Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Daniel Belnap


Nephite society, Mormon, Anti-Christ, Korihor


For the Nephites, the sixteenth year of the reign of the judges was tremendously difficult. The arrival of the people of Ammon, in itself an incredible disruption of Nephite society, precipitated a battle, which Mormon describes as a "tremendous battle; yea, even such an one as never had been known among all the people in the land from the time Lehi left Jerusalem'' (Alma 28:2). The dead, we are told, were not counted due to their enormous number. These events compounded the pre-existing struggles that resulted from the sociopolitical fallout from the reforms of Mosiah. Though Alma 30:5 suggests that all is well in Zarahemla during the seventeenth year of the reign of the judges, the events of the next year and half, the eighteenth year, belie this peace. Within this span, the Nephites exploded in two separate, but related, political conflagrations: (1) the secession of the inhabitants of Antionum from the greater Nephite community, and (2) the civil war spearheaded by Amalickiah. But prior to both of these events came Korihor.