Sunday, December 1, 2013

Book of Mormon Word Usage: Wrestle

In Joseph Smith's day, the verb to wrestle meant
To strive with arms extended, as two men, who seize each other by the collar and arms, each endeavoring to throw the other by tripping up his heels and twitching him off his center.
The Book of Mormon, however, has a very different usage for the word.

The word wrestle occurs twice in the Book of Mormon, both times with similar usage. The plainest is in Alma. When Alma preached to the city of Ammonihah,
Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer, that he would pour out his Spirit upon the people who were in the city; that he would also grant that he might baptize them unto repentance. (Alma 8:10)
The usage in Enos is similar:
 I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins. (Enos 1:2)
Enos then describes how
my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens. (Enos 1:4)
So in the Book of Mormon wrestling is always connected with prayer. It is a spiritual rather than a physical struggle.

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