“They Did Play with the Beasts as a Child with a Suckling Lamb and Received No Harm”

Brant Gardner

The most dangerous wild beast of Mesoamerica would have been the jaguar. That animal was considered to be a powerful religious omen, and there are cultural reasons that men might have been sacrificed to that particular wild beast.

In the Old World we have Daniel in the lion’s den as one parallel to this miraculous deliverance (Daniel 6:16).

Three of the four deliverances have an analog in the Old Testament. Two of them come from Daniel, which was written after the Lehites left Jerusalem, so the presence of those two deliverances cannot be attributed to typing from the Old Testament by Mormon. We are left with the possibility that Joseph did some typing, or modeling, of his own in the construction of these examples, or the correspondence is simply coincidental. Even though three of the four are analogues for an Old Testament deliverance, those particular events are also at home in a Mesoamerican context, so it is distinctly possible that the correlation is simply coincidental.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon