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After Whose Order?: Kingship and Priesthood in the Book of Mormon

TitleAfter Whose Order?: Kingship and Priesthood in the Book of Mormon
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsShannon, Avram R.
JournalBYU Studies Quarterly
KeywordsAlma the Younger; Ammonihah (City of); Melchizedek (King of Salem); Nephite Kingship; Order of Nehor; Priesthood

This article illustrates the Nephite notions of priesthood and church in order to show that the Book of Mormon conception of priesthood is based on Judahite notions of kingly priesthood and ideas firmly rooted in the biblical law of Moses and the Sinai Covenant. This is the underlying idea behind Alma2’s discussion of Melchizedek in Alma 13. In this article, I first look at “priest” in the biblical record and tradition. I follow this with a discussion of Book of Mormon “priesthood” notions up to Alma1 and Alma2 (including the interaction with Nehor). Finally, I examine the conflict between Alma2 and the Nehorite people of Ammonihah, where Alma2 draws on a narrative expansion of the Melchizedek tradition in Genesis 14 to make his point about his priesthood order and its superiority to the order of Nehor.