King Noah and His Kingdom, Part 1
“And now it came to pass that Zeniff conferred the kingdom upon Noah, one of his sons; therefore Noah began to reign in his stead; and he did not walk in the ways of his father” (Mosiah 11:1).
The kings of the Book of Mormon received through “conferral,” or “consecration,” or “charge,” not only the rights to rule and reign over a kingdom, but also stewardship over plates of records, and other implements of kingship (Mosiah 1:15-16; 29:42; Alma 2:9). Their stewardship was most often intermingled with religion.
Compared to his son Noah, Zeniff was a good king. He held authority to minister temporally and spiritually in the affairs of his kingdom and he “conferred” that authority on his son Noah. His son Noah walked not “in the ways of his father” while he was king over the land.
It’s hard to imagine Zeniff conferred the authority upon Noah to preside and rule over the kingdom, despite knowing his son to be an idolatrous, lazy man (Mosiah11:6). Perhaps he couldn’t see it. Or, perhaps, Noah wasn’t always who we read about in our record; we know the unfortunate disposition of almost all men as soon as they are given a little authority, as they suppose (D&C121:39-40).
It should go without saying, but is important to say - just because Noah’s father was a good man didn’t make Noah a good man. Just because Noah inherited the kingdom, or had the kingdom conferred upon him, didn’t mean that he faithfully thereafter discharged the obligations that had fallen upon him. Just because Noah received authority to govern temporally and spiritually in his kingdom, didn’t mean he was ever able to find favor with heaven. And just because Alma, on the other hand, was subject to a blind and darkened slumber while serving as Noah’s priest, didn’t mean he had no opportunity for repentance, growth, progression, and redemption.