“They Were Naked and Their Skins Were Worn Exceedingly Because of Being Bound”

Alan C. Miner

According to Brant Gardner, the description of having prisoners "naked, and their skins "worn exceedingly because of being bound with strong cords" and suffering "all kinds of afflictions (Alma 20:29) matches quite well with the information gleaned about captives from Maya stelae and glyphs. Captives are typically shown naked, and torture and mistreatment were also quite typical depictions of a captive. Thus this particular description of the condition of Ammon's captive brethren rings very true in the Mesoamerican context. [Brant Gardner, Book of Mormon Commentary, [http://www.highfiber.com/~nahualli/LDStopics/] Alma/Alma20.htm, p. 10]

Alma 20:29 Their skins were worn exceedingly because of being bound with strong cords ([Illustration]): Scenes showing bound prisoners are plentiful in Mesoamerican art. Some were clearly war prisoners, but others were criminals detained for trial. [John L. Sorenson, Images of Ancient America, p. 116]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary