“Exceedingly Great Power and Authority”

Brant Gardner

Mormon emphasizes the ironic juxtaposition of the recalcitrant Nephites who encounter the “exceedingly great power and authority” of the Lamanite missionaries who are not only fully converted but also apparently empowered with the priesthood.

The Nephites who could listen open-hearted to their message were brought down “into the depths of humility.” They would have to be. All of their national pride would have vaunted their religious superiority over the Lamanites. Now they must admit that the righteous Lamanites were calling them to a much-needed repentance. Only the humble could hear such a message.

Paul must have faced such a challenge when he first began to preach. Having been a persecutor of the Saints, he becomes one of this despised group’s foremost teachers. Perhaps, however, it is also one reason why his most significant ministry occurred outside Jerusalem, away from the scene of his former actions against the Christians.

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