Mormon uses periods of peace to set a contrast to periods of conflict and disruption. This pattern is now intensifying, and mixing with another of his editorial themes, which is the destruction of political entities by secret combinations. At the end of the peaceful and economically fruitful time, there is a murder of the chief judge. The last time Mormon concentrated on the murders of the sitting chief judges he laid the crimes at the feat of the Gadianton robbers. He is getting ready to do the same thing again. Rather than the earlier introduction to the Gadianton robbers that had an eye to the future as well as the narrative past, this episode with the Gadianton robbers is directly related to the events that will cause the demise of the Nephite polity just prior to the arrival of Christ in the New World.