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If Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, wouldn’t we expect it to be less favorable to kingship like the political climate in early 19th century America?

If Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon from his own experiences then we might expect it to be less favorable to kings and more favorable to kings being overthrown. However this is not what we see. 

Richard Bushman comments:

Enlightened people in the Book of Mormon do not rise up to strike down their kings as the Fourth of July scenario would have it. In fact, the opposite is true. The people persistently created kings for themselves, even demanded them.

There is nothing in these episodes of an enlightened people rising against their king. The people did not rise nor were they enlightened about the errors of monarchy. Quite the contrary. In every instance, the people were the ones to desire a king, and in three of five cases they got one. The aversion to kingship was at the top. Nephi, Alma, and Mosiah were reluctant, not the people. When monarchy finally came to an end, it was because the king abdicated, not because the enlightened people overthrew him. In the American view, despot kings held their people in bondage through superstition and ignorance until the true principles of government inspired resistance. The Book of Mormon nearly reversed the roles. The people delighted in their subjection to the king, and the rulers were enlightened.

Richard Bushman – The Book of Mormon and the American Revolution

Doesn’t the Book of Mormon better fit an ancient Israelite view of monarchy rather than a 19th century American view?


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