“Helaman Was Appointed to Fill the Judgment–seat”

Bryan Richards

Helaman is elected to the judgment-seat only after another contention. Certainly, the loser in this election was supported by Kishkumen and company. However, Helaman prevails and will hereby consolidate his religious and political authority. It was to him whom Shiblon had committed the plates (Alma 63:11). He became the high priest over the church and the chief judge, the very combination of offices which had become so burdensome to his grandfather Alma (Alma 4:17-20). Although the judgment-seat was the most powerful political office among the Nephites, one could hardly say that it was a popular office. With the band of Kishkumen at large, the life of the chief judge was always in danger. Indeed, as soon as Helaman becomes the chief judge, the band begins to plan his death.