A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon/Seezoram
SEEZORAM. A member of the Gadianton band, elected by the Nephites, during the times of their degeneracy, to be their Chief Judge. The date of his election is not given, but he probably succeeded the son of Cezoram, who was assassinated. (B, C. 26.) Seezoram himself was murdered in the year B. C. 23, in the city of Zarahemla, by his brother Seantum, who desired to obtain the chief judgeship.
The three years preceding the death of Seezoram are dark ones in the history of the Nephites. The people were rapidly growing in iniquity—they gave succor and support to the Gadianton bands, whose members held the chief offices in the gift of the people. Justice was travestied, the law was administered in the interest of the wicked and of those who would bribe or buy the judges; while the righteous were persecuted, abused and robbed in its name. It thus became an engine of oppression to the good or uninfluential, and an instrument to aid and protect the vile and the influential in all their evil-doing.
The prophet Nephi was the first who informed the people of the death of their chief magistrate. He was preaching from a tower in his garden at the time the foul deed was perpetrated. By the spirit of revelation he told his hearers what had been done; five of them hastened to the judgment hall and found it was as the prophet had declared. So thunderstruck were they that they swooned, in which condition they were discovered by others, with the murdered Seezoram lying before them. When they recovered, they found themselves in prison, charged with the crime, and Nephi was also arrested, because of his prophecy, charged as an accessory before the fact. The confession of Seantum, that be was the guilty one, brought about the release of all those who had been imprisoned, and the five unfortunate accused were converted to the Lord.
Of Seezoram's life, acts or character we have no record; it is probable, nay, we must almost necessarily believe, that he was a leader in iniquity, or it would have been impossible for him to have attained his exalted position through the votes of the sin-stained majority.