strtoupper('“M')osiah Received Them with Joy”

Text: The twenty-four gold plates now translated as our book of Ether are mentioned, but they are not the only plates given to Mosiah. The record of Zeniff (Mosiah 25:5), which probably also included Noah’s and Limhi’s histories, was also given to Mosiah, who read these accounts to his people.

The fact that the record is named for Zeniff, even though it encompassed the reign of three kings, is analogous to the books on the plates of Nephi as dynastic records. (See Mosiah, Part 1: Context, Chapter 2, “Mormon’s Structural Editing: Chapters and Books.”) The official lineage record would be named for the founding ancestor and the name of the “ancestor book” would not be changed until a change in dynasty occurred. This is what we see occurring in the book of Mosiah, which begins a new dynasty and also contains the accounts of three kings (Mosiah1, Benjamin, and Mosiah2).

Culture: While Mosiah received the Limhites “with joy,” their social and economic integration no doubt presented a difficult task. Since they were an entire community, complete with their own clans, history, and experiences, they would probably wish to remain together. Mosiah thus probably had to find a way to include a new city inside his jurisdiction. The Limhites would therefore be sent to add to a small population, or to begin a new village in the land of Zarahemla, but would not remain in the city of Zarahemla. The presence of a city and land of Gideon may indicate their ultimate location (Alma 6:7).

Translation: It is possible that “received them with joy” is the formal phrase used for the integration of one people into another, because virtually the identical phrase recurs when Alma’s people come to Zarahemla: “And after they had been in the wilderness twelve days they arrived in the land of Zarahemla; and king Mosiah did also receive them with joy” (Mosiah 24:25). If this is not a formal acceptance phrase, then it is possible that Mormon is making a literary parallel to indicate that both the Limhites and Almaites were accepted equally.

Brant Gardner -

Brant Gardner

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3

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