Mosiah’s Abolition of the Nephite Monarchy

In Mosiah 29, in the Book of Mormon, the Nephite king Mosiah II proposes the abolition of the Nephite monarchy — in part, he says, to abolish inequality.

It sounds suspiciously democratic.  At first glance, it seems to suggest a nineteenth-century — even Jacksonian — American origin for the Book of Mormon. 

In a 2006 revision of an article originally published in 1991, though, I argue that Mosiah’s concern about inequality isn’t democratic at all, but is that of a monarch — representing a point of view that, in fact, appears to be pre-modern.