Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:

“He Did Go About Secretly”: Additional Thoughts on the Literary Use of Alma’s Name

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Published by:
Interpreter A Journal of Mormon Scripture
Published:
11/23/2017
Specs:
Digest / 5.25" x 8.25"
20 pages Saddle-stitched
Category:
Religion
Tags:
Alma, Book of Mormon, lds, literary allusions, Mormonism, Mosiah 27

Mormon describes Alma the Younger’s "go[ing] about secretly" to destroy the church that his father, Alma the Elder, had established (Mosiah 27:8–10), this as a narratalogical inversion of that period when Alma the Elder "went about privately" teaching the words of Abinadi and establishing a church "that it might not come to the knowledge of the king" (Mosiah 18:1–6). In Mosiah 27:10, Mormon subtly reworks Alma the Younger’s autobiographical statement preserved in Alma 36:6, adding in the former passage a word rendered "secretly" to create a midrashic or interpretive pun on the name Alma, echoing the meaning of the Semitic root ?lm, "hide," "conceal"). Mosiah 27:8–10 contains additional language that evokes the introduction of the name Alma in the Book of Mormon (at first in terms of ?elem ["young man"] but also in terms of the homonymous root ?lm) in Mosiah 17:2–4 but also re-invokes allusions in the latter passage to Mosiah 14:1 (Isaiah 53:1).

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