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|Title||KnoWhy #128 - What Did it Mean to be “King Over All the Land”? (Alma 20:8)|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Corporate Authors||Book of Mormon Central Staff|
|Publisher||Book of Mormon Central|
|Place Published||Springville, UT|
|Keywords||Ammon (Son of King Mosiah); Ancient America; King; King Lamoni; King Lamoni's Father; Kingship; Lamanite; Mesoamerica; Missionary Work; Politics|
In the Lamanite political system, there was a “king over all the land” who “appointed kings over all . . . lands” under his rule—a very different system of government than that of the Nephites. Interestingly, both Mesoamerica and the ancient Near East had patterns of rule similar to that described among the Lamanites. In these systems, political ties binding overkings with subordinate kings were simultaneously very personal and highly tenuous. Vassal rulers were expected to make tribute payments to their overlords. This context illuminates the account of the confrontation between Lamoni and his father. Although typically understood as just a familial quarrel, the ancient reality is that this was a political dispute.
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