Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


Nephi, Laban, Alma, Korihor, modern liberal jurisprudence, biblical law


When constraining Nephi to slay Laban, the Spirit gave the sober justification that "it is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief" (1 Nephi 4:13). Alma invoked this same justification when reluctantly subjecting Korihor to divine punishment (see Alma 30:47). This principle runs sharply contrary to modern liberal jurisprudence, but a different view prevailed in certain cases under biblical law.