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Lesson 23 - Old World Ritual in the New World

TitleLesson 23 - Old World Ritual in the New World
Publication TypeManual Lesson
Year of Publication1957
AuthorsNibley, Hugh W.
Manual TitleAn Approach to the Book of Mormon
PublisherThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Place PublishedSalt Lake City
KeywordsKing Benjamin; King Benjamin's Speech; King Mosiah; Ritual

In the writer’s opinion, this lesson presents the most convincing evidence yet brought forth for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Very likely the reader will be far from sharing this view, since the force of the evidence is cumulative and based on extensive comparative studies which cannot be fully presented here. Still the evidence is so good, and can be so thoroughly tested, that we present it here for the benefit of the reader who wishes to pursue the subject further. Since Gressmann, Jeremias, Mowinckel, and many others began their studies at the start of the century a vast literature on the subject of the Great Assembly at the New Year and the peculiar and complex rites performed on that occasion has been brought forth. Yet nowhere can one find a fuller description of that institution and its rites than in the Book of Mormon. Since “patternism” (as the awareness of a single universal pattern for all ancient year rites is now being called) is a discovery of the last thirty years, the fact that the now familiar pattern of ritual turns up in a book first published almost 130 years ago is an extremely stimulating one. For it is plain that Mosiah’s account of the Great Year Rite among the Nephites is accurate in every detail, as can be checked by other year-rites throughout the world.