Source:Reexploring the Book of Mormon:Ch:5:2:Textual consistency: Alma 36

Textual Consistency: Alma 36

Textual Consistency: Alma 36

Even more remarkable are the extensive, intricate consistencies within the Book of Mormon. Passages tie together precisely and accurately though separated from each other by hundreds of pages of text and dictated weeks apart....

In Alma 36, Alma recounts the story of his conversion. In describing the joy he experienced and the desire that his soul then felt to be with God, Alma thought of Lehi's experience: "Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God" (Alma 36:22). These words in Alma 36 are not merely a loose recollection of the scriptural record of Lehi's vision. There are twenty-one words here that are quoted verbatim from 1 Nephi 1, which states that Lehi "thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God" (1 Nephi 1:8). Obviously, Alma is directly quoting from the record of Lehi's vision in which he learned of the impending destruction of Jerusalem. It makes sense that Alma would have known these words, since he had charge of the Small Plates of Nephi (see Alma 37:2), which contained this sentence.

The impressive thing about these two passages (separated by hundreds of pages) is that they were translated independently by Joseph Smith. It is highly unlikely that Joseph Smith asked Oliver Cowdery to read back to him what he had translated earlier so that he could get the quote exactly the same. If that had happened, Oliver Cowdery would undoubtedly have questioned him and lost faith in the translation.[1]

Notes

  1. ↑ John W. Welch, "Textual Consistency," in Reexploring the Book of Mormon, edited by John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1992), Chapter 5.