“They Did Covenant One with Another to Destroy the Governor and to Establish a King Over the Land”

Brant Gardner

The seeds of rebellion are now blossoming into a full-blown revolt. The secret combination does what it has always done, and it threatens the political entity (and, of course, the religion). The nature of the political rebellion is also telling, for once again we see the return of the pressure to have a “king over the land.” Mormon understands this as a destruction of the Nephite political way, and of course he is correct. The establishment of the king would destroy Mosiah’s reforms, and the rejection of Mosiah would be the rejection of his laws, and his gospel. There would be no more Nephites.

Textual: There is no chapter break at this point in the 1830 edition. This is a particularly unfortunate division because we leave this chapter with the impression that this secret combination will create the king that they desire. What unfolds is a much sadder story. The story of the destruction of the Nephite polity should flow from this explanation, and in Mormon’s chapter divisions, it would have. In this artificial division, we lose this continuity.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon