Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Book of Mormon, Civilization, Government, Warfare


King Benjamin, in an attempt to establish and promote peace, created a form of government that may be understood as democratic. The political system is not a democracy in the way the term is understood today, but the democratic elements become especially clear when viewed next to its autocratic Lamanite counterpart. Davis demonstrates how a democratic system tends to bring more peace to a nation and, interestingly, also more victory when war does come upon them. The young Nephite state encountered the types of risks experienced in the modern progression to democracy, further illustrating how difficult a task it would have been for Joseph Smith to create this world. Although the democratic state played a role in the Nephite nation, the most important lesson in the Book of Mormon’s politics is that God makes all the difference.