Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Book of Mormon, Civilization, Culture, Teaching, Modern Church


Most scriptural references to dissent are in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon teaches that dissension is a cause of evil, suffering, and destruction; some dissenters undergo a hardening, while others may be reclaimed; preaching the gospel is the best way to reclaim dissenters; after patient endurance, compulsion may be necessary to stop dissenters from causing severe harm to the innocent, but compulsion should be avoided when possible; both spiritual and civic responses may be used to quell dissent; responding to dissent is not the task of leaders only; dissent is inevitable in our society and the church; and the Lord blesses the faithful who endure the trials and temptations of dissent.