This is the last part of the series where I look into fasting in the Book of Mormon and compare it with fasting in the Old Testament. Here are the links to the previous four parts of this series.
- Part 1: Introduction and fasting as a sign of grief or mourning
- Part 2: Fasting as a sign of repentance and seeking forgiveness for sin
- Part 3: Fasting as an aid in prayer
- Part 4: Fasting as an experience of the presence of God and endorsement of his messenger
In this post we will look at
- Fasting as an act of ceremonial public worship
This one is quite familiar to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Fasting is often a collective, congregational event, not just personal. We see the same in the Book of Mormon.
Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God. (Alma 6:6)
Behold, now it came to pass that the people of Nephi were exceedingly rejoiced, because the Lord had again them out of the hands of their enemies; therefore they gave thanks unto the Lord their God; yea, and they did much and pray much, and they did worship God with exceedingly great joy. (Alma 45:1)
And it came to pass that as the disciples of Jesus were journeying and were preaching the things which they had both heard and seen, and were baptizing in the name of Jesus, it came to pass that the disciples were gathered together and were in and
And the did meet together , to and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls. (Moroni 6:5)Another aspect of the ceremonial worship is fasting as part of the Jewish calendar or required by the law of Moses. While studying this subject, I came across this article exploring the same subject. The following paragraph gives interesting insight:
That concludes the series on fasting in the Book of Mormon and how it compares with Old Testament practice. As we have seen, there are many parallels and a few differences. Fasting in general is also mentioned or described more frequently in the Old Testament compared to the Book of Mormon. Still, there is enough in the Book of Mormon to show that this was definitely part of the Nephite culture and religious tradition, which was inherited from ancient Israelite tradition.