And He Spake Unto Me: Structural Revelations and Prophetic Pattern in 1 Nephi

TitleAnd He Spake Unto Me: Structural Revelations and Prophetic Pattern in 1 Nephi
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLadd, Marcus M.
Number of Pages294
PublisherTafiat Publishing
CityCharleston, SC

1 Nephi is written chiastically, with 16 of the 22 chapters containing near chapter-wide chiasmi. Until now, these large parallel structures have not been documented. However, by their study we gain a deeper connection to Nephi the ancient prophet, and new insight into his gospel thinking, in particular the Atonement. The heart of Nephi's composition is his account of his vision of the tree of life, which features many inspiring parallels. For instance, there are two usages of condescension, one which speaks of Christ's birth to a fair virgin, and the other which tells of Christ's baptism. The question arises, how are these parallel? Nephi's vision at the center of his book also extends into chapters 12-14. These three chapters form a large chiasmus, and narrow to center on the restoration. The precise center of chapters 11's chiasmus and chapters 12-14's share the common thought - that He spake unto me. This is the hinge of Nephi's message, which is that God desires to commune with man, whether by angel, personal visitation, or the still small voice of the Spirit. This book also explores in depth the story of Nephi and Laban. Answering such questions as, what does Laban mean in Hebrew, and why is that important? As well, this book identifies prophetic pattern found in the stories of Jonah, Elijah, Joseph in Egypt, Moses, and Stephen, and examines how Nephi uses these same patterns in his writing.