What Tense is it, Anyway?
Our favorite doomed prophet loses a little bit of his rhythm in verse 6:
And now if Christ had not come into the world, speaking of things to come as though they had already come, there could have been no redemption.Obviously the bolded part isn't actually bolded in the Book of Mormon. But to the bolded part, I ask, "why?" It's not difficult to say, "And now if Christ were not coming into the world, there could be no redemption." In fact, it's shorter and easier to etch into metal plates for posterity. Why all this talking about it like it already happened? We can't all be Isaiah.
More likely, I think Joseph Smith may have briefly forgotten his character's timeline (especially with the Isaiah-fest going on) and had to throw in a quick explanation so that his scribe and his eventual readers wouldn't think something was wonky with the chronology and decide he was just making everything up.
And speaking of the timeline for the Plan of Salvation, why did we need to wait so long for the atonement to take place? Couldn't he have saved humanity a whole lot of headaches and confusion by skipping the Law of Moses and sending his son to die for us a whole lot earlier? Doesn't four thousand years seem like a long time to wait? The more I think about it, the more this supposedly glorious Plan of Happiness seems needlessly complicated.
I guess I'll just have to add this to my list of problems with the Mormon God.
Abinadi Gets to the Point
Finally, after five chapters on his soapbox, Abinadi comes out and says it:
And now, ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?Why didn't you lead with that?!