“Out by Night”

Brant Gardner

Mormon gives no details about this servant, not even his name. He was out at night, had been disguised, and had overheard the band’s plans. The fact that he recognized Kishkumen suggests that he had attended the group’s meeting in a setting sufficiently intimate to see faces and learn names. His disguise suggests that he was already leading a double life, which is the very definition of a spy. Although he could have been freelancing, it seems more likely that Helaman (or perhaps Pacumeni, alerted by his brother’s murder) had instituted a plan of infiltration and spying. If this is the case and the chief judge knew that there was an organized movement on which to spy, then it was not as secret as Mormon claims. Obviously, enough rumors had spread that the organization could be infiltrated, even though Kishkumen had not yet been identified as Pacumeni1’s murderer. The fact that this spy was “out by night” was not accidental but a calculated attempt to collect information and thwart the band’s murderous plans.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 5