The Magnificent Chiasmus of Alma 36

From, "Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon,"
by John W. Welch, BYU Studies, Autumn 1969


a) My son give ear to my words (v 1)

b) Keep the commandments and ye shall prosper in the land (v 1)

c) Do as I have done (v 2)

d) Remember the captivity of our fathers (v 2)

e) They were in bondage (v 2)

f) He surely did deliver them (v 2)

g) Trust in God (v 3)

h) Supported in trials, troubles and afflictions (v 3)

i) I know this not of myself but of God (v 4)

j) Born of God (v 5)

k) I sought to destroy the church (v 6-9)

l) My limbs were paralyzed (v 10)

m) Fear of the presence of God (v 14-15)




n) Pains of a damned soul (v 16)

o) Harrowed up by memory of sins (v 17)



p) I remembered Jesus Christ, a son of God (v 17)

p) I cried, Jesus, son of God (v 18)



o) Harrowed up by memory of sins no more (v 19)

n) Joy as exceeding as was the pain (v 20)

The Agony of Conversion

destroyed (v 11)
racked with eternal torment (v 12)
harrowed up to the greatest degree (v 12)
racked with all my sins (v12)
tormented with the pains of hell (v13)
inexpressible horror (v 14)
banished and extinct (v15)
pains of a damned soul (v 16)



The Joy of Conversion

no more pain (v 19)
oh what joy (v 20)
what marvelous light (v 20)
soul filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain (v 20)
exquisite (v 21)
nothing more sweet as was my joy (v 22)
singing and praising God (v 22)
long to be with God (v 22)


m) Long to be in the presence of God (v 22)

l) My limbs received strength again (v 23)

k) I labored to bring souls to repentance (v 24)

j) Born of God (v 26)

i) Therefore my knowledge is of God (26)

h) Supported under trials and troubles and afflictions (v 27)

g) Trust in him (v 27)

f) He will deliver me (v 27)

e) As God brought our fathers out of bondage and captivity (v 28-29)

d) Retain in remembrance their captivity (v 28-29)

c) Know as I do know (v 30)

b) Keep the commandments and ye shall prosper in the land (v 30)

a) This according to his word (v 30)

 

Try reading it this way

a) My son give ear to my words (v 1)
a) [They are] according to his word (v 30)

b) Keep the commandments and ye shall prosper in the land (v 1)
b) Keep the commandments and ye shall prosper in the land (v 30)

c) Do as I have done (v 2)
c) [and you will] Know as I do know (v 30)

d) Remember the captivity of our fathers (v 2)
d) Retain in remembrance their captivity (v 28-29)

e) They were in bondage (v 2)
e) [and] God brought our fathers out of bondage and captivity (v 28-29)

f) [and] He surely did deliver them (v 2)
f) [and] He will deliver me [and He will deliver you] (v 27)

g) Trust in God (v 3)
g) Trust in him (v 27)

h) [you will be] Supported in trials, troubles and afflictions (v 3)
h) [YES! you will be] Supported under trials and troubles and afflictions (v 27)

i) I know this not of myself but of God (v 4)
i) Therefore my knowledge is of God (26)

j) [because I have been] Born of God (v 5)
j) [and you can be] Born of God (v 26)

k) I sought to destroy the church (v 6-9)
k) [then] I labored to bring souls to repentance (v 24)

l) My limbs were paralyzed (v 10)
l) [then] My limbs received strength again (v 23)

m) [I was in] Fear of the presence of God (v 14-15)
m) [now I] Long to be in the presence of God (v 22)

n) [I suffered the] Pains of a damned soul (v 16)
n) [Now my] Joy [is] as exceeding as was the pain (v 20)

o) [I was] Harrowed up by memory of sins (v 17)
o) [now I am] Harrowed up by memory of sins no more (v 19)

p) I remembered Jesus Christ, a son of God (v 17)
p) [and] I cried, Jesus, son of God (v 18)

[ And I was BORN AGAIN! ]

WOW!

And there are yet those who would claim that this magnificent structure has been forced on Alma's words by the clever analysis of Dr. Welch.