Helaman 5:1-4

Brant Gardner

Nephi began his rule in the fifty-third year of the Reign of the Judges (Helaman 3:37). He abdicated in the sixty-second year, ruling for only ten years. Perhaps he chose the year of his abdication to coincide with the second full five-year period of his reign.

In abdicating, he followed his great-grandfather Alma in leaving the Chief Judge seat to concentrate on the ministry, and for the same reasons. Alma had believed that returning the people to God’s commandments would restore them to Jehovah’s protection and prosperity. Nephi appears to believe he might have the same experience.

The difference is that in these years there appears to have been an even larger number of the Nephites who had left their covenants to Jehovah behind. Thus, verse 2 proclaims: “For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.” That is the formula for contention and destruction.

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