Well, this week has proved to be hectic and there’s more of that in the moments to come. I haven’t yet finished blogging the rest of the chapters in the Alma that I have studied this week, but maybe tomorrow I will have time to get that caught up. That being said, this was a great week of study!
What did I truly learn this week? I learned how to say the word chiastic and I learned what that meant. This is a word of Greek origin and means that something has the same patter forward and backward such as “1234554321” or “ABCDDCBA.” The Book of Mosiah within the Book of Mormon is a chiasmus. The pattern for this particular chiasmus is lengthy, but nevertheless, present; and is set forth in this manner:
1.Mosiah 1:1-8 King Benjamin exhorts his sons
2.Mosiah 1:10 Mosiah is chosen to succeed his father
3.Mosiah 1:16 Mosiah receives the records
4.Mosiah 2:9-5:15 King Benjamin’s speech and the words of the angel
5.Mosiah 6:1 People enter into a covenant
6.Mosiah 6:13 Priests are consecrated
7.Mosiah 7:1-6 Ammon leaves Zarahemla to preach in Lehi-Nephi
8.Mosiah 7:15 People are in bondage and Ammon is put in prison
9.Mosiah 8:9 24 Gold plates
10.Mosiah 9:1 The record of Zeniff begins as he leaves Zarahemla
11.Mosiah 9:14-10:20 Defense against the Lamanites
12.Mosiah 11:1-15 Noah and his priests
13.Mosiah 11-12 Abinadi persecuted and imprisoned
14.Mosiah 13-14 Abinadi reads old law and and prophecies to priests
14.Mosiah 15-16 Abinadi prophecies of Christ
13.Mosiah 17:5-20 Abinadi persecuted and slain
12.Mosiah 18:32-20:5 Noah and his priests
11.Mosiah 20:6-26 Lamanites threaten the people of Limhi
10. Record of Zeniff ends as he leaves Lehi-Nephi
9. Mosiah 21:27, 22:14 24 gold plates
8. Mosiah 23 People of Alma in bondage
7. Mosiah 24 Alma leaves for Zarahemla
6. Mosiah 25:14-24 The Church is organized
5. Mosiah 26:1-4 Some refuse to make covenants
4. Mosiah 26-27 The words of Alma and the words of an angel
3. Mosiah 28:20 Alma the Younger receives the records
2. Mosiah 29:5-32 Judges chosen instead of a king
1. Mosiah 29:5-32 Mosiah exhorts his people
This is a fantastic pattern and the story that goes along with it is simply amazing. I love the stories found inside of the Book of Mosiah is fascinating.
At the center of the chiasmus we find Abinadi, a prophet of God being persecuted, sharing old prophesy and prophesying himself of the coming of Jesus Christ. Prior to this and again after this, there are wars and good men, also prophets of God preaching repentance and calling on the people that are in their circle of influence to follow Christ in righteousness. There are, of course, other events that occur within the book and the chiasmus, but these are the ones that stick out to me and really struck me this week as having the utmost importance. Repentance is key to follow Christ in his footsteps and these men cried repentance all of their days, some were able to leave their mortal lives in peace and know that they had done all that they could and another cried repentance to the wicked and was persecuted and slain for his actions. He dared to stand, even though he was standing alone, this was Abinadi. Without his courage and strength, we would not have the Book of Mormon as we know it today and we would never have had the opportunity to read of Alma the Younger or the Sons of Mosiah. I am so grateful for this lesson this week and to have been able to deepen my understanding of this complex gospel.
I write this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.