Mormon, Zeniff, and Limhi

Mormon, Zeniff, and Limhi November 24, 2023


Wm. Marks con GAS
Elder George A. Smith talks with Nauvoo stake president William Marks in a scene from the Interpreter Foundation’s current “Six Days in August” film project.  Thanks to Russell M. Richins, our producer, for providing these still photographs.


I hope that you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday (where applicable).

Over the past couple of days, the following note was sent out to the Interpreter Foundation’s email lists and went up on the Foundation’s websites:

We are approaching Giving Tuesday and the month of December, when the hearts of many (in the United States, at least) turn to charity or, anyway, to tax deductions. We know that there are thousands of worthy causes out there, and we hope that none of them is neglected. Still, among all of their competing claims and amidst the wonders and the pressures of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Day, we ask that you please remember the Interpreter Foundation as you plan your year-end giving. Happy holidays!

For more information about donating to The Interpreter Foundation, please visit this page:

We wish you the best and hope that you enjoy the holiday season that is upon us.


The Interpreter Foundation

As a small part of our year-end fundraising effort, I myself will be placing a request for donations on my personal Facebook page, as (I expect) my wife will be doing on hers.  I currently intend that to go active on “Giving Tuesday,” 28 November 2023.


6DIA extra dvjdvkjdkwj female
An extra on the movie set in Upper Canada Village, Ontario


In the meantime, the Interpreter Foundation continues to produce.  Here are three new items, one that went up yesterday — I apologize for the delayed notice; I was in transit throughout the day yesterday — and two that appeared just moments ago:

“An Analysis of Mormon’s Narrative Strategies Employed on the Zeniffite Narrative and Their Effect on Limhi,” written by Nathan J. Arp

Abstract: The prophet Mormon’s editorial skill brings the narrative of the Zeniffites alive with a complex tumble of viewpoints, commentary, and timelines. Mormon seems to apply similar narrative strategies as those used in the Bible in his approach to abridging the history of his people. A comparative reading of the various accounts in the Zeniffite story provides the close reader with a deep picture of Limhi, the tragic grandson of the founding king, Zeniff, and the son of the iniquitous King Noah. Noah’s wicked rule brought his people into bondage. His conflicted son Limhi’s efforts to free the people, although well meaning, often imperiled his people. Fortunately, Limhi’s proclivity for making poor judgments did not extend to his acceptance of the gospel. In fact, coexistent with the repeated errors Limhi makes in the narrative lies one of his greatest strengths, his willingness to accept correction. This is a vital characteristic necessary for the repentance required by the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what redeemed Limhi from his comedy of errors. It is this quality that can also redeem us all. Limhi’s love for his father, in the end, did not doom him to make the same mistakes Noah did. When the messengers from God came, Limhi listened and accepted their message. Mormon’s characterization strategies described here are a credit to his art and support the hypothesis that he is an inheritor of the poetics of biblical narrative. His narrative strategies not only characterize the cast in his narrative, but also characterize him. The care Mormon took in crafting his abridgment reveal his observational prowess. He saw God’s hand in his people’s history, and he went to great lengths to teach his readers how to see it too. His characterization of Limhi is a personal message about how wickedness and tyranny affect individuals.

“Interpreting Interpreter: Limhi’s Narrative,” written by Kyler Rasmussen

This post is a summary of the article “An Analysis of Mormon’s Narrative Strategies Employed on the Zeniffite Narrative and Their Effect on Limhi” by Nathan J. Arp in Volume 59 of Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship. All of the Interpreting Interpreter articles may be seen at An introduction to the Interpreting Interpreter series is available at

The Takeaway:  Arp examines the narrative surrounding Limhi and his people, showing the strategies used within the Book of Mormon to characterize him as a flawed but faithful individual impacted by the tyranny of his father.

The Temple: Ancient and Restored: The Book of the Dead as a Temple Text and the Implications for the Book of Abraham,” written by Stephen O. Smoot and Quinten Barney

Part of our book chapter reprint series, this article originally appeared in The Temple: Ancient and Restored, Proceedings of the Second Interpreter Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference “The Temple on Mount Zion,” 25 October 2014 (2016) edited by Stephen D. Ricks and Donald W. Parry. For more information, go to


Canadian extra?
Another extra on the set in Ontario, Canada


This will not sit well with some folks:  “Is the Family Proclamation Uncompassionate?”

In somewhat related news:  “Over 7,000 churches have left the UMC amid homosexuality schism: More than 5,000 churches have disaffiliated in 2023”

Issues related to gender and sexuality continue to roil religious institutions and to threaten faith, and there seems no end in sight.


6DIA's Lyman Wight
Elder Lyman Wight, as he appears in the forthcoming Interpreter Foundation film project, “Six Days in August”


Finally, I close with five excruciatingly horrific specimens of theistic evil that I’ve drawn, for your gratifying indignation, from the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File™.  Read ’em and weep:

“Utah’s Giving Machines are open and ready for the 2023 holiday season: ‘I love the power of our collective community, the power we have to make a difference,’ Utah first lady Abby Cox said.”

“How faith motivated Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King Jr. — a conversation with Jonathan Eig: The biographer of the civil rights leader says that King’s Christianity was at the center of all that he did”

“How the Church of Jesus Christ Is Making Its Meetinghouses More Waterwise: A pilot program to improve water conservation is underway at seven meetinghouses in Utah”


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