Book of Mormon Nuggets

Supplementing Jeff Lindsay's Book of Mormon Evidences page.

Nugget #3:
Mosiah and Ether: The Internal Consistency of the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon has an extremely high degree of internal consistency in ways that would be most unexpected if Joseph Smith were the author. For example, in the Book of Mosiah, less than halfway through the Book of Mormon text, we read in Mosiah 28:11 that King Mosiah translated the ancient record of the Jaredites written by Ether, but it is not until near the end of the Book of Mormon that we encounter the Book of Ether that gives a condensed account of the Jaredites. But In Mosiah 29, as King Mosiah does away with the monarchy, he makes a variety of statements that show he has carefully studied and learned from the story of the Jaredites, though he does not say so explicitly. King Mosiah offers several warnings about the dangers of having kings. Some of these stem from the bad behavior of King Noah among a small group of Nephites that had foolishly established a city in the old Nephite homeland that was now in Lamanite territory. The people who had been under wicked King Noah had recently returned to Zarahemla, the capital city of the Nephites, and King Mosiah had learned of the great harm that one wicked king could cause. However, most of King Mosiah's reasons for the change in government appear to have come from the Book of Ether.

For example, Mosiah notes that his eldest son had declined the kingdom, and that there was the risk of contention in selecting a new king: "And now, if there should be another appointed in his stead, behold I fear that there would rise contentions among you. And who knoweth but what my son, to whom the kingdom doth belong, should turn to be angry and draw away a part of this people after him, which would cause wars and contentions among you" (Mosiah 29:6-7). John Tvedtnes explains the significance of this statement (and offers other ideas used here) in "King Mosiah and the Judgeship," Insights, Nov. 2000 (FARMS), p. 2:

Such a situation had never occurred among the Nephites [Webmaster's note: at least not as far as we know], but it was common among the Jaredites for brother to rebel against brother or father and draw away part of the people to wage war (Ether 7:4-5, 15-17; 8:2-3; 9:11-12; 10:3, 8-10, 14, 32; 11:4, 15-18). Indeed, the idea in Mosiah 29:7 of "drawing away" supporters is known in the Book of Mormon only from the Jaredite record (Ether 7:4, 15; 9:11; 10:32).
Mosiah also warned that the wickedness of King Noah brought bondage to the people (Mosiah 29:18-19), a common theme in the Book of Ether (see Ether 6:22-23, as well as the examples of kings conquered by family members to serve in captivity in Ether 7:5,7,17; 8:3-4; 10:14-15,30-31; 11:9, 18-19, 23; 13:23).

King Mosiah implemented a form of government responsive to the voice of the people (not a pure democracy, but a system similar to a republic with a hierarchy of elected judges with checks and balances), but warned that destruction would come if the people should ever fall into a state where the majority chose evil (Mosiah 29:26,27):

"...if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land."
Tvedtnes explains that "since the Nephites had not experienced such 'great destruction' on 'this land,' Mosiah must have had the destruction of the Jaredites in mind."

Since the Book of Ether was not dictated until long after the Book of Mosiah, the high level of agreement between the two books argues against the idea that Joseph Smith just made it all up. It is an example of the high internal consistency of the Book of Mormon.

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Created: Jan. 11, 2001
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