John Woodland Welch, a Mormon (LDS) law and religion scholar who has written a number of learned articles on the the Mormon scriptures, says the Book of Mormon contains a long and complex chiasmus in Alma chapter 36, as well as smaller chiastic structures elsewhere in the book. The significance of this is that it seems unlikely that Joseph Smith or his associates would have been able to use such an advanced rhetorical device, thus improving the chances of the Book of Mormon being of ancient origin. He says ('Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon'):
This is truly an amazing passage of scripture, both in its rich content and in its complex structure. Alma has skillfully framed the story of his conversion with chiastic panels for the sole purpose of drawing our attention to the centrality of Jesus Christ in that conversion.
However, Robert M. Bowman Jr., an American Evangelical Christian theologian, has carefully reviewed Welch's description of Alma chapter 36 ('Alma 36: Ancient Masterpiece Chiasmus or Modern Revivalist Testimony?') and, using Welch's own criteria, conclusively determined that the chapter does not constitute a chiastic structure.
Acording to Bowman, the following table briefly summarises his assessment of the purported chiasmus in Alma 36, according to Welch’s own criteria:
Bowman simply believes that Welch found a single pair of statements that would make a good centre for a chismus, then used his ingenuity to build a chiasmus around it. Not dishonestly, but as a triumph of faith over study.