strtoupper('“M')ethought I Saw Even As Our Father Lehi Saw”

It has been noted that Alma 36:22 parallels almost verbatim the account of Lehi's vision in 1 Nephi 1:8. However, according to John Tvedtnes, Alma may have been quoting from the large plates of Nephi. To me, it is inconceivable that Lehi's vision would not have been recorded on the large plates, which were prepared by Nephi long before the small plates. It was, after all, the primal vision for Lehi. And since Nephi wrote both accounts, we should not wonder that the account reads the same--or nearly so--on both sets of plates. Had the 116 pages lost by Martin Harris survived, we would know whether the quote was copied into Mormon's abridgment of the large plates. [John Tvedtnes, "Review" of Brent Lee Metcalfe, ed., New Approaches to the Book of Mormon: Explorations in Critical Methodology in Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 6, Num. 1, p. 43]

“Methought I Saw Even As Our Father Lehi Saw ”

According to John Welch, a remarkable thing about Alma 36:22 is the fact that Lehi's words are not just summarized, but are precisely quoted:

"Yea, methought I saw . . . God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God . . ." (Alma 36:22).

". . . he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God" (1 Nephi 1:8).

These twenty-one words are a verbatim quote of 1 Nephi 1:8. Such exactness cannot be explained by thinking that Joseph turned to 1 Nephi and copied the words of Lehi from what Oliver Cowdery had already recorded from Joseph's dictation, for 1 Nephi may not yet even have been translated at the time when Joseph and Oliver were translating Alma 36. Evidently, Alma was very meticulous in quoting Lehi's words from the small plates of Nephi when he composed Alma 36, and Joseph Smith's dictated translation preserved that exactitude. [John W. Welch, "A Masterpiece: Alma 36," in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, F.A.R.M.S., p. 126] [See the Tvedtnes commentary on Alma 13:25]

Alma 36:22 Methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw . . . (Illustration): Alma's Quotation of Lehi. [John W. Welch and J. Gregory Welch, Charting the Book of Mormon: Visual Aids for Personal Study and Teaching, F.A.R.M.S., Chart 103]

Alan C. Miner -

Alan C. Miner

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

References