“And They Are of Ancient Date and They Have Been Handed Down Unto Us”

Brant Gardner

The epistle ends with the declaration of the person and title of the writer. This is an official declaration from Giddianhi the governor of the Gadiantons. As part of his declaration he appeals to the antiquity of their authority to rule. The Nephites have an authority that rests on one kind of antiquity, but the Gadiantons trace their ruling authority to an even older source – to the Jaredites.

The final clause further suggests that many who are among the Gadiantons were those who had previously ruled in Zarahemla. Giddianhi therefore has reason to assume that there are still some sympathizers among the Zarahemlaites, and he likely considers victory assured in an all out battle. He claims justification for this war of destruction because of wrongs against former rulers, whose “rights of government” were stripped from them

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon