“Cezoram and His Son Was Murdered”

Brant Gardner

Mormon emphasizes periods of peace against periods of conflict and disruption. Into this pattern, Mormon now reintroduces another theme: how secret combinations destroy political entities. This peaceful and economically prosperous time ends with the chief judge’s murder. The last time Mormon reported the murders of sitting chief judges, he accused the Gadianton robbers of the crime (Hel. 1:9–10) and will do so again. His earlier introduction, however, linked together his own period as well as the narrative past. In contrast, this Gadianton episode continues the chain of events that causes the Nephite collapse just before Yahweh-Messiah’s arrival in the New World.

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