Monday, August 14, 2017

King Benjamin - part 1

I took the first part of King Benjamin's speech (his speech is divided into several segments with interruptions between) and tried to outline it according to word/structural patterns.  I discovered that it's a really complex speech!  Benjamin uses chiasmus, parallelisms and repeating words and phrases that have always escaped me until I tried to lay them all out.  I still don't know what it all means but laying it out like this helps to show at least what he was intending.  This part of his speech can be divided into seven segments.  Parts 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are each configured as an individual chiasmus.  Parts 2 and 3 use parallelisms.  In each chiasmus I color-coded the words that are found on each side for easy reference. 

Twice he uses a "therefore" pattern repeated three times.  And in each he says basically the same thing.   The 3x"therefore" parts are in the 4th and 7th segments.  They each say pretty much the same thing but with minor differences.  (in the first it's fire that ascends and in the second it's smoke that ascends, etc)

In the second segment he uses "dust" and "earth" 3 times then followed with "assemble yourselves together"  3 times.

The part from the angel is super interesting.  I put it in italics - it's in the 6th segment below.  It's a chiasmus and uses the word "child" (or children/infant) repeatedly.  Could that have been a hint to the people that they needed to focus more on their children?  That that would be the reason they don't become Zion by the second generation?


My brethren, all ye that have assembled yourselves together, you that can hear my words which I shall speak unto you this day, for I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me and open your ears that ye may hear and your hearts that ye may understand and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view. I have not commanded you to come up hither that ye should fear me or that ye should think that I of myself am more than a mortal man.
  • But I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind. Yet as I have been chosen by this people and consecrated by my father and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a king over this people, and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power to serve thee with all the might, mind, and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me, I say unto you that as I have been suffered to spend my days in your service, even up to this time, and have not sought gold nor silver nor any manner of riches of you, neither have I suffered that ye should be confined in dungeons nor that ye should make slaves one of another, or that ye should murder, or plunder, or steal, or commit adultery, or even I have not suffered that ye should commit any manner of wickedness, and have taught you that ye should keep the commandments of the Lord in all things which he hath commanded you.
    • And even I myself have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you and that ye should not be laden with taxes and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne. And of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day. Yet my brethren, I have not done these things that I might boast, neither do I tell these things that thereby I might accuse you. But I tell you these things that ye may know that I can answer a clear conscience before God this day.
      •  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.
        • 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.
    • Behold ye have called me your king. And if I, whom ye call your king, do labor to serve you, then had not ye ought to labor to serve one another? 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, doth merit any thanks from you, O how had you ought to thank your heavenly King.
  • I say unto you my brethren that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole souls have power to possess to that God who has created you and has kept and preserved you and has caused that ye should rejoice and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another, -I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning and art preserving you from day to day by lending you breath that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another- I say, If ye should serve him with all your whole soul, yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
 And behold all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments. And he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments, ye should prosper in the land. And he never doth vary from that which he hath said. Therefore if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.


And now in the first place,
  • he hath created you and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. 
And secondly,   
  • he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you, for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you, and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him and are and will be forever and ever. 
Therefore of what have ye to boast? And now I ask, Can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. 
  • Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth, 
  • yet ye were created of the dust of the earth but behold it belongeth to him who created you.  And I, even I, whom ye call your king, am no better than ye yourselves are, for
  • I am also of the dust.  And ye behold that I am old and am about to yield up this mortal frame to its mother earth. 
Therefore as I said unto you that I had served you, walking with a clear conscience before God 
  • even so I at this time have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together,
    • that I might be found blameless and that your blood should not come upon me when I shall stand to be judged of God of the things whereof he hath commanded me concerning you.
  • I say unto you that I have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together 
    • that I might rid my garments of your blood, at this period of time when I am about to go down to my grave, that I might go down in peace, and my immortal spirit may join the choirs above in singing the praises of a just God.
  • And moreover, I say unto you that I have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together 
    • that I might declare unto you that I can no longer be your teacher nor your king. For even at this time my whole frame doth tremble exceedingly while attempting to speak unto you, but the Lord God doth support me and hath suffered me that I should speak unto you and hath commanded me that I should declare unto you this day that my son Mosiah is a king and a ruler over you.


And now my brethren I would that ye should do as ye have hitherto done.

  • As ye have kept my commandments, and also, the commandments of my father,
    • and have prospered and have been kept from falling into the hands of your enemies, even so
  • if ye shall keep the commandments of my son, or the commandments of God which shall be delivered unto you by him,
    • ye shall prosper in the land, and your enemies shall have no power over you.
  •  But O my people, beware lest there shall arise contentions among you,
    • and ye list to obey the evil spirit which was spoken of by my father, Mosiah.
    • For behold, there is a wo pronounced upon him who listeth to obey that spirit.
    • For if he listeth to obey him and remaineth and dieth in his sins, the same drinketh damnation to his own soul,
      • for he receiveth for his wages an everlasting punishment, having transgressed the law of God contrary to his own knowledge.
  • I say unto you that there are not any among you, except it be your little children,
    •  that have not been taught concerning 
      • these things but what knoweth that ye are eternally indebted to your heavenly Father, to render to him all that you have and are,
    •  and also have been taught concerning 
      •  the records which contain the prophecies which have been spoken by the holy prophets, even down to the time our father Lehi left Jerusalem,
      • and also all that has been spoken by our fathers until now. And behold also they spake that which was commanded them of the Lord; therefore they are just and true.

And now I say unto you my brethren that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken,
  •  that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom's paths that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved, I say unto you that the man that doeth this, the same cometh out in open rebellion against God.
    • Therefore he listeth to obey the evil spirit and becometh an enemy to all righteousness.
      • Therefore the Lord has no place in him, for he dwelleth not in unholy temples.
    • Therefore if that man repenteth not and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice doth awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt,
  • which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord and doth fill his breast with guilt and pain and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire whose flames ascendeth up forever and ever.
And now I say unto you that mercy hath no claim on that man; therefore his final doom is to endure a never-ending torment.

O all ye old men and also ye young men and you little children who can understand my words -for I have spoken plain unto you that ye might understand-
  • I pray that ye should awake to a remembrance of the awful situation of those that have fallen into transgression.
  •  And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God; for behold, they are blessed in all things both temporal and spiritual. And if they hold out faithful to the end, they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness.
O remember, remember that these things are true for the Lord God hath spoken it.

And again my brethren, I would call your attention, for I have somewhat more to speak unto you. For behold, I have things to tell you concerning that which is to come. And the things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel from God. And he said unto me, Awake. And I awoke. And behold he stood before me.
And he said unto me,
Awake and hear the words which I shall tell thee;
  • for behold, I am come to declare unto you the glad tidings of great joy. For the Lord hath heard thy prayers and hath judged of thy righteousness and hath sent me to declare unto thee, that thou mayest rejoice, and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may also be filled with joy. For behold, the time cometh and is not far distant that with power the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay and shall go forth amongst men working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases. And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men. And lo, he shall suffer temptations and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer except it be unto death. For behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people. And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary. And lo, he cometh unto his own that salvation might come unto the children of men, even through faith on his name. And even after all this, they shall consider him a man and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him and shall crucify him. And he shall rise the third day from the dead. And behold he standeth to judge the world. And behold all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men.
    • For behold, and also, his blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam who have died not knowing the will of God concerning them or who have ignorantly sinned. But wo wo unto him who knoweth that he rebelleth against God; for salvation cometh to none such except it be through repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
      • And the Lord God hath sent his holy prophets among all the children of men to declare these things to every kindred, nation, and tongue, that thereby whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same might receive remission of their sins and rejoice with exceeding great joy, even as though he had already come among them. Yet the Lord God saw that his people were a stiffnecked people, and he appointed unto them a law, even the law of Moses.
        • And many signs and wonders and types and shadows shewed he unto them concerning his coming;
        • and also holy prophets spake unto them concerning his coming.
      • And yet they hardened their hearts and understood not that the law of Moses availeth nothing except it were through the atonement of his blood. And even if it were possible that little children could sin, they could not be saved. But I say unto you, They are blessed;
    • for behold, as in Adam or by nature they fall, even so the blood of Christ atoneth for their sins. And moreover, I say unto you that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ the Lord Omnipotent. For behold, he judgeth and his judgment is just. And the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy, but men drink damnation to their own souls except they humble themselves and become as little children and believe that salvation was and is and is to come in and through the atoning blood of Christ the Lord Omnipotent.
  • For the natural man is an enemy to God and has been from the fall of Adam and will be forever and ever but if he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. And moreover, I say unto you that the time shall come when the knowledge of a Savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. And behold, when that time cometh, none shall be found blameless before God, except it be little children, only through repentance and faith on the name of the Lord God Omnipotent. And even at this time when thou shalt have taught thy people the things which the Lord thy God hath commanded thee, even then are they found no more blameless in the sight of God,
only according to the words which I have spoken unto thee.

And now I have spoken the words which the Lord God hath commanded me.
  • And thus saith the Lord, They shall stand as a bright testimony against this people at the judgment day; whereof they shall be judged every man according to his works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. And if they be evil, they are consigned to an awful view of their own guilt and abominations, which doth cause them to shrink from the presence of the Lord into a state of misery and endless torment, from whence they can no more return.
    • Therefore they have drunk damnation to their own souls.
      • Therefore they have drunk out of the cup of the wrath of God, which justice could no more deny unto them than it could deny that Adam should fall because of his partaking of the forbidden fruit.
    • Therefore mercy could have claim on them no more forever and
  • their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone whose flames are unquenchable and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever.
Thus hath the Lord commanded me. Amen.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Chiasmus in 3 Nephi

Behold, now I finish the commandment which the Father hath commanded me concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Israel.  Ye remember that I spake unto you and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled -behold they are written, ye have them before you, therefore search them- and verily, verily I say unto you that when they shall be fulfilled, then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel.
  • Then shall the remnants which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth be gathered in from the east, and from the west and from the south and from the north, and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God who hath redeemed them. And the Father hath commanded me that I should give unto you this land for your inheritance. And I say unto you that if the Gentiles do not repent after the blessing which they shall receive after they have scattered my people, then shall ye who are a remnant of the house of Jacob go forth among them. And ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many, and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep who, if he goeth through, both treadeth down and teareth in pieces and none can deliver. Thy hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries and all thine enemies shall be cut off. And I will gather my people together as a man gathereth his sheaves into the floor, for I will make my people with whom the Father hath covenanted, yea, I will make thy horn iron and I will make thy hoofs brass. And thou shalt beat in pieces many people, and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. And behold, I am he who doeth it. And it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that the sword of my justice shall hang over them at that day, and except they repent it shall fall upon them, saith the Father, yea, even upon all the nations of the Gentiles.  And it shall come to pass that I will establish my people, O house of Israel. And behold, this people will I establish in this land unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob, and it shall be a new Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people, yea, even I will be in the midst of you.
    • Behold, I am he of whom Moses spake, saying, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people. Verily, I say unto you, yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have testified of me. And behold ye are the children of the prophets and ye are of the house of Israel and ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. The Father having raised me up unto you first and sent me to bless you in turning away every one of you from his iniquities, and this because ye are the children of the covenant. And after that ye were blessed, then fulfilleth the Father the covenant which he made with Abraham, saying, In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed unto the pouring out of the Holy Ghost through me upon the Gentiles, which blessing upon the Gentiles shall make them mighty above all unto the scattering of my people, O house of Israel. And they shall be a scourge unto the people of this land. Nevertheless, when they shall have received the fulness of my gospel, then, if they shall harden their hearts against me, I will return their iniquities upon their own heads, saith the Father. And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people. And I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father.
      • And it shall come to pass that the time cometh when the fullness of my gospel shall be preached unto them and they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name. Then shall their watchmen lift up their voice and with the voice together shall they sing, for they shall see eye to eye. Then will the Father gather them together again and give unto them Jerusalem for the land of their inheritance. Then shall they break forth into joy. Sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem, for the Father hath comforted his people: he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Father hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of the Father. And the Father and I are one. And then shall be brought to pass that which is written, Awake, awake again and put on thy strength, O Zion. Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city, for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust: arise, sit down, O Jerusalem. Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion, for thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for naught and ye shall be redeemed without money. Verily, verily, I say unto you that my people shall know my name, yea, in that day they shall know that I am he that doth speak. And then shall they say, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings unto them, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings unto them of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth. And then shall a cry go forth, Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch not that which is unclean, go ye out of the midst of her: be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight, for the Lord will go before you and the God of Israel shall be your rearward. Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. As many were astonished at thee -his visage was so marred, more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men- so shall he sprinkle many nations. The kings shall shut their mouths at him, for that which had been told them shall they see and that which they had not heard shall they consider. Verily, verily, I say unto you, All these things shall surely come even as the Father hath commanded me. Then shall this covenant which the Father hath covenanted with his people be fulfilled, and then shall Jerusalem be inhabited again with my people and it shall be the land of their inheritance.
        • And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place, that I shall gather in from their long dispersion my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion. And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign:
          • for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them, verily, verily, I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father and shall come forth of the Father from them unto you.
            • For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel.
          • Therefore when these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the Gentiles unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity, for thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may shew forth his power unto the Gentiles for this cause, that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel.
        • And when these things come to pass that thy seed shall begin to know these things, it shall be a sign unto them that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel. And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths, for that which had not been told them shall they see and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
      • For in that day, for my sake, shall the Father work a work which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them, and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them. But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand, therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will shew unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil. Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, whom the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles.
    • It shall be done even as Moses said, They shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant. And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep who, if he go through, both treadeth down and teareth in pieces and none can deliver. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries and all their enemies shall be cut off. Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent, for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee and I will destroy thy chariots and I will cut off the cities of thy land and throw down all thy strongholds. And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy land and thou shalt have no more soothsayers. Thy graven images I will also cut off and thy standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands. And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities. And it shall come to pass that all lyings and deceivings and envyings and strifes and priestcrafts and whoredoms shall be done away. For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day, whosoever will not repent and come unto my beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel, and I will execute vengeance and fury upon them even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.
  • But if they will repent and hearken unto my words and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance. And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city which shall be called the New Jerusalem. And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the power of heaven come down among them and I also will be in the midst. And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people.
Verily, I say unto you, At that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people with the Father, to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name.   Yea, and then shall the work commence with the Father among all nations, in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance. And they shall go out from all nations and they shall not go out in haste nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward.

Lessons learned from past Covenant people

Lessons learned from past successes:

  • Ask for the Lord's help in trials to make burdens light and be patient (people of Alma)
  • Raise children up to the Lord (successful generations in 4 Nephi)
  • Do what the Lord asks no matter what (Nephi)
  • Take problems and work them out with the Lord (Brother of Jared)
  • Missionaries humble themselves before those they serve and start with service/love before the message.  In reality, that love IS their message. (Ammon and the sons of Mosiah)

Lessons learned from past failures:

  • Don't send "Moses" up for us - no one is better or higher than another
  • Don't freak out at someone's mistakes (Kirtland Safety Society)
  • Don't get angry if the Lord feels we need to experience the loss of our worldly things; especially if the loss comes as a result of others' mistakes or evil intent (Kirtland Safety Society)
  • fulfill a direct assignment from the Lord quickly (Nauvoo Temple)
  • Missionaries should focus on their target audience and not get distracted (early LDS missionaries preaching to Campbellites instead of Lamanites)
  • When it's time to ascend, ASCEND
  • Don't let doctrinal disagreements cause division (Peter/Paul, Nephites)
  • Show proper respect and appreciation for new scriptures (LDS who preferred the Bible over the Book of Mormon)
  • Teach children properly (people of King Benjamin, 4 Nephi)
  • Don't complain about things the Lord gives us (Manna)
  • Don't seek for a mortal king (Jaredites, Nephites, Israelites)
  • Don't be prideful of the Lord's protection (Nephites)
  • Don't think ourselves better than those outside our group (pretty much all failed covenant people)
  • Endure through trials
  • Let the Lord fight our battles
  • Committees may not be the best idea

And the seventy and seventh year began in peace, and the church did spread throughout the face of all the land, and the more part of the people, both the Nephites and the Lamanites, did belong to the church; and they did have exceeding great peace in the land. And thus ended the seventy and seventh year. And also they had peace in the seventy and eighth year, save it were a few contentions concerning the points of doctrine which had been laid down by the prophets. And in the seventy and ninth year there began to be much strife.