King Benjamin’s Speech Made Simple

Stephen D. Ricks

The speech of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon is a masterpiece of Christian literature. These inspired words influenced later Book of Mormon prophets for generations, and they continue to reach across time to stir countless people today. King Benjamin’s Speech Made Simple is a popular abridgment of the expansive volume King Benjamin’s Speech: “That Ye May Learn Wisdom.” Prepared with the general reader in mind, this streamlined version presents the essential contents of the original book. Eleven studies examine the classic speech from many angles, viewing it as a manual for Christian discipleship, a coronation and covenant-renewal text, an ancient farewell address, a key part of a religious celebration, a prophetic lawsuit, a masterful oration of stunning structural complexity, and much more. It acquaints readers with a great religious leader whose wisdom, inspired teachings, and parting testimony invite studious attention and lasting admiration. This book is a rich resource, spotlighting and making simple the profound meanings and intriguing complexities of Benjamin’s carefully wrought words.

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About the Editor

Stephen D. Ricks

Stephen D. Ricks (Ph.D. in Near Eastern Religions, University of California, Berkeley, and Graduate Theological Union) is Professor of Hebrew and Cognate Learning in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University. He served as president of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies and as chairman of the board, as the founding editor of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, and as Associate Dean of General Education and Honors at Brigham Young University.

About the Author

Stephen D. Ricks

Stephen D. Ricks (Ph.D. in Near Eastern Religions, University of California, Berkeley, and Graduate Theological Union) is Professor of Hebrew and Cognate Learning in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University. He served as president of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies and as chairman of the board, as the founding editor of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, and as Associate Dean of General Education and Honors at Brigham Young University.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • King Benjamin's Sermon: A Manual for Discipleship
  • Benjamin, the Man: His Place in Nephite History
  • Benjamin's Speech: A Masterful Oration
  • Benjamin's Sermon as a Traditional Ancient Farewell Address
  • Assembly and Atonement
  • King Benjamin's Speech in the Context of Ancient Israelite Festivals
  • Benjamin's Speech as a Prophetic Lawsuit
  • Kingship, Coronation, and Covenant in Mosiah 1–6
  • Benjamin and the Mysteries of God
  • Benjamin's Covenant as a Precursor of the Sacrament Prayers
  • Parallelism and Chiasmus in Benjamin's Speech
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Publication Information

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  • ISBN 13: 978-0934893411
  • Page Count: 320
  • Price: $ 24.95
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The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)