Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Ancient Near East, Archaeology, Bible, Old Testament, Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi, Sword of Laban, Symbolism, Imagery, Modern Church, Restoration


Swords often symbolize divine authority and kingship. Numerous examples from the mythology, literature, and history of the world attest to distinct patterns. The sword of Laban from the Book of Mormon fits these patterns and can be compared to the sword of Goliath. The sword of Laban can also be traced as part of the royal regalia that provides authority throughout Nephite history and later as it appears in the restoration. The sword of Laban as associated with Joseph Smith came to be an additional witness of his authority and of the divine sanction for his work.