“And the People Had Continual Peace”

Brant Gardner

Along with peace, the other trappings of prosperity return. In particular, the Nephites not only return to their lands, but to rebuild the cities they had abandoned, and to build new cities. At least the rebuilding of the cities would have been required after several years where no one had lived in them. Simple disrepair could have easily been exacerbated by the Gadianton’s intentional destruction. It was not at all uncommon in Mesoamerica to deface the public presence of a defeated city, and the monumental buildings would be part of this public presence.

From a textual point of view, however, it is most significant that Mormon chooses to end this section with the phrase “and the people had continual peace.” This is, after all, his point. Righteousness brings peace unrighteousness brings destruction. He has just been describing a revival of righteousness, and it is fitting that the final statement about this revival, the capping confirmation of the revival, would be that they should have had “continual peace.”

Sadly, this “continual peace” begins to erode in the very next verse, in the twenty-ninth year.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon