“And He Did Minister Many Things Unto Them”

Brant Gardner

Mormon moves from his description of the social order to the religious order. We are not told how Nephi relates to the new tribal organization. Obviously Nephi continues to operate within a tribal structure, and it is also probable that he would be recognized and revered in his own kinship organization. We may surmise that Nephi did not limit his preaching to the single kin group in which he found himself. Although verse 14 indicates that “they did establish very strict laws that one tribe should not trespass against another,” we should not see the prohibition against “trespass” as a prohibition of any kind of contact. These groups would certainly want to be in trading contact, even if they retained their political separation. What “trespass” in this case would mean is an unwanted incursion, and probably military contact. Nephi would have continued to see all of these separate tribes as part of his responsibility. There was nothing in the geography of the land that made it more difficult for him to travel than before, and so we may suppose that he continued his ministry.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon