Part 4: Mosiah 25-Alma 8
The introduction to this series on internal consistency in the Book of Mormon is found in part 1 here.
In this part, we will be covering the rest of Mosiah and the first part of Alma and the beginning of the reign of the judges. As usual, there are multiple internal references that display the complexity of the Book of Mormon. Eleven examples will be discussed.
18. Mosiah 25:2 and Helaman 6:10 — “Mulek”
In Mosiah 25:2, we read
Now there were not so many of the children of Nephi, or so many of those who were descendants of Nephi, as there were of the people of Zarahemla, who was a descendant of Mulek, and those who came with him into the wilderness.
So far in the dictation sequence, Mulek has never been mentioned and “those who came with him into the wilderness” refers to a story that has not yet been told. Mulek is not mentioned again until Helaman 6:10.
Now the land south was called Lehi, and the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land north, and Lehi into the land south.
Here we learn that Mulek was a son of Zedekiah. Omni 1:15 further connects the dots but that is still another 89 modern chapters away.
19. Mosiah 27:34 and Alma 17:18; Alma 22:35 — “the sons of Mosiah”
Mormon names of the sons of Mosiah in Mosiah 27:34.
And four of them were the sons of Mosiah; and their names were Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and Himni; these were the names of the sons of Mosiah.
Aaron is mentioned again in Mosiah 29, but the others are not mentioned by name again until Alma 17:18 (Ammon) and Alma 22:35 (Aaron, Omner, and Himni).
20. Mosiah 28:9 and Alma 17 — “the mission of the sons of Mosiah”
And they took their journey into the wilderness to go up to preach the word among the Lamanites; and I shall give an account of their proceedings hereafter.
Another editorial promise by Mormon. True to this promise, he gives the account 18 chapters later, starting in Alma 17.
21. Mosiah 28:19 and Alma 37:21 (and the Book of Ether) — “an account of the people who were destroyed”
Another editorial promise is found in the same chapter, Mosiah 28 and verse 19:
And this account shall be written hereafter; for behold, it is expedient that all people should know the things which are written in this account.
“This account” refers to the plates that King Limhi’s people found and that King Mosiah translated. This is what we now know as the book of Ether. There is no more mention of this account until Alma 37, as Alma passes along the record to his son Helaman. After that, 120 additional modern chapters transpire before we actually get to the book of Ether.
22. Mosiah 28-29 and Alma 17:4, Alma 28:7 — tracking the timeline of the mission of the sons of Mosiah
The mission of the sons of Mosiah to the Lamanites coincides with the beginning of the reign of the judges and a new time reckoning, i.e. they leave on their mission in the first year of the reign of the judges. Alma 17:4 states that they were missionaries among the Lamanites for 14 years. In Alma 28:7 when their mission is over, we read: “and thus endeth the fifteenth year.” The math checks out. This means that along with all the other details and despite multiple jumps in the timeline, the author would have needed to keep a tight grasp of the overall timeline.
23. Alma 3:6 and 1 Nephi 1, 1 Nephi 18:7 — “Nephi, Jacob, Joseph, and Sam”
In Alma 3:6, Mormon mentions Nephi, Sam, Jacob and Joseph, the righteous sons of Lehi. Only Nephi is mentioned again in the rest of the Book of Mormon. (Keep in mind that Joseph Smith started dictating from Mosiah, then began with 1 Nephi after finishing Moroni.) Thus when Sam, Jacob and Joseph are introduced in 1 Nephi (Sam is named in the header for 1 Nephi; Jacob and Joseph are named in 1 Nephi 18:7), their names had already been mentioned once, more than 100 chapters earlier.
24. Alma 3:13-15 and 2 Nephi 5:20-23 — “The Lamanites have I cursed”
In Alma 3, the Amlicites go up to battle against the Nephites with shaved heads and a mark of red on their foreheads. Mormon points out how this fulfills a promise the Lord gave to Nephi:
10 Therefore, whosoever suffered himself to be led away by the Lamanites was called under that head, and there was a mark set upon him. …
13 Now we will return again to the Amlicites, for they also had a mark set upon them; yea, they set the mark upon themselves, yea, even a mark of red upon their foreheads.
14 Thus the word of God is fulfilled, for these are the words which he said to Nephi: Behold, the Lamanites have I cursed, and I will set a mark on them that they and their seed may be separated from thee and thy seed, from this time henceforth and forever, except they repent of their wickedness and turn to me that I may have mercy upon them.
15 And again: I will set a mark upon him that mingleth his seed with thy brethren, that they may be cursed also.
16 And again: I will set a mark upon him that fighteth against thee and thy seed. (Alma 3)
Much later in the dictation process, we read about the prophecy of this curse in the writings of Nephi, including the same four distinct elements noted by Mormon much earlier in the dictation process.:
20 Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence.
21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.
22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.
23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done. (2 Nephi 5)
25. Alma 5:57 and Mosiah 26:24-26 — “their names shall be blotted out”
In Alma 5, Alma is preaching to the people in Zarahemla. Verse 57 reads:
And now I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good shepherd, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things; and behold, their names shall be blotted out, that the names of the wicked shall not be numbered among the names of the righteous, that the word of God may be fulfilled, which saith: The names of the wicked shall not be mingled with the names of my people; For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life, and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand.
This verse is referring to a revelation given to Alma’s father Alma, recorded in Mosiah 26. Alma-1 was the high priest of the church back then and there were some issues about members who had fallen into transgression that Alma-1 inquired the Lord about. The quoted verses below are part of the Lord’s response.
24 For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me they shall come forth, and shall have a place eternally at my right hand…
32 Now I say unto you, Go; and whosoever will not repent of his sins the same shall not be numbered among my people; and this shall be observed from this time forward…
36 And those that would not confess their sins and repent of their iniquity, the same were not numbered among the people of the church, and their names were blotted out. (Mosiah 26)
This is yet another example of internal consistency which draws absolutely no attention to itself. It is very easy to read these passages without even noticing the internally consistent details!
26. Alma 6:7 and Alma 61:5 — “Zarahemla and Gideon”
In Alma 6:7, Alma travels from Zarahemla to Gideon as part of his missionary journey. This indicates that the cities of Zarahemla and Gideon are close to each other. In Alma 61:5, Pahoran flees from Zarahemla to Gideon.
27. Alma 6:15 and Alma 2:15,20 — “east of the river Sidon”
Gideon is east of the river Sidon. This detail is directly stated in Alma 6:15, but it is also subtly indicated by a careful reading of Alma 2. In verses 17, 20, 27
And they began to slay the Amlicites upon the hill east of Sidon…And it came to pass that when Alma could pursue the Amlicites no longer he caused that his people should pitch their tents in the valley of Gideon…And behold, as they were crossing the river Sidon…
They fight on the east side of the river Sidon, then pitch their tents in Gideon and then cross the river. Book of Mormon geography is complex, but very consistent throughout the dictation process.
28. Alma 8:31 and Alma 14:10-11, 17, 25-28 — “they had power given unto them”
In Alma 8:31, Mormon begins to get ahead of himself in telling us about power given to Alma and Amulek:
And they had power given unto them, insomuch that they could not be confined in dungeons; neither was it possible that any man could slay them; nevertheless they did not exercise their power until they were bound in bands and cast into prison. Now, this was done that the Lord might show forth his power in them.
This has not happened yet, but it soon will. Notice how in Alma 14, all seven highlighted details in the verse above make their way into the full accounting of this miracle:
10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.
11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; …
17 And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek answered him nothing; and he smote them again, and delivered them to the officers to be cast into prison…
25 And it came to pass that they all went forth and smote them, saying the same words, even until the last; and when the last had spoken unto them the power of God was upon Alma and Amulek, and they rose and stood upon their feet.
26 And Alma cried, saying: How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O Lord? O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance. And they broke the cords with which they were bound; and when the people saw this, they began to flee, for the fear of destruction had come upon them.
27 And it came to pass that so great was their fear that they fell to the earth, and did not obtain the outer door of the prison; and the earth shook mightily, and the walls of the prison were rent in twain, so that they fell to the earth; and the chief judge, and the lawyers, and priests, and teachers, who smote upon Alma and Amulek, were slain by the fall thereof.
28 And Alma and Amulek came forth out of the prison, and they were not hurt; for the Lord had granted unto them power, according to their faith which was in Christ.
End of Part 4
That concludes the fourth part of this series. Notice how the variety of consistent details broadens. Below is an updated version of the arc diagram which includes each of the internally consistent details we’ve described so far.
Jeff Markham has been an avid student of the Book of Mormon his entire life. He recently joined the FairMormon group. He has practiced radiology in the Dallas, Texas area since 2011, having obtained his undergraduate education at Brigham Young University (B.S. in 2000), a medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA (M.D. 2005), and post-graduate training in diagnostic radiology and neuroradiology at University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, TX. He served as a full-time missionary in the Germany Hamburg Mission from 1996-1998. His favorite callings include teaching primary and early morning seminary. He lives in the Dallas area with his wife and children. He blogs at BookofMormonNotes.com.