You are here

Mormon's Narrative Strategies to Provide Literary Justice for Gideon

TitleMormon's Narrative Strategies to Provide Literary Justice for Gideon
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsArp, Nathan J.
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship
KeywordsGideon (Zeniffite/Nephite); Mormon (Prophet); Narrative; Repetition

Although unable to write more than a hundredth part of his people’s history, Mormon seemingly found the time and plate-space to deliver literary justice on behalf of Gideon, who suffered a martyr’s death at the hand of the wicked Nehor. This article applies a literary approach buttressed by evidence from the Book of Mormon to suggest that Mormon intentionally supplied tightly-controlled repetitive elements, like the repetition of names, to point the reader to discover multiple literary sub-narratives connected by a carefully crafted network of themes running under the main narratives of the scriptures. The theories espoused in this work may have begun with the recognition of the reader-arresting repetition of Gideon’s name in Alma 6:7-8, but driven by scriptural data points soon connected Gideon with Abinadi, the Ammonites, and others. The repetitive and referential use of the moniker Nehor, Gideon’s murderer, on various peoples by Mormon seemed to connect thematically and organically to a justice prophesied by Abinadi. In parallel with the theme of justice laid upon the Nehor-populations, evidence is marshaled to also suggest that Mormon referenced the place-name of Gideon to intentionally hearken back to the man Gideon. Following the role of Gideon, as a place, we propose Mormon constructed a path for the martyr Gideon via proxy to meet the resurrected Lord in Bountiful. Mormon’s concern for the individual and his technique for rewriting Gideon’s story through proxy ultimately symbolizes the role Christ’s atoning power can take in each of our lives to save us.