Ancient Aspects of Nephite Kingship in the Book of Mormon


Ancient Aspects of Nephite Kingship in the Book of Mormon

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication



Kerr, Todd R. (Primary)


Journal of Book of Mormon Studies







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Bibliographic Citation

Kerr, Todd R. "Ancient Aspects of Nephite Kingship in the Book of Mormon" In Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Vol. 1. 1992:85-118.


Nephite kings were expected to fulfill the same roles that kings played in other ancient civilizations— commander of the military forces, chief judicial official, and leader of the national religion. A king’s success depended not only on the extent to which he performed each role, but also on the motives behind his service. Selfless rule by Benjamin-type kings commanded the respect and praise of the people, while King Noah’s quest for personal gain roused Old World disdain for the monarch. The Nephite experiment with kingship confirms that between “kings and tyrants there’s this difference known; kings seek their subject’s good; tyrants their own.” [Robert Herrick, 1591-1674]

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King Benjamin
King Noah

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