Mosiah 15, 16

I included both of these chapters together as I think they were meant to be a continuous message.  I originally didn’t thing there was a larger Chiasmus form, but after looking at the end of chapter 16 and working backwards now do think there is a larger form.  The section seems to be made of two larger contrasting examples as well as many smaller forms within a larger form. 

I noted and marked with AA) that the words or concepts that Christ, here called the spiritual Eternal Father will come to bring redemption to his followers is at both the beginning and the ending of Abinadi’s message.  He also includes the law of Moses at the end which he began with in chapters 12 and 13. 

The two contrasting ideas center with the concept that CC) Christ is the only way to salvation and that those who BB) hearken will become the DD) children of God while contrasting with that those who BB) would not hearken become DD) children of the devil being subjected to him at the time of judgement. 

Also notice that ought ye not to tremble because of your sins occurs at the beginning of the contrasting idea and also appears at the end summary of the message.

It is interesting that there are two chiasmus structures with the term bands of death as the first and last term in the top section. This is also connected with victory over death and the resurrection which are part of the two forms.  These three terms also appear in Mosiah 16:7 which uses a Chiasmus structure to state a similar message to 1 Cor 15:55-57 and partially Isaiah 25:8. (Also of interest is that Bands of death is a unique B of M term.)

Mosiah 16:11 shows a strong contrasting form which may summarize this discourse topic of who hearkens and shows the end results of “whether they be good or whether they be evil

Both the top and bottom messages seem to have a positive focus on Christ. In the top that The Lord bore the sins of those that inherit the Kingdome of God.  In the bottom that Christ is the Light and Life of the world.

Overall I think it makes sense that Abinidi would add parallel structure his discourse as he knew he would be delivering the message to a King and highly educated priests.


Because Abinadi’s message is explaining the things that Isaiah was teaching, in the chapters I have highlighted all references to Isaiah’s text in mostly blue, but some brown, green highlight, and green text and then at the bottom copied Isaiah 52, 53 and 25:8 and also highlighted in blue and the other colors the text used by Abinadi.  At the bottom I also copied 1 Cor 15:55-57 as well as some of the other Book of Mormon sections that also use this theme.


AA) a) 1 And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men,

b) and shall redeem his people.

c) 2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God,

and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father,

being the Father and the Son— (detailing)

3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God;

and the Son, because of the flesh;

thus becoming the Father and Son— (detailing)

4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.

c) 5 And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God,

suffereth temptation,

and yieldeth not to the temptation,

but suffereth himself to be mocked,

and scourged,

and cast out,

and disowned by his people. (synonymous words)

6 And after all this, after working many mighty miracles among the children of men,

he shall be led, yea, even as Isaiah said,

as a sheep before the shearer is dumb,

so he opened not his mouth.

7 Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, (Isaiah slaughter)

c) the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.

A 8 And thus God breaketh the bands of death,

B having gained the victory over death;             (Isaiah 25:8, 1 Cor 15:55-57)

C giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men   (2 Ne 2:9-10, Heb 7:25)

D 9 Having ascended into heaven,

D having the bowels of mercy;              (Colo 3:12, Alma 7:12, 3 Ne 17:7)

C being filled with compassion towards the children of men;

B standing betwixt them and justice;

A having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice.

A 10 And now I say unto you, who shall declare his generation?

Behold, I say unto you, that when his soul has been made an offering for sin he shall see his seed.

And now what say ye? And who shall be his seed?

B 11 Behold I say unto you, that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets,

yea, all the holy prophets who have prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord—

BB) I say unto you, that all those who have hearkened unto their words,

CC) and believed that the Lord would redeem his people,

and have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins,

DD) C I say unto you, that these are his seed,

or they are the heirs of the kingdom of God.

D 12 For these are they whose sins he has borne;

D these are they for whom he has died, to redeem them from their transgressions.

C And now, are they not his seed?

B 13 Yea, and are not the prophets, every one that has opened his mouth to prophesy, that has not fallen into transgression,

I mean all the holy prophets ever since the world began?

A a) I say unto you that they are his seed.

b) 14 And these are they who have published peace, who have brought good tidings of good, who have published salvation;

and said unto Zion: Thy God reigneth! (progression)

15 And O how beautiful upon the mountains were their feet!

16 And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that are still publishing peace!

17 And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace, yea, from this time henceforth and forever!

A a) 18 And behold, I say unto you, this is not all.

b) For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings,

that is the founder of peace,

yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people;

yea, him who has granted salvation unto his people;

19 For were it not for the redemption which he hath made for his people,

which was prepared from the foundation of the world,

I say unto you, were it not for this, all mankind must have perished.

A 20 But behold, the bands of death

B shall be broken,

C and the Son reigneth,

D and hath power over the dead;

therefore, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead.

E 21 And there cometh a resurrection,

even a first resurrection;

yea, even a resurrection of those that have been, and who

are, and who shall be,

F even until the resurrection

G of Christ

G for so shall he be called.

 F 22 And now, the resurrection

E of all the prophets, and all those that have believed in their words, or all those that have kept the commandments of God,

shall come forth in the first resurrection;

therefore, they are the first resurrection.

D 23 They are raised to dwell with God who has redeemed them;

thus they have eternal life

C through Christ,

B who has broken

A the bands of death.

24 And these are those who have part in the first resurrection;

and these are they that have died before Christ came, in their ignorance, not having salvation declared unto them.

And thus the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these;

and they have a part in the first resurrection,

or have eternal life, being redeemed by the Lord.

25 And little children also have eternal life.



--  Begin of contrasting idea --



A 26 But behold, and fear, and tremble before God,

for ye ought to tremble;

B for the Lord redeemeth none such

C that rebel against him

D and die in their sins;

D yea, even all those that have perished in their sins ever since the world began,

C that have wilfully rebelled against God, that have known the commandments of God, and would not keep them;

B these are they that have no part in the first resurrection.

A) a) 27 Therefore ought ye not to tremble?

b) For salvation cometh to none such;

for the Lord hath redeemed none such;

yea, neither can the Lord redeem such;

for he cannot deny himself;

for he cannot deny justice when it has its claim.

b) 28 And now I say unto you that the time shall come that the salvation of the Lord shall be declared to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.

29 Yea, Lord, thy watchmen shall lift up their voice;

with the voice together shall they sing;

for they shall see eye to eye,

when the Lord shall bring again Zion.

30 Break forth into joy,

sing together,

ye waste places of Jerusalem;

for the Lord hath comforted his people,

he hath redeemed Jerusalem.

31 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm

in the eyes of all the nations;

and all the ends of the earth

shall see the salvation of our God.

Mosiah 16:1 And now, it came to pass that after Abinadi had spoken these words he stretched forth` his hand and said:

b) The time shall come when all shall see the salvation of the Lord; when every nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that his judgments are just.

B 2 And then shall the wicked be cast out,

and they shall have cause to howl, and weep, and wail, and gnash their teeth;

BB) and this because they would not hearken

CC) unto the voice of the Lord;

therefore the Lord redeemeth them not.

DD) 3 For they are carnal and devilish,

a) and the devil has power over them;

yea, even that old serpent that did beguile our first parents,

b) which was the cause of their fall;

which was the cause of all mankind becoming

c) carnal, sensual, devilish, knowing evil from good,

subjecting themselves to the devil. 

d) 4 Thus all mankind were lost;

d) and behold, they would have been endlessly lost were it not that God redeemed his people

from their lost and fallen state.

c) 5 But remember that he that persists in his own carnal nature,

and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God,

b) remaineth in his fallen state

DD) a) and the devil hath all power over him.

C’) Therefore he is as though there was no redemption made,

B’) being an enemy to God;

and also is the devil an enemy to God.

E a 6 And now if Christ had not come into the world,

b speaking of things to come

b as though they had already come,

there could have been no redemption.

E a 7 And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death

b that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting,  (Isaiah 25:8, 1 Cor 15:55-57)

c there could have been no resurrection.

c 8 But there is a resurrection,

b therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up

E a in Christ. (chiasmus)

F 9 He is the light and the life of the world;

a) yea, a light that is endless,

b) that can never be darkened;

a) yea, and also a life which is endless,

b) that there can be no more death. (simple alternate and detailing)

E 10 Even this mortal shall put on immortality,

and this corruption shall put on incorruption, (simple synonymous)

and shall be brought to stand before the bar of God,

to be judged of him according to their works

whether they be good or whether they be evil

11 If they be good,

c to the resurrection of endless life and happiness;

and if they be evil,

c to the resurrection of endless damnation,  (contrasting ideas)

DD’) a) being delivered up to the devil, who hath subjected them, which is damnation

c) 12 Having gone according to their own carnal wills and desires;

CC’) having never called upon the Lord while the arms of mercy were extended towards them;

for the arms of mercy were extended towards them,

BB’) and they would not;

they being warned of their iniquities

and yet they would not depart from them;

and they were commanded to repent

and yet they would not repent. (simple alternate)

A’) a) 13 And now, ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins,

b) and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?

14 Therefore, if ye teach the law of Moses,  (This also matches with Mosiah 12:28-29 and 13:33-34)

AA’) a) also teach that it is a shadow of those things which are to come

b) 15 Teach them that redemption

a) cometh through

c) Christ the Lord,

c) who is the very Eternal Father. Amen.



Isaiah 52:

21 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace;

that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth;

22 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion;

23 Break forth into joy;

sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem;

for the Lord hath comforted his people,

he hath redeemed Jerusalem;

24 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God?

Isaiah 53:

1 Yea, even doth not Isaiah say: Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so he opened not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no evil, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


Isaiah 25:8

8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.


1 Cor 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the bvictory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?


Mormon 7

5 Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge of your fathers, and repent of all your sins and iniquities, and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the cvictory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up.

6 And he bringeth to pass the aresurrection of the dead, whereby man must be raised to stand before his judgment-seat.

7 And he hath brought to pass the redemption of the world, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.

Alma 22:14

14 And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king.