Sunday, September 1, 2013

Mosiah 16: Abinadi's Soapbox, Part V

Abinadi adds some closing remarks to his impromptu sermon.

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.

Efficiency Deficiency
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?!


  1. Leaving out Isaiah not only would have saved a lot of plate space but it also would have kept a lot of BOM readers from getting stalled in Nephi. Plus, since they'll basically direct quotes from the King James Version of the bible anyway, "Mormon" could have saved himself and us all a lot of grief by just giving us the reference without writing out all the verses.

    "And it came to pass that Abinadi quoted Isaiah 53:10..."

    1. Hahaha, I like that idea. I can imagine people bearing their testimonies about how the Book of Mormon prophets were clearly inspired because there's no way they could have known the exact chapter and verse format of a version of the Bible that wouldn't be translated until a thousand years later.

    2. I've actually heard teachers speculate that while Joseph was translating, he referred to the King James Version often to help. Isaiah was one of the areas they talked about. I can't remember exactly when and where I heard that, but I know I did. Taking the next leap to what you said would not be much of a stretch for many. In fact, in some twisted way, it would strengthen their testimonies.

    3. Right, because when you're translating what will become the "most correct book" by the power of a perfect god, it makes sense that you'd need some help. Those speculating teachers seem to be accidentally implying that the parts of the Book of Mormon that don't quote the Bible might be less perfect because Joseph didn't have another source to verify the accuracy of his translation.

      Oh Mormons, you so silly.