Mosiah 1


Out of Bondage through Covenants

      Jarom -- Mosiah









Mosiah 1:1 [Absence of Colophons]:


     In his commentary on the Book of Mormon, Brant Gardner notes the absence of colophons starting with the book of Mosiah. He says that Hugh Nibley first identified 1 Nephi 1:1-3 as a colophon, a structured and typical identifactory passage used at the beginning or end of many ancient documents (Nibley Since Cumorah 1967, pp. 170-171). The essential elements are the identification of the writer, the writer's lineage, and at times a statement of the veracity or trustworthiness of the written text. . . . While Nephi's introduction is clearly the most formal, the introduction to the written text by the writer continues for most of the material from the book of Nephi to the end of the book of Omni (Jacob's personal introduction is perhaps the least formal, and the furthest from the structures of a colophon). Once the Book of Mormon picks up with the book of Mosiah, however, the personal introductions cease, and are replaced by a typically chronological introduction (Alma 1:1 "Now it came to pass that in the first year of the reign of the judges . . ."; Helaman 1:1 "And now behold, it came to pass in the commencement of the fortieth year of the reign of the judges . . ."; 4 Nephi 1:1, "And it came to pass that the thirty and fourth year passed away, . . ."). None of these qualifies as an example of a colophon, and even the personal introductions lack the formulaic precision of Nephi's introduction.

     The first clear division can be made between the personalized introductions of the 1 Nephi through Omni material, and all books which follow. This division is precisely that between the small plates material and the large plates material. The small plates were written in the first person, and the large plates were abridged. . . . The introductory material for the books in each section is clearly different, and follows a different literary imperative. [Brant Gardner, "Commentary on the Book of Mormon," 1 Nephi, 1 Nephi 1, pp. 1-2]


Mosiah 1 The Way Is Prepared from the Foundation of the World, If It So Be That They Repent and Come unto Him (Chiasm):


     Raymond Treat reports that much linguistic evidence has come to light since 1830 supporting the Book of Mormon as an authentic document. One of the more recent such discoveries (Welch 1969) is the recognition that some writers in the Book of Mormon used an ancient literary form known as chiasmus or a chiasm.

     A chiasm is a statement containing two or more parts followed by a restatement in reverse order (ABC C'B'A'). The word chiasm is derived from the Greek letter chi (X) and the Greek word chiazeim (to mark with an x) because a two part chiastic statement may be diagrammed in the form of an X.

     Dr. Noel Freedman, Ph. D., Director of Program on Studies in Religion, University of Michigan and General Editor of the Anchor Bible and Biblical Archaeologist discusses two kinds of chiasms in his preface to Chiasmus in Antiquity. One kind deals with words and the other with ideas. . . . The type of chiasm dealing with ideas is more difficult to identify because there may be disagreement over which ideas form the foundation of the chiastic structure. The author of this type of chiasm may use it to focus the attention of the reader (or hearer) on the central idea or turning point. A good example of this from the Book of Mormon is found in the book of Mosiah. The entire book of Mosiah is chiastically arranged. The following outline is based on Welch (1969):

A. King Benjamin exhorts his sons

  B. Mosiah chosen to succeed his father

    C. Mosiah receives the records

      D. Benjamin's speech and the words of the angel

        E. People enter into a covenant

          F. Priests consecrated

            G. Ammon leaves Zarahemla for the land of Lehi-Nephi

              H. People in bondage. Ammon put in prison

                I. The 24 gold plates

                  J. The record of Zeniff begins as he leaves Zarahemla

                    K. Defense against the Lamanites

                      L. Noah and his priests

                        M. Abinadi persecuted and thrown into prison

                          N. Abinadi reads old law to priests

                          N' Abinadi makes his own prophecies

                        M' Abinadi persecuted and killed

                      L' Noah and his priests

                    K' Lamanites threaten the people of Limhi

                  J' Record of Zeniff ends as he leaves the land of Lehi-Nephi

                I' The 24 gold plates

              H' People of Alma in bondage

            G' Alma leaves the land of Lehi-Nephi for Zarahemla

          F' The church organized by Alma

        E' Unbelievers refuse to enter covenant

      D' The words of Alma and the words of the angel of the Lord

    C' Alma the Younger receives the records

  B' Judges chosen instead of a king

A' Mosiah exhorts his people


     According to Welch's analysis, the theme of repentance, as delivered by the prophet Abinadi [through the reading of the law and the proclamation of prophecy], is the chiastic center of the book of Mosiah. [Raymond C. Treat, "Chiasms in the Book of Mormon," in Recent Book of Mormon Developments, Vol. 1, pp. 64, 67]


Mosiah 1:2 And It Came to Pass:


     According to Joseph Allen, the phrase "and it came to pass" (or one of its derivatives) occurs in the English translation of the Book of Mormon over 1300 times. Apparently, the Maya people, who lived in southeast Mexico and Guatemala, may have adopted the phrase. Recent discoveries by Linda Schele show that the glyphs of the Seventh Century A.D. Maya ruins of Palenque use the phrases "and then it came to pass" and "it had come to pass."

     Furthermore, we know that the Lowland Maya did not invent writing in Mesoamerica. They simply adopted it from an earlier culture that existed between 600 B.C. and 50 A.D. The beginnings of the Classic Maya writing system fall in the period between 200 B.C. and 50 A.D. (Schele 1987:1).

     The noted Maya scholar, Eric Thompson, first observed and recorded two glyphs that followed a pattern of marking dates. He called one the Anterior Date Indicator (ADI), and the second he labeled the Posterior Date Indicator (PDI).

     In 1985, a young Mayanist, David Stuart, observed that the ADI and the PDI functioned as a grammatical and literary feature in both colonial and modern Maya languages. He speculated correctly when he interpreted the sound of the glyph as "Ut" in the Chol language and "Utchi" in the Maya language, meaning "to happen, or to come to pass" (Schele 1987:26). [Joseph L. Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, pp. 31-33]


Mosiah 1:2 And it came to pass (Illustration): Glyph--"And then it came to pass." [Joseph L. Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, pp. 31-33]


Mosiah 1:2 And it came to pass (Illustration): The breakdown of the Maya glyph UTCHI--"and it came to pass." [Joseph L. Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, p. 32]


Mosiah 1:2 And It Came to Pass That He Had Three Sons:


     At the beginning of the book of Mosiah, Mormon mentions that King Benjamin "had three sons, Mosiah, Helorum, and Helaman" (Mosiah 1:2). Because Mosiah2 is listed first, we can probably assume that he was the oldest, and that perhaps Helorum and Helaman were born at 2-4 year intervals after Mosiah2 was born. In Mosiah 1:9, Mormon mentions that Benjamin "waxed old," and "therefore, he thought it expedient that he should confer the kingdom upon one of his sons." We find that very quickly he did so, conferring the kingdom upon Mosiah2. According to Mosiah 6:4, Mosiah2 "began to reign in the thirtieth year of his age." Thus, if the term "old" as Mormon applied it to King Benjamin means an age somewhere between 60 and 70, then Mosiah2 was born when King Benjamin was between 30 and 40 years of age. If Benjamin assumed the kingship at the same age as his son Mosiah2 (age 30) then Mosiah2 and his brothers would have been born after Benjamin became king. Whether Benjamin was married for a number of years before he became king, or whether he had other sons or daughters before Mosiah2 is unknown. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [See the commentary on Mosiah 2:28-30] [See Appendix A]


Mosiah 1:2 He Had . . . He Called . . . He Caused (Third Person Account):


     According to Daniel Ludlow, the reader should note that the main story in the book of Mosiah is told in the third person rather than in the first person as was the custom in the earlier books of the Book of Mormon. The reason for this is that someone else is now telling the story, and that 'someone else' is Mormon. With the beginning of the book of Mosiah we start our study of Mormon's abridgment of various books that had been written on the large plates of Nephi. (3 Nephi 5:8-12.) The book of Mosiah and the five books that follow--Alma, Helaman, 3 Nephi, 4 Nephi, and Mormon--were all abridged or condensed by Mormon from the large plates of Nephi, and these abridged versions were written by Mormon on the plates that bear his name, the plates of Mormon. [Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, p. 173]

     One might ponder the difficulty Joseph Smith would have faced had he been inventing the text of the Book of Mormon. He would have had to make a literary switch from dictating a third person account (Mormon's abridgement of the large plates was apparently translated first) to a first person account. Historical accounts reveal that he apparently dictated word for word to Oliver Cowdery and other scribes without hardly any corrections (a fact which becomes apparent when viewing the relatively "clean" surviving portions of the Original Manuscript). [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]


Mosiah 1:3 Were It Not for These Plates . . . We Must Have Suffered in Ignorance . . . Not Knowing the Mysteries of God:


     Hugh Nibley notes that we shouldn't get the idea that because we have a prophet we don't have to pay much attention to the scriptures. There's this idea that we have a living prophet to answer all our questions and solve all our problems for us--nothing could be more absurd than that. Here king Benjamin, speaking to his sons concerning the records says, "Were it not for these plates . . we must have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God" (Mosiah 1:3). Well, don't prophets reveal mysteries of God? The Lord told Joseph Smith, if I've told you a thing once I won't tell you again; if it's in the scriptures, don't ask me about it. You look it up yourself; I'm not going to repeat these things. If we don't take advantage of the revelations we have, we are not going to have more. If the heavens have been silent, there is a good reason for it. [Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 1, p. 438]


Mosiah 1:3 The Plates of Brass:


     According to Gordon Thomasson, the plates of brass are just one of more than twenty texts, types of texts (including whole documentary traditions), and oral sources referred to in the book of Mosiah. These include:

     1. The plates of brass (Mosiah 1:3).

     2. Old Testament copies in the land of Nephi (Mosiah 12:20; 13:11).

     3. Small or prophetic plates of Nephi (1 Nephi 9:3; Omni 1:25; Mosiah 28:11).

     4. Large or regal plates of Nephi (1 Nephi 9:4; Jarom 1:14; Mosiah 1:6).

     5. A second set of prophetic plates which Mormon describes as running "from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin" (Words of Mormon 1:3).

     6. Mosiah's proclamation of the year-rite/coronation (Mosiah 1:10; 2:1).

     7. Benjamin's discourse (Mosiah 2:8-4:29).

     8. The apocalypse of Benjamin (Mosiah 3:2-4:1), which occurred previous to the coronation and which he read to the multitude.

     9. A census of the covenanters who responded to Benjamin's discourse (Mosiah 6:1).

     10. A report of Ammon's search for the descendants of Zeniff (Mosiah 7 through 8:1).

     11. A treaty between King Laman and King Zeniff (Mosiah 7:21).

     12. Zeniff's first-person records (Mosiah 9:1-10:22).

     13. Records in third person of Noah's reign including Abinadi's prophecies before (Mosiah 11:20-17:4) and after Alma fled Noah's court (Mosiah 17:7-19).

     14. Alma's records (Mosiah 25:6).

     15. A report of Gideon's actions (Mosiah 19).

     16. A report concerning the activities of the priests of Noah after they fled (Mosiah 20, 23).

     17. Limhi's proclamation (Mosiah 22:6).

     18. The apocalypse of Alma1 (Mosiah 26:14-33, especially verse 33).

     19. Mosiah's proclamation of freedom of religion (Mosiah 27:2).

     20. Alma2's vision, which was probably recorded on his father's records (Mosiah 27:13-17).

     21. The confessions of Alma2 and the sons of Mosiah2 which were in some sense "published" through the land (Mosiah 27:35).

     22. Mosiah's poll on public preference as to his successor (Mosiah 29:1).

     23. Mosiah's written treatise on government (Mosiah 29:4-32, which was abridged; see Mosiah 29:33).

     Also, Mosiah2 received texts such as:

     24. Coriantumr's record on the engraved stone which was interpreted my Mosiah1 (Omni 1:20).

     25. The twenty-four gold plates found by the people of Limhi (Mosiah 8:9; 28:11, 17).

     26. The oral history and genealogy of the Mulekites which Zarahemla had given to Mosiah1 (Omni 1:18).


     The book of Mosiah is possibly the most carefully composed book in the Book of Mormon concerning a single period of history. . . . Mormon passed on a mere fraction of what previous prophets had already condensed; nevertheless, he saw fit to include more material in his abridgment from the reign of Mosiah2 than from that of any other king except Nephi1, the son of Lehi. [Gordon C. Thomasson, "Mosiah: The Complex Symbolism and Symbolic Complex of Kingship in the Book of Mormon," in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Spring 1993, F.A.R.M.S., pp. 23-24]      


Mosiah 1:4 He [Lehi] Having Been Taught in the Language of the Egyptians Therefore He Could Read These Engravings [on the Plates of Brass]:


     According to Daniel Ludlow, the statement in Mosiah 1:4 that "Lehi . . . having been taught in the language of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings [on the brass plates of Laban]" quite clearly indicates that these plates were written in the Egyptian language (or script). Thus they were almost certainly not started until after the flood and the tower of Babel, as there was no "Egyptian" language before those events. The brass plates were probably not started until after the Israelites went down into Egypt in the days of Joseph, although the writers on these plates may have had access to records which had been written earlier. Other evidences supporting this thesis are: (1) Laban "was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers had kept the records" (1 Nephi 5:16); (2) the great prophecies "of Joseph, who was carried into Egypt . . . are written upon the plates of brass" (2 Nephi 4:1, 2); and (3) the plates of brass also contained "the five books of Moses" (1 Nephi 5:11). Other writers continued recording on these plates "even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah" (1 Nephi 5:12). [Daniel Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, p. 173]

     What might be implied here is that: (1) if the brass plates were a record of the lineage of Joseph, then Joseph was not only their originator, but made them a part of his privileged position near Royalty in Egypt; (2) perhaps Moses, who was royally trained in the Egyptian language, continued to use the brass plates at some time in his life; and (3) perhaps when Nephi was commanded by the Lord to return for the plates of brass he was (as in many other ways), emulating a similar assignment given by the Lord to Moses (that is, to return to his homeland from Midian -- which is the same location as the valley of Lemuel -- and claim the brass plates from high government officials who had them in their possession). [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [See the commentary on 1 Nephi 3:3]


Mosiah 1:4 For He Having Been Taught in the Language of the Egyptians Therefore He Could Read These Engravings:


     Curiously, the brass plates of Laban were written in Egyptian Hieroglyphs. One could ask why this language, rather than Hebrew, was used to permanently record the sacred scriptures. According to Clay Gorton, it is likely that there were some translations by Israelite scribes from Hebrew into Egyptian before Lehi's time as it was the language of culture of the day. Nevertheless, it is improbable that the voluminous text of the brass plates would have been translated from Hebrew into Egyptian. In the first place, the Israelites did not hold the Egyptians, from whom they had escaped bondage, in high regard. Their own tongue was considered by many to be the language of God. Even today, orthodox Jews give the original language text of their scriptures a position of high esteem. So why did they have their scriptures, which were inscribed on metal plates to preserve them against the ravages of time, written in Egyptian? Of course, inscribing on metal plates was painstaking and tedious, and a shorthand method would be highly desirable. (Jacob, the brother of Nephi, complained of the difficulty of engraving upon plates. See Jacob 4:1-3) Clearly, one of the reasons they were written in Egyptian on the brass plates was to minimize the writing process. If saving space were the only reason to have written in Egyptian, that would have been an adequate reason. However there may have been yet a more fundamental reason why they were written in Egyptian. Moses, who wrote the first volumes of scripture that were preserved by the Israelites, was an Egyptian. Egyptian was his native language. True, he undoubtedly knew Hebrew, and probably learned it as an infant from his mother who was employed as his nurse. Yet he lived in the house of the Pharaoh and held high offices in Pharaoh's court. . . . Moses may well have written the Pentateuch on metal plates in Egyptian--both to minimize the engraving process and because of the ease of writing in his native language. Were this the case, the prophets who followed him would have had to learn Egyptian in order to read the sacred record. Their ability to read Egyptian and their deference for Moses could have impelled succeeding prophets to record their scriptures in Egyptian. [H. Clay Gorton, The Legacy of the Brass Plates of Laban, p. 19] [See the commentary on 1 Nephi 3:3]


Mosiah 1:4 Having been taught in the language of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings (Illustration): Anthon Transcript and Egyptian Demotic compared, From Language of the Book of Mormon, by I.A. Smith [Glenn A. Scott, Voices from the Dust, p. 64]


Mosiah 1:6 O my sons, I would that ye should remember that these sayings are true, and also that these records are true (Illustration): A Maya father exhorts a son thirteen hundred years ago much as Benjamin did his sons nine hundred years before that (see Mosiah 1:2-8). Notice what appears to be a book next to the young man, which reminds us of Benjamin's emphasis to his princes on the importance and significance of mastering the records. [John L. Sorenson, Images of Ancient America, p. 75]


Mosiah 1:10 On the Morrow:


     In King Benjamin's instructions to his son Mosiah2, he commanded him to make a proclamation throughout all the land that his people might be "gathered together; for on the morrow I shall proclaim unto this my people out of mine own mouth that thou art a king" (Mosiah 1:10). Chronologically and geographically speaking, a gathering of that many people in one day would be almost impossible. But John W. Welch theorizes that King Benjamin probably delivered his speech at the time of one of the three main ancient Israelite festivals when the people were already gathered together. Benjamin's speech weaves together all the major themes of the ancient New Year's holiday festival complex. The ideas that were the themes of his speech were inherent in the symbolism surrounding the festival. [John W. Welch, "King Benjamin's Speech in the Context of Ancient Israelite Festivals," 1985, F.A.R.M.S., p. 13] [For a more detailed explanation of the ancient Israelite festivals, see the commentary on Mosiah 2:1]


Mosiah 1:10 I Would That Ye Should Make a Proclamation:


     In Mosiah 1 we find recorded the words which king Benjamin spoke to his son Mosiah just before the change in kingship:

           My son, I would that ye should make a proclamation throughout all this land among all this people, or the people of Zarahemla, and the people of Mosiah who dwell in the land, that thereby they may be gathered together; for on the morrow I shall proclaim unto this my people out of mine own mouth that thou art a king and a ruler over this people, whom the Lord our god hath given us. (Mosiah 1:10)


     According to Hugh Nibley, this kingship ceremony took place at the new year because we are told that they all brought their first-fruits (Mosiah 2:3). It was the establishment of the new government because the new king was taking over. The date was set by the old king. He said, "I'll make you king on this particular date; you send out the announcement. It's very interesting that he has his son make the announcement. why should that be? Because according to the normal order, the meeting wouldn't be held until the old king was dead. the son always announced the meeting and brought the people together because his father wasn't there anymore. If he [the king's son] would have done that before, he would be guilty of treason. He would be guilty of plotting against his father, to prematurely put him off the throne or something. So they always waited until the old king was out of the way and then his son would summon the people. Benjamin instructs his son that he is to bring the people together, to take charge of the meeting, etc. [Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 2, p. 10]


Mosiah 1:13 A Wicked and an Adulterous People:


     King Benjamin declared unto his son Mosiah, just previous to his becoming king over the people in the land of Zarahemla, that "if this highly favored people of the Lord should fall into transgression, and become a wicked and an adulterous people, that the Lord will deliver them up . . ." (Mosiah 1:13).

     According to Donna Nielsen, a knowledge of the biblical marriage imagery can greatly enrich our understanding of how God relates to us through covenants. Nielsen notes that after accepting the covenant terms of marriage, a Jewish bride was unfaithful if she loved anyone or anything more than her covenant partner. Such unfaithfulness was viewed as spiritual adultery. The word for "adultery" in Hebrew (Strong 5003) also has the figurative understanding of "apostasy." A "wicked and an adulterous generation" described a covenant group who were false-hearted and unfaithful in deed and thought. [Donna B. Nielsen, Beloved Bridegroom: Finding Christ in Ancient Jewish Marriage and Family Customs, pp. 2, 120]      


Mosiah 1:16 He Gave Him Charge concerning the . . . Plates of Brass; and Also the Plates of Nephi, and Also the Sword of Laban, and the Ball or Director:


     According to Gordon Thomasson, Mosiah2 received tangible symbols of his authority when he became king. This obvious, and yet neglected historical detail merits our attention, for it highlights Mosiah's authority and the complex pattern of Old World kingship, of which Mosiah2 was a part. Prior to assembling the people through the new King Mosiah's proclamation (Mosiah 2:1), Benjamin gave his son the Nephite national treasures, which are representative of those that a real king was required to possess anciently.

     The first of these, the plates of brass, contained among other things . . . a genealogy of Lehi's forefathers back to Joseph (1 Nephi 5:14). These, coupled with the genealogy and records of the kings of the Nephites on the large plates (1 Nephi 6:1; 9:4), proved Mosiah's right to rule by the legitimacy of his descent. Other kings of antiquity required royal genealogists to concoct records to rationalize their claim to the right to rule (whatever their real ancestry). The countless forged genealogies produced by successive dynasties or royal houses to justify their usurpation of a throne prove nothing as much as the necessity for kings at least to claim royal descent.

     The second treasure, the regal sword (in this case the sword of Laban), is often seen in royal and religious art as a symbol of power and rule. In pacific reigns it may be represented less often than a scepter or stylized arrow, but it is always in the background, at least implicitly, around the world.

     The last of the treasures that Benjamin entrusted to Mosiah2, the Liahona, deserves special attention. Few details in the Book of Mormon have been ridiculed more than the Liahona, and yet few more accurately reflect what one might find in an authentic ancient record. By the time we find possible parallels to the Liahona in later European art, they are stylized almost beyond recognition, and their original use and the power which made them work is completely forgotten. Royal treasures like the Liahona were once well known, such as the one pictured in the Emperor Charles V's left hand (see illustration). It is an orbis terrarum, Reichsapfel, or orb. The earth or heavenly glove with a cross atop it is also common in the religious art of the period. This symbol of royalty is traceable at least to the time of the late Roman period and arguably to Babylonia as far back as 600 B.C. It is a symbol of earthly rule and heavenly power, and its use in royal and religious iconography is an implicit claim to worldly dominion, symbolizing its possessor's power over this earth. It represents an assertion of "holding the world in the palm of one's hand." [Gordon C. Thomasson, "Mosiah: The Complex Symbolism and Symbolic Complex of Kingship in the Book of Mormon," in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Spring 1993, F.A.R.M.S., pp. 26-29]


Mosiah 1:16 He gave him charge concerning the . . . plates of brass; and also the plates of Nephi, and also the sword of Laban, and the ball or director (Illustration): Engraving of Charles V, by Pieter Balten, 1580. It is clear by comparing numerous portraits of this and other rulers that what is important is not the exact likeness of the ruler, but rather that the symbols of royalty, the sword and orb, be present so that there is no question as to the status of the person portrayed. Iconographic legibility was far more of a concern than photographic realism. [Gordon C. Thomasson, "Mosiah: The Complex Symbolism and Symbolic Complex of Kingship in the Book of Mormon," in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Spring 1993, F.A.R.M.S., p. 27]


Mosiah 1:16 He Gave Him Charge concerning the . . . Sword of Laban:


     When King Benjamin gave Mosiah2 “charge concerning the sword of Laban” (Mosiah 1:16), the symbolism might have been more than meets the modern eye. According to Brett Holbrook, in a survey of historical and mythical literature, two patterns of swords appeared: the kingly and the heroic. Both types function as symbols of divine authority. The sword of Laban can be included among them as a combination of the two patterns. . . . In the heroic traditions the sword was preserved or bestowed by deity, often given to a hero for a specific deed. Consequently the hero who possessed the magical and personalized sword had the grace of the gods. In a way similar to kings, epic heroes were given divine authority and power with their swords, and the fortunes of each hero depended upon his sword.

     Sumerian stele from 2500 B.C. showed Eannatum, king of Lagash, armed with the earliest type of sickle sword. Ornamented short swords from the same period were found in royal tombs at Ur and Anatolia, and as early as the eighteenth century B.C. there was a clear connection between kingship and swords from royal burials in the Syro-Palestine area. The sword grew in prominence in Egypt during the New Kingdom, and Yigael Yadin stated it was then that "it became the symbol of Pharaonic authority." [Brett L. Holbrook, "The Sword of Laban as a Symbol of Divine Authority and Kingship," in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Spring 1993, F.A.R.M.S., pp. 41-47]

      In view of this symbolic historical nature of the sword of Laban, perhaps the sword of Laban had its origin many years previous to its coming into the hands of Laban. Perhaps it had symbolic meaning not only to Nephi and his descendants, but to the whole tribe of Joseph from the days spent in Egypt. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]