long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Intertextuality: Alma 15

This is the last of the intertextuality posts on this blog. Additional examples will continue to be found at mobom.org.


By now, readers can see the point. You can take pretty much any chapter from the Book of Mormon (or D&C or PGP) and see that the nonbiblical language has intertextuality with Jonathan Edwards and other Christian authors.

This intertextuality is evidence that Joseph translated the plates, as he always said. 

Joseph explained from the beginning, in his own handwriting, that he had an "intimate acquaintance with those of different denominations."

"the all importent concerns of for the wellfare of my immortal Soul which led me to searching the scriptures believeing as I was taught, that they contained the word of God thus applying myself to them and my intimate acquaintance with those of differant denominations."


Despite this evidence that corroborates what Joseph and Oliver always said, there will be many who continue to promote the SITH (stone-in-the-hat) narrative invented by Jonathan Hadley and promoted by Mormonism Unvailed, David Whitmer, and even, arguably Emma Smith shortly before she died. 

Modern SITH promoters include John Dehlin, CES Letter, our friends at the Interpreter and Scripture Central, and many others. 

Which is all fine. People can believe whatever they want.

We just want people to make informed decision.


Annotation of Alma 15

Alma 15 is a good example because it shows that a high percentage of Book of Mormon language is also KJV language. Few of the KJV words/phrases are not also found in Edwards, including the so-called "blended" passages.

The blue Book of Mormon words/phrases in the annotation are nonbiblical and also not found in Edwards. In some cases noted below, the nonbiblical language is close to Edwards (e.g., plural instead of singular). There are several examples in the Book of Mormon of paraphrased or misquoted passages from the KJV that are identical to paraphrased or misquoted KJV passages in Edwards' works.

The red words/phrases are nonbiblical Book of Mormon wording that are also found in Edwards' works.

Naturally, Edwards is not the only person who ever used this nonbiblical Book of Mormon terminology. English is a common language or we couldn't understand one another. But the ready availability of Edwards' works in Palmyra during Joseph's youth indicates that Edwards was a possible source for Joseph's vocabulary that he used when translating the plates.

Bold = KJV 

Blue = nonbiblical BofM/D&C w/o JE 

Red = nonbiblical BofM/D&C and JE 


Chapter 15

Alma and Amulek go to Sidom and establish a church—Alma heals Zeezrom, who joins the Church—Many are baptized, and the Church prospers—Alma and Amulek go to Zarahemla. About 81 B.C.

1 And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek were commanded to depart out of that city; and they departed, and came out even into the land of Sidom; and behold, there they found all the people who had departed out of the land of Ammonihah, who had been cast out and stoned[1], because they believed[2] in the words of Alma.

2 And they related[3] unto them all that had happened[4] unto their wives and children, and also concerning themselves[5], and of their power of deliverance.

3 And also Zeezrom lay sick[6] at Sidom, with a burning fever[7], which was caused by the great tribulations[8] of his mind on account of[9] his wickedness, for he supposed that[10] Alma and Amulek were no more[11]; and he supposed that they had been slain because of his iniquity[12]. And this great sin[13], and his many other sins[14], did harrow up[15] his mind until it did become exceedingly sore[16], having no deliverance[17]; therefore he began to be scorched[18] with a burning heat[19].

4 Now, when he heard that Alma and Amulek were in the land of Sidom, his heart began[20] to take courage[21]; and he sent a message immediately[22] unto them, desiring them[23] to come unto him.

5 And it came to pass that they went immediately[24], obeying the message which he had sent unto them; and they went in unto the house unto Zeezrom; and they found him upon his bed, sick, being very low[25] with a burning fever; and his mind also was exceedingly sore because of his iniquities; and when he saw them he stretched forth his hand[26], and besought[27] them that they would heal him[28].

6 And it came to pass that Alma said unto him, taking him by the hand: Believest thou in the power of Christ[29] unto salvation[30]?

7 And he answered and said: Yea, I believe all the words that thou hast taught.

8 And Alma said: If thou believest in the redemption of Christ[31] thou canst be healed.

9 And he said: Yea, I believe according to thy words.

10 And then Alma cried unto the Lord[32], saying: O Lord our God[33], have mercy on[34] this man[35], and heal him[36] according to his faith[37] which is in Christ[38].

11 And when Alma had said these words, Zeezrom leaped upon his feet[39], and began to walk[40]; and this was done to the great astonishment[41] of all the people; and the knowledge of this[42] went forth throughout all the land[43] of Sidom.

12 And Alma baptized Zeezrom unto the Lord; and he began from that time forth[44] to preach unto the people[45].

13 And Alma established a church[46] in the land of Sidom, and consecrated priests and teachers[47] in the land, to baptize unto the Lord whosoever were desirous to be[48] baptized.

14 And it came to pass that they were many[49]; for they did flock in[50] from all the region round about Sidom, and were baptized.

15 But as to the people[51] that were in the land of Ammonihah, they yet remained a hard-hearted[52] and a stiffnecked[53] people; and they repented not[54] of their sins, ascribing[55] all the power[56] of Alma and Amulek to the devil[57]; for they were of the profession[58] of Nehor, and did not believe[59] in the repentance of their sins[60].

16 And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek, Amulek having forsaken[61] all his gold, and silver, and his precious things[62], which were in the land of Ammonihah, for the word of God, he being rejected[63] by those who were once his friends and also by his father and his kindred;

17 Therefore, after Alma having established the church at Sidom, seeing a great check[64], yea, seeing that the people were checked as to the pride of their hearts[65], and began to humble themselves before God[66], and began to assemble themselves[67] together[68] at their sanctuaries[69] to worship God before the altar, watching and praying continually, that they might be delivered from Satan[70], and from death, and from destruction—

18 Now as I said, Alma having seen all these things, therefore he took Amulek and came over to the land of Zarahemla, and took him to his own house, and did administer unto him[71] in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord.

19 And thus ended the tenth year of the reign of the [72]judges over the people of Nephi.

(Alma 15–15:19)


[1] BM (2)

[2] OT (1) NT (1) BM (1) JE (5)

[3] BM (2) PGP (7) JE (736)

[4] OT (1) BM (5)

[5] BM (1) JE (23)

[6] NT (2) BM (1) JE (2)

[7] BM (2) JE (3) JE: “betaking myself to my bed, I lay in a burning fever” “lay in a burning fever till night”

[8] BM (1) PGP (2) JE (2)

[9] BM (10) JE (236)

[10] NT (3) BM (20) DC (1) JE (297)

[11] BM (3) JE (33)

[12] OT (22) NT (1) BM (2) JE (46)

[13] OT (4) BM (1) JE (74)

[14] BM (1) JE (5)

[15] BM (5)

[16] BM (15) Note: “full of pain and exceeding sore” JE (1)

[17] BM (2) JE (6)

[18] NT (3) BM (1) JE (30)

[19] OT (1) NT (1) BM (1) JE (35) JE: “they were scorched.. Matt. 13:6… because of the burning heat

[20] BM (2) JE (2) JE: “his heart began to be renewed”

[21] BM (6) JE (8)

[22] BM (1)

[23] BM (2) JE (8)

[24] NT (1) BM (1) JE (4)

[25] OT (4) BM (1) JE (71)

[26] OT (5) NT (2) BM (12) JE (10)

[27] OT (11) NT (33) BM (2) JE (41)

[28] NT (1) BM (1) JE (1)

[29] NT (1) BM (2) JE (8)

[30] NT (5) BM (6) DC (3) JE (33)

[31] BM (3) JE (43)

[32] OT (29) BM (5) PGP (6) JE (5)

[33] OT (9) BM (1) JE (3)

[34] OT (7) NT (12) BM (8) DC (1) JE (83)

[35] “have mercy on this man” BM (1)

[36] OT (2) NT (2) BM (3) DC (1) JE (11)

[37] BM (2)

[38] NT (7) BM (8) JE (13) Note: NT is always “in Christ Jesus.” BM usually “in Christ” without Jesus. JE usually follows NT but does both.

[39] BM (1) NT: “he leaped and walked” Acts 14:10

[40] BM (1) JE (1)

[41] NT (1) BM (5) JE (2)

[42] BM (3) DC (2) PGP (1) JE (17)

[43] OT (18) NT (1) BM (32) PGP (1) JE (5)

[44] OT (2) NT (1) BM (10) DC (2) PGP (4) JE (4)

[45] NT (1) BM (10) JE (1)

[46] BM (3) Note: “establish a church” BM (3) DC (1) JE (2)

[47] BM (2)

[48] BM (4) JE (2)

[49] OT (1) BM (3) JE (6)

[50] BM (1) Note: in this sense. Other uses of “flock in” OT (4) BM (1) JE (10)

[51] BM (1) JE (1)

[52] “Hardhearted” OT (1) JE (14)  “hard-hearted” BM (3) Note:

[53] OT (8) NT (1) BM (20) DC (1) JE (37)

[54] OT (2) NT (6) BM (10) PGP (1) JE (18)

[55] BM (1) JE (29)

[56] OT (1) NT (2) BM (2) JE (30)

[57] NT (1) BM (5) JE (88)

[58] BM (3) JE (36)

[59] OT (2) NT (2) BM (11) DC (1) JE (46)

[60] BM (2) JE (4)

[61] BM (1) JE (5)

[62] OT (12) BM (23) DC (2) JE (49)

[63] BM (1) JE (8)

[64] BM (1) JE (2) JE: “this great check put to the building of it”

[65] BM (10) DC (1) JE (7)

[66] BM (3) DC (1) JE (5)

[67] OT (2) BM (12) DC (3) JE (4)

[68] “assemble themselves together” BM (12) DC (2)

[69] OT (5) BM (8) JE (1)

[70] BM (1) JE (1)

[71] BM (2) DC (2)

[72] OT (1) BM (104) JE (27)


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