“For the Space of Three Days I Could Not Open My Mouth”

Brant Gardner

These “three days” may be symbolic. There is no textual evidence to suggest that the Nephites knew about Christ’s resurrection after three days. Nevertheless, Jonah’s three days in the belly of the beast would also serve as a model tying three days to a salvation theme (Jonah 1:17). Certainly a modern reader, armed with the understanding of the relationship of three days to Christ’s death and resurrection can see an important parallel to Alma. Symbolically, Alma dies and is resurrected. In Pauline terms, he has laid down corruption and arisen in incorruption (1 Cor. 15:42, 2 Ne. 9:7.)

In Mosiah, Alma notes that he was under the Spirit’s influence for only two days and two nights. (See commentary accompanying Mosiah 27:23 for a discussion of the discrepancy in time.)

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4