“As He Was About to Put Him to Death”

Brant Gardner

The internecine war escalates. The official record of the lineage of Shule says that he was rescued “as he was about to [be] put… to death.” Of course this was also at night, so the “about to be” is somewhat relative. It is also historically suspicious. Both before this event and after, the way royal captives are treated is as living hostages. Once again we have the option of simply accepting this statement at face value, or realizing that it was written from the perspective of those who wanted to justify their actions, and saving their king from immanent murder would be a valiant motive.

It is also quite possible that this was the cover story given for the raid, and that the life of Shule was not truly in danger. Neither Kib nor Corihor were executed, and subsequent captures also continue to live under their captors. It would appear that the captives were worth more alive than dead, leading us to the suspicion that this is simply the way the story was justified by the descendants of those who won, and therefore could write the history the way they wanted to.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon