. This is the recipe for social disorder, and the description of the disorder follows immediately. Mormon notes that there “began to be a contention.” While there have been assertions of traditional Nephite political control, there has been no elimination of the factions that are ideologically separate from the Nephite principles. These have arisen in the past, and they arise again. As long as there is a fundamental disunity in the land of Zarahemla, this conflict between the ways of the outside world and the ways of the traditional Nephite religio-political system will continue to erupt.

Textual: Mormon’s construction of his text continues to organize around year-markers. The last year marker ended with peace, and the peach continues into the forty second year with peace having been “established again.”

Chronological: The forty second year of the reign of the judges corresponds to 52 BC.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon