What a time to be alive in the land of the Nephites! Who? Where? When? The chapter of Mosiah 29 takes place in approximately 92 BC and was a really fascinating chapter to me. I like history, but not super dry and boring to read history, and this was what I like. Mormon did an excellent job at abridging this record. He kept the information to the pertinent points and kept the story line moving.
Who? Mosiah, the king of the Nephites in the land of Zarahemla and the Nephites.
When? About 92 BC in a time of peace
Throughout this chapter, Mosiah continually warns the people of Zarahemla of the pitfalls of having a king reign over them. He explains tot he people in a written document that he desires that they should appoint judges among them to judge the people according to the law. He explains how this judging system should work and tells them that if they could guarantee that they would have a righteous king, then that would be great, but there is no guarantee of this. Mosiah convinces the people to choose their own judges throughout Zarahemla and they appoint Alma the younger to be their chief judge. Keeping in mind that Alma is also their high priest as he was appointed as such by his father. Mosiah stresses his thoughts to the people on how they should live righteously and warns them of iniquitous behaviors. As this chapter wraps up, the land is full of peace and the love that the Nephites have for Mosiah is full. The Nephites recognize that he was a great man that took care of his people and did his best by them.
Alma (senior) passes away at the age of 82 and then Mosiah passes away at the age of 63. And the reign of judges begins with Alma the younger.
I really like the very last line in this chapter, as it got me thinking. “And thus ended the days of Alma, who was the founder of their church,” this got me thinking back to Mosiah 17 where Abinadi is sentenced to death. If Abinadi had not had strength and courage to call out the bad deeds of king Noah and his priests, then Alma would not have heard his words. Had Alma not heard and believed on Abinadi’s words, there would have been no church and the entire Book of Mormon would be completely different today. I know that we would have gospel today, and I know that we would be striving to live by God’s commandments and light, but would we have ever heard of Mormon or Moroni or Alma or ….. ?
I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.