The Zoramites and Costly Apparel : Symbolism and Irony
Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture
Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
The Zoramite narratives of Alma 31-35 and Alma 43-44 are richly symbolic accounts woven with many subtle details regarding the importance of costly apparel and riches as an outward evidence of pride. This literary analysis focuses on how Mormon as editor structured the Zoramite narrative and used clothing as a metaphor to show the dangers of pride and the blessings afforded by humble adherence to God's teachings and covenants. The Zoramites' pride-as evidenced by their focus on costly apparel, gold, silver, and fine goods (Alma 31:24-25, 28)-competes with the foundational Book of Mormon teaching that the obedient will "prosper in the land" (1 Nephi 4:14; Mosiah 1:7). The story develops this tension between pride and true prosperity by employing the metaphor of clothing to set up several dramatic ironies.