In A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, Daniel H. Ludlow explained that Nephi, the son of Lehi, defined priestcraft as "men [who] preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion." (2 Ne. 26:29.)
Brother Ludlow wrote: "The warning of Nephi concerning the evils of priestcraft is amply demonstrated by Nehor, who taught that `every priest and teacher ought to become popular; and they ought not to labor with their hands. . . . ' (Alma 1:3.)"Alma the younger, the chief judge of the people . . . warns the Nephites that if priestcraft were to be enforced among them `it would prove their entire destruction.' (Alma 1:12.) Alma was very concerned about this matter because the Lord had warned the Nephites they were to keep the commandments of the Lord or they would be destroyed."