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A Library Tour through Mosiah 1-15
1. And it came to pass that after king Limhi had made an end of speaking to his people,
for he spake many things unto them and only a few of them have I written in this
book, he told his people all the things concerning their brethren who were in the
land of Zarahemla.
2. And he caused that Ammon should stand up before the multitude, and rehearse unto
them all that had happened unto their brethren from the time that Zeniff went up
out of the land even until the time that he himself came up out of the land.
3. And he also rehearsed unto them the last words which king Benjamin had taught
them, and explained them to the people of king Limhi, so that they might understand
all the words which he spake.
4. And it came to pass that after he had done all this, that king Limhi dismissed
the multitude, and caused that they should return every one unto his own house.
5. And it came to pass that he caused that the plates which contained the record
of his people from the time that they left the land of Zarahemla, should be brought
before Ammon, that he might read them.
6. Now, as soon as Ammon had read the record, the king inquired of him to know if
he could interpret languages, and Ammon told him that he could not.
7. And the king said unto him: Being grieved for the afflictions of my people, I
caused that forty and three of my people should take a journey into the wilderness,
that thereby they might find the land of Zarahemla, that we might appeal unto our
brethren to deliver us out of bondage.
8. And they were lost in the wilderness for the space of many days, yet they were
diligent, and found not the land of Zarahemla but returned to this land, having traveled
in a land among many waters, having discovered a land which was covered with bones
of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind,
having discovered a land which had been peopled with a people who were as numerous
as the hosts of Israel.
9. And for a testimony that the things that they had said are true they have brought
twenty-four plates which are filled with engravings, and they are of pure gold.
10. And behold, also, they have brought breastplates, which are large, and they are
of brass and of copper, and are perfectly sound.
11. And again, they have brought swords, the hilts thereof have perished, and the
blades thereof were cankered with rust; and there is no one in the land that is able
to interpret the language or the engravings that are on the plates. Therefore I said
unto thee: Canst thou translate?
12. And I say unto thee again: Knowest thou of any one that can translate? For I
am desirous that these records should be translated into our language; for, perhaps,
they will give us a knowledge of a remnant of the people who have been destroyed,
from whence these records came; or, perhaps, they will give us a knowledge of this
very people who have been destroyed; and I am desirous to know the cause of their
13. Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can
translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records
that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters,
and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that
he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the
same is called seer.
14. And behold, the king of the people who are in the land of Zarahemla is the man
that is commanded to do these things, and who has this high gift from God.
15. And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet.
16. And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which
is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man
can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.
17. But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to
come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be
made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known
shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise
could not be known.
18. Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles;
therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.
19. And now, when Ammon had made an end of speaking these words the king rejoiced
exceedingly, and gave thanks to God, saying: Doubtless a great mystery is contained
within these plates, and these interpreters were doubtless prepared for the purpose
of unfolding all such mysteries to the children of men.
20. O how marvelous are the works of the Lord, and how long doth he suffer with his
people; yea, and how blind and impenetrable are the understandings of the children
of men; for they will not seek wisdom, neither do they desire that she should rule
21. Yea, they are as a wild flock which fleeth from the shepherd, and scattereth,
and are driven, and are devoured by the beasts of the forest.
“The similes in the Book of Mormon demonstrate remarkable variation, from grotesque
to beautiful, from condemnatory and damning to consoling and reassuring.
“. . . The existence of so many varied and beautiful similes is an indicator of
the inspiration of the prophetic authors of the Book of Mormon, and of the literary
significance and sophistication of the text.”
The author then lists many of the similes found in the Book of Mormon. He further
briefly discusses simile curses and simile blessings.
1. I, Zeniff, having been taught in all the language of the Nephites, and having
had a knowledge of the land of Nephi, or of the land of our fathers' first inheritance,
and having been sent as a spy among the Lamanites that I might spy out their forces,
that our army might come upon them and destroy them -- but when I saw that which
was good among them I was desirous that they should not be destroyed.
2. Therefore, I contended with my brethren in the wilderness for I would that our
ruler should make a treaty with them; but he being an austere and a bloodthirsty
man commanded that I should be slain; but I was rescued by the shedding of much blood;
for father fought against father, and brother against brother, until the greater
number of our army was destroyed in the wilderness; and we returned, those of us
that were spared, to the land of Zarahemla, to relate that tale to their wives and
3. And yet, I being over-zealous to inherit the land of our fathers, collected as
many as were desirous to go up to possess the land, and started again on our journey
into the wilderness to go up to the land; but we were smitten with famine and sore
afflictions; for we were slow to remember the Lord our God.
4. Nevertheless, after many days' wandering in the wilderness we pitched our tents
in the place where our brethren were slain, which was near to the land of our fathers.
5. And it came to pass that I went again with four of my men into the city, in unto
the king, that I might know of the disposition of the king, and that I might know
if I might go in with my people and possess the land in peace.
6. And I went in unto the king, and he covenanted with me that I might possess the
land of Lehi-Nephi, and the land of Shilom.
7. And he also commanded that his people should depart out of the land, and I and
my people went into the land that we might possess it.
8. And we began to build buildings, and to repair the walls of the city, yea, even
the walls of the city of Lehi-Nephi, and the city of Shilom.
9. And we began to till the ground, yea, even with all manner of seeds, with seeds
of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum, and with seeds
of all manner of fruits; and we did begin to multiply and prosper in the land.
10. Now it was the cunning and the craftiness of king Laman, to bring my people into
bondage, that he yielded up the land that we might possess it.
11. Therefore it came to pass, that after we had dwelt in the land for the space
of twelve years that king Laman began to grow uneasy, lest by any means my people
should wax strong in the land, and that they could not overpower them and bring them
12. Now they were a lazy and an idolatrous people; therefore they were desirous to
bring us into bondage, that they might glut themselves with the labors of our hands;
yea, that they might feast themselves upon the flocks of our fields.
13. Therefore it came to pass that king Laman began to stir up his people that they
should contend with my people; therefore there began to be wars and contentions in
14. For, in the thirteenth year of my reign in the land of Nephi, away on the south
of the land of Shilom, when my people were watering and feeding their flocks, and
tilling their lands, a numerous host of Lamanites came upon them and began to slay
them, and to take off their flocks, and the corn of their fields.
15. Yea, and it came to pass that they fled, all that were not overtaken, even into
the city of Nephi, and did call upon me for protection.
16. And it came to pass that I did arm them with bows, and with arrows, with swords,
and with cimeters, and with clubs, and with slings, and with all manner of weapons
which we could invent, and I and my people did go forth against the Lamanites to
17. Yea, in the strength of the Lord did we go forth to battle against the Lamanites;
for I and my people did cry mightily to the Lord that he would deliver us out of
the hands of our enemies, for we were awakened to a remembrance of the deliverance
of our fathers.
18. And God did hear our cries and did answer our prayers; and we did go forth in
his might; yea, we did go forth against the Lamanites, and in one day and a night
we did slay three thousand and forty-three; we did slay them even until we had driven
them out of our land.
19. And I, myself, with mine own hands, did help to bury their dead. And behold,
to our great sorrow and lamentation, two hundred and seventy-nine of our brethren