Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2010, January 27

“Book of Mormon: Was King Mosiah King over the Nephites Previous to Being King over the Nephites and Mulekites?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Was King Mosiah King over the Nephites Previous to Being King over the Nephites and Mulekites?

(c) 2010

I just noticed today, that the Book of Mormon does not say that Mosiah had been king over the Nephites before being appointed king over the Nephites and Mulekites. Here’s the introduction to Mosiah:

Omni 1:12 Behold, I am Amaleki, the son of Abinadom. Behold, I will speak unto you somewhat concerning Mosiah, who was made king over the land of Zarahemla; for behold, he being warned of the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi, and as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord should also depart out of the land with him, into the wilderness—
13 And it came to pass that he did according as the Lord had commanded him. And they departed out of the land into the wilderness, as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord; and they were led by many preachings and prophesyings. And they were admonished continually by the word of God; and they were led by the power of his arm, through the wilderness until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla.
14 And they discovered a people, who were called the people of Zarahemla. Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews.
15 Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.
16 And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth.
17 And at the time that Mosiah discovered them, they had become exceedingly numerous. Nevertheless, they had had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time; and their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator; and Mosiah, nor the people of Mosiah, could understand them.
18 But it came to pass that Mosiah caused that they should be taught in his language. And it came to pass that after they were taught in the language of Mosiah, Zarahemla gave a genealogy of his fathers, according to his memory; and they are written, but not in these plates.
19 And it came to pass that the people of Zarahemla, and of Mosiah, did unite together; and Mosiah was appointed to be their king.
20 And it came to pass in the days of Mosiah, there was a large stone brought unto him with engravings on it; and he did interpret the engravings by the gift and power of God.

Note there is nothing there that says Mosiah was king of the Nephites previous to that appointment over the united groups.

So why had I assumed that?

I guess there were a few things:

1. it seemed weird for me for Mosiah to become king over two peoples if he hadn’t first been a king over one;

2. Mosiah had brought “the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews” (v. 14).

3. Mosiah had brought the plates of the Nephite kings:
Words of Mormon 1:10 Wherefore, it came to pass that after Amaleki had delivered up these plates into the hands of *king Benjamin, he took them and put them with the other plates, which contained records which had been handed down by the kings, from generation to generation until the days of king Benjamin*.

4. Mosiah had brought the sword of Laban:
Words of Mormon 1:13 And it came to pass also that the armies of the Lamanites came down out of the land of Nephi, to battle against his people. But behold, king Benjamin gathered together his armies, and he did stand against them; and he did fight with the strength of his own arm, with the *sword of Laban*.

So had Mosiah been king over the Nephites, before being warned by the Lord and leading out a righteous remnant? The text doesn’t say, I don’t know; very likely, though. :)

UPDATE: So why had I wondered about this in the first place? Mainly because of this verse:
Jacob 1:11 Wherefore, the people were desirous to retain in remembrance his name. And whoso should reign in his stead were called by the people, second Nephi, third Nephi, and so forth, according to the reigns of the kings; and thus they were called by the people, let them be of whatever name they would.

Then suddenly we have the name “Mosiah”. Did that tradition change sometime between the 544BC (of Jacob 1) to 279~130BC (when Mosiah? If so, ok, no problem. If not, then that would make it likely that Mosiah was not a proper Nephite king.

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