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Building a testimony for the Book of Mormon

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 2 2010 6:36 a.m. MDT

I just received a copy of the book “Poetic Parallelisms in the Book of Mormon” by Donald W. Parry.” My reaction is “Wow.” I knew about some of the Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon, but the complete text re-formatted to highlight Book of Mormon poetry literally takes your breath away. There are literally hundreds of this and similar poetic expressions throughout the Book of Mormon. What a testimony builder! Highly recommended.

There are about 300 Chiasmus detailed in this book. But there are other forms of parallelistic expression as well. For example there might be 5 sentences whose thoughts are repeated twice in sequential order. This is opposed to a Chiasmus where they are repeated in reverse order.

Here is an example of a Chiasmus from chapter seven of 1 Nephi:

The word of the Lord

A shall be fulfilled

B concerning the destruction of Jerusalem

C for all things which the Lord hath spoken

B concerning the destruction of Jerusalem

A must be fulfilled

You can find examples of Chiasmus on the Internet. Type in “Chiasmus” in the search field of Google or Yahoo. Several examples from the Bible and the Book of Mormon are listed. Back when the Book of Mormon was written, nobody had even heard of a Chiasmus, which testifies of the Book of Mormon’s ancient origin. They were first extensively detailed in the Bible by E. W. Bullinger in his 1898 book “Figures of Speech Used in the Bible.”

It was Dr. John Welch, an attorney, who first discovered Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon. In 1967, as he was serving as a missionary in Germany, he heard a speech about Chiasmus in the Bible. He thought that they might also be found in the Book of Mormon. To his delight, he discovered that The Book of Mormon does indeed contain many Chiasmus. Later Dr. Welch founded F. A. R. M. S (Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies). They have a seminar in Portland each year. We have attended several of them.

See “Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon” by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson and John W. Welch for more information on this and other proofs of the Book of Mormon authenticity.

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