The Voice of the People

Political Rhetoric in the Book of Mormon

In our era of heated political discourse, the Book of Mormon makes a surprisingly serious contribution to understanding our social troubles. David Gore argues that this Latter-day scripture invites readers to cultivate a sober, wakeful approach to political discourse. To eschew self-indulgent politics in favor of a politics oriented toward others. Being with others and being for others is never easy. But by shouldering this work to persuade and be persuaded of the good we can make our political situation more prosperous and more enduring.

Voice of the People is the final book in the three-part series Groundwork: Studies in Theory and Scripture, edited by Adam S. Miller and Joseph M. Spencer.

“Latter-day Saints should be proud that our signature sacred book contains this kind of practical wisdom about relating to those we share society with, and grateful to David Gore for teasing it out of the text to share with us.”

Michael Austin

By Common Consent

“Ultimately, Gore and the Book of Mormon show us how to better accept the diversity of our communities and not let it be a barrier to our own engagement in civic and religious matters.”

Jeff Lindsay


“Gore has clearly put in commendable effort to read the text carefully and offers an intriguing and timely way to make sense of how the Nephite record is relevant for us today.”

About the Author

David Charles Gore

David Charles Gore (PhD, Texas A&M University) is associate professor and department head in the Department of Communication at the University of Minnesota in Duluth. Gore regularly teaches courses on the history and theory of rhetoric, including its application to globalization and Stoic philosophy. His research explores the age-old trio of rhetoric, politics, and theology in order to illuminate the communicative ethics found in their interrelationships. By engaging politics and religion and faith and reason, Gore's scholarship addresses why building strong communities and strong commitments to the sacred remain relevant in a secular age. His work has appeared in Philosophy & Rhetoric, Argumentation & Advocacy, Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought, and a variety of other venues.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Scripture, Politics, Rhetoric
  • 1. The Calling of Samuel and Mosiah: Mosiah’s Succession Crisis
  • 2. Monarchical Succession in the Book of Ether
  • 3. Mosiah’s New Constitution
  • 4. Nehor Exploits Equality
  • 5. Amlici’s Rebellion and a Heap of Bones
  • Conclusion: Awake to Mournfulness
  • Appendix: Aphorisms of Mosiah and Alma
  • Bibliography
  • Subject Index
  • Scripture Index
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Publication Information

  • Publication Month: September
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • ISBN 13: 978-1-9443-9474-5
  • Page Count: 227
  • Binding: Paperback, eBook
  • Price: $ 15.95
  • Imprint: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

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The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)