Thursday, May 6, 2010

Alma - Chapter 36

This chapter is a wonderful example of Chaismus in The Book of Mormon.  Chaismus is a Hebrew literary form that is further evidence the book is of ancient origin.  Here is the layout of this chapter based on Chaiasmus:

I borrowed this from Grant at To Be Or Not To Be.  Let me encourage you to go there to learn more about the this marvelous art form and it's prevalence in The Book of Mormon.

"O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death."
One of the most powerful statements in all of scripture.  It is clean, honest, desperate and sincere.  When Alma begins speaking to Helaman at the beginning of the chapter he invites Helaman to "learn of me."  He doesn't say, learn what I'm about to teach you, but rather, I think, learn from my experience.

His experience was one of rescue and liberation.  Alma had been captive in the bonds of sin.  Chains of his own creation as he had been lead by the enticings of Satan.  Thus bound Alma finally realized there is only one WAY out and that is Jesus Christ.  Only He can burst our chains.  Only he can make us clean so we can return to live with Father.  Only He can deliver us from the pain and torment of the consequences of our choices.  Only He.

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