"There is so much more in the Book of Mormon than we have yet discovered. The book's divine architecture and rich furnishings will increasingly unfold to our view, further qualifying it as 'a marvelous work and a wonder' ...The Book of Mormon is like a vast mansion with gardens, towers, courtyards, and wings. All the rooms in this mansion need to be explored..."
-Neal A Maxwell

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chiasmus: Mosiah 5:9-12

Just a quick post before I jet off to work today. In my reading this morning, I noticed this chiasmus in Mosiah 5:9-12:

A And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God,
for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.

A And now it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ must be called by some other name;

B therefore, he findeth himself on the left hand of God.
C And I would that ye should remember also,
D that this is the name that I said I should give unto you that never should be blotted out,
E except it be through transgression;
E' therefore, take heed that ye do not transgress,
D' that the name be not blotted out of your hearts.
C' I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts,
B' that ye are not found on the left hand of God,

A' but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called,

A' and also, the name by which he shall call you.

This chiasmus seems to be fairly self-evident (although perhaps I didn't dissect the "A" lines quite right). However, the central emphasis isn't Christ or his attributes, as we'd normally expect. Why might King Benjamin choose to make transgression the salient theme of this passage?

UPDATE 10/9/2012: This passage is cited as an example of chiasmus on fair.org's wiki page on the subject, though the authors dissect it a little differently. 

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