Source:Rediscovering the Book of Mormon:Ch:5:9:Exodus motif: A new credo

Exodus motif: A New Credo

Exodus motif: A New Credo

Israel followed the custom of retelling the Exodus experience to remind them of their dependence on God. The transplanted Israelites in the New World continued the same kind of memory, but with a twist. They not only remembered the acts of God among the Israelites fleeing Egypt, they also retold the story of the journey of Lehi and his family through the desert and to the new promised land. Eight times in the Book of Mormon, the Exodus was recalled. Lehi's journey from Jerusalem is referred to at least ten times. Even the Lamanites may have followed this custom to an extent (see Alma 22:9}}).

In two places in the Book of Mormon, the two exoduses are retold together. The first is from a speech by King Limhi to his people; the second is from Alma's instructions to his son Helaman:

[King Limhi:]
Lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God, in that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; and also, that God who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, and caused that they should walk through the Red Sea on dry ground, and fed them with manna that they might not perish in the wilderness; and many more things did he do for them. And again, that same God has brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem, and has kept and preserved his people even until now (Mosiah 7:19-20).
For he has brought our fathers out of Egypt, and he has swallowed up the Egyptians in the Red Sea; and he led them by his power into the promised land; yea, and he has delivered them out of bondage and captivity from time to time. Yea, and he has also brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem; and he has also, by his everlasting power, delivered them out of bondage and captivity, from time to time even down to the present day (Alma 36:28-29).
In the second pair of verses, note that Alma describes the two situations in identical terms. These two passages indicate that, in the minds of at least some of the Nephite writers, the wilderness journey experienced by Lehi, Ishmael, and their families had become equivalent in importance to the Exodus of Israel from Egypt.[1]


  1. Terrence L. Szink, "Nephi and the Exodus," in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, edited by John L. Sorenson and Melvin J. Thorne (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co.; Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1991), Chapter 5.