This third volume by the Book of Mormon Academy at Brigham Young University is a study of the sermon of Samuel the Lamanite through four analytical lenses. The first, a prophetic lens, discusses the roles of prophets, the prophetic promise of “prolonged days,” and Samuel’s prophecies. The second lens is pedagogical, providing readers with a greater understanding of how to teach the sermon. Readers who take advantage of the third lens, which is cultural-theological, will discover a useful framework for comprehending the ethics of wealth in the sermon, witness how Samuel stands up to Nephite discrimination, and benefit from a detailed reading of the sermon that will enable them to grasp how spiritual death divides both Christ and human beings. Lastly, the fourth lens, literary in nature, assists the reader in recognizing a newly identified type-scene, traces possible sources Samuel may have relied on, explores sources Mormon may have turned to as he abridged the work, and studies parallels between the ancient sermon and a form of early American speech known as the “jeremiad.”
Charles Swift is an associate professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University. He teaches classes on the Book of Mormon and the New Testament. In 2005 he developed and taught what is considered to be the first course on the Book of Mormon as literature as part of the BYU Honors Program course offerings. His areas of principal scholarship are scripture as sacred literature and creative writing. Professor Swift has studied at the University of Dallas, Brigham Young University, and Columbia University.
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