Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, June 16

If 12-Step Addiction Recovery Programs Aren’t as Good as Other Addiction Recovery Methods, Why Is ‘LDS [Mormon] Social Services’ Relying on It instead of Better Methods (Like Energy Work and More)?

If 12-Step Addiction Recovery Programs Aren’t as Good as Other Addiction Recovery Methods, Why Is ‘LDS [Mormon] Social Services’ Relying on It instead of Better Methods (Like Energy Work and More)?

by grego
(c) 2009

In the June 2009 Ensign, there is an article called “Addiction Recovery: Healing One Step at a Time” (p. 61-65). Oh, LDS Social Services, what is going on?

I know that maybe a year ago or so, LDS Social Services was notified about new addiction recovery methods that had a much better recovery rate than 12-step programs, and also took a lot less time, stress, and money to use. It seems LDSSS weren’t interested, and preferred their 12-step program, and that was that.

Let me ask you, what do you think the main point of an addiction recovery program is? Do you think it is to recover from addiction? Is that what you would hope for?

I noticed, in the Ensign article, that there was no “recovery rate” or “success rate” given for the Church’s addiction recovery program. I would be very interested in knowing what it is; LDS Social Services, can you tell us the rate? Hopefully it is above the about seven percent (7%) recovery rate for other 12-step programs!

That’s right, about 93 out of 100 people will likely *fail* using this addiction recovery method. How much hope does that bring you?

Ok, perhaps those 93 people’s willpower wasn’t strong enough, perhaps they didn’t desire “the good” enough, perhaps they lacked faith… PERHAPS.

But if *your own spouse or child* were addicted, and there were much better ways to recover from addiction, would you settle for a 7% recovery chance? I sure as heck wouldn’t, and I hope you don’t, either.

(More about 12-step addiction recovery:
Here’s a list of some studies done on the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effectiveness_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous.

Many 12-step programs treat addiction as a disease that people are powerless to overcome on their own. I understand the Atonement and all that, but I wonder how the disease and powerlessness model matches up with the gospel?

Many also identify as “an [addict]” (of whatever they are addicted to), which only reinforces their addiction (“I’m Joseph, I’m an alcoholic.”). Why don’t they identify as “I am a child of God who currently has a problem with [whatever addiction] control”? I hope the LDS Church support groups don’t ever use the typical identity statements.

Notwithstanding the muddiness of the conclusions of many of the studies, on the referenced page (above) it says: “In the sample of 100 severe alcoholics from his clinic, 48% of the 29 alcoholics who eventually achieved sobriety attended 300 or more AA meetings”. Whoa! Only 29% eventually (after how many years or decades would that be?) achieved sobriety, and of those, almost half attended 300 (that’s basically once a week for six years) or more (400, 600, 1000+—how many more??) meetings. So 12-step programs seem to be this never-ending cycle of meetings with sponsors and sponsees, which seems to show that in order to overcome an addiction, they must become addicted—to addiction recovery meetings!

Some studies show that no intervention actually had a better recovery rate. These meetings could re-enliven and reinforce the bad choices, the pain, the fear, the guilt, and the shame. I figured part of recovery (and the Atonement) was getting past all that…?

Ok, this isn’t a research paper on AA or 12-step addiction recovery, and this isn’t my specialty… I just wanted to point out a few things. On to the important and exciting part!)

Here are some other things that will be better than most 12-step addiction recovery programs:
1. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and other meridian energy therapies. I cannot stress enough, ***DO THIS FIRST!!!!!***
Using EFT, I have put multiple years-old phobias to rest in one session (less than two hours every time, no matter how complex they have been). EFT has cured addictions of alcohol, cigarette, coffee, cocaine, inhalants, caffeine, soft drinks, sugar, and even chocolate—often in one session. (Follow-up home “maintenance” was often recommended and done “just in case”, to ensure permanent success.) If you prefer a one-hour addiction recovery, at a cost of maybe $40-$120–instead of the I’ve-abstained-for-20-years-but-I’m-not-quite-really-fully-ever-recovered-from-my-disease-but-I-attend-12-step-meetings scenario, try EFT. Check it out at http://www.eftuniverse.com. (Search “addiction” for a few case examples.) Find a practitioner, and do it. Period.

2. Contact John Wingert (now goes by the name of Twenty Twenty) about his addiction recovery program. When his son got addicted and he was supporting him, he saw problems with the 12-step program his son was in, and tried for something better. He has worked and works with addicts, and is not/ will not be offended by your spouse or child’s language, thoughts, etc. He can be found at www.2020unleashed.com, www.exhostage.com, and other websites.

3. Kinesiology, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and hypnotherapy are also useful tools for addiction recovery. Search for practitioners in these areas on the internet and ask them about treatment.

4. Certain addiction recovery programs and centers do much better than others, and many therapies do better than 12-step programs. Go for the successful ones. They might cost more, but it might be worth it, right? Search on the internet. Ask for detailed success rates and about how they are arrived at.

5. Special drugs—such as ibogaine, for example (see http://www.relfe.com/ibogaine.html)—or methods can be used; unfortunately, they might be illegal in the USA. You’ll have to search for the drugs and methods, and go out of country, but some people might prefer it to what’s happening.

The 12-step addiction recovery programs seem to not include other things about addiction must usually be understood and addressed for a fuller recovery, including:
*dopamine addiction (the true cause of most addictions);
*emotional, spiritual, mental, and social reasons for addiction;
*influence of other disorders/ syndromes/ etc. on addiction;
*stress control;
*replacing negative addictive behaviors with others;
*social reorientation;
*the role of the environment and about controlling it;
*filling the emptiness inside;
*life purpose;
*communication;
*education;
*learning (and learning problems);
*dealing with problems and problem solving;
*etc.

Though these things might be talked about at meetings, 12-step recovery programs don’t directly deal with these things. At least a few of these subjects will be helpful
and maybe even essential for every person recovering from addiction.

I hope LDS Social Services will reconsider their limited traditional programs and counseling and bring more true hope and recovery into people’s lives.

2008, November 24

“Book of Mormon: Alma Uses NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Such as AVK (Audio-Visual-Kinesthetic) to Talk to His Sons” by grego

Book of Mormon: Alma Uses NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Such as AVK (Audio-Visual-Kinesthetic) to Talk to His Sons

grego
(c) 2008

I wrote a little about this before, but I got requests to flesh it out, so I have done so. I hardly claim to be a pro, but the more I got into it Alma’s discussions and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), the more I discovered–there really is a lot. In fact, there was so much that grew, both in method and in learning, that I have kept waiting to put this up, and it’s still far from done. But here’s where I am now; though, it’s hardly a finished topic.

— —
In another post, I wrote the following (but I’ve added short comments in parentheses after):

“In Alma’s counsel to Helaman, it is interesting to note that Alma touches on a few things that might let us understand a little about Helaman and his personality; in addition, his letter tells us a little more about him…

I understand that:
1. Helaman must hear things over and over for them to take effect.
(Notice how many times the similar thing or similar things are repeated.)

2. He is “lazy”/ “asleep” in the gospel (and likely other areas of life).
(Alma is pretty forceful and direct with him, and the topics are very central and important, but it seems not to him. Note the topics of scriptures, reading, praying–it seems he has problems with the basics.)

3. Helaman doesn’t really believe in miracles.
(From the counsel about the plates, the counsel about God fulfilling his word, the list of miracles Helaman is aware of.)

4. He doesn’t really have a relationship with God.
(Lack of trust, lack of reading, lack of counseling, lack of faith.)

5. Helaman has a hard time either keeping the commandments or believing that one will prosper by keeping the commandments (maybe linked to his laziness or lack of faith in miracles).
(Specific counsel in these matters.)

6. He doesn’t take his commitments seriously.
(Why does a church leader need to continually hear “keep the commandments” and counsel on basic gospel living?)

7. He has a hard time seeing how anything he does really matters or makes a real difference in the lives of others.

8. Helaman was likely scared for himself and the sons of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.
(His strong unwillingness to enter into battle.)

9. He isn’t very diligent in listening to his father.
(His father doesn’t really trust him.)

— —

And earlier, this:

“Alma has three sons: Helaman, Shiblon, and Corianton. They are different…they all have different situations and need different counsel. He speaks to them directly. He wants to make sure his message gets across to them, so he personalizes the message and communicates it according to their communication style.

You’ve heard of NLP (neuro-lingustic programming)? Or… “AVK” learning styles? Auditory, visual, kinesthetic (feeling)?

Helaman is a visual learner. Alma speaks of records, images, directions, stories. He also learns by “repetition”, and is somewhat “low-key” person. He needs to hear something a few times for it to mean something to him (count how many times “keep the commandments” is in his counsel…).

Shiblon is a kinesthetic learner, and a “high-intensity” person. He needs to hear it hard and fast, strong and powerful. Once is enough, though. Alma speaks of bodily feelings. (See how many you can pick out… ;) )

Corianton is an auditory learner. He is a “hesitator”. Alma speaks of things auditory: words, sounds, hearing, speaking, saying, etc. (Note how many times Alma says, “I say…” to Corianton and compare it to the others.)…

(There’s more. Look for the two motivation types–does Alma persuade his sons to move away from something, or to go towards something…?”

-=-=-=

Ok now, here’s some of the “more” part. I’m just going to present all this in “notes” form, and allow readers to see things. There is no particular order, and I won’t necessarily draw conclusions from every part. Note that these chapters are not about covert persuasion or propaganda; they are about NLP, mainly meta-programs/ submodalities/ filters (of which AVK is a part). This is also incomplete because it is a written record and not spoken; this disallows us the possibility of considering many parts of NLP.

Once more, these few chapters alone should make every person consider (or reconsider) Book of Mormon complexity, richness, and deepness. Each conversation is unique on multiple facets; just planning these few chapters would have taken considerable time, even for an intelligent guy, to ensure consistency. Those who maintain that Joseph Smith “invented” the Book of Mormon must realize that if so, he was over 140 years before Grinder and Bandler even started NLP. Not only that, Alma uses these techniques in very ethical/ moral ways to teach and persuade his children to obey the commandments and do good. In these few chapters, Alma’s communication is so unique that Joseph Smith, once more, had to have been not just an excellent communicator, but a true genius. But was this greatness in communication and speaking found in Joseph Smith—outside of the Book of Mormon—during the same time period? The Joseph Smith papers should be very helpful here, as all will be able to see.

NOTE: If anyone can find any other source Joseph Smith could have copied, used, or studied in this particular way, or even any example of unique NLP communication—used by one character in different conversations in a “fiction” book by any author (especially a literary genius)—please, let me know!!

Alma’s counsel to his sons looks like this (all references are in the book of Alma, so just chapter and verse are given):

Helaman:
Length of speech (total lines, including partials, in columned book): 543
Tempo: slow and drawn out, repetitive
“Follow my example”: 3 times (37:1, 2 x2)
“I command you”: 4 times (37:1, 2, 20, 27)
“Keep the commandments”: 5 times (37:15 (warn not to transgress), 16 x2, 20, 35)
“Keep the commandments and prosper”: 3 times (36:1, 30, 37:13)
Number of questions asked: 2 times
Way questions are used: to summarize and nail Alma’s conclusion
How much Alma relates the content to Helaman’s personal experiences and testimony: 0 times
Main topics: “mysteries” of God, “wisdom” of God: 17 times (37:2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 18, 19, 21, 35, 38, 39, 40, 41)
Alma needs to paint the big picture, in great detail, for Helaman; philosophical/ intellectual in many aspects
Learning style: visual. Alma speaks of records, images, directions, stories.
Other: Helaman also learns by “repetition”—he needs to hear something over and over, and is somewhat a “low-key” person. Fascinated with thinking, he is a very non-action person. He is, however, a believer.

-=-=-=

Shiblon:
Length of speech (total lines, including partials, in columned book): 102
Tempo: fast and hard, one-time
“Follow my example”: 0 times
“I command you”: 0 times
“Keep the commandments”: 0 times Instead, Alma “offers suggestions”, basically: 12 times (1. “I hope that”: 38:2 2. “I trust that”: 38:2 3. “I would that”: 38:6, 10 x2 4. “See that”: 38:11 x2, 12 x2 5. “Balance”: 38:11, 12 6. “May the Lord”: 38:15)
“Keep the commandments and prosper”: 1 time (38:1)
Number of questions: 0
How much Alma relates the content to Shiblon’s personal experiences and testimony: the majority of the time: 38:2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 13, 14; then, Alma’s experience in 38:6, 7, 8, 9
Main topics: continue your course, “do”: 38:2.
Learning style: kinesthetic–it’s mainly about bodily feelings and action.
Other: Shiblon is a “high-intensity” person. He hears it hard and fast, strong and powerful; once is enough; very little is repeated in any form. Yet, Alma is very suggestful, no confrontation, doesn’t discuss Shiblon’s current weaknesses; he feels no need to prove anything or convince Shiblon of anything; doesn’t need to come out and clearly say things; no need to paint the “big picture” or detail it.

-=-=-=

Corianton:
Length of speech (total lines, including partials, in columned book): 641
Tempo: normal
“Follow my example”: 0 times (But, in 39:1, Shiblon’s example)
“I command you”: 3 times (39:10, 12 x2)
“Keep the commandments”: 0 times (Alma speaks of not following his brother’s good example in keeping the commandments at the very start; after that, of some of his sins; obeying Alma first, then God; etc.—everything *but* “keep the commandments”)
“Keep the commandments and prosper”: 0 times
Number of questions: 14 (39:1 x2, 5, 17, 18, 19; 40:7; 41:12; 42:17 x3, 19, 21, 25)
Way questions are used: to initiate and support a conversational topic.
How much Alma relates the content to Corianton’s personal experiences and testimony: Alma relates the majority of the topics to Corianton’s worries and problems, but most of the content is theological and from the outside.
Main topics: doctrinal, that have to do with Corianton’s sins (the majority).
Learning style: auditory. Alma speaks of words, sounds, hearing, speaking, saying, etc.
“I say…”: 12-15 times (39:1, 15, 17; 40:1, 2×2, 18, (19 x2), (20), 21 x2; 41:1, 2; 42:25)
Other: Corianton is a “hesitator”.
Topics are more about “doing”, not “being”.

-=-=-=

Other things to think about:
*Alma uses Shiblon, not Helaman, as the example that Corianton should follow (39:1, 2).
*Alma gives the plates to Helaman only after Nephihah refuses to accept them (Alma 50:38).
*Even though the stripling warriors testify they are protected, Helaman refuses to lead them into battle until they convince him that it really would be better to fight (57:39, 40, 43-49); earlier, Helaman feels that without extra help from the Lord, they would have perished, notwithstanding the promise (56:19).
UPDATE:
*When talking about the missionaries to the Zoramites, we read:
Alma 31:6 Therefore [Alma] took Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner; and Himni he did leave in the church in Zarahemla; but the former three he took with him, and also Amulek and Zeezrom, who were at Melek; and he also took two of his sons.
Alma 31:7 Now the eldest of his sons he took not with him, and his name was Helaman; but the names of those whom he took with him were Shiblon and Corianton; and these are the names of those who went with him among the Zoramites, to preach unto them the word.
Notice how Himni is “left in the church”, but Helaman is just left—while his brothers go to preach.


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2008, June 20

Persuasion in the Book of Mormon, and Other Things

Persuasion in the Book of Mormon, and Other Things
by grego
(c)2008

I was reading a blog post the other day on a blog that is frequented by “intellectuals”: PhD’s, lawyers, professors, etc. It was a post with over 240 comments, and most of those comments shared the same style.

It was appalling. So much so that I can say I’ve rarely been more appalled by anything else “LDS”. It wasn’t just what they were talking about; it was mostly the way they were doing it.

Sure, there were concerns, but they could have treated it very differently; I have rarely seen a post full of brainwashed comments; people who thought they were too smart for it.

It reminded me of a typical tirade session in an anti-Mormon discussion.

Anyone familiar with propaganda and logical fallacies would have a field day with the post and the comments. (I’m hardly the expert, but even I started to. Then I figured, it wouldn’t be worth it.) From the first sentence of the post—which was a generalization (somewhat hidden, as it didn’t use the word “all”)—to the last sentence of the post, which used “poisoned words”—at least every section of the somewhat long post had at least one problem with logic. Most of the comments did, too–from poisoning the well in the first comment, to the last, which contained one of those disparaging “[sic]”‘s.

Since everyone was on the bandwagon, it didn’t seem to matter.

To someone not on the bandwagon, however, it was pretty easy to see that most of the arguments were full of problems and that for most participants, the right side of the brain had completely oppressed the left side. In other words, many of the people commenting on the blog had been brainwashed.

Then, a day or two before that, I had run across an article by Devvy Kidd (http://www.newswithviews.com/Devvy/kidd149.htm) which contained this quote:
“Teddy Roosevelt said it the best: ‘The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.'”

That quote—no new idea for true freedom lovers, but important because of timing—really stuck because of the “Captain Moroni was such a bad, bad man; poor Pahoran” and “we need to support our government leaders” chatter I used to hear so much, and that continues to be heard from many American LDS. Many readers have turned away in fury without even reading past the introduction in some of my articles/ posts because “they’re not patriotic”, which to them means “you don’t support everything our government is and does 100%”. Me? Well, really, most of it is the Book of Mormon, not me. It’s like, forget what the book says, forget what prophets have said. Yeah. I don’t wonder so much any more why many—paraphrasing and interpreting Pres. Benson—look down with haughtiness and spite at the politics and liberty and blood in the Book of Mormon. (And *I’m* the one that gets called nuts…) The government is clearly winning the propaganda war with the saints. Once more, LDS should be at the front, and once more, LDS are near the back. And unfortunately, most not only don’t know it, they angrily deny it. Not just me saying that. After 9/11, I had many foreigners—New Zealanders, Canadians, Taiwanese—who were very hesitant to talk to me about all their reservations about the official story, because previous Americans had been almost bellicose when asked.

Somehow, the next day, my Sunday School lesson wasn’t going well. In fact, it seemed to be going horribly. (It probably wasn’t that bad, but that’s how it felt. Just when you had thought you couldn’t do worse than that other time before…) And somehow, at the end of the time limit, talking about king Mosiah and Amlici and persuasion in the same lesson (not to mention Alma the chief judge and great high priest/ prophet praying for strength to kill Amlici, good heavens!) led to a completely unprepared and surprise public chastizing of proud yet stupid LDS. And yes, especially (forgive me) Americans. (Of course, I had to throw a Pres. Benson quote in while doing so!) As LDS, we should be at the front of understanding these things, even if we find them appalling and don’t use them unless absolutely necessary. But, as usual, LDS are at the back of the line—again. And thus, we ourselves become appalling. Or at least we sometimes make appalling public posts and comments.

And that’s what made the post that started this all so much more appalling. These weren’t idiots writing and commenting on youtube.com; they were LDS cream of the crop on an intellectual blog. Being brainwashed.

Have you ever seen a “subliminal” video, or a “Derren Brown” show or video, such as on http://www.youtube.com? Wow. Amazing stuff. If you read many of the comments, though, you’ll see that there’s a lot of unbelief. Most people I introduce it to, don’t believe any of it is true. Much of the unbelief stems from pride and arrogance. Of course, ignorance is in full form. I’ve noticed more and more how well they often go together…

By trying really hard to not be gullible, they become… gullible. It’s the great Satan trick–the best way to get people to believe in me is to tell them I don’t exist, I’m not real; don’t believe in me.

Derren Brown is clear that it doesn’t work all the time, especially when people might be expecting it. But it sure works enough of the time, and on people that even might be expecting it, especially after multiple exposures, that it’s clearly evident that this is something to understand and learn.

My tirade in Sunday School was met by a very few surprised faces (or at least blank), but mostly faces that were open to learning and reality. It seemed I could see the words sink into them. Unfortunately, few of the class members were American. Ok, none of them were proud brainwashed American LDS. None of them were even American. But somehow, THEY got it. I don’t think any of them hold any advanced degrees. Many never went to college. Of the ones I’ve talked to, none of them are smooth talkers. But they listened, and they realized that yes, the Book of Mormon is full of examples of people using persuasion—for good or for bad—and that since it was in there so many times, and Pres. Benson specifically mentioned propaganda in that day and I can’t imagine it being better now than then; hey, you know, it probably *was* something that God wanted us to understand and learn. They didn’t know much about it, and they knew they didn’t know. They luckily hadn’t been around the intellectual circles who shut out Pres. Benson and his counsel, and they actually believed the Book of Mormon to be the word of God and useful and pragmatic for our days in many ways, not just in an intellectual or completely spiritual way.

Refreshing.

Anyway, that’s what really kicked in my thinking about persuasion in the Book of Mormon.

To start off, I will say that having been a leader of various degrees” and “positions”, I have never received any type of “brainwashing/ persuasion” teaching. The closest is teacher training, which touches on typical mainstream teaching ideas. Even counseling presentations to bishops deal with mainstream counseling/ psychology ideas.

I don’t remember ever seeing any type of what would be called overt and known (by the person using it) “covert persuasion” in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS Church by any member, anywhere I’ve been. That includes even very basic things like voice tonality.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a missionary use covert persuasion, either, other than voice tonality. That includes all the missionaries before my mission, on my mission, as a stake missionary, or otherwise. (I have seen one or two use overt pressure. Especially an Elder Duffin who made me think I’d rather listen to five desperate MLM presentations or be in the ring with a WWF wrestler than take a discussion from him. I actually cheered inside when the investigator left and never came back. Though I hope he came back after Elder Duffin left.)

The lack of covert persuasion speaks very much so against claims of the LDS church being a cult.

On the other hand, I have seen covert persuasion used by many preachers on TV. (For a look at more about this, search for “The Battle for Your Mind” on the internet.)

There is overt persuasion in the gospel and in the Church. There is emotion. But I have never seen covert persuasion or “brainwashing”. (One cult brainwasher, J.K. Ellis/ Dantalion Jones, accused the Church of brainswashing, but when I pressed for examples and asked for two-way discussion on a fair debate board, he backed off—I had imagined because he was really empty-handed.)

I have seen a few examples of propaganda. It seems most of it is started by the Church or Church leaders. Offhand, I recall most of it was logical fallacies and based on unstable evidence. Other than that, there’s not much in that area, either. Or at least, so much for my memory…

How important and central is persuasion to the gospel? Remember, the great war in heaven was caused by it. And God’s plan is based on it. Even Christ and the Holy Ghost persuade us to repent and do good. Look at Doctrine and Covenants 19, where Christ uses non-beautiful overt persuasion to call to repentance.

So, on to the Book of Mormon. How much is there about overt persuasion, covert persuasion, and propaganda?

A lot. So much I can’t cover it all here, but will just leave a few thoughts and some references.

Most examples are of overt persuasion—be it beautiful or not. (Most attacks I’ve seen of LDS critics talking of brainwashing seem to be based on the “not-beautiful” examples of overt persuasion. However, that doesn’t make it covert persuasion, nor does it make it brainwashing.) Nephi clearly says he wants to write things that persuade people to come unto Christ, and that the other writers should do so, too. Moroni, who often acts as the second witness to Nephi, also says so.

Some examples of persuasion being used by/ for the good occur here (very incomplete list and even references left open/ incomplete, out, or maybe even wrong!):
Lehi persuades his family to leave: 1 Nephi 2:2-4
Lord persuades Nephi to believe Lehi: 1 Nephi 2:16
Nephi persuades Sam to believe: 1 Nephi 2:17
Nephi fails to persuade Laman and Lemuel to believe: 1 Nephi 2:18
Nephi persuades his brothers to get the plates: 1 Nephi 3:21, 4:1-3
Spirit persuades Nephi to slay Laban: 1 Nephi 4:10-13
Nephi persuades Zoram to remain with them: 1 Nephi 4:32-34
Nephi persuades others to belive in Christ: 1 Nephi 6:4, 1 Nephi 19:18, 1 Nephi 19:23, 2 Nephi 25:23
Lehi’s sons perusade Ishmael and family to go with them: 1 Nephi 7:4
Nephi tries to persuade rebels to not return to Jerusalem: 1 Nephi 7
Others persuade Laman and Lemuel to not kill Nephi: 1 Nephi 7:19
Lehi tries to persuade Laman and Lemuel to repent: 1 Nephi 8:37, 10:2
Nephi teaches and persuades his brothers to do good: 1 Nephi 15
Nephi persuades family to repent: 1 Nephi 16:24
Lord persuades Laman and Lemuel to repent: 1 Nephi 16:39
Nephi persuades his brothers to help him build a ship: 1 Nephi 17
Lehi persuades his family to be good: 2 Nephi 1-4
Nephi persuades believers to follow him and leave: 2 Nephi 5:6
Jacob persuades repentance: 2 Nephi 9
Jews shall be persuaded to believe in Christ: 2 Nephi 25:16
Jesus commands his people to persuade others to repent: 2 Nephi 26:27
Nephi persuades others to pray: 2 Nephi 32
Nephi persuades others to do good: 2 Nephi 33:4
Jacob and Joseph persuade others to come to Christ: Jacob 1:7, 8
Jacob persuades repentance: Jacob 2-3
Mosiah 1 persuades others to leave land of Nephi: Omni 1:12
Prophets persuade Nephites to repent:
King Benjamin persuades people to repent, be converted: Mosiah 2-5
Zeniff persuades others to not kill Lamanites: Mosiah 9:1-2
Abinadi persuades Alma to repent: Mosiah 12-17
Young women persuade Lamanites to not kill their families: Mosiah 19:13-15
Gideon persuades Limhi to listen to his counsel: Mosiah 22:3-9
King Mosiah persuades people to have judges: Mosiah 29
Gideon withstands words of Nehor with words of God: Alma 1:7
Alma the Younger persuades members to repent: Alma 4-7
Alma and Amulek persuade the Ammonihahites to repent: Alma 8-14
Ammon persuades servants to be of good cheer, gather sheep: Alma 17:31
Ammon persuades Lamoni to listen and repent: Alma 18
Abish persuades the people to come see the king’s conversion: Alma 19:17
Lamoni will use flattery to get Nephite missionary prisoners released: Alma 20:4
Aaron persuades the king to pray: Alma 22
Ammon, Aaron, et. al. Persuade Lamanites to repent: Alma 17-25
Ammon persuades Lamanites to leave: Alma 27
Alma persuades his sons to do good: Alma 36-42?
Captain Moroni, the covenant, and the Title of Liberty: Alma 46
Captain Moroni persuades men to fight better many times:
Helaman and others persuade the Anti-Nephi-Lehies not to break their covenant: Alma 53:13-15; 56:7-8
Captain Moroni persuades Pahoran to repent: Alma 60
Abinadad persuades the Lamanites to pray: Helaman 5
Nephi persuades the people to think: Helaman 10?
Mormon writes to persuade all to repent: Mormon 3:22
The Book of Mormon is to persuade men to believe in Jesus, etc.: Mormon 5:14
The Book of Mormon persuades men to do good: Ether 4:11
All that persuades men to do good is of Christ: Ether 4:12
Moroni hopes man will be persuaded to do good continually: Ether 8:26
That which persuades to believe in Christ, is of Christ: Moroni 7:16

In addition, there are a few articles on this blog about Alma and his sons, and NLP.

Some examples of persuasion being used by/ for the bad occur here:
Laman and Lemuel persuade some of Ishmael’s family to rebel: 1 Nephi 7
Men persuade others to believe false doctrine: 2 Nephi 28:5-9
Devil flatters people to sin: 2 Nephi 28:22
Sherem uses flattery and power of speech to overthrow doctrine of Christ: Jacob 7:2, 4
King Noah and priests use vain and flattering words to persuade people to do evil: Mosiah 11:7
Nonbelievers persuade members to do evil: Mosiah 26:6
Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah use words and flattery to lead members to do evil: Mosiah 27:8
Nehor persuades others to sin: Alma 1(:7)
Nehorites persuade others to believe them: Alma 1:15-16
Amlici persuades people to follow him: Alma 2:1, 2
Amlici persuades his followers to fight against the Nephites: Alma 2
Korihor persuades others to believe him: Alma 30:47
Amalickiah persuades people to follow him: Alma 46:5, 7, 10
Amalickiah “persuades” the Lamanite king to give him the army: Alma 47:3-4
Amalickiah persuades Lehonti to come down, follow his evil plan: Alma 47
Amalickiah persuades the army that the king’s servants killed him: Alma 47:27
Amalickiah persuades the queen that the king’s servants killed him: Alma 47:33-34
Amalickiah and Ammoron persuade the Lamanites to fight the Nephites: Alma 48-62, scattered
Morianton persuades his people to flee and fight Nephites: Alma 50:29, 35
Kingmen use flattery to win people over: Alma 61:4
Paanchi persuades rebellion: Helaman 1:7
Gadianton flatters others to make him #1 in the band: Helaman 2:5
Zoramites persuade Lamanite children to leave the Church, become Gadianton robbers: 3 Nephi 1:29
Jacob the Lamanite flatters others to flee and wait for dissenters: 3 Nephi 7:12
Jared persuades others with flattery and cunning to rebel: Ether 8:2
Satan persuades to do evil: Moroni 7:17

Those of you who are familiar with my articles “Moroni the Man, Pahoran the Propagandist” and “9/11 and the Book of Mormon”, on www.bookofmormonmusings.blogspot.com, also have two prime examples of propaganda and covert persuasion.

So, please be aware that persuasion does exist, it’s real, both God and Satan and their servants use it, and you will either learn it, or live by someone else’s will. Reading the scriptures and having the Spirit will negate much negative persuasion, but rarely will those things stop or cure it. Most likely you will need to learn and also change your lifestyle, especially to counter negative covert persuasion; for example, turn off the TV.

I’m going to give you a list of topics now that doing a search on will bring all kinds of information. You must be aware of things like “propaganda techniques”, “covert persuasion”, “NLP (neuro-linguistic programming)”, “conversational hypnosis”, “seduction”, “mind control”, etc. Yes, there’s lots out there, and there are some “interesting” things–both truthful and not. There’s lots of misinformation (a part of propaganda–when the truth is told, open the floodgates of untruth—from very different to the truth, to very similar to the truth—to confuse and throw everyone off as to the real truth). But generally, you’ll start to see things. And you will especially see how they work, on you, your family, and those around you. You can also look at these topics on videos on youtube.com and other places. I suggest to start with “Derren Brown” to look at negative possibilities, and “Salad NLP” for positive possibilities.


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2008, April 21

Book of Mormon: Alma Matches His Sons’ Learning and Communication Styles

Ok, a little deep here, folks. Not in bad stuff, but in good stuff.

I’ve only given this a day of quick thought, so I’m going to go out on a limb here; but, it seems pretty firm.

Alma has three sons: Helaman, Shiblon, and Corianton. They are different: one didn’t go on a mission, one went and served honorably, one went and didn’t serve honorably; they all have different situations and need different counsel. He speaks to them directly. He wants to make sure his message gets across to them, so he personalizes the message and communicates it according to their communication style.

You’ve heard of NLP (neuro-lingustic programming)? Or perhaps you’re a teacher, and you’ve heard of “AVK” learning styles? Auditory, visual, kinesthetic (feeling)?

Well, guess what, folks? Basically…

Helaman is a visual learner. Alma speaks of records, images, directions, stories. He also is a somewhat “low-key” person who learns by “repetition”; he needs to hear something a few times for it to mean something to him (count how many times “keep the commandments” is in his counsel…).

Shiblon is a kinesthetic learner, and a “high-intensity” person. He needs to hear it hard and fast, strong and powerful. Once is enough, though. Alma speaks of bodily feelings. (See how many you can pick out… ;) )

Corianton is an auditory learner. He is a “hesitator”. Alma speaks of things auditory: words, sounds, hearing, speaking, saying, etc. (Note how many times Alma says, “I say…” to Corianton and compare it to the others.)

No, it’s not blatant and perfect. But I guess we need to credit Alma or Joseph Smith with the different learning styles and communication styles. ;)

(There’s more. Look for the two motivation types–does Alma persuade his sons to move away from something, or to go towards something…?)

What learning and communication styles do the people you care most about use? Have you learned, as Alma, to tailor your messages for them?

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