Interesting Poetic Form

Years ago, someone (I do not recall who) pointed out the following parallelism in King Benjamin’s speech in the Book of Mormon. Notice that it appears to be in verses (for lack of a better word), with each new verse set off with “behold” followed by two groups of parallelisms. The form looks like this:

Behold,

1.
1.

2.
2.

Behold,

3.
3.

4.
4.

Behold,

5.
5.

6.
6.

Behold,

7.
7.

8.
8.

Here it is:

[Verse 1] Behold,

I say unto you
that because I said unto you

that I had spent my days in your service,
I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God.

[Verse 2] And behold,

I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom;
that ye may learn that when

ye are in the service of your fellow beings
ye are only in the service of your God.

[Verse 3] Behold,

ye have called me your king; and if I,
whom ye call your king,

do labor to serve you, then ought not
ye to labor to serve one another?

[Verse 4] And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king,

who has spent his days in your service, and
yet has been in the service of God,

do merit any thanks from you,
O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!

(Mosiah 2:16-19)

There is no doubt in my mind that this was intentionally done by the author. For the sake of argument, if Joseph Smith were the author and not the translator, did he come up with this poem intentionally when he “made up” the Book of Mormon? If so, why? Also, if so, why didn’t he ever point out such beautiful complexities in the Book of Mormon (as there are many such complexities)?

I suggest that Joseph Smith did not write the Book of Mormon. Further, I submit he didn’t even know such complexities existed in the text. The Book of Mormon is far more complex than its critics are willing to admit. It is interesting that most of the criticisms leveled against that holy book are against its origins, and not its content. Isn’t it time that the critics took seriously the complexity of the book as confirming evidence of its veracity?

See more here: No Evidences for the Book of Mormon?

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4 thoughts on “Interesting Poetic Form

  1. The book of Mosiah is part of Mormon’s abridgment of the large plates. I think the large plates probably contained the poetic form. I don’t know if King Benjamin actually spoke it that way, but it was recorded that way.

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