Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2008, July 11

Book of Mormon: Korihor: Literary Devices 5: Imagery

Book of Mormon: Korihor: Literary Devices 5: Imagery

There’s also a lot of “up” vs. “down” imagery in the story of Korihor. It’s used “in bono” and “in malo”.

Korihor was really big on people lifting up their heads:
Alma 30:18 And thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to *lift up their heads* in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms–telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof.

Alma 30:23 Now the high priest’s name was Giddonah. And Korihor said unto him: Because I do not teach the foolish traditions of your fathers, and because I do not teach this people to *bind themselves down* under the foolish ordinances and performances which are *laid down* by ancient priests, to usurp power and authority over them, to keep them in ignorance, that they may not *lift up their heads*, but be *brought down* according to thy words.

Alma 30:27 And thus ye lead away this people after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye *keep them down*, *even as it were in bondage*, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands, that they *durst not look up with boldness*, and that they *durst not enjoy their rights and privileges*.

Alma 30:28 Yea, they *durst not make use of that which is their own* lest they should offend their priests, who do yoke them according to their desires, and have brought them to believe, by their traditions and their dreams and their whims and their visions and their pretended mysteries, that they should, if they did not do according to their words, offend some unknown being, who they say is God–a being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be.

Alma 30:31 And he did *rise up* in great swelling words before Alma, and did revile against the priests and teachers, accusing them of leading away the people after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of glutting on the labors of the people.

Interestingly, Alma adds an additional sign to one so intent and focused on lifting up his head: the solar system.
Alma 30:44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even *the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator*.

Then, it’s Alma’s and God’s turn to use *down* in a negative way:
Alma 30:47 But behold, it is better that thy soul should be lost than that thou shouldst be the means of bringing many souls *down to destruction*, by thy lying and by thy flattering words…

And Korihor’s turn to ironically be incapable of looking up to the heavens:
Alma 30:54 Now when he had said this, he besought that Alma should pray unto God, that the curse might be taken from him.

So much for “looking up with boldness”…

The commentary finishes:
Alma 30:59 And it came to pass that as he went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram–and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and *trodden down*, even until he was dead.

Alma 30:60 And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily *drag them down* to hell.


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