“The People Began to Grow Exceedingly Wicked Again”

Brant Gardner

Mormon uses this murder as evidence that “the people began to grow exceedingly wicked again.” While Mormon is reporting on historical events, he is not reporting as a historian but because this episode teaches as moral lesson. (See commentary accompanying Helaman 6:8–9.) From a modern perspective, the increase in “wickedness” (social dissent) probably preceded and therefore caused the judge’s murder. Nevertheless, Mormon can best achieve his editorial purpose by inverting cause and effect.

Chronology: The sixty-seventh year of the reign of the judges corresponds to 28 B.C.

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