“Ripening for Destruction”

Brant Gardner

Mormon here echoes Mosiah’s warning. According to Mosiah, when the voice of the people chose “iniquity” (meaning values that were not the tradition), they would bring upon them Yahweh’s judgments. Mormon spells out that “the laws had become corrupted” and that therefore the Nephites were “ripening for destruction.” (See “Excursus: The Voice of the People,” following Mosiah 29, for my reconstruction of how this procedure operated.)

Because the chief judge often inherited his office, even with the voice of the people in operation, apparently the people assented in those cases. Here, however, the voice of the people apparently dissented. The political faction that has been eroding traditional Nephite values had finally achieved a majority.

Redaction: This commentary is Mormon’s, not his source’s. Verse 2 specifically reiterates Mormon’s theme that the Nephite destruction is due to their rejection of Yahweh’s ways. Mormon is intentionally alluding to Mosiah2, whose record he has read and abridged. Mormon is demonstrating that, both religiously and politically, the Nephites have strayed from the true Nephite gospel.

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