Friday, May 30, 2008

Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon

Another evidence that the Book of Mormon is more than the written imaginations of an unschooled young man of 23 can be found in Alma 36. Chiasmus had been discovered in the Bible at the time, though was more than likely known amongst scholars, it is not very likely that Joseph Smith knew about it. (For that reason we don't use physical evidence to purport the Book's divinity, we invite readers to ask of God if the Book of Mormon is not true. God will only answer those asking with real intent to respond appropriately to His answer: if it is true, to be baptized into His restored church, if it is not to continue on your way and respect our belief that we are following God's will.)

Back to Alma 36. This chapter uses chiasmus and at the very center is the Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Compare the first verse with last verse, second with second to last, and so forth. Consider the following as a guide:

  • v.1, 30 : Keep God's commandments and you will prosper.
  • v.2, 28-29 : Remember the things God has done for us and our ancestors.
  • v.3, 27 : Trust in God and you'll be lifted up at the last day.
  • v.4-5, 26 : You must be born of God.
  • v.6, 24-25 contrast of actions before and after rebirth
  • v.7, 23 : loss and regain of strength
  • v.8, 22 : angels are seen
  • v.9-12, 20-21 : racked with eternal torment, experiences "exquisite and sweet joy"
  • v.13, 19 : remembrance of pains of sin
  • v.14-16, 18 : without the atonement there is no hope; with the atonement mercy is allowed
  • v. 17 : Christ atoned for the sins of the world.

Alma provides a great example of how we can accept the atonement in our own lives, be born again, and receive the "exquisite and sweet joy" that comes with becoming a true follower of Christ.

1 comment:

markymark said...

This is great evidence in my opinion of the veracity of the Book of Mormon.