“Whosoever should believe that Christ should come . . . might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice with exceedingly great joy.”
The prophet Mormon faces the monumental task of abridging Nephite history for future generations. He looks back hundreds of years to discern God’s hand amid the people’s divisions and conversions. Multiple records recount multiple migrations to lands where different kings organize competing societies. A righteous monarchy ends, and a reign of judges begins.
In this brief theological introduction to the book of Mosiah, philosopher and theologian James E. Faulconer untangles a complicated timeline. Mormon transports readers back and forth through time—King Benjamin’s sermons provide a backdrop for the earlier speeches of the prophet-martyr Abinadi and the later conversion of the renegade Alma. What might we learn about covenant and community from a history of Nephite division?
Faulconer presents the book of Mosiah as a fragmentary history about a fragmented people, written by a record keeper obsessed with unity. According to Mormon, destruction can be avoided only if we understand the mysteries of Christ’s atonement and perform the service God calls us to do together.
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